The Chewers – Downhill Calendar

Defying the claws of pigeonholes and predictability with even greater relish and mischief, US duo The Chewers release their new album in the devilish shape of Downhill Calendar. Off kilter rock is pretty much what the band calls its sound and more than anything echoes the captivating web of styles and flavours making up their new release and rock n’ roll.

The Chewers is the creation of Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, both West Virginia bred who by chance eventually met up having individually relocated to Nashville. 2010 saw the release of debut album Every Drop Disorganized and the raw seeds of the sound and humour which has grown over subsequent releases and now boldly flourishes within fourth full-length Downhill Calendar.

I’m Getting Thinner starts things off and within its seven plus minutes of captivation entangles a host of flavours from art/avant rock to post and raw punk through to noise and experimental rock. Immediately bass and drums lay down a repetitive lure smothered in sonic lacing and rising acidic grooves. The rhythmic core of the song echoes the prowess of Gang of Four, its sonic side also hinting but expelling a more feral touch and intent. There is an instinctive nagging at the heart of the song, rhythms its main fuel, which epitomises all album tracks; each song almost harassing attention but rewarding with contagion loaded enterprise matched by the lyrical agility and magnetic delivery of the vocals.

Never a labour only an addictive pleasure even at its extensive length, the excellent opener hands ears and imagination over to the following Skin Stay Thin. Its first breath brings an inescapable swing which again is as primal and raw as it is compelling and manipulative. Hooks and grooves spring like leeches at the imagination, a mischievous edge to them all recalling the creative antics of former PiL/Killing Joke/Pigface member Martin Atkins in his Brian Brain guise. Becoming more caustic by the moment it in turn makes way for the electro /noise punk courting of Where Is the Fun?, those wonderfully infernal rhythms again worming under the skin and into hips within seconds. Vocals, words, and guitar swiftly entwine and saunter across that rhythmic incitement, the latter embracing blues grazing to its melodic vines and funk nurtured swings.

 Rat Belly crawls through ears next; squirts of brass radiating on its heavy infection loaded lumber. With the song’s step never accelerating, the guitar scorches its flesh as electronic resonance brings its own dark dissonance. Bordering on bedlam but just managing to restrain its mania, the track pretty much slips into the psyche trapping Frankie’s Downhill Calendar. Once more drums lead the incursion, their instinctive agility a puppeteer to physical involvement and a rock ‘n’ roll appetite as the creative toxicity of guitar and imagination sear song and senses alike. As vocals once more unearth their own regular magnetism eighties post punk hues please and intimate but only adding to the individual sound of The Chewers.

Without quite sparking the same ardour for its predecessors Yo Yellow Pig still got attention locked in with its mischief coated swing and blues nurtured causticity while the excellent Then There’s Me offers a corroded blues rock canter as seductively elegant as it is openly mordant.

Both tracks trapped attention with ease leaving I Let the Stooge Loose to bring things to a close with its untamed but masterfully mercurial rock ‘n’ roll. Not only to the closing track but The Chewers’ sound in general, there is a sense of bands like Pere Ubu, Powersolo, and The Residents to its character but as the song proves all essences in something unique to The Chewers.

So if you are looking for rock n’ roll in its most “off Kilter” adventure then Downhill Calendar is a must exploration, indeed one for all fans of the flavours The Chewers twist, corrupt, and use so enjoyably.

Downhill Calendar is available now @ https://thechewers.bandcamp.com/album/downhill-calendar

https://www.facebook.com/thechewers/

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bait – Self Titled

art_RingMasterReview

If there is a sound which lives up to its creator’s name more than that of UK post punk project Bait, we have yet to have the pleasure. As in irresistible evidence in a self-titled debut album, it is a snare for ears and imagination; a lure body and instincts alike cannot ignore and as primal and creatively visceral as it is intricately woven.

There is very little we can tell you about Bait, next to nothing to be honest except that it is the solo project of a musician/visual artist which made a seriously impressive introduction to attention within the Alternative Occupations EP released by the Southend based and the outstanding Asylum’s label Cool Thing Records which now lets the band’s first full-length off the leash. Sound wise, Bait conjure a proposition which cannot escape inspiring eager references to Killing Joke in their early days and also of bands like Red Beat, the Malicious Damage label mates of Jaz Coleman and co at the time. Just as quickly though, the band’s own unique character and imagination is infesting album and psyche in what is simply one of the most exciting things heard here in a long time.

Must Meditate opens up the album, its initial coaxing of increasingly excited electronic pulses and vocal endeavour united under musty sonic atmospherics. It is an intriguing introduction boiling up with every second into a tempestuous challenge of metal, industrial, and post punk espionage. Attitude fuels the potent mix, vocal prowess adding to the agitated nature of the song whilst synths and rhythms swiftly bring Killing Joke’s debut EP, Turn to Red to mind.

It is an outstanding start quickly backed up and shadowed by new single Push The Elephant. It is a predacious proposition, stalking the listener even with its boisterous gait while drawing their physical and vocal involvement with an infection spreading alchemy of sound and invention. Wiry hook lined melodies and a brooding bassline only add to the virulence hungrily at play, a united wall of temptation stirring a lustful appetite and participation in no time.

Hate One Another, Love Your Selfie brings a dark funk infused proposal next, its minimalistic yet broadly contagious enterprise woven with the nagging potency of Pop Will Eat Itself. Like a seductress, the track weaves its body calmly around tears, deviously underlying wantonness adding to its lure before Waspy consumes the listener with its punk spawn dance. Beats swat the senses with belligerent keenness whilst guitars caustically bubble on their surface with the melodic tempering offered by keys only seeming to add to the cantankerous air of the track.

The track which provided Bait’s offering on the aforementioned EP is next, I’m Still Here a glorious prowl of hypnotic rhythmic trespass and vocal captivation within a swarming tide of riffs and bass predation. Like a sinister blood lusting yet mischievously devilish mix of Shock-Headed Peters and Brian Brain, the song is pure addiction sure to repeat in many ears and nightmares at its own whim.

Humour is as potent an asset of the album and sound as its invention, Greatest Of The Teeth and the inspirational attributes of Janet Street Porter breeding another attitude driven confrontation to get greedy over. Again thoughts find seventies flavouring to refer to, Rema Rema and to a lesser extent Swell Maps sparked in thought by the compelling incitement but as usual all hues in a tapestry of sound and imagination distinct to and acting as irresistible Bait.

The album concludes with the pair of MZ 4416 and As Far As the Rope Goes. The first is a hungry muscular rock ‘n’ roll assault loaded with more piercing hooks than an abattoir and just as meaty whilst its successor haunts ears and thoughts with angular grooves and deceptively toxic melodies amongst respectful rhythms as vocals snarl with defiance. Both provide a ridiculously enjoyable and striking album with the close it deserves, each adding to the net of lingering temptation quickly drawing back lustful attention.

Bait is a thrilling proposal, band and release as suggested something which gets the juices flowing and you get the feeling they have only scratched the creative surface. Happy Days!!

The Bait album is released March 17th through Cool Thing Records @ https://bait.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=31492 with the single Push The Elephant out now.

https://twitter.com/hate_bait

Pete RingMaster 28/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cool Thing Presents: Alternative Occupations EP

ep-cover_RingMasterReview

There is no hiding that we have a lustful appetite for UK band Asylums and their feverishly inimitable sound, a hunger now being fed again by the Alternative Occupations EP. The Southend-on-Sea quartet have also shown through it that not only do they create some of the most essential propositions heard in recent times they have an eye and ear for other striking talent. Evidence comes in the trio of bands providing the other songs making up the EP released on Asylums own label Cool Thing Records; each an attention grabbing proposal just as ruthless on bodies and imagination.

asylums_RingMasterReviewAsylums set things rolling with a new previously unreleased track written and recorded as the busy wake of releasing acclaimed debut album Killer Brain Waves was settling down and the aftermath of Brexit consuming, that album still drawing plaudits and excited new fans the way of the foursome. Reflecting on “harsh education and health service cuts, post-Brexit Britain, and the running battle of grafting at creative efforts vs. grafting to keep afloat”, Alternative Occupations descends on ears with searing guitars and robust rhythms, openly sharing the creative traits which made the album and its songs such a rousingly infectious proposition. The warm and engaging vocals of guitarist Luke Branch increase the enticement, lyrical suggestion to the fore as melodies fly skilfully from his and fellow guitarist Jazz Miell’s strings. Feet are swiftly recruited in turn by the rhythmic tenacity of drummer Henry Tyler; it courting the seductive throb of Michael Webster’s bass as every element combines for another unique, memorable, and instinctively irresistible Asylums encounter.

The second track on the release comes from Petty Phase, an all-girl quartet also from Southend unleashing a fiercely infectious slice of punk rock

Petty Phase-photo kana waiwaiku

Petty Phase-photo kana waiwaiku

going by the name of You’ll Be Dead. Like a belligerent mix of L7 and The Kuts, the band pulls no punches with their attitude loaded sound in this their debut single, delivering one minute twenty of skilfully raucous invasively catchy rock ‘n’ roll for the EP. It is a snarling, hook swinging flirtation with riffs and rhythms as uncompromising and addictive as the melody lined snares gripping the imagination; though there is just one issue with it, the glorious strike is just so damn short.

The Horse Heads photo kana waiwaiku

The Horse Heads photo kana waiwaiku

The EP’s second side brings Essex punks The Horse Heads and their new single Castles to the party and as their companions the Chelmsford trio need little time to incite body and appetite with their post punk/punk rock trespass of the senses. Created by vocalist/guitarist Ronaldo Rodriguez, drummer George Young, and bassist Chad Worsley, Castles grumbles from the off, a deliciously throaty bassline the lure into a raw wash of biting beats, caustic riffs, and the similarly grouchy tones of Rodriguez. There is no escaping the old school punk air to the song and its components, an Angelic Upstarts/early Clash spicing flirting with scuzzy essences of bands like The Hives as its virulent assault equally stirs up nostalgia and fresh adventure. It too is over before enjoyment would wish, something applying to every song to be honest, meaning the replay button is well used across the EP.

Closing track I’m Still Here comes from Bait, a musician/visual artist we can tell you little more about except that he creates a tapestry of post punk contagion within his offering which is addiction in a speaker. Nagging hypnotic beats and rapacious riffs surround haunting predation lined vocals, an incessant tide of lures coaxing the listener deeper into the song’s tempestuous and imposing imagination coloured by lyrical suggestiveness. Artists like Brian Brain, Shock-Headed Peters, and Ministry are nudged across the compelling encounter but as all tracks within Alternative Occupations, it breeds its own uniqueness swiftly and dramatically while slipping unstoppably under the skin.

There has been numerous splits/multiple artist offerings in 2016 but few, if any, have induced lust like the Cool Thing Records proposal.

Cool Thing Presents: Alternative Occupations EP is available now on limited 12” white vinyl @ https://asylums.tmstor.es/

https://www.facebook.com/asylumsuk   https://www.facebook.com/pettyphase/   https://www.facebook.com/TheHorseHeads/

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spaztic Robot – Skip Rope Rhymes

album_art_RingMasterReview

On an empty sunny day in 1990, when I was nine years old, I saw two dead dogs. Each at opposite ends of the same street. One was big and brown, the other small and grey. Both greeted me with the exact same pitiful manner. Their sunburnt tongues bathing on the gravel gave the illusion of salmon rising from black tar rivers. As the odour began to rise with the dusty heat, I felt like I’d snorted fizzy pop. I chucked up. Through teary eyes I scanned the motionless street in which I stood. Nothing. Nothing but ugly new houses. Ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.

I wasn’t to know it at the time, but Spaztic Robot was born at that very moment. With no evidence offering itself to the mystery of the dead dogs, my nine year old self began to piece together his own chain of events…a different one lending itself to each house on the street. I was convinced that behind the bricks and mortar of one of these seemingly inconspicuous houses lay a dirty little secret.

Skip Rope Rhymes was created in the same vein. It’s a gathering of characters and stories. Characters and stories that could all easily exist, in one street, behind the closed doors of ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.”

This biography placed introduction to Spaztic Robot pretty such sums up the air and dark intensity which floods a myriad of sounds and imagination making up Skip Rope Rhymes, the band’s debut album. In a broad array of characters, songs offer shadowed adventures all equipped with intimate secrecy, like behind closed doors insights as dramatic and often cinematic as they are seriously captivating.

Spaztic Robot is the solo project of Robbie Sparks, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Stourbridge punksters Rebel City Radio. With the band taking a break from gigging and writing over the past year or so, Sparks has used the time to dive into the writing and creating of this his debut album. Recently released, Skip Rope Rhymes has taken little time in drawing eager praise. Its potent diversity means some tracks more forcibly connected with personal tastes than others but from start to finish it is one compelling exploration easy to hear why it has lured strong attention.

The album opens up with Robot Rape, metallic sounds immediately surrounding the senses as whispers in the dark outskirts of the piece share their paranoia. Samples and infectious rhythms soon join the enticement, varied vocal eruptions and a pulsating throb in tow as Sparks begin infesting the imagination in word, tone, and sound. It is an enthralling start which leads into the magnificent theatre of Walk The Long Way Home. Again bold ideas collude with a whiff of insanity as they lead the listener into a sinister noir lit drama of intent and emotion. Nagging and virulent in its catchiness, the track is like a bedlam bound Brian Brain (aka Martin Atkins of PIL, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke fame), a contagious infestation of ears and psyche from repetitious invention and nagging imagination. It is off kilter, bordering deranged, and inescapably irresistible as waves of intensity and psychosis engulf the listener.

The Ants! follows sharing everyday observation in alignment with broader dangers. It sweeps over the senses with again heavily pulsing rhythms and electronic shadows suggestively courting thoughts as much as the intimacy of the vocal and guitar melody. Its low key but involving presence makes way for the pop toned exploits of Confetti Crowns, a song which was one of those not quite igniting ears and imagination as much as those encounters around it. Musically and in songwriting, the song does little wrong yet feels like it is there to provide an accessible doorway and infectious invitation into the real and challenging heart of the album where for us the major excitements lie. Nevertheless, the song does please before the Aphex Twin meets The Cure like Ugly Flower and the scuzzy neurosis of Fingered At The Disco steal their share of attention. The first is a shadow thick serenade of sorts whilst its successor again has a tinge of Brian Brain alongside essences hinting at the likes of Fad Gadget, Pere Ubu, and Wire. It is a glorious and disturbing slice of rhythmic dementia and sonic aberration matched in creativity and emotion by Spark’s schizophrenic vocal delivery.

The melancholy soaked embrace Birth (Goodbye Roggar) offers a collage of flavours and samples next, reminding a touch of Cardiff producer Conformist as it flows like melodic mist through ears with whirls of creative and emotional disturbance interrupting its tempestuous calm while This Is God! induces smiles and glances over the shoulder as the introspective story of death bound life comes with the nag of throbbing rhythms, repetition fuelled melodic temptation, and the stable reflection of its provocateur. Another pinnacle of the release, the track bewitches before Sparks infests the classic (Don’t Fear) The Reaper with his own haunting and acoustic imagination to fine effect.

Skip Rope Rhymes concludes with firstly the creative delirium of At Daggers Drawn, a song which absorbs ears in its society bred dementia and finally the invasive yet solemnly beauteous darkness Extinction Song. Both tracks ignite ears and imagination while challenging each, a quality which infests and shapes the whole of Skip Rope Rhymes in varying ways.

Only listening to Skip Rope Rhymes does it true justice though words like ours, as with Confetti Crowns, hopefully become an enticement to want to leap into the dark and thrilling realms of Spaztic Robot; the rewards are swiftly evident for those that do.

Skip Rope Rhymes is out now across most online stores.

http://www.spazticrobot.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spazticrobot   https://twitter.com/robbiesparks

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright