Latimer House – Birdcage Walk

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The make-up of Latimer House is a diverse mix which makes their new single and its sound a bit of a surprise as our introduction to the band. Made up of guitarist Joe Cook from London and drummer/ percussionist Jiří Kominek from Toronto, who set the seeds for the band in 2010 when linking up and playing together, alongside bassist Michael Jetton from Virginia and Baku hailing keyboardist Anar Yusufov, the Prague based band have a sound as English as it comes. New single Birdcage Walk has an eccentric and quaint air which plays like a mix of Ian Dury meets Cockney Rebel with a rich spice of The Kinks and Tankus The Henge in its creative toxin. From the varied globe covering line-up it is an unexpected proposition but one which engages with an irrepressible charm.

Birdcage Walk is an edited version of a track from the recently released Latimer House album All The Rage. Following and along with first single This Is Pop, the new release makes a potent and intriguing temptation for their debut album, one easy to expect a whole new wave of appetite for the band’s sound to be woken up by. Consisting of a collection of tracks recorded in 2012 with engineer Derek Saxenmeyer, the February unveiled All The Rage brought an eager spotlight upon the band with others, one set to one increased by the new pop folk tempting of Birdcage Walk.

Guitars and rhythms immediately enchant ears as the song opens up its melodic caress. It is right away a gentle and endearing stroll which sways with enterprise and quaintly jangling suasion. The vocals of Cook go much towards bringing that British feel but musically there are elements of XTC with whispers of The Divine Comedy to the song which only add to the distinct caress. Cook’s voice has a dulled yet vibrant monotony which increases the charm offensive of the song whilst matching the earthier lyrical narrative, writing which itself brings a Squeeze like essence to the whole persuasion. With keys colouring the more singular stroll of the track and its shuffling dance, Birdcage Walk makes for a captivating encounter. It does not ignite a fire in the belly it is fair to say but as a summer breeze certainly hits the sweet spot.

The song is accompanied by Until Then, an openly rawer and dirtier stomp with blazes of horns and melodic tantalising which themselves have a rough edge and fiery touch. Within that appealing almost teasing scenery a jazzy air and indie rock intrigue plays with thoughts whilst the guitars cast a sonic flaming which brings its own distinctive hue to the spicily varied landscape. Longer to convince but eventually just as persuasive and enjoyable as its companion, it along with Birdcage Walk just infests the imagination and makes an exploration of All The Rage a must and attention on Latimer House ahead inevitable.

Birdcage Walk is out on Honk Records now digitally, CD, and on ltd Ed vinyl @ http://latimerhouse.bandcamp.com/track/birdcage-walk

http://latimerhouse.com/

8/10

RingMaster 07/07/2014

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The Welcome Matt – POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE

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Without one of our favourite albums of last year was The Panhandle Years from The Welcome Matt, an album which compiled a wealth of tracks taken from the project’s previous seven albums to introduce a very talented sound and presence to the wider world. It was a refreshing and exciting introduction for us to the band and San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois who is The Welcome Matt. Following up its impressive persuasion, comes new album POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE, a release which quite simply carries on where its predecessor left off, inflaming the passions and creating some quite irresistible and enterprising rock pop.

Finding success and acclaim with his work with Members Of Sound from 2009 through to 2011, a musical project which released a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from this work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers, Langlois in many ways brought his solo project into its strongest limelight, certainly in respect of an emerging world awareness with The Panhandle Years. It was a kind of summing up of his adventure and creative journey to that point which POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE now extends with its own delicious stomp of imaginative infection.

The Welcome Back opens up the ‘return’, lightly jagged guitars coaxing attention as the distinctive expressive vocals of Langlois wait for a moment before beginning their narrative. Into its full stride the song unveils a bluesy melodic embrace aligned to sixties tinted harmonies and melodic temptation. Lifting its knees the track eventually moves from an inviting walk into a feisty stomp, one weaving tendrils of contagious seventies pop rock and sixties charm into a gait which never truly explodes into riotousness but leaves the senses energised as the sounds toy with them. It is a mesmeric start which awakens a healthy appetite for the release and immediately feeds the anticipation bred by the album’s predecessor.

The following Key of G opens with Bolanesque strumming and vocal harmonies, the influence unmistakable and a pleasing lure into a song which evolves the inspiration into a compelling striding of inventive persuasion, guitars and keys almost wanton in their temptation whilst a throaty bass sounds has their back, it bringing shadows into the equation. It is impossible to resist its enticement; it like many of the songs breeding a familiarity within a fresh and magnetic wash of imagination. Its successor Let It Lead You, the new single from the album, is very much the same, its presence and teasing that of a recognisable friend but in a brand new enterprising suit. The rhythmic beckoning at the start instantly has feet and hunger on alert whilst the keys and vocals alongside, not for the first time upon the album, a virulently addictive groove littered with potent hooks seduces with every note and touch. It is a deviously effective pop song and catchy doorway into the album and The Welcome Matt for newcomers.

Pop Junk Fluff and Hype steps up next, a funk fed introduction taking little time in recruiting thoughts and emotions as it romps eagerly around the ears. Fiery rock guitars flame over the pop canvas whilst vocals and keys leap with energetic rigour and enterprise. It is a spellbinding mix of styles and flavours, electro and alternative rock adding to the insatiable and outstanding toxicity. Just as epidemically enthralling is Mode Of Transportation, a fusion of power pop and indie/electro rock which plays like a mix of The Motors meets Cockney Rebel with a splash of Cheap Trick. The song almost prowls around the senses and imagination even in its radiantly hued stance leading the listener into yet another impossible to ignore or resist piece of excellent rock ‘n’ roll.

A Hail Mary mischievously teases from the outset with a discord bleeding caress of chords and electronic nagging, its suasion early XTC like with a little Hot Hot Heat festivity to its riveting coaxing whilst Get Shameless is a foot stomping dance of hypnotic rhythms and frisky melodies. Keys and bass add their individual textures to the electric dance as Langlois immerses the listener in a skilled and adventurous addiction.

Both Mind Control and Lets Really Go continue the impressive exploits within the album, the first with a seemingly Sparks bred form of pop punk with hooks and a bass pulse which stick welcome barbs in deeply and the second through a devilishly compelling transfixing slice of country rock sing-a-long with slithers of punk and rock ‘n‘ roll adding their teasing.

Cast A Line brings POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE to a Bolan/Kinks tasting and enjoyable end to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and incredible contagious encounter. It is a storming blaze of pop rock which feeds every want and need with accomplished infectious ease, and an album all should pay attention to.

http://www.welcomemattsf.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tankus the Henge – Self Titled

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Such the potent riotous seduction and thrilling devilry of Cakewalk, the first single from the self-titled debut album of UK aural mischief conjurors Tankus the Henge, you wondered if it was the taster for something spectacular or the lead into an album which would be an anti-climax compared to the excitement and hunger the introductory track spawned. With a loud and dramatic confirmation it is undoubtedly the former of the two outcomes, the eleven track feast of what the band calls Carnival rock ‘n’ roll is a pulsating, riveting triumph of musical and lyrical eccentricity, exhausting imaginative adventures, and shadow wrapped dark revelry.

With the line-up breeding the scintillating album coming together in 2011, the sextet of ‘six sharped dressed and bedraggled gentlemen hailing from some of the more eccentric parts of London Town’ has ignited a major appetite for their insatiably inventive and explosive sounds across the UK, Europe and into the likes of America, Albania and the Isle of Wight through their live shows, this year alone seemingly a successful ride of festival after festival performances. The sound of Tankus the Henge is seeded in the eclectic beds of reggae, blues, and funk to ragtime and gypsy punk, the result something unique to the band though they have been described as ‘Like The Clash from New Orleans’. Imagine a creative and passionate meeting of Cardiacs and Gogol Bordello with The Kinks and Cockney Rebel and the inventive rascality you suspect is a strong but still hinting flavour of the fun the band provides.

The album immediately seizes the hand and leads the listener into the embrace of a jazz flamed, dirty floored New Orleans speakeasy Tankus_coverwith Who’s Gonna Catch Ya, the melodic call of the trumpet from Jake Stoddart and sax of Louis Schultz-Wiremu heating up the atmosphere and setting the scene. Guitars and rhythms are soon strolling into the mix with a glint in their eyes as the excellent vocals of Jaz Delorean accompanied by his evocative keys unveil the scenic narrative. It is an addiction causing entrance soon enslaving the heart when the virulently contagious chorus reaps the submission of an already awoken hunger. With great vocal harmonies and back-up from the band to the gravel laced tones of Delorean, and plenty of delicious discord teasing across every aspect of the ridiculously infectious stomp, the track is an irresistible lure and persuasion into the album and instantly confirmation that yes the single was just the teaser to equally magnificent things.

The following Smiling Makes The Day Go Quicker opens with emotive keys alongside the expressive restrained vocals of Delorean. It is a gentle intriguing beckon which deepens with the beats of Will Stanley, which you sense they are waiting to trigger something, the fuse to an impending release of energy. The brewing evocative caress of the brass warm the ear further whilst all the time the emerging passionate fire of the song works away on the senses and imagination. It never explodes into the pyre hinted at but still creates a thumping and resonating joy of elevated passion and inciting pleasure, every part of the band and song merging into an incendiary and triumphant declaration before the greedy appetite. Its successor Hat has a more energetic intent but again is soaked in absorbing melodies from keys and brass, whilst the bass of Dan Mason roams the track with a mischievous presence behind the dual vocals of a dusty flavoured delivery from Delorean and the equally cleaner tones of either Mason or guitarist Tim Fulker, both contributing across the album but unclear who is joint leading this magnetic song.

Orange Is The New Black steps up next to seize the passions, its sultry stroll with tempting sixties Hammond keys through  Mediterranean spiced air a dramatic flight across provocative and elegant impossibly alluring skies. It makes the perfect appetiser for Cakewalk, the song still stealing top honours within heart and imagination. Swaggering through the ear with a mix of Ian Dury and early Squeeze to give a sense of its sensational enterprise whilst a lick of Mano Negra and Les Négresses Vertes punk folkiness also plays within its stride, the track is the scene of a colour drenched circus, Delorean the ringmaster to the contagion.

There is an exciting mix of sounds and invention across the album, emphasised by the likes of Lying and Recurring Dream, the first a gentle glaze of smouldering melodic kisses within a slightly darker reflective embrace, again a folk venture bringing evocation to the trip, this time with shadowed hues. The keys and sax wrap a mesmeric arm around the senses whilst the vocals offer their own tenderness within the at times wonderfully dark emotive skies, an ambience and texture to the presence reminding of Dizraeli and the Small Gods in their equally poetically emotive moments. The second of the pair stomps into a gypsy punk like encounter, the drums a rolling entrapment enslaving before the eagerly roaming guitar and bass dance their own steps within the smiling waltz of the keys. There is a XTC breath to the song at times to elevate its already lofty heights, but it is the Eastern European circus enchantment and pace that ultimately steals the heart.

      Life Is A Grimm Tale (Sometimes) is another major pinnacle, its Creature Feature like darkness and Germanic wanton gait impossible to refuse and leave alone even after the song’s conclusion. Sinister and lusciously tempting with Delorean bringing a sideshow like barker descript for thoughts, the track is a unrelenting stalker of rapture, its epidemically catchy and forcefully rioting swagger the perfect bait. Its waggish romp is followed by the slow burning Riddles, a hazy blaze on evocative persuasion and noir washed mystery, and the brilliant tale of The Deviationist Society. The song from a pondering melancholic string and key suasion expands through Morricone like sculpted western hated climes and soulful brass and harmonica sighs. It brings strengths to its melodic and infection drenched sinews as its reaches further into its imaginative and fiery story, the guitars and keys finding that lure the best sixties TV show themes had and the strings providing greater passionate tonic to the sizzling heat of the song.

The album is concluded by The Last Days Are Coming, the track a scintillating final blues and emotion encrusted New Orleans funereal march through to the full ardour the album has evoked within. It is a mighty end to a sublimely gorgeous release. Tankus the Henge is a devil bred puppeteer for limbs, heart, and soul. A band which has fused light and dark, seduction and sinisterly honed persuasion into one of the most thrilling and sensationally addictive releases this year. Roll up and enter the welcoming to the dark carnival of Tankus the Henge, you will not regret one second of its fantastic touch.

http://tankusthehenge.com

10/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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