Pink Muscles -The Signal

There is no denying that 2017 has to date been a truly potent and exciting ignition of personal tastes and that success has just been given another lusty boost through the debut album from US noise punks Pink Muscles. Devouring the senses and imagination with raw hunger, The Signal is a psychosis of sound, an irritant of noise wrapped up in just as lustfully weird tales and quite irresistible.

Hailing from Seattle, Pink Muscles began as a solo project for guitarist/vocalist Marshall McLaughlin. Exploring his unique vision of sound and songwriting, he recorded the Upper Body Strength demo in 2014 before exploring the bringing together of a full line-up which saw the addition of guitarist Eric Elliott, bassist Lee Newman, recently replaced by Stuart Dahlquist (Goatsnake, Sunn O))), Asva), and drummer Janet Trares (Hell’s Belles) in 2016. Their uncompromising fusion of punk and noise rock with a cauldron of other fiercely rapacious flavours from hardcore to thrash and death metal soon found a powerful presence on the local live scene, the quartet having played alongside the likes of The Dwarves, Author and Punisher, Dayglo Abortions, and Nasalrod over the past year. Now they are setting out on trespassing and infesting broader landscapes with The Signal, bringing something unique and fresh to a punk scene which in so many ways no longer boasts those attributes.

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

A concept album in spirit with its 14 “mini-horror films” springing stories of inter-dimensional monsters invading earth to end humanity, The Signal opens with Resumption and a one minute attack of psychotic punk with exotic spatial tendrils and mass vocal causticity, all splintered with warped bursts of sax amidst sonic turmoil. It is beautiful chaos, as addictive as it is disconcerting and the spark for even greater cacophonic alchemy within Teenage Rainbows. With McLaughlin as good as bullying ears with his great vocal presence, the song swings and mentally comes apart within seconds, its creative turbulence bred on caustic guitar riffs and crazed hooks as strings are violently twanged and beats antagonistically swung in another swift off-kilter assault akin to Botch making out with The Locust.

Infestopus invades next, its earthy groove and bestial riffs making a barbarous invitation to a web of sonic loco and scuzzy goodness again as fleeting as a deep breath and just as rewarding before Star Grove unleashes it’s animalistic instincts; guitars and bass going on a murderous rampage as beats damage and bullish vocals arouse. There is a touch of Lightning Bolt to the song, a little bit Melvins too but a savaging individual to Pink Muscles as it corrupts and incites on its uninterrupted way to the waiting humans into insects pharmacy of The Man at the End of My Street. In many ways, the album becomes even more deranged and imagination gripping from this track on. Its thumping beats certainly leave the same scars as its predecessors, but there is a more abstract structure to the weave of colluding and contrasting textures making up the outstanding bughouse. The swarm of guitar trespassing ears is a toxic delight whilst vocals, as the nastily brooding tones of the bass, are a mix of predation and animosity, it all pure addiction sparking.

Black Market Tampons is next, a cosmic horrorshow of “demonic male pregnancy and magic tampons” seducing and corroding the senses. Imagine the dementia of Pere Ubu, the inspiring discord of The Fire Engines, and the punk ferocity of Today Is The Day, and you have a treat of a song if still not quite accurate of its ingenuity.

The haywire webbing of Battery Acid is even more exhilarating; guitars spinning a trap of sonic violation as rhythms tenaciously grumble and impose while vocals paint a giant arachnophobia fear fest. As all tracks, within the carnal exploits there is an infectious air which quickly steals the passions though offering its most virulent strain in this one of the album’s major highlights; a peak quickly rivalled by the visceral climate and drama of Party at Murder Beach. The track is a gripping slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a voracious swing and swagger which alone is a submission giving temptation while The Egg Lady infests and infects ears and imagination with its own certifiable bedlam and theatre of sound and invention.

I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar stems from the instrument McLaughlin inherited from his late father, the inspiration to his exploration of music, and provides fifty odd seconds of insatiable punk rock which simply hits the spot before aurally venomous The Master and Officers of the Universe with its feral dynamics and textures hungrily ravage, savage, and ignite all over again. All three bring a new lust for the album to rise, Heaven is for Real backing them up with its cantankerous wall of sound and vocal ruthlessness; the track a real beast of a proposal.

Bringing the album to a close, Mouth House grabs favourite song honours though with its nefarious air and intoxication of flavours. Playing with the imagination like an aberrantly unhinged merger of Essential Logic, Boris, and Shellac, the track is intrusive bliss building up to a scorching cacophony leaving a lasting imprint on ears and pleasure.

The Signal is the announcement of a new noise punk treat in town and quickly showing that Pink Muscles have much more than that slim tag to their imagination and beef. Another must for 2017 we say.

The Signal is out now @ https://pinkmuscles.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pinkmuscles/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sloth – Slow As Shit

sloth-desert_RingMaster Review

Lounge music for the aftermath of the apocalypse; the sound crawling, seeping through Slow As Shit certainly lives up to its title, and indeed the name of its creator Sloth. The predominantly instrumental album is half predation, half raw hypnotic temptation; a mix breed of doom and sludgy invention at times entwined with electronic and stoner mischief, and a very solid and alluring introduction to the solo project of Blake Caverly.

With inspirations probably safe to assume coming from the likes of Pallbearer, Bongripper, and Boris, Sloth and Slow As Shit swiftly entice and intrigue with opener Meditate. Instantly dark and cavernous with a portentous air to its emergence, the brief piece is the sonic yawn of a beast about to arise and slowly lumber across the senses. Its successor Green Sunrise similarly begins on a provocative sonic touch, its radioactive texture soon breeding thick, slowly stretching tendrils of guitar and creeping rhythms. As the atmosphere becomes more caustically blustery, the grooves find a ‘warmer’ voice to their enterprise whilst beats explore even more intrusive intent in contrast, all elements uniting in a predatory crawl as suitable to the ascent of a beast like Mothra as it would be to the demise of life as we know it. The imposingly alluring encounter continues to brew malcontent in its nature and extensive presence though like a couple of the other tracks, it stays a minute or two too long for personal tastes but with strong hooks and smart repetition aligning with the craft and imagination of the song, it ensures a captivating start to the album.

sloth-cover-art_RingMaster Review     Waking Up follows and shares a heavier, more malevolently hued landscape and surrounding air with ears. As in its predecessors, and indeed those to come, electronic essences and temptations bubble and simmer within the dark doomscape of the song, their shards of unpredictability and spatial light increasing the intoxicating melodic endeavour veining the creative mass of shadows and suggestiveness. A post rock breeze similarly brings to light new aspects and depths to the music, each glimpse adding more colour to the sound and the temptation working away on the imagination.

The following Call Of The Sloth is another intensive crawl over the listener; its smog of invasive energy bred in the sonic craft of Caverly, itself a keen persuasion to body and thoughts. Every moment in its nine plus minutes, brings fresh tones and rich slithers of imagination but also, certainly on the surface, a few close similarities to the tracks around it, that element emphasized in the repetitious air which coats the song’s extensive length. Nevertheless, it is little less than compelling as it sets ears and thoughts up for the ravenous experience of Nothing But Leaves. Featuring vocals from Mikey Gascoyne of Valravn, the track is a tantalising mix of melodic melancholy, doom bred suffocation, and scarred blackened textures which twist and evolve whilst luring in other flavours around the raw tones of Gascoyne. It perpetually crackles and burns on the senses, leaving scarred flesh in its corrosive wake whilst equally inciting an eager appetite for more with its melodic enterprise.

Awaken That Which Lies Amongst The Trees cakes the senses in a thick atmospheric trespass and sonic acidity next, the guitar craft of Caverly especially persuasive in tempering more savage vocal squalls whilst Smoke ‘N’ Sleep brings the album to a fine close with its unexpected, electronic stoner-esque waltz. Keys simply entice and dance in ears and imagination, the music’s air drifting as fluidly as the song title suggests as EBM seeded hooks add to the creative revelry. In many ways the track does not fit with what came before it but there is no escaping that it still provides a thoroughly enjoyable and relevant end to the release.

   Slow As Shit is a great first glimpse at the craft and invention of Blake Caverly. It might not be the release to get you over excited but as we have found, it is likely to ignite potent intrigue in the exploits of Sloth ahead.

Slow As Shit is available from September 28th via the Sloth Bandcamp

https://www.facebook.com/Slothuk

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sofy Major – Idolize

sofy_major

Band and album certainly faced and went through turmoil on its way to being unleashed on the world, but Idolize the second album from French metallers Sofy Major, has defiantly emerged as one of the most frighteningly impressive albums of the year so far. The release is a beast of a record, an album which can only be declared as carnivorous, in sound and intent.

It was the fall of last year that the band took their scintillating fusion of caustic metal, exhausting sludge, and invasion noise, over to Brooklyn and the Translator Audio studio to record the follow-up to their acclaimed debut Permission To Engage alongside producer Andrew Schneider (Unsane, Keelhaul, Converge, etc…). Then hurricane Sandy unleashed her hunger upon New York City, destroying the studio facilities, ruining all the recording equipment as well as that of the band. After a few days with the help and support of the Brooklyn indie music scene and that of Dave Curran from Unsane and Pigs, Sofy Major and Schneider finally undertook the recording of the album. Whether the situation added something extra to the recording which might have been absent if all had run smoothly is hard to tell but certainly Idolize has a snarl and raw energy to it which makes as strong a call to the senses and passions as the impossibly contagious and imaginative sounds set loose upon the ear.

After the recording the trio undertook their first US tour, that and the album the climax of the intensive work and energy expelled by the band since forming in 2007. To date Sofy Major has played alongside the likes of Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine, Baroness, Electric Wizard, Boris, Shrinebuilder, These Arms Are Snakes, Kylesa and many more, continually earning eager acclaim but it is hard to imagine any will be as feverishly offered as that you suspect will come flying as Idolize hits the world.

The album opens with its full arsenal of aural weaponry primed and delivered through the sensational Aucune Importance. The coverhightrack grips the ear within seconds, carving flaming designs through the air with its psychotic rhythmic invention and rapaciously sculpted riffing. Every second and ounce of breath within the track dances with the devil’s alchemy upon thoughts and passions, its irresistible hooks and lures intrusive and addictive, not to mention at times bewildering, whilst the toxic melodic enterprise licks at the senses with delicious salaciousness. It is a staggering start which for most releases would also mark a following dip but not so Idolize.

Both Comment and Steven The Slow which features Dave Curan, bring their distinctive acidic glaze to bear greedily upon  the listener, the first with a oppressively heavy touch from riffs and bass which wonderfully lay on the ear with a full sludge thickness, its manipulative tendencies working away seducing  the imagination within the labouring intensity. Its successor finds an even greater weight to its intensive energy and devouring, the slowly enveloping and exhausting recruitment deceptively virulent and tantalisingly suffocating. Both tracks do not short change on grooves either despite their extremes of gait to further the uniquely addictive hold constructed upon thoughts and heart whilst vocals eagerly scowl over and score the restrained and willing ‘victim’.

Through the cantankerous Bbbbreak with its corrosive growl and the two part UMPKK, band and album continue to enthral and surprise. Part 1 of UMPKK is a haunting dive through a cavernous atmosphere, its depths unveiling more and more intimidating shadows before leaving the listener alone in alien isolation before the second part stares directly in the eyes and conjures up a hypnotic shuffle of provocative rhythms and melodic teasing before igniting the touch paper for a furnace of sonic fascination and almost tribal intensity. It is a riveting track with riffs and bass devious in their temptation and control of head and its inner workings.

As the album relentlessly impresses and captivates with each of its aural predators it is impossible, how intensely you look, to find flaws or a second of wasted sound, the likes of the mercilessly erosive Slow and Painful, the schizophrenic tempest Coffee Hammam, and the discord loving Seb, driving their hooks and the claws of the release deeper in to the passions. Two more major pinnacles of the album come as it makes its way towards its ardour fuelling conclusion. Firstly there is Platini, a song which mixes stoner swagger to a ravaging metallic gnaw, the latter especially potent from the ever staggering bass. The track is exceptional, a confrontation which niggles and taunts whilst being persistently thrilling and playing like a hybrid mix of Kylesa, Therapy?, Retox, and even occasionally Pere Ubu. Then following the insatiable excellence of Frost Forward, the album ends with a cover of the Portobello Bones track Power of Their Voice. The track is a punishing fury of antagonistic punk and hardcore seeded energy blended into a biting sonic wind which exposes senses and nerves to an uncompromising embrace.

Released via Solar Flare Records in Europe and No List Records in North America, Idolize is a tour-de-force to be seriously reckoned with and Sofy Major destined to become one of the giants of rock/metal invention.

http://www.sofymajor.com

http://www.facebook.com/sofymajor

10/10

RingMaster 01/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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