Monster Jaw – Losing All My Friends EP

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The end of 2013 brought forth Get A Tattoo, the debut EP from UK rockers Monster Jaw and a release which we found to be ‘Drenched in promise and an intriguing raw pleasure’. It was release which frequently lured our ears back into its potential fuelled grasp from thereon in and inspired a broader wave of national appetite for it with a reboot earlier this year through Cobra Kitten Records. Now the band returns with its successor and not only realises some of that brewing potency but has thickened it further, to again captivate, excite, and raise expectations that the Bradford/Leeds based trio will evolve into a pungent rock ‘n’ roll protagonist.

The Losing All My Friends EP bulges with a clutch of songs which manage to snarl whilst they seduce, each combining a mellow smouldering with heavy and hungry intensity. The tracks grip and spark full involvement from imagination and attention yet also they feel like a little bit of a missed opportunity in not going for the jugular creatively and aggressively. Nevertheless the release is a sizeable persuasion and a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which increases the stock and stature of one of Britain’s more fascinating emerging bands.

Formed in the earlier moments of last year by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mik Davis (ex-New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack), bassist Neil Short (ex- Down the Machine), and drummer John Bradford (ex-Utopian Love Revival), Monster Jaw was soon sculpting striking songs bred from the inspiration of their surroundings and life experiences. Narratives of such baiting as love, sex, drugs, and dystopian futures swiftly gripped as the band’s sound and live presence brewed up a buzz , something Get A Tattoo soon fuelled further. Shows and support slots on tours for the likes of Stiff Little Fingers and New Model Army only accelerated their emergence and it is easy to see Losing All My Friends, produced as its predecessor by Wes Maybe (The Libertines, Roger Waters, Robert Plant), giving it all another healthy thrust.losingallmyfriendscover

The title track opens things up and takes little time in cupping ears with melodic enticing and rhythmic incitement. Once relaxing into its fiery stroll, with the strangely low key yet highly alluring vocals of Davis spicing up the growing sonic blaze, the track unleashes an infectiousness which is more a slow invasion than a virulent infestation but finds the same irresistible results. The shadowed basslines of Short temper and compliment the scorched temptation of guitar whilst Bradford jabs and probes ears with a reserved but punchy tempting, everything merging for a feisty and compelling mix of garage rock and punk with just a whiff of Jesus and Mary Chain tangy acidity.

The impressing start is followed by the catchy stomp of Low and the punkish psychedelic alluring of Lidocaine. The first of the two songs ebbs and flows in force, melodic caresses building to raw and energetic crescendos which hit the sweet spot. Though that changing of attack is emulated a little in success, the track is a bruising seduction which emerges as another potent slice of nostrils flaring alternative rock persuasion flavoured with a blend of Birdland and My Bloody Valentine essences twisted into something distinctly Monster Jaw. Its successor is a sultry furnace of hazy atmosphere and flaming sounds which again grip most addictively in its explosive eruptions which descend from slower suggestive build-ups. As its predecessor, the song is one where it walks a fine line between calm and aggression and maybe might have found a new gear choosing one over the other. It has to be said though but both, and especially Lidocaine linger and flirt with thoughts and emotions long after their departure so maybe the band has it right after all.

The release is completed by two bonus tracks, first up being a studio version of fan favourite Do It Gay, Do It Straight. It is a ridiculously compelling and anthemic slab of rock ‘n’ roll for feet, voice, and passions, and so easy to see why it ignites audiences. Completed by an extended version of the title track, Losing All My Friends is an increasingly impressing proposition. It gets bigger and better with every listen and though yes it does feel like the band missed a potent trick with it, the EP shows a more imaginative, creatively mature, and adventurous Monster Jaw, and that works for us.

The Losing All My Friends EP is available via Cobra Kitten Records now @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Losing-All-Friends-Monster-Jaw/dp/B00N953ZK0/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414436807&sr=1-1&keywords=monster+jaw

http://www.monsterjaw.co.uk

RingMaster 27/10/2014

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Monster Jaw – Get A Tattoo EP

Monster Jaw  @ Neil Chapman (www.unholyracket.co.uk).jpg

Monster Jaw @ Neil Chapman (www.unholyracket.co.uk).jpg

Three tracks of scuzz kissed, punk bred garage rock, Get A Tattoo is a thoroughly captivating introduction to its creators Monster Jaw, a trio hailing from Leeds and Bradford. The band since forming has already been brewing a keen buzz around themselves and it is not hard to see why using their debut EP as evidence. Drenched in promise and an intriguing raw pleasure, the UK band have made an impressive and tempting start to what suspicions suggest will be a potent ascent through UK indie rock.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mik Davis (ex-New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack), bassist Neil Short (ex- Down the Machine), and drummer John Bradford (ex-Utopian Love Revival), and formed in February of this year, Monster Jaw soon found themselves under attention for their live performances and mix of grunge, indie, and punk rock. Since announcing their arrival the trio has supported Stiff Little Fingers and New Model Army on their UK tours as well as having a track from the EP recently featured on the BBC Introducing Alan Raw Show. The release of Get A Tattoo takes it all up another gear as the Wes Maybe (The Libertines, Roger Waters, Robert Plant) produced EP produces a potential spark to a much fuller recognition.

Get A Tattoo opens with its title track, a smouldering enticement which takes time to burn its lingering mark but leaves an 1405_214930308680679_340717591_nappetite for its almost caustic charm. From a coaxing electronic whisper the guitar starts winding out its sonic bait around the ear as rhythms slowly walk the perimeter of the emerging design. A prowling encounter with Davis’ falsetto touched vocals a simmering lure, The Barracudas meets The Libertines with an infusion of The Boo Bradleys like track does not ignite major flames within its presence or the passions but certainly makes an infection leaden starter to a release which only gets stronger as it unveils its other two thirds.

We Don’t Care About Anything is the next to strike and makes an instant recruitment of the imagination and emotions. With striding rhythms guiding the song as the bass of Short stomps its own path through the garage punk bred adventure, a contagion is soon rioting with the passions as choppy riffs tease the ears whilst sonic enterprise strokes them with tempered rascality, the distinctive croon of Davis melting over the stirring concoction. Not reaching two minutes in length, the track is a simple but gripping romp of punk rock designed to enslave.

The closing Summer Girl is nagging at the senses with its persistent riffs from its first breath whilst the bass intimidatingly roams the intrigue being woven over thoughts. The open Pixies like enticement is accentuated by the great vocal mix, Davis leading with a dour hypnotic delivery whilst harmonies add their appealing vibrancy light the shadows and dance with the melodic hook which like the riffs has a repetitive toxicity which is quite delicious. The best song of the three, it brings an exciting release to a thrilling close.

Whether the production fully exploits the depths and temptress like potency of the songs can be debated, only the last really striking a flint to enflame the passions as all the songs deserve, but Get A Tattoo is fuelled by a potential which is mouth-watering and surely will be furthered and fully realised over future time and releases. Anticipation for that is already clouded with impatience.

https://www.facebook.com/MonsterJawOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 13/12/2013

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Decode

UK rock band Decode begin 2012 in the same vein they graced the previous year, with a fine release in the shape of new single Before We Burn. To be released February with an  excellent accompanying video, the track shows a band on a strong rise and one that crafts music with minute attention and passion. Previous EP Shaping Shadows from 2011 announced the band as ones to watch with its fascinating blend of big rock sounds, engaging melodies, unpredictable twists, and metal edges. The new single cements all previous thoughts whilst placing Decode as a band on the verge of greater heights.

The Sheffield quartet (a five piece live) have recently linked with Ambicon Records and one can only feel things are falling into place for a band already acclaimed for their music and vibrant live shows. Their sound is a heady creative mix that recalls the likes of Fightstar and Taking Back Sunday as well as Manchester band Our Innocence Lost and label mates Down The Machine. The guitars of Adam Mintram and vocalist Daniel Jeffery rampage through tracks whilst bringing stylish and often intricate melodies and variation. The band are not afraid to add swooping keys and haunting strings either to make each track an experience that holds something new no matter the amount of times you listen to it.

The single opens on an emotive guitar before harsh growls lay on top leading to excellent smooth vocals from Jeffrey. The frontman’s delivery is expressive and controlled, the song’s passion dripping from every word, and assisted by the equally strong vocals of bassist Lewis Wild their vocals are as compulsive as the sounds surrounding them. Before We Burn is littered with rock hooks alongside its metallic aggression and though these never slip into the obvious they are easily digestible and mesmeric.

The single is a natural progression from the Shaping Shadows EP, the track feeling an easy fit with the songs making up the previous release. This does not mean a lack of progression just the high quality of the band’s songwriting from day one. Released April 2011 the EP is a bustling and exciting collection of songs. From the opening title track the release unleashes everything the band possesses from power and aggression to creativity and melodic intricacy. With sing-a-long parts and teasing hooks the song is an instant invitation to the band and their stirring rock sounds. The bass of Wild is deep and taunting, playing with the senses whilst drummer Daniel Greasley wonderfully softens up the ear with deliberate and skilled abuse and the guitars unveil their musical twists and turns.

Your Country Is Ours’, ‘If Only (We Live To Tell The Tale)’, and ‘The Days After You’ carry on the great and attentive quality whilst the striking and excellent ‘Enemies’ punishes and pleasures with equal measure and intent. So far every song unveiled by Decode has the ability and desire to rile up the senses whilst treating them to soulful melodies and infectious excitable energy. This energy that floods from the recorded tracks gives eager thought and anticipation to the impressive live force they must be and the carnage they unleash.

One still feels there is much more to come from within Decode to really define their sound but they are already leaving many other bands in their wake and 2012 feels like the year they will become the focus of a great many more enthused ears.

For a free download of the Shaping Shadows EP go to www.soundcloud.com/decodeuk

RingMaster 24/01/2012

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Down The Machine – Know Your Place

 

More than any of their previous releases the single ‘Losing Faith’ was probably the one that opened up the UK rock band Down The Machine to many more willing and eager recipients to their sounds. With an enterprising and satisfying album, their recent EP Let You In, the aforementioned single, and an impressive live reputation, the Leeds quartet have rapidly been making the steps that should lead them to bigger and grander things. With the release of their extremely impressive and engaging new single ‘Know Your Place’ the acceleration to their rise should increase alongside their ever growing fan base.

Down The Machine have been honing their craft and songwriting skills since 2009 and each release has given evidence of an emerging efficient and exciting songwriting ability within the band. ‘Know Your Place’ is no exception and in a relatively short time since their album there is again another distinct step forward in their creativity and skill in creating and realising their musical ideas. The new single is dramatic, charismatic, and a forceful track not needing to pummel the senses to make its mark and point.  

Musically ‘Know Your Place’ is certainly the bands most potent and accomplished, the guitar of Dan Millikin leads the track down new avenues to inspire and thrill the ear whilst the pulsating bass riffs of Neil Short backed by the caged drums of Mark Greenwood give a sustained and heavy intensity to the song. One senses Greenwood is champing at the bit to explode but with skilled controlled aggression he backs up the powerful beckoning bass of Short and the surging guitar sounds perfectly.

There is again a slight grunge feel to the track, reminding of the likes of Stone Temple Pilots and especially in places the Deftones. As much as the flavour comes from the vibrant and driving music the earnest and emotive vocals of Steve Wilson bring forth the sense too, his passionate delivery offering up lyrics that feel at times personal and easy to relate to.

Fresh from headlining one of the days on the successful and immense Leeds Metal Fest in August, with Short heavily involved and inspirational in the planning and realisation of the event, ‘Know Your Place’ is an excellent way to round off a successful year for the band. Powerful and stirring it is another indication that Down The Machine is one of the best UK rock bands around right now and the single itself one of the musical highlights of the year.

Know Your Place’ is set for release on 10th Oct 2011 via Ambicon Records for more information check out http://www.downthemachine.com and http://www.ambiconrecords.co.uk/

RingMaster 13/09/2011

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