Bottle Next – Bad Horses

Bottle Next is a hard folk band from the French music scene. It is a tag which is maybe unique to the band not having come across it before but only partially touches on their sound. Weaving seriously engaging songs from the imaginative threads of everything from indie and pop, through progressive blues and hard rock to folk and indeed any mischievous form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to suggest, Bottle Next make for a tantalising proposition which within debut album, Bad Horses, persistently encroaches upon rich fascination and aural seduction.

There is a real sense of fun within and with the duo of guitarist/vocalist/saxophonist Pierre Rettien and drummer/vocalist Martin Ecuer; a feistiness and devilment which openly fuels their music. From the release of their first single in 2011, the pair has drawn increasing attention and support with a pair of EPs surrounded by other individual tracks and videos as well as an energetic live presence which has seen them play across France and further into Europe; sharing stages with the likes of Triggerfingers, Lofofora, Zebda, Mass Hysteria, Didier Wampas, and No One Is Innocent as well as appearing at festivals such as Rock’n’Poche Festival, The Festival du Chien à Plûmes, Musikmesse in Germany), Belgium’s Mannrock (Belgium) and the Swiss Zikamart Festival.

Released a few weeks back, Bad Horses is an announcement for a wider range of ears and spotlights of the presence of Bottle Next; the Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames) mixed release swiftly making the most of the opportunity with its opener Break Down the Door. The initial twang twisted strums of Rettien have an instinctive striking swing to their nature, a zeal matched in the senses rapping beats of Ecuer. That energy is equally as frantic in the delivery and character of the former’s vocals; together the duo creating a body inciting, spirit dancing slice of tenacious melodic rock as garage raw as it is hungrily infectious.

It is a thickly enticing start matched in memorable heights by next up Choices, the song a swagger loaded stroll of blues tinged rock ‘n’ roll sharing a Queens Of The Stone Age meets In The Whale like adventure. There is a rapacious essence to the grooves winding around ears and an atmospheric suggestiveness to the keys which interrupts the urgency of the canter whilst emerging folkish revelry has a funk seeded grin encapsulated by the earthily sultry lures of sax.

From one mouth-watering escapade to another as next up, Running Herd, takes ears in its grips with stabby riffs and agitated beats, both entangled in a volatile web of melody and vocal dexterity. As with its predecessors, involvement in its tenacious shuffle is instinctive; voice and hips giving quick submission to its imaginative multi-flavoured dance before Revolution shows the grittier hard rock side of the band’s sound. It too though weaves in a lure of melody and pop scented indie enterprise topped by a chorus wearing sixties/seventies pop rock catchiness.

A slightly calmer air drifts over Age of beauty; the song tempting and vivaciously crooning like a mix of XTC and Be Bop Deluxe though like all songs it never settles for one idea or style for much longer than it takes the imagination to adopt one of the moments of creative chicanery.  At times it is an almost punchy encounter, the next a floating caress and consistently a captivating proposal before the outstanding Overthere grabs an already keen appetite for the release’s romp with its heavier touch and spikier climate. Again a grunge seeded essence runs alongside the song’s heavier rock instincts, colluding in a slimline, impulsively addictive temptation smoking in its shadows with a wealth of additional flavoursome scents.

The album’s title track is a more kinetic and wiry caper, guitars and drums magnetically nagging and popping as the track’s rock heart and vocals roar; pure rock ‘n’ roll its creative mantra while Machines courts a matching breeding in its mellower, blues rock tinged pop ‘n’ roll. Both offerings make swift deals with ears and imagination, More Humane matching their success with its folk/indie rock enticement brewing up from within initial suggestive smog of melodically nurtured atmospherics; funk and progressive keys born revelry growing across its enthralling body sparking canter.

The melody woven infection of The Lift off straight after is no less an inducement of physical participation, its warm and boisterous invitation a fest of inventive festivity for limbs and energy. The same equally comes with closing song The Woody Man where its folkish colour and melodic charm takes the track’s kinetic nature in hand, giving it a great layer of restraint without defusing its multi-style embracing devilry and impact on body and spirit. It is a great end to a rather fine album which it is fair to say had us leaping and grinning from start to finish, no track anything less than an imaginative galvanic romp. Bad Horses offers something really fresh in its familiar flavours and boundless enterprise in its bold and playful quest to simply rock ‘n’ roll. The best album you will hear this year, maybe or maybe not; destined to be one of the most enjoyable, without question.

Bad Horses is out now @ https://bottlenext.bandcamp.com/album/bad-horses

http://bottle-next.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Bottlenext/

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bastards Of Fate – Suck The Light Out

 

If Bethlem Royal Hospital had a house band at the time of its notoriously infamous period when it was better named as Bedlam, Bastards Of Fate would have fitted the role like a glove. The Roanoke, Virginia hailing outfit create a sound and incitement to which a description of lunacy is inevitable and inescapable yet, as evidenced in their new album Suck The Light Out, it is a skilfully woven and creatively deceptive aberration which borders on genius; a dementia ridden habitude obviously.

There are few bands which truly offer an adventure for mind and ears but Bastards Of Fate go even further; challenging and testing the listener, almost examining their tolerance and their psyche for unsettling creative behaviour but with something which is rich unrelenting fun. Though our introduction to the band thanks to our bud Mike at Crashing Through, the well-received releases of their previous two albums suggests the quintet has been sharing striking and daring proposals for a while, most likely from the first emerging breath in 2012 as a solo project for frontman Doug Cheatwood. Without experiencing either 2012’s Who’s A Fuzzy Buddy? or Vampires are Real and Palpable two years later, it is still easy to say that Bastards Of Fate have hit a new plateau in sound and imagination, as well as mania such the might of Suck The Light Out.

From its first breath the album has claws in the imagination, opener Freemasons heralding its arrival with the ringing of bells recorded at a Cardiff church during a UK tour. Swiftly their call is smothered in darker off-kilter hues; a breeze evolving into a quirky theatre of sound with an air of hallucination and as suggestively clockwork as it is nursery. Vocals led by Cheatwood are just as eclectic settling into a controlled incitement with a scent of Bill Nelson’s Red Noise to it, Cheatwood indeed not for the last time with a touch of that band’s founder to his delivery. Across its tempestuous flank, the song shows irritability in it rock ‘n roll, the guitar of Benji Pugh mischievously colluding with the keys of Camellia Delk for cheerier temptation while the constant nagging of bass from Jason Wellz and Doug Shelor’s swinging beats drive the raw aggressive drama boiling up in it all, an agitation ebbing and flowing with mercurial energy as 12 Stone Toddler like dynamics further colour the fevered affair.

The following Portal to Hell is creative mayhem from the first second, rhythms jabbing with relish as Cheatwood announces his throaty demon. Soon a muggy start, it subsequently clears as a melody sizzles, it in turn relaxing as madness boldly simmers before infesting the song’s eruption with a legion of styles and flavours at its merciless fingertips. Fondling the senses and thoughts with pleasure igniting insanity and psychosis loaded unpredictability, like Pere Ubu on LSD, the track is unfathomable glory. Again the former Be Bop Deluxe frontman in his latter solo era is reminded of at times but only in something so unique to Bastards Of Fate it too is hard to believe.

To be honest numerous artists are nudged into suggestion across Suck The Light Out but none are truly accurate clues to the beautiful absurdness and imagination bursting fun on offer, next up Dark Matter pushing XTC and The Residents as possible references yet neither really fitting the maze of metal and heavy rock growling upon the song’s indie and pop sculpted landscape, a pasture in a constant flux of broken normality.

Through the relatively stable stroll of Book of Lies, though a romp with volatility in every element from tenacious rhythms and synth spun poetic webbing to melodic suggestion and vocal paranoia laced reflection, and the vocal lamentation of Misanthropy, bewitchment and confusion collude in a lustful embrace of the continuing diversity and irrational lure of Suck The Light Out. All releases need numerous listens to truly get to grips with thoughts and emotions on what they offer and there is no doubt that this album needs it more than most with the pair of songs alone showing the increasing rewards to be gained.

From the captivation of Girlfren with its crystalline melodies and screwy charm to the slow funk swing of the rhythmically tribal and vocally weird Caligula, ears and pleasure are only further inflamed, the latter and our favourite track, a salaciously deranged waltz. Its majestic prowess and mental manipulation is matched by that of Supercollider, a frenzy of sound and energy bursting from calm if warped crooning like a dangerously corrupted Pryapisme; punk and psych rock just two flavours in the frantic dementia.

Unicorns in Love is instinctive Bastards of Fate twisted rock ‘n’ roll with Waste My Time backing up its raw captivation with its hazy hug of melody spun, scuzz kissed, Fleetwood Mac spiced beauty with Delk taking vocal lead; her delicious tones as mouth-watering as the sounds caressing her harmonic presence.

The album is closed by Meatstar, a celestial dirt ball of progressive and melodic intrigue again tempting comparisons but evading all with its uncompromising invention in a brewing cacophony of sonic drama and imagination driven refreshment. It quite simply sums up the album, something aggressively individual and hungrily entertaining not forgetting deliriously deranged.

Suck The Light Out is, as Bastards Of Fate, indeed Bedlam and simply one of the most striking and uncomfortably fun propositions in recent years.

Suck The Light Out is available now digitally and on vinyl through HHBTM Records from most online stores with a special limited vinyl edition including a bonus LP of alternate tracks through http://hhbtm.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsoffate

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright