Pink Muscles -The Signal

There is no denying that 2017 has to date been a truly potent and exciting ignition of personal tastes and that success has just been given another lusty boost through the debut album from US noise punks Pink Muscles. Devouring the senses and imagination with raw hunger, The Signal is a psychosis of sound, an irritant of noise wrapped up in just as lustfully weird tales and quite irresistible.

Hailing from Seattle, Pink Muscles began as a solo project for guitarist/vocalist Marshall McLaughlin. Exploring his unique vision of sound and songwriting, he recorded the Upper Body Strength demo in 2014 before exploring the bringing together of a full line-up which saw the addition of guitarist Eric Elliott, bassist Lee Newman, recently replaced by Stuart Dahlquist (Goatsnake, Sunn O))), Asva), and drummer Janet Trares (Hell’s Belles) in 2016. Their uncompromising fusion of punk and noise rock with a cauldron of other fiercely rapacious flavours from hardcore to thrash and death metal soon found a powerful presence on the local live scene, the quartet having played alongside the likes of The Dwarves, Author and Punisher, Dayglo Abortions, and Nasalrod over the past year. Now they are setting out on trespassing and infesting broader landscapes with The Signal, bringing something unique and fresh to a punk scene which in so many ways no longer boasts those attributes.

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

A concept album in spirit with its 14 “mini-horror films” springing stories of inter-dimensional monsters invading earth to end humanity, The Signal opens with Resumption and a one minute attack of psychotic punk with exotic spatial tendrils and mass vocal causticity, all splintered with warped bursts of sax amidst sonic turmoil. It is beautiful chaos, as addictive as it is disconcerting and the spark for even greater cacophonic alchemy within Teenage Rainbows. With McLaughlin as good as bullying ears with his great vocal presence, the song swings and mentally comes apart within seconds, its creative turbulence bred on caustic guitar riffs and crazed hooks as strings are violently twanged and beats antagonistically swung in another swift off-kilter assault akin to Botch making out with The Locust.

Infestopus invades next, its earthy groove and bestial riffs making a barbarous invitation to a web of sonic loco and scuzzy goodness again as fleeting as a deep breath and just as rewarding before Star Grove unleashes it’s animalistic instincts; guitars and bass going on a murderous rampage as beats damage and bullish vocals arouse. There is a touch of Lightning Bolt to the song, a little bit Melvins too but a savaging individual to Pink Muscles as it corrupts and incites on its uninterrupted way to the waiting humans into insects pharmacy of The Man at the End of My Street. In many ways, the album becomes even more deranged and imagination gripping from this track on. Its thumping beats certainly leave the same scars as its predecessors, but there is a more abstract structure to the weave of colluding and contrasting textures making up the outstanding bughouse. The swarm of guitar trespassing ears is a toxic delight whilst vocals, as the nastily brooding tones of the bass, are a mix of predation and animosity, it all pure addiction sparking.

Black Market Tampons is next, a cosmic horrorshow of “demonic male pregnancy and magic tampons” seducing and corroding the senses. Imagine the dementia of Pere Ubu, the inspiring discord of The Fire Engines, and the punk ferocity of Today Is The Day, and you have a treat of a song if still not quite accurate of its ingenuity.

The haywire webbing of Battery Acid is even more exhilarating; guitars spinning a trap of sonic violation as rhythms tenaciously grumble and impose while vocals paint a giant arachnophobia fear fest. As all tracks, within the carnal exploits there is an infectious air which quickly steals the passions though offering its most virulent strain in this one of the album’s major highlights; a peak quickly rivalled by the visceral climate and drama of Party at Murder Beach. The track is a gripping slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a voracious swing and swagger which alone is a submission giving temptation while The Egg Lady infests and infects ears and imagination with its own certifiable bedlam and theatre of sound and invention.

I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar stems from the instrument McLaughlin inherited from his late father, the inspiration to his exploration of music, and provides fifty odd seconds of insatiable punk rock which simply hits the spot before aurally venomous The Master and Officers of the Universe with its feral dynamics and textures hungrily ravage, savage, and ignite all over again. All three bring a new lust for the album to rise, Heaven is for Real backing them up with its cantankerous wall of sound and vocal ruthlessness; the track a real beast of a proposal.

Bringing the album to a close, Mouth House grabs favourite song honours though with its nefarious air and intoxication of flavours. Playing with the imagination like an aberrantly unhinged merger of Essential Logic, Boris, and Shellac, the track is intrusive bliss building up to a scorching cacophony leaving a lasting imprint on ears and pleasure.

The Signal is the announcement of a new noise punk treat in town and quickly showing that Pink Muscles have much more than that slim tag to their imagination and beef. Another must for 2017 we say.

The Signal is out now @

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Master Musicians Of Bukkake – Far West


This is our first venture with Master Musicians Of Bukkake but if their previous releases are as potent and exhilarating as Far West this will only be the beginning of a full and intimate adventure. Following on from their Totem series of albums, the six track expanse of sensually provocative and emotively empowering sounds is a mesmeric yet at times intimidating course through dramatic climes, perception enlightening landscapes, and an incitement to the exploration of personal  and emotional depths. It is meditative and challenging but most of all grippingly enthralling.

Master Musicians of Bukkake is a group of musicians from the Pacific Northwest shrouded in mystery but said to have been originally founded in 2003 and featuring members of Earth, Burning Witch, Grails, The Accüsed, and Asva. Their sounds are seeded and derived from ceremonial music which the band evolves into its own epically tantalising and emotion involving presence. Following their first release Visible Sign of the Invisible Order in 2005, the then septet explored the psyche with their Totem trilogy, Totem One emerging in 2009. We are told the three albums, Two out in 2010 and Three the following year, were different beasts to the new album yet equally as imagination stretching but without a personal experience thoughts can only suggest and tease to their grandeurs using the magnetic beauty of Far West as the template.

The new Important Records album is a merger of psychedelic coloured palettes with progressive sonic brushes all involving hues of atmospheric and soul enriched commentary to their designs. It is a startling and impossibly contagious tempest of inventive shamanistic textures all wrapping and encroaching heart and mind sculpting compelling and continually evolving feelings and narratives within their own creative arts. To be honest Far West is not that easy to portray in words certainly its intensive persuasion and effect on the emotive core of the listener, but bear with us as we do our best to relay the might and majesty of the encounter.

A fall through sinister and menacing sonic air brings opener White Mountain Return into view, its rasping breath soon speared and making way for a bone resonating call of repetitive drums and electronic niggling. With percussion adding inciting suggestions to the already hypnotic hold of the track, the guitars stroke coaxingly as a flight into wide and seductive endeavours beckons. The listener at this point is standing on the edge of an epic cliff top poised to take a leap of faith into the arms of the melodic winds and warm yet mysterious realms of the song. Once into the aerial tide of energy and creative breezes with hawk like sonic strikes keeping shadows a constant threat, thoughts and emotions are triggered into an almost exhausting stretch of imagination and visual evocation.

It is a stunning start seamlessly transforming into the equally compelling γη-νομος / Gnomi. Within a few melodic caresses mellow vocals add their masterful fascination to this new stance of adventure, the hot teasing air of the track kissing the senses along the sultry walk now being undertaken in the imagination. As the track plays with the listener’s invention, igniting further emprise within their simultaneously emerging story, the song graces the passions like a mix between The Doors, Caravan, and Helldorado. It is a western lilted submergence leading to the darker but no less intensively tempting fires to come.

Arche stalks the ear with a drone bred persuasion, the rhythmic framing and compulsion soon joined by the swarming intent and breath of scenery carving sounds. The narcotic call of the track is a virulent captivation, its hold and enticement increasing with every persistent energetic yet funereal beat and each melancholic but warm melodic beckon. It is a stroll through a menacing cavern of doubts and shadows but with a silent rich lure from Cave Of Light: The Prima Materia waiting ahead to envelope magnetised senses. Underground electronic bubbles of light breath energy into the cavernous ambience of the new song with again beats making their descriptive tale before the stunning mix of vocals, sky soaring harmonies, and Gregorian chant like flames court and sway with the equally irresistible guitar and brass fuelled beauty. It is a sensational piece within nothing but outstanding epics of songwriting and vision, a track which places its recipients into a hall of ‘gods’ visually whilst taking an inward tour of personal depths and emotions.

The album closes with firstly You Are A Dream Like Your Dreamer: The Dark Peace, a piece of music which stands within its own distinctly impacting conflict of dark and light, and lastly the enchanting Circular Ruins, a track based on the Jorge Louis Borges story of the same title. Far West is a deliciously evocative and emotionally incendiary piece of work which is intense and outstanding as a whole or as individual adventures, either having the same strength and impact on thoughts and passions…one of the albums of the year? We think so!

Master Musicians of Bukkake is:

David Abramson: percussion, drums, tef, shaman shakers, green fog

B.R.A.D: percussion, vocals, candles, sights unseen

Don McGreevy: percussion, drums, 12 string electric and acoustic guitar, mellotron, bass, brass arrangements

Randall Dunn: korg analog synths, mellotron, divining rod, water seeking foolishness

Milky: electric and acoustic guitar, synths, vocals, mossy fuzz

Timm Mason: electric guitar, serge modular synth, electric bass, insects


Additional “Far West ” Congregation and guests:

Samantha Boshnak: trumpet, flugelhorn

Naomi Siegal: trombone

White Mountian Voices: Nils Petterson, Rabia Quazi, Richie Rico

Keith Lowe: contra bass

Craig Flory: baritone and tenor saxophone


RingMaster 13/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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