Kobadelta – Open Visions

Photo by Daniel Robson

Photo by Daniel Robson

Blending the rousing elements of their second EP and the mesmeric seducing of their last, UK psyche rockers Kobadelta unleash their finest moment yet in the hauntingly irresistible shape of Open Visions. The EP provides a feast for ears and imagination to contemplate and devour in their individual ways, its clutch of songs almost hex like in their immersion and seduction of both. Within its arcane charm the band also reveals a greater maturity and inventive lust in songwriting and sonic explorations, Open Visions the simply irresistible dark side of the band’s creativity and the listener’s psyche.

Newcastle bred and formed in 2010, Kobadelta did not take long to arouse a potent following and local clamour for their sonic swelter of a sound and matching live presence. 2013 Debut EP Ritual (Time Flies) lit more than a few fires in ears and thoughts, which the following year its successors Hidden Door and Remain Distracted, took to stronger and broader levels with their compelling sounds. It is fair to say that 2014 was a big year for the band in general. The release of the two EPs surrounded by further successes with Kobadelta being invited to perform a live session for BBC Introducing, headlining the Tanners stage at Evolution Emerging Festival in Newcastle, and playing events like Stockton Weekender alongside artists such as Peter Hook, Public Enemy, and the Happy Mondays as well as the Split Festival with the likes of The Cribs, Maximo Park, and Dizzee Rascal. Support slots for bands such as Temples, Allusondrugs, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Demob Happy, Splashh, The Temperance Movement, The Weeks, Lola Colt, and The Voyeurs, amongst many more has only increased their reputation and stature too. Now it is the turn of the Open Visions EP to push the Kobadelta cause and as we say, it is irresistible.

a0352850419_10   Even The Odds (They Mean You No Harm) is the first track on the release and immediately brings a raw and fiery proposition to bear on ears and thoughts. Guitars and rhythms make a formidable invitation which is easily accepted, even more so when an underlying melodic lure is given clarity as the initial tempest relaxes and the expressive tones of Dom Noble come in. There is still a muggy air to the song, and a siren-esque shadowing to the track which with the exotic enterprise arising from the guitar of Alex Malliris and the keys of Jordan Robson, entices like The Doors meets The Birthday Party. The song continues to immerse and swallow the senses with its sultry almost erosive beauty, increasing its glamour as it heads towards the moment it slips seamlessly into the following Blame It All On Me.

The second track is simple bewitchment from its first caress, smouldering melodies flirting with ears whilst being stalked by the throaty bassline of Jon Marley. The ticking percussive framing and rhythmic probing of drummer Chris Malliris adds intimidation to the dark premise of the song but it is the flowing melodic seducing of the keys and more unsettling designs cast by the guitars which shape the compelling drama emotively coloured by the distinct tones of Noble. There is a touch of Bauhaus to the post punk essences swimming within the psyche rock contagion whilst the gothic rock shading again springs hints of Nick Cave and co.

A fresh shimmer flows across Maskirovka next, keys and guitars a floating haze of sonic suggestiveness whilst bass and drums create a more formidable incitement which erupts with greater intensity around the climatic crescendos posing as choruses. There is something occult like in the dark rock toxicity oozing from the walls of the song and imagination of the band, an essence breeding encroaching shadows which infest and linger in ears and psyche.

The infectiousness kicks up another level with Watch What You’re Doing, its open caress of guitar the seeds for another compelling bassline and crisply landed beats to work their addictiveness as vocals and keys bring a haunting colour. Once into its magnetic stroll, the song shows itself to be as much pop rock as it is dark rock ‘n’ roll, its catchiness as captivatingly accessible as its soaring sonic enterprise is celestially provocative and darkly fascinating.

Ithaca ventures into an even heavier soundscape but swiftly tempers some of its daunting air with an echoing effect on the ever alluring vocals and backing harmonies, whilst guitars and keys sway and smother the rhythmic spine of the song with the dance of a sonic temptress. The song is pure mesmerism but with an underlying danger which seems to incite richer flames and piercing textures to emerge in the invention of Alex Malliris and Robson.

Final track Black Pyramid, like the first, accosts ears with a slightly caustic and hazy roar of sound but is soon casting an invasive exotic atmosphere through guitars and keys. Eruptions of energy and intensity only add to the sweltering air and impact of the song, whilst melodically and vocally, there is again no escaping a reference to the Jim Morrison’s led band.

If like us you fell in love with Kobadelta’s last EPs, then lust is the outcome with Open Visions, the pinnacle of the band’s sound and invention to date. If new to the transfixing world of the band, then a wealth of dark sultry treats await.

Open Visions is released on May 1st and available via http://kobadelta.bandcamp.com/album/open-visions-ep

Upcoming Kobadelta shows, including EP launch…

Friday 1st May – Think Tank? Newcastle (‘Open Visions’ EP Launch)

Saturday 30th May – ‘Sonic Union #2’ at The Sun Inn, Stockton (with TOY)

Saturday 11th July – Corbridge Festival 2015 (Acoustic Stage)

Friday 24th July – ‘Double Denim Live’ at Verve Bar, Leeds


RingMaster 27/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Psychic Teens – Come

Heads 2013 by John Berry

There can be a beauty bred when caustic noise and sonic abrasion walk hand in hand but when in the hands of a band like Psychic Teens, where gothic shadows, post punk invention, and shoegaze seduction are also employed, it is a mesmeric tempest that just steals the passions. Hailing from Philadelphia, the three piece band took no time in drawing hungry responses and  support after forming in 2010, their debut album Teens of the following year garnering widespread critical acclaim. Following it with a split CD-R of cover songs with Hulk Smash and a digital EP of Misfits cover songs, as well as impressive live performances, including shows with bands such as The Dead Milkmen, Zola Jesus, Titus Andronicus, Ceremony, True Widow, METZ and many more, Psychic Teens has earned a strong reputation and fanbase but one suggests it is only a scratch which once new album Come lays down its irresistible lures and traps, will open up to full lustful wounds.

The new release takes the qualities of that first album into a new realm of imagination and niggling enterprise, its body a contagious caustic wash spawned from the post punk evocation of Joy Division with the noise rock essences of Part Chimp and the gothic dark passions of Birthday Party. There is much more to it than that though as opener NO soon confirms. The track instantly captures the imagination with a rhythmic dealing that shuffles the senses into a compelling cage. Joined by the prowling bass and sabre flashes of guitar, the song only grips tighter drawing a willing submission as the excellent vocals of guitarist Larry Ragone join the sonic affray. Sounding like Nick Cave meets Ian Curtis is tones add depth and expression to an already riveting stretch of imagination, with the bass grooved romp and sizzling guitar flames delicious enticement within a song that teases like a mix of The Pixies and Pere Ubu. It is a passion stealer of a song and start giving the rest of the album a lofty bar to emulate.

Not that the rest of the album struggles for the main, the following tantalising heat of RIP with its striding rhythms, scurrying riffs, and a1920627547_10intensive fire of sonic intrigue and mystique, another virulent call on thoughts and emotion. Throughout the strings of Ragone tease and tempt within the heady hooks and lures of bassist Joe DeCarolisa and drummer Dave Cherasaro, all combining to infect the senses and passions with a thrilling toxicity, soon matched by the potent sweltering charms of H#TE and LUST. The first of the two worries melodic intervention and harmonic persuasion into breeding an acidic haze of bristling energy and punkish provocation whilst its successor emerges from a striking suggestion of intimidation through fine guitar rubs to enslave with sinister vocals and resonating noir clad mystery crafted by the combined inventive shadows of the band’s imagination.

The abrasive LORD lays down a softening expanse of reserved yet sure cold rabidity next before making way for the best song on the release, its title track. The song again makes its entrance on a shuffle of firm and addiction causing rhythms before opening its arms to a fire of surf rock heat and emotive enticement. A song Joy Division would have wished they had composed in their time, it is a sensational sultry suasion on the soul, a fascination fuelled sunset on the world and more. The beats of Cherasaro are pure hypnotism making a platform for the vocals and guitar caresses to singe and burn the senses and mind whilst the bass of DeCarolisa is a watcher egging everything on to its fiery climax.

LESS allows a breath to be taken with its reserved introduction before it too unveils bait that is impossible to resist, the bass conjuring a Cure like toxin that works on every synapse and emotion. With the vocals courting thoughts in their continuing to impress dark and grainy delivery, the song brings a garage rock lilt to its chorus before sitting back into that impossibly beckoning stance which set it deep into the passions initially.

The rapacious furnace BUG and the slowly crawling VEIL thrillingly finish off the outstanding release, setting a further charge of distinct and individual ingenuity to work on the passions. They simply confirm the thought and feeling throughout that Psychic Teens are quite possibly the best alchemists of sonic noise and post punk devilry today and definitely that the SRA Records released Come is one of the major treats of the year.



RingMaster 13/08/2013

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Hey Colossus – Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo


    HC Front    Fusing sonic manipulation, melodic discord, and compelling noise into an inventive and startling persuasion, UK band Hey Colossus has never stood still in stretching their and our boundaries, but with new album Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo the band has created their finest hour for possibly our most rewardingly intrusive pleasure. Released via MIE, the eighth album from the London/Somerset octet has evolved their previously unrelenting and arguably sadistic sonic furnace into a sound which still offers nothing less than delicious abrasion but now takes its time to envelope, seduce, and corrode the senses.

     Whether a coincidence or the spark to the shift in intent, the band has enlisted Part Chimp guitarist/vocalist Tim Cedar into their line-up on drums, his presence igniting a new and fresh energy within the existing potency.  Opening track Hot Grave immediately sets the scene, its grazing guitar rub and shimmering sonics a rough dazzle marking the start of pulsating rhythmic enticement and rousing flames of guitar. With a heavy swagger and intensive gait to match, the track churns up the senses with a stoner groove and an exhausting repetitive slow rhythmic entrapment glazed in similarly sculpted riffing. The vocals of Tim Farthing also have a caustic sway to their presence, their individual rough aural scars a blistering inducement to the hypnotic repeating prowl of the song. The crystalline enterprise which reaps the fumes of the uncompromising heavy stance adds another incendiary breath to the encounter and induces intrigue and magnetic compulsion from thoughts and emotions.

The following Oktave Dokkter seamlessly steps into place with a carnally driven bass which recalls early Killing Joke, as does the serpentine effected vocal squalling which walks the stalking rhythmic provocation. There is also an early Birthday Party psyche enterprise to the prowling cause of the song, whilst the noir spiced shadows are teeming with seedy whispers and devious temptation. Again the repetitive mesmerism from guitar and rhythm is as infectious as it is debilitating whilst the caustic ambience pervading all is an ominous and intimidating coating to the exhausting and rigorous embrace.

The album plays like one whole journey, an overwhelming encounter split into individual and distinctly unique parts, a satanic sonic jigsaw which corrupts and thrills on every level. How To Tell Time With Jesus is the pinnacle of this, its psychedelic drizzling within a sunset of sonic heat a smouldering entrancement which ripples with acidic veins around the continuing to impress rhythmic entrapment of Cedar. As with all songs the additives open up further flourishes and imaginative flames within the ingenuity, the punk vocal squalls and dub induced shimmering distortions a glorious and scintillating pattern. The singular gaits of elements across the surface of songs often belies the depth of craft and honed thought which bloom within the hearts of the compositions but reap the reward of the invention to accentuate their own particular potency.

Leather Lake is an intense and threatening doomy scourge with darkly melodic blisters and rapacious sonics which crawls over the synapses with insidious breathe whilst the following English Flesh is a maliciously coarse attrition which overwhelms the ear with cavernous hunger and a greedy intent vocally and sonically to ignite the passions further. The heavy electro sweep guiding the song is as addictive as the compromising swing of the malevolent groove at duplicative play, and all combined makes for a systematically ravaging seduction.

After the closing Pit and Hope and its reserved ambience and psychedelia rinsed suggestive embrace, the knowledge of how impressive and powerful this album is rifles through thoughts and emotions. Though it is not exactly an easy listen throughout the album undoubtedly is a magnetising encounter which evokes and provokes the strongest reactions and passions. Hey Colossus continues to lead the way with invasive and dramatically appealing sonic alchemy in the UK with Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo probably their finest conjuration yet.



RingMaster 04/04/2013

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Dick Venom & The Terrortones – Rockin Rollin Vampire Man

With a warm smouldering glow deep inside the new EP from Dick Venom & The Terrortones is placed in the slot and the play button pushed by an eager excited finger. It has been a long long time since a psychobilly release has passed this way, a form of music that brings tingles that most genres can only aspire to at The Ringmaster Review. But can this UK quartet fulfil this anticipation or disappoint to bring an anti-climax?

The Rockin Rollin Vampire Man EP is a gem, from the moment the first track flexes its sweat soaked mischievous pecs the release courts and seduces the senses with honest graveyard rock ‘n’ roll.  Actually the press release calls this a double A-side single of ‘Rockin Rollin Vampire Man’/ ‘Sticky Pants Trance’ but with a third track included too I am sure they will excuse us calling it an EP.

Consisting of Dick Venom, Vicky Twist, Sugar Beats, and Wrex St Clair the band have a insatiable garage/rockabilly/psychobilly sound evolved through a nasty flesh violated union between the likes of The Cramps, Heartbreakers, Reverend Horton Heat and Demented Are Go. It is a glorious tease upon the senses and an instinctive instigator of the body’s rhythms, essential rock ‘n’ roll. The quartet has sucked energy and blood from audiences all over the UK sharing stages with the likes of The Meteors, The Radiacs, and Vince Ray & The Boneshakers and this EP instantly nurtures the need and want to catch the band live as for all the excitement generated on the release you just know they on stage is a totally different experience.

Sticky Pants Trance’ ~(we’ve all been there right?) opens up proceedings with a Cramps spawned garage punk energised sound and pulse racing rockabilly urgency. You can add a touch of early Birthday Party and Meteors to this but for all the comparisons and references that openly ooze the finished sound s are all Dick Venom & The Terrortones. The guitars chop greedily across the senses as the bass throbs like a wanton beast on heat whilst Venom spits and writhes with words as he thrusts the messy fun filled lyrics forth.  The rest of the release could be crap and it would not matter thanks to this excellent opener.

Of course the remaining tracks only get better. ‘Rockin Rollin Vampire Man’ is the best track on the EP, irresistible and hypnotic. With a wonderful lustful and inviting drum beat alongside a grumbling bass the song  hooks its seductive nails in firmly. This opening reminds one remarkably closely of a Zanti Misfits song ‘Kidz Songs’ (look it up) from the 80’s and it is hard to think of a better beginning to a song.  The track also carries the dark energy of 80’s band Bone Orchard and sweeps one up in its pulsating scrawny arms in a blood fuelled dance.  The track is psychobilly majesty that will bring deep smiles and longing desire from all fans of the genre.

Dirty Heartbreakers flavoured rock’ n’ roll lines the final track ‘Lilly & The Killers’, its beginning coming with a spice reminding of ‘Chinese Rocks’. As always Venom conjures a tale with his words inspiring crypt borne imagery and dangerous romance. Brief, straightforward, and direct the song is the perfect closure for a stunning release. I tried to find fault somewhere but it is impossible. Yes music like this finds a relatively narrow market, its delights and death drawn mischief a mystery and confusion for many but if you have tasted the wells of rockabilly and psychobilly and grown appreciative fangs then Dick Venom & The Terrortones will soon be an addition to your favourites folder.

Rockin Rollin Vampire Man and the decayed treasures within are simply manna from the cemetery and the cause of impatient anticipation for much more from the band. UK psychobilly is in safe hands, we can all rest in peace for that.

RingMaster 26/01/2012

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Dick Venom & The Terrortones – Sticky Pants Trance


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