Conformist – Lifestyle Bible

conformist5_RingMasterReview

It has been three years since British electronic weaving producer Conformist released his debut album Paid to Fake It to swiftly draw attention and acclaim. It was a weird and often psychotic tapestry of sound and samples which simply ignited the imagination as enjoyably as it did ears. Now the Cardiff born conjuror is back with its successor, the equally as dramatic and compelling Lifestyle Bible. It is more of the same creative adventure but with a new honing of inventiveness amid greater suggestive collages of sound.

Conformist is the project of Michael Simmons, who as mentioned stirred up attention with the 2013 release of Paid to Fake It. Written between 2014 and 2016, the Jerome Schmitt (Alt-J, Diplo, Mr Scruff) mastered Lifestyle Bible is an unrelenting flickering of sound and incisive sampling, a non-stop parade of textures and aural suggestiveness but with a tightness to its weaves and greater rounded character to its songs which insists Conformist is a proposition if not necessarily ahead of the game is certainly weaving its own creative field.

The previous album drew comparisons to the likes of Steinski, The Dust Brothers, Avalanches, and Aphex Twin. They are references again easy to offer up for Lifestyle Bible but as suggested Simmons is honing a unique proposal with every new track. As opener Trust Exercises entangles ears, swiftly a new air of adventure to the album escapes its creator, the track virtually creating its weave before ears as strands of electronic intrigue and twisting samples interlock and unite as it emerges. Repetition and sonic psychosis only add to the brewing landscape of persuasion, all elements tempting rather than forcibly taking attention but successful all the same.

artwork_RingMasterReviewThe following industrially stalked electro punk romp of Rock n Roll Dead Man slips straight out of the final lure of its predecessor, quickly parading commanding beats as hooks and strands of sound wind around the imagination. Again it is a perpetual stabbing of sounds bound in melodic mischief; like a disorientated rocker lurching from hook to hook with endearing prowess before stepping aside for new single Komputer Jenerated and its funk ‘n’ roll swing of electronics. There is a whiff of Yello to the devilry soon baiting and enslaving the senses, its sudden stop and go moments and off kilter twists all adding fuel to one fiery captivating ride.

Next up Harm Hides at Home is a slower bloomer though straight away it has ears fully engaged but it is with every passing minute and listen that layer by layer it reveals its compelling depths whilst coming over with fresh character each and every time whilst swinging from the same constantly seductive vine of melodic enterprise.

The variety within the album continues as the warped presence and psychosis of Life! Death! Prizes! clambers psychotically across the senses and imagination before the excellent A Snake Eating Its Own Tail saunters through ever magnetic creative circles, each rotation a writhing web of electronic provocation with a flavoursome touch of Pop Will Eat Itself to it.

The album is completed by the screwy exploits of firstly Art Colony, a pixilated jungle of beats and electronics which again inescapably conjures new adventures within thoughts with every listen, and lastly the enveloping melodic and sinister drama of the Nothing Important Happened Today. Intimate in its haunting proposal courted by ominous noir lit shadows, the track is almost a baiting of the emotions; a daring of thinking all is well as dangers lurk in an encroaching sombre dark.

It is a fine and compelling end to another great proposition from Conformist. Lifestyle Bible is an album which will trap and excite all who like their imaginations to be twisted and turned inside out by their electronic music, as well as their eager ears.

Lifestyle Bible is released October 14th through Consumer Consumer Records @ http://www.conformistmusic.co.uk/shop/4587936298/lifestyle-bible—cd-album/10915384

http://www.conformistmusic.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/conformistmusic   https://twitter.com/conformistmusic

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

XII Boar – Beyond The Valley of The Triclops

zz6t_xiiboarband_1_RingMasterReview

Last year metallers XII Boar made a compelling statement that British heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll was in safe and eager hands with debut album Pitworthy. It was a slab of dirty, primal stomping announcing the arrival of the Aldershot hailing trio on the frontline of UK metal. Hindsight though, and the release of its successor, shows that the impressive encounter was just an appetiser for a bigger thunderous roar and charge of creative mischief, for Beyond The Valley of The Triclops.

Formed in 2010, XII Boar caught the attention of a great many with first release, the Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP. Unleashed in 2012, it thrust the band’s thumping invasive sound into broader attention to back up a growing live reputation. Since then, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hardrocks, bassist Adam Thomas, and drummer Dave Wilbraham have shared stages with the likes of Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, ASG, and Karma To Burn, made praise luring appearances at Bloodstock, Desert Fest, and Hard Rock Hell, and signed a film licensing deal with Troma Films editor Dylan Greenberg. In the mix was the release of the critically acclaimed Pitworthy, it all leading to the band’s finest moment to date, Beyond The Valley of The Triclops.

Recorded with producer Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth) at Skyhammer Studio, the new album sees the band’s Motorhead, Black Sabbath, High on Fire inspired blend of stoner, doom, blues, and southern metal find a new devil in its heart and revelry. There is a mischievous grin on its creative face, a fresh inventive debauchery which gives Beyond The Valley of The Triclops a diversity and adventure not heard in the already imaginative XII Boar sound before. The album opens with Prologue, a brief slice of rhythmic voodoo setting the feral landscape the album and first track proper, Beyond The Valley commands. From a delicious dirty bass groove with guitar flames in the air, the track strolls through ears with the infectious swing of winy grooves surrounding jabbing beats. The raw and grizzled tones of Hardrocks enjoyably growl, challenging as the track rouses ears and an already keen appetite for the band’s sound. It is an easy invitation for newcomers too, one already showing a new maturity and confidence in songwriting and sound whilst rousing the spirit in the individual XII Boar way.

zz6t_xiiboarbeyondthevalleyofthetriclops_1_RingMasterReviewThe Hustle leaps at the listener immediately its predecessor departs, fiery riffs and the sultry shimmer of harmonica coaxing attention as the song shows itself an old school meets stoner stomp with plenty of punk rock attitude and blues rock spicing. It is an epidemic of infectiousness as sturdy and intrusive as it is virulent and matched in success by the bluesy rock ‘n’ roll of Strange Kinda Lonesome. It too is a canter which whips up body and spirit, involving the listener with swift ease as Lemmy and co like influences make their presence known not for the first or last time in the XII Boar sound. There is a touch of Dr Feelgood to the song too, a dose of heavyweight R&B adding its flavouring even when the song explodes in a tirade of heavy rocking half way.

There is no time for exhaustion already resulting from listening to the album to recover as the outstanding El Mucho Grande flirts and roars on the senses straight after, the song a tapestry of twisting grooves and catchy hooks woven with fun and inventive relish as full of variety as the vocals.

A moment to catch breath is allowed as the narrator of the album is given thirty seconds to give his Welcome To Your Doom warning before Penetrator whips up its energies and grouchy aggression in a superb corruption of a track again openly wearing its Motorhead cape as it has body and vocal chords in league with its own in no time. There are no real surprises in a song which feels so good to throw body and soul into, that adventure given to the likes of the imposingly heavy Abyssal Lord with its spidery grooves and cantankerous nature and the country twanged Black and Blues to exploit. The first of the pair also seamlessly slips into some magnetic and sultry jazz funk shuffling while its successor is a smouldering fire of blues and country rock crooning given a weight and intensity which rumbles on the senses. Both tracks have an unpredictability and volatility which alone seduces attention and real enjoyment, an enterprise just as rampant within the predacious rock ‘n roll of Jupiter Aligns if not with the same strength of zeal.

Album highlights continue to arise as it nears its end, Beggars Roost one such potent proposal with its dark and imposing presence with the excellent Triclops concluding the release with a rhythmically gripping and sonically muggy stalking of the senses. The fact that neither track is arguably the strongest and most explosive things on the album shows the might and quality of Beyond The Valley of The Triclops as a whole.

You always hope to say that the latest release from a band is their finest moment yet and with XII Boar it has been a theme realised almost song by song as they seize UK heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll in their big salacious hands.

Beyond The Valley of The Triclops is out now @ http://xiiboar.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2016

Monte Pittman – Inverted Grasp of Balance

Pic stephanie-cabral

Pic stephanie-cabral

I wanted to make the heaviest and craziest music I ever have” is how Monte Pittman described one of the intents behind his new album, Inverted Grasp of Balance, going on to add, “I really feel that it’s an album that will grab you and demand your attention.

It is an aim which is powerfully realised and statement swiftly proven true by his fourth album, though he should have added the adjective ‘rousing’ in there somewhere too as the Metal Blade encounter certainly raises the spirit and energies with forceful potency. The successor to acclaimed predecessor The Power of Three, Inverted Grasp of Balance sees the ex-Prong guitarist and long-time collaborator and guitarist with Madonna narrow the diversity to his sound without losing its broad character, a move which has brought a fresh intensity and predacious heaviness to another fiercely contagious and anthemic proposal from him.

Beginning the writing and creation of Inverted Grasp of Balance almost from the minute the work with The Power of Three concluded, Pittman teamed up with drummer Richard Christy (Charred Walls Of The Damned, Iced Earth, Death) and bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, David Lee Roth, Winery Dogs) to record the album with Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) handling production duties. From its first breath, the release launches itself at ears with an urgency and raw energy arguably not heard before in a Pittman offering, opener Panic Attack rising from a great sonic probing into a tempest of thrash fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. Pittman’s pick toys with guitar strings, creating an ensnaring web from the first seconds before both Christy and Sheehan collude in a fevered charge. Like Metallica meets Foo Fighters, the track romps and stomps, the trio creating a virulent tempest ensnared with the striking craft and imagination of Pittman’s grooves and splintered solos.

It is a mighty start which maybe even raises the ante in the following Arisen in Broad Daylight, certainly keeps the persuasion as intensive as the track excites and incites body and spirit. With moments of carnivorous personality, its powder keg of infectious energy and aggression simply infests the senses leaving the appetite greedy which successor Guilty Pleasure feeds further. Rising from the closing strains of the second track like a close cousin, the track is as grievously confrontational and irritable as it is an epidemic of punishing rhythms and bewitching guitar interplay, Pittman’s ever strong and galvanic vocals like a ringleader. With an excellent moment of predatory calm, the song makes a play for best track honours.

evolve_cover_RingMasterReviewThe Times Are Changing has a less menacing nature to its body next, but still weaves a network of sinister grooves and invasive rhythms to challenge the senses while Double Edged Sword entangles classic metal hues in its melody thick and magnetically volatile climate of sound and intensity with Sheehan’s bass a gloriously snarling and adventurous beast. Both tracks make a compelling persuasion with the brief Skids like hooks of the second a nice tempting touch around another fine wine of a solo before the haunting melodic seduction of the short guitar sculpted instrumental Cadabra allows a breath to be taken. It is a recovery quickly spent though as Pride Comes Before the Fall uncages its feisty prowl of cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll and even more impressively California devours the senses. Starting on a deliciously grumbling and inventive lure of bass, the track skirts ears, sizing them up with dark intent before sharing a half catchy and half raptorial proposal.

Through the ferocious virulence of Be Very Afraid and the drama soaked creative psychosis and tenebrous air of Obliterated, enjoyment of Inverted Grasp of Balance is firmly reinforced, the latter a muggy imagination inspiring instrumental after which Skeleton Key returns to a lighter and warmer landscape built on commanding rhythmic muscle and impassioned melodies and vocals.

Completed by New Blood Keeps Us Alive, a moment of melancholy spawned acoustic captivation which brews and explodes into a heart sharing roar, Inverted Grasp of Balance simply hits the spot. It might not be the most unique offering this year and is at its strongest in its first half but with the songwriting of Pittman its most rounded, his guitar craft exhilarating, and Christy and Sheehan matching in their individual invention, few releases will be as enjoyable in the short and long term than Inverted Grasp of Balance.

Inverted Grasp of Balance is out now via Metal Blade Records and through http://www.metalblade.com/us/releases/monte-pittman-inverted-grasp-of-balance/

http://www.montepittman.com   https://www.facebook.com/MontePittman   http://twitter.com/montepittman

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Idlewar – Impulse

idlewar tour_RingMasterReview

Managing to make a strong and firmly enjoyable impression on the first listen and blossoming into an even more striking proposition thereon in is Impulse, the debut album from American rockers Idlewar. The trio from Orange County caught attention and plaudits with their first EP, Dig In last year; its sound and success though was just an appetiser for the rousing prowess of Impulse and its suspected zeal loaded critical and fan reception.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist James Blake, guitarist Rick Graham, and drummer Peter Pagonis, Idlewar have quickly shown a knack for creating boisterously infectious and creatively dramatic proposals bred on an expansive range of rock ‘n’ roll from hard and classic rock to stoner and even grungier essences. It is an ability certainly fuelling Impulse and its diverse collection of songs.

Mastered by Brian Lucey (Ghost ‘Meliora’, Black Keys ‘El Camino’, Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’) Impulse quickly grips attention and imagination with opener Stone in My Heel. The twangy riffs which touch ears first instantly have an endearing swagger to them, their invitation soon joined by the just as appetising groan and lure of Blake’s bass; both in turn courted by the swinging beats of Pagonis. Choppy riffs and sweaty grooves escape and entangle an already keen appetite for things as Blake’s gravelly roar of a voice adds a more classic rock hue to a song also twisting within the throes of noise, alternative, and darker strains of rock ‘n’ roll.

impulse-cover_RingMasterReview16The track is superb, the perfect introduction and quickly backed up by the stoner/blues sultriness of Soul. Like Stone Temple Pilots engaged in psych rock flavoured escapades, the song croons and prowls the senses; the grooves of Graham especially flavoursome before it all makes way for the lighter infectious stroll of Criminal. Again grooves and hooks create a web easy to get caught up in, the heavier rhythmic enterprise an additional cage keeping ears and enjoyment in close attendance.

All That I Got is a slow burner in comparison. Starting with a slow emotive cloud of melody and vocal which certainly intrigues but lacks the potency of earlier tracks, the track grows in heavy emotion and intensity, finding a richer presence though it never quite hooks personal tastes as firmly as the songs around it. The variety and range of songwriting it brings does add to the powerful character of the album, as too does Innocent with its rhythmic enterprise, Pagonis laying down a captivating bed of feisty and resourceful beats over which Blake’s bass snarls, and in turn the classic rock revelry of Glory. With a great line in R&B to its body, the track is another which really grows over listens.

Band and album are back in seriously engaging gear with the rhythmically carnivorous Apathy next, it a track predatory in riffs and spidery grooves as Blake leads with his potent tones. The bass is at its most bestial in tone on the album, an infectious threat cleverly tempered by the fiery craft of Graham. Providing a certain highlight of the album, it is eclipsed by another in the catchy hip swinging devilry of Damage. With hooks to incite bad habits and a growing blaze of stoner seeded roars, the song is the cause of addiction in four minutes of mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll.

Impulse is completed by first of all Burn All This, another song which almost stalks the listener as rapacious rhythms align to sinister riffs with the strength of catchiness which shapes the whole of the album. Grungy yet lined with a great dark blues tone and moments as heavy as they are seductively mellow, the excellent encounter is followed and album closed by On Our Knees and its feverish rock ‘n’ roll. Incessant and rousing, it is a fine end to a great debut full-length from Idlewar. It has a raw edge with mixes well with the open craft of the band members and their lively imagination plus a suggestion that the band is still developing and has plenty more to creatively discover within themselves, something to eagerly look forward to whilst enjoying Impulse.

Impulse is released September 30th via PHD.

http://www.idlewar.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlewartheband/   https://idlewar.bandcamp.com/releases   http://www.twitter.com/idlewar

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MoRkObOt – GoRgO

Photo credit: Muur Studio

Photo credit: Muur Studio

For us there are few bands which produce grooves and unpredictable twists as carnivorous as they are relentlessly addictive and inventive than MoRkObOt, and the creators of rhythmic and grooved entanglements have done it again with fifth album GoRgO, woven a web of psyche twisting trespasses through their twin bass and psychotic drum instrumental alchemy.

The Italian trio of bassists Lin and Lan, and drummer Lon have excavated their most primal yet dynamically and imaginatively inventive maelstrom of sound yet with GoRgO, almost as if their twelve years and previous quartet of releases have been building up to this momentous moment. Recorded by Giulio Ragno Favero (Zu, Teatro degli Orrori, OvO, One Dimensional Man) at Lignum Studio in Italy, the album manages to stir an intimate as well as broadly ravenous incitement across seven slices of aural psychosis. The press release for GoRgO describes the album as “low-end noise rock origami” and from its first crunching breath a folding and twisting of texture and convention is exactly what involves the listener.

Opener Kogromot instantly grabs body and imagination as the opening lure of beats play like a side show barker, inviting attention as the waiting dexterity and rapacity of the bass slung duo stands poised to join in the ensnaring of ears and dismantling of expectations. Quickly the virulence of the track consumes ears; swinging beats and hungry grooves creating a raw festival of cantankerous sound and revelry that preys on the senses as much as it ignites them.

gorgo_RingMasterReviewThe mouth-watering start continues through the darker excitable throes of Kologora, Lon’s jungle of twisted rhythms alone ear and appetite gripping. As ever there is a predatory side to the heavy and the creatively dissentient nature of the MoRkObOt sound, the shadow lingering tone of the first track a growling antagonist in the second and subsequently an invasive almost cancerous infestation in the third. Gorokta takes a less direct approach to stirring up the emotions than its predecessors, their more forceful intrusiveness replaced by a ‘mellower’ and expansive adventure weaving more textural and sonic hues in its head spinning proposal. At times Lon is a blur of sticks and beats whilst Lin and Lan sculpt a calmer but emotionally dangerous landscape of enterprise.

There is no other band like MoRkObOt, their technical craft and distinct imagination blending forms of simplicity with seriously involved imagination, every note as revealed again within the outstanding Ogrog, skilfully and instinctively inventive to send the listener spinning into fresh adventures each and every time shared. Another track which prowls, virtually stalks the senses with rhythmic dexterity to lust over, it makes way for the harmonic discord and heterodoxic Kromot. The track glorious invades and seduces body and spirit, nurturing a creative and renegade instinct within itself and its targets. For some reason steampunk like imagery comes to mind during the track, aural technology and aesthetic designs coming together like a puppeteer which in many ways is what MoRkObOt are; puppeteers of rhythms, riffs, and grooves, not forgetting the psyche.

The album completes the rousing and seducing of the passions with firstly the dark, sinister, and slightly vaudevillian exploits of Krogor and lastly the epic Gorog which takes and accentuates all those elements and more into an otherworldly and deeply cavernous soundscape. Forcibly mesmeric and bewitchingly off-kilter within its shadowy beauty, the track is stunning; a sublime and transfixing exploration growing from its noir almost jazzy emergence into one deceptively raptorial encounter.

There is no denying we have a real soft spot for MoRkObOt but fans or not there is no escaping that GoRgO is the finest entanglement with the band yet and one of the year’s most irresistible offerings.

GoRgO is out now via Supernatural Cat on CD, Vinyl, and digitally.

http://www.morkobot.org   http://www.facebook.com/morkobot   http://morkobot.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

This Dying Hour – Resting Where No Shadows Fall

this-dying-hour-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

In many ways you could say that Resting Where No Shadows Fall, the eagerly anticipated debut album from British metallers This Dying Hour has been ten years in the making. Formed at the beginning of 2006 and swiftly impressing with their debut EP, the High Wycombe outfit has endured a decade littered with setbacks “that were just too great to overcome; everything from death and marriage to money came between the band and its members.” Now they are back and with a release which feels like it carries all the emotions and frustrations felt over that time; an album which ignites ears and imaginations with invention and passion.

That first year of the band produced the Longest Memory From The Shortest Life EP, a well-received and often praised introduction. It was accompanied by tours throughout the UK and Europe as well as shows with the likes of Young Guns, Sylosis, Bury Tomorrow, Malefice, and Exit Ten. The years since, as mentioned, brought This Dying Hour to a standstill until this year when vocalist Dave Pickup and guitarist Ash Whitelock decided to spark the band into life again with the help of “rotating members to fill the void.” Now they have made the wait for the next instalment of This Dying Hour adventure a forgotten moment as Resting Where No Shadows Fall seriously impresses ears and thoughts.

The album opens with its brief title track, an atmospheric instrumental which draws the imagination, leading it into the waiting jaws of War Drums. The second track instantly makes its point with scything riffs and beats, their imposing swipes aligned to a nagging raw melody before things all comes together in a predacious stalking of the senses. The snarling tones of Pickup are soaked in raw emotion and ire, a potency matched by Whitelock’s irritable guitar and the rhythmic antagonism of the track. It not may be the most unique proposal, references to the likes of Lamb Of God and Killswitch Engage valid, yet the song has a freshness which roars in ears and only blossoms further as a cleaner touch invades the vocal incitement.

The impressive start continues as Asleep springs its wiry grooves and vocal hostility next. Swiftly the song shows its distinct and individual character to be a diversity of intensity and energy, all soaked in venom as it seizes attention and a growing appetite for the release. Clean vocals and great dirty harmonies bring stronger drama and quality, as too the enterprising craft of Whitelock as the song bellows and challenges in equal enjoyable measure.

this-dying-hour-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewPath Of Unknown opens with a melodic atmosphere similar to the opening intro, sunken vocals courting the initial lure before the song opens up into a striking and thrilling encounter. The mellower tones of Pickup predominantly stir the song this time around, luring with the listener alongside spicy melodies into one ridiculously infectious chorus and subsequently a great passage of calm reflection with a touch of Palms to it. One of the biggest highlights among many, the outstanding proposal is followed by the far more hostile climate and sound of Time To Die, though it too is unafraid to cast warm melodies and catchy clean vocals. A rival for best track to match its predecessor, the song completes a first half of Resting Where No Shadows Fall which simply blows most other emerging melodic/groove metallers away.

There is little loosening of attention and pleasure either as first the darker sinister realm of Underworld encloses and encroaches on the senses. Certainly the track is a touch hit and miss, moments which stir the blood and others which lie a touch flat on thoughts but arguably it is the most inventive proposition on the album as it ensnares the imagination while Alive is as accomplished as anything within Resting Where No Shadows Fall at blending the calmer and fiercer emotional and physical exploits of band and songwriting. Though both are lacking the spark of earlier songs, each leaves a real want for more which Priapism feeds with its melody rich charm and fiery temperament.

The album closes on the same kind of explosive sound and impact as it started, Room 108 a volatile and often corrosive encounter with sparkling moments of vocal invention and melodic imagination seemingly inspired by a mix of System Of A Down, Deftones, and In Flames.

It is a great end to an excellent first album from a band making up for lost time in passion and invention. With the potential of bigger and bolder to come, it is very easy to push Resting Where No Shadows Fall as something all should make an acquaintance with.

Resting Where No Shadows Fall is out in stores from Friday 30th September.

https://www.facebook.com/thisdyinghouruk/

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

HOG_RingMasterReview

Checking out the ear exciting single One Eyed Girl a few short weeks back, our closing line was “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”. That is the title of the debut album from UK grrl punksters Hands Off Gretel, and just a handful of days ago it was unveiled to quench hopes and anticipation for its potential riding on the back of its lead single. Burn the Beauty Queen is glorious, a feast of grunge fuelled punk ‘n’ roll snarling and barracking like a fusion of Die So Fluid, Spinnerette, and The Raincoats. It is an infestation of ears and psyche skilfully weaving recognisable flavours into its own distinctively imaginative exploits and more than fulfilling the promise offered by its first single.

Emerging from an early musical partnership between vocalist/guitarist Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue and following the demise of the former’s Lauren Tate Band, Hands Off Gretel quickly started to draw attention with Tate’s ‘frustration songs’ as creative fuel. Late 2015 saw Sam Hobbins invited to play bass and drums on the South Yorkshire band’s album, subsequently become the permanent Hands Off Gretel drummer to join Tate and McAvinue, newest member bassist Joe Scotcher completing the current line-up.

In a year already seeing Hands Off Gretel release the single My Size as well as One Eyed Girl and play Whitby Goth Weekend, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion, Kaya Festival, and Isle of Wight Festival, Burn the Beauty Queen is the pinnacle and needs barely two minutes of opener Queen Universe to confirm the fact. Teasing, almost taunting with a lone riff initially, bait swiftly accompanied by the potent tones of Tate, the song is soon a cauldron of imposing rhythms, cantankerous riffs, and spiky hooks with bitchy harmonies adding their great snarl. It is a stunning start quickly reminding of those earlier references yet just as powerfully showing its own character of sound and invention as it stomps over senses and into the passions.

There is no chance of such a powerful bordering on psychotic beginning being followed by an antic-climax either as One Eyed Girl follows to confirm its position of one of the best songs heard this year. Grumbling in ears from its opening bassline, the track is soon aggressively challenging and seducing as Tate’s catchy yet confrontational tones align to the nagging and addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs as rhythms swing with venom. Again there is no escaping a Brody Dalle essence to vocals and indeed the sound but the song bounces around on its own unique terms to feed an already keen appetite for what is on offer.

art_RingMasterReviewBad Egg is next, coaxing ears with a singular hook wearing an early Adam and The Ants scent before things open up with wiry melodies and predacious beats as McAvinue’s guitar spins a web of tangy melodic intrigue. Less ferocious and imposing than its predecessors, the track is dangerously bewitching, leaving a lingering imprint before Teethin’ strolls in like a gunslinger, one hiding its bite behind catchy endeavours but perpetually gnawing away with post and old school punk invention. Its exceptional persuasion is followed by that of Little Man, a haunting ballad-esque canter seemingly as much inspired by the darker explorations of Siouxsie and The Banshees as bands like Hole and 4 Non Blondes, and quite irresistible.

From its dark shadows, Hands Off Gretel go for the jugular with the punk infested and simply brilliant Always Right. It is a rousingly irritable assault, like Bikini Kill meets Au Pairs and also fiercely addictive as its virulent enterprise and piecing hooks take hold before Under The Bed bares its cranky attitude and nature with creative zeal.

Through the barbarous Oh Shit with its predatory bassline and scything riffs and the raging fire of World Against She, Hands Off Gretel prove that even their least unique offerings simply ring true with ears and emotions and set the band well apart from the field whilst tracks like Eating Simon with its Three Imaginary Boys like Cure hooks and enslaving rhythmic rumbling offer evidence that the quartet just might be one of the bands helping steer British rock to new glories ahead.

Then we have Plasters, a superb and slightly deranged piece of imagination which drawls discord, musically and emotionally, whilst casting another highly addictive web of beats and sonic hooks. The song brings seventies punk, eighties new wave, and nineties grunge into the raw and twenty first century invention of Hands Off Gretel for something quite striking.

The dark amble and warning of Push The Girl and the climactic theatre of Awfully Miserable bring Burn the Beauty Queen to a powerful close; the first sublime creative drama in the ear and its successor, from an engrossing low key unleashing, a tempest of scything beats and grumpy basslines littered with electric grooves and spiky hooks as crescendos rise and fall.

It is a great end to one of the year’s most impressive and seriously pleasurable releases of 2016. Hands Off Gretel bring a fresh excitement to music, Burn the Beauty Queen the biggest thrill.

Burn the Beauty Queen is out now and available @ http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/_p/prd15/4533789831/product/burn-the-beauty-queen-album

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

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright