Bleeding Raven Interview

BLEEDING RAVEN is the aggrotech/dark tek project from Dean Mason of Gnostic Gorilla. Recently he released its debut album via Cleopatra Records. We had the pleasure to chat with Dean about the album, his latest project, a career and life changing set back and much more…  

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

The pleasure is all mine man.

Can you first introduce the ‘project’ and give us some background to how it all started?

In a land…far far away…hahahahaha…Ok, but seriously… I first got the ‘itch’ to record music when I was a teen-ager in high school. Some buddies and I went into a little studio and recorded two songs for a single release. (Dark Hallway/Golgotha) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05YqqTOS_M  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047Pk2GhPnY

Thanks to my lovely parents I released a vinyl 45 rpm as just “Dean Mason” with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the name of the makeshift indie label. I got ‘itchy’ again in 2001 and began looking at music again, but did very little. In 2012, I got right into recording electronic music of a dark bent and scent and thus was born “Gnostic Gorilla” eventually. (I released stuff as The Lonely Ghost Project initially but changed the name to “Gnostic Gorilla”) In 2018, Cleopatra Records released “St. Basil’s Asylum”. (Gnostic Gorilla) In May of this past year, after releasing quite a few albums on different labels (KL Dark Records, Nowhere Now Records, Throne of Bael Records and LGP-ONE) I wanted to pursue something more ‘aggrotech’ in style. That’s when I initiated the “Bleeding Raven” project. Cleopatra released “Darkness Consumed” in October of this year.

How have those earlier impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as just “Dean Mason” as a lad. In 2012, the Lonely Ghost Project was launched (so to speak) and then “Gnostic Gorilla” and from that evolved what we are talking about today…that is…the Bleeding Raven Project. My early music in these other projects was a mix of ‘Goth/Dark Wave/Dark Tek/Industrial’. I really wanted to do something more bizarre and almost literally more noisy and that’s when I initiated “Bleeding Raven”. It’s more aggrotech, but I also call it… “dungeon trash”…hahahahahahahahahaha I even have a shirt with that on it.   https://www.dizzyjam.com/products/157830/ 

The image or character of the ‘raven’ is common in First Nations lore and even spirituality. The raven can either be a trickster or mischievous little critter or it can be sort of a symbol of the soul preparing for death of being taken back to the Great Creator. Different nations/tribes have different ideas and stories about the raven. The ‘bleeding’ part more or less speaks of suffering, of hurt etc. So, like my lyrics however, even with the image, I allow people to have their own interpretations. That said, I think always…DAILY…of my many sisters and brothers in the First Nations communities who suffer immensely because of a racist attitude towards them. There are many…MANY young Native women/girls who have gone missing and the effort to find them hasn’t always been fervent. As well, the suicide rate among First Nation teens is extremely high.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of Bleeding Raven and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Well, in the Spring of 2019, I had to be on the road a bit and for some long drives, I acquired on my iTunes a few albums of a more industrial bent. That includes a couple of compilations of various bands. I discovered acts like Die Sektor and Psyclon Nine and I felt very inspired to go in this direction. I sort of started to go in that direction as “Gnostic Gorilla” but I wanted a new project that was mostly aggrotech in style. I came up with the ‘dungeon trash’ (LOL) I released in October and I am very proud of it!

Do the same things still drive you when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Definitely evolved over time. So, when I first started off, I was more into a Gothic sound or industrial. And I still love a lot of that stuff. Always will. St. Basil’s Asylum is a classic and I’m just so sad that it’s still not discovered by many yet. But anyway, yeah…things do evolve. That said, I don’t like the idea of being in a ‘genre house arrest’ and being narrow minded in your approach to music. But either way, it’s all over for me in music anyway so…I’ve done what I could.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Well, from the really early days, that is from the days of the Dark Hallway release, things really evolved dramatically. First of all, that 45 was like a mish mash of metal/punk pre-grunge I guess. I was heavily influenced by Gary Numan and yet, try as I did my vocal style was markedly different than his. It’s later that I appreciated that. But, see…I love ALL sorts of music. I mean, sometimes I’m just knee deep  into The Doors and more psychedelic shit and other days I’m into Dio and Sabbath and Type O Negative and Ministry and Rammstein. Other days it’s The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins or of course, classic Numan and Japan or Bauhaus. So, a lot of what I do depends on where I’m at and I guess when it comes to music, I’m moody as hell. hahahahahaha

Do you find the changes have been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say the latter, yeah.

Presumably , and you have touched on them already, there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

So, I make a distinction between that which has inspired and that which has influenced more directly my own style. The artists/bands that have been inspirations are many. Gary Numan, KISS, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Japan (David Sylvian) Ozzy, Manson, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Bauhaus, Zardonic, Fear Incorporated, Frost Like Ashes, CRIX IIX and the list is endless. As for those who have been influences, while they include some of the names listed already, I’d say Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor. As I always do in any interview, the band that will forever be my absolute favourite is The Doors. The Doors and Gary Numan are both at the top of my own personal ‘chart’.

I also want to give a shout out to Tim Muddiman and NOT because of his connection to Gary Numan. Tim has ventured into more graphic arts in recent years and he is doing some amazing work. THAT very much inspires me…or better yet…I honour the man as an artist in every sense of the word…as a true artist.

Is there a process to your songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

Yeah, mostly I start off with a vague idea of want kind of song I want to do, Then I begin with beats and drum patterns and bass lines or even synth lines. (it depends) I get a general idea of the direction I want to go in before going far into the track. So, I begin to choose the different sounds and samples/loops that I want as well to give it a mood. More often than not, I manipulate these and distort or whatever to make them unique. Then as the song evolves, there’s the question of whether or not I want a traditional chorus (often not because that’s too pop) and I allow the track to sort of dictate to me where it’s going. Sort of like a First Nations wood carver who allows the ‘wood’ to speak to them as they say. Then when I have a rough demo, I begin writing lyrics and then record vocals. That’s the tough part for many reasons. Lots of hit and miss with that process. I’ve written an entire set of lyrics for a song only to discover that something else would work better and I have to (at times) chop out some of the lyrics. Hard to explain.  Also, sometimes I record the vocals and it sounds like shit. I mean, there is a need for a different ‘style’ all together. After all the vocals are recorded, I go back and add more …sometimes a sample here or an FX noise there or whatever. I’m quite ADD so if there are any sort of ‘blank stare’ moments in a song…that’s unacceptable. It has to be busy. I’m told my music is VERY busy. Then there is the final mix which is a real pain in the ass. Sometimes even at that stage you decide… “nah…this is total shit”! It’s a bit of a drag when that happens though man because you’ve come all the way to a full song and you realize it isn’t happening.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

First off, good for you for asking that because lyrics are important for me… I realize it’s not what the listener first becomes aware of…but for me, the lyrics are important. Anyway, so…I don’t write any lyrics with any sort of ‘agenda’. In other words, I don’t preach or dictate anything. I like a very poetic approach to the lyrics with lots of imagery. Now, that said, there are certain subjects that inspire me. I often write about religious themes or philosophical themes and often touch upon injustice and hypocrisy and hate and injustice for example. But I do so in veiled/poetic language. I want the listener to decide for themselves what it could mean.

Give us some background to your latest release.

 “Darkness Consumed” touches upon a few subjects…again in veiled language. One of the tracks is called “Pontiff’s Nightmare” which is actually about St. Francis. He more or less spooked the Pope at the time with his authentically radical life style and that Pope had a dream about Francis. Francis challenged the corruption of the time by the way he lived. “Salem Vigil” is sort of… but not completely about the Salem witch trials. The song actually addresses the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘religious people’ oppressing and persecuting people who don’t fit their narrow definition of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘decent’ and ‘righteous’.  In the end, these arrogant and often ignorant people of so called ‘faith’ are the ones who are truly evil because of the harm they inflict on many borne out of their hatred and unenlightened worldview.  

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

So, “Darkness Consumed”…that very title isn’t a nod to evil or the promotion of ‘darkness’. It’s actually about the fact that somehow, ‘TRUTH’ (light) will ‘consume the darkness’ and overcome it. That’s sort of the idea in brief. As I said, I want people to decide for themselves however what something can mean for them.

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Going back to the very first single “Dark Hallway”…I had everything figured out (with lyrics) when I presented the tracks to the band. I wrote the lyrics in English class (Dark Hallway) while under the influence of benzodiazepines. Hahahahahahaha We were reading “Death of a Salesman” in that class and it was, to say the least, a rather dark story. hahahahahaha

Tell us about the live side to Bleeding Raven.

I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely and totally. It happened in October…Very traumatic actually. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes…I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Especially live music, even if I wanted to do something live with a band. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously…but that’s over. That’s the future.

It is not easy for any new artist/band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

You’re correct. It’s very difficult to ‘break through’ in this day and age. There’s just too much out there. I mean, everyone and their cat is putting stuff out. There are so many genres today and so many…MANY indie folks (like me) who have stuff out there and are competing with the ‘big boys and gals’. You have to be creative to get known because sadly, younger people are not interested in new music aside from what they become aware of through video games or TV/Movies. I mean, I’m seriously over generalizing perhaps but it is true that, young people today don’t appreciate music the way people did in the past. They don’t grasp the concept of music as ‘art’ anymore. That’s not their fault. But because of the technology that we have today and with social media platforms…there is too much out there and for younger people, music is just “there for the taking” the way fruit on trees is there to pluck. So, you have to be creative in how you get people to notice you today. It’s not easy.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

So, this is sort of a continuation of the previous question. Here’s the thing, the internet and social media and digital music etc. is here and it’s here to stay. We are still trying to adapt to this I suppose. Now, you could lament and dream of the “good old days” but that’s all it will ever be…a ‘dream’. Musicians/artists have to adapt. In many ways, it has been a blessing. Many artists would have never been able to put their stuff out there so to speak were it not for the kind of technology we have today. See, I picked up music again in 2012 but only as a hobby. I then, almost jokingly put some of my stuff out there as an indie/unsigned act and I eventually got a label deal with Cleopatra Records, which for me is phenomenal. I will have three releases with Cleopatra Records by end of 2020. (the last one is another Gnostic Gorilla album) I also have releases with three other labels. So, none of that would have happened were it not for the technology we have at our disposal. I guess it’s sort of what you make of it, like anything else.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks again to you for the great (and extensive) interview. Reveal?

Ok…I’m  B A T M A N.  Hahahahahahaha  No but, seriously, I thank the many people who have been supportive of me in one way or another…be it family or friends and certainly Benny at Cleopatra Records. As I said earlier, because of the extreme hearing loss (actually deaf completely in one ear and the other is severely compromised) …I have to pack it in with regards to music. I will promote what I have and will have out soon (already recorded obviously) and perhaps a book of lyrics and that’s it. Cheers.

Dean

https://bleedingraven.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bleedingravenofficial/   http://www.bleedingraven.com

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Gaa Gaas – Self Titled

There is no sense of understatement when we say that the debut album from UK outfit The Gaa Gaas has been one long awaited and highly anticipated release, to the band as much as fans, but now finally here there is no sense of an anti-climax in its arrival and triumphant presence.

We admit we have been hooked on The Gaa Gaas sound since discovering the Jersey hailing, often Brighton/ London based outfit over a decade ago, the band itself emerging from the imagination of vocalist/guitarist Gavin Tate and co in 2003 after meeting at a garage punk club night called ‘Bomp’ in St Helier, Jersey. Subsequent singles, EP’s and live shows across the UK and Europe have only brought greater acclaim by the year and richer reputation by the creative escapade but as all artists know it is a perpetual struggle to realise the next step or ignite greater attention. The Gaa Gaas have met all obstacles and hold ups with resistance as the years have sneaked by but the determination to release their album and breach major spotlights has now found its moment with the latter of the two surely to deservedly follow.

The Gaa Gaas sound is as individual in its character and enterprise as it is unique in its voice. It is bred on the nutrients of post punk, punk, psych rock, noise and much more but as suggested emerges as its own senses menacing, imagination seducing sonic virus. From within a drone enlivened nagging, hooks bite with creative rabidity as rhythms tease with serial killer like intent. That alone proves an irresistible trespass but add the infernal melodic toxins which the band just as easily conjure, it all makes for one rapacious addiction which is no more enjoyable and compelling than within their self-titled debut album.

The album opens with Close Your Eyes, a lone strum of guitar providing a lingering scent of sonic jeopardy from within which a rhythmically swinging clamour bursts. Instantaneously it is a contagious affair, the bass of Jamey Exton leading the rhythmic infection further driven by drummer Stewart Brown’s bold strikes. The sonic smog escaping Tate’s guitar smothers as it seduces, his vocals dancing with almost contempt on the wires within that enveloping incitement. Resistance to the track’s bounce is non-existent as the track manipulates limb and spirit alike, a glorious start to the release firmly declared.

In its own Bauhaus hued architectural landscape, Statues proves just as gripping, bass and beats setting a virulent lure as guitar and vocals express their twisted psych breath upon industrial and post punk honed intimation. Tate’s keys are just as invasive and animated as the ravening sounds escaping his guitar, the track as magnificent as its predecessor and indeed the following V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E. A track we devoured years back, it is still as powerful and irrepressible now, from its first citric sighs through the rhythmic stroll which invades every instinct to move, and the tart melodies which wrap its pure contagion, the song devours ears and appetite like a swing loaded creative plague.

The Type Of Mood is just as insistent in its groove and infection, the keys of Peter Hass a tangy sweetness in the more caustic but no less tempting commotion expressed by Tate’s guitar. Again there is a vocal eighties post punk air to the track, a cold nostalgic din given greater depth and adventure by The Gaa Gaas’ senses trespassing imagination while the ever rousing Hypnoti(z)ed provides a less intrusive but equally as overwhelming and manipulative not forgetting delicious incitement. The bass of Ali Cooper is at its core temptingly harassing as beats bite and Tate’s vocals holler, everything off kilter and bewitching like an especially devious cobra before it strikes.

C.U.T.S. is built of the same devilment, every aspect niggling at the senses and each strand of its web crawling under the skin before unleashing its predacious rabidity and sonic fermentation. Drowned in its tide and blissful in its maelstrom, the track just had us lost in our own physical and emotional eruption before The One Eyed Stranger took ears and imagination on a stroll through dark avenues of enterprise and addiction. The sax of Luke Georgiou lights the way with delicious drama, its enterprise echoed in the tones of Tate and the persistently swinging rhythms of Cooper and drummer Matt Maguire. Once more Bauhaus come to mind in many ways across the track and though there is no real comparison to The Gaa Gaas’ sound, Pete Murphy and co are the closest to give some inkling of its identity.

In the 2018 version of Entertainment which graces this release, punk rock is the fuel to its discontent and creative agitation, the track biting back at a landscape as prevalent now as any previous time as the beats of Maguire take lethal pot shot. It is a song which in its early writing hints at the eventual wonderfully nagging quality of the band’s sound which is fully employed by next up Perception within its scuzzy senses haunting, habit forming rapture.

The album concludes with Indian Giver, a beguiling psych rock nurtured instrumental as potent on the imagination as it is the ears. There is a Cure like scenting to the track, especially in its rhythmic saunter, and dour breath which manages to be as radiant in beauty as it is dark in suggestion. It is a fascinating and enslaving end to a release which even with our already in place eager expectations of pleasure left us basking in richer joy, invasively impressed, and expecting the band to finally find deserved recognition in far broader and intense spotlights.

The Gaa Gaas album is out now on Movement-2 Records; available @ https://thegaagaas.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-album

http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas

Pete RingMaster 05/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Audra – Dear Tired Friends

photo by Jaymz

A decade is a long time to be without something but well worth the wait when it comes to the new album from post punks Audra. It is ten years since the Arizona hailing band released third album Everything Changes and it is fair to say a great many have been eagerly and patiently awaiting its successor and just as simple to assume they are going to greedily bask in the dark beauty of Dear Tired Friends.

Formed in 1991 and primarily brothers Bart and Bret Helm, Audra enfold the inspirations of post punk and its numerous shapers alongside the eclectic imagination found in the likes of the Velvet Underground, Jane’s Addiction, Joy Division, David Bowie, James, and Tom Waits within their sound. As Dear Tired Friends proves it emerges a riveting often haunting embrace of intimate shadows and bewitching melancholy framed in post punk starkness and gothic rock romanticism.

An album which “deals heavily with loss and letting go” and described as “a testimony of the effect the last decade had on each band member”, Dear Tired Friends opens up with the song Tired Friends and took barely a handful of seconds to seize attention with the sizzle of Bart’s guitar across the bold but controlled rhythms of the band’s drummer, Jason DeWolfe Barton. From there pure addiction grew as the track unveiled its post punk prowess around Bret’s potent tones, the imagination only further ensnared as a calmer passage of reflection bares the heart of the track. It is a compelling and irresistible start to the album and quickly followed and matched by the outstanding Wish No Harm.

This is a song which began back in the early nineties and reappeared on a cassette they found when the band was assembling demos for what originally was to be a 4-track EP. Completed last year, Bret adding lyrics and melody to the original demo, Wish No Harm became the lead single for Dear Tired Friends and there could be no finer invitation to the album. The opening bassline was immediate manna to the ears, its lure unapologetic flirtation echoing the core essence of eighties post punk and only enhanced by the swiftly following enticement of vocals and guitar. There is something of Bauhaus meets The Cure to the song with a just as flavoursome tease of bands such as Leitmotiv and Gene Loves Jezebel but nevertheless stands unique to Audra and their dark imagination.

Another Fallen Petal is next up, the song a slowly unfurling piece of emotive solemnity and melodic intimacy within the mournful yet radiant embrace of keys. With the pure captivation bred leaving a lingering presence in thoughts, the song simply beguiled as too its successor, Drinking Yourself To Sleep. Fuelled by an instinctive catchiness bred in all tracks however their darkness and character, the equally enthralling song bears a glam rock lining to its harmonic stroll with psych rock currents in its breath.

Sunglass provides another romance of ears, keys and vocals almost crawling over the senses with the subsequent blaze of guitar sparking a Bowie-esque hue to the soulful and atmospheric piece of dark rapture while Planet Of Me steps forward with a knowing swagger to its rousing virulence. Featuring Mike VanPortfleet of Lycia as guest on lead guitar, the track is a weave of contrasts and stirring imagination; it as striking in its calm as it is in its lively eddies of contagious enterprise.

Across the fertile almost invasive liveliness of Sliding Under Cars and its Numan-esque poppiness, through The Sound/The The styled bold rapture that is Fireflies, and over the doleful but enslaving fascination of 1987 we can only say that Dear Tired Friends engrained itself deeper under the skin and into the passions before Falling brought it all to a close with its dark wave nurtured seduction. Volatility lies in the heart of the song, never fully erupting but teasing fiery emissions to the surface as it adds to the inherent beauty and splendour which lines its shadowy magnificence.

We all may have lingered ten years for a new adventure with Audra but we can tell you that every long second was worth the wait and more.

Dear Tired Friends is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl; available @ https://audra.bandcamp.com/album/dear-tired-friends

https://www.audramusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/audramusic   https://twitter.com/audramusiccom

Pete RingMaster 28/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Noseholes – Ant And End

 

 

Such the dark majesty and ravening twisted exploits of debut album Danger Dance last year, we found it hard to imagine that Noseholes could eclipse its striking character and triumph. Well with its successor the German outfit has done just that whilst taking their sound into new intrigue loaded, virally compelling devilment. Ant And End has not wiped the floor with its illustrious predecessor but built on all its dark and aberrant brilliance to forge a whole new and sensational Noseholes escapade so easy to greedily devour.

Within a sound bred from the voracious instincts of post punk, no wave, and anomalous disco, the Hamburg hailing quartet of Henk Haiti, Steve Somalia, ZooSea Cide, and TH have ventured into darker corners and brighter trespasses with Ant And End. Still the body was a puppet to the band’s fiercely manipulative antics as they sprung a creative harassment to drool for, but the imagination was taken into the crevices of a more dystopian exploration bringing new esurient peril to their compulsive dance.

The album opens with Snowsuit Ranger and instantly roams the body with devious grooves and atypical enterprise. Rhythms tease and taunt, directing song and listener with their infernal bounce as eagerly tantalising vocals and deviant electronics are embraced by a quirky web of guitar. Like a distant relative of a merger between Au Pairs and Blood Red Shoes, the track is glorious, setting the voracious tone of the album and submissive mood of its victim alike.

The following IQ Model is just as rich a tempting, its gait a calmer virulent but clothed in mysterious atmospheric smog of intimation. The similarly reserved stroll of the radiantly dour bass fuels the blossoming industrial espionage of the song, vocals the magnetic narration to its seduction before the album’s title track got under the skin and had feet, hips, and instincts abound again. Whether an inspiration or coincidence, again eighties bred post punk/new wave spices up a slice of inescapable insistence, the likes of Delta 5, ESG, and Pylon hinted at.

The pure captivation of Vacuum Flies followed, its initial teasing shadows and suggestive drama alone hooking unbridled attention, the Essential Logic-esque flame of sax ear manna across the equally compelling rhythmic saunter which riveting vocals intimately drape over. With a Bauhaus hue adding to the pleasure, the song just mesmerised before letting Glimmering Mamba infest body and spirit with its hungry contagion. Not for the first or last time, there is a Gang Of Four lining to the irresistible rhythmic pestering, a nagging matched by the often simple but skilfully woven hooks and swarm of electronic baiting, but as always for all the hints given song and sound are unapologetically uniquely Noseholes.

Casino E Vino provides its own infective canter next, breeding a pandemic of temptation which lingers far beyond its final greed soaked lure while Radio Universe links its wires to body and imagination, the body in turn dangling and dancing like a willingly submissive puppet.

The album closes out with the pair of Jackson 4 and Baked Beans. The first springs its indie pop involved post punk exploits with boisterous intent, once more hooks and chords as lively and hungry as the inimitable rhythmic shuffle infesting is persuasion. Its successor though heavier, darker, and far more sinister manages to be even more viral like in its strands of temptation and collective jeopardy. Increasingly catchier and irresistible by the second, the track is a glorious end to a simply stunning album from Noseholes.

 Ant And End provides one of those moments when music proves why it is the most addictive and vital thing in a chaos searching world; indeed the second such revelation with Noseholes.

Ant And End is out through ChuChu Records on May 17th; available @ https://noseholes.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NoseholesBand/

  Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lady Lynch – Self Titled

Haunting to the point of being disturbing, sombrely magnetic to the edge of invasive seduction, the self-titled debut album from Austria quartet, Lady Lynch, is quite simply one of the year’s essential explorations especially if your appetite has a hunger for shadow fuelled, dangerously elegant post punk/no wave woven temptation.

Vienna hailing, Lady Lynch consists of Theresa Adamski, Philipp Forthuber, Lina Gaertner, and Christian Sundl. There is little more background wise we can tell you about the band but musically and especially with their new album, a flood of praise carrying words is unstoppable. Individual in character and imagination, their music is something akin to a fusion of The Passions, Au-Pairs, and Lydia Lunch trapped within the band’s own unique web of post punk/no wave taking in further new wave and punk hues. Across ten tracks it provides an inescapably hypnotic lure of brooding intimation and gloom cast atmospherics around riveting vocals as tendrils of sound unite their skilled monotony to seduce ears and imagination. With every listen it has become more impressive and irresistible, addiction rising by their side.

The album opens with Fundamental Friend Dependability. Rising from a sonic squall, the track swiftly drops into an espionage coated stroll, firm rhythms almost taunting ears as vocals and a cold melody entice. It took barely a rush of seconds before the song got under the skin, its sober hooks and participation inciting chorus welcome trespasses alongside the great vocals. A superb start, the track as many across the album suddenly comes to an end, almost as if the release has got bored waiting to uncage its next thrilling incitement but a conclusion which only adds to the drama and tension.

The following Cymbals initially chips away at the senses before sauntering through ears with a gnarly bordering on predatory bassline alongside steady but imposing beats. Tenebrific in many ways, darkly radiant in plenty more, the song matched its predecessor in rapacious persuasion before Schatten Island casts its black and white hued intimation. Drums again provide a bold and influential backdrop, the bass the dark drama while guitar and vocals spring cinematic adventure; it all uniting in a Gang Of Four meets Bauhaus like compulsion.

Through the metronomic swing of Ranciere, a hip manipulator with moments of corroded discord, and the chilling melodic twilight of Noon, captivation only tightened its hold though both songs are soon rivalled in magnificence by the Crispy Ambulance-esque City Falls and all are in turn eclipsed by the Athletico Spizz 80/Pylon flavoured Actors and Networks where rhythms again play the body like a puppeteer as voice and guitar toy with the imagination; it all manna for ears and appetite.

A whiff of Cauldronated accompanies the mechanised corruption that is Tiny Machine while Stairs carrying a similar scent is an escalator of passing shadows and dark contemplation. Both tracks just enthralled as too did closing track Hommage. It is the darkest moment on the album and it’s most beguiling, beauty soaking every unsettled silhouette and slim but richly evocative contour.

Within one listen we were fully ensnared by the album’s caliginous temptation and devious enterprise, its seductive disquiet just as irresistible as its invasion of the senses and thoughts. One word sums it all up, Stunning!

The Lady Lynch album is out now via Cut Surface digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl @ https://cutsurface.bandcamp.com/album/lady-lynch-2

Pete RingMaster 01/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Quantum Leap – No Reason

Creating a tantalising yet portentous fusion of post punk and garage rock, Swedish trio Quantum Leap make their major entrance with a debut album which through its dark climes and apocalyptic tones makes for one hungrily infectious and enthralling proposition. No Reason, in the words of its introduction, “invites you to a heavy and dark feast celebrating the very last setting of the sun”, a beckoning as arousing as it is threatening.

Hailing from Uppsala, Quantum Leap consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Björn Norberg, bassist Andreas Hennius, and drummer Mats Gustavsson. With a diversity of musical backgrounds taking in thrash, death and black metal, electronica and pop, the three came together in 2014. A demo was released in 2016 after the band linked up with producer Tomas Skogsberg of legendary Sunlight Studios (Entomed, Refused, Backyard Babies, Dismember). That led to a contract with Swedish label Viskningar och Vrål (Whisperings and Growls), who now release the fiercely magnetic No Reason, the release again seeing the trio working with Skogsberg and featuring guest musicians in Lea Martinelle (saxophone), Rosa Kristalova (cello), Mattis Fredriksson (accordion), Daniel Söderberg (on modular synthesizer), and Janet Simmonds (backing vocals).

It opens up with That’s The Reason, a swiftly compelling trespass of post punk bringing an initial menace of sound before rumbling through ears on a rhythmically driven stroll wrapped in sonic dissonance. Norberg’s vocals, as strong and magnetic as the web of sounds around them, are soon accentuating the lure. It is a dark, suffocating, and invasively heavy confrontation but inescapably contagious with echoes of eighties bands such as Joy Division, Play Dead, and Leitmotiv to its rasping winds.

It is an outstanding start which swiftly aroused a keen appetite for things to come; one soon reinforced by the following In Between Worlds. It too springs from a raw sonic misting into a virulent attack, its swing eating at instincts and psyche with viral tenacity whilst spreading another exploration of stark, ravenous times. There is more of a noise infested rock ‘n’ roll attack to its post punk, bass and drums a rapacious incitement upon which guitars and keys spread a toxic glaze while escalating the infectious and fractious catchiness of the song.

With an even darker climate Blind comes next, the track a calmer but equally emotionally and atmospherically invasive proposal. It offers a more art/alternative rock spicing with not for the last time within the album a Bowie-esque hue which only adds to its persuasion before Yeah sees the band embrace a metal lined garage rock flavouring with matching success. The diversity within the band’s sound is in full swing at this point, each song revealing a new shade and flavouring to keep things unpredictable and intriguing. Trust quickly backs this variety up with its seventies psych toned dark rock. Though all uniquely different, the quintet of tracks so far all slip perfectly alongside each other, the alluring overall Quantum Leap voice uniting their eclectic characters.

The Fiction In The Daily Life bounds in with a mix of garage punk and heavy rock straight after; the excellent track swiftly stirring up attention and pleasure while Sea repeats that tempting straight after with its again Bowie reminding saunter. There is a definite Heroes like feel to the track which maybe does not lead it to impress as some of its companions within the album but only richly pleases within its fuzzy climate.

Through the bruising and hungrily rousing rock ‘n’ roll of All I Ever Wanted and the Bauhaus meets Wire like gothic/post punk air of I Don’t Know attention and enjoyment only escalated, both tracks unsettling magnetism while Dreaming taps a poppier gait to its darky lit romancing to equally attract. A bit like a blend of Modern English and Modern Eon with once more that hint of Bowie, the song entices from start to finish.

The album concludes with firstly the groove wired heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Mayday and lastly the senses consuming, imagination sparking sonic tides of Like A Memory From A Long Time Ago. With a melodic Skids like current ebbing and flowing in its infectiously sinister but thickly alluring ominous waters, it is a last entrapment for the suggestively impending apocalypse and another sepulchral proposal which is quite irresistible.

Quantum Leap have uncaged a debut which simply demands attention of the band and their dark foreboding layered sound…so stop reading and go explore.

No Reason is out now through Viskningar och vrål.

https://www.facebook.com/quantumleap2/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Cross- Self Titled

Pic SAWA

As the world seemingly surges rather than drifts into bedlam it is maybe not surprising that a sound is rising to echo it’s chaotic and discord fuelled order. It resonates from the creative union within Dead Cross, a project said to have emerged “out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation.” Featuring the combined acclaimed talent and creative ingenuity of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas….), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross has just released their self-titled debut album; a deviously manipulative and skilfully conjured tempest of noise and intent, simply manic manna for the senses and imagination.

There really is no need to provide background to the members of Dead Cross, each individually and within a mass of bands having set down incitements and inspirations so many have fed upon and blossomed their own ventures with. So it is straight to the first breath of the foursome’s first release we go and the initial sonic mist of Seizure and Desist. From its midst surging raw riffs and rampaging rhythms burst, their assault soon joined by the distinctive and ever rapaciously mercurial vocals of Patton. Just as recognisable are the dynamically imaginative and textile swings of Lombardo; his anthemically biting incitement entangled in the sonic rapacity of Crain and the grumbling bestial tones of Pearson’s bass. A senses crumbling assault of hardcore, he track is as multi-flavoured as it is uncompromisingly furious and a hint of the developing web of noise and varied rock ‘n’ roll infesting the punk heart of the release.

The following Idiopathic even further harries and bullies the senses, its rhythms fuelling a barbarous catchiness which spreads to the united vocal attack and raw tone and causticity of the outstanding track. Unpredictability is as rampant as animosity, mischievous craft and fun equally as bold within the senses ravishing, body inciting maelstrom. Every passing second brings a fresh breath of bold and devilish adventure, the track a dancing predator by the time it makes way for the waspish nagging and unrelenting beating of Obedience School. It is glorious stuff, barbarous and harmonically bewitching leaving a tapestry of punk, alternative metal, and gothic rock suggestion.

Shillelagh is simply punk rock yet hardcore unafraid to embrace the spices of other pungent flavours to its infectious animus; the result a venomous contagion which has the body bouncing and appetite drooling before the imagination is enslaved all over again by a riveting cover of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Infesting it with the kind of energy and boisterousness felt at the Batcave venue back in the day, Dead Cross ensure the shadows and haunting atmosphere of the original are still an invasive temptation; Crain casting veins of melodic acidity which alone beguiles the senses.

The caustic invasion of Divine Filth hits the spot dead centre right after too, Patton and co vocally swinging from imagination’s rafters as the music around them throws itself around like an imaginatively manic dervish, again every passing second bringing new twists and expectations destroying adventure. Grave Slave is equally as tenacious in tone and intent, the Suicidal Tendencies exploits of Lombardo seemingly inspiring the whole of Dead Cross as they funk out with raw intensity and rancorous resourcefulness whilst equally embracing a Melvins meets early Therapy? like friction. It is a highly addictive proposal within an album similarly growing drug like in its temptation.

The persistent creative harassment of The Future Has Been Cancelled matches the lure and entrapment of its predecessor with its own individual and increasingly ravenous quicksand of sound and invention, at one point sinking into a quagmire of heavy seduction before bursting out with its instinctive rabid virulence of energy and sound to head towards the waiting heavy set jaws of Gag Reflex. It too meanders and dashes through a landscape of evolving gaits and twisted manhandling of the listener; each turn increasing its magnetism and our subservience to its manipulation.

The industrially lined shadows of Church of the Motherfuckers brings the album to a mighty conclusion, the track lumbering along with a primal swagger as resonating beauty glistens in its atmosphere. On the ground irritability guides the tempestuous exploits of the track, its climate remaining relatively clam but around a volatile heart which beats with combustibility. Through it all Lombardo springs a rhythmic trap which enslaves body and spirit, his creative mastery the last word in persuasion as the album comes to a thrilling close.

The tag super-group is bound to accompany many references to Dead Cross but ignore them. The band is a real and potent new force in its own right, yes embracing the previous experiences and exploits of its creators but offering something very different and exciting to rival and outshine most hardcore/punk noise exploits around them.

The Dead Cross album is out now via Ipecac Recordings through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deadcrossofficial/

Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright