The Amsterdam Red Light District – Sapere Aude

Though The Amsterdam Red Light District seized major plaudits as they boldly established themselves within the punk/hardcore/rock scene with second album Gone For a While in 2014, the release still missed stirring up the kind of fervour in us that others were finding the certainly highly enjoyable encounter. It seems that we were just waiting for a particular undefined spark which has now undoubtedly caught within the France based band’s new fury, Sapere Aude. THARD’s third album is a beast of a roar, as ferociously infectious as it is instinctively irritable and emotionally tempestuous and for us by far the best thing the band has unleashed.

With inspirations found in the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled, Europe has been the broad sounding board for the 2005 founded band’s sound over the past few years, THARD sharing stages with the likes of Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer alongside their own successful shows and tours. This month sees the band off on their travels again with Sapere Aude lock and loaded in their arsenal.

It opens up with Nobody Moves Like You and a spiral of acidic grooves and heavy handed rhythms which lure ears and attention like a magnet. Swiftly it settles into a tempestuous stroll as catchy as it is belligerent, Elio Sxone’s vocals an alluring temper in its midst backed by those increasingly captivating grooves cast by guitarist Maxxx Comby. A blend of hardcore and metal, the track has a natural swing which alone infested the appetite with the dark tones of Greg Clert’s bass adding to the instinctive temptation. Vocally Sxone brings adventure and diversity to match the raw and skilfully woven sounds around him in one glorious inventive brute of an introduction.

The following The Best Is Yet To Come is just as quickly and intrusively gripping. Featuring Cancer Bats front man Liam Cormier, the track simultaneously grumbles and seduces in voice and sound, the rhythmic trespass of drummer Julien Chanel driving its intent and forceful urgency as the guitar and melodic aspect of the vocals bring a ferocity tempering enterprise. As its predecessor, it demands and commands willing attention with adventure and imagination.

Two songs in and already the album has whipped up personal passions missed by previous offerings and only ups the ante with the fiery punk ‘n’ roll of Need. Again vocals and music create a cauldron of contrasts and ferocity with balance and adventure, the song having something of Every Time I Die meets The Ghost of a Thousand to it as it too inflamed the senses and appetite before Wild Life sparked its own blaze of praise and ardour with its hellacious creative clamour. Blending various aspects of ferocious intrusion and melodic captivation to its punk metal, vocal harmonics adding to the drama, the track simply whipped up greedy attention.

Carry On is an infection of temptation, tenacious hooks and riffs colluding with the song’s emotional irritancy and rousing breath; all bound in an enterprise as persistently catchy as it is rapacious. It all comes though with an ebb and flow which only increases its fascination and imagination while Over The Fence in turn uncages a sonic squall and a senses battering rhythmic dance which holds similarities to its predecessor before unveiling its own quest of creative discontent.

The turbulent spirals of Waiting For The Day needs little time to incite intrigue and imagination next, its opening web subsequently draped in vocal and sonic dispute again as magnetic as it is corrosive in a psyche infecting mix which nags and harries as it bruises and excites. That raw incursion is only intensified in The Whole City Burns, its melodic metal aligning with feral punk in an invigoratingly abrasive holler loaded with spiky riffs, barbed hooks, and melodic fire.

The album concludes with firstly Evil Stakeholders, a slab of crotchety yet melodically bewitching raging which maybe did not quite inflame as others before it but only reinforced the impressive character and force of Sapere Aude. Its title track is the final offering, an outro of intimation and samples reflecting the portentous state of the world with bursts of rhythmic incitement. Maybe better served as an intro to the album in some ways, it is a fascinating last breath to one striking release.

From first note to last Sapere Aude truly stirred our fullest passions, that anticipation for bigger bolder things ahead sparked by its predecessor more than realised in a release sure to feature as one of the year’s greatest moments.

Sapere Aude is out now via Red Light Records.

https://www.tarldtheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/tarldtheband    https://twitter.com/tarld

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Nika Riots – Set Fire

Having found the Norwegian hardcore scene a rather fruitful place to excite personal tastes, there was a definite twinge of eager anticipation when we found ourselves receiving he debut EP from Oslo outfit The Nika Riots, especially upon seeing it features members from bands such as Man the Machetes, Torch, and IEatHeartAttacks. The prospect of hearing something flavoursome to really get the teeth into was quickly confirmed by Set Fire and only reinforced across its six ferocious tracks.

Consisting of Christopher Iversen (Man The Machetes), Jørgen Berg (Torch), Kristen Fjeldstad, Morten Vikanes, and Noppers Myren (IEatHeartAttacks), The Nika Riots fuse their hardcore with voracious metal essences while drawing on the inspirations of bands such as Every Time I Die, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Rise Against for its still individual character. It is a mix which grooves like a Bokassa, snarls like a Shevils, and has the irritable melodic punk fuelled fury of Bad Religion aligned to the unpredictable dexterity of Every Time I Die and all delivered with a defiant antagonism living up to the historical unrest behind their name. Those metal bred essences add yet another aspect to their sound, a hungry trespass which accentuates every other thread in its fractious web.

As soon as the rousing rhythmic invitation of Anti-Social Social Club was launched within a raw sonic breath attention was grabbed, the initial handful of seconds of the opener a welcoming intrusion which swiftly becomes a tirade of addictive grooves, thumping beats, and vocal argument. The track proceeds to swing along with intrusive hardcore tenacity, inciting ears and spirit at every turn with the imagination hooked by its melodic punk hues. Metal textures equally give it a diverse nature and potency as the song gets Set Fire off to a heady start.

A chest beating roar of defiance, it is pretty much matched by the following Knock ‘em Dead. Straight away it is sharing solicitous hooks, a touch of Billy talent in their spicing before its punk canter brings a great bend of throat scarring and melodically sandy vocals. As in its predecessor, attitude fuels every note and syllable, the melodies even carrying a slight toxic edge to their temptation but it all combining for another fiercely infectious affair before allowing the excellent Kill This Chaos emerges from its last sonic sigh on a rhythmic roll. This leads to another contagious intrusion equipped with hungrily anthemic rhythms, vocal irritancy, and caustic riffs. It is pure magnetism, especially when the incitement of drums and throb of bass only accompanies raw throated appeals, guitars accentuating the bait on their return with strains of heavy metal in their attack.

A melancholic melodic caress opens up Hanged Drawn & Quartered but all time becoming dirtier and unsettled before breaking into punk thrusting rock ‘n roll though that too is only another shade to the song as melodic metal essences take their moment to captivate. It epitomises the fluid resourcefulness of the band’s sound, a quality as open if not to the same prevalence within next up Skeleton Crew. Opening with an Avenged Sevenfold scented beckoning, the song soon rattles the cages with its hardcore guile and fury lined acuteness aligned to punk rock virulence.

All Hail the Queen completes the attack, its body breeding its own fusion of sound and enterprise. As the previous track, it did not quite light the fires as dramatically as those before them but with vines of grooves wrapping round the ears and a rich bluster of energy wearing the senses, it simply left pleasure and appetite hungry for more.

Set Fire is a striking introduction to The Nika Riots hinting at even bigger and bolder exploits ahead whilst stirring the passion and instincts for uncompromising punk rock; Norwegian hardcore continues to impress and excite.

Set Fire is released January 19th through Negative Vibe Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thenikariots/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calligram – Askesis

UK set Calligram has a sound which somehow manages to be as seductive as it is debilitating, though even that kinder temptation is fiercely invasive and senses crushing, and comes to a tumultuous and compelling head within the band’s new album, Askesis. Its title means “the procedure of demonstrating self-control and determination of action and purpose”; acts which in sound, emotion, and animosity are skilfully embraced and menacingly twisted across six transfixing punishing tracks.

The successor to their well-received Alan Douches (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Darkest Hour) mastered debut, Demimonde of last year, London based Calligram have taken its bleak and often distressing atmospheres and textures to new inventive lands and heights within Askesis. Across its blackened hardcore bred inescapably immersive soundscapes, it teases and taunts, caresses and violates; emotionally and physically devouring the senses, suffocating them as it rips shreds off their suffering hides. Yet it is a joy to fall before, the grooves and infectiously venomous hooks and twists it conjures a masterful salve to the toxic malignancy unleashed.

Opener Della Mancanza instantly invades and sears the flesh of ears with the pestilential tones of vocalist Matteo Rizzardo to the fore swiftly followed by a tide of sonic animosity veined by grooves which just inflame attention and appetite. It is a rabid tempest of punk, black, and death metal; a mercurial but inhospitable scourge which just hits the spot even as it expands its atmospheric grasp and virulent hostility. The guitars of Bruno Polotto and Tim Desbos are a persistent enticement and malefaction, both extremes colluding in the song’s animus where the rhythms of bassist Smittens and drummer Ardo Cotones are similarly anthemic and destructive. Whether in  a rabid charge or its moments of ruinous calm, the track is unstoppably compelling, an irresistible incursion on body and imagination led by Rizzardo’s individual assault, his rancor leaving ears bleeding and scarred just as you imagine his throat is under his friction wearing delivery.

For personal tastes, the release never quite hits that stunning peak again yet savages the sweet spot time and time again starting with Sinking Into Existence. From its first breath, the track is a torrent of sonic violation and vocal torment within black metal smog but again the guitars weave some beguiling melodic toxins and lures to entwine eager ears. There is a predatory side to the track too, a calmer but no less threatening trespass which lifts the song to new captivation and richer emotive depths before Scourge envelops the senses with its own considered but rabid grudge. Again Calligram merge raw essences and viciousness with melodic enterprise and beauty, everything tainted in varying degrees but equally fascinating as it heads towards a passage of murderous rock ‘n’ roll and haunting sonic corrosion, and out again; Rizzardo magnetically guiding the creative pestilence.

The brief dark elegance of Murderess lures the listener into the waiting clutches of Entwined, itself a slim provocation on body and imagination but one spawned from the coupling of cancerous discontent and melodic suggestiveness. Both pieces are connected by emotion and craft, drawing the listener deeper into the album’s heavy anguished fuelled heart and the irresistible embrace of closing track Lament. A tapestry of styles and flavours all soiled and violated by the unique touch of Calligram, the song is an adventure which ebbs and flows, twists and turns; the listener’s thoughts and emotions making a similar journey within its beguiling asphyxiation of their senses.

It is an end as potent and outstanding as the beginning, and with the middle something pretty special too, Askesis is a must for fans of extreme metal, raw hardcore and simply punishing excellence to check out.

Askesis is out now through Basick Records; available @ http://music.basickrecords.com/album/askesis

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Pete RingMaster 30/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Silver Spoon

Having caught the attention and passions with debut album Parerga three years ago, British rockers Ragweed has in their words, “gone through a rebirth”. They have come out of that moment of reassessment or evolution with a sound which is darker, dirtier, and flush with more salacious grooves and rousing antics than offered by an exuberant pole dancer. The evidence is all there in latest single Silver Spoon, a three- track extravaganza of devilish rock ‘n’ roll.

Just coming off of another self booked UK tour, the latest on a long line of successful ventures, this one in support of their latest release, the Brighton hailing trio forcibly build on and reinforce the fresh sense of contagious adventure and imagination their sound first introduced within last year’s AA-sided single Rust Box. As its predecessor, Silver Spoon is released through Milky Bomb Records and has been mastered by Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, Screaming Females) of West Side Music, New York, he getting involved having been taken with the band’s previous outings.

The single across its three parts is a tenacious and flirtatious blend of rock, punk, noise, and raw pop; tracks still embracing the heavy almost imposing essences of the band’s earlier releases but with a virulence and catchiness which really and lustily gets under the skin and into the limbs. Lead song, Silver Spoon instantly thrusts its muscular fingers upon the senses, predacious scythes of guitar drenched in sonic filth and so inviting especially once springing a groove woven swagger with rapaciously coaxing rhythms. The song’s swing is matched in the vocals, their boisterous energy as anthemic as the sound around them and just as mischievous.  Holding essences something akin to Foo Fighters meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion within its unique character the track is immense, only escalating its instinctive catchiness and creative devilment twist by turn, note by note.

The track is just as impressively backed up by its companions, Grey Matter being first up and swiftly sending a punk infested noise pop ‘n’ roll tide of riffs and rhythms through ears. Teasing keys add to its early temptation, their melodic mania lingering and erupting across the highly infectious proposal. Though dirtier and more psychotic than its predecessor, the track also has a more controlled hand on its caustic yet melodic stroll and heavy intent. It is a mix just as bold and manipulative though in another outstanding slice of Ragweed rock ‘n’ roll.

The single is completed by West Coast Pop, a Ramones meets Melvins escapade with a grunge lining to its irritable weight and nature. Fusing noise and alternative rock to its punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and dexterity, the song epitomises Ragweed’s new thrust of enterprise in their sound and writing; mixing old and new textures for one invasively alluring and irresistible trespass.

As last year’s single suggested Ragweed has grown into a striking proposition, an unpredictable and aggressively inventive one which going by Silver Spoon is heading to becoming one of the most essential adventures within the UK rock scene.

Silver Spoon is out now via Milky Bomb Records and available @ https://ragweed-milkybomb.bandcamp.com/album/silver-spoon

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Pete RingMaster 13/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Saint Apache – Wolf Machine

The suggestion of a bold new roar within the British alternative rock scene came with a self-titled debut EP last year, now Eastbourne hailing quartet Saint Apache confirm their potent emergence with its ear grabbing, spirit sparking successor. Wolf Machine is a blaze of muscular and tenacious multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll, a proposition often as bruising as it is rousing taking the potential of their first encounter to new creatively accomplished and energetically hungry heights.

Formed in 2015, Saint Apache weave their blaze of sound with an array of influences said to include the likes of Every Time I Die, Buckcherry, and Rage Against The Machine. It is a fiery mix with a volatility of thought and intensity which catches the imagination with ease within Wolf Machine. As mentioned, their debut EP was a potent opening encounter with the band; a promise fuelled introduction swiftly pushed and eclipsed by the rapacious presence of their new creative challenge.

The release opens up with a richly enticing hook; You’re Not A Slave instantly laying down a rich scuzzy lure quickly joined by imposing riffs and thumping rhythms. The equally compelling tones of vocalist Thom Meredith soon roar from within the magnetic nagging tide of sound, Saint Apache stirring up the senses and spirit with persistent and boisterous enterprise. Familiar and fresh hues collude within the fire, unpredictability brewing and grabbing its moment as the track slips into a restrained passage with post punk and invention nurtured twists dancing on the ears. The guitar of Leo casts a tapestry of endeavour and imagination, every second a web of hooks, grooves, and spikiness matched by vocals and the rhythmic predation of drummer Adam Oarton and bassist Luis T.

It is a tremendous start to the release, stoner and heavy rock mixing with punkier intentions and continuing to unite their elements within the following exploits of The Story Doesn’t End Here. The wiry tendrils and fuzzy breath of the guitar brings in a psych/stoner-esque smog, grooves shooting from its midst with again a recognisable yet invigorating character. The growling tone of the bass is a physical addiction all on its own, with an irritable presence just as enticing within Meredith’s vocals and snarling lyrical expression. Rage Against The Machine essences within the first song are a thick spice within the second, giving its swagger thicker liquor to intoxicate the listener with.

Halfway Dead similarly weaves a trap of closely acquainted grooves and hooks for the appetite but again with a tenacity and enterprise which has ears and bodies greedy and bouncing. As with all tracks, it is hard to say that originality is an overpowering essence yet in the bold and craft sharing hands of the band, everything comes in an unworn design and with unique nature. Previously mentioned inspirations again can be grabbed from the track but equally there is something of bands like Damn Vandals and Turbonegro to the raw and virulent attack.

The EP’s title track brings things to a close offering a drama coated, intensity loaded temptation from its first breath which may lose some of its threat as things ‘calm’ a touch and vocals become entangled in spicily wiry grooves but never loses its intrusive touch or creative appetite within its thrilling attitude loaded incitement. It is a gripping end to a continually galvanic proposition hard to find anything other than real pleasure with.

The Wolf Machine EP is audacious and impulsive in character and sound if admittedly not so much in major originality but even there the seeds are openly being sown and bred within its four songs for blossoming further down the line. Saint Apache is ready to make their mark and if Wolf Machine is a hint to the things to come, bring it on.

Wolf Machine is out now across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/saintapache  https://www.instagram.com/saintapache   https://www.twitter.com/saintapache

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eat Dirt – Self Titled EP

Punk rock has lost much of the anger it first set sail with back in ’77; certainly it is not as audible or open with modern bands seemingly worried more about, dare we say,  accomplished traits in their sound than their inspiring and rousing ire driven counterparts of yesteryear. One exception though is ‘Pissed Off Punk Rock Collective’ Eat Dirt, an outfit which has unleashed one of the irritable treats of the year in the shape of a self-titled debut EP. It is raw and uncompromising, belligerent and angry offering bringing a quartet of raging roars which yes are also skilfully crafted.

Forming in late 2016, Eat Dirt is the coming together of members of previously of well-established UK acts, putting “their frustrations with real life together.” From within its mysterious ranks, one of the band has admitted, “I’d given up on music. I wasn’t really angry enough. I had nothing to sing about anymore. Then the whole Brexit thing happened. I’m mad at people. I’m mad at the world around me. As a group, we need to vent. EAT DIRT is that release.

With inspirations drawn from the likes of The Bronx, Every Time I Die, Gallows, and Comeback Kid, Eat Dirt get right down to business with the EP’s thirty odd seconds title track. Instantly a wall of riffs and rhythms descend on ears, vocal scowling in their tow before a raucous stroll is in place. The unrelenting caustic attack is tempered by mellower backing vocals, their child nurtured ganging up as infectious as the brief but still eventful, hook lined proposal.

The great start is matched by the antagonistic prowl of Pigs. A call to arms littered with its own irresistible punk hooks, many old school bred, the track snarls and vents within an equally rousing web of guitars and rhythmic incitement. There are no frills, no unnecessary detours, just raging rock ‘n’ roll making its forceful point but with the imagination to leave ears hooked and spirits aroused.

48. follows swiftly after, the song badgering fifty seconds of fury and furious hardcore punk rock like a mix of Angelic Upstarts and Sick Of It All to again ignite the instincts and passions before Dead brings it all to a close with its contagious escapade. Almost flirtatious in comparison to its companions, the track has an anthemic catchiness and vocalised swing further continued in its hooks and swagger. There is no escaping bouncing bodies and swerving hips breaking out to its roar or a rising irritability with life alongside its own biting incite.

The track is a glorious end to a release which has the passions for not only punk rock but music itself alive and ready to snarl. The Eat Dirt EP is a defiance driven punk fuelled treat which we truly hope is just the first of many from its creators.

The Eat Dirt EP is available now as a free download @ https://eatdirtuk.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/eatdirtpunk/

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Standards – Anti-Melody

Pic Jacob Reynolds

What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist (Cody Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re-write much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences. Although intimate, at its core Anti-Melody is centred around the universal theme of separation on many levels.

The words of American Standards vocalist, Brandon Kellum, reveal the heavy climate and emotion new album Anti-Melody emerged from. Equally though you sense there was a determination in its creation to make it something special in tribute to the two men and there is no doubt that it was an aim the Phoenix hailing band achieved. The eight track is superb, a new plateau in the chaotic hardcore/noise punk sound and invention of the quartet. It is raw with emotion and energy, vocal in heart and aggression but all aligned to the boldest imagination and biggest step forward in sound from the outfit yet.

Since emerging in 2011 and providing the attention grabbing, psyche twisting Still Life EP the following year, American Standards has only increased their reputation through another pair of EPs and an explosive live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, The Dillinger Escape Plan amidst plenty more. Each release has seen the band explore new depths and aspects to their sound but maybe no more boldly and certainly impressively than within Anti-Melody.

The album opens with recent single Writers Block Party and instantly stirs up a roar of trouble and temptation. The vocal ferocity of Kellum triggers a tempest of sound, the guitar of Corey Skowronski abrasing the senses with rapacious riffs bound in tendrils of tangy grooves. That alone is a hellacious affair but add the belligerent bassline of Steven Mandell and Mitch Hosier’s vicious beats and it is a full-on accosting of ears. Equally though, it provides a virulent contagion of hungry hooks and inventive twists, all unpredictable and imaginatively leaping around with sonic Saint Vitus Dance.

Something akin to Norwegian band Shevils, the track ensures eager attention is locked in and ready to be plundered by next up Carpe Diem, Tomorrow. Just as keen to ravage the senses, it uses a compelling tangy groove as its lure, winding it around ears as inner attitude boils and festers fuelling the rhythmic antagonism and sonic web shaping the fiercely magnetic track.

Church Burner twists harmonic dexterity into its own fevered clamour, compelling contrasts blending as the track creates an individual tapestry of instinctive challenges and tantalising enterprise to match and at times outshine its predecessors before Bartenders Without Wings steps forward from a less forceful introduction. As Kellum’s heart pours emotion, melodic expression soaks the guitar, that raw energy and emotive power continuing to line every aspect of the powerful encounter. It is a creative and emotional outpouring which captivates in a completely different way to those before it but just as potently with its own open turmoil.

The ferocious untethered turbulence of Danger Music #9 bursts free next, its sonic ire flowing through another tapestry of unpredictability and imagination driven trespasses of the senses while CancerEater boils and vents in its cauldron of punk forged, noise infested animosity. Even when a track is raging within Anti-Melody, it shows a tenacity of invention and devilment, traits the song revels in as much as any around it.

Both imposingly enjoyable encounters are subsequently eclipsed by Broken Culture. With its swinging groove and boisterous percussive bait, the song needs mere seconds to enslave especially when the bass groans with irritable intent. The combined enterprise unveiled unites in a devilish swagger quickly stood astride by Kellum’s vocal confrontation, that irritability infesting all except a delicious breath of melodic and harmonic seduction which steals its own few seconds of major persuasion. With a controlled yet tempestuously volatile nature, the song continues to tease and harass the senses, treating them to a whole new American Standards adventure for the album’s best track.

The release comes to a close with the crabby crawl of Chicago Overcoat, a rapacious consuming of ears with instinctive liveliness to its energy and choleric design. It is a striking end to easily the finest thing to escape American Standards. The band has never been slow in providing memorable and stirring encounters but Anti-Melody is their most complete yet, a hungrily inventive proposal and easy to suggest the key to greater recognition.

Anti-Melody is available now @ https://americanstndrds.bandcamp.com/album/anti-melody

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards   https://twitter.com/AmericanStndrds

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright