Caustic Minds – Black Oil For A Soul

With a rather potent reputation in tow courtesy of their highly energetic live performances, alternative rock outfit Caustic Minds has a certain buzz brewing up around them and one sure to be only accelerated by the recent release of the band’s debut EP. Five tracks strong, Black Oil For A Soul is quite simply an encounter which makes you just stop and pay attention.

Formed in Germany in 2007, Berlin based Caustic Minds has a background as rich as their sound. Vocalist Laura Jiménez Alvarez comes from Mexico City, while guitarist Daniel Viseras Calvache is Granada in Spain hailing. With bassist Michiel Sybers born in Antwerpen, Belgium and drummer Chris Crabtree British/German bred, it is a cosmopolitan mix as flavoursome as the blend of hard rock and indie enticement they conjure up between them. Over time the band has had references to the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, and Black Sabbath shared upon their sound though for our ears Black Oil For A Soul tantalises and captivates like a hybrid fusion of Karn8 and My Baby.

Persistently compelling in its enterprise and bold in its character, the EP immediately had ears and imagination enslaved with opener Eyes On Fire. Never relinquishing its favourite track grip from its first escapade, the song instantly harries and tempts with a stalking fusion of stabbing beats and siren scythes of guitar. Instantly magnetic, the track only escalates its lures as a swagger breaks out in a sure stroll ridden by the similarly captivating tones of Alvarez. With a groove which infests hips without invitation and an instinctive roar that demands unity, the imagination soaked track easily gripped body and appetite.

Though for personal tastes the release never quite reached those major heights again, its presence and enterprise is a lofty adventure that continues to beguile, next up Baby Doll providing a fiery blaze of punk shaped rock ‘n’ roll with progressive breath to its winds as melodic seduction fuels its great unpredictability.

Similarly Destroyer teased and taunted the imagination; its immediate launch part prowl part strut and all fascination. Intoxicating in its bluesy charm and eye balling in its attitude, the temptress of a song proved another irresistible holler which never fed expectations before Blacklist brought its own beguiling lures to the party. Rising on spirals of sonic and melodic heat, the track is another which teases as it tempts. Like flames in a fire stirring thoughts and gripping attention as its spellbinding hold sprung creative shapes the song simply flirted with the imagination as vocals and individual enterprise trapped ears.

The EP closes up with Carry On, another moment within the EP that enthralled with ease as its seductive moves and shameless grooves toyed alongside the ever compelling barracuda toned bass of Sybers. As each track and the EP as a whole, the closer is all sensuous bait and steamy endeavour honed into rock ‘n’ roll that shamelessly and skilfully entices and firmly attracts.

Black Oil For A Soul more than suggests that the boisterous murmur around Caustic Minds is sound and about to boil over beyond the German borders the band is already putting under their spell and as a bonus ‘name your own price’ release on the band’s Bandcamp site, it is one encounter no one should be ignoring.

Black Oil For A Soul is available now @ https://causticminds.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 29/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rock ‘n’ Sulphur; talking with Avalanche

Roaring out of Smithfield, Western Sydney Avalanche are a 4 piece hard rock band playing heart-racing, gut busting, roof crashing, fast paced Rock ‘N’ Roll courtesy of the devil himself. The Australian outfit recently sat down and shared with us their origins, new album, inspirations and plenty more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Veronica ‘V’ Taleski: My name’s Veronica I play lead guitar.

Ryan Roma: I’m the drummer.

Arthur Divis: Rhythm guitar.

Steven Campbell: And I’m Steven, lead vocalist and bass player. I know that Ryan and Veronica have been jamming together for a few years, she went to school with his sister and that’s how they met, they had another rhythm guitarist and bass player at the time and eventually reached out to me as they needed a singer. Soon enough, the rhythm guitarist gave up, the bass player stopped showing up so I thought I’d take up bass too, and after a whole string of rhythm guitarists we eventually found Arthur. But yeah I think what brought us all together was a love of heavy rock music, particularly stuff from the 60s, 70s and 80s, were all young but we’re all into that kind of music and we were lucky enough to find others to share that interest with.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Veronica: For me and Ryan, this is our first band, pretty much from our first time playing together we both knew we wanted to start a band and take it as far as it could possibly go. For us our biggest influences has always been bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Motörhead and the like, bands that are just bare bones rock n roll, with a bit of blues a bit of early rock n roll but heavy and loud and BIG, yet simple and not overly complicated. That’s always been the kind of music we want to play, while we may have other influences and play different styles sometimes, we know always just need to bring it back to that paradigm.

Steven Campbell: I’ve been in and out of bands since I was about 13-14 starting with an acoustic duo me and my best friend started, I’ve been in all sorts of bands, heavy metal all the way to psychedelic funk. But rock and roll has always been my favourite music, I feel like all my past experience in bands though gave me a much needed leg up on how bands and gigs are actually run which has helped us in a lot of a situations, and it goes to show if you want to play music especially in a band, you just can’t take no for an answer.

Arthur Divis: I haven’t ever played in another band. It’s interesting though because I remember when I was learning I sort of moved away from open chords to bar chords and would also mess around with pedals and distortion and the like so got extremely use to playing like that. But in this band, following what V does, she has a very particular way of playing, inspired a lot by AC/DC to get the most massive sound possible without a lot of effects, so no pedals, very little distortion, and going back to open chords and hitting the strings as hard as possible, it was all a bit awkward at first but feels good now haha.

What inspired the band name?

Steven Campbell: My dad, Adrian Campbell was actually in a band called Avalanche in the 70s and the 80s, they used to belong to the same management company as AC/DC; they have even played with them before and some other major bands at that time, we thought it was an awesome sounding name and wanted to keep the rock and roll family tradition going so after going through a lot of other names, we decided to name our band Avalanche.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Veronica: Yeah as mentioned me and Ryan came into this wanting to be a bare-bones hard rock band. We didn’t wanna write ballads or slow songs or political songs or songs with a whole wall of effects and distortion on ‘em, we wanted to be a guitar band and we wanted to write music that you could have a good time too. If it’s heavy, loud or fast then it’s good enough for us. I think it was Slash or somebody who said that a good rock song has either gotta make you want to fight of fuck. So that’s what we try to do.

And those same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Veronica: Yeah pretty much. Of course with bringing new members in, they’re gonna bring their own influences and ideas in as well, but in our cases, all that’s done is add to the sound rather than take away from it, we’re still a hard rock band and that’s not gonna change anytime soon. And we’re still hell bent on taking this band to the ends of the earth, even more so now than before I’d say.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Ryan: We’re definitely more tighter and more aggressive I’d say. A lot more used to playing with each other and anticipating each other. Our songs have become more dynamic and more unique as we’ve begun to find our voice and bring in each other’s influences. But it’s still all good old fashioned rock n roll.

Have changes and growth in sound etc. Been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Steven: Well its funny Veronica and Ryan tend to be very firmly rooted in the hard rock, rock and roll sound and I’ve spent so much time playing in different genres that sometimes it comes together in a way that we may not usually have thought of because of that. We tend to be a lot more towards the organic rock sound but very occasionally there are a few weird things I manage to get into the final mix haha

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Steven: I think one of the biggest inspirations I like to add into my own musical approach, is the way Bon Scott would write his lyrics. How he would subvert the listener’s attention in certain ways and make you think that he was talking about something completely different. I like that sort of mystery in my writing, sort of keep everyone guessing.

Veronica: AC/DC is probably the biggest inspiration for me, and learning their songs has impacted my playing quite a bit, there’s a reason I now have 2 Gibson SG’s and counting. They have taught me that you don’t have to keep building a riff up to make it great, it’s better to strip it down to its bare bones; like back in black, highway to hell, long way to the top, they are very simple but very catchy and complex riffs and those songs will never go away. They also taught me that it’s often what you don’t play that makes a song, the space between the notes that makes it rock…And not to play filler material or play a note for the sake of it. And I try to take those lessons into this band as well.

Ryan: Playing different genres across the rock/metal spectrum has helped me quite a bit I think, I like my thrash and death metal as much as my hard rock, but other than that, I think a drummer shouldn’t be afraid of playing 4/4. Look at Sent From Hell, he can play 4/4 better than anybody on the planet and I hope one day to be as good as him as well.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Steven: It’s very collaborative. Usually one of us will come up with a riff or a title or some kind of idea and bring it in to rehearsal and then we’ll work on it with the rest of the band. Sometimes it’s very spontaneous and we can work out a whole song together on the spot at rehearsal, other times, me or Veronica will go home and work on it by ourselves and structure it in our own time and then bring it back to the band to complete, and were constantly trying to get it as close to perfect as possible. We just think if you go through the trouble of writing a song, why not try to make it the best song it can be?

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Steven: Just From life experience really, a lot of the times I tend to hide what I’m really talking about with a variety of different stylistic features. But there’s always a general theme for a song that I write to, and a lot of them come from life experiences. A lot of them are about sex also.

Give us some background to your latest release.

We just released our debut Double EP, Sent From Hell, it’s a wild and raw rock n’ rock record about sin, sex and good times. It’s a mix of 4 studio recordings, including our 2 single releases, and 4 live recordings taken from one of our gigs in December. It’s fast and heavy and it’s LOUD!

Could you give some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Steven: Well we didn’t actually realise it was all under a general theme until we finally put them all together. But it stems from a bit of a stereotypical sense of being a rock band; we just reimagine it in our own way. The whole Hell theme for a lot of rock bands I think comes from a general sense that you aren’t accepted, either by society or musically in some way or another, but we sort of just went with that and realised a lot of our songs were about that too.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Veronica: I don’t think any band who aren’t already millionaires can really afford to work out songs in the studio, it’s expensive too record, we spent about 9 months working on material and perfecting all our songs and choosing the best of those to record for our EP so we wouldn’t be wasting any time and can focus on making the song sound as good as possible rather than writing the song from scratch. Of course you do develop it a bit while you record and may add or take away things you didn’t think off before, but if you’ve already worked it out and rehearsed the shit out of it before you even think about recording it, it does make everything a lot easier and faster.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Steven: So the live show is something we’ve spent a lot of time working on and still are improving every time we play, but I feel it’s just a thing you have to jump into, because the best way to learn it is by doing it, making those crucial mistakes and realising what it takes to have that amazing live show. It’s something a band has to find just as much as they have to find their own sound, and believe it or not, I find it perhaps the most fun part.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive or vice versa as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Steven: I mean it’s just one of those things isn’t it, I feel every industry will go through changes and end up evolving. But with new challenges comes new experiences and I feel like everyone is pretty accepting of the new digital aspect of the music industry. Sure it’s hard to get noticed in a market that kind of revolves itself around self-saturation but it’s also the easiest time in history to be heard. There’s always gonna be ups and downs in an industry I guess it’s just up to the person themself if they want to put in the effort to learn that industry.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

If you’re in Sydney, be sure to catch us at one of our shows over the next few months for Sent From Hell. We also recently spent some time recording at the Grove Studios for our next project so keep your eyes and ear peeled we have plenty more to come!

https://www.facebook.com/Avalanche2018Official   https://avalanche2018.bandcamp.com/   https://www.instagram.com/avalanchebandrock/

Pete RingMaster 27/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Halshug – Drøm

Temptation can come in a broad and varied landscape of enticement; it can be a warm seduction or a nagging teasing among numerous other incitements. In the hands of Danish band Halshug it is a challengingly fearsome proposal and as their new album proves one irresistible proposition.

Hailing from Copenhagen, the trio of bassist/vocalist Jakob Johnsen, guitarist Mathias Schønberg, and drummer Mads Folmer Richter create a voracious trespass of hardcore and noise punk but as their third full-length Drøm quickly establishes it is a sound which has evolved across previous releases to embrace industrial, post punk, and numerous other darkly bred sounds. Its title translated as ‘Dream’, Drøm is bred on the theme that dreams are “a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind. And also sort of a vision or a wanting of something more than just what is.” With even richer depths and variations to that exploration, the album never leaves ears and imagination alone in thought. Whether nagging on the psyche, intruding on the senses, or manipulating body and imagination, a degree of emotive frustration almost lining it’s every moment, it harasses from start to finish and it has to be admitted, few moments shared here this year have been more rousingly thrilling.

From the moment album opener, Kæmper Imod, with its first breath begins clipping at ears, attention and appetite were stirred; Richter’s magnetic percussion almost teasing as it lured. Seemingly knowing when the listener should be hooked beats hold a momentary pause from which a punk scourge of sound and voice explodes. The band’s hardcore instincts fuel the eruption as the song continues to grip and captivate, its proposal just taking on a whole new character to its beginnings and escalating both by each raucous senses baiting second.

It is an outstanding introduction to Drøm yet quickly and continually eclipsed or certainly matched across the release with next up Dø Igen raising the ante in craft and temptation. Richter’s beats again make for an animated and compelling coaxing and more than equalled in enticement by the visceral growl of Johnsen’s bass. If the first song teased with a whiff of post punk amidst darker sonic deeds, the second track exploits their tenebrific coercion to ravish and inflame the senses. From within its voracious noise clad insurgency, essences of bands like Faith No More, Sex Gang Children, and The Three Johns tease which only adds to its inescapable seduction of ears.

Schønberg’s filth soaked guitar brings Fantasi to ears next; Johnsen’s similarly polluted vocal attack standing eyeball to ear on the tide of antagonistic punk riffs and rhythms. Devious twists and diversity only add to the excellent track’s evolving body and increasing prowess before Giv Alting Op swings in with matching animosity and discord. As with all tracks, there is a kind of psychosis which shapes its tone and invasion; one never allowing a moment for album or listener to relax within the infernal kaleidoscope of illusory or maybe real provocation.

Spejl hounds and disturbs next, riffs and rhythms chaffing on the senses as melodic toxins and scorched grooves seduce across a volatile gait which launches itself with nostrils flared and at times prowls with equally venomous intent. Once more there was no defence to the at times almost drone like quality of its urging as neither was there any barrier to prevent the industrial compulsion and intimation of the dystopia flooded 02.42. The track’s cold intense threat is as claustrophobic as it is galvanic; a web of intrigue and ravening malevolence greedily devoured, rapacious hunger just as forceful and rabid for its successor Tænk På Dig Selv. Again Richter had rhythmic claws in psyche and instincts from the off before all three musicians unleashed their enterprisingly tortured throes of sound and emotion. If that was not enough to embroil the passions, an X Ray Spex meets Essential Logic flavoured sax incursion only sparked lustier reactions.

Through the feral yet imaginatively crafted transgression of Ingen Kontrol and the virulent sonic appropriation of the senses by Et Andet Sted resistance was thread bare to the album’s continuing indeed increasing domination, not that defiance was actually contemplated or offered, a fact the closing majestic post punk incitement of Illusion seized with rhythmic and sonic devilment. The simply glorious instrumental is part nightmare part psyche haunting escape from reality and simply cathartic suggestion to, as we found, increasingly greedy ears and animated imagination.

It is an avidity flooded appetite which is just as ravenous for the album as a whole especially as every play revealed further aspects to its devious body. With a presence and sound which ultimately defies being truly pinned down Drøm has declared itself as one of the year’s essential moments.

Drøm is available now via Southern Lord @ https://halshugsl.bandcamp.com/releases

Upcoming Live dates:

7 Sep – Oslo, NO – Vaterland

12 Sep – Aalborg, DK – 1000Fryd

13 Sep – Aarhus, DK – Radar

14 Sep – KBH, DK Stengade

20 Sep – Gøteborg, SWE – Kulturhuset

27 Sep – Malmø, SWE – Plan B

28 Sep – Stockholm, SWE – Hus 7

http://halshug.blogspot.com   https://halshug.bandcamp.com   http://www.facebook.com/halshugcph

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Freighter – The Den

If conventions are for flouting and creative borders for escaping then San Francisco trio Freighter are equipped to lead the exodus though on the evidence of the band’s new album, The Den, there are few others which can rival their voracious appetite for both. Across eight ferociously bold atypical tracks, band and release revel in embracing and disfiguring time signatures, previously defined flavours, and anything expectations can conjure to cast a diabolical web of uniqueness which very often escapes the confines of the listener’s imagination.

Formed years back by lifelong friends guitarist/vocalist Travis Andrews and bassist Jason Braatz and subsequently completed by drummer Matt Guggemos, Freighter weave a technical progressive metal confrontation which soon reveals it goes far beyond those confines. 2008 saw the release of their self-titled debut album but then seemingly came an extremely quiet period as members pursued other projects. Five years on and the original pair reunited and began plotting and weaving the band’s next chapter which is now indelibly marked by the release of The Den.

Themed by ”the endless struggle with sleep and the downstream effects of not getting enough of it,” The Den immediately entangles ears and imagination in its ferocious mania through Psychic Reading ’94; the track harassing the senses with guitar and drums as the bass springs its own dissonant welcome. Andrews’ vocals soon join the sonic pestering with matching relish, the song swiftly stamping its authority on attention whilst twisting its creative entrails. Guggemos’ rhythms continue to coerce as they molest, the bass courting the wild turbulence with its own feral rousing of ears and appetite. Within it all though, an untamed sense of order is established but one which still only echoes the brazen uproar erupting from within the band’s imaginative and inventive dissonance.

With barely a breath drawn, Future Duke burst upon the senses next, its barbarous trespass as infectious as it is fearsome as it descends on beleaguered senses. As with the first track, there is a noise punk ferocity and predation to the assault which instantly grabbed approval and only enhanced its grip as melodic and progressive hues blossomed within the, at times, carnal maelstrom of sound and innovation. Glorious and devastating, the outstanding track is only echoed in temptation and striking prowess by Presto Change-O, its challenge immediate, visceral and inescapably stirring as the guitar feverishly burrowed under skin already battered and bruised by contorted rhythms. From that sonic insurgence a delicious melodic teasing adds its own bait, a riveting concoction which only intensifies as the track bares its unmethodical but skilfully woven drama. Even clutch of seconds brings fresh enterprise and incitement, keys and vocal variety adding to the genius outpouring.

Three tracks in and the uniqueness of release and sound is etched on the psyche but imagine a cauldron boiling up the essences of bands such as Cryptopsy, KEN mode, Art Of Burning Water, Sofy Major, and System Of A Down and you have a whiff of the tempest within The Den as epitomised by Hot Car Death Dad next.  With its engine finally engaged, the track takes to the sonic highway with a wonderful groove, another essence conjured which niggles at the psyche like a demented puppeteer as heavier rhythmic tones court its persuasion. The ride as you can rightly assume is upon an undulating road of twists and turns, each an adventure in its own right and all adding up to a nightmarish road trip of enthralling misshapen adventure.

 Stick Around And Do It Right Until You Get It Perfect shares its brief esurient proposal straight after, springing forward unscrupulous and eventfully unpredictable antics woven together to create another major and seriously compelling moment within the album. Perpetually rabid but equally, at certain times, just calmly mesmeric, the song seduced as it devoured with again within The Den every second bringing an unpredictability and virulent tempting which just consumed the passions before King Pigeon stamped its authority on ears and appetite. Its continuously ruthless attack courtesy of Guggemos initially belies the jazz bred ingredients in waiting; their eventual animation soon beleaguered by the tide of infernal sound led by Braatz’s ever eagerly consumed and rousing gnarly basslines. To be honest as with all tracks we can only give a glimpse of the real invention of the imaginative incidents let alone the striking craft aligned to psychotic songwriting within songs but as proven once more the real fun is in the physical discovery anyway.

Talking of unbalanced and unstable, both apply to the ferocious might and wonder of the glorious Harbor Of Dieppe, a track which simply assaulted as it lustfully ignited a similarly tenacious imagination, and the album closing exploits of the salaciously flirtatious Cimitero. Both tracks fascinated as they burrowed under the skin, the latter a tantalising cacophonous waltz cast in beauty and discord with its predecessor the kind of incessant examining and dismembering of the senses so simple to drool over.

Fair to say we consumed and doted on every second of The Den with increasingly open lust listen by listen It may have taken an age for Freighter to return with a second album but its might will have all fans caring little and though it could be too early to suggest the main best album contenders for the year but there is no doubt this ravenous treat will majorly figure here and beyond.

The Den is out now @ https://freighter.bandcamp.com/album/the-den

https://www.freighterband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/freighterband/   https://twitter.com/freighterband

 Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MiXE1 – Reflections

Like so many bands, British trio MiXE1 has teased and taunted rich attention with a host of ear grabbing encounters but have yet to fully ignite the sparks set through those imaginative success deserving releases. It is easy though to suggest and expect that break through with the band’s new album Reflections; a collection of striking tracks combining to create their finest most striking moment yet.

From a solo project created in 2010 by Mike Evans (Vocals, Synths), MiXE1 has grown into a formidable creative proposition with the addition of Lee Towson (Guitars, Live Bass, Synths, Vocals) and Lee O’Brien (Drums, Synths, Samples). Similarly their sound has evolved and blossomed across EPs and a well-received debut album as electronic adventure has increasingly aligned with alternative and rapacious rock tenacity. As Reflections shows, it is music and imagination which continues to explore and discover greater depths; the new album embracing a broader canvas of sound as the snarl of metal, boisterousness of pop, and epic rock enterprise all collude with the band’s already established creative instincts.

With the release also seeing the band joined by a host of guests across its increasingly magnetic body, Reflections opens up with its title track, the song looming in from an instantly busy distance on a tide of synth and guitar to swiftly establish an inescapably tempestuous and gripping lure. Evans’ vocal roar carries a similarly ferocious edge, attitude still lining the melodic prowess which soon springs from his throat amidst the compelling storm. With hungry hooks and fiery melodies igniting the multi-flavoured and easily devoured trespass, the song continued to nag, enthral, and incite.

The following Get Out Alive rises with a similar recipe of flavours but quickly sets out its individual character woven on melody, aggression, and eager imagination. As its predecessor, its infectious breath and moves are at odds with but the perfect companion to raw ferocity; again a union which attacks and seduces within a stirring tapestry of sound and texture.

Though released a couple of years back, Don’t Break Apart could be described as the lead single of the album and has lost none of its potency over time. In many ways the moment the band’s sound marked its latest evolution with its earlier release, its potential has been fully realised across the album and still fires up the appetite as it builds on its pulsating electronic start to cast sonic virulence upon the senses. Gentle caresses lead to inflamed eruptions and compelling melodic intimation builds to dark and rapacious incitement, the track pure magnetic and intimate drama only elevated by the additional contributions of Lawrie Bayldon (Studio-X) on synths and Erlend Eilertsen (Essence of Mind) alongside Richard K (Machine Rox) on vocals.

The rousing Spectrum is next up, immediately casting a melodic web with metallic strands around a robust rhythmic canter, the track a voracious mix of pop catchiness and electro shadows all toned with flirtatious temptation while successor, the equally irresistible Align revels in vociferous industrial instincts to create its very own contagious incitement. There is a great irritable edge to the electro rock based outing, antagonism soaked in melodic tempting reminding of former UK band Ghost In The Static.

From a dystopian atmosphere Nexus steps forward next, the track another with an industrial rock breeding embracing and employing a wealth of electro and rock strands to cast its magnetic web. Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson joins Evans on vocals, his raw antipathy a tantalising companion to the more flirtatious harmonic tones of MiXE1’s frontman. Yet again ears were gripped and vocal chords incited with Fall straight after thrusting its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll upon the senses to similarly take control of body and attention with increasing rewards if ultimately only teasing the heights of the previous tracks. Still though, it just captivated before Monochrome with Roman Marisak (Professional Murder Music, Spacetime) guesting on vocals provides the darkest and most corrosive moments of the release whilst forging another of the album’s striking propositions in sound and enterprise revealing richer depths by the listen.

Yet one more major highlight comes with next up Creations, the song casting an atmospheric suggestiveness from which emotive and melodic imagination blossom their radiance. At its volatile heart is the vocal coupling of Evans and Natasha Cox (Mankind Is Obsolete, AL1CE, Alice Underground), both pure enticement and the latter simply mesmeric within a climate which simmers, seduces, and subsequently erupts with physical and emotional turbulence.

The final pair of Authors and Quasar ensure the album’s close is as stirring and impressive as what came before; the first an eager slice of electro rock as anthemically infectious as it is intimately heart bred while the latter takes the listener across an ethereal landscape before taking a spatial flight enriched with celestial harmonics and spirit raising dynamics. It is a glorious and imaginative finale exposing yet another aspect in the creative kaleidoscope of MiXE1.

The Hertfordshire band has never been a stranger to providing striking and seriously enjoyable encounters but Reflections simply eclipses all that has come before so surely the time is ripe for MiXE1 to be embroiled in the attention and success their music if not before now definitely deserves.

Reflections is out August 9th with pre-ordering available now @ https://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/reflections

https://www.facebook.com/mixe1   https://twitter.com/mixe1music

Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

2Minute Minor – Snake That Ate Its Own Tail

The closing of one chapter and the beginning of another can be said to be at the heart of Snake That Ate Its Own Tail, the new album from Chicago punks 2Minute Minor. As the band suggests in its liner notes, the release can be and maybe should be looked at as two separate EPs as the first five of its tracks were written and recorded with one line-up mid-2018 and the remainder in the March of this year with a revamped set of personnel bridged by the constant presence of vocalist Wiley Willis and guitarist Bob Shields. It is a seamless change though in the context of listening to a release which only impressed and aroused from start to finish.

The initial quintet of tracks sees guitarists Virgil Lloyd and Mike Perlmutter, bassist Noam Ostrander, and drummer Zach Bridier alongside Willis and Shields. Keep Your Guard gets things underway, immediately setting down rhythms that hungrily rap at the senses, riffs springing from guitars with matching verve before it all momentarily pauses to return with greater urgency and aggression. Willis roars in the midst of the contagious trespass, mischievous hooks and grooves colouring the hardcore bred incitement as it easily sunk under the skin.

There is a definite Dead Kennedys hue to the song and many that follow yet a spice to the band’s own, if not unique, certainly individual holler as reinforced by Fallen Empire. With menace in its breath and virulence in its stomp, the song brews a cantankerous proposal which proves very easy to engage with though that depth of infectiousness is only elevated by the following Bottom Feeder. The track is pure contagion even with its voracious snarl and rapacious bursts of urgency and one of the biggest highlights of the album, though it is more than matched by the esurient rampage of Conflict Machine. As so many, it has a blink and you missed it length but makes use of every second it owns with feral catchiness and hungry enterprise.

Epic in comparison is the two and a half minute lure of Resistance ’87, a Clash flavoured roar with a swagger in its gait and spirit uplifting energy in its breath which deliciously smoulders as the song flits back to ska roots and subsequently uses them to weave another virulent escapade.

Corruption Runs Deep is the first of the songs with the band’s new line-up; guitarist Jeff Hostetler, bassist Sean Kelly, and drummer Brad Swanson completing the quintet. A enslaving bass coaxing is the spark to an attitude loaded expulsion of sound and voice but again one as infection soaked as it is defiantly belligerence fuelled while  unleashing thirty seconds of untamed and uncompromising punk rock. As swift a presence that it has, it stilled wholly gripped and aroused like all around it to set up ears and appetite for the street combat and resistance of Gentrified Ghetto; its intransigent defiance to political corruption and apathy rife just and as the sounds driving its holler are inescapably involving.

Featuring Omar of Negro Terror, Wesley Willis is next to step up, the song inspired by the singer-songwriter and visual artist who led punk band Wesley Willis Fiasco back in the nineties. With wild gang shouts and hooks that tease as they bite, the track effortlessly had the body bouncing and throat roaring before, and after the skit of Stop Spending ZAP Records Money, the indomitable presence and reflection of the album’s title track stands up to seize its own plaudits. There is a feeling of being reborn within the band with its new line-up, the album’s title reflecting that and Snake That Ate Its Own Tail, the song, echoing and exploring the circle of life and death with its inimitable punk heart.

2Minute Minor is a band which provides action packed songs and as their album proves, a big shake-up of members cannot blunt their energy or songs which are as sharp and biting as they are pure contagion.

Snake That Ate It’s Own Tail is out now via ZAP Records; available @ https://zaprecords.bandcamp.com/ and https://2minuteminor.bigcartel.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/2minuteminorhardcore   https://twitter.com/2minute_minor

 Pete RingMaster 11/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Spider Hole – To the Monsters

The readymade entertainment to grace any Wickerman like pagan ritual or meeting of The Monster Club, The Spider Hole unveil a new carnival of dark deeds and imagination prowling adventures under the guise of To the Monsters. The band casts the listener into the heart of gothic tales and creature stalked escapades across the album’s eleven frightmares, each as compelling and arousing as another and all leaving these ears lustfully desperate for plenty more such devilish trespasses.

Hailing out of Phoenix, Arizona, The Spider Hole create a unique and fascinating sound which beguiled as it surprised with its inherent unpredictability within a voracious rock ‘n’ roll heart across To The Monsters. Inspirations to the band are said to include the likes of Tom Waits, Oingo Boingo, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Primus, The Pixies, Frank Zappa, and The Doors; some of which can be openly sensed within the lure of songs. To that we would suggest there are essences that remind of bands such as Helldorado, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, and even more so at times Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers but all spices in a proposition fiercely individual to The Spider Hole.

A mere breath was all it took for our ears and imagination to be coaxed into life as opener Werewolf Biker Bastard cast swarthy sighs of guitar, Kilen continuing to entice with strands of melodic intimation as the growl of vocalist Ethan Scott began its dark narrative. Keys add to the prelude of the adventure before things erupt into a tenacious stroll with its own eager swagger. Sweltering psych springs colour the climate of intimation as bold rhythms continue to prowl amidst the infectious landscape of suggestion and animation.

The outstanding start to the album is in many ways just an appetiser to things to come, each song setting out its own individual web of craft, magnetism, and dark endeavour as epitomised by next up Still Draw Breath, a slab of primal yet deviously designed rock ‘n’ roll with a blues lining to its rise through dank cold earth. The bass of XerXes Quinn is again a predatory lure easy to succumb to as equally the biting incitement of drummer Bobby Blades; the body secured in their trap as guitar and vocals take care of the imagination with their individual tales. With a Misfits-esque draw to its holler, the track just steals self-control like a puppeteer, bones jerking to his incitement as vocal chords eagerly joined with Scott in the track’s voracious carousing.

Hungover at the Eel God Festival is a far calmer yet almost predacious proposition and it too left body and throat subservient to the thick web of temptation it casts with unscrupulous craft. There is menace in its heart and air to equal the seduction in its sound and stomp, band and album continuing to lead us on a salacious dance before Rock, Your Body sprung its own skilful scheming across a pop fuelled, virulently contagious rock ‘n’ roll saunter. An element of enterprise and contagiousness reminding a touch of Black Space Raiders on their last couple of albums only adds to the increasingly raucous and thrilling emprise of sound and manipulation.

The glorious fevered ballad of Chomp-Chomp is next to ignite the senses and passions, its calling swiftly becoming a boisterous blend of fifties inspired rock ‘n’ roll and Rocky Horror theatre and simply inescapably addictive while The Goat Witch of Cornman Road commands the same rich attention with matching prowess through its crepuscular serenade woven upon a skeleton of big rhythms coated in vocal passion and bound in the sonic and melodic intimation escaping guitar and keys. Both songs simply bewitched though they are still slightly eclipsed by the mighty cavort of The Leviathan Stomp. Bestial yet agile in its dynamics and twists, the track as to be honest all, simply had us gripped in its temptation soaked hands.

The cinematic fears of Devil By a Nail initiate a lively shuffle of funk and psych rock eagerness next, the song casting its own Machiavellian enterprise to enslave ears and involvement before The People Who Come Out of the Ceiling creeps into the psyche where it seduces with a tantalising and mesmeric croon with volatility in dark heart. At certain moments Scott’s ever riveting presence and tones are joined by the delicious lure of female vocals though we cannot give a name to their siren whilst in sound the song simply stalks and prowls with rapacious desire; it all together uniting for our favourite moment within the album.

Night of the Nighty-Night Slasher completes the plethora of ghastly tales, its blood strewn romp a tempestuous roar of Ripper like goodness bringing To The Monsters to a mighty and ravenously rousing close.

There are times when we are truly bowled over and lustfully devour the exploitation of our inherent weakness for rabidly inventive but organically hearted rock ‘n’ roll however it is designed and To The Monsters stamps down one of those; an instinctive love of creepy tales and horror fuelled rascality only added extra icing on the pleasure The Spider Hole has undoubtedly unleashed.

To the Monsters is out now across most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 11/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright