Frostbitten Kingdom – The Winter War Symphony

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The Winter War Symphony has had a battle all of its own in its journey to face the world, a turbulent adventure which finally comes to an end with its global release via Wormholedeath. The transfixing creation of Finnish extreme metallers Frostbitten Kingdom, the five track release is a breath-taking and epic exploration of a stark landscape within a grim world flooded with just as erosive and haunted emotions. Its title perfectly sums up the encounter and its rugged terrains of malevolent and brutal hostility aligned to an impassioned melodic and symphonic beauty, black and death metal combining for a gripping and ravenous dark emprise which shows no mercy for the senses but inspires the most vivid exploits in the imagination.

Hailing from Turku and formed in 2004, Frostbitten Kingdom drew on inspirations from bands such as like Dissection and Immortal as they explored and cast a sound drawing on Scandinavian black metal as well as US strains of death. From debut album Through Nightfall Storms and Sunless Dawns in 2007, the band was increasingly drawing attention at home, and as the Towards the Battlefields MCD of the following year, second album Obscure Visions of Chaotic Annihilation, and third Infidel Angel in 2009 and 2010 respectively continued the band’s emergence, tapping into a wider and broader spotlight. The latter releases also showed a stronger influence of American death metal, with essences of bands like Deicide and Immolation being offered as references. Their live presence equally drew potent interest and praise as Frostbitten Kingdom played with bands such as Bal-Sagoth, Solstafir, and Venom.

2011/12 saw the band concentrate on writing and recording fourth full-length The Winter War Symphony, with its release scheduled for 2013 through No Sign of Life, who had released the previous album. This was thwarted when already after a couple of delays, Frostbitten Kingdom read in a magazine of the sale of the label. With the new owners surprisingly not interested in releasing the album, a mystery such its majesty, and the loss of bassist and guitarist leaving the band as just H. Kanervo (vocals, guitars, keys) and S. Vainio (drums), things had stalled. Earlier this year though the band put The Winter War Symphony out as a promo, it swiftly earning acclaim and attention, including that of Wormholedeath who contacted Frostbitten Kingdom and struck a deal to digitally distribute the album worldwide. Long overdue but finally with the widest stretch of ears and imaginations available for persuasion, The Winter War Symphony is poised to stake its claim as one of the year’s triumphs.

Warfare & Wilderness begins the epic musical and lyrical narrative, its opening harmony of classical hues within orchestral elegance bewitching. Strings and keys transfix ears and thoughts, the melancholic air of the music as hauntingly emotive as it is gently portentous. Eventually its sorrowful beauty evolves into an equally melodic and tenacious roar but courted by stern riffs and sinister shadows, a tempest in waiting which breaks free when raw caustic vocals spark thumping rhythms and even heavier drama. Light and dark conflict and collude within the still mesmeric encounter, its climate darkening with every chord and melody yet still taking the listener on an invigorating and radiant flight.

The opener is a proposition which works away as forcibly on the imagination as ears, allowing thoughts to ignite their own adventure aligned to that of the band’s intent. The following muscular storm of The Battlefront is the same, though the blunt force and creative hostility of the track dictates the unveiling in song and mind predominantly. As in the first and subsequent songs, it is the varied sonic endeavours in the track which steals the passions most potently, numerous metal flavours stirring within the death bred confrontation igniting the unpredictable and fluid invention which fascinates and thrills across the whole of The Winter War Symphony. The visceral textures around the descriptive sonic and lyrical canvas only draws its recipient deeper into the dramatic heart of tale and release, a lure emulated by the glacial and threatening scenic tones of Sentinels of the Silent Tundra. Bestial elements prowl and intimidate from within the track’s barren yet engrossing bone-chilling climate. It is a harsh domain clouded with sublime melodies and an addictive sonic enterprise, leaving thoughts unsure whether to flee or embrace the soul freezing lands explored.

From the delicious opening hook of the outstanding Lost, Forgotten and Forlorn, ears and emotions are instantly enslaved so that even the subsequent cruel air and voraciously scarring diversity of vocals cannot defuse the appetite to immerse fully into the predacious and exhausting depths of the carnivorous squall. The track is quite scintillating, simultaneously savage and seductive as it ebbs and flows through an expansive and imposingly visual soundscape.

The album finishes within the gelid yet magnetic lures of Lucid Nightmares of Barbaric Brutality, the track a ferocious and barbarous examination of the senses and corrosive intent. Vocals and rhythms threaten whilst melodies and spicy grooves inflame from within the maelstrom of invention and hostility. There is no compromising with the song, or album come to that, but it does not need to with the scintillating craft and enticing imagination veining the challenging treat.

Now it has been uncaged, it is easy to expect The Winter War Symphony to push Frostbitten Kingdom to the fore of extreme metal. For such an impressive and rewarding onslaught they certainly deserve an intensive spotlight being shone their way.

The Winter War Symphony is available now via Wormholedeath through all good online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/FrostbittenKingdom

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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Boyracer/Hulaboy/The Safe Distance

Boyracer Pete Shelly Cover Art

For a change we are clubbing together a trio of releases to look at in one go, the reason for this being the common denominator of musician/songwriter Stewart Anderson. The 7” releases from Boyracer, Hulaboy, and The Safe Distance are three early propositions of new indie label Emotional Response formed by Anderson and wife Jen Turrell. Having also run 555 Records and Red Square over the past couple of decades, the pair set up their new project with the intent of recording and releasing new music with friends, the outcomes limited in availability, produced on coloured vinyl, and only available right now through their website http://jenandstew.com/.

With their first release coming in 1991, Boyracer has been a constant source of excited punk pop, releasing over 800 songs since that first exploit with records unleashed through labels such as Boyracer 1Sarah, Slumberland, Blackbean, and Placenta. Coming off a four year hiatus, the Anderson founded proposition offers the Pete Shelley EP as their final release, with Turrell and Sarah Records era guitarist Matt Green joining Anderson for four irrepressible pop escapades. The EP opens with its title track, a bass and guitar drama with jabbing beats and expressive vocals. The song is lightly stomping from the off, beats punchy in a weave of politely jangling guitars and potently alluring hooks. It is not much more than a breath over a minute in length but provides pure contagious revelry for feet and imagination to greedily devour.

The following 3nd Wave Mod is similarly parading a fleet of inescapable hooks and quaint melodies within this time a rawer frame of rhythms and chords. As infectious as the first and with a great concussive crescendo in its middle, the song provides a tasty alternative pop adventure which the following The Kind Of Man You Really Are emulates with its tangy melodic clang and the brilliant Jump surpasses with its twee pop devilry. Led vocally by Turrell this time, the fourth song swiftly reminds of seventies UK bands like The Chefs and Girls At Our Best. Bouncing with a mischievous melodic grin enhanced by the summery caress of keys, and a rhythmic incitement which again has feet instantly engaged, the song is an anthem for the passions. The release comes with two bonus tracks which were not on our promo but it is hard to imagine them being any less thrilling than the four songs already treating ears.

Hulaboy BW     The Hulaboy EP, He’s making violent love to me, mother, is the celebration of a twenty year friendship between Anderson and Eric M. Stoess, a three track vinyl offering which plays ears with melodic charm and citrus sonic flavouring. As shown by first track Exes and Enemies, there is a sharp tone to the melodies which caress the senses but comes wrapped in a mellow and engaging elegance which is almost whimsical in its breath and temptation. Rhythms are firm though, giving the endeavour depth and muscle in all the right places and through the quirkily enterprising croon of the song.

Napalm Heart flares with lo-fi tenacity and melodic flaming from the first second, its undiluted catchiness and crispy resonance like a blend of The Freshies with a more cheerful Josef K, which for a minute and a half has ears inflamed and emotions wrapped up in sonic devilment. The flirtatious track is followed by Kids Under Stars, a raw blaze of sonic rapacity and garage rock causticity soaked in sixties pop colouring. The blistering encounter completes the impressive vinyl version of the single whilst the download comes with an additional seven tracks, with I find your topsiders and beard amusing and a great cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s The Cutter particular standout moments.

Final release, the Songs EP from The Safe Distance, is the global link up of American Anderson on bass and organ with vocalist/guitarist Crayola Sarandon (Sarandon / A Witness) from the UK and Australian drummer David Nichols (Cannanes / Huon). Casting quirky dark pop clad in gripping shadows and brought with rippling sinews, the band uncage four tracks for the vinyl release of their EP. Hey you sets things off, probing beats aligned to guitar jangles and great monotone delivered vocals the initial delicious bait. The song proceeds to roam with a predatory glint in its sonic eye and bracing flames to its melodic hue, the imposition tempered by the flowery charm of keys and the addictive lure of the vocals. The song isSafe Distance Songs Insert 1 pure drama and quite infectious, a description also suiting the more restlessly contagious Soap. Tastily scuzzy but retaining a warm glow to its raw sound and invention, the track swiftly has thoughts and appetite gripped, whilst A bigger splash with its sultry smouldering of melodies and keys takes a little longer to draw a healthy dose of satisfaction but has ears and imagination fully involved by the time of its final fuzzy note.

The punkish Sandpit concludes the quartet of tracks, its bluesy roar and caustic energy colluding for a thoroughly thrilling slice of dirty rock ‘n’ roll, keys and guitars especially kicking up a dust storm with their sonic voracity. Completing the vinyl version, it is just part of another four original tracks on the download as well as a trio of covers featuring Hawkwind’s Silver Machine, Adam and the Ants’ Young Parisians, and the excellent take of Bogshed’s Fat lad exam failure.

Perfectly diverse but united in the songwriting prowess of Anderson and others involved, all the singles make an impressive entrance into the independent and underground scene by Emotional Response Records.

The releases from Boyracer, Hulaboy, and The Safe Distance are all available on coloured 7” vinyl and digitally now via Emotional Response Records @ http://jenandstew.com/

RingMaster 27/11/2014

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Auxes – Boys In My Head

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Storming the psyche like a deranged bluster forged from the sonic invention of The Pixies and Melvins bound in the raw devilment of The Fat Dukes Of Fuck and the acidic charm of The Mai Shi, Boys In My Head is contagion gone wild. The new album from Germany based noise punks Auxes is a masterfully devious roar combining addiction with primal seduction for without any doubt one of the year’s most essential propositions.

The successor to their previously acclaimed More! More! More! of 2012, Boys In My Head sees the band take some of its raw punk persuasion and fuse it to a broader noise and psyche rock exploration. The result is their most compelling and spicily intrusive incitement yet, which as well as those earlier comparisons also sows essences found in band such as At The Drive In, The Birthday Party, and The Locust. Consisting of the combined experiences and adventure of Dave Laney (the co-founder of Milemarker and Challenger), Florian Brandel (Eniac, Kommando Sonne-nmilch, Airpeople) and Manuel Wirtz (Eniac, Honigbomber, Die Charts), Auxes fire up ears and emotions with swift drama and success as Boys In My Head entangles ears with opener To All The Fires. Song and release provide an infestation which is as fascinating as it is unpredictable, as anthemically warped as it is sonically scorching, and from their first notes inescapable slavery.

To All The Fires immediately encases ears in a web of weighty beats and sonic intrigue, a coaxing soon flourishing with feistily flavoursome melodic enterprise fuelling enslaving grooves and hooks. Vocals too have an alluring expression which subsequent harmonies only enhance as the song continues to flirt and dance with the imagination. The impressive start is straight away surpassed by I Can’t Stand You Any Longer, the song from its initial feisty rub of riffery and jabbing rhythms, a voracious stomp of virulently gripping hooks and tangy melodic intrigue. There is a grunge spice to certain aspects of the track but primarily it is a merger of garage and noise rock devilry sparking thoughts of Fake Shark-Real Zombie!

The following I Wanna See Results riles up the passions with its brief but ravenous temptation, a gnarly bassline relentlessly courting acidic guitar endeavour whilst increasingly impressing vocal causticity and just as hungrily agitated rhythms unleash their narratives. Far too brief but irrepressibly thrilling, the encounter makes way for the album’s title track, itself an epidemic of rhythmic bait and resourceful hooks within a sonic haze. Seemingly strongly inspired by The Pixies, the song is a delicious weave of sonic slavery, every groove and tangy chord easy thraldom of thoughts and passions.

The pair of Dog & Master and Life In Their Television increases the album’s grip, the first opening with a predatory rub of riffs and similarly commanding rhythms before striding purposefully with creative rabidity and bewitching enterprise. The track is a scintillating hex on body and emotions whilst its successor is an instant tease with its percussive coaxing and boys in their headmischievous beats. It is revelry though which cannot resist bursting into a punk fired tempest of abrasing guitar invention and vocal confrontation, all around a throaty bass spine. The track is a fiery charge soaked in punk belligerence, it again igniting fresh hunger in the appetite for the outstanding release; a greed right away fed wholesomely by the Frank Black spiced Boom Boom Town. Harmonies and melodies thrive in the sonic tapestry around them, drawing on an acidic wine of sound to brew their equally captivating toxicity.

Every song brings a fresh peak to Boys In My Head, though maybe none as insatiably as Under Fire. Its primal seduction of bass and drums is the foreplay to an orgasmic devilment of barbed hooks and intoxicating grooves, a dramatic infection where there is no second where feet are relaxed and emotions silent, though that to be fair applies to most tracks, especially the relatively calmer but no less transfixing Hand In Hand With The Man and the sultry rock ‘n’ roller Dead Dead Eyes. The first of the two sways and flames with siren-esque sonic candy which brings hints of eighties bands like The Fire Engines and Scars. The second of the pair again has that breeze of nostalgia, offering whispers of the Scottish bands as just mentioned and the likes of Josef K but infusing it into a punk bred slice of ferocious rock with infectious vocals and chorus eventually aligned to anthemic chants.

The album closes with the darkly shadowed I’ve Had Enough, a post punk coloured antagonism engaging ears with a noise and punk rock provocation, and another which is as much an epidemic of tempting as it is a blast of creative turbulence. The song is a brilliant end to quite simply one of the year’s biggest triumphs. There have been a few essential encounters in 2014 and Boys In My Head easily joins the list; in fact it might just be the one heading the queue.

Boys In My Head is available now via Gunner Records, digitally and as CD, vinyl, and cassette versions @ http://auxes.bandcamp.com/album/boys-in-my-head

http://auxes.com/

RingMaster 26/11/2014

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American Heritage – Prolapse

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With the departure of vocalist/guitarist Adam Norden following its recording, Prolapse from American Heritage might be the last thing heard from the Chicago band, but if this is so what a way to go out. It is a beast of a proposition, a tsunami of controlling grooves, belligerently aggressive rhythms, and a primal force of voice and breath. It is bullying mass of provocation and passion, a lingering statement from what will be a sorely missed band if there is to be no more.

Consisting of six new tracks and three covers brought in the fusion of thick sludge metal, imagination binding mathcore, and abrasing noise rock/hardcore ferocity the quartet is renowned for, the successor to acclaimed 2011 album Sedentary, uncages a caustic savaging which rivals anything they have unleashed before. Recorded with Sanford Parker and released through Solar Flare Records, sixth album Prolapse quite simply brings the band’s presence since 1996 to an incendiary and exhilarating end.

From the first sonic blast of opener Eastward Cast the Entrails, band and album has ears and attention severely grasped, the punishing initial touch leading into a bruising maelstrom of ferocious rhythms, corrosive riffs, and brawling vocals. Within the tempest though grooves raucously flirt and technical prowess seduces, the track increasingly expanding and flourishing in the imagination and emotions. Equally as it grows contagiousness coats the tenacity and enterprise of the guitars and rhythmic antagonism, the provocation becoming as seductive as it is hostile ensuring an insatiable and explosive start to the album swiftly matched by its successor.

Anxious Bedwetter roars and assaults with the entwined charm of Corrosion of Conformity, Mastodon, and Agnostic Front, it swiftly buffeting and igniting emotions with a torrential american_heritage_prolapseonslaught of raw riffery and rhythmic violence cast by drummer Mike Duffy. Again though there is a virulent temptation from scorching melodies and spicy grooves at work, all as uncompromising as the heart of the encounter but spreading irresistible magnetic toxicity. Vocally Norden leaves no syllable and emotion untainted by venom and anger whilst his and fellow guitarist Scott Shellhamer’s sonic temptation is simply bracing.

The pair of Obliviocrity and Constant and Consuming Fear of Death and Dying make no compromises on the senses, the first from another debilitating sonic squall and with nostrils flared, rampaging through ears on a breath-taking sonic turbulence and rhythmic inhospitality. To the destructiveness though again grooves are enflamed with a melodically brewed acidity and creative spice which invigorates and sears the senses. Its quick hellacious ravishment is contrasted by the prowling presence of the second of the pair. Reaped from the predatory essences of doom and sludge, the song crawls provocatively over the listener, imposing and oppressing in its air whilst exploring a brighter terrain of engaging melodies and radiant invention. There is still a menace to its raw beauty though, the band finding the same kind of dark allurement which has blessed the music of Killing Joke over the decades, bassist Erik Bocek, a constant primal enticement across the whole release, bringing forceful heavy seduction to the body of the song.

The hardcore severity always lurking within American Heritage is given full rein in the outstanding Mask of Lies next, the track a furnace of spite and rage with flesh flailing rhythms and riffery to match. It is a savaging you can only embrace and invite back time and time again, much as the next up Blackbird, it a hellacious forging of hardcore, punk, and noise rock rancor with psyche twisting invention. The track is a glorious predator and the pinnacle of the album, a relentless creative scourge which just has you drooling for more and ears and emotions exhausted.

The departure of the triumph is the start of the trio of covers on the album, starting with the outstanding take of the Descendents track Hürtin’ Crüe. It is an erosive swamp of sonic and vocal intensity, a merciless blaze with the charm of a public flogging and quite irresistible. It is followed by the Black Flag track Thirsty and Miserable, American Heritage treating it to their own kind of barbarous enterprise and stormily inventive bad blood before moving on to Bulletproof Cupid, the Girls Against Boys encounter. Openly salacious from its first vocal caress and fiercely imposing as soon as its first note preys on ears, the song is a delicious sinister seduction and dare one say even more potent than the original.

The track brings another unmissable offering from American Heritage to a fine close. What will be missed is the band’s presence, that realisation reinforced by Prolapse as it scars the senses whilst sparking a big tinge of sadness. Things move on and you just feel further raw adventures will be ahead in some guise from the members of the band, something very easy to breed an excited anticipation for, especially after this grand finale.

Prolapse is available now digitally and as CD and vinyl versions via Solar Flare Records @ http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/prolapse or http://americanheritage.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/americanheritageband

RingMaster26/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Amsterdam Red Light District – Gone For A While

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With a mouthful of a name and a flavoursome depth to their captivating sound, French rockers The Amsterdam Red Light District unleash their new and highly anticipated album Gone For A While. It is a striking encounter which intrigues and pleases at every turn, the band’s mix of alternative rock in a fusion of melodic punk and hardcore, ensuring a persistent drama and vivacity to each and every track. That it does not ignite the passions as rigorously as it maybe should have is a mystery and probably a personal thing, but certainly the eleven track proposition provides a tasty stomp for ears and imagination to invest a real appetite in.

Seemingly with members based in Lyon and California, The Amsterdam Red Light District since forming in 2005 has earned a potent reputation and recognition for their sound and live presence. Employing inspirations from the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled into their own distinct ideas and invention, the band has made striking marks through debut album Dear Diary in 2010 and the I’m Not Insane EP two years later, their success backed by a live presence which has seen The Amsterdam Red Light District play all over Europe with great regularity, feature at festivals such as Groezrock, Mair1, Resurrection, Sylak and Rockstorm, as well as play with bands such as Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer. In July this year the band set about recording second full-length Gone for a While, its release like the first with Red Light Records, now upon us and likely to only intensify the spotlight on the band.

Opener Time Flies swiftly has ears and feet involved in its feisty stomp, riffs and rhythms an immediate frenzy bound in enticing grooves. Vocalist Elio Sxone is a commanding presence within the raucous persuasion from his first syllable, whilst guitarist Maxime Comby is soon complimenting his caustic riffs with sonic enterprise. Arguably there are no real surprises within the song but equally it is a refreshing and magnetic offering with real power to its energy and persuasion capped by the great Red Tape like vocal roars alongside the velvety shadowed tones of bass provided by Gregory Clert.

The attention grabbing start is surpassed by the fascinating Just Have A Good Time, its initial Southern rock/Cajun twang the lead into a ferociously fiery and impressive incitement. Swiftly the_amsterdam_red_light_district_hb_251114revealing more of the depths and diversity to the band’s sound, the heavy rock fuelled track stomps with contagious and aggressive intent driven forcibly by the imposing skills of drummer Julien Chanel. The song though is still as welcoming and catchy as its predecessor, whilst the blend of raw and melodic vocals work a treat across song and subsequently the album, their union as bracing as the contrasting sounds igniting the beast of a song.

   Million Miles Away is no slouch in getting the blood running hungrily through band and listener either, its on-going charge littered with spicy hooks aligned to harsh and melodic elements of punk. Fuelled with a torrent of barbed and addiction forging twists, with further outbreaks of chunky riffing and virulent grooving piling on the temptation, the song keeps the album flying high before handing over ears and emotions to the similarly compelling and voraciously sculpted A Chance To Change. Its energy is as full and insatiable as in its predecessor, and with a thick melodic tempting to its rigorous tenacity, provides another weighty slab of punk hunger and irrepressible contagion.

The brief evocative presence of Final Boarding Call is underwhelming, the track seemingly an intro into the album’s following title track but lacks anything to halt the urge to simply move straight to Gone For A While, itself a song lacking something compared to the first quartet of encounters but reinforcing the craft and imagination surging through the album with ease, if not the earlier adventure shown. Its gentler caresses definitely make for a satisfying companionship before Behind Your Sunglasses unveils its fiercer presence and emotion. Still missing that spark of bold inventiveness, the track impresses as it bawls and croons simultaneously, the vocals especially gripping within the tasty web of chords and hooks.

Both These Kids That Your Parents Warned You About and Come Closer leave ears and appetite full of lingering pleasure, the first with gnarly bass tones and bordering on hostile rhythms, a grouchy and thrilling protagonist. Its growl is wholly infectious, as is the return of that bolder inventiveness which marked the start of the album as the track shows itself to be another lofty peak in the landscape of the release. Its successor is built from the same template, a hearty snarl coating every predatory note and heavily swung beat, not forgetting the raw vocal side of the band, whilst grooves and hooks find their own unique venom to infest the imagination.

The two songs has body and thoughts back hungrily engaged before making way for the addiction causing Set The World On Fire, the track one of those anthemic stomps which only a loss of hearing can deter. Its muscular brawl of a seduction is followed by closing track Waiting For So Long, an encounter featuring Justin Schlosberg from Hell Is For Heroes. A final blaze of rugged and melodic punk vitality which maybe misses truly lighting the passions, it nevertheless gives the album a furnace of a send-off whilst egging on the urge to dive right back into the heart of Gone For A While.

At the start we said that the album did not inflame the strength of ardour that it probably should have. It is hard to define why, certainly there is not an abundance of surprises but there is plenty to enthral and spark a greed for more. It is easy to expect Gone For A While to be a major trigger for the passions in a great many though, and for the rest of us it has to be said The Amsterdam Red Light District has placed a strong enough grip with the album that anticipation for their next endeavour is unavoidable.

Gone For A While is available now via Red Light Records, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/gone-for-a-while/id918599363 and on CD @ http://tarld.bigcartel.com/

http://www.tarldtheband.com/

RingMaster 26/11/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Your Favorite Enemies – Between Illness And Migration

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Released back home earlier this year, Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies give their European unleashing to their album Between Illness And Migration this month, an encounter sure to wake up keen attention over this side of the globe for them and their highly flavoursome sound. Made up of ten tracks which capture the imagination as easily as the ears, the album is a potential fuelled and adventurous proposition, a constant fascination which does not quite set the blaze that maybe its invention and diverse presence deserves. There is a sense of familiarity coating every track and twist within an otherwise dramatic presence which seemingly prevents any real surprises breaking through, but nevertheless Between Illness And Migration leaves ears satisfied and appetite ready for more.

Formed in 2006, the Montreal band is no stranger to taking their striking fusion of shoegaze, post punk, and alternative rock into new pastures, Your Favorite Enemies having played shows across Europe, Japan, China, Indonesia, and of course Canada. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Drive Like Jehu, and Fugazi, the sextet drew strong attention with debut album Love Is a Promise Whispering Goodbye in 2008, its success following the potent base set by previous and first EP And If I Was to Die in the Morning… Would I Still Be Sleeping with You the year before. After a deluxe version of their album, second full-length Vague Souvenir helped expand their presence in 2012 before last year the band released the vinyl album Sacred Kind Of Whispers and the Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire EP to keen responses and recognition. Between Illness And Migration also began its flirtation with the world in 2013, Australian and Japanese versions being unveiled before this year Canada, alongside the Entre Marées Et Autres Ressacs EP, and now Europe received their versions.

Released via Graphite Records, Between Illness And Migration opens with the imagination sparking instrumental Satsuki Yami. Sonically fiery and emotionally agitated, the track is an intro into the album giving no real hint in hindsight of things to come but awakening senses and thoughts successfully for the following temptation of Empire Of Sorrows. Initially a lonely guitar bred melody melancholically strokes ears, its coaxing joined by the just as lamenting spoken tones of vocalist Alex Foster. Building around that single sonic lure, the guitars of Jeff Beaulieu and Sef begin shaping a dramatic web to which rhythms align their brewing intensity and the keys of Miss Isabel offer their initially subdued hues. Once inflamed the song is a stirring cauldron of cold post punk enterprise and provocation, the bass of Ben Lemelin a groaning treat and the beats of drummer Charles Allicy a reined yet rampant incitement. Evolving through gentle and haunted scenery to roaring blazes, there is a refreshing sense of bands like Wire, Modern English, and Flesh for Lulu to the encounter which intrigues as its tantalises the imagination and illness_migration_cover_europe_800passions.

It is a mighty start to the album which A View From Within backs up with its whipping sonic web and slightly portentous air. The acidic and scorched start to the song reminds of Bauhaus but is soon merging into new terrain as keys toy with synth rock enterprise and vocals from Foster and Miss Isabel entwine with spicy variety. As the first track you feel you know or can predict the turns and shifts the song takes but even without that element of surprise, it lights ears and appetite with a flavoursome drama soaked adventure, as does its successor Where Did We Lose Each Other. The first rub of guitar sets the juices flowing which the subsequent rhythmic shuffle and keen hooks only accentuate before a brief relaxation to draw in the vocals slightly dulls the weighty persuasion. From this point the song ebbs and flows, flying high with its vocal and melodic roars and dipping slightly in its less intensively emotive turns. The enterprise of the guitars and the delicious toxicity of the grooves and increasingly barbed hooks ensure the song wins the day though and provides moments of lingering success.

Underneath A Stretching Skyline keeps things bubbling potently, the raw energy and gnarly voice of bass and riffs an inescapable enticement within the just as magnetic sonic winds cast by guitars and keys. Its time is shared with elegant and gentle melodic reflections matched by the vocals; both characters within the song courting each other’s strengths to provide a fascinating drama of sound and lyrical narration. The song epitomises the album in many ways, its presence an engrossing and easily accessible canvas of craft and invention which impressively and enjoyably smoulders rather than ignites a fire with its offering. The same applies to next up From The City To The Ocean, its resonating body and gripping endeavour a lively simmer more than a furnace for the emotions but a treat for ears all the same. With repetition driving much of the vocals and spoken vocals also a full part to the unfolding picture, as across most songs, it takes more time than some to fully convince but subsequently finds the same level of pleasure.

The deviously addictive bassline within I Just Want You To Know soon has ears trapped in the evocative hazy landscape immersing the senses, the song as tenacious in its emotion as it is in sonic temptation, whilst 1-2-3 (One Step Away) is a climatic build of rugged rhythms and punk antagonism within a melody fired creative sprawl of invention and diversity. The pair grips ears and thoughts with their impassioned suasions, the second of the two especially incendiary as it pulls the album back to the impressive levels it started with.

Between Illness And Migration is completed by the sonic maelstroms of firstly Obsession Is A Gun, its pungent drama bewitching, and finally Muets Aux Temps Des Amours, a noir lit enchantment which croons with anguish and slowly burning but ultimately rich temptation. The closer shows more of the strengths of Fosters striking vocals and those of Miss Isabel but also the one personal niggle about the album. That is the want to use spoken vocals throughout the majority of tracks, some more strongly than others. It is an idea which works a treat for the main but by the last songs it finally feels overdone, its variety and success becoming formula. As mentioned it is just something which laboured for us and will be fine for others, and it definitely does not make for a major issue.

Your Favorite Enemies with Between Illness And Migration show themselves to be an adventurous and bold band, their release impossible to ignore or stay away from as it impresses more with every listen. Their oncoming evolution is one to anticipate and enjoy it is easy to suggest, starting with this great release, and once they find real distinction to their sound that missing blaze just might be running amok.

Between Illness And Migration is available now via Graphite Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id920852948

http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/