Yukon Blonde – On Blonde

Yukon Blonde_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is a melodic humidity to On Blonde, the new album from Canadian indie rockers Yukon Blonde, a sultry and almost sticky feel and ambience embracing and seducing the senses song by song. Already renowned for their seamlessly crafted and contagious pop songs, the Vancouver band went into experimentation mode for their latest endeavour, weaving in textures and sounds bred within psychedelic, digital, and synthetic adventure. It was a move bringing bolder and more fascinating character to music and release whilst breeding an even greater virulence for their maybe unexpectedly purest pop encounter yet.

It is easy to expect infectious proposals from a Yukon Blonde release but the quartet of Graham Jones, Jeffrey Innes, Brandon Scott, and James Younger have found a new epidemic of persuasion and catchiness despite venturing into the ‘unknown’ with On Blonde. Frontman Innes has said about the album, “We were more ambitious writing On Blonde so it’s sort of ironic that in experimenting we created a more accessible record than ever before.” Easy to slip into and embrace, the Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Sleepy Sun) produced, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, Foster the People, Air, Depeche Mode) mixed album simply backs up his words, starting straight away with opener Confused.

The first song instantly swamps ears with a buzzing electro tempting, the potent coaxing quickly joined by spicy guitar and crunchy rhythms. It is soon a stroll of magnetic melodic and vocal tenacity, eighties and spatial breezes a lively simmering within the vibrant body and energy of the song. Down below though there is an underlying rumble in the heart of the encounter, a stirring dark intent which gives real depth and intrigue to the refreshing pop romp. There is a bit of Weezer to the song, a bit of Super Happy Fun Club too, but it emerges as something distinct to Yukon Blonde just like Make U Mine which follows. Its body moves with a funky gait within a mellower more reserved energy, vocals and harmonies floating around ears as they forcibly flirt with the imagination alongside musical echoes of bands like Heaven 17 and Röyksopp.

Variety is a swift essence of On Blonde too, the first pair of tracks coming with individual characters but not as openly as the outstanding Como which follows them. Its acoustic lead soon lures the appetite into a summery canter of endearing melodies and vivacious vocals, all tempered by another great shadow wrapped bassline. A tinge of China Crisis teases throughout but equally a whisper of The Beach Boys floats with the tantalising harmonies as guitars dance with sparkling adventure and revelry within the hazy romance of a song.

yb-onblonde-Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     I Wanna Be Your Man slips into a fuzzier and grittier landscape, one seemingly blossomed from a Bolan-esque seeding. It saunters around which attitude and confidence, every resonating bassy lure and sonic sizzle carrying a glint in their mischievous eye whilst unpredictable and tantalising twists and turns merge with the warm fluid flow of the bewitching proposition. In no time it has seduced and enslaved ears and emotions, an inescapable success and potency cultured just as powerfully by the similarly mouth-watering Saturday Night straight after. The song pounds ears with relentless rhythmic incitement around which eventful vocals and an elegant embrace of melodies rigorously serenade. Every second comes with a flirtation of sound and ideation but also that unpredictable essence which again as much as the fresh investigations of sound infused right across the album, is the spark to new adventure and ingenuity in the Yukon Blonde persuasion.

A sixties hued, folkish ballad in the shape of Hannah steps forward next; its harmonic charm an easy snare for ears. Once it has full focus it unveils bulbous bass tones and evocative drizzles of melodic expression to tighten its hold, though whilst again pushing the diversity of the album, it never manages to come up to the persuasive levels of its predecessors, something the admittedly enthralling Your Broke The Law also cannot quite emulate. In context though both songs are like a lover’s romance with the listener, never leaving them less than enamoured whilst allowing the likes of Starvation to steal more of the limelight which it does with consummate craft. Carrying a Depeche Mode/Daniel Miller like dark croon to its intoxicating enveloping of body and thoughts, the track swings and sways with irresistible and addictive ingenuity, never startling with its temptation but smouldering away for the same long-term effect.

From one triumph to another as the indie rock sculpted Favourite People bounces around with varied guitar jangles and contented bass grumbling within another rosy veil of keys. Just as the energetic musical creativity of the track, the vocals have an animated and frisky intent to their presence and enjoyment, and though once more it is a song which you can only really compare to Yukon Blonde themselves, there is a small urge to suggest the likes of XTC and Talk Talk as hints.

The release ends with the electro rock stomp of Jezebel, a sultry temptress of a song adding a final rich twist and spark in one masterful slab of aural gold. On Blonde is seriously compelling, a whole diverse summer in one spellbinding embrace. Yukon Blonde do not light a blazing fire in the belly and heart with the album but it is the hottest, spiciest warm glow felt from a release in a long time.

On Blonde is available now via Dine Alone Records / Caroline UK digitally and on CD/Vinyl through most online stores.

http://www.yukonblonde.com/   https://www.facebook.com/yukonblonde

RingMaster 18/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Throw The Goat – Blood, Sweat & Beers

Throw The Goat

If like us you are a sucker for dirt encrusted, alcohol fuelled rock ‘n’ roll then Blood, Sweat & Beers from US rockers Throw The Goat is a must. It is a brawl in the ears and party in the heart, rock music at its most instinctively aggressive and virulent. Whether the second album from the Californian trio offers anything more is debatable; certainly it is not trying to explore or expose anything particularly new but equally there is a freshness and tenacity to its sonic fight and incitement which ensures this is no run of the mill proposition. The truth is it does not matter if Throw The Goat is crafting riots from existing vats of ideation, with a sound which plays like the bastard son of a merger of bands like The Clash, Agnostic Front, and Motorhead to just pluck three from the past decades of rock ‘n’ roll, they and their new album is one irresistible rampage.

Blood, Sweat & Beers is the follow-up to the band’s acclaimed debut album Black Mountain of 2012. Recorded with, as its predecessor, Finch drummer Alex Pappas who also mixed and mastered it, the new encounter is a continuation of the power and addictiveness found in its predecessor but with an openly new breath and energy to its stomp. Released on the band’s own label Regurgitation Records in the US in March, it has been kicking up a storm of praise and attention, with the UK now in its sights this month.

Opener Buffalo takes a handful of seconds to make a gentle coaxing of ears before unleashing a tirade of rowdy riffs and antagonistic rhythms. Those beats are met head on in energy and aggression by the vocals of bassist Michael Schnalzer, and in no time aligned to a blaze of great varied vocals from across the band and sonic enterprise courtesy of Brian Parnell’s guitar. It is an instinctively anthemic punk ‘n’ roll provocation setting the party off to a mighty start, though the song is swiftly surpassed by the album’s outstanding title track. Blood, Sweat & Beers flies from the traps with a feisty roll of stick prowess from drummer Scott Snyder. Within the time it takes the listener to get to their feet he is driving forcibly on with fiercely swung beats with the track now a raging tempest of rabid riffs, squirming grooves, and vocal addictiveness. Again the whole band offers plenty to make an aggressive provocation a ridiculously magnetic one, in voice and sound, an offering rife with unbridled energy and ripe with virulent contagion. Quite simply the track is a roar of rock ‘n’ roll which will rarely be rivalled this year.

cover     The band brews up its dirtiest punk side for Drown next, a simple raw rage of riffs and rhythms bound in spicy melodic hooks and vocal antagonism which goes down like a beer in the hands of a thirsty man. Its unsurprising but richly satisfying incitement is followed by the slower predatory flirtation of Swamp. Its air is thick with toxic attitude and body a brooding mesh of rhythmic intimidation and wiry sonic colour, and yet another appealing twist in the variety by the album. Building up intensity and energy within its tempestuous dark climate, the song proceeds to shift from sludgy scenery to raucous explosiveness, entwining both within its imposing walls.

The filth clad bassline opening up All We Have is an instant addictive lure, bait increasingly infectious as a feverish rumble of beats from Snyder adds fresh dramatic with their temptation. The best opening to any song on the album, a riotous anthemic seduction all on its own, it leads to another ridiculously gripping and intrusive persuasion of punk and heavy rock. Parnell spins a melodic web as the song continues to twist and shift into new inventive and bewitching scenery, whilst noise rock and hardcore elements are flirted with for another major highlight of the album.

     Idyllwild Eyes crowds in on the acclaim given with its own bellow of bristling vocals, spiteful beats, and abrasing riffs. It also brings a highly flavoursome melodic lure from Parnell, a regular occurrence on all songs, alongside the unpredictable tendency in their invention which the band showed on the last song. These are times where you almost feel that the band missed a trick on the album by not using this increasingly successful adventure more in their songwriting, though it offers a potential which will hopefully be realised by the band and to be excited by ahead.

Ears and passions are lit again by Uprooted, a riveting prowl of a punk rock song, and straight after through the eighty eight second bawl of aggression and attitude that is 8 More Minutes. Soaked in a hardcore heart, the track simply rages around deeply grabbing hooks and addictive rhythms for a brief and seriously potent anthem. The album from its broader rock opening, delves into heavier and more hostile punk belligerence towards its latter stages, this song a prime example backed by the similarly bred Waste straight after. Despite the increasing animosity permeating the songs in sound and vocals though, hooks and grooves lose none of their enticement and potency within the tracks whilst the swinging sticks of Snyder are a constant source of pure incitement.

Road Home brings the album to a close, the song a rowdy and lusty slab of devilry which maybe is more straight forward and unsurprising compared to other songs before it, but still provides an exciting end to one of the most enjoyable encounters to stir up the year so far. Throw The Goat is rock ‘n’ roll through and through with a sound and indeed album to match. This is one bruising all rock fans need.

Blood, Sweat & Beers is available now via Regurgitation Records @ https://throwthegoat.bandcamp.com/album/blood-sweat-beers

http://www.throwthegoat.net/   https://www.facebook.com/throwthegoat

RingMaster 22/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tweak Bird – Any Ol’ Way

pic BryanRichardMartin

pic BryanRichardMartin

Having been seduced and exhilarated by the band’s previous EP Undercover Crops, it is fair to say anticipation of getting the senses into Any Ol’ Way the new album from Tweak Bird, was acute and swiftly more than satisfied as the eleven track exotic haze of psychedelically enhanced rock unveiled its acidic and generous charms. Whereas the previous release could be said to be more stoner bred at its core, the duo of brothers Caleb Benjamin and Ashton Leech seed their new full-length more in the seventies psychedelic rock side of their creativity which in turn breeds their finest, most potent hour yet. It is a glorious evocative aural summer of fresh melodic weaves and sonic winds all caught in the inventively unpredictable psych pop kissed adventure that is Tweak Bird.

Formed in 2006, the Los Angeles based brother’s musical cv together goes back years before, as kids writing and recording music after growing up on a diet of Black Sabbath, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd. Jumping forward to 2005 with Ashton putting together his own drum kit and Caleb experimenting on the way to purchasing his first baritone guitar, the pair made their live debut as Tweak Bird within a year which led them to the attention of Melvins whose drummer Dale Crover subsequently passed a drum kit down to the duo. The bigbonesnakebite 7” came next followed by the Reservations EP in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Their acclaimed Crover produced self-titled debut album two years later was the spark to greater attention and spotlight upon the band, which Undercover Crops pushed on yet again in sound and responses, a success matched by their live shows which has seen the band stand alongside the likes of Tool, Melvins, Big Business, Black Mountain, Best Coast, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists whilst driving their own headline tours in the US and across Europe. As stated though Any Ol’ Way is another kettle of fish thrusting Tweak Bird to the highest captivating perch within imagination reeking sonic rock ‘n’ roll.

As soon as the throaty voice of the guitar embraces and resonates through the ears as opener Weird Oasis sets joy in motion there is a AOW5x5sense of something seduction lurking, a feeling soon realised as the guitar expands its slow coaxing alongside similarly urgent and gripping rhythms. It is an immediately captivating enticement which the vocals soon climb all over with strained melodic hues and irresistible expression as small hooks and hinted grooves entwine their welcome fingers around thoughts and a rapidly emerging appetite. It is hard not to think of Melvins with the song but to that slithers of Hot Hot Heat and The Mai Shi offers their suggestions also but as mere spices in something primarily belonging to Tweak Bird.

The enthralling start is soon lifted up a level by Greens, the warm soak of seventies psychedelic sun of its predecessor seamlessly given an injection of gnarly riffs and heavy stoner-esque virulence speared by Sabbath-esque rhythmic stabs and sonic groans. The gait of the song is a prowl and its air an oppressive breath but with harmonious vocals and sonic flames carving out searing grooves, the track is an invigorating fascination whose bruising is only welcomed wholeheartedly.

The first major pinnacle on the album comes next in the aural temptress that is She Preach, a song which from a seducing mist of sound launches into a ravenous almost wanton persuasion of melodically teased grooves and crisply jabbing beats reined by the again impressive individual vocals. The song SOON adds catchy claws to its salacious dance of sound and lyrical enticing, hooks and infectious bait almost deviously infesting the senses and passions as the song spreads its erotic charms, wiles enhanced by the excellent discordant blessed sax croons which brings thoughts of eighties UK band Essential Logic to the fore. It is a magnificent provocation which leaves the following A Sign of Badness a little pale in comparison, but with its wispy vocals and muscular beats the track glides resourcefully across senses and imagination to add another twinge of hunger for the release.

The great alignment of raw aggression and melodic elegance makes Peace Walker a riveting encounter next, its sixties pop lure within a slightly cantankerous punk spawned sonic voracity insatiably magnetic. If you wondered what a mix of The Doors, The Beach Boys, and Corrosion of Conformity might sound like then this song is a good hint. It is another potent entrapment for thoughts and emotions but soon passed over for the ridiculously addictive Builder with is post punk repetition and gentle but imposing sonic nagging. The instrumental seeks out and consumes every pore and synapse with delicious chilled toxicity before flowing into the vibrantly smouldering arms of A Sign of Positivity. With almost griping deep toned grooves and a rhythmic shuffle which defies feet not to join its dance, the song as the vocals soars majestically and almost melancholically evolving into a thoroughly riveting and thrilling sway of aural hypnosis.

Both the niggling contagion of the brilliant Mild Manor and the summer soirée of Inspiration Point keep album and listener entwined, the first providing five minutes plus of the kind of rhythmic and sonic transfixing bands such as Gang Of Four and Joy Division conjured so decisively. Complete with short but deeply penetrating hooks and spatial toxins, the track works its way towards a rich and fully packed stoner rock fuelled fire as a finale. Its successor is a narrative locking intrigue and surf party suasion into a psychedelic rock sculpted sway of melodies and shadows, a song not as potent as the last but full of drama and invention to enslave attention and satisfaction.

The album is completed by the outstanding Burn On, a feisty and raw surfaced rock pop proposition which simply chains and romances with the passions like a high school teenager, even if one clad in stalker like intent, and a humid reprise on the bewitching opener called Sunshine (slight return). The pair makes a mesmeric conclusion to a spellbinding adventure and pleasure.

The David Allen produced Any Ol’ Way according to the Bird brothers “…voice our opinions and feel comfortable. We hired our dear old friend, to engineer and co-produce, which helped us explore new sounds and develop unfinished ideas. We believe in peace, marijuana, individual freedoms and not taking ourselves too seriously. This just happened to be what came out.” It is all there to be heard within the album where freedom seeps from every note and syllable.

Any Ol’ Way is available now from http://tweakbird.bandcamp.com/releases and on vinyl via Let’s Pretend Records now!

http://www.tweakbird.com

9/10

RingMaster 22/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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