Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Smash Fashion – Junkie Luck

smash fashion live_RingMaster Review

Ahead of their eagerly anticipated new album, US rockers Smash Fashion have uncaged a feistily flavoursome teaser in the shape of new single Junkie Luck. It has all the trademarks of the band’s decades bridging rock ‘n’ roll and the rousing mischief fans have come accustomed to and greedy for. It also hints at new flavours in the band’s power fuelled melodic roar ensuring intrigue for their upcoming release is all the more ripe.

Los Angeles bred, Smash Fashion has spent the past decade or so brewing up a sound merged from the raw energy of fifties rock ‘n’ roll, the hungry adventure of sixties psych and garage rock, and essences of punk ‘n’ roll forged ever since. With the salacious scent of glam and the anthemic energy of hard rock amongst other flavours also involved, the quartet create something that defies being pinned down yet has a broad familiarity which swiftly seduces ears and imagination. The creation of and driven by vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, Smash Fashion has increasingly lured acclaim and eager attention across a trio of albums starting with A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery in 2006. Three years later Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things stirred things up further for the band though it was Big Cat Love in 2014 which sparked the most eager and broadest spotlights yet on both sides of the Atlantic. With a clutch of ear teasing singles and a praise garnering live presence which has seen the band share stages again on both sides of the pond with the likes of Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, Missing Person, Silversun Pickups, Orson, JET, and The 88 over the years backing up the success of their albums, Smash Fashion has become a greedily devoured band with songs that just make tongues lick lips; the new single Junkie Luck no exception.

smash fashion art_RingMaster ReviewFrom its firs breath Junkie Luck is a rich enticement of guitar, the strings of Deering flirting alongside the sonic lead of Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex- Rock City Angels) before the former’s recognisable and always persuasive vocals potently leads the emergence of the song’s infectious heart. The swinging beats of drummer Repo (ex-Smack) manage to cage and incite further devilment in the song, assisted in kind by the prowling lure of Scarlet Rowe’s bass, both aiding the track’s grip on the listener’s hips and involvement. Musically Junkie Love is like a fiery blend of The Cars, Cheap Trick, Turbonegro, and Sweet with a healthy punk rock attitude but it emerges with a character and uniqueness which roars Smash Fashion.

On the B-side of the single is the boisterous punk ‘n’ roll cover of Golden Earring’s Long Blond Animal, Deering and co giving it fresh attitude for a rousing impact which for personal tastes actually puts the original in the shade just a touch. A song which will not be on the forthcoming album, it alone makes the single more than worthy of being checked out; Junkie Luck itself the thicker temptation urging all to add it to their music collection.

It is probably fair to say that you know what you are going to get with Smash Fashion, a blistering good time with sounds that easily incite body and soul, yet each release to date has only surprised and impressed with its own fresh revelry. There is no reason to expect anything different from the new album, just much more of the fun offered by Junkie Luck.

Junkie Luck is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings on download and on Ltd Ed 7”red vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion   http://www.smashfashionmusic.com

Pete RingMaster 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Beggarz Fixx – Rouse The Rabble

Beggarz Fixx Online Colour Promo shot

Brewing up an accomplished and fiery proposition with a dirtily rowdy nature, UK rockers Beggarz Fixx unleashes their debut EP this week for a healthy stomp of rock ‘n’ roll which should find a welcome in the ears of glam metal/hard rock fans. Rouse The Rabble is a feisty encounter which romps with the recognisable inspirations of Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, and Aerosmith ringing through its six riots of energy and sound. It is not offering anything ground-breaking or re-inventing the genre wheel but instead pulls the listener, even those without a real taste for its style of music, into a pleasing and contagious exploit which only satisfies.

Swaggering out of Brighton, Beggarz Fixx has built up strong support and reputation locally and across the south of England since emerging in 2011. A few line-up changes has led to the quintet of vocalist Chazza B. Bennett, guitarists Mykki Felyxx and Danni Oakheart, bassist Zakky Redloxx, and drummer Billy Kidd coming together whilst the years since forming has seen the band share stages with the likes of Love/Hate, Attica Rage, Adam Bomb, Reckless Love, and Mallory Knox. Rouse The Rabble is the band’s first release and nationwide attention grabber and it is hard not to expect it to emulate across the rest of the UK its success in London and below.

….And The Devil You Know sets the release in motion, its slow rhythmic coaxing and simmering flames of guitar an attention prodding entrance. The track continues in that nature, accentuating its sonic heat throughout with the 10616344_669858903083407_6433403193299458609_npredominantly spoken vocals which offer a raw edge to the climactic texture of the song. It is a potent if not startling start which flows straight into Outta Control, a track instantly raising the temperate and energy levels. Beats are punchy and riffs raw, whilst the vocals of Bennett provide a nicely varied flavour to their presence. There are no real surprises with the song but plenty of fresh ideas and a highly agreeable persuasion of sound and craft.

The strong start is matched by the following Gimme Some. Drizzled with a bluesy temperament in the flair and stringed enticement of Felyxx and Oakheart, the track is an immediate party with infectious bait for feet, imagination, and passions alike. Hooks flirt, and rhythms entice with similar success whilst again the guitars cast a weave of melodic and sonic tenacity to match the vocal enterprise. Old school and proud, yet providing a modern fire to its attitude, the track again holds little to shock or surprise but plenty to rouse body and emotions for a thoroughly pleasing encounter.

Burn It Down is an anthem primed to recruit the listener within its first touch, hooks and chords an easy and stormy mix which breeds familiar seeds into its own antagonistic riot. With some potent twists and ideation, the song is another to awaken the spirit, and limbs, but lacks the stamp and spark of other tracks, and especially its predecessor. The next up Sick N’ Tired has a stronger and far more lingering presence and adventure to its tempest. Aerosmith meets Skid Row with a touch of Turbonegro to its aggressive breath; the song shows another side to the invention of the band, its progressively spawned melodies and intriguing turn of imagination bringing richer promise and endeavour to the track and release.

The EP is brought to a close by the impressive Walking, a smouldering croon which expels a blues twang in its climate and emotive heat to its reflective narrative. Guitars and vocals fuel the imagination whilst both Redloxx and Kidd provide an imposing yet respectful frame which cages ears impressively. Along with Gimme Some, the track brings the biggest thrill to an easily enjoyable and potent release.

Rouse The Rabble is a sonic orgy of fire bred rock ‘n’ roll which has the swagger and qualities to leave a host of new fans very happy.

The Rouse The Rabble EP is available now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/beggarzfixx

7.5/10

RingMaster 08/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Scream Arena – Self Titled

Scream Arena fireplace photo

Though their self-titled debut does not offer anything to truly blow the imagination away, UK rockers Scream Arena vein their release with an essence which makes it a very appetising and easy to return to venture. Consisting of twelve tracks which breathe from a hard rock heart whilst infusing rich spices of melodic metal aligned to a swagger related to glam rock, the album is an honestly satisfying encounter; nothing to get the passions racing but plenty to have them hungry for more.

Scream Arena was formed in 2005 by vocalist/songwriter Andy Paul in response to how he felt the rock scene was floundering at the time. Moving through numerous personnel changes, the band eventually found its potency and stability with the line-up guitarists Alex Mullings and Phil O’Dea, bassist Lincoln J. Roth, and drummer Michael Maleckyj alongside Paul. It was the linking up with US rock producer/musician Paul Sabu (David Bowie, Madonna, KISS, Shania Twain, Silent Rage) for the album which has provided the final spark to grabbing a richer spotlight for their sound and presence, something the release shines with. There is a certain Cooper-esque feel to the sound soaking each track and flavours from the likes of Motley Crue, Kiss, and Extreme seem to soak into the band’s invention which makes for a familiar offering with a refreshing and heartily pleasing presence but also a lack of uniqueness which all evens out for an easily pleasing and enjoyable proposition.

Opening track Born Ready revs itself up from the first second, riffs and rhythms a solidly coaxing lure which the guitar design of the Scream Arena - coverartsong explores with eagerness. Once into a purposeful stride with flailing sonic flumes wrapping notes and ears as the gruff tones of Paul eagerly travels the road of the song; it is a magnetic anthem awakening attention and appetite for the impending adventure, which the following engagement of The Price Of Love takes into another gear. Again there is nothing flash about the song, just straight forward and accomplished rock ‘n’ roll cored by infectious short grooves and an excellent rhythmic tempting. The bass also adds to the irrepressible bait of the song, its dark throaty tones a prowling shadow to the punkish twist of the song and the fluid addictive call of the band vocals across the chorus. The song easily confirms, alongside its predecessor, the strength and potency of Scream Arena’s sound and the strength of the album though levels do ebb and flow throughout its remainder.

   Racing To The End Of Night is the first lull in the contagion of the album, its melodic balladry and sensitive sonic enterprise excellently crafted alongside the kiss of eighties bred keys but the spark which made the previous songs notable is a dull light. Nevertheless the song makes for an evocative companion before the sturdier slightly antagonistic House of Pain brings its muscular body and rhythmic caging to bear on thoughts and emotions. The song is an instantly accessible pleasure with bass and drums again stealing the limelight before the stylish skill and colour of guitar takes its fair share of the spoils. With a chorus quite incendiary on the passions the track makes for a gripping incitement which is hard to say is equalled by the cover of Heartbreak Hotel which comes straight after. The song is a mixed bag and leaves thoughts undecided. Certainly the fact that the band turns it into their own song rather than producing just a straight a cover is commendable and very pleasing but it feels like something is missing, a vital ingredient to pull all their ideas into the gem it threatens but fails ultimately to be.

Another Night in London makes for a very easy to immerse in stroll whilst the lively and boisterous Knave Of Hearts romps with feisty intent and gripping invention to steal best track honours with ease. It arguably marks a more adventurous turn in the album with the excellent Forever unleashing emotive guitar expression and skilful rhythmic enticement alongside a similarly potent vocal lure. Goodnight LA is a paler and predictable if admittedly very decent meat between the previous slice of quality and the following pair of Somewhere and the sultry Queen Of Dreams. The first of the two is a hazy breeze of evocative sonic hues and spicy melodies which cradles thoughts and emotions bewitchingly whilst the second of the two soaks the ears in a warm melodic embrace clad in a smouldering glaze of sonic temptation.

With bonus track Heart Of The Rock rigorously and enjoyably bringing the album to a close, Scream Arena has provided a weighty persuasion which marks out their potential in lively colour. It is not a powerfully dramatic introduction to the York based band but certainly leaves no doubts that they are upon a potent ascent.

The Scream Arena album is available now via Mighty Music.

http://www.screamarena.com/

7/10

RingMaster 14/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Silent Jack – Snakebite

SJ

    Silent Jack is one of those propositions where you pretty much know what you are going to get flavour wise but not necessarily the juicy way they unleash it on the senses. Hailing from Birmingham, the British quartet engage and riot with the imagination through a sound bred openly in eighties hard rock and filtered through a glam rock mischief. Their new release Snakebite is an exciting offering which provides all the attitude, endeavour, and enterprise needed to suspect that the band is on a path to strong recognition. The seven tracks which provide its rippling temptation is a mixed bagged when it comes to offering surprises to expectations but an unqualified success in contagiously recruiting thoughts and emotions into the fiery bosom of the band’s captivating presence.

Listening to the release you can easily assume the influences which have inspired the band, the likes of Motley Crue, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Hardcore Superstar, Ratt, Buckcherry, and Black Stone Cherry clear flavours throughout Snakebite. It is easy and arguably fair to say that there is little new or original within the encounter but that cannot take away from the thrills and spills which sparks the real enjoyment it consummately provides. Formed in 2009, Silent Jack has won over its home town tenfold and now it is looking to seduce the rest of the country and beyond, and though it might take more than this brawl of pleasure to achieve that they are easily on course and capable.

The band gets off to a flyer with opener Brand New Start, beats and riffs an immediate potent coaxing before the guitars of vocalist Rich Silent-Jack-Snakebite-Cover-300x300Mason and Adam Carson boil up the air with rapacious riffing and sonic flames. The bass of Dickie Spider brings dark intimidation into the mix next whilst drummer Scott Carson intensifies his punchy raps as the track expands into a stronger feisty stride. The guitars continue to snarl as Mason unveils his appealing vocals, the song already flowing infectiously across the senses as rhythmic swipes and a predatory tone adds to its persistent persuasion. The track has the potential to be a hard rock anthem in so many ways and with the sonic flair and adventure woven into the encounter by Adam Carson it is a virulent enticement which has imagination, appetite, and passions alive.

The following King Cobra is just as addictive, it’s rapping beats and more distant scrub of guitar a teasing entrance which easily leads greed into the heart of another blaze of accomplished rock ‘n’ roll stoked with flailing sinews and melodic acidity. As with the first the contagious call of the song is irrepressible and irresistible, the chorus call alone incitement to listener participation and emotions thirsty for more. Once again individual skills and ideation impress but together the band most light up ears and the continually bubbling promise of the band.

Going Down ensures the impressive start is continued, its salacious lure of guitar from the first breath of the song seducing instant submission which the rampaging rhythms and caustic riffery only accelerates. There is a great raw edge to the track which sets it apart from the first two and a groove which twists rapaciously around the imagination, persistently licking at the passions with its serpentine tongue. Once more maybe something truly different within hard rock is scarce in the songs, as the release, but unleashing such epidemically catchy and enthralling adventure as it does there are no complaints valid enough to defuse the enjoyment of the song.

A scorching fire of guitar sculpting and intense rhythmic pressure opens up the next up Love Factory to make an instant strong impression, the grumbling nature of the bass adding enticing intrigue to the satisfying invitation offered. A heated blues flames joins the blend soon, wrapping every twist and turn of the song as Silent Jack stomp once more with a skilled and confident swagger. Feet and voice are soon enslaved and enlisted by the stroll and infection of the song, its gait a compelling bait and chorus another which only the dead could ignore.

The first four songs are the pinnacle of Snakebite though the remaining trio of tracks still add to the stature and potential of the band as well as the pleasure gained from the release. The imposing ballad Angels Cry is first and easily shows the vocal prowess of Mason and emotive craft of the band’s songwriting within its shapely and flavoursome design. It does miss out on the spark of earlier tracks though to merely satisfy rather than potently excite as equally does Made In Heaven. The song like the previous one, is impressively sculpted and veined by sonic hues which ask for attention as the display of anthemic vocal tempting, but the trigger to make the encounter larger than life is absent. Nevertheless both songs and the closing Hot Luvin’ with its masterful teasing bring the release to an invigorating and pleasing conclusion.

Snakebite is a proposition which hard rock fans should take a punt on as you can see them devouring the release greedily. Certainly originality is low and a wish for some experimentation which would lead to a distinct character for the band would be welcome but it cannot deny that Silent Jack has delivered a very enjoyable encounter and have the wares to become a real force in European rock ‘n’ roll. It may take time but we are not betting against them.

The self-released Snakebite is available now!

https://www.facebook.com/silentjackband

8/10

RingMaster 08/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Idol Dead – Dark Little Heart

The Idol Dead Online Promo shot

If you missed out on the initial release of Dark Little Heart at the tail of 2012 from UK rockers The Idol Dead then stand ready to leap on board with its reboot this week through the band’s own label RAAA! Records. It is a feisty and fiery slab of rowdy and bruising rock ‘n’ roll but one with all the insatiable charm of a lady of the night and the contagious strength of the common cold. The Leeds hailing quintet merges glam and hard rock with a voracious breed of punk resulting in an invigorating and immensely enjoyable rampage of sound and enjoyment. Admittedly its first contact courtesy of the opening song left a promising and pleasing suasion but one which left reservations in regard to its originality and finding a spark to ignite more than simple satisfaction. They were short lived concerns though, the second track bringing a voracious bait before the imagination which set thoughts and emotions on fire. Certainly the album stays away from forging a really distinctive new proposition, thoughts of The Wildhearts and Backyard Babies an undeniable comparison, but Dark Little Heart emerges as one rebellious stomp of rock ‘n’ roll which simply hits the sweet spot.

The Idol Dead began in 2008 and soon made a rapid impression on the local rock scene. Their reputation for explosive live performances went before them as the band played throughout the UK, sharing stages with the likes of Killing Joke, Sebastian Bach, Buckcherry, Evil Scarecrow, Blackfoot, Warrior Soul, Molly Hatchet, Hatebreed, Pitchshifter, Laika Dog, and Spear of Destiny along the way as well as enjoying great responses at numerous festivals. After the well-received Shooting Star EP, the band’s debut album Die on my Feet or Live on my Knees on their own label marked the band out and drew strong responses but it is through the crowd funded Dark Little Hearts that you feel that The Idol Dead will find access to a much wider attention and fevered spotlight. Inevitable line-up shifts along the way have seen the band adapt and grow so that the five piece of vocalist Polly Phluid, guitarists KC Duggan and Tim Jeffs, bassist Dan Sugden, and drummer Nish Gonsalkorale now show themselves to be a potentially explosive proposition within British rock.

As mentioned at the start of the review, opening track Blue Skies provides an appealing encounter but is somewhat underwhelming in its The Idol Dead Cover Artworkpersuasion due to there being little surprise or unpredictability to its otherwise potent presence. Certainly the passion and craft of the band is an open declaration whilst infectiousness is rife from the riffs to the thumping rhythms and from the impressive vocals to the united anthemic band calls beside them. In hindsight it feels like the band is playing safe to start things off, giving ears a well formed and boisterous yet easily accessible entrance into the album. The track is still a thoroughly pleasing offer though but soon left looking pale as the following song lights the fuse to a passionate and imagination stirring experience.

Six Feet Under is just glorious, from its initial flush of raw flame of riffs and inciting rhythms it is an instantaneous trap which has feet, senses, and imagination recruited with its punk ‘n’ roll bred contagion. Holding an essence of Misfits to its sinewed romp and passions corralling enterprise, the track drags out a hungry appetite for it and the album. Again it is fair to say surprises are scarce in many ways, though just the weighty temptation and resourceful triumph of the track alone makes a detonator to the expulsion of expectations whilst leaving thrills and spills rampant. It is a major highlight but one which itself is exceeded by the following Vampire. From an atmospheric intimidating ambience in the dead of night, the song erupts with scorching flames of guitar and moody rhythms matched by the dark throated bass. The vocals of Phluid equally have a sinister edge and leer to their tone which adds greater intrigue to the narrative of the outstanding song. The band finds an even more addictive toxin to the chorus and infection veining the horror punk like predation, sculpting a track even more immense and irresistible than its predecessor.

Both Dion and Hey Girl unveil superbly crafted and shaped bodies of hard rock bred enticement and though neither can match the heights of the previous pair, the songs feed compelling strides of rock ‘n’ roll into a hungry appetite. The first is much like the opener in that is has few moments of wrong footing assumptions but provides enough invention in its unrelenting catchiness to bring a wholesome appetiser to devour before the more substantial feast of its successor twists and rolls with its garage punk/hard rock fusion. The song takes mere seconds to have limbs and voice enlisted in its cause, giving them a vivacious ride of riffs and grooves with barbed rhythmic hooks before making way for the ferocious Bad Fiction. The punk sided heart of the band is an open brawl in the song, rapacious mischief and energy surging through riffs and adrenaline gifted rhythms. Vocally too the band snarls and incites but it and the sounds all come with a wink and a loud whisper of Generation X within the urgency and pent up roar which wants to rock rather than fight.

The pair of I’m Drowning, a captivating stirring ballad featuring the excellent guest vocals of Claire Cameron alongside the again strongly impressive Phluid, and the magnetic Bleed continue to keep imagination and emotions on their feet; both with a longer to convince persuasion but each evolving into easy to recommend highlights upon the album.

The closing stretch of the album is a little undulating but continues to thrill; the blues filtered You Don’t Know a sonic fire which misses finding the trigger which elevates other tracks so masterly and the closing Beautiful Disaster almost ending the album as it started with a less than imposing offering but a skilfully written and presented one which does enough to leave a contented listener. Between them though the band unleashes one final gem in the rabid punk spawned I Don’t Wanna, an unbridled charge of dirty and belligerent rock ‘n’ roll with all the lures and seduction to spring the inner punk in us all. It is a terrific provocation again proving the potential and already open quality of The Idol Dead.

With Dark Little Heart you are not going to find new pastures to explore but for excitingly accomplished and virulent rock ‘n’ roll, there are few around right now to impress more than The Idol Dead.

Dark Little Hearts is available on 5th May through RAAA! Records.

http://theidoldead.com

8/10

RingMaster 04/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Boy – Darkest Visions

boy 2

Imagine a mix of The Angelic Upstarts and UK Subs with an equally potent blend of Rocket From The Crypt and Turbonegro, and you have a sense of Czech punks Boy and the body of their outstanding debut album Darkest Visions. Fusing old school British punk with a touch of glam and raw rock ‘n’ roll, band and release make a dramatic entrance to a worldwide market with their Rebel Sound/Voltage Records released rampage. It is an encounter which has a welcome familiarity to its brawl but just as strongly a unique breath and substance which marks out Boy as a band with a potentially mighty future within the world of punk rock. The band name suggests wishy-washy media friendly teen pleasing blandness, what you get is raw antagonistic punk rock of the finest order.

There is little we can reveal about the background of the band with any available bio offered in Czechoslovakian, but they are a quintet from Brno who have previously released a three track 7” EP via Voltage Records last year and before that had a track on the 2012 compilation Brno stále v plamenech (Brno Still In Flames). Their new full-length is produced by Turbonegro’s Tommy Akerholdt and features numerous guests including Ronnie King (who has worked with NOFX, Rancid, Offspring, Snoop Dog) on piano, Shawn Smash (Total Chaos) on guitar, Daniel Marusack (Chancers) on flute, Theresa Kovalová (Calm Season) on cello, and Martin Maleček (ex – Centaury ,SRK) on conga. That piece of info alone tells you the flavoursome design and sounds bursting from within the punk bred tempest, though the album starts off with a more straight forward belligerent sound.

The title track opens things up with a fiery welcome, hooks blazing vociferously within the ears whilst vocal samples bred from 9/11 place front coverthe drama of the release. It is a heavy weight welcome with sinews building up their intent and intensity ready for the following I Need Your Hate. The second track is immediately snarling and gnawing at the senses, riffs bordering on carnivorous and rhythms an imposing barracking. The excellent rough vocals roar and confront with a voracity which matches the passion of the sounds around them, the song further flaming with seductive melodies from within its rapacious onslaught. There is nothing dramatically ground breaking about the song but with impressive individual skills, a scorching solo, and anthemic band vocals it is an irresistible proposition.

Never Break Us Down binds the imagination next with an instant addictive groove, a lure aligned to numerous sharp hooks and that again virulent anthem seeded suasion which already the band proves they are expert at sculpting. The resourceful romp offers that earlier mentioned RFTC comparison as well as holding a touch of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones to its catchy temptation, both elements re-occurring across the album and adding extra spice to the outstanding raucous charge of punk ’n’ roll. It is a mix which lights up Back For More to a different degree, the band grazing the senses with greater causticity and ravenous breath. Again there is a compelling contagion to the track which has attention and appetite impatient for more which Stay Free more than happily provides. Abrasing ears with acidic sonic swipes from the first second along with an evocatively brewing wash of keys, the track broadens its riveting narrative with a wonderful dark cello croon and atmospheric shadows. It is like a mix of UK band The Duel and Russian punks Biting Elbows, an invasive seduction which subsequently stretches further into a NOFX like imposing. The track is quite glorious, pushing the invention and songwriting of the band whilst still entrenched in their epidemically appealing seventies seeded punk.

Stop Talking To Me stalks and riles up the imagination next, riffs on a chunky prowl speared by predatory rhythms. The vocals are vitriolic in delivery and malevolent in intent, a seemingly different voice leading the intrusive belligerence as the track squares up to the senses and emotions. It is a great strike but one which ends far too soon, only one minute forty seconds in length, and closes on a frustrating and actually very annoying fade-out. These grievances are soon forgotten though as Drop The Bomb scores ears with an acrid flame of guitar punctuated by keys and wisps of melodic guitar invention. The song strides purposefully with a slow predation, absorbing imagination and the by now constantly submissive passions. It is another total captivation revealing yet more of the depths of sound and invention within Boy, the unveiling continued with the heavy rock exploits of It was the Alcohol. The track is prime punk and hard rock with glam devilry and metal toned hunger, and impossibly addictive especially its infectious chorus which is bait only the deaf or the six feet under could resist joining in with.

The album comes to a close with firstly the thrilling quarrelsome bluster and catchiness of Fashion Police then the incendiary glory of Just A Number. The last track is an aggressive scrap of spellbinding hooks, fierce riffs, and punchy rhythms all merged into a rabid contagious punk spat, a last lingering triumph to sear the sound and name of Boy in to the memory and passions.

Darkest Visions is one of the punk glories of recent years and a potent suggestion that Boy has all the armoury and invention to be a real force in punk and rock rioting across numerous horizons to come.

Darkest Visions is available through Rebel Sound and Voltage Records now as a black vinyl release with a 12 -page booklet and in a deluxe version clad in silver foiled artwork.

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http://www.boy-punk.com/

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

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