Petrol Girls – Some Thing EP

PG_RingMaster Review

Originally formed for an international women’s day gig in 2013, feminist post-hardcore band, Petrol Girls have proved to be one fiery roar within British punk ‘n’ roll. Their attitude loaded, defiance fuelled sound has ignited many a venue across the UK and Europe as well as an ever increasing horde of eager ears, a success bound to be accelerated by the release of the Some Thing EP.

Inspired by the likes of Refused, White Lung, Bikini Kill, Fugazi, RVIVR, Propagandhi, At The Drive-In, and War On Woman, Petrol Girls create a ferocious brew of punk rock unafraid to embrace other spices. Certainly the six tracks making up Some Thing have varying echoes of those influences but equally there is a coincidental eighties punk/post punk essence which lures thoughts of bands like Au-Pairs, The Molesters, and Vice Squad. Lyrically too, the South East London hailing quartet pulls no punches in exploring and challenging sexism and other themes such as politics, alienation, the migrant crisis, and mental health. It all unites for one stirring and invigorating incitement and an EP which attacks, inspires, and rouses body and thoughts from start to finish.

PetrolGirls_SomeThing_Cover_RingMaster ReviewProduced by the band and Marta Salogni at Strongroom Studios, London, Some Thing embraces ears with fiery directness straight away through Slug. The guitars of Ren Aldridge and Joe York dance as they sizzle on the senses whilst the jabbing pokes of drummer Zock reveal a swing and relish which only sparks stronger involvement in the swiftly contagious and dramatic encounter. The darker prowling tone of Liepa Kuraite’s bass adds weight to the thick lure of the song too, a tempting enhanced further by the potent vocals and expression of Aldridge backed as potently by York and Kuraite.

The strong start kicks up another gear with Protagonist where short spicy grooves aligned to piercing sonic and rhythmic hooks instantly prey on ears and imagination. As in the first, a contagious energy and flirtation is a persistent beckoning, this time within a hardcore ire that has a Red Tape meets Billy Talent feel to it before an X-Ray Spex meets The Raincoats like confrontation shows through to stir up song and enjoyment even more.

Separated strolls in next, its mellower melodic landscape courting a catchiness which combined hints at the earlier mentioned band Au-Pairs. Expectantly, it too has a raw snarl and antagonistic nature which perfectly tempers and works with the calmer but no less imposing punk ‘n’ roll revelry, but as great as it is, the track is totally eclipsed by the outstanding Restless. The best track on the EP, it is a scathing sonic tempest which seduces as it wrong foots, sudden slips into warm caresses and virulent old school punk devilment complete with addictive hooks and abrasive intensity an inescapable enslavement. At certain points, the song has thoughts wondering if this is what The Slits would sound like if starting out now, but ultimately and once more the striking provocateur is distinctly Petrol Girls.

The predatory enticement and belligerent roar of System comes next, band and song creating infectious and intimidating emotive contumacy before Disgrace brings the EP to a close with its even more cantankerous proposal. Again as wilful and rebellious as both are, there is an underlying catchiness which has the body as hooked as ears and mind.

Petrol Girls is maybe a band on the outskirts of recognition, or was as that is surely going to change if the Some Thing EP gets its persuasive way.

The Some Thing EP is available on CD, Digital Download, and three-track 7” Vinyl featuring the first trio of songs above now via Bomber Music @ http://www.petrolgirls.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Petrolgirls

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Random Hand – Hit Reset

Random Hand_RingMaster Review

Hands up, who also raised an expletive or two in disappointment when British punksters Random Hand announced earlier this year they were going on an indefinite hiatus to pursue other challenges in life? Well we can tell you now that the pain is going to get simultaneously better and worse thanks to the release of one of the band’s finest roars, final album Hit Reset. Whether it is because the decision has brought a freedom to the band in some way or it simply inspired a no holds barred energy to the creation of the twelve track storm as a last offering, but Hit Reset sees Random Hand at their most diverse, explosive, and passionate best with a little something indefinably extra too.

It is thirteen years ago that the Keighley quartet leap onto the British rock scene with their energetic and dynamic fusion of punk, ska, hardcore, and metal. The time since, has seen Random Hand earn the reputation as one of the UK’s best live encounters at home and further afield, and a host of varied and generally fiercely impacting releases. Now following a final flurry of shows this past summer, it all comes to an ‘end ‘ with the PledgeMusic funded Hit Reset; a giant slice of non-stop anthems which goes with the adages, “go out on a high” and “leave them wanting more”.

Random Hand - Hit Reset_RingMaster Review     Day One is the first encounter upon Hit Reset, its opening tinnitus of percussion amidst a tangy melody tempting enough but the mere appetiser to the explosion of punk metal ferocity and riffs driven by recognisable hardcore energised vocals matched in virulent strength by their clean harmonic counterparts. The swings of drummer Sean Howe seem to have new tenacity and aggression whilst the bass of Joe Tilston could just be at its most grouchy and compelling ever. It might be that ears are interpreting things in hope’s and assumption’s desired way but as the guitar of Dan Walsh weaves a web of antagonism and infection with intense enterprise and energy, that sense of freedom is a swift wonder.

As great as the opener is, the following Death By Pitchforks eclipses it with its strolling ska swing and relentless bounce. Juicy flames of trombone from Robin Leitch shoot across the addiction whilst vocals from him and the rest of the band are again as inescapably persuasive an incitement as the sounds hugging their alluring tones. It is a track which has body, emotions, and soul in relentless involvement, much as its successor Protect & Survive with its growling fury of Bad Religion tinged punk metal and a climax to arouse an empty room, and straight after If I Save Your Back… and its adrenaline powered punk ‘n’ roll stomp. The latter song also slips into some evocative dub/ska imagination and hardcore ire to add extra spice to the bracing revelry.

After The Alarm steps up next and soon forges another pinnacle for the album, its brass seared blaze and riotous stroll instant infection whipped up to greater potency by the choppy texture of riffs and the raw Reuben like contagion flying through ears for another richly inciting chorus. The track is glorious, definite final single candidate and alone a massive reason why Random Hand are going to be sorely missed; though every track upon Hit Reset spawns that feeling, Dead No Longer with its raucous thunder and Maybe It’s A Prize through its again Reuben spiced rapacity swift confirmation.

Dragging an eager body to the floor again, Pack It Up leaps and bounds into the imagination and an already lively ardour with its ska/punk ingenuity next, it too a track to whip up old and new fans alike with its busy and eventful collusion of styles and open passion.

A Clean Slate straight after is rock ‘n’ roll plain and simple, a boisterous call to arms for thoughts and bodies but a song unafraid to suddenly whip the floor from under the listener and take them through a melodic oasis of sound and tempting before entering an even more agitated and fearsome storm. It is a seriously invigorating proposition wonderfully contrasted by the addictive ska swing and rock groove of Abide which in turn makes way for more variety in the rip-roaring alternative rock/punk ‘n’ roll of Shelter As A Verb, both tracks a quick making addiction.

Closing with the no less irresistible As Loud As You Can, a song as post-hardcore as it bluesy, as punk and ska as it is old school rock ‘n’ roll, Hit Reset is a band at the height of its game, a game now sadly being put away in mothballs for a distant or possibly no further outing. Random Hand has left us with a classic though, an album which will continue to incite and excite in their absence. What a way to go!

Hit Reset is available digitally and on CD now through Bomber Music @ https://random-hand.bandcamp.com/album/hit-reset

https://www.facebook.com/randomhand

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Graveyard Johnnys – Dead Transmission

Ester Segarra

There has always been a fire in the belly of the Graveyard Johnnys’ sound, as well as a constant entwining of varied strands of rock ‘n’ roll, but the band has tapped into their richest vein of belligerent contagion yet for new album Dead Transmission. The release is a glorious incitement of punk and rockabilly, though as ever the Welsh band infuses plenty of additional rock bred spices in provocations impossible to pin down but very easy to greedily devour. If you had to make a comparison it would have to be The Living End, though Graveyard Johnnys, as evidenced by their new offering, create something a little dirtier and more unpredictable.

Formed in 2008, the Chepstow hailing Graveyard Johnnys has earned a massive reputation for their fiery and frantic live performances, an aspect also echoed as close as it is possible to ever achieve in the studio within Dead Transmission. It is fair to say though that starting with their debut EP Streetblocks and City Lights, the band’s releases have persistently been a voracious slab of energy, as epitomised by first album Songs From Better Days in 2011. These only emulated as mentioned a live presence which has stirred up audiences Europe wide over the years, persistently luring new and loyal appetites to their sound. Graveyard Johnnys has shared stages with the likes of Turbonegro and Hayseed Dixie, toured with bands such as Mad Sin, The Peacocks, and Nekromantix, and left crowds exhausted with their own headlining shows, all earning greater acclaim and increasing a potent reputation. Now the threesome of vocalist/upright bassist Joe Grogan, drummer Thomas E Lord, and guitarist Callum Houston, arguably the first really stable line-up within the band and its most potent, are poised to open a new storm of attention with Dead Transmission, a release which will not take no for an answer.

Album opener is The Poison, a song entering on the regimented stomp of marching feet, equally eager beats, and subsequently a rich lure of flavoursome enticement which is as much melodic rock as it is classic rock ‘n’ roll seeded. Settling into a landscape of catchy energy and invention, a blues air lays over melodies and dust coated vocals whilst hard rock revelry creeps into the hook lined swing of the encounter. Straight away the band has expectations perfectly defeated, the song bounding through ears like a mix of Turbonegro, The Hives, and The Black Keys yet not. It is a tasty appetiser for things to come, but quickly outshone by the following For Tonight, and indeed the rest of the increasingly virulent album.

Dead Transmission Cover   The second track spills a delicious hook straight away, one swiftly joined by the excellent voice of Grogan and a potent rapping of drum skin by Lord. The singer’s bass is also quickly stirring up ears and appetite, its pungent bait a dark temptation within the swinging enterprise of Houston’s fingers and strings. A great mix of restrained and keenly strolling energy, it has an essence of The Peacocks to it though again it is easy to suggest other styles and artists as references to something quite distinct to Graveyard Johnnys.

The album’s title track is next, static caressing ears before majestic and instantly rousing rhythms and riffs ignite body and imagination. Scythes of guitar and an open spillage of attitude soon join the punk bred incitement too, its snare drum rim clicking and thumping beats irresistible and matched in slavery by the constant adventure of inescapable hooks and brawling energy. Again the band keeps things too lively for expectations, its passage another mix of feverish fury and predatory reserve, and simply sensational.

One major highlight passes the passions over to another in the feisty shape of Because Of You, an old school rockabilly stomp with modern tenacity and attitude. It is the kind of song that if Gene Vincent was stomping around in his young leathers now he would be unleashing. It is one minute and a half of pure and spicy rock ‘n’ roll; a description applying to the punk seeded One Day Or Forever and its individual march upon ears and emotions just as easily. Its rhythmic stroll has feet shifting and head bobbing whilst its alluring Bad Religion meets Flogging Molly like melodies and tempting has ears gripped.

     A similar punk fired persuasion colours the next up Ready To Roll, riffs and rhythms instantaneous seduction reinforced by a tenacious enterprise of guitar which at times flirts with a seventies spicing a la Mud/Showaddywaddy, though blink and you miss it as like so many, the song is a busy cauldron of flavours and temptation which has attention solely in its grasp, much like the following pair of I Won’t Wait and Compromise. The first of the two merges raw punk and vintage rock ‘n’ roll resourcefulness for its decades fusing, passions firing riot. It snarls relentlessly, and expels a dirt encrusted breath of predation, but with the throbbing string slaps of Grogan, the hypnotic bait of Lord, and the ear entangling prowess of Houston, the song was never going to be anything other than an epidemic of infectiousness. Its successor swaggers in with its own appetite binding lures as well as the potently confrontational lyrical craft which flows across the whole release as impressively as the sounds. The Living End is an unavoidable comparison to the outstanding song but again the British three create something as unique from as it is similar to any references.

Fair to say by the end of the song the body is weak from the energy given to the insatiable romps within Dead Transmission, and seemingly sensing this Graveyard Johnnys offer Mothers next, a calm acoustic rock ballad with a country rock breath. It is an engaging and increasingly magnetic croon but admittedly before its increasingly lively end, feet and appetite greedily wanted to let loose again which they do with the closing Little Witch. A smog of sonic aggravation and rhythmic intimidation, the punk/ hard rock explosion is the perfect book end to the start of the album, a fiery and tempestuous maelstrom of fiercely flavoured rock ‘n’ roll with a flirtation of melodies and keys to keep things even more fascinating.

It is a blistering end to a thrilling proposition, Graveyard Johnnys at a new peak with songs which tap into every instinctive want of any rock ‘n’ roll fan, a broad genre which just does not get much better than this.

Dead Transmission is available now via Bomber Music @ http://store.bombermusic.com/products/545212-graveyard-johnnys-dead-transmission-cd-or-download or https://graveyard-johnnys.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.graveyardjohnnys.com/   https://www.facebook.com/graveyardjohnnysUK

RingMaster 13/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Versus You – Moving On

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Since forming in 2005, Luxembourg’s Versus You has become one of Europe’s most captivating and hard- working pop punk bands, as well as the source of much anticipation when news of a new release comes to light. The release of new album Moving On has been no different in raising a keen appetite and equally does not detour from the band’s knack at providing a thoroughly enjoyable romp of punk rock at its most accessible and infectious. The album does not set a new trail for the genre or band come to that, instead it simply parades twelve songs which just do what Versus You does best, capture the imagination with virulent hooks and melodies whilst thrilling thoughts and emotions with superbly crafted and lyrically insightful songs.

With a decade of stirring up audiences and fans on the impending horizon, Versus You has kept the energy and passion of their presence and intent alone impressively high over the years. Renowned for their hunger to tour and take their sound to fans, the band has been a regular attack of gigs and tours across their homeland, as well as East and Western Europe, sharing stages with the likes of NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, White Flag, The Casualties, Bayside, Jimmy Eat World and many more. Equally their previous trio of albums as well as EPs and an outstanding split release with White Flag, has thrilled and helped thrust the band to the fore of Europe’s punk scene, even with a spate of line-up changes especially in the sticks swinging department. Fourth full-length Moving on is another commanding and deeply satisfying proposition, as said not one to change the face of pop punk but easily reinforcing Versus You as one of the leading lights.

Produced by Chips Kiesbye, the album opens with the immediately rigorously coaxing When It All Goes Down, its initial scrub of guitar an intriguing irritant to awaken attention and appetite alike. The song is soon into a feisty stroll Versus You Moving On Packshot 960x960with the rhythms of drummer Jerry Kirpach punctuating the mesh of caustic riffs conjured by Eric Rosenfeld and Dario Bruno. It is not an unrelenting attack though, the song respectful in its aggression and open in its web of easily snagging hooks with the bass of Giordano Bruno adding its own throaty lure to add extra bait to the first easily addictive blaze of sound from the album. Lyrically the song is one of many looking at band life, whilst other Rosenfeld penned themes include traveling, making friends, relationships, and life’s issues, songs never afraid to deal with unexpected things directly.

The following If The Camels Die, We Die makes the strong start look like a mere appetiser, its eager energy and urgent enticement of catchy melodies and deeply hooking snares impressively catchy. The bass finds an extra snarl to its tone which hits the spot perfectly whilst the slightly grizzled vocals of Rosenfeld only add to the raw and honest edge of the encounter. The guitar designs also standout with their imagination within the narrow but full flight of the track, a success emulated and more by the next up A Way With Words. The song is a real pop song, its compelling power pop radiance irresistible to feet and voice. Essences of its sound remind of Good Charlotte and Smashmouth, these spices teasing thoughts pleasingly whilst around them riffs and rhythms cast a more sinew tempting to the potent revelry.

Both On The Town and Be Better Than Me gets the fire in the belly raging, the first a terrific stomp of grazing riffs cut across by flames of acidic melodies as the excellent vocals explore relationships. Its successor is a mellower enticement but no less riveting in its punchy beats and rock ‘n’ roll bred suasion which brings a touch of Pinhead Gunpowder as well as irresistible unpredictable twists and excellent additional female vocals to its glory. The pair push the rising stature of the album up another step, the first especially a highlight of the album with its dramatic air and ridiculously contagious incitement musically and lyrically. Their success is matched easily by Skinny And Distracted, roguish rhythms and stabbing hooks uniting for a Boxcar Racer like treat. At ease persistently changing its urgency and sinew built gait, the track is another anthemic coaxing impossible to resist joining in with but just as strongly brings new thought provoking adventure and imagination to its body.

One That Can See is a resourceful and adventurous romp for ears and emotions, though not finding the same heights as previous songs even with its appealing sonic endeavour, whilst Stay Down, Stay Strong also lacks that same passions igniting spark though it provides a fiery rock song which is as infectiously binding as it is evocatively coloured by a melodic rock intensity. Both tracks leave appetite and reactions well fed nevertheless before Kitchen-sink Drama leaves them bloated and blissful from its insatiably contagious and bruising stomp. There is an antagonistic and defiant edge to the song which emulates from the vocals and lyrics to inspire a strong drama and depth to its presence, whilst hooks and melodies complete the enslavement with masterful and instinctive invention.

30 Pills unveils another big highlight within the album, the provocative song themed around somebody being HIV positive. Hard hitting lyrically and musically, Rosenfeld alone bringing a deeper growl to his narrative, the track roars and incites yet still employs some of the juiciest hooks and melodically drenched chords to persistently inflame ears and emotions. It is a glorious strike leaving the final pair of Still I Persist and You Are My Friend a hard task to follow. They make valiant attempts though, the first a vigorously solid slab of muscle driven punk rock with passion fuelled intensity and the closing song a slower slice of punk balladry which with Green Day like melodic potency, brings a smouldering and evocative finale to greedily embrace. It is a fine end to a great album.

Moving On is arguably a release which delivers what you expect from Versus You without the band making great strides forward but with songs that simply fill every need and want of a pop punk enticement, and with plenty of extra thrills included, it is a release which simply leaves pleasure and contentment the overriding result and that is more than good enough to unreservedly recommend the album.

Moving On is available now on Bomber Music @ http://bombermusic.limitedrun.com/products/528789-versus-you-moving-on-cd-and-vinyl-lp-and-dl in download, CD, black vinyl, and Ltd Ed vinyl versions.

https://www.facebook.com/vsyou

8.5/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Smokey Bastard – Tales From The Wasteland

With more fun, energy and deliriously addictive punked up melodies than should be legally allowed comes the new album from UK punk folksters Smokey Bastard. The seven piece from Reading unleash Tales From The Wasteland via Bomber Music on October 31st bringing 13 tracks of essential raucousness from their tavern of intoxicating mix of traditional folk, real punk, and deeply infectious enthusiasm.

Since forming in early 2007 the band has whipped up a strong reputation and following for no holds live shows and a sound that brings the bands influences into a frenzied and irresistible sound of their own creating music that teases and plays upon the instinctive rebel within us all. Tales From The Wasteland the follow up to their debut album Propping Up The Floor last year, is further evidence and impressive proof that the combination of Macca (Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin), Mike Wood (Vocals, Bass), Matt (Guitars, Banjo), Nick (Accordion, Mandolin), Andy (Tin Whistle, Guitars, Banjo), Aled (Banjo, Mandolin) and Buttons (Drums), make music that excites the ear and deeper.

Smokey Bastard takes flavourings from the likes of Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, though their sound is more removed from the celtic punk sound towards the earlier beginnings of folk punk. They come from a rogue punk base as brought forth in the 80’s by the likes of The Pogues, the use of mandolins, banjos and tin whistles alongside the electrified aggressive energy a mesmeric blend. The brilliant ‘Wasteland’ opens up the album and instantly tells you all you need to know about the band to want more and more of their boisterous and rousing sound. Starting with a slow and firm crawl as the gruff vocals of Macca declares this wasteland my “sweet fucking home” the track erupts into a rowdy and beckoning invite to join its anthemic charms.

Showing their skills and varied influences the melodic folk instrumental ‘Token Folkin’’ skips into view next before unleashing more infectious folk punk frenzy with ‘Eden Holme  as rasping vocals and group shouts add to the engaging melodic play. The interplay between the mandolins and bass towards the end has the foot tapping even harder than before and as with every song on the album brings the feeling of defiant celebration, ‘Mongrel’ coming up next the perfect proof with its proud, irrepressible and urgent dynamism. There is a slight ska lining to the song that brings more effortless and eager response from the senses.

Four tracks in and the album already had stated its claim for essential listening classification and album of the year nomination. Songs like ‘My Son John’ a wonderful and humorous folk acapella piece that reminded of 80’s band The Dancing Did, the exhilarating ride of instrumental ‘Mong Some Hoof’, and the mesmeric storytelling of ‘Cheer Up, Love (Worse Things Happen At Sea)’ a breathtaking tale that galvanises the senses, all continue and increase the carefree but wonderfully inspiring atmosphere. One gets the feeling the band would like to be seen as being a bunch that just turn up and play or throw things together for a laugh but their musicianship and stirring songwriting reveals all.

The single from the album ‘Yuppie Dracula’ is another excitable and appealing track though not the best on the album but with the immensely grin inducing ‘Dear Mol’ a bittersweet leaving note to an ex- lover which twists things up when she comes back with her own snarl mid song via a great female vocal, and the reflective report on past failures in the splendid punk edged ‘‘Aspirations, I Have Some‘, keeps the album at its great and impressive level.

Tales From The Wasteland is a fully satisfying release of great incessant joy, its lively and rip-roaring sounds guaranteed to brighten up any day and most of all the album again shows Smokey Bastard as one of the best and strongest rock bands in the UK.

RingMaster 11/10/2011

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