Bad Llama – Apocrypha

UK band Bad Llama emerged early last year and swiftly poked eager attention with the release of first EP Shedding Skin and its lead single The Wolf You Feed from fans and media alike. Now ahead of their upcoming follow-up EP, Crooked Empire, the Burton upon Trent quintet ups the ante with the release’s first track, Apocrypha.

It is a powerful and rousing encounter which demands attention whilst revealing a new maturity and intensity in the band’s multi-flavoured sound. A list of Bad Llama’s inspirations reveals an eclectic mix ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, and Tool to Korn, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine and Bring Me the Horizon; a mix equalled in the metal and heavy rock bred enterprise of a sound also bearing the spices of progressive and industrial nurturing. As previous releases suggested, what emerges is a sound distinct and becoming more unique to the band; Apocrypha another definite potent step towards that originality.

Recorded with producer Gavin Monaghan, Apocrypha moves in on ears with an almost predacious atmosphere and similarly swinging beats, its threat dissipating slightly as Kyle Jordan’s expressive tones step into the web of suggestion cast by the guitars of Dan Houlbrooke and Sam Wyatt. The gnarly snarling bass of Lewis Hutchings though keeps the intimidation flowing; a delicious texture prowling the sonic temptation continuing to entangle the imagination of song and listener as Gaz Waddell’s beats bite.

It is a captivating mix in a song which grows and blossoms in thought and enterprise with every passing second. Apocrypha is a masterful proposition, skilfully crafted and emotionally intense which it is hard to see not stoking up attention for Bad llama and anticipation for that forthcoming EP.

Apocrypha is self-released November 10th.

https://www.facebook.com/Badllamaofficial    https://twitter.com/BadLlamaBand    https://www.instagram.com/badllama_/

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Cross- Self Titled

Pic SAWA

As the world seemingly surges rather than drifts into bedlam it is maybe not surprising that a sound is rising to echo it’s chaotic and discord fuelled order. It resonates from the creative union within Dead Cross, a project said to have emerged “out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation.” Featuring the combined acclaimed talent and creative ingenuity of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas….), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross has just released their self-titled debut album; a deviously manipulative and skilfully conjured tempest of noise and intent, simply manic manna for the senses and imagination.

There really is no need to provide background to the members of Dead Cross, each individually and within a mass of bands having set down incitements and inspirations so many have fed upon and blossomed their own ventures with. So it is straight to the first breath of the foursome’s first release we go and the initial sonic mist of Seizure and Desist. From its midst surging raw riffs and rampaging rhythms burst, their assault soon joined by the distinctive and ever rapaciously mercurial vocals of Patton. Just as recognisable are the dynamically imaginative and textile swings of Lombardo; his anthemically biting incitement entangled in the sonic rapacity of Crain and the grumbling bestial tones of Pearson’s bass. A senses crumbling assault of hardcore, he track is as multi-flavoured as it is uncompromisingly furious and a hint of the developing web of noise and varied rock ‘n’ roll infesting the punk heart of the release.

The following Idiopathic even further harries and bullies the senses, its rhythms fuelling a barbarous catchiness which spreads to the united vocal attack and raw tone and causticity of the outstanding track. Unpredictability is as rampant as animosity, mischievous craft and fun equally as bold within the senses ravishing, body inciting maelstrom. Every passing second brings a fresh breath of bold and devilish adventure, the track a dancing predator by the time it makes way for the waspish nagging and unrelenting beating of Obedience School. It is glorious stuff, barbarous and harmonically bewitching leaving a tapestry of punk, alternative metal, and gothic rock suggestion.

Shillelagh is simply punk rock yet hardcore unafraid to embrace the spices of other pungent flavours to its infectious animus; the result a venomous contagion which has the body bouncing and appetite drooling before the imagination is enslaved all over again by a riveting cover of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Infesting it with the kind of energy and boisterousness felt at the Batcave venue back in the day, Dead Cross ensure the shadows and haunting atmosphere of the original are still an invasive temptation; Crain casting veins of melodic acidity which alone beguiles the senses.

The caustic invasion of Divine Filth hits the spot dead centre right after too, Patton and co vocally swinging from imagination’s rafters as the music around them throws itself around like an imaginatively manic dervish, again every passing second bringing new twists and expectations destroying adventure. Grave Slave is equally as tenacious in tone and intent, the Suicidal Tendencies exploits of Lombardo seemingly inspiring the whole of Dead Cross as they funk out with raw intensity and rancorous resourcefulness whilst equally embracing a Melvins meets early Therapy? like friction. It is a highly addictive proposal within an album similarly growing drug like in its temptation.

The persistent creative harassment of The Future Has Been Cancelled matches the lure and entrapment of its predecessor with its own individual and increasingly ravenous quicksand of sound and invention, at one point sinking into a quagmire of heavy seduction before bursting out with its instinctive rabid virulence of energy and sound to head towards the waiting heavy set jaws of Gag Reflex. It too meanders and dashes through a landscape of evolving gaits and twisted manhandling of the listener; each turn increasing its magnetism and our subservience to its manipulation.

The industrially lined shadows of Church of the Motherfuckers brings the album to a mighty conclusion, the track lumbering along with a primal swagger as resonating beauty glistens in its atmosphere. On the ground irritability guides the tempestuous exploits of the track, its climate remaining relatively clam but around a volatile heart which beats with combustibility. Through it all Lombardo springs a rhythmic trap which enslaves body and spirit, his creative mastery the last word in persuasion as the album comes to a thrilling close.

The tag super-group is bound to accompany many references to Dead Cross but ignore them. The band is a real and potent new force in its own right, yes embracing the previous experiences and exploits of its creators but offering something very different and exciting to rival and outshine most hardcore/punk noise exploits around them.

The Dead Cross album is out now via Ipecac Recordings through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deadcrossofficial/

Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ninjaspy – Spüken

It is fair to say that Spüken, the new album from Canadian metallers Ninjaspy has been a long time in the making. With its ten tracks spanning a decade and its recording beginning late 2014, the band’s second full-length has had time and attention given its creation and character; it all reflected and more in its thoroughly enjoyable and imaginatively dynamic adventure.

Consisting of a trio of blood brothers in vocalist/guitarist Joel, bassist Tim, and drummer Adam Parent, Ninjaspy has honed a fusion of groove infested metal, reggae, and other heavy natured flavours which now roar mightily within Spüken. It is a web of sound which grabbed attention in the Vancouver threesome’s 2007 debut album Pi Nature and even more so in the following EP, No Kata six years later. Their new offering is the natural and lofty evolution of these earlier successes; a release weaving occasionally familiar but always unpredictable proposals which tease, flirt with, and persistently arouse the senses and imagination.

Linking up once more with producers GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mudvayne, Gallows) and Ben Kaplan (Biffy Clyro, Atreyu, Haste the Day), Ninjaspy gets the album under way with the single Speak, a track certainly sparking anticipation of Spüken with its release last August. Its relatively low key Australasian entrance cored by an emerging bait loaded groove soon leaps into a smouldering swinging stroll with more than an air of Dog Fashion Disco meets Faith No More to it. Subsequent raw outbursts come loaded with ferocity and zeal, trespassing with the same catchiness as the song’s mellower teasing where rhythms dance and the bass grumbles.

It is a stirring start swiftly eclipsed by Shuriken Dance. It too shows restraint in its initial coaxing, melodic twang and rumbling rhythms colluding in an understated but bold tempting before a web of sonic and creative espionage binds ears and appetite. A punk roar escapes the throat of Joel, his aggression matched by the punching beats of Adam and both tempered by the melodic exploits of guitar. Their calm is as deceptive as the raw touch they temper, each beckoning ears into a waiting System Of A Down-esque bedlam of psychotic sound and invention. The track is pure virulent infectiousness, drawing body and voice into union with its own twisted exploits.

The following Brother Man warmly grabs ears next like a collusion of Ruts and 12 Stone Toddler; its stalking groove and melodic coaxing a delicious mix soon embracing a reggae and metal induced tempest in turn proceeding to entangle all earlier aspects within its similarly and seriously catchy landscape. The further into its depths the more deranged twists show their voracious enticements as too mellower melodic but no less certifiable essences. Thorough captivation, it is more than matched in aberrant adventure by Dead Duck Dock. The song also follows those before it by making a relatively gentle melody woven entrance but also one soon showing argumentative discord in sound and intensity as its groove metal instincts rise. With hues of Slipknot and Society 1 to its growl, the song is a roar of creative irritability and intrigue never resting for long in one flavour or mood.

The outstanding Become Nothing is a loco romp revelling in a sound and imagination something akin to again SOAD  this time in league with Kontrust while What!! infests ears and satisfaction with a Skindred/American Head Charge scented escapade though as every reference used as a hint, it is a potent hue in a Ninjaspy bred roar.

The sweltering infection fuelled funk of Jump Ya Bones soon spins its own particular tapestry of rich flavours and various styles as it flirtatiously bounds through ears before Grip the Cage provides a more even tempered shuffle though it too expels moments of incendiary emotion and energy. They both equally push the diversity of the album and songs, that ten years of writing and maturing giving birth to Spüken skilfully shaping their varied designs.

The melody rich and increasingly agitated Azaria stretches that variety yet again, the song deceptively straight forward initially, luring ears into its own expectation defeating maze before Slave Vehemence brings it all to a thrilling close with a cauldron of capricious invention and impulsive ideation wrong-footing and exciting ears at every turn.

It is a fine end to an increasingly pleasing album unveiling new nuances and moments with every listen even after double figure plays. It is a release sure to harass global attention the way of Ninjaspy but more so leave new legion of fans lusting for their sound and presence.

Spüken is released April 14th

http://www.ninjaspy.net/    https://www.facebook.com/ninjaspy/    https://twitter.com/ninjaspy

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Final Clause Of Tacitus – Peace In Chaos

tfcot2_RingMasterReview

With a reputation ascending as boisterously as their fusion of sound infests the senses, UK rockers The Final Clause Of Tacitus make their global introduction with the mouth-watering Peace In Chaos EP.  The Reading hailing outfit create a roar of rap, funk, and metal which easily draws comparisons to the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and early Faith No More. There is no mistaking or escaping their influences, so much so that the band’s sound is right now not the most unique yet it feels as fresh as most things out there with already glimpses of real individuality in songs and such their fiercely captivating prowess any wait for that potential to be realised will be no hardship.

Formed in early 2016, TFCOT quickly hit their stride live earning a potent name for themselves which in time saw the band gain support slots for bands such as Crazytown, Electric 6, and the Kamikaze Test Pilots as well as being invited to play the Skindred after party. Listening to Peace In Chaos, it is easy to imagine the raucous energy and exploits the band offer live and understand why they have increasingly established themselves firmly on the UK live scene.

The EP opens up with 7 Years, it instantly ensnaring ears in a web of steely grooves courted by a just as tempting throaty bassline. The rap style delivery of vocalist Matt Dunne is swift in appearance and persuasion, his expressive attack dancing on the thick grooves of guitarist Tom Burden as the bass of Andy Silva snarls. As suggested, the song’s sound is unapologetically recognisable but leaps around with enterprise and zeal to only please a quickly awoken appetite for its proposal. With the heavily swung beats of Luke Silver driving things, the song makes for a richly enjoyable start which continues with the following Give Them Blood.

ep-front_RingMasterReviewThe second track makes a sombre low key entrance, a touch of The Kennedy Soundtrack coming with it before the attitude at the heart of the track expels raw intensity in a funk infused, metal honed incitement. Riffs cut at the senses, scything across them as beats stab with precise aggravation. The track continues to twist and turn; the fire in its belly constant whilst ebbing and flowing as Dunne, backed by the plaintive cries of Burden, roars.

Without Resolve grabs ears next, its core hook pure bait for attention as the vocals and melodies scowl and sizzle respectively. Silva’s bass emulates that essential lure with its own funky groan, the song keeping its minimalistic but thick body controlled for pleasing results. A tango of a pleasing incitement, the track makes way for the impressive creative throes of Snake Town. Another rival to the first for best track, it boldly involves the band’s RHCP inspiration, infesting feet and hips with its excitable increasingly volatile funk.

TFCOT infuse some blues goodness into the agitated stroll of Your Next Click, adding a spicy hue to the funk metal honed groove the character of the track spins around. As its predecessor, there is no avoiding the track’s manipulation of body and enjoyment, a success just as readily found by closing track Hidden Patterns with its blaze of RATM attitude meets The Real Thing era Faith No More tenacity.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable first listen of The Final Clause Of Tacitus. They are at the start of an adventure and growth already showing signs of stirring potential and invention. If rap/funk fuelled metal is your flavour than Peace In Chaos is a feast of promise and pleasure.

The Peace in Chaos EP is out now through most online stores.

https://www.tfcot.band/   https://www.facebook.com/TFCOT/   https://twitter.com/tfcotband

Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hidden Pleasures: getting Under The Skin with Angie Joseph

under-the-skin_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Paris, Under the Skin is a new alternative rock band already beginning to turn heads and lure real attention. Consisting of Angie Joseph and Yann Brandon, the band released their first EP earlier this year, quickly stirring unsuspecting and eagerly receptive appetites to their refreshing sound. We had the pleasure of discovering more about the band and the creative forces behind it thanks to Angie, exploring its origins, that debut EP and much more…

Hi Angie and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

HI! We are Under the Skin…A French alternative rock band based in Paris. This band is a duo fuelled by Yann and me. We have additional musicians on stage but we really create the songs together. We used to work together in another project before and when it stopped, we have started to work alone… Yann was making me listen to his songs and I was doing the same… one day we decided, as we love each other’s work, to work together again.

Have you been/are involved in other bands together or singularly before?

Yes, Yann has been in few bands before. I’m in different bands since I’m 16. But I was in the same band with Yann for 7 years (2007-2014). When this band (WISHES) split up, I didn’t want to join another band, never… I had enough! So I’ve started to work alone and tried to found my own sound. I needed to prove something to me. I didn’t wanted to be involved in something where you have to convince or to hear the opinion of 4 or 5 musicians. But Yann and me are very close friends, so naturally I made him listen to my songs, and he did the same… we have decided to work together because we wanted the same things and most of all, we knew what we didn’t want anymore. We compose each at home on the computer, we record a demo and then we meet to listen and choose what we like or not.

What inspired the band name?

I wanted something with a meaning and also a name composed, because …hey, why not? Yann wanted the same, that’s why I love to work with him. Most of the time we want the same things and we don’t even have to talk about it, some people think that we are clones.

We’ve chosen this name because we are convinced that ‘Under the skin’ we are all the same, we don’t really like labels. So let’s break the fences and just make music.

Angie

Angie

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I don’t know if we can call it a specific idea but we wanted to make music in the most peaceful way possible… so from the creation of the band, to the songwriting process, we only do things if it’s cool and if we really love it. It’s easier because we are only 2 to decide… if it’s not 100% ok we don’t keep it. We never have a third person to choose between him and me. Maybe it’s something that our fans can feel… I don’t know. But we are more relaxed that’s obvious.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

It’s too soon to tell… the only thing we know is that we have found our sound… we know how we want the drums or the guitars sound… same thing for the mix…etc.… but for the songs themselves, we have not explored all the things we wanted, we don’t want to stay in one direction so, it’s too soon to tell.

Have any changes that have occurred in your sound been more organic than you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I feel that we always want to try new things because we have not explored all the things we wanted to as I said before… there is so much we want to try, we got so many ideas that this organic movement is more the way we work in general than something we could force… Yann and I came from different music styles so both of our influences feeds us… this give us a ton of opportunity and the band is too new to know where we could go yet. Every time I try to compose a song and I think of the way I want it to sound, I end in a totally different style, so not really. We do what we love. And we let the magic happen.

You mentioned influences, are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

We do have a wide range of inspiration, really different… I know that Yann really love bands like ‘Incubus’,‘Skunk Anansie’ or ‘Faith No More’, and I’ve heard people say that they can feel this but really as an influence and not like a copy or anything. It’s difficult to explain… We do have a lot of bands or artists in common  but I do listen to more punk music or loud rock, not like metal bands or heavy bands but bands from the 90’s or 70’s, raw, simple and most of the time with a woman behind the mic… Yann listens to different stuff so when I bring an idea he‘s the one that “arranges” the song and when he brings a song I try to find something to make it sound “simpler” … so we really complete each other in the way we write music.

Is there a process which generally guides the writing of songs?

No there is not a process. We really have a total freedom in the songwriting. Sometimes Yann brings a riff or a full song (just music or melodies, not lyrics), sometimes it’s me… sometimes we’ve just got an idea for a chorus or a verse. But we record anything we’ve got. Guitars, basses and drums before we share it and our ideas are full… and then we choose, we rearrange it or we put it in the “ideas box” … that’s what I like with our process… there is no waste.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I write all the lyrics… I take inspiration from my life, the world, my feelings… sometimes it’s exaggerated sometimes not… Then I try to find a melody, record a first idea and make him listen… and we refine the melody together, but most of the time I speak with him about the idea of the lyrics and he’s agree …

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Well, our latest release was also the first one. At the end of our previous band, we’ve been solicited separately by people who wanted to make music with us… for a song, a new project … some people  were waiting and wanted to see what we were going to do after this stop. But we wanted to work without pressure so we didn’t tell that we were working together on something new. When nobody is waiting for you, you got all the time you need and no one interfere, or push you. We’ve worked on few songs and have recorded them. We’ve also worked on a video clip that we had made few months before the release, always in secret. We’ve opened a Facebook page without showing our identity… and we’ve started to share it and the whole thing came out at the same time. It was a pretty good idea because a lot of people were not waiting for anything and suddenly a new band was here with a full pack. It was also very exciting and scaring but we definitely don’t regret it. We really had amazing returns from people everywhere. Radios, webzines, from our fans from our previous band, our family, friends…

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.uts2_RingMasterReview

I would say… love, friendship, sadness, happiness, anger… feelings.

Ego‘ talks about all that people that need to have lights on them without doing nothing, most of the time they do it to feel surrounded but that kind of friendship is fake, and it never last and they ‘re alone at the end of the journey.

‘Fever’ is about a poisoned relationship where love and hate are equal… and your mind about to break…

Good enough‘ is about being present for someone as a friend…even if at the end we are the only one that decides to bounce back when it comes to a rough time that we live.

‘Witness’ is about one of my friends… it’s hard to see someone dealing with a pain and feeling helpless… only time can heal that kind of drama…

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or leave room to develop them as you record?

We go in studio with the songs done at 96% because of our way to work… so the only things we do in studio are some arrangements. We only record the drums and the voices… Everything else is already recorded at home… it’s faster.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We’ve got a pretty good team for the live side. All the musicians are really good and they are also good friends of us. We also have a wonderful light engineer that works with us for years now, Bertille Friedrich. She has a lot of ideas, she’s young and she’s definitely a band mate. I think that what you see on stage is as important as what you hear. We try to create a very personal environment and a full universe. Like a story.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

It’s really hard… we try to do everything ourselves… from the recording to the graphic designs and video clips… so it takes a lot of time. The good thing is that we have experience and competence… But I think there is not magical recipe except working hard, with passion and staying true. But if you’ve got the magic formula in your pocket, you have all my attention.

uts_RingMasterReviewHow has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

If social media and internet didn’t exist, our entire plan for the release of the band would have been screwed up. We work with it… it’s important to see social media as a platform that helps you to keep in touch with people… for a band… not when you need to find new friends 😉 but it also forces a band like us, to rethink the way we communicate… we must feed this media with anything we have because people behind their screens are starving and everything goes really fast… that’s a full time job… People that keep social media or internet aside, loose something important that could help them, I think.

Once again Angie, my big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for having us. We have recorded a new song called ‘State Of Mind‘… I think this song is a good cure to the mood of the dark days that we are all living all around the world…it makes you smiles, and makes you happy. We’re going to release also a new video for this song… So keep in touch!  It’s going to be amazing!

We are going to work with our friends from the band ‘Dry Can’ for this video… Anne and Antoine are really good friends and they were already working with us on the video clip for the song ‘Fever’.

https://www.facebook.com/undertheskinband

Pete RingMaster 07/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Psykokondriak – Gloomy Days

art_RingMasterReview

Offering anarchic imagination and musical unpredictability is French rockers Psykokondriak, a band, to use a term in their new album’s press release, which “is a sixheaded hydra, a rock ‘n roll and hip-hop chimera.” They are also an encounter which on the evidence of Gloomy Days leaves a grin on the face and spirit as its parade of deranged adventures posing as songs spring inescapable fun fuelled incitements.

The band’s sound is like a mix of Hollywood Undead, Beastie Boys, Toumaï, and Red Hot Chili Peppers; groove infested and as funky as a swingers party and all led by a voraciously infectious hip hop devilry. Formed in 2006, Psykokondriak went through numerous line-up changes before releasing debut EP Hôpital Psykotrip six years later. Mid-2014 saw the current line-up in place, MC’s Y.B. (aka Mc Body) and Braeckman (aka Mc BOY) linking up with guitarist Tristan Florin (aka Docteur Florkin), bassist Cédric Desneulin (aka le comte Eskarfesse), drummer Aurélien Desneulin (aka L’empereur Mark Oreill), and DJ Julien Delville (aka DJ Stam Iff). Following an appearance on the Christmas compilation album Walt the Fuck last year, Gloomy Days is the sextet’s biggest nudge on attention and result of the band expanding their sound, a release with numerous familiar aspects and fiercely enjoyable and unique exploits.

Introducing the Body Boys is the short entrance into the album, the vocalists announcing themselves and the forthcoming adventure as sturdy strikes of sound engage in ear pleasing coaxing as turntables sizzle. It leads straight into Psyko Waltz, Pt. 1, a continuation in sound and style of that initial invitation. The bass instantly sets out on a funk infested grooving as vocals bounce around, a lure entangled in sonic interplay as swinging beats entice a tempest of twists and raw energy. The track easily recruits ears and appetite for its somewhat recognisable sounds yet individual character of imagination which in turn only develops and expands as the track continues to grow. By its closing, the track is as heavy and invasive as a Korn meets (Hed)p.e. proposal and as enjoyable.

The Fine Art of Terror follows, thrusting hungry riffs and funk bred grooves through ears as vocal declaration and predacious attitude drive the energy and character of the excellent encounter. Again hips and feet are swiftly gripped by the creative and contagious drama escaping Psykokondriak, the band raging and swinging with matching dexterity before Workless Dance opens up its inescapable flirtation with wiry hooks and vocal revelry. In no time the track is a festival of lean grooves and thicker expulsions, at times carrying the scent of a Primer 55 or at other moments exploring something akin to 633 meets Crazy Town, every second leading to an unexpected turn.

A similar template provides the canvas for Monstros Incorporantes next; punk rock, metal, and hip hop colliding in a jungle of swiping beats, predacious bass and guitar grooves, and vocal infectiousness. Again familiar elements entangle fresh enterprise as the track grips ears and bodies before the brief cinematic instrumental interlude of Gunfight Helicopters sets up the raucously psychotic Think It Up. Like Flea and co losing their sanity as early Faith No More interferes, the deranged engagement jumps around like its feet are burning on hot creative coals, again the imagination as hooked as ears on Psykokondriak’s fun soaked bedlam.

The album’s best track comes next, Spookadelic Fever Mansion opening with much of the classic Alfred Hitchcock TV show intro before sauntering into an aural spook fest of swaying rhythms aligned to a low slung bassline. With its cartoonish swagger and the rapacious aggression which blossoms in certain moments, it plays like a Scooby Doo meets Beetlejuice soundtrack while lyrically snarling. The track is glorious; reason enough to take a look at Psykokondriak and quickly backed up by Hot Day Hotter Night and its funk stroll with moments of climactic eruption and anthemic vocal roars; it all simply impossible not to get thickly engaged in.

Closing on the dark strains of Unherited Culture, a track reminding a little of nineties UK band Honky but exploring its own experimental and threatening shadows, Gloomy Days simply hits the spot for something fresh and exciting. Musically at times it is not the most unique yet every recognisable aspect is countered and surpassed by moments of imagination and craft masked as lunacy.  Whether Gloomy days will break Psykokondriak into new hungry spotlights time will tell but it will definitely recruit a horde of new fans with us to the fore.

Gloomy Days is out now across most online stores and streaming @ https://psykokondriak.bandcamp.com/album/gloomy-days

https://www.facebook.com/Psykokondriak

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Japanese Fighting Fish – Swimming with Piranhas

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

Photo by Scott M Salt Photography

The highly anticipated third album from British aural dramatists  Japanese Fighting Fish is uncaged this week, a release which not only confirms that there is no other proposal like the London based quartet but shows the band hitting another plateau in their breath-taking sound and invention. There are few with the musical craft and adventure to match an imagination as daring as it is inimitable but Japanese Fighting Fish have it all in abundance and in full enthralling flow within Swimming with Piranhas.

Formed in Leeds in 2009, Japanese Fighting Fish had a great many hooked, including us, by the release of debut album Just Before We Go MAD two years later. A release experimenting with South American rhythms as raw vocals and dirty guitars played, its compelling success was eclipsed by its successor, the punk infused Day Bombs of 2011. Releases and years have seen the band draw comparisons to the likes of Faith No More, System of a Down, QOTSA, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, and Frank Zappa, but as evidenced once more by their latest triumph,  Japanese Fighting Fish really do stand alone in character and sound. Mastered by Tim Young (Massive Attack, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Elbow, and The Beatles ‘Love’ Album), Swimming with Piranhas is the band at its most eclectic yet and offering a collection of funk infested, theatrical exploits; quite simply rock and roll with the devilry and boldness of creative insanity.

Inspired in title by the real life wild experiences of vocalist Karlost Thompson and drummer Al Sweetman whilst staying in Ecuador with a Quechan tribe where they took a dip in the Amazon River, Swimming with Piranhas has ears and imagination swiftly gripped with its opening title track. A lone spicy groove teases first, it soon joined by broader sonic sighs and boisterous rhythms as the song increasingly expands into a hip swinging, rhythmically riveting magnet. Once the familiar, ever expressive and captivating tones of Karlost complete the line-up of creative cast, the imagination is taken on a beguiling off kilter ride. With kinetic beats and baroque scented organ shaped theatre adding to the ever shifting gait and mood of the encounter, the opener is sheer captivating as fiery and infectious as it is thought provoking and a great sign of things to come.

art_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start continues and hits another level with Egyptian Sunrise, the song a sultry tango of exotic mystique upon the driving throaty bassline of Matt McGuinness and the swinging bait of Sweetman. Impossible to resist getting physically involved, the song leads the body a merry dance with the imagination caught up in the creative tones and lyrical incitement of Karlost. Also swathed in the equally suggestive invention of Gareth Frederik Ellmer’s guitar, the song is a mouth-watering exploit soon matched in creative theatre by Provocative Cat. Funky with Parisian hues, the song flirts and dances with ears as the bass masterfully groans and Karlost paints the imagination like a vaudevillian showman.

New single For Queen Marilyn comes next, sauntering in on a raw riff and rumbling beats as vocals spread their instinctive drama and ascending energy. Soon its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is ablaze with intensity amidst a hearty roar, switching between calm and volatile waters before making way for Close The Gate. An encounter which seems to mellow as it reaches climactic moments and erupts when you expect it to slip into alluring calms, the unpredictable song is a twisted treat but one soon outshone by previous single U Ain’t Gonna Win This. An exploration of split personalities also making a “homage to boxing greats like Ali, and Rocky “, the song is a fleet footed shuffle with another deeply contagious gurning  bassline from McGuinness courting the vocal waltz of Karlost and band. Taking addiction to a fresh level, the track mixes sweltering melodies and grungy textures with sonic guitar splatters and a virulent carnival-esque bounce.

Hard To Resist is a matching enslavement of body and appetite, its lazy yet snarling bass swing and gripping croon just two of the irresistible elements in what must be the next single. The track is glorious, reminding of little know eighties band, Zanti Misfitz as it throws its creative temptation around. A slip into a deranged XTC like pasture only adds to the fun and increasing seduction too.

Another funk sculpted adventure follows in the shape of I Got Time; its Red Hot Chili Peppers like romp infused with a Talking Heads like prowess, while On A Fall sonically shimmers as the eager beats of Sweetman fuel the pulsating balladry of voice and Ellmer’s resonating guitar enterprise. Increasingly more provocative and gripping with every listen, the track is yet another thrilling twist in the varying style and sound within Swimming with Piranhas.

The album is brought to an equally exciting and inventive close by firstly Dr. No-Sense and its noir spiced and increasingly bedlamic intensity. It is followed by the similarly deranged but skilfully reined imagination and creative resourcefulness of I Caught You Wandering for a bewitching end to another superb offering from Japanese Fighting Fish. Swimming with Piranhas takes the band and their one of a kind proposition to a whole new plateau, not just for them but for the British rock scene. Why Japanese Fighting Fish is not a name on so many more eager lips already is a bit of a mystery, now they might just be with this beast of a proposal doing the persuading.

Swimming with Piranhas is released 17th June across most online stores.

http://www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/Japanesefightingfishuk   https://twitter.com/jffuk

Pete RingMaster 17/06/2016

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