Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre – Death Rattle Shake

It seems like Joey (Joecephus) Killingsworth has been dealing out potent sounds as long as The RingMaster Review has way back had music in the heart though that realisation comes with hindsight after actually being introduced to the vocalist/guitarist/songwriter through his band Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre; more specifically through 2010 anthem WWLD (What Would Lemmy Do), a track and chorus which still rings out in the office when faced with a dilemma. Now the band has a new slab of Joecephus led goodness out going by the name of Death Rattle Shake, a release all punk ‘n’ rollers and hard rocking, country licking, metal hugging lovers should take a moonshine soaked dance with.

Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre as a band rose up around 2005 though, after an EP under his own name, Killingsworth had already released a first album under the name. Performing their first show that year,  the Memphis outfit have gone on to share stages with the likes of David Allen Coe, HR of Bad Brains, Agent Orange, Jucifer, Green Jello, Unknown Hinson, Black Oak Arkansas, Jim Dickinson, Rev. Horton Heat and many more. A handful of attention and praise drawing albums have also graced and bruised the years with Hell or High Water (2010), and Arockalypse Now (2012) probably the most notable and acclaimed. Death Rattle Shake easily takes its place alongside the band’s biggest successes and as a collection of tracks we would confidently suggest is their most impressive and rousing moment yet.

With bassist Brian Costner and drummer Daryl Stephens alongside Killingsworth and featuring the organ of Gerald Stephens, Death Rattle Shake bursts into life with its title track and a slice of dirtily animated rock ‘n’ roll. With beats rapping firmly on the senses and the bass grumbling with devilish seduction, the track is soon a compelling stomp which the magnetic flirtation of keys and the grimy riffs of Killingsworth lustily align with as his vocals further incites the body romping antics the music commands.

It is an outstanding start, one of those irresistible moments we all crave for and the spark for the following diverse dance of the album starting with the blues rock saunter of Drivin Blind. Again the warm, psych lit keys of Stephens contrasts yet unites with the scuzzier tendrils of guitar rising from similarly raw sonic flames, Killingsworth like an outlaw in its midst. It is a description which and always has suited the band’s music perfectly, its character like a rock ‘n’ roll felon/bandit but  an outsider you want to run with.

The addiction sparking Terminally Hip is next swinging its angular hard rock bred hips with attitude and mischief while Karma’s A Bitch brings a cauldron of old school rock nurtured blues punk as irritable as it is boisterously animated. Both tracks incite swift involvement from body and vocal chords, firing up rock ‘n’ roll instincts as easily as Excaliber also proves itself able. Again blues and punk unite as more stoner come sludge metal hues lick away at song and ears, the track another treat even if far too short for unbridled satisfaction.

Through the psych rock seeded, R&B keyed punk ‘n’ roll of Flypaper and the cowpunk sniping of Gold Digging Whore, the album continues to broaden its flavour and magnetism, the first simply a delicious noise nurtured infestation and its successor a woozy intoxication of sour but richly appetising sonic liquor.

Though the country lined funk ‘n’ roll of Cosmic Retribution did not trigger the same greedy appetite as those before it, the track effortlessly had attention hooked as hips swayed again with that mesmeric organ of Stephens a major flirtation alongside swinging rhythms and the enterprise woven web of guitar.

From its title you will correctly guess the nature and sound of Tombstone Blues, a track which without breaking boundaries was full distraction before the album closes off with the enthralling epic stroll of Helping Hand. Though a track unsurprisingly flourishing from the open individual and united craft of its creators, it is the suggestive meander of Killingsworth’s guitar which wanders with a skilled touch and intimation across the increasingly cosmic landscape of sultry keys and boldly ambling rhythms which primarily stands out and grips the imagination.

It feels a long time since we had a Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre offering to chew on but well worth the wait as Death Rattle Shake is easily their best yet.

Death Rattle Shake is out now; available @ https://joecephus.bandcamp.com/album/death-rattle-shake

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Pete RingMaster 20/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

King Zero – Sonic

What can we tell you about US outfit King Zero? Well very little actually apart from it is a quintet from Dallas which recently released the very appetising Sonic EP and offers a bluesy melody rich sound which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Tom Petty, Eagles, and Black Oak Arkansas. Anything other than that we have yet to discover but quite honestly their latest release does all the talking for them whilst casting plenty of reasons why to give them continued attention.

Made up of four tracks which suggest a brewing broadness to their sound, the Sonic EP swiftly grabbed eager ears starting with opener Black Stoned Heart. Straight away the senses are wrapped in inviting sonic strains of guitar, a groove springing lure soon joined by an eager rhythmic swing. The potent tones of vocalist Paul Renna step into the growing blues fuelled enterprise soon after, his earnest croon aligning with the melodic craft of guitarists Dave Self and Chris Jackson. As further shown by the release in general, there is an open familiarity to the band’s sound and certainly they are not reinventing the sonic wheel but as the first track alone proves, King Zero is definitely giving it a new fresh lick of craft and imagination.

It is a great start to the EP quickly backed and eclipsed by In Your Eyes. Straight away spicy hooks are cast around ears, arousing a greedy appetite as they continue to nag and seduce as vocals and rhythms collude. A stoner-esque hue adds to the song’s magnetic character and holler, the swinging beats of Todd Hatchett inciting further captivation in league with the similarly alluring dark breath of Chris Ivey’s bass. Emerging as our favourite of the four through its rapacious grooving alone, the track highlights all the essences which are beginning to draw richer attention upon the band.

 Into the Light follows with a calmer touch to its southern laced croon within a melodically flaming classic rock breath and though we cannot say that it grabbed us as richly and firmly as its companions, from vocals to melody, united to individual craft, the track more than pleased whilst adding another hue to the band’s colourful sound.

Final track, Fuel the Fire, needed little time to get under the skin in comparison, the time it took Ivey’s bass to move through its first rumbling riff enough to reel us in. The trap is soon firmly shut by grunge lined grooves which just spill temptation and a vocal prowess that lures; an attention demanding end to a release which commands the same depth of fixation.

Sonic is also an offering which blossoms further by the listen. Musically it is not particularly unique but everything about it is creatively magnetic and as fresh sounding as you could wish; as we intimated earlier they reasons enough to keep King Zero on the radar.

The Sonic EP is out now on Spotify and @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sonic-ep/1434199784

http://kingzeromusic.net/  https://www.facebook.com/kingzeromusic/   https://twitter.com/kingzeromusic

Pete RingMaster 16/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright