Yukon Blonde – On Blonde

Yukon Blonde_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is a melodic humidity to On Blonde, the new album from Canadian indie rockers Yukon Blonde, a sultry and almost sticky feel and ambience embracing and seducing the senses song by song. Already renowned for their seamlessly crafted and contagious pop songs, the Vancouver band went into experimentation mode for their latest endeavour, weaving in textures and sounds bred within psychedelic, digital, and synthetic adventure. It was a move bringing bolder and more fascinating character to music and release whilst breeding an even greater virulence for their maybe unexpectedly purest pop encounter yet.

It is easy to expect infectious proposals from a Yukon Blonde release but the quartet of Graham Jones, Jeffrey Innes, Brandon Scott, and James Younger have found a new epidemic of persuasion and catchiness despite venturing into the ‘unknown’ with On Blonde. Frontman Innes has said about the album, “We were more ambitious writing On Blonde so it’s sort of ironic that in experimenting we created a more accessible record than ever before.” Easy to slip into and embrace, the Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Sleepy Sun) produced, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, Foster the People, Air, Depeche Mode) mixed album simply backs up his words, starting straight away with opener Confused.

The first song instantly swamps ears with a buzzing electro tempting, the potent coaxing quickly joined by spicy guitar and crunchy rhythms. It is soon a stroll of magnetic melodic and vocal tenacity, eighties and spatial breezes a lively simmering within the vibrant body and energy of the song. Down below though there is an underlying rumble in the heart of the encounter, a stirring dark intent which gives real depth and intrigue to the refreshing pop romp. There is a bit of Weezer to the song, a bit of Super Happy Fun Club too, but it emerges as something distinct to Yukon Blonde just like Make U Mine which follows. Its body moves with a funky gait within a mellower more reserved energy, vocals and harmonies floating around ears as they forcibly flirt with the imagination alongside musical echoes of bands like Heaven 17 and Röyksopp.

Variety is a swift essence of On Blonde too, the first pair of tracks coming with individual characters but not as openly as the outstanding Como which follows them. Its acoustic lead soon lures the appetite into a summery canter of endearing melodies and vivacious vocals, all tempered by another great shadow wrapped bassline. A tinge of China Crisis teases throughout but equally a whisper of The Beach Boys floats with the tantalising harmonies as guitars dance with sparkling adventure and revelry within the hazy romance of a song.

yb-onblonde-Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     I Wanna Be Your Man slips into a fuzzier and grittier landscape, one seemingly blossomed from a Bolan-esque seeding. It saunters around which attitude and confidence, every resonating bassy lure and sonic sizzle carrying a glint in their mischievous eye whilst unpredictable and tantalising twists and turns merge with the warm fluid flow of the bewitching proposition. In no time it has seduced and enslaved ears and emotions, an inescapable success and potency cultured just as powerfully by the similarly mouth-watering Saturday Night straight after. The song pounds ears with relentless rhythmic incitement around which eventful vocals and an elegant embrace of melodies rigorously serenade. Every second comes with a flirtation of sound and ideation but also that unpredictable essence which again as much as the fresh investigations of sound infused right across the album, is the spark to new adventure and ingenuity in the Yukon Blonde persuasion.

A sixties hued, folkish ballad in the shape of Hannah steps forward next; its harmonic charm an easy snare for ears. Once it has full focus it unveils bulbous bass tones and evocative drizzles of melodic expression to tighten its hold, though whilst again pushing the diversity of the album, it never manages to come up to the persuasive levels of its predecessors, something the admittedly enthralling Your Broke The Law also cannot quite emulate. In context though both songs are like a lover’s romance with the listener, never leaving them less than enamoured whilst allowing the likes of Starvation to steal more of the limelight which it does with consummate craft. Carrying a Depeche Mode/Daniel Miller like dark croon to its intoxicating enveloping of body and thoughts, the track swings and sways with irresistible and addictive ingenuity, never startling with its temptation but smouldering away for the same long-term effect.

From one triumph to another as the indie rock sculpted Favourite People bounces around with varied guitar jangles and contented bass grumbling within another rosy veil of keys. Just as the energetic musical creativity of the track, the vocals have an animated and frisky intent to their presence and enjoyment, and though once more it is a song which you can only really compare to Yukon Blonde themselves, there is a small urge to suggest the likes of XTC and Talk Talk as hints.

The release ends with the electro rock stomp of Jezebel, a sultry temptress of a song adding a final rich twist and spark in one masterful slab of aural gold. On Blonde is seriously compelling, a whole diverse summer in one spellbinding embrace. Yukon Blonde do not light a blazing fire in the belly and heart with the album but it is the hottest, spiciest warm glow felt from a release in a long time.

On Blonde is available now via Dine Alone Records / Caroline UK digitally and on CD/Vinyl through most online stores.

http://www.yukonblonde.com/   https://www.facebook.com/yukonblonde

RingMaster 18/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Naked Lunch – Beyond Planets

cover

    The return of Naked Lunch, one of the UK’s first electronic rock bands, has been an increasingly impressive and thrilling proposition with a clutch of single showing that this is not just an aesthetic return of an eighties band as with so many others. Reinventing their sound and early songs with a craft and invention which sees them an easy fit in the modern premise of electronic world as well as casting new and invigoratingly inciting encounters to bask in, the band has made a striking statement with their debut album Beyond Planets. Anticipation was high because of the previous singles but the album exceeded all assumptions and hopes with its refreshing and magnetic slices of electro rock/pop.

    Originally formed in 1979 by vocalist Tony Mayo and guitarist Gary Shepherd, under the name Sons of Perdition at first with Naked Lunch becoming the moniker after their debut gig, the band built a strong and feverishly followed presence through shows with the likes of DAF, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, B Movie, and Clock DVA, as well as their own gigs and tours, and first single Rabies. The band also made a major contribution in helping Stevo find bands for the ground-breaking Some Bizarre compilation album which was released via the Daniel Miller (The Normal) owned Mute Records and to which the band itself contributed the track La Femme. That first single followed to acclaim and good support though was banned from day-time radio play because of its title; but subsequently line-up changes and differences led to the band ending in 1981, though there was a short lived live presence through Mayo until 1985.

   2010 saw Mayo reunite with early member Paul Davies with the pair writing new material before original line-up members Mick Clark and Cliff Chapman joined a year later. The band was expanded by Mark Irvine in 2012 and Jet Noir last year. First single Alone sparked the attention and bred an appetite in a great many for the band’s return, which the following Slipping Again, Again and Glow only reinforced and accelerated. Now with their excellent debut album, Naked Lunch position themselves back to the fore of British electronic music with a mature craft and imaginative invention which time has obviously bred in their creativity.

     Opening track We Are, the new video single from the band, opens on an electronic dazzling of sound and sonic light, a space bred beckoning enticing the imagination into play. From the celestial ambience magnetic beats soon register an eager coaxing before stretching the bait with firmer rhythmic temptation. The song soon settles into a restrained stroll with vibrant electro colour courting the somber and pressing dark vocals. It is an enthralling mix with a subdued funk swagger, the track playing like a mix of Fad Gadget and Yello as the narrative sets the scene and premise of the release, humanity in all its oppressive shadows. The song takes longer to fully convince than subsequent tracks it is fair to say but ultimately succeeds to set the album off on a potent and engaging start.

    Slipping Again, Again comes next, the song a reworking of the B-side Slipping Again of that very first single. The song has a dark bordering on sinister essence to vocals and ambience which adds a delicious noir breath to the tantalising mix of melodic enterprise and rhythmic revelry. The dust clad tones of Mayo only accentuate the heavy intrigue and shadow of the song whilst the synth teasing and guitar sculpted flames provide riveting adventure and mystery to the contagious and menacing croon of the song. It is an enthralling new chapter to the original song and easily ignites the senses before being straight away matched by next up Rabies. A new album version of the band’s first success, the track emerges on a skittish shuffle of percussive bait soon joined by pumping electro vibrancy and caustic guitar scratching. The band has taken the heart and essential power of the original but polished up its sides and intent to sculpt an even greater contemporary synth pop dance. It is a mouthwatering piece of enterprise which alone shows how the band has evolved and grown its sound without losing the  striking glory of its first entrance.

     The album continues to raise its plateau as the next trio of songs starting with Emotional Turmoil, toy with, entrance, and manipulate the passions. The track is a bouncy infection drenched romp of electro pop with scuzz kissed guitar and seductive sonic beckoning all framed by a rhythmic toxicity which is equally irresistible. A tonic for any down trodden day, the track is an energy fuelling, emotion regenerating dance of creative endeavour and irrepressible mischief. It is immediately followed by a new version of Le Femme, the song receiving its originally intended spelling but one changed by Miller for the Some Bizarre release. Like Rabies, the track is bursting with fresh updated invention but without losing any of its original strengths, and like the other thoroughly enjoyable. Alone steps in next with its shadowed brew of evocative elegance within an almost oppressive web of emotional drama, its premise that of individuals in a disconnection to the world the voice within an immersive atmosphere. It is a gentler embrace than the previous tracks but no less resourceful and thrilling.

The album’s best track, Weekend Behaviour struts in next with an instantly addictive electro seduction, a tempting soon aided by less intensive vocals and a wash of melodic radiance. It is slightly deceitful though as from within the warm stomp returning intimidation coated vocals join the affray alongside a snarling graze of guitar aligned to raucous energy. The song is a scintillating brew of electro rock with old school punk rock essences taunting and firing up the passions.

     A new version for the album of that previously mentioned single B-side, Slipping Again treats the ear next with similar success to the other re-workings on Beyond Planets whilst its successor Glow, a song which like all the recent singles gets an album make-over, provides a Landscape like expanse of exploratory imagination from the keys and guitar within a smouldering and pulsating electronic soundscape. With a delicious groove around and spicy twang to its central narrative, the track is a lofty pinnacle in a climate of peaks.

     Completed by the excellent Fade Away with its absorbing oscillating radiance and electro majesty, Beyond Planets is an outstanding exploit in a vibrantly expressive journey. Rich in nostalgia but only to the extent of re-kindling old flames to unite with greater new and potent excitements, the album easily declares Naked Lunch the real deal to give all the young electro bucks a run for their creative money.

www.nakedlunch.org.uk

9/10

RingMaster 11/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Naked Lunch – Alone

Alone

Receiving the promo for the new single from Naked Lunch instantly raised a tingle as thoughts shot back to our first discovery of them through their appearance of the Some Bizarre compilation album from Mute Records way back in 1981 with the excellent Rabies single coming soon after. Returning after a 30 year break the band shows that maturity and time has not diminished their unique sense of and adventure within electronic music one iota. Alone is an evocative slice of haunting and provoking imagination drenched in the presence fans of the band remember and brought with a fresh and potent, almost destructive dark breath.

Formed in 1979 by vocalist Tony Mayo and guitarist Gary Shepherd as Sons of Perdition, though this name was changed to Naked Lunch after their debut gig, the band underwent a few changes in personnel as well as working out and delivering their sounds live. To condense their story, from a show alongside the likes of DAF, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, B Movie, and Clock DVA organised by the band and Stevo, who Tony had DJ’ed with previously, the band undertook the Naked Lunch’s Electronic Indoctrination Tour in 1980 which included a show at Leeds Futurama, which was filmed and eventually broadcast on BBC2. Naked Lunch then set about helping Stevo find artists and recordings to make up the Some Bizarre album, to which the band itself contributed La Femme (a song originally called Le Femme but Phonogram who the Daniel Miller (The Normal) owned Mute released the album through, changed it to grammatically correct French, missing the point of the androgyny of the electronic music scene and that the song was about that). After a parting with Stevo, Naked Lunch became managed by Ramkup with the single Rabies backed by Slipping Again being released, though it suffered from a ban on day time radio play due to the title but did receive good play and support from the likes of John Peel and Nicky Horne on their night time shows. Line-up changes continued t before the band split in 1981 with Mayo retaining the name Naked Lunch, which he registered with Companies House in May 1981. A second version of the band emerged as a live thing until 1985 and though Mayo continued with Naked Lunch projects the band as such was a quiet presence.

2010 saw Mayo link up again with early member Paul Davies and writing new material, with Mick Clark and Cliff Chapman joining in 2011, both in the original line-up. Their first gig for over 30 years came at BAS II with the addition of Mark Irvine coming in early 2012 and Jet Noir linking up in June of this year.

Themed by “Isolation, Loss and Feeling Disconnected from Society”, Alone immediately unleashes a rich beckoning atmosphere upon the ear to dramatically mark the return of the band, its lingering caresses and expansive breath an evocative cloak around the vocals of Mayo, his tones understandably feeling older and authoritative. Keys and guitars bring suggestive hues to the air and thoughts whilst the excellent backing whispered vocal kisses of Black simultaneously chill and seduce the touch of the track. With a more than slight Fad Gadget essence and the vibrant light spots and melodic teasing holding a sense of Yello to their temptation, the song is a mesmeric blend of frosty intent and warm electronic persuasion.

The single is an absorbing pleasure which raises real appetite for future sounds and endeavours of the band. Naked Lunch is as strong and as impacting as ever and electronic music will only benefit from their return.

www.nakedlunch.org.uk

8/10

RingMaster 22/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Centre Excuse – Generation Z EP

Having missed their previous singles and well received EP All Systems Go, but aware of the growing acclaim around the band, it was with strong anticipation we went into the new release from Centre Excuse, the Generation Z EP.  The earlier single from the six track release Don’t Let Go certainly fired up the keenness to hear more and the EP definitely does not disappoint, its vibrant and well crafted electro rock sounds only reinforcing and building on the promise the song offered.

Formed in 2010, the Rutland (in the sleepy rural village of Empingham) based trio of brothers Jamie (backing vocals / lead & bass guitar) and Alex (drums) Rush alongside Teddy Lewis (lead vocals / keyboards / guitar and programming), have earned a rapidly growing fan base and respect for their impressive blend of eighties electronic pop and modern pop rock. Their music is a fusion which is far more expansive than that simple description but at the end of the day it is indie pop of the highest and most enthralling nature. With massive views on Youtube, the video to their debut single Last 3 Days alone last year receiving over 30,000 YouTube plays in its first month, and exciting energetic shows the band is a loud whisper on a growing wave of lips which the new EP should bring to a crescendo. With strongly successful performances at the likes of the Riverside Festival and support slots to Texan band A Sky Jet Black and I am Giant from New Zealand in recent weeks to add to their own dynamic shows, Centre Excuse are at the point of mass recognition, the EP possibly sending things over the edge.

Once the Generation Z EP gets its claws into you it is impossible not to be captivated and that contagion is immediate with Don’t Let Go, a song of crystalline melodies and pulsating heart. Like a meeting of Depeche Mode and the poppier side of Enter Shikari, the song resonates with a warm and energetic presence. Its melodic caress and mellow atmosphere is cored by a steely intent from the drums and guitars to add further depth to the already expressive vocals and breath of the song. It is easy to see why the song has been the doorway into the band for a great many though arguably there are more infectious and compelling songs on the release.

Stop Drop & Roll and Where Do We Go are two examples of an even greater irresistibility to the ear. The first opens with an ambience sizzling electronic touch slowly building to another eighties electro kiss. Into its stride with again a feistier gait alongside the Daniel Miller like sonic skill and Fad Gadget sounding shadows, the song can only ignite the senses. Do not mistake this for retro sounding though, the song and release very much of the now with elements of bands such as Swound! and the Bravery to what is overall something original. Whereas the first is an openly anthemic song the second is a brooding encounter with the same impactful results. It is an expansive song with the keys wrapping their heated arms around the senses whilst sonic spotlights sweep across its soundscape. The infection is a slow consumption but by its end the song is swirling around the head, the strong vocals and beguiling keys a remaining companion and memory.

MTV Generation is a plaintive rock song, its flight a muscular provocation even in its reflective moments. Again an anthemic joy but it comes through its intensity and inciteful voice, the track a mighty thrust of passion. The guitars flame up the skies of the song with sharp and precise sonic expulsions whilst the dramatic punk breath of the song brings The Psychedelic Furs to mind. If not the best song on the EP it is easily the favourite.

The remaining songs on the release, It’s Okay and Live It All Up, bring another flavour to the table, the first a pop punk riot reminding of bands like Stay Okay! and the other a New Order/Fall Out Boy like mesh, both continuing the high quality pleasure as easily as what came before.

Generation Z is an excellent release which feels like the trigger to shoot in Centre Excuse, a truly exciting band with still plenty of promise to be realised, around the world.

http://www.centre-excuse.com/

RingMaster 29/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.