Vukovi – Self Titled

Even before seeing her, Janine Shilstone, the lead singer of Scottish outfit Vukovi feels like a blend of Barbarella and Harley Quinn; a bold vocal seduction of beauty and devilry, glamorous temptation and mischievous warrior which her visual presence and energy only accentuates. Vukovi matches that inescapable focal point with a sound and energy just as tenacious and creatively boisterous not forgetting hungrily imaginative. It is all in evidence within the bands self-titled debut album,  a rousing and enjoyably imposing roar of pop infested rock ‘n’ roll as colourful and attention grabbing as its vocal protagonist’s hair.

Emerging in 2010, Vukovi have earned an acclaim ridden reputation for their live prowess which has more recently seen them successfully play festivals such as at Download, T In The Park, Hard Rock Calling, Live at Leeds, and British Summer Time Festival as well as open for Highly Suspect late last year. Equally a clutch of singles, many bringing their thrills to the album, have lured increasing attention which now the band’s first full-length will surely explode into even eager life such it’s striking fun and adventure.

Vukovi, band and album truly explode into life with opener La Di Da, a recent single which leaves the speakers shaking and body exhausted. Immediately, as a strike of musical drama scythes across ears, the titanic presence and roar of Shilstone ignites the imagination, her vocal strength and character a glorious trespass as warm and inviting as it is formidable and striking. Bass growls and swinging beats are equally as dynamically riveting, Hamish Reilly’s riffs almost stabbing the senses as Shilstone continues to blaze. A song partly inspired by the singers almost obsessive appreciation of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, it is a volcanic pop and rock stomp with a touch of Djerv about, indeed the Norwegian band’s vocalist Agnete Maria Kjolsrud the closest comparison to Shilstone’s distinctive presence that we can suggest.

The track is immense, a plateau setter which the album does not always match from thereon in but certainly worries track by track starting with And He Lost His Mind. With steely riffs quickly chaining ears with their predacious intent, and  vocal cries and rebel rousing just one trap in its manipulation of ears and body, the track borders the carnal whilst unleashing a catchiness as invasive and inescapable as it’s primal urges. For no obvious reason, post punks Xmal Deutschland frequently come to mind during the song, well a pop version of them, the track carnivorous in its earthy air and sonic snarl.

Weirdo has a lighter pop flirtation to its body yet still riffs and bass add their already established barracuda growl and heavy prowl to the stirring tempting. Drummer Colin Irving jabs with relish as melodies swirl with their own raw magnetic flair around emotion lined vocals before the Blood Red Shoes meets Morningwood stroll of Target Practice involves more caustically shadowy endeavour. Again bassist Jason Trotter brings a deep dark edge to the affair with ears while the catchy tenacity of its predecessor is equally matched as Shilstone robustly serenades with increasing passion.

Through the Paramore-esque charm of Prey, though we would suggest that the Americans have never discovered the instinctive thunder in their sound as that which persistently frequents song and album, and the controlled but naturally frantic exploits of Bouncy Castle, ears are aroused and buffeted with feet unreservedly worked on with zeal as the imagination is fed a variety of textures and enterprise.

Vukovi is more often than not tagged as a pop rock band but already the album has established them as real rock ‘n’ roll with a skilled hand at creating the warmest moments of infectiousness and emotive intimacy as betrayed in the beguiling Wander; a song where vocals alone seem to come from an inner flame of personal revelation. Similarly, I’M WIRED has that potency of word and expression within its cauldron of lava-esque sound, mercurial rhythmic incitement, and melodic radiance. Both tracks beguile; their personalities from another place on the Vukovi spectrum of creativity and as powerful and compelling as anything around them.

Next up, Animal has things lustfully bouncing again, its rhythms a driving infection as spiny riffs grizzle alongside the ever radiant vocal lament of Shilstone who in turn is hugged by the siren calls of keys, while Boy George leaves little to be further desired with its Animal Alpha hued stew of sound and imagination if admittedly it does not quite ignite personal passion as much as other songs, their success rather than any deficiencies within it the reason.

He Wants Me Not is another which only pleases with its crystalline grace and rousing energy but cannot quite live up to the heights of certainly the likes of La Di Da and Wander, though by its close satisfaction is overflowing and hips weary but still willing to embrace the gentle swing and roaring heart of closing track Colour Me In.

Produced by long-time collaborator Bruce Rintoul, Vukovi is our introduction to its creators, an encounter which with no expectations of it, surprised, thrilled, and certainly across its first two thirds just blew us away; its final stretch only confirming a new lusty appetite for the band’s sound. We do not expect to be alone in that realisation and strength of enjoyment.

The Vukovi album is out now through LAB Records, physical copies available @ http://vukovi.tmstor.es and digitally @ http://labrecs.com/VUKOVI-iTunes

http://www.vukovi.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/vukoviband      https://twitter.com/Vukoviband

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons – Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll

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As the band work and finish material to grace a new album, British rockers Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons have linked up with Dirty Water Records for the long awaited digital release of second album Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll and quite simply if you missed it first time around and have an instinctive appetite for insatiable bordering salacious punk infested rock ‘n’ roll, than it is a must.

Formerly in a band just called The Johnsons, the Basingstoke hailing trio is fronted by the wild feline wiles of vocalist Puss Johnson with founding guitarist Dirty Jake (Feckle, Lube) and drummer Filfy Antz (The Krewmen) alongside uncaging their own raw and incendiary antics. It is an explosive combination which saw their 2010 debut album Exercise Your Demons earn many plaudits as too over the years a blistering live show seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Thee Oh Sees, The Fuzztones, Mad Sin, The Damned, 999, The Polecats, The Creepshow, The Rezillos, Bow Wow Wow, The Meteors, The Vibrators, Resurex, DragSTER, Trioxin Cherry, and Atomic Suplex.  Three years later, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll was the cause of even greater eager attention and acclaim upon Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons; a spotlight sure to be regenerated by its digital uncaging ahead of as mentioned a new album.

Featuring eleven tracks spun from attitude loaded threads of everything from punk, garage rock, glam, psychobilly, garage punk and any other form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to offer, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is an explosive riot for senses and body alike. Produced by Alex McGowan and featuring guest double-bassist Phil Bloomberg of The Polecats on a couple of tracks, the album instantly prowls the listener as opener Burying The Bodies settles in to place, once set continuing to stalk but with an infectious swagger led by the biting beats of Antz. Straight away there is an obvious devilment in the band’s sound and the lusty roar shared by Pussycat, her presence and delivery a snarling seducing. With big hooks and winding grooves, the slab of predacious rock ‘n’ roll is an irresistible start to a release proving to be unrelenting in its fiery creative and aggressive incitement.

Hell Bent is swift agreement, its whining grooves courting flying rhythms and Pussycat’s plaintive cries, all united in another tenacious track which eyes you up with distrust yet reveals the most compelling enterprise amidst mouth-watering unpredictability before Livin’ With Mum And Dad sees the band move from raw rock ‘n’ roll into a more seventies flavoured encounter as much glam rock and power pop as it is old school punk. For personal tastes, it lacks the bite and spark of those around it but with its Pistols-esque hook and caustic catchiness there is no escaping being sucked in.

front-cover_RingMasterReviewPsychobilly flavours the magnificent stomp of Get Outta My Face next, Bloomberg bringing his masterful slaps to the Batmobile meets Imelda May scented stroll with Pussycat like a punk Wanda Jackson. Fiery guitar and senses badgering beats bolster the seriously rousing proposal as the song shows another aspect to the album and the Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons sound.

The scuzzy blues punk of She Don’t attacks and excites next, its corrosive character and sound as virulently infectious as anything upon the album while Mirtazapine uses similar strains of flavouring for its own individual trespass. With a touch of post punks Bone Orchard to its untamed garage punk challenge, the track is a superb mix of rapacious restraint and unbridled furor taking ears and imagination into the darkest shadows of the fiercest volcano.

There is no let-up of the enjoyably exhausting confrontations as Why Do You Hate Me? sears the senses with its punk rock lava around a rhythmic tempest while Dirty Li’l Dog, with the magnetic craft of the Polecat returning, leaps around with uninhibited rhythmic rioting as blues guitars embrace numerous other spices around the carnival barker leadership of Pussycat.

The final trio of songs just epitomise the variety and devilish imagination in the band’s songs; Sort Yourself Out a fuzzy blend of growling punk and toxic blues within The Pirates like rock ‘n roll and Souvenir simply one glorious invasion of garage punk with a scent of The Cramps, Animal Alpha, and In Evil Hour in its unique best track earning triumph.

Closed out by the adrenaline fuelled and feeding Hideous, a final belligerent detonation of rabble-rousing incitement, the outstanding Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is its title and so much more. It might not be a new release but it deserves this new exposure and Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons the fresh attention ahead of what can only be anticipated as another uncompromising uproar.

Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is available digitally through Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/Pussycat-and-the-Dirty-Johnsons-Dirty-Rock-n-Roll/p/75045471/category=2793895 with physical options @ http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/shop/4564430166

http://thedirtyjohnsons.com   https://www.facebook.com/thedirtyjohnsons/   https://twitter.com/Dirty_Johnsons

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Kreoles – Psycho

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Psycho is the new album from Italian melodic metal/ alternative rock quartet The Kreoles, a release which makes a highly enjoyable first impression but continues to sneak up on the imagination as each track passes with diversity and inventive fun; the result an encounter very easy to get rather excited about.

The Kreoles emerged in 2011, the realisation of an idea by founder Ivan McSimon, a Como-based producer, songwriter, and guitar player who previously played with Dyve. The new project was born from the intent to explore new creative paths and subsequently saw McSimon linking up with vocalist Valentina Merlo, bassist Marco Francesco D’Elia, and drummer Davide Piccolo. 2014 saw the release of their well-received debut album Touch The Sun, the potent base from which Psycho now blossoms from with even greater adventures.

Released through Sliptrick Records, Psycho makes a strong and steady start with opener The Last Man. Coaxing attention with its initial country scented melodic jangle, the track soon breaks into a muscular stride with swinging rhythms, an irritably steely bassline, and the fiery roar of guitar. In the midst of it all, the instantly engaging and impressive voice of Merlo lures with siren-esque quality drawing ears even deeper into the rousing heart of the song. Slips into melody rich emotively calmer passages only adds to the alluring drama of the encounter, McSimon scorching the senses with his volcanic melodic tapestry as the album roars into life.

Disease takes over with the same kind of imposing but welcoming intensity to its body, more classic metal hues colluding with the band’s enterprising canvas of textures and sounds. Again there is an instinctive nagging snarl to the underbelly of the song driving the melodic fire consuming and pleasing the senses; Merlo enticing and the open individual prowess of the band uniting in a similarly explosive and anthemic proposal.

With exotic keys to the fore, Empty steps forward next, that early charm soon entwined and vocal in a web of sonic and rhythmic rapacity embraced by an Animal Alpha like character of song. Infectiously irresistible and a fierce flame of melody and tenacious energy, the track stirs the spirit before making way for the equally creatively hungry and energetically dynamic Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die. Breeding a great punk pop essence recalling seventies bands like The Photos and The Adult Net whilst infusing it in a tapestry of heavy rock/melodic metal enterprise, the song similarly catches attention with swift ease and potency, only increasing its hold minute by minute.

Though just as heated, a calmer climate embraces next up Don’t You Know, a Pretenders spiced offering with more of the southern hues which the band skilfully infuse in many of their songs. With the vocal beauty and expression of Merlo sheer magnetism, the song boisterously smoulders, its touch a burning seduction as catchy as anything upon the album.

Through Obsession with its rhythmic irritability and melodically metallic confrontation and the tempestuous confrontation of Like A Scream, The Kreoles keep enjoyment high even if neither song ignites the appetite as imposingly as their predecessors. Both tracks are missing the same kind of surprises lighting up those around them but ensure there is no wandering of attention before Dolomites installs itself as our favourite moment. A rolling contagion of country punk pop as inescapably infectious as the flu but a hell of lot more fun, the song just cannot fail to place a smile on the face and in the heart with its virulent exploits.

Black Star’s Night is another which weaves familiar essences into its own creative domain to forcibly satisfy without turning emotions lusty before the album’s title track brings things to a thrilling close. There is cantankerousness to the rhythmic enticement of the song, a predatory edge lining riffs too as among them Merlo beckons with every syllable shared. Its eventful presence though is also a haven for melodic imagination and an evolving intensity as unpredictable as it is scintillating.

Psycho, song and album, is a masterful enslavement of ears and imagination from a band destined to real and eager recognition ahead and if their new enticement has its deserved way, beginning right now.

Psycho is out now through Sliptrick Records across most online stores.

http://thekreoles.com/    https://www.facebook.com/TheKreoles/    https://twitter.com/thekreoles

Pete RingMaster22/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Making Monsters – Bad Blood

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We heard the buzz and now we know it is pretty much on the mark, UK band Making Monsters is one striking and seriously exciting proposition. Our evidence comes with the band’s new EP, Bad Blood. It is six tracks of highly irritable and even more contagious rock ‘n’ roll equipped with the snarl of punk and bold diversity of alternative rock; a proposal which stirs the instincts and spirit from start to finish; oh the fact that the band’s sound has a touch of Animal Alpha to it does it no harm either.

Emerging in 2011, the Derry based Making Monsters soon poked at keen attention with their self-titled debut EP the following year, that potently back by successor, Attention, two years later. Alongside that success, the quartet has developed and honed their sound and live presence, impressing and luring new flocks of fans while sharing stages with the likes of Young Guns, Silverstein, We Came As Romans, Max Raptor, and Skindred amongst many. A clutch of singles have increasingly stirred the blood and ears these past couple of years while a full UK tour with Fightstar and Arcane Roots last October cemented the band’s growing reputation. With Bad Blood though, it is easy to expect the band stepping into new spotlights and strength of acclaim, the EP holding all the creative cards to be a game changer in the ascent of the band as it is in their sound.

Straight away the EP suggests there is a new maturity and even bolder adventure to the Making Monsters sound, a thought confirmed song by song across Bad Blood. It opens up with its mighty title track, a slab of punk ‘n’ roll straight away teasing with spicy hooks as the instantly impressing roar of Emma Gallagher takes on all challengers in attitude and quality. Guitars and boisterous rhythms continue to entice and intimidate across the excellent encounter, Gallagher’s emotive fire backed by male scowls as Brian Doherty’s drum sticks beat out an addictive pattern.

MM - Better _RingMasterReviewIt is a glorious start with, as suggested at the start, a great Animal Alpha hue to its tempest; an imagination and appetite inciting beginning to the release quickly and potently backed up by Call Me Out. A kinder affair on the senses for the main but with an imposing volatility, the dark stroll of Gary Todd’s throaty bass at first holds court with the provocative tones of Gallagher, who is already showing much more of her versatility; the pair soon colluding with the fiery enterprise of guitarist Paul Monk and heftily swung beats to stir up an already keen appetite.

Latest single Better comes in next; its entrance also less intrusive but taking a quickly unshakeable firm grip on ears as shimmering melodies and senses piercing hooks lay their bait into the rhythmically virulent swing of the song. There are moments throughout it where thoughts wonder if Distillers were fused with Stolen Babies, would they sound like and as riveting as this. They are essences which continue to flavour a song which has the energies breathless and hunger greedier by its end, so luckily We Aren’t Living is next to eagerly share its melodic pop ‘n’ roll with a growl and a tenacious will. Like those around it, the track offers plenty of unpredictable twists and moments of fascinating imagination, neither ever disrupting the flow and impact.

Rose seduces next, Gallagher caressing ears with her warm yet snarly tones as sultry tendrils of guitar sway. It is a mesmeric coaxing soon over run by a torrent of spiky riffs and busy rhythms providing a just as enticing invitation. As now expected things are soon turning down new avenues and offering a variety of twists woven into a blaze of a song as raucous as it is emotively inflamed and intimate.

Bad Blood ends on our favourite track, a rampaging beast of attitude and invention going by the name of Noodle Sync. Noise and garage rock meets punk metal infused rock ‘n’ roll, the track is a blistering assault and trespass on ears and the senses. It is a cauldron of raw riffs and invasive hooks driven by the diverse drama and emotion of Gallagher’s explosive voice and presence, her ability and invention more than matched in sound and imagination by the rest of the band.

It is a stunning end to a quite exhilarating release; an EP which just might be the making of Making Monsters and certainly another step towards major things for the band one suspects.

The Bad Blood EP is out now digitally @ http://makingmonsters.bandcamp.com/ with physical copies available @ http://makingmonsters.bigcartel.com/product/bad-blood-ep

http://www.makingmonsters.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/makingmonsters   https://twitter.com/makingmonsters1

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dark Sky Park – Follow Me

Dark Sky Park Promo shot_RingMaster Review

Formed by a rooftop pool in Tenerife, UK alternative rockers Dark Sky Park are now gearing up to make 2016 their year to grab attention and it all starts with their new EP Follow Me getting its national release January 8th. The five track encounter is an enjoyable and increasingly captivating fusion of rock and pop ‘n’ roll with a healthy dose of classic metal to spice things up further. Already a keenly supported proposition on their local and Northern rock scene, Sheffield hailing quartet have those wider spotlights in their sights and with more offerings like Follow Me, it is easy to suggest they will court the rewards they seek.

Made up of vocalist Debbie Bilson, guitarist Ainsley Stones, drummer Hannah Jasper, and bassist Aidan Hall, Dark Sky Park has a sound which toys with any attempts to pin it down. As the EP shows, at times it is stoner-esque, in other moments rock pop or punky, and always carrying a heavy metal spicing to keep things unpredictable. Follow Me is also an encounter which persistently works away on ears and appetite; not a release setting a fire right away but a proposition in varying degrees getting under the skin with its energetically vibrant songs. References have been made to the likes of Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, and Ziggy Stardust era Bowie in regard to the band’s sound but this too only reveals part of the picture.

Dark Sky Park Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review  Follow Me opens with its title track, the song striding in on thickly boned rhythms and winy sonic enticing. Quickly it sets down a familiar but inviting canvas to which Bilson adds her potent vocals as the guitars weave a tapestry of melodic enterprise. Early Blondie immediately comes to mind as the song blossoms with open infectiousness and warm harmonies, these aligned to increasingly steely textures from Stones. It is contagious stuff, a song using recognisable essences to fine effect against its darker more cantankerous aspects.

A No Doubt meets Dirty Youth feel grabs ears in the magnetic lure of Lonely Girl next, the second song a sultry temptress with voluptuous rhythmic hips swinging within a smouldering glaze of vocal and melodic seduction. There is a seventies flavoured vocal croon to the song too which only adds to the compelling drama which steals major attention first time around and only strengthens its hold with each play.

Dark Sky Park digs into their classic and hard rock passions for the following Stand My Ground, its tenaciously muscular character the spring board for fiery grooves with matching vocal attack. Fair to say the song lacks the spark of its predecessors yet leaves satisfaction full and participation keen before attention gathers around next up Marty Feldman’s Eyes. With a title like this the song was already half way there to sparking eager intrigue, completing the job with its Animal Alpha/Kate Bush like dance with ears and imagination. As other times within Follow Me, there is a want for a more forceful and aggressive attack from the rhythmic side of the song, but it is a small want in something which continually demands body and voice get involved, completing its persuasion by closing with a touch of The Adverts to its punkish exploits.

Things come to a fine end with Suicide FM and its rock ‘n’ roll swagger cloaked in again familiar but appealing hues and sound. When a track has feet bouncing and emotions smiling there is much to praise and certainly the final offering finds that success with ease whilst hinting at bigger and bolder exploits lurking within Dark Sky Park.

Follow Me is a great introduction to national awareness, one bursting with potential that ensures that Dark Sky Park are going to be watched by a great many hereon in.

The Follow Me EP is released January 8th through most stores.

http://www.wearedarkskypark.com/ https://www.facebook.com/darkskypark

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Crimson Blue : Innocence

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Russian metallers Crimson Blue are tagged as nu art metal, another arguably unnecessary musical label which has popped up in recent times as bands try to find a unique corner of their very own from where they can be noticed. It is not the most inspiring of terms to be honest but if you dismiss the band because of it then you would be making one mighty mistake as the Moscow quintet has released one of the best releases of the past twelve months. Fusing the most essential nu-metal grooves with the dazzling splendour of symphonic metal and the bewitching majesty of art rock, the band has created an album where imagination and inventive originality is a raging passion. It is a sensational release which at times is a familiar heart borne friend and in other moments sheer innovation igniting aural rapture whilst leaving a stirring sonic balm over the senses.

As well just having released their album Innocence the band has signed a management deal with GlobMetal Promotions and you can only feel things are primed to explode into world recognition for a band which has its seeds back in around 2007. Formed by vocalist and keyboard player Dominica “Dani” Hellstrom and guitarist Iggy Hans the band started out under the name Tragic Raven. The band merged the musical interest and passions of the members to forge a new and adventurous style with early songs holding a Tool like sound to their presences. The first couple of years saw instability with many line-up changes until the spring on 2009 where the found that constant to their core and re-emerged as Crimson Blue. As interest in the band grew across the internet and from their strong live performances, the band set about working on debut album Innocence. As a self-released CDR and download, the album came out in the closing eyes of December last year leading the band to even greater interest not only from fans but labels too. Summer of 2012 gave the album a proper CD release as recognition fired up further and with the new management deal in place the band are set to turn 2013 their own shade of hue.

Taking sounds and styles across the seventies through to the nineties with plenty of modern energies and thoughtfulness, the five piece of Dani Hellstrom, Iggy Hans, Stan Lee (guitar), Andrew Barique (drums), and Alex Verge (bass), the band since the recording going through another line-up change, s created a release which echoes the likes of Korn, Devin Townsend, Audioslave, and Nightwish with strong whispers of classic art rock bands. It is a stunning sound which plays in the heart so much more powerfully and enjoyably than it looks in print.

As soon as the cold kisses of Iceland crystalize on the ear soon speared by a dramatic piano, attention is focused in only one 1608197713-1direction and as soon as the melodic flames and immediately jaw dropping bass sound of Verge prowls within the brewing sonic weaves nothing comes between thoughts, emotion, and song. Settling into an emotive breath with the wonderful and potent vocals of Hellstrom covering the still formidable basslines and melodramatic keys, the track just mesmerises whilst caressing tenderly with symphonic beauty and warm melodic elegance. It is an exceptional entrance into what emerges as an unpredictable and eclectic release. The song at times makes muscular suggestions through rhythms and riffs to ensure an air of confrontation is never too far away setting one up perfectly for its successor, especially with its closing Halloween like tingle of keys and inciting acidic guitar rub.

L.M.A. is outstanding; a track which though challenged throughout holds ‘best of’ honours. Its initial scorched rock swagger is soon ripped up into a raptorial encounter of bruising riffs and a groove which gnaws at the senses like those classic ones Korn used to unleash. The vocal storm of expressive vocals and oppressive heavy chewing riffs and thumping rhythms plays like a mix of Animal Alpha and The Faceless for further irresistible flavour to the staggering recipe.

Tracks like the sinew twisting Flax and the masterful Nagual with its progressive enterprise wrapping around the persistently pulsating growl of the song transport one into further thrilling and unpredictable diverse fiery engagements. Each and every song can be acclaimed with those same qualities, the blend of melodic imagination and creative invention breath taking at times and always enthralling. Further pinnacles come with the sinister and hypnotic H.U. Lab, a track bringing the key essences of Meshuggah, Opeth, and Karnivool together for thoroughly compelling rewards, and the epic emotive force that is Haesitatio. Every song deserves a mention though, each rippling with immense craft, inventive songwriting, and pure skill from the surging and glorious vocals of Hellstrom and her senses wrapping keys, the continually adventurous guitars, and the guiding rhythms of drums and that permanently  delicious bass.

Innocence is aural excellence and Crimson Blue only deserving of the fullest acclaim. The recommendation that all should go and discover this triumphant release cannot be shouted loud enough.

https://www.facebook.com/crimsonblueband

RingMaster 17/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Duel – Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story)

Last year London punk band The Duel set the pulse rate racing with their impressive feast of nostalgic yet completely fresh sounds on the album All Aboard The Crazy Train. Now they return with an adventurous and intriguing release Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story), an album no less impressive or captivating. Admittedly it does not have the more instant engagement which marked the previous release, its songs like old friends with a modern outlook, but the new album is arguably a deeper and more expansive creature. It takes its time to seduce and charm the senses, its sounds at times surprising and ideas refreshingly inventive, but the end result is the same, the captivation of the heart with the fullest pleasure given along the way.

Since its beginning in 2001 when vocalist Tara Rez and keyboardist / bassist Andy Theirum linked up, The Duel has gone from strength to strength. From its debut gig supporting the Dead Kennedys, through the supporting of the likes of Buzzcocks, The Vibrators, Vice Squad, Peter Hook, UK Subs, The Slits, Sham 69, and Angelic Upstarts, festival appearances and across its albums Let’s Finish What We Started and Childish Behavior, 2007 and 2009 respectively,plus of course All Aboard The Crazy Train, the band has reaped and incited enthused acclaim and a growing loyal fan base. The new release arguably will have many stepping back a little as its sounds sink in fully but it is imaginable that many will not be fully enamoured by it.

The track simply called Intro immediately lights up the senses, a fiery instrumental with a sharp melodic enterprise and steely attitude which is a delicious treat for the ear. Sounding like a cross between the instrumentals Rondo (The Midgets Revenge) by The Dickies and the Buzzcocks track Late For The Train, the piece is an absorbing and infectious companion and sets one up eagerly for the following song Invincible.

With guitars flashing their sonic sparks and a heavy bass swaying in between, the song lifts off with the vocals of Rez, her tones as pleasing and compelling as ever. The production means the strokes of guitarist Thanos Oscar Pap dominate the sound of the track though not to any real detriment. The vocals and bass of Chris McDougall, as well as the keys of Thierum and drums of Pumpy, are meshed together to create a grazing intensity yet still hold their clarity. It takes a second play to understand how it works but it does, the slightly bruising energy of the song leading the ultimately electric charge.

Less Everyday is the first song to venture away from expectations in sound, whereas its predecessor was a punk cored gem this song has a more teasing new wave caress to its still bristling breath. There is a resonance which appears throughout the album to the vocal sound of Rez offering a warm and mesmeric flavouring. To be honest one did not expect to say this but there is a definite Altered Images feel to this song and other moments later on in the album. It is a great aspect to the sound though, the glowing pop charms aligning easily and skillfully with the bristling attitude driven heart of the band.

The magnetic Fake Like You has the same gait to its swagger whilst sitting between the two, You Can Do It is a rock n roll stroll which flares with tight melodies and belligerence. As these and subsequent songs light up the senses, and the slight surprise at the evolution of sound from the band ebbs away, the pleasure only goes deeper. Songs like the excellent Love Me Do, bringing a brew of Penetration and Animal Alpha to its midst, and the slightly abrasive and raw Splash On You featuring Max Splodge (Splodgenessabounds), ensure the treats keep coming, whilst the closing gem of When The Fire Goes Out is sonic radiance. It burns but soothes the wounds with crafted rays of melodic warmth musically and vocally. Infectious and vibrant with coaxing whispers upon the ear, the track is a delicious smile of post punk invention and pop punk grace.

Going back to the beginning of the album and it is not the track Intro; it opens with Zak Splash Story. A forty minute tale of the fictitious Zak Splash narrated by Max Splodge, the track merges all the songs on the album into the narrative proving the songs work as part of dare one say a ‘punk opera’ or individually, though one suspects the latter is how the majority of eager listens will be made.

Soundtrack To The End Of The World is a credible piece of imagination with its tracks nothing less than satisfying and enthralling. The Duel has been to the fore of UK punk for the past few years and shows no signs of leaving their position to anyone else as the album proves.

https://www.facebook.com/thedueluk

RingMaster 28/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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