The Graveltones – Love Lies Dying

The Graveltones _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

If the Devil had his own band it would definitely be The Graveltones, though we suspect the horned one has his dark seduction running through the band’s new hellacious slab of dark rock ‘n’ roll posing as new album Love Lies Dying anyway. The thirteen track hex on ears and passions is the most virulent and incendiary roar of devilish blues rock and dirt clad rock you are likely to hear this, last, or next year, a satanic bargain promising not its but your soul to the dark side.

In a time of some exceptional rock duos, The Graveltones stand boldly to the fore thanks to the creative and musical union of the Australian bred, UK based pair of vocalist/guitarist Jimmy O. and drummer Mikey Sorbello. The band emerged in late 2011, a subsequent adventure resulting from their meeting in London’s Tin Pan Alley and a mutual love of artists as diverse as Captain Beefheart, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Queen Of The Stone Age. 2013 debut album Don’t Wait Down stirred up greedy attention and a new wave of lustful fans for their fiery and unique sound whilst live the band was soon sharing tours and stages with the likes of Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Boss Hoss, Monster Truck, and Cadillac Three, as well as playing a seriously successful slot at that year’s Download. As impressive as the album was, it was just the first step to the majestic rock alchemy that is Love Lies Dying, an encounter revealing the band and its sound as the inescapable real deal.

The devilment opens with World On A String, a track emerging with a heavy stride of rhythms and a thick blues soaking of riffs. From the first breath it also has a punk belligerence to its character, an attitude which fuels vocals and adds edge to the wine of grooves igniting its anthemic canvas. Like Rocket From The Crypt meets The Black Keys at a salacious stomp hosted by US duo In The Whale, a description which closest fits the whole of Love Lies Dying, the track is pure addictive rock ‘n’ roll setting the whole intoxicating riot off in contagious style.

love-lies-dying_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The invigorating revelry continues just as masterfully in the following Fancy Things, its rhythmic bones bordering on predatory as they bounce on the senses as the guitar sprays flames of melodic spicing. With vocals emulating both aspects with a mix of both intimidating rapacity and infectious temptation, the song brews up an irrepressible stomp around the tangiest of grooves; a template emulated in This Love Is Gonna Break, though the song with colourful keys provided by Carl Hudson walks a more sixties garage rock kind of landscape. It is just as much punk and rock pop too, its cauldron of merciless temptation and a chorus even the dead would be unable to refuse, simply irresistible.

Things take on a slightly more shadowy turn with Running To You next, its scuzzy blues hues and catchy rhythmic bait something close to a stalking of ears, though with a mischief in those same beats and the great vocal dynamics, the song is as vivaciously light as it is menacingly toned. Once more imagination and appetite are inflamed, and four songs in it is fair to say that lustful greed is in the equation too, all swiftly encouraged and fed further by both Never Gonna Let You Go and Can’t Tell A Man. The first of the two is the band’s current single and a little fuzz pit of riffs and searing grooves badgered by another vital rhythmic trap. The song is stirring up major attention for the band and album right now and easy to see why as its creative agitation and frenetic enterprise is just punk ’n’ roll slavery. It pounds the senses as it embroils thoughts and emotions in inventive mayhem, leaving the listener exhausted and alive. Its successor is more of a smoulder in comparison; its fiery blues melodies bourbon running around jabbing beats and the ever expressive and increasingly magnetic tones of Jimmy. It is a barroom croon, sweat and liquor fumes as pungent as the emotive hues of voice and guitar, and just addictive.

In The Throes is of a similar proposal to the previous song, but less dirty and more restrained as it flirts with ears through acidic grooves and rebellious beats. Both songs bring strong variety to the album too, another good essence within Love Lies Dying, and indeed within this track alone things are a perpetual evolution as it gets heavier and darker before making way for the outstanding I’m A Ghost. Like The Stones reincarnated as Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, the track is a maze of hypnotic beats and vocal incitement but flush with delicious surf punk imagination and garage rock resourcefulness. The song is exceptional, one of numerous pinnacles within the album but another which is sure fire manna for new ears as an introduction to release and band.

Surf seduction reeks in the haunting croon of Back To You too, the mesmeric dark balladry carrying a Nick Cave like hue to its melancholic embrace whilst Kiss And Fuck Off is psychotic brilliance shaped as a psyche/noise rock predation. Ripe with deranged imagination and masterful discordance, not forgetting rhythmic disturbance, the song forcibly hits the sweet spot which Come And Find Me stirs up even more with its aggressive and commanding rumble. Riffs snarl with alluring causticity whilst beats with a more controlled purpose prowl fuzzy air, contrasting elements uniting perfectly as the song twists and turns through varied creative scenery, including a passage of QOTSA like grooving.

Upcoming single Big Money steps forward next, slowly crawling over ears and imagination with boozy melodic vines with vocals from Jimmy to match. The relaxed percussive courting of Mikey is just as enticing, becoming punchier when the song erupts in a furnace of intensity and impassioned energy from time to time. It is not maybe the most obvious of single, compared to others within the album, but its smoulder is intensive and persuasion a lingering potency so that the song joins the major peaks of Love Lies Dying.

Together Again brings everything to a close, its low key melancholic finale a blues rock hug to drift off with until the urge to start the album all over again, which to be honest is a matter of seconds. Someone elsewhere said that The Graveltones have come of age with Love Lies Dying and you can only agree as the album song by song establishes itself as one of the thrilling irresistible proposals of 2015. There is still the feeling though that this, like its predecessor, is only a step towards even greater glories, an excitement as powerful as that bred by the album itself.

Love Lies Dying and latest single Never Gonna Let You Go are out now via Lagoon Dog Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/love-lies-dying/id978331780. New single Big Money will be released in July.

http://www.thegraveltones.com/  https://www.facebook.com/thegraveltones

RingMaster 11/06/2015

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

 

Snack Family – Pokie Eye EP

SF_PR1_14

It is not often you get a real tingle in the ‘loins’ as a band tempts the ears for the first time, but there is no doubting the lustful response UK rockers Snack Family inspired with their deliciously warped Pokie Eye EP. Casting a sound which could be described as gothic blues but fits better the description of The Birthday Party in its early days meeting Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers in a sultry and unhinged embrace with The Fat Dukes Of Fuck and Melvins, the release is a unique and rebellious slice of rock ‘n’ roll derangement and inescapably addictive.

Hailing from London and formed in 2011, the trio of Andrew Plummer (baritone guitar/ vocals), James Allsopp (saxophone/key), and Tom Greenhalgh (drums) swiftly and understandably drew references of Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, and Morphine with their startling invention, as well as an eagerly growing attention. Debut release, the Belly EP lit new fires earlier this year which Pokie Eye inflames again with its own rich tonic of Southern bred creative dementia. Recorded with Ben Lamdin at Fish Market Studio, London and wrapped in the striking artwork of conceptual artist Drew Millward (Gallows, Pulled Apart By Horses, Oceanside), Pokie Eye is a wake-up call for the imagination, psyche, and sonic insanity.

Lupine Kiss is first, swinging in on groove infected keys and mischievous beats all lit by jazzy flames of brass. It is an immediate trap soon developing a hazy seduction and virulent toxicity as a thick tang infiltrates grooves and the highly evocative sax temptation. The song soon nudges thoughts of films like The Monster Club and From Dusk Till Dawn, it casting the imagination in a jazz fuelled, liquor soaked nightclub dwelt by the most salacious dangers and evil seductions possible. The song swerves tantalisingly with its melodic curves whilst the crispy high-hat sound is simply tantalising persuasion amidst the devilment of the rhythms. Leading it all like a devious bartender is the gruff crazily alluring tones of Plummer, his delivery as fascinating and irresistible as the creative loco around him.

The track is a riveting enslavement soon emulated in its own wholly distinct nature by Plastic Factory, a cover of the Captain Beefheart classic. Within seconds the song is strolling with sf_pokie_eye_frontbulging beats and flirtatious sax temptation but wrapped in a sinister and darkly enticing air, its fiery rock ‘n’ roll tempered by the prowling stance of the song and the heavy basslines courting the gravelly vocals. It is a blaze of aural salaciousness, especially from Allsopp’s sax which when really inflamed reminds big time of the kind of brilliant discord cloaked revelry Essential Logic conjured back in the seventies.

No Reason is a journey into the darkest and menacing corners of the mind and Snack Family’s invention, the song a slow swarming croon of a proposition embracing the heavy smoky Cash like tones of Plummer. It is stuff of your darkest dreams, a brilliant noir drenched, jazz bred smoulder of primal seducing and imagination. Keys resonate as indefinable sounds simply colour the drama, the track enthralling and immersive but most of all just brilliant, though it is soon surpassed by the closing revelry of Pokie Eye Poke Ya. The final song is psychotic manna, from the first flirtation of sax soon joined by a contagion of rhythms which in turn ignite a Cajun kissed jangle of strings and vocal rampancy, the track is simply sensational. Percussion and beats are as psychotic as the sounds dancing with lost inhibitions around them, a mix recalling again Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers but also Dutch band De Staat. It is rock ‘n’ roll devilment, a lunacy as controlled and resourceful as it is manic, and easily one of, if not the best song heard this year.

Pokie Eye is a must for all those with a taste for the references offered here or anything from blues rock, psychobilly…well simply rock ‘n’ roll of any slightly off kilter colour and ingenuity. Snack Family just might be our new favourite band and we suggest they may be yours too.

The Pokie Eye EP is available from December 6th via Limited Noise @ http://snackfamily.bandcamp.com/album/pokie-eye and through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

http://snackfamily.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/snackfamilymusic

RingMaster 05/12/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Early Mammal – Horror at Pleasure

   Early Mammal 2

     Devouter Records has developed this knack, insight, skill whatever you wish to call it, in finding and releasing music from bands which offer something different and imaginatively impacting within what can be loosely termed as a stoner/psychedelic brief for the label. Horror at Pleasure, the debut release from UK band Early Mammal is no exception. It is a record which takes the senses and thoughts on an intensive sonic journey which is not always easy or pain free but is continually intriguing and exhausting in the most enjoyable way. Brewing a collision of stoner, blues, doom, and progressive invention into a psyche-out storm of sonic intensity and blistering, Early Mammal rides roughshod over the senses whilst rewarding them with weighty sonic enterprise and acid soaked erosive breath.

Formed in 2012, the Camberwell, South London trio of guitarists and vocalist Rob Herian (ex-Elks), drummer Ben Davis (ex-85 Bears), and Turkish born Deniz Belendir on organ and synth take their inspiration from bands across the likes of Captain Beefheart, High Rise, Peter Green, White Hills, Edgar Broughton Band, and Hawkwind, adding these rich spices to their own psyche fire of progressively carved and fuzzed textured burning. As mentioned the album is not always comfortable upon the ear but no pain no gain right!

Opening on the brief instrumental and shimmering air of Right Hand, its ambience sweltering in the sonic heat but restrained in itsArtwork touch, the release soon evolves into the harsher climes of Final Witch. Immediately raw on the ear with caustically surfaced vocals to match, the track grazes and sears the synapses with a compelling melodic glaze which is sonically heated until it scalds and bubbles upon the senses and a guitar acidity which exhausts and compromises the enterprise at play for even greater satisfaction. With the keys transporting instigated visuals into a spacey kaleidoscope of aural colours and imagery it is a strong start to the album, an unrelenting and unkind embrace which evokes good satisfaction.

Horror at Pleasure is undoubtedly an album you need to undertake the journey of numerous times to fully reap what it offers, the many encounters slowly but forcibly showing the impressive strengths of tracks like Demon or Saint and Coming Back. Admittedly the first of the pair made a mighty persuasion on its first meeting with the ear, its bluesy gait and ravaging intensity ridden by the raw vocal tone and expression of Herian to capture the imagination but after further companionship the song expands into one of the strongest emotion exploiting pinnacles on the album. The second of the two is a fire in an atmospheric wasteland, the chilled solitude soaked ambience the home to an alluring emotive guitar narrative which sparks more vivid feelings in its short but inciting instrumental life.

The further into the release the more impressive and irresistibly tempting it is, the likes of To Find Me Gone with its Stones like fiery breath and Checking The Bullshitter’s Queen, a song which flames around the ear with an inventive sonic script to light up the air with cascades of intrusive but enthralling cunning invention, the pair conspiring with many others to enflames and push the limits of passion on to greater responses. The finest moment on the giant soundscape that is Horror At Pleasure comes with Resurrection Men. The track canters along with feisty intent and energetic urgency without fully unleashing all its intensity, keeping some back to frequent and stalk the shadows which wrap the track, something the band does across the whole album in truth. It has to be said that though each track is certainly distinct to each other, this song especially ripe in originality it is not always clear why as all songs employ a similar surface abrasion and hellacious near on spiteful scuzzy energy and presence which is borne from the same sonic seed. They do stand apart though and Resurrection Man with the fullest furnace of transfixing brain warping ingenuity and mesmeric colours above the rest.

Closed by a companion instrumental in Uncle Scary’s Left Hand to the opening piece, Horror at Pleasure is a strongly impressive release. Though the album overall did not exactly ignite the strongest furnace inside for its endeavours, poking the dormant embers into inconsistent eruptions, one senses it is just a matter of time before Early Mammal do achieve that, but for many others they will have made that break through with this wholly pleasing feast of sonic alchemy one suspects.

http://www.facebook.com/earlymammal

8/10

RingMaster 03/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Leon Welburn of Mammal Hum

Sometimes a band steps forward to truly captivate and excite the senses, to thrill the heart and fire up the imagination like very few others are able. One such band is UK psychedelic pop band Mammal Hum, a quartet of musicians who have created not only one of the best albums this year but treated the passions to mischievous sounds of textured and layered majestic beauty. The release is a mouthwatering expanse of diversity and mesmeric soundscapes to ignite open ardour towards it. Not just wanting but needing to learn more about the band, album, and the minds behind such a unique release we had the pleasure to fire off questions to band member Leon Welburn.

Hello Leon and welcome to the site.

Firstly please just introduce the band.

Hi everyone. We are Mammal Hum, a four-piece from Hull, made up of Nick Cammack, Simon Andrew, Sarah Mole and myself, Leon Welburn

We have to ask firstly about the band name…?

Ha! The band name was a laborious process. We very nearly all fell out over it. So, four part harmonies are an essential part of our sound. We saw it as a whole-band voice. A communal ‘hum’ with each member vital to the mix. Hum can also be extended to form the word Humber, the river by which our hometown rests. We’d like to think its different if anything else.

Can you tell us how Mammal Hum began and how Geoff Travis comes into the equation even though it is before the band is a reality I believe?

Nick formed a band a few years back in London, involved with Blanco Y Negro. Geoff Travis was linked to them at the time and basically Nick landed a deal after speaking to him. Then, the band went their separate ways. Nick returned to Hull in 2008 while the others continued to pursue different musical projects. A few months after this, I put my house up for sale, and Nick was one of the prospective buyers. He didn’t end up putting an offer in, but he did notice a Hammond Organ in the corner of the room, and we started chatting about music and bands. A week later I saw Nick in our local pub, and we agreed to have a jam one night with Sarah, who we had both known for a while. The band was pretty much formed that night.

What are the musical experiences for you all leading up to the band?

Nick and Simon have been in a variety of bands for years, Sarah is into DJing, and although this is my first serious band, I’ve been playing and recording solo music for about ten years.

Now a quartet, I read the band began life as a trio before Simon joined up, if so did that mean you used guest drummers, electronic or went without?

We started as a six-piece band with a drummer, two guitarists, bassist, two keyboards, and four singers. Quite hefty really. We lost one guitarist early on when he moved away. Then our drummer left to work abroad. For a while we tried to work as with drum machines and loops, and take it in an acoustic direction, but it just didn’t sit right. One of our ladies (Nick’s partner) departed to have their first child. At this point we realised we desperately needed drums. We knew Simon played guitar in another band, approached him one evening, and he agreed to rehearse with us. The minute he began drumming, we knew he was exactly the person we needed. A loose jazz style, with lots of heavy, rolling toms. That was, and still is, the Mammal line-up.

We used the tag psychedelic pop which most seem to use to describe your music for our review of your new album What’s Behind Us Is Not Important. It is a description which just grazes your sound to be honest, how would you explain your music and intent to newcomers?

Bright and breezy pop nuggets with layered group harmonies, chunky guitar and big drums scattered in and out of various tracks. It’s an album that tries its best not to be too serious. That’s not to say we are deliberately tongue in cheek or humoured. The songs just seem to happen this way.

What are the influences which have had the biggest impact and effect on your individual and band sound? One imagines there are many whispers which spice your ideas.

We always liked the idea of not being tied to a specific musical genre. We have so many different influences from the Beatles and Beach Boys, along with a host of 60s psychedelia, to Sparks, Super Furry Animals, 80s and contemporary electronica….there really are too many to mention, but hopefully this gives you an idea.

There are shall we say nostalgic tones to your music but with a freshness and imagination of modern times, how easy or instinctive is finding and reaching the balance in your sounds?

We used to write the tracks separately, and then it reached a point where we felt the best songs were being created organically in the rehearsal room. One of us would come up with an underlying theme for a track, and the rest of us would all contribute with lyrics and ideas. Pretty much the entire album is based on this system. We do keep influences in mind when writing songs, but always manage to pull ourselves away from being a sounding too much like our influences. I suppose we all value the importance of wanting original sounds, and creative freedom, so luckily yes it feels like a fairly easy process. Always helps!

Where do your songs seed from and how do they evolve within the band?

Our songs come from childhood memories. The Bingo Wing is about sitting in social clubs playing bingo as a kid. Mechanical Horse is about a local bus I used to travel on, and the varied and interesting characters you would see and become accustomed to week in, week out. The life of a car, bee epidemics, close and distant acquaintances, folk tales and our seemingly tiny existence in the enormity of everything which surrounds us……just some of the things we like to write about.

Though the songs upon What’s Behind Us Is Not Important are organic and breathe melodies like we do air, one senses that in the studio a lot of care, time and attention is attached to every aspect of the tracks, is that the case?

Yes. In a way. We do actually try to keep our production quite raw. Not too embellished. However, we do return to songs regularly with new ideas on how various sections can be improved, how vocals may be better structured, re-structuring sections, adding and taking out instruments……basically trying to get a song sounding as interesting as we can, usually within the space of three or four minutes. This isn’t a set rule we stick too though. It does commonly happen though.

How long did the album take to record and was it one big session or an ongoing process in its birth?

It took about two and a half years in all. We originally started recording in late 2010 on an analogue desk belonging to Nick, and then the desk lost its way, and had to be serviced…..in fact it’s still in need of a service. We had major problems with it in the end. The rest of the album was recorded during the last twelve months, by our friends Richard Gilbert from label-mates Lymes, and Patrick Tobin at Room Room Studios in Hull.

Admittedly I am no musician but it is hard to imagine where you start to compose your sprawling mesmeric soundscapes, so please give some clues haha.

Going back to the rehearsal room idea. We really do start with a riff, or drum pattern or keyboard part, or a bass run. It usually has a Captain Beefheart twang to it. What usually happens next is a twenty minute jam. I’ll usually record it on a mobile phone, and we will build the track up over a series of rehearsals, before layering it all up in the studio. It’s a four-way split from nothing. That’s how we roll in Mammal Hum

You are all multi instrumentalists I believe, does that bring a depth of ideas and imagination to songs which maybe are not as strong in other bands?

Not so much multi-instrumentalists. Well apart from Simon, who really can either play every instrument, or is learning to! We do like applying ourselves to, and experimenting with other instruments though. This definitely makes a more interesting sound. It does expand your creativity and make you much more imaginative. You don’t feel constrained to the usual formula.

How does your expansive sound transfer to a live setting, do you have to make any adjustments to bring the same effect as on recordings?

We use samplers, effects pads, overdriven bass and guitar and the big big drums, to try and reflect what goes on in the records. That combined with four voices on stage makes it quite challenging on some tracks to get the overall balance. A good challenge of course. At the same time, we like to tinker with our live set enough for it not to be a repetition of what you hear on the album. You may as well just give the crowd then an album each and send them home. We find the idea of sounding exactly like the album tracks a little……well…….constrictive! That’s absolutely no disrespect to bands who aim to achieve this. We have actually started doing more acoustic gigs to see how the tracks convert when played unplugged. We can then push the harmonies further to the front. The acoustic gigs have been working well actually! We sit in the middle of the room instead of on stage. It’s a nice vibe.

In our review of What’s Behind Us Is Not Important we brought up names of artists like Kontrust, De Staat, The Knack, XTC, The Monkees, Flaming Groovies, Ok Go and even Marilyn Manson (read the review to see why ;)), showing the diversity of your release and richness of its sounds. Any there you would agree with or have you wondered if we were drinking at the time? Haha

I can see The Monkees in there, and some Flaming Groovies. We do like XTC too………Marilyn Manson???? That’s not a comparison I’d either thought I’d hear to be honest! Interesting! Haha!

Is there a prime intention or aim you bring to your music and has it evolved over time?

No specific aim, other than for us all to be creative, enjoy it and invent! The music certainly has shifted in style slightly as band members left, and others joined. The music on the album is certainly representative of our direction over the past three years though.

Also how has your music changed since those early days in 2008?

The music has changed quite a lot, and for the better in our opinion. The voices have always remained, but we are certainly much more versatile now.

What is next for and from Mammal Hum?

We are planning a follow-up album on Mollusc Records. We are currently writing tracks for this one, and hope to start recording next year. Expect a different direction, a lot more laid-back, gentle affair. A bit of a departure really, but an idea we really want to work with. We have plenty of ideas in the pipeline……

A big thank you for sharing time to talk with us, any parting words you would like to leave behind?

Thanks for chatting to us, and to friends for their support, and Mollusc Records for their continued hard work. Please listen to the album…..and yeah start a band. It has ups and downs, but its good fun. What’s Behind You Is Not Important……

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mammal-Hum/11380710291

Read the review of What’s Behind Us Is Not Important @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/mammal-hum-whats-behind-us-is-not-important/

RingMaster Review 27/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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