Unhappy Fly – Self Titled

UK hailing Unhappy Fly is described as a post punk and no wave supergroup but trust us that description of their sound is like simply calling the sea blue and vegetation green. As their self-titled debut album quickly reveals, every song from the quartet is a tapestry of flavour and temptation as diverse and vast as the landscape of those previously mentioned features of planet earth.

Across its eleven tracks every second of the Unhappy Fly album is a theatre of sound and drama woven from everything around that post punk/new wave intimation to folk, jazz, baroque, indie and rock and still we are missing a plethora of other spices in its creative recipes. The resulting fusion is brought with unapologetic pop instinctiveness as Unhappy Fly share one of the most enthralling and captivating moments of this year indeed of many before it and no doubt to come.

Unhappy Fly is the compelling coming together of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Xentos Fray Bentos and drummer/percussionist Richard Dudanski with musician/electronic instrument builder/vocalist Sarah Washington and saxophonist/flutist John Glyn. Those familiar with the four and especially the first pair will know of the varied experiences and adventures in their extensive musical histories yet it gives no real clue to the uniqueness of the Unhappy Fly album.

There is a pop perfection to every song within the release, each bringing a manipulative bounce and catchiness upon ears and body whilst weaving proposals as rich in styles and textures as a dressmaker’s wardrobe.  Now Alasdair Owns Me opens up the album and swiftly unveils its character of imagination and craft and the virulent temptation which flows through the release. Its gentle entrance on rhythmic coaxing amidst melodic strands is pure delight as too the soft tones of Bentos which as quickly tempt away. The song was already under the skin before it then erupted in pure animated and thickly assorted contagion. Few albums this year have made such a magnetic start as Unhappy Fly’s yet it is just the beginning of the bold adventure to come.

Boneyard follows and as its rhythmic pulse teased ears it too soon buried itself deep especially through its guitar spun hook. Melodic entangling of appetite continued to spread from the catchy heart of the song, keys adding a crystalline glamour as Glyn’s sax teases with relish. Infectiousness soaks every note and syllable, its mellow aside as thick in imagination and temptation as the rousing swing of the tracks persistently encouraging body. Such the majesty of songs it is hard to pick a firm favourite but this has a firm hand on the decision though successor Superfifcial does its best to muddy the waters with its flirtatious teasing of sound and Bentos’ inimitable ever enticing vocals presence alongside Washington’s similarly beguiling tones. Everything about the track is simple yet skilfully conjured and offered for two and a half minutes of pure pop pleasure.

The cosmopolitan tango of Holocene provides a jazz scented enticement which is again nothing less than full seduction, its funky breath and jazz folk hues an infestation of the imagination alone before Feet of Clay embraces the listener in a theatre of musical intrigue and stringed drama. Shadows and whimsical mischief equip the track’s irresistibility, a mandolin and richness of vocal dexterity accentuating its power and beauty.

Latest single, Electric Light is next and immediately had ears greedy and the body bouncing through its exuberant almost voracious catchiness. It is a pop song though unafraid to twist and turn through jazz lined surprises and fresh shades to its instinctive creative ebullience for one of the best three minutes heard this year.

Country bred sighs welcome Angry In The Head, continuing to colour its catchy swagger and emotive plaintiveness while Singing Flame and Hit ‘n’ Miss after it only ignite further pleasure being side by side with the release. The first has a sixties pop croon to its tenacious shuffle, Bentos and Washington providing a seriously magnetic vocal union against the gorgeous rhythmic manipulation of drums and bass, it all within a weave of sound which becomes more varied in flavour and dexterity by the second. It’s equally enslaving successor similarly has that nostalgic breath yet is all fresh and innovative in its diversely bred pop ‘n’ roll stroll.

The final pair of Big Picture with its fifties inflamed, seventies glam tinted rock ‘n’ roll and the moment of undiluted rapture that is Golden ensure the album leaves as memorably and hypnotically as it began. Both are as individual in presence as they are united in fascination and the inimitable prowess of their creators.

The Unhappy Fly album is a wonder of beauteous melancholy and shadow enhanced beaut. It also proved, to use the word again, pure rapture upon these ears and it is hard to feel we will not be alone in finding a greed for its thrilling adventure.

The Unhappy Fly album is out now via Emotional Response Records; available @ https://emotional-response-recs.bandcamp.com/album/unhappy-fly

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magnapop – The Circle Is Round

Magnapop records have always been a sizzling sunspot in the pop rock galaxy and with the band’s first release in nearly a decade nothing has changed. The Circle Is Round is an unapologetically charming proposition but one with a punk growl in its lining and instinctive volatility giving it even greater drama in sound and imagination.

Released via the ever magnetic label, HHBTM Records, The Circle Is Round is the 1989 formed Atlanta-based quartet’s sixth album and the successor to 2009’s Chase Park. Majorly fertile in sound, releases, and acclaim in the mid-90s, Magnapop have embraced a lower profile over the past years since ‘reuniting’ in order to play a benefit gig for local record store, Criminal Records. That laid the seeds for the desire to write and record new material now resulting in the captivation that is The Circle Is Round.

It is fair to say that attention and appetite was immediately gripped by the album’s opening breath, the hook carrying lure of Dog on the Door instant persuasion to ears and body. Vocalist Linda Hopper’s tones prove just as swiftly enticing as crisp rhythms match the tempting of the guitar’s punk jangle; Ruthie Morris’ bait effortlessly verging on the addictive. Keys and the latter’s backing tones only added to the eager temptation with the darker grumble of Shannon Mulvaney’s bass and the senses clipping swings of drummer David McNair a matching incitement.

With a slightly calmer but no less infectious bounce Change Your Hair follows and equally had little trouble getting under the skin especially with its Buzzcocks-esque hook and warm melodic smile while A Simple Plan straight after, explores an even mellower gait whilst accentuating its inherent catchiness across a fuzz borne landscape graced with the magnetism of keys. There is a great nagging quality to it with the vocals of Hopper and Morris, as in its predecessor, contagious caresses on ears.

Super Size Me bowls in throwing its creative weight around next, its punk nurtured vitality and pop woven tenacity another moment breeding addiction before Need to Change has hips swaying and pleasure boiling with a contagion something akin to B-52’s meets Weekend meets Throwing Muses. Both tracks simply had the spirit and passions bouncing and alongside the album’s opener shared favourite track moment between them.

The raunchier rock ‘n’ roll of What Can I Do gave further food for thought on that choice, echoing the strength and undiluted temptation on offer across The Circle Is Round. As with most tracks, the coarser growl and punk irritability of rhythms and chords align perfectly, almost seductively with the melodic adventure of voice and Bruce King’s keys not forgetting the weave of melodic temptation also escaping Morris’ guitar enterprise.

Through the enchanting balladry of Rain Rain, a song with another animated gait as manipulative as the song’s emotive croon is bewitching, and the similarly buoyant and reassuring Disabled, band and album piled on more temptation to be captivated by with Rip the Wreck capping indeed eclipsing their vibrant success with its own frisky escapade cast with feral riffs and aggressively agile rhythms. The track is a riveting slice of uproarious rock ‘n’ roll but again an incitement skilfully and imaginatively tempered by the melodic and harmonic instincts within Magnapop.

The Circle Is Round is completed by a pair of previously unheard demos recorded in 1992; Leo and Pretty Awful two glorious untamed punk fuelled treats of Magnapop in its heyday. As the new album proves though, that zenith is still lingering in the creativity of the band, its songs and character deviously addictive and deliciously individual.

 The Circle Is Round is out now digitally, on CD, and on vinyl via HHBTM Records with a white vinyl deluxe addition also available@ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/magnapop-the-circle-is-round/

http://www.magnapop.com   https://www.facebook.com/magnapopband/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Domestics / Wolfhour Split 7” E.P.

With three slices of their inimitable sound each, Britain’s The Domestics and Wolfhour from Sweden join together upon a split 7″ E.P to equally ravage and ignite the senses. Both have a punk bred sound which is voraciously individual but as the rousing encounter proves they also have a common bond in uncompromising ferocity and raw discontent.

Suffolk hailing, The Domestics have never taken prisoners with their hardcore confrontation and a sound which has only become more irritable and striking by the release. The three songs on the new split prove the thought, each a ravenous slice of invasive antagonism and all a thick lure for punk ears.

A Cold, Raw System is first and immediately batters the senses in pugilistic rhythms and the vocal voracity of James Domestic. As swiftly rabid grooves and acerbic riffs surge the trespass bringing with them a host of hooks and incessancy which keenly arouses, the guitar of Ted Mint leading the insurgency alongside feral emotion sprung vocals. It is untamed magnetism from the first breath with a corrosive infectiousness just as ably unleashed by the following pair of Maximum Hell and Empty.

The first harasses as it floods the senses for a full minute, the rabid swings of drummer Simon Battery bitter pleasure alongside the equally rousing gurning of Rhodes’ bass while its successor bears an old school punk breeding to its hardcore severity. Both see Domestic spewing lyrical rancour with alluring venom as similarly toxic enterprise escapes the strings of Mint and each leave emotions inflamed and the spirit alive.

Gothenburg bred, 2013 formed, Wolfhour is a quartet which drew potent acclaim with the release of their debut album, Dead on Arrival, in 2015. Featuring members and ex-members of Anti-Cimex, Slakattack, Pi$$er and Driller Killer, Wolfhour propagate a form of Scandinavian d-beat/hardcore with its own character and antipathy. Their three scourges savaging the split’s B-side begin with Dead As Me, an unapologetic incursion of punk rock openly infectious and just as boldly quarrelsome whilst driven by rhythms which simply puncture the senses. The track easily hit the spot leaving a debilitating resonance taken up by the following and just as striking Anger Control, a track inflaming the passions with its initial psyche twisting baiting and as thoroughly by the strident holler that triggers.

Last Encore completes the release with a just as raucously barbed incitement of sound and dispute; an altercation of punk which left ears ringing in sonic tinnitus and the spirit roaring in mutual contestation.

We have a constant intrigue and appetite for the coming together of, on the surface, different bands but which share a creative common denominator. The Domestics and Wolfhour have united for one of the most thrilling in recent times, each openly unique and together the purveyors of the most striking hardcore.

With each side given its own unique artwork, The Domestics / Wolfhour Split 7” E.P. is released 18th October through Kibou Records (UK), Kangaroo Records (France), Amok Records (Germany), and Sick World Records (New Zealand). Pre-ordering available @ https://kibourecords.bigcartel.com/product/wolfhour-the-domestics-split-7 and https://kibourecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-domestics-wolfhour-split-2-song-preview

https://www.facebook.com/TheDomestics/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Olymp – Self Titled EP

Raw almost primal, the sound of German metallers Olymp is as intriguing as it is rousing certainly within their new self-titled EP. With its Teutonic heavy metal breeding and hungrily driving riffery described as being traditional 80´s styled, it is a proposition which demands attention yet it only tells part of the sonic picture. There is rabidity and essence of its character which is pure punk rock and an additional multi-flavoured web of flavours and imagination which only gives richer texture to its breath. It all goes to make the EP an introduction to the band that refuses to be ignored.

Formed in 2018, the Augsburg quartet consists of Butschi (guitars, vocals), André (bass), Armin (guitars), and Dommi (drums). There is little more we can tell you about the band but it is all about their first EP and that quickly gripped ears and appetite with opener Lightning Eater. Its initial bass lure simply teased attention, the quickly joining wires of guitar just as enticing as the song rose to its threatening feet though its menace is as alluring as it is predatory. It is with Butschi’s grouchy vocals and the subsequent band hollers that that punk essence arises, a voracious scent which aligns potently with the classic metal teased skilfully woven web of grooves and riffs that fuel the excellent start to the EP.

Fire And Fury is next up and begins with its own dark, imposing invitation for ears and imagination, one proving easy to quickly devour and relish as it continues to darkly stain the weave of metal flames and sonic enterprise wrapping rhythmic agility. As with the first song, its body is perpetually galvanic and chorus anthemic cajoling as once again punk and metal unite in an almost garage bred styling of both flavours.

A Celtic hue lines the beginnings of the following Shut Down, the guitar proving a web of sonic intoxication as rhythms create a contagious shuffle. Dark shadows court both at the same time, brewing an invasive hue to the subsequent punk ‘n heavy metal dance. If you can imagine a hybrid sound from a union of the punk density of The Lurkers, the melodic endeavour of U.D.O, and the metal esurience of Destruction then maybe a hint of the song’s and Olymp’s sound becomes clearer.

The EP ends with The Messenger, it’s melodic beckoning straight away wrapping around welcoming ears before riffs and hooks collude to further and increasingly tempt. From within that potent draw a controlled thrash hued swing begins its own thick enticement. Admittedly by its close it was a track which could not quite find the impressive heights of its predecessors but had plenty to hold court in ears and appetite as imagination shaped its fascination inciting presence.

Olymp’s sound as rousing as it is feels like it is only at the beginning of its journey and evolution and a fine adventure it should be for all if they build on and push the highly enjoyable and impressive enterprise within their first release; we wait in eager anticipation.

The Olymp EP is out now with limited availability @ https://olympmetal.bandcamp.com/album/olymp-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/OlympMetal/

 Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Earthbound – Desolate

With a reputation well on the rise, UK metallers Earthbound have just released their new EP, an encounter which is going to do their ascent up the metal ladder no harm at all. Four slabs of the band’s melodic death metal nurtured sound, Desolate swiftly grabbed attention and only proceeded to tighten its grip thereon in.

Hailing from Hitchin, Earthbound emerged in 2017 and soon lured interest with their debut EP, Endure a few months after. Originally a quartet, it was with the recruiting of guitarist John Stacy to stand alongside vocalist Tom Watson, guitarist/vocalist Louie Penfold, bassist Chris Stroud, and drummer Richard Shearing that something “clicked” within the band. An acclaimed appearance at Bloodstock Open Air Festival and playing support to Doyle and Countless Skies followed to enhance the word on the band and a sound which within Desolate devours the senses and ignites the imagination.

With the likes of Trivium, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, and Countless Skies declared as influences, Earthbound create a tempest borne out of death metal voracity meets melodic metalcore dexterity. It proves a compelling proposition within their new EP, each track adventurous in intent and accomplished in invention. It begins with Of Suffering, the track looming from the distance with open ferocity to quickly explode upon ears. Riffs and grooves invade as rhythms blitz the senses yet immediately there is an instinctive contagiousness which escalates the lure of attention. The raw throated squalls escaping Watson are just as potent a trespass as the sounds around them, the backing yells of Penfold as forcibly eager, but it is with the clean delivery of the former that the track truly ignites. Both sides to his presence provide strong quality but his melodic presence is especially striking. The song itself continues to harass and tempt as it too reveals an enterprise of varying flavours and textures across its dramatic landscape, the EP off to a powerful and impressive start.

Solitude follows with melodic enticement as its coaxing, its atmospheric breath soon welcoming another emotion rich clean delivery from Watson. Drama soon lines every note and the subsequent rally of rhythms before dark clouds intensify skies encroached by equally darkening sounds. From within more classic metal spiced threads of guitar emerge as keys float across the air of the song, its ground a motion of volatile endeavour. Toxic breath also infests the vocals as the track continues to expand and blossom, its landscape as unpredictable and imaginative and indeed magnetic as its predecessor’s.

Similarly Worlds Apart opens up with melodic radiance to the fore, vocals and guitars a warm invitation though shadows still lurk and eventually step forth as the mercurial climate of the track sparks with greater tempestuousness. Nevertheless, its melodic metal imagination fuels every twist and level of intensity before Remnants grips just as thick attention with its steely wires and invasive ruthlessness. It is a tempest of sound and craft which leaves no second void of persuasion and moment lacking the drama of enterprise. With a passage of atmospheric calm and emotive intimation like an irresistible oasis in an ever compelling storm, the track provides a powerful end to an equally striking release.

There are certainly moments and aspects which excite more than others within Desolate but from start to finish it only impressed, Earthbound living up to their reputation so far and laying seeds to a far greater level of plaudits ahead as they continue to grow and evolve.

Desolate is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/earthboundmusicuk   https://twitter.com/Earthbound_band

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright