Helldorado – Bones In The Closet

Helldorado pic

Basking in the sultry heat and sweltering ambience of Bones In The Closet, the new album from Norwegian narrators of scintillating murder stories and rapacious shadows Helldorado, the overriding thought whilst within its seductive devil spawn arms is that you are being cradled by one of the major contenders for album of the year. The twelve track release is sensational, evocative beauty and dark intent saddling the senses for a Tarantino/ Morricone sculpted ride of the purest pleasure and imagination.

Bones In The Closet is the fifth album from Helldorado and again draws on a startling and provocative mix of blues, country folk, rock, and shadowed misdemeanours with a stroll through Mexican deserts and tequila soaked climes for this release. As across their previous releases the cinematic lures of their music is as potent as its sensory incitement and here leaves the listener perpetually wiping the dust from their eyes and pulling their mental stetson/sombrero down whilst chewing on a cigar Eastwood style. There is strong diversity running through the release too though, from walking through the smokey hauntings of a hanging man scenario down in the south you can find yourself breaking into a garage rock soundtrack to a Russ Meyer film or a blues bar atmosphere with whiskey in hand. It is a thrilling and evolving encounter which with essences of the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Stan Ridgeway joining those of Mariachi El Bronx, Guano Padano, or Dennis Hopper Choppers, never gives the passions a moment to grab their breath.

The trio of Dag S. Vagle (lead vocal, guitar, organ, piano, autoharp, mellotron), Hans A. Wassvik (bass, backing vocal) and Morten Bones in the ClosetJackman (drums, saw, percussion), immediately cast the long arms of the sun onto the neck with opener Gallow´s Bird whilst sizzling the surrounding air with a blaze of brass persuasion from the trumpet of Ole Ellingsen which springs from an instantly inviting drum burst. The guitars gather in the senses with devilish temptation whilst the bass of Wassvik adds its individual prowl to the dawning scene soon narrated by the excellent tones of Vagle. Passionate and soulful he bellows out with emotive glory whilst the guest backing vocals of Pål Jackman play co-conspirator in drawing thoughts deeper in to the compelling song. Virtually dripping sweat from the humid embrace driven by vocal and musical fire, there is an instantaneous ardour bred with the track such its intensive might and rasping charm.

As the following Misery And Woe boldly steps forward with melodramatic keys framing the door into its expressive heart and Vagle cast his spellbinding delivery upon the ear again, it still is hard after many listens to the album and previous tracks that the band is Norwegian. They make the likes of Chris Issak sound less American than Helldorado and it just enriches the imagery and adds the deepest depth to the transportation of thoughts into their aural paintings. The second song is a slowly burning reflection of despair and regret, the tale of an unavoidable destiny with thick emotion swamping every syllable and melodic beauty from the cursed soul.

Dead World with its garage rock stomp switches the scenery for a sonic kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours and mutually vibrant emotions, the keys dazzling the ear whilst the guitar twists and turns with melodic enticement. With harmonic squalls thrilling with rich textures of The Stones to their crowd and The Doors like bait of the keys, it is a raucous and vital storm of blistering joy and an exciting temper between the surrounding songs. Its successor John McMiller like the second song on the release is a powerful and demandingly evocative piece of songwriting and staggering realisation. Another dark hearted soul laying open his past and looking for an end to his life’s previous purpose, the track carries his declaration forward on a gait which is a shadowed romp, its lively surges breaking out from more restrained and arguably redemption searching melodic caresses though the centre of the tale is not asking for such. It is another varied and staggering discharge of invention and imagination which is rewarding with further rapture from the heart.

Only four songs in and no more convincing is needed to the triumph before the ear but the release just continues to exhaust the passions, the likes of the feisty and magnetic Please Come Back which again features Pål Jackman on support vocals, the brilliant and irresistible Times of Trial a true authentic  mariachi classic, and the title track with its muggy noir corners and western sparks, continuing the impossible addictive influence of the album whilst Two Headed Horseman with its garage punk tipped crescendos within more sun-baked glamour and the sixties lilted road trip of ´69 Camaro just rip further furnace hot lust from the heart in their and the album’s direction.

Completed by a final trio of brilliance in the haunting Lost Highway Motel a place home to lost souls of all inclinations, the black tale of love and violence Johnny´s Song, and a delicious version of the Morricone piece Sixty Seconds To What?, there is little left to say but sigh like an overfed diner and declare Bones In The Closet one of the major highlights of the year so far and will certainly be acclaimed so by the closing of its eyes too. With a mention also for the slide guitar contribution on the album from Ry Krüger required, this is a release everyone should dive into without reservation, and Helldorado a cemented lustful passion for this site.

http://www.helldorado.no

https://www.facebook.com/HelldoradoOfficial

10/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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II II II : A Conundrum On My Coffee Table

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Something wicked this way comes, an exceptional experiment of sonics, sounds and adventurous sensibilities to engineer the deepest ardour. Plenty of releases excite and thrill the senses but just a few ignite a fire of passion and deeply rooted rapture for the sounds they offer. One such rarity has just been unleashed into the world by II II II. The project from former Mishkin vocalist Ben Davy is sensational and its debut release without doubt one of the most enthralling and intoxicating pleasures of 2012. The A Conundrum On My Coffee Table EP captures the imagination in every aspect, its innovative weaves and inventive teasing an invigorating breath of fresh air which like the band name inspires thought, intrigue, and a hungry anticipation which is quenched with staggering ease.

Being a massive fan of the now deceased Leeds band Mishkin, the excitement of hearing from Davy with the EP was immense and

Ben Davy

Ben Davy

arguably placed higher expectations on the impending release than any other new record might have to prove itself against. It was child’s play for the release though, its six tracks leaving hopes as just inadequate musings when placed before their creative triumphs and exhilarating sounds. Fusing  blend of mathcore, metal, jazz, and rock, the release is an experimental tempest which offers essences of Faith No More, Mishkin, 6:33, Mike Patton, Dog Fashion Disco and much more, all honed into a unique and compelling encounter. The tracks are slight sonic swipes, colourful aural blades which barely worry a third minute but are rigidly magnetic in the time they take to transform the emotions into a compliant subservient.

Dog’s Lost His Bone swaggers in with sultry melodies and bruising basslines over firm rhythmic slaps to immediately pull all focus in its direction. A tempest of delicious enterprise and aggressive sinews the track is a storm of scattergun like energies and sounds honed into deliberate patterns and senses manipulating structures. It is glorious, an evolving beast of sound which ignites every corner of mind and heart. The track reminds of Guano Padano at times especially their recent collaboration with Mike Patton, whilst offering the ever shifting weaves which marked Mishkin and the technical mesmerism of a Karnivool.

From there things just venture into arguably further elevated areas of psyched investigation and musical excellence. Firstly the psychotic HITPTYGWYDIYL exposes the nerve endings with its wanton melodic caresses and scything rhythmic malevolence, the track a piece of aural sculpture which teeters on insanity. It like the first song is just irresistible, a brief unpredictable expanse of taunting and challenges bringing the richest of rewards. If the likes of Polkadot Cadaver give you a buzz, this track as the release will have you feeling like a teenager on your first sexual quest.

No Condition and Memories follow with their own individual ingenuity, the first a tirade of white hot sonics and argumentative riffs with a smouldering seductive centre and expressive challenging gest, and the second a flash of thought exploiting invention which leaves nothing less than heightened pleasure in its wake. In addition to the previous mentioned references the release inspires there is a sense of the maniacal mischief of 12 Stone Toddler to this pair of songs bringing yet another refreshing and inspirational flavour to the whole experience.

The release is completed by the ravenous craft of The Key To Denial and the serpentine Shingles. The former is a sizzling encounter, a face to face with the devil in aural form, its sonic tongue licking over the senses with insidious sexual greed to leave you tingling whilst grinning in sheer pleasure. Like all the songs it caresses and investigates the body like an insatiable lover whilst all the time stretching and twisting their prey with their venomous desires.  The latter is even more dangerous behind its jazz lined melodic brilliance, the passage of almost corruptive challenges and dazzling invention just breath-taking and magically intrusive.

A Conundrum On My Coffee Table is pure excellence, a release coming in the closing days of December which sets the highest standard for 2013. The EP is an essential investigation and a must get with its name your own price offer on the II II II Bandcamp Page… so go on off you go.

http://ii-ii-ii.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/II-II-II/100277240054308

RingMaster 30/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Guano Padano: 2

Like a soundtrack to a disturbed world drawn from the imagination of Sergio Leone, David Lynch, and Robert Rodriguez, 2 the glorious new album from Italian band Guano Padano, lights up every aspect of the body. The release awakens the senses, incites thoughts and imagination whilst using feet like a puppeteer with their contagious heated sounds and rhythms. The album is outstanding, a release which fits nowhere but has a feast of delights for all.

The new album follows the 2009 self titled debut album from Guano Padano which had a limited release in Italy. Released through Ipecac Recordings, 2 gives the band a needed and deserved wider canvas to recruit from and it is hard to imagine their following not increasing dramatically as the album reaches many more ears. The trio of guitarist/multi-string instrumentalist Alessandro Stefana, Danilo Gallo bass/piano/organ and Zeno De Rossi on drums, unleash a series of cinematic instrumentals which evoke individual moments and lives within this golden world which dazzle and transport thoughts to new yet familiar soundscapes. Musically the band combines the fine flavours distilled from jazz, bluegrass, surf rock, country, folk, rock and more, to conjure a smouldering journey with a spaghetti western film noir breath. To be honest it is wonderfully hard to explain but very easy to immerse within and enjoy to the full.

The album opens with the short Last Night, a piece of music which is emotively elegant but comes with a blistered background and increasing intensity as it moves into the waiting heat of Zebulon. The second track gallops into view with an eager swagger and shimmering spaghetti western melodics. You can feel the heat sliding off the atmosphere which wraps the music and visualise sceneries of sand and bristling activity. There is also a slight surf spice to the composition which wakens the taste buds for the full flavour a little further on within Gran Bazaar.

The track is stunning, a sultry presence within the ear and a seductive temptation for the senses. With guitars either picking at notes to find their limits before snapping  or sending flames of sharp melodic  passion through the air, the track is an insatiable infection offering a fluid feast of Middle Eastern promise and surf romance within its mesmeric world. It is a near wanton tease which no one can or would refuse.

The album as each track passes into the imagination, shows fully eclectic sounds and ideas, the likes of the slow pacing Gumbo with its pulsating jazz whispers and evocative melodic showers, the excitable hoe down Bellavista, and Miss Chan with its hypnotic oriental kiss, all offering  new detours and experiences within the expansive journey. The last of the three starts off with a scratchy mesh of oriental radio voices and the plunking of traditional eastern strings before erupting into another sizzling fire of surf and Japanese sounds veined with acidic sonic guitar manipulations. As seemingly everywhere one is transported into an enveloping weave of picture telling emotion and sonic sights soundtracked by great provocative sounds.

2 is an album with every track leaving nothing but deep pleasure in their wake but as always personal tastes finds ones which stand out from the crowd and alongside Gran Bazaar there are two which ignite the fullest fires. Firstly there is Lynch, a track borne from the dark shadows and empty solitary street corners with just a lone jazz musician for a friend.  The track has a film noir breath but behind it there is a sinister and almost unworldly pulse, a hungry discord waiting to misdirect the melodic enterprise. It is glorious, arguably the most powerful of all the tracks and one which lingers in the mind well past its expiring notes.

As with their first album, the band brought in the talents of others on 2 letting the craft of the likes of Marc Ribot (John Zorn, Tom Waits), Chris Speed, and Paul Niehaus (Lambchop) grace the release. The other great highlight of the album Prairie Fire, the only track with vocals. It also features a guest, the inimitable Mike Patton. The track is brilliant, a song with the wicked grin of the devil and the mischief of, well Mike Patton. It is slightly schizophrenic with more than an air of a Gotham City villain to the vocal character. It is a rock n roll contagion of the purest sin brought with a wholly unique and inventive majesty to have one dribbling lust. If this song does not take Guano Padano in the ears and minds of the world nothing will.

The album ends with a cover of the Santo & Johnny track Sleep Walk, a song which has had numerous versions made of it and it has to be said Guano Padano do not do anything to make it their own. Against the excellence before it is just a pleasant kiss goodnight from the album to be honest and the only time the album drops its levels.

2 is a vibrant dream and escape rolled into one stirring and immersive journey. It gives only pleasure whilst inspiring thoughts to create their own landscape and companions for the trip alongside your aural tour guide Guano Padano.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/GUANO-PADANO/128526000583127

RingMaster 23/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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