The Kut – Valley of Thorns

The Kut by Canz Rickman

There is no doubt that the recent release of new single Mind Games stirred up a fresh hunger in an already in place appetite for the eagerly anticipated debut album from The Kut, in us and a great many others. Truth is we had already been hooked on the band’s contagious punk grumble ’n’ roll through their previous EPs but the new track’s fresh adventure and imagination brought fresh intrigue and pleasure to devour. It ensured that Valley of Thorns was leapt upon with rude eagerness and the fuse to further pleasure lit.

The album brings live favourites, some of which already known from those previous encounters, and brand new creative provocations; a union providing one rousing and increasingly impressive, dare we say essential slab of rock ‘n’ roll. Within its striking body it roars and seduces, attacks and coaxes, all the time infesting and manipulating ears, body, and imagination in a way which reminds of punk rock in its seventies prime but is all modern fire and attitude.

The Kut is the alter-ego of multi-instrumentalist Princess Maha and live a sonically ferocious trio completed by the moodily infectious basslines of Stella Vie and the swinging beats of Diana Bartmann. With their reputation growing by the year since emerging in 2010, The Kut has exploded upon venues across the UK and Europe and earned rich praise playing festivals such as Download, Camden Rocks, Nice N Sleazy, Rebellion, Hard Rock Hell, Glastonbudget, and Strummercamp. Support and acclaim has been rife across the media, radio and written press alike, and last year saw the band become a finalist in the Rock category of the UK Songwriting Contest 2017 as well as being a current Semi-Finalist of the International Songwriting Competition. It has been a busy and successful time which the release of Valley of Thorns can not only escalate but nurture The Kut as a household name.

Produced by James LeRock Loughrey (Skindred, White Zombie, My Vitriol, Bjork, Def Leppard), Valley of Thorns kicks off with its lead single, Mind Games teasing the senses with its sonic mist before boldly strolling through ears with a Deftones meets Spinnerette like captivation. There is a haunting air and emotive depth to the song yet it has a virulent swing to its gait and rhythmic persuasion which has the body swaying and appetite greedy in no time. A track epitomising the seductive persuasion and nagging irritability in The Kut’s sound, it is pure mesmerism which has become stronger and more striking across multiple plays.

The album’s stirring start continues with the rebellious rock ‘n’ roll of Hollywood Rock N Roll, a virulent slice of anthemic temptation which had us bouncing and roaring in no time with its Babes In Toyland/ Spinnerette-esque stomp. The latter of the two is a band which often frequents thoughts across the album, its snarls and instinctive catchiness reminding of the band even in a sound which is pretty much distinct to The Kut.

The following No Trace swings in like a predatory temptress, grooves writhing around ears with an almost salacious touch as dark hues of bass growl and beats firmly strike. It is a scuzzy affair, the songs body a muggy grunge trespass contrasted by Princess Maha’s harmonic vocal caresses which offer their one lining of danger. It too has a haunted sigh to its croon which just enslaved attention before I Want You Maniac grips ears with initially a gorgeous low slung hook and subsequently its infection loaded swing. A tinge of L7 lines its tenacious enterprise, a whiff of Hole its encroaching shadows; the song a volatile sonically visceral encroachment just impossible to have too much of.

The blossoming diversity within The Kut’s sound is superbly shown in next up Love In The Rush Hour, the song a collusion of harmonic kisses and predacious intent. It strolls with the inherent swing which effortlessly springs from the band’s invention but aligned to a caustic glaze of guitar amid fuzz twisted riffs; an entangling of contrasts which is as compelling as Princess Maha’s vocal temptation who at times can be described as being like the UK Brody Dalle.

I Am Vain is dirty rock ‘n’ roll with attitude flowing from every pore but as naturally infectious as anything within the album; its punchy nature spawning its own unique hooks and skilled enterprise while the mellower climate of Alekhine’s Gun breeds a prowling volatility which erupts in sonic flames and vocal abrasions; its irritations and discontent erupting and spewing rancor before simmering down back into the song’s relative calm. Though neither track quite match the heights of those before them each leaves ears and appetite greedy for more whilst revealing new shades in The Kut’s adventure.

A calmer air is brought by X-Ray Eyes too though unsurprisingly it has an inbred growl which fuels bold rhythms and its suggestive character plus an increasingly addictive catchiness which has song and the body bouncing as the first contemplates and the second submits to its moody enslavement. Its success though is soon eclipsed by that of Bad Man. A multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll virulence, the track is like a boiling cauldron spiced by the punk juices of Bikini Kill, the dark rock ‘n’ roll of  Jess and the Ancients Ones, and the infectious agility of Sleater-Kinney; it all brewing up into another individual Kut intoxication.

The album is completed by Mario, a raw pop ‘n’ rock encounter as beguiling as it is aggressive. Throughout the album another band which at times comes to mind is seventies outfit The Photos through the pop hues open within The Kut’s sound. Here alone there are coincidental echoes in its infectious traits which only add to the fun.

Being already hooked by their earlier releases, we were always likely to head into Valley of Thorns with a favourable disposition but swiftly it outshone anticipation heights, the new songs alone suggesting The Kut is ready to grab attention from the biggest names in attitude soaked rock ‘n roll.

Valley of Thorns is released via Cargo Records / Criminal Records on 13th April in the UK and Europe and May 18th in the US.

Forthcoming Tour Dates

TBA April Album Launch Party, London

26.05 Strummercamp Festival, Oldham

27.05 Nice n Sleazy Festival, Morcambe

02.06 Camden Rocks Festival, London – 2pm The Monarch

30.06 Rat InFESTation 2, Facebar, Reading

06.07 Amplified Festival, Gloucestershire

07.07 The Cotswold Inn, Cheltenham

14.07 Wemstock Festival, Wem

22.07 Tramlines Fringe, The Royal Standard, Sheffield

2/3/4/5 August: Rebellion Festival, Blackpool

http://thekut.co.uk    http://facebook.com/thekut   http://twitter.com/thekutgirlsrock   http://instagram.com/thekutofficial

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2018

Skinny Girl Diet – Heavy Flow

SGD_RingMasterReview

Raw and defiant, unashamedly honest and forthright, British trio Skinny Girl Diet have a sound and heart bred attitude which refuses to pull its punches or tow the party line lyrically or musically. It is a combination which roars with anger and informs with uncompromising zeal and now fuels a debut album which just demands attention. Heavy Flow is a punk infused slab of grunge confrontation as lo-fi and rapacious as it is often melodically engaging and masterfully seductive; an incitement for ear and thought which perpetually hits the spot.

Consisting of sisters Delilah and Ursula Holliday, vocals/guitar and drums respectively, and their bassist cousin Amelia Cutler, London hailing Skinny Girl Diet has increasingly been talked about and covered over past years with Heavy Flow according to the band “a body of 6 years of work”, adding “it’s basically us as a band in its entirety.”

From it’s in the face cover featuring the ladies clad in white dresses inflamed by the natural showing of periods, Heavy Flow invades the senses with assertive pride and confrontation. Its songs are emotionally intensive flying in the face of suppressive attitudes towards women and numerous other injustices shaping the world.  It is a roar of frustration and uncaged ire which stirs up air and emotions from its first breath.

Opener Comedown Intro is a sonic entanglement of solemn nicely caustic guitar alongside an alignment of a pulsating bassline and crisp beats courted by enticing harmonies. Its relatively brief coaxing leads the ears towards the awaiting antagonism of Yeti, the band’s recent single. With a tinge of The Distillers meets Babes In Toyland to it, the track rumbles and grumbles on the ear while encasing it in sonic toxicity and vocal dispute as feverish twists add to the rousing melee.

cover_RingMasterReviewIt is an outstanding full start matched by the musically more even tempered Okay. Instantly catchy with its low key but virulent stroll, the song soon brews up a tempestuous climate around the increasingly engaging tones of Delilah, further switching and embracing the contrasts across its forceful endeavour. As its predecessor and those to come, the track is a lyrical poke which makes you stand back and think even as the imagination is eagerly accosted and beguiled by its twists and turns.

The scuzzy touch of next up Lazy Eye is impressively tempered by vocal harmonies which manage to snarl and seduce simultaneously while Eyes That Paralyse is an invasive rock ‘n’ roll grievance deceptively and cantankerously anthemic. The first of the two unites the rasping prowess and causticity of guitar with a kinder caress of vocal and melodic provocation, the second the raw emotion of voice and sound to an abrasive smoulder, both further igniting ears and an already lively appetite for the release.

Already noticeable is the imaginative structure and enterprise of the band’s songs within their ever scathing provocations, next up Bored the most bold yet with its wandering bass twang and sonic espionage around the primal beats of Ursula and Delilah’s standoffish vocal trespass. The song is a riveting tapestry of multi-flavoured adventure, as punk as it is grunge and noise rock seeded as it taps into another exciting aspect to the band’s songwriting and imagination before the corrosive punk ‘n’ roll of Wolf Pack just preys on the senses.

Another pinnacle within the loft heights of Heavy Flow is forged by the acerbically grooved and voiced Silver Spoons, the track a fuzz ball of emotionally trenchant, sonically bracing discord which just sparks within ears. Its unpolished beauty is contrasted by the warm clarity bringing successor Fix Me into view, its mellow calm breeding a Breeders toned predation subsequently bringing stronger turbulence to the song’s captivating atmosphere.

Through the venomously contumacious Pretty Song and the punk familiarity of DMT, Skinny Girl Diet reinforce their command of ears and a hunger for more, the second of the two arguably the album’s least unique track with its Hole/L7 like swing but as addictive as anything involved in the success of Heavy Flow.

The biting shimmer and growl of Forget equally stirs the passions with a far more inventive design soon taken further within the stormy majesty of Wasted Smile, a track which baits the senses with melodic and emotive elegance and within the flicker of a twist unleashes a blaze of sonic and rhythmic raging upon them.  It is a superb end to the album with Comedown Outro providing a melodically raw epilogue which only urges a need to press play all over again.

Heavy Flow impresses on first listen but truly grows and inspires with further investigations. It might not be declared the best album of 2016, though it just might too with a great many, but Skinny Girl Diet has provided one of the more important propositions to be embraced.

Heavy Flow is released November 4th; self-released in the UK and through HHBTM Records in the US.

https://www.facebook.com/skinnygirldiet/   http://skinnygirldietband.tumblr.com/   https://twitter.com/skinnygirldiett/

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

In Isolation – A Certain Fractal Light

In Isolation_RingMaster Review

Amongst the gifts you hopefully receive this Christmas Day, we suggest you drop big hints that one of them should be the new single from UK band In Isolation. Released on the 25th, Parlance is a riveting post punk/new wave inspired anthem for ears and emotions taken from the band’s upcoming debut album A Certain Fractal Light. To kill two birds with one stone, we are going to dive into the full-length right now, a release showing that the single is no flash in the pan in great nostalgia seeded sound and fresh imagination.

Hailing from Nottingham, In Isolation emerged in 2009 openly drawing on inspirations found within eighties post-punk and new wave. Equally though, their sound has seeds in the indie flavours of the following decade and more, with influences on the trio’s invention found in artists ranging from The Smiths, Buzzcocks, and David Bowie to Killing Joke, Editors, and Bloc Party. The years have already seen In Isolation stir strong attention, their well-received singles Film Noir Scandal and Berlin making potent impressions with the latter appearing in the 2013 Steve Best directed movie Zombie Hood alongside the track The Wrong Girl, which In Isolation performed as themselves in the opening club scene of the film. A host of other appearances for their music in movie and TV productions followed whilst live the past years have seen the band share stages with the likes of Republica, Spear Of Destiny, The Chapman Family, and Trailer Trash Traceys amongst a great many and play festivals like Out The Box with Jake Bugg and DV8 alongside Gary Numan.

Parlance cover_RingMaster Review   Having spent fair amount of 2015 writing and creating A Certain Fractal Light, In Isolation is poised to prod even bigger spotlights and appetites with their excellent Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Babes In Toyland, Paolo Nutini) recorded album and before that through Parlance, the second single from and opener to its striking adventure. The song opens with sultry caresses of guitar quickly joined by a great throaty bass tone which quickly reveals an irresistible hook all of its own. Its appearance in turn sparks the guitars to spring new zeal and colour in their enterprise; it all framed by the hypnotic beats and percussion of drummer Tony Ghost. As the vocals of Ryan Swift join the mix, his and John Berry’s guitars still casting a tangy web of temptation, there is a great feel of The Teardrop Explodes to the song but equally a pungent scent of something fresh and solely imaginative to the band with the perpetually snarling bassline the added cream.

The outstanding start makes way for the album’s title track and a similarly potent seducing of ears and appetite. Keys and guitars lay the initial tempting, warm melodies kissing the senses with a China Crisis meets Spandau Ballet like elegance as darker hues bring greater depth to the track through the bass and atmospheric shadows, both skilfully tempering the glow of the song. It is hard not to be swiftly bewitched by the familiar yet unique proposal and further excited by its successors Not Noticing and Truth Or Dare. The first of the two enters on an electronic prowl but with a bold saunter to its gait which is quickly wrapped in a siren-esque harmony. The ever delicious gnarly tone of the bass is there tempting in quick time too, offering its raw bait amongst the just as magnetic hooks of guitar and voice as exotic hues add to the great drama and contagion of the encounter. There is plenty going on to be grabbed by including an electro suggestiveness which perfectly colludes with the dark theatre of guitar and bass in a persuasion lying somewhere between The The and US band Post Adolescence.

From one striking track to another as Truth Or Dare, the first single from the album released a few weeks back, takes over to reveal a body similar to that of the track A Certain Fractal Light but one soon casting its own emotive charm and melodic imagination to swiftly seduce and enlist eager participation from the listener before Elder Statesman engages ears with another imaginative fusion of dark and light soaked textures. As all songs within the album, familiar hues and influences are bold but woven into an evocative proposition creating its own unique character, The Letter straight after, with its rawer tenacious rock ‘n’ roll heart and enveloping virulence, providing another aspect to the potent variety within the post punk inspired melodic tapestry of the album.

Strange Thoughts keeps ears inflamed next with its catchy intent and richly textured romance, female vocals reappearing to add to the resourcefully captivating song. Keys and bass alone make the broadest contrasts as they stand side by side, their union wrapped in the excellent blend of vocals and sonic flames that spring from the pen and invention of In Isolation with compelling ease.

The equally fiery but energetically controlled Ghostburn, its body a close but unique enough design to that of its predecessor, and the classically shaped Gods both keep ears treated, the latter a reflective croon merging gothic overtones and provocative melancholy with poetic melodies. Each again show another facet to the In Isolation sound and invention, before Mist brings the album to a fine close with its own individual heart bred serenade built on a lively canvas of varying and contrasting elements.

Released in March 2016, A Certain Fractal Light is a glorious fusion of old and modern imagination, nostalgia and originality uniting for a highly enjoyable waltz of light and dark adventure. Treat yourself this Christmas with Parlance we say and then really go for it a few weeks later; the single will be a big enough persuasion for deciding on the latter anyway.

Parlance is released December 25th with A Certain Fractal Light out March 2016, both via the band’s own imprint Aye Aye Records.

https://www.facebook.com/inisolationofficial   http://inisolationofficial.tumblr.com   http://twitter.com/InIsolation

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Show of Bedlam – Roont

Photo by Renaud Sakelaris.

Photo by Renaud Sakelaris.

We were hearing very good things about Canadian doomers Show of Bedlam because of a split with Jucifer in 2009, the band’s only release up to this point, and were told that we should take an interest in the band’s debut album Roont, released this week. This we did and discovered a release best described as a creative cauldron of sonic and emotional intensity filtered through howling atmospheric turbulence, i.e. one of the most exhilarating albums so far this year. It is as fiercely seductive as it is corrosively demonic, as virulently contagious as it is toxically inhospitable, and quite simply irresistible.

Hailing from Montreal, Show Of Bedlam’s sound is certainly doom metal bred but it is equally as sludgy as it is hardcore, as punk as it is noise and occult spiced rock ‘n’ roll. Influences are said to include the likes of Neurosis, Electric Wizard, The Swans, UFOMammut, Babes in Toyland, and Sonic Youth. The reality is for all references and inspirations cited and probably deserved, Show of Bedlam brew up a hellacious and thoroughly gripping mix ultimately distinct to them.

SHOW_OF_BEDLAM-Roont300x300    The album’s title track sets things off, a cold and harsh ambience looming in from afar, quickly joined by portentous rhythms and a maelstrom of sonic and noise bred provocation. It is an embrace of sound and incitement to match the band name, no coherent unity obvious yet a concussive invitation with control and instinctive enmity. From its thickening smog, acidic grooves and heavy senses roaming rhythms emerge, their imposing presence matched by a dark bass tone and the instantly engaging tones of vocalist Paulina Richards. Attitude and intensity drips from every syllable she expels, her delivery managing to be part croon, roar, and threat simultaneously. Hers is a soaring fury matched by the sounds around her, guitars spinning a caustic yet beguiling web whilst rhythms pummel and craft anthemic bait for every one of the song’s hellacious seconds. The track is fascinating, uncompromising textures and unpredictable imagination entangling every twist and turn in the passage and creation of the song, all those flavours earlier mentioned and more aligning to craft nine minutes of feral, bordering on satanic beauty.

An interlude comes next in the shape of 19, though contrary to most similar moments there is no escape into calm and safe waters here, the track an unrelenting harsh sonic wind with fleeting glimpses of another evocatively melodic realm. You can almost touch those elements as they are smothered in sound but always to no avail as the track insidiously escorts ears and emotions towards the following Vermin. Show of Bedlam have already shown themselves adept at using samples, opening up this track with another before binding the passions in addictive hooks, dramatic grooves, and a punk bred infectiousness. It all entices from within a tempest of swarthy stoner-esque sonic psychosis with occult rock like flavouring. The track is outstanding, an emotional and intimidating turmoil to get lustful over casting a maelstrom of styles and ingenuity which just ignites the imagination. The song never lingers on one aspect for long but is equally unafraid to return to those choice essences and involve and twist them into fresher incitements again. At one point the song had a feel of L7 meets Blood Ceremony to it, then in the next it was something else again, and constantly spellbinding.

Next up, Dress for sale slips into darker and colder climes, its darkly shimmering countenance mesmeric as basslines and riffs crawl with menace through ears. It is a track soon ablaze though, acidic guitar enterprise and fierce vocal expression roaring with searing flames of energy whilst carrying just a hint of venomous intent. Once more the band has ears and imagination enthralled; abrasing and seducing both with ingenuity and simple but ingeniously woven creative aggression.

There is poetry to the sound and lyrical premise of all songs upon Roont, an almost corrosively romantic essence which especially floods the epic exploit of Itamu. The track is pure inventive drama, a journey through unforgiving yet intoxicating climates of sonic and emotional exploration. As everywhere, the track’s narrative is as engrossing as the music sound-tracking its story and predominantly because of the diverse and ever shifting delivery of Richards. She can brawl with ears as perfectly as she can seduce them, spark with aggression as potently as she can lure unbridled attention with a croon. With the rest of the band conjuring sounds of the same creative and effective dark majesty, the result is a track and release which borders on perfect.

With a bonus demo version of Vermin adding an extra treat, Roont is something all doom, sludge, heavy metal, and even hardcore fans should not be without. Very special is a description not easily offered in music these days but we tell you now, Show of Bedlam is that with the potential of being much more.

Roont is available now on CD via PRC Music @ http://www.prcmusic.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1317 and digitally @ https://showofbedlam.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/showofbedlam

RingMaster 07/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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