The Pulsebeats – Fiction Non-Fiction

The Pulsebeats_RingMasterReview

Every two years or so we seem to get a new stomping encounter with The Pulsebeats; a regular occurrence, certainly over the past four years, providing so far highly memorable and rousing adventures. Nothing has changed with new album Fiction Non-Fiction either, a riotous ten track affair which has the body and spirit leaping with the band’s distinct fusion of garage and punk rock with power pop contagion.

Formed in 2010 by a quartet of musicians from Manchester and Santander in Spain, The Pulsebeats soon had an increasing flock of fans bouncing live and with their self-titled debut album of 2011. A raw but captivating romp, it awoke a new wave of attention and media interest which was further stirred up by the band’s three track 7” single Don’t Turn Your Fucking Back On Me two years later. That release immediately revealed a new imagination and diversity in the band’s songwriting and sound which has now been taken to yet another plateau with Fiction Non-Fiction. Released a couple of weeks ago by FOLC Records and Action Weekend Records, the recording of The Pulsebeats’ new roar of energetic fun saw the band return to Santander’s Drive Division Studio with Alex Pis handling production. What emerged was a collection of songs eager to reveal the band at its most musically adventurous and indeed creatively tenacious yet.

What Can I Do? is the first slice of engaging incitement on the album; a welcome instantly wrapping ears in jangly guitar and crisp beats. The distinctive British tones of Nathan are soon adding to the already potent lure of the song, his and fellow guitarist, Luis’ riffs and hooks surrounding his tones with matching zeal and expression The track is a tidy slice of power pop mixed with sixties spiced R&B, a warm an catchy start soon eclipsed by Dead School Marching Band. New wave like guitar insurgency rubs the senses first; their almost duelling bait soon accompanied by the swinging rhythms of drummer Ral and the almost haughty bassline of Alex. In no time, the outstanding song has feet and hips bound in its virulence whilst a Who/early Jam hue blossoms to ignite the imagination. It is also an inventively busy proposal, vocal growls and writhing harmonies colluding with spiky hooks and tangy grooves to add to its ear gripping devilry.

Cover_RingMasterReviewThe punk ‘n’ roll of Eyes On You leaps straight from the closing breath of its predecessor, the track a glorious old school incitement with a touch of early Buzzcocks meets The Freshies to it; indeed Nathan adding a Howard Devoto like toning to his raw vocal persuasion. Like the previous track, it quickly and easily has body and passions involved while showing more of the variety in sound shaping Fiction Non-Fiction.

The following All I Give also has some of that nostalgic spicing to certainly its acidic hooks and uncluttered body, bringing a lighter infection of pop ‘n’ roll for its magnetic chorus, while Carrie-Anne is a less forceful proposal creating a flirtatious smoulder with sultry surf like melodies within a power pop/new wave hug with just a touch of The Only Ones to it. Both songs easily command undiluted interest and an increasingly greedier appetite for the album, if without quite matching up to the major heights of those before them and the thumping garage rock ‘n’ roll of Baby Girl. The anthemic punches of beats alone have limbs involved, vocals and riffs taking care of the rest of quickly seduced attention.

The mischievous nature of the band in word and sound is never far from the surface of the album and especially dynamic and irresistible in The Man Without A Head. The stomping slice of rock ‘n’ roll is an epidemic of sonic contagion with a host of additional strands drawn from blues, vintage R&B, and pop punk. Many tracks have a claim for best track honours within Fiction Non-Fiction, this one of the most vocal though so too is its successor, the resourcefully infectious and melodically lusty September Calendar Girl.

To be honest most tracks create an unforgettable peak within the lofty stature of the album, the glorious Everybody Wants Some intoxicating punk rock revelry almost aflame with raw energy and attitude to match earlier heights. It offers an uncomplicated two and a half minutes of breath-taking and seriously addictive rock ‘n roll which just ignites body and soul.

Completed by the even briefer punk riot of The Ballad Of Medicine Stu, again a track impossible not to get fully involved in, Fiction Non-Fiction is the kind of release you turn to for pure fun, knowing it will not disappoint in sound, adventure, or attitude. As for The Pulsebeats, they just get better and better, which means so do their records which Fiction Non-Fiction can testify.

Fiction Non-Fiction is available now on CD and download through Folc Records/Action Weekend Records and @ https://thepulsebeats.bandcamp.com/album/fiction-non-fiction

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Pete Ringmaster 11/05/2016

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Victoria+Jean – Divine Love

V-J-_RingMasterReview

From the gorgeous artwork by Russian artist Oleg Dou through to the cinematic seducing which escapes each and every song, Divine Love is creative beauty involved with an imagination which simple leaves the listener lost in fascination. The imagination comes from Victoria+Jean, the episodes of aural drama from their debut album, and the brooding romance between listener and artist from instincts that just know when something transcends just ear food.

The band is the artistic and romantic union of Swedish born vocalist Victoria and Belgian guitarist Jean. Brought up in London and moving to Paris where she began her first career as a model, Victoria was a musician at heart and was signed as a solo artist aged 16 by a French major label, though she broke her four-album deal before releasing her debut, unable to make the compromises demanded upon her by the label. Moving to Belgium she met Jean and the couple began a career “motivated by encounters, travels and sound.” We have simplified the background for and leading to the project and union of the pair, with not for the first or indeed last time, Divine Love demanding to be the focus of attention.

art_RingMasterReviewIn creating the album, the duo sent their 12 tracks to their favourite producers with the request of collaboration for the release. The list included the likes of John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors, Depeche Mode), Christopher Berg (The Knife), Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish), and Lucas Chauvière (De La Soul). As evidence of things being meant to be, each freely chose the same track Victoria+Jean had intended and hoped for them; a move and success which only adds to the album’s vastly diverse and eclectic character.

Divine Love opens with its title track and the duo’s new single. Within seconds the electronic mystique and ambience of the track has ears and imagination enthralled, the sixties cinematic drama in tone and air providing a great sense of mystery reinforced by the celestial caresses of Victoria’s mesmeric vocals. The gentle and elegant jangle of guitar equally brings rich suggestiveness to the enveloping theatre of dark charm and atmospheric tempting. There is no escaping a Portishead like essence to the bewitching encounter though equally artists like Propaganda and in a small way The Sugarcubes also offer their scent to its evocation.

It is a glorious start followed by the ridiculously irresistible Holly. From an initial lure of fuzzy guitar and mischievous beats, the song soon swings along with a virulent infectiousness which barely needs a handful of seconds to have hips swaying and spirit smiling. Victoria’s voice dances upon the compelling strands of sound, mixing composed moments with soaring harmonics as rhythms dance with addictive tenacity. As provocative in word as it is in sound, the track is sensational; growing with each twist of its musical theatre and lust inspiring alchemy.

Big Billie comes next, coaxing ears with raw blues guitar before thumping rhythms surround the tangy expressive tones of Victoria. Jean’s imagination continues to weave a sultry web of sound and enterprise to surround the tribal beats and descriptive vocals; a provocative blend playing like a mix of The Creatures and My Baby. Enthralling and igniting the senses it makes way for Until It Breaks and its brooding climate of sinister shadows and electronic espionage. As all songs, it has the imagination casting its own adventures to align with that of the song itself, sparking closer involvement between ears and song which is echoed again by Why Won’t You and its delta blues laced tango.

Across the fiery sonic and rhythmic trespass of Your Baby Don’t Know Me and Firecracker, things only get more boldly flirtatious and grouchily confrontational. The first is a prowling beast of a track with a touch of De Staat to its predacious noise rock infested waltz whilst its successor, while employing a similar dark rhythmic throb, courts techno fuelled ingenuity. It is a collusion which just gets more dynamic, agitated, and schizophrenic across its three body involving minutes, like its predecessor inciting a greedier appetite for Divine Love before a haunting beauty cast with a vibrant calm hugs ears through Härligt Sverige. Tantalising harmonies float around the poetic tones of Victoria, they skirted by resonating beats and the low key repetitive niggle of guitars. Winy tendrils vein the piece too; Jean creating an increasingly climactic drama matched by the vocal emotion equally gripping attention.

Ears and pleasure become engrossed in more blues bred invention through Takes You Like A Rose and Where We Belong next, the latter tempering the flavour with a bewitching folk seeded hug of melody and harmony before creating a tempestuous showdown of sound and emotive theatre. It is a glorious slice of aural cinema, again visual interpretation quickly inspired by the song and indeed Pull The Trigger which follows. Rhythms and percussive enterprise tease and play with ears before hitting an imposing stride entangled in sonic and vocal imagination. Anthemic and intimate within every writhing twist and turn of its excellent proposal, the track is like a hex on body and thought.

Closing with the epic spatial and atmospheric romancing of Define Love, an immersion into electronic and vocally harmonic reflection, Divine Love is one of the most enthralling and in turn invigorating releases heard in a long time. Every song provides an individual and compelling exploration still revealing fresh rewards after numerous listens. The album has plenty for fans of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, ambience and electronica, pop and dance and with a host of videos also accompanying each song, Divine Love is nothing less than essential listening and viewing.

Divine Love is released April 29th via FY Records at https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/divine-love/id1089239770?app=itune and across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Franklys – Comedown/Long Way

The Franklys_RingMasterReview

The Franklys create a sound as enjoyably nostalgic as it is fresh and individual to modern garage rock ‘n’ roll. They also uncage releases, like new single Comedown, which demand attention whilst sharing the suggestion that its creators has the potential to be one of the provocateurs that the future direction of modern rock ‘n’ roll might just hinge upon.

The band consists of Swedish born vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jen Ahlkvist and lead guitarist Fanny Broberg, America hailing Nicole Pinto, and British bassist Zoe Biggs. London is where the quartet met and the band is based though fair to say since emerging, The Franklys has been a blur on the live scene, persistently playing shows in and touring the UK, Europe, America, and Scandinavia as well as making prise luring appearances at festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival, Strawberry Fields, and Camden Rocks. Their rousing and raw garage rock sound brings a mix of psych and punk rock from across the decades with plenty more to spice things up whilst inspirations range from The Hives, The Strokes, and Queens Of The Stone Age to Led Zeppelin, Mando Diao, Blondie, and The Who. Their self-titled debut EP whipped up intrigue and strong interest back in 2013 which the Bad News EP stirred up to greater success last year. Now it is Comedown making the potent nudge on broader spotlights and attention, and making an easy job of it so far since being recently unveiled.

Comedown instantly has ears under welcome siege with a blaze of fiery riffs soon joined by thumping beats and a raw wind of hungry energy to its invitation. The bassline of Biggs almost groans with relish as its stalks the web of bracing sonic and melodic flames escaping the guitars with Ahlkvist’s ear catching vocals adding further bite to the snarling temptation. It is a great blend which helps the song weaves something akin to The Raincoats and The Priscillas around a character which equally refuses to be majorly compared to another. Never taking a breath within its contagious confrontation, the track has body and spirit aroused and swiftly joining its rousing tempest of incitement.

Accompanying the outstanding track is Long Way; a far more subdued encounter with just as potent and seductive lures. Its climate is surf rock bred, its sultry shimmer sixties garage rock/pop coloured, and its scuzzy touch punk seeded. It simply enthrals from the off; beguiling ears and appetite whilst revealing another flavour and twist to the songwriting and sound of The Franklys. If The Shangri-Las were Spinnerette, or The Luv’d Ones were The Breeders, the results just might sound like Long Way.

Acclaim and The Franklys have already been more friends than strangers but it feels like things are going to get hotter and more flirtatious from hereon in as first Comedown and then the band take 2016 by the scruff of the neck.

Comedown is out now via Electric Wood Records and available @ http://www.thefranklys.com/product/pre-order-single-comedown-limited-edition-7-vinyl/ and through iTunes.

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Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

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The Cavemen – Self Titled

The Cavemen_RingMasterReview

With a name like The Cavemen, you instantly give a suggestion of sound and character before a note is flung at ears. Thoughts imagine something raw and primal; a sound stripped to the bone with no concern for niceties and that is exactly what you get in the New Zealander’s self-titled debut album. The Cavemen creates attitude driven garage punk ‘n’ roll which simply stirs up the punk inside and twists it into songs which are as addictively contagious as they are belligerently mischievous.

Formed by a quartet of high school teens, The Cavemen emerged in 2012 after spending “several years of under aged drinking and loitering around the various basements, graveyards and parking lots of their home city.” With their dirty and intrusive sound honed to the virulently imposing height found on the new release, the quartet of vocalist Paul Caveman, guitarist Jack Caveman, bassist Nick Caveman, and drummer Jake Caveman soon began stirring up their homeland’s live scene. That success though was soon facing obstacles which led to the band to looking at moving over to the UK, Paul explaining with the thought, “No bar will have us, no station will play us… We might as well bugger off to the other side of the world.” So now London based, The Cavemen has linked up with Dirty Water Records for the global release of their debut full-length, an album having already ignited eager appetites with its previous limited vinyl release via 1:12 Records.

Think The Cramps and The Stooges meets The Damned, in their early days, and The Ramones and you get a clue to the incitement leaping out from the album’s opener alone. Mentally Ill swiftly has ears and appetite gripped with its brawling lo-fi devilment; guitars and bass creating a swiftly gripping tempting as beats trespass the senses with their antagonistic swing and vocals deliver every syllable in a rabid squall of tone and attitude. Garage rock meets ’77 punk rock, the track is an attention grabbing start to the album instantly backed and eclipsed by the irritable confrontation of Fuck For Hate. Hook and grooves entangle as the song stirs up ear and spirit; vocals egging on the track’s rebellion and discontent as it worms under the skin.

cavemen front sleeve_RingMasterReviewIt too is then over shadowed a touch by the outstanding Stand By Your Ghoul. Straight away the collusion of guitar and bass hooks has lips being licked, then smiling broadly as Hamond-esque keys dance devilishly on the imagination within another handful of tempting seconds. The prime bait reminds of seventies band The Piranhas, or more specifically their single Jilly whilst the bare boned roar of the track manages to come over as something between The Dirtbombs and The Horrors in their early days.

The album’s punk driven rock ‘n’ roll continues to seriously involve and excite body and spirit as the fifty scowling seconds of Scumbag leads to the minute and a half invasive seduction of Rides With The Reich. Barely a track goes by without escaping the two minute mark, a short sharp riot approach which does not stop songs like this also uncaging the most contagious of hooks and swaggers within senses bracing tempests of multi-faceted punk rock.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Retard bristles and romps next; wearing its old school punk nature as sonic belligerence before At The Pub barges in with its gang mentality punk ‘n’ roll. Again there is little resistance from feet and vocal chords as participation to yet another song from The Cavemen is inescapable; a submission given time and time again to its persuasion and to brawls like Fucked In The Head and Drink Driving. Again that garage rock flavouring creates great flames of eventful contrasts in the creative truculence stirring up ears, the second of this pair managing to find an oi! like challenge to get even greedier over too.

The limb throwing swagger of School Sucks offers a fractious anthem next whilst Crimes Tonight squeezes some power pop revelry into its sixties/seventies infested rock ‘n’ roll; a fusion of flavours casting something that is The Sonics meets The Saints like. Both tracks, it goes without saying by this point in the album, has the body bouncing and emotions defiant, the latter aspect even more so with the dirty Motorhead tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Glass Breakfast.

The album closes with the irresistible furnace of Trash Talkin’ Paint Huffin’ Girl, a final fevered stomp of incendiary punk and rock devilry as raw and primitive as it is ferociously galvanic. It is a rigorously boiling end to a thrilling blaze of rapacious rock ‘n’ roll from a band which sparks a new flame, song by song, in the bushfire of pleasure which runs through album and its thorough enjoyment.

Time to free the primitive in us all with The Cavemen!

The Cavemen album is released via Dirty Water Records on April 25th @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/ and digitally @ https://thecavemennz.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers – Ugly Mobile

Hipbone Slim_RingMasterReview

With some artists, the news of a new release sparks a twitch in the hips and itch in the feet. Such it is with Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers after enjoying four slabs of the band’s individual rock ‘n’ roll, and such it was coming into new album Ugly Mobile. Containing fourteen slices of multi-flavoured incitements bred on the seeds of original rhythm ’n’ blues, the album is manna for the ears and a puppeteer to the body. Released via the ever treat giving Dirty Water Records, the press release for Ugly Mobile stated that the album is the band’s “finest offering so far!” After the umpteenth romp with the irresistible release, we can find no reasons to disagree.

It is hard to be surprised at the sound and infectious mischief that Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers create when you look at its members. The band is led by vocalist/guitarist Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim), the man seemingly involved in more bands than a wedding courting jeweller. Among the list is the inimitable likes of Louie & The Louies, The Kneejerk Reactions, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs, and The Magnificent Escapades; that just ‘scratching the surface’ of his tenacious presence and work. Alongside him is drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, a veteran of bands such as the Milkshakes, Headcoats, the Masonics and more who has also worked with Holly Golightly, the Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, Wreckless Eric, Mungo Jerry, and Link Wray. The line-up is completed by bassist/harmonica player Gastus Receedus who has played in the likes of Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys, and worked with legends such as Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, and Dale Hawkins amongst many. It is a trio which let rips from the first note of Ugly Mobile and relentlessly continues to incite and thrill until its flirtatious last.

The album opens with Bald Head, Hairy Guitar, a track opening like a Hank Mizell scented rumble as bass and drums grumble with a wink in their creative eye. In no time Sir Bald is spilling guitar and vocal bait into the virulent mix, the song mixing prowling devilment and infectious stomping to grip ears and body with relish. The same applies to the album’s title track which follows. You can almost see the grin on its creative face and eager energy as it flirts with a Bo Diddley spiced shuffle very easy and very quick to get physically and vocally involved in.

art_RingMasterReviewOrangutan steps up next, it’s beguiling coaxing carrying a great Johnny Kidd & the Pirates feel to its sultry persuasion and sound. The beats of Gastus alone create an anthemic trap reinforced by the great throaty roam of Bash’s bass. Further bound in the spicy string picking prowess of Sir Bald, the song as its predecessors, needs little time to seduce and enslave before One Armed Bandit brings its own quick persuasion, this time the band slipping in a seductive Del Shannon reminding melody amongst strands of surf rock tempting. A spark for ears and imagination, the instrumental also shows the variety already flowing through the album’s first quartet of songs.

The garage rock boisterousness of Sally Mae continues that flavoursome spread, keys and nagging riffs riveting textures in its rawer rock ‘n’ roll before Voodoo Love puts its late fifties/early sixties hex on ears and appetite. The fun uncaged simply continues as the exotic mystique of Hieroglyphic dances and flirts with the listener, its instrumental seduction nostalgia and fresh revelry combined whilst Hey Ramona! simply has the body bouncing with its lively contagion.

A steely texture lines the guitar bait as Hammond-esque enticement adds further tasty hues to next up Indestructible Love; the track part garage punk and part blues in its old school seeded rock ‘n roll that warms ears up nicely for the throbbing suggestiveness of Why Can’t I Find What I’m Lookin’ For. From its opening bass swing, the track has lust offered in return and only increasing its hold as a Meteors meets Billy Lee Riley like croon blossoms thereon in. The track simply hits the spot as too the excellent Don’t Know Where To Start, an irresistible and ridiculously catchy call for voice and body participation swiftly answered as the Johnny Cash tinted track ignites the passions.

The smouldering flirtation of Meanwhile, Back In The Jungle keeps things inflamed with its tribal rhythms and imagination stroking hooks  before Number One Son brings limbs into even keener action with its blues hued rockabilly and Joe Poovey like tenacity.

Closing with the bracing rocker, There’s Only One Louie, band and album provide a feel good stomp that simply leaves ears, spirit, and emotions high. If real rock ‘n’ roll is to your fancy, Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers and Ugly Mobile are a must.

Ugly Mobile is out April 22nd via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=10017028&offset=0&sort=normal

http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/hipboneslim

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2016

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Murena Murena – Shame Over

Pic © Jann Averwerser_klein

Pic © Jann Averwerser_klein

Genius or lunacy?

A question to ponder as Shame Over seduces ears and infects the psyche with its deranged carousel of dark imagination and off-kilter rock ‘n’ roll. The riveting aural amusement park of warped thrills and twisted adventures is the new album from Munich based Murena Murena. Though self-tagged as horror soul,  the release offers twelve tracks of unique imagination twisting alchemy embracing both genius and lunacy which, though hard to easily reflect in word, is maybe best described as Powersolo meets Wall Of Voodoo meets Nick Cave whilst lost in the realm of Twin Peaks.

Murena Murena is the creation of Daniel Murena, vocalist and writer/composer of some of the most irresistible cinematically lit murder ballads and sinister shuffles heard in a long time. 2014 saw the release of debut album Ghoaster Coaster, a slice of sonic and creative loco within which the seeds to Shame Over can be clearly heard. They are beginnings though which have blossomed into a proposal far more unhinged and seductively unsettling; an album of songs which work the ears and imagination of the listener like a puppeteer. With Albert Pöschl, Tagar, and Dizzy Errol alongside Murena, the band and Shame Over simply turn ears into an addict whilst sharing a cracked Sin City like comic book of noir fuelled escapades.

The album opens up with Newsflash Apocalypso, a dark romancing of ears with a rumble in its belly and a Yello-esque flirtation to its electro hues and devilry. Imposing in emotive dark and beguiling with a maze of vocals which trespass song and imagination, it is an attention grabbing start to the album and swift glimpse into the house of visceral shadows and provocative tales to come, starting with the outstanding Drag Race. Cowpunk rhythms and an appropriate swing quickly grip body and appetite with rockabilly devilment swiftly adding to the Cajun tinged stomp. Again vocals are a mesh of asylum bred incitement matched by beats and country hooks, an aligning of textures breeding a scent of Powersolo / Heavy Trash to its rascality.

The necrophilic romance of Le Van´s Wife immerses ears and thoughts in dank graveyard mustiness next, its soulful moon lit insight hosted by a sultry electronic glow framed by prowling rhythms. There is no escaping a Nick Cave hue to the excellent nocturnal disturbance and its smothering embrace of dark doings, or the invigorating diversity brewing in the album which continues with the reggae spiced bounce of Dancing Naked. The grouchy tone of bass enjoyably tempers the lusty shuffle of riffs and skittish beats hugged by the warm kiss of keys, a fusion of textures creating an addictively surreal surf/spaghetti western/ska flavoured hop

cover_RingMasterReviewCountry and rockabilly strands entwine the following Lovely Homes, skittery beats laying an eventful canvas for the smouldering dark charm of air and narrative of voice to conjure upon. Guitars and bass only add to the increasing drama, spawning a Helldorado like theatre that once having seduced ears and enjoyment, steps straight into the unbalanced horseplay of Pretty Please! which quickly has feet and thoughts  jumping like a psychotic mix of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Johnny Kidd and The Pirates with an added twist of The Dancing Did.

The pair simply disorientates and ignites the senses before Peace swaggers in with its throaty Johnny Cash climate and vocal dexterity as rich sultrily hued melodies wind seductively and poetically around ears. The track epitomises the whole of the album and Murena Murena sound, there seeming little going on in the building of a thick array of textures yet every moment is a kaleidoscope of new noise and imagination which reveals more and more with every dark engagement.

A lighter dance is provided by Shy Goose, its sixties pop and electro rock dance a magnetic croon which gets right under the skin with bass and beats masterfully leading the infestation. It shimmers and erupts with increasing tenacity and bewitchment before being pushed aside by the addictive sonic and rhythmic agitation of Tu Tu. Sounds and textures almost seem to battle each other in the bedlamic stomp, but in the end they simply collude for a hyperactive rock ‘n’ roll waltz that leaves body and soul alive and ready to be drawn into the psych rock haunting of War Drugs.  In another twist to the album, it is a dark enveloping of the imagination which is alive with vocal psychosis and warped echoes of noise and emotion, and quite beguiling if equally disturbing.

Shame Over is brought to a close by the pair of Fossil Fuel and Fossil Fuel 2. The first is a throbbing draw of vocal resonance and ethereal electronic theatre with plenty of suggestive bite whilst its successor is a blues romancing equipped with nostalgic easy listening country-esque mesmerism. Both tracks sublimely bewitch with their individual imagination, a description which fits the whole of the quite unique and gloriously unpredictable, not forgetting wonderfully eccentric or should that be crackpot, Shame Over. Creative diablerie does not come much better or deliciously darker it is easy to say.

Shame Over is released globally by Totally Wired Records on April 15th @ https://totallywiredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shame-over

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Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

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Eureka California – Versus

EC _RingMasterReview

With songs as sonically dysfunctional as the lives in their themes, flavours and attitude at times bordering on dissonant, Versus is one of those albums which nags and pesters until it has attention involved in its mischievous challenge. The release is the new and third album from US garage rock/pop duo Eureka California, a band from Athens, Georgia who over the past three years or so has increasingly stirred up eager fuss for their sonic psychosis around an intimate and self-referential lyrical devilry.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Jake Ward and drummer Marie A. Uhler, Eureka California made its first mark with the Modern Times EP in 2011, the band at that point a trio. The following year saw the release of debut album Big Cats Can Swim; its awareness stoking success then potently built on by firstly a 7” split with Good Grief in 2013 but more so by well-received second album Crunch a year later. The pair of encounters also saw the band as the duo now luring fresh spotlights with Versus, their first offering recorded in a studio.

It opens with Eureka California’s Night In, a pop jangle with thumping beats and a hungry horde of riffs around the expressive tones of Ward. There is a seventies power pop/punk feel to the track and a raucous feistiness which sets the theme and tone for the album. Like The Undertones/Only Ones meets The Hives whilst spaced out on toxic pizza, the song is a rousing start to the album swiftly backed up by the just as addictive Sign My Name With An X. It too has rebellion in its creative belly and belligerence in its touch as it engineers another slice of bracing garage punk pop. Imagining Melvins and The Replacements colluding with The Super Happy Fun Club gives a hint at the spirit raising, imagination inciting exploit. As all tracks bar two, the song is a swift, psyche infesting shot of creative adrenaline barely touching two let alone three minutes; just diving in, rushing out, and leaving greed loaded exhaustion in its wake.

The fuzzy pop ‘n’ roll of Another Song About TV strolls in next, its initial lure a scuzzy blaze which settles down for a hook stocked flirtation of guitar and voice. Uhler’s rhythms have a less imposing nature to their swings this time around but certainly have meat to their jabs and devilment in their invention across the brief and contagiously sweet incitement before it disappears in an instant to be replaced by the dirtier and more sonically irritable Sober Sister. The track soon has ears bristling in pleasure and thoughts grabbing the lyrical prowess and tenacity which swings through digs and humour at the turn of a syllable whilst spotlighting moments and experiences seemingly twisted from the listener’s own.

art _RingMasterReviewThrough the grouchy bounce of Ghosts, growling sounds and vibrant vocals uniting to seriously captivate, and the acoustic off-kilter charm of Fear and Loathing in the Classic City, band and album just tighten their grip on ears and appetite. The following Cobwebs on the Wind then sees them uncage more rapacious riffs and chords within a muggy and forcibly enticing invitation to body and spirit before Caffeine lays its raw balladry on ears with initially melancholic causticity which brews up into a raucous tempest of noise and emotion.

Surf rock meets post punk is one aspect of the compelling Realizing Your Actuality which steps up next, its early sultry coaxing over steely rhythms irresistible and only reinforced by the corrosive crescendos which erupt then fall before taking over the track’s thick and inescapable persuasion for extended periods. Weezer-esque in its calm, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club toned in its predacious exploits, the track adds another big peak to the successes of Versus.

Another acoustic incitement in the reflective shape of Everybody Had a Hard Year steers eager ears the way of album closer I Will Write Mine Over Potomac and its own melodic caress leading to ravenous sonic and rhythmic ferocity. A song about “loneliness and fraying nerves”; the track ebbs and flows in intensity with thoughtful calms and a raw agitation which almost grinds on the senses. Though finding it a slow burner compared to others within Versus, it is an enthralling proposal which just gets under the skin as deeply as the album succeeds as a whole.

It might be pushing it to say that Versus is going to be the most unique album you hear this year yet everything about it is fresh and seeps Eureka California distinctiveness. Plus it rocks like a bitch and that is more than good enough for us.

Versus is out now via HHBTM Records and @ https://eurekacalifornia.bandcamp.com/album/versus

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Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

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