deardarkhead – Strange Weather

DDH_RingMasterReview

Rousingly fascinating is probably the best way to describe Strange Weather, the new EP from New Jersey trio deardarkhead, that and gloriously suggestive. Across six tracks as cinematic as they are emotionally intimate upon the imagination, band and release immerses the listener in its and their own sculpted exploits. The release is an anthem to the conjuring of bold imaginative adventures and a tapestry of creative virulence for ears to bask in.

The beginnings of deardarkhead go way back to 1988 since when the band has released five recordings on their own Fertile Crescent Records label with a retrospective of their early work additionally released in 2012 by Captured Tracks. Their distinctive fusion of post punk, indie rock, shoe gaze, and dream pop has been greedily devoured by an increasing many whilst their live presence has seen the band play with the likes of Supergrass, The Psychedelic Furs, Everclear and The Lilys amongst numerous other. Despite numerous compilation appearances, and that 2011 retrospective  Oceanside: 1991-1993 since last album Unlock the Valves of Feeling was released in 1998, you might say that deardarkhead have been a ‘forgotten’ treat by many; if so that is set to inescapably change with the release of Strange Weather.

Always luring inquiring interest with each release, the band has probably ignited the strongest intrigue with the new EP as it is their first without long time singer/bassist Michael Amper who left the band in 2009. His departure only seemed to ignite a hunger to explore their instrumental side as remaining members, guitarist Kevin Harrington and drummer Robert Weiss proceeded to move in that direction and perform instrumental shows after linking up with bassist Kevin McCauley the following year. The suggestion is that the band is looking for the right vocalist to bring in but on the evidence of Strange Weather, and its empowering potency, you wonder if it will be any loss not finding the right man.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom its first track Strange Weather has ears and emotions enthralled, the imagination just as swiftly ignited as Falling Upward emerges from chilling winds within a dank atmosphere. It is pulled from the wasteland by a nagging guitar, its sonic lure soon colluding with the resonating bait of the bass and crispy textured beats. With them comes a tenacious catchy resourcefulness which infectiously lines the post punk hook and bass groove which subsequently entwine and enslave ears. All the tracks to the EP spark ideas and mental imagery, ones sure to differ person to person, but a cold war like landscape is ours adventure for the opener no doubt helped by having recently watched Deutschland 83. There feels a cinematic kinship between the band’s sound and those visuals with every leap into the sonic tapestry of the song pushing the story along.

With a touch of Leitmotiv to it, the track is a riveting start, leaving ears and pleasure lively and ready to embrace the warmer jangle of Sunshine Through The Rain which follows. There is a calmer air altogether to the song, a melodic radiance which wears the scent of eighties indie pop yet contrasts it with a steely proposal from bass and hypnotic beats. Again captivation is a given to its My Bloody Valentine aired persuasion though it is soon outshone by the thrills and dramas of both Juxta Mare and March Hares. The first of the pair unveils a sultry atmosphere around a delicious melodic hook and bassline which would not feel out of play of a sixties/seventies TV spy thriller. Its lean but thick lure is the spring for an evocative weave of sonic enterprise and suggestive melodies, all courted by the dark shadows of bass and the persistently jabbing swings of Weiss.

As outstanding as it is, it too gets eclipsed by its successor, March Hares stealing the whole show. From the pulsating rhythms of Weiss to the snarling tone of McCauley’s bass, the track has ears and an already lustful appetite enslaved. Their irresistible bait is then entangled in bewitching tendrils of sonic imagination from Harrington; the song subsequently swinging along in the web of their united craft and invention to entice body and spirit further. In full stride, the track has a great feel of The Monochrome Set to it, indeed Harrington’s stringed adventure carries a touch of the English band’s guitarist Lester Square to it as a House of Love shimmer and Birdland like rowdiness add to the slavery.

Ice Age immerses the listener into chillier post punk climes next; its nippy atmosphere and almost bleak ambience tempered by the sonic elegance seeping from the guitar within the anthemic tenacity of the drums. Again it is fair to say that the song lures physical and emotional involvement with ease before Thinking Back explores a maze of reflective melodies and evocative grooves within another addictive rhythmic frame. There is an essence of Echo & The Bunnymen and Bauhaus to the track as post punk and gothic lit shadows and depths spread through sound and thoughts.

The track is an imposingly mesmeric end to a spellbinding release. Strange Weather will have you breathless, excited, reflective, and going on a myriad of imagination bred adventures with its suggestive incitement. We are no experts on deardarkhead and their releases to date but the EP has to be up there as possibly their greatest moment yet.

The Strange Weather EP is released March 25th via Saint Marie Records on Ltd Edition vinyl (100 Black / 150 White with Red Blue and Black splatter) and as a download @ http://saintmarierecords.limitedrun.com/products/567260-deardarkhead-strange-weather and http://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/strange-weather

http://www.deardarkhead.com/   https://www.facebook.com/darkheads   http://twitter.com/deardarkhead

Pete RingMaster 23/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Celeb Car Crash – ¡Mucha Lucha!

CCC_RingMaster Review

Fusing a great blend of nineties rock and pop punk into a modern alternative rock invention, Italian quartet Celeb Car Crash have a sound which feels simultaneously fresh and familiar. It is a mix which makes their latest EP, ¡Mucha Lucha! an adventurous but equally, an instinctively enticing proposition. Bringing three varied and fiercely magnetic slices of melodic rock ‘n’ roll to bear on ears and appetite, the release alone suggests that Celeb Car Crash are pushing towards major attention.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Nicola Briganti, drummer Michelangelo Naldini, guitarist Carlo Alberto Morini, and bassist Simone Benati, Celeb Car Crash emerged at the end of 2012 and quickly set about recording their first encounter. Ambush! was unveiled in the April of 2013, backed by the video /single Dead Poets Society. Gaining strong attention from fans and media alike, the album was supported by an extensive tour across Italy, Switzerland, France, and the UK and shows supporting bands such as Gotthard and Coheed and Cambria, all reinforcing the emergence of record and band. After another well-received single the previous year, 2014 saw the band again concentrate on tours and shows, ending with Celeb Car Crash winning the Red Bull Tourbus contest against 1700 other entrants, resulting in the band playing three shows as support to Lacuna Coil and the chance to record a new single. That was to be Because I’m Sad, the opening song and lead to the ¡Mucha Lucha! EP.

celeb-car-crash-300x300Celeb Car Crash - ¡Mucha Lucha!     Backed by two unreleased tracks on the EP, the Olly Riva and Mario Rice produced Because I’m Sad gets things off to a gripping start. From its opening coaxing of acoustic guitar and the swiftly magnetic voice of Briganti, the song has ears in the palm of its hands, especially as the gentle opening soon sparks a feistier burst of rhythms and riffs. Quickly blooming greater colour and richer tempting through spicy hooks and anthemic enterprise, it continues to evolve, breaking into a tenacious canter reminding of bands like Everclear and Jimmy Eat World. It is a recognisable essence though which only adds to the potency and arousing drama of the song, and indeed its virulent infectiousness.

The following Next Summer has a more hard rock endeavour to its character but also a rhythm and blues spicing which has thoughts of Graham Parker hinting as it continues to explore its wiry walls and throaty canvas. Sharing the same boisterous energy as its predecessor and ripe with melodic flames and catchy hooks, the song shows another hue to the songwriting and sound of Celeb Car Crash, a raw and dirtier toning bred from more fresh and varied sources of rock ‘n roll gripping the imagination.

The EP is completed by ¡Adiós Talossa! (tututu), a sultry seductive affair from the off with warm emotive coaxing cast from the trumpet of Damiele Ravaiolli. Growing and blossoming with every passing minute, the bewitching track grows into a grungy pop punk affair around a compelling rhythmic stomp. Whispers of Green Day, Nirvana, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and again Graham Parker all seem to collude as a thicker aural colour continues to enrich a captivating encounter spawned from the band’s own invigorating ideation.

The opener and closer definitely steal the show upon ¡Mucha Lucha! but the thoroughly enjoyable Next Summer also shows that Celeb Car Crash have real variety and depth to their music and writing. A little late to the party, the EP is actually our introduction to the band but one which has sparked a keen appetite to see where they go next. An intrigue we will surely not be alone in.

¡Mucha Lucha! is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.

http://www.celebcarcrash.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CelebCarCrash/

RingMaster 22/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Slippertails – There’s A Disturbing Trend

 

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     US rock band Slippertails is a bit of a mystery you will find when looking for info on the creators of new album There’s A Disturbing Trend. Based in New Jersey and formed by its members in Bloomington, Indiana where they roomed together, the band is apparently a duo though the only name seemingly offered up is that of frontman Nick Casertano who recorded demos alone in his basement which would eventually become this album. Other than that it is pretty much left to the imagination to wonder what the band is about, but what is not a secret is the stirring addictive sound band and release persuades with. A merger of sludge bred tendencies within an alternative rock/garage punk narrative and steered by a hypnotic vocal drawl which at times embraces shoegaze mesmerism, Slippertails creates a presence which worms deep under the skin and into the psyche with irreverent contagion.

     The album is not a flawless affair if being critical but such its potency and potential it is hard not to be excited about the prospects and future creativity of the band whilst glossing over any small negatives. Varied in fuzz drenched sonic spice and caustic imagination which sears and scores the senses, There’s A Disturbing Trend has a nagging almost pestilential beauty which just empowers and improves over time and though a raw lo-fi proposition which maybe will grate on some, the nine track tempest of noise is a masterful slice of sonic alchemy. The immediate description of the band’s sound which comes to mind is Frank Black meets Everclear, the latter thanks to the vocal delivery and alternative rock/grunge tendencies of songs, with plenty of Melvins juices in the mix but that is only part of the story to be honest as the songs soon reveal.

     Opening with its first single Hip New Jerk, the album makes an energetic entrance with keen punchy rhythms puncturing the instantly compelling smog of scuzzy guitar. The vocals of Casertano soon seize control with a Frank Black like presence which infuses into the heavy garage punk sounds too. It is an irresistible lure of a starter with a very relaxed breath which fits in perfectly with the more boisterous and scowling aspects of the song. A great single and opener it makes an early strong plateau for the album to maintain which the following Failure matches with its different type of temptation. A slow almost stalking encounter for the ears, the track seduces and intimidates with equal efficiency, flames of guitar smouldering in the air whilst bass and rhythms scowl belligerently beneath them. Again there is a Frank Black like suasion which predominantly seems to guide the inspirations for the whole album but it is not so overpowering as to dismiss any of the uniqueness of Slippertails.

     Both Walk and Garden State Of Mind ignite the appetite into a hungrier state of eagerness; the first from a hypnotic drum coaxing evolving a garage punk tempting which latches on to the exceptional rhythmic bait whilst a sonic web of guitar toxicity and effect showered vocals play out their narratives. It is one of those songs which holds a virulence which the emotions unavoidably get infected by whilst its successor with another crawling sonic festering of an approach, wraps its fuzz sculpted arms acidically around the ears before serenading them with delicious vocal harmonies alongside the ever engaging core vocal causticity of Casertano. The pair only inflates the already buoyant pleasure spread by the album and though it at times takes time to fully recruit the passions There’s A Disturbing Trend by this point already has full command of thoughts and emotions.

   The following pair of Gold Tooth and I Will Peel You Open move into that Everclear side of things, the vocals very much reminding of Art Alexakis whilst the expressive emotive sonic casting is a close cousin to that created by the Oregon band. It is fair to say that both songs fall short of what comes before them, the second almost labouring in its persuasion, but still the two ultimately convince with a craft and infectiousness which can and does only enhance the presence of the album. Things are soon back on course though with the brilliant All Seeing Eye, a song which sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain in tandem with House Of Love as they seduce The Walker Brothers. It is a transfixing mesmerism which leaves imagination and senses lost in a fuzz drizzled evocation of an emotively crafted sunset.

     The brief punk surge of Altar Wine also has a sixties temperament to its aggressive outburst whilst closing song I Wanna Take Pills With You is a psyche addled piece of sultry enchantment, a shadowed soaked melodic psychedelic glow of danger and seduction. It is a slow burning conclusion which like the album just gets more potent and magnetically thrilling over time and plays. There’s A Disturbing Trend is a striking encounter which makes you work for its rapture but pays handsomely with some quite enchantingly abrasive treasures.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slippertails/487759917932606

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/01/2014

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Matt Pryor – Wrist Slitter

MattPryor2013

With a title like Wrist Slitter anticipation was of the darkest emotional and imposing persuasion but as the new album from Matt Pryor unveils its persuasion expectations were soon thrown a curve ball. There is certainly rich shadows and at times keen melancholia to the release but for the main it is an upbeat and vibrant romp of energy, emotive light, and thoroughly enjoyable enterprise. The album took a couple of songs for thoughts and satisfaction to get a hold and find an understanding for the refreshing offering but once connected the release provides a unfussy yet resourcefully crafted imaginative romp.

Renowned as the frontman for The Get Up Kids, Pryor has garnered just as eager acclaim for folk-tinged group The New Amsterdams, his children’s music project Terrible Twos, and indie-rock super group Lasorda which also features Nate Harold (fun.), Mike Standberg (Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band), and Dustin Kinsey (The New Amsterdams). His own releases have also bred strong responses and respect but Wrist Slitter takes it to another level as Pryor’s finest solo moment. Released via Alcopop! Records in the UK, it is a magnetic feast of creatively flavoured rock pop leaving a healthy smile on the face and in the passions.

The album opens as if set in a jazz driven twenties speakeasy, excited echoes of the past awakening the imagination before Pryor ARR048_Matt_Pryor_Wrist_Slitter_Cover-kleinthrusts his sounds through the door to send them down an expanse of melodic pop rock in the accomplished guise of The House Hears Everything. Guitars and rhythms make an instant appeal to the emotions and without sparking major reactions wins their attention whilst the vocals of their sculptor equally lays down a strong start. As mentioned the song and the following Kinda Go To Pieces do not light a fire inside but certainly spark a decent appetite for their declarations, the second song like its predecessor providing an easy to access catchy stroll with hooks and melodies infectious if not startling in their ingenuity, a healthy enticement.

It is from the title track that Wrist Slitter suddenly turns on a distinctive and irresistible charm. The brief track complete with Cajun twang and invasive drone is a delicious and unexpected twist from which the album only expands and excels starting with the outstanding Words Get In the Way, the best track on the album. From its first breath rhythms make a firm frame for the dark throated bass and guitar swipes to grip and enthral the senses, whilst vocally the mix of Pryor and guest Steve Soboslai of Punchline makes a mouthwatering invitation into the heart and swagger of the song. There is an Everclear essence to the track which only adds to its immense lure whilst its contagious melodic coaxing and potent hooks creates an aural dance which is impossible to resist; only its briefness a slight niggle.

The acoustic folk opening to Before My Tongue Becomes a Sword makes a gentle entrance after a breath into another impressive and energetic prowl of the passions. The two parts do not seem connected, certainly in sound but work well as the subsequent romping blaze of pop punk seduces attention and imagination. With again guest vocals, this time from Chris Conley of Saves The Day and Braid’s Bob Nanna, and Bontempi like keys the song is a lo-key high appealing slice of melodic adventure immediately equalled by the bouncy If I Wear a Disguise. An eighties new wave feel coats the melodies whilst vocally Pryor has an earnest upbeat energy and emotional depth to his delivery to match the enthusiastic sounds around him.

The evocation of As Perfect As We’ll Ever Be is soon slowly burning its mark in thoughts and emotions, its strings a melancholic caress alongside an acoustic guitar kiss and the vocal narrative, before the Squeeze like Foolish Kids, with Pryor finding a definite Glenn Tilbrook lilt to his voice to match the UK band’s melodic prowess, weaves a pleasing embrace over the ears. Say What You’re Gonna Say also has potency and appeal seemingly sparked by the Deptford band, a thrilling hook laded melodic call instantly acquiring the passion’s support with again its short length of a few breaths over one minute again the only irritant.

The slower emotive walk of So Many Questions like the two before carries that Squeeze tone whilst the addictive hope wrapped emotive ramble of There Is No Us recalls the Everclear comparison in a merger with The Super Happy Fun Club. Both bring the listener into a relaxed state ready for the closing energetic saunter of the punkier Won’t Speak To Me which eventually leads the listener into a reprise of the opening scenery. It is an excellent conclusion to a richly pleasing and enthralling release, one which to be honest strongly exceeds what were maybe low expectations, those assumptions soon shoved back to their source with a creative craft and smiling adventure which leaves satisfaction very happy.

Wrist Slitter is available now on CD and 150 ltd edition blue marble vinyl and will be supported by a 9-date headline tour around the UK (with support from Allison Weiss) early next year.

UK TOUR DATES: February 2014:

14 – Southampton, Joiners

15 – Kingston, Fighting Cocks

16 – Nottingham, Bodega

17 – Newcastle, Cluny

18 – Glasgow, Cathouse

20 – Manchester, Sound Control

21 – Bristol, The Exchange

22 – London, The Borderline

23 – Tunbridge Wells, The Forum

http://www.ntwha.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mattpryorsongs

8/10

RingMaster 02/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Avenue Army – Words With Action

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Emotively charged and potently crafted, Words With Action the debut album from US alternative rock band Avenue Army has a confidence and smile upon its evocative lips which only makes the engagement of the sixteen track release stronger. Promise oozes from every song and idea on offer and though the album maybe lacks the originality to thrust it right to the fore of bands emerging within alt and modern melodic metal at the moment, it’s makes a compelling argument in the case of the band becoming a loud inspiring voice in the future.

Hailing from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Avenue Army came together in 2009 after James Paulet and Max Eric Bergstrom moved in together and discovered a strong musical chemistry between them. Already knowing each other through mutual friends and having jammed a few times together previously the pair combined fully at this point to work on songs Bergstrom had awaiting, tracks which did not work out for his previous projects. With inspirations from the likes of The Beatles, Nirvana, Weezer, Modest Mouse, and The Cure amongst many, the pair crafted a strong collection of tracks before enlisting more band members to complete the line-up. Strong live performances built the band a fine local reputation and following, and with the current line-up of drummer Sean Pierce and bassist Maurice Vasquez alongside vocalist/guitarist Bergstrom and guitarist Paulet the band has forged an even more impressive stature which the album can only enhance.

Produced by Steve Murray and Matt Bombich, Words with Action has a title and personal breath which reflects and represents the coverdetermination needed and shown by the band in the face of ‘overcoming personal vice struggles’. It certainly adds a depth and passion to tracks, and often a snarl to their radio friendly sound with more than a strong whisper of pop punk at times, which leaves a rich temptation at work, even if arguably it is often never fully realised and taken to its fullest potency. The album opens with The Upside and instantly puts out a welcome melodic hand and appealing energy  to draw in full attention whilst nudging awake an appetite for their easily accessible and pleasing presence. Good group harmonies lay with ease on the restrained but keen encounter, riffs and rhythms vibrant if undemanding, and sonic invention bright if like the hooks of the song not quite as anthemic as they might wish.

It is a very decent start though soon matched by Emily and taken to another height with Get Out Of Summer. The first enters the ear with a swagger within crisp beats before settling into creating an enjoyable glaze of melodic enterprise and passionate vocals speared by again pop hooks that get the job done whilst the second sets down the first pinnacle of the album. A funk infested rhythmic tease and bass lure opens things up before the guitars conjure up a contagious temptation of accomplished wanting to please hooks. Not for the only time on the album, the song inspires a strong and appealing feeling of Everclear to its well-crafted and skilful body which leaves the now brewing scent of hunger a little more to hanker for.

The likes of the smouldering Alright Never and the again Art Alexakis and co sounding I’m No Creep keep thoughts and emotions wholly entwined with their narratives, the first a sultry flame of reflective and melodic imagination honed into a richly riveting experience and its successor an expressive blaze of inventive traps and magnetic adventure which seduces the passions without any restraint.

Further highlights come with the bluesy Time Hates Both Of Us, the infectious Local Bar with its fiery guitar sound, and the inventive Factory, a track seemingly simple yet with a complex inventive craft and texture which leaves ear and thoughts wanting more. The finest peak on the album though comes in its closing song Pretty Microphone, a full on crowd and appetite pleaser with a virulently gripping groove and power pop barbs which leave long and lingering bewitchment in their touch. Vocally and musically everything is on a new plateau to what was already impressing previously, but here the band finally realise all the tempting tonic within their songwriting to enslave the passions.

Words with Action is a thoroughly enjoyable and as mentioned promising release which is just a spark away from being a real powerhouse of an introduction. The songs tease and suggest they are going to explode into an anthemic storm but apart from the last, they are just a step or so too short. You sense that this will emerge in the future though with this base of an album to launch from placing Avenue Army on the alternative/pop rock radar.

www.facebook.com/avenuearmy

www.twitter.com/avenuearmy

7.5/10

RingMaster 16/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Feud – G.U.S.H

Feud pic

    Feud is a band you can never get tired of, a group of musicians that seem to pull out another gem with every new song and release they treat the ear to. New single G.U.S.H (Growing Up Seems Hard) is no exception and in fact is probably the best thing they have done yet, and with the potency and quality of the past trio of singles that is the mark of its height.

Founded by brothers Guy (drums/vocals) and Greg Combrinck (vocals/guitar), and a full on proposition when the pair moved to the UK from their home land of South African, Feud with Ian Harper (guitars/vocals) and Tom Syrett (bass/vocals) alongside the two has become one of the most vibrant and impressive rock bands in the country. Shows alongside the likes of Cancer Bats, Young Guns, Jettblack, and Days In December has earned their live performances strong acclaim whilst releases such as debut EP Out From The Inside, the album Waterdog, and the Singles EP has enslaved many hearts and their passions through the blend of alternative rock, grunge, and punk flavoured energy. G.U.S.H sets another bar for the High Wycombe based quartet, one that is not that adrift from previous releases in sound or invention but in maturity and craft exploits the promise already showed wonderfully.

Big bulging rhythms rattle the ear first whilst the moody deep throaty bass adds its cantankerous temptation to seal the deal between 128695-thumbhunger and song. As guitars flare up with sonic and melodic imagination, their flames spiralling through the sky of the track before settling into an almost pop punk swagger to court the excellent vocals of Greg, the song like so many of the band’s has a familiarity which comes with no obvious references, Feud accomplished in creating infectious and warmly inviting slices of honest and easily accessible rock ‘n’ roll. As it dances over the ear with its energetic romp thoughts of Bush and especially Everclear do come to mind but still the distinctive tones of the four stands to the fore.

As virulently addictive as watching Kelly Brook in Piranha 3D, go on try and claim you were not transfixed by her and it too I dare you, G.U.S.H is a riot of a single and yet one more reason why Feud should be on every one’s playlist. Accompanied by B-sides demos of Save Me and an acoustic version of I’ll Find You, the single and also all the bands previous releases are now available for FREE from http://www.feudmusic.com/musicdownloads

Why are you still here?

http://www.feudmusic.com

9/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Subset – Loverdose

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    Loverdose is one of those great albums which niggles and teases thoughts and senses from start to finish, an expectations dismissing treat which leaves you at the mercy of unpredictability and to varying degrees imaginative adventure. The eighth release from UK noise band Subset, the album is an intriguing and generally enthralling encounter which blends in so many aspects of rock, metal, and punk that it need a mouthful of labels to tag, which of course is never a bad thing.

Subset is a band which if passion meant success would be giants by now, from their first shows in 2009 performing with no money or resources and subsequently playing their first tour a year later by carrying all their equipment and travelling by bus to each venue, the quartet showed their determination. Through gigs, tracks and singles the band continued to build a powerful reputation for their energy and inventive sound whilst the Mahogany and Drenched EPs saw the band garner acclaim even further afield within the UK and US media. From the release of Drenched, vocalist/guitarist Romaine Date, guitarist Robert Robertson, bassist Jay Garrett, and drummer Arran Topper Hartley, embarked on an exhausting regime of touring, promoting, and pushing the presence of Subset further, which included last year a trip to Los Angeles to strengthen contacts and industry links as well as develop an even stronger presence across the Californian college circuit. Loverdose is the next step in their irresistible rise and though arguably its strength labours a little towards its conclusion, the fifteen track provocation is a captivating feast of grunge, punk, alternative rock, and muscular abrasiveness.

From the enticing if eventually underwhelming instrumental In The Patient’s Waiting Room, the release explodes into aggravated  a0341197128_2enterprise with the roar in the face Carnage, a track which offers scathing vocals alongside mellow harmonies and a tank full of belligerent riffs, thumping rhythms, and coaxing melodic temptation over a punkish snarl. With a Buzzcocks like hook sneakily playing within the more caustic play of guitar and bass there is a persistent lure which marks all great songs whilst the mix of vocal delivery keeps the listener on their toes and fully engaged. The inventive and tauntingly shifting gait of the song furthers its intense appeal and makes a formidable full start to the release.

This great beginning is soon taken further by firstly the excellent Explode, a revolving twist of punk and grunge. It fires up the senses immediately with an aggressive punk probing before slipping into an irresistible psychedelic /grunge whispering range of rock ‘n’ roll which before returning to its raging snarl offers a QOTSA toned excuse to find extra lust for its imaginative presence. Its heights are then seriously tested and stretched by the scintillating Bayonet, the track emerging from a riveting drum tempting into another rock/punk persuasion with extra garage tendencies scuzzing up the air. Feeling like Everclear meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion, the song swaggers and saunters through the ear with a devilment that easily takes controls of limbs and passions, guitars and rhythms carving their permanence in thoughts whilst the bruising vocals dance over the thrilling noise sculpted fire.

Both Jaguar’s Spin and the title track continue the sonic fascination with expertise and ingenuity, the first bringing sinewy riffs in union with a gentle yet forceful melodic flame of guitar grazing and muscular rhythmic framing. Once the riffs develop a chugging insistence, the face of the song changes, though it refuses to relinquish that excellent tempering charm instead allowing it another sultry platform to capture the imagination all over again. Its successor is pure infection, hooks and grooves in mischievous intent with the rhythms to seduce body and voice into a mutual show of energetic contribution. With discord again stroking notes and sounds into eccentric bewitchment and a chorus call that is pure virulence in its simplicity wrapped by an equally potent hook, the track is pure contagion and another big highlight of the release met and matched by next up I’m A Hero In My Mind. With rhythmic juggling from Hartley and rumbling taunting from the bass of Garrett instantly enslaving the passions, the song excites with a siren like mix of Melvins and Late Cambrian, noise pop unafraid to explore a wealth of flavours and spices to create something unique and epidemically solicitous.

From the heavyweight Walk Elephants, its stomping imprint from the intense paws of rhythms ridden by another immediate lure in the gravel weighted vocals, things begin to lose the earlier strength and grip on the passions though there is never a wasted moment offered. This track continues to spiral its way towards sparking a healthy appetite though the vocal approach leaves a weakness at times within the intensive proposition. The likes of the breath stealing punk honed abrasion I Don’t Want To Go Back Home and the similarly uncompromisingly sculpted Second Nature certainly fire up extra hunger for the release, the second especially discovering a hardcore grunt which leaves additional rapture, but as the likes of Remember The Sun, The Man Who Drunk Cried, and Sung, and especially the closing Last Seconds Before Dying Alone make their offering to the ear the album feels like it has lost some of its potency. Each subsequent track though has moments which leave lingering pleasure as with the almost early Adam and the Ants stance sounding introduction and the following darker toned vocals of the first of this trio and the Reuben like bite of its successor, but generally the spark which lit up the rest of the album is missing and one wonders if a different layout of the tracks may have prevented this feeling as the songs certainly leave a happy taste on the senses.

The Underly Records/Reality Records/Venombase Records released Loverdose is a great album overall and one which suggests that Subset have all the invention, craft, and instinctive ability to excite the passions to be a major player in UK rock in the near future. The serious rise of the band starts here and what an impressive turn of the ignition it is.

http://subsetband.com

8/10

RingMaster 27/07/2013

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