The Briefs – Platinum Rats

As much as we have an ever ready appetite at The RR for all things punk from across the decades it is the 77’ eruption and the DIY irreverence it sparked which gets us most excited; lustfulness now ignited once more by the new album from Seattle punksters The Briefs. Coming to the end of their second decade as one explosive and mischievous proposition, the band still breeds its antics on the inspirations of that time and as Platinum Rats proves, it only makes for the most rousing and thrilling romp.

With a lull in their escapades, the quartet within the 2000 formed Briefs were just as busy with other ear grabbing propositions. Guitarist Daniel Travanti formed Sharp Objects and drummer Chris Brief brought us Suspect Parts while guitarist Steve E. Nix and bassist Kicks created another of our major favs in The Cute Lepers but as their bio says, “In the end, it all came back around to the beginning—to The Briefs” and another quite irresistible outing with them courtesy of Platinum Rats.

It is a collection of songs unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeves but it would be wrong to think there is anything but individuality to The Briefs seventies punk meets power pop styled sound. Released via Damaged Goods Records, Platinum Rats bursts from the speakers with its lungs in full holler, never taking its foot of the throttle until its final virulent note and breath is expelled.

Bad Vibrations starts the stomp off, riffs and rhythms in mass assault spilling hooks and grooved lures from every devilish move. Unapologetically infectious from its first roar, the track revels in the angular clips of the guitars and the swinging incitement of its rhythms, vocals just as persuasive in their recruitment of listener involvement before Shopping Spree takes over body and involvement with its own severely short but hungrily catchy pop punk.

Just as animated and galvanic as they are, both songs are quickly eclipsed by next up Nazi Disko and its rawer punk trespass. Like the deformed offspring of illicit doings between The Vibrators and Slaughter And The Dogs, the song barracks and bruises the body it has bouncing from its first handful of notes, only escalating all traits as it bares its antagonism.

She’s The Rat has the same effect on limbs and energy but inspires with its own particularly inescapable lures, one being a flavouring out of The Dickies songbook, one as anywhere on the album twisted into the band’s own unique character and voice while GMO Mosquito does the same to Buzzcocks spiced hooks and riffs. With a seventies glam rock lining to its chorus reservedly audible too, the song nags ears and appetite with ease, recruiting each with increasing potency by the listen.

The feral rock ‘n’ roll of Underground Dopes adds yet another fresh and hungrily tempting flavour to the album, roaring with something akin to a fusion of The Pirates and The Saints while I Hate The World is defiance fuelled virulence recalling bands such as The Flys and Radio Stars and straight after The Thought Police are on the Bus springs a general seventies punk hue within The Briefs stubbornly individual sound and enterprise.

The contagiousness soaking the whole of Platinum Rats is at its greediest within the outstanding Dumb City, a song with a sweeping breath of The Cortinas to its pop infested punk epidemic and no less rapacious as Out of Touch uncages its dirty and irritable punk ‘n’ roll stroll. From its ear snagging hooks to tenaciously biting rhythms, the track is a seductive bully which again the body had no defences to.

The album concludes with the dual stomping of Kids Laugh at You and What’s the Use, two tracks which alone sum up the pop punk mastery and devilment of The Briefs past and present. The first is Class A addiction in the making, every hook and melodic lure devious in their success as rhythms and vocals unscrupulously manipulate. Its successor closes things up with a bold Eddie And The Hot Rods meets The Motors saunter as less openly a Devo-esque essence flirts.

If there is a single punk bone in your body it is hard not to see Platinum Rats stirring up the spirit and if the genre, especially from its first breath, is food and drink expect to heavily drool.

Platinum Rats is out now via Damaged Goods Records.

http://www.thebriefsofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/TheBriefs

 Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flesh Tetris – Wrong Kind of Adults

Photo by Julia Do Om

Self-described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash armed to the teeth with barbed pop hooks and weaponised synths” or “Pop music for unpopular people”, the Flesh Tetris sound is to pin it down, simply one of a kind. Like an off-kilter dance-floor glitter ball it revolves through bold pop light and flirtatious electronic shadows, drawing the shades and hues of numerous more styles in its virulent adventure. It has already provided a riveting romp within the UK band’s first EP, Insert Coin, and is now in full exhilarating bloom and devilry within their forthcoming debut album, Wrong Kind of Adults.

Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of five unique talents already renowned for their exploits with other bands. It is fronted by duel vocalists in Eva Menon and Andy Heintz who had already seriously had us hooked through the bands Cauldronated and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing respectively. Alongside the pair we find bassist/octaguitarist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer/The Duel/Cauldronated fame, drummer Jez Miller who also plays in The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and keyboardist/vocalist Karen Bell who has a rather fine touch on the theremin too. Together they have created a sound and release which we cannot exactly describe no matter how we have tried but then again given the chance it does all the talking and persuading with ease.

As album opener For Fun swiftly reveals, it is a sound which is poppy yet rebellious, electronically mischievous but equally alternative rock sharp and all flirtatious temptation to body and imagination. The first track springs from law and order sirens, swinging in on the rhythmic strands of Duke and Miller as synths dance devilishly around them. Hips were swiftly infected, feet a rapid shuffle soon after as ears gripped the vocal uniqueness of Heintz and Menon. The track is untamed rock ‘n’ roll at heart, electro dance in its revelry and a riveting rousing way to kick things off.

Panic Buy follows swiftly revealing its own punk lined rock identity as beats and vocals steer the organic magnetism of the song. Bell’s backing vocals, though she is a must larger part to the band’s vocal prowess throughout the release then mere backing, simply seduced within the track’s own spirited allure; again a five prong creative attack gripping and manipulating. In some ways the song is something akin to a union between The Revillos and Dalek I Love You but distinctly all Flesh Tetris rascality.

Wrong Kind of Adults includes the tracks making up the band’s previous EP, all four being fully re-recorded, and first up is Hardest Part. Swinging in on a dub nurtured electronic saunter the track teases with skittish rhythmic scratching and electronic pulses as Heintz and Menon once more tantalise almost taunt with their combined vocal theatre. Theremin and an enslaving bass meander only escalate the hypnotic call, the song a perpetual simmer with moments of escalation which just enslaves from first breath to the final throbbing lure of Duke’s bass.

A sniff of Mindless Self Indulgence adds even more thrilling flavour to the outstanding Incoming, the outstanding track a schizoid slice of new wave/synth pop fuelled punk ‘n’ roll which easily lured away inhibitions with its predacious swagger and boosted throat borne eagerness with its own web of boisterous vocal variety before Jailbait Sex Pest Infestation offered up its own individual excellence. Apparently a song with an accompanying video which “was sparked by a misheard conversation between a toddler and his mother on the 29 bus” and is literally about a gang of flirty underage cockroaches trying to crash a party cockroaches, the track is an electro funk bred frolic which continues the album’s agility at getting into the bones and leading the body like a puppeteer. Like a musical equivalent to the little known but brilliant cartoon Oggy and The Cockroaches, the track just hit the spot.

Then again so do all as soon proven by Partners in Crime and its Bonnie and Clyde caper against an adult electro bred Scooby Doo musical landscape. Narrated by Heintz’s infectious growl and Menon’s Italian teases as much provocation as seduction, the track goes on the run with a web of imagination and sonic pleasure, Bell’s serenades in between pure delicious fondant on the richly flavoursome treat.

As mentioned the songs already introduced via Insert Coin come completely re-recorded to their benefit, next up Glass Bottom Boat especially flourishing in its keener swing and intrepid twists and turns. The summer of keys exuberantly sparkle against the rocky saunter of Duke’s basslines, their waves and earthy Brighton shore crisply swiped by miller’s catchy swings.

Both Landfill Cindy and Cat Box Journey kept ears and imagination aflame with matching ease, the first sheltering its misdemeanours within an electro punk confrontation as much threat and intimidation as infectious incitement. Its successor spins around a core hook which just had us at its first spiral, another instinctive lure of sonic flirtation matched by the fizzy embrace of synths and an espionage loaded bassline; the last of the two tracks another major best track contender.

The album finishes with the equally irresistible Rabbits, a track which from its opening warm synth coaxing had the body as its plaything with its electro dance and anthemic carousing. In many ways the track epitomises the Flesh Tetris sound though no two songs are really alike and despite are attempts are so much more fascinating and flavoursome let alone unique than our words have suggested.

Getting involved with Wrong Kind of Adults is the only way to truly find out; the album a tonic for the musically curious, a rousing reward for the bold.

Wrong Kind Of Adults is released on CD across all the usual digital platforms on 10th May 2019.

 https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Obey – Swallow The Sun

Obey have not exactly been hidden in the shadows of the UK metal scene in recent years, finding acclaim and success with increasing intensity but now the Midlands outfit is surely poised to really demand and receive major attention with the release of their new album, Swallow The Sun. Offering nine tracks of the band’s firmly individual fusion of heavy rock, groove metal, and doom bred intensity, though that only hints at the flavours involved and it all wrapped in progressive metal individuality, the band’s fourth full-length takes the listener on a creative and emotional journey shaped by fascinating imagination and potent craft.

Formed in 2008, Obey has established themselves with increasing success within the British metal scene live and across a trio of previous albums starting with their debut, New Day Rising in 2009. If that first release for the Staffordshire trio tickled strong attention, Doom Laden in 2012 and Maelstrom four years later gave it a bigger jab to reinforce a redoubtable reputation earned by their live prowess and successes. As suggested though Swallow The Sun is a proposition which swings a mighty dextrous hook at ears, swiftly revealing itself not only the band’s finest moment yet but a release which easily grabs attention away from the majority of releases to grace the year so far.

With ex- Generations and Molly Leigh drummer Ryan Gillespie completing the band’s current line-up alongside guitarist/vocalist Steve Pickin and guitarist/bassist Dan Ryder last year, Obey joined up with producer Sam Bloor at Lower Lane Studios to record Swallow the Sun and immediately the album takes a robust hand on ears with opener Back Home. Riffs straight away nag at the senses, they soon entangled in the sonic intimation of a solar thread of guitar. The band describe the album as a “sonic journey dealing with the cruelty of Dementia and the devastation it leaves, melding that together with themes of fantasy and folklore” and from its first few seconds there is a haunting dark hue to sound and atmosphere even as the track quickly collects its attributes to create tides of rhythmic and sonic enticement. Like the band’s sound is a blend of open styles skilfully united, the song is a web of textures as voracious and often predatory as they are melodic and frequently seductive; an encounter as unpredictable as it is captivating for a simply superb start to the album.

Drive follows and it too simply seizes ears from its first wiry throes before opening up its kaleidoscopic landscape, one tempestuous and as unsettled as it is creatively magnetic but a maelstrom of enterprise fluidly consuming and exciting ears. Classic hues join modern and progressive essences as the song blossoms by the twist and turn, Pickin’s vocals a strong and emotionally disturbed match for the cauldron of sounds around him. Both the opening pair of tracks has an inherent catchiness to them which is just as instinctive within next up Call Of The Judderman. Initially there is a common wiring between the third song and its predecessor, a core asylum of sonic endeavour but it soon unveils its own unique character and presence across three minutes of compelling confrontation.

Star Crusher takes the imagination on a swift heavy doom laden cruise across celestial space, its fuel imposing intensity before landing ears and appetite at the siren presence of Esmeralda And The Doom Blues. Instantly seductive verging on the salacious, the track soon reveals its medusa-esque heart in sound, endeavour, and threat whilst simply ambushing any possible resistance to its melodic bewitchment before the album’s title track romps across the senses and instincts with its flirtatious rock ‘n’ roll. Defiance to its bounce and swing was futile; submission to its virulent scheme unsurprisingly inevitable as the song rivalled and at times eclipsed the already thrilling escapade of the album so far.

A calmer air embraces ears next as The Mountain looms up, the song soon ensnaring them in its own commandingly creative lattice of guitar as rhythms manipulatively infest. Even so it is a less volatile proposition though it carries certain tempestuousness in its outstanding body of sound and imagination while snarls and wonderfully harasses the senses with its technical mastery and physical agility. Both tracks keep the lofty heights of the album in place with ease leaving Emerald Eyes to bring Swallow The Sun to a similarly fine close if it took a touch longer to elevate to the stature of other tracks.

It does though simply epitomise the band’s craft and imagination and the wonderful unpredictability of every essence making up one addictive album; Swallow The Sun announcing Obey as one seriously striking proposition.

Swallow The Sun is out now @ https://obeyuk.bandcamp.com/album/swallow-the-sun

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Pete RingMaster 11/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Matt Finucane – Vanishing Island

As uncertainty consumes an isle through Brexit confusion, Vanishing Island sees the troubadour of disharmony, Matt Finucane is back to confront, provoke, and captivate in his unique way. As all its predecessors, the new album is a release which comes soaked in physical and emotional discord whilst wrapped in melodic dissonance. It is another complete lure of fascination from the Brighton alternative singer songwriter and without doubt his most pop infested outing without losing any of the disharmony which gives his music its richness;  a proposition which without quite putting a finger on the actual ingredient it has added alongside a general blossoming, is easily his finest incitement yet.

The past couple of years or so has seen Finucane especially lure attention and acclaim through the likes of the Disquiet and Ugly Scene EPs, though neither success has exactly been a stranger since the release of previous album Glow In The Dark six years back. Through singles and EPs since, his sound and songwriting has thickly enticed as it has continuously grown but as suggested Vanishing Island has something extra which truly set it apart as it boisterously got under the skin.

The album carries the raw jangle of early Orange Juice, the pop disharmony of Josef K, and the sonic dissonance of Swell Maps whilst lyrically and vocally Finucane again embraces the inspirations of Mark E Smith and Lou Reed but all essences warped and mutated into its creator’s own imaginative and individual proposition. Vanishing Island opens up with War on Pain and immediately is baiting keen attention through a rhythmic pulsation swiftly joined by the inimitable tones of Finucane, his vocal delivery as maverick as his music. As the song expands with real catchiness to its swing infested hips, drone inspired melodies weave patterns in its sky colouring the route to the subsequent turbulence which from a simmer bubbles up and over.

It is a great magnetic start to the album but soon eclipsed by the following pair of Submissive Pose and Menace. The first similarly tempts with a potent rhythmic beckoning, its first lure continuing to steer the track as its pop roar and rock antics collude. Openly virulent, almost taunting ears like a blend of Television Personalities meets Marc Riley and The Creepers, the song is delicious pop cacophony and one of the albums major highlights but soon matched by its successor, The third track prowls the senses, crawling over the psyche with its singular sonic intimation but again there is an inherent catchiness in voice and character which easily seduced from within its devious drone.

Next up, Looking for a Genius is no lightweight in temptation either, its bass strolling alone enough to bait attention and more than ably assisted by the relatively calm but corrupted melodic clamour of the guitar and the general pop nurtured balladry at its heart while in turn Perilous Seat explores its own low key yet boisterous intimate clamour; both inescapable epidemics of sheer catchiness.

The dark, haunting summoning and provocative fingering of Offertory provides yet another shade to the crepuscular depths and adventures of Vanishing Island before Expensive Habits infests hips once more with its inherent pop sway; the latter carrying a hint of bands like The Only Ones and The Freshies in its eager breath.

Through the sonically suggestive, untamed croon of Yr Own Way and the seared rock ‘n’ roll of Safehouse Rules, the album expands its creative landscape further with the conclusion of the creative tour of Vanishing Island being cast by the siren sigh of Time Begins. A slow burner compared to many before, the song is an evocative shimmer on the ears and imagination, a sail into the sunset off of the album’s creative shores.

Matt Finucane is a one of a kind proposition and Vanishing Island an inimitable offering in his own creative adventure.

Vanishing Island is released May 3rd with pre-ordering available @ https://mattfinucane.bandcamp.com/album/vanishing-island

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

Pete RingMaster 08/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Impulsive Compulsions PPCO SAMPLER02

This month sees the next issue of the ever irresistible In The Club Magazine, the online celebration of all things DIY by Herts based Indie label Perfect Pop Co Op. This copy also includes the second volume of Impulsive Compulsions, a free album presenting more sounds and members of the Perfect Pop Co Op family in their enterprising glory.

As its predecessor, the album is a tantalising and intriguing not forgetting rousing proposition and reminder that the real heart and organic pleasures within music still breed and reside in the DIY fuelled underground. In no particular order allow us to tease you with what is on offer within another real treat from Perfect Pop Co Op, well a second treat as the magazine itself is a rather fine and fun thing too.

Earlier this year, ears and imagination were over excited by the new EP from She Made Me Do It. The band is the duo of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, Scant Regard and many more) and the Drenched EP four tracks of their uniquely seductive and multi-flavoured ever blossoming sound. Impulsive Compulsions 02 features one of the EP’s tracks in Broken Morning; a song from its first strum of tantalising guitar which had ears attentive and then swiftly enslaved as it opened its magnetic arms to a richer sound and the mesmeric tones of Dax. Instinctive catchiness and creative eagerness roam the song, sharing a contagious indie rock swing around one compellingly persuasive chorus. Irresistible moments with She Made Me Do It are certainly not a rare thing but few times have been as delicious as this.

 Alongside and around it, the goodness is just as potent as epitomised by tracks like I’ve Had Enough and Superslider from Tagas and Venus Overload respectively. The first is a lively simmer of electro pop rock, a bubbling slice of melodic radiance echoed in similarly warm vocals, a track which just nags at the senses with its teasing harmonics. Tagas is a solo project, an intimate exploration and reflection of its creator and the track here an embrace of melancholy and warmth with a great early Depeche Mode hue to its temptation. The second of the two is a band which released a self-titled album back in 2012 from which their contribution to the sampler comes. Their sound is a collusion of experimental and noise rock, a challenging and rewarding mix which had us mesmerised. It is raw, abrasive and persistently compelling with a great whiff of Buñuel to it.

No compilation from PPCO would be complete without a track from Reverse Family, and Sampler 02 offers up Friction from the solo project of Dermot Illogical. Melancholy also soaks the heart of this song, it a riveting piece of the individual post punk meets noise pop which escapes the imagination of its creator. The track haunts ears and imagination from start to finish but with an infectious momentum which infests hips and spirit.

Another electronically bred enticement is offered by The Scratch, the Logical PV Remix itself almost itch like in its temptation; repeat listens the only relief to its electro/indie pop antics while Andreas And The Wolf course the instincts to rock with their own wonk punk sound. Public Domain is a sizzling lure of unapologetically untamed rock ‘n’ roll but crafted with a mischief and imagination which hones it into one devilish tempting.

Even more feral in its own way is Valerie Leon (Queen of Neon) from The Bleeed, a band arising from the offshoot creativity of members of The Tuesday Club a couple years back and a song which is punk rock in its honest purity but unafraid to embrace other bold essences including a Swell Maps-esque irreverence.

Talking of The Tuesday Club, they stamp their inimitable presence on proceedings with an extended mix of their song Beat Oven. First appearing on the Boo Hoo EP, the now fully grown track is a boisterously swinging slip of the band’s eclectic rock ‘n’ roll, a sound which dips into the spices of a host of decades to create its own unique virulent recipe.

The D.O.D.O tell us it is Just a Game to stand just as tall as its sampler comrades, the song one also unafraid to lean on flavours past and present to create its provocative incitement and ear grabbing catchiness; an infectiousness just as ripe within the electronic resounding of Interesting Times from Dislocated Flowers. A dark, haunting verging on apocalyptic throb behind an evocative sample, the track simply resonates from first to last breath.

Completing the line-up of pleasure on the album is Jordan Thomas (though tagged as In The Evening on the promo sent over to us) from Jordan Thomas maybe better known as J-Rod to fans as a former member of The Tuesday Club. This too is an infective piece of sound, Thomas easily getting under the skin with his melodic amble of enterprise and craft.

And that is Impulsive Compulsions PPCO SAMPLER02, another very tasty and highly pleasurable parade of bands and projects past and present so go check out the new In The Club Magazine now @ https://perfectpopco-op.co.uk/magazine/ after all that is a damn fine read too.

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https://www.shemmdi.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shemademedoitpage

https://www.facebook.com/tagasmusic/

https://thevenusoverload.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/reversefamily/   https://reversefamily.co.uk

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

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Pete RingMaster 05/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Left For Red – Human Complex

Approaching their ten year anniversary on the UK metal scene, Left For Red are poised to uncage their new album, Human Complex. Offering ten voraciously toned, imaginatively woven tracks, it is a record which highlights all the reasons why the Midlanders have earned their strong reputation and support to date and many more why the next decade could be even more exciting for them and definitely for us.

Since emerging in 2009, the Stourbridge quintet has lured acclaim for early releases which only grew eagerly richer for their 2015 unleashed debut album, All Things Known and Buried. It is success echoed in a live presence which has equally brought thick praise and an increased following, the band sharing stages with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder, and Breed 77 amongst many more as well as make highly successful appearances at numerous festivals such as Bloodstock, Hammerfest, and Mammothfest. It is now very easy to expect and assume that Human Complex will bring even greater attention such its potent character, bold sound, and rousing snarl.

Recorded with Tom Gittins of Monochrome Productions, Human Complex explores the human psyche, focusing on “why people can be so arrogant and careless with their actions, and the effects they have on themselves and others.” It opens up with Dancing With Misery, a suggestive crawl of provocative sound and dark intimation. It is a shadow draped serenade, a caliginous enveloping of ears and imagination with the potent tones of vocalist LC Decoy bringing a physical head to its atmospheric Deftones hued pea-souper of a haze.

It is a start which had attention and thought deeply enthralled, the body soon as tightly engaged as Switchblade Romance followed. With its initial wiry groove enough alone to entice further eager scrutiny, the guitars of Aaron Foy and Philip Smith entangled and enthralled with ease, the senses lashing swings of drummer Rob Hadley pining down an already keen appetite as the track rises to its striking feet. Like a blend of Fear Factory and Fuckshovel, the song quickly burrowed into the psyche, providing a lingering creative toxicity ensuring many swift returns even in the face of the inescapable lures of its successor Slaves To Causality. Less grievous in its breath but just as virulent in its grooving, the third track soon placed a firm hold on attentiveness, the tantalising voice and touch of Daniel Carter’s brooding but infectious bass to the fore. Again LC enticed as inescapably as the resourceful sounds around him, the track maybe not as unique as the previous pair but equally as magnetic.

The outstanding Leech is next up and instantly throws a web of rapacious grooves and contagious rhythms around ears, its contagion invigorating and body increasingly adventurous to give The Circus which follows, a ready-made platform to tempt with its classic metal lined, groove metal fuelled show. With a potent alternative metal swing as eagerly involved in its ever evolving roar, the track stands side by side with its predecessor as one of the peaks of Human Complex before Hand Of God more than ably backs them up with its own sinuous, emotionally torturous uproar. Serpentine in nature, fractious in breath, it too is a multi-flavoured metal trespass with grooves as melodically alluring as its rhythms and irritability are invasive.

The Storm brews next, its relatively calm flesh and emotive air carrying a volatility which never ignites but brings a riveting threat and discord to the track’s captivating croon while Journey Within straight after had the body bouncing and spirit swinging through its instinctively and manipulatively catchy ingredients and enterprise. Again the band’s smart fusion of flavours to a groove metal seeded breeding makes for a greedily devoured proposition, one even more hungrily devoured within the just as individual Tame The Tides. The track is a ravening predator of a song but carrying just as delicious melodic enterprise as numerous textures unite to match the mix of metal spices; both tracks further major highlights within the album.

Human Complex closes with the evocative balladry of Sunrise Bring Serenity, a strongly engaging temptation which blossoms and fascinates with each passing moment of time and imagination. With hope and optimism lining it’s still tempestuously suggestive climate, the track brings the album to a fine conclusion.

As much as we enjoyed and were impressed with previous releases and especially the band’s first album, Left For Red has cast their finest moment yet through Human Complex, a release which could and should set the band down in the biggest spotlights.

Human Complex is released April 6th

https://www.facebook.com/leftforreduk   http://leftforred.com/   https://twitter.com/leftforreduk

Pete RingMaster

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mr. Strange – WTF

As the world, whilst strolling along the path to self-destruction, becomes more and more fuelled by chaos, dissonance and bigotry, so rises up dissenting voices and alternative fractions in all walks of life.  UK hailing outfit Mr. Strange is one such proposition, a band which vaunts the alternative and freak show of life with a sound just as bold, brazen, and bare-faced celebratory and in full and irresistible chorus within new album WTF.

A 3-piece electro-rock outfit from the Isle of Wight, Mr. Strange began in 2006, a creative offshoot to the criminally unrecognised but glorious cult circus/steampunk-rock band, The Shanklin Freak Show which was led by vocalist/songwriter Mr. (Saul) Strange. With a handful of studio albums under the belt bookending TSFS, Mr. Strange became a rousing live proposition out of the former’s demise. We find ourselves among a vast flock already hooked and compelled by the creative parade escaping the talents of all members over the years so as a best of album WTF was only going to have the body bouncing and spirit racing. Featuring 20 “fan favourites and live staples” including many updated and revamped, the album is a summing up of past glories and the doorway to a trepid new adventure; quite simply the perfect introduction and invitation to the multi-styled electro rock escapades of Saul Strange, bassist/guitarist Ant Strange, and live drummer Damian Strange.

For existing fans of the band there will be a strong tinge of sadness listening to WTF as so many of its tracks feature the work of Gary ‘Stench’ Mason, an accomplished and creatively potent guitarist as well as a true gentleman and friend sadly no longer with us. The album is as much a legacy and celebration of his craft as the band’s voracious sound and Saul’s manipulatively skilled songwriting and it sets out a massive lure from the off with Wonderful World of Weird. It is a truly magnetic summoning, getting under the skin from its initial hum before leading the body on a rousing swing thereon in as it marches into the hectic imagination and prowl of the band’s kaleidoscopic musical.

It’s quirky flirtation and bidding is matched by that of the following Carousel, a track bridging the antics of The Shanklin Freak Show and Mr. Strange with nagging boisterousness. Its dark circus is the obverse shade to the mischievous tone of its predecessor, a like-minded but heavier, caliginous counter-part just as devious in its lure of body and vocal chords before the same kind of full captivation is repeated through the electro sizzle of Disco Bitch.

As Brain Dead Boogie greedily infests limbs with its skilfully frantic rock ‘n’ roll and Clockwork Man lays its own haunting bait and grip on ears and imagination, it is already hard to imagine many resisting the album’s devilish cure; even more so as the latter’s sinister metronomic crawl shares a subservient body with the shameless declaration and electro dance of I Like Girls…, it yet another inescapable musical voluptuary.

Twisted Family brings the freaks all together in its Tartarean gathering next, again sharing a celebration of the aberrance in man swiftly prowled by the predacious Lizard Man 3.0 which immediately sets about weeding out the wonder rich anomalous from the corrupted inflexible. Both tracks are bred in the circus rock of TSFS but evolved to greater calls with the ever exploratory prowess of the Mr. Strange sound, the second especially blossoming into a fresh thrilling beast.

From album to album Mr. Strange has explored individual directions and distinct flavours, each unique to another but as proven across WTF any song sit easily amongst each other no matter their breeding as shown by the seamless way the disco pop of Addiction nestles against the ravening exploits of the previous pair and the surf ‘n’ roll of the exceptional Psycho Surfing a Go-Go,. One of our all-time Strange anthems, the track is pure addiction, a compulsive stomp woven on the purest essences of rock ‘n roll and all its deviancies.

In turn the rapaciously creeping psychotic saunter of Anti-Light lends its tenebrific lures to the coquettish shadows and reflection of the band’s cover of the Pet Shop Boy’s It’s A Sin which then lies comfortably against the untamed serenade of Music Box. All three feed the diversity and untypical prowess of the release, the middle track, which its creators never quite had us hooked with, finding a whole new level of persuasion.

Deviant Ritual is another song which became a major infestation within the Electric Pornography album and stands a major incitement within WTF, its mutant electro waltz pure slavery not too distantly matched through the iniquitous ramble of Sodom Nights featuring the vocal charms of Bridget Gray and immediately after courtesy of the eerily atmospheric, Stygian beauty clad Playground Twist, this another essential offering from the Mr. Strange songbook. It is one of four songs which are exclusive to the download version of the album and as much as a physical copy is forcibly recommended you do not want to miss out of any of the quartet either.

Through the body using swing of Exile and the similar electronic exploitation uncaged by Villain, participation and pleasure drips lust and even more profusely for the album’s previously unreleased track, an insatiably rousing merger of Dead Or Alive’s Spin Me Round and the band’s own just as tenaciously vampy Do It Like Pete Burns.

The glorious celebration of Mr. Strange concludes with the duskily wistful and radiantly mesmeric There’s Consequences, a final slice of instinctive temptation. WTF provides all the evidence needed to declare songwriter and band one of the truly fresh and exciting trespasses on the senses and imagination around. It does breed slight disappointment as other tracks like the truly wonderful Jonathan and the seriously anthemic Fire were not included but that is just down to personal favourites of which we will all have plenty we could easily add to all the deserving proposals within WTF.

There are some bands which are almost guaranteed to enthral and recruit just given the chance, Mr. Strange is one and here to provide the perfect doorway to their unique spectacle of unquenchable goodness is WTF, you just have to enter through its threshold.

WTF is available now across most stores. For more info and Mr. Strange check out…

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com   https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeTweets   https://www.youtube.com/user/MrStrangeMedia https://www.instagram.com/_mr_strange_/

Pete RingMaster 02/04/2019

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