The Room in The Wood – We’re The Martians, Now

photo by Mark Sant Angelo

As for most music lovers, our list of all-time favourite singles is quite extensive but one riding high is Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl by UK new wave/post punk outfit The Room. A couple of years short of four decades later a track by former members of the band has joined that eager line-up; Charmed from The Room in The Wood recently released before the band’s new album, We’re The Martians, Now. Its success suggested a bigger release which had the potential to capture ears and imagination alike which we can now loudly declare it does with sublime ease.

Liverpool’s The Room in The Wood is at its heart vocalist Dave Jackson and guitarist Paul Cavanagh, the former a founding member of that predominately eighties band with the latter joining them the year after the release of their 1982 debut album. Uniting again as The Room in The Wood, the pair released a self-titled first album in 2018 to critical acclaim with later that year The Mars EP more than echoing its support and potency. With twelve tracks which fascinate as they seduce, of which numerous could equally demand an attention grabbing standalone release, We’re The Martians, Now is destined to command even greater praise and success, the album one of the most captivating encounters 2020 has embraced so far.

Featuring drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), flutist Simon James and the celestial backing vocals of Helena Jacks, The Room in The Wood immediately compelled thick attention with album opener Diamond Clouds. The band’s sound is a tapestry of flavours; new wave, post punk, dark pop, and folk nurtured hues among them and swiftly We’re The Martians, Now revels in the rich temptation it offers. The first song saunters in on a fuzz lined melody and a rhythmic skip, Jackson’s almost stoic tones quickly walking the song’s instinctive rock bred catchiness while the angelic harmonies of Jacks make for a siren like contrast to his earthier presence, both magnetic within the flames of Cavanagh’s guitar.

Never breaking its lively amble, the track is a richly rousing affair which the following Mars (Won’t Save Us) more than matches in contagion with its post punk lined virulence. Akin to a tonic made up from the essences of The Doors and Stan Ridgway, the track is part apocalyptic insight and part celebratory flirtation and one greed eagerly took to before Stowaway lured its own healthy portion of appetite with its surf washed, dark pop/rock stroll. Warm and seductive with a gorgeous crepuscular edge, the song swiftly got under the skin, its rhythmic swing gripping hips as vocals and melodies entangle the imagination.

From one majorly favourite moment to another in Blue, a similarly shadow lit seduction haunting air and  ears alike, again something of a Mr Ridgway styled hue adding additional colour to its dark kissed intimation and breath before the album sets its title track on an already lustful appetite for We’re The Martians, Now. Again Lamont’s rhythms are eager manipulation beneath the melodic caresses of guitar and Jackson’s descriptive presence, the track another which had the body swaying and attention inescapably hooked.

Across the glistening melodic radiance of Shimmer, a song with a surface which teases volatility, and the infection loaded nostalgic bounce of Fun of the Fair, The Room in The Wood just gripped the passions tighter, the second of the two especially viral in sound and effect and  living up to its title whilst provoking thoughts. Even so they still found themselves eclipsed by the aforementioned Charmed and its esurient beauty. With a great Monochrome Set spice to its melody woven intoxication and graceful harmonies, the track is splendour in a shadow drenched world, a spark and light to the darkest day.

There is a similar tinge of Bid and co to next up Dragonfly though there is as much a XTC like breath to the folk coloured song too yet as everywhere the moment of creative glamour is as distinctive to Jackson and Cavanagh as you could wish with the flute of James a romance of fluttering gossamer wings.

The final trio of the intimately earnest and acoustically bewitching Halloween Lies, the tense indie pop lined Under the Waterfall, and the sonically aflame and rhythmically bold exclamation, The Earth is Flat ensure the album never loosened its hold from start to finish. The second of the trio carries a Wonder Stuff-esque sigh to its captivation while the last of the three is a rousing almost belligerent post punk stomp reminding a touch of bands like 1919 and Gang of Four.

And that is We’re The Martians, Now, a collection of tracks which with consummate ease simply held attention and the imagination in a realm of magnificence.

We’re The Martians, Now is out May 15th via A Turntable Friend Records; available @ https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on CD, and Limited Edition Vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/   https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Engine Summer – Back-Street Boys

Suckers for idiosyncratic hooks, irregular rhythms, and drone back grooves which nag their way into the psyche, it was inevitable that the new EP from Chicago hailing trio, Engine Summer, would have us dangling from its aberrant antics and warped imagination like a dysfunctional puppet and lusting after every second time and time again. Back-Street Boys is manna to the anomalous freak in us all; a collection of tracks seeded in the deviancy, irreverence, and contagion of the finest post punk, psych rock, and indie eccentricity known to man but a gathering breeding the kind of uniqueness which keeps us lustfully lost in the grip of music.

Consisting of Jeremy, Benny, and Ry, Engine Summer formed in late 2016 and quickly made a potent mark on the Chicago live before venturing further afield with two tours of the East Coast. Sharing stages with the likes of for Ra Ra Riot, Bodega, Acquaintances, and Baked along the way and a pair of EPs as well as their debut album has only cemented their reputation for creating apologetically catchy but maverick songs which linger long after their arrival. Back-Street Boys is the successor to their acclaimed Indiana EP, one “piggybacking off” their 2019 Dion Lunadon of A Place to Bury Strangers mastered predecessor to breach a whole new plateau of Engine Summer pleasure.

Their new offering is bookended by the band’s previously released singles, Carol’s Dead and Night School, an entrance and departure which is worth the effort of digging into Back-Street Boys alone. The first of the two more taunts than invites attention with its initial resonating throb of bass and lure dangling guitar but with the same impossible to ignore intrigue at its core. As tenacious beats increasingly swung their manipulative bait and the band’s twitchy vocals united in a just as lively and devilish static dance on the ears, the track enslaved as it stomped around with irresistible dynamics and attitude. Teasing with essences reminding of bands such as Gang Of Four, Artery, and The Fall across its more forceful individuality, the song is glorious and one of the best tracks of the past decade.

Night School similarly proved why its great success as a single, its stroll less boisterous but just as persuasive as nagging chords and persistent rhythms aligned to orchestrate instinctive movement and further hunger for their atypical exploits, Each are feasts for any with a post punk and krautrock nurtured appetite and fair to say that in between, the two tracks the enticement proved just as addictive and galvanic.

Suds follows the EP’s first track, quickly laying out its own web of spiky hooks around motion chivvying rhythms. Like a hybrid birth in a contorted fusion of The Fire Engines, Swell Maps, and We Are The Physics, it like its predecessor had us wrapped around its sonic finger before Under the Sea leapt in with an indie pop dance within a psych punk cage of compulsion to equal have us drooling.

Groovin’ on 63rd marries the renegade of eighties post punk with a similarly aged new wave devilment before embroiling it in the band’s freak bred imagination, a garage punk breath only adding to its funky disposition while Likes saunters along with a meandering Melvins-esque smile to effortlessly worm under the same skin its predecessor had already breached.

Completing the line-up is Spice Boys, a psych pop serenade as sublimely infectiously in its harmonic charm as it is in its darkly contrasting rhythmic canter. Adding yet another shade of imagination and flavouring to the release, the track seduced as it coerced; its intoxication epitomizing the fascination and distinctive enterprise which makes Engine Summer one seriously hypnotic band and the Back-Street Boys EP their finest moment yet.

Back-Street Boys is available now @ https://enginesummer.bandcamp.com/album/back-street-boys

https://www.enginesummer.com/   https://www.facebook.com/enginesummer/

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Austerity – Anarcho Punk Dance Party

There is something wrong with the year if the creative landscape of Brighton has not provided one major moment for us to greedily devour and 2019 has not let us down. Not only is the long awaited debut album from The Gaa Gaas finally here there is the introduction of Austerity to lustfully feast upon courtesy of their first album, Anarcho Punk Dance Party.

Bred from the discourteous instincts of post punk and anarcho-punk, the Austerity sound is a virulent fusion of numerous flavours honed into confrontations which bite as they manipulate as they infest with viral precision. It is a proposition which would easily have made a major impact back in the time when many of the band’s inspirations were in full roar but firmly is an incitement of the now as fresh and compelling as anything around. Those influences include the likes of Gang Of Four, Swell Maps, The Fall and early Devo, all flavours which appear as strong spicing within Anarcho Punk Dance Party to enhance its very own inimitable antics.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Vincent, bassist/vocalist Stu Chaney, and drummer Sam Luck, Austerity have no qualms about attacking the political and social injustices and bigotry bred issues infesting the UK and world right now. Every track is a blatant attack and snarl but each also a puppeteer on jerking bodies and instincts to defy.

The album opens up with the increasingly clamorous Aaaaaaaaarrrrrghhh, the vocal pairing of Vincent and Chaney painting the stark background of the people betraying political landscape with increasing venom matched in sonic dissonance. It is a sonic trespass which demands and received full attention but a start from which band, album, and listener really get down to business.

We’re Not Evolved follows, bounding in on a rhythmic enticement and swiftly uncaging irregular and urgent dynamics spawned by the threesome. That Gang Of Four reference is a quick thought within the track, The Redskins arising through its punk challenge and The Three Johns in its sonic contortions. Even so the track stands bold as something individual to Austerity, a bruising and seductive blend which drags limbs and thoughts to life before Occupation unveils its own unique shuffle. Like a mix of Shockheaded Peters, Essential Logic, The Slits and Frauds, the track twists and turns snapping at ears and the country.

Fiddling with and infesting appetite and imagination from its first breath, Nice Guy needs mere seconds to get under the skin, bass and guitar hungrily picking through defences with their rapacious enterprise as Luck’s beats tenaciously nag. Vincent’s tones and words only add to the captivation and provocation, words stalking sexual predators and their delusion on their exploits. A song you can guide to specific protagonists and broad misogyny equally, it unleashes an infernally addictive swing easily devoured before White Men courts similar devotion with its corruptive dance. As in Occupation previously, the sax of Vicky Tremain is compelling additional incitement and pleasure to the song and its Artery/Fire Engines lined ingenuity.

As Rinse And Repeat flirts with and engages Gang Of Four hued instincts in its dextrous moves and The City Is Dead revels in punk causticity for its raucous holler it is fair to say we only found greedier appetite for the album which was only further intensified as Glass House had us twisting like a pretzel in the making with its rhythmic manoeuvres whilst roaring with its vocal and angular sonic tension lined turbulence. All three tracks explore a fresh aspect to the Austerity sound within a distinct character increasingly individual to the band though the trio are soon eclipsed by the outstanding One Man Terror Dance. If we suggest there is a bit of The Mekons, a slither of Delta 5, and a pinch of World Domination Enterprises in its creative theatre you may get a sense of its glory.

Herded provides a slightly calmer moment to only get further hooked up on Anarcho Punk Dance Party though it too is an animated rhythmic shuffle from the off with increasing volatility in its breath and busy agitation while Capital springs a virulent dance of fertile manipulation again reminding of The Fire Engines as well as the likes of Tones On Tails, Big Black, and Cabaret Voltaire whilst setting its own uniqueness.

Lambrini Anarchist concludes the release, a track to turn any dance floor into a feral playground whilst provoking disorder and mutiny; a description applying to the whole of Anarcho Punk Dance Party, one of the year’s major highlights.

Anarcho Punk Dance Party is out now via Every Man His Own Football Records digitally and physically through Quiet Backwater Records: available @ https://austeritypunk.bandcamp.com/album/anarcho-punk-dance-party

https://www.facebook.com/austeritypunk   https://twitter.com/austeritypunk

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dry Cleaning – Sweet Princess

Picture credit: Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz

There are times when you realise that unknowingly you have been waiting for a certain encounter and such is our feeling with the debut release from UK outfit Dry Cleaning. The Sweet Princess is a fascinating chunk of post punk/new wave drama which is openly inspired by the dark glories of the eighties but revels in an imagination and creative irreverence which wholly belongs to the London based quartet.

With a karaoke party in 2017 inspiring an instrumental collaboration, Dry Cleaning found its whole and voice with the addition of Florence Shaw six months later, she with no prior musical experiences joining Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse, and Nick Buxton. Together they recorded the six-track Sweet Princess EP before playing their first show only last year which has been followed by headline shows and a tour with NYC’s Bodega. That live presence has already urged keen interest which their debut as a full introduction can only embrace and further ignite.

To try and place the sound of Dry Cleaning, it sits somewhere between Pylon and the Au Pairs with an originality which embraces some familiar hues but twists them to its own inventive devices. Shaw’s spoken word styled delivery sparks thoughts of Lesley Woods of the latter of the previously mentioned bands and at times The Anaemic Boyfriends, her words almost snatches of life and opinion woven together to create and echo kitchen sink situations as well as broader issues. EP opener, Goodnight quickly reveals it is a potent and striking incitement just as magnetically matched by the sounds which stride alongside. The first song concussively strikes like a sonic cobra before breaking into a virulent stride the Gang Of Four would be proud of. Vocals and rhythms collude in their temptation, the insistence of the latter led by the throbbing bass irresistible as guitars add their choppy lures and beats swing with matching rapacity. A melodic hook right out of the Buzzcocks songbook is extra manna to devour as it entwines the intimacy of word and reflection.

The following New Job quickly proved itself to be just as tantalising, also needing mere seconds and breaths to tempt and enslave as beats draw in another eagerly enticing hook aligned to the melodic tones of Shaw. Its punk breeding is soon released in flames of jangling guitar, a Raincoats meets early Cure spicing lining the track’s irreverence romance of discord.

An ode to the Duchess of Sussex and look at the intent and deeds of the media towards such celebrities, Magic of Meghan entangled ears in a guitar bred web from the off, appetite only further bound as the song  sets off on a sonic saunter driven by the band’s ever tenacious rhythmic nagging with its Artery-esque agility. As its predecessors, it burrowed deep within the skin and enslaved in no time, a prowess just as hungry within the dark crawling proposition of Traditional Fish. Even in its almost predatory prowl there is an energy which is pure incitement as too is the melodic and sonic wiring that threads its Feelies like body.

For all the references Dry Cleaning is a band which only uncages a sense of uniqueness in its sound as evidenced once more within Phone Scam. There is a Fire Engines hue to the guitar as the song shapes its refreshing presence around Shaw’s ever potent collage of words and phrases; that alone proving enough to incite greed though it is the delicious bass and drums propelled lure at its core which turned greed into lust.

Concluded by the keenly swinging sonic shimmer of Conversation, the song a final piece of dark and pulsating imagination, Sweet Princess is a release we for one cannot get enough of. Over far too soon, the EP sparked excitement as thickly as pleasure; at times that is a rare find in music but easy to imagine the first of many alongside Dry Cleaning.

Sweet Princess is out now via It’s OK; available @ https://drycleaning.bandcamp.com/releases

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Noseholes – Ant And End

 

 

Such the dark majesty and ravening twisted exploits of debut album Danger Dance last year, we found it hard to imagine that Noseholes could eclipse its striking character and triumph. Well with its successor the German outfit has done just that whilst taking their sound into new intrigue loaded, virally compelling devilment. Ant And End has not wiped the floor with its illustrious predecessor but built on all its dark and aberrant brilliance to forge a whole new and sensational Noseholes escapade so easy to greedily devour.

Within a sound bred from the voracious instincts of post punk, no wave, and anomalous disco, the Hamburg hailing quartet of Henk Haiti, Steve Somalia, ZooSea Cide, and TH have ventured into darker corners and brighter trespasses with Ant And End. Still the body was a puppet to the band’s fiercely manipulative antics as they sprung a creative harassment to drool for, but the imagination was taken into the crevices of a more dystopian exploration bringing new esurient peril to their compulsive dance.

The album opens with Snowsuit Ranger and instantly roams the body with devious grooves and atypical enterprise. Rhythms tease and taunt, directing song and listener with their infernal bounce as eagerly tantalising vocals and deviant electronics are embraced by a quirky web of guitar. Like a distant relative of a merger between Au Pairs and Blood Red Shoes, the track is glorious, setting the voracious tone of the album and submissive mood of its victim alike.

The following IQ Model is just as rich a tempting, its gait a calmer virulent but clothed in mysterious atmospheric smog of intimation. The similarly reserved stroll of the radiantly dour bass fuels the blossoming industrial espionage of the song, vocals the magnetic narration to its seduction before the album’s title track got under the skin and had feet, hips, and instincts abound again. Whether an inspiration or coincidence, again eighties bred post punk/new wave spices up a slice of inescapable insistence, the likes of Delta 5, ESG, and Pylon hinted at.

The pure captivation of Vacuum Flies followed, its initial teasing shadows and suggestive drama alone hooking unbridled attention, the Essential Logic-esque flame of sax ear manna across the equally compelling rhythmic saunter which riveting vocals intimately drape over. With a Bauhaus hue adding to the pleasure, the song just mesmerised before letting Glimmering Mamba infest body and spirit with its hungry contagion. Not for the first or last time, there is a Gang Of Four lining to the irresistible rhythmic pestering, a nagging matched by the often simple but skilfully woven hooks and swarm of electronic baiting, but as always for all the hints given song and sound are unapologetically uniquely Noseholes.

Casino E Vino provides its own infective canter next, breeding a pandemic of temptation which lingers far beyond its final greed soaked lure while Radio Universe links its wires to body and imagination, the body in turn dangling and dancing like a willingly submissive puppet.

The album closes out with the pair of Jackson 4 and Baked Beans. The first springs its indie pop involved post punk exploits with boisterous intent, once more hooks and chords as lively and hungry as the inimitable rhythmic shuffle infesting is persuasion. Its successor though heavier, darker, and far more sinister manages to be even more viral like in its strands of temptation and collective jeopardy. Increasingly catchier and irresistible by the second, the track is a glorious end to a simply stunning album from Noseholes.

 Ant And End provides one of those moments when music proves why it is the most addictive and vital thing in a chaos searching world; indeed the second such revelation with Noseholes.

Ant And End is out through ChuChu Records on May 17th; available @ https://noseholes.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NoseholesBand/

  Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Girls In Synthesis – Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018

The release of Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018 draws another shameful admission from us; Girls In Synthesis had escaped our ears and attention until now. But we have now greedily gobbled up the band’s sound and confrontation thanks and a big thanks to the summing up of the band’s output to date courtesy of Louder Than War Records.

The limited edition album brings the UK band’s first four releases together in one place with each track re-mastered; their download only two track debut single joining a trio of long sold out and highly collectable 7″ EPs. The London trio cast a ferocious challenge with their sound, one bred in the instincts and heart of punk and post punk but swiftly revealing its own individual dissonance of noise and attitude to bring true uniqueness the mix. Lyrically and vocally the band pulls no punches; words crawling through ears and imagination as rapaciously as the anarcho bred sounds enveloping their discontent.

The two tracks of that first release opens up the album; The Mound rising up on a sonic strand before senses whipping beats infiltrate the invasive assault. Mere seconds pass before the skin tingled as the track burrowed beneath, instincts swiftly taken with its punk rancour and carnivorous sound. Carnal in its breath, the track quickly showed with its companion why it thrust the band upon so many radars. The magnetically raw Disappear is similarly primal and compelling; it’s bass driven grooved voracity insatiable and vocal catchiness virulent.

The self-titled opener of the Suburban Hell EP follows; its sonic fingering the prelude to a corrosive noise punk incursion which leaves no stone unturned as the infectiousness of the previous track is even more accentuated by the sonic ravening escaping guitars and throat. There is a hint of bands like Rema-Rema to the song too, one which is a touch more vocal within the bestial temptation of Phases. Its crunchy textures and senses wilting static soon proved irresistible, the song simply devouring willing to be overthrown defences in quick time before both Fucked and Solid Effect uncaged their individually harsh yet captivating cacophonies. The first of the two taunts and pesters in voice and noise, again an inherent catchiness fuelling its enmity while its successor emerges from its astringent wake with a contagion soaked fuzz coated trespass to just as powerfully tempt and stir.

We Might Not Make Tomorrow leads in the four tracks originally making up the band’s similarly named second EP. A heavier post punk discord accosts the quickly persuasive encounter; strains of early Killing Joke and a corrupted indeed bestial Fire Engines-esque disharmony adding to its virulent mordant clamour. Fair to say already a quickly formed favourites list was becoming increasingly lengthy as we explored more, this track to the fore but quickly worried by the invasive rhythmic jerking of Sentient. Immersion in the guitar’s sonic rancour only increased its magnificence; every note and syllable the perfect manipulative mix of threat and temptation before the deliciously trenchant Splinters and Rust deviously danced on submissive ears and appetite and the infectively scathing Tainted gurned over and twisted the senses into its tenacious plaything.

The final songs on the album come from the Fan The Flames EP of last year, its title song quickly uncaging a sonic abrasion as a great Adverts like rhythmic rumble infiltrates amidst yet again a Killing Joke hued rapacity. It too has a riveting nagging to its galvanic wires and rhythmic persistence, one only accelerated by the incitement and tenacity of the vocals; a simply enslaving mix further escalated in the Gang Of Four tinted post punk rowdiness of You’re Doing Fine. Every rhythmic swing bit, bass snarl gloriously lingered, and guitar stroke inflamed the passions with vocals and a great PiL scenting fattening the track’s might.

The great variety to tracks and sound is emphasized once more by Howling, the band aligning spoken word with atmospheric sonic toxicity, the track a haunting invasion which leaves hungrily persuasive toxins in the senses long after its departure.

Internal Politics completes the album, its post punk animation of bass and drums alone mercilessly compulsive and its increasing fertile mania just mouth-watering. Bands like Wire, 1919, and Big Black come to mind across the supreme final three minutes of the release but as always Girls In Synthesis only stand unique and irrepressible.

Thanks to Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018, Girls In Synthesis no longer lay undiscovered by us and will be persistently hunted from hereon in; come join the stalking with us.

Pre/Post: A Collection 2016-2018 is out now via Louder Than War Records @ https://girlsinsynthesis.bandcamp.com/album/pre-post-a-collection-2016-2018  and https://louderthanwar.com/shop/vinyl/girls-in-synthesis/

https://www.facebook.com/girlsinsynthesis   http://girlsinsynthesisband.tumblr.com/

Pete RingMaster 30/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lady Lynch – Self Titled

Haunting to the point of being disturbing, sombrely magnetic to the edge of invasive seduction, the self-titled debut album from Austria quartet, Lady Lynch, is quite simply one of the year’s essential explorations especially if your appetite has a hunger for shadow fuelled, dangerously elegant post punk/no wave woven temptation.

Vienna hailing, Lady Lynch consists of Theresa Adamski, Philipp Forthuber, Lina Gaertner, and Christian Sundl. There is little more background wise we can tell you about the band but musically and especially with their new album, a flood of praise carrying words is unstoppable. Individual in character and imagination, their music is something akin to a fusion of The Passions, Au-Pairs, and Lydia Lunch trapped within the band’s own unique web of post punk/no wave taking in further new wave and punk hues. Across ten tracks it provides an inescapably hypnotic lure of brooding intimation and gloom cast atmospherics around riveting vocals as tendrils of sound unite their skilled monotony to seduce ears and imagination. With every listen it has become more impressive and irresistible, addiction rising by their side.

The album opens with Fundamental Friend Dependability. Rising from a sonic squall, the track swiftly drops into an espionage coated stroll, firm rhythms almost taunting ears as vocals and a cold melody entice. It took barely a rush of seconds before the song got under the skin, its sober hooks and participation inciting chorus welcome trespasses alongside the great vocals. A superb start, the track as many across the album suddenly comes to an end, almost as if the release has got bored waiting to uncage its next thrilling incitement but a conclusion which only adds to the drama and tension.

The following Cymbals initially chips away at the senses before sauntering through ears with a gnarly bordering on predatory bassline alongside steady but imposing beats. Tenebrific in many ways, darkly radiant in plenty more, the song matched its predecessor in rapacious persuasion before Schatten Island casts its black and white hued intimation. Drums again provide a bold and influential backdrop, the bass the dark drama while guitar and vocals spring cinematic adventure; it all uniting in a Gang Of Four meets Bauhaus like compulsion.

Through the metronomic swing of Ranciere, a hip manipulator with moments of corroded discord, and the chilling melodic twilight of Noon, captivation only tightened its hold though both songs are soon rivalled in magnificence by the Crispy Ambulance-esque City Falls and all are in turn eclipsed by the Athletico Spizz 80/Pylon flavoured Actors and Networks where rhythms again play the body like a puppeteer as voice and guitar toy with the imagination; it all manna for ears and appetite.

A whiff of Cauldronated accompanies the mechanised corruption that is Tiny Machine while Stairs carrying a similar scent is an escalator of passing shadows and dark contemplation. Both tracks just enthralled as too did closing track Hommage. It is the darkest moment on the album and it’s most beguiling, beauty soaking every unsettled silhouette and slim but richly evocative contour.

Within one listen we were fully ensnared by the album’s caliginous temptation and devious enterprise, its seductive disquiet just as irresistible as its invasion of the senses and thoughts. One word sums it all up, Stunning!

The Lady Lynch album is out now via Cut Surface digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl @ https://cutsurface.bandcamp.com/album/lady-lynch-2

Pete RingMaster 01/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Chewers – Downhill Calendar

Defying the claws of pigeonholes and predictability with even greater relish and mischief, US duo The Chewers release their new album in the devilish shape of Downhill Calendar. Off kilter rock is pretty much what the band calls its sound and more than anything echoes the captivating web of styles and flavours making up their new release and rock n’ roll.

The Chewers is the creation of Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, both West Virginia bred who by chance eventually met up having individually relocated to Nashville. 2010 saw the release of debut album Every Drop Disorganized and the raw seeds of the sound and humour which has grown over subsequent releases and now boldly flourishes within fourth full-length Downhill Calendar.

I’m Getting Thinner starts things off and within its seven plus minutes of captivation entangles a host of flavours from art/avant rock to post and raw punk through to noise and experimental rock. Immediately bass and drums lay down a repetitive lure smothered in sonic lacing and rising acidic grooves. The rhythmic core of the song echoes the prowess of Gang of Four, its sonic side also hinting but expelling a more feral touch and intent. There is an instinctive nagging at the heart of the song, rhythms its main fuel, which epitomises all album tracks; each song almost harassing attention but rewarding with contagion loaded enterprise matched by the lyrical agility and magnetic delivery of the vocals.

Never a labour only an addictive pleasure even at its extensive length, the excellent opener hands ears and imagination over to the following Skin Stay Thin. Its first breath brings an inescapable swing which again is as primal and raw as it is compelling and manipulative. Hooks and grooves spring like leeches at the imagination, a mischievous edge to them all recalling the creative antics of former PiL/Killing Joke/Pigface member Martin Atkins in his Brian Brain guise. Becoming more caustic by the moment it in turn makes way for the electro /noise punk courting of Where Is the Fun?, those wonderfully infernal rhythms again worming under the skin and into hips within seconds. Vocals, words, and guitar swiftly entwine and saunter across that rhythmic incitement, the latter embracing blues grazing to its melodic vines and funk nurtured swings.

 Rat Belly crawls through ears next; squirts of brass radiating on its heavy infection loaded lumber. With the song’s step never accelerating, the guitar scorches its flesh as electronic resonance brings its own dark dissonance. Bordering on bedlam but just managing to restrain its mania, the track pretty much slips into the psyche trapping Frankie’s Downhill Calendar. Once more drums lead the incursion, their instinctive agility a puppeteer to physical involvement and a rock ‘n’ roll appetite as the creative toxicity of guitar and imagination sear song and senses alike. As vocals once more unearth their own regular magnetism eighties post punk hues please and intimate but only adding to the individual sound of The Chewers.

Without quite sparking the same ardour for its predecessors Yo Yellow Pig still got attention locked in with its mischief coated swing and blues nurtured causticity while the excellent Then There’s Me offers a corroded blues rock canter as seductively elegant as it is openly mordant.

Both tracks trapped attention with ease leaving I Let the Stooge Loose to bring things to a close with its untamed but masterfully mercurial rock ‘n’ roll. Not only to the closing track but The Chewers’ sound in general, there is a sense of bands like Pere Ubu, Powersolo, and The Residents to its character but as the song proves all essences in something unique to The Chewers.

So if you are looking for rock n’ roll in its most “off Kilter” adventure then Downhill Calendar is a must exploration, indeed one for all fans of the flavours The Chewers twist, corrupt, and use so enjoyably.

Downhill Calendar is available now @ https://thechewers.bandcamp.com/album/downhill-calendar

https://www.facebook.com/thechewers/

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shriekback – Why Anything? Why This?

In music it is so easy to be adulterous to one’s first love; to gather a harem of lustful attractions just as fevered though the one is always the prime affection. For us XTC was and is that irreplaceable ardour but the years obviously have seen hordes of infidelities seducing across a multitude of sounds and styles. One of the earliest sprung from that virgin ardour and one of its former members Barry Andrews. It was Shriekback which following one of its founder’s ear grabbing solo sounds teased with its debut EP, baited with the singles My Spine (Is The Bassline) and Lined Up, and enslaved through their first two albums in Care and Jam Science. Admittedly over the following three and a half decades we have dipped into their creative escapades more than been relentlessly attentive but never shy to explore. That initial hunger for their sound has just been truly re-ignited now though with the release of new album Why Anything? Why This?; one of their finest encounters ever.

Shriekback was formed in 1980 by vocalist/ keyboardist Andrews and ex- Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen, the pair quickly enlisting guitarist Carl Marsh from Out On Blue Six into the fold. The ear grabbing Tench EP and those aforementioned singles introduced the band’s unique sound which blossomed further upon the 1982 released Care. The next year saw drummer Martyn Barker (King Swamp, Billy Bragg) brought into the band’s line-up with Jam Silence coming in 1984 followed by a move to Arista Records and the release of their acclaimed third album Oil & Gold. The band’s next couple of albums over the subsequent two years or so centred around Andrews with Allen and Barker linking back up with him for the 1992 full-length Sacred City, a release which appeared to be the band’s last breath. They returned though in 2000 with Naked Apes and Pond Life, following it three years later with Having a Moment, the album seeing the band’s original line-up in place again with Barker, and Lu Edmonds alongside. Four more albums over a decade, seeing numerous musicians involved, leads us up to Why Anything? Why This? the band’s 14th studio album coming three years after its predecessor and what can only be suggested as one of the band’s most compelling adventures.

Around the core prowess and imagination of Andrews, Barker, and Marsh, the album also features bassist Scott Firth of P.i.L and regular Shriekback backing vocalists Wendy and Sarah Partridge. Instantly it had its fingers in ears and appetite, teasing and tempting as opener Shovelheads inserts a heavy infectious lure led by deceptively flirtatious rhythms. The vocals stand just as magnetic upon the strands of sound and words, electronic currents lapping the sizzling threads of guitar as the rhythms continue to throb. It is a great start, an imposing hint of things to come which rather than hungrily infesting ears and imagination inescapably nags them.

The band’s latest single And The Rain follows, a virulent slice of dark rock with atmospheric seduction and manipulative rhythmic shadows. It is a tenebrific contagion matched in voice and word; an intrigue loaded proposal getting under the skin like Tone on Tails meeting The Filthy Tongues. The track is superb, drama and deviously catchy enterprise colluding in dark temptation before the equally tantalising Catmandu preens its own darkly nurtured theatre with melodic elegance and revelry amidst electronic and rhythmic devilment.

Such, Such Are The Joys is a serene yet tenacious  funk ‘n’ roll croon, its slow swing hypnotic to hips and darksome air pure intimation to the imagination only aided by lyrics, tone, and the siren call of the backing vocals. Pure seduction with the beauty of danger in its lining, the song just bewitched while Wriggle And Drone swiftly showed itself a puppeteer with its rhythmic suggestion and percussive scenery alone. The song took us back to those early tracks of the band which had us hook, line and sinker; infusing that instinctive bait with fresh ingenuity.

Next up The Painter Paints is just poetry from start to finish in sound and lyrical invention, conjuring just as its protagonists might with every fibre,  its captivation more than matched by the brooding post punk kissed sway and raw dark folk balladry of Useless Treasure. Even so, their major allure is only eclipsed by the album’s final trio; each creative alchemy.

The Church Of The Louder Light is first, rising from distant mists with vocal enticement and in turn rhythmic and sonic flirtation. Its hearty roar grows from a simmer to full voice in no time, its spirit and passion uncaged to inspire the same in the listener. It is a glorious trespass which after a momentary breath just returns bigger and bolder and more influential as Sons Of The Dirt also shows itself to be, it too building its energy and infection with increasing boisterousness as its predacious rock ‘n’ roll sizzles and blazes.

The album concludes with Thirty Seven, our favourite moment within Why Anything? Why This? with its gothic glaze over dark folk intimation and post/garage punk drama. The track is simply total fascination, aural witchery as seductively claustrophobic as it is mercurially radiant.

Since day one Shriekback has been pretty much a magnet for our ears, as for so many others, and to high praise from fans and media alike; perpetually a source of captivation but it is hard to say they have been any more compelling and essential than right now with Why Anything? Why This?.

Why Anything? Why This? is out now across most digital stores and @ https://www.shriekback.com/store

https://www.shriekback.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shriekback    https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Pete RingMaster 28/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lumes – Envy

The creative world of Dutch outfit The Lumes has just got corrosive, become dark and raw, and boy is it one exciting place to be caught in. The trio has emerged from their previous captivating shoegaze inspired atmospheric explorations bare skinned in sound, stark and skeletal in emotion and through new mini album Envy unleashed a whole new compelling realm.

Somewhat like a fusion of Joy Division, The Gaa Gaas, and The Horrors on day one, The Lumes create a pulsating drone of post punk and noise rock immersed in the already established magnetic attributes of the band’s imagination and sound. It is a nagging affair still unafraid to embrace more melodically sonic suggestion and exploration; a proposition sucking on the psyche as it closes claustrophobically in on the senses and quite irresistible.

The release opens up with Anguish and instantly presses in on the senses with its imposing cloud of invigorating discord. A nagging hook emerges from the midst, guitarist Maxime Prins casting inescapable bait as his vocals vent. The bass of Lennard van der Voort groans with similar striking temptation, its riff a transfixing drone across which the swings of drummer Mitchell Quitz dance and bite. It is an outstanding track, the kind of invitation which ensures unbridled attention and in turn lust is established before moving on to the next equally hypnotic proposal coming in to nag and play.

Slow has an even more invasive air; a less defined climate maybe but with a perfectly woven suffocating breath which lingers even as the initial wash of sound parts for vocal and melodic disharmony before crowding back in on ears and emotions.  The rhythmic union of van der Voort and Quitz has a less venomous feel this time but shows no mercy in getting as much under the skin as Prins’ vocal dissension and the sonic description of his strings.

The following Discharge throbs with a dulled yet kinetic clang as Gang of Four-esque rhythms pounce. Sonically, an Artery meets The Gaa Gaas clamour seduces and enslaves as the bass and drums probe and transfix with almost carnal persistence, all finally consumed by a swamp of searing noise before Feign brings its own chilled manna to ears. The guitar is a resonating cauldron of tone and causticity, the rhythms a web of deceitful temptation and all webbed in off-kilter melodic friction which equally infests Prins’ as ever riveting vocals. With a chorus which haunts the senses as much as vocal chords, the track is the most gorgeous noise bred ugly discordancy.

The invasive muggy swamp of Compulsion is next, an avalanche of tonal discord which relaxes its controlled but unrestrained sonic howl a touch around vocals to then re-ignite its winds in between the ‘calm’.  The track is almost shamanic in its repetitious lures and senses twisting canter, constantly impressing on and drawing subservience to its noise tunnel.

The Lumes complete Envy with a cover of the Space Siren track Who makes me try? A punk infused tempest ebbing and flowing with ferocity as corroded melodies collude round another simply hypnotic bassline, it is a fine end, if not quite matching what comes before, to an outstanding release.

Across the landscape of Envy, with all the inhospitable yet seductive discord, you never feel like The Lumes are out to spoil and wither but rather laying down an impossible to resist invitation into their emotional anarchy and new so much more irresistible realm.

Envy is out now through Crazysane Records digitally, on CD, and 12” vinyl, limited to 200 hand-numbered black and 100 mint-green vinyl copies on @ https://crazysanerecords.bandcamp.com/album/envy

http://thelumes.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thelumes/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright