Johnny Wore Black – Ultra Violent Light

Pretty much enamoured with the Johnny Wore Black sound and creative adventure since its first couple of singles way back in 2012, the past two to three years have been seemingly rather quiet for the band. It has as ever been a busy time for the project’s creator and vocalist/writer Jay Coen though, the man throwing his stuntman body and audacity around in a number of features you may have heard of which include Game Of Thrones, Ready Player One, Spectre, Hitman’s Bodyguard, Rogue One, Spiderman-Far From Home and more. Now the band has returned with new album Ultra Violent Light, a simply compelling release which shows that Coen has also been rather busy these past months growing, honing, and exploring his project’s already established musical prowess.

Released in two parts over the course of 2014, Johnny Wore Black’s debut album, Walking Underwater, deservedly drew acclaim and a major flood of fans the way of the band. It was a tapestry of melody wired metal and rapacious rock as contagious as it was imaginative and emotively provocative. Ultra Violent Light is more of the same yet a whole new realm of craft and invention across every aspect making its predecessor so captivating.

Coen’s continuing link up with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is as alive and potent as it has ever been within Ultra Violent Light too, for which he has also enlisted the creative courage of Earthtone 9 members in drummer Simon Hutchby and guitarist Gez Walton, the latter also producing the album alongside David Bottrill (Tool, Stone Sour, Dream Theater), to realise his new collection of songs.  Additional enterprise from keyboardist Cameron Daniel William Hill, cellist Kate Shortt, vocalist Adam Sedgewick, and bassist/vocalist George Donahue only adds to the bold and imaginative canvas of the release.

Ultra Violent Light opens up with latest single Gun True Love and instantly had attention wrapped up as Coen’s vocals come entangled in the evocative wires cast by the guitar. It is a coaxing which respectfully nags but with an intimation of darkness which expands as the track erupts with muscular dexterity. The tone of Ellefson’s bassline is growling manna to these ears but just as magnetic is the web of melodic enticement and vocal harmonics which tempts from within the more volatile climate of sound and emotion.

Straight away there is a richer depth and feel to songwriting and music in comparison to previous releases, a realisation compounded by next up One Sexy Scar. Carrying drama from its very first note, the song breaks from its slightly tempestuous entrance into a composed stroll with warm keys and melodic caresses. Even so there is a perpetual lining of volatility which simmers and boils up as the mercurial character and air of the track persistently enthrals before the following Plastic Ocean creates its own tantalising yet stormy captivation of sound and character. It is a moment of seduction as threatening and imposing as it is flirtatious, in so many ways a predator and relentlessly alluring.

Honey Club is similar in nature with the big swings of Hutchby an instinctive incitement even when adding restraint to their trespass and the wiry intimation of Walton’s guitar as provocative as the grizzled voice of Ellefson’s bass. Another track bewitchingly capricious, Coen’s ever individual tones croon and richly lures the listener into the heart of the song, a contender for best track with its unapologetically resourceful touch and darkly brooding imagination.

Through the likes of the arguably less bold but just as infectious and dark RIP Mr Man and Boy Soldier with its melancholic grace, emotive intimacy, and turbulence corrupted tranquillity, band continues to expand the emotion fuelled storytelling and creative emprise of the release. It is an adventure which reveals more by the listen, the deeper into its heart you venture the more it expresses its richness and agility as proven yet again by the similarly composed Southern Storm, a song with a seemingly intensely personal heart amidst a military rhythmic bearing. It has echoes of Big Country to its inventive scenery and an Americana/folk whisper to its breeze in a proposition becoming more powerful and compelling with each listen.

Broken uncages an anthemic tempest of metal infested rock ‘n’ roll next, the track an robustly eventful and muscular affair with a virulent catchiness and evocative twists of thoughtful calm to its armoury while the album’s following title track borders on the carnivorous with its rhythmic spine and senses prowling riffs, but a predatory stalking aligned to vocal and melodic charisma lined with emotional angst.

The album closes with Ultimate Fighter which deceptively opens with Coen’s magnetic tones alongside Hutchby’s spirited beats under a sonic sigh aligned to a shadow courting grumble of bass. It subsequently ignites in a chained tempest with beats exploring even greater tenacity as guitars flame and vocals roar. It never explodes into the beast expected but becomes a just as dynamic and imposing anthem with invention in its enterprise and zeal in its release of that adventure.

It is truly an outstanding finale to a release which thrilled from the off but really came to life and magnificence by the subsequent ventures into its imaginative lair, becoming a seriously must explore encounter along the way.

Ultra Violent Light is out now via EMP Label Group across most stores.

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com/   https://www.facebook.com/johnnyworeblack   https://twitter.com/johnnyworeblack

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crisix – Against The Odds

 

With its title representing its creators’ “hard work, dedication and friendship”, Against The Odds is the fourth album from Spanish thrashers Crisix and one of those releases which revels in all the best attributes of thrash metal whilst adding its own individual adventure. It is a mix of the familiar and the boldly fresh, an inescapably rousing old school inspired modern fired romp of an encounter and a very tasty offering indeed.

Formed in 2008, the Barcelona hailing outfit has honed their sound across a trio of increasingly well-received albums beginning with The Menace in 2011. Both the following Rise…Then Rest of 2013 and From Blue to Black three years later established the band on their homeland’s metal scene while fuelling their reputation around Europe backed by an acclaim gathering live presence. Against The Odds just might be the moment when Crisix becomes a worldly known name, certainly it will awaken a horde of new hungry fans such its accomplished and impassioned roar.

Mastered by Jens Bogren (Arch Enemy, Kreator, At The Gates, Opeth) the album rips from the speakers with opener Get Out Of My Head. Riffs and rhythms surge through ears, their recognisable hues ridden by the gruff tones of Juli Bazooka. Backing band hollers and grooved incitement add to the growing virulence, its hooks flirting with the inane cheap tricks of the pop songs it takes a swipe at but always a dexterous intimation. It is vintage and individual thrash in one spirit, chest thumping stomp and a glorious start to the album.

The following Leech Breeder has a darker more intensive character and again the guitars of B.B. Plaza and Albert Requena unleash a tide of ravenous riffs to get things going. The bone shaking beats of drummer Javi Carry resonate on impact and song throughout, his anthemic prowess matched by the great bass grumble cast by Dani Ramis. Its irritability is echoed across the song from voice to tone, an aggressive trespass which only accentuates the infectious instincts of the track before Technophiliac matches its urgency and muscle with its own challenging contemplation. Weaving textures as addictive to ears as the source of its theme is to modern society, the song embraces extreme metal brutality and melodic enterprise in its imaginative web of flavours.

Three tracks in and it is fair to say that Against The Odds had us hooked and even more so as the atmospheric opening of Perseverance glides over the imagination. Its progressively hued suggestiveness subsequently parts way for a harsher climate to surround the senses but Crisix continue to experiment and weave an imaginative adventure as metalcore and other varied metallic hues entangle. Arguably the boldest track on the album for stretching their thrash instincts it is a wholly magnetic affair suggesting exciting new exploits ahead with the band.

Not that pleasure is lacking with Against All Odds, the Alien inspired Xenomorph Blood bursting out to consume attention and inflame an already greedy appetite with its murderous throes while Prince Of Saiyans floods the senses with its thunderous thrash ferocity. Dragon Ball themed, it is also another hungrily catchy escapade as eager to have the listener bouncing as dangling on the end of its lung depleting charge. With heavy metal spicing adding rich flames to its blaze, the track is rock ‘n’ roll at its grievous captivating best.

Leave Your God Behind is technical death thrash bred pillaging which did not inflame our senses as much as those before it but only kept the forceful persuasion of the album in top gear before Cut The Shit had all and sundry around defiantly roaring at the world with fists raised along with its rabid crossover thrash incitement. There are some tracks which have you throwing yourself around like a dervish, this more than most.

With also an open passion for Game Of Thrones, Crisix venture into its world with The North Remembers, a warrior roar of a homage with no intent of hiding the band’s love of its inspiration. With the guitars weaving skilled lures and devious riffs as rhythms impose and vocals unite in raucous enthusiasm, it is a fine finale to the album if not quite challenging for best moment as other songs more acutely do. You just know though that it is going to be a fan favourite and have venues roaring in unity.

As the years pass we find ourselves becoming more entangled and enamoured with the various shades and adventures emerging within thrash metal, bands like Crisix and records such as Against The Odds give all the reasons why.

Against The Odds is available now via Listenable Records @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/186_crisix

http://www.crisixband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/CrisixOfficial/    https://twitter.com/crisixofficial/

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sacred Wind – Sacred Wind

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Having had our pleasures goosed by Odin’s wind courtesy of Metal and Curry, the recent single from Welsh Viking bred rockers Sacred Wind; there was no option but to check out the album from which it comes. Released towards the rear of 2014, the thirteen track adventure, also going under the name of Sacred Wind, reveals the full landscape and creative emprise hinted at by our first introduction to the band.

The album is a tale of bold knights, even bolder flatulence, and a rampant hunger for cheese, not forgetting a few buxom women draped around a curry or two. Even more potently the album is bulging with glorious heavy metal and classic rock psalms of heroic deeds and Norse seeded challenges. From its first moments there is no doubting that Lord of the Rings/ Game of Thrones have found a richly mischievous companion in Sacred Wind, an alternative reality comparison, but that cannot hide or devalue the impressive craft and roaring sonic might of band and album.

Opener A Time of Magic is a vocal introduction between grandfather and child, be it a kid with the squeak of an adolescent aged forty plus with one ball dropped and one hovering. Questions from the latter bring an unveiling of the scenery and drama behind the album’s premise from the former, a telling of the background to the quest undertaken by the noble warriors regaled through the songs. These brave souls are called Sacred Wind and the following album title track, their opening scene. Hefty rhythms and fiery riffs make an immediate impression upon ears; the guitar hooks an almost predacious lure matched by the heavily throated bassline courting their attitude. Subsequently keys and raw melodies add to the canvas upon which Memphis bred Viking and vocalist/guitarist Olaf the Berserker reveals the narrative. It is a pungent offering, old school and swiftly anthemic.

The impressive opening song is matched straight away by Metal and Curry, the track similarly an inescapable anthem but with a lighter swagger to its gait and harmonic roar. Whilst meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from Olaf and Grundi the Windy are thrust through ears to seduce the senses, a rhythmic stomp provided by bassist Smid the Merciless and drummer Agnar the Hammered ensures neck muscles and imagination are flush with an appetite to devour the song’s tremendous contagion.

Already Sacred Wind is lighting body and emotions like a mix of Gwar meets Green Jelly meets Judas Priest, though that only narrows down what is a much broader flavour to the album. The band’s humour is just as open and ripe too but only in the lyrical and thematic adventure, their sounds a blaze of creativity and exciting endeavour which has plenty for all metallers, let along those just honed in with just a taste for classic rock ‘n’ metal. It is fair to say though that Hurricane Ass next is purely steeped in seventies metal bred in a bed of similarly aged classic rock. Begging for the power of a certain bodily function to help woo a prospective love, the song flames with sonic enterprise and vocal harmonies, transfixing ears as it heads towards to a firework like display of a finale, beats exploding across its melodramatic sky.

The combative character of Warriors of Asgard takes the success of its predecessor to new heights next, the track sinew and ferocity as the warriors take arms to rescue damsels in distress. Equally though it is unafraid to light their way with beacons of melodic ingenuity through the guitars and the symphonic yawn and soar of keys. The track is a delicious cinematic like escapade, not only a potent visual offering for the imagination to run with but simply an infectious slice of melodic metal.

Both the eighties kissed Sail with Me and the climactic bellow that is Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock Ragnarok keeps things on appealing and satisfying course, though neither can rival the some of the previous encounters. The first covers an emotional realisation brought by romance and the other an apocalyptic incitement to the Gods. Each brings new diversity and intrigue to the album leaving thoughts engaged and enjoyment contented is without setting a fire in their attention, something the power ballad Frigg certainly manages with its dark grouchy shadows and sonic balladry of vocal and melodic expression. Strong the first time and increasing its lure thereafter, the track is a slow burner which as quite a few songs upon Sacred Wind has the ability and persistence to flirt with the memory whenever it wishes.

Fart for Odin, by title alone, needs no help in explaining its narrative to the imagination, it a bar room ode and mead fuelled anthem within a tempestuous sonic and rhythmic turbulence. It is another thumping antagonist to body and fun though soon surpassed by the outstanding Dragon Ships and Women’s Hips. Impossibly virulent from its first sweep of vocals and initial tease of melody, the song brings rock pop from the late seventies, glam metal from the eighties, and nineties folk metal in one irresistible catchy croon. Think Alestorm meets Duran Duran and you get an inkling of the majestic lure of the pinnacle of Sacred Wind.

The battlefield brings the background to My Sword is my Sword firmly into thoughts, the power metal offering soon expanding its tale with horn like calls of the keys and predatory rhythms around the vocal roar of Olaf, all courted by the cantering invention of the guitars. Its spicy persuasion is followed by the celestial instrumental hymn of The Sheep’s Lament, which in turn makes way for the closing celebration of The Power of Cheese, though why anyone would want to crow so favourably about the mouldy stuff beats us. The song, as the previous track is a bonus offering on the album, and brings the release to a riotous yet melodically sizzling end.

It would be wrong to think of Sacred Wind as a one off good time to file away as you might a Green Jelly or in some ways a Steel Panther offering. Lyrically yes it is a roaring laugh but musically album and band stand side by side with any power metal, classic rock offering, just with an extra dose of mischief. Produced and arranged by Andy Coffey, who has a much bigger hand in things then you might suspect, including writing the excellent books which accompany the album’s story, the album is recommended to anyone with an appetite for strong, accomplished, and most of all enjoyable full fat metal.

Sacred Wind is available now via iTunes, Amazon etc. and the Sacred Wind books @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Andy-Coffey/e/B00LXLNW64/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Wind/136135083263791

RingMaster 18/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Sacred Wind – Metal and Curry

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The Vikings came, rampaged, and going by Sacred Wind, left some berserker seed to breed and bide its time before invading the classic metal timeline. The band from the hill sculpted landscape of Llangollen in Wales is the embodiment of Tolkien like mischievous adventure, heroic wrongdoings, and salacious revelry. They also create a classic metal incitement which sears and excite body and soul, as proven by new single Metal and Curry.

Taken from the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, itself an invigorating march of anthemic riffs, fiery melodies, and soaring hair wilting vocals, the new single tells you all you need to know about Sacred Wind and its dynamic sound. Like a Terry Pratchett inspired Friday night out narrated by firm tongue in cheek lyrics and a similar rascality in presence, Metal and Curry leads the listener by the hand into dens of liquor running devilment.

With the band members going by the name of Olaf the Berserker (lead vocals/lead guitars), Grundi the Windy (lead guitars/backing vocals), Smid the Merciless (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Agnar the Hammered (drums and percussion), newcomers to Sacred Wind might expect something like Gwar meets Green Jelly or Spinal Tap. The band though swiftly evades those thoughts taking firm hold by unleashing a sound which is as skilfully accomplished as it is dramatically fiery and an energetic presence which makes Alestorm seem reserved. The band’s album is all the evidence needed to suggest Sacred Wind is one of the UK’s brightest heavy metal protagonists, Metal and Curry even swifter proof.

Its first breath is a stomping invasion of heavy footed beats courted by a predatory bassline and swiftly bound in sonic enterprise. The potent start relaxes a whisper to open up the way for the rich vocals of Olaf to harmonically roar, his entrance accompanied by meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from the guitars. As maybe you would expect from the band and its creative backgrounds, there is a swagger to the song which translates to every swing of a drum stick and forceful plucking of strings, not forgetting a raucously anthemic chorus expelled by the band. The core of the track is not startlingly original you could argue but with a glorious flame of craft and enterprise from guitars which includes a highly magnetic solo, it soon establishes a unique and ridiculously contagious presence.

It is a beast of a song but more inviting than barbarous and an irresistible recruitment of neck muscles and voice. The song is a wonderfully rowdy doorway into the heart of the band’s album but also sums up the character and devilish presence of Sacred Wind as a complete proposition. Accompanied by a trilogy of books written by Andy Coffey, who might just be involved even deeper in the band we say in a whisper, Sacred Wind is a Norse bred Sláine corrupted Game of Thrones theatre in many ways but with a musical creativity and rich blaze of a sound which puts many established classic metal bands to shame.

Explore the whole world of Sacred Wind @ http://www.sacredwind.co.uk

RingMaster 20/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Casting reflections and dispersing shadows: talking Johnny Wore Black with band founder Jay

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  2014 has been a big and flavoursome year for British melodic and alternative rock, and in no small part thanks to UK band Johnny Wore Black. The brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury ) Jay, the project on the back of a host of attention grabbing singles and videos over the past eighteen months or so, has released two acclaimed and enthralling albums this year. Walking Underwater Pt 1 and 2, the second released barely two week ago, encounters which and immerses ears and imagination in an evocative embrace, thought provoking propositions which infuse passionate creative roars with poetic melodies and fiery textures. Both albums reinforce the emerging stature and recognition of Johnny Wore Black as one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative songwriters and rock artists. With the kind sharing of Jay’s time, we delved into the heart of the man, band, and particularly the fresh majesty of Walking Underwater Pt 2.

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing time to speak with us.

My pleasure…thank you for listening.

You have just released second album, Walking Underwater Pt 2; how were feelings as the unveiling swiftly approached?

It’s always a strange time around release, in a way exciting and in a way a test of patience as in reality it’s about waiting to see how the product is received. As an artist, the reviews are important to gauge how good a job you have done!

Are there different emotions and expectations this time around after the acclaim and success of Walking Underwater Pt 1 earlier this year?

Walking Underwater Pt.1 was an opening, a beginning if you like so it will be interesting to see how Walking Underwater Pt.2 is received and how the journey develops in other people’s jwbnew1-hires2eyes and ears. It’s important to make music for yourself first and yet in reality, once released its journey becomes a public experience. My expectations are for people to enjoy it and find the right environment to use the music.

How should people look at the two releases, as two parts of one whole entity or the new release as an evolution and unique exploration from the themes and narrative fuelling the first album?

It is a new release of course, and yet a journey too. Honestly people will make of it what they want. Personally there is a journey there, a cleansing and an exorcism of past demons…to make way for new ones maybe?!

Before we look deeper in to the new album, can we ask about your history musically and other aspects before Johnny Wore Black?

Childhood poems then set to music when learning to play the Spanish guitar, pretending it was electric! Onwards, days in studios as birthday presents from my dad when I was fifteen and sixteen. Johnny Wore Black is the conclusion of life experience, being a singer songwriter, being in bands, and generally loving music.

What was the spark bringing the band to life?

The spark was a need to express my songs in a new way, to attempt to get closer to the music that turns me on and lights my fire!

The band name inescapably brings thoughts of Johnny Cash, is there a meaning behind the title?

I like the analogy of why Johnny Cash wore black, to identify with those less fortunate than himself. My dad called me Johnny and my grandmother Evelyn bought me a black suit, which I wore at my Dads funeral when I was seventeen. So, you see, life and all its shards of dark and light.

What would you say are your major inspirations?

A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Stone Sour, Johnny Cash…to name but a few.

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2Because of the success and potency of your first album anticipation and expectations of Part 2 are probably over demanding. Has this added any pressure for its creation?

In a way yes, but to be honest most of the pressure is self-inflicted. My goal is to make great music, who can say when that has happened? Really, I see it as a never ending journey.

With the close proximity to the release of the two albums, it is easy to assume both sets of songs or certainly many over both albums have been bred from around the same time. What is the time frame in that area and if they were written around the same period how did you decide which song went on which release?

I tried to put together songs that felt good together in order to create the story. There are songs here spanning a ten year period, hence why they needed to be cleared in order to move on.

Did you learn anything on Part 1 which you took into its successor to help its emergence or give it something different recording wise?

The process included working with guitarist James Coppolaro and drummer Simon Hutchby whilst David Ellefson and I also collaborated in more depth than before so that was a rewarding experience.

Listening to Part 2 we felt there was even greater personal intimacy to certain tracks than on the last; how close are the seeds of your songs to your life and experiences?

Some songs are closer personally than others but it’s interesting which songs individuals feel are intimate.

The album as you mentioned again sees you collaborating with David Ellefson, of course of Megadeth, in writing and playing. How did you guys meet and when did the link up musically begin?

We met backstage at Download in the UK some years ago. We started chatting music and immediately kind of bonded. I then began sending David songs in progress and he agreed to play on the first Johnny Wore Black single, All The Rage.

When you come to songwriting together, is it an even contribution or does David look towards the rhythmic side more?

It does vary per track. So far, on some David has sent riff ideas, like Firefly and on Gift of Desperation he sent a lyric, which I then developed. Writing is a very fluid process with no rules.jwbnew2-3-lo-res

There often seems to be a different kind of spark to songs you too have created together, not bigger or lesser than on other tracks, just strikingly different. What would you put that down to?

I suppose that’s just two minds rather than being the dominant decision maker however I’d be interested to ask you that question back and see what you feel is strikingly different about those tunes?

Tell us about the new album; is there a specific underlying theme to its lyrical explorations?

Each track has a different theme so really would need to answer this on a track-by-track basis. My lyrics explore people, the world and our continued need to understand.

How did the recording go; was it an all meet up situation or more technology driven coming together of the band for the album?

Some of the album was musicians in a studio, old skool style, and some via Skype and Dropbox. This was an international project via the USA, UK, Canada and Croatia.

Walking Underwater Pt 2 also features Croatian singer Sara Renar on the track Shine On and Loretta Heywood on a cover of her own track Winter in July. How did those guest appearances come about, especially with Loretta. Was she instantly open to you taking on her song?

Sara and I met on the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia some years back. We stayed in touch and I have followed her musical career. She has a unique quality to her voice I felt complimented Shine On, on the album. She was happy to contribute once she heard the song, and recorded her parts in a studio in Split, Croatia.

Now Walking Underwater Pt 2 is out there wooing the world, what is next in store for Johnny Wore Black, alter ego ha-ha, and band?

There is work to do, releasing singles and creating more music videos. We are having discussions about hitting the stage and seeking to break the back of the USA. Oh and by the way, another album is due next year, totally new material and bigger than Texas!

jwbnew2-hiresA big thank you for chatting with us again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just that I am truly grateful for your time and interest in Johnny Wore Black and thank you for providing a platform to help spread the gospel according to Johnny Wore Black.

And lastly I cannot go without asking about the film samples which graced the first album. Can you tell us about them and why you did not use them for the new release too?

The first ones were from a documentary my late father directed back in 1967 called The London Nobody Knows. The samples fitted the music, the songs and were a tribute to him. I will say, we are currently in discussion about producing The London Nobody Knows Revisited to mark its anniversary. I liked the idea of samples a-la-Floyd to be part of Walking Underwater Pt2 but decided to just focus on the songs.

Read the review of Walking Underwater Pt2 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2014

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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Molotov Jukebox – Carnival Flower

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It has already been firmly established that if you want your feet and body exhausted but blissfully contented then colourful UK revellers Molotov Jukebox are your puppeteers, their previous pair of EPs already the launch pad for riotous hips and gaping grins. Now the band parade their debut album, Carnival Flower, an eleven track festival of lyrical adventure and lustful melodies framed in a rhythmic escapade which frees inhibitions and ignites the raw dancer inside. It is a release which tempts and smoulders, caresses and incites as it takes the imagination on boldly hued and energetically fuelled romps. Unlike their previous releases there may be no real killer tracks at large, songs which virulently ignite the passions, but instead the release has a perpetual seduction which just as potently brews an enraptured submission.

Molotov Jukebox is a six-piece celebration of passionate aural festivities merging styles such as Latin soul, calypso, gypsy, swing, and dubstep into a unique revelry which has been tagged as gyp-step. Led by the distinctive sultry tones of Natalia Tena (an actress renowned for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), and comprising of guitarist Adam Burke, bassist Tom Wilson, drummer Max Burnett-Wain, trumpeter Angus Moncrieff, and violinist/vocalist Sam Apley alongside her, the band has constantly garnered acclaim whilst inspiring an ever growing and feverish fanbase with their vibrant sound and equally vivacious live shows. Both their debut EPs, Double Dare and especially its successor Bang thrust the band into a concentrated spotlight feistily backed by unrelenting festival appearances, certainly in the past eighteen months or so. Now with the release of Carnival Flower there will be no surprise to see the London based band taking country and bodies further afield by the scruff of the neck and leading them to filling streets and dance halls with swerves and sexual dance moves, all to the sound track of Molotov Jukebox.

As soon as rhythms hit to mark the entrance of opener Tread Softly, an itch begins in the toes. The punchy beats of Burnett-Wain hold a Mol juksmile to their swing which is as infectious as the soon to join warn embrace of strings and the vocal persuasion of accordion caressed into life by Tena. It combines with whiffs of sonically crafted guitar and a percussive coaxing into an even tempered but inciting romp brought further to life by the seducing vocals of Tena within sober blazes of trumpet. It is not a riotous start but an eager persuasion which twists and flirts with sound and ideas to waken attention, appetite, and imagination with ease.

From the slightly annoying fade-out of the song, just a personal gripe in a liking for proper finales to songs, temperature and bait is increased thr0ugh Don’t Wanna Know. A vocal croon by Tena courted by excellent group harmonies beside her, kiss the ears initially providing a sexy flirtation which evolves into an agitated stomp with melodic skirts swishing over the senses as pulsating bass riffs use salacious tempting under the climactic flames of trumpet. As its predecessor, the song is not a full-on stampede of aural diablerie but holds an irresistible anthemic lure which enlists body and passions without resistance. The song simmers and at times almost taunts with rhythmic enterprise and string plucking, everything combining to design an evocative and humid template for addiction.

The band’s new single, Neon Lights steps up next, again gentle sexually inviting suasion starting things off before trumpet and vocals soar gloriously across the ceiling of the song. Veining the flight the bass strolls with inviting shadows whilst keys and accordion add their intrigue and mystique to the noir shaded scenery. It is a sumptuous blaze of colour and sound, a track which just grows and grows in the psyche and memory the more it infests the ears. That is true of the album to be fair, first impressions impressed and keen but a new breed of appreciation and ardour emerges given time; previous releases were an instant lust but the album takes a different longer route but with the same result.

The following Can’t Find You is another slow starter on emotions though a swift temptress of ears and thoughts. Almost like a formula for the album, the song also opens up with reserve and a melodic flutter of its lashes before throwing off its hood for a fleet footed waltz of provocative melodies and wanton hues. A mix of pop and swing, it moves around imagination’s dancefloor arm in arm with flailing hooks and elegant harmonies casting a robust yet sensual toxicity over the senses.

The jazz lounge like bred Punchlines weaves and glances across ears with a rich and soulful fondle lighting up thoughts. It is a graceful flame of emotional melodies and sixties harmonies which leaves satisfaction bulging if passions simmering, though they are soon aflame with the brilliant House Fire Smile. The first surprise emerging from the heralding blaze of trumpet and electro additives is that the lead vocals are taken by Apley, an inspired move as his vocals are impressive and make a brave and successful twist to the album. There is a feel of Lazy Habits and Dizraeli and the Small Gods to the song, a whisper of hip hop toying with the heart of the song as a reverse of the norm vocally throws a deliciously unpredictable and magnetic new coal in the fire of the album. The song has a bounce and swagger to its relatively considered stroll though there is always the feeling it wants to explode. Tena’s voice and a niggling guitar toxin only add to the riveting call of the song, an encounter which steals top honours on the album.

Both the frisky Sexfoot and the smouldering Nina keep hunger lively though both are openly pale against certainly the previous triumph. The first of the pair is like a tempered foxtrot with moments where it unleashes its inner devil whilst its successor with the smokey voice of Tena stroking every syllable and the senses in a steamy seduction courted by a classically bred Latin hearted acoustic guitar sends the imagination into a romantic encounter.

From the exotic gala of Tropical Badboy where even the dead could not resist its carnivalesque voracity, the album comes to a close with firstly the dynamic and atmospheric jubilee of No Lady, a track which finds an eighties whisper of bands like Pigbag to its determined sway of melodic curves and rhythmic hips, and lastly a reworking of Trying, a song previously on the Bang EP. The song is a masterful tempting which just has that instinctive lure to inspire full allegiance and union with its potent musical poetry but it has to be said that the new treatment does not quite work as well as the original. Despite that the track is outstanding and the perfect end to a quite impressive and incendiary release for body and heart.

Though Carnival Flower does not quite live up to definitely Bang, it is an open and thrilling doorway into Molotov Jukebox, both a proposition you need to explore at least once in your life, though be warned as one bite is all it takes to be lost to the temptation of the band.

The self-released Carnival Flower is available now!

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Molotov Jukebox – Bang EP

To incite the gypsy in us all and to make each day a summer blaze of enjoyment, the Bang EP from London sextet Molotov Jukebox is a stunning riot of infectious melodies, feisty hooks, and insatiable energy. Combining the heated elements of swing, jazz, ska, punk, Latin fires, and sultry rock n roll, or as they call it gypstep, the band ignites hungry fires within and a lustful urgency to share their irresistible melodic dance. Like a mischievous blend of Gogol Bordello, Sonic Boom 6, Mano Negra, and Bang Data, Molotov Jukebox set new unique adventures for the senses and weave delicious wicked teases to tempt and seduce the heart.

Bang is a revelation, a wholly refreshing and exciting release which continues the impressive creativity given and acclaim received by the band. From their singles Laid To Rest and Get Ready to their previous EP Double Dare, the six piece has lit up the passions with their sensational sounds. It is impossible not to be excited and exuberant when describing the band, and especially so with Bang, the four songs which make up the EP grabbing hold of limbs and emotions from first note to last whisking them in to a breathless and fulfilling contagiously melodic tempest.

First song Tick Tock instantly throws the senses into an enthralled and agitated frenzy, its bubbling tones eager and successful in inciting an immediate and energised reaction. The song steps back slightly in its energy as the alluring tones of vocalist Natalia Tena spread their warm and soothing flavour across the expanse of the song to provoke and a deep grin inside and out. Also known from her acting including important roles in the Harry Potter movies and TV show Game Of Thrones, Tena is simply mesmeric, a stunning singer who spices and elevates the songs as impressively as the startling imagination which conjures the sounds. With her accordion skills accompanying her vocals and the keen swagger of the song wonderfully, the track is a tender stomp which has one hypnotised and in mutual union physically and emotionally. At times the flaming trumpet cries of Angus Moncrieff shoot across the skies impressively whilst the sonic whispers which swoon within the song just invite further evocative thoughts and feelings to accompany the partying.

Trumpet flames spark the air again as Tena caresses the ear with sultry vocal fumes to bring Don’t Panic into view, the song simply bewitching from its slow entrancing initial introduction. It soon erupts into a full body of magnetic grandeur to burn the heart, with expectations of an orchestral epic, weight wise, rife. This band though do not deliver the expected and the song is within seconds a ravenous swagger of pulsating prods and wicked melodic taunts, the song winking its eye throughout and chuckling with sonic devilment. The song lifts and enlivens the senses with its swinging elegance and passion, the bass of Tom Wilson and beats of Max Burnett the instigators of mischief whilst the guitar of Adam Burke fire the rockabilly like romp with endeavour and skill. The song is stunning, a melodic furnace to devour and be consumed by brought through inventive imagination and inspired invention.

Give It A Go takes one deep into the Caribbean sunshine with Latin textures to thrill further. Impossibly catchy with the vocal additives of violinist Sam Apley running perfectly by the side of the ever captivating voice of Tena, the song has bits on board its listeners swaying which have no rights to be and the heart smouldering with adoration. There is a slight mariachi feel to the song to add to the diverse flavouring which leaves the soul breathlessly submerged in its contagious presence. By now subservience to the immense ideas, musicianship, and most of all glorious sounds is a sealed deal but the band still ensures the pleasure is a full event with the closing song.

Trying weaves in with a subtle gypsy punk coaxing which fires up into a fully vibrant festival of thoughtful melodics and enticing grooves. Yet another fiesta to swing hips and voice to, the song is a charismatic sunset with full glowing skies and emotive peaceful rays of light from its rosy setting sun. It is the perfect finish to a perfect release, the band and EP defying criticism or anything less than ardour.

Molotov Jukebox is a band all should have and need in their lives, the purveyors of warmth and instinctive pleasures to bring the deep rooted fun in all to the surface, and the Bang EP the vehicle leading to bliss.

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

RingMaster 03/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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