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