Colours of the blues: exploring King Colobus with vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson

kc_RingMasterReview

2017 has started with a bang, certainly in regard to introductions to and debut releases from fresh and truly striking bands. One of those making the biggest impressive impact is UK rockers King Colobus. Recently their self-titled first EP was rebooted into national attention, a release to steal one of the lines in our own review providing a “four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock [which] trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions.”

With thanks to Garry at SaN PR we leapt on the chance to learn more about the EP and its creators with King Colobus vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson also touching on their beginnings and other aspects of being in a band…

Hi, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Your bio says the band officially began in 2015 but I believe its origins and seeds began long before then. Tell us about its beginnings and lead up to stepping out as King Colobus.

The first ideas started in a 3 piece band called BIBLE JOHN AND THE REPTILES, which included me (Stewart), GRIFTER bassist Phil Harris and former BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAKE drummer Rich Robinson. We spent months rehearsing and just before taking things live, Rich started to have back problems. The whole thing capitulated until James Bailes moved back to the South West. He and I had jammed out demos and worked together on various projects when we both lived in London. We got together and started to share ideas that we thought really deserved a life…and so KING COLOBUS was born.

The re-location to Devon of yourself and James from London seems to have been one of the sparks to the birth of King Colobus. Was that just coincidence or there was something you found down there, apart from meeting Gavin and Simon, which instigated the band?

The main thing that changed for both James and I was fatherhood. We both wanted our kids to grow up in a better environment and having both come from the South West, I guess this felt like the best option. There is also a great opportunity down here to create an alternative music scene. It has been blighted for far too long with tribute bands and folk music and venues like THE JUNCTION are starting to put alternative music firmly on the map again. There’s a lot of talent down here, but it just needs to get its fair share of the opportunities.

kc2_RingMasterReviewIs there a specific meaning or inspiration to the band’s name?

A King Colobus is a monkey that changes colour when coming out of childhood. I found this intriguing.

It is fair to say that your sound is a tapestry woven from a variety of musical textures and styles. How would you describe it to newcomers?

I would say that it is very much rooted to blues, with a heavy dose of trucker rock and grunge. There are so many pleasant, yet sometimes surprising comments we get from people regarding what they can hear in us, we encourage you to listen and draw your own conclusions!

Is there any particular inspiration you would say has helped shape your music as a band and individually?

I think if you heard 3 or 4 of our tracks, you would hear elements of Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Interpol, and Johnny Cash…but to name a few. The likes of Bowie, Radiohead, and Morrissey have always provided a lot of lyrical inspiration, as they tend to tell stories that interest and make you dig a bit deeper into what is being said.

You recently re-released your self-titled EP to swift acclaim it has to be said. How did you approach its uncaging this time around compared to its first outing?

When it was first released, we did it just so that people could have something to take home at gigs if they liked us. After a while, it started to get a great response and people started getting in touch to order it online. It was at this point where we thought that it should be given broader exposure.

Can you personally put your finger on why it has caught the imagination of press and fans alike with great force?king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

I think PR has a lot to do with it! You can have the best EP in the world, but it needs PR to get heard…then it needs to sound good for people to talk about it!

As broad as its songs in many ways are in sound there is an intimacy at the heart of the EP which suggests certainly lyrically personal experiences provides their seeds. Where do you draw inspiration most often for your tracks?

Everything I sing about is personal, or it is based upon something I know about. Sometimes looking at personal experiences of those who are closest to me provides for a better story. There’s no point in talking about California if you get me.

How does the songwriting predominantly work within the band?

Most songs are written acoustically at first. I perform solo acoustic gigs around the South West and ‘test’ things out before approaching the band with the idea. It’s a great way to test out the dynamics of a song, without the frills. I think it also helps us all to look at each track from a different perspective, without some massive riff dominating the landscape.

Can you give us some background to the tracks within the EP and their themes? king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReview

GET UP was actually written around the time of the 2012 Olympics. I lived in Hackney Wick at the time, so it was right on my doorstep. The track was based on the idea of it being used for Olympic Games footage. Needless to say, it didn’t, but it still made for a good track!

The self-titled KING COLOBUS track is based on my teenage years in Plymouth, so it’s a very personal outlook on my experiences throughout the nineties.

TITS AND TEETH is generally about how disposable the music industry has become and how we find ourselves absorbed by TV judging panels, who apparently know what they are doing.

WAIT is borne from a political platform. We keep on telling ourselves that if we vote a different way, things are going to change for the better. We need to believe this to keep going, but it’s far from the truth.

Live you have shared stages with the likes of with Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, Crazy Arm, and one of our favourites De Staat and that alone shows the diverse appeal of your sound. What is it you think about the band in sound and live which tempts such an array of artists and their fans into the world of King Colobus?

I think good music will always be just that and hopefully we have gained some new fans through doing our best to put on a good show when we play live. All of these bands are genuine, as are we.

Talking of Sea Sick Steve, the last time we saw him highlighted the trend it seems of people going to shows not so much to watch the artist but to socialise, certainly at higher profile events and venues. The sound of chatting often intruded on the music. If you have come across this, how as a band do you mentally deal with it on stage?

I think it’s our job to try and capture the audience’s attention. If we don’t, we need to do something about that! Sea Sick Steve was a really nice guy to talk to and he gave us so much great advice; I wish I brought a notepad! At the end of the day, you are in a bubble when you are in a band, so audience chatter really doesn’t bother me if it happens…but it rarely does!

What is next for King Colobus live and release wise?

We are just starting to branch out of the South West, as we are really keen to get involved in other musical pockets around the country. We’ve been busy scheduling this, as well as festival dates. As we deal with this ourselves, it is quite challenging. We also go into the studio again this Summer to record another 4 track EP, so this will be out way before the end of the year.

Big thanks again for talking with us. Anything you would like to add?

If there are any towns/cities which would like to see King Colobus, let us know!

Check out our review of the debut King Colobus EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/king-colobus-self-titled-ep/

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

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

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King Colobus – Self Titled EP

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There are times when something just clicks with ears and imagination, instincts instantly seizing the day and directing responses with almost lustful energy. That is what happened to The RR when facing the self-titled debut EP from UK rockers King Colobus. From virtually its first breath on the opening listen, the four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions. It is pure drama, creative adventure as bold and ballsy as it is imaginatively intricate and sinisterly persuasive.

With its seeds sown in 2013, King Colobus officially stepped forward two years later. Vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson and bassist James Bailes had already collaborated on ideas and songs for a future project when independently they both relocated to Devon. There they linked up with Plymouth based guitarist Gavin Huck and drummer Simon Marsh, uniting as King Colobus.

There is no escaping inspirations found in the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Soundgarden, Johnny Cash, and Interpol in the band’s sound but equally they have a personality and character to their music and songwriting which is sure to intrigue fans of others like Japanese Fighting Fish, Damn Vandals, and Inca Babies. There is uniqueness to their sound though which is most vocal and suggests why the quartet has already earned a potent live reputation whilst taking in shows supporting artists such as Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, De Staat, and Crazy Arm.

king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewRe-released this past week, the first King Colobus EP is a majestic introduction to the band and needs mere seconds to grip attention and appetite through opener Get Up. From its initial dark minatory melody, its texture wiry and tone ominous yet pure enticement, the track bounds in with swinging rhythms and a growling bassline supported by just as primal riffs. MacPherson instantly engages and recruits already persuaded ears, the song itself bluesy in air but pure virulent rock ‘n’ roll with an underlying punk snarl. It is a controlled web though, teasing and taunting rather than assaulting and only increasing its grip as a shimmer of guitar around alluring vocals breaks the tenacious trespass before breaking into an even bolder compelling incitement.

It is a stunning start swiftly reinforced by the song King Colobus, it too opening with a juicy lure before uncaging its heavy blues rock saunter. Bass and vocals stand individual in tone but equal in temptation as beats jab with relish at the senses, the song’s flames waiting to erupt in a sizzling blaze before settling down again until further incendiary expulsions throughout its compelling body. Showing an array of flavours making up their sound, at times the track reminds thoughts of Josh Homme and co and indeed The Doors but again the result is individual to the foursome.

Tits and Teeth steals its fine share of the passions next, its dark vaudevillian devilry carrying an air of sadly demised circus punks The Shanklin Freak Show, further evidence of the host of spices in the King Colobus invention. The song as good as stalks its victim but relishing its creative invasion of ears and imagination with energy eager to consume its prey whilst, with virulent catchiness, recruiting their participation.

Final track Wait immediately reminds of nineties band Skyscraper, having their instinctive rock ‘n’ roll infectiousness and tenacity to command attention; invention and imagination blossoming in its success. Grooves and hooks tangle the senses as rhythms ground out an easily given submission to their insistent prowess, vocals leading it all with their own rousing presence.

It is a glorious end to a must hear release not only bringing King Colobus to wider attention for the first time but suggesting there is really something major brewing down on the south coast.

The King Colobus EP is out now through all stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Victoria+Jean – Divine Love

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From the gorgeous artwork by Russian artist Oleg Dou through to the cinematic seducing which escapes each and every song, Divine Love is creative beauty involved with an imagination which simple leaves the listener lost in fascination. The imagination comes from Victoria+Jean, the episodes of aural drama from their debut album, and the brooding romance between listener and artist from instincts that just know when something transcends just ear food.

The band is the artistic and romantic union of Swedish born vocalist Victoria and Belgian guitarist Jean. Brought up in London and moving to Paris where she began her first career as a model, Victoria was a musician at heart and was signed as a solo artist aged 16 by a French major label, though she broke her four-album deal before releasing her debut, unable to make the compromises demanded upon her by the label. Moving to Belgium she met Jean and the couple began a career “motivated by encounters, travels and sound.” We have simplified the background for and leading to the project and union of the pair, with not for the first or indeed last time, Divine Love demanding to be the focus of attention.

art_RingMasterReviewIn creating the album, the duo sent their 12 tracks to their favourite producers with the request of collaboration for the release. The list included the likes of John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors, Depeche Mode), Christopher Berg (The Knife), Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish), and Lucas Chauvière (De La Soul). As evidence of things being meant to be, each freely chose the same track Victoria+Jean had intended and hoped for them; a move and success which only adds to the album’s vastly diverse and eclectic character.

Divine Love opens with its title track and the duo’s new single. Within seconds the electronic mystique and ambience of the track has ears and imagination enthralled, the sixties cinematic drama in tone and air providing a great sense of mystery reinforced by the celestial caresses of Victoria’s mesmeric vocals. The gentle and elegant jangle of guitar equally brings rich suggestiveness to the enveloping theatre of dark charm and atmospheric tempting. There is no escaping a Portishead like essence to the bewitching encounter though equally artists like Propaganda and in a small way The Sugarcubes also offer their scent to its evocation.

It is a glorious start followed by the ridiculously irresistible Holly. From an initial lure of fuzzy guitar and mischievous beats, the song soon swings along with a virulent infectiousness which barely needs a handful of seconds to have hips swaying and spirit smiling. Victoria’s voice dances upon the compelling strands of sound, mixing composed moments with soaring harmonics as rhythms dance with addictive tenacity. As provocative in word as it is in sound, the track is sensational; growing with each twist of its musical theatre and lust inspiring alchemy.

Big Billie comes next, coaxing ears with raw blues guitar before thumping rhythms surround the tangy expressive tones of Victoria. Jean’s imagination continues to weave a sultry web of sound and enterprise to surround the tribal beats and descriptive vocals; a provocative blend playing like a mix of The Creatures and My Baby. Enthralling and igniting the senses it makes way for Until It Breaks and its brooding climate of sinister shadows and electronic espionage. As all songs, it has the imagination casting its own adventures to align with that of the song itself, sparking closer involvement between ears and song which is echoed again by Why Won’t You and its delta blues laced tango.

Across the fiery sonic and rhythmic trespass of Your Baby Don’t Know Me and Firecracker, things only get more boldly flirtatious and grouchily confrontational. The first is a prowling beast of a track with a touch of De Staat to its predacious noise rock infested waltz whilst its successor, while employing a similar dark rhythmic throb, courts techno fuelled ingenuity. It is a collusion which just gets more dynamic, agitated, and schizophrenic across its three body involving minutes, like its predecessor inciting a greedier appetite for Divine Love before a haunting beauty cast with a vibrant calm hugs ears through Härligt Sverige. Tantalising harmonies float around the poetic tones of Victoria, they skirted by resonating beats and the low key repetitive niggle of guitars. Winy tendrils vein the piece too; Jean creating an increasingly climactic drama matched by the vocal emotion equally gripping attention.

Ears and pleasure become engrossed in more blues bred invention through Takes You Like A Rose and Where We Belong next, the latter tempering the flavour with a bewitching folk seeded hug of melody and harmony before creating a tempestuous showdown of sound and emotive theatre. It is a glorious slice of aural cinema, again visual interpretation quickly inspired by the song and indeed Pull The Trigger which follows. Rhythms and percussive enterprise tease and play with ears before hitting an imposing stride entangled in sonic and vocal imagination. Anthemic and intimate within every writhing twist and turn of its excellent proposal, the track is like a hex on body and thought.

Closing with the epic spatial and atmospheric romancing of Define Love, an immersion into electronic and vocally harmonic reflection, Divine Love is one of the most enthralling and in turn invigorating releases heard in a long time. Every song provides an individual and compelling exploration still revealing fresh rewards after numerous listens. The album has plenty for fans of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, ambience and electronica, pop and dance and with a host of videos also accompanying each song, Divine Love is nothing less than essential listening and viewing.

Divine Love is released April 29th via FY Records at https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/divine-love/id1089239770?app=itune and across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

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Le Butcherettes – A Raw Youth

photo credit- Monica Lozano

photo credit- Monica Lozano

Contagious and fierce, diversely imaginative and aggressively bold, A Raw Youth is punk rock at its best. In sound it might not always seem so but in attitude and uncompromising nature it is a rebel, a confrontation to match its theme, which is best described by the words of Teri Gender Bender, “The focus of the album is the recurring conflict between minorities (the raw youths) and society: The oppressor and the oppressed,” the vocalist adding “Each song is a different story of a youth from a different time era. Some of them want to die because their faith in humanity has ended, some want to fight the authority, think outside themselves.

The new album from Mexico based Le Butcherettes also roars with a celebratory air and rousing enterprise, a quality ensuring each track not only hits the spot musically and lyrically but leaves a lingering web of temptation for body and emotions. That will not really be a major surprise to fans of the band, their previous albums Sin Sin Sin of 2011 and last year’s Cry Is For The Flies especially, bulging riots of gripping sound and middle finger combat, but fair to say the trio of Gender Bender, drummer Chris Common (These Arms Are Snakes) and bassist Jamie Aaron Aux have pushed the creative intensity and adventure on again with A Raw Youth. The band’s third, and as its predecessors, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez produced, the album is their finest incitement yet, a rebel rousing slice of primal, thought provoking rock ‘n’ roll.

It all begins with Shave The Pride, a growling punk bred encounter quickly availing ears of grouchy riffs and the ever appealing tones of Gender Bender. Common’s beats frame the union with zest whilst Aux’s bass just snarls its way into the passions. The song itself never meanders from a cantankerous tone and infectious stride through ears, leaving greater adventure to those to come but easily makes for a stirring and anthemic start which has ears and appetite wide awake and ready for tracks like My Mallely which follows. Discord kissed melodies from keys opens up the swift attention grabber, bass and guitars again adding their irritable bait before the compelling and ever distinct tones of Gender Bender enrich ears. The infectious swagger of the song, driven by the excellent addictive nature of Common’s rhythms, has a 4 Non Blondes feel to it backed by warm keys which just slip over the senses with emotive temptation.

Le Butcherettes A Raw Youth Cover_RingMaster Review   From one major highlight to another pair in Reason to Die Young and La Uva. The first seduces and bellows like a blend of PJ Harvey and a restrained Lene Lovich, voice and sound effortlessly inciting body and emotions with its tempestuous yet wholly virulent, slightly No Doubt like, blaze. Within it that an off kilter enticing adds a great unpredictability which is fully explored more in its successor. The fourth track on the album is a maze of textures and inventive sound entwining with and bouncing off the superb vocal union between the siren-esque harmonics of Gender Bender and the dark, lordly tones of guest Iggy Pop. Like De Staat meets Bauhaus with the devilment of a 6:33 infused, the track is a gloriously sinister and gripping fascination; a union of dark and light, warped power and innocence.

The outstanding Sold Less Than Gold keeps the lusty emotions inflamed again with its sixties pop meets indie revelry. A song looking on women who are sold into marriages or sex slavery, it is an invigorating flame of catchy rhythms, warm vocals, and bracing horns within a bouncy canter and energy in which potently reflects the resilience in the spirits of those enslaved.

Tantalising tones over a fuzzy landscape provides the next recruitment of feet and imagination in the shape of Stab My Back, its punchy touch and defiant nature ebbing and flowing with greater voracity across its four minutes before the aggression of They Fuck You Over ensures things get even scuzzier and antagonistically fiercer. A storm of punk and garage rock, it brawls with the listener yet has them on the dance-floor too. It with raw zeal uncages a contagion of addiction which in its own distinct way is matched by Witchless C Spot. Atmospherically immersive and haunting, the track wraps the senses like a dry mist initially, the voice of Gender Bender hypnotic in presence and word, before stalking textures and suggestiveness boil over in a fiery but controlled crescendo. It is a tempting repeating again, with the calm after holding more spicy additives second time around.

The Hitch Hiker is a riveting duet between the two protagonists within the narrative of the excellent encounter, Gender Bender taking both sides against saucy keys with an Oingo Boingo essence to them, and the ever welcome trespass of bass and swinging beats. Again the band has bodies out of their seats with ease whilst inciting thought, the lyrical writing and prowess of the vocalist as cutting and potent as the sounds relishing their input. It is a quality of course shown again in the transfixing Lonely & Drunk, a song far more hard hitting than on first appearances and increasingly magnetic with its golden melodies and predatory rhythms.

A favourite moment of the album comes with Oil The Shoe If The Critter Knew Any Better, a funk punk stroll of garage rock tenacity and psych rock hues which is as masterful prowling the imagination as it is venting its full energy and rapacious intent. The track just hits the spot leaving closing song My Half a tough job to match. Fair to say it does not quite find that success yet with the featured John Frusciante bringing his majestic fingers on steely strings to the bluesy/psyche mix, the album is provided with a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive end.

Le Butcherettes continue to burn the imagination and the issues of the world with their ravenous maelstrom of rock ‘n’ roll and A Raw Youth is their latest plateau of craft and imagination. There is always a smile when something new from the band arrives and their new album shows exactly why; one highly recommended proposal for you all.

A Raw Youth is available via Ipecac Recordings from September 18th via through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2015

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Billy Momo – Drunktalk

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Following the acclaimed success of the single I’ve Got You, Swedish urban-folk collective Billy Momo unveil the title track of their upcoming second album Drunktalk. The band’s new song is a riveting and dramatically seductive embrace of folk intimacy and country ambience with a rhythmic and invention which is almost De Staat like in its imagination and Helldorado in its atmospheric ingenuity. Also seemingly drawing on the melodic richness of Broken Bells, the single is an engrossing treat to start off 2015 and simply ignites even greater anticipation for the band’s impending album.

Billy Momo is the brainchild of Tomas Juto and Oskar Hovell. Initially just the duo, the band swiftly drew potent attention and praise with the release of debut album Ordinary Men on Christmas Eve 2011 through their own Mobetter Music label, the record eventually getting a re-release via Hype Music in 2013 to greater success. The pair soon realised they needed to bring in 10881589_10152485803824071_4577033260872051476_nlike-minded musicians to take their music into the live arena with the addition of Tony Lind, Mårten Forssman, Oscar Harryson, Christopher Anderzon, and Andreas Prybil eventually completing the creative line-up which has already seduced their homeland and is working quietly but potently away on the UK scene thanks to the last single and live shows. Drunktalk is another inescapable temptation destined to light ears and appetites ready for the February release of its full-length namesake.

Drunktalk opens on a clunky ticking and heavy swipe of chains, a portentous almost industrial incitement which immediately teases the imagination before a winy twang of guitar and sultry vocal union cast their embrace on ears and attention. The startling and imposing presence of that opening ‘clang’ continues its baiting from within the brooding and provocatively melodic and expanding landscape draping the equally enthralling narrative. With strings adding broader and deeper shadows to the texture of the song and radiant harmonies aligned to evocative keys thickening its emotional drama and colour, Drunktalk provides an intoxication of senses and thoughts whilst creating a rich tapestry of vocal and musical expression.

The single is a temptation which lingers and worms into the psyche with increasing potency, building on the impressive presence of its predecessor but exploring a greater inventive aural theatre. Quite simply it is a glorious taster for an album which cannot come soon enough.

Drunktalk is available digitally via Hype Music from January 5th.

https://www.facebook.com/billymomomusic

RingMaster 03/01/2015

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Snack Family – Pokie Eye EP

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It is not often you get a real tingle in the ‘loins’ as a band tempts the ears for the first time, but there is no doubting the lustful response UK rockers Snack Family inspired with their deliciously warped Pokie Eye EP. Casting a sound which could be described as gothic blues but fits better the description of The Birthday Party in its early days meeting Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers in a sultry and unhinged embrace with The Fat Dukes Of Fuck and Melvins, the release is a unique and rebellious slice of rock ‘n’ roll derangement and inescapably addictive.

Hailing from London and formed in 2011, the trio of Andrew Plummer (baritone guitar/ vocals), James Allsopp (saxophone/key), and Tom Greenhalgh (drums) swiftly and understandably drew references of Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, and Morphine with their startling invention, as well as an eagerly growing attention. Debut release, the Belly EP lit new fires earlier this year which Pokie Eye inflames again with its own rich tonic of Southern bred creative dementia. Recorded with Ben Lamdin at Fish Market Studio, London and wrapped in the striking artwork of conceptual artist Drew Millward (Gallows, Pulled Apart By Horses, Oceanside), Pokie Eye is a wake-up call for the imagination, psyche, and sonic insanity.

Lupine Kiss is first, swinging in on groove infected keys and mischievous beats all lit by jazzy flames of brass. It is an immediate trap soon developing a hazy seduction and virulent toxicity as a thick tang infiltrates grooves and the highly evocative sax temptation. The song soon nudges thoughts of films like The Monster Club and From Dusk Till Dawn, it casting the imagination in a jazz fuelled, liquor soaked nightclub dwelt by the most salacious dangers and evil seductions possible. The song swerves tantalisingly with its melodic curves whilst the crispy high-hat sound is simply tantalising persuasion amidst the devilment of the rhythms. Leading it all like a devious bartender is the gruff crazily alluring tones of Plummer, his delivery as fascinating and irresistible as the creative loco around him.

The track is a riveting enslavement soon emulated in its own wholly distinct nature by Plastic Factory, a cover of the Captain Beefheart classic. Within seconds the song is strolling with sf_pokie_eye_frontbulging beats and flirtatious sax temptation but wrapped in a sinister and darkly enticing air, its fiery rock ‘n’ roll tempered by the prowling stance of the song and the heavy basslines courting the gravelly vocals. It is a blaze of aural salaciousness, especially from Allsopp’s sax which when really inflamed reminds big time of the kind of brilliant discord cloaked revelry Essential Logic conjured back in the seventies.

No Reason is a journey into the darkest and menacing corners of the mind and Snack Family’s invention, the song a slow swarming croon of a proposition embracing the heavy smoky Cash like tones of Plummer. It is stuff of your darkest dreams, a brilliant noir drenched, jazz bred smoulder of primal seducing and imagination. Keys resonate as indefinable sounds simply colour the drama, the track enthralling and immersive but most of all just brilliant, though it is soon surpassed by the closing revelry of Pokie Eye Poke Ya. The final song is psychotic manna, from the first flirtation of sax soon joined by a contagion of rhythms which in turn ignite a Cajun kissed jangle of strings and vocal rampancy, the track is simply sensational. Percussion and beats are as psychotic as the sounds dancing with lost inhibitions around them, a mix recalling again Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers but also Dutch band De Staat. It is rock ‘n’ roll devilment, a lunacy as controlled and resourceful as it is manic, and easily one of, if not the best song heard this year.

Pokie Eye is a must for all those with a taste for the references offered here or anything from blues rock, psychobilly…well simply rock ‘n’ roll of any slightly off kilter colour and ingenuity. Snack Family just might be our new favourite band and we suggest they may be yours too.

The Pokie Eye EP is available from December 6th via Limited Noise @ http://snackfamily.bandcamp.com/album/pokie-eye and through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

http://snackfamily.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/snackfamilymusic

RingMaster 05/12/2104

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De Staat – Vinticious Versions

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There is such an originality and warped invention to the music of Dutch alternative rockers De Staat that you wonder if they have any idea what is going to happen or know their intentions when starting on the journey of creating each adventure. It is what sets the band apart from the rest and makes them one of the truly and persistently unique propositions, as evidenced by their previous trio of acclaimed albums, and some of the most deviously memorable and lingering, psyche infecting songs. Now the band unleash new EP Vinticious Versions, a virulently addictive collection of re-worked tracks taken from those three albums, I_CON (2013), Machinery (2011), and Wait for Evolution (2009). The band twists and re-interprets the eights tracks making up the release, giving them new characters, fresh mischief, and mouth-watering devilry for another seriously compelling and fun proposition from the band.

Listening to Vinticious Versions is like venturing through secret doors and passage ways within familiar surroundings, finding yourself inside and at the heart of each proposition where you find an alter-ego or private fantasy of what the song would like to be just once in a while. Vocalist/guitarist Torre Florim sums it up best when he says, “the EP takes you on a trip down an alternative pathway with familiar surroundings…something that is a little more dark and delicious”. The concept for the EP came from the band being asked to play radio sessions and small in-store shows, this inspiring De Staat to imagine and craft different versions of their songs to play. What has emerged is a release which combining a ‘retro feel’ to its recordings, flirts and dances with the imagination like an old friend revealing their deepest kinkiness.

     Get It Together starts things off, an instant dramatic lure opening the door to an exotically populated dance floor of popping beats and sultry vocal harmonies courted by similarly heated sounds. An oriental air caresses each note and CGR7452sonic flirtation whilst bubbly melodies swing with the wiles of an insatiable temptress. It is as irresistible a seduction of sound as you can get, or so you think as its toys with the passions but then the pure intrusive lures of Build That, Buy That have not had their say at this point. A dulled vocal countdown is the lead into a ridiculously contagious stroll of almost childlike melodic simplicity and ingenious unpredictability. Even if new to the song it will be barely seconds before feet are leaping without mental direction and voice trying to join the ridiculously captivating call of the brilliant track. A creative shuffle where sounds and voices are as skittish and inventively lively as a backside on an ant hill, the song is an anthem to party though that applies to all De Staat songs on the EP and as a whole.

Input Source Select sways in next, its sultry curves rubbing seductively on ears as bulging beats and punchy vocals tantalise and spark the imagination. Reminding of nineties UK band Honky, the track is an old school hip hop seeded romp with a colourfully creative haze to its seventies fascination of sound. It is to be fair the norm that no one De Staat song is like another but no more so apparent than on the EP, as proven again by the next up Down Town, a noir hued climate of smouldering Tarantino like drama and melodic elegance. Every heat spilling note from guitarist Vedran Mircetic and keyboardist Rocco Bell comes with their own creative smokiness whilst the vocals of Florim are as dark throated and gripping as the heavy seduction of Jop van Summeren’s bass and the jabbing beats of Tim van Delft. Completed by a siren-esque breeze of female vocals, the song slips around ears and thoughts like a lover’s caress.

The humid reggae spawned swagger of All Is Dull comes next, its cheeky body swerving with the guile of a feline provocateur as vocals align their similarly magnetic and varied croons for an already greedy appetite filling incitement. It makes way for the slow funk fuelled sexually inflamed flight of Devil’s Blood, a track to make ladies swoon and men daydream. Again it has a rich and tasty sixties/seventies breath to sound and vocal persuasion, lighting senses and emotions ready for the glorious surf rock brilliance of Sweatshop. One of our all-time favourites songs, expectations were as excited as they were fearful on how the band would take on their classic. Within its opening distinctive twang doubts were banished as sweltering warmth of keys and guitar scythes swooped with as mentioned a surf bred temptation. Like B-52s meets Yello but still like nothing before or after it, the track like a psychedelically enhanced loner dancing intimately with themselves on the dance-floor, it pulsates and glows with celestial charm and inescapable teasing.

The release is completed by the sinew flexing pulsation of Wait For Evolution, another track hinting at hip hop inspirations whilst immersing its warped ingenuity with funk lined revelry and providing an enthralling end to a treat of an encounter. It is probably right to say that no track eclipses the originals but many come very close to equalling their might and all leave pleasure rampant and hunger for new De Staat fun as impatient and insatiable as ever.

The Vinticious Versions EP is available now digitally, and in CD and vinyl versions via Cool Green Recordings/Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/destaat-vinticiousversions.html

http://www.destaat.net/

RingMaster 24/11/2014

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