The Strays – Drop Out Zone

With a description of “No Doubt meets Imelda May”, it was hard to deny an urge to go explore those it has been applied to. The fact that the protagonists in question’s debut album has caught the imagination of and been released by Western Star Records only added to that instinct. What we found was one rousing stomp of a release in the shape of Drop Out Zone from a band in The Strays which had us bouncing from start to finish with a highly appetising mix of rockabilly, garage rock, and fifties inspired rock ‘n’ roll with plenty more involved.

Cheltenham based, The Strays have already been teasing proper attention with the release of their first EP, Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am, in 2017. It was an introduction of sound and potential potently reaffirmed by its successor Brand New Day the following year while the two records union together as Brand New Ma’am! earlier this year provided an ear grabbing tease for the upcoming adventure of Drop Out Zone. Of course some of us are only coming to the British quartet through the album but a look back shows The Strays an already captivating proposition with a sound to match but their new release sees the band at their most imaginative, adventurous, and striking yet.

With songs inspired by the band’s decision to quit their full-time jobs and focus on music and the struggles it brought and they conquered, Drop Out Zone quickly, hungrily had ears on board with the opening canter of first track, Hey Little Lady. Straight away the throaty lure of Kris Jakab-Hall’s bass colludes with the crisply landing swings of drummer Gary Chamberlain; their collusion instantly firing up attention and physical response before the spicy threads of Sam Cordery’s guitar added to the animated bait. The song’s subsequent potent stroll sees the magnetic tones of Stella Sonic complete the temptation, the spring in its step and grin on its face across as good as four and a half minutes setting the tone for the fun and enterprise fuelling the release.

Things only grow more compelling and contagious as 2Fives and Twos sets its creative trap, it too another song which needs mere seconds to grip ears and appetite as Cordery winds addictive melodic wires around both. Punk and rockabilly soon converge on the rock ‘n’ roll instincts of the song, its tenacious gait and contagiousness a quick infestation of body with the Pauline Murray-esque tint to Sonic’s voice icing on the delicious cake.

Night Time Is The Right Time grabs its portion of ardour next. Again the guitar casts a highly tempting lure to gets things boiling before, with matching flavours to those entangling within its predecessor, the track weaves its own individual boisterous romp. Sharp hooks and alluring harmonies go to highlight the inventive come-on before Oh Baby No opens up its jazzy arms to a seductive surf lined midnight stroll through rock ‘n’ pop drama. It is one of those tracks where it is easy to see where those No Doubt, Imelda May and for us Wanda Jackson references are bred.

The Strays certainly know how to kick a song off, each sparked by imaginative and irresistible leads and no more potently than that springing Get Out Of This Town into life. Guitar and rhythms surround ears with intrigue and salacious intent, nagging rhythms and a hooked loaded guitar groove taunting and dancing with attention before the song opens up into its swing-a-billy saunter, dragging the body easily along for the ride.

The album’s title track allows a breath to be taken though it too is a buddle of energy and infectiousness with its pop toned amble refusing to be ignored; Drop Out Zone proving increasingly manipulative by the second and chorus. It’s easy to ride contagion is soon eclipsed though as the psychobilly wired Can’t Get Through To You preys on ears with its Hillybilly Moon Explosion like predation and feral catchiness though it too is slightly outshone by its successor. Fire and Ice is a glorious fusion of hooked swamped rock ‘n’ roll flavours, a real temptress of a song soon ripping favourite track honours from any of its companions hands.

The intoxicating fifties country blues soaked nurtured rockabilly of Twelve Bar Booze, thoughts of Wanda Jackson again sparked by the great addition to the pleasure, and the heavy hard rock spiced rumble of Break Me Down effortlessly keep the album roaring in body and spirit, This Life following suit with its deviously persuasive foot stomping fusion of swing, garage punk, and rock ‘n’ roll, a full pleasure sounding something akin to The BeauBowBelles meets No Doubt meets The Creepshow.

Just Another Day completes the album, its fiery rock breath and instinctive rhythmic pulse swagger an unapologetically tempting canvas for the ever tasty tones of Sonic and the virulent craft and endeavours of the band. It is a fine end to an album which just got under the skin in swift time and devilishly nestled there thereon in; The Strays providing another of the year’s real pleasures.

Drop Out Zone is out now through Western Star Records.

https://thestraysmusic.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheStraysLive/   https://twitter.com/TheStraysMusic

Pete RingMaster 20/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Los Cabrones Profanos – Ogun Vodun

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Hailing from Milan, Los Cabrones Profanos is a band creating incendiary stomps from the collusion of varied strains of country blues and garage punk. The evidence can be found on the band’s new album Ogun Vodun, thirteen tracks of illegitimate stomping and blues-blooded mischief. More we can tell you about the Italian band though is limited though they consist of guitarist Blind Frankie, drummer El Cabron, vocalist Il Reverendo, and mandolin player Pollo Braineater, and have unleashed one excellent treat with Ogun Vodun.

The album opens with the sinister lure of Intro the distress; a brief guitar cast instrumental awakening ears and thoughts before its sonic tail is joined by striding rhythms and the body of Midnight Blues. As dark and dangerously seductive as its name might suggest, the track is soon strolling with a devilish swagger equipped with spicy hues of harmonica and dour yet magnetic vocals. Its air is raw, almost predacious as the song sizzles upon the senses while heading to an explosive and irritable finale of sound and energy.

Bad Boys Boogie follows taking similar spices into its punk ‘n’ roll rioting, spilling irresistible hooks and recognisable rockabilly riffs second by second. There is a touch of US duo Into The Whale to the song, though its fifties nature is most vocal and pleasing before Il Blues è morto shares its sultry and melancholic landscape of evocative guitar melodies and vocals with the harmonica adding additional flaming to the compelling wake.

The album’s great start only continues in full charge as firstly the volatile cowpunk romp of No fun down in Nashville rumbles and grips ears alongside an already eager appetite for what is on offer and straight after Brace viciously erupts upon the senses with its Black Flag meets Powersolo like dementia. The track is glorious, a flavouring of The Cramps adding extra potency to the invasion of the senses.

Siesta is 20 seconds of raw snoring, literally, before the dark swing of Figlio del Voodoo reveals its Cajun sorcery through voice and mandolin devilment against guitar temptation. The first of the two is just what it is and soon passed over across subsequent listens but its successor is pure bewitchment which never explodes into the devilry it suggests it will but thrills and blossoms because of that restraint.

Incroci has a Latin slicing to its mandolin seducing, the rest of the song’s body providing a mariachi nurtured stomping with a touch of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to its infectiousness, while Il Blues dei miei peccati mixes the band’s penchant for cowpunk and country blues in another quaintly hued and inescapably catchy canter with plenty of imposing shadows and fiery temptations for appealing measure.

As expected I Stomp does exactly what it says on the tin, its incessant wave of hooks and vocal simplicity a call to hips and feet, not forgetting vocal chords to rock ‘n’ roll, all only finding rest once the enjoyable dusty balladry of Hank takes over.

Completed by the Outro in Hell, another potent instrumental persuasion, Ogun Vodun leaves thick pleasure and a just as big want for more in its wake. Without breaking wholly new ground, the album is as fresh as it is inexcusably mischievous while Los Cabrones Profanos is a band all dark blues and garage punk fans should become acquainted with.

Ogun Vodun is available now @ https://loscabronesprofanos.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/loscabronesprofanos/

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Barnyard Stompers – Outlaws With Chainsaws

BS

After their impressive debut The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockin’ Sounds of…, anything from the Barnyard Stompers is sure to raise an eager appetite and so it was with follow-up full length Outlaws With Chainsaws. Whereas the previous album stalked the essences of rockabilly, cowpunk, and country blues stone predominantly within its mischievous sound, the Denver based duo of Casey Miller and Megan Wise have taken a deeper dip in the country side of their passion on the new release, though all essences and more have a tasty place in the mix. It is twelve songs if diverse and distinctive dark devilry brought with a fifties rawness and twenty first century devilment.

Miller and Wise have collectively played in many legendary roots music outfits including The Hillbilly Hellcats and The Bop Kings but teaming together has arguably been their finest move and certainly as evidenced by the two albums since, meant the creation of a sound which whilst merging numerous styles has evolved into something distinct and unique to them. Soon to take their Backwoods Twang across Europe and the UK this autumn, Outlaws With Chainsaws is a mighty introduction for those yet to be infected with their ‘red-neck’ power.

As with its predecessor, Outlaws With Chainsaws is rife with the band’s black and open humour as well as vintage sounds turned into 942079_603596589651616_325395941_nsomething eccentric and compelling yet true to their inspirations be that the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Carl Perkins and Hank Williams musically and also vocally. The opening title track instantly proves the point, the opening blood soaked sample replaced by a resonating rich twang from the guitar of Miller soon joined by the provocative beats of Wise. Ripe with a slow compulsive groove and throaty ambience to the sound the track lays a mix of psychobilly and cowpunk sculpting on the senses and visual evocation to the imagination. The drums of wise persistently frame the emerging red hued thoughts with accomplished incitement allowing Miller to tease discord and melodies with his guitars distinctive flavour. Though it never explodes beyond its impending dangerous breath it is an excellent start to the album and indication that we are about to have a real ride.

The following Stinkin’ Drunken S.O.B. Blues provides what its title suggests, a booze fuelled narrative wrapped in equally potent blues ‘misery’ and country bred swagger, but there are also elements of the more rockabilly aspects of say a Hasil Adkins to its engaging company. It continues the strong beginning and is soon joined in that cause by both the Cash like delivered tale of White Trash Family and Falling Down. For the first of the pair, though containing great backing vocals from Wise, it is the lyrical tale which steals the show, its story a humoured stereotypical outsider’s view of country folk whilst its successor is a slowly heated piece of emotive persuasion with hot chords and southern melodies veining a rising intensive rock embrace. It is a slow burner of a song which sounds better with each taking of its evocative breath.

For all the potency up to this point it is the tarmac rumbling Truck Drivin’ Son-Of-A-Bitch which steals the show on the album, its thumping attitude and passion guzzling energy a heavy slab of rock ‘n’ roll playing like a sixteen wheeled semi driven by The Reverend Horton Heat navigated by Carl Perkins aided by the whispers of Lux Interior. It is an excellent brute of a song finding its sinew glory in the simplicity of the drive of the duo and the dark throated tones of Miller. Its triumph is equalled immediately by the excellent Choctaw Outlaw, the flavoursome instrumental a mix of fifties craft and surf rock fire which sounds like a dessert created  by a recipe created by Johnny and the Hurricanes and The Shadows with extra spice from The Ventures and The Ghastly Ones.

The likes of the country stomping Topless Tuesday and the dark hillbilly croon Corn Liquor which features just Miller’s vocals and his old timer harmonica feed the appetite further whilst the diverse Cajun reaping pair of Snake Eyed Baby and the wonderfully sinister Shallow Grave take thoughts into more openly black-hearted adventure and mischief.

The album is completed by Seein’ Double and When Death Comes Knocking; two more appealing pieces of sultry rock ‘n’ roll borne of various aural nutrients. It has to be said before hearing the release that finding out the band had gone into their country seeded imagination more on the album left a small fear inside, that genre one we have never been able to embrace, but Barnyard Stompers employ it in their ingenious way to be another, though strong at times for sure, agreeable flavour. Outlaws With Chainsaws is a great album, one which personally just misses out on matching their outstanding debut but impressively sure gives it a good run for its money.

www.barnyardstompers.com

8/10

RingMaster 26/07/2013

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Barnyard Stompers: The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockin’ Sounds of …

Barnyard stompers

    We have always had a tendency here, more a mission to be honest, to stay away from barn dances but that resistance could be seriously challenged if such events offered up the same riveting heart igniting sounds which make the Barnyard Stompers album, The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockin’ Sounds of … such a magnificent dance of devilment and fun. The release is a storm of diverse and insatiably mischievous songs which leave no rockabilly, cowpunk, and country blues stone unturned and equally ensure there is no passion or form of musical seduction untouched.

Barnyard Stompers consists of Casey Miller (guitar, vocals, kazoo) and Megan Go-Go Wise (percussion and backing vocals), two musicians who over the years have brought invigorating sounds in such bands as The Hillbilly Hellcats, The Bop Kings, Vibes on Velvet, The Kozmik Kowboyz, and Buckwild. In their new venture of around a year old, the pair fuses a mix of outlaw country, Texas stomp, blues, and rockabilly into their own distinct romp of irresistibility, self-tagged as backwoods twang. Since forming the band has played in excess of one hundred shows and performed before audiences within over fourteen states as well as releasing this riotous treat, so obviously they are a duo that is unrelenting in their work ethic and desire to thrill their fans, something the album does with dirty ease.

The album instantly brawls with the senses and heart through the opening intro Let’s Go Stompers, a short call to arms for Record Coverpassions and feet through a raw and unbridled energy. From its raucous challenge the following Devil On My Shoulder lays a smouldering bluesy arm around the shoulders and serenades the ear with guitar mystique before steeping into an invigorating rockabilly stomp of firm beats, eager guitar, and inviting vocals veined with sonic flames which shimmer in the heat of the song. Across its stroll the song darkens its shadows with vocal effects and a sinister glaze to its compelling charge. It is a mighty full start to the album as it holds court over the passions steps forward as one of the major highlights, of which there are many, upon the release,.

Bad Tattoo offers up a character drenched narrative wrapped in a Waylon Jennings/The Reverend Horton Heat like glaze to further the set in satisfaction but is soon overwhelmed by the delicious blues croon of Love Long Gone, a song which plays like the love child of Elvis track That’s All Right and Say Mama from Gene Vincent. It has a familiarity about it which only endears and is brought with a craft and passion which leaves the listener mutually involved. Across the album many artists and flavours are provoked thought wise as with next up If You Want Me, a Buddy Holly/Carl Perkins spiced gem, though none settle into a recognisable stance due to the invention and devilry of the band and the songwriting.

Consisting of seventeen prime slices of varied temptation the album is a bumper crop of pleasure from start to finish which arguably in a release of this size is unexpected but wholly welcomed. Other notable moments of extended satisfaction comes in the more eclectic songs such as the version of traditional Irish song, Whiskey In The Jar, made most notable from the Thin Lizzy take on it. As with a later song on the album, Danny Boy Stomp, the Denver pair delivers the tracks with a caustic allure which is best described as Dropkick Murphys meets The Pogues, and a gravelly treat it is.

Songs such as the high octane dusty road cruiser Got Me A Trailer and the excellent garage rockabilly horror Nazi Zombies spark further riots of lustful passion for their unpolished instinctive rock n roll, whilst ’59 Black Cadillac is simply the highway to tarmac ardour with its smoking riffs and rumble strip rhythms. Other personal favourite moments where the album finds additional areas of pleasure to molest come with what can only be called mariachi ska in the song Rudeboy On The Highway, where the kazoo of Miller is impish upon the quite sizzling vaunt, and the Mexican punk fiesta El Carretero, not forgetting also the equally punk coated Question.

Every second and note of The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockin’ Sounds of … is the instigator to a hunger for much more from release and band, something which will be answered when the band release their follow-up album later this year. It is a stomp with no demands but to have fun, something which is as mentioned before is criminally easy.

www.barnyardstompers.com

8/10

RingMaster 01/03/2013

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