Rapture –Trials

Rapture_bandphoto

   Rapture is a Christian hardcore band from Los Angeles, a quartet making a rather striking introduction to themselves with debut album Trials. Recently signed to OnTheAttack Records, the band has also made their first proposition a name your price download, which with some stomping punk bred tracks the reward, is an invitation hard to turn down.

The band was formed last year by four friends who wanted to create and explore the music which excited them whilst also sharing their faith and love of Jesus Christ, an inescapable but not over imposing aspect of their enjoyable first release. 2014 as a musical year was a low key affair, the band only playing a couple of shows, but as this year broke the band decided to concentrate on their music and hit Birdcage Studios to record Trials with Allen Falcon. Approached by On The Attack Records who wanted to be involved in the album’s release, Rapture now make their first potent persuasion on ears with a full year of shows planned to back its unveiling.

The release is opened by Intro, though it is a little more than merely that. From the great growling bassline starting it off, it aggressively snuggles up to ears with abrasive riffs and vocal squalling, providing an unsurprising but swiftly anthemic and pleasing proposal all within 51 seconds.

Its fine start is matched by the fiercer but no less gripping Legacy where again the lively beats of drummer Tony Rangel demand keen attention whilst the grizzly basslines of Isaac Guerrera Rapture_Trials_albumcovershow themselves to be quickly compelling. The song is a confrontational prowl of ears, though as lyrics show, is more face to face with its own personal angst than solely challenging the listener, a showdown further driven by the accomplished riffs and enterprise of guitarist Garrett Gutierrez and the furious tones of vocalist Richard Haro.

Kingdom Crew steps in next with a rawer air and rhythmic chest beating. The band has been referenced to bands like Terror, Dynasty, and, xLooking Forwardx but certainly this track suggests a merger of early CIV and Shelter as a starting point in its bracing texture and sound, whilst Enemy Lines next rumbles and snarls with a slight air of The Bronx in its rapacious hardcore incitement. Though again surprises might be said to be low, everything about the track from its tenacious rhythms and grainy riffs to the vocal fight and group calls leaves a healthy pleasure and appetite in place.

The tempestuous Deceiver bellows and entices next with magnetic enterprise and attitude before the outstanding Nothing Else brings it all to an impressive close. The final song features Joel Muniz of Dynasty, and treats the listener to a rampaging march of inventive rhythms from Rangel aligned to the ever tempting bass endeavour of Guerrera. That is just the creative spine though of the most inventive track on the album, guitars alternatively spearing and spreading through the air with spiky imagination whilst Haro and band raise voices to their faith. It is Rangel which steals the show here to be honest but as elsewhere it does not work without the rest of the band’s impassioned enterprise and impact.

Without forging something strikingly original but avoiding anything majorly predictable, Trials is a promising and pleasing entrance by Rapture. This is a sure fire recommendation for all raw punk fans from a band with undoubted big potential.

Trials is available now via OnTheAttack Records as a name your price download @ https://ontheattackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/trials

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rapture/1403442699960183

RingMaster 12/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Old-timers – Be Reconciled

THe Old Timers cover

Hailing from South Africa, punk band The Old-timers has forged themselves a quite potent spotlight not only in Christian punk but the punk underground as a whole with their releases. Now the trio return with their finest moment yet, the Be Reconciled EP. With a broader sound and inventive nature, the release catches the imagination with infectious slices of raw and organic punk rock and a premise which asks questions of thoughts. The band’s fourth release, the EP is simply another open step forward in the presence and sound of The Old-timers.

The band was formed in 2011 by Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson and Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, its seeds first sown when they met whilst the latter visited the home town of the former whilst on holiday. From the pair’s unplanned meeting they found plenty to connect over, punk rock being one big love for both. Writing and sharing songs over the vast distances between them through technology, the band emerged with a demo Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We!, which brought them to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records. Soon after its release the duo recruited Californian drummer Matt Lagusis whilst Thumper Records released the band’s following impressive releases, the 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria and the Spiritus Sanctus at the end of last year. Both releases showed the continuing growth in sound and songwriting, an evolution pushed again by Be Reconciled.

The new EP is a concept release, its premise following the story of a life finding the light from a dark destructive place, “from sinner to repentance to reconciliation through Jesus.” That journey can be translated into a search we all embrace at some point in our lives within or outside of religion, and in its infusing of keys, a capella harmonies, and spoken poetry within old school fuelled punk rampages, Be Reconciled is a masterfully riveting encounter which works on ears and emotions. It starts with Hole in My Heart, a track which instantly lights ears with its rising persistence of riffs and stomping rhythms. The song, as the vocals, roars with a rapacious intensity and air as the guitar of de Necker expels caustic riffs and enticing hooks whilst his bass prowls the song with a devilish intent. It is an outstanding start to the release, the song’s NOFX like raucousness and Exploited like intensity bound in grooves and hooks which simply infests the imagination, whilst the inventive pounding from Lagusis and vocal demand of Emerson round off the potent lure of the song.

The spoken poetry of Blessings Out of Buffetings is next, voice and haunting keys the protagonist accompanied by percussive taunting. It is a track which alone you would say is for those of faith but within the narrative of the EP and linking the opener and the following Hope for the Rejected, it works well in the context of the story and unimposingly. The third track flies at ears with a raw scrub of riffs and bass driven by rabid beats. With group vocals which works a treat the track at times reminds of early Shelter, its grazing breath veined by a contagious groove which simply entices the appetite further and without reserve. Another highlight of the release, the track provokes, incites, and thrills in equal urgency and strength.

The bruising sounds of Father God I Wonder excites and challenges senses next, the track recruiting the incendiary essences which grabbed attention within previous releases and loading them with a richer infectious bait and instinctive ferocity. It is one minute of prime punk rock which thrusts its sound and narrative irresistibly through ears into thoughts and emotions. Its triumph is matched by the riveting The Joy of Reconciliation. The song starts with that a capella offering mentioned before, a striking union of the band’s voices which works so well you almost throw a sigh of disappointment when the song erupts into its punk rapacity. It soon has those thoughts forgotten though as it squalls and stomps aggressively across the senses for another hunger feeding slab of punk passion.

The closing Ambassadors as the second track is a spoken word within a keys embrace, a conclusion to the narrative which also like the earlier song links in well when taken as part of the journey but for those without a feeling for the religious side of things you sense it may not get the chance too often to make its suasion in being the final track. It has to be reinforced though that as all their releases, The Old-timers presents an encounter which is for all punk fans, just this time it is the band at its most adventurous and dynamic sounding to date which is reason enough to spend plenty of time with Be Reconciled.

The Be Reconciled EP is available now through Thumper Punk Records and Veritas Vinyl as well as @ http://theold-timers.bandcamp.com/album/be-reconciled

https://www.facebook.com/theoldtimers

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Old-timers – Spiritus Sanctus

The_Old-timers_Band_Photo

    Following up their impressive and enjoyable debut 2012 album Soli Deo Gloria, South African punks The Old-timers release new EP Spiritus Sanctus, a proposition which continues where the last left off with another clutch of inventive and passionate hardcore punk encounters. As their previous release the trio fill most of the tracks on the EP with praise to God and his son, challenging wrongs and thoughts with their narratives. Lyrically there is no subtlety and reserve in the presentation as previously shown on the album but equally there is the same wealth of tasty punk endeavour to satisfy those not so interested in the lyrical contemplations, making the EP an adventurous slab of prime punk for all to enjoy.

     Consisting of Cape Town vocalist Dave Emerson, Port Elizabeth guitarist/bassist Donovan de Necker, and Californian drummer Matt Lagusis, The Old-timers seeds begin in 2011 with the meeting of Dave whilst on holiday with Don in his home town. Strong friendship led to a creative union of the two with technology providing the link over the vast distances between them and subsequently Matt (False Idle) who joined the band after the release of their first demo. That release, Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We! brought the band to the attention of Christian Punk label Thumper Punk Records who released the well-received full-length Soli Deo Gloria and now unleash the band’s new encounter in tandem with Veritas Vinyl.

    Opener Mammon relatively gently scraps with the ears through an opening stroking of riffs and spoken vocals, both setting up The_Old-timers_-_Spiritus_Sanctus_coverattention and appetite for the passionate rabidity to come. As the track provokes and rallies up thoughts with its intensive yet controlled assault there feels a greater intensity and voraciousness to the sound and delivery. It is not a metallic rapaciousness which hits the imagination and senses but certainly the suggested more thrash bred hardcore feel to this and other songs, as suggested to us previously by Don, makes itself pleasingly known.

    From the more than very decent start On My Knees Again deepens the tone of the sounds with a heavier darker  snarl to bass and guitar whilst the drums and vocals score the senses in fine if unsurprising style. The track still builds bait and a potent coaxing across its angry stretch which only feeds the hunger for good punk rock with its enterprise and satisfying craft. Its strong place though is soon put in the shade by the excellent and fun Goonies Never Say Die!, a riotous slab of anthemic punk with restrained but infectious hooks and potent rhythmic temptation all irresistibly luring the passions within a canvas which is less than a minute long. From its deep appeal things continue with equal success through Joe #1, a song which has essences of Shelter and the Subhumans to its stirring and evocative charge. Again hooks entrench themselves irresistibly in the imagination whilst riffs and rhythms crowd the ears with excitable and rampant enterprise as a good variation of vocals suggests the lyrical intent of the song. It is an excellent and energetically captivating encounter taking best song honours on Spiritus Sanctus.

     Love Alone Is Strength returns to a face to face eyeballing hardcore attack, vocals scowling out every note as riffs and drums barrack the ears. It maybe would be an over ripe provocation even in its again very enjoyable short presence, a minute once more barely pushed, but veined by a teasing acidic treat of a hook and that ever eager voracious energy the band craft another highlight of the EP. It’s potency is matched and surpassed by Carpe Vitae Part II, a storming blaze of old school punk  with a taste of seventies bands Crisis and Crass to it as well as that repeating flavour of Shelter though to a lesser extent than before. Both songs show an invention and evolution in the sound and songwriting which is certainly subtler in other songs but makes a promising turn in the growing of the band.

  The closing Axios provides a final feisty gallop of hardcore punk with its healthy arsenal of contagious hooks and irresistible energy for a song very easy to devour and with relish. The song is raw and accessible providing something for all punk needs as does Spiritus Sanctus as a whole. The release pushes on from the band’s excellent album, not in big strides but definitely with distinctive confident steps which makes The Old-timers a meeting all punk fans should eagerly consider.

https://www.facebook.com/theoldtimers

http://theold-timers.bandcamp.com/releases

8/10

RingMaster 19/02/2014

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Ambassadors of Shalom – Abdicate Self

Ambassadors of Shalom

     Thirteen tracks of mouthwatering old school punk with a crate load of hooks and barbed riffs to entice any appetite, Abdicate Self the new album from UK Christian punks Ambassadors of Shalom is a thrilling introduction to the band and its blaze of Evangelistic punk rock. Hailing from the North West of England, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Neil Roddy, bassist/vocalist Pete Field, and drummer Joe Wilson challenge and evoke thoughts with a hungry punk invention which just as easily ignites the imagination and emotions. The songs on the album are well seeded and versed in the ways of original punk rock, each providing a thoroughly satisfying anthemic bait, but also each comes with an individual adventure to bring an identity singular to the band.

    Ambassadors of Shalom was formed in the January of 2012 after an acoustic gig in Stoke community centre and from there took little time in grabbing the attention and passions of local fans. In August the same year, the band signed with Californian label Thumper Punk Records with Abdicate Self the new impressive offering. The album is one of those enjoyable encounters which seems familiar but just as potently finds a new intriguing presence. From the opening track Astray, the Tim Davies (Brohnis Music) recorded and produced release picks on the ears and imagination with a flurry of incisive and virulently effective hooks and riffs. The first song makes for an energetic antagonist from its first breath, guitars stirring up the air whilst the bass lays down a shadowed prowl which only recruits an immediate appetite. Crisp rhythms around the lead and backing calls of Roddy and Field respectively next engage before the song pulls all into an enthused riot of invention and contagion. It is a masterful and irresistible lure into the release, an invitation forcibly backed by the remaining vivacious body of the album.

     This Ain’t Home stokes up the hunger next with a starting anthemic bait of rhythms which the guitar subsequently crafts a 1908240_671390592925450_835805858_ncaustic sonic wash with bluesy flames onto. It is a sultry raw sound complemented by the charge of clean riffery and rhythmic enticement which splits the blaze of sonic heat. Though not as potent as its predecessor the song keeps the album rigidly in focus with ease before both Jesus Said and United We Stand offer their scuzz kissed storms of punk evocation. The first is a scowling yet warm mesh of stirring noise which crosses the senses like a mix of Angelic Upstarts and The Adicts whilst the second is an equally pleasing street punk brawl of anthemic vocals and coarse alluring riffs. Both songs have an intensity which draws attention and thoughts even if slightly lacking the richness of barbs and grooves found elsewhere upon Abdicate Self.

    Both the UK Subs/Crisis like Break ‘Em Out and the groove veined Opposite The Enemy keeps things boiling nicely, the pair forceful yet respectful slices of resourceful punk urgency and invention, before the release flicks up a gear starting with the ridiculously catchy We Don’t Need It. One of those songs you only need to hear the first line of the chorus once to be bitten and soon joining in with its declaration, it is a brief but meaty slab of punk beckoning setting up the emotions for the likes of the excellent Death By Love and equally impressive Blamethrower. The first of this pair scowls and stomps with a raw causticity to the vocals and a Sex Pistols like draw to its sound, and though arguably the song is the least unique on the album it is one of the most potent and eventful, not forgetting thrilling. Its successor loaded with the strongest imagination of the whole release is just as compelling, a Melvins like texture grazing the senses whilst hooks and seductive temptation teases like a mix of The Vibrators and Suburban Studs.

    A punk version of the hymn Nothing But The Blood follows and is an exceptional and unexpected treat before the album’s finest moments arrive, starting with the outstanding Julia. Hooks and a rhythmic dance of sinew soaked in ripe energy kicks things off before the song settles into an inciting and persistently shifting venture. Its groove and riotous hooks easily reminds of the Ruts whilst the surrounding less intensive but eager rock brew around accentuates the pull of those other incisive elements.

    The album is concluded by the exciting and rousing Victory before finally the combative and antagonist glory of the album’s best track, It Is Finished brings one impressively enjoyable encounter to a close. Abdicate Self is not only Christian punk at its best, but for anyone wary of that tag, it is punk rock at its best. Ambassadors of Shalom have unleashed a debut which sees the band closely tailing most other frontline punk provocateurs.

https://www.facebook.com/AmbassadorsOfShalom

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/02/2014

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