Exploding Head Syndrome – Aristocratical Tendencies

If the recent release of the new Cockroach Clan album was not enough proof there is now the new EP from Exploding Head Syndrome to prove that the Norwegian punk scene is in fine fettle. Aristocratical Tendencies unleashes five slices of punk/hardcore incitement which raucously roar with voracious contagiousness.

Aristocratical Tendencies follows the Oslo based band’s acclaimed 2016 album World Crashes Down and comes just after the quintet have returned from a mini-tour covering Norway, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary and included playing Europe’s Number One punk festival Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia, sharing stage with NOFX, Pennywise, Frank Turner, Propagandhi, Descendents, Anti-Lam Front and many more. With their live reputation already highly praised and established through their own headlining shows and gigs alongside bands such as Satyricon, Sham69, Honningbarna, The Good Bad and The Zugly and Blood Command, Exploding Head Syndrome only reinforce and push on a similar stature gained through their records with their latest offering.

Shades is first up on the EP, a stroke of guitar igniting a hungry lurch of rhythms and vocal incitement before it all comes together in a virulently voracious trespass of sound. Vocalist Eirik Ekholdt bellows from within the punk eruption, the guitars of Morten Rørvig and Jonas Andreassen casting ferocious yet greedily infectious encouragement around him as all the while rhythms bite and trespass. It is a glorious assault, ripe hooks sprung with keen devilment and sonic threads spun with imposing drama but a song unafraid to go for the jugular.

The following Hardcore Jesus makes a more considered approach, melodic wiring enticing attention as around them a brewing tempest of sound grows. In quick time, the track breaks into a rapacious stroll, the swinging beats of drummer Lars Kirkerud steering its feisty gait as Håvard Jacobsen’s bassline broods. Again it is a feral invitation impossible to ignore and soon resist with its contagion loaded chorus, a hardcore meets hard rock landscape doing nothing to diminish its insistently catchy punk instincts.

I Got Feelings provides two minutes of equally rousing punk confrontation where open irritability colludes with anthemic prowess in a climate of discontent, the result another infectious incursion upon welcoming senses before You Have Your Dreams (I Have My Nightmares) sinks its similarly belligerent and fractious claws into ears and appetite. Once more there is bassline to devour and a creative squall of guitar to swing with, vocals and rhythms only adding to the manipulation as it all heads towards a robust holler.

The EP is closed up by All Change Is Bad, the track springing from the sonic departure of its predecessor with heftily swung beats and an entanglement of wiry guitar enterprise. That alone proves enough to infest body and attitude but with the raw incitement of vocals and the swinging groove of the bass, things only become more insatiable and gripping.

It is a great end to a superb release from a band we only find ourselves becoming more addicted to by the listen.

Aristocratical Tendencies is out now via Big Day Records; available @ https://ehspunx.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates:

18.10.19 Oslo Bloodbath X, Oslo

09.11.19 Checkpoint Charlie, Stavanger w/Kåte Klør

15.11.19 Verkstedet Bar, Oslo w/The Nika Riots

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

https://www.instagram.com/exploding_head_syndrome/

Pete RingMaster 20/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blood Command – Return Of The Arsonist

It is fair to say that we did not know too much about Norway’s Blood Command; certainly their name had cropped up but their death pop had never quite exploded on our radars here. That is until now and the release of new EP Return Of The Arsonist. Uncaging six tracks bred in the band’s voracious fusion of raging hardcore, rapacious metal, irritable punk and virulent pop, the new release simply demanded attention and as we found a lustful one at that.

With plaudit luring shows alongside the likes of Refused, Tragedy, Comeback Kid, and Gallows to name a few under their belt and following a successful tour supporting Rolo Tomassi at the end of 2018, Blood Command are certainly no strangers to real and eager praise and they can expect plenty more through their new offering too.

A conceptual successor to 2011 EP, Hand Us The Alphamale and specifically its opening track, Summon the Arsonists, the quickly inflamed Return Of The Arsonist roars and stomps like an entanglement of Animal Alpha, Deathcrush, and Mannequin Death Squad yet is defiantly unique within its own rapacious skin. The Bergen quartet kick it off with Don’t Strike A Match, Use The Lighter, the song rising up through dark atmospheric mists until settling into its contagious instincts and tenacious incitement. Karina Ljone’s tones quickly challenge and brawl with ears but soon cast their harmonic glamour over the senses too as sounds storm with similar hues. Hungrily brief, too much so in our mind, the track is a seriously rousing punk squall loaded with pop soaked catchiness and simply irresistible.

The EP’s title track follows, seducing with its volatile first breath before chaining attention with appetite feeding hooks and loaded rock ‘n’ roll. The rhythmic trespass of bassist Simon Oliver Økland and drummer Sigurd Haakaas is as infectious as it is punishingly incisive with the guitar of Yngve Andersen equally as animated and mercurial within the caress of keys. A fiery slice of temptation it craftily backs up the potency of its predecessor and the dextrous antics of next up No Thank You, I’m More In To Fake Grindcore. It too aligns instinctive rock boisterousness with its punk instincts, imagination lining every rabid twist and provocative turn.

Live Right Or Go Straight To Hell prowls and stalks the listener across its two minutes of unapologetically catchy punk ‘n’ roll, the track another aggressively manipulative proposal before which resistance is never a thought, while the fifty odd seconds of Ritual Knife is pure agitational contagion and just delicious.

The EP departs on the anthemic exploits of Afraid Of Water, again a proposition which from its throbbing bassline and swinging beats to flavoursome sonic trespass and skilled vocal commotion just hit the spot.

With their rescheduled our alongside Skindred ahead, 2019 is looking a major attention busting year for Blood Command with the rather superb Return Of The Arsonist leading the way.

Skindred/Blood Command European Tour Dates are:

November

29th Amsterdam Melkweg

30th Cologne Kantine

December

1st Karlsrue Substage

2nd Bremen Schlachtof

3rd Frankfurt Batschkapp

5th Berlin Binuu

6th Erfurt HSD

7th Dresden Beatpol

8th Prague Lucerna Music Bar

11th Munich Backstage Halle

12th Milan Legend Club

15th Madrid Mon

17th Toulouse Metronum

18th Paris La Maroquinerie

19th Lille Aeronef

Return Of The Arsonist is out now via Fysisk Format; available @ https://bloodcommand.bandcamp.com/album/return-of-the-arsonist

http://www.fysiskformat.no/wp_ff/roster/blood-command/    https://www.facebook.com/Bloodcommand/

Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Ondt Blod – Finnmark

ondt_blod_RingMaster Review

If the opening weeks of January are anything to go by, we are in for a mighty year of emerging potential drenched bands, seriously thrilling releases, and propositions to make your toes curl. One such prospect to add to the already expanding list encapsulating all three of those aspects is Norwegian band Ondt Blod and their debut album Finnmark. The ear grabbing release is a ridiculously gripping collection of fury fuelled, antagonism sculpted tracks infused with unpredictable imagination and virulent contagion. It is a rousing incitement as sure to get you cursing the world as dancing feverishly on tables from a band already easy to suggest big success is coming the way of.

Formed in 2013, Ondt Blod comes from Norway’s most northern county bearing the same name as the band’s album. Since emerging, the quintet has earned a mighty reputation for their “crushing and intense attitude on stage”, a success including playing with bands such as Gallows, Blood Command, and Kvelertak. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of JR Ewing, Blood Command, and Kaospilot, Ondt Blod’s songs, as on the album, come with themes revolving around un-employment and industrial communities in decline as well as self-contempt and small town pride. Produced by Yngve Andersen (Blood Command, Girl Army) and mixed and mastered by Ariel Sivertsen and Brad Boatright respectively, Finnmark pulls no punches yet it also offers one of the most uncompromisingly catchy hardcore proposals in recent times.

ondt_blood_cover_RingMaster ReviewWithin seconds, the band has feet and hips as involved as a swiftly eager appetite for the band’s sound as opener Svarte Daga stomps in with nagging riffs and grooves amidst just as irritable yet anthemic rhythms. The grouchily growling tone of Kristoffer Joel Høe’s bass and in riffs in general easily hits the spot even before the raw rousing tones of vocalist Aslak Heika Hætta Bjørn, melodically backed by the alluring calls of the band, whips up a frenzy courted by a sonic web spun by the guitars.

It is a storming arousal of the senses and emotions backed up craftily by the less intensive but just as agreeably hooked littered Nye Lydspor. Not quite pop punk but certainly with a warmer tone and grin to its aggression, the song has a touch of Zebrahead to its engagingly volatile character again marked by a stirring bass snarl and the nagging prowess of guitarists Alexander Våga Mortensen and John Nilsen. The pair creates a fevered tempting which gnaws the senses as it leads the body into unbridled revelry, this enterprise just as tempting within Kompis Med Satan and its enjoyable blend of vocal deliveries. With each track sung in Norwegian, lyrically tracks are a mystery but the heart and emotions driving all are as open as the hefty and predatory swings of drummer Håvard Rushfeldt.

Tragedien Kommer brawls with the senses next, stamping its rhythmic feet as throats bleed with their roars before twisting things on their head by introducing a chorus of upbeat, almost ‘grown up’ vocal propriety and then going through the enjoyable process again as punk rock hooks and flirtatious ingenuity leap at ears. The track quickly has ears and emotions drooling, as too does the waspish irritancy of Gjengtegn and its belligerently devilish parade of unpredictable twists, sonic expression, and vocal dexterity.

Take any track from Finnmark and it epitomises the Ondt Blod sound and invention though no song sounds the same as proven again by the chest beating roar of Symbola. Like CIV meets fellow Norwegians Shevils, the track buzzes busily around ears as it burrows deep under the skin and into the psyche. Punk and hardcore colludes once more with fresh faced melodic drama and unbridled infection showered lures, the album’s variety unrelenting with the bruising and at times inhospitable 9900 Sodoma proving as it rages with ire upon the senses next. Equally it teases with some glorious anthemic bait led by hooks and the increasingly impressing vocal adventure across the band before Betongtro bears its vitriolic soul with creative tenacity and concussive intensity across calmer reflections and melodic detours.

The album is completed by firstly Brent Jord and its thick cloudy squall of sound and muggy sonic persuasion and finally the album’s title track which explores strains of post punk within its irritated disposition of emotion and sound. As its predecessor, the song moves into darker depths and richer arrays of flavours across its evocative landscape, and though it maybe does not make the same immediate impact as the riots before it, the tempestuous exploration grows to only enhance the enjoyment and invigorating experience of the album.

Norwegian hardcore seems to be going through a noisy, thrilling heyday right now with Ondt Blod right there helping lead the way, not only at home but as Finnmark proves, across the genre as a whole.

Finnmark is out now via Loyal Blood Records

https://www.facebook.com/ondtblodband

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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