Doll Skin – Manic Pixie Dream Girl

As they grab a breath after successfully being part of the 2017 Vans Warped Tour, Arizona pop punk rockers Doll Skin continue to grab attention with their recently released sophomore album, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The successor to their acclaimed 2016 debut, In Your Face (Again), the new album uncages more of the Phoenix hailing quartet’s aggressive punk fuelled infection and hard rock tenacity to continue the ear grabbing potency of its predecessor.

Meeting at the Phoenix School of Rock in 2013, Doll Skin have only flourished from the attention of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson who subsequently produced In Your Face (Again), and its acclaim garnering success which escalated the initial well received release of the outfits first EP, In Your Face on Ellefson’s own imprint Emp Label Group. Last year not only saw Doll Skin’s first album greedily received but the band hit the road and shows alongside the likes of Otep, Lacey Sturm, Fire From The Gods, Hellyeah, Dead Kennedys, Escape The Fate, September Mourning, Through Fire, and numerous more. It was a busy time continuing through this year and sure to intensify with the release of Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Produced and Mixed by Evan Rodaniche from Cage9, the album opens up with Shut Up (You Miss Me) and instantly has ears bound in a hip stealing hook; that potent lure continuing through Nicole Rich’s bass as things calm and the alluring tones of vocalist Sydney Dolezal jump in. Soon the busy and energetic heart of the track rises again, jabbing beats and catchy vocal delivery lining its swinging infection loaded melodic punk gait. There are no major surprises within the song but everything about it has body and spirit involved before Daughter up the ante with its hard rock inspired declaration. Defiant in soul and adventurous in character, the song flows from calm reflection to anthemic ferocity with sublime ease; the guitar of Alex Snowden suggestive and inventive as Meghan Herring’s rhythms pure rock ‘n’ roll behind more irresistible vocal boisterousness, singular and across the band.

Its impressive incitement is matched by that of Road Killa, a track which straight away is prowling the senses with a predatory edge. With Dolezal equally as imposing yet richly endearing in tone and presence, things only escalate in quality and rapacity as spiky hooks and wiry melodies collude with emotionally aroused vocals and the rhythmic tenacity of Herring and Rich. A rock/punk trespass, the track hits the sweet spot before Boy Band exposes its instinctive rock ‘n roll heart with relish and energy. Familiarity and fresh traits unite within the contagion of the track, its recognisable presence bolstered by its ear gripping resourcefulness as the album continues to richly tempt.

The sultry hues of Rubi entice and please next, its rhythmic grumble adding extra intrigue to a warm often fiery nature while Sunflower has an equally agitated underbelly to its more irritable and lively stomp. Though neither track quite matches up to those before them, each confirms that Doll Skin know how to sculpt the most flavoursome of hooks and twists in their songs as well as brew some seriously infectious strains within their music.

Both songs have a hint of Australian band Valentiine to them as too the beguiling Sweet Pea which follows though its melodic shimmer and elegant smoulder quickly shows originality all of its own as it lays a best track hand on attention. It is a treat of an encounter swiftly rivalled by the punk moulded stroll of Baby’s Breath but a song embracing an array of flavours within its harmonic temptation and volatile undercurrent. Again imagination and body are taken on an eventful and highly enjoyable ride but then turned on even more by the outstanding roar of Persephone. Carrying an eighties pop punk feel reminding of bands like The Photos and a modern rock ‘n’ roll ferocity akin to the likes of Courtesans, the song stalks and seduces with equal invention and boldness.

From one major highlight to another as the pure punk grouchiness of Puncha Nazi consumes ears and attention; the track a spirit stirring, rebel rousing surge of sound and intensity which actually misses out on delivering the donkey punch killer blow it hints at but still makes for another pinnacle within Manic Pixie Dream Girl before the emotionally haunted and melodically bewitching Uninvited brings things to a magnetic close. Adding just one more new turn to the imagination of the album’s body and Doll Skin songwriting as it boils to an inferno of a climax, the song provides a momentous finale to another seriously compelling outing with the band.

Over the first couple of listens, it was hard to say that Manic Pixie Dream Girl majorly built upon that first triumphant album but it was a deception as from there the release only blossoms with time to reveal a new depth to the Doll Skin sound and pretty much match the former’s impressive presence and by giving that time another 2017 highlight is the reward.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl is out now via EMP Label Group through most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/dollskinband    http://www.dollskinband.com

Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Interview with Comron Fouladi of Athel

Though there is a strong and decent wave of melodic punk bands around there are not many which stand out from the crowd consistently. One exception comes in the vibrant and unique shape of Chicago band Athel. Recently the band dropped their debut album Open Your Eyes To Society, its impressive tracks a blaze of vibrant and completely infectious rock/punk sounds. Needing to know about this aural contagion and the band itself we had the great fortune and opportunity to fire off questions to bassist Comron Fouladi to learn more.

Hi Comron and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, many thanks for talking to us,

How did you all meet and when did Athel emerge?

I met Cristian in middle school and Justin just from the local band scene we were in. I introduced the two.

Who are the biggest influences to you as a musician and maybe for the Athel sound?

My favorite band of all time and inspiration is CKY.

In our review of your great debut album Open Your Eyes To Society we said the band and release was one to stand out from what seems plenty of good new punk bands but generally uniformal in sound. What is it you have which you feel sets you apart?

The CD doesn’t stick to one mold. It’s not cookie cutter music. One song will be really punk or metal, then we have something like a classic rock song come then something like modern music mixed with 90s vocal melodies.

Did the band evolve into something more than maybe you expected or reach to where you exactly envisaged?

Definitely, we started working on some of these songs when we were first starting out. I was hoping to build a local following and have some fun with some small tours. I didn’t know we would later be signing a deal and releasing them in stores worldwide. I think my kids will all think I’m a liar with all the tour stories I will tell them.

As we have already mentioned it tell us about the album and your hopes going in to its creation?

I was hoping to put out something different, I don’t think there has been many good bands to come up in the past few years and I’ve just been really pissed about modern hits so we tried to create something different haha.

How long did Open Your Eyes To Society take to make?

We started writing this in 2009. We started recording in November 2010 and finished Feb 2012.

Was it already primarily composed and written before going into the studio or grew within those creative walls?

All the songs were done before the studio with multiple demos other then These are the Times, Kara’s Carousel, and Me, Myself, and I.

How does the songwriting work within the band?

Justin will write a guitar part and vocal melody, then bring it to the table and it evolves into a full song with many ideas front here.

What predominantly inspires your songs and lyrics?

Appreciation of life is something we always talk about in our music. So many people say they want to kill themselves all the time but really the chance of life happening is a trillion to 1. You’ve came this far and are now alive might as well try and make it the best you can.

The album is your first release since signing with Mortal Music. How did the link up with the label come about?

From building a local following of 500+ kids at every hometown show and then spending 300 dates on the road one year helped as well meant a few labels took attention to Athel but I felt Mortal was right and I’m extremely happy to work with those guys.

We called the album…Mildly aggressive, vaguely intrusive, and wholly infectious…fair comment?

Definitely! We wanted this album to be our angsty album.

You previously released a couple of EPs which drew strong acclaim too but how has your sound changed if at all since starting out?

Our sound hasn’t changed much just the writing sounds like it has matured.

The album marks the band as one which is intent on giving full pleasure and riotous fun, one imagines your live shows are exactly the same?

I’ve always been a fan of putting on the best show possible. If you ever come to an Athel show I promise you won’t be let down!

What makes a great show for you?

Seeing the people unite at a concert to have fun and enjoy life. It’s an escape from the modern bullshit we have to deal with.

You have shared stages with the likes of Chris Cornell, Gwar, CKY, and The Audition. Anyone you would sell your grannies to play with?

I would love to tour with Escape the Fate. They have always been so awesome and our fans love each other.

Any chance we might see you guys over this side of the big water in the near future?

I’m hoping in 2013. We need to be there soon!

What is next for Athel?

Rob Zombies guitar player Riggs has a new band called Scum of the Earth, we will be doing an East coast tour with them August 31st through almost all of September.

Once more thank you for sparing time for us.

Any last words to end on you would like to share?

Thank you guys. Please have us back again soon. As for last words, no one ever settle for anything less then what you want in life.

Read the review of   Open Your Eyes To Society https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/athel-open-your-eyes-to-society/

The RingMaster Review 10/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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