Three Way Plane – Your Kingdom, My Life

Way back in 2013, Greek outfit Three Way Plane got in touch and introduced us to themselves and their new EP Fire. It was a potential loaded indie/post punk infused proposition which was bitingly eclectic and imaginatively rampant suggesting that the 2004 formed band was ready to tap into attention far beyond their local success. They have not quite found that breakthrough since in a period which was assumedly busy for them but appearing quiet on the outside. Things might just be about to change though as the Athens outfit release their second album Your Kingdom, My Life and another collusion of sonic diversity and creative adventure.

Two years after forming the band released their first EP, Bright Days the first clue to the growing invention in their punk nurtured sound though it was their well-received debut album, give us something new to shout, which really stoked attention and eager support four years later; its success subsequently eclipsed by Fire. 2015 saw the band release a collection of remixes from songs out of their previous two offerings and the striking 7″inch single A Waltz For Unity & Love / New Destination. In hindsight, the latter was a definite tease of the new growth in sound and songwriting of vocalist/guitarist Stratos, bassist Giannis, and drummer Geo, who has left the band since the album’s recording; hints now impressively realised in Your Kingdom, My Life.

In some ways, the Three Way Plane sound has actually slimmed down its rich array of textures and flavours into something less overwhelming but more concentrated on its qualities, a sign of maturity easy to embrace. As opener Inner Warfare shows though it is still a web of styles and imagination which leaves predictability looking elsewhere for a home. The track initially waves a sonic lure in front of the listener, the guitar almost taunting before a couple more breaths sees rhythms strolling through ears with a knowing swagger as riffs sculpt their dance.  That first slither of post punk bait returns to tempt as the song slows a touch to welcome the expression shaped vocals of Stratos. Simultaneously Giannis’ bass grumbles with a throaty growl, riffs again casting an eager scrubbing of the senses as Geo’s beats tenaciously swing at a body and imagination swiftly hooked by the song’s mix of indie rock and punk at times reminding of UK band Houdini.

It is a superb start soon matched by the more crazed and caustic exploits of No, I’m Not Sober. Again the bass is an irresistible lure, showing more mischief than attitude this time, a matching hue directing riffs and vocals as the track swings between revelry and hostility. There is a definite feel of The Cure and their Three Imaginary Boys entrance upon the world, an additional off-kilter and magnetic discordance in tone and touch which lights ears and personal instincts. With the guest manipulation of Kostis Maloutas on the Theremin extra pleasure, the track eventually makes way for the matching excellence of A Waltz For Unity & Love. Straight away guitars entice ears, courting attention with their weave of wiry hooks and flirtatious melodies. Darker hues come into play soon after as the track hits its vigorous stride as vocals share lyrical suggestion though it is the snare of flirtatious hooks and energy which rubber stamps an already done deal between song and pleasure.

Guitars and bass again make the first flirtation with ears as Get Off Your Hands steps forward, its more shadowy nature and physical trespasses infested with fiery melodies and infectious rhythms which respectively wind through and steer the enjoyable ship. There is that post punk essence again at play but more vocal within the following Xepiasakos Theme, an instrumental cruising in on a great Gang Of Four like dexterity in its rhythmic prowess which immediately has body and spirit dancing. The piece is a touch more reserved than its predecessors but a livelier persistence impossible to refuse or let physical reactions leave alone. Musically the song also reminds of eighties bands like Leitmotiv and French outfit Modèle Martial, an array of essences cast into a sonic Three Way Plane kaleidoscope which certainly has a great spicing of nostalgia.

With a similar eighties spicing to its seduction of catchiness and challenges, Checkmate is simply infection from start to finish; guitar hooks and brooding bass lures a devious incitement infesting limb and imagination with viral expertise while the following Silent embraces the senses in a more atmospheric wash of sound though it too does not skimp on addictive snares and seriously catchy twists. That raw ethereal climate solely takes over midway though, a sonic drifting across the imagination with an underlying tempestuousness which grows as shadows blossom. Once more The Cure come to minds at certain moments, the song more reflective of their second and third album period while again creating a proposal individual to the Greek outfit.

The more caustic and volatile essences of other songs has its head for Your Life ’08, the track an abrasive slice of hardcore shaped punk but with a rhythmic agitation and tenacity which ensures an infectious bullying of ears and lively thoughts is welcomed.

The album closes with Psychic Changes, a rich trespass of vocal dissent and sonic intrigue spun with a tide of gripping hooks and predacious rhythms into a melodic labyrinth growing darker and more ravenous with every layer spun. As the previous track, it is more of a challenge than earlier propositions, more of a slow burner but ultimately emerges as one of the most striking quests from the imagination and craft of Three Way Plane.

There are times when the body really feels like a puppet to Your Kingdom, My Life, unable to escape its infection carrying incitements, and never a moment when pleasure is not the fuel of the day. Whether the album will see Three Way Plane break into international attention time will tell, it has all the attributes, but it will certainly establish the band as one of most exciting adventures waiting their moment.

Your Kingdom, My Life is out now and available @ https://threewayplane.bandcamp.com/album/your-kingdom-my-life

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Pete RingMaster 31/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Moments – Outlast EP

With potential as vocal and uncompromising as their snarl, Belgian outfit Moments release their new EP this month. Containing five hungry and irritable tracks, Outlast is a ferocious attack of hardcore and metal which manages to be a swiftly striking incitement of impressed pleasure and a slow burning cauldron of even richer promise.

Hailing from Tessenderlo, the quintet emerged in 2011 and has increasingly forged and earned a potent reputation and following at home and more recently across Europe with their live presence. They have shared stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, Our Last Night, and Stick To Your Guns as well as played numerous festivals such as Groezrock, True Spirit Festival, Summerblast, Cerberbrus and Rock Herk to great success. Now they are ready to poke at bigger attention with Outlast, a release declaring the possibility of a new potent force in hardcore town.

The EP makes an instant impact with its outstanding opener What If. As a busy street scene surrounds ears, the sonic trespass of guitars brews, swiftly taking over the landscape with wiry grooves and rapacious riffs. Dries Monsieurs’ vocals are just as quickly invasive and impressing, his ire coated roar supported by equally caustic tones and sounds from across the band. A raw yet infectious scent reminding of The Ghost of a Thousand carries appetite and imagination off into the irritable heart of the track, the hooks and grooves of guitarists Jeffrey Beutels and Kristof Fransen addictive as the imposing swings of drummer Benjamin Hendrickx simply bite upon the senses. It is a stunning start which is never quite matched again within Outlast but tenaciously and enjoyably supported by the likes of next up All It Takes.

The second song harries ears with an initial scrub of riffs, drums throbbing upon impact to match the resonating tone of Gert-Jan Vandervoort’s bass. If the first song it was a lingering threat, in its successor a predatory declaration is made yet with a catchy grooving as enticing as anything conjured by voice and guitar elsewhere. Harmonic backing to the throat scraping attack of Monsieurs is a great contrast to the antagonistic charge driving the song as too the citric melodic enterprise aligning with the sonic trespass abrasing the senses.

As the EP, the song simply grows in strength and enjoyment with each listen, a quality shared by all and indeed next up Crossroads which maybe did not quite hit the mark as fully the first few times around but blossomed to be another definite pleasure. It does not quite have the individual traits of its companions but employs more recognisable hardcore bred threads in a bold and heated metalcore spiced union of harsh and melodic craft.

Our Faults, Our Failures is a bracing tempest of emotion and sound straight after, it’s scalding sonic web as intensive as the rhythmic harassing and vocal animus of raw emotion and displeasure. It too is a grower reaching loftier heights with time whilst revealing open potential of bigger and bolder things with Moments. The band has been suggested for fans of artists like The Ghost Inside and Hatebreed, this track gives all the reasons why whilst still creating its own highly agreeable character again adding to that promise.

Outlast closes as it began, with a track which commands a quick appetite and hunger for its punk and metal quarrel. Riffs and hooks collide with the senses, sonic tenacity further searing the damage as rhythms create fresh bruises with every attack. It is addictive stuff, vocals almost cursing listener and world in tone alone, the bass showing a mutual discontent in its texture and grumble.

Moments is a band on the rise, Outlast a release which leaves a lingering scar and together a pair creating another reason to anticipate hardcore nurtured noise becoming especially exciting sometime soon.

Outlast is released May 26th.

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Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Insanity – Toss a Coin

If there is brawl you really want to be at the heart of, it is Toss a Coin the new album from Swiss hardcore outfit Insanity. It brings eleven insatiable confrontations to the ear; a clutch of spirit raising, defiance driven roars which refuse to take not today sir for an answer.

With a sound bred in the New York hardcore scene at its height, Insanity has sonically bullied and physically roared their way to a potent reputation and presence within the European punk scene over the past five years, one now sure to be re-ignited again by Toss a Coin. Since emerging, the Lucerne quintet has surged from their homeland across Europe into international waters, sharing stages with the likes of Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Madball, Sick Of It All, Terror and many more along the way as well as headlining their own successful tours. Their debut album, No Limit, set down a certain marker in their ascent, its well-received presence matched by that in success by the Ready To Row EP. Released through Bastardized Recordings is a new powerful statement from the band, in sound and political/social quarrel as well as simply rousing punk ‘n’ roll.

With gang shouts, body manipulating grooves, and addiction forging hooks as prevalent as raw antagonism and instinctive antipathy to the world’s ills, Toss a Coin snarls and harasses from its initial second and opening breath of first up No Tolerance For Intolerance. The gnarly tone of Pery Zemp’s bass instantly has ears lured, riffs a great dirty backing before both collude with the rapier like swings of drummer Raphael Renggli and the first of involvement enticing band shouts. Vocalist Tobias Küng is soon to the fore directing middle finger reply to prejudice, the guitars of Yannick Balmer and Michael Portmann casting a mesh of grouchy riffs and animated grooves. There is no escaping the swift influence of its attitude and body, a submission subsequently given to song after song in varying but certain degrees thereon in.

The excellent start is matched by the caustic stomp of Find A Way, its intensive assault a furious charge compared to the swagger of the previous protagonist but veined with melodic tendrils and scythes and twisting spirals of noise. For all the rage, already an inbred infectiousness is as powerfully commandeering reactions, Insanity entangling both with imagination and zeal. It is a quality as rich within the album’s title track and indeed What I See after that. The first of the pair points and challenges with every syllable and note, band cries and neck muscle testing catchiness a particular trespassing incitement within nothing but while the second flows from its predecessor upon another deliciously grouchy bassline into a web of seriously grooved and rapacious punk rock with the instincts to rock ‘n’ roll.

Four tracks down and we would have forgiven any upcoming slip-ups such the potency of the quartet but no second is wasted in allowing ears and attitude a moment to relax, With My Friends an immediate air punching, hip guiding announcement of kinship stoking the fires. Again pleasure is ignited by Zemp’s bass, its metallic grievance manna for personal taste more than matched by the rest of the band within the inflammatory holler.

Down consumes ears in a cantankerous bawl next but one delivered with deliberate restraint carrying a perfect level of volatility; a blend lifting the body to its feet and vocal chords to their highest decibel throughout. Such success is an easy finding for All I Need too; its badgering riffs and probing rhythms herded into greater feistiness by Küng and listener by the ever persuasive and addictive gang clamours.

Through the mercurial but persistently wilful and stormy climate of One Day and the surly belligerence of $laves, there is no let-up in disdain and disobedience or imagination lit invention which may at times take a while to reveal it’s surprises within the tempests but hungrily makes each track distinct and riveting incitement; What’s Hardcore just as eager to prove the point with its punk ‘n’ roll revelry. Like a vipers nest, the song writhes with grooves, their snaky lures even flirting away when the song is running headlong with punk predation.

The final ignition of defiance and unbridled pleasure is provided by Die For, a body stomping charge riding thrash nurtured riffs like a surfer as melodies flare and rhythms prowl. Musically, the senses feel like they are being stalked by the track, vocally being willingly drawn with the spirit into mobilisation, both whilst rocking like a hound in heat to their combined militancy.

It is a glorious end to an outstanding encounter entwining the familiar with instinctive contumacy and enterprise resulting in one of, if not, the most enjoyable and manipulative treats heard so far this year.

Toss a Coin is out now through Bastardized Recordings @ https://bastardizedrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/toss-a-coin  or http://insanity.ch/store/

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Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All At Sea – Systemized

It is fair to say that All At Sea are pissed off; driven by a rage and fury which makes no compromises for the injustices and crimes of modern society. It is an anger which escalates in their new EP and a sound which uses the fuel to create one seriously rousing and thrilling incitement. Fusing the raw and instinctive essences of hardcore and groove metal, the UK outfit roar and trespass with the combined irritability of a bear and the lithe prowess of a predatory pole dancer, a union ensuring that Systemized is much more than a mere attention grabbing proposition.

From England’s North East, All At Sea first hit out from quickly incited local success with the release of debut EP Divided in 2015. It was a potent nudge of national awareness which did not quite find the strength of success its visceral bellow warranted. It is hard to see Systemized not finding richer success devouring its presence, its voracious nature commanding and antagonistic voice a demanding trespass easy to embrace.

Opener Wake Work Repeat offers a few seconds of controlled coaxing before unleashing its emotional and physical blaze. In no time riffs and rhythms unite to badger the senses as vocalist Jack Tyreman brawls with a variety of snarling growls supported as potently by the just as irritable tones of Ross Adam Blackmore whose guitar alongside that of Scott Marks conjures tides of bracing and abrasing riffs. Like a furious mix of Rage Against The Machine and Converge, nu-metal and punk rock involved in the band’s instinctive fusion of animosity, the track breeds an infectious virulence as invasive as its sonic and vocal ire. Grooves continue to entwine and incite the listener, the rapier swings of drummer Tom Cox bone splintering as Josh Walker’s basslines crawl across the damage.

It is a thrilling creative ferocity more than matched within next up Consume. From its first breath grooves bait and trap the imagination and hips, the bruising of further predatory rhythms and the malice of vocal antipathy soon arising as the scent of a Bloodsimple joins  punk irritability as much CIV as it is High On Fire like. Stalking the senses with more ursine dexterity and rigour, the track is viral vindictiveness but itself slightly eclipsed by its successor in the shape of the new All At Sea single Gimme The Mic. Initially there is a similar holler and shape to its attack to the previous track but an essence soon woven into and consumed by the song’s own groove laden, spite fuelled stomp. There is a bluesy taint to that grooving which simmers rather than flames within the sonic fire and rhythmic battering but adds another great hue to the uncompromisingly intrusive and anthemic battle front of the encounter.

That bluesy toning is even richer within the grooved lattice of Life Value, the guitars spinning a deceptive web of invitation as their sonic dexterity sears and rhythms raid the senses. With the blend of vocals and their delivery as magnetically choleric as ever, the track is primal rock ‘n’ roll to lose inhibitions with; exhaustion and aroused argument ensured before Business Of Faith offers its own kind of raptorial rhythms and sonic bad blood. Vocals challenge and incite as riffs plunder and grooves share venomous yet captivating intoxication. Like a grizzly with the lustfully flirtatious moves of a feline, the track is a sly and artfully seductive vendetta of enmity bringing one gripping exhilarating encounter to a masterful conclusion.

The song is not as feral as others within Systemized but adds a just as fiercely enjoyable and blistering moment in its barbarously inventive and intensively charged tempest. If Systemized does not put All At Sea firmly on the biggest metal maps, attention succumbing to its unbridled storm, something will be seriously amiss.

Systemized is out now @ https://allatseauk.bandcamp.com/album/sytemised

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Pete RingMaster 16/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Standards – Anti-Melody

Pic Jacob Reynolds

What started as social commentary on the growing divide in our society became very personal when our founding guitarist (Cody Conrad) passed of suicide and then soon after, my father of cancer. We went back in to re-write much of the album and in a lot of ways used it as therapy to cope with the experiences. Although intimate, at its core Anti-Melody is centred around the universal theme of separation on many levels.

The words of American Standards vocalist, Brandon Kellum, reveal the heavy climate and emotion new album Anti-Melody emerged from. Equally though you sense there was a determination in its creation to make it something special in tribute to the two men and there is no doubt that it was an aim the Phoenix hailing band achieved. The eight track is superb, a new plateau in the chaotic hardcore/noise punk sound and invention of the quartet. It is raw with emotion and energy, vocal in heart and aggression but all aligned to the boldest imagination and biggest step forward in sound from the outfit yet.

Since emerging in 2011 and providing the attention grabbing, psyche twisting Still Life EP the following year, American Standards has only increased their reputation through another pair of EPs and an explosive live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, The Dillinger Escape Plan amidst plenty more. Each release has seen the band explore new depths and aspects to their sound but maybe no more boldly and certainly impressively than within Anti-Melody.

The album opens with recent single Writers Block Party and instantly stirs up a roar of trouble and temptation. The vocal ferocity of Kellum triggers a tempest of sound, the guitar of Corey Skowronski abrasing the senses with rapacious riffs bound in tendrils of tangy grooves. That alone is a hellacious affair but add the belligerent bassline of Steven Mandell and Mitch Hosier’s vicious beats and it is a full-on accosting of ears. Equally though, it provides a virulent contagion of hungry hooks and inventive twists, all unpredictable and imaginatively leaping around with sonic Saint Vitus Dance.

Something akin to Norwegian band Shevils, the track ensures eager attention is locked in and ready to be plundered by next up Carpe Diem, Tomorrow. Just as keen to ravage the senses, it uses a compelling tangy groove as its lure, winding it around ears as inner attitude boils and festers fuelling the rhythmic antagonism and sonic web shaping the fiercely magnetic track.

Church Burner twists harmonic dexterity into its own fevered clamour, compelling contrasts blending as the track creates an individual tapestry of instinctive challenges and tantalising enterprise to match and at times outshine its predecessors before Bartenders Without Wings steps forward from a less forceful introduction. As Kellum’s heart pours emotion, melodic expression soaks the guitar, that raw energy and emotive power continuing to line every aspect of the powerful encounter. It is a creative and emotional outpouring which captivates in a completely different way to those before it but just as potently with its own open turmoil.

The ferocious untethered turbulence of Danger Music #9 bursts free next, its sonic ire flowing through another tapestry of unpredictability and imagination driven trespasses of the senses while CancerEater boils and vents in its cauldron of punk forged, noise infested animosity. Even when a track is raging within Anti-Melody, it shows a tenacity of invention and devilment, traits the song revels in as much as any around it.

Both imposingly enjoyable encounters are subsequently eclipsed by Broken Culture. With its swinging groove and boisterous percussive bait, the song needs mere seconds to enslave especially when the bass groans with irritable intent. The combined enterprise unveiled unites in a devilish swagger quickly stood astride by Kellum’s vocal confrontation, that irritability infesting all except a delicious breath of melodic and harmonic seduction which steals its own few seconds of major persuasion. With a controlled yet tempestuously volatile nature, the song continues to tease and harass the senses, treating them to a whole new American Standards adventure for the album’s best track.

The release comes to a close with the crabby crawl of Chicago Overcoat, a rapacious consuming of ears with instinctive liveliness to its energy and choleric design. It is a striking end to easily the finest thing to escape American Standards. The band has never been slow in providing memorable and stirring encounters but Anti-Melody is their most complete yet, a hungrily inventive proposal and easy to suggest the key to greater recognition.

Anti-Melody is available now @ https://americanstndrds.bandcamp.com/album/anti-melody

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Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gnarwolf – II

Photo credit: Scott W. Coleman

Not to be confused with the equally fine British hardcore band Gnarwolves, Gnarwolf is a primal roar from Texas whose snarl is also hardcore bred and demandingly distinct. The Austin hailing foursome of Andy, Trent, Steven, and Polo are about to release their second EP, II. Like its title, musically the band gets to the point without fuss. There is no beating around the bush in sound and intent, just raw and intensive examinations of the senses and emotions; a trespass which is merciless, abrasive, and increasingly tasty.

There is no mistaking the admitted influence of bands such as Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, and The Chariot in the Gnarwolf sound, essences which fuelled last year’s debut EP. Abandon was a formidable introduction to the band and it seems quickly picked up a whole new flood of fans the way of the quartet. It is success easy to imagine II finding as a bare minimum. There is a new wealth of inventive hostility and unpredictable imagination to their sophomore release without defusing any of the venomous causticity and cacophony of antagonism which enhanced its predecessor, as well as the potential of even bolder things nestling in its stirring body.

It starts with Harold: The Hero where straight away beats rap at the door before ravenous metal seeded riffs and senses slamming beats join throat scarring spite flavoured vocals in breaking through the defences. It is an instant punk roar to get off on, the technical dance of the guitars enhancing rather than distracting from the instinctive belligerent holler. That unpredictability is already at play, adding an almost schizophrenic hue to the dirty frenzy gripping ears and a quickly awoken appetite.

Its persuasive challenge is followed by that of Jessie: The Sheriff, an even more agitated and concussive affair veined by toxically spicy grooves and mixed vocal uproar. For a minute and a half it bullies, ravages, and invigorates body and satisfaction, hitting the sweet spot in noisy discontent and ferocity before Mr. And Mrs Jenkins: The Mayor And His Wife unleashes its own infectiously irritable clamour of sound and heart where sonic ire twists and turns with increasing corrosive seduction.

Anne: The Widow entwines ears in its own intoxicating but fearsome hooks next; the flirtation of a citric melody quickly accompanied by vocal exasperation and in turn a gloriously predatory bassline. It all merges into something harsher and filthier within a few more seconds, a brawling cloud of ill-content eventually losing its shape as that first sonic lure frees itself again with vocal harmonics as raw as they are warmly enticing in tow. The song is pure captivation eventually leaving lingering wounds on emotionally and sonically scoured flesh and senses.

From there Hector: The Foreigner simply throws its mordant might at the listener, guitars and vocals a scalding scourge as rhythms prowl with their own dark intent. For personal tastes, some of the twists do not come off as well as elsewhere within the release but are fleeting moments in another highly bracing and pleasurable assault.

The EP concludes with The Dodge Brothers: The Cowboys, a maelstrom of spiralling guitar incitement, rhythmic blitzing, and vocal acrimony but also a theatre of melody woven drama as keys court thoughts and emotions from within the turmoil to brew a haunting epilogue.

There seems to be an exciting wave of noise-mongers emerging right now, new and those finally seeing some attention from their place within the underground. Gnarwolf seal their place to the fore of that outbreak with II, a release as punk and metal as it is noise and hardcore, and more and more one thrilling invasion of the psyche.

The II EP is released April 8th.

For more info check out…

https://www.facebook.com/gnarlywerewolf   https://twitter.com/gnarlywerewolf   https://gnarlywerewolf.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 31/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bokassa – Divide & Conquer

The recent release of their single Walker Texas Danger suggested that the debut album from Norwegian punks Bokassa might be something a little bit special. The track was a relentless nag of their self-proclaimed stoner punk, a breath-taking tirade of sound and attitude simply demanding attention and lustful reactions. Its potential and promise is more than lived up to by Divide & Conquer, even left looking pale at times by the album’s unbridled tempest of hardcore ferocity, punk belligerence, and stoner bred grooving. Beyond being special, it is one of the essential listens of 2017 from a band you still feel is only just starting out on their creative journey.

Hailing from Trondheim, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, drummer Olav Dowkes, and bassist Bård Linga took little time in sparking eager ears and local bordering national support with the release of the three track strong EP, The Great Northern Roadkill in 2014. It was the following year though through a couple of singles and the War On Everything EP that their presence really began breaking borders, success enabling Bokassa to tour across their homeland with the likes of Hold Fast, The Dogs, Frk. Fryd, Johndoe, Exploding Head Syndrome, and Warp Riders. Released on Record Day 2016, the single Make Music Great Again pushed things again, with Walker Texas Danger their biggest triumph and pull yet. It is now easy to think and expect Divide & Conquer to be a game changer for the band, the trigger to bigger, even the biggest spotlights to pay dues to one of the truly exciting prospects around.

A lone melody brings opener Impending Doom into view, its rich coaxing soon seeing stormier clouds gathering above it as riffs and rhythms join its enticing groove. Its slow stroll and portentous air subsequently slips into the waiting tempest of Last Night (Was a Real Massacre). Instantly energy and aggression is turned right up; spiralling grooves and rabid riffs grabbing ears as rhythms angrily thump. Like a raw and dirty collusion from Red Tape and Fu Manchu, the track devours the senses, feverishly crawling over them with plague like hunger to powerfully feed the thick anticipation triggered by the band’s previous single.

It is that song which comes next, Walker Texas Danger slamming its bruising qualities upon the listener from its first breath. Kaarstad is a squall of vocal attitude and discontent backed with matching antipathy by the band in voice and sound. Grooves though spin an infectious web as rhythms give a primal examination and Linga’s bass provides a grumbling lilt to the song’s stoner fuelled swing. The whole mix is glorious, a reason to welcome exhaustion before Crocsodile Dundee shows no mercy with its antagonistic rumble. Metal seeded acidic melodies court the song’s punk ‘n’ roll catchiness whilst its heart is pure hardcore pushing a magnetic bluster lying somewhere between Ghost of a Thousand and fellow Norwegians Shevils.

After its rousing assault, Genocidal Tendencies brings greater restraint in its own raid though weight and spite is as full and unbridled as in its predecessors. Equally, the song shows more of the variety at the heart of the Bokassa sound and songwriting as dark harmonies and wiry grooves conspire with the inevitably punishing rhythmic and sonic incursion also escaping the band. As magnetic as it is merciless, the track is a tenderiser of the senses, their ravaging provided by Five Finger Fuckhead with its scourge of hardcore truculence bound in mouth-watering grooves as vocal dexterity plays within the band.

As each song’s final breath becomes the next track’s first, the album just flies by, never allowing the listener to regain balance or composure. Here Goes Nothing rises from its predecessor with a head-rush of violent tenacity and creative adventure. Arguably the album’s grooviest, most kindly catchy proposal, it still offers a cauldron of intensity in its emotive onslaught while any ‘lighter’ tones are boldly absent on the punk rock salvo unleashed by Retaliation straight after, the song an one minute ambush of appetite’s sweet spot.

The album is closed by the raw captivation of Immortal Space Pirate (The Stoner Anthem). The album’s longest proposition by a mile, the track is a volatile smoulder threatening to erupt with every passing second. It never really does but there is no lightweight essence to its groove woven canter and rhythmic swing, its scuzzy air and cosmic filth as much manna for a passion for raw rock ‘n’ roll as its melodic escapades and uncompromising tide of intensity. Across its seven minutes, Bokassa merge acoustic and harmonic prowess into their instinctive sonic blitz and stoner punk ferociousness, the song alone revealing the width and depth to the band’s imagination and potential.

The bottom-line is that Divide & Conquer is superb, a bewitching brute of an encounter only leaving sheer pleasure and a hunger for plenty more.

Divide & Conquer is out now digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl via All Good Clean Records through http://www.allgoodcleanrecords.com/onlinestore/ or https://bokassaband.bandcamp.com/album/divide-conquer

https://www.facebook.com/BokassaBand

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright