The Cathode Ray – Heightened Senses

Four years and a few months on from being wholly captivated by our introduction to The Cathode Ray through the release of their second album, Infinite Variety, the Scottish outfit has done it all over again with its successor, Heightened Senses. It offers a collection of songs which revel in the band’s evolving sound and imagination, a proposition more unique by the release and as proven by their new release, more compelling.

The history of the members of The Cathode Ray, a project emerging from an initial writing collaboration between songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Thoms and former Josef K frontman Paul Haig, reveals a landscape of enterprise and influential bands. Numerous essences of those earlier exploits could be heard as a rich spicing across the last album which only added to its temptation but its successor has truly found its own unique presence and character, building on the majesty of the last album whilst exploring new individual adventure. Heightened Senses is a sublime set of indie pop songs, though that barely covers the wealth of flavouring they embrace, which so many bands new and existing could learn much from and be inspired by.

Released on ever exciting Scottish label, Stereogram Recordings, Heightened Senses sets out its tone and inescapable persuasion with Memories Of The Future. The first track swiftly gripped attention as an opening thoughtful sonic sigh welcomes the skilled swipe of steel strings amidst the melodic intrigue of guitars. As quickly the darker throb of Neil Baldwin’s bass joins the already magnetic affair, riffs and melodic enticement closely following to fully grip ears and appetite. Thoms’ tones soon stroll the song’s tempting wiring, infectiousness coating every note and syllable as a T-Rex meets Television hue spreads further goodness. The track is superb and if there is such a thing as the perfect pop rock song it has to be a contender.

The following Love and Death soon shows it is just as able to ignite body and imagination, its opening Orange Juice-esque jangle and Bluebells like swing across pungent dance-floor natured rhythms just the beginning of a contagiousness which advances through ears effortlessly as guitarists Phil Biggs and Steve Fraser match Thoms’ creative dexterity and join the synth prowess of guest Alex Thoms. With the beats of David Mack a perpetually welcome hounding of movement, the song simply had us bouncing before Another World seduced with its swaying croon of melodic temptation. With a chorus which almost mischievously had vocal chords in participation in between times of haunting radiance with its own instinctive catchiness, the song beguiled with ease.

 A Difference Of Opinion brings funk scented boisterousness to its melodic shuffle next, a whiff of Talking Heads spicing its flirtatious body. There are so many aspects to The Cathode Ray’s sound which draws you in, here guitars and harmonies leading the way with their tender touches amidst contagious enterprise. As those before it, there is only a compulsion on body and instinct to join the fun while Days Away with a similar effect on hips seduces with a gentler but no less virulent slice of pop imagination. Both tracks had us keenly involved and greedy for more yet are still slightly eclipsed by the album’s Arctic Monkeys/ Scritti Politti tinted title track. The band’s new single teases as it tempts, arouses as it dances in ears with Thom’s vocals as ever across the release a coaxing very easy to line up with.

Though it is hard to pick a favourite track within Heightened Senses, the Pixies meets Weezer antics of Make Believe and the ska ‘n’ pop of Before The Rot Sets In each set a firm grip on such choice. The first featuring the backing vocals of Robin Thoms is cast within post punk shadows but is as bountiful in melodic light and dextrous contagion as anything heard this year whilst its successor with a Police like shimmer courts and enslaves pleasure and imagination from start to finish as guitars spread their new wave/ rock ‘n’ roll hooked webbing around a chorus, graced by the additional tones of Laura Oliver-Thoms , refusing to take no to its consuming catchiness.

The Past Is A Foreign Land completes the line-up of temptation with its heartfelt balladry nurtured on melancholy and hope. It is a song with sixties breeding to its breath and melodic seduction in its voice. A song maybe without the invasive agility of many of its companions but seduced to similar heights nonetheless.

To be honest there was a thought at the time that The Cathode Ray would struggle to match let alone outdo previous Infinite Variety ahead but a thought very quickly thrown aside by the exceptional Heightened Senses.

Heightened Senses is out now Stereogram Recordings; available at https://stereogramrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/heightened-senses

Upcoming Live Shows:

Friday 1st November 2019. The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

Thursday 28th November 2019. Audio, Glasgow, supporting B Movie

Friday 28th February 2020. Mono, Glasgow, supporting The Monochrome Set

Saturday 29th February 2020. Beat Generator Live! Dundee, supporting The Monochrome Set

https://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/cathode-ray/   https://www.facebook.com/thecathoderay/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Steve Blower – Back in Hell

Having impressed with their new tracks within the EP, The Abyss Vol. 1, last year, it the first of a planned trilogy of releases building towards their new album, UK metallers Hamerex was put on hold by its members. From that decision vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steve Blower quickly took the opportunity to begin working on his own solo project. The following November saw the Facilis Descensus Averno EP released, its presence evolving to first album Back in Hell, a release sure to arouse the instincts of any heavy metal fan.

As mentioned, Back in Hell has grown from the seeds of that first EP, better recording equipment and fan funding allowing its songs to grow and be improved and join a host of new tracks within Blower’s debut full-length. With eleven slabs of heavy metal bred, classic metal spiced proposals, the album was initially planned for release late last year but with severe wrist injuries preventing Wakefield hailing Blower, who is truly a one man project playing all instruments and creating its art, working on the drums Back in Hell was put back by five months or so. Co-mixed by Blower with Andy Firth, who also did the mastering, it is now poised to uncage its roar.

The album’s title track is the first to grip ears and attention, the opener immediately a surge of riffs and hungry rhythms as infectious as they are rapacious. Familiar classic hues are openly embraced within its lively canter, Blower’s vocals equally unapologetic in their old school metal/nwobhm influence yet quickly the song establishes its own character and that in the overall sound of the album.

The great start is only matched by The Whisperer and its equally tenacious exploits. As with the first song, there was no escaping the persuasive presence and incitement of riffs, the guitar a boisterous yet fierce conjuror alongside another lively vocal cajoling from Blower with subsequent hooks and melodic flames only adding to the track’s easy success on ears and appetite.

 What’s Left of Me has an eighties metal breath to its opening holler which is soon immersed in the more voracious traits of the song but is never quite devoured to add further flavour to the traditional breeding of the encounter. Though not quite hitting the heights of its predecessors for personal tastes it is a magnetic affair from start to finish before being fully eclipsed by The Prophet. The following track immediately had the imagination engaged as its shadow thick crawl into view comes rich in intimation. The slowly revolving groove at its heart is pure melodic liquor, continuing to intoxicate as the track weaves its temptation and Blower unveils his guitar craft and enterprise to its fullest depths. The song is superb and quickly takes favourite track honours never relinquishing that spot to its following companions.

Certainly it is tested at times though and swiftly as Arabian Nights shares its swarthy, darkly lit instrumental adventure. It has a heroic breath to its drama and emprise shaped by guitar intrigue, its cosmopolitan theatre of suggestion manna to this imagination while the similarly instrumental Out of this World and after that, The Midas Touch only kept ears, thoughts, and pleasure as enjoyable busy. The first of the two has a Celtic whisper to its melodic narrative, a whiff of Horslips at play early on though soon just a thread it is evocative and multi-flavoured landscape whilst its successor starts with a voraciously heavy trespass from rhythms and riffs but again a welcomingly contagious one even as melodic and sonic intimation paints a deeper palette of sound for the imagination to relish.

Together the four tracks provide the pinnacle of the album for us but in a landscape never sliding too far away in strength as the likes of Twisted Evolution, with its compelling lowly slung heavy grumble and conspiracy of sonic suspicion, and the eventful The Slain / Ties that Bind easily prove. The second of the pair coaxes keen attention as an evocative melodic tempting in voice and guitar takes little time to escalate in intensity, urgency and diversity; riffs and rhythms colluding with a brooding bass and the hearty lungs of Blower. There is volatility to it which if never quite erupting gives the song a great edge in tone and theatre and helps a track which maybe again struggled to match its predecessor do nothing less than enthral and please.

The final pair of the seriously compelling Haunting Misery with almost predatory riffing shaping its warrior like presence and the fiery classic metal powerhouse that is the Maiden-esque The World is Ablaze bring the album to a rousing close. Both tracks sparked eager participation in spirit and body and alone left a lingering lure to dive swiftly back into Back in Hell.

How long we will have to wait for the next instalment of Hamerex adventure time will tell but Steve Blower will ensure the wait is not going to be a fruitless time and that the band is going to have to go some to match the qualities and pleasure of his first album.

Back in Hell is scheduled for release on 25th October 2019 with a Special Edition which includes the Facilis Descensus Averno disc also available; pre-ordering available now @ https://steveblower.bandcamp.com/album/back-in-hell

https://stevebloweruk.wordpress.com/   https://www.facebook.com/stevebloweruk   https://twitter.com/stevebloweruk

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Embracing the discord: the Matt Finucane Interview

Hi Matt and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Glad to. Thanks for asking.

Could you first introduce yourself and tell us how your musical presence came to be?

It’s the old, old story: this never-ending mission to be heard and understood, in other words I’m obsessed and not many people get it, but so what. It was time to move on from making lo-fi electronic-based stuff on my own, playing acoustic guitar in nice clean coffee shops and being called “quirky”…Time to get back on a real stage in unhygienic surroundings and yell at people, so I found a bass player (Stephen Parker) and a drummer (Barney Guy) on the circuit here in Brighton. Luckily, I was able to drag them into my world.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

The sound’s just pure emotional disorder: I can’t make feel-good music. The band’s focused on delivering the songs as tightly and urgently as possible, just keeping it sharp, but there’s a lot of room for personal expression…Which is how it should be… It rocks, but there’s something in there that isn’t… quite… right.

Are there any previous musical experiences for yourself or band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

Stephen’s a solo artist himself, used to be in a thrash metal band, can play pop covers; he’s at home anywhere on the music spectrum. This means he comes up with these fantastic basslines, the kind it’s great to listen to just on their own, but really rock in a very direct way. Barney does a lot of session gigs in about 500 bands, as with most drummers, so he’s likewise slick and versatile. This cuts out a lot of flab, we can zero in quick on what works. They bring pop smarts, enhance the actual tunes, but without sacrificing the more out-there elements – it feels quite spontaneous, which is always good. We’re all very into keeping the energy levels high.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

I put myself into some kind of self-hypnotic state and rough out the songs, and then write down the chords for Stephen, and away we go – just smash through them until they take a fixed shape. It’s open to any changes the others want to suggest; I’m not sentimental about my own ideas, because I’ve been doing this long enough now to know that you can always create more; I just wait a while for my subconscious to throw something out. It helps to think of song structure in story terms – prologue, opening paragraph, cliff-hanger, that kind of thing.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

“The Seizure” EP is three tracks recorded pretty much as-live by the band, at Church Road Studios with Julian Tardo… plus a final DIY track, featuring Mik Hanscomb of Junkboy on 12-string acoustic. He played drums before Barney then had to drop out and concentrate on making his own album, but we’d also done a few gigs as a duo playing acoustic arrangements of some of my older material. We had one new number, the first thing I wrote after getting out of rehab, which it seemed like a nice idea to include, for contrast to the other songs. They were done loud and raw with the express purpose of showcasing the band. It’s a rock record, brash and nasty, rather than the sort of introverted DIY head music I’d been putting together at home. Also, it was nice to let someone else think about the technical side for once. I’m not exactly hung up on audio quality – I recorded an EP using a mobile phone and some freeware a few years ago – but it was refreshing to work in a good studio with an expert.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

I keep coming back to addiction, because it directly affects me, and also it seems like practically everyone’s dependent on something, physically or emotionally, to help them through this life. So that’s an underlying thread, even if it’s not spelled out – there’s no preaching or Important Social Message – and it tied in to the idea that it’s hard nowadays to be honest, when there’s so much pressure to present yourself as a viable product for everyone else to consume, while you’re picking them apart in turn. I’m no longer a youth, so it’s also about expressing this discontent in a way that’s age-appropriate and concentrated. That sounds like an ordeal to listen to, but the idea was to put this into really driving, powerful music and make it a cathartic experience, rather than a gloomy slog through My Big Thoughts. So it leads up to a sonic outburst – a seizure, obviously – then ends on a calmer note.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

It varies with each project – the last album had a theme, the stuff before that was more of a patchwork, but in each case I try to have a consistent tone or atmosphere running through the whole thing. As mentioned above, the idea was to vent all this stuff and then torch it. So by the third track, we go abstract, just obliterate it all in a glowing cloud of plasma (I also play with various free improvisation wizards in Brighton, and wanted to apply that method to a rock song)… Then after the seizure, all the discords and harsh sounds, you get the spaced-out calm, which calls for acoustic guitars and deep trenches of weird reverb. It’s meant to be an interesting virtual space to visit, as opposed to just a collection of songs.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

For context – I used to find getting wasted and stumbling around the stage the most enjoyable part, it’s embarrassing to admit. At first I suspected I couldn’t perform without chemical help then found I could, but chemicals made it so much more fun… then it wasn’t fun anymore, just a flimsy cloak for my own dysfunction. But nowadays, I make a point of enjoying all of it. The whole process – the satisfaction of creating something, shaping it then blasting it out live: the expression of a whole complex of thoughts and emotions. Notice audience approval doesn’t really figure – communication’s the important thing. Also, it’s a way to spend your existence that doesn’t involve chasing around after money or power and then dropping dead in a premature heart explosion of bile and regret – not the way I do it, anyway.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

Sarcasm and sudden loud noises… Something that’s unsettling but in a good way, stimulating, like watching a horror movie – but without horror-type lyrics or anything like that.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

Hate to burst this bubble, but on the whole it’s difficult to remember, or at least describe, those kinds of peak moments. It’s not like I’m up there sacrificing a live deer with my teeth every night – that, we can agree, would be memorable. It’s easy to describe the fuck-ups and disasters, but very hard to express how it feels when everything really flows and time stands still. Besides, it’s better to think even more thrilling stuff’s yet to come.

Do you have live dates coming up?

Wed 16 Oct, Eight Miles High @ Brunswick Cellar Bar (Brighton) – w/ Seadog & Fane

Wed 6 Nov, Rossi Bar (Brighton) – solo – w/ Junkboy & Jako

Sat 16 Nov, Biddle Bros (London E5)

Sun 24 Nov, Gladstone (London SE1) – solo

Sat 30 Nov, Grub Club @ Global Cafe (Reading) – w/ The Mirror Pictures + Adam & Elvis

Tue 3 Dec, Bloc (Glasgow)

Wed 11 Dec, Green Door Store (Brighton) – w/ Adam & Elvis + tbc

What else can we expect in the near future?

There’s an album’s worth of new songs I’m working through with the band, hopefully to record next year for release in late 2020, with a few guest musicians and a broader palette. More gigs (was hoping to expand into Europe, but now it’s a question of waiting to see how the Brexit fallout’s going to settle). A 24-hour magic ritual in an underground car park…(Not really, but that would be cool.) A fucking nervous breakdown trying to keep all those DIY plates spinning, probably; most of the time, I barely know what to expect myself.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

I was ruined by listening to Lou Reed and The Fall at an early age. Whatever it is in me that’s distressed, that’s not at rest, responded instinctively to stuff like that… found a way of making sense out of the world in it… and soon enough I was compelled to try and pass that on. I like the sound of raw electricity, loud guitars or acid synths, whatever – doesn’t matter how it’s conveyed.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

It probably started with some silly pop song that injured my brain in childhood, but it’s not clear. Most musicians, deep down, are started off by the most random, silly stuff that they probably can’t recall or wouldn’t acknowledge (so even if I knew, I’m not sure I’d tell you).

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for listening – it’s good when somebody makes the effort. I guess people just have to be willing to meet me halfway.

Check Matt out further @ https://mattfinucane.net/ and  https://www.facebook.com/Matt.x.Finucane/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Matt Finucane – The Seizure EP

This November sees UK singer songwriter Matt Finucane release another moment of wholly individual temptation in the shape of The Seizure EP. Offering four tracks which spark on the senses as they provoke thought and emotions, the Brighton-based troubadour of disharmony again proves himself one of the most unique and honest artists around.

The Seizure EP follows his album Vanishing Island which earned deserved acclaim earlier this year. It was a collection of tracks even in their array of individual sound and discord which throughout embraced a pop rock bred contagion. The new encounter is of the same intent and in many ways is an even more rounded set of songs but each of the foursome stands boldly unique to each other and all ignited the imagination as they got under the skin in emotional and physical dissonance.

Evil Realm is first up, announcing itself with an immediate clang of guitar, a persistent clash of enticement honed into suggestive strumming as dark but just as inviting rhythms stroll. Finucane’s inimitable tones quickly join the infectious pop ‘n’ roll swung, punk infested clamour, his Mark E. Smith-esque delivery as potent as the words and incitement escaping his thoughts and throat. The track is superb, its inherent contagion of hooks amidst a post punk nurtured droning swiftly irresistible and the almost kaleidoscopic nature of its sound compelling with the almost freakish moments of relative calm carrying a Bill Nelson like suggestiveness simply icing on the skilfully instinctive pandemonium.

The following Honest Song is just as magnetic, it too coming in on an ear enticing lure of guitar. The bass of Stephen Parker again proves a dark invitation to get hooked up on; it’s tempting as brooding as it is catchy against the rhythmic swing of drummer Barney Guy. Again there is a post punk breath to the contagion loaded track, the perfect embrace and provocation to the equally invasive and insightful words of Finucane and side by side with its predecessor is our favourite time with the artist yet.

The disquiet croon of Raw Material is next up, the song a call of melodic enticement and vocal implication swaying in the swarthy embrace of cosmopolitan hues yet unsurprisingly there is a clamorous lining to it all and a volatility which leads to a doorway of psyche rock entanglement. It is typical Matt Finucane in its canvas and imagination but unique in his landscape of fascination and enterprise.

The Seizure concludes with the shadow wrapped acoustic balladry of Slaughter Ink. Featuring the 12-string guitar of Mik Hanscomb, the song is as haunting as it is bewitching, the tones of Finucane matching the enthralling draw of the often sepia hued sounds with his thought entangling lyrics.

In our experience every outing with Matt Finucane has proven an absorbing and rousing adventure in some rich level of degree but The Seizure might just be his finest proposition yet; in fact no question, it is.

The Seizure EP is released November 8th through Light Crude Records.

 

https://mattfinucane.net/   https://www.facebook.com/Matt.x.Finucane/

Pete RingMaster 09/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jack & Sally – Who We Become

Formed in the winter of 2018, British alt rockers, Jack & Sally, are poised to badger eager attention with their debut EP, Who We Become. With a sound embracing the snarl of punk and contagion of pop to its rousing rock roar, the London based trio have already teased ears with a pair of well-received singles and it is easy to suspect they will find escalating praise with the unveiling of their next offering.

Who We Become is a concept record based around a character named Macy, an undefined figure who could be “anyone in this world” who becomes a major protagonist in “Nevernia”; a land that reflects the worst aspects of modern society.  The release opens up with Superstar, a song instantly drawing ears with its singular but potent guitar melody. Vocalist Ben Felix enriches that initial coaxing with his brooding bassline before adding his equally alluring vocals to the mix. Subsequently the gentle beginning ignites; guitarist Joshua Jacobs’s riffs and hooks casting an enticing fiery web within which the punchy beats of Pravir Ramasundaram pounce. By now metal and classic rock threads are colluding with punk and pop rock dynamics, the track merging the familiar with the adventurous and unpredictable.

It is a strong and stirring start soon eclipsed by Nevernia, a track baring its pop punk instincts and heart from its first spirited breath. Swinging rhythms and riffs burst from the speakers, the earthier tones of Felix as animated as the sounds providing the galvanic incitement around them. Again imagination and great twists add to the character and temptation of the song, moments of almost new wave like enterprise only adding to its stature and persuasion before Tomorrow’s Revolution steps forth with a more classic metal lined proposal but still with a pop infused punk ‘n’ roll breath to its rock holler.

Both tracks revel in the multi-flavoured breeding of the band’s sound, the fresh and familiar once more making a highly appealing proposition and riven by a strong vein of imagination as proven again by Long Way Home. The band’s new single, it is a more even paced encounter lit by keys and a melodic sway in music and voice, emotive flames lighting its invigorated balladry.

The EP closes with Macy, a song also coloured by emotion seeded keys, a piano bringing it into intriguing view before the song breaks into another lively slice of pop rock drama. There is something familiar about the track but an essence we have yet to define and one which only added to its contagious presence.

Who We Become easily gripped ears and attention from its first lungful of sound and endeavour; providing a great full introduction to a band which could be looking at rather rewarding horizons as they build on and evolve the release’s thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

The Who We Become EP is released November 8th through Engineer Records with new single, Long Way Home out October 11th.

https://www.jackandsally.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/jackandsallyuk   https://twitter.com/jackandsallyuk

Pete RingMaster 08/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dog Tired – The Electric Abyss

The metal world has never been majorly short of striking and often influential bands from Scotland and adding to that list of potent protagonists is Dog Tired. They are not newcomers as such having emerged in 2004 and have earned a strong reputation and loyal fan base for their riff driven metal but with new album, The Electric Abyss, they have revealed themselves ready to step into a far larger spotlight.

Hailing from Edinburgh, Dog Tired are described as “Merging the relentless brutality of Gojira and Entombed with the riff orientated assault of Pantera and Metallica.” It is a fair description for the band’s multi-flavoured metal but only hints at its voracious sound and presence. At times across their quartet’s latest release, it is a proposition which involves the familiar with their own imagination but persistently comes through speakers with a character and freshness individual to Dog Tired.

The Electric Abyss opens with its title track, the song looming out of sonic electronic mists with dark ominous shadows behind a foreboding breath. In swift time heavy ravenous riffs laid down their claim on an already eager attention, as quickly erupting in a predacious contagious stroll as rhythms equip the emerging track with their own imposing bait. The grouchily throated vocals of Chris Thomson in turn make for a vociferous incitement, growling across the wiry exploits of guitarist Luke James and the virulent rhythmic trespass of bassist Barry Buchanan and drummer Keef Blaikie. It is a persistent and rousing nagging which only proves more persuasive as imagination brings greater twists and richer atmospheric intimation.

It is an outstanding and impressive beginning to the album and never relinquished favourite track honours but harried for that positioned across The Electric Abyss and quickly proven by the following Flesh Church. Its visceral trespass is bred on a mix of death and groove voracity, everything slightly less urgent than within its predecessor but just as predatory and even more sinisterly emotive. There are moments when the track uncages its vigour but still there is a dark restraint which only helps thicken its lure before Dagoth’s Nine accosts the senses with its creative animus. Grooves and indeed vocals in part have a harmonious toning which escalates the inherent catchiness of the pugnacious assail escaping the craft and invention of the band.

Beyond The Grave provides the best beginning to any track within the release, its rhythmic incitement within almost perniciously alluring waves of sonic intimation pure temptation and only escalated as the bass unfurls its bestial and virulent provocation. The track’s expanding prowl continued to seduce from under the skin; its addictive lures and feral snares quickly and insistently compulsive as Thompson’s barbarous tones prey on song and senses alike as another major moment within the album is discharged,

The melodic elegance and calm of Aeon provides a magnetic respite and seduction from the voracious darkness before and after it, the instrumental a beacon in the surrounding storm which returns with almost carnal relish within Lord Of The Vile. From its deception of atmospheric tranquillity if one embracing dark whispers and portentous intimation, Slayer-esque riffs erupt as rhythms venomously pummel. Immediately a viral contagiousness invades ears and appetite, the outstanding track swinging and savaging with insatiable intent and zeal; as throughout the release individual craft uniting with collective imagination and invention.

Both 1968, with its carnivorous stalking of the senses amidst a blackened hue as crawling riffs court ravenous grooves and vocals, and the primal gait and breath of Hunter’s Moon left little for ears and pleasure to want for, the first of the two especially inspiriting with its successor a full and riveting adventure all on its own as its instrumental landscape, lined with a slight Celtic lit intimation, twists and turns with rousing and potent effect.

Kingdom brings the record to a close, the final track another slab of animated and invigorating skill and enterprise leaving this listener welcomingly harassed and aroused. It is a song summing up the craft and invention of Dog Tired and the thick textures and varied nature of their sound within a recognisable yet individual extreme metal tempest.

As much as The Electric Abyss made a potent mark first time around it was with subsequent plays that it truly blossomed into one of our favourite metal onslaughts of the year; give it time and it could be yours too.

The Electric Abyss is out now; available@ https://dogtired.bandcamp.com/album/the-electric-abyss

http://www.dogtiredmetal.com/   https://www.facebook.com/dogtiredmetal   https://twitter.com/dogtiredmetal

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dizraeli – The Unmaster

One of our most enjoyable and invigorating moments within music came a few years back seeing Dizraeli & The Small Gods on stage at The Boileroom in Guildford, every second of their performance pure captivation. Now with his debut solo album, Dizraeli or Rowan Alexander Sawday as his mum knows him has released one of the essential albums of the year; maybe the most striking and yes important encounters of this and any previously recent twelve months.

The Unmaster is an autobiographically inspired collection of songs which rise from a period of turbulence and struggle for creator and the world around him. As global chaos and uncertainty seems only destined to escalate, Dizraeli found his own escape from the suffocating darkness of a mental breakdown to create a release which is as cathartic at its core as it is bewitching in its sounds and imagination. The dark times the Bristol hailing rapper, social activist, producer and spoken word artist went through are the seeds to the intimacy soaked yet creatively flirtatious songs of The Unmaster and we can only concur with the suggestion of its press release, “the album speaks of madness and collapse, struggle and redemption with searing honesty, surreal humour and a soundtrack unlike anything you’ve heard.”

Dizraeli breeds his sounds from a fusion of hip hop, grime and folk across a West African inspired percussive tempting yet there is much more to his music as avant-garde-esque and electronic uniqueness among other hues help build the drama of every one of the album’s twenty one tracks. Within those mutually compelling moments there are spoken word glimpses of the shadows within and observed by their creator before and in the album’s birth while other times are almost like echoes from his darkest moments given seconds to return between songs to impact and emotionally arouse as the longer incitements around them.

We will concentrate on the fullest moments of time within The Unmaster but as he slight but rich opening track I’m A Wave (Part One) reveals, every breath and moment within the release is as impactful and compelling as another. The first track looms upon the senses with grey flumes building an increasingly dark embrace which searches out every corner of the imagination before Madness strolls in sharing its own thoughts of a sunless climate intimate and socially spreading the world. Rhythms dance with a hypnotic shuffle as unique and manipulative as the sounds around them and the examination escaping the throat and thoughts of Dizraeli.

Alone the song provides a reason to check out the album but then again the same can be said of most tracks including Ketamine Honey. Its street lit beginnings within a crepuscular breath leads to another rhythmically inspiring proposal quickly escalated by the urban jungle of sounds and its author’s magnetic suggestiveness with a vocal presence to match. There is virulence to every aspect of the track which sparks eager participation as the imagination paints with its intimation, qualities just as rousing within the likes of Rising Son and especially My Mama. Following another brief slither of emotion drenched release posing as Daylight Came, the first of the two stretches from its poetic beginnings within a cosmopolitan lure of percussion to swing with a melodic and hope enriched smile. The track took me back in some ways to that time with The Small Gods but again grew to something truly unique to album and Dizraeli. Its addictive enterprise and insistence is matched by that of its successor, a delicious track which has a gospel like tincture to its proud declaration and ridiculously catchy exploits.

I Freak Out is another which was under the skin within seconds as wooden percussion quickly tempts a broader web of African inspired rhythmic enticement. Body movement was an inevitable response as too a devouring of its emotive tapestry, again a form of instinctive involvement repeated in this case within the evocative Oi Oi and its skilfully painted canvas. Every sound and syllable comes with an unpredictability and ingenuity which makes you stop and pay eager attention, our thoughts and appetite devouring every creative moment with relish.

The dub tinged Shift Up Fatih pulsated and beguiled from its first lungful, manoeuvring thoughts and pleasure with ease while after further slices of poetic and openly intimate incitement with Creatures In The Ceiling pure dark haunting seduction and I The Unmaster sheer tenebrific captivation, Everybody Here’s Golden adds its own plaintive look on a world clasped by insanity. Again as every word makes a poignant and striking impact so the sounds aligning their thoughts equally stir and motivate, a kind of creative animation which just as wonderfully lights up the dark carnival-esque dance of Show Some Love.

The Unmaster ends with the deeply and emotive personal affirmation of living that is After She Gave Me The Sea, arguably Dizraeli’s heart at its most raw and open before leaving on a final tapestry of sound and inspiration in The Infinite Mix.

We have done The Unmaster a slight injustice by not mentioning every gripping track within its fascinating body but equally left plenty for you to discover for yourselves. This is an album which will connect on different levels with different people and as a companion bring an understanding and reassurance to anyone with mental health issues. As suggested at the start, The Unmaster on numerous levels is one of the essential explorations of 2019.

The Unmaster is out now: available @ https://dizraeli.bandcamp.com/album/the-unmaster

https://www.dizraeli.com    https://www.facebook.com/Dizraeli/

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

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