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.

https://www.facebook.com/PsychicTeensNetwork

9.5/10

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.

https://www.facebook.com/heycolossus

9/10

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.
https://www.facebook.com/DickVenomandtheTerrortones

RingMaster 26/01/2012

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Dick Venom & The Terrortones – Sticky Pants Trance

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