Voice Of Addiction – The Lost Art of Empathy

This started out as a piece on one track from their new album, an introduction for us sent by Voice Of Addiction which was so persuasive the whole album had to instead be the focus of attention. A multi-flavoured punk rock roar from the Chicago based band, The Lost Art of Empathy is one rousing confrontation which has the body bouncing and spirit leaping with its boisterous escapades from start to finish.

Becoming a potent part of the Chicago punk scene through their explosive live shows, Voice Of Addiction have been stirring up ears and venues since 2004, with a handful of releases and a host of compilation appearances marking their way. At their centre is vocalist/bassist Ian “JohnnyX “ Tomele joined upon the latest Voice Of Addiction stomp by drummer Dennis Tynan, guitarist/backing vocalist Jake Smith, and backing vocalist Luke Ostojic. Listening to the treat that is The Lost Art of Empathy, it seems impossible that the band is not a more widely recognised proposition within the global punk scene; a prospect their new album just might trigger.

With politically and socially challenging lyrics matched by a sound which bites however it comes across it’s twelve tracks, The Lost Art of Empathy opens up with that first song heard here. Rustbelt instantly coaxes ears with a spicy hook which is soon joined by a grouchy bassline and jabbing beats. Together they surge at the senses, developing an infectious urgency as Tomele’s vocals with equally potent backing swiftly capture the imagination. In no time the romp is igniting ears and appetite, its drive towards one irresistible chorus just as manipulative as everything from hardcore, pop and classic punk seems to get involved.

The following Dead By Dawn has a rawer manner in tone and touch but is equally as contagious with athletic beats and the grumbling bass shaping the assault from within which a collage of vocals and the clang of guitar entice. Smith spins a web of sonic endeavour as unpredictable as his riffs are rabid before Unity brings its own belligerent defiance to the party. Tomele’s bass again whips up the appetite, its magnetic prowess matched by another potent mix of vocals across the band.

Petty Schemes swaggers in next with a knowing mischief before bounding into a snarling and keenly eventful melodic punk blaze while the soulful Corporate Pariah evolves into a ska punk canter before which feet and hips are leaping as thoughts are provoked by the tracks incisive words. Both songs hit the spot, the second especially persuasive before Lockwood uncages its sonic spiral and subsequent punk contagion to eclipse both. Across the album bands such as NOFX, Bad Religion, and Angelic Upstarts come to mind, this track especially hinting but there is no denying that Voice Of Addiction embrace all into their own individual furor.

The street punk fuelled I Can’t Breathe invitingly brawls with the listener next, the band merging US and seventies UK punk for its tenacious attack and triumph; a success matched by the visceral punk holler of Everything Must Go. It too is a collusion of styles within the punk banner; alternative and math rock flirting with hardcore tendencies to enthral and arouse.

Through the caustic yet melodically hued tear up of Ad Nauseum and the equally uncompromising and enticing Eviction Notice, the album continues to grip attention even if the songs do not hit the same level as those before them; a plateau Alcorn Queen definitely flirts with straight after with its Mars Volta meets Converge like adventure and animosity. The track is superb, stealing best track honours at the death though there is still time for the acoustic brilliance of Are We Even Human Anymore to shine with Tomele vocally luring ears like moths to a flame.

The Lost Art of Empathy is a moment in time not to be missed; indeed all punks should make it their cause to share its compelling sound as too the presence of Voice Of Addiction. America is catching on, now it is our turn around the world.

The Lost Art of Empathy is available now @ https://voiceofaddiction.bandcamp.com/album/the-lost-art-of-empathy-2

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Pete RingMaster 09/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Authority Zero – Broadcasting To The Nations

June sees the release of the sixth album from US melodic punks Authority Zero and a riot for the spirit which shows the genre’s young bucks just how it is done. After twenty plus years, you could be forgiven for expecting the band’s obvious maturity in sound and craft to come with an aged controlled fire but Broadcasting To The Nations quickly sets the records straight. There is an excitement and energy to its body and heart which you would more expect from a band just starting out as well as a freshness and urgency bred in a newcomer’s hunger to make their first mark. Add that to the long established invention and infectious prowess of the Mesa in Arizona hailing outfit and you quite simply have one of the most rousing and seriously enjoyable punk offerings of the past few years.

Once again Broadcasting To The Nations is a proposition brought alive with the distinctive Authority Zero mixing of SoCal punk with reggae and ska and as ever delivered with a host of swinging hooks and anthemic dexterity which has lured persistent acclaim the way of their music and releases. Within the new album though, it all seems to have found a new appetite and imagination; like the quartet has reaped the best elements from previous successes and honed them into their keenest most rapaciously rebellious but fun adventure yet.

It launches with First One in the Pit, a baying eager crowd luring out the band and a stomp of brooding bass and swinging rhythms aligned with senses clashing riffs and rich vocal enticement. Within seconds ears are hooked on the vigorous anthem of sound and spirit, its vocal declaration matched in tone by the contagion of aggressive punk ‘n’ roll sound.

The galvanic start is quickly reinforced by the bold holler of Reconciliation where again the beats of drummer Chris Dalley splinter bone as they land and the heavy grumble of Mike Spero’s bass grips an already awoken appetite. Their predacious edge though is skilfully tempered by the melodic roar of frontman Jason DeVore and the spicy hooks and melodies thrown into the commandingly catchy affair by guitarist Dan Aid. As exceptional as it and its predecessor are though, both are still eclipsed by the stirring charge of the Bad Religion scented Destiny and Demise. Within moments it has its spiky attitude and bold tenacity into hooked into limbs and emotion, stoking the instincts with its raucous enterprise and bullish energy. Submission and involvement is quick and lusty, the track simply punk at its best.

The album’s title track is just as mercilessly compelling, its ska infested shuffle an infestation of body and heart leading the listener into a breath stealing bounce of air punching unity. Spero’s bass uncages a groove which devours the passions, Aid offering hooks which are more puppeteer than suggestion, whilst Dalley’s beats just bite; all together the band spawning an infectiousness which borders on rabid as DeVore anthemically roars.

 

Summer Sickness allows things to calm down a touch though its reggae nurtured grooves and hip teasing bait is swiftly in control and directing reactions alongside the magnetic presence of DeVore. Highlights have flowed since the first second of Broadcasting to the Nations, this another stunning pinnacle springing  in Latin brass flames and a punchy catchiness to get lustful over.

The band dives back into their more direct punk dexterity with Bayside next, the song giving an additional contagious coating its heavy bustle. It is the kind of goodness Green Day delivered back in their prime but with the devilment and heart of Authority Zero which has never wavered and now seems hungrier than ever as supported by the Clash meets Random hand like Revolution Riot, an inescapable stonking romping incitement, and Sevens with its melodic blaze of reflection and defiance.

There is a whiff of Strummer and co to next up La Diabla too, its festival of melodic sound and creative diversity a smouldering fire with more inventive flickers and magnetic exploits than most ferocious pyres of sound and energy. The track is sheer captivation with, as no doubt now you might expect, the listener’s physical participation at its finger tips.

The brassy stroll of Creepers has claws just as vigorously in feet and imagination straight after; its lyrical and musically feisty rock ‘n’ roll something akin to Russian punks Biting Elbows and an instinctive arousal of attitude and anthemic coupling while When We Rule the World simply hits the spot with its stylishly infectious canter. Certainly, like its successor, it is missing that little imaginative extra which set ears and album ablaze earlier but leaves pleasure rich and a greed for more slavering.

One Way Track Kid mixes all its shades of rock in its cry; hard, melodic, and punk rock as boisterous as the other in its dynamic bellow before No Guts No Glory brings things to a fine close with a punk assault as old school, raw, and incendiary as it is fresh, melodic, and galvanic. With a sniff of Flogging Molly to its glory, the song is a heady conclusion to an anthemically intoxicating release.

There is no escaping that as a band Authority Zero are growing physically old but equally it is more than obvious their music whilst impressively mature is lost in the rapture of youth; all the evidence in one of the essential punk roars of recent times.

Broadcasting To The Nations is released June 2nd via Bird Attack Records across most online stores and @ https://birdattackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/broadcasting-to-the-nations

http://authorityzero.com/   https://www.facebook.com/AuthorityZero/   https://twitter.com/Authority_Zero

Pete RingMaster 01/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Random Hand – Hit Reset

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Hands up, who also raised an expletive or two in disappointment when British punksters Random Hand announced earlier this year they were going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other challenges in life? Well we can tell you now that the pain is going to get simultaneously better and worse thanks to the release of one of the band’s finest roars, final album Hit Reset. Whether it is because the decision has brought a freedom to the band in some way or it simply inspired a no holds barred energy to the creation of the twelve track storm as a last offering, but Hit Reset sees Random Hand at their most diverse, explosive, and passionate best with a little something indefinably extra too.

It is thirteen years ago that the Keighley quartet leap onto the British rock scene with their energetic and dynamic fusion of punk, ska, hardcore, and metal. The time since, has seen Random Hand earn the reputation as one of the UK’s best live encounters at home and further afield, and a host of varied and generally fiercely impacting releases. Now following a final flurry of shows this past summer, it all comes to an ‘end ‘ with the PledgeMusic funded Hit Reset; a giant slice of non-stop anthems which goes with the adages, “go out on a high” and “leave them wanting more”.

Random Hand - Hit Reset_RingMaster Review     Day One is the first encounter upon Hit Reset, its opening tinnitus of percussion amidst a tangy melody tempting enough but the mere appetiser to the explosion of punk metal ferocity and riffs driven by recognisable hardcore energised vocals matched in virulent strength by their clean harmonic counterparts. The swings of drummer Sean Howe seem to have new tenacity and aggression whilst the bass of Joe Tilston could just be at its most grouchy and compelling ever. It might be that ears are interpreting things in hope’s and assumption’s desired way but as the guitar of Dan Walsh weaves a web of antagonism and infection with intense enterprise and energy, that sense of freedom is a swift wonder.

As great as the opener is, the following Death By Pitchforks eclipses it with its strolling ska swing and relentless bounce. Juicy flames of trombone from Robin Leitch shoot across the addiction whilst vocals from him and the rest of the band are again as inescapably persuasive an incitement as the sounds hugging their alluring tones. It is a track which has body, emotions, and soul in relentless involvement, much as its successor Protect & Survive with its growling fury of Bad Religion tinged punk metal and a climax to arouse an empty room, and straight after If I Save Your Back… and its adrenaline powered punk ‘n’ roll stomp. The latter song also slips into some evocative dub/ska imagination and hardcore ire to add extra spice to the bracing revelry.

After The Alarm steps up next and soon forges another pinnacle for the album, its brass seared blaze and riotous stroll instant infection whipped up to greater potency by the choppy texture of riffs and the raw Reuben like contagion flying through ears for another richly inciting chorus. The track is glorious, definite final single candidate and alone a massive reason why Random Hand are going to be sorely missed; though every track upon Hit Reset spawns that feeling, Dead No Longer with its raucous thunder and Maybe It’s A Prize through its again Reuben spiced rapacity swift confirmation.

Dragging an eager body to the floor again, Pack It Up leaps and bounds into the imagination and an already lively ardour with its ska/punk ingenuity next, it too a track to whip up old and new fans alike with its busy and eventful collusion of styles and open passion.

A Clean Slate straight after is rock ‘n’ roll plain and simple, a boisterous call to arms for thoughts and bodies but a song unafraid to suddenly whip the floor from under the listener and take them through a melodic oasis of sound and tempting before entering an even more agitated and fearsome storm. It is a seriously invigorating proposition wonderfully contrasted by the addictive ska swing and rock groove of Abide which in turn makes way for more variety in the rip-roaring alternative rock/punk ‘n’ roll of Shelter As A Verb, both tracks a quick making addiction.

Closing with the no less irresistible As Loud As You Can, a song as post-hardcore as it bluesy, as punk and ska as it is old school rock ‘n’ roll, Hit Reset is a band at the height of its game, a game now sadly being put away in mothballs for a distant or possibly no further outing. Random Hand has left us with a classic though, an album which will continue to incite and excite in their absence. What a way to go!

Hit Reset is available digitally and on CD now through Bomber Music @ https://random-hand.bandcamp.com/album/hit-reset

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Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Atlas Losing Grip – Currents

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Ten years in and unleashing their third album this very week, Swedish melodic punks Atlas Losing Grip just get better and musically broader. Currents is a treat of a confrontation and muscular seduction, a release bulging with explosive songs bred in imaginative songwriting and bound in just as magnetically resourceful sounds. As striking and highly persuasive as it is from the first listen, it grows into an even more rigorously compelling adventure over time, revealing new nuances and depths from play to play. Atlas Losing Grip has had no lacking of acclaim coming their way with their reputation growing show by show, release by release, but Currents is a new plateau of enterprise and maturity from the band, a certain game changer in attention and stature.

Hailing from Lund, Atlas Losing Grip upon forming swiftly stirred up appetites in the city’s renowned punk scene which had also spawned the likes of Satanic Surfers and Astream. Debut album Shut The World Out was unveiled to strong responses in 2008, its success followed by the recruitment of Satanic Surfers vocalist Rodrigo Alfaro into the line-up. The next year was marked by the release of Watching The Horizon on mini-cd and 10” vinyl record, an immediate indication of a potent growth in the band’s craft and metal infused punk sound and now with a striking voice to match. With shows with bands such as Bad Religion and the undertaking of many tours under their belts, Atlas Losing Grip uncaged their second album State Of Unrest in 2011. It revealed yet another open evolution and growth, a striking leap forward which has been repeated again between Currents and its predecessor. Driven by an even deeper and creative blend of heavy metal and the band’s distinct style of melodic punk, the fourteen track new proposition is a tapestry of spellbinding and explosive sonic colours around just as gripping and dramatic structures.

Lapping waves bring opener Sinking Ship into view and an instantly inviting weave of melodic endeavour from guitarists Gustav Burn and Max Huddén. Their evocative enticement is a thoughtful and melancholic coaxing behind which a brewing tempest builds before opening its thick arms to welcome pungent beats from drummer Julian Guedj and thick bass sounds from Stefan Bratt. Sonically too the song has grown more tempestuous by this point, but still with some restraint as the walls of the song loom higher and more provocatively over the senses. It is soon a feistily striding march of metal bred tenacity and punk energy though, subsequently coloured by the outstanding tones of Alfaro. A cauldron of passion and craft with an intensity and melodic enterprise to match, the song stirs up ears and appetite with consummate ease whilst proving just an appetiser for bigger things to come.

The following charm and fire of The Curse keeps the vivacious start of the album constant, the at times Greg Graffin like tones of Alfaro roaring over a canvas of sound just as hungrily alg_currents_CD_digipak.inddsimmering and at times boiling. Though the song arguably lacks the final spark to match the first, it ignites the imagination with anthemic ease before Cynosure flexes sinews and sculpts an aggressive melodic theatre. The song is somewhere between a romance and a brawl on the senses and virulently captivating. It also shows the ability to seamless slip between unbridled charges driven expertly by Guedj and an increasingly impressive bass sound and enterprise from Bratt, and mellow reflective calm superbly caressed by Alfaro.

Through the similarly melodically and vocally voracious Shallow and the creatively snarling Nemesis, Atlas Losing Grip kicks up another stunning gear, the first of the pair an uncompromising and thoughtful blast of contagious heavy weight pop punk. Its successor equally twists and erupts with an infectiousness to bait body and passions but with a raw and more imposing texture to its inventiveness and blistering sounds. Both though fall into the shadow of the brilliant Closure, an acoustically sculpted ballad showing, as if we needed any more proof, the strength and quality of Alfaro’s voice. Backed as impressively by the band his delivery is embraced in just as evocative melodic scenery woven by the guitars. Adding emotive strokes of strings to seduce ears further, the track fascinates with its mesmeric impassioned presence.

Both the rock pop catchiness of Kings and Fools, which has a slight feel of Living End to it, and the punk storm of Cast Anchor rouse ears and emotions in their individual and similarly tenacious ways whilst Unknown Waters follows with a contemplation of vocal and melodic design which provokes feet and thoughts equally to greedily embrace its fiery elegance and rhythmic incitement. Anthemic vocals and another irresistible predacious bassline stands out before the song stands aside for the drama of The End where bass and drums again steal early attention before sharing attention it with, as expected, the voice of Alfaro and the dynamic energy of the guitars.

One pinnacle of Currents makes way for another in Downwind, as potent a punk and heavy metal anthem as you are likely to hear this year, which applies to the album as a whole too to be fair. The song stomps with heavy booted beats and wiry grooves whilst vigorously rippling with addictive emotion and infectiousness. It is an epidemic of a persuasion and alongside Closure firmly taking top honours. Its might shadows the next up Through the Distance a touch though it cannot diminish the thrilling maze of thrilling imagination and electro whispers nor the turbulent lure of industrious and feverish rock ‘n’ roll shaping the track.

Variety is not absent for long at any point on Currents, the sheer atmospheric and melodic drama of Cold Dirt sending ears and release down new avenues with its harmonic poetry and epic orchestral bred heart. Another big highlight it leaves Ithaka to bring the album to a close with its tribal seeded percussion and sultry melodic climate. Eleven minutes in length, the song never outstays the attention span, only revealing further depths and originality to band and release.

Currents is a gem, one shining brighter with every listen. There is a surprise that not as many songs return in thoughts to nag attention whilst away from the album but this has no impact, not even a whisper, on the weight and glory of the album. As suggested at the start Atlas Losing Grip just get better and better, and even the news that Alfaro has left the band just before the album’s release cannot deflate the band’s certain ascent into the strongest spotlights, especially with a song featuring his placement Niklas Olsson sounding like the vocal department is in safe and accomplished hands.

Currents is available worldwide from 16th January

http://www.atlaslosinggrip.com/

RingMaster 16/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Vox Dolomites – Self-Titled

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British punk has been at a feisty high for a couple of years now and just gets more potent which each emerging band and release. At the heart and criminally not getting the attention deserved is The Vox Dolomites, a quartet which turns the seeds of punk rock and ska into lyrically and musically gripping dramas. Their songs and EPs have proven the band has an instinctive knack at inciting feet and thoughts with energy and skill. Just recently the Stockport based band released their self-titled debut album, a release which surely will finally draw the keenest spotlight upon their presence.

Formed in2011, The Vox Dolomites is a tenacious and voracious creative stomp driven by guitarists/vocalists Ant Walsh and Will Farley, bassist/vocalist Chris O’Donnell, and drummer Simon Dunnington. The band soon grabbed attention, including ours, with the release simply called First Demo 2012. Their introduction was a blaze of punk and ska revelry which instantly made with its raw and inventive presence, an instant and lingering impression. It was a success subsequently emulated by tracks like No Split Ends and the Down For Three / Joan & Frank single of 2013. Live too the band has earned a renowned reputation for their ferocity of sound and drive, playing acclaimed shows not only at home but across the globe where especially in Japan, the band is feverishly devoured. This was no more evident than in The Dirty Work Tour 2012 movie which came out last year. Filmed by Chalkman Video it honestly followed the band on tour out East, revealing everything about the connection between band and their fans. Working hard on their first album through the first half of 2014, The Vox Dolomites has now opened the cage to a stomping release which declares that the band has hit their sweet spot creatively and unleashed their most adventurous and eclectic songs yet.

Choppy riffs make an instant potent tempting as opener Backtrack steps forward, their lure accentuated by the stroke of piano which sparks a flavoursome stroll of shadowed bass and keys wrapped in expressive melodies. A breath is swiftly taken before vocals and songs rouse up the imagination with their spicy enterprise and punk tenacity. It is a riveting mix, raw punk and melodic rock colluding for an infectious proposition equipped with essences of Rancid and NOFX for extra flavour. Making a striking start to the album, the richly pleasing track is surpassed by the outstanding Battle Scars, a feisty roar with thicker sinews and predatory intent compared to its predecessor, cored by the gripping throaty bass of O’Donnell amidst an acidic blaze of guitar. One of the band’s early songs which graced a previous EP, the track has been revamped and given a new antagonistic tenacity so it stomps as a new beast

Both Down For 3 and Alone In Mexico keep the adventure and quality of the album flying, the first of the two a ska rock dance with the crisp beats of Dunnington coring a flirtatious bass enticement and the radiant devilry of keys. Vivacious and exhaustive for feet and emotions, the song is a virulent bounce infused with sixties garage rock seduction and insatiable melodic charm. The second of the pair explores a sterner old school punk attitude and sound, the switching of two vocal attacks an alluring graze to compliment the similarly harsh sounds. The song still develops an imposing catchiness though which is as irresistible as the brooding fury within its depths and narrative.

The brilliant No Split Ends comes next, a pop punk provocateur with ferocity to its jangling riffs and punch to its intimidating rhythms. Again the busy energy and intensity of the track is a breath-taking onslaught but also it is ripe with a seriously addictive lure and temptation which snarls as it seduces. As the previous older song, the track has been revitalised and twisted into an even greater slice of punk alchemy to take top song honours and reinforce reasons why those in the know wax lyrical about the band.

As mentioned there is strong and highly pleasing variety to the album as shown by the melodic and hard rock infused 6AM Rain. Fiery but simultaneously a gentler stroll, the track comes with skilled melodic endeavour and blues rock imagination whilst still showing its punk breeding. Whereas the previous song had a sense of Russian punks Biting Elbows and also [Spunge], this whispers a calm Turbonegro and Bad Religion fusion whilst still sounding distinct to the Brits. Without sparking as certainly its predecessor, the track is an intriguing and pleasing different side to the band’s evolving sound, as is the more ruggedly bruising ALA where again heavier rock riffs and that increasingly delicious carnivorous tone of bass bind attention and appetite. The stirring and muscular brawl of punk ‘n’ roll is an inescapable imposing setting up the passions perfectly for the impossible addictive Horrorshow. Ska punk with a growl to vocals and riffs tempered by the melodic seducing of keys, the track is one of those stomps which once infested by never leave thoughts and passions. Bands like Face To Face and Operation Ivy have helped drive the style of music employed, but whether either has crafted a track as potent and irresistible as this is debateable.

I Fought The Lawyer brings us back to old school punk fury with Clash like attitude within raw rock ‘n’ roll whilst the gnarly Kojak With A Kodak with stabbing riffs and a rumbling bass lining, takes ears into yet another new aspect in the band’s punk ingenuity and exploration. A slow burner compared to other songs on the album, even with its eager gait, the track reveals itself to be a fascinating and richly creative persuasion unveiling a little more to its depth and lure with every listen.

The album goes out with a bang through firstly the mouth-watering aggressive stomp of Break Down The Walls, the song another long-term lust in the making, and lastly the ridiculously contagious and body igniting Losing Hands. Punk does not come any better than these last two songs, well apart from the other tracks on this excellent rampage of an album. It seems we are praising The Vox Dolomites more and more with every release and there is no reason to change with this seriously impressive album. They are a band which deserves the keenest spotlight and hopefully now they have found the trigger to such attention and recognition.

The Vox Dolomites is available now via STP Records @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htm on CD with a vinyl version scheduled for 2015.

http://www.thevoxdolomites.com

RingMaster 06/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rancid – Honor Is All We Know

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It is approaching six years since Rancid unleashed their last album Let The Dominoes Fall but the wait for another provocation individual to the band is now over with Honor Is All We Know. The California quartet has sculpted a presence truly unique within an intensive and expansive punk scene, and it is that sound and invention which again fuels the new release. A greatly satisfying and undemanding stomp, Honor Is All We Know is quite simply what Rancid does best; creating short stabs of contagious incitements which hit home lyrically and musically, punk and ska entwined in mini provocations.

Upon the fourteen track stomp, the band seems to revisit old times from across their years though they are certainly also mixing it with fresh attitude and energy. It is fair to say that surprises are low and familiarity high, resulting in a typical yet virulently addictive slab of sonic Rancid bred prosperity for ears and emotions. Expect some raising dissatisfaction at its almost ‘safe’ rioting in sound but fans will definitely and greedily lap it up whilst it is easy to see uninitiated pop punk fans making the leap into the bosom of one of modern punk’s founding fathers.

Released via Hellcat Records and produced by Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz, Honor Is All We Know instantly has feet and emotions alive with Back Where I Belong, a prize bull of Rancid incitement which roars and sonically squalls through ears. Guitarist/vocalist Tim Armstrong straight away stands tall and distinct in the infectious brawl whilst the bass lure of Matt Freeman pulsates with its similarly additive bait. Everything about the track is prime Rancid, the beats of Branden Steineckert insatiable whilst Lars Frederiksen also flares and sizzles on guitar and vocals, and whilst it feeds expectations there is nothing at play in the song to leave an already established appetite unfulfilled.

The following Raise Your Fist strolls in on a dark bassline whilst guitars layer caustic glazes of temptation. It soon settles into an imposing and unfussy stride, beats and vocals driving the raw punk tone and attitude of the track. Employing a healthy dose of oi to its again recognisable minimalistic landscape, the song also flirts with melodic scenery but it is just added colour to a rugged anthem which is matched by the fiery enticing of Collision Course. There is a feel of the band’s Let’s Go moment in time to the song linked to a Transplants spawned causticity, both uniting for another unavoidable anthemic persuasion which has body, voice, and hunger heavily involved.

Evil’s My Friend leaps in next with ska bent hips and riffs twisting and enticing respectively, keys just as flirty as guitars whilst the bass saunters and seduces with throaty temptation. The song is one inexhaustible bounce, its irrepressible energy and melodic irreverence pop/ska punk a contagious treat recalling the pinnacles of Armstrong’s solo album A Poet’s Life.

Both the title track and A Power Inside pound ears and imagination with raw riffing and pungent rhythms aligned to melodic and cantankerous enterprise. The first is a senses grazing slice of punk ‘n’ roll loaded with bruising antagonism whilst the second is a muscular yet easy going call to arms with infectiousness as insatiable as the plague. It also, around a delicious flaming of sonic endeavour, finds the band at its rawest and almost unruly in vocals and presence, lifting a good song to greater success before the aggravated intimidation of In The Streets snarls over ears      with its heavier rock intimidation. The track like many hits the spot without setting a blaze but still provides full enjoyment before the snarly dance of Face Up pushes up the ante again. With a sizzling melodic lilt to the guitar’s enterprise and thumping predation to rhythms courted by another binding bassline, the song has that familiar Rancid devilment and prowl which is maybe predictable but inescapable.

The raging hostility of Already Dead provides the next barracking, its spaghetti western climate over a ferocious canvas of antagonistic vocals and riled riffing speared by a devil spawned heavy bassline. The song is a riveting croon which does spread into new terrain for the band in some ways before the rhythm slinging, riff growling stomp of Diabolical grabs its moment in the spotlight. The track enslaves within seconds, never relinquishing its forceful devilry until the pop and sixties garage rock brew of Malfunction leaps upon the passions, it an irresistible hop of sound and energy with the flaming hues of keys as potent as the duelling vocals and cheek slapping beats of Steineckert.

The angry, busy barracking of Now We’re Through With You kicks up a bruising provocation next, its presence a senses tramping bitch slap of a treat whilst Everybody’s Sufferin’ slips into ska flirtation for a glorious two-tone shuffle which instantly makes subservient slaves of feet and emotions. Both tracks leave ears and appetite full but are surpassed by the closing triumph of Grave Digger, a quarrelling slice of street punk which has no excess to its lean confrontation but offers a fat anthemic lure which lingers as it brings the album to a mighty end.

It is hard to make claims that Honor Is All We Know is bringing anything truly new from the band and difficult to be convinced that it can convert those aware but not already enamoured with the band into their fold, but for a rigorously enjoyable assault of Rancid punk rock, it is another richly appetising scrap.

Honor Is All We Know is available from October 27th via Hellcat/Epitaph Records.

http://www.rancidrancid.com

RingMaster 27/10/2014

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Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – White Teeth, Black Thoughts

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You will excuse any misplaced words and deviation of thought as you read this review as it is all down to the fact that these hips are still swerving as feet are stomping with a dervish passion whilst emotions flying high from listening to the delicious romp of White Teeth, Black Thoughts. You can blame its creators Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for this over enthusiastic and lingering unprofessional relish as they spread the irresistible swing and jazz passion of their new and sixth full-length release via People Like You Records. Bringing eleven richly flavoured and distinctly shaped temptresses to flirt, seduce, and enslave the imagination, the album sees the US band diving back into their swing and jazz inspired natures, leaving the more eclectic worldly sounds of previous offerings to the side, for one terrific and unforgettable party.

From the release of their 1990 debut album Ferociously Stoned a year after forming, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies has ignited bodies and passions with their constantly tempting sounds; the band fusing weaves of potent spices and styles along the way. They brewed or certainly accelerated a loyal and swiftly growing fanbase around the world with their compilation Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin’ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies in 1997, it the catalyst to a new concentrated attention and hunger for their sound. Since its invitation albums like Soul Caddy and Susquehanna in 2000 and 2008 respectively, with their wider striking mixes of flavours such as ska, rock, and at times pop, have only increased the band’s acclaim and presence whilst shows and tours with bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid and Bad Religion have unreservedly enhanced their reputation and stature.

The early more concentrated swing and jazz fuelled time of their first releases though for many is the core and instinctive sound of the Press_CoverOregon band and returning to it White Teeth, Black Thoughts proves the octet has lost none of their flare and fervour not to mention skill for the styles. The album is not a throwback to those times though but a fresh and contemporary slice of revelry immersed in the world of today and its issues. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Perry, who founded the band alongside bassist Dan Schmid, described the album and the intent of the band with it as “We’re a modern band talking about modern problems,” going on to say “This is not a nostalgic record. If anything, it’s a record about nostalgia. I’m not interested in old things; I’m interested in how old things function now.

As soon as the brass flames soar over the ears escorted by crisp beats and a riveting dark bass tone, opener The Babooch has attention in the palm of its hands; trumpet, sax, and trombone similarly igniting the imagination with their fiery temptation. Settling into a steady stroll, keys and rhythms entangle an already awoken appetite further whilst the smooth tones of Perry croon with an eager smile as group vocal additives and cheeky twists within the song skirt and accentuate the lure of the track. Well into its stride the track subsequently lifts its urgently driven feet to run with the melodic devilry grinning within all members and their instrumentations; the encounter a glorious and irresistible start to the album swiftly backed and increased by I Love American Music. Like its predecessor, the song needs no time to warm up its intent and desire to have the listener instantly engaged and dancing with its swinging gait and boldly stomping hips. So with more contagion to its narrative and melodic toxicity than at a sultry burlesque show and just as much aural sex, the song magnetically storms and seductively smoulders across its piece of defiant devilry, alternating the bait whilst providing an unrelenting temptation of insatiable imagination.

The following Whiskey Jack ensures that there is not lifting of the persuasion and energy, its blustery brass caresses potent incitements to thoughts and feet. Their masterful seizing of the senses is persistently coaxed and driven by the as now expected excellent vocals of Perry and the colourful dance of keys, though once again it is a song which skilfully throws strands of unexpected textures and unpredictable sounds with equally intriguing ideation into the mix. Hunger for the album at this point is intense; greed just as wholesomely fed by Doug the Jitterbug, a glorious cover of the Louis Jordan track, and the sultrily fired title track. The first of the two is a jazz bred quickstep of mischievous urgency and vivacious enterprise whilst the second whilst also being seeded in a rich soak of jazz tempting, finds just as riveting strains of blues and R&B within its simmering and evocative melodic blaze.

The dark boisterous and pulsating entrance of next up Brown Flight Jacket immediately has lips licked, the resonance of hollow yet vocal drums, similarly intensive bass, and the ever descriptive keys merging for a mouthwatering welcome. In many ways the emergence of the undeniably mesmeric and enthralling keys and vocal harmonies thereafter is an anti-climax such the impressive build-up, but the song soon has mind and heart locked and loaded within its mellow enticement. The song whips up yet another lustful response towards the album, taking longer than most may be to get there but over time seducing with the guile and poise of a siren.

The variety within the release continues with another masterful cover, this time of the Hank Penny track Bloodshot Eyes, which riles up another surge of eagerness in the appetite, and then the inventive and unexpected proposition of Jakes Frilly Panties. The song sees the band dig right back in time with its blues piano swagger but it is the static in the production recalling forties and fifties recordings which steals the imagination most. The success of the pair is matched by the darker toned almost salacious Huffin Muggles, a weave of heavily throated and resourceful temptation walked through by equally mysterious and darkly alluring vocals. Its outstanding sound and invention reminds of the sounds bands like Molotov Jukebox and The BeauBowBelles have been spreading around the passions.

As good as the trio of songs are they have to play second fiddle in a way to the final cover on the album. Recorded back in the day by Bull Moose Jackson, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies give Bowlegged Woman an accomplished devilry musically and vocally which cannot fail to raise constant chuckles and pleasure. Its boisterous revelry is followed by the closing masterful call of Concrete Man Blues, arguably the biggest swing number on the album with its orchestrated fire. The song completes a captivating and dramatically thrilling release, White Teeth, Black Thoughts an addiction casting treat which shows that Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are still the masters of swing induced jazz sculpted revelry. If the likes of King Salami and the Cumberland 3, The Stargazers, and Brian Setzer tinkle your fancy then Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and their new album is a must.

White Teeth, Black Thoughts is available now via People Like You Records.

http://www.daddies.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryPoppinDaddies

9/10

RingMaster 05/05/2014

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