Fashion Week – So Last Season

Like the fall out and indeed initial impact of the detonation of a nuclear device, the sound of US noise mongers Fashion Week is a ravenous inescapable scourge feasting on flesh and senses. Debut album Prêt-à-Porter was savagely enjoyable proof of the fact, its release on Solar Flare Records a testing and thrilling examination of body and emotions. Now two years after its scorching eruption, the band has released So Last Season. A coming together of rare and unreleased material, including Fashion Week’s first demo, two EPs, live tracks and a couple of covers, the album oversees the birth of the band and its growth in sound right up to that first inimitable album.

Founded in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Joshua Lozano (Inswarm, Jarboe, Cobalt, Family, Shai Hulud, Vampillia), NYC hailing Fashion Week quickly drew eager attention with their diverse, melody tinged swarms of noise. Taking inspiration from the diverse likes of Unsane, Coalesce, and Botch through to Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Melvins, and Quicksand with plenty more embraced under their creative wing, Fashion Week soon sculpted their own distinctive dirty sound as evidenced by first EP, Applicator in 2011 and its successor Coextinction #11 two years after. Prêt-à-Porter was the wake-up call to broad attention which the striking re-emergence of earlier and rare material courtesy of So Last Season can now only reinforce.

The album opens with the three tracks which made up Coextinction #11, songs the band were invited to record for the internet label of Unsane’s Dave Curran, Coextinction Recordings. The raw, at times almost carnal assault of Heroin Chic is first. As nagging citric guitars and a gloriously grumbling bass instantly descend, an underlying melodic lure simmers and brews, subsequently taking its central spot in the grungy smog of sound. Warm vocals spring from within the addictive assault, welcoming yet as edgy as the intimidatingly voracious sounds around them.

Andrew Cunanan follows, its rural harmonica shared comeliness soon a tempest of hungry rhythms and greedy riffs with that snarling bass again addictive bait alongside the furnace of voice and guitar. As its predecessor though, melody and restraint get involved, hand in hand prowling the senses as the former laces seductively wiry grooves. The track is pure magnetism, a trait matched in strength by God Save McQueen. Its hardcore rapacity smothers ears before twisting them with a web of flavours all bleeding aural and emotional tartness.

The brief rabid attacks of both Fab and Smyze follow; two live cuts which infest body and psyche with their caustic holler and predatory sonic trespass with the second a beast of a proposal stalking the listener with its sludge bred intent. Their debilitating prowess is followed by a cover of the Helmet track, I Know. A calmer affair with harmonies instantly slipping their invitation into the more fractious draw of guitars and bass, the song flirtatiously twists and swings like a primal seductress, never moving out of second gear but only increasing its siren-esque appeal with each enterprising second.

The next three tracks come from un-released EP Little Black Dress which seemed to have been pushed aside as the band worked on Prèt-â-Porter. Lydian Hearst dances with discontent and melancholic charm first, melodies a sombre enticement and rhythms a truculent incitement though they too develop a vibrant if filth lined swing led by the ever gnarly bass. With Lozano’s vocals a plaintively bracing squall, a squall in time joined by a tamer presence, the track boils in touch and temptation before So Last Season unveils its abrasive grunge clad pop ‘n’ roll on the table. The song is a spiral of contrasts, like a maelstrom of Converge, Sofy Major, and Melvins, and as imposingly catchy as it is greedily corrosive.

The following Little Black Dress, featuring guest vocals from Dave Castillo, Kurt Applegate, and Tom Tierney, equally has infectiousness coursing irritable rock ‘n’ roll seeing bodies bouncing as the senses shrivel under vocal causticity and increasing sonic hostility, only to be re-animated by the spicy grooves entangling song and listener.

It would have been a crime if the EP had never seen the light of day, one of many major reasons to grab the album, a felony repeated if Rich Hallister, a song originally recorded for Prêt-à-Porter which the band eventually did not feel fitted, was not heard. It too is ferocity of noise and attitude with a virulent catchiness which enslaves ears and hips, rogue beats alone a busy temptation as vocals increasingly lose their grip on composure being matched by the growing bedlam of guitar.

With Vinny Signorelli of Unsane guesting on drums, Fashion Week takes on his band’s track Only Pain next. A potent mix of sample and keys draw the listener into the waiting doomscape of sound and emotion, Lozano searing it with his raw throated delivery backed by the equally apocalyptic and melancholic roar and melodic suggestion of guitars. It is a compelling take on a great track arguably giving an even grittier and rawer aspect to its emotionally decayed antipathy.

The digital version of So Last Season is completed by the re-mastered version of the band’s original demo, Applicator, which also comes as an additional 7” with a vinyl edition of the album. Beginning with the rusty hues of Fierce, the four tracks making up the release are the heart and seeds of Fashion Weeks’ current sound, the source of uncompromising intent and endeavour making up the impressive stature of Prêt-à-Porter. The track is undiluted sonic threat and emotional turmoil, a vat of creative rancor matched by that festering within the equally corrosive and catchy Heidi Klum and the hook wired Bryant Park, the second a web of guitar woven tempting and intrigue wonderfully sullied by Lozano’s flesh grazing vocal deliver and increasingly ruinous vitriol.

Completed by the hardcore scourge of Fabulous, the track pure venom in noise and presence, So Last Season is a must for newcomers to the band, for those who missed out on their earlier assaults and noise rock victims as a whole.

So Last Season is available now @ https://www.fashionweek.bandcamp.com/album/so-last-season

https://www.facebook.com/FashionWeekBand       https://fashionweeknoise.com/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

False Flags – Hexmachine

artwork_RingMaster Review

Casting belligerent revelry in a tempest of hardcore, punk metal, and noise rock within debut EP Hexmachine, UK quartet False Flags quickly suggest they are a raging on the ear that giving attention to can only be rewarding. It is a five track causticity loaded with noise infested hooks and discordance fuelled enterprise that snarls and gnaws on the senses with a combination of familiar and fresh ferocity. Major surprises are scarce, originality in some ways slim, but fair to say band and release stir up a very healthy appetite for their uncompromising persuasion of sound and intent.

Hailing from Leeds, False Flags emerged from the ashes of Red Stars Parade, Whores Whores Whores, and Year of the Man some when around 2011. Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Unsane, Breather Resist, Botch, and Coalesce, False Flags saw its members exploring new avenues for their hardcore bred ideation and adventure; better explained by guitarist Charles Pritchard, “after the break-ups of our previous bands in Leeds and all previously being friends from the DIY scene here, we wanted to form a band that took influence more from the noise rock / discordant hardcore end of the spectrum.” It was an aim soon finding success and a quickly growing following to a live presence which including sharing stages with the likes of Noothgrush, Narrows, and Envy. Long anticipated, Hexmachine is their first studio unleashing, a fierce roar on broader spotlights which more than lives up to the buzz their shows have bred.

The EP erupts with Earl Black, the opener emerging from a distant sonic haze in a brawl of thumping rhythms and caustic sonic violation. It is an assault bound in an infectious tenacity and lure too even though the vocals of Chris Jenkinson are throat raw, every syllable bearing the blood of his vocal chords as around him the guitars twist a mesh of flavours from punk to metal to heavy rock. Pritchard’s fingers keep song and imagination busy with his prowess on string as too the dark bass tempting of Mark Snellgrove, his prowling invention superbly aligned to the scything swings of drummer Mike McGoran. First impression of the track is strong, second great with it further impressing with each subsequent play.

The same applies to the following Last Screen Goddess. It makes a bolder entrance, beats badgering ears from its first breath as riffs and grooves entwine in a web of temptation. More predatory in gait and energy than its predecessor, the track is a cantankerous involvement which again only becomes more compelling over time. It is probably fair to say that it lacks the same imagination as the first song in the bulk of its body but saves that for a passage where everything twists around each other in a riveting and bruising noise infested trespass of the senses. Satisfaction is only left full across its bellow and filled again by the confrontation of Fate (Has a Driver). Like a blaze seeded in Sofy Major like rock ‘n’ roll and the scarring contagion of The Great Sabatini, the track heftily pleases; its grooves and bass rabidity especially incendiary sparking an even greedier appetite by this point.

Pet Wolf sculpts its barbarous infestation of air and ears from a similar canvas to the last song but turns it into a much more volcanic and volatile proposition veined by southern hued, sludge coated grooves. Bass and drum endeavour is as bewitching and punishing as the sonic incursion courtesy of the guitar, it all led by the harsh vocal and lyrical devilment. It is a great bullying which continues in the noise/punk inferno of Namedropper. Once more contagious hooks and flaming grooves join barbarous rhythms and vocal abrasion to create an assault as addictive as it is debilitating.

From one great track to another as Phone My Wallet brings Hexmachine to a rousing and brutal end, the track a bedlam of tasty repetitive grooves and intrusive hooks amidst a raging storm of voice, rhythms, and intensity. It sums up the False Flags sound in one invasive blow and ensures the EP leaves on a lofty plateau.

With a want for a touch more bold originality and diversity to Hexmachine the only slight wish of the EP it is an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable introduction to False Flags. With their pedigree and open talent, it already feels like the emergence of a unique character to their sound is on the cards; another reason to be confidently excited by the band.

Hexmachine is available from November 20th @ http://falseflags.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 20/11/2015

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Ascending Dawn – Coalesce

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The name Ascending Dawn brings images of light emerging from dark and that in a way is exactly what the UK melodic/progressive metal band’s sound is like, except the rugged intensive shadows which frequent their music embraces and shares the moment with its dazzling melodic light. The release of debut album Coalesce shows there is no conflict between the opposites either, instead they make a tempestuous union which emerges as one compelling and very often bewitching proposition. The release is an immediate dramatic persuasion with the soaring tones of Greek/Cypriot vocalist Marlain Angelides a constant rich seduction against the sonic blaze and aggressive tenacity which colours each evocative exploration within the album. Equally there is a potential within the band and album which as the songs entwine around ears and imagination, you come to feel is still not being fully realised and on the strength of the impressive first full-length, makes for a rather exciting prospect ahead.

Consisting of guitarist Owen Rees, bassist Constanze Hart, and drummer Mark Weatherley alongside Angelides, the London based quartet emerged last year and swiftly started turning heads with their diversely flavoursome sound. The first couple of singles from the band’s album wetted the appetite and sparked strong anticipation for Coalesce, but really only hinted at the depths and strengths of the Jochem Jacobs (ex-Textures) mixed and mastered album.

The second single taken from the release opens it up, All in Now immediately teasing ears and imagination with a tangy guitar coaxing before expelling a huge breath of spiky grooves and combative rhythms. It is a spicy start which mellows slightly as the emotive tones of Angelides opens up the narrative. Around her though riffs and beats continue to impose and stalk the senses, intimidating openly within the expanding weave of melodies and harmonies. The song is an enthralling and invigorating start, its sinews and intensity aligning perfectly with the warm elegance and melodic vivacity of sound and voice around them.

The following Miscommunication is more of the same in its individual way, riffs and basslines a predatory protagonist within the smouldering sonic lure of the encounter. Also as in its a1987805667_2predecessor, Angelides opens with a low key delivery, a touch which is alluring but maybe lacking the spark of when her lungs let rip and she impressively roars and soars across the songs . She takes charge of the song swiftly though, extending her vocal chords and delivery to inflame ears and thoughts as the rich tapestry of sound flames around her and the lyrical incitement she shares makes a potent impact. The captivation continues into the band’s first single Cannonball, the song entering from a distance with a melodic swing within a provocative ambience. Riffs and hooks are soon gnawing wonderfully away at the senses before the song slips into a melody rich embrace, crooning with every aspect of its magnetic enterprise. There is still that heavy threat to the pop infused proposal though; raw textures combining almost flirtatiously with the melodic rock weave.

     As impressive as the first songs are, the album’s pinnacle comes with the pair of Integral and Opposites, the first a bordering on carnivorous blaze of hungry wiry riffs and heavily swiping beats with a blistering melodic flame to its temptation. The track stalks and seduces the senses simultaneously, every scythe of guitar and throaty bassline a dark protagonist courting the radiant elegance of voice and sultry invention. Its successor similarly bares its rhythmic and riff laden teeth, snarling and leering at the listener whilst a bloom of beauty rises from the throat of Angelides and in the guitar enterprise. Not for the first or last time, song and sound reminds of US band Vajra, the more exotic essences they bring finding a less vocal but certainly matching potency and success within song and album.

Both the fiery mystique lit Simplify and the contagion driven Inside the Silence spark further hunger in ears and appetite, in the case of the first exploring the adventurous aural exoticism of their predecessor for an even more riveting creativity whilst the latter of the pair alternatively writhes and stretches with almost visual imagination and ingenuity. Each leaves thoughts and emotions basking in startling creative colour and temptation with the second an anthemic and intricate slice of rock pop setting the listener up for the immersive instrumental Opaque which leads the imagination into its own landscape of adventure and interpretation.

Coalesce ends with the sonically spidery Indiscretion, grooves and melodic washes sculpting a web of intrigue and emotional drama upon another infection lit canvas of barbarous riffs and uncompromising rhythms. Veined by the vocal majesty and power of Angelides, the track is a fierce and tantalising encounter with mesmeric charm and adventure.

If we were being picky, there is arguably a slight lack of surface diversity amongst some songs within Coalesce which warrants a closer focus to avoid some blending together, but as we all should be listening attentively anyway it is no issue and just another part of the great potential still locked up in the band to emerge. For an introduction to Ascending Dawn, the album is a potent stealing of the passions, the first of many from the band we suspect.

Coalesce is available now as a name your price download @ https://ascendingdawn.bandcamp.com/album/coalesce

http://ascendingdawnband.wordpress.com/

RingMaster 12/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Stuntman – Incorporate The Excess

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    An infernal noise machine with a brutality to match, French senses annihilators Stuntman unleash all of their intensive malevolence and sonic fury, and then some, with new album Incorporate The Excess. A pestilence of hardcore and noise ferocity, the seven track release is a carnivorous slayer of the senses and entrapment of the passions from a band no stranger to corrupting audiences since their formation in 2002. It is a provocation which maybe is the Sète quartet at its most venomous and violent yet on a release which takes a couple of tracks before fully seducing the passions but once into its stride is a ruinous onslaught which leaves ears and body wasted and the imagination not forgetting emotions raging.

     With two previous albums, an EP and split, as well as numerous compilation appearances under their belt and more than 150 shows alongside five European tours where the band has shared stages with the likes of Coalesce, Russian Circles, Jucifer, Genghis Tron, Child Abuse, Kongh, Mumakil and many more, Stuntman have sculpted out a new depth of intensity with Incorporate The Excess. Released via Solar Flare Records digitally and as a 12” LP in addition to a CD release through Head Records and a cassette version through Lost Pilgrims, the album takes no prisoners, does not even allow them to raise hands in surrender, instead going straight for the jugular from its first full assault.

    The brief intro Broken Mirrors Lacerate sets things off, its minute long mix of samples and random metallic sounds SLF013---hi-res-coverrevealing little and offering not much more in the scheme of things. Once it steps aside for The Patriot, the Elite, the Icon the ferocious flight is ignited, the track a savage squall of ravenous riffs and rhythmic provocation scarred by the caustic vocals. The track grazes and scores the senses with a sonic rabidity aligned to a predation from the rhythms which is eye watering but equally it is a thrilling scourge which provides a familiar and unsurprising in many ways presence. Nevertheless the assault leaves a certain appetite wanting more which is duly delivered with the voracious Bag of Dicks, the vehemence drenched tempest another similarly driven and pleasing ravaging which like its predecessor is low on casting something out of the ordinary but unerringly hits the spot.

    Everything changes and ignites though with the album suddenly exploding into another kind of beast through firstly the rapacious tsunami of vicious contagion and groove fuelled animosity that is Horn of Misery. Its initial touch is a writhing swamp of sonic causticity and rhythmic violence merged into a senses smothering wall of hate. Once intensive virulently addictive grooves break free to entwine and seduce with the strongest acidic toxicity and rhythms provide a dislocated dance of barbaric enterprise, the song becomes an irresistible magnet of magnificence, a strike taking the release up numerous levels soon matched by the plateau reinforcing Roll the Skull. Snarling and nagging as it works over the senses with thunderous drum assault and acutely incisive and niggling riffs whilst the bass finds a greater delicious guttural predatory tone adding extra texture and snarl to its malevolence this time around, the track is a full on vat of intensive persuasive . Less pronounced but just as epidemically infected, grooves again steer the song deep into the imagination, their flailing arms wrapping unerringly around the passions and now unbridled hunger coated in greed for the release.

   The following Chaos Shepherd is a two minutes all out malicious antagonist, riffs and rhythms brewing up a pestilential onslaught which corrodes and suffocates with its blistering and hellacious anger. It makes the perfect softener of the senses for the closing eight minute slab of intensive severity, Scarecrow Warfare. The track is like a heavy plundering dark leviathan putting everything else in its shade with a towering tirade of riffs and ponderous concussive rhythms speared by discord coated sonic swipes. The track stalks and preys on ears with a bestial carnality to its intensity and uncompromising savagery to its seductive weaponry. An instrumental which you would imagine might outstay its long provocation, the track is a synapse drowning, passions igniting slab of heavy-duty sonic alchemy from start to finish and quite scintillating.

    It might take a couple of tracks to explode but Incorporate The Excess turns into one dangerously addictive and merciless treat. Stuntman takes noise and turns it into the most lethal seduction which makes their new album overall one frighteningly toxic temptation you only want more of.

https://stuntmannoise.bandcamp.com/

https://stuntmannoise.bandpage.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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