Exploding Head Syndrome – Aristocratical Tendencies

If the recent release of the new Cockroach Clan album was not enough proof there is now the new EP from Exploding Head Syndrome to prove that the Norwegian punk scene is in fine fettle. Aristocratical Tendencies unleashes five slices of punk/hardcore incitement which raucously roar with voracious contagiousness.

Aristocratical Tendencies follows the Oslo based band’s acclaimed 2016 album World Crashes Down and comes just after the quintet have returned from a mini-tour covering Norway, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary and included playing Europe’s Number One punk festival Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia, sharing stage with NOFX, Pennywise, Frank Turner, Propagandhi, Descendents, Anti-Lam Front and many more. With their live reputation already highly praised and established through their own headlining shows and gigs alongside bands such as Satyricon, Sham69, Honningbarna, The Good Bad and The Zugly and Blood Command, Exploding Head Syndrome only reinforce and push on a similar stature gained through their records with their latest offering.

Shades is first up on the EP, a stroke of guitar igniting a hungry lurch of rhythms and vocal incitement before it all comes together in a virulently voracious trespass of sound. Vocalist Eirik Ekholdt bellows from within the punk eruption, the guitars of Morten Rørvig and Jonas Andreassen casting ferocious yet greedily infectious encouragement around him as all the while rhythms bite and trespass. It is a glorious assault, ripe hooks sprung with keen devilment and sonic threads spun with imposing drama but a song unafraid to go for the jugular.

The following Hardcore Jesus makes a more considered approach, melodic wiring enticing attention as around them a brewing tempest of sound grows. In quick time, the track breaks into a rapacious stroll, the swinging beats of drummer Lars Kirkerud steering its feisty gait as Håvard Jacobsen’s bassline broods. Again it is a feral invitation impossible to ignore and soon resist with its contagion loaded chorus, a hardcore meets hard rock landscape doing nothing to diminish its insistently catchy punk instincts.

I Got Feelings provides two minutes of equally rousing punk confrontation where open irritability colludes with anthemic prowess in a climate of discontent, the result another infectious incursion upon welcoming senses before You Have Your Dreams (I Have My Nightmares) sinks its similarly belligerent and fractious claws into ears and appetite. Once more there is bassline to devour and a creative squall of guitar to swing with, vocals and rhythms only adding to the manipulation as it all heads towards a robust holler.

The EP is closed up by All Change Is Bad, the track springing from the sonic departure of its predecessor with heftily swung beats and an entanglement of wiry guitar enterprise. That alone proves enough to infest body and attitude but with the raw incitement of vocals and the swinging groove of the bass, things only become more insatiable and gripping.

It is a great end to a superb release from a band we only find ourselves becoming more addicted to by the listen.

Aristocratical Tendencies is out now via Big Day Records; available @ https://ehspunx.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates:

18.10.19 Oslo Bloodbath X, Oslo

09.11.19 Checkpoint Charlie, Stavanger w/Kåte Klør

15.11.19 Verkstedet Bar, Oslo w/The Nika Riots

http://www.explodingheadsyndrome.net/   https://www.facebook.com/explodingheadsyndrome

https://www.instagram.com/exploding_head_syndrome/

Pete RingMaster 20/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bokassa – Divide & Conquer

The recent release of their single Walker Texas Danger suggested that the debut album from Norwegian punks Bokassa might be something a little bit special. The track was a relentless nag of their self-proclaimed stoner punk, a breath-taking tirade of sound and attitude simply demanding attention and lustful reactions. Its potential and promise is more than lived up to by Divide & Conquer, even left looking pale at times by the album’s unbridled tempest of hardcore ferocity, punk belligerence, and stoner bred grooving. Beyond being special, it is one of the essential listens of 2017 from a band you still feel is only just starting out on their creative journey.

Hailing from Trondheim, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, drummer Olav Dowkes, and bassist Bård Linga took little time in sparking eager ears and local bordering national support with the release of the three track strong EP, The Great Northern Roadkill in 2014. It was the following year though through a couple of singles and the War On Everything EP that their presence really began breaking borders, success enabling Bokassa to tour across their homeland with the likes of Hold Fast, The Dogs, Frk. Fryd, Johndoe, Exploding Head Syndrome, and Warp Riders. Released on Record Day 2016, the single Make Music Great Again pushed things again, with Walker Texas Danger their biggest triumph and pull yet. It is now easy to think and expect Divide & Conquer to be a game changer for the band, the trigger to bigger, even the biggest spotlights to pay dues to one of the truly exciting prospects around.

A lone melody brings opener Impending Doom into view, its rich coaxing soon seeing stormier clouds gathering above it as riffs and rhythms join its enticing groove. Its slow stroll and portentous air subsequently slips into the waiting tempest of Last Night (Was a Real Massacre). Instantly energy and aggression is turned right up; spiralling grooves and rabid riffs grabbing ears as rhythms angrily thump. Like a raw and dirty collusion from Red Tape and Fu Manchu, the track devours the senses, feverishly crawling over them with plague like hunger to powerfully feed the thick anticipation triggered by the band’s previous single.

It is that song which comes next, Walker Texas Danger slamming its bruising qualities upon the listener from its first breath. Kaarstad is a squall of vocal attitude and discontent backed with matching antipathy by the band in voice and sound. Grooves though spin an infectious web as rhythms give a primal examination and Linga’s bass provides a grumbling lilt to the song’s stoner fuelled swing. The whole mix is glorious, a reason to welcome exhaustion before Crocsodile Dundee shows no mercy with its antagonistic rumble. Metal seeded acidic melodies court the song’s punk ‘n’ roll catchiness whilst its heart is pure hardcore pushing a magnetic bluster lying somewhere between Ghost of a Thousand and fellow Norwegians Shevils.

After its rousing assault, Genocidal Tendencies brings greater restraint in its own raid though weight and spite is as full and unbridled as in its predecessors. Equally, the song shows more of the variety at the heart of the Bokassa sound and songwriting as dark harmonies and wiry grooves conspire with the inevitably punishing rhythmic and sonic incursion also escaping the band. As magnetic as it is merciless, the track is a tenderiser of the senses, their ravaging provided by Five Finger Fuckhead with its scourge of hardcore truculence bound in mouth-watering grooves as vocal dexterity plays within the band.

As each song’s final breath becomes the next track’s first, the album just flies by, never allowing the listener to regain balance or composure. Here Goes Nothing rises from its predecessor with a head-rush of violent tenacity and creative adventure. Arguably the album’s grooviest, most kindly catchy proposal, it still offers a cauldron of intensity in its emotive onslaught while any ‘lighter’ tones are boldly absent on the punk rock salvo unleashed by Retaliation straight after, the song an one minute ambush of appetite’s sweet spot.

The album is closed by the raw captivation of Immortal Space Pirate (The Stoner Anthem). The album’s longest proposition by a mile, the track is a volatile smoulder threatening to erupt with every passing second. It never really does but there is no lightweight essence to its groove woven canter and rhythmic swing, its scuzzy air and cosmic filth as much manna for a passion for raw rock ‘n’ roll as its melodic escapades and uncompromising tide of intensity. Across its seven minutes, Bokassa merge acoustic and harmonic prowess into their instinctive sonic blitz and stoner punk ferociousness, the song alone revealing the width and depth to the band’s imagination and potential.

The bottom-line is that Divide & Conquer is superb, a bewitching brute of an encounter only leaving sheer pleasure and a hunger for plenty more.

Divide & Conquer is out now digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl via All Good Clean Records through http://www.allgoodcleanrecords.com/onlinestore/ or https://bokassaband.bandcamp.com/album/divide-conquer

https://www.facebook.com/BokassaBand

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright