Chantal Claret – The One, The Only…

by Anna-Franziska Milanollo

by Anna-Franziska Milanollo

With big boned rhythmic seduction and even more tempting melodic suggestiveness, the debut album from Chantal Claret is one delicious romp of sixties pop and modern insatiable inventive hunger, a release which makes the term having a good time as a description seem rudely limiting. The former vocalist for the excellent Morningwood, Claret has crafted her own soulful and enchanting not forgetting vivacious sound, into a larger than life treat which brings femme-pop from five decades ago in a feisty and thrilling union with attitude drenched indie pop. Think Imelda May meets Brenda Lee with strong whispers of Wanda Jackson, Gwen Stefani, and at times essences of Brody Dalle’s Spinnerette, and you get the unique presence of Chantal Claret. The One, The Only… is an album which has feet and emotions pumping in time and passion with the forthright sounds it offers, a release which quite simply and persistently thrills with each and every enthralling note.

    The One, The Only… is something very different from anything Morningwood unveiled though there is still a visible thread The One, The Only. . . Chantal Claret by Nick Walker Photography 2between the two due to the stand alone vocals of Claret who arguably upon her first full length solo release has found an even richer and expansive depth to her tone and delivery. Following up the acclaimed Pleasure Seekers EP whose four tracks also grace this album, the new release dances with the passions and ear to send a rapture marauding through the body like a tide of raucous melodic energy which ebbs and flows yet never leaves anything less than captivated seduction roaming its presence.

The opening intro introduces the artist like you would have found at an authentic live performance or TV show of the sixties, or so my Dad told me… an audience excited and drooling as the artist takes her spot in their eager spotlight. It leads right into the muscular rhythms and initial crafty tease of Bite Your Tongue, a song which sways with devilment whilst coaxing the passions into its instantly infectious embrace. The rhythms continue to dominate from the drums and bass, even in its quietest lure, whilst the keys add smokey whispers to stand side by side with the blaze of horns. It is a terrific start with a female snarl and wile to its magnetic temptation.

The thrilling start continues with Pleasure Seekers, a track which has the fire of the band of the same name in the sixties and the gentle pop artfulness of Nancy Sinatra, through the contagious Pop Pop Bang Bang and on to This Time. The second of the trio is one of the highest pinnacles, its arrival on a nursery rhyme like coaxing opening moving into a riveting stroll of woman scorned devilry with accompanying violent intent. Not the most involved song in its construction but certainly the most dramatically mesmeric and energetic, the track enlists the listener into its revengeful mischief with enigmatic craft and arcane breath. The third of the trio leads the senses into a wealth of bulging rhythms and enchanted melodies coated in a sinister design which sparks an ardour as potent as the sacrificial seduction of a siren, both inescapable and unrelenting.

Arguably there is a constant surface shine and glow to the songs which shades the variety at work initially but with songs like the Crystals/Yeah Yeah Yeahs prompting No Love Lost and the Aretha Franklin/Gwen Stefani call to arms of Real Girls and their curves and swerves, any similarity in the coating is soon dispelled with their individual voices, the latter of these two a hip hop/pop fusion which makes it impossible not to hungrily enlist in its cause.

Further flames of pleasure come with the fifties gaited Black Widow, a song which is as tricky as it is insatiable, its aural tongue licking its lips as it seizes the heart with the appetite of its subject. The Mari Wilson sounding Honey Honey stands alongside the song as another real high point its sixties energetic kiss from keys and passionate vocals leaving thoughts and emotions into unbridled mischief before handing over to the excellent Song For The Sinners, the best song on the album. It stomps with guileful invitation and addictive charisma whilst the licking flames of the again irresistible horns incite further temptation into its cute yet dangerous heart.

The One, The Only… is an outstanding album which guarantees nothing but full and breath-taking pleasure, and who could want to share those moments with anyone other than the temptress Chantal Claret.

http://chantalclaret.com/

9/10

RingMaster 03/04/2013

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The Objex – Reservations for Debauchery

Rattled, battered and thoroughly yet pleasingly wasted is how one feels after sweltering in the full blistering punk rock force of Reservations for Debauchery from Las Vegas based band The Objex. If you thought punk rock had seen better days then get your eager mitts on this unapologetic orgasm of uncontrollable punk intensity and attitude thrust through the ear via vital and eager riffs wrapped in pulsating sexual energy. 2011 saw original punk show its heart is still beating loudly with the likes of UK’s The Duel and US band Cute Lepers releasing albums of stunning quality and enjoyment, to which we can add Reservations for Debauchery. Whereas the British band came from the safety pin cutting edge of the likes of X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad, The Objex take pop hook laden sounds reminiscent of the likes of Generation X and Vibrators and forge them with a rock powered intensity. They are an irresistible blend of The Plasmatics, Mongrel, and The Distillers yet completely distinctive and totally exhilarating.

Formed around 2006, The Objex was the creation of drummer Joe Perv and front woman Felony Melony whom he had enlisted to front his band The Pervs on the remaining dates of a tour it was on. After the tour the duo decided to carry on working together forming The Objex, the name coming from a conversation about Melony’s breasts involving The Briefs member Daniel J. Travanti. April of the same year saw the joining of guitarist Jim Nasty and the element that really completed the band as a force, his style a perfect fit. A 5 song demo Bound And Gagged followed alongside a bounty of shows and tours as the band built an eager and rapidly growing fan base with their dynamic sounds.

Preceding the unleashing of debut album Attack Of The Objex in 2007 to ever increasing acclaim and demand, the band added the bass skills of Aly 2X, a musician who self proclaimed she was the “best damn bass player with a vagina that you will ever see”. The album’s response led a year of highlights including notable appearances at the SXSW music festival, The Afro Punk music festival in Brooklyn, NY, plus support slots touring with Demob, Gold Blade and The UK Subs in the UK. The following year the band began working on new material though it too saw the departure of Joe Perv due to creative differences. Taking months finding the right replacement the twilight months saw the addition of drummer Chile and the band ready to use 2009 for writing and working on preparation for follow-up album Reservations for Debauchery and shows. The band entered the studio in 2010 with producer Jason Tanzer of Dust Tree Production Studios and work on the album began, boosted by the winning of the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band and signing a contract with European based independent label, Crownn Recording Group for the global release of the album, which was unveiled early the next year.

Obviously concerned for the moral welfare of the vulnerable amongst us, The Objex start the album with a public warning of the corruption ahead in the brief song ‘Fingered’. Once out of the way the band go hell for leather to assault, violate and most of all pleasure the senses. ‘RSVP’ swaggers in on a rock riff that squeezes the ear before exploding into a combative declaration and defiance. The guitars whip up a frenzy whilst a deep poking bassline veins throughout. Melony instantly shows she is one formidable vocalist, an eager extrovert without losing the anger and intensity all punk should come with, nothing lightweight about her or the band. Sounding like a cross between Brody Dalle and Wendy O Williams with a touch of Joan Jett she commands songs and attention with the openness to allow everyone in the band to shine.

Every song is deeply impressive and beyond satisfaction though there are some tracks that just edge others though it really is by slim margins. ‘Social Disease’ attacks with bitterness and venom leading one to know you would not piss off this lady intentionally. With a siren like riff the track leaps upon and dances within the ear leaving no response possible but to physically respond in kind. This is matched by the equally addictive ‘Toxic Waste Girl’, again linchpinned by a mesmeric hook it has a slightly more melodic wrap though still as excitable and relentless as anywhere on the album.

Getn Back’ grabs hold with mischievous intent to do damage whilst exciting at the same time. Complete with a riff that chips away at the senses incessantly the song just epitomises what the album and band is about and the quality of all its parts. The rhythms of Chile demand attention and the array of riffs that probe tease and linger from Jim Nasty fight for the same piece of the listener. All elements of the band want and deserve focus but it is all in a unity with the others, the production showing all off without threatening the unity of band and songs, and for the record Aly 2X certainly supports her claim with some of the most delicious basslines anywhere, male or female.

If pushed best song on the album is probably ‘Squeeze’, favourite anyway. As the album is as a whole, the track is relentless high octane punk flowing with acidic melodies and pulse racing energy. Melony stamps herself as one of the most exciting and accomplished vocalist, though as the album pushes its charms into the face the Mohican clad new Queen of Punk proves that everywhere.

It is rare to come across an album where you cannot find any real fault but it truly is the case with Reservations for Debauchery, tracks like the glorious ‘Retribution’ and ‘Criminal State’ just as worthy of the words and impressive reaction given elsewhere. The Objex has given one punk album you definitely should not be without; this is a release the word ‘essential’ was created for.

https://www.facebook.com/objexlv

RingMaster 12/01/2012

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