Falls – Cream EP

falls-promo_RingMasterReview

As its fifth month swung and revelled in the noisy, raucous, and ridiculously addictive strains of eclectic rockers Falls, so the final throes of 2016 have been ignited in the best possible way with the Welsh band’s new EP. Cream is the creatively salacious sister to the earlier acclaimed One Hundred Percent Strong EP, itself a proposition as inimitably rousing and twisted as its breath-taking successor now proves to be.

Emerging in 2013, Falls had a great many of us intrigued and hooked by following year with their debut EP Dirtbox. Self-tagging their sound as gash pop/fuck rock, it romped and enticed ears and psyche into the Flintshire quartet’s devilish bedlam of imagination and sound. Its success and the band’s swiftly growing reputation was cemented and accelerated by a live presence which saw a constant wave of new fans won and stages shared with the likes of God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks around tours with others such as Allusondrugs and Shikari Sound System. As their two track single Mastiff in 2015 saw a new essence of control and imagination blossom in the band’s sound so One Hundred Percent Strong took things to another level with its bold maturity and skilled quick fire twist and turns. Cream is more of the same but at times showing an even keener touch in anthemic aggression and headstrong invention.

As its predecessors, the heart of the new EP is an unruly party clad in the insatiable hunger of a myriad of styles and flavours. Maybe best described as Asylums meets Hawk Eyes under the psychotic guidance of Jane’s Addiction, it grips ears and hips straight away as opener Berries! prowls with surly riffs and firmly kissing beats. With a touch of groove metal to its heavy harmony basted rock ‘n’ roll, the track flirts and rumbles, soon embracing the warm vocal tones of guitarists Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall alongside those of bassist Ben Griffiths as it erupts and calms across its virulent canter. Driven by the heftily persuasive swings of drummer Steff Jones, it quickly recruits body and appetite, rewarding them with mischievous dips into stoner and glam pop temptation.

cream-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe irresistible start to the EP is only accentuated by Daytime N U, a sweet talking romancing of the senses with warm vocals entangling a funk infested groan of bass amid energy dictating beats. Once into its fiery stride with the guitars casting spicy flames around the mellow charm of the vocals and the metronomic infection of the rhythms, the song shows itself a master of body and spirit. System Of A Down is often used as a reference to Falls, maybe not so much in its sound but the unrelenting hunger and craft at turning on the spot through a kaleidoscope of textures and twists; the second track reveals exactly why.

The punk roar of Live Delicious is next, leaping at ears with brawling energy and vocal irritability. Underlining it as ever is a funk bred contagion, reserved right now but just waiting to grab those eager hips as riffs growl and grooves sear. As carnivorous as it is inescapably infectious, the track vociferously snarls and incessantly bounces like a pissed off raptor yet still finds room for a chorus which breeds only addiction.

Cream closes with the epidemic of pleasure that is Liberator. At times as grouchy as its predecessor and as dynamically catchy as anything offered yet by the band, the track bounds through ears with the instinctive aggressive pop of Baddies aligned to the sinewy weight and attitude of Reuben, Pulled Apart By Horses like melodic flames licking their collusion as the funk psychosis of a Halfling’s Leaf plays. The result as ever is something distinct and unique to Falls providing an exhilarating end to another attention stoking triumph from one of the UK’s most exciting bands.

The Cream EP is out now via Naughty Strawberry through http://fallsband.co.uk/

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Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Humans The Size Of Microphones – Human Crop Circles

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Human Crop Circles is an album which just highlights how difficult it is to be noticed in the music scene. Released by SuperFire Records in conjunction with De Graanrepubliek, the album comes from Humans The Size Of Microphones, a British hardcore/noise rock band around in the first years of this new century. Their reputation and presence did not carry too far outside of the South coast area of the UK it is fair to say and maybe without any expectations of success at some point called it a day, a disbandment we are assuming as no search came up with anything active from the band or, to be honest, about them at all. As Human Crop Circles quickly reveals, this is a crying shame as its songs simply provide one furiously thrilling and rousing incitement of ears and imagination.

At one point slated to do a split with Electric Wizard, it is hard to imagine that HTSOM did not make some major impressions on someone somewhere. An early self-released five-track demo did appear in 2002, though it too probably got lost in the mists of criminal neglect. Recorded by the band’s drummer John T Baptist in his own studio, where the likes of Electric Wizard, No, Facel Vega, Hunting Lodge, and Field Boss have also recorded, Human Crop Circles has thankfully been uncaged to right some wrongs and introduce a new wealth of ears to the rather wonderful and mercurial tempest of sound that is Humans The Size Of Microphones.

The album bursts into life with Pissing Like A Racehorse where climactic guitars and tenacious rhythms crowd ears for an incendiary start which is soon an even more enjoyably volatile affair as vocals cries and a bedlamic character expose themselves in the mix. The early urgency settles a touch without defusing the now psychotic maelstrom and air of the song, but rises again as seriously addictive bass and guitar enterprise casts a web of sonic psychosis which in turn breeds greater ferocity in the noise punk tempest. It is glorious stuff, like a mix of Melvins, Neurosis, Halfling’s Leaf, and Dope Body; the kind of comparisons which occur often across the release.

The brilliant start is as potently backed up by No One Gets Out Of Here Alive, another magnetic slice of noise imagination and punk attitude as raw and seductive as it is magnetically and antagonistically inflamed. From the first pair of sonically intricate yet bullishly demanding songs alone it is hard to know how the band escaped attention but equally just an example of so many other stories of now lost to the world special bands.

The post-hardcore textured Middle England (Eats it’s Young) steps up next, its initial emotive wash the prelude to a tantalising weave of mystique soaked grooves and bolshie yet anthemic group vocal tempting amidst muscularly tenacious rhythms and mesmeric sonic devilment. It is more than a match for the already established pinnacles of the album and almost equalled by the following flirtatious seducing shared by The Smell of Wet Leaves. Sludgy and predatory but also alive with veins of sultry melodic grooving, the track shares an early dark and catchy lure which subsequently gets turned on its head by caustic energy and creative ferocity before re-establishing itself in another smouldering passage within the eventful encounter. Without quite having the final spark to turn personal tastes lusty, the track still leaves pleasure full in its presence before being over shadowed by the outstanding Fucking Tsunami.

The fifth track just grips and thrills ears from its first bestial bassline and swiping rumble of beats; bass and drums becoming puppeteer of body and passions whilst leading both into the concussive and hellacious exploits of the song’s full body and heart. The sonic and emotive turbulence is exhausting and breath-taking, as too the twisted melodic resourcefulness which lines every twist in the track’s dervish like shuffle. As in all songs, drama comes with every moment and unpredictable turn too; here devilishly enhancing the punk meets post punk meets noise rock triumph of the song. The bass and rhythmic unity of James Hasbeen and Baptist respectively ensures the track has instincts involved, the almost corrosive sonic endeavour of guitarist Pete Sake (all names as fun as the sounds fair to say) just reinforcing the persuasion.

The final quintet of tracks come from that aforementioned demo, each a harsher and more abrasive proposal but all carrying the inventive and multi-flavoured traits that give character to all tracks. Not Exactly Rocket Science is a rousing affair of aurally poisonous punk rock whilst Limitless Stupidity is an insatiable deluge of barbarous rhythms aligned to hostility flamed riffs and vocals further blessed with spicy hooks. The pair ensures ears and appetite continue to be well fed though maybe not as dramatically as the outstanding sonic invasion of I See The World Through Rose Coloured Testicles, an uncompromising and bewitching instrumental that just gets the tongue licking lips.

The pair of Dying For An Audience and Not In Our Name bring the album to a close; the first a fibrous net of riffs and acidic grooves which wraps ears before closing ranks for another bruising and inhospitable storm of hardcore whilst its successor with matching sonic antipathy, spews a tangle of punk hooks and spiky grooves around a battlefield of rhythms. With vocals just as agreeably rancorous, the duo provides a fine end to a great and welcome surprise introduction to a band we had no idea existed.

Maybe they will again as Human Crop Circles invades more and more ears but even if that optimistic hope is not realised, punk and noise rock enthusiasts need to have Humans The Size Of Microphones somewhere in their historical landscapes.

Human Crop Circles is out now via SuperFi / De Graanrepubliek and available @ http://superfirecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-crop-circles-lp or https://graanrepubliekrecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-crop-circles

Pete RingMaster 08/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Halfling’s Leaf – Westover

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After the irresistible bait put down by their excellent previous EPs, UK band Halfling’s Leaf has returned with not only a confirmation of their creative bedlam but a declaration of its new maturity and expansive schizophrenic ingenuity. The Stockport quartet has honed their distinctive and diversely imaginative sonic lunacy into a more concentrated yet no less boldly inventive proposition whilst turning up the aggressive rapaciousness which flirted with their earlier releases. The evidence is open and loud within Westover, the band’s new compelling and deliciously magnetic EP. Over six tracks, Halfling’s Leaf romp and stomp with propositions as ever impossible to pin down or label but fuelled with an even stronger inventive tenacity which sweeps greedily through their wide web of progressive avant garde punk ‘n’ funk devilry.

Formed in 2011, the foursome of vocalist Matt Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Mayo, bassist/vocalist Chid Seisay, and drummer/vocalist Andy Preece, soon grabbed attention with the Ain’t No Candy EP and gripped it tighter through the following High Times. Both EPs set the band apart from the rest, with especially the second release a potent lure to the media and radio shows like our own podcasts. The Daniel Buxton/ Halfling’s Leaf produced Westover is a whole new proposition though, a release which takes the seeds of the past and blossoms them into a startling and riotously captivating maelstrom of adventure and enterprise to surely push the band into a greater spotlight with that slice of fortune all bands need and here definitely deserves. Six more songs to fuel the imagination and incite the passions, Westover is a blistering warped dance to give insanity another shot of adrenaline.

Opener Sket launches itself at ears in a cacophony of bedlamic sound and vocal mayhem, instantly awakening senses and attention before a3462398769_2settling into a muscular stride with roving rhythms and sturdy riffs. That premise is immediately twisted with a sultry funk swagger within the forceful beats whilst vocals are equally steamy and fiery to match the metal and hard rock essences teasing the mix. The track continues to swerve and writhe with unpredictable endeavour before discovering a chorus which is pure toxic virulence. Essences of Mr Bungle and Red Hot Chili Peppers spice up the indefinable temptation but only to ensure thoughts are further away from finding a valid description to the sound and triumphant moment. A jazz bred psyche kissed diversion ignites the imagination next, before the bass restores some kind of order with its throaty composure, yet it is just the spark for even more delicious bewitchment as the band transforms into a mix of Oingo Boingo and the Cardiacs for a simply bewildering and seductive devilry. The track is a brilliant start but just the beginning of something quite special.

The following Faces immediately has its devil sculpted hips twisting like a dervish; the first maniacally flirtatious moments courted by jagged riffs and vocal stabs within agitated beats. The song is soon slipping into something more comfortable, a noir lit smouldering glide of melodic shimmering and harmonic crooning which envelops and seduces the senses naughtily whilst in its background rhythms and insanity collude in a caustic tango of predacious tenacity. Like a bastard son of Melvins and The Fat Dukes Of Fuck, the moment seizes feet and passions like a maniacal puppeteer, leading body and heart into another raucous exploit to scare the bland and ignite the deranged.

Smiler reunites thoughts with hints of Rage Against The Machine, which marked the last release, and also a bluesy heat which sears the senses with an absorbing stoner-esque flame within a cage of rhythmic intrigue. The track is more straight forward than its predecessors, but still hold a thick air of unpredictable mischief and contagious tempting which again has feet and thoughts dancing to its tune. It shows yet another side and quality to the band, a sinew honed might which is a challenge for any heavy rock band but equipped with a psyche spawned invention to wrong foot and spark true originality.

An unhinged relish soaks the next up Stop the Clock, the track a busy frenetic web of At The Drive In like abrasion and Fall Of Troy sounding squalling charm but filtered into an incendiary furnace of Halfling’s Leaf uniqueness and rhythmic examination. The bass nags and snarls away across the smouldering fire of sound relentlessly to light up another lustful reaction but it is the loco lure of the guitar and vocals which leaves the spiciest irresistible suasion before the glorious aural stew makes way for the similarly feverish Fair Play. The band is back in full warped funk mode here but of course with flames of melodic voraciousness and disorientated rhythms shooting from the punk infested core. Again it is hard to avoid sending hints of RATM to thoughts but also impossible to disguise the unique experimental hysteria which skilfully entwines and excitingly perverts things with unhinged majesty.

The release is completed by the exotically delirious Party Piece, a squirming orgy of sonic salaciousness and rhythmic taunting ridden by uncontrollable invention and a vocal bustle. It is one final chaotic rampage which shows more scenic detours and alluring landscapes than a mystery tour. A riveting joy to end another wonderfully unsettling and mouthwatering masterpiece from Halfling’s Leaf, it confirms why Westover belongs to the devil as well as providing the frightening realisation that as staggering as it is this band can only get better meaning our souls are certainly lost to their alchemy.

Westover is available now @ http://halflingsleaf.bandcamp.com/album/westover

https://www.facebook.com/halflingsleaf

10/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Halfling’s Leaf – High Time

Halfling's Leaf

All those of an addictive personality look away now for we are about to expose the newest curse set to consume and manipulate the youth of today, Halfling’s Leaf. A band from Stockport in the UK, this is a four man noise conjuring machine which can be best described as having a sound which teases like a mix of Melvins, Rage Against The Machine, The Fall Of Troy, At The Drive In, and Primus. To be honest they are impossible to pin down, their unique toxin of punk n funk an irresistible and irrepressible contagion released under the mask of latest EP, High Time.  Their second release following the equally impressive Ain’t No Candy EP of last year, the six track tempest is sonic and rhythmic devilment which will ignite the deepest passions for all who have a reticence to entertain normality, regular time signatures, and passionless monotony.

Formed in 2011 and consisting of vocalist Matt Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Mayo, bassist/vocalist Chid Seisay, and drummer/vocalist Andy Preece, Halfling’s Leaf teases, torments, and virulently dances with the senses through a hybrid of flavours soaked in instinctive mischief and skilled sonic anarchy. High Times is made up of a sextet of noise sculpted miscreants which simply call out to like-minded hearts and thoughts like an insidious siren, their lure and temptation insatiable but carrying an epidemic of rewards to thrill and excite let alone ignite the passions. Produced by the band alongside Dan Buxton, who also mixed and mastered the tempestuous taunt, the EP has everything and more that you could wish for in soul corruption.

Opening track Your Welcome… immediately riots on the ear with squalling vocals from Franklin and band alongside energetic High Time Coverand infectious riffs. It is an instantaneous temptress which continues its wantonness through the evolving bass croon of Seisay and fiery grooves of Mayo and equally salacious hooks. Unbridled in attitude and breath sapping enterprise the song lifts the emotions into a mutual stomp but just as you are flinging limbs in tandem it slips easily into a sultry stroll of provocative sonic sex. The rhythms of Preece chip away at the ear whilst the bass plays within with devious craft to its persuasion, the song brewing up another rampage though this time driven by persistently shifting stances and sonic slights of hand before unleashing one final punk spitting climax.

The outstanding start is continued through the following Goon Hammer, the track opening up its throat with again compelling bass bait to lure in the appetite and the excellent vocal exploits of Franklin. His jagged delivery at the beginning of the song picks and pokes at the listener with an almost Marilyn Manson like irreverence whilst the guitar matches his plotting with similarly spiky melodic incitement. With a gait which crawls and explores every inch of the psyche, the track stomps with predatory and maniacal intent unleashing a RATM grooved like entrapment before scooting and scrambling rhythmically and sonically with avant-garde bedlam. It is another enthralling and stunning rummage through one’s mind for the purest pleasure.

Scopplers waltzes through a funk spiced stroll of near discordant majesty aligned to a sonic palette of vibrant and searing colours whilst another expertly bred groove entrances the ear, this time with a stoner like breath, latched onto agitated rhythms and a raw expressive energy. As well as the quality of the release the song pushes the diversity out further as does the following pair of Hej and Hit It and Quit It. The first of the twin strikes of aural mania leaps at and quicksteps across and through the ear with a funk clad romp which comes with the swagger of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the irresistible heat of Pigbag before evolving into a punk speared roister of intensive rhythmic disorientation, guitar and bass snarling, and vocal scathing. It is another infection which would be outlawed in any other recreational past time, a tempestuous virus which could be described as System Of A Down meets Pere Ubu in the arms of the Cardiacs, and quite ingenious.

The second of this pair is different in voice but similar in unhinged construction, and arguably the one which without losing its creative psychotic charm offers a more straightforward canvas for less adventurous people to feast upon. To be fair though with a drift into a warm yet deranged ambience whilst St. Vitus dance rhythms frame the detour, it is never offering anything merely to satisfy expectations and stay at home appetites.

S.N.C. closes up the psycho party with one final torrent of rhythmic destruction, sonic scorching, and vocal scathing, a punk/noise rock exploitation which has the incendiary insistence of a pissed off hornet and the creative corrosive might of a tsunami. It is a brilliant certifiable conclusion for a magnificent release which easily sits amongst the best of 2013.

High Time is a release everyone should at least dip their sanity into before losing their mental strength to the delicious toxicity that is Halfling’s Leaf.

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10/10

RingMaster 06/06/2013

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