Scant Regard – Skipping Over Damaged Area

Pic by Thomas Triton

A body infesting, imagination twisting kaleidoscope to the hope and insanity of the world we shape, Skipping Over Damaged Area is the senses ravishing new captivation from Scant Regard. An album of unscrupulous hooks, electronic virulence, and guitar carved intimation, it surges through ears casting a realm of suggestion and reflection as devilish as the themes inspiring its creative antics leaving hope, fear, and sheer pleasure in its wake.

Scant Regard is the solo project of London-based guitarist/writer/producer Will Crewdson. He is a musician few can have failed to have been consciously or unknowingly pleasured by. Whether with the rock escapades of Rachel Stamp, which he co-founded, and She Made Me Do It or through his work with the likes of Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Flesh for Lulu, Bow Wow Wow and numerous other bands he played guitar for, Crewdson is a guitarist who has been in demand because of his instinctive ability to incite and bend the imagination as well as simply ignite songs and ears alike. Scant Regard has been an adventurous showcase for his craft and skills across four previous albums, Skipping Over Damaged Area a riveting new addition to their ranks.

Exploring various shades in an overall theme “of the apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, Skipping Over Damaged Area is a tenacious maze of styles and flavours glazed with a sci-fi nurtured intrigue. At times it is like a warped soundtrack to a seventies TV show such as UFO, Space: 1999, or Doomwatch but with a dark lining in its every move; corrupting hope and light at a turn, tempering their threat in the next.

The album opens up with the swiftly addictive Mostly Accidental, electric pulses exploding on impact as it swaggers into view with an almost predacious swing. Instantly electronic suggestion and animation dances and flirts on the senses, thick doomy hues underlining the brewing Westworld-esque imagery conjured in thoughts by the instrumental piece which fully comes alive once Crewdson’s guitar explodes on the imagination.

It is an outstanding beginning, one to be honest we had to listen to twice before moving on upon our first listen to Skipping Over Damaged Area but quickly matched in strength and temptation by Fuck Everything. Repeated samples of its title float across a landscape of attitude, another electronically woven tale which immerses the listener in an evolving cascade of light and dark, fun and irritancy driven by inspiring shards of guitar.

The following Ill Gotten Gains is a corruption of sound and reflection; an addiction breeding ground with melodic lures aligned to dark deeds. At times it lies somewhere between the evolution of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh’s project British Electric Foundation into their band Heaven 17 but with thicker shadows and dare we say even more infectious boldness.

Similarly Destroy (We’re Here to) has an eighties electronic edge to it around hooks and melodies which border on the salacious. Like the musical voice to a modern day Mars Attacks, the track waltzed over the senses, sending them spiralling as the imagination conjures. Simultaneously feet and hips were given a good smile wearing work out before BIGBLACKSHADES creates a conspiracy of sound and suggestion with its cold wave meets industrial espionage. Electronics and guitar again unite in a dark interpretation of life, its funkiness contrasting yet complementing the song’s voracious dynamics.

A lighter climate accompanies the outstanding Car Crash on Pluto, the track like something akin to Fred Schneider colluding with Helldorado as they glide the cosmos upon surf rock fuelled winds, while Hemi Demi courts indie rock tenacity within its electro pop enterprise as again seventies flavoured hues spice its rock ‘n roll.

Through the celestial smoulder of Traits, a track with lava hot melodies veining a volatile shimmer, and the hook carrying electro smoking canter of Sublineage Blues, ears and imagination are drawn into further incendiary drama while Posthistoric springs a more intensive atmosphere and adventure to navigate as a bubbling undercurrent of catchiness snaps, crackles and pops. All three simply tantalise and captivate as the imagination fantasises, Crime and Retribution in turn sparking the same responses with its brooding electronic groans and emerging guitar spun cold war clamour.

The album closes with Blue Moon Juice, a collage of vivacious sounds woven into a canvas of rockabilly bred devilry; imagine a psychobilly Yello and you get a hint of the track’s irresistible lure as it brings the album to a forcibly magnet conclusion.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is a prismatic insight and incitement for body and thoughts. It impacts on numerous levels, pleasures on every one. Crewdson is no stranger to attention and acclaim and can expect plenty more with what just might be his finest moment yet.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is out now on download and CD @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-over-damaged-area

https://scantregard.com    https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Devil In Faust – Come Apart

Grabbing ears straightaway is not the easiest thing to achieve as numerous music fans can testify but to truly and swiftly catch the imagination is a rare success but something Brit goth rockers The Devil In Faust have done with their debut EP, Come Apart. It is not necessarily the most unique encounter though its web of enterprise and temptation is certainly individual to the Shrewsbury hailing trio, but it has open freshness to its creative drama and virulent adventure which just clicked with our ears and appetites.

Formed late 2014 by old school friends in vocalist/guitarist Al Pritchard and drummer Ben Codd, The Devil In Faust soon made a strong impression on their local live scene whilst their debut video single, Dark Places, found potent online success. Subsequent sharing of stages with the likes of Dani Filth’s Devilment and Sinnergod only furthered their growing reputation as too following singles, all a spark to the band receiving an invitation to record in Aarhus, Denmark with Tue Madsen (Moonspell, Meshuggah, Sick of it All) where they demoed twelve tracks then whittled down to the four making up band’s first EP. With a stable line-up now in place with the addition of bassist Jess Lomas, the trio are ready to impose on bigger spotlights with Come Apart leading the way.

The EP opens with the outstanding Cross Your Heart, a slice of virulent temptation working away at ears and imagination from its first breath. Swiftly, there is a familiarity to the band’s sound yet as suggested earlier, it is woven into a boldness of invention belonging to The Devil In Faust. Like a blend of Flesh For Lulu and Clan of Xymox with a touch of Southern Death Cult and 1919, the track strolls in with a seductive shimmer around rhythmic incitement. Pritchard’s potent voice is soon in the midst of the compelling bait, directing the virulence with his distinctive tones as his guitar spins a web of chords and hooks. Quickly infectious and increasingly virulent, the track has attention in its creative palms in no time, physical participation enticed soon after.

The excellent start is backed by the equally alluring presence of Soulmate. Dark melancholic strings and gothic keys caress the imagination initially; from within their theatre a tenacious dance of energy and infection simmers and boils sparking a rousing rock ‘n’ roll stroll part Psychedelic Furs, part The Lords of the New Church, and just a little Alice In Chains but again boisterously The Devil In Faust in nature and devilment. Its fluid flow through lively and mellower moments comes drenched in catchy contagion, the calmer passages emulated and expanded in next up In My Eyes, an acoustic led slice of captivating balladry cast in a hug of emotive shadows which soon has the body rocking and passions entangled in its inventive landscape. There is a whiff of The Only Ones to the song and not for the first time a thought arises that if The Devil In Faust had arisen three or so decades back their success would be guaranteed.

Those dark shadows cloak next up Seed, its instinctive growl lining another increasingly contagious escapade coloured with sultry psychedelic rock hues. Adding essences not too far removed from a fusion of The Doors and The Birthday Party, the song simply and swiftly beguiles ears with again familiarity and new enterprise entangling for a thoroughly gripping adventure.

If The Devil In Faust never realises the potential rich within Come Apart, more of the same will go down a treat next time around but growth there will be and that is something we are eagerly anticipating; something hard to imagine we will be alone in.

Come Apart is out now on all major platforms.

http://www.thedevilinfaust.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheDevilInFaustOnline   https://twitter.com/@Thedevilinfaust

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Your Favorite Enemies – Between Illness And Migration

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Released back home earlier this year, Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies give their European unleashing to their album Between Illness And Migration this month, an encounter sure to wake up keen attention over this side of the globe for them and their highly flavoursome sound. Made up of ten tracks which capture the imagination as easily as the ears, the album is a potential fuelled and adventurous proposition, a constant fascination which does not quite set the blaze that maybe its invention and diverse presence deserves. There is a sense of familiarity coating every track and twist within an otherwise dramatic presence which seemingly prevents any real surprises breaking through, but nevertheless Between Illness And Migration leaves ears satisfied and appetite ready for more.

Formed in 2006, the Montreal band is no stranger to taking their striking fusion of shoegaze, post punk, and alternative rock into new pastures, Your Favorite Enemies having played shows across Europe, Japan, China, Indonesia, and of course Canada. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Drive Like Jehu, and Fugazi, the sextet drew strong attention with debut album Love Is a Promise Whispering Goodbye in 2008, its success following the potent base set by previous and first EP And If I Was to Die in the Morning… Would I Still Be Sleeping with You the year before. After a deluxe version of their album, second full-length Vague Souvenir helped expand their presence in 2012 before last year the band released the vinyl album Sacred Kind Of Whispers and the Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire EP to keen responses and recognition. Between Illness And Migration also began its flirtation with the world in 2013, Australian and Japanese versions being unveiled before this year Canada, alongside the Entre Marées Et Autres Ressacs EP, and now Europe received their versions.

Released via Graphite Records, Between Illness And Migration opens with the imagination sparking instrumental Satsuki Yami. Sonically fiery and emotionally agitated, the track is an intro into the album giving no real hint in hindsight of things to come but awakening senses and thoughts successfully for the following temptation of Empire Of Sorrows. Initially a lonely guitar bred melody melancholically strokes ears, its coaxing joined by the just as lamenting spoken tones of vocalist Alex Foster. Building around that single sonic lure, the guitars of Jeff Beaulieu and Sef begin shaping a dramatic web to which rhythms align their brewing intensity and the keys of Miss Isabel offer their initially subdued hues. Once inflamed the song is a stirring cauldron of cold post punk enterprise and provocation, the bass of Ben Lemelin a groaning treat and the beats of drummer Charles Allicy a reined yet rampant incitement. Evolving through gentle and haunted scenery to roaring blazes, there is a refreshing sense of bands like Wire, Modern English, and Flesh for Lulu to the encounter which intrigues as its tantalises the imagination and illness_migration_cover_europe_800passions.

It is a mighty start to the album which A View From Within backs up with its whipping sonic web and slightly portentous air. The acidic and scorched start to the song reminds of Bauhaus but is soon merging into new terrain as keys toy with synth rock enterprise and vocals from Foster and Miss Isabel entwine with spicy variety. As the first track you feel you know or can predict the turns and shifts the song takes but even without that element of surprise, it lights ears and appetite with a flavoursome drama soaked adventure, as does its successor Where Did We Lose Each Other. The first rub of guitar sets the juices flowing which the subsequent rhythmic shuffle and keen hooks only accentuate before a brief relaxation to draw in the vocals slightly dulls the weighty persuasion. From this point the song ebbs and flows, flying high with its vocal and melodic roars and dipping slightly in its less intensively emotive turns. The enterprise of the guitars and the delicious toxicity of the grooves and increasingly barbed hooks ensure the song wins the day though and provides moments of lingering success.

Underneath A Stretching Skyline keeps things bubbling potently, the raw energy and gnarly voice of bass and riffs an inescapable enticement within the just as magnetic sonic winds cast by guitars and keys. Its time is shared with elegant and gentle melodic reflections matched by the vocals; both characters within the song courting each other’s strengths to provide a fascinating drama of sound and lyrical narration. The song epitomises the album in many ways, its presence an engrossing and easily accessible canvas of craft and invention which impressively and enjoyably smoulders rather than ignites a fire with its offering. The same applies to next up From The City To The Ocean, its resonating body and gripping endeavour a lively simmer more than a furnace for the emotions but a treat for ears all the same. With repetition driving much of the vocals and spoken vocals also a full part to the unfolding picture, as across most songs, it takes more time than some to fully convince but subsequently finds the same level of pleasure.

The deviously addictive bassline within I Just Want You To Know soon has ears trapped in the evocative hazy landscape immersing the senses, the song as tenacious in its emotion as it is in sonic temptation, whilst 1-2-3 (One Step Away) is a climatic build of rugged rhythms and punk antagonism within a melody fired creative sprawl of invention and diversity. The pair grips ears and thoughts with their impassioned suasions, the second of the two especially incendiary as it pulls the album back to the impressive levels it started with.

Between Illness And Migration is completed by the sonic maelstroms of firstly Obsession Is A Gun, its pungent drama bewitching, and finally Muets Aux Temps Des Amours, a noir lit enchantment which croons with anguish and slowly burning but ultimately rich temptation. The closer shows more of the strengths of Fosters striking vocals and those of Miss Isabel but also the one personal niggle about the album. That is the want to use spoken vocals throughout the majority of tracks, some more strongly than others. It is an idea which works a treat for the main but by the last songs it finally feels overdone, its variety and success becoming formula. As mentioned it is just something which laboured for us and will be fine for others, and it definitely does not make for a major issue.

Your Favorite Enemies with Between Illness And Migration show themselves to be an adventurous and bold band, their release impossible to ignore or stay away from as it impresses more with every listen. Their oncoming evolution is one to anticipate and enjoy it is easy to suggest, starting with this great release, and once they find real distinction to their sound that missing blaze just might be running amok.

Between Illness And Migration is available now via Graphite Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id920852948

http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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The Hertz Complex – A New Habit EP

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Whilst it is not an encounter to instantly set the emotions on fire or leave the imagination awe struck, the A New Habit EP from The Hertz Complex quietly and relentlessly works away at the psyche to emerge as a rather tasty, potential fuelled proposition. It is a slowly burning but persistently persuasive release which puts the band on the radar with ease whilst brewing up a keen anticipation for the quartet ahead as they evolve and grow further into their enterprising sound. The band’s debut EP is as intriguing as it is deceptively infectious, its songs smouldering rather than blazing within ears but they leave seeds and hooks behind which from nowhere can take a hold of the memory.

Hailing from Cork in Ireland, songwriters Neil O’Keeffe (lead vocals, guitar) and Paul Keane (guitar/vocals) have formed an instinctive creative partnership which brings an organic breath and attraction to their songs as evidenced on the EP. Embracing the inspirations of their Irish roots and of bands such as The Chameleons, Joy Division, Whipping Boy, and Howling Wolf, the pair’s distinct twist of post punk with melodic unpredictability offers healthy bait with an imaginative coaxing. Relocating to the Deptford area of London, the duo linked up with Canadians Benjamin Balan (drums) and Chris Keelan (bass), the compelling rhythmic side to the lure of The Hertz Complex. With their live performances, including festivals and a headlining show at LA’s Whisky A Go Go, constantly drawing more attentive fans and responses, as well as the recent announcement that one of their tracks will be featured in a movie soundtrack, it feels like a big step is being taken in the ascent of The Hertz Complex, something A New Habit adds its persuasive weight to.

Maybe I Know starts things off and takes little time in enticing thoughts and appetite with its chilled but seductive charm. A shimmering sonic coaxing wraps ears first, its touch framed by punchy beats. Before long a guitar weaving 10418167_796654680353242_78278592038508633_nmagnetically flirts with the senses, dripping evocative hues as the bass adds its own dark colour. It is a potent welcome which only increases its pull once settling into a steady canter of crisp rhythms and spiralling sonic endeavour. Infectious melodies equally add their rich enticement to create a gripping canvas upon which the initially monotone kissed plaintive clad tones of O’Keeffe opens the narrative. It is a striking union, elements of Joy Division and at times Modern English swirling within the provocative climate being brewed by the band. Thoughts of Flesh For Lulu also make an appearance as the song increases the strength of its virulent suasion and enterprise. As the EP, it is not a song which explodes and has passions drooling but with its persistent fuzz lined sonic taunting and melodic web it is an encounter which beds deeply into the psyche for a long term friendship.

The great start is followed by the just as appealing and addictive Bassy. From its first breath, guitars are binding ears with entrancing acidic melodies and irresistible hooks, but it is through the shadowed throated tones of Keelan’s bass croon that the appetite is sparked into hungry rapture. There is an indefinable familiarity to the main sonic call of the song too which only works in the song’s favour whilst the slightly off kilter vocals add another intrigue sparking texture to the proposition. The track holds a restrained air to its intent, a hint of explosive incitement promised never realised yet again though it is a song which embeds in an awakened imagination for a lingering and welcome persistent presence.

Next up The Boxer Rebellion brings a broader rock ‘n’ roll intent to its keen gait and suggestive almost sinister breath. The vocals veer to a more strained delivery than elsewhere at times but also breaks into a varied punk kissed antagonism to match the evolving sound and adventure of the track. A song which merges elements of initially post punk with hard and garage rock plus that punk essence, it almost does not know what it wants to be but is still a fluid storm to thoroughly enjoy. It does not match the opening pair of songs but shows another range and depth to the sound and songwriting of the band as does its successor No Control. The song is a delicious croon of vocals and guitar, an evocative smoulder which lures in thoughts and appetite with increasing success as the rest of the band bring with their potent colours. Like the previous song it takes a while to fully seduce but given time makes for a persistence of reserved hooks and gentle melodies which entrench their fascination long term.

The EP is completed by the radio edit of Maybe I Know which is as good as the broader version but over too soon in comparison of course. A New Habit EP is probably not going to send you shouting from the rooftops to be honest but it has all the promise and exciting qualities to make The Hertz Complex a band to keep under close and keen scrutiny.

A New Habit EP is available now!

http://www.thehertzcomplex.com/

8/10

RingMaster 14/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Holocene – Flaws In Us All

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With a fine line in jangly guitars and melodic persuasion Flaws In Us All, the new single from UK indie rock band Holocene makes a solid and appetising persuasion as to why we should keep a firm eye on this Birmingham quartet. The single does not leap at the ear and demand attention, preferring to seduce and smoulder on the senses and thoughts until the same intent is earned, but it is a captivating release that sparks a definite appetite for more of the appealing sound.

Formed in the September of 2011 and taking inspirations from the likes of Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon into their invention, Holocene took no time in securing a strong and eagerly growing fanbase through their constant gigging, their debut coming at the 02 Academy in Birmingham. Their sound has also brought support from not only local press and radio stations but people such as Carl Barat and Gary Powell of the Libertines. It is a strong base the quartet of Bishan Davies (vocals and rhythm guitar), Marcello Sanzari (lead guitarist), Aaron Barnett (bass), and Benedict Campbell (drums and backing vocals) look to build upon and certainly the two tracks, which were recorded with Gavin Monaghan (Editors/ The Twang), that make up the single will only add to their growing presence.

Flaws In Us All opens with a deep throaty bassline, its lone call instantly tempting as it opens up the ear for the following melodic course of guitars and vocals. Immediately there is a post punk feel to the track, essences of Joy Division and Flesh For Lulu whispering richly, though once into its stride and the melodic coaxing is at full sway the one reference which calls out is China Crisis. For all of that though the sound has a unique flavour to its voice which is bred solely from Holocene and offers a persistent temptation across the warm and discord skirting intrigue. The vocals of Davies are strong whilst blending perfectly into the caressing intent of the song and the backing vocals, though arguably lacking a needed bite, serve as a pleasing companion. It is a track which takes ear and thoughts in a tender but energetic embrace and stokes up the emotions to want to know and hear more from the band.

The accompanying song serves one of those needs right away and only adds to the lure of the release. Grab My Coat from the start lays down irresistible bait through the guitar before it is joined by the rest of the band in a mix of power pop/indie rock, a romp of infectious hooks and melodies veined by contagious rhythms. There is a familiar air to the track which again turns back time for thoughts and makes an easy to access climb on board its addictive dance. Like with the title song there is debatably a snarl to the sound needed to lift it above the heads of the pack, a nip or acidic shadow which brings an edge, but they feel on course to achieving a distinct stance going by these two songs alone.

Holocene is a band well worth keeping a close eye on and Flaws In Us All a single certainly worth adding to your playlists.

https://twitter.com/#!/HoloceneUK

https://www.facebook.com/holoceneuk

7.5/10

RingMaster 22/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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