Smiling Assassin – Plight Of The Millennial

As the issues and injustices of society and politics seem no closer to be squashed and resolved, UK punks Smiling Assassin bring a new holler to highlight and attack such corruption, suppression, and iniquity. The Yorkshire band also presents punk rock with an openly fresh breath, a trespass of punk and hardcore with a ska tinge that we for one are greedily devouring.

Hailing from Hull, Smiling Assassin formed in early 2019, its name “inspired by the collective’s experiences and frustrations around, and with the current economic and socio-political climate.” The past nine months or so has seen the band a rousing live presence breeding a potent and loyal fan base and, as their album reveals, a sound and message which demands attention.

Plight Of The Millennial opens with Prologue, where within an atmospheric uprising a vocal warning of a time of change baits the world; a call to arms for those to change it before the album’s title track unleashes ten seconds of sonic and vocal challenge.

From there Psycho-Apathy taunts the senses, riffs an immediate enticing bait as rhythms barbarously leap across the invitation. Uniting in an intensive surge, it subsequently springs a hook swinging stroll led by the potent tones of vocalist George Garnett. The tenacious beats of drummer Robbie Johnson continue to violently pound but manipulation echoed in the groove of Casey Stead’s bass and the wiry web cast by guitarist Josh Rogerson. The track is superb, an invasive yet virulently catchy and ferocious punk incitement with much more to its almost devious exploits.

Divide And Conquer quickly follows, its intrusive attack again as infectious as it is vicious. Relentless in its blitz, vocals singular and united driving the uprising, the track is a clamorous summons for action wrapped in just as an instinctively provoking sound while next up Coping, emerging from the sonic wash of its predecessor, is an equally enjoyable nagging fuelled by word and esurient rhythmic tenacity. Rogerson’s riffs and grooves escalate the temptation and drama, an intimacy entwining their enterprise echoed in the vocal holler of Garnett equally reflecting the pressures we have all dealt with in current isolation.

There was no escaping physically emulating the bounce of the ska coated News Corp. Monopoly, the track as virulent as anything around right now whilst devouring news media before National Pride unleashes its feral jaws and voracious sounds on race discrimination for another seriously rousing inducement.

Both tracks epitomise the individuality of the Smiling Assassin sound and it’s sometimes understated but always open imagination with plenty to hook ears and attention to the motivation within, With All Due Respect similarly striking and stirring. From its Vincent Price sample to the splintering beats of Johnson and the spiral of grooves and riffs to the belligerent throb of Stead’s bass as well as Garnett’s ever goading vocal strikes, the track is a cauldron of enterprise and provocation.

Completed by the panic and violent mayhem of The Aftermath, reaction to the previous incitement, Plight Of The Millennial proved one of the most thrilling and impressive things heard so far this year; Smiling Assassin a band easy to feel is destined to major attention if they demand it and with their first album they are doing just that.

Plight Of The Millennial is out now via Warren Records; available @ https://smilingassassin.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.smilingassassin.co.uk    https://www.facebook.com/smilingassassinofficial   https://www.twitter.com/smilingassass1n

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Desert Storm – Omens

This May saw the release of the fifth album from UK metallers Desert Storm, a band which has continuously forged new aspects to their thunderous sound but reaped the most dramatic essences of their imagination yet for the compelling Omens.

Formed in late 2017, the Oxford hailing band has had us, like so many, persistently licking our lips at their releases. From debut album, Forked Tongue, through the seriously acclaimed Horizontal Life and Omniscient, and the just as welcomed Sentinels of 2018, Desert Storm has persistently breached new plateaus of enterprise and reputation which Omens stretches once again. The quintet’s sludge metal bred sound has nurtured a progressive adventure along the way which was especially fertile within the band’s previous full-length and now makes its successor one fascinating proposal and creative trespass.

Even with its immediate persuasion and striking presence, Omens only reveals greater rewards the longer spent within its perpetually evolving adventure. It challenges and seduces in equal measure; the band’s trademark ravenous riffs and colossal rhythms still a chest crushing trespass and melodic enterprise a searing web of craft and dexterity. Yet their progressive metal imagination is the source of pure captivation, every track an unpredictable and fertile exploration which enthrals as it ravages and where maybe the last album missed out, leaving a lingering imprint on ears and appetite.

Omens opens up with its title track, a spoken word introduction cast by vocalist Matt Ryan within dark atmospheric intimation. It is a portentous poetic lure, an embrace come accusation of darkness which erupts within the following Black Bile. Immediately a patient horde of riffs surround the senses, the cutting swings of drummer Elliot Cole splitting the air as the guitars of Ryan Cole and Chris White spread their esurient web of sound. Ryan’s familiar gruff tones command the air in between their sonic wires as the tenebrific grumble of Christian Benoist’s bass only adds further dark fuel to the temptation. There is also a mercurial breath to the track’s landscape, one which echoes the album’s body as a whole and only fascinates as the sounds it inspires.

It is a great and rousing full start to the release which Vengeful Gods adds to with its feral touch and anthemic stroll. It is a song which is sonically bitter and rhythmically antagonistic, riffs a rabid crawl over the senses yet its vocal union springs a chorus as inviting and rousing as any moment within the release. Again Ryan shares a new depth of diversity and imagination in his presence, a storyteller and protagonist of the sonic spite which erupts in equal measure.

Pain, Grief & Suffering is a beast of venom and grievance but also one glorious groove which immediately wound around the passions between the untamed expulsions of breath and sound, the track recalling the exploits within the band’s early albums but as richly fertile in the progressive and melodic imagination which has increasingly set them apart from the crowd. With the piano caresses of White adding to the tantalising drama, the song is an escalation of temptation while The Path of Most Resistance taking a less invasive journey provided a similarly riveting proposal. Truth be known, it too is a forceful trespasser at times but within a melody crafted landscape with almost shamanic tendencies at certain moments; the song forging itself as our favourite track.

Through the creative contrivance of yet almost bestial presence of The Machine, the band set another keenly devoured mark, riffs and grooves colluding in ravenous intent as bold adventure again steers the imagination in its unpredictable landscape with next up Lockjaw springing its own venomous grooved steeled and riff laded trap upon the senses to match the temptation of its predecessors; Cole and Benoist just as merciless yet manipulative in their invention.

The album concludes with Rebirth, a magnetic folk tinged ballad which took thought and attention away with its words and melodic charm to bring the adventure to a fine close. From start to finish, Omens had ears greedily attentive but certainly the last quartet of tracks had us drooling and alone declares Desert Storm’s latest encounter one no one should simply pass by.

Omens is out now via APF Records; available @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk   https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Old Bones – Sleepwalker

They call it ”powerslop deathrock”, we call it rapaciously virulent rock ‘n’ roll but however you wish to tag the sound of Old Bones, it makes for one very satisfying and rousing time within their debut EP, Sleepwalker.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Old Bones is a trio consisting of guitarists/vocalists Anthony Dallolio and Johnny Dadabo, and bassist/vocalist Dan Walsh. Emerging from two decades plus of friendship and finding the last incentive to finally be serious about the project after watching a Mastodon/Opeth show, the band has spent the past two and a half years “writing, rewriting, revising, scrapping, starting over and writing songs until our fingers bled and our throats were shot. These five songs represent our literal blood, sweat, and tears to tell stories ranging from extra-terrestrials to loneliness and grief, and every note is a piece of our soul screaming to be heard.” It is a suggestion that nothing was left at the table by the time the EP was borne and listening to its stomping quintet of tracks that physical intensity alone is unmistakable.

Fusing various metal and heavy rock essences with a mischievous imagination, Old Bones spring a sound which demands attention. Familiarity aligns with individuality throughout, the latter the freshest and most captivating aspect of a sound which is as contagious a trespass as you would wish for. There are at times moments which feel like they organically burst free even catching the band unawares but only add to the great unpredictability and enterprise striking ears.

Enlisting drummer Griffin McCarthy (Letter of Marque) for its recording at Vudu Studios, with Walsh a later addition to the mix, Sleepwalker immediately set about the senses with opener Elegy. Its thick melodic opener carries temptation and threat, its amble through ears as menacing as it is inviting. Raw throated vocals ride the grooved lines soon sparking a keen appetite while the following clean vocals make for an equally potent aspect, the mix of feral and warmly catchy swiftly captivating and addictive. There is plenty more going on though; virulent hooks and skilled melodic trails rising up as keenly as predacious riffs and punchy rhythms.

The impressive start continues with INVADERS which straightaway has ears in the palms of its hands as grunge and punk essences infest alternative rock bred agility. Again the untamed instincts of the band are bold and gripping, the song unapologetically infectious and just as pungently aggressive while taking favourite track honours before the EP’s title track muscularly ambles in. McCarthy’s rhythms gripped ears and appetite from its first breath, equally carnal riffs a welcome treat before melody rich imagination weaves another enterprising tapestry of temptation and surprise while extreme and progressive metal traits only add to the drama and incitement.

Colossus and Sights & Sounds / Electric Frankenstein bring even greater flavour and variety to the release; the first wild and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll at its core engaging with a host of just as voracious flavours and skilfully nurtured sonic flirtation. It too emerged a major favourite moment within Sleepwalker while close behind, the latter of the pair strolls the heaviest landscapes of rock and grooviest plateaus of metal to spring a Black Tusk meets Mastodon meets Tool like incitement.

Both provide ears, as the EP overall, with a tide of aspects to greedily dine on and as great a bundle of reasons to eagerly recommend Old Bones and their Sleepwalker.

Sleepwalker is out now; available @ https://oldbonesny.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/OldBonesNY

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview