Battalion Zośka – Self Titled

Like all instinctive punk fans seventies punk and eighties hardcore will always fuel the passions no matter what major moments which have and will continue to follow that defining moment in time. There is no doubting that it is the same for Philadelphia hailing Battalion Zośka; all the evidence raising and roaring aggressive irritation within the band’s self-titled debut album. But there is no mistaking that its 13 slices of sonic and defiant belligerence are far more than echoes of inspirations and other’s glories. The album is a fresh breath and striking protagonist embracing the seeds which fired up us all decades past.

Formed in 2018, Battalion Zośka features members of hardcore punk outfits Violent Society and Combat Crisis and their sound provides a politically charged trespass as aggressively catchy as it is emotionally dissonant. Rhythms unapologetically bite as riffs harass and curse alongside similarly tetchy vocals, the hooks and enterprise conjured just as fractious and irresistible within one magnificent, rousing debut.

The quintet of Pat, Jim, Johnny, Jonas, and Milo set down the tone and character of the album from its first breath, opener A Country Divided rhythmically teasing attention before being entwined in alluring wires of guitar. The song soon hits its stride, threat and disobedience lining every note and subsequent syllable as inbred catchiness equally shapes its rousing incitement. With a great whiff of Angelic Upstarts meets The Lurkers to it and featuring the first of two guest appearance from Black Flag/ Misfits guitarist Dez Cadena, the track lone tells you all you need to know about the band’s sound and album, both swiftly compelling assaults.

Arm Everyone follows bringing an even thicker dissent and trespass to the senses; its hardcore breeding hungry and ill-tempered in its uprising while the album’s title track thrusts forward with rampant muscle and uncompromising resistance as an Exploited meets UK Subs hued subversion arouses. It is fair to say that together the three tracks had ears and appetite enslaved but the third truly sealed the deal.

Next up, Heather was no light weight in that union either, its strands of melodic wiring a delicious itch in the rich infectious nagging of the track. The song brings another guest to the release in the ever potent craft of Neil Newton, the Angelic Upstarts guitarist also giving fiercer flaming to Moral Coward two encounters later, that song a dirtily cantankerous seventies ripe invasion. In between the equally outstanding Island of the Lost Souls stamped its commanding authority on ears, every rhythmic swing an enticing bitch slap and chord a caustic tempting as it builds towards a chorus which just had body and throat bounding forward.

The subsequent assails of Oi! By Numbers and Sold & Bought did nothing to lessen the album’s grip; the first, an undisguised attack within a familiar yet unique sonic pillory with its successor a virulent Crisis-esque transgression. Each simply pummelled the spot before being rapaciously matched by the esurient assault and arousing of 80’s Kid, the song sharing the second ear grabbing appearance of Cadena.

A pop punk essence helps blossom even greater temptation within Once Again, its untamed Vibrators meets Adicts breeding an anthemic tonic for the spirit while the equally galvanic rallying of No More and Scum of the Streets with its feral indeed predacious stalking and sonic hounding only accentuated the impressive and inspiring body and disagreement of the album.

Completed by the carousing punk ‘n’ roll of The Beer Song, the Battalion Zośka album is simply punk rock at its most honest, uncomplicated yet imaginatively bred best. Expect to hear a lot more of the band as once its full-length stirs up a punk uprising of attention and lusty support they will have little choice but to submit to demand.

The Battalion Zośka album is released this June via Violated Records; available at http://www.violatedrecords.com/ and https://battalionzoska.bandcamp.com/album/battalion-zo-ka

https://www.facebook.com/Battalionzoska/

Pete RingMaster 03/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Old-timers – Spiritus Sanctus

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    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

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     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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Steve Ignorant With Paranoid Visions – When…?

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It is hard to imagine any punk fan not being excited about the thought of Crass frontman Steve Ignorant and Irish punk legends Paranoid Visions raging together, and even harder to think they will not be blissfully satisfied by this striking union on When…?, their impressively magnetic album. The twelve track release is a thrilling encounter, a deep pool of rebellious anarcho punk and old school contempt fused into an antagonistic diversity bred of the now. The mouth-watering album album follows on from the acclaimed If Ignorance Is Bliss EP of earlier this year and powerfully realises the triumph forcibly hinted at upon the earlier three track provocation.

The seeds to the link-up between the band and Steve Ignorant can be said to have begun way back in 1979 when a 13 year old punk kid called Peter in Dublin received a reply to a letter he had written to Crass. It set a belief in the young lad that one day he would play with the vocalist of one of punk’s all-time major forces. That teenager, guitarist P.A.Y.E went on to form Paranoid Visions with vocalist Deko Dachau and the rest as they say is history, one still going from strength to strength for the band and their unique inventive sound. The If Ignorance Is Bliss EP brought that thirty year odd dream into reality whilst When…? simply places the alignment of greats into the list of punk’s finest moments.

The Overground Records released album opens with a mix of haunting and biting calls of the name of the title track. It instantly captures the imagination, especially once joined by the thumping terraces like anthemic rhythmic beckoning and short stabs of guitar grazing. The track is pure captivation from its opening seconds, the ever distinctive and delicious caustic tones of Deko igniting the passions as potently as the sounds. Add the in-the-face delivery of Steve Ignorant, the teasing caresses of Sarah Bellum and Aoife Destruction, as well as an inventive musical taunting, and the song strides forward as an immense and riveting start to the album. It alone breeds a hunger which greedily demands and ultimately receives across the rest of the release.

The following Join The Dots is rapping at the senses from its first breath, the rhythms of Paul Zapart nagging the ears whilst a sonic and voracious mix from the guitars of P.A.Y.E and Dan Sonyagrave snarls over the barracking bait. In full charge the song becomes a riot of vintage punk, the alternating and blended vocals of the main protagonists treating the ear to a welcome uncompromising bruising whilst the ladies add an infectiousness which is like Vice Squad and Dolly Mixtures does pop punk. It is a ridiculously addictive slice of punk ‘n’ roll which again leaves the passions flying and ready for the next confrontation which comes in the sizeable form of Brain-Dance. Once again the challenging rhythmic bait is skilful and contagious, the perfect hook into the equally incendiary groove and exciting vocal ear bashing from all quarters. Already When…? is like traversing the Alps, nothing but peaks and breath-taking times rampaging through the imagination and senses.

Lyrically as to be expected the album has no fear in taking swipes at all and sundry, the man at the top, you, me, all apathies, inequalities etc. No track pulls its punches whatever the canvas the narrative is sculpted upon, the virulently contagious United Left Annoyance and the acoustically carved Log On…Bog Off no exceptions. The first of the pair has one of those hooks which haunts thoughts and vacant moments with the toxicity always prevalent in the sounds of Paranoid Visions, its call a cousin to those conjured by Buzzcocks or any version of his band Spizz examined his invention under. Its successor it has to be said took time to convince, but all the time its smouldering almost deceptive sirenesque consumption of the imagination worked away within the slowly dawning victorious persuasion.

No Contrition brawls with and challenges thoughts and emotions next, the open causticity to sound and lyrical intent providing another healthy feast for appetite and passions to devour whilst basking in the continually impressive invention upon the album, whilst Charity Begins At Home with its opening sample a full on poke at Bono and charitable deceptions, is ingenious brilliance. Abrasive and seductive in a torrent of inventive and epidemically addictive enterprise, the track is the pinnacle of the release, the highest plateau in a parade of nothing but lofty suasions.

Both the UK Subs/Crisis tinted Changing Times and the brilliant Independence Day with a presence which is best described as early March Violets meets Crass meets The Pack, continue the wonderfully imposing and passions igniting stance of the album whilst the exceptional Sex Kills attempts to steal the whole show with its carnivorous riffs and bass predation alongside another pop punk infectiousness, well if pop was in the bands of The Duel and Penetration. The rich heights of the track is soon matched by Rock n Roll n Revolution, cantankerous beats and rapacious riffs fuelled by another blaze of insatiable invention and the staggeringly impression union of two muscularly creative forces.

Closing on ?….NEHW, an unbridled ferocious take on the opener, When…? is simply magnificent, a release which is exceptional at the first meeting and grows into one of the most potent, tantalising, and creative punk albums of the year. Outstanding…quite outstanding!

10/10

www.steveignorant.co.uk

www.paranoidvisions.weebly.com

RingMaster 12/11/2013

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4 Past Midnight – Life On The Inside

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It has not been an easy ride for Scottish punks 4 Past Midnight over the couple of decades the band has been creating prime genre provocation but thankfully the determination of the Glasgow quartet, though severely tested at times, has emerged victorious meaning we get to be buffeted and thrilled by the likes of their new album Life On The Inside. A thumping riot of grouchy punk rock and bruising rock ‘n’ roll, the fifteen track release is an exciting onslaught of passion and aggression which clearly shows 4 Past Midnight as still one of the most respected as well as recognised inventive bands within British punk.

Formed in 1989, the band was soon under strong attention and responses with their first release, the ten track Start Of The Liberation demo of 1990. Well received it led to live performances around Scotland leading up to the 1992 released Smash The Front. Again the album was keenly received and responded to but gigs were becoming harder to come by for the band, a situation which continued in both aspects with Pain, Greed And Death the following year. Acclaim was again garnered by the release but shows were scarce to put it mildly, a problem which remained as the likes of the 15 track cassette Midnight Escapades, the Get A Life single and EP The Fears We Hide were unveiled to greater attention over the next couple of years but no one seemed to want to put the band on in venues. At this point the band called it a day but renewed interest in their music saw them return in 1998 under the name Trickshot. The name change was not received well and the band reverted to their original title with The Ruff Demo and The Best And The Worst Of 4pm following, and for a while more shows promisingly did materialise but debut CD Jesus Christ Its 4pm Again in 1999 followed the earlier pattern, eagerly received but gigs came to a crawl.

2002 saw the band link up with Stu of S.T.P for a last charge on the punk scene. The Mental Ward EP and Trials And Tribulations ‎continued to gain success as did the Punkology compilation of 2008 though the 2006 SOS Records British Invasion Fest and a tour of the East Coast of the US with The Angst led to less unhappy experiences with the latter seeing the band fall apart whilst the release of their Guilty As Charged album never happened as the label went bust. Slipping forward slightly to 2011 and again through fan pressures and wants, vocalist/drummer Peter linked up with fellow band original rhythm guitarist Fred to have another assault on the scene with new members in bassist Stevie and lead guitarist Tam joining the band. The first result is the excellent Life On The Inside via STP Records, an album which leaves you breathless and hungry for much more.

The release storms from the blocks with the outstanding Broken. The track is an instant call of riffs and rhythmic temptation which expands into a hook cored slice of essential punk rock. The caustic enticement of the gravelly vocals and the infectious lure of the song are irresistible whilst the riffs scrub out an enslavement to compliment what is a deceptively familiar feel to the song. A lyrically emotive track which is like a mix of UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, and Stiff Little Fingers in many ways, it makes for an immense start soon matched by the following Nightmare and its successor Any Other Way. The first is virulently contagious; its seduction starting from the first spirals of sonic engagement  and elevating through the catchy barbed hooks and bass prowling before the anthemic chorus locks in the passions and throws away the key. Snarling and confronting from its first aggressive note and syllable right through to its fiery finish, the track is the first of many pinnacles on the album. It is equally matched by the second of the two, the song a less antagonistic roar in the ear but one which still embroils feet, voice, and emotions in a riotous slice of punk rapaciousness.

The abrasive Crisis like Riot brawls with the ear next to again pleasing contagion soaked effect, though it does not quite match what came before and certainly falls before the might of next up Justified. The track creates another major highlight upon the album, riffs and drums building walls of addiction whilst the vocals climb their heights and senses with angry intent. A song about domestic abuse, it is a commanding punk ‘n’ roll provocateur with a furious energy which reminds of UK rockers Dirt Box Disco.

The album continues to exploit the already awakened passions through the likes of the outstanding Punk Rock Noise (4pm crew pt3), a track opening with a hook that is the close relation to that cast on Pretty Vacant and evolving into a ridiculously catchy terrace like anthem, the ferociously bruising Story Of My Life, and the dark compelling Hollie. The song about sexual abuse hits home hard whilst recruiting energies and emotions into another unmistakable potent triumph to follow predecessor, the more than decent Nothing Has Changed. All tracks stand out with individual character and passionate craft, though every song to be fair can be wrapped in that descript, as shown by The Truth Is Out There, the song an insatiable riot springing from TV show The X-Files.

The tracks and quality keep coming thick and fast, the dirty rock seeded attack of Trapped and the old school punk bred The Fight plundering the emotions to ignite another dose of rapture whilst What You Gonna Do has an Sham 69 oi snarl to its thumping rock ‘n’ roll confrontation to continue the cementing of Life On The Inside deep into the heart.

Bringing the release to an incendiary finale, Who Takes The Blame and How Does It Feel ignite ears and emotions with their ferocious riff driven anthemic persuasions, the first through another heavy slice of punk brutality sculpted with precise craft, epidemic hooks and rhythmic tension, and the closing track with its straight forward stomp of infection clad dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

4 Past Midnight has set loose one of the punk triumphs of this year, the last and maybe as far back as their previous attack. Life On The Inside is a gem you cannot help missing away from its muscular incitement and a band you all should petition local venues for to get them tearing up your town.

http://4pastmidnight.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 18/10/2013

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That Massive Bereavement – Eat The Rich

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Ever wondered what the dirtiest grunge mixed with old school punk, filth clad rock, and scuzz littered post punk sounds like than UK garage rockers That Massive Bereavement have the answer for you with their debut EP Eat The Rich. Six tracks of noise your mother warned you about and your father wished he could play, the release snarls and works on the senses like a punch bag whilst delivering uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which gives raw satisfaction as potent as the future promise also on offer.

From the Medway part of the UK, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Aidan, bassist Elliott, guitarist Quintus, and drummer The C, erupted as That Massive Bereavement at the rise of 2012, taking inspirations from the likes of The Fall, Therapy?, The Replacements, Wire, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Joy Division and more. One of the other influences is Swell Maps, and as the release plays that band often calls out the most if not always in sound but in attitude and unpolished invention. Recorded and mastered at Sunlight Studios by Greg Webster of fellow Medway band Houdini, Eat The Rich equally grates on and lights up the ear from its first second before going on to work the same devilry on the senses, thoughts, and passions.

The title track kicks things off, a singular guitar brewing up the air with reserved sonic heat for the gravel littered vocals of Aidan to8689_557003027674960_116295249_n start the striking narrative. A stalking gait drives the song on as rhythms make their firm slaps on the ear with energetic expulsions around the chorus singing the hairs around the senses. The breath of the song is Spizz Oil like whilst the belligerent provocation recalls seventies punk Crisis, and from start to finish it drags down apathy into a bruising dirt clad confrontation.

From the strong start the EP hits its biggest highlights with firstly Benetton Models to be followed by the excellent Waste it Now. The first track sabre chops the ear with caustic riffs soon joined by thumping rhythmic incitement from The C and Elliott. Like Nirvana meeting The Lurkers at a fire-pit held by Mark E. Smith, the song is a delicious discord fired slice of noise punk which ignites the passions with garage rock enterprise and post punk sonic obstinacy. Its successor also holds many flavours within its core grasp, the track a garage rock crawl with the snarling undiluted essences of The Stooges and Richard Hell raising their contagious claws. Both tracks stand out as pinnacles whilst still pushing the suggestion that the creative envelope of the band has only just been opened.

Sity comes next with a blues flame to the guitar and punk intensity to the energy of the track, drums and bass an intimidating yet fair intrusion through the distinctive almost Tom Waits like scowls of Aidan and those sonic fires expelled by his and the guitar of Quintus. Direct and uncluttered by complexities it is a raucous storm of prime punk merging its different flavours into one scorching encounter and though it does not make the same deep impact as the previous trio of songs it easily recruits the appetite to know more about the band. The same applies to the final two songs on the release. Both live in the shade of certainly the previous triumphs on Eat The Rich, but stand tall and appealing in their mischievous stances starting with the primate romance Gorilla. With lyrics you can interpret either literally for fun or for man’s version of the great ape, the track stomps with teasing riffs which chop like a chef on a carrot alongside the growling presence of the other guitar and bass. Drums and vocals also accost with enterprise and irresistible mischief and though the song as mentioned does not quite live up to the heights set before it does grip tighter the more you take its company and lingers longer than most in the head.

The closing Snatch, yawns with great whale like sonic calls before barracking with another unbridled slab of impossible to resist punk. Eat The Rich is a great debut from a band you sense has so much more still to discover and offer; that thought as exciting as listening to their EP. That Massive Bereavement will not be for everyone but if punk of any shape and aggressiveness has your juices rising than check out this great emerging protagonist.

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveBereavement

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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Anti-Macassar – Empty

From the unmentioned depths of darker Devon there is something begin to stir and setting greedy eyes on the rest of the UK. This predatory beast of attitude, beer, and aggravation comes in the undiscovered shape of punk rock band Anti-Macassar. Their apparent secrecy is now though becoming under threat as more and more find out about their album Empty, a festering pleasure of rock, punk, and blues brought with an urgency and original punk heart.

Empty is a joy, and though slightly inconsistent and at times seemingly unsure which fuel to load individual songs up with, it is persistently compulsive and consistently very satisfying. Consisting of Mike Hill (vocals, rhythm guitar), Benny Joy (lead guitar, backing vocals), Garry Dewis (bass), and Andy Higgins (drums, backing vocals), the quartet create music which has no need for or desire to charm and comes with an insatiable appetite to rile up all and sundry in emotion and heart. It is honest fun music, a blend of punk, rock, and garage punk, with an occasional splash of psychedelic blues flavouring to spice things up. It is also perfectly nostalgic revisiting seventies punk and rock with an instinctive surety.

The album bulges with thirteen tracks all hungry to rile up the senses and cause maximum mischief with varying levels of spite. Coarse and caustic, the slices of rock badger and assault with no barrier to their purpose and lyrical intentions and each is primed to grab the fullest reaction it can instigate from its recipient. As mentioned the album has a small inconsistency across its length but with more peaks than dips, and these lesser moments still a riotous pleasure for the ear, it is hard to be too critical on a release treating one to a beer soaked and aggression veined party as good as Empty.

The title track opens things up and feels an odd choice to strike the first blow with. The song is a hypnotic prowling crawl through the ear with sharp melodic guitars and a blues tinged tone coating every note. It is seemingly nothing more than enjoyable but before one knows it the track has craftily captivated the senses, its psychedelic wash as mesmeric as a scorched sunset. It is slightly overlong but never loses its grip on the ear and by its end shows the band is not prone to the obvious and predictable in any aspect of their music.

     Anti-Macassar throw up a storm of addictive riffs and greedy hooks next with the angry punk driven Kill Ya. Vengeance driven and expressing the thoughts and heart of more than a few, the track is an infectious stomp with hungry riffs soaked in a southern drawl. It plays like UK Subs meets The Meteors and is an immediate pull with its infectious chorus and unbridled vehemence.

Tracks like the taunting nasty Man Friday offering a mix of Crisis and Art Attacks with a blistering rock solo piercing its heart and Come With Me, a Leyton Buzzards/The Outcasts slab of wanton dirty anthemic joy keeps things continually combative and energised. Further along songs such as Falling Down and Black Is Back keep the attack and punk call loud and forceful too. The first a bare and distressed scuzzed feast of simplistic power recalling Spizz Oil and Dangerous Girls whilst the second swaggers with a grooved garage rock surety complete with sing-a-long chorus and sharp guitars.

These mentioned tracks alone make the album much more than a release to smile at and move on from but with the addition of its two best tracks it easily becomes a must check out. Ignorance Is Bliss saunters in with alcohol swigging riffs and near frenzied energy. Complete with an addictive riff for the chorus which would not look out of place on a Dead Kennedys track the song leads the ear on a boisterous and ravenous crawl whilst fiery melodic guitars and solo spark rapture within the senses.

This impressive track is soon swept aside by the mighty presence of 6ft Locust. The track is proving to be the fan favourite and it is not hard to see why, it is perfect punk rock. With a provocative vocal delivery over teasing riffs and scarred melodies the song is as infectious as they come. Throughout it punches and coaxes the senses in equal measure and once it throws in a Buzzcocks proud melodic hook as contagious as they come the song elevates to classic. With elements of The Adicts and Angelic Upstarts to its blood the song makes the album worth a punt all on its own but backed by an array of other feisty treats Anti-Macassar shows that Empty is no hollow pleasure.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anti-Macassar/204777576222328

RingMaster 05/06/2012

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