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

Buster Shuffle – I’ll Take What I Want

As you shiver over the winter months, body and energy needs something to keep the cold at bay and spirit stomping and Buster Shuffle have just the right tonic in the shape of their new album, I’ll Take What I Want. Bursting with their most virulent and imaginative sound yet, the UK quartet’s fourth full-length mischievously swings and devilishly strolls as it grabs limbs and soul like a rascal puppeteer.

I’ll Take What I Want casts more of the fusion of ska, pop, and rock ‘n roll Buster Shuffle has increasingly pushed and established since emerging back in 2007. Each of their previous albums has added a fresh lick of enterprise and adventure but the street carnival of their latest offering is a whole new ball game and easily the band’s most unique and thrilling proposal yet. Debut album Our Night Out of 2010 swiftly lured acclaim and attention the way of the London outfit subsequently backed by a live success soon seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Holloways, The Wombats, Goldie Lookin’ Chain and Chas ‘n’ Dave, a list which Buster Shuffle over the years has added artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Frank Turner, Drop Kick Murphys, Madness, The Blockheads, The Rifles, and Flogging Molly. The albums Do Nothing and especially Naked has increased their presence and reputation with unerring fun and craft something I’ll Take What I Want can only vigorously escalate.

With their street wise/reflective lyrics and multi-flavoured sound, Buster Shuffle instantly infest ears and appetite with album opener I Don’t Trust a Word You Say. Straight away a rousing wave of vocal and musical temptation surges through ears, vocalist Jet Baker leading the way with his tones and equally potent piano revelry as rhythms swing. Hitting an impossibly contagious stroll part ska, part old school punk with a dash of fellow Brits The Tuesday Club to it, the song instantly has the body bouncing and passions greedy with its boisterous antics.

The forcibly captivating start only continues as We Fall to Pieces steps in with its folk ska rascality, the song like a fusion of Blur and Tankus The Henge around the throbbing lure of Tim Connell’s double bass and the crisp beats of Terry Mascall. Again Baker’s piano and James Stickley’s guitar collude in creative chicanery as the former’s tones and words tantalise across two minutes of instinctively bold rock ‘n’ roll before Pretty Boy swaggers in with its own infectious dynamics and enterprise. Imagine Television Personalities and again Blur bursting in on Bad Manners and you get a flavour of the track’s gorgeous recipe of enticement.

There is no escaping a rich Madness spice within next up See You Next Week, its determinedly infectious canter pure instruction to the body to dance and ears to greedily devour before The Estate takes the listener into the danger and shadows of modern city life with its spunk pop manipulations. Set across two stages, the day light vivacity of its initial stomp is a darkened night lit rush by its departure, song and imagination running with instinctive eagerness to only increase the already rich impact of the release.

I’ll Be in Peckham has a touch of gypsy to its virulent amble next, its seductive yet off-kilter street  waltz manna to these ears as pretty much the whole of I’ll Take What I Want to be honest but especially manipulating as it sets up the warm gallop of the album’s madness soaked title track. It is ska pop to get frisky with, hips getting a keen workout as melodies and hooks unite in an irresistible web of catchy temptation.

With a throbbing tuba-esque hook to swing from, Your Mommy Is So Hot for Me is simply ska impishness so easy to devour, the band’s constant humour as virulent as their sound as too their lyrical prowess as shown yet again in the predacious flirtation of The Tables Have Now Turned and the indie punk pop jangle of Take Them All. Both songs tease and tempt with their creative twists and unpredictable turns, all lined with the never relinquishing infectiousness of the Buster Shuffle sound.

The album is completed by the folk littered contagion of Banana Thief, its ska spun carnival also embracing a country twang as tasty as its other infectious ingredients, and finally the instrumental skanking and harmonic seduction of the Outro Song. With its sixties espionage/sci-fi TV theme tune air and not for the first time, the golden hues of backing vocalist Carrie Griffiths radiating, the track is a masterful end to a real treat of an album. Also featuring the keyboard and vocal enterprise of Pete Oag, I’ll Take What I Want is sheer pleasure and addiction in one; quite simply another year high for music.

I’ll Take What I Want is out now via Burning Heart Records on iTunes, Amazon, and other stores.

https://bustershufflemusic.com/     https://www.facebook.com/bustershuffleofficial

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ghouls – RUN

Though it is hard to exactly pin down the precise reason, it is very easy to find a connection with the music of UK outfit Ghouls. Whether it is the fusion of familiar essences with something fresh and individual, the lyrical themes drawn from being on the outside of the assumed norm, or the refusal to be pigeonholed in life and style, probably all three, the London based sextet make for an instinctive pleasure in ears and imagination.

The release of new album RUN epitomises that union; a dozen tracks bred in a fusion of pop and core punk, alternative rock, and numerous other flavours which has the body dancing, ears pleasured, and spirit defiant. The successor to debut album Ten Thousand Words On released a year after the band’s emergence in 2013, RUN is a band relaxed in its musical skin and bold in its creative ambition. Since their first album, a release striking the spark for the band to sell-out The Monarch in Camden and earn the continuing praise of Frank Turner, Ghouls have become a potent lure on the UK and European live scene and at festivals such as 2000Trees, Jera On Air, The Secret Garden Party, Mighty Sounds, Hit The Deck and many more. Last year alone saw them undertake a two week tour of the USA, play THE FEST in Gainesville, Florida, and successfully light up Brixton Academy as part of the Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour.

Now it is RUN ready to push the band and its reputation on again and does a fine job of both from its very first moments courtesy of opener Seasonal Affective. Infectious from its first breath with strolling riffs and keen beats, the track soon blossoms again with fuzzy squirts of guitar and the potent voice of guitarist Benedict Goold. With emotion and energetic expression in his strong delivery, his presence makes an early focal point backed by heated melodies and the swinging jabs of drummer Jay Swinstead. The track never erupts as it suggests it might but rather lets its lining of grumbling shadows led by Sam Mussell’s growling bass add rich intrigue as hooks and catchy exploits engage.

It is a great start to the album which Autophobia continues with its fiery bounce. Quickly revealing the inviting flames of Ben Maz’s sax and Russell Spencer’s trombone, the song rumbles along with a pop punk eagerness. Like a mix of The Hostiles and Neck Deep, it grabs ears and appetite with ease though it is still eclipsed by the rousing revelry of Better Places straight after. With an initial blast of brass stirring the spirit, the encounter soon reveals a great landscape of instinctively catchy bait whether the song relaxes into a thoughtful calm or leaps to its toes and grabs hips and feet in a tenacious bounce. That earlier mentioned familiarity is already open across the three songs and like an old inspiring friend within the third before helping fuel the contagion of next up Facebook Friend. With a hip hop lilt to his delivery, Goold acts like a ringmaster to the confident mischief and subsequent boisterous swagger and aggression of the outstanding song.

The pair of Salt with its sultry brass infusions and rhythmic rumble especially alluring and The Difference through its impassioned heart keeps things bubbling nicely even if neither quite scales the heights of those before them for personal tastes. The first of the two though is as memorable as anything upon RUN and equalled in that attribute by the reflective voice and tenacious canter of Home. Another proposition drawing on the “daily grind of real life and the struggles faced in the modern day” for its spark, it has the body a lively blur in no time.

Antagonist has funkiness in its swing as it forges another moment within the album firmly sticking in thoughts; its body a tapestry of controlled and volatile enterprise which never leaves a dull moment before Hard Days captivates with its lively croon and infectious pop fuelled romp and in turn Disavowal prowls and catches alight with emotive intensity. More of a slow burner than other tracks around it, it similarly grows into one of the hearty episodes returning at will in the imagination.

Completed by firstly the acoustic caress of voice and guitar of Expect Greater Things, a song which just grabs the passions from the off, gripping even tighter as the track eventually ignites into a full fire of sound and infection and finally Oxytocin which closes things with melodic flaring in an excitably catchy escapade. The pair provides a fine end to a release which has enjoyment bubbling over from start to finish.

RUN carries the potential of even greater adventures ahead with Ghouls where an appetite for the bite which this album hints at but never quite delivers may be satisfied. The album though ticks all the right boxes for forty odd minutes of rich pleasure and physical animation, its new maturity in songwriting and sound declaring Ghouls ready for big attention.

RUN is available now through 1471 Records @ https://www.1471records.com/store and https://ghoulsuk.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ghoulsuk   https://twitter.com/GhoulsUK   https://www.instagram.com/ghoulsuk/

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mark Mathews – Black Heart Down

Mark Mathews_RingMasterReview

As a teaser for and invitation to his new album, The Raging Sea, British singer songwriter Mark Mathews releases new single Black Heart Down, a song to get the feet moving and spirit bouncing. It is a song which does not startle yet needs little time to spark an energetic response to its boisterous rock ‘n’ roll.

Half Spanish on his Mother’s Side and Northern Irish from his Father’s, Belfast bred Mark and his family was moved to the East End of London by his actor Dad, leaving a home town “heavy with stories of death and guns.”  Mark’s musical tastes and heart was inspired, amongst other things, by the discovery of Sgt Peppers in his Mum’s vinyl collection and a freebie tape titled Sixties Mania that came with a box of Kellogg’s cereal. The emergence of Oasis was the trigger for Mark to pick up a guitar and write songs. Embracing the sounds and songwriting craft of other artists such as The Beatles, The Kinks, The Band, and Ryan Adams too, his music passion and career was soon a full-time involvement.

Since that start, Mark has gigged, toured, and busked around the world, been voted one of the best artists in London by readers of the Metro newspaper, and been awarded first place in the Indie International song writing competition and nominated for 2 Indy Music Awards for best live act. Either solo or with his band, Mark Mathews’ Late Night Players, he has shared stages with the likes of Andy Fairweather-Low, Frank Turner, Nigel Clarke (Dodgy) Luke Toms, The Draytones, and Dan Le Sac. With a quartet of EPs and a trio of singles also under his belt, Mark is ready to nudge even broader attention with The Raging Sea, and its lead, the highly enjoyable Black Heart Down.

The single has ears cupped in a melodic hug straight away, the alluring acoustic start matched in potency by the darker hues of the bass. They are quickly joined by the strong and inviting tones of Mark, his vocals continuing the warm beginning yet holding an edge and intensity which is soon seeping into the catchy chorus and the overall drama of the track. Continuing to stroll along, the song shares an expressive nature in sound and emotive character in heart whilst infectiously taking feet on a lively ride.

There are seemingly no major landmarks or striking elements to the song yet is as memorable and captivating as you could wish, carrying a craft in songwriting which alone sparks a want to hear more and indeed Mark’s new album.

Black Heart Down is released April 25th as too is The Raging Sea on iTunes.

Upcoming Live Dates:

April 27th The Bedford London

April 29th The Cavendish London

April 30th Asylum Essex

May 6th Café Del Marsh London

May 8th Amersham Arms London

May 12th Dublin Castle London

http://markmathewsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/markmathewsmusic   https://twitter.com/markmathewssong

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Joykill Collective – Self Titled EP

Joykill Collective Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Last year saw the release of an attention sparking single from UK alternative rock collective Joykill Collective, and a couple of weeks or so ago, the unveiling of its successor. Both were potential drenched, ear pleasing propositions now being potently backed by the band’s self-titled EP. Consisting of those two singles and another couple of fresh and flavoursome propositions, the release is evidence of a band skilled and comfortable in raising rousing roars or intimate serenades.

Originally intended as a solo project by vocalist/guitarist Leif, the Joykill Collective was conceived in the attic of an artistic commune in Northampton. It was here where Leif quickly expanded his idea and began drawing together talented friends and artists from various mediums; musicians, writers, poets, and filmmakers all becoming part of the emerging creative collective. The solo project was soon a multi-talented “politically-charged battle cry”, and the emerging band an adventurous proposal taking experiences of supporting the likes of Skindred, Bullet For My Valentine, and Frank Turner into music making and currently the of regions within the likes of Kazakhstan, China, and Morocco. The middle of 2015 saw the release of the Battle Cry single, and this past month Liberty Taker was uncaged, their lures and qualities now part of the band’s debut EP.

Joykill Collective EP Cover_RingMasterReviewLiberty Taker is the opening incitement within the release and quickly very easy to see why its roar as a single whipped up new attention upon the band. It opens with a raw caress of guitar and vocal temptation, and an almost fifties rock ‘n roll coaxing. Quickly though, the song is strolling along on a throaty bassline within fiery melodies and a great harmonic vocal flame. Things settle a touch as evocative melodies slip from guitars, into a lively simmer which is soon bubbling feistily as the chorus erupts and voraciously entices. The track is superb, a blending of raucous, almost predacious intensity and glowing emotive enterprise within smog like sultriness in air and energy.

It is fair to say that the song steals the show straight away but is potently backed by the following offerings starting with Battle Cry. A lone melancholic strum of guitar within a mesmeric ambience wraps ears first, and continues to keep an evocative hold on the imagination as the surrounding climate becomes tempestuous. A volatility seeps into the atmosphere and body of the song, especially as rhythms and chords spark a sinister and intensive dexterity with almost bedlamic resourcefulness. It is an enthrallingly muggy affair; a rich eruption of creative angst and emotional fire which increasingly fascinates and inspires.

The mellow warmth and reflection of Lies And Gold follows next with Leif’s vocals a soothing yet slightly morose proposal within a gentle hug of guitar. Harmonies rise around his melancholy, rhythms quickly linking in too as the song continues to captivate. As expected, there is drama brewing in its depths which leads to an impassioned crescendo within the track’s mesmeric croon. Whereas the first pair stirs up ears and emotions almost instantly, the song is a slow burn towards the same kind of lingering impact, though enjoyment is a swift result, but it gets there.

Game Show brings the EP to a close; the track making a potent entrance through strings and voice which again easily lure attention into the waiting clutches of one delicious tension and intensity building hook. Subsequently a jazzy, off-kilter passage of unpredictable and gripping imagination frees itself, soon becoming woven into the infectious canter of the song and that pungent hook which came before. Continuing to intrigue and beguile, the track is a thrilling end to the release and arguably the most potent escape of the striking invention and bold imagination fuelling the band’s songwriting and sound.

It feels like the project is still finding the core to its sound; the stable centre from which their diversity and explorations can spring from. When they do though, such the strength and enjoyment experienced with their EP, big things could erupt for them and us.

The Joykill Collective on the EP is Leif- Main vocals, guitar; Lewis- Drums, Bass; Jay- guitar, Bass; Andy- Film; Ben- Stories; Mark- Song writing contribution.

The Joykill Collective EP is released 4th March through all stores and platforms with the single Liberty Taker out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Joykillcollective      https://twitter.com/_joykill

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Glenn Hodge Banned – Family Man

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Awoken to the punk folk, to give it a name, prowess of Glenn Hodge Banned through the outstanding Iconoclast EP last year, it is fair to say we had a tingle of excitement going into the London based musician’s new single Family Man. Carrying on the infectious adventure crafted by the previous release, the new song is an equally irresistible stroll of lyrical and creative revelry taking another honest and striking look at a slither of life.

Originally from Ashford in Kent, Hodge was brought up in East Anglia but it was once moving to the capital that his musical adventure really began. Surrounded by inspirations to breed his catchy and often mischievous folk seeded songs, the singer songwriter soon built a potent reputation on the city’s live scene before releasing the well-received single Faces on Tables in February of last year. Its success led to keen anticipation of the acclaimed Iconoclast EP, a collection of magnetic songs from Hodge looking at city life and personal relationships with honest social commentary, an exploration as mentioned continuing in Family Man.

cover     The single opens with a strum of guitar which quickly becomes a constant coaxing as Hodge begins his magnetic narrative. It is a lively acoustic start with voice and lyrics easily the focal point but wrapped perfectly in the lean sounds around them. Things expand and reveal greater colour when harmonies caress a moment of calm with their enticing presence whilst after another inviting passage like at the start, the rigorous chorus adds a moment of boisterous energy to the already gripping persuasion. Things continue to ebb and flow in energy but not in magnetism, the song musically and lyrically taking an increasingly tighter hold on ears and imagination as it explores the protagonist of its title and dark secrets.

Family Man just lights up the senses, reinforcing the impact of the last EP and confirming Hodge as one of UK’s brightest and resourceful songwriters/musicians. If the likes of Billy Bragg, Ste McCabe, and Frank Turner catch your ears then Glenn Hodge Banned is an exciting must.

Family Man is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id990246719

http://www.glennhodge.com/   https://www.facebook.com/GlennHodgeBanned

Upcoming live shows:

11th June      Upstairs at the Ritzy, Brixton, London
4th July        The Spice of Life, Soho, London
17th July      Brentwood Festival, Brentwood, Essex
23rd July     Ambition Festival, Matthews Yard, Croydon, supporting Beans on Toast
23rd August Beautiful Days Festival, Devon

RingMaster 06/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Glenn Hodge Banned – Iconoclast EP

Goatwhore 02

With a sound you could describe as punk folk, certainly a proposition which casts a striking and bold adventure which hits home lyrically and musically with an inescapable honesty, the Glenn Hodge Banned provides one rigorously riveting encounter with the Iconoclast EP. It is an irresistible stroll of lyrical and vocal incitement which captivates from start to finish in an embrace of equally entrancing sounds. The band offers five tracks which whether addictively catchy or emotively gentle, spark imagination and feelings with relish to spark a greedy hunger for more.

Based in London, Glenn Hodge began life in Ashford, Kent, being raised in East Anglia before moving to the capital. There he found further inspirations to the folk seeded musical canvas his compelling lyrical and vocal talents colour. Musically too Hodge breeds provocative scenery as evidenced by the new release whilst onstage whether solo or alongside other like-minded musicians, he has earned a fine reputation on the London music scene. Earlier this year debut single Faces on Tables caught the imagination of many leading to potent anticipation for the Iconoclast EP. The new release builds on that rich start with a handful of explorations which focus on city life, personal relationships, and honest social commentary, all with a tinge of mischief and resonating veracity.

The EP immediately grips attention with opener Ignoramus, an initial throaty strum soon standing side by side with the distinctive and compelling vocals of Hodge. His voice has a quirky lilt to its tone which only adds to the lure and drama of songs. Voice and a lone riff continue to seduce the senses for the bulk of song as its lyrical painting sparks the imagination, before guitars and strings bring their own increasing revelry to the growing captivation. Vigorously infectious, the song enlisting listener participation with sublime ease, it is a colourful portrait of a city’s social landscape, melodies and strings bringing evocative hues to the enthralling insight.

The following Intrepid Thing saunters in with its own contagious sway of chords and vibrant melodies. Strings make a swifter entrance this time, instantly adding depth to the engaging entrance of the song. There is a Celtic whisper to the folk bred beauty of the music which holds attention as firmly as the ever impressing vocals, but it is the contagion sculpted chorus which ignites the passions most potently, again a moment which has feet and voice unable to avoid joining in with the anthemic persuasion. Maybe hard to imagine, but the song comes over like a mix of Kirsty MacColl and Frank Turner, and as its predecessor is just exceptional.

Wasted Labour keeps the outstanding level of the EP going; its sultry melodies and stringed incitement a resourceful caress on ears as Hodge shows further expanse and vivacity to his voice, almost breaking into a roar for the chorus which is another ridiculously addictive and anthemic moment on the EP, as the stunning song as a whole.

The final two songs do not quite match the first trio but each with their distinctive characters still leave a want and need to hear more. English Folk brings a slight country twang to its rich tapestry of strings, smouldering Irish seeded melodies, and vocal union which engrosses as it deeply pleases. As the rest of the encounters, it is impossible to leave the proposition alone with voice and toes, the song another organic anthem mentally and physically which is emulated by the closing C U Next Tuesday. A little spikey and ridiculously addictive, the track is a magnetic union of guitar and voice which takes its time to employ other spices, saving them for a rousing finale.

Glenn Hodge Banned is a proposition to set ears and thoughts alight, and push passions towards a tenacious greed. The Iconoclast EP is an exceptional incitement providing the fullest of pleasure and enterprise whilst suggesting you should expect to hear plenty more triumphs from Glenn Hodge and his band ahead.

The Iconoclast EP is available on September 22nd

http://www.glennhodge.com/

9/10

RingMaster 15/09/2014