The Kneejerk Reactions – The Indestructible Sounds Of The…

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With a list of impossibly flavoursome bands and addictively thrilling releases on a CV longer than the list of excuses for Luis Suarez’s recent mid-match snack, the ubiquitous veteran rocker Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim) brings one of those stirring incitements out to play with a brand new album. The Indestructible Sounds Of The… is the new feverishly fleshed, raw breathed proposition from The Kneejerk Reactions, a release which casts out a rampant revelry of feet inducing garage bred rock ‘n’ roll aligned to a passion sparking sixties beat tempting. It is a flame of vintage sounds in the fresh distinctive framing of modern devilry amidst the unique creative juices of Sir Bald. Across its energetic and insatiably gleeful presence, essences of inspirations such as The Pretty Things, The Kinks, The Downliners Sect, Them, The Yardbirds, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, The Sonics, and many more tease and openly spice up the party but only to add additional rich colour to the magnetic tapestry flirting with the imagination and emotions. The album is a stirring and unapologetically contagious provocateur which leaves appetite and feet wanting only more.

The Dirty Water Records released The Indestructible Sounds Of The… is the successor to The Electrifying Sound Of … which came out in 2008, though between albums there was the band’s contribution on a 2013compilation of tracks and bands Sir Bald has treated ears with which went under Sir Bald’s Battle Of The Bands. The new album which has really been too long in the coming, also brings Bruce Brand on rhythmic enticement, the drummer as keen a collector of bands as Sir Bald with the likes of Billy Childish, Hipbone Slim And The Knee Tremblers, Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, and Thee Milkshakes in his ever increasing résumé. His presence ensures a healthy bait of beats are in store which the opening Houdini easily proves.

The song instantly lures in ears with a delicious bass groove within a sway of Farfisa organ bred expression and a rhythmic pull as potent as the dark tones of the first key protagonist. The heroic call of the bass persists across the whole body of the song, providing one of those irresistible lures which allows guitars and keys to dance with unbridled frivolity through locked in ears. The vocals equally revel in the knowledge that the listener is caught by that prime hook, their raw and keen expression adding to the evolving wash of sound and enterprise wrapping that irresistible spine. It is a thrilling start to the festivities, one which the following I Want You To Love Me makes a keen attempt to emulate, though without quite matching its success. A pungent Stones breath adds wantonness to the restrained stroll of the song, a controlled walk guided by commanding beats and coloured by sizzling flourishes of guitar invention and organ crafted sultry hues for a vibrantly pleasing encounter.

Both It’s a Jungle Out There and Mover and a Shaker keep the temperature and fun high if again without finding the same spark as the first incitement. The first of the two sways in with a mix of surf and psychedelic smouldering which soon incites another infectious rhythmic shuffle and vocal glee as the track expands its warm and energetic charms. Again the guitar solo ignites an extra spark of satisfaction, whilst the song itself has feet and emotions up on their toes ready for its successor, a track which entices with a blues rock fever to its prowling temptation. With a growl to the vocals and salaciousness to the keys, the song is an insatiable romance for the ears, though soon looking a little pale against the outstanding Batgirl, I Love You. A spice of The Troggs offers its suggestiveness as the song opens with jangly scythes of guitar and punchy beats lorded over by great vocal tempting from Sir Bald and the band. The song is a romp which does not lose its control but still exhausts with an unrelenting dramatic seducing of limbs and appetite.

If I Had My Way brings its own keen accepted stomp next, beats and guitars a net of enthralling beckoning which the keys paint with evocative expression as vocals croon with anthemic glee. It is a deliciously swinging provocateur swiftly equalled by Give in to Temptation, another song where initial beats and bass seduction set up thoughts and passions for a riveting ride. There is an earthiness to the song, especially on its rhythmic side, which grips attention, a shadowed moodiness which superbly tempers the heated glaze of organ and flames of guitar. Though taking longer than other songs to convince, given time the track makes a just undeniably convincing declaration.

The pair of Pounding and Out of Reach offer rigorously enjoyable propositions but neither find the hooks or teasing to make a lingering success. The first is an acidic shimmering of keys over a rugged terrain of beats and guitar stabs whilst the second is a coarsely surfaced and snarling slice of satisfying rock ‘n’ roll. It again is missing something but as its predecessor still brings a broad smile to the lips and pleasure to the emotions. Between them though the instrumental Volatile lies mischievously, a wicked blaze of surf seeded humid sonic seduction gifted to ears. The guitars glisten with creative and expressive sweat whilst the keys glow with tropical elegance, their union a sticky tempting to which the chilled prowling of the bass and the inescapable call of Brand’s beats add an anthemic virulence.

The two closing tracks keep it all flying high with maybe less steamy but just as potent energy and contagion. Out of Here comes first, an instantly firmly treading stomp with a keen and pleasing if not overwhelming entrance. It is nevertheless an easy offer to fully embrace, even more so with the persuasive vocals but it is when the song hits its chorus that it transforms into a major pinnacle of the album. It is not a demanding or particularly unique moment but boy its epidemic catchiness is pure aural addiction. The song is a trigger to ignite any bland party or tepid day, an unrelenting tempter to ignite any unrewarding emotion. It is followed by the spicy heat of Habenero, a caustically coloured fire of melodic taunting and rhythmic coaxing within another hard to resist anthem of intent and body provoking devilry, the perfect ending to a festival of fevered sound.

The Indestructible Sounds of . . . is without doubt a real treat, maybe not the most corruptive temptress Sir Bald has uncaged but with so many great and varied releases and endeavours around him favourites and personal tastes dictate which finds a bigger or lesser success. It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter for body and soul though and The Kneejerk Reactions a band no one should be slow in checking out.

The Indestructible Sounds of . . . is available now @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/store-2/#!/~/category/id=10017015&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc on 12” vinyl and download.

8/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

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Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald

Playing like a schizophrenic battle of the bands within the insatiable creativity of one man ably aided by his equally skilled and hungry cohorts, Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is simply one thrilling treat to let loose all those inhibitions to. The album is a forty track double CD release bursting with unadulterated goodness and mastery from the King of UK rock n roll, Sir Bald Diddley. A man with more musical alter-egos than hairs on his head, Sir Bald has created some of the most essential sounds in modern rock n roll, songs which could easily have graced and driven forward the times of their influences whilst standing as fresh and vibrant leaders of today.

The album brings together a union and faceoff between the distinctly different sides to his inspirational imagination. Disc one features twenty slices of delicious treats from Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, all songs never before released in a CD format. Standing eye to eye on the other disc there are a mischievous and hungry selection of tracks from Louie & the Louies, Kneejerk Reactions, and The Legs, all with that magnetic common denominator, Sir Baldy. Released through Dirty Water Records, it is a package which just ignites the passions, a release which, if the varied riches of rock n roll send your saucy bits a tingling, will have you squealing like Meg Ryan on a washing machine. The album in many ways only scratches at the surface of the creativity of the man but easily shows why his skill and diversity across surf, rock n roll, garage, blues, R&B and rockabilly is so adored and devoured without a pause for manners.

Sir Bald has been called “Britain’s string king” because of his striking guitar style which has been influenced by the likes of Bo Diddley, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and more. It is a style once heard never forgotten and one which lights up any genre he chooses to thrill with. As mentioned disc one features Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, a band plays with its inspirations and passions on its sleeve and openly heard within tracks which range from instantly contagious to sensationally irresistible. Alongside Sir Bald the band has the massive talents of drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand (the Milkshakes and Headcoats), and bassist Gastus Receedus (Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys) bringing great songs to an even greater life. From the opener King Tut Strut the disc is an incessant feast of pleasure, every track in their different ways turning the tap to greed full on for more of their joys. The first song saunters along with a swagger which has the passions whimpering in delight, it is a sultry tease which attacks from many angles, from the Eastern promising guitars, and seductive sax caresses to the inciteful beats and uncomplicated vocals of Sir Bald, the song just makes love to the ear.

Across the tracks there is a great expanse of flavours offered such as in the following Crawl Back To Me which moves in Gene Vincent circles, Time To Kill with its Buddy Holly mesmeric and warm whisper, and the wonderful instrumental Bury The Hatchet which harks back to the likes of The Fireballs and The Ventures. Biggest highlights come from the wonderful rockabilly romp of Ooga Booga Rock, the Johnny Cash toned High On Hog, and the sweet wickedness that is Food Man Chew, a song which has to be the new soundtrack to TV show Man V. Food as well as any night of unbridled filthy passion between consenting adults. It is hard to pick best or favourite songs though this trio are always to the fore and are equally rivalled by the brilliant I Hear An Echo with its caped crusaderesque groove and  the anthemic rampage of Set You On Fire.

The first disc alone is one you would sell your soul to the devil for but there is so much more to shoot your personal mercury beyond boiling point. The second CD begins with tracks from Louie & the Louies, songs which are born from the seeds of surf and frat rock. With bassist Matt “Sleepy Louie” Radford and drummer Brian “Ramblin’” Louie Nevill alongside Sir Bald, the trio spark the flames with the sizzling instrumental Louieville and then stoke the fires with the predatory prowling of There Ain’t No End In Sight, its breath sinister and bordering manic. The track is a classic and makes an irresistible filling between Louieville and the equally tasty instrumental Marrakech. With an atmosphere as distant and wanton as the beckoning sounds, this piece just leaves one drooling. The fiery Backfire and the Stones garage blues swagger of Birdman send the senses and passions to overload and if you are listening to the whole release in one go by this point you are looking for an oasis of respite from the sonic majesty to date, though equally not wanting it to end…

… which it does not as The Kneejerk Reactions unleash their unique brand of rock n roll, their R&B brought with feistiness as deliberate as the antagonistic driving sounds. Songs like You Don’t Know Right From Wrong and Wastin’ My Time rile up attitude and passions with the sonic scorching from the guitar of Sir Bald and the hypnotic bass of Les Lerrard, not to forget the crisp jabs of drummer Ronnie Drand. The songs arguably do not flow quite as easily through the ear as elsewhere, their passage combative and fuelled by garage rock energy, but are equal when it comes to providing full pleasure. Top honours here goes to Where’s McComb?, a track which is as excitable as a dog in a lamp post factory and just as incessant.

The final onslaught of satisfaction comes from The Legs which sees the main man alongside Spaniards Jorge Explosion and Mr Pibli from garage-punk band Doctor Explosion. The songs are a thrilling mix of beat, garage, and blues infused with plenty of sixties and modern essences. The thumping stomp of instrumental Legless sets up a treat of impossible to resist pleasure, whilst the Meteors like stroll of Gotta Eat and the raw guitar smouldering of Ain’t The End of the World fan those flames even more for unbridled joy.

Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is a release which brings the inimitable imagination, skills, and sounds of Sir Baldy and just some of his work into a deserved focus. He has caused a long review for a long album but what a pleasure the bands and songs give, if you want to hear ‘real’ rock n roll in some of its guises than this album is a must.

RingMaster 02/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Thee Vicars: I Wanna Be Your Vicar

It has to be said that whenever there is a new release on Dirty Water Records there is always a twinge of anticipation and excitement, rarely has there been deep disappointment in the quality of the music from their bands. The same applies to the new album from Thee Vicars, a release that thrills and excites whilst lifting emotions no matter their starting point to a height of grinning satisfaction. Following up their excellent single Everyday, the band from Bury St Edmunds, England have released a collection of unfettered and eagerly pleasing garage rock, mod, 60’s beat, and R&B rock tunes that light up the emotions and heart.  Simple, direct and hell of a lot of fun I Wanna Be Your Vicar is nothing but a piece of irresistible pleasure.

I Wanna Be Your Vicar is the third album from the band which is now down to the trio of Mike Whittaker (bass/vocals), Chris Langeland (guitar/vocals), and Alex De Renzi (drums). Released May 7th the album sees the band even tighter than ever and still fuelled by their irrepressible garage sounds but with an even more varied and flavoursome result. To date the band has shared stages with the likes of The Horrors, Black Lips, and The Mummies to name three and it is obvious they have absorbed and twisted the inspiration gained into their own extra spices as shown on the album. The music of the band is not the height of originality though there are not many that bring the vibrant mix this band do, but it is completely and deeply captivating and infectious.

The release opens with the playful and feisty title track, its mischievous beckoning charm an instant connection for the ear and beyond. The guitar of Langeland jangles and slices through the ear with sharp skill whilst the bass of Whittaker is a boisterous yet almost shy presence alongside. Leading it all to bear is the excellent beats of De Renzi, her rhythms direct and enthused but tight within the compact structure here and of each song perfectly. With the added keys laying their impulsive fingers and palms on the song it is an opening gem that only raises the enthusiasm for what is to follow.

Next up I’ll Be Gone raise things another level with its sparkling sixties punk flow, each note and word carrying a wink and a smile that only inspires further emotional applause and adoration. The infection really started from the first note of the release but as this and each subsequent songs swaggers and teases one is drawn defencelessly into adding their own willing vocal sounds and eager limbs, the contagion impossible to prevent.

What follows from now on is an unrelenting pleasuring of the senses from the next up Johnny Cash tinged Lights through tracks like the early The Horrors meets the Stones I Feel Alright with its agitated energy and disruptive beats and the impassioned love song Your Eyes with its more than strong sense of an illicit longing through to the rock n roll/mod stomp of Crocodile Chomp, a mix of Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry and Thee Mighty Caesars. Each and every song in their different guises ignite and warm the senses with an excited love of their inspirations and what they bring that can only be transferred to the listener and their hearts.

As great as the album is to this point the band save the best tracks for the latter stages starting with the brilliant Hauser & O’Brian. With a Troggs meets My Red Cell sound the track is glorious, a patient stroll with rasping riffs and caustic melodies and a siren touch. It is caked in the garage dirt and scuzzy sound that simply excites like a wanton temptress, the always distinct vocals of Whitaker finding an extra nasally and emotive depth. The song is soon equalled by the bristling Kinks tasting Satisfy You and of course the magnificent previous single Everyday. The more the single has pleasured the ear in recent weeks the more it has captured the heart with its insatiable mixture of the doo wop of 70’s band  Darts and the electrified rawness of 13th Floor Elevators and again The Horrors, all treated with the inspired uniqueness of Thee Vicars.

I Wanna Be Your Vicar is a fully rewarding pleasure, a release to make you feel good no matter the nature of your day. Thee Vicars stood right at the front of garage styled rock and punk and with his album have announced they plan to be there a long time.

RingMaster 19/04/2012

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