The Room in The Wood – We’re The Martians, Now

photo by Mark Sant Angelo

As for most music lovers, our list of all-time favourite singles is quite extensive but one riding high is Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl by UK new wave/post punk outfit The Room. A couple of years short of four decades later a track by former members of the band has joined that eager line-up; Charmed from The Room in The Wood recently released before the band’s new album, We’re The Martians, Now. Its success suggested a bigger release which had the potential to capture ears and imagination alike which we can now loudly declare it does with sublime ease.

Liverpool’s The Room in The Wood is at its heart vocalist Dave Jackson and guitarist Paul Cavanagh, the former a founding member of that predominately eighties band with the latter joining them the year after the release of their 1982 debut album. Uniting again as The Room in The Wood, the pair released a self-titled first album in 2018 to critical acclaim with later that year The Mars EP more than echoing its support and potency. With twelve tracks which fascinate as they seduce, of which numerous could equally demand an attention grabbing standalone release, We’re The Martians, Now is destined to command even greater praise and success, the album one of the most captivating encounters 2020 has embraced so far.

Featuring drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), flutist Simon James and the celestial backing vocals of Helena Jacks, The Room in The Wood immediately compelled thick attention with album opener Diamond Clouds. The band’s sound is a tapestry of flavours; new wave, post punk, dark pop, and folk nurtured hues among them and swiftly We’re The Martians, Now revels in the rich temptation it offers. The first song saunters in on a fuzz lined melody and a rhythmic skip, Jackson’s almost stoic tones quickly walking the song’s instinctive rock bred catchiness while the angelic harmonies of Jacks make for a siren like contrast to his earthier presence, both magnetic within the flames of Cavanagh’s guitar.

Never breaking its lively amble, the track is a richly rousing affair which the following Mars (Won’t Save Us) more than matches in contagion with its post punk lined virulence. Akin to a tonic made up from the essences of The Doors and Stan Ridgway, the track is part apocalyptic insight and part celebratory flirtation and one greed eagerly took to before Stowaway lured its own healthy portion of appetite with its surf washed, dark pop/rock stroll. Warm and seductive with a gorgeous crepuscular edge, the song swiftly got under the skin, its rhythmic swing gripping hips as vocals and melodies entangle the imagination.

From one majorly favourite moment to another in Blue, a similarly shadow lit seduction haunting air and  ears alike, again something of a Mr Ridgway styled hue adding additional colour to its dark kissed intimation and breath before the album sets its title track on an already lustful appetite for We’re The Martians, Now. Again Lamont’s rhythms are eager manipulation beneath the melodic caresses of guitar and Jackson’s descriptive presence, the track another which had the body swaying and attention inescapably hooked.

Across the glistening melodic radiance of Shimmer, a song with a surface which teases volatility, and the infection loaded nostalgic bounce of Fun of the Fair, The Room in The Wood just gripped the passions tighter, the second of the two especially viral in sound and effect and  living up to its title whilst provoking thoughts. Even so they still found themselves eclipsed by the aforementioned Charmed and its esurient beauty. With a great Monochrome Set spice to its melody woven intoxication and graceful harmonies, the track is splendour in a shadow drenched world, a spark and light to the darkest day.

There is a similar tinge of Bid and co to next up Dragonfly though there is as much a XTC like breath to the folk coloured song too yet as everywhere the moment of creative glamour is as distinctive to Jackson and Cavanagh as you could wish with the flute of James a romance of fluttering gossamer wings.

The final trio of the intimately earnest and acoustically bewitching Halloween Lies, the tense indie pop lined Under the Waterfall, and the sonically aflame and rhythmically bold exclamation, The Earth is Flat ensure the album never loosened its hold from start to finish. The second of the trio carries a Wonder Stuff-esque sigh to its captivation while the last of the three is a rousing almost belligerent post punk stomp reminding a touch of bands like 1919 and Gang of Four.

And that is We’re The Martians, Now, a collection of tracks which with consummate ease simply held attention and the imagination in a realm of magnificence.

We’re The Martians, Now is out May 15th via A Turntable Friend Records; available @ https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on CD, and Limited Edition Vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/   https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Snuff – The Wrath of Froth

For more than three decades the UK has been infested by the punk based assault and roar of Snuff; releases, gigs, and critical acclaim in abundance accompanying  their relentless trespass on the mundane act of living which even when the band disbanded was still a lingering raucous nagging. Even as time and the years move on, the release of new EP, The Wrath of Froth proves nothing has changed, the band still one of the most compelling incitements within the British feral rock scenes and their sound one of the most irresistible.

With the current line-up of remaining band founder and drummer/vocalist Duncan Redmonds, guitarist Loz Wong, bassist Lee Erinmez, trombonist Oliver Stewart and Lee Murphy on his Hammond organ, in place since 2011, Snuff have continued to blitz and thrill the senses with the albums, 5-4-3-2-1-Perhaps? in 2013 and last year through There’s A Lot Of It About. Across the years their sound has certainly grown and embraced greater variety to its punk breast as proven by those releases alone and now The Wrath of Froth, factors which have only gone to breed a belligerently unique sound.

May was set to see Snuff ravage Britain on tour to support the release of The Wrath of Froth but of course those plans have had to be cancelled, being rescheduled from January 2021. The release of the EP is more than enough to relish and be over excited over though and immediately rewards such attention as it opens up with Drink Freely From The Chalice Of Lunacy. Inviting chords immediately had ears at attention, rhythms jabbing with equal temptation as the track opens up its earthy punk roar. Redmonds’ tones are just as gnarled and magnetic as they fuel the track with greater passion and attitude; its rock ‘n’ roll infectiousness similarly rousing.

Nothing To See Here follows the commanding opener, its initial lure intrigue wired and leading to a swiftly addictive, hook swung pop punk styled holler which fair to say eclipsed its predecessor for us. Essences of rock ‘n’ roll and ska punk line its raucous stomp; garage rock and power pop similarly a potent scent in its contagious character and antics before Conductor 71 unleashes its irritable hardcore infested punk ‘n’ roll. It too simply had us roaring and bouncing in tandem to its bruising virulence, rhythms alone a harassing incitement matched in persuasion by the insistence of vocals and voracious riffs.

Murphy’s keys seduce throughout with their ever distinctive temptation and make for a particularly lusty lure within the viral call of Poetic Nonsense, though the track is thick in bait and manipulation from every angle and unleashing of individual craft while it is fair to say the show stopper within the EP has to be for personal tastes, The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling. With bass and guitar laying down their ska induced bait, appetite was instantly chomping down, even more so when the punk devilment and vocal rascality of Redmonds raucously backed by the band descended on the passions. Mischief breeding, the song is one of the moments which proves as much puppeteer to the listener’s senses and body as entertainer.

EP closing King Of The Wild Frontier is no lightweight in that kind of inescapable influence either, again tongue in cheeks as alluring as the make-up of the song’s richly flavoured sound further lit by the skilled blasts of Stewart’s trombone.

With one listen at any time never enough, The Wrath of Froth is punk and rock ‘n’ roll at their combined best and Snuff as irresistible as ever, indeed maybe at their most addictive yet.

The Wrath of Froth is released on 10 Past 12 Records/Unless You Try Records May 18th with pre-ordering available @ https://snuffband.bigcartel.com

Orange and green vinyl versions of the EP are already sold out but check the website out for repress details when available.

https://www.facebook.com/snuffukband/   https://www.snuffband.com/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Livonia – Hate. Relate. Regenerate

In some ways we have been looking for a fresh breath within the pop punk arena, something which truly stands out as fresh and exciting and UK outfit Livonia going by their debut EP could just be that inspiration. Their introduction is a contagion of gripping riffs and manipulative hooks backed by impassioned attitude and a hungry energy which just refused to be ignored.

Hailing out of London/Milton Keynes, Livonia consists of James Bates, Robert Cone, Mark Craig, Tom Matthews, and Chris Walters. Details on them are scarce but it seems like the quintet emerged around a year ago and as in evidence within their debut have honed their sound into a rousingly potent proposal.

The three full tracks within Hate. Relate. Regenerate relate to its title though the release opens up with Ready When You Are, a rousing introduction to the EP which deserves to be expanded into its own authoritative riff bred encounter. Even so it makes for a rousing lead into the following Snake Song; a song themed by betrayal instantly springing a gripping riff upon ears, one swiftly backed up by just as magnetic rhythms and the vocal prowess of Bates. There is a swing to the track which immediately dived under the skin, a virulence replicated in the vocals and the anthemic roar of the track’s chorus. Hooks are just as lively and creatively animated too, every element together creating a proposal with the contagion of a Billy Talent and roar akin to that of The Story So Far.

Next up, Blame Away similarly leaps into its tenacious stride straightaway, rhythms and riffs uniting in another infectious trespass driven by mightily swung beats. Again that inherent infectiousness fuels vocals and sound, melodically woven hooks as boisterous and ear grabbing as the song’s muscular tendencies. A track lyrically following from its predecessor in many ways, looking at trust and the loss of, it similarly needed little time to get under the skin and get the body and spirit bouncing.

As impressive and striking as both songs are, they are only eclipsed by EP closing Talking. Offering hope and support, encouraging emotional sharing, the track rises up on a sonic whirl before uncaging its riff and hook woven tapestry of temptation. There is a growl to Bates’ tones which is assimilated in the snarl of guitars and punch of rhythms; a roar that only breeds the most gloriously raucous and arousing chorus which dares you not to join in on, a challenge lost by us each and every time.

It is a mighty and thrilling end to a striking and richly enjoyable first encounter with Livonia, a band we are already suggesting and anticipating great things from ahead.

Hate. Relate. Regenerate is out now; streaming @ https://spoti.fi/34kBw

https://www.facebook.com/LivoniaBand

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright