Bloodclot – Up in Arms

Pic Rick Rodney

Bringing together the highly recognised talent of certain individuals from various acclaimed bands does not always guarantee something special but in the case of Bloodclot, it feels a given such the instinctive union between its collective. The band is the coming together of Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph, former Danzig and Murphy’s Law guitarist Todd Youth, drummer Joey Castillo formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig, and Eagles of Death Metal, and Mondo Generator frontman and ex- Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they confirm that given with debut album Up in Arms, a physical and lyrical roar of hardcore defiance.

Unleashing twelve ravenous slices of punk rock with more inescapable hooks than found in Leatherface’s pantry, all fuelled by raw irritability at the state of the world today, Up in Arms is a crowd uniting battle cry. It fuses familiar essences with the fresh appetite and invention of a quartet seemingly destined to come together at some point. Everything about it is as organic as it is rabid, as challenging as it is rousing; taking no prisoners but rewarding those who it devours time and time again.

The album’s title track crashes in on the listener first, springing from an invasive sonic mist with a slavery of guitar and rhythmic predation as Joseph pokes and stirs the senses with voice and word. Castillo’s beats are rapier sharp and imposing, Oliveri’s bass carries an infectious brooding whilst Youth’s riffs and hooks ensnare across four eventful minutes.

It is an ear gripping, appetite inflaming beginning which only kicks up a gear with the following Fire, a belligerent brawl of punk ‘n’ roll instantly chaining ears with a  virulent hook as rhythms jab and incite. If the Angelic Upstarts was merged with Sick Of It All, this could be their anthem while Manic infuses an even greater physical psychosis and unforgiving attitude to the torrential gait of its predecessor in its own addictive multi-flavoured rumble.

Through the sonic call to arms scourge of Kill the Beast and the Dead Kennedys scented Prayer, new twists of sound and invention force themselves through ears, each with a virulent strain of spiky hooks and body twisting grooves, while their successor has things bouncing like a dervish. Siva / Rudra is a contagion of enterprise as cantankerous as it is exotically seductive marked, as all three, by Oliveri springing basslines as funky as they are carnal. Alongside, Youth’s riffs and grooves come as primal as they are compelling whilst Joseph squeezes every ounce of uncompromising adventure and emotional incitement out of tone and syllable.

Soldiers of the New Babylon locks metal and punk together in its prickly vent, a testy proposition woven with nagging riffs and a magnetically throbbing bassline before Kali throws all those attributes into an insatiable maelstrom of punk rock temptation, taking best track honours along the way. Barely seeing the one minute mark, the track is irresistible but swiftly rivalled by the crabby assault of Slow Kill Genocide, the catchiness moment within Up in Arms and arguably the most choleric.

Pure punk rock truculence shapes the breath-sapping antics of the following Slipping into Darkness, Oliveri spawning his most addictive moment within the album bound in the searing flames of Youth’s guitar as vocals and beats vent their animosity with Life as One backing up its triumph with its mercurial but always commandingly imposing tapestry of quarrel and imagination.

The album is closed by You’ll Be the Death of Me, a slab of rock ‘n’ roll taking big chunks out of the senses as it excites with its Lard-esque espionage. Addiction has never been more vicious and seductive within three and a half minutes, certainly in recent times, as that spawned by the outstanding finale to one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation) and mixed by Kyle McAulay at NRG, Up in Arms transcends being just a great release from another so called ‘super group’, it has given hardcore a fresh new breath and snarl which we can only hope is the first of many gales from Bloodclot.

Up in Arms is out now on Metal Blade Records across most stores and @ https://bloodclot.bandcamp.com/album/up-in-arms

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Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

4 Past Midnight – Battle Scars & Broken Hearts

Over a career expanding over a decade or more there are moments when a band openly dips below their previous heights. That blip has yet to come with Scottish punks 4 Past Midnight since raising their middle finger back in 1989 and is not on the horizon yet as their new album, Battle Scars & Broken Hearts, proudly declares. Offering fifteen slices of the band’s uncompromising yet relentlessly infectious punk rock, the album holds no major surprises in a departure from that instinctive sound but easily refreshes an already established appetite for their militant roar across its tenacious body.

The Glasgow quartet’s sixth studio album among numerous singles, EPs, and compilations, Battle Scars & Broken Hearts sets out its agenda straight away with Do it Now. An opening scuzzy chord opens the gateway to a surge of rapacious riffs and punchy rhythms through which the distinctive lead vocals of drummer Peter McCartney gravelly growl. A delicious hook adds its bait from within the roar too, reinforcing the track’s instinctive punk ‘n’ roll contagion with addition inciting traits.

From one great track to another as For Life strolls in next upon the swinging beats of McCartney, the guitars of Tam Bowman and Fred Stevenson uniting in a calmer but no less boisterous invitation. As vocal chords quickly join in with McCartney’s, hips are bound in the groove of Stevie Goldsack’s bass, its grumble a flirtatious tease within the chest beating declaration of the track before being a similarly compelling lure within the drama clad, politically scathing Politician. Bowman again weaves ear grabbing melody lined hooks as Stevenson’s riffs crawl over the senses, they and the rhythmic prowess of Goldsack and McCartney gaining in aggression and adrenaline as the song hits its finale.

Through the more controlled yet predacious growl and narrative of the UK Subs-esque Guilty and the brief instrumental shuffle of Tonight, variety and further pleasure consumes ears, both tracks anthemic in their keenly individual ways though not as imposingly as 4pm On Tour (4pm crew pt4). The fourth instalment of the band’s rebel rousing, spirit sparking anthem, it swiftly declares there is no point trying to resist its instinctive persuasion to roar your head off and physically stomp especially through its virulent chorus; the track leaving the body and heart elevated in a way only 4 Past Midnight can.

The sultry melodic hues of Bowman’s guitar immediately ignite next up Hope, Fear, Pain, Love, Desire if not lingering around long enough when seducing ears across its contagiously muscular canter for personal tastes while Survive just blisters the senses with its energy and rapacious tone. Though neither quite hits the levels of songs before them each brings hooks and invention which resourcefully leaves a smile on lips before being fully eclipsed by the chest beating might of Let’s Go. For any band, punk or not, wanting to learn about creating organic but purposeful anthems sure to whip up the hearts of their fans, this fevered soundtrack to any uprising has it all; 4 Past Midnight continuing to deliver such incitements album after album at times almost song after song.

Its bold corralling of emotions and spirit is followed by the rough and ready insight and equally tone of Alone, where a blend of old school and modern street punk with a whiff of hardcore for good creative measure is unleashed, and in turn by the Oi infested I Hate My Life. The first of the two again hits the spot without inflaming it leaving that to its ravenous successor and the magnificent Day After Day within which Goldsack’s bass brews up a primal almost carnal grizzle in its tone and virulence. The goodness does not stop there as Bowman takes the imagination into a melodic metal nurtured detour before things get salaciously punk again.

Accompanied by the piano elegance of someone simply called Vivian, McCartney shows his melodic vocal side to surprise and enthral as Whithered Roses next serenades.  Written by the band with Clare Bowen, it is a magnetic beckoning subsequently leading into the waiting jaws of the track with the bass again finding a bestial hue to its growl as hooks sink deep within the passions as McCartney is back to his sandy throated best with matching rhythmic dexterity. The track is superb, rock ‘n’ roll to whole heartedly give energy and zeal to.

The album is completed by firstly The Reason, a song hinting at pop punk instincts whilst roaring with a flavoursome mix of rock, and lastly through the gnarly and seriously catchy blaze of Can Anyone Hear Me; a plaintive call which grabs attention on every level. Together they provide a grand finale to another mouth-watering and increasingly thrilling encounter from 4 Past Midnight.

It is hard to pick the best album from the band, though there is no doubting that they are only increasing their impressive reputation as not only Scotland’s best punk band but one of the UK’s most essential propositions with each release, but for sure  Battle Scars & Broken Hearts is right to the fore of their biggest punk triumphs to date

Battle Scars & Broken Hearts released through Hedgerow Records (UK) on Vinyl and on CD via the band, Combat Rock Records (France), and Bosstuneage Records (UK),with its digital store @ https://4pastmidnight.bandcamp.com/

http://www.4pastmidnight.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/4-Past-Midnight-215468135159655/    https://twitter.com/4pastmidnight

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chasing Sanity – Anathema

Chasing Sanity is the new solo project from Erik Martin, formerly of Erik Dismembered and one half of Skin Drone; a new creative adventure born from the ashes of the first of those two when Martin decided to “start over and rebrand” himself and his music having felt “uninspired to write anything under the Erik D moniker”. In many ways, Chasing Sanity is closer in style to his work with Otto Kinzel as Skin Drone but as swiftly revealed within debut album Anathema, creating its own unique and fascinating world of imagination and sound.

Though you might primarily tag Anathema as Avant Industrial Metal, it is equally a kaleidoscope of atmospheric and cinematic textures drawn from the darkest corners and depths of the imagination. Every track is a challenge and canvas for the imagination to conjure upon and a place where intimate horrors collude with broader nightmares. Themed by “anxious depression and anger” bred in Martin’s own experienced emotional turmoil, the album opens with You Fiend. Primarily an instrumental release, the first track features the vocal prowess of Nate Exx Gradowski from Isolated Antagonist, AutomatoN, and Quo. Straight away the raw snarl of guitar stalks the senses, inserting their toxic magnetism as Gradowski adds his multi-textured presence within a similarly diverse lure of synths. Every second of the song leads to a fresh turn and unpredictable twist, Gradowski’s switches between harsh and clean vocals matched very second of the way by invasive yet captivating sound.

In many ways, the opener is a straight forward proposal to embrace compared to its successors where the imagination is as active as ears.  Cursed is next up, gliding in on the infectious throb of bass as an increasing web of sound and noise insert their suggestive glimpses into the track’s brewing landscape. Drama fuels every second, metal nurtured riffs and trespasses gripping bait but persistently interrupted by haunting atmospherics and sombre shadows to catch ears and thoughts off guard time and time again. As with all pieces, interpretation will be unique to the individual but unavoidable as the track provokes and inspires before Depths Of Euphoria immerses ears in its own disarming quiet suggestiveness. Even more cinematic than its predecessor, the song is like a flight through night clad scenery with sinister shadows and dark traps waiting to spring.

The industrial intimidation of Haunted Walls quickly has thoughts and emotions involved next; danger and innocence entangling within its guitar veined gothic body. It is a dark place though with the invasive intent of a Hostel found cell, every step within its fascination wrought with tension and ill-intent before Dismembered Thoughts brings some light to the release with its infectious waltz. Yet it too is a tenebrous dance with treachery and menacing asides, keeping ears and thoughts again wary and busy throughout its passage through to the steely net of sonic intimation cast by Orange Bottle. A blend of textures and styles unite for its metal nurtured shuffle, the track prowling the senses as it commandingly ignites physical and mental involvement.

Pills, Pain And An Autopsy creates its own travelogue through the dark tunnels and layers of psyche and suggestion where caliginous beauty and thought infesting angst breed their own unique connection. The track continues to grow and blossom, never escaping its haunting shadows but nurturing a myriad of melodic hues and evocative textures within its atmospheric immersion.

The final pair of tracks upon the EP sees Martin linking up with firstly Rockwater Pictures for Red Death and its percussive and inhuman infestation of the psyche and lastly with Chris Bollinger of Kill Point Protocol and Varicella in Salem, 1666. The final track only needs Vincent Price’s distinctive growl to be the complete cinematic nightmare, one offering extreme and industrial metal surges seemingly glimpsed through a damaged canvas slashed by the claws of the horned one. As the album, it needs numerous plays to settle on a final interpretation, if you ever can, with thick enjoyment flowing through every attempt.

There is no doubt that Anathema is a challenge, one only venturing within its dark realms will reveal whether you  will embrace or flee from it,  but as is the theme with Erik Martin’s work, it is a testing which leaves you mentally and physically alive and indeed welcomingly exhausted. Chasing Sanity pretty much sums up the sound and experience of Anathema, something we all do in varying ways through life.

Anathema is out now across most stores and @ https://chasingsanity.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chasingsanityband

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

This is the Sound of Sugar Town Volume 2

In the past, compilation albums showcasing the talent of a local area were a prevalent and exciting exploration which certainly for us opened the door to a host of great artists and lustful obsessions. A less prominent opportunity these days, far far less as splits seem to be more in favour, there have been a few releases keeping the tradition alive. One was the excellent THIS IS THE SOUND OF SUGAR TOWN released late 2015, an ear pleasing spotlight on the vibrant DIY driven music scene in and around Bury St Edmunds. Now the people behind the album, again in union with R*E*P*E*A*T Records and Pure Deadly, return with Volume 2 and another large clutch of Suffolk goodness.

As the first it comes wrapped in the fine art of Kate Jackson and has been released as a download and Ltd Edition 12” album with all profits being donated to local charity Julian Support, which helps people with mental health issues to lead independent lives. It gets right down to juicy business with opening track SHE from psychedelic noise poppers SUN SCREAM. The quintet swiftly has ears entangled in a sultry melody, the guitar soon joined by imposing beats and a grumbling bassline. Part seduction, part intimidation, the track shares quick magnetism especially as the vocals lay their own harmonic charm over the heated and already successful persuasion. Offering one delicious hook and an instinctive catchiness, the track is a potent start to the album and introduction to the captivating outfit.

Returning from a potent place in the first volume, alternative art rockers CATHEDRALS & CARS ​offers up THE CONCIERGE for its successor. Like a fusion of PiL and The Wedding Present, the excellent track is a jangle loaded, rhythmically agitated shuffle with its own inescapable virulence in character and adventure. A post punk hook from vocalist/guitarist Jack Stevens simply hits the spot as too his web of melodic acidity whilst the rhythmic union of bassist Danny Robertson and drummer Steve Long easily infects limbs and spirit.

The first album featured the attention grabbing and now sadly demised quintet of Voter Kernel, four of which return this time around with bassist Bobcat Whittaker as JANET STREET SLAUGHTER. Offering up a visceral fusion of indie, punk, and noise rock going by the name of THE SENSITIVE SIDE OF BILL SYKES, though it is hard to pin down their striking sound, the band prowls and crawls the psyche, their salacious touch as dirty as it is invitingly warped led by the equally individual and off-kilter vocals of guitarist David Jago. In any collection of songs a few hit personal tastes more than others and this treat did just that with psychotic intent.

The broad landscape of sound within the Bury St Edmunds scene has always been one of its potent features and enticingly represented across Volume 2 and clearly represented by the likes of THE WILSONS with their Americana flavoured rock ‘n’ roll and the raw punk rock of THE CUTS. The first of the two shares IF IT WASN’T SO SOON, a track from their 2015 album Crow which has feet tapping and head bobbing in no time. There is an instinctive energy to the encounter, signs of a band having fun and doing what lights their own fires. A same feeling comes through their successors, a band we can tell you little about having found no sign of them anywhere else online but The Cuts track HOMETOWN is more than enough to brew a hungry appetite for their raw and rousing punk rock.

Side one is completed by firstly by a band that has already had our juices flowing with their previous offerings. GAFFA TAPE SANDY recently released their debut EP Spring Killing and for the album provide a track which made up part of their impressive first single Smart Dressed Guy. A boisterous and inventive slice of the band’s highly addictive garage rock/punk infused pop ‘n’ roll, L’APPEL DU VIDE, as their whole sound, dares you not to get involved physically and vocally, the song openly manipulative with the vocal unity of guitarist Kim Jarvis and bassist Catherine Lindley-Neilson as the rhythmic bounce of drummer Robin Francis guides the tiller. They are followed by the bracing and abrasive sounds of BRACKEN, a predatory and senses consuming tsunami of sludge thick, stoner ripe doom. Formed in 2013, the quartet has bred a trespass which invades every corner of the senses and imagination, SLAVES PT. II an uncompromising slab of that punishing pleasure.

No example of Bury St Edmunds sounds can be without the mighty HORSE PARTY, increasingly one of the most exciting propositions within the British music scene. With vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley one of those behind the two compilations, there is no surprise the band appears again but a crime if they had not and brought us the outstanding LOOKING FOR LIFE. Always a band revealing a keen diversity of sound, the track is a smouldering and seductive slice of surf coated indie rock. It is pure bewitchment, an enchantress behind the siren tones of vocalist Ellie Langley and an echo of the core imagination and quality within the band’s writing and music.

Through the resourcefully catchy indie rock exploits of SUBURBAN MINDS with SUNBREAK and the alternative rock fuzz of MOONMAN from THE VIRTUES, intrigue and pleasure is reinforced, the first of the two a quartet seriously whetting the appetite for their just released debut EP, I’ll Exist Again When I Wake Up while the second is a four piece creating a tapestry of sound with a host of atmospheric and textually potent styles from Brit Pop and indie to alternative and psych rock.

Singer songwriter JACK RUNDELL calms things down with his country/folk spiced track WICKED WORDS, a fun and infectious stroll with a grin on its face while SIAH teases the imagination with their compelling mix of classic and melodic rock smoked with post punk/new wave nurtured adventure through SUSIE SMOKES. It is an unpredictable and intriguing fusion of sound which works a treat within their album proposal; a fascinating brew matched in temptation by the closing punk lined grunge ‘n’ roll of TUNDRA. Lo-fi and raw, and increasingly tempting, VACATION (CHEER UP CHUCK) brings the album to a strong close whilst emphasising what a rich and exciting landscape can be found in the surrounds of Bury St Edmunds.

This Is The Sound Of Sugar Town Volume 2 is out now through R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly and available @ https://repeatfanzine.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-sound-of-sugar-town-volume-2

 https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsTheSoundOfSugarTown     http://www.juliansupport.org/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Odium – As The World Turns Black

With next year seeing their 25th anniversary, German melodic thrashers Odium have set it up perfectly with their new album As The World Turns Black. A hungry and imposingly virulent slab of metal, the band’s eighth full length is a band at the top of its game but one still pushing their boundaries and the borders of old school meets modern thrash metal.

Formed in 10993, the Frankfurt hailing quintet has grown to be one of Europe’s most potent if not always openly recognised thrash exponents; a band unafraid to be as boldly infectious as they are aggressively adventurous. Among an increasingly impressing series of releases over the years, the word around is that As The World Turns Black is the band’s finest moment; a suggestion as the Martin Buchwalter (Tankard, SuidAkrA) recorded album roars in ears once again, hard to confidently dispute.

The album opens up with the quickly rousing The end of everything, a beast of a track which from its drone lined sonic seeds springs a web of riffs and grooves which alone has the appetite licking its lips. The rapid fire kicks and jabbing thrusts of drummer Jan Heusel leave an early welcomed impact as riffs nag and tempt; guitarists Rochus Pfaff and David Hübsch swiftly into their inescapable manipulation of neck muscles and imagination. It is stirring stuff given further impetus by the equally anthemic tones of vocalist Ralf Runkel, his swinging delivery incitement alone whilst tendrils of melodic dexterity just seals the deal.

Point of no return ensures the great start is continuous, the song winding grooves around ears straight away as riffs lurk and beats intrude with a controlled hungry edge. With the great grumble of Belinda Ann Smaka’s bass to the fore, the song rapaciously huddles around the listener before unleashing its own swagger loaded, groove veined surge. The bass continues to almost venomously grumble as the contagious exploits of the track leave their anthemic mark, together creating a glorious tapestry of attitude honed incitement.

The calmer waters of No goodbye comes next, emotive melodies wrapping the imagination as a subsequent wash of reflective vocals and restrained intensity looms. Of course things ignite with feistier intent though still the song has a reserve compared to its predecessors which adds to its magnetic and skilfully woven persuasion before Blind sets another memorable marker. The bass of Smaka again seduces instincts for irritable basslines, its grumble a persistent lure within the more tempestuous blaze of guitars. Though its chorus is maybe not as commanding as others around it, the track is just as manipulative with its devilish hooks and ravenous riffs as Runkel enticingly growls from their midst.

Every track has a contagion loaded temptation in their plans, it overcoming any possible resistance with varied tenacity across the album but no more irresistibly than within Revolution. The song is a call to arms in sound and heart, courting its arousal with just as striking invention and unpredictable twists but never detouring from its predacious core before Frozen world descends just as rapaciously on ears. Again it is impossible not to swept up in antagonistic torrents and aggressive catchiness though the track misses the more unique twists and bolder moves of surrounding songs to grab personal tastes as forcibly as others. In saying that its melodic caresses are simply tantalising and pleasure never less than full as with the more barbarous exploits of Time is a killer where riffs and rhythms alone prey on the senses. Almost carnal in nature and tone, the track is superb, another invitation for the spirit and emotions to get thickly involved.

The album’s title track follows and quickly has attention cast in a web of melodic enterprise and intrigue, every subsequent tendril a suggestion in sound explored by Riunkel. Bringing another fresh spice and aspect to the release, the song is a tenacious croon unable to keep its riotous instincts in check and only growing more compelling because of it.

Closed up by the rhythmically commanding and sonically conspiring Inside the Incubus, the track a nefarious invitation turning into a bullish stomp, As The World Turns Black leaves greed and exhaustion in its wake. It is a full-on trespass which rewards submission with a tapestry of melodic fascination. For the second time in a week we have to say, here is one of the most enjoyable and invigorating thrash encounters of recent years.

As The World Turns Black is out now via Black Sunset / MDD across most online stores.

Upcoming live shows

  1. August – Hasselroth, Rock in Schröth Open Air
  2. November – Nijmegen (NL), Rockcafe Backstage

http://odium-metal.de/     https://www.facebook.com/odium.thrashmetal/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Antigone Project – Stellar Machine

Last year French outfit Antigone Project not only took their sound to a more accomplished plateau with the From Its Room EP but hinted it was just the beginning of a whole new soundscape to their already easily engaging sound. It was a clue now realised by the band’s debut album, Stellar Machine a journey through spatial clouds of invention and diversity but as universes lead into new universes, equally feels like an adventure leading to many more bold journeys.

The creation of Frédéric Benmussa, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and no doubt much more, Antigone Project has grown from a solo project in 2002 to be one of France’s most engaging electronic rock/metal proposals. With the talented prowess of bassist Manu Ventre and drummer Fred Monaco alongside Benmussa, the band had its hands on attention with the release of a self-titled first EP in 2015. It was the debut clue to the expansive and expanding sound growing within the outfit, a suggestion taken further by From Its Room a year later and now truly unfurled within Stellar Machine.

Inspirations to the band’s sound and certainly new album range from Soundgarden to Deftones and Nine Inch Nails on to the likes of Depeche Mode, Jean Michelle Jarre, and Devin Townsend. That is enough to suggest the kaleidoscope of flavours making up the band’s album; they all involved with an even richer vein of Muse meets Radiohead like drama. Do not think you have a handle on Stellar Machine just yet though as ears will soon find a far thicker and greater carousel of the band’s own individual invention across its unpredictable body, one placing the listener into “the skin and shoes of a futuristic cosmonaut following the adventures of outer space travellers on a “stellar machine”.”

Climbing on board, ears are fastened into their seats by the powerful creative straps of opener Poison, its electronic/industrial lift off instantly swarming around the imagination. In turn, it leads to the virulent rock ‘n’ roll heart of the starter where riffs and rhythms are swiftly harrying and enslaving body and instincts, the calmer almost floating tones of Benmussa glazing the infectious exploits with a plaintive Matt Bellamy scented delivery. A compelling groove reinforces the song’s hold, the lively beats of Monaco dancing tenacious across the senses as keys bring cosmic scenery to bear on the imagination. Even in its calmer drifts, the song is forcibly infectious, the trio painting their creative canvas with an array of textures within skilfully woven enterprise.

The following Schizopolis needs mere seconds to have the body moving with its heated funk lures and enveloping synth pop enticement. A few seconds more brings a steelier tone and intensive edge to things, Ventre’s bass a darker brooding incitement which continues to lure and court the twisting infectious exploits of the song. Imagine The The meets Nine Inch Nails and the second track feeds expectations before taking them into deeper richer realms, leaving ears and appetite on a high ready for the moodier, crepuscular skies of III. The song’s air is as enticing as its predecessors, but within its emotional and atmospheric twilight a smouldering seduction matched in energy by the similarly calm vocals and keys.

Another fresh climate is brought by Mantra Nebulae, a dirtier rugged rock/metal contemplation over which vocals and melodies glide while Raphe Nuclei surrounds ears with an almost glacially reflective electronic embrace. Neither track quite lit up ears here as those before them but with the snarling dexterity of the first and the emotionally intensive vocals of Benmussa crawling the second, both tracks enthral and increasingly ignite the imagination over time.

In contrast The Black Widow instantly ensnared instincts and the passions, its intrigue ridden, noir coated web of dramatic coaxing as threatening as alluring. Hooks and grooves collude in seduction, vocals prowling with infectious devilry as bass and beats just flirt; a mix addiction was intended for. There is a touch of Fad Gadget to the song, eighties electronic/new wave essences as readily embraced as other more rapacious textures by the band and the increasingly volatile moments of the outstanding proposition.  The song is superb, a major highlight of Stellar Machine which Pretty Pain straight after easily backs up with its Mike Oldfield/ Devin Townsend nurtured symphony. As all tracks, every passing minute is unique to the last yet a continuation of their revealing cosmic travelogue and emotional revelation.

Cardio Machine is simply raw temptation, a fusion of predatory rock ‘n’ roll and synth pop virulence which has a firm restraint on both yet employs their attributes along another highly addictive body of enterprise. There is something enjoyably familiar about the song but nothing which can be pinned down, just simply and greedily enjoyed with every listen.

The album’s title track is eleven minutes of sample built introduction within senses stroking atmospherics, moving into electronic painting and progressive weaving where every minute adds to a flight feeling far shorter than its actual length such the beauty and captivation on offer. The song alone captures the mood and adventure of the theme; playing like a recap but of another past or future heroic planetary flight.

The album concludes with the atmospheric grace and beauty of Sun’n’rain; a rhythmically bold, melodically heated serenade beneath earthly pleasures. Drawing on the strongest Muse like flavours yet, the track with its almost Bond like theatrical lining brings the album to a powerful and more importantly thrilling close.

Stellar Machine confirms that Antigone Project just go from strength to strength, from bolder adventure to adventure yet still you get the feeling we have not come close to their most monumental exploit yet. Another must investigation for you all.

 Stellar Machine is out now through Lazy Freddy Records via most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/antigoneproject    https://twitter.com/projectantigone

Pete RingMaster 18/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is the new and fifth album from US Transcendental Dance Poppers Tunabunny, a huge adventure which sees the Athens, Georgia hailing quartet at their most poppy, darkest, experimental, and compelling. A double album breaching 28 imagination stoking tracks, it is a kaleidoscope of sound; no track like any other or pretty much any offering from the band to date, and a carousel of creative drama which pushes the listener into places they might not know exist let alone have contemplated.

Apparently PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is “structured as a song-by-song response to The Beatles’ White Album” and through its songs explores themes such as surveillance, futility, alchemy and winter, metamorphosis and anger whilst its fourth side features a twisting song cycle about motherhood; from pregnancy to birth, through postpartum emotional desolation, to the rebirth of self. Whatever their inspiration, the album’s songs challenge and arouse physically, mentally, and emotionally ensuring you get a full and thrilling workout with the foursome of Mary Jane Hassell, Scott Creney, Brigette Adair Herron, and Jesse Stinnard.

Rather than do our usual track by track look, such its bulging size, we are going to pluck the moments which ignited the imagination most forcibly but be assured barely a moment passes within the whole release without making a potent and appealing impact. From the opening atmospherically sinister Cartesian Theater, a track which appears like an intro but is so much more, Tunabunny set the speakers and passions on fire with Incinerate. A recent single, the track is glorious; a slice of indie pop which has the head bobbing, feet shuffling, and ardour brewing within its first round of seduction. Adding one’s own breath is inevitable to a sublime chorus, the vocals a flirtatious beauty matched in temptation by the gentle swing of the sounds cradling their charm.

There is no better moment within the album but plenty of times rival the height of the superb encounter, the following Noise Problems a swift example with its post punk/new wave canter carrying a definite resemblance to eighties UK band The Passions. The stroll of the bass is as deeply appealing as the wiry jangle of the guitars, vocals again an inescapable magnetism in diversity and harmony whilst the song’s emerging discord is simply delicious.

The indie/psych pop of Seek Consequence is another major magnet; the swaying vocals siren-esque as darker hues brew and evolve behind their lyrical wiles until heatedly bubbling up with a drone like fever while Blackwater Homes rises up from a gentle melodic murmur into another virulently infectious and shadowed canter playing like a mix of Stevie Nicks and Pylon. Worryingly easy to be seduced by its haunting lures, and not for the first or last time fiercely tempting post punk bass bait, the track swiftly worms into the psyche.

The bass again grips the instincts within Oracle, its Psycho Killer like coaxing backed by shiny tendrils of guitar as vocals procrastinate; its success followed by the matching triumph of Start It where PiL meets The Breeders is a good hint to the track’s melodic post punk clamour. These tracks alone show the diversity within PCPPAIWJR, The Raincoats tinged pop clang of Nevermind The Cobblestones and the Slits scented monotone shuffle of Yellow Heart Is My Sky Sign further evidence, both tracks bringing fresh greed in a healthy appetite for the release.

A healthy addictiveness is spawned by the raw swing and charm of the boldly infectious The Way The World Works, the song a dulled yet sparkling gem in the album’s jewellery box of sound and another collusion of band and listener rarely matched outside of the album though within, the minimalistic pop of Me And Nancy, a track with an echo of The Cure on their very first outing, and the dark scuzz fuelled post punk of Pretending To Bend as well as the similarly styled but oh so different Count To Ten rise to the challenge.

There are tracks on the album which explore noise and its depths of suggestion, each inciting the imagination even when they barely grasp a handful of seconds in length; times which really test  but reward the listener’s ability to compose and interpret. With further moments of never less than thoroughly enjoyable and provocative adventure across the album, songs like It Could Be Something, the absorbing and inexplicable Shiftchanger featuring Jason Jackson Wellz, and Magic January all tantalising and enthralling, things are brought to a lengthy imposingly and enjoyable close with the fuzz pop clamour of I Thought I Caught It (With You).

As suggested, every track is a fresh and rewarding twist in the landscape of PCPPAIWJR, not one of them merely filling space and all firing up ears and imagination. Not for the first time Tunabunny has provided not only a real treat to mull over and enjoy, but another new plateau in their invention and imagination.

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland JR is out now via HHBTM Records @ http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=640 and https://tunabunny.bandcamp.com/album/pcp-presents-alice-in-wonderland-jr

https://www.facebook.com/Tunabunny/

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright