Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox – House of Dolls

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Ever wondered what the warped and twisted offspring of Madness, Oingo Boingo, and Mr Strange would be like? Then welcome to the dark ska-deville world of Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox.

Entwining the revelry of ska with the insatiable temptation of psychobilly and dark hearted vaudeville theatrics, Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox is an irresistible incitement to question your sanity to. Hailing from Tyne and Wear, the septet is a full on drama and irrepressible mischief which through their new five track EP takes ears, imagination, and passions on a non-stop mystery tour. House of Dolls is a thrilling proposition which makes you wonder why ska and horror has not prolifically mixed before. Better late than never though, and if you are enjoy walking with the dead, aliens, and the kind of fantasies only the mind of Tim Burton can conjure, all to the swinging sounds of devilish invention then this is a band for you.

The opening of Spooky’s Lunchbox sets the Graveyard Calling released EP, a UK-based cassette/digital label, off in fine riveting style. A lone piano offers its haunted expression initially to tease thoughts and nudge the imagination. It has coveran air of a dusty run down theatre holding a steampunk breath of old and modern. The instrumental soon has the senses and thoughts embraced in its noir bred shadows, the keys continuing to evocatively colour the scenery under melancholic sax lighting. It is a mesmeric enchantment which leads straight into the celestial charm of Aliens. It is a coaxing soon immersed in a ska driven stomp, the steady rhythms of drummer Raggz Chandan hand in hand with the dark lures of bass cast by Rob Carrol enslaving an already firm appetite for ska. It is barely seconds before feet are jerking in unison with the jagged riffs of Allen Humes whilst the delicious expressive keys of Davie King incites ears and the flaming sax lures of tenor sax player Dean Wiseman and Ben Creaser on alto sax take care of the imagination once again. It is a gloriously striding song which if you ask us is basking in the attention of its alien abductors and their invasive investigations. The vocals of Kieran Jobling have a rawer less polished feel, his expression flirting and enhancing the drama of the scenario and song perfectly. At times the song apart from those earlier references has an essence of Mojo Fury about it and also for unsure reasons eighties punk folk band The Dancing Did. As eccentric as it is virulently infectious, the track is a riveting adventure which is as impressive crooning as it is running with nostrils flaring.

The following Do You Know? is another breath-taking instrumental dance, this complete with manic chuckles and demented urgency. Like Night Boat To Cairo off course and going through the tunnel of a Ghost Train, the track is inescapable bait for body and soul and it is a sad parting as it drifts into Freak Show. The track soon creates its own unique and seductive adventure though, to hold all attention and thoughts. Adding a carny like atmosphere with Jobling like a side show barker, the band writhes suggestively with its inventive bedlam of lyrical intrigue and musical unpredictability. Like the final blast of devilry for lost souls, the song’s finale is a crescendo of wanton melodies and lustful rhythmic lunacy which could be a distant cousin to those found in Cardiacs.

The title track brings the release to a close, a sonically sepia piece of drama linking it with its predecessor before the song dances into ears on its melodic toes led by another delicious tease of piano. Veering to the more folk side of sound, think Tankus The Henge, the track strides with an air of knowing that it has the listener in the cups of its hands. Melodies sway and caress whilst rhythms swing with a robust tenacity, and as for the brass they croon with a slightly melancholic breath to complete the soulful yet haunted landscape of the song.

With a healthy diversity and compelling drama across its tracks, House of Dolls is pure pleasure, especially if a rich dose of ska and theatrical madness is a tasty brew for you. Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox is not exactly creating a new style of music but they are certainly crafting a template as yet undiscovered.

House of Dolls is available via Graveyard Calling @ http://graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/album/house-of-dolls digitally and on very Ltd Ed Silver-screen grey cassette.

www.facebook.com/SpookyJeffersonsIdealLunchBox

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Venus de Vilo – Handle With Scare Pt 1

Venus de Vilo

Horror’s temptress of the night returns with the first part of her debut album Handle With Scare, and from the six tracks it is fair to say that Venus de Vilo has lost none of her seductive revelry and demonic enticements, in fact only increased their potency along with her musical toxicity. With macabre bred passion and tales aligned to an equally dark acoustic temptation, the first teasing of the album has just bout turned an already eager soft spot for her sounds into a stalker-esque compulsion.

Venus first drew blood and attention with the siren call of her previous Edgar Allan Ho EP, a collection of songs which lingered far beyond their intent to become a fixture on the playlist of fans and underground attention, including our own podcast. The Dublin born songstress of the dead has turned the graveyard into her canvas for sonic bloodlust and sinisterly melodic adventure since 2011, proceeding to find a growing legion of fans through her performances across the city’s rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, and open mic nights. Her presence has subsequently seeped further afield which the Edgar Allan Ho EP only concentrated with its devilish charm and sounds.

Pleasingly Venus has not taken a detour from her individual sound and songwriting which so potently lit up her last release, instead honing it into an even more precise and sirenesque proposition as evidenced by the new songs, starting with I’ve Got 99 Zombies And A Witch Ain’t One. Venus immediately cups ear in her potent voice to open up the song, a Wanda Jackson like depth and potency an immediate hook to which her guitar stabs lend extra drama. Though just voice and guitar, the track is instantly anthemic, swiftly lighting the imagination and sparking cinematic ventures as lady and music unveil the heart of the narrative. Twists in the vocal delivery and guitar stroll beneath haunting harmonies only add to the great melodrama caressing thoughts and emotions, an invitation which feet and voice are unable to resist.

The following Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder is just as enthralling and compelling, harmonies a delicious croon around the infectious Imelda May like bait of the song primed by Venus and her stringed enticement. Once again a full engagement with the listener is an inevitable rapid success, imagination given further inducement to explore personal shadows and gothic climates. As this and other songs lay ravenously on the psyche, there is a feel of a new confidence and precise intent working away in the heart of the tracks subsequently providing a richer clarity and persuasive tenacity than found in the previous release.

Both Bubbleglum! and Dead! Dead! Dead! keep mortuaries and ears basking in dark vaudeville temptation, the first an incessantly striding tango of stabbing riffs and ghostly harmonies around bewitching vocal predation whilst its successor decides to stalk thoughts before similarly swiping at the senses with feisty chords and Lilith incarnate vocals. Both tracks dance with wicked intent and salacious suasion, enslaving the imagination with vocal hooks within a simple but virulent stroking of guitar.

The Dead Don’t Dance slips into something even more darkly comfortable, a psychobilly whisper flirting with the theatrical colour of the menacing as harmonies shape a thick fog of expression. It is a song which takes a little longer to wrap its shadow spawned tendrils around the passions but eventually does so with unbridled success to emerge as one of the most inventive and dramatically powerful track of the sextet.

Final song Personal Satan swings with sixties embrace in its addictive tempting, essences of Shangri-Las and in some ways the Walker Brothers permeating the mouthwatering graveside balladry. It is a riveting end to a thrilling introduction to Handle With Scare.

With the album’s second half looking to be unveiled later this year anticipation for its full uncaging has gone up in impatience and excitement thanks to this teasing, and if the likes of Horrorpops, The Revillos, Imelda May, and fifties female rock ‘n’ roll instigators is a very palatable attraction for you then Venus de Vilo is a venomous treat just waiting to inflame and devour your lives.

Check out Handle With Scare Pt 1 @https://soundcloud.com/venus-devilo/sets/handle-with-scare

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloSongsFromTheStalkersPointOfView

9/10

RingMaster 18/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Spiritwo – Primitive Twinship EP

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Adventure, experimentation, and straight forward daring are always aspects of songwriting and performance which grab attention even if not always as successfully as intended. Spiritwo is one such band with these attributes in abundance within their debut EP Primitive Twinship, a release which not only steals a healthy focus in its direction but breeds an equally potent appetite for its creativity and the quartet itself. The release is a hectic venture of imagination and audacious enterprise, one which does raise a few questions but ultimately makes a compelling and promise soaked persuasion.

Spiritwo is the brainchild of visual artist Yael Claire Shahmoon who brought it to life in in the clubs of Tel Aviv. Described by Time Out as ‘The Queen of Tel Aviv Underground’, Shahmoon and band relocated to London where their experimental sounds seeded with Middle Eastern influences, electro, doom, and theatre were soon casting an eager following. Their reputation for powerful and riveting stage performances, which have included sharing stages alongside the likes of Martin Rev (Suicide), UK Decay, Punishment of Luxury, Savages, Knifeworld, and Naive New Beaters, has only garnered more acclaimed responses and attentiveness which it is easy to expect Primitive Twinship to push on with its creative ‘bedlam’.

Opening track Soul Mate lays down a tantalising eighties electro lure which leads right into the muscular yet inviting body of the song. Solid beats are soon joined by a great dark weighty bass tempting from Michael Otim Okot and the rock coaxing flames of Charlie Cawood’s guitar. It is immediate bait which takes little time in holding the listener tightly in its persuasive grip especially when the vocals of Shahmoon add their expressive and emotive strength. The weave of grooves within the track, every instrument seemingly providing their own distinct but uniting offering, forges an infectious magnetism to the song but every aspect is a temptation which is hard to deny from the inventive songwriting through to the little dramatic touches vocally and musically. Across its impressive presence the song enchants and snarls, seduces and bruises whilst perpetually awakening thoughts and emotions to a rather exciting debut and band.

Sometimes steps up next and with a chilled atmosphere the seed for its emergence, the song takes mere seconds to take the song’s adventure into a new unique place from its predecessor. Shahmoon spreads her velvety tones across the brewing ambience, the keys and her delivery sculpting a drama which teases and menacingly smooches with the imagination. Erupting with a fiery passion in her voice the track evolves and entwines around the senses and passions like a sonic grasping snake. The track is dark vaudeville at its finest, Shahmoon expelling a range of vocal endeavour which is spiteful and often stretching the theatre appeal of the smouldering fire but thoroughly compelling, like the sounds from start to finish. Comparisons to Bjork have been placed around the band and it is easy to see why as the song pushes eagerly down on the senses, and with elements which loosely could be described and Cardiacs meets Helldorado with a spice of Jess & The Ancients One, it is impossible not to be wrapped up and enjoying the striking experience.

The EP is completed by Dive Down and again emotions and thoughts are taken on a ride of intrigue and unpredictability which leads only to full pleasure. Another electro coaxing opens things up before the beckoning beats of drummer Matt Riley summon any straggling reactions with their firm touch aligned to the again pulsating bass call. Growling breaths and sultry calls merge seamlessly in the music whilst vocally Shahmoon commands attention, her Eastern instinctiveness a delicious spicing to her diverse delivery and entrapment. Combining electro pop with heavy rock and that dramatic wantonness, the track is fuel for the passions.

Debatably there is maybe a little too much going on in songs which will not lie easily with some but if the experimentation of a Mike Patton and Bjork, the passionate adventure of a Mojo Fury or Japanese Fighting Fish, and the dark drama of a Stolen Babies or The Dresden Dolls finds a well-nourished place in your tastes than Spiritwo and their Primitive Twinship EP is a must.

https://www.facebook.com/spirittwo

9/10

RingMaster 17/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Check out the new Spiritwo video @ SPIRITWO ‘SOUL MATE’