Possessor – Dead By Dawn

Possessor_RingMasterReview

Still drawing new attention with their previous offerings, British metallers Possessor unleash new album Dead By Dawn, a mouth-watering threat of their rawest, most voracious sound yet. Continuing to conjure their individual fusion of old school fuelled metal embracing everything from heavy and blackened death metal through to doom/occult and stoner infused thrash the London trio cast a viciously malevolent and addictively compelling infestation of ears and instinctive pleasure with their latest offering.

Formed in 2013, Possessor teased and tempted with the Wings of Fire demo in 2014 before making a far greater impression with their self-titled debut album later that year. Hellacious and demonic in equal enterprise, the band’s reputation and acclaim garnering stature was given another injection of energy with last year’s Stay Dead EP. Its four tracks breached a new level in sound and adventure by the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Graham Bywater, bassist Marc Brereton, and drummer Matthew Radford; one now pushed again by Dead By Dawn.

The album opens with Afterburner and its sinister, cinematic intro. As shadows collude with aural drama, it fades into the ravenous jaws of the opener, a mesh of riffs and rhythms which go straight for the jugular. The meatiest groove aligns to a primal energy and intensity, they soon entwined in a sonic twine of guitar and the effect cloaked tones of Bywater. Previous releases hinted at a Nurse/Troublegum era Therapy? essence in the band’s sound; the first song shows it has become an even more intense flavouring but still without diluting the distinctive tone and invention of the Possessor sound.

Predatory and inescapably infectious with Sabbath meets Electric Wizard overtones also to its body; the excellent start makes way for the similarly immense and thrilling Scorpion Swamp. Straight away the grievous growl of Brereton’s bass has ears gripped and lips licked, the appetite enflamed further by the sorcerous grooves and rabid hooks joining the mix. Again echoes of the Northern Ireland trio are a vibrant spicing as Possessor and track rumble and grumble upon the senses and imagination, the song an ever twisting web of thrash driven, multi-flavoured metal.

art_RingMasterReviewBeneath the Chapel takes over next, an encounter growing in ears with a less forceful character compared to its predecessors but one soon sharing its own captivating net of flesh whipping beats and rapacious grooves to seriously please. Again within an ever tempestuous nature irresistible hooks taunt and tempt, providing rich bait within the rawest roar of sound to come from the band in any offering yet and the same template seeds the following Without Warning, a design breeding another individual treat within the album. A tempest of grooves and antagonistic ferocity it simply blossoms into a psyche infesting avalanche of predacious animosity to leave a hunger for more.

Things take a breath just a touch as Slaughter High enters next upon another evocative bassline from Brereton, its suggestive twang absorbing bait deviously leading the listener into another waiting beast of sound. Arguably the most old school sounding song on the release, it gnaws at the senses as riffs venomously prowl and the swinging beats of Radford flail flesh with rapier like effect. More destructive and gripping with every passing minute the brute of a proposition departs in a cold storm to let Terror Tripping step forward with its own cantankerous and primal rock ‘n’ roll. Taking a touch more time to thickly persuade compared to the other songs before it, the track is soon seeing swinging bodies and eager satisfaction in its rip tide, especially when it shares another ear exciting hook.

A pair of instrumentals comes next, The Creeps another cinematic scene setting piece parading a glorious and voodoo-esque rhythmic enticement before Midnight devours the body and imagination with its blackened heavy metal and feverishly stomping aural necromancy. Both tracks has ears enslaved and thoughts conjuring before the closing drama of The Curse of the Hearse revels in the individual skills and craft of all three Possessor members, aspects uniting in an incendiary provocation bringing Dead By Dawn to an almighty end.

Possessor get bigger, better, and more creatively barbarous with every release and indeed more irresistible. A treat for fans and a thrilling introduction to Possessor for newcomers, Dead By Dawn and its creators are the kind of propositions metal probably does not appreciate or notice enough but would be a much blander place without.

Dead By Dawn is out now @ http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/dead-by-dawn

https://www.facebook.com/possessorband

Pete RingMaster 21/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Lost Ritual Artwork_RingMasterReview

Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.

The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.

An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.

Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.

There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.

It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.

The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.

Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.

Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Hostiles – Last Call

The Hostiles Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Giving the most glorious workout to swinging hips and inexhaustible feet, as well as instinctive pleasure, Scottish Ska-punks The Hostiles recently released new album Last Call. It offers thirteen tracks of melody thick, brass clad, and feverishly delivered punk ‘n’ roll as raw and snarling as they are inescapably irresistible.

Formed in 2001, The Hostiles began with brothers Josh (guitar/vocals), and Chris Barron (bass/vocals). Growing up in the US, the pair was seduced by the sounds of west coast ska and the likes of Reel Big Fish, NOFX, and No Doubt. In their teens, the pair moved to Scotland, soon discovering the rawer energy and sounds of bands such as Capdown, Lightyear, and King Prawn. Linking up with Callum Douglas (drums) and Steve Bruce (trombone), The Hostiles was soon rousing the local live scene with in time Joe Stainke (trombone) completing the current line-up. Quickly renowned for their energetic live performances, the band’s reputation swiftly grew and spread, helped in turn by the release of debut album Always Looking Forward in 2009. Proceeding to share stages with bands such as Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Zebrahead, The Mad Caddies, Strike Anywhere, and many more, The Hostiles followed up their attention luring first album with the Late Nights… And Early Hours EP in 2012 and the single/video For A Good Time Call 07946058526 two years later.

Now it is Last Call drawing attention and from its first minute arousing body and spirit. From the opening intro, the album leaps upon the listener with opener Ed Knows. An attitude laden bassline stalks the initial vocal draw, both leading into a fiery lure of guitar and rapier like swings from Douglas. Quickly as the trombones share their melodic flames, the track is a contagious blaze of infectious sound with a funk infused swing and punk ingrained fuel to its roar. There is little time before the listener is adding their full contribution in voice and movement, a success matched in the following Inconsiderate. A lighter stomp of a song with Hammond flavoured keys courting its instantly open catchiness, it carries a familiar air which only adds to its thrilling appeal.

The Hostiles Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe band’s inspirations are never far from the surface at times, the second song evidence but spices used to shape songs which undoubtedly have The Hostiles character, as shown again in the prowling You Liar. Swaggering alone with mischief in its creative glands, the song is confrontational but an epidemic  of big hooks and intimidating attitude, and quite superb. It reveals the great mix of pop honed and punk rock driven sounds which have sparked the band’s passions over time, all woven into another distinctive proposition before things calm a touch with I’ll Assume. It is just a touch too as the song soon shows its teeth and melodic prowess in a King Prawn like canter with exotic melodies and moody basslines entangling the ever potent vocals and swathes of mariachi hued trombone.

Both Night Out with its dirty tone and ridiculously infectious enterprise and its successor Wish You All The Best has body and soul leaping. The first is ska punk at its most creatively virulent and indeed addictive while the second is a boisterous romp shaped with smart hooks and persuasive melodies as well cast in imaginative drama coloured by rock guitar and theatrical brass.

The album continues to keep the listener on their toes with a broad grin on their face as the punk brawl of Spend My Life, the gentler sway of So, I Wonder, and the blazing exploits of Late Nights come, go, and leave ears and appetite aroused. The third of the trio especially adds another pinnacle to Last Call, all offering undeniable reasons to embrace The Hostiles adventure, with To Err Is Human providing another major highlight. The band’s latest single, it also has a hint of Mariachi El Bronx to its melodic and trombone nurtured side, a great flavour mixing with heavier punk rock attitude.

Released From Captivity uncages another addictive tempting, guitars and bass alone creating a web of hooks which snare body and heart with ease. Familiar essences come to the surface of the song but flavours simply used to shade its own individual devilment before the closing pair of encounters starting with Nobody Else. The song does not make the same impact as others within Last Call, yet has mutual participation with ease so does little wrong before the album’s title track brings it all to a cantankerous close. It is a ska infested hardcore brawl of a proposal, vocals a throated scraping challenge as brass bring a tonic to the imposingly grouchy touch of guitar and rhythms.

It makes for an unexpected and pleasing end to a release which sees ears and fingers itching to go again within seconds of its close. There are a few rather special ska flavoured punksters around right now and as proven by Last Call, The Hostiles stand by their side.

Last Call is out now on Bubble Tea Records @ http://thehostiles.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thehostiles/   http://www.thehostiles.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 05/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

With three attention grabbing and imagination sparking singles under the belt, Astral Cloud Ashes unveil debut album Too Close to the Noise Floor. It is a collection of songs which arouse and serenade the senses, often simultaneously as the project’s mesmeric songwriting and emotive melodic elegance seduces.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project of Jersey bred songwriter/musician Antony Walker, previously better known as one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As. Having already created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, Walker quickly sparked attention to his latest project last year with first single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the now title track to the new album. Primarily a solo project but with backing vocalist Jason Neil a permanent fixture in the band, Astral Cloud Ashes draws on inspirations ranging from The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything as well as flavours bred in indie and alternative rock/pop. Equally though, the album shows bold ventures into more progressive and post rock pastures without losing the instinctive catchiness and melodic romancing found in those earlier propositions.

Mixed across its tracks by Gareth [The Fold], Edd HartwellPaul Miles, Daniel Szanto,  and Walker himself, with the mastering undertaken by Tim Turan, Too Close to the Noise Floor opens with The Man I Had To Become. Instantly a temptation of bubbling guitar captures ears, the coaxing quickly joined by a wave of rhythmic jabbing and a thicker weave of melodic guitar and harmonious vocals. It is a gentle yet boisterous affair easily whipping up the imagination and spirit with Walker’s distinctive tones the mellow flame within a more combustible web of enterprise. It is a great mix which marked those early singles but already seems to have blossomed within the album into a more adventurous and confident entangling of the listener.

The great start is followed by the album’s title track, Too Close to the Noise Floor showing a rawer, more imposing energy as it takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Punching its rhythmic and contagious essences home, it also carries a hazy climate to its atmosphere with the bass a deliciously throaty lure amongst nothing but virulent temptation. Embracing a XTC feel and Melvins like revelry, the track has body and appetite eagerly involved in swift time.

Grateful for the Ghost In Our House steps forward next and as the last track showed a more formidable presence to its predecessor, this song reveals a fiercer predation to its opening and subsequent invention within another wash of suggestive melodies and smouldering dynamics. Though not in the actual sound, it is easy to see where an influence of The Cure comes into play, Walker creating an emotional and musical drama which has the senses riding a roller coaster.

Recent single Get Real follows, strolling along with the ever present catchiness which Walker conjures with seeming ease across every track. Guitars pop and bubble throughout the song as rhythmic tenacity creating an anthemic frame to the vocal and melodic ingenuity before Flashback takes over. A calmer and mellower engagement but even more emotively forceful, the song caresses ears with a lone guitar melody before being joined by a heavily shadowed bassline aligned to a broader floating melodic enterprise. Vocally, Walker provides an introspective narrative as provocative as the poetic almost volcanic fuzziness of his guitar. Adding another individual shade and hue to the album, the track shows the broader landscape of Walker’s songwriting and an intimacy, whether personal or observational, which fuels his words.

With drummer Max Saidi guesting, Avant Blah! strolls boldly in next, its lo-fi pop ‘n’ roll blending Weezer infection with Pavement-esque invention while its successor Lites almost lumbers into view in comparison with the brooding bass and irritable riffs to the fore. In all songs there is a great repetitious quality brewed by Walker, here almost coming over drone like to great effect around the solemn melody and the similarly melancholic vocals. As it expands though, a wave of rich textures and rousing energies flood the song, returning throughout the low-key yet thickly enjoyable, almost imposing encounter.

The excellent This Once Great Place has an air of The Cure again with its atmospheric landscape, reminding of the A Forest/Pornography era of the trio across its own captivating journey before the equally impressive Housing in a Bubble makes a grab for best track with its more punkish/grungy roar of sound. Everything about it has a snarl not heard on the album previously; revealing more of the diversity the release carries whilst stirring up a fresh greed in ears and pleasure.

Our Holiday brings Too Close to the Noise Floor to a sombre and enthralling close, the track initially a dark sigh but soon building its own catchy canter loaded with spiky hooks and spicy melodies around another slightly foreboding and compelling bassline. Once more thoughts of Robert Smith and co are sparked but again as a flavour in something individual to Astral Cloud Ashes. It is a riveting end to a striking and increasingly impressive first album from Walker.

The clues to the project’s potential were there in its first trio of singles, and now confirmed and partly realised by Too Close to the Noise Floor. The feeling is that there is plenty more to come and to be explored within that promise, and going by the strength of this thoroughly enjoyable offering, we are all in for many treats ahead.

Too Close to the Noise Floor is released July 11th @ http://apple.co/1RFvoL8

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes   https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Los Chicos – Rockpile of Shit

Los Chicos_RingMasterReview

There are few rock ‘n’ roll parties as thrilling and irresistible as those provided by Spanish rockers Los Chicos, an experience they offer once again with new album Rockpile of Shit. Offering fourteen tracks which embrace everything from garage to pub rock, punk to funkily soulful shenanigans and plenty more, the release is a feast of boisterously rousing rock ‘n’ roll and a delicious echo of the Madrid quintets’ inimitable live show.

Formed in 2000, Los Chicos have released a quartet of increasing acclaim grabbing albums before Rockpile of Shit, the previous trio of Launching Rockets (2007), We Sound Amazing But We Look Like Shit (2009), and In the Age of Stupidity (2013) released, as the band’s new encounter this time in conjunction with Folc Records, on the always impressing Dirty Water Records. Live the band has ignited stages alongside the likes of Mudhoney, Southern Culture on the Skids, King Khan, The Sonics, Johnny Casino, Soundtrack of our Lives, Redd Kross, Cosmic Psychos, Spencer P Jones, The New Christs, The Young Fresh Fellows, The Meanies, Barrence Whitfield, Hi-Risers, Eddie And The Hot Rods, Roy Loney, and many others and toured across the globe, hitting Australian four times. Now they are ready to set a new stomp in motion across the world with Rockpile of Shit, a one hard to resist slab of fiercely flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll.

Feet and hips are soon as on board with band and album as ears when opener A Kingdom Of Coolness starts things off. Choppy beats and riffs soon tempt as grooves and vocals steer the course of the punk infused encounter. With its seeds seemingly in sixties garage rock and seventies punk, the track carries a great feel of old UK band The Cortinas to it as it emerges an undemanding yet seriously inescapable incitement to body and appetite as virulently infectious as it is commandingly rousing.

The same qualities fuel the following Rockanrolla, its own raw rock qualities making a potent temptation around the inviting tones of vocalist Rafa Suñén. Again the guitars of Gerardo Urchaga and Antonio Urchaga nag and jangle with remorseless enterprise and persuasion, bringing an Eddie And The Hot Rods hue to its boisterous catchiness before the even more virulent charms of I Don’t Wanna Learn Anymore steps forward. The swinging bassline of Guillermo Casanova makes for a powerful lure as the crisp beats of Ral García back up its invitation; they in turn matched in old school revelry by the guitars but with a modern spice which is inimitably Los Chicos.

FDW003_RingMasterReviewThe funky R&B of Older And Better has feet taking to the floor from its first rhythmic beckon, backed perfectly by the sizzling flames of sax which grace the outstanding encounter. With a hint of King Salami and the Cumberland Three to it, the song is mouth-watering devilry laying an early claim to best track on the album but soon rivalled by its Department S spiced title track. It too infests body and soul, bringing each alive and indeed eager vocal participation with its and the bands creative festivity.

Last Day Here offers a fiercer snarl while feasting on a fifties rockabilly inspiration. Equally though, it has a power pop vibrancy which lights up another impossible to escape chorus, voice and hips puppets to its manipulative magnetism. With discord flirting with the guitars and a Devo-esque quaintness emerging, the track epitomises the album; a seemingly simply flavoured proposition soon showing itself bursting with bold adventure and diversity.

The country/cow punk romp of Responsibility Ville hits the spot with ease next whilst More Beer is a melodic jangle sparking thoughts of countrymen The Pulsebeats as it too grips an already greedy appetite for release and sound. The wonderful relentless beats of García, as throughout the album, enslave ears and spirit alone, guitars and vocals playing with its conquest in an array of styles and devilish ways, Miami Beach soon employing its own surf hued punk ‘n’ roll web ensuring there is no respite for the listener’s  body and enjoyment.

Through The Ramones meets The Members like Mommy’s On MDMA and the country punk of Little Man, there is no lessening in bouncing songs and bodies while Night Ride adds its own individual twist on the country rock scent. All three leave a big smile on the face, though each is eclipsed by the scuzzier funk ‘n’ roll of I Know I Don’t Know and finally the hypnotic shuffle of closing track Toga Land. The pair ensures that physical and emotional involvement is at its most eager as the album comes to a mighty conclusion, an event leading only to a hard deny urge to press play and start all over again.

A great many already know of the rock ‘n’ roll majesty spun by Los Chicos, and with Rockpile Of Shit we can be safe in suggesting so will a great many more. This is one party everyone should gate crash.

Rockpile Of Shit is out now via Dirty Water Records/ Folc Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=2801529&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc and http://folcrecords.tictail.com/product/fdw003-los-chicos-rockpile-of-shit-preventa-disponible-en-mayo

https://www.facebook.com/LOS-CHICOS-42339317978

Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Japanese Fighting Fish – Swimming with Piranhas

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

The highly anticipated third album from British aural dramatists  Japanese Fighting Fish is uncaged this week, a release which not only confirms that there is no other proposal like the London based quartet but shows the band hitting another plateau in their breath-taking sound and invention. There are few with the musical craft and adventure to match an imagination as daring as it is inimitable but Japanese Fighting Fish have it all in abundance and in full enthralling flow within Swimming with Piranhas.

Formed in Leeds in 2009, Japanese Fighting Fish had a great many hooked, including us, by the release of debut album Just Before We Go MAD two years later. A release experimenting with South American rhythms as raw vocals and dirty guitars played, its compelling success was eclipsed by its successor, the punk infused Day Bombs of 2011. Releases and years have seen the band draw comparisons to the likes of Faith No More, System of a Down, QOTSA, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, and Frank Zappa, but as evidenced once more by their latest triumph,  Japanese Fighting Fish really do stand alone in character and sound. Mastered by Tim Young (Massive Attack, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Elbow, and The Beatles ‘Love’ Album), Swimming with Piranhas is the band at its most eclectic yet and offering a collection of funk infested, theatrical exploits; quite simply rock and roll with the devilry and boldness of creative insanity.

Inspired in title by the real life wild experiences of vocalist Karlost Thompson and drummer Al Sweetman whilst staying in Ecuador with a Quechan tribe where they took a dip in the Amazon River, Swimming with Piranhas has ears and imagination swiftly gripped with its opening title track. A lone spicy groove teases first, it soon joined by broader sonic sighs and boisterous rhythms as the song increasingly expands into a hip swinging, rhythmically riveting magnet. Once the familiar, ever expressive and captivating tones of Karlost complete the line-up of creative cast, the imagination is taken on a beguiling off kilter ride. With kinetic beats and baroque scented organ shaped theatre adding to the ever shifting gait and mood of the encounter, the opener is sheer captivating as fiery and infectious as it is thought provoking and a great sign of things to come.

art_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start continues and hits another level with Egyptian Sunrise, the song a sultry tango of exotic mystique upon the driving throaty bassline of Matt McGuinness and the swinging bait of Sweetman. Impossible to resist getting physically involved, the song leads the body a merry dance with the imagination caught up in the creative tones and lyrical incitement of Karlost. Also swathed in the equally suggestive invention of Gareth Frederik Ellmer’s guitar, the song is a mouth-watering exploit soon matched in creative theatre by Provocative Cat. Funky with Parisian hues, the song flirts and dances with ears as the bass masterfully groans and Karlost paints the imagination like a vaudevillian showman.

New single For Queen Marilyn comes next, sauntering in on a raw riff and rumbling beats as vocals spread their instinctive drama and ascending energy. Soon its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is ablaze with intensity amidst a hearty roar, switching between calm and volatile waters before making way for Close The Gate. An encounter which seems to mellow as it reaches climactic moments and erupts when you expect it to slip into alluring calms, the unpredictable song is a twisted treat but one soon outshone by previous single U Ain’t Gonna Win This. An exploration of split personalities also making a “homage to boxing greats like Ali, and Rocky “, the song is a fleet footed shuffle with another deeply contagious gurning  bassline from McGuinness courting the vocal waltz of Karlost and band. Taking addiction to a fresh level, the track mixes sweltering melodies and grungy textures with sonic guitar splatters and a virulent carnival-esque bounce.

Hard To Resist is a matching enslavement of body and appetite, its lazy yet snarling bass swing and gripping croon just two of the irresistible elements in what must be the next single. The track is glorious, reminding of little know eighties band, Zanti Misfitz as it throws its creative temptation around. A slip into a deranged XTC like pasture only adds to the fun and increasing seduction too.

Another funk sculpted adventure follows in the shape of I Got Time; its Red Hot Chili Peppers like romp infused with a Talking Heads like prowess, while On A Fall sonically shimmers as the eager beats of Sweetman fuel the pulsating balladry of voice and Ellmer’s resonating guitar enterprise. Increasingly more provocative and gripping with every listen, the track is yet another thrilling twist in the varying style and sound within Swimming with Piranhas.

The album is brought to an equally exciting and inventive close by firstly Dr. No-Sense and its noir spiced and increasingly bedlamic intensity. It is followed by the similarly deranged but skilfully reined imagination and creative resourcefulness of I Caught You Wandering for a bewitching end to another superb offering from Japanese Fighting Fish. Swimming with Piranhas takes the band and their one of a kind proposition to a whole new plateau, not just for them but for the British rock scene. Why Japanese Fighting Fish is not a name on so many more eager lips already is a bit of a mystery, now they might just be with this beast of a proposal doing the persuading.

Swimming with Piranhas is released 17th June across most online stores.

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk   https://twitter.com/jffuk

Pete RingMaster 17/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Suzerain – Identity

Suzerain_RingMasterReview

Certainly long awaited and definitely highly anticipated, the second album from British alternative/electro rockers Suzerain confirms the London quintet as one of the country’s brightest and most compelling propositions. Twelve tracks which are as eclectic as they are imaginative but firmly set in the distinct Suzerain sound, Identity is aural magnetism sure to eclipse the success, as it does the impressive qualities, of debut album Midnight In The Drawn City of 2011 and the A Mirror Now EP released a year later.

Recorded over the best parts of 2014 and 2015 producer Steve Lyon (Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux), Identity is a brooding bundle of songs built on social and emotive drama and wrapped in cinematic atmospherics and adventure. It is also the provider of some of the most virulently catchy encounters likely to be heard this year among other captivating proposals which simply devout the imagination for matching success.

Identity opens up with its title track, a brief and gentle yet dystopian hued instrumental which has thoughts provoked before ears and appetite become enthralled by the following Anytime. The fact the song carries, from its first evocative breath, a creative nature and drama very reminiscent of brilliant eighties band Comsat Angels does it no harm at all; rampant rhythms and the melancholic lure of vocalist Thomas Pether adding to the irresistible temptation on offer. With the bass of Mike Smith as dramatically vocal as the rolling beats of Ben Howe, the song grips attention, tempting and enslaving within its first minute of dramatically emotive seduction.

Dark Dark has the unenviable task of following the outstanding track, taking the challenge successfully in its creative hands as fizzing keys from Matt Constantine hug the distinct and expressive tones of Pether. Melodies proceed to blossom in the dark shadows lining the track, rhythms again a pungent scent in the heady and enjoyably imposing rock ‘n’ roll of the song. Increasingly more off-kilter, bordering on deranged with each passing minute as keys bring fresh discord, the band uncages already another major pinnacle in Identity, backing it up with equal invention through I Know You So Well. Swiftly shaped by the suggestive chords and melodies of guitarist Rich Summers as rhythmic drama again provides a riveting skeleton to the sonic theatre of Summers and Constantine, the song even with its unique character again reminds of the earlier mentioned Sheffield hailing post punk band, only beguiling with its sombre yet vibrant croon.

ART_RingMasterReviewThe brilliant Good Day steps up next; a track which lit up the band’s last EP and still dominates ears and lusty pleasure with its imaginative confrontation. Jabbing beats are a relentless lure, their attitude matched by the snarl of Pether’s vocals and the volatile simmer and melodic trespass of the keys. A cauldron of enterprise bubbling with volcanic energy, the song alone puts Suzerain at the top table of British rock bands, and as those before it do, is soon backed up by the likes of Frenzy and Edging Out. The first of the pair is a mellower caress on the ear but just as rich in emotive shadows and melodic drama while the second has an industrial air around its similar heart sharing lyrical and aural tenderness. Both songs but especially the latter, has a hint of Nine Inch Nails to their emotive atmospheres as the album shows further variety in its broadening adventure.

The excellent pop infected Always strolls in next, bubbling keys and firm beats skirting the warm tones of Pether as a contagious enterprise simmers and bursts within ears. As always, there is an underlying shadow to emotion and invention which adds darker colour to contrast the lighter shades revelling in the song’s bold catchiness and floating harmonies. There is no resisting its charm and tempting before it makes way for the gorgeous theatre of Palm Of Her Hand. Bass and drums are in full noir fuelled flow as vocals and keys almost punch their respective words and melodies into the imagination. Taking best track honours, it is anthemic alchemy with a hint of Muse to it, though it is hard to remember that band making as big an impact as this with any song in recent years.

The sombre slightly baroque balladry of 200 slows the energy of the album but not its raw lure, especially with the melancholic strains of Constantine’s cello sighing in ears as a stark landscape, emotionally and suggestively, is laid. From its low key but potent proposition, Black & White brews its own brooding landscape of voice, emotion, and aural endeavour next with rhythms again providing striking bait.

Closing with the arresting might of Hide Yourself, rhythms once more a magnetic seizing of ears and appetite matched in creative and persuasive kind by the sonic fascination cast by guitars and keys as Pether transfixes, Identity never misses a beat in thrilling and disarming the senses. Easily the Suzerain’s finest hour to date, the album is also one of the most impressive moments for UK rock ‘n’ roll this year so far with few encounters destined to rival it ahead we suspect.

Identity is out now via BrainZone/Republic of Music.

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Pete Ringmaster 16/06/2016

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