Sonny Green – Grime Is Punk

Art_RingMasterReview

Grime Is Punk is the debut EP from Sonny Green, a young musical poet with a bite to his rap and honesty to his words. With grime bred sounds circling around him whilst carrying their own individual drama, it is a combination which just commands attention.

Aged 21, Green has made a potent introduction with his first EP, but it is just part of an emergence which began seven years ago when he was experimenting with music in his local Connexions youth centre on the Cluny Square estate in Southend. Casting lyrical challenges and insights exploring broad and personal social issues, he made When Words Fail Music Speaks, a 14-track mixtape selling over 10,000 copies which in turn secured Green a weekly residence at the renowned Dalston venue Passing Clouds. At 17, he “ditched his A-Levels and pitched up his tent outside St Paul’s Cathedral, to stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement, ensuring that the voice of his generation was not ignored,” that followed by a performance at The House of Commons where he shared the stage with Fatboy Slim as part of a concert organised in association with Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Charity.

Since then he has supported Asian Dub Foundation, who subsequently recruited him to join them live, played numerous shows across Europe and played support for the likes of Pete Doherty and Section Boyz among many. Released via Hostage Music, Grime Is Punk is the nudge on national attention with Green offering the potential that he could live up to the suggestion that he might become a “voice for the people, a person willing to stand up and speak about the issues surrounding them in the world they live in.”

His EP opens with Fuck Off, an uncompromising proposal in sound and word summed up by its title. Pulsating bass tones and surface splattering beats tempt ears first as fizzy keys bring their own portentous air. It is a low key yet potent canvas from which Green pounces on ears and imagination while inciting thoughts with his scything spits. The dark shadows of the sounds equally line his vocals and a varied delivery as much a highly agreeable essence as the imposing climate of the track.

New single Bars follows the great start, its air and nature immediately lighter but again open in its defiance rich attitude. The repetitive design of the sound surrounding the urban wordsmith, as in all songs, is an addictive nagging with extra spices of adventure to feast on alongside the enjoyable swing of Green’s vocals.

That catchiness is even more gripping in As Above So Below, its underlying almost mischievous melodic tempting colluding with the slim haunting of keys and a throbbing bassline which sizzles as it’s throatily entices. Musically, the track is almost cinematic and vocally a gripping incitement shaped by Green’s virulent delivery whilst its successor, Flashy, is a shimmering and snarling protagonist coming over like a raw mix of Honky and G.R.I.M.

Its compelling persuasion leads to closing track Hustle, a track which bounces on the ear and bringing feet to life as a sultry and exotic hue seduces through synths. The snap of beats is as biting as Green’s syllables and tone, the theatre of the bass just as compelling, and the lyrical shuffle a rousing spark for body and emotion.

It is hard to pick a best track though the closer is always there on the tongue. Fair to say from start to finish Grime Is Punk is a thoroughly enjoyable incitement for ears and thought;  a potent start recording wise from Sonny Green with bigger things easily foreseeable for and from him ahead.

The Grime Is Punk EP is released May 13th via Hostage Music on iTunes.

 https://www.facebook.com/Sonny-Green-aka-SGB-233648870029827   https://twitter.com/SonnyGreenUK

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

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The Karma Party – Illumination EP

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Last year The Karma Party unleashed one of the most thrilling confrontational propositions with the Dark Matters EP and now they return with another voraciously captivating and antagonistic incitement in the shape of the Illumination EP. Continuing the ferocious blend of punk, dub, and hardcore infused with plenty more invigorating flavours, which marked out their last release as an essential moment of 2013, the UK quintet has honed their ‘punk-step’ incitement into an even more inventive and evocative adventure. Without losing the snarl and bite of their politically charged lyrical intent, there is a new maturity and exploration within their songwriting and sound as evidenced on the new EP, an evolution which again results in an irresistible stirring up of thoughts and emotions.

Hailing from Blackpool, The Karma Party as mentioned made a potent and imposingly striking introduction with Dark Matters last year, surrounding and following it with a live presence which was as much a lure to the passions of fans as their release. Touring extensively with bands such as Random Hand, Dirty Revolution, and Jaya the Cat, the band in between EPs additionally recruited guitarist James Routh, also the bassist for Sonic Boom Six, into the line-up of vocalist Marc ‘Merc ‘ Walker, guitarist Liam Carroll, bassist Dave Cowley, and drummer Luke Hesketh. Now The Karma Party as expected go for the jugular with their new release, a commanding encounter which sets ears aflame, thoughts provoked, and passions stirred.

Opening track World War instantly proves the band has lost none of its antagonistic prowess musically and lyrically, emerging from distant scenery with electro enticing it erupts into a muscular imposing of jarring rhythms and jagged TKP Illumination 1500x1500riffs entwined with sonic grooves. Shards of electronic expulsions litter the growing landscape of the song all the time whilst the vocals of Walker and the band prowl with provocative intent across the brooding drama. It is not as dramatic an entrance as you might surmise but a severely compelling one which soon adds extra seduction through the smooth croon of Walker before unleashing a sinew clad bounce of contagiousness for the chorus. There is an edge of King Prawn to the track once into its full stride as well as the insatiable revelry of Sonic Boom Six which maybe was inevitable with Routh producing the DIY release, but also a rawness which adds an extra lacing of causticity and attitude. The song continues to engage ears with shifting invention and thoughts with its firm yet not preachy lyrical narrative for a thoroughly captivating and potent start to the release.

It is a beginning soon taken to another level with the following Under Surveillance. A track which carries an air of Asian Dub Foundation from around their Punkara album, it opens with a delicious carnival like tease of sound which is soon stomping with contentious resourcefulness and devilry. It is a mesmeric introduction enhanced by the riveting throaty sound of Cowley’s bass. Into its keen punchy stride, the song stalks and inspires the imagination addictively, vocals pushing the honest narrative whilst guitars and keys create a web of infectious mischief and commanding intimidation which like the emerging invention simply ignites the senses. Easily one of the most imaginatively virulent persuasions to come along this year, the track steals the passions with ease.

Democracy offers its own belligerent sound and scathing vocal incitement next, the track as raw as it is adversarial. From a relatively underwhelming start, compared to its predecessors anyway with the production less sharp than elsewhere especially around the vocals, the track brews up a punk bred endeavour which soon takes its own specific slice of the emotions. Riffs and hooks almost taunt with their temptation whilst keys and melodies bring a toxicity which flourishes within the punk challenge and a subsequent dub- step enterprise. It is a strong and rigorously convincing track but one which feels pale against the previous tracks and the next up End of an Empire. With a ska seeded jangle of riffs and pungently probing swipes of rhythms aligned to thought challenging vocals, the track toys with band harmonies and floating melodies from the keys to impressive effect before building a climax which fires up the senses with agitated energy and sonic vivacity.

The EP is closed by its title track, arguably the most boldly inventive song on the encounter. Piano and vocals with reflective expression and melodic balladry open up the track before growing a bloom of energetic pop infused incitement which is as catchy as it is surprising. The track reminds of now demised band Dead Til Friday who themselves crafted a spellbinding melodic seduction of a song which startled from the band’s more expected direction. The Karma Party though is not a band to let the listener settle easily, turning the elegant poise and magnetic suasion of their song into a fury driven rabidity to match the attack of the lyrical side of the track. With metallic riffs and badgering beats crowding ears as forcibly as the vocals, the song is a dramatic treat which until its last breath persists in wrong footing and exciting its recipient.

It is a strong and potential loaded shift in the band’s sound, and one which probably takes a little longer to tightly grip than the songs which raged in first release. But with a striking boldness to their growing invention and that ridiculously captivating flair The Karma Party has for igniting everything from ears to feet, imagination to emotions, Illumination is another excuse to hail its creators as one of the UK’s seriously impressive and exciting bands.

Illumination EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id904057478 and physically @ http://thekarmaparty.bigcartel.com/

http://www.thekarmaparty.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/08/2014

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King Prawn – Done Days/A Solemn Man

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The return of King Prawn for us, like for so many, was an over excited thrill matched by lustful anticipation of new sounds from the UK punks. The band has forged themselves as one of the influential greats with their anthemic ska/punk fusions and authority antagonising lyrical confrontations, so much so that their split in 2003 left a big hole in hearts and punk itself as fans mourned with the band’s classic albums and songs as company. The announcement of their return earlier this year set passions aflame once again, live performances equally so, but new recorded material could only confirm it was not just wishful dreaming that King Prawn was back to challenge and ignite the country . The two track single is that confirmation, Done Days/A Solemn Man a thoroughly pleasing encounter and an extremely promising hint of the band’s next album, due spring 2014.

Reuniting 4/5 of the original line-up, vocalist Al Rumjen who recently had a successful stint with Asian Dub Foundation, guitarist Devil Hands, drummer Nikoli, and trumpeter Dr Nelly coming together once again, the band is further joined by new bassist Zac Chang (taking the place of the non-returning Babar Luck) and an expanded live horn section. The single combines two songs which have little difficulty in igniting the emotions, one an intriguing suggestion of things to come and one prime King Prawn, its company sparking the passions as if the band had never been away.

Done Days opens with enticing guitar strokes of the ear soon joined by buoyant vibrant brass calls and the distinctive tones of a1735681834_2Al Rumjen. It is an enthusiastic and vibrant introduction which captures the imagination and sparks thoughts of last album Got The Thirst whilst having an undefined element which points at an even greater wealth of inspirations in the songwriting and experience in its realisation. The bass of Chang has a prowl and throaty resonance which adds depth to the song whilst the brass and keys create a wash of warmth and enterprise which excites with a fresh suggestiveness from the band. It is fair to say that the track never explodes into the hinted eruption, especially the chorus which does not quite catch fire, but with feet stomping in unison to its beats and emotions lit from its adventure, the song is an undeniable satisfying and potent return.

The AA track of the release is a simply glorious slice of King Prawn invention. A sultry guitar enticement stands side by side with a brass flame of evocative heat to open up A Solemn Man, their beckoning soaked in Latin seduction and sweltering persuasion. There is a sense of a call to arms to the entrance of the song; it offering anthemic bait which settles into a transfixing ska saunter which itself evolves into a rock powered chorus.  With added gypsy punk spice and those ever spellbinding fiery brass temptations a persistently contagious and inventive persuasion, the track is King Prawn at its irresistible best creating a sound and encounter which is unafraid to attack and seduce whilst providing the most addictive groove bred punk. Not much left to say, King Prawn is back!!

http://king-prawn.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/11/2013

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The Karma Party: Dark Matters EP

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Standing eye to eye with and snarling viciously at governments, corruption, and the sea of injustices in society and then lyrically ripping their throats out, UK punk-steppers The Karma Party is an emerging force to call foul on the world whilst igniting passions with a fire of irrepressible sounds and electric energy. With debut EP Dark Matters the quartet from Blackpool has set the first aural landmark in their rise towards becoming one of the best incendiary creative confrontations in the country.

Consisting of vocalist Merc, guitarist Scummins, bassist Punkins, and drummer Luke, The Karma Party brews a heady tempest of hardcore, punk and dub-step with flames of electronica burning within the combative storm. It is a distinct sound but take pinches of Sonic Boom Six, King Prawn, Lazy Habits, and the Janice Graham Band with extra spice from Pendulum and you scratch the surface of their invigorating volatile antagonism.

The release takes its first bite with This Is Britain, an attack on the broken country brought with contagion and aggressively 1616807321-1sculpted conciseness. An instant scrub of heavy rhythms and scarring riffs led by the excellent vocals of Merc attach to the ear with a Dead Kennedys like hook entwined around the sinewy core of the track. The song questions and provokes in sound whilst simultaneously challenging with razor sharp lyrics delivered with a bite and accuracy which grips tightly. Melodic keys flame and caress in the skies of the song to add a melodic weave to the muscular senses barracking triumph beneath. As anthemic as you can wish and virulently infectious the song is a dramatic and impressive start.

An opening height easily matched by the following Collapse, the track another insatiably energetic and forceful welcome intrusion on thoughts and passions. From its first breath the song is stomping with purpose through the ear with sonic shots exploding within the brawling energy, openly furthering the already impressive diversity to the imagination of the band. Like all the tracks on the EP, the song is direct and uncompromising but the band ensures that there is a full capture of the listener through heated invention and a delicious maelstrom of ideas and sounds.

Push Forward continues the outstanding conflict whilst expanding the depth and diversity to the songwriting and creativity. Oriental blooms of sounds wrap the ear first to fix attention and intrigue steadfastly before Merc begins the descriptive voice of the track, again a potent statement with unreserved sounds to match. Another punk riot ensues with that oriental seduction continuing to set passions aflame, the song twisting and barging through its purpose with provocative skill and a chorus which resonates with electro pulses. It has an impossibly viral vocal call for which there is no remedy and is proudly another sensational instigator for mind and heart which with its eastern ethnic winds and verbal strength reminds of Asian Dub Foundation at their best.

Completed by They Tell Me, a mesmeric song with drama inspiring keys and sonic mists which stretch across the sound to further the evolving soundscape of the release, and the punk driven defiant riot The Opposition, the EP leaves the listener a churned up and riled force of thought, emotion, and pleasure. Dark Matters is a towering triumph ready to soundtrack and advocate change, something you feel The Karma Party will find an even stronger depth and potency to in the future. A must have release of 2013 which will apply to every year and decade thereafter.

Grab the Dark Matters EP for free @ http://thekarmaparty.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 05/03/2013

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