Lody Kong – Dreams and Visions

Photo-Joey Nugent

Photo-Joey Nugent

Let us get the most publicised aspect about Lody Kong out of the way first. The Arizona based band is the creation of Zyon and Igor Cavalera, the sons of Sepultura/Soulfly/Cavalera Conspiracy famed Max Cavalera and brother of Incite frontman Richie Cavalera.

Now to the important bit; the release of the band’s blistering and increasingly impressing debut album Dreams and Visions. It is a ten track infestation of the senses as debilitating as it is invigorating as it uncages ravenous tempests forged in sludge thick, raw metal toned raging infused with punk belligerence and fuelled by post and hardcore causticity. Band and album challenges ears and incite the imagination at every turn with an array of invasive textures and flavours uniting in rabid exploits which generalising as psychotic punk ‘n’ roll would not be to deceptive.

Formed in 2011, the Phoenix hailing Lody Kong soon made a potent mark the following year with debut EP, No Rules. It was an introduction to the quartet of guitarist John Bauer, bassist Shanks, vocalist/guitarist Igor, and drummer Zyon reinforced and more by the band’s part in the 2013 US/Canada/European Maximum Cavalera tour and more recently last year’s Cavalera Conspiracy US tour. Now it is the turn of their eagerly awaited debut album to stoke up broad attention and for the major reasons of sound and fierce invention rather than band personnel.

The album opens with the outstanding Chillin’, Killin’; a venomous assault of a track offering searing bait from its first breath. That sonic intrusion soon erupts into an antagonistic rumble of raw riffs and hostile rhythms urged on by the emotive scowls of Igor. Piercing repetitive grooves only add to the compelling and exhaustive incitement, shifts in the predatory state of the track’s gait and character increasing its irresistible lure with a full throttle thrash kissed charge simply icing on the scintillating cake.

art_RingMasterReviewThe album’s title track keeps the grip on pleasure and appetite just as tight, its bruising weight and cantankerous intensity carrying an air of Pigs and Discharge to its irritable storm. It too is a song which twists through a host of inventive changes and detours, leaving a lingering psyche infesting dark presence and tempting which carries on into the likes of the emotively and sonically cancerous Kreative Center and the stalking animus of Pig In The Pen. The first of the two chews the senses with its nagging riffs whilst hooks and wiry grooves vein the scything swings of Zyon which cross another bestially toned bass trespass by Shanks. It is an unrelenting pressure of sound matched in its individual way by its successor whose initial doomy prowl soon expands into tar like sludge voracity interspersed with frenzied canters of energetic animosity.

Both tracks are spiteful punk rock with the virulence of numerous styles involved, much like the body of the bad-blooded Rumsfield where again band and sound enjoyably crush the senses with their creative and emotive jaundice. As across the album, there are moments of familiar hues and textures running headlong into ears yet each and every time their appearance is woven into something fresh, inventively damaging, and individual to Lody Kong.

Smashed and Blasted is proof as it presents its own hellacious and intensely imposing proposal next. The track is arguably the heaviest and most merciless on the release yet one with a host of imaginative hooks and sonic enterprise which hints as much at post punk and noise rock as it embraces extreme metal and post hardcore ferocity. Its thick enticement is followed and eclipsed by the predacious crawl of Some Pulp. There is liveliness to the song’s attack though it clambers over the senses rather than charges them, vocals and citric grooves the lead bait in its animalistic stalking with again numerous unexpected and incendiary twists.

Through the excellent old school punk/grunge feud of The Dangerous Quest and the dirty and schizophrenic Pistols-esque rock ‘n’ roll of Topaz, the album adds more aspects to its increasingly adventurous character. There are no major deviations from the heart of the songs before, but each explores another inventive hue and discord nurtured variation which continues with the closing sludge ’n’ roll consumption of the senses cast by Venomous Kool-Aid. It is a suffocating weave of thrash and doom metal with classic and hard rock strands, the guitars of John and Igor almost flirting with their bitterness laced craft around the latter’s rasping tones.

Though for personal tastes the loftiest highlights are found in the first two thirds of the album, Dreams and Visions is an unrelenting rousing of body and spirit, and indeed the debilitating devourer of both, which simply leaves a want for more from start to finish.

Dreams and Visions is out now via Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/lody-kong-dreams-and-visions-cd.html

https://www.facebook.com/lodykong7   https://twitter.com/lodykong

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2016

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Human Bodies/Leather Chalice – Split

HB cover art_RingMaster Review

In a union to scar the psyche and corrupt the senses, Broken Limbs Recordings have unleashed a 7” vinyl split release between New England hailing Human Bodies and Leather Chalice, a hellacious proposal of pure black metal malevolence and rancorous hardcore viciousness. These are two bands building a potent name for themselves and they do their reputation no harm wit this intensively rabid encounter. The four-track EP is painfully corrosive and fuelled by creative hate, but if that is your recipe to bliss, then this is an encounter demanding keen attention.

Human Bodies_RingMaster Review     The first two tracks come from the Boston foursome of guitarists/vocalists Terzakis and Gabe, bassist Jason, and drummer Dan, collectively known as Human Bodies. The band began in the October of 2013 as a studio project, developing over time into a fuller line-up and live presence to go with the well-received No Life cassette EP of last year. Just off of a successful full US tour, Human Bodies entangle ears in a rhythmic web as their first offering on the split, Only the Sigh feistily prowls into view. Energy and intensity continue to rise as a bestial bassline colludes with sonic hostility where guitars are ravenous and vocals raw intrusive squalls. It is an uncompromising attack yet has a swing and swagger to it which welcomes body and attention as much as its sonic trespass tries to defile them. It is lethal contagion and an outstanding start to the release which runs straight into a similarly alluring violation in the caustic shape of Malice Prepense. Repetitious beats and riffs again entice and spark a healthy appetite whilst a doomy cancerous breath smothers the listener to simultaneously temper the virulence but increase the potency of the whole malicious incitement.

Leather Chalice is the solo blackened punk project of Jann from Ramlord, who brings inspirations from Venom, Discharge, and “depression and Leather Chalice_RingMaster Reviewtotal defeat of the human spirit by modernism” into his ruinous tempests of blackened punk loathing. Good Intentions (Coming Home I) is his first offering, an abrasion of erosive and raw cancerous morbidity which is as fearsome as it is sonically compelling, whilst Last Gifts of Worship (Coming Home II) takes all the enmity of the previous song and twists it into an even harsher and surprisingly catchy enticing. Of course that infectiousness lies beneath a tsunami of ill-will and rancorous intent which to swim through is as painful as it is rewarding.

Only The Sigh might have emerged as just the favourite track here but between them Human Bodies and Leather Chalice uncage four dangerous and highly enjoyable onslaughts which fans of black metal, hardcore, and violent post punk should take a deep breath and dive deeply into.

The Human Bodies/Leather Chalice Split is available now on Ltd Ed 7” vinyl via Broken Limbs Recordings in co-operation with Prison Tatt Records.

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2015

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Plug – Back On The Skull

plug

With more hip grinding grooves than a dozen pole dancing establishments, and certainly heavier boned treats, Back On The Skull the debut album from Texan noise rockers Plug enslaves and dances with the passions in exhausting and riveting style. With jackhammer rhythms powering ridiculously addictive grooves and equally seductive riffs, the eleven track juggernaut creates a loud and virulently compelling storm which is far too easy to greedily devour to surely be safe for any of us.

Formed in 2010 and consisting of ex and current members of Mammoth Grinder, Iron Age, Bitter End, FEED, and The Mites, Plug merges a voracious mix of noise and hard rock with metallic sinews and punk antagonism whilst stoner and psychedelic enticements add their  seduction. It is an exhaustive and breath-taking brew which simply ignites the imagination and passion. Imagine a tonic being made up from the essences of Unsane, Melvins, Torche, Red Fang, and Helmet whilst Dead Kennedys pees in the pot and you get a reasonably close dose to what Plug has to offer. It is a sound which is not exactly unique but neither is it without a distinctive flavour and intrigue of its very own, Back On The Skull working and playing hard from the moment it touches the ears and rewarding with a torrent of mouth-watering intensity and noisy drama clad adventure.

The San Antonio quintet of vocalist Tyler Lutz, guitarists Scott Corbin and Zach Brin, drummer Raul Vela IV, and Chris Ulsh of Mammoth Grinder, Power Trip, Hatred Surge, and The Impalers who provides the bass guitar for the album (Reed Deangelis the band’s current bassist), immediately chomp on the ears with opener Babysmile. Riffs and rhythms are almost grinning as they launch their muscular persuasion; a mischief soaking their thumping lure which evolves into a full swagger as the track extends its temptation with a rousing stroll through infection soaked grooving aligned to rhythmic taunting. The vocals of Lutz match the call of the music and with all aspects making an anthemic union, there is an irresistible recruitment of total attention and submission from its recipient.

     Meanwhile… is more than eager to back-up the immense start, its own wanton romp swinging brazenly between rhythmic coverlegs as grooves and riffs again cast a spell of noise bred contagion for a minute and a half before evolving into the title track. Bringing a heavier weighted energy and intent, the third song stalks its victim with a leaden prowl wrapped in scuzz lilted melodies and harmonically scorched vocals. There is an element of The Pixies and more so Melvins to the smouldering intensive bait on show but again it only flavours a magnetic sonic causticity distinct to Plug.

A potent bass coaxing opens up next track Rainbow To Hell, the song continuing the arguably subtle shifts in character through the early tracks on the album but equally increasing that variety with its sludge coated predation of the imagination. A slower burner than its predecessors, the immersive encounter employs further detailed yet restrained twists and turns in its invention within a patient consumption. It does not quite match those early heights either but easily reinforces the appetite ready for the likes of the following cover of Discharge’s State Violence, State Control. Bringing a greater carnivorous breath through the guitars to the song to replace the more violent aggression of the original, it is a satisfying provocation though it pales against the bands own tempting.

     Pigbomb and Cadence steal their hefty portion of the acclaim next, the first rife with intensive rabidity and discord lined scuzziness as well as another groove and collection of hooks to drool over whilst the second is a sultry psychedelic/stoner flight through a heated climate of melodic exploration. Though another not to make a quick suasion, it is an absorbing drift through evocative textures and new intrigue from the release. Their allurement is soon pushed aside by the outstanding Hideous Rex, a ravenous track which does not rush its attack but unrelentingly nags with dark rapacious riffs and a hefty atmosphere which feels like it is licking its bulging lips as it smothers the senses.

A great cover of the Fang track The Money Will Roll Right In steps up next, its sonic grazing speared by another addiction forging groove and great squalling vocals, before the rampancy of Mexican Death Hammer unleashes its claim for best track with a torrent of bruising riffs and crippling rhythms spiced with a sonic web of discord leaning crafted invention. It is a glorious incitement for the passions and does indeed steal top honours from a flood of exceptional encounters.

The release is completed by the epic Sphere 3, a nine minute dronathon of menacing intensity and invasive sonic toxicity washed over by spellbinding vocal harmonies. It is a meditative danger which seduces from first doom seeping note to its last corrosive breath, and though for personal tastes probably a couple of minutes too long to hold attention tightly nearing its end, the track is a dark beauty of an evocation to end a scintillating release.

Available as a buy now name your price release at their Bandcamp profile, Back On The Skull is an epidemically riveting and thrilling encounter which thrusts Plug right up there with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Buzzov*en, Orange Goblin and the like. This is an album all riff hankerers must add to their sonic landscapes.

http://plug.bandcamp.com/album/back-on-the-skull

https://www.facebook.com/PLUGLIVES

9/10

RingMaster 13/12/2013

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Keyside Strike/Rust– Olde Worlde-New World split 7”

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A rigorous bruising of dirty uncompromising punk rock, the Olde Worlde-New World split 7” is one of those releases which slaps you around the chops and lifts the spirits as only the purest form of the genre can. Featuring UK punks Keyside Strike and Australian aural rioters Rust, the five track EP leaves emotions and thoughts drenched in aggressive intent whilst basking in raw stringent punk at its antagonistic height.

Released via Rebel Sound Music, the raucousness starts with two tracks from Rust. Hailing from Sydney, the band formed in 2005 and Rustfeatures members from some of Australia’s most prominent punk rock bands from over the years including Crucified Venus, Crankcase, Rule 303, World War 24, and Black Rose. The band is no stranger to acclaim back home and further afield from live performances which has seen them veterans of three UK tours and recently their first around America, as well as sharing stages with the likes of Dead Kennedys, GBH, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, The Exploited, UK Subs, DOA, The Business, Sham 69, Rose Tattoo, The Varukers, The Vibrators and many more. With equally potent responses to their releases, especially the 2010 album Lean Mean Street Machine and Oi Oi Aussie Rock & Roll live, Rust now offer two striking tracks to Olde Worlde-New World, starting with Send My Love From England. An opening throaty bass croon immediately grips attention and more, its coaxing irresistible and soon joined by the caustic riffs and strikes of guitar within a punching rhythmic testing. With the kind of punk vocal delivery you almost expect with old school bred assaults, the track offers strong magnetic hooks and excellent anthemic moments to seize full vocal and body co-operation from the listener. It is a great start, a song with no surprises but one that ticks all the boxes for a deeply pleasing slab of punk antagonism

Their second offering is a cover of The Specials track Concrete Jungle, another undeniably enterprising and enjoyable swipe across the jaw. With a sinew driven rhythmic frame close to the original but more exploratory flames of guitar invention rousing the spirits within one of its creators most memorable stomps, it is impossible not to swept up in its riotous but respectful barging. Rust have taken the already punk element of the song and given it freedom to shape its own riveting romp with an oi rampancy, the result we suggest one of the best covers this year.

Keyside Strike    Taking over on the EP, Darlington trio Keyside Strike create tempests of punk infused with dirty rock ‘n’ roll, blues, hardcore, and psychobilly. Formed in 2002 their sound is one which stomps on the senses whilst plucking the passions with irresistible hooks, all within again a brawling maelstrom of roughly imposing energy and invigorating urgency. Their two albums and numerous appearances on compilations has made the band one of the true rock ‘n’ roll bands in the Northeast of England whilst their impressive live shows has seen them share stages with bands such as The Business, Murphy’s Law, Street Dogs, UK Subs, Demented Are Go!, Discharge, Madball, Demon City Wreckers, Stitch Hopeless And The Sea Leg and loads more across the UK, Europe, and America.

The band instantly snarl and rampage from within the split EP with Back From Hell, the track an avalanche of barbaric beats, caustic riffs, and squalling grouchy vocals. Immediately the fury is like a violation from a banding together of Motorhead, Offspring, Discharge, and The Pirates. With the song already making the fullest persuasion, the waspish niggling grooves and vocals tension honed into anthem causing chants only secure a long term appetite which is fed to even greater heights by the following Knives, the best song on the EP. Bulging drum beats open up the passions to gripping effect and are soon leading the senses into a psychobilly honed bait flavoured to greater potency by the menacing blazes of guitar and rising swells of sonic invention not forgetting a predatory bass stalk and great vocal gruffness which are simply enslaving. In full stride the song grips with infectious hooks and a vibrant jaw which flings the imagination and emotions around like a submissive carcass, whilst the Therapy? like carnivorous seduction of primal voracity breeds lustful addiction to the rioting predation.

The final offering is Youth (Y2K), a cover of a track by The Blitz and a closing slice of pure old school punk which you just cannot resist adding voice and fist strikes to as it ignites nostalgic rapture with its raw simplicity and uncluttered, uncompromising punk rock hymn. It makes a great finish to an excellent release featuring two bands which from strangers will trigger a wealth of new attention and for fans simply confirm what they knew for ages, Rust and Keyside Strike are two outstanding impressive punk bands.

https://www.facebook.com/rustpunk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keyside-Strike/146906715382167

8/10

RingMaster 10/10/2013

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Antagonising the quiet: an interview with Fuckshovel

F-shovel

February 18th sees the release of an album from powerful and incendiary UK rock band Fuckshovel, which is quite simply a masterful brawl of irresistible rock n roll. An insatiable muscular pleasure, This Is What We Are incites and thrills with every rampant note to leave the listener breathless, exhilarated, and ready to take on the world. The London quartet has worked long and hard to bring the album to the world and such its impressive quality it feels like it will be the trigger to a massive year for the band. Obviously we wanted to find out more about band and album so did not need asking twice when offered the opportunity to question the band…

Hi Guys and welcome to The RingMaster Review. We are on the eve of the release of your debut album ‘This Is What We Are‘, how are things emotionally in the Fuckshovel camp?

We’re just about holding it together! It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride making this album. It’s taken a long time and we’ve put so much into it both physically and mentally. For us up to now it has always seemed like it’s on the drawing board, so to finally be putting it out there seems bizarre, like the end of an era. Maybe the release is the closure we need to get on with the next album!

The first single from the album Schizophonic certainly brewed up a fevered anticipation for the album, as represented by the enormous reception when playing the track on The Bone Orchard podcast. Has its success and deserved acclaim, made you less tense and more confident for the album’s introduction to the world?

Well to be honest, we know that the playing is good and we’re confident in the songs so the only thing we’re really concerned about is finding enough people who agree with us! Reviews and the like are so subjective it’s not something we can control so we try not to worry about it too much.

Before talking more about ‘This Is What We Are’, tell us how Fuckshovel began and those early days starting out?

The original plan was basically Jon, Ian and another mate (Kermit) getting together with a couple of mates and playing for a bit of fun. For various reasons this never really happened so John and Dave were recruited to the good ship Shovel. We started writing and gigging immediately and got some good reviews and feedback but it was quite difficult to settle on a sound that we were all happy with. Eventually we parted company with Kerm and began writing material that suited the remaining four of us.

What is the history of the band members previous to the band?

Many and varied: Dave (Virago – drums) played with Cradle of Filth, did the MTV Awards with Basement Jaxx and more recently appeared with Dizzee Rascal. John (Faulkner – bass) was formally with Latch and played on a couple of tracks on the first Plan B album, Ian (Fisher – guitar) was in Decimator and before doing this Jon (Stone – vocals) was working with Laurence Archer (Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam & UFO).

Many bands have been raised as having essences in your music, including Discharge, Anthrax, and Ministry. For us your distinct ??????????sound held strong whispers of Therapy?, The Wildhearts, and definitely Ruts. Any of those fair and what are the major influences which inspired you as musicians and band?

As you can see from our previous histories we’ve got quite a disparate bunch of influences. For instance, Ian is into old school thrash, punk and Eminem! Jon likes Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden and Killing Joke. John would cite Deftones, Rage Against The Machine and the Bronx while Dave is a big Pantera and Alice In Chains fan. And we all agree on Slayer. And Peter & The Test Tube Babies! From our first rehearsal we wrote new stuff without ever knowingly incorporated any of our influences into the overall Shovel sound so whatever we sound like is just us playing what we enjoy; which is generally the sort of noise made by the bands you mention. So yeah, those references are fair in as much as Therapy? and The Wildhearts go for an aggressive sound with strong melodies, which is something we aim for.  The Ruts is a niche reference but we’ll take that – Babylon’s Burning is one of the very few covers we’ve ever bothered to learn!

Obviously we have to ask about the brilliantly provocative band name. It smacks you in the face like your sounds with energy and mischief, any problems or restrictions come because of it though, especially in the regard of radio play?

It can be slightly problematic! As most bands will tell you the hardest thing to agree on is the name – we had the name before we’d even rehearsed so we were lumbered with it from day one! We’ve had radio play from BBC Radio 6 (Bruce Dickinson’s show), XFM (Ian Camfield and John Kennedy) and the likes of Total Rock so it’s not impossible but they do tend to call us F-Shovel which might make us slightly harder to track down. We had the video for Long Time Dead on Headbangers Ball quite regularly too so it can be done.

You have already grabbed strong attention both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, how did you come to play over in America?

Quite simply, we applied to showcase at SXSW and got accepted. It was a bit of a shock! We did it all off our own back so we probably didn’t get as much out of it as the more established bands… having said that, we did get a big crowd at the main showcase and a really good reaction too. It was great fun but not as fruitful as we’d hoped.

Fuckshovel cover artworkBack to This Is What We Are, an album which for us ‘is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing’. Do you have any set intent when writing songs?

Mainly we try to write to keep all four of us happy and as the meeting of our influences is generally in the aggressive section of the Venn diagram that’s what usually comes out. Plus, obviously, being called Fuckshovel does tend to mean we weed out the power ballads quite early in the writing process!

There is an open defiance and inciting attitude to your music, what predominately inspires your ideas?

People and politics (with a small ‘p’. And sometimes a big ‘P’). Basically, anything we get worked up about. Lyrically they deal with subjects like the nanny-state (Portia’s Box), people letting their lives drift by (Long Time Dead) and the mongrel nature of society (Schizophonic). Germs of Empire is a line from the novel Heart of Darkness and is about the nature and genesis of tyranny (or so Jon tells us!)

 Did the tracks and album emerge from the studio how you envisaged going into its realm or did they evolve further?

Well, this is the second time we’ve actually recorded the album so they’ve definitely evolved! We originally had the album pretty much done and nearly dusted but when we listened back we’d got so immersed in the whole studio technology thing that we’d lost the band, so we scrapped it, which was quite time-consuming… And expensive! We went back to basics, took the songs apart, reworked some, dropped others completely and started again.  So when we began tracking we were pretty sure we had all the sections as we wanted them. We allowed ourselves one week for all the tracking and did the vocals and overdubs later.  The vocals were predominantly recorded in our rehearsal space which gave us time to play around and experiment with them so they definitely evolved.

How did you record the album? The songs have such a live and organic feel it suggests they maybe were recorded live so how did you lay down the tracks?

That was the initial aim. As we mentioned earlier, we were very concerned with capturing the sound of the band playing live. Long Time Dead and Skull &Bones were definitely done live. The rest were a combination of live and layers.  Although, we did institute a 3 takes rule for everybody. And sometimes we stuck to it.

Is there any particular moment on the album which brings the deepest tingle and feeling of pride personally?

Probably the little things that you wouldn’t notice or know about if you hadn’t been involved in making the album:

Our children all shouting ‘You’re not one of us!’ in Auslander, the various musical parts all played by different people visiting the studio e.g. Jon’s daughter on the wah pedal in Schizophonic and remembering the atmosphere at various different times in the studio during recording. When we tracked Vegas Nerve (which used to be called God) the lights were really low in the studio and there was an epic thunderstorm that shone through the sky-light in the studio ceiling. There are also the one-offs such as Johnboy’s high-pitched scream in All You Got, a total random one-off fluke that has and will never be replicated. If you go on youtube you can see quite a lot of footage taken during tracking, for example Randy (Ian Fisher) in the vampire cape recording Auslander – that one in particular lives fond in the memory.

The artwork for ‘This Is What We Are’ comes from the legendary Jamie Reid. How did that link up come about and did he have a free rein to interpret your songs visually?

Jon and Ian know his agent (who used to do A&R for Poison Idea trivia fans). We asked him if he thought Jamie would be interested and were told to write to him and ask. So we drafted up a begging letter, sent him some lyrics, a couple of tracks and the track-listing and he said yes. He came back with a choice of 4 or 5 ideas and we got to pick the ones we wanted. It was quite surreal!

Usually we are asking bands what they learned from working with renowned and acclaimed producers, but here we have to ask did FuckshovelJamie offer something other than his art which impacted on you?

Well, due to his schedule the process from start to finish took about 6 months so we definitely learned patience! And the fact that it’s okay to refine and re-do until something works. A good idea’s a good idea but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.

What is in the immediate future for Fuckshovel in association with the album?

It’s due to be released on the 18th February so we’re pushing to get as many people as possible to be aware of it. We’ve got some gigs already confirmed and we’re actively looking for more. It’s all about searching out people who agree with us!

We imagine, not having the joy yet to see you live, that your gigs are brawls of energy and attitude. How do you approach each show, like it might be the last one and give it your all every time one assumes going by the album.

Yeah, pretty much. These aren’t the sort of songs you can play half-arsed so no matter how many people we’re playing to we tend to go at it full-tilt. The aim is get everyone into it and singing along with Portia’s Box by the end.

Many thanks for sharing time to talk with us. Any parting words you would like to set free?

We’ve probably said too much already!

Lastly give us some of the most important albums which shaped your personal musical direction.

Killing Joke (2003 album with Dave Grohl on drums)

Velvet Revolver– Contraband

Peter and The Test Tube Babies – Loud Blaring Punk Rock

Read the review of This Is What We Are @

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/fuckshovel-this-is-what-we-are/

The RingMaster Review 13/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Retinas: Dawn Of The Dead Retinas EP

august band promo

If you are looking for niceties and sophisticated music to relax to then give UK punks Dead Retinas a wide berth as they only deal in abrasive antagonistic rock n roll which leaves you enflamed in attitude and sonic aggression. Earlier in the year the band impressed with their debut EP Dead Retinas vs. The World, the release a grazing and fiery treat of unbridled infection and invigorating adrenaline driven punk rock, but was a mere teaser for their mighty follow up, Dawn Of The Dead Retinas EP. Their debut left one fuelled by anticipation for what was to come from the Manchester quartet and they have those expectations not only quenched but seeming quite inadequate as an assumption now that the band has unleashed this sensational EP.

The first thing the release does is bring thoughts of The Dickies to mind simply from the titles of their two EPs, the band taking inspiration from movies just as the Americans did early on and both with a mischievous glint in their eyes. Musically though, despite both stirring up the senses with instinctive punk rock, they part company. Whereas the LA band were arguably the first pop punksters, Dead Retinas bitch slap the ear with a sound which is like brawl between Pinhead Gunpowder, Cancer Bats, The Hives, and Dead Kennedys. It is an irresistible brew which offers diversity within a uniform of middle finger defiance and tongue in cheek antagonism. Since forming the band has corrupted stages alongside the likes of Four Short Of A Miracle, Landmarks, Falter, The City Divided, Zsilent Z and many more, and all the time have been emerging as one of the most refreshing and promising punk bands around, the new EP only deepens that acclaim whilst showing the band is evolving and maturing as songwriters and musicians all the time and well on the way to being to the fore of UK punk.

Consisting of three tracks, the EP pounces on the ear drum with venomous spite and aggressive energy through LSD, a track ep 2 artworkshowing invention and psychotic imagination. It is a delicious psyche bruise which twists and turns into a bedlam touching sonic confrontation, an irrepressible captivation from start to finish. The song enters on grazing riffs, predatory bass leers, and thumping beats pounced upon by the coarse squalls of vocalist Sam Hendo. The track soon settles into a ferocious yet restrained form of sonic combat with Sex Pistols hooks from guitarist Jack Thompson latched to his ear scouring riffs and senses gnawing basslines from CJ Smith, the pair with Hendo combining for an anthemic gang shout chorus. It is a great rampage which is elevated further when the track slips into psychedelic tendencies soaked in a classic rock solo which loses sanity turning into a synapse scorching sonic acid. It is a ‘painful’ end which completes an outstanding song, though it is eclipsed by the even greater presence of Just Because You Drink Jack Daniels Doesn’t Mean You’re Rock and Roll.

The track is a fusion of psyche, noise, punk rock, and quite magnetic. Immediately the song is confronting the ear with a snarling bass, scything riffs, and the abusive rhythms of drummer Lee O’Connor which never let you off the hook from start to finish, those bass growls of Smith an eager devilish companion. There is a slight bluesy lilt to the guitar as Hendo sets one up for a fall with malevolent chuckles and challenging tones questioning the listener. With additional Dead Kennedys like riffs and the twin barracking of drums and bass the song just ignites rapture for its compelling sounds. With also a mix of Kabul Golf Club shagging Gallows to its breath, the track is a glorious riot of energy and sounds which fires up even greater expectations of the band ahead.

The release is completed by Swarm The Decks, an incendiary merger of enslaving rhythms, raw erosive riffs, and a scrap of vocals from all three vocalists. Like a quarrel with the Beastie Boys and Discharge it is an in your face agitator which without the contagious lures of the other pair still pulls up an equal satisfaction through its combative and challenging intensity.

You always expect and hope a band will improve release by release but Dead Retinas have taken big steps on from what was a strong and vibrant debut with Dawn Of The Dead Retinas. For all punk rock fans the band is a must.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadRetinas

RingMaster 18/12/2012

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Acephalix: Deathless Master

What to say about Deathless Master the debut album from US death metallers Acephalix. It is singular in attack, sound, and intent, it is relatively unadventurous and it is unremarkable in changing the genre or thoughts of its followers, most of all it strikingly impressive and deeply satisfying. The album does nothing but stoke up the fires and passions that lurk in every dark recess of the heart and mind. It is a release that barely strays from its core and a blistering album uniformal in sound, quality, and enjoyment.

Out of San Francisco, Acephalix formed in 2007 with originally a crust punk surface to their death metal sounds. Taking influences such as the likes of Celtic Frost, Cro-Mags, Discharge, and Bolt Thrower to add to their ideas the band has evolved into what is bursting out from Deathless Master, a spiteful venomous old school tainted death metal band. Last year saw an upturn in attention their way with the bringing together of their two cassette demos in one limited edition CD called Interminable Night through Southern Lord. The 2,000 strong pressing sold out swiftly and brought them to the fore of underground metal. Shows in support of the release did them no harm either whilst their part in the Power of the Riff 2011 tour with the likes of Undergang, Black Breath, Winter, Noothgrush, Eyehategod, and Pentagram only increased the acclaim.

Again through Southern Lord, Deathless Master seals the full transformation of the band and their sound though there are still tones of their initial punk driven energies veining the tracks within. As heralding chords open up the album and starter Bastard Self and guitars blister the ear the sense of something powerful and vicious approaching is immediate. The track does not leave it long to bring confirmation as tumultuous riffs flatten all defences and the rhythms leave the ear quaking in the aftershock. The track is not a full on assault though, it is more premeditated and picks at the nerves with razor blade melodies and a groove to strangle all life it touches, and with the festering corruptive filth claiming to be vocals outstanding the track lays waste.

It is a staggering start from arguably one of the weaker songs on the album, if the word can be used in any context regarding a release this powerful and aggressive. Things do take a further upturn though with the following duo of the title track and Tomb Of Our Fathers. Deathless Master surges upon the senses like a rabid scourge, incessant and merciless it is a ravenous assault of thumping drums and malicious riffs. With a death knell ambience to the cleaner spoken vocals behind the full pit borne gutturals creations that lead, the track is a crushing pleasure. Tomb Of Our Fathers picks up where its predecessor left off, its raging rampage hypnotic and the caustic groove that follows in their wake vehement in intent and mesmeric effect. With an added solo which sears deep furrows within the senses it is an unstoppable joy.

Already one is aware that diversity is not the order of the day though each track offers something a little different to be numbed and violated by. Because the base and intensity of what the band does offer is so immense and gratifying it really is not an issue. Tracks like the outstanding On Wings and Raw Life just leave one a gleeful spent husk from their irrepressible consumption. The first of the two is a song staggeringly effective in simplicity of vocals and attack, its smothering fetid aural stench a contagion that reeks of malice and foul intentions. The latter is a mesmeric piece of putrefaction, its decomposing breath a smog of sonic evil. From an initial prowl and taunting air the song slowly shifts its muscular might into the expected charge that fuels each track but always it offers the tease of a respite to snatch it away with pure devilment.

Blood Of Desire, In Arms Of Nothing, and the great closer In Hunger ensure the album retains its high level from start to finish. The uniformal heart of the album means every second of the album is an incessant and very satisfying annihilation devoid of lulls. Obviously you have to have that level set at a high to make it work and Acephalix definitely achieve that. Like ordering eight slabs of quality steak for consecutive meals you know what you will get, there are no surprises, but it is a guaranteed feast of flavoursome and undeniably tasty pleasure each and every time. Deathless Master is the same, enjoy!

RingMaster 24/05/2012

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