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

Born To Destruct – Devasteight With Destruction

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There are many forces of nature, especially within punk rock and a few which really relish turning the world upside down whilst offering rich rewards for those in the way of their tempest. Destruction rock ‘n’ rollers Born To Destruct are one, a UK band which unleashes their own individual form of punk and uncompromising heavy rock in a confrontational fury of anthemic hell-raising which rouses the spirit as it bruises the senses.

Hailing from Cambridge, Born To Destruct stomped into the punk scene in 2007; formed by one of the forces of seventies punk, vocalist/guitarist Woodstock PunkRock who was returning after a decade away from performing and playing. Originally female fronted, the band soon made a potent mark live and with their contagious punk rock sound across many well-received releases. With vocalist Kat Destruct leaving to study at university, 2010 saw Woodstock take over lead vocals and a new version of Born to Destruct emerge. Further successful releases followed to back their ever potent live presence which brings us up to the now and the band’s storming new album Devasteight With Destruction. Released on the persistently impressing STP Records, the album is fifteen tracks of gloriously invasive rock ‘n’ roll to get shirty alongside, to rampage with, and to get inescapably addicted to.

Devasteight With Destruction opens with its title track, immediately laying down a grouchy lure of riffs which just as swiftly blossom into an addictive coaxing where grooves and rhythms collude to tempt and invade ears within the tow of a deliciously carnal toned bass line. Once in full cantankerous flow, the track shows itself a web of heavy and hard rock infused with punk seeded predation. It is a gripping start with the bass of Stu Spider Fingers continuing to seduce an already awoken and keen appetite as the brawly vocals of Woodstock prowl and growl.

art_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start and flavouring carries on into the raucous and cranky charge of Eufuckinphoric, where initially choppy riffs funnel into ears this time around as Woodstock adds bearish vocal weight and coaxing. The riffs and hooks of Paul Moose and guitarist Daiv Tap bite and serrate the senses with sonic hostility all the while too whilst the rhythms of drummer Jack Destruct swing with contempt. It is a unity which should send you running but instead simply whips up an impossible to resist call to arms.

All The Gear But No Idea has a slightly mellower air next, well more melodic anyway with its Generation X like spicing to grooves and an accompanying infectiousness. Around them the song barracks and presses all the right buttons in antagonistic pleasure before Lets Get Rowdy obviously does what it says on its tin. There is a touch of Crashed Out meets 4 Past Midnight to the song as well as another dose of unstoppable virulence to its seventies spiced punk ‘n’ roll uproar.

Across the hard meets punk rock blaze of Do You Wanna Know, with its great line in nagging hooks, and the thumping incitement of Release The Beasts, the album turns the screw on ears and the passions. It is always hard to say no to instinct raising, vociferous rock ‘n’ roll and both songs have it in thick abundance, the second with an extra pleasing slither of classic rock to it also. Smile comes similarly equipped, though truthfully that applies to all songs within the album. It is arguably more formula in presence than the encounters around it yet shares only the strongest persuasion and the enticement of eager participation.

The surly roistering of Sixty Seconds is next to step up, the minute long clamour leaving ears almost punch drunk from its zealous revelry whilst We Bring The Noise, as expected, again lives up to its name in physical and impassioned kind. Actually the track probably does not devour ears as forcibly expected but no complaints as it leads another moment of chest thumping enjoyment before Get Your Head In The Game becomes the inspirational ringleader to further lusty involvement, especially through its addictive chorus and vocal bellow.

You can almost feel the roar of the crowd as What A Bastard unfurls its magnetic defiance and muscular intimidation next; from title alone easy to sense becoming a fan favourite. Of course its particular brand of ear pleasing obstreperous rock does it no harm in inciting keen emotions either, a success more than echoed by the outstanding We Love It quickly after. Swinging in on a caped crusader-esque groove, in no time the track is a snarling torrent of riffs and tenacious rhythms laying the groundwork for the equally testy and rousing vocals. In your face rock ‘n’ roll does not get much better than this, though it can get matched as shown by Today, a song emerging as a personal favourite. There is a great contagious scent of The Vibrators to track, additional magnetism to its hook lined slab of near perfect punk rock. Some songs just hit the sweet spot, Today does dead centre.

The album concludes with the rollicking stomp of I’m Too Rock N Roll and finally the raw and irresistible anthem that is Destruct For You. Both tracks epitomise the tenacity and rampageous potency of Born To Destruct’s heady rock ‘n’ roll and equally the unstoppable addictiveness of the band’s album.

Though some tracks of course rise to loftier heights than others, from its first moment Devasteight With Destruction is one robustly imposing and exhilarating brawl very easy to get greedy for. Admittedly we have not come across the band’s previous offerings yet but if Devasteight With Destruction is not one of their finest moments yet, hard to believe it will not be, we have missed some other major treats.

Devasteight With Destruction is released March 17th via STP Records @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htm

https://www.facebook.com/BORN-TO-DESTRUCT-246990948165

Born To Destruct embarks on the RELEASE THE BEASTS – ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR in March alongside Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions and Skurvi.

Dates are…

Sat Mar 12th – Abertillery – Dolls House

Fri Mar 18th – Cambridge – Corner House

Sat Mar 19th – Brighton – Prince Albert

Fri Mar 25th – Rotherham – Bridge Inn

Sat Mar 26th – Gateshead – The Black Bull

Sun Apr 2nd – Nottingham – The Maze

Fri Apr 8th – Birmingham – Flapper

Sat Apr 9th – Lancaster – The Yorkshire House

Pete RingMaster 01/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Royal Oi! – Bootboys and Hooligans

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Getting fed up of a punk roar is never a possibility, especially when it comes in the oi fuelled shape of the debut album from Scottish incitement Royal Oi!, a quartet creating street punk anthem after anthem. The release is a passion driven riot of sound and intent, uncaged by a band which, in their own words, just write and sing “songs about their passions and everyday struggles.” There is no agenda to their music, just the want to create a rebellious revelry for all to get personally engaged in; that an undoubted success found by their first full-length.

Hailing from Glasgow and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Bonecrusher, Perkele, and Cock Sparrer, the foursome of vocalist/guitarists Dave and Ana, bassist James, and drummer Jim first gave attention a healthy nudge with a four track demo in the December of 2014, its presence backing up a live presence already causing stir. Now it is Bootboys and Hooligans doing the contagious badgering and raucous persuading, a thick persuasion set to put Royal Oi! firmly on the punk map.

The album erupts with its title track, the opener a virulent stomp of punk riffs and spicy hooks driven by cantankerous rhythms. It is instantly a marker of things to come within Bootboys and Hooligans, an anthem setting the scene and the first great taster of the twin attack vocals from Dave and Ana. The former leads the track here with the pair alternating to some extent across the release, but always it is a dual incitement that hits the spot as resourcefully and potently as the grooves and hooks igniting ears.

Skinhead Warrior keeps the impressive start going, Ana’s snarling tones, backed by scything beats and grouchy riffs, alone an inciting call. Great backing shouts only add to the drama and catchiness of the track too, with the bass and its throaty bait another heftily compelling element before Docs and Tattoos takes over, sauntering in on a tasty groove spearing a charge of insatiable energy. Like a mix of 4 Past Midnight and Angelic Upstarts with a scent of dragSTER to it too, the song further whips up energies and an already awoken appetite with its punk ‘n’ roll devilry.

Both In My Heart, with its antagonistic passion and enterprise, and the fist in the air call of Punx and Skins ‘Football, Oi! and Rock n Roll’ keep body and emotions energised and greedily content; the first as a sing-a-long anthem no one could refuse. Its successor is more of a bruising confrontation but no less infectious as it draws the listener into full involvement of its rowdy adventure. The same can be said of all tracks within the album, Skinhead Loyalty swift proof with its inviting canter of sound and voice. Though the song is a less intensive proposal and without the extra spark of other songs around it, it still leaves ears, feet, and contentment enjoyably busy.

Musica Oi! enters ears on a great shadow lit predation, guitar and bass a prowling temptation leading to an eyeballing charge led by the thumping rhythms of Jim. Ana vocally growls and entices with typical prowess and energy as the track proceeds to twist and evolve through a varied landscape of imagination, intimidation, and enthralling enterprise. It is a mighty slab of punk matched in success by the old school bred Survive, a track rocking and rolling with prickly hooks and rapacious rhythms as vocals brawl with ears. It is another gem amongst only treats within Bootboys and Hooligans, a lingering protagonist keeping a firm hold on memory and provoking a hunger for more just like the outstanding Together. A chest beating call to arms, the song is glorious, a punk rock infestation stirring up the passions with an honest and open heart.

Bootboys and Hooligans ends on the raw onslaught of Violence, a challenging and tenacious roar on the state of the world today, and a highly pleasing and formidable way to end one thoroughly thrilling release. We cannot tell you how long Royal Oi! has been around but to our, and we suspect a great many others, their album is an introduction and wake up call to their rousing bellow. So for us there is a new and fresh oi incitement in town which excites and incites in impressive manner.

Bootboys and Hooligans is out now as a co-release between LastPunkRocker Records (150x Scottish Flag Blue), Crowd Control Media (150x White /w Blue Splatter), and Rebel Sound (150x Scottish Flag White) with an additional albums pressed in 50x Classic Black.

https://www.facebook.com/royaloiskins  https://twitter.com/royaloiskins

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Obnoxious UK – Horror Movie Matinee

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With a title like Horror Movie Matinee, you cannot help expecting a viscerally imposing and furiously bloody proposition unafraid to go where angels fear to tread, and it is fair to say that the new album from UK punkers The Obnoxious UK does not disappoint. Bulging to the point of bursting with fifteen tracks which resourcefully draw on horror punk and psychobilly flavours as well as a thick dose of punk rock from over its most potent ages, band and release makes for one compelling and thoroughly enjoyable punk ‘n’ roll roar.

The Midlands based band began in 2001, and whilst going through a few line-up changes over the years has persistently grown and lured in devoted local attention and support which over recent times has solidly spread, Horror Movie Matinee poised to be the band’s biggest and most potent instigator yet. The release of the video for album track God For A Day really whetted the appetite for the forthcoming full-length, though it turns out it is only one particular spice in the hellacious riot.

Anthemic rhythmic bait is food and drink to these ears and that is exactly how album opener Drinking With The Dead makes its first wave of persuasion. The drums of Fez roll in and along with attitude and catchy tempting, swiftly joined by the raw and similarly magnetic riffs of guitarists Bri and Kimbo. The latter is close behind with his vocals too, potently adding to the infectious incitement of the horror punk escapade. It is not a song with a startling statement of originality yet with its punk tenacity and carnivorous shadows, easily provides a soundtrack for any salacious moonlit and cemetery based jiggery-pokery.

The tremendous start is backed by Walking Dead, another horror punk spawned proposal equipped with spicy hooks and melodic fire, though the blood lust seems restrained, as indeed the song, in presence and effect in comparison to the first and the outstanding Drag Me To Hell which follows. Psychobilly is given a poke this time but equally the track has an old school rock ‘n’ roll blaze to its addictive stomp. The string pulls of bassist Jacko resonate across the song whilst the duller but no less gripping beats only help infuse a great vintage tone to the song. With fiery enterprise from the guitars employed too, the track sets down a lofty plateau for the album which is matched and worried time and time again.

     Loaded Roadkill is one straight away unleashing a potent challenge. Fusing a hard rock and rockabilly tenacity into its punk attitude, the song bounces over and pounds the senses with accomplished vindictiveness and anthemic charm. Already across a quartet of tracks there is a distinct variety on show which continues in the mischievous Elvis Is Dead. Opening with what just could be the final croon of the man before he died, we wish, the track erupts into one of those irresistible old school punk sing-a-longs. It is barely over a minute of unbridled shouting and stomping from band and listener alike, loosening things up ready for the more intensive might of Burn and straight after Cadaver Doll. The first of the two snarls and growls in sound and vocals, Misfits like toning coating the caustic punk heart of the contagious track whilst the second takes the influence of the US protagonists even deeper into its primal instincts and expels an extremely tasty and feisty prowl of horror punk with a dash of Calabrese. It is another of the biggest peaks in the landscape of the already highly thrilling release.

The same kind of recipe igniting the last two songs is a flavoursome essence in God For A Day, though the song has a more volatile punk intensity which reminds a touch of Crashed Out. Veined by a great sonic groove and adventure, the track hits the personal sweet spot before making way for the excellent Time For Change. Think Angelic Upstarts meets 4 Past Midnight yet singular to The Obnoxious UK, and you get a thick idea of the excellent encounter, which in turn has to depart to allow the hard rock sculpted When Angels Fly Away to blaze away. Initially the song is a classic rock like croon but once its switch is flicked, it bursts into sonic flame fuelled by a punk abrasion and heavy rock temperament. It is another strong offering but lacks the same kind of spark as other songs and especially that within 3 Dead Souls which preys on ears right after. Another irresistible parade of dark rhythmic tempting opens up the encounter, soon followed by a melodic and sonic venture just as shadowed and gripping. As the song pulls back slightly on its predation for the vocals, a raw Tiger Army breath adds to the intrigue and invention, entangling with the rest of the track’s rock ‘n’ roll for a hefty slab of virulence.

Through the psychobilly/horror punk washed Ginger Is A Werewolf and the hostile punk ‘n’ roll of Iceman, the album tightens its grip further on ears and emotions. Both are inescapable offerings which ruggedly seduce and intimidate respectively before Amelia brings a little caustic ‘necro’ romance to the mix.

The bonus track of The Cottage Strangler brings the CD to a close, and it is indeed a bonus as the band slips into a ska punk and dub warped treat of a finale. Like the Vox Dolomites meets Ruts and probably more so Ruts DC, the song is pure pleasure.

Horror Movie Matinee is not really troubling boundaries and forging new inventive templates for punk and rock ‘n’ roll but The Obnoxious UK has definitely unleashed a romp which has body and imagination eager, and pleasure oozing from every receptive pore. That alone is one big reason for all punksters to check out band and album.

Horror Movie Matinee is released on Friday March 13th on STP Records and can be pre-ordered now @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htm

The same day sees the album’s launch party the Cottage of Content in Chasetown where The Obnoxious UK will be joined by Dirt Box Disco.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Obnoxious-UK

RingMaster 04/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Menace – Too Many Punks Are Dead

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Receiving its debut vinyl release last month, Too Many Punks Are Dead the new album from UK punk inciters Menace is another to prove that not only is there fight in the old dogs of punk but there is a passionate and creative rabidity still able to teach the genre a thing or two. When you place it’s re-release alongside the likes of this year’s offering from UK Subs, Steve Ignorant and Paranoid Visions, and 4 Past Midnight to name just three, it has been a potent year from the ‘old timers’ as they all continue to inspire generations. Menace predated most punk bands, forming in 1976, their uncluttered direct sound a spark for the likes of Sham 69, The Cockney Rejects, and arguably the Oi! movement from within punk, though they never did get the full credit they deserved when in full rage and since, but as their latest album shows the band has lost none of its contagious belligerence with maturity and time, and certainly none of its ability to sculpt addictive riots.

August 1976 saw the line-up of Morgan Webster, Noel Martin, Charlie Casey, and Steve Tannett come together soon followed by their debut gig at the now legendary Roxy. The show was attended by Miles Copeland from Step Forward and Illegal Records who signed Menace straight away. Though fans flocked to the band and their sound, they were basically ignored by media and label for whatever reasons leading to them splitting in 1979 after the release of their single Final Vinyl which contained the classic anthems Last Years Youth and Carry No Banners. After the split members of the band went on to play in Vermillion and the Aces before with a keen hunger around for Menace, the band reformed in the late nineties. A couple of EPs for German label Knockout Records and two albums via Captain Oi! in 2001 and 2004 followed to strong acclaim as was No Escape From Nowhere of 2008. Recorded and self-released as the previous album, in 2011 on CD only the well-received Too Many Punks Are Dead is a thumping bruising of prime genre invention and animosity, which with its limited edition vinyl uncaging, the release restricted to a pressing of 500, with 200 black, 200 red and 100 white vinyl copies, reminds us again of one of the genre’s important bands, past and present.

The first side of the album barges the ear with the dirty rock ‘n’ roll of Thank God I’m An Atheist, riffs and rhythms a predatory incitement providing the perfect canvas for the vocals to unleash their antagonistic narrative. The heavy throaty bass sound is an immediate lure which steals attention throughout song and release, its rabidity the intensive backbone the band swings hooks, anthemic grooves, and chants from. The track is a formidable introduction soon matched and exceeded by the outstanding I Don’t Care. With a touch of early Damned to it as well as a rich essence of Ruts, the song is a virulently contagious riot rife with inventive hooks and inspiring enterprise not forgetting compelling aggressive seduction.

Both the title track and its successor United match and drive the album deeper into the passions. The first is simply a respectful roll call of punk greats no longer with us, an impacting homage and reflection on so many who have shaped bands and punk rock as a whole. With a musical wrapping which ignites the primal rocker in us all the track is a tremendous exploit igniting nostalgia and hungry satisfaction. The second of the two swaggers in on an infectious tsunami of rhythms to which the guitars align blazes of rock riffs as vocals whip up thoughts and passions. The bass again brings an extra lick of the lips for its heavyweight prowling and as a whole the song and band again draws and exploits the primal pleasure and anarchy in us all.

As My Very Good Friend brings the A side to a close it is hard to remember Menace sounding this good and predacious musically and emotionally since those early days. The last track opens with a slow female and male vocal croon alongside a lone guitar, their reflective stroking capturing thoughts for a following ska punk eagerness to stomp through the ear. The track veers more on the punk side as it saunters along but with a healthy flame of jagged guitar to tease and coax the listener’s appetite, the track is a thrilling mix of Angelic Upstarts and The Vox Dolomites but uniquely Menace.

The second side immediately seizes the senses in a fury of belligerent punk revelry with firstly the rapacious Party Animal, another ridiculous infectious anthem, and then the excellent toxicity of Get Out There, niggling grooves an incendiary temptation within the bruising and intimidating viscous sounds. The tracks continue the impressive presence and stature of the release, the pair lingering imprints on the memory and passions as is the outstanding Busy which soon follows equipped with   that instinctively resonating bass call and addiction sparking hooks.

Leave Me Alone is a raw eyeballing argumentative squall, an agonistic encounter which stands toe to toe with its intended and pulls them into a mouthwatering call to arms before passing them onto the enjoyable acoustically borne rocker We Are The Boys. Both songs bring the album to a thrilling conclusion though there is still room for a bonus track, the brilliant One Two One Two, vintage punk at its ridiculously anthemic and riotous best. It is a brilliant end to a cracking album and though there is not quite a GLC or a Carry No Banners on it, the Rebel Sound released Too Many Punks Are Dead has a wealth of tracks to show the emerging punks of today how to craft and unleash real punk rock whilst showing Menace is as influential and irresistible as ever.

http://www.menace77.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

 

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4 Past Midnight – Life On The Inside

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It has not been an easy ride for Scottish punks 4 Past Midnight over the couple of decades the band has been creating prime genre provocation but thankfully the determination of the Glasgow quartet, though severely tested at times, has emerged victorious meaning we get to be buffeted and thrilled by the likes of their new album Life On The Inside. A thumping riot of grouchy punk rock and bruising rock ‘n’ roll, the fifteen track release is an exciting onslaught of passion and aggression which clearly shows 4 Past Midnight as still one of the most respected as well as recognised inventive bands within British punk.

Formed in 1989, the band was soon under strong attention and responses with their first release, the ten track Start Of The Liberation demo of 1990. Well received it led to live performances around Scotland leading up to the 1992 released Smash The Front. Again the album was keenly received and responded to but gigs were becoming harder to come by for the band, a situation which continued in both aspects with Pain, Greed And Death the following year. Acclaim was again garnered by the release but shows were scarce to put it mildly, a problem which remained as the likes of the 15 track cassette Midnight Escapades, the Get A Life single and EP The Fears We Hide were unveiled to greater attention over the next couple of years but no one seemed to want to put the band on in venues. At this point the band called it a day but renewed interest in their music saw them return in 1998 under the name Trickshot. The name change was not received well and the band reverted to their original title with The Ruff Demo and The Best And The Worst Of 4pm following, and for a while more shows promisingly did materialise but debut CD Jesus Christ Its 4pm Again in 1999 followed the earlier pattern, eagerly received but gigs came to a crawl.

2002 saw the band link up with Stu of S.T.P for a last charge on the punk scene. The Mental Ward EP and Trials And Tribulations ‎continued to gain success as did the Punkology compilation of 2008 though the 2006 SOS Records British Invasion Fest and a tour of the East Coast of the US with The Angst led to less unhappy experiences with the latter seeing the band fall apart whilst the release of their Guilty As Charged album never happened as the label went bust. Slipping forward slightly to 2011 and again through fan pressures and wants, vocalist/drummer Peter linked up with fellow band original rhythm guitarist Fred to have another assault on the scene with new members in bassist Stevie and lead guitarist Tam joining the band. The first result is the excellent Life On The Inside via STP Records, an album which leaves you breathless and hungry for much more.

The release storms from the blocks with the outstanding Broken. The track is an instant call of riffs and rhythmic temptation which expands into a hook cored slice of essential punk rock. The caustic enticement of the gravelly vocals and the infectious lure of the song are irresistible whilst the riffs scrub out an enslavement to compliment what is a deceptively familiar feel to the song. A lyrically emotive track which is like a mix of UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, and Stiff Little Fingers in many ways, it makes for an immense start soon matched by the following Nightmare and its successor Any Other Way. The first is virulently contagious; its seduction starting from the first spirals of sonic engagement  and elevating through the catchy barbed hooks and bass prowling before the anthemic chorus locks in the passions and throws away the key. Snarling and confronting from its first aggressive note and syllable right through to its fiery finish, the track is the first of many pinnacles on the album. It is equally matched by the second of the two, the song a less antagonistic roar in the ear but one which still embroils feet, voice, and emotions in a riotous slice of punk rapaciousness.

The abrasive Crisis like Riot brawls with the ear next to again pleasing contagion soaked effect, though it does not quite match what came before and certainly falls before the might of next up Justified. The track creates another major highlight upon the album, riffs and drums building walls of addiction whilst the vocals climb their heights and senses with angry intent. A song about domestic abuse, it is a commanding punk ‘n’ roll provocateur with a furious energy which reminds of UK rockers Dirt Box Disco.

The album continues to exploit the already awakened passions through the likes of the outstanding Punk Rock Noise (4pm crew pt3), a track opening with a hook that is the close relation to that cast on Pretty Vacant and evolving into a ridiculously catchy terrace like anthem, the ferociously bruising Story Of My Life, and the dark compelling Hollie. The song about sexual abuse hits home hard whilst recruiting energies and emotions into another unmistakable potent triumph to follow predecessor, the more than decent Nothing Has Changed. All tracks stand out with individual character and passionate craft, though every song to be fair can be wrapped in that descript, as shown by The Truth Is Out There, the song an insatiable riot springing from TV show The X-Files.

The tracks and quality keep coming thick and fast, the dirty rock seeded attack of Trapped and the old school punk bred The Fight plundering the emotions to ignite another dose of rapture whilst What You Gonna Do has an Sham 69 oi snarl to its thumping rock ‘n’ roll confrontation to continue the cementing of Life On The Inside deep into the heart.

Bringing the release to an incendiary finale, Who Takes The Blame and How Does It Feel ignite ears and emotions with their ferocious riff driven anthemic persuasions, the first through another heavy slice of punk brutality sculpted with precise craft, epidemic hooks and rhythmic tension, and the closing track with its straight forward stomp of infection clad dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

4 Past Midnight has set loose one of the punk triumphs of this year, the last and maybe as far back as their previous attack. Life On The Inside is a gem you cannot help missing away from its muscular incitement and a band you all should petition local venues for to get them tearing up your town.

http://4pastmidnight.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 18/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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