KEN mode – Loved

We cannot say that the artwork surrounding releases particularly guides or influences our thoughts going into a new encounter but it has to be admitted that the art wrapping the new KEN mode album made a striking impression whilst sparking intrigue and imagination long before a note was heard. Created by the band’s long-time collaborator Randy Ortiz, it is a piece which also inspired the band itself in regards to Loved, their seventh full-length. Vocalist/guitarist Jesse Matthewson ahead of its release revealed that “We entered writing for this album with one goal in mind – to please the smile” referring to the cover’s protagonist.

He also said “We wanted to make an album that represented a thinking person’s reaction to the political/technological climate we are existing in today. We wanted to make the perfect album to put on repeat while pushing your physical limits to their maximum, if only to silence the noise that is constantly whirring around inside of your own head, even for a brief moment.” Listening to Loved, it is not hard to feel they succeeded in both, certainly in satisfying the smile and though whether you can create perfection can be debated but it is a release which stands on the frontline of their most stirring and striking proposals yet.

From the grungier and expansive indie rock inspired endeavour of its highly enjoyable predecessor, Success, KEN mode has in many ways returned to the sonic viscera and noise punk/hardcore toxicity of the likes of Venerable (2011) and Entrench (2013) for Loved. In saying that, the album equally pushes the bold adventure hinted at in Success to far more magnetic, feral, and maybe for some divisive heights. It is unapologetically invasive, a cauldron of sonic violence, and their most invasively dark offering yet and for us more than possibly their finest moment yet.

Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should is the first venomous treat from Loved, the track instantly lancing the senses with a sonic incision before the fierce rapier swings of drummer Shane Matthewson descend closely aligned to the ravenous grumble of Scott Hamilton’s bass. The caustic wires cast from Jesse’s guitar equally infest song and listener making a nagging cradle for the raw throated squall of his vocals all the time rhythms breeding greater virulence in their trespass. It is a glorious nagging of sound taking swipes and bites with every elevation of animosity and twist of enterprise resulting in a deliciously corrosive start to the release.

The Illusion Of Dignity teases with its initial lure before swinging on rapacious rhythms next, Shane’s hits a bone shuddering impact matched in carnal attraction by the resonance of Scott’s bass. Post punk hues add to the noise rock antics bred within the cavernous yet threateningly intimate breath of the track, vocals a toxic animus across the revolving spiral and searing flare up of guitar. As with its predecessor, new intensities fuel and fresh ideation inspires the course of the irresistible intrusion before Feathers & Lips steps forward to prey on senses and psyche. From its first breath it is a challenging threat but quickly springing its own infectious violation as seductively flirtatious as it is menacingly inhospitable. With a web of sonic dissonance and enticement at its heart, it is another which easily got under the skin and infringed upon the senses for rich pleasure.

It there was vague concord in the last track, Learning To Be Too Cold is sheer ill-will and needs a mere breath to invade and suffocate the senses in its corrosive wash and vocal feud as beats again barely labour to punish and incite attention. The vile lure of bass is a treat whilst the sonic scathing from the guitar is a mercilessly nagging breach as magnetic as everything piercing its scarring waves. It is not a song with the same instinctive contagion of those before it but one as memorable while Not Soulmates sets another unforgettable marker with its untamed but skilfully bred cacophony led by vocal discontent.

Very Small Men rears up to share its unique character and proposal swiftly after, dancing in on nimble dynamics driven by Shane’s inimitable rhythmic dexterity. It is soon though blowing a storm of aural animation hell-bent on igniting muscles and addictiveness to flex their instincts as the song’s holler enslaves. It is a thrill of an infestation, discord increasing by every turn of sonic entanglement and emotive dissonance.

From one of the album’s momentous moments to another as the calm swing of This Is A Love Test brings its own array of creative altercation. A jazz nurtured intimating caress is brought by the sax of Kathryn Kerr, its emotive and mellow seducing aligned to vocal reflection but both soon inspiring and joining a rancorous expulsion of frictious inharmony in a schism of enterprise which further inflames ears and thoughts as rhythms permeate the body.

The final pair of Fractures In Adults and No Gentle Art are equally as riveting and argumentative. The first is a senses hassling, evolving drone of disharmony which fingers and violates psyche and self-peace, each wave of creative quarrel intensifying in weight, ferocity, and conflict to disarm and inhumanely seduce while its successor rises up from a connecting rhythmic pulsation, emerging through shadow thick, portentously drenched serenity into almost salacious sonic warfare It stalks the listener from the off, every note and breath bringing a slight elevation in threat and intensity leading to crescendos of visceral expulsions and ravenous corrosion laden discordance again with Kerr’s breath casting creative arson within the gorgeous enmity.

The track is a bewitching, at times bewildering and relentlessly breath-taking conclusion to an album proving so hard to escape and move on to new adventure from. If you are looking for life affirming calm and beauty, Loved is not for you yet in many ways it does feed those desires whilst focusing the senses and thoughts on the reality of the world we are inescapably part of. Self-harm has never been more fun and invigorating than with KEN mode’s latest monster of a gem.

Loved is available now via Season of Mist and @ https://kenmode.bandcamp.com/album/loved

Check out their website for news and dates of their Canadian dates with Shallow in September, US/Canadian tour alongside Birds In Row in October, and European tour with Coilguns and Birds In Row this Nov/Dec.

http://www.ken-mode.com    http://www.facebook.com/kenmode    http://www.twitter.com/kenmodenoise

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead By Monday – Almost Punk

Having earned a strong reputation for their live shows and energy, Scottish outfit Dead By Monday are out to spark similar praise on a broader scale with the release of debut EP, Almost Punk. Offering four slices of ferocious punk rock with an almost deceitful character as they reveal a far richer breeding of flavours once immersed in their roars, it is a release which not only warrants attention but pretty much commands it.

Formed in 2016 within the Glasgow music scene, Dead By Monday has as mentioned drawn great plaudits for their live dynamic and aggressive presence which has been rewarded with gigs alongside the likes of The Living End, Daggermouth, Annewrage, and WRCKG. Initially coming together with the intent of creating politically charged punk rock, the foursome soon found a harder, harsher, and heavier sound emerging but one still embracing their punk rock hearts alongside inspirations from the likes of Rage Against The Machine and The Dillinger Escape Plan, NOFX, and Gallows. Almost Punk is their first nationwide trespass and a very potent introduction it proved to be.

Certainly the EP was a slow burner with us, making a good first impression but really blossoming over time and listens as its creative depths emerged. The release opens with The First, and instantly had attentive ears with its simple but efficient opening punk bred riff. Paddy Chapman’s guitar is the lure, the throbbing bassline of Declan Buist a waiting trap before the song explodes into its rapacious and irritable stroll. The gruff tones of vocalist Murray Taylor are soon sharing its grievances as the swinging beats of Ciaran Whyte spark the track’s contagious gait and energy. There is little particularly unique about the track at first but with its mellower detours and sharp hooks grows into an ear grabbing proposal, those animated rhythms of Whyte particularly magnetic.

The following Dead Souls soon overshadows its predecessor, the excellent track a bruising slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a tasty line in hard rock to its twists and turns. Again Taylor’s vocals almost bully the listener as surrounding sounds work on their rocker instincts while spiky hooks and gang vocals make for an additionally tenacious incitement. Firmly the song took best track honours, though it was swiftly challenged by next up Our Doomsday. Straight away Whyte’s rolling punches had attention gripped, Buist quickly backing up the rich coaxing with its own throbbing bait. It is a magnificent start which in some small ways is followed by an anti-climax as the track opens up into its grouchy punk holler but it is a mere quibble as the track soon seduced the appetite with its snarling attack. There is something of Stiff Little Fingers to the song at times which does it no harm at all, indeed helps make it another bright spark in the growing potential and ready-made enterprise of the EP.

The closing Choke brings a post hardcore tone with its opening strains, clean vocals from Taylor strongly enticing with an underlying emotive warble well backed by the harmonic tones of Whyte. Eventually its captivation leads to the ferocious heart of the song, its hardcore instincts expelled with force and dexterity for a caustic finale. The most inventive and unpredictable track on the release it also challenges for top song honours, holding it for a while with its outstanding start and engaging imagination.

Almost Punk is an ear grabbing introduction to its creators but it is the potential and instinctive invention it carries and of which it suggests there is much more to come, that makes it more than just a great first encounter.

Almost Punk is released July 27th.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadbyMonday/

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hell Night / Sweat Shoppe – Split

A new split on Encapsulated Records sees two of St. Louis, Missouri’s finest come together for one simply tremendous encounter. The release features five tracks shared between Hellnight and Sweat Shoppe, a quintet of tracks which all unerringly got under the skin.

Pic by David Torrance

Hell Night provides the first two tracks within the split. Formed in 2014 by guitarist Andy White, the band additionally consists of bassist Eric Eyster, drummer Adam Arseneau, and the distinctive tones of former Shadows Fall and Overcast vocalist Brian Fair. Their sound is a ferocious yet instinctively animated fusion of metal and punk and as emphasized by the duo of offerings here fraught with virulently incisive hooks and grooves.

Their first track is Unincorporated, a predacious nagging of enterprise which is part feral part manipulation from its first breath. Fair’s rasping roar is soon infesting the invasive contagion, that array of flavours a rapacious entanglement squirreling its lures in ears and psyche. The track is superb, not richly unique yet wholly individual to the quartet as too its companion Overburden. Heavier and slightly more intense in its gait and tone, the song also webs the senses in the niggling prowess of guitars and bass as Arseneau’s beats bite and arouse. Its melodic undercurrent is just as tempting, new wave hues lining its understated but potent tease within the more carnal trespass.

Hell Night’s outstanding duo of tracks as quickly matched by the trio uncaged by punksters Sweat Shoppe. Another foursome, the band emerged in 2015 and includes members of The Disappeared, Horror Section, and The Timer as well as Ultraman vocalist Tim Jamison, the full line-up completed by Justin Haltmar, Gabe Usery, and Andrew Brandmeyer.

Lost and Mean is the first of the band’s tracks and immediately barrages ears with its unfussy yet skilfully honed attitude and ferocity. Its old school tone is instantly addictive within the minute and a half of punk belligerence, riffs unleashed and hooks uniting for a catchy invasion which continues within the even briefer Circumstance. The track’s hooks and riffs are ravenously contagious within the darker tone and climate of the song, aiding its inescapable persuasion and addictive trespass whilst reminding a touch of British punk legends Angelic Upstarts.

The final track from them is Clawing Brain, another antagonistic scowl of sonic contagiousness and rhythmic contempt around the attitude loaded vocal release of Jamison. It completes five tracks which do the highly enjoyable business with raw passion, energy, and imagination as well as a bit of intimidation. If either Hell Night or Sweat Shoppe has yet to hit your radar, their coming together here is one unmissable introduction and you can enjoyable further songs from both outfits on the Quarter Hour Of Power compilation also from Encapsulated Records; each release available digitally and on 7” vinyl now @ https://www.encapsulatedrecords.com/collections/releases   https://encapsulatedrecords.bandcamp.com and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hellnightus/   https://www.facebook.com/sweatshoppemusic/

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cancel – Dark Reveries

Dark Reveries is the new album from Swiss hardcore fury Cancel; a release which echoes its titles with tracks which savagely grab you from reality to immerse in rousingly, often carnally raucous dissonance. It makes no compromises in its assault and attitude loaded irritability but tempers the compelling causticity with flirtatious imagination whilst declaring the Luzern quintet ready to seize global attention.

Founded in 2011, Cancel has released a host of ear grabbing proposals around a richly received debut album in Circle of 2015. Their sound has evolved across each encounter and ventures a whole new plateau of enterprise and devilry within second full-length Dark Reveries. It is tagged as hardcore but freely ventures across the landscapes of noise, punk, metalcore, and post hardcore with each individual song.

It opens up with Mind Burial, instantly expressing raw vocals and sound upon the senses as rhythms closely prowl. Stalking the listener, the track soon hits a more urgent stride without losing all its restraints; captivating attention with every passing second of its Coilguns meets Red Tape like assault. An instinctive groove seizes its moment to enslave as rhythms continue to prey, all the while the band’s imagination brewing and taking a thicker hold on the album’s thrilling start.

The following Hysteria surges through ears with punk ‘n’ roll rancor, beats thumping with flirtatious violence as group shouts and urges accompany individual temptation. It is a seriously enjoyable and insatiable trespass emulated in its own way by successor Golden Rats but given a whole new web of twists and turns to become scorched by and addicted too. Both tracks reveal more of the bolder hunger and adventure in the band’s sound; exploration further stretched and exploited within the invasively mercurial Death Cab. As its punk heart bellows and ensnares like a malicious Shevils, the band’s rock ‘n’ roll instincts gains momentum, the great blend of vocals following the imaginative endeavour. Wiry grooves and the brooding growl of the bass only add to the unbridled magnetism brewed and devoured.

Poor Man’s Sermon is pure seduction from its first breath, the song slowly unwinding its unpredictable body note by note, clean syllable by alluring word until strolling through post punk/rock terrain courted by throat raw vocal toxicity. It is a fascinating affair and mix which only intensified its ire and hold by the second before the punk hostility of Chased Feelings ripped through ears. It too though embraced a mix of flavours and urgencies within its brief tenure, making way for the anthemic roar and challenging antipathy of Freedom On A Cross. As its predecessor, the track swiftly got under the skin with its predacious swing and inescapable curse of hooks and grooves.

The following minute and a half sees You`re Everything I`m Not ravage the senses, its Converge-esque punk feud colluding with rock ‘n’ roll arousal to manipulate and enslave while Human Machinery straight after sees Cancel spark the imagination more forcibly in its minute of instrumental darkness than many bands do in a ten minute plus flight of suggestion.

Dark Reveries finishes off with its title track, another song which is on the hunt from its opening seconds of sound and invention but with an eagerness which refuses a negative response. It is a swing and purpose which shuffles its attack but cores it with an infectious lure which never deviates from its intent and success.

It is a fine end to an album which just impresses further by the listen. Cancel might not grow to be one of Switzerland’s greatest exports but already they are definitely one of its most pleasurable and captivating.

Dark Reveries is available now @ https://cancel.bandcamp.com/

 http://cancelband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/CancelBandOfficial

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hot Sauce Pony – Burnt Ends

With the debut album from Hot Sauce Pony prowling anticipation, the UK outfit unleash its first lure in the shape of the carnally seductive Burnt Ends. The track is a ravenous teaser of that forthcoming self-titled offering, a song which has calm, beauty, and ruin colluding for a frustratingly but imperiously short one minute plus.

Formed in 201, the London band consists of vocalist Caroline Gilchrist, guitarist Ross Davies, bassist Stephen Gilchrist, and drummer Anna Dodridge. Their sound is a unique fusion of noise and punk rock with grunge, post punk, and hardcore hues. They call it Avant Hard; we call it in regards to the new single feral sensuality. The track and the upcoming Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey) album follow a first single in Fenced In which aroused rich attention and intrigue. Burnt Ends more than builds on its ear grabbing success and thick potency with a moment where extremes unite to devour the senses with beauty and ruin.

From its first breath Burnt Ends had us licking lips, the charred growl of the bass a bestial temptation matched by the just as roasted snarl of the guitar. Swiftly the melodic siren tempting of Caroline’s vocals drew ears deeper into the cremated offering, the slow manipulative swing of Anna’s beats just as irresistible. Like a fusion of Horse Party, Morass Of Molasses, and Mudhoney with a whiff of Young Marble Giants yet firmly individual, the track just got under the skin and into the psyche as hips continued to sway to its primal groove.

Such the pleasure, it really does frustrate when the track stops suddenly and without warning barely a clutch of seconds past its first minute. It leaves nagging, teasing fingers though as its elements continued to echo in thoughts long after departure.

Leave them wanting more is the key to success some say, and without doubt the hunger for the band’s eponymous debut album is on the point of rabidity thanks to Burnt Ends.

Burnt Ends is released June 22nd via Brixton Hillbilly. The band also has first single Fenced In available as a free download  @ https://soundcloud.com/brixton-hillbilly/fenced-in-by-hot-sauce-pony

Upcoming Hot Sauce Pony live dates:

23rd June Club 85, HITCHIN

30th June Betsy Trotswood, LONDON

16th August – HY-Brazil, BRISTOL

https://www.facebook.com/hotsaucepony/

Pete RingMaster 20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gutlocker – Cry Havoc!

It is a release which has no qualms in punishing the senses and venomously attacking the psyche with its irritable and grievous intent; an encounter seemingly hell bent on leaving charred remains behind in its vicious sonic wake but it is hard to return that enmity when every twisted trespass and grievous throe inflicted leaves you hungry for more. The perpetrator of that creative animosity is the Cry Havoc! EP from UK sludge punks Gutlocker, a quartet of visceral noise and groove breeders which you may fear liking but find no other option available.

Born and bred in darkest Woking, Gutlocker emerged in 2012 inspired by the likes of Pantera, Mastodon, and Lamb of God and have since gone on to share stages with the likes of Trepalium, Evil Scarecrow, and Raging Speedhorn among others and made a reputation enhancing appearance at Download. We will be honest, Cry Havoc! is our long overdue introduction to the quartet of vocalist Craig McBrearty, guitarist Peter Tucker, bassist Ben Rollinson, and drummer Dean Walker but possibly the perfect moment to be infested by their sonic animus.

The release opens up with Bitter Memory and immediately devours the senses with predacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and the vocal individuality of McBrearty. His rancorous tones twist and squirm by the syllable, a trespass as magnetic as the tempest of sludge metal bred sound around him. Grooves invade and beats rupture as the track parades its grudge carrying enterprise, a raw irritation spawn incitement which crawls deeper under the skin by the minute with its multi-flavoured sonic antipathy.

The great start evolves into the equally violent and compelling No Burden, a matching cauldron of hellacious noise and emotions cast in its own individual likeness. As in the first, there is a great hardcore insurgency lurking in the lining of the track’s prowl and adding to both the songs’ continued blossoming listen by listen.  Unpredictability similarly adds to their prowess in music and voice if not to the same heights of our favourite track within Cry Havoc!

Stuck is simply superb, a web of creative deception and ingenuity never going where it suggests or expectations assume. Straight away it is weaving with cunning devilry and with vendetta in its veins, swaying away like a Pantera coaxed cobra as McBrearty spills his bad blooded venom. Captivating in seconds, addictive soon after, the track just outdoes itself minute by minute as guitars and bass collude in predacious imagination, its pinnacle coming as a bass and drum swagger ignites a manipulative noise rock discordance as fully catchy as it is unexpected.

As great as the other three are, the track steals the show but not before being worried by closing encounter, Welcome to Fucktown. As those before, it stalks and crawls over the senses sharing rancorous breaths and malignant invention matched in kind by the vocals. There is tension in every note and second, malice too especially oozing from McBrearty’s throat and heart, it all going to make the final song one fearsome but captivating incursion.

Uniqueness is still a relatively rare find within modern music but Gutlocker have a good handle on it already and are on the path to making it a key weapon.

Cry Havoc! is available now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Amsterdam Red Light District – Sapere Aude

Though The Amsterdam Red Light District seized major plaudits as they boldly established themselves within the punk/hardcore/rock scene with second album Gone For a While in 2014, the release still missed stirring up the kind of fervour in us that others were finding the certainly highly enjoyable encounter. It seems that we were just waiting for a particular undefined spark which has now undoubtedly caught within the France based band’s new fury, Sapere Aude. THARD’s third album is a beast of a roar, as ferociously infectious as it is instinctively irritable and emotionally tempestuous and for us by far the best thing the band has unleashed.

With inspirations found in the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled, Europe has been the broad sounding board for the 2005 founded band’s sound over the past few years, THARD sharing stages with the likes of Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer alongside their own successful shows and tours. This month sees the band off on their travels again with Sapere Aude lock and loaded in their arsenal.

It opens up with Nobody Moves Like You and a spiral of acidic grooves and heavy handed rhythms which lure ears and attention like a magnet. Swiftly it settles into a tempestuous stroll as catchy as it is belligerent, Elio Sxone’s vocals an alluring temper in its midst backed by those increasingly captivating grooves cast by guitarist Maxxx Comby. A blend of hardcore and metal, the track has a natural swing which alone infested the appetite with the dark tones of Greg Clert’s bass adding to the instinctive temptation. Vocally Sxone brings adventure and diversity to match the raw and skilfully woven sounds around him in one glorious inventive brute of an introduction.

The following The Best Is Yet To Come is just as quickly and intrusively gripping. Featuring Cancer Bats front man Liam Cormier, the track simultaneously grumbles and seduces in voice and sound, the rhythmic trespass of drummer Julien Chanel driving its intent and forceful urgency as the guitar and melodic aspect of the vocals bring a ferocity tempering enterprise. As its predecessor, it demands and commands willing attention with adventure and imagination.

Two songs in and already the album has whipped up personal passions missed by previous offerings and only ups the ante with the fiery punk ‘n’ roll of Need. Again vocals and music create a cauldron of contrasts and ferocity with balance and adventure, the song having something of Every Time I Die meets The Ghost of a Thousand to it as it too inflamed the senses and appetite before Wild Life sparked its own blaze of praise and ardour with its hellacious creative clamour. Blending various aspects of ferocious intrusion and melodic captivation to its punk metal, vocal harmonics adding to the drama, the track simply whipped up greedy attention.

Carry On is an infection of temptation, tenacious hooks and riffs colluding with the song’s emotional irritancy and rousing breath; all bound in an enterprise as persistently catchy as it is rapacious. It all comes though with an ebb and flow which only increases its fascination and imagination while Over The Fence in turn uncages a sonic squall and a senses battering rhythmic dance which holds similarities to its predecessor before unveiling its own quest of creative discontent.

The turbulent spirals of Waiting For The Day needs little time to incite intrigue and imagination next, its opening web subsequently draped in vocal and sonic dispute again as magnetic as it is corrosive in a psyche infecting mix which nags and harries as it bruises and excites. That raw incursion is only intensified in The Whole City Burns, its melodic metal aligning with feral punk in an invigoratingly abrasive holler loaded with spiky riffs, barbed hooks, and melodic fire.

The album concludes with firstly Evil Stakeholders, a slab of crotchety yet melodically bewitching raging which maybe did not quite inflame as others before it but only reinforced the impressive character and force of Sapere Aude. Its title track is the final offering, an outro of intimation and samples reflecting the portentous state of the world with bursts of rhythmic incitement. Maybe better served as an intro to the album in some ways, it is a fascinating last breath to one striking release.

From first note to last Sapere Aude truly stirred our fullest passions, that anticipation for bigger bolder things ahead sparked by its predecessor more than realised in a release sure to feature as one of the year’s greatest moments.

Sapere Aude is out now via Red Light Records.

https://www.tarldtheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/tarldtheband    https://twitter.com/tarld

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright