Rangda – The Heretics Bargain

art_RingMaster Review

The Heretic’s Bargain is the new album from instrumentalists Rangda, a trio who take ears and imagination on tantalising and feverishly unpredictable adventures of sound and intent, as evidenced by the five temptations making up their latest release. The album is a kaleidoscope of flavours and exotic hues, an incitement as psychedelically sinister as it is melodically sultry and perpetually hypnotic.

Rangda is the imagination fuelled union between drummer Chris Corsano alongside guitarists Richard Bishop (ex- Sun City Girls) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance/ Comets on Fire). 2010 saw their debut album False Flag released with two years later its successor Formerly Extinct unveiled, both on Drag City who also release their new carnival of sound and invention. With also the live 10” offering Rangda Live in Krefeld and a split album with The Dead C under their creative belts, and the experience of featuring on over 400 albums between the three of them, it is fair to say that something new from the band is highly anticipated by a great many, something The Heretics Bargain rewards in magnetic style.

Starting with To Melt the Moon, Rangda provide a maelstrom of suggestiveness for the imagination which will undoubtedly create unique tales for each immersing in the song and album’s escapades. The opener instantly ruffles ears and appetite with its direct shuffle of niggling riffs and feisty rhythms. It is eager bait which in no time then slips into something mystique wrapped; melodies toying with thoughts as the perpetually nagging lure of guitar and drums entices. Within its other-worldly landscape, surf rock colludes with psyche rock; psychobilly and blues rock scented hues further adding to the cinematic yet intimate nudging of hips and thoughts.

Rangda_RingMaster ReviewThe track is glorious and quickly matched by the compelling and devilish canter of The Sin Eaters. Once again grooves and melodies entangle spicy hooks as the crisp jabs of Corsano create an alluring frame. They are all sinisterly seductive ingredients courted by hidden dangers in the song’s shadows as the track becomes a tenacious soundscape of drama and tangy temptation, much as its successor Spiro Agnew. Bishop and Chasny explore in the same scenic emprise as the previous pair, where Middle Eastern flirtation romances the senses whilst sparking in thoughts a tapestry of interpretations of the sound soliciting ears with every listen; that a success found by each track in their individual ways.

Sonic smog with deranged rhythms descends on the senses as Hard Times Befall the Door-to-Door Glass Shard Salesman smothers ears next. Straight away Bishop and Chasny create a cauldron of discordance and sonic trespasses as the beats of Corsano court their own deranged challenge. From this electric dust storm calm eventfully emerges, a mellower passage which still unbalances thoughts and emotions with its jazzy, seemingly improvised but expertly conjured exploration of depths soaked in melancholy led emotions.

From its haunted body, Mondays are Free at the Hermetic Museum slips out, the nineteen minute exploration a gallery of musical and emotive avenues clad in humid sonic invention and sweltering melodies soaked in an air of romance and dangerous intent. Perpetually evolving from start to finish, with moments of lively festivity merging into dark strains of emotional espionage and vice versa, every turn a whole new outlook of scenery and suggestiveness, the track alone makes the album a worthy sharing of time with.

Coming new to Rangda, we cannot suggest how it compares to its predecessors, but certainly we can say for coherently exhilarating, experimental, and creative drama, The Heretics Bargain is a temptress very hard to say no to.

The Heretics Bargain is out now via Drag City @ http://www.dragcity.com/products/the-heretics-bargain

https://www.facebook.com/RANGDA-Ben-Chasny-Chris-Corsano-Richard-Bishop-381243065276869/

http://www.dragcity.com/artists/rangda

Pete RingMaster 22/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dope Body – Lifer

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In covering Natural History, the previous album from US noise sculptors Dope Body, we boldly declared the band as ‘without doubt one of the most exciting bands in music right now’. Returning with its successor Lifer, the Baltimore quartet has done nothing to change or dispel that declaration. The release is a glorious and voracious maelstrom of invention as now expected from the band, but also one with another open twist in the evolution of Dope Body’s sound. Certainly Lifer is the band’s most rock ‘n’ roll release to date, raw and attractively abrasive, but within tracks and sounds are as dramatically eclectic as ever.

Formed in 2008 for originally just a one off show, Dope Body soon saw and found their sound stirring up the local scene and its passions. Early releases via HOSS Records drew potent attention but it was Natural History, released as the new album through Drag City, which widely announced the band as one of the more original and creatively warped fresh breaths in modern music. Between albums the band has feverishly toured and played shows before seeing the latter part of last year out taking time focussing on other endeavours, bassist John Jones on his solo project Nerftoss and guitarist Zachary Utz and drummer David Jacober with their two piece band Holy Ghost Party, whilst vocalist Andrew Laumann turned to his visual arts side and exhibited work at the Galerie Jeanrochdard in Paris, the Pre Teen Gallery in Mexico City, and Signal in Brooklyn. This year though soon saw the foursome back together in the studio and with producer Travis Harrison creating what is another stirring encounter from them.

The album opens with Intro, an instrumental with carnival-esque vivacity and mischief to the gripping rhythmic juggling of Jacober and scuzz bred tenacity of guitar. It is a great raucous start to the album, instantly unveiling some of the varied rock ‘n’ roll seeded essences to be explored across the release. The piece subsequently slips seamlessly into Repo Man and its opening slow caress and shadowed crawl. Right away the distinct tones of Laumann entice and flirt with ears before raging to match the increased intensity and aggression of the music. It is a captivating track which has as much an air of Nirvana to it as it does The Stooges. In hindsight it is a steady opener to the album in many ways, a raw encounter which as the album, holds a real live feel to its touch and breath, but proves to be just a taster of greater things to come.

That stronger potency grips ears and imagination right away with Hired Gun. From a deliciously acidic web of sonic revelry, the song strides out with a garage punk energy and causticity, though it is still prone to the great scythes of sound liferwhich opened up the encounter. Taunting senses with a devilish swagger and punkish rabidity, the track is a transfixing slice of noise rock, but as expected from the band only part of the story as seductive surf rock sultriness and rhythmic tantalising emerges before a fiery finale. From this song the album really takes unpredictable and diverse shape, the following Echo sauntering through ears with a smouldering blues climate aligned to garage punk turbulence. Like Tom Petty plays The Cramps, the song is an enthralling croon with tendencies to expel caustic ferocity as it makes another step up towards the album’s highest peaks.

They come in the next clutch of songs, starting with AOL. A brawling slab of blazing hard and punk rock incitement, whispers of The Clash and Melvins hinting away, the track comes loaded with lingering grooves and biting hooks for a relatively brief but scintillating roar. It sets ears and emotions up perfectly for the even richer triumph of Rare Air. A song which kind of bridges this and the last album, it emerges from a metronomic coaxing lined with a ridiculously infectious sonic tempting. Instantly there is a post punk emprise to the song, bass and guitars flirting with a mix of Joy Division, Tones On Tails, and John Foxx led Ultravox breeding. It is a gripping adventure with Laumann as vocally enterprising as the tapestry of sounds and textures around him. The pinnacle of the album, the song alone reasserts Dope Body as the imaginative masters of sonic and noise alchemy.

Straight away confirming that point, the dark seductive Day by Day steps forward next. With a heavily shadowed bass resonance spotted by sonic elegance making the first gentle touch, the track forcibly intrigues and entices senses and imagination, increasing its lure and potency as it gathers pace to craft a Bauhaus like tension and presence. That increase in energy also brings a funky gait and appetite to the song, which in turn leads to squalling clouds of scuzz lined ferocity and garage rock devilry. With a pinch of psychobilly and a dab of old school rock ‘n’ roll too, the song takes the listener through scenery of explosive invention and bold creative mischief, all persistently cored by the irresistible throaty bassline which kicked it all off.

Toy strides purposefully across ears next to return the album to another boiling garage punk/grunge soiled stomp, engaging ears in a dusty rampage of Rocket From The Crypt meets Damn Vandals like irreverence. As everywhere though, references only give a slight idea of something uniquely Dope Body, the band forging new templates and imagination smothering ingenuity at every turn, proof of course immediately coming forward through the pair of Nu Sensation and I’d Say to You . The first of the two is another multi-flavoured rocker, seemingly embracing every corner and era of rock ‘n’ roll to give birth to an uncompromising and inescapably addictive rock devilry, whilst its successor is a torrent of repetitive hooks and lingering grooves as catchy as the common cold and sneakily lingering.

The album is closed by the striking Even In the End, a song opening on another skilfully conjured rhythmic contagion before spreading its melodic and atmospheric tendrils into a progressive terrain of bracing sonic invention and immersive dark shadows. Within that landscape though, guitars and beats unleash imaginative and lively agitation whilst vocals range from slow drawls to raging emotion. It is an absorbing exploration bringing the outstanding release to a mighty close.

Lifer is not a step forward in quality for Dope Body but a side step from Natural History into similarly impressive and individual waters. The excitement brought by a Dope Body encounter continues and the band grows in stature once more.

Lifer is available via Drag City now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOPE-BODY/310914069790

RingMaster 23/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dope Body: Natural History

Baltimore band Dope Body is predominantly tagged as noise rock but they should just be under the category eclectically unique. They are likely to be alone in the list which is as it should be as despite the band drawing on a flourishing feast of influences and suggestions no one truly sounds like or comes near to Dope Body. With the release of their new album Natural History they have widened further that divide between themselves and the rest. There are plenty of exciting and discord driven noise rock artists out there but none use the tools with an imagination and skill to create songs which are maybe raw and jagged in their surface but have a rounded balance, an instinctive and rich life, and are near abhorrently senses disassembling.

Natural History is the second album from the band and named after the The Museum of Natural History in their home town where they played their first and meant to be one off show. Formed in 2008 the band felt and knew from the destructively chaotic sounds they were creating and success of the night this all felt right so they continued gigging and creating. Released via Drag City, Natural History is pure sanity bending air fragmenting sonic poetry and possibly the best aural treat since the big bang. It is a release and sound which will work for you or not but if it does its genius in its simplicity and complicated inventiveness.

How to describe the band? Well it is impossible as you will see when we mention some of the tracks but imagine a primal mix of At The Drive In, Hot Hot Heat, Morkobot, The Three Johns, World Domination Enterprise, and most definitely early Wire. Oh you can add a slither of your favourite sludge, stoner, and grunge band too for good measure…and still not really come close. It is an individual sound to the band which will bring different references from each individual who hears it, something one wishes all bands would give the problem of.

Dope Body makes initial contact through the disorientating Shook. At first it drops falling essences of sonics through the air before a bass pulse begins its bruise of the atmosphere and the vocals of Andrew Laumann score the ear with caustic and disentangled melodies. Air ripping and blistering the song is a sludge/doom driven intensity littered with inquisitive and ultimately challenging pokes and disturbances, a mighty corruptive start to check if one is up for the fun ahead.

The following Road Dog is quite simply wonderful and the first of an unrelenting feast of brilliance to leave one breathless and with the biggest smile possible. Stirring up the ear with prickly guitar strokes and near smooth melodies alongside perfect infectious hooks, the song explores the senses with acidic enterprise around the prowling bass of John Jones and the eager vocals of Laumann. It has that primal early Gang Of Four rhythmic core with a Clash/Rocket From The Crypt punk sound especially with the additional mid reggae additive. The garage feel of the song is strong too and all in all is simply magnificent.

Beat and Twice The Life manipulate and ignite the passions further. The first is a striding beast of discord, its bulk rippling and pulsating with sonic guitar from Zach Utz and ear splicing melodics which spear the air with predatory menace and venomous intent. The track circles like a ravenous wolf its sounds gnawing on bone and synapses to leave one floundering in pure bliss. The second takes a lighter approach with the unpredictable rhythms of David Jacober puncturing its distressed yet mesmeric warm breath, again that reggae/punk air lights up the senses. Of course the song is wonderfully as disturbed as ever.

Arguably the best track on the album Powder is pure infection and just as dangerous as any illicit contagion. Insatiably eager and disturbingly joyful, the track with a grin as sinister as the hook is impossibly irresistible, easily and willingly draws one into the riot of senses fragmenting ingenuity.

Every song is immense; the snarling caged manic Out Of My Mind and the twisted rock n roller Weird Mirror just two delicious slices of further brilliance. That is the most apt word for the whole of Natural History and when a release ends on a bonus track like Alpha Punk, a near one minute pure Wire homage with the song sounding like the bastard cousin of Mr Suit or 1.2.X.U., you know it has been something special.

Dope Body is without doubt one of the most exciting bands in music right now if not the most and Natural History quite possibly album of the year, it will take something truly outstanding to match it.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DOPE-BODY/310914069790

Ringmaster 13/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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