Nature of Wires – Modus

photo by Russ Dalen

Some releases shine like a beacon attracting ears like moths to a flame. One such lure for us is the new album from UK synth pop outfit Nature of Wires. Almost straddling every decade of its prime genre whilst teasing of future exploration but most openly seeded in eighties influence, the album proved a swift magnet of sound and temptation firmly commanding current attention.

Formed in 1986 by vocalist Andrew Stirling-Brown and synthist/programmer Gary Watts, the Herefordshire band followed the 1993 release of their debut album, Modus Operandi, by going on hiatus the following year until reforming in 2015.  A year later the band unveiled their second album, Cyber Rendezvous, with CountessM on lead vocals and now the band has Modus to tempt the imagination, a collection of songs which harken back to those early years having been written between 1986 and 1993 but carrying a modern edge though being “recreated using 21st century technology.” It is also a dual album in one package, with a second CD featuring re-imaginings of the release’s tracks from an array of inspiring artists.

Straight away Modus embraces ears like an old friend yet just as quickly establishes a presence and character which is solely Nature of Wires. As soon as opener Feel the Hunger spreads its electronic arms, there is no escaping teases to the likes of Erasure, Heaven 17, and Blancmange but the song quickly breeds its own individuality in sound and enterprise led by the alluring tones of Stirling-Brown. Striking melodies are fuelled by infectiousness whilst rhythms as good as nag with their eager canter. Fair to say we were caught up in the song’s contagion in short time, vocal chords and body swings adding to its own eager endeavours.

Time is Come steps up next, again its initial coaxing shadow lined before bursting out with radiant melodies and vocal encouragement. Equally keen pulses core the lively croon with the song’s gait and energy as bold as it is spirited, a whiff of A Flock Of Seagulls only adding to the song’s infectious captivation before Negative Resolutions emerges with a darkwave breath, bubbles of pop soon joining the tempting before synths weave a tapestry of melodic intimation over an electro grumble. When its poppiness catches the song infested the body while its darker melancholic calmer moments are alone pure fascination.

Through the crystalline design and dark throb of Seagull and the reflective heatwave of Every Single Sun, captivation with Modus only escalated, the first a spirited seduction and its successor a weave of melodic flames and balmy caresses while Harry’s House eclipsed both with its creative drama and dance-floor animation.

It in turn was slightly outshine by Madame Serena, a song with electro rock essences which reminded of bands such as Original Mirrors and Modern English whilst hinting at the pop instincts of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. With emotive shadows and a great lining of dark threat, the track soon rises as another unique Nature of Wires temptation very easy to greedily devour.

The first CD closes with the immediately enthralling First Light, a song bringing yet another shade of flavour and enterprise to the album with its rich entangle of electronic and electro rock hues. Bringing the release to a potent close if not quite igniting the passions as those before it, though ears and imagination were firmly in its charge all the same, it potently  concludes the first adventure of the release before Modus turns to the second.

CD 2 embraces that collection of remixes and re-imaginings of its songs starting with the Atomzero Nightlife Remix of Feel the Hunger. Given a darker almost tenebrific air, the track takes on a whole new persona as it does with the NoW AT4 version which takes it to the opposite light with equally enjoyable effect.

Among the host of truthfully ear pleasing encounters, the untamed rock ‘n’ roll brought to Time is Come by The Cowls, the dramatic theatre sparked within the Klammer Remix of Harry’s House, and Leaether Strip’s voraciously virulent trespass of Madame Serena especially caught the imagination. Fair to say though that Cyferdyne’s Glass Half Full Remix of Negative Resolutions, Workings of a Madman Remix of Seagull, the St Lucifer reworking of Every Single Sun as well as the Mesh Remix of First Light and Room 1985’s progressive rock interpretation of Time is Come all left pleasure rich.

And that is a declaration which tenaciously applies to Modus as a whole, a release to hungrily spend time with as we eagerly await the next chapter and exploration in the adventure of Nature of Wires.

Modus is released August 16th through Analogue Trash across most stores and @ https://natureofwires.bandcamp.com/album/modus

Upcoming Live Dates

Sep 20 BERLIN – The Mazen (with The Pink Diamond Revue, LegPuppy & e-bit)

Sep 21 LEIPZIG – Noch Besser Leben (with The Pink Diamond Revue & LegPuppy)

Oct 12 COLOGNE, Germany – Wachsfabrik (with Bandmachine)

Oct 18  BIRMINGHAM – The Mill, Digbeth (with Among the Echoes & Toyah)

Nov 8   BIRMINGHAM – Scruffy Murphy’s (with Vieon, Among the Echoes & Vain Machine)

Nov 9   LONDON – Beat:Cancer Festival 2.0, Electrowerkz

http://www.natureofwires.com   https://www.facebook.com/natureofwires/   https://twitter.com/natureofwires

Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lords Of Acid – Pretty In Kink

We cannot say that techno and acid house are genres we have an instinctive appetite for here but we certainly have a hunger for electro adventure with plenty of confrontation; something you certainly and persistently get with Lords Of Acid. Their new album Pretty In Kink is a riot of electronic eclecticism, twelve tracks infesting body and imagination with creative deviancy and virulent contagion and a collection which salaciously arouse the senses.

Lords Of Acid is the brainchild of Belgian musician Praga Khan, an artist releasing his first single back in 1988. The project apparently evolved from his “extensive experimentation with drugs, Crowley-ian sex magic, and esoteric paths of self-deprivation and mutilation known only to himself”, the band the vehicle for him to “further encapsulate the seductive messages and raw sex of his ever-evolving musical vision.” The new album sees Khan link up again with long-time collaborator Erhan Kurkun and the entrance of new vocalist Marieke Bresseleers.

Praga Khan

Pretty In Kink opens with Break Me, the track emerging from celestial mists with a dulled but imposing throb around which electronics flirt. The immediately striking voice of Bresseleers soon rises from its midst, her vocals openly powerful but equally devilish in their character and delivery. The track continues to pulsate and almost menacingly entice, its electronic simmer simultaneous threat and captivation with infection spilling from every note and syllable.

The compelling start continues with Ma Fille De Joie, it too laden with appealing shadows and electro temptation this time from an industrial seeding. There is a touch of Kraftwerk to the song; its seductive prowl almost predacious at times but persistently darkly flirtatious before Sex Cam Girl opens its creative legs for ears to devour its dark electro juices. With swaying grooves and raw melodic swerves to its gait, the track entices as it fingers the senses and like its predecessors left intrigue and hips consumed with eagerness.

The following EBM spiced trip hop lined Flow Juice took things and attention up another level, the track electro addiction in the making. Bresseleers is the perfect tease amongst the similarly tempting antics of the synths and beats, all getting under the skin with viral ease. As potent a start to the release that the first trio of songs make, the album really came alive for us at this point, next up Like Pablo Escobar escalating the new gear in persuasion. Pure drama from its initial shimmer and bass bred hook, the track rises up into a rousing slice of electro rock again one as imposing as it is manipulatively catchy with guitars and synths colluding in their cinematic theatre.

Neither Before the Night is Over or Androgyny leapt on the passions as instantly as those around them yet with their respective melodic Heaven 17-esque smoulder with underlying volatility and sinister synth pop seduction, each blossomed in captivation by the play as too did Goldfinger, a track borrowing from the classic Bond theme but using the essence to wrap its own techno espionage.

They were soon firmly eclipsed though by the electro punk of What the Fuck! a track with a great Senser-esque feel to its vocal attitude and electronic belligerence. It is superb; a wonderful sonic irritant always commanding an eager scratch while So Goddamn Good straight after is a song which seduces as it croons. Pop and hip hop spawned vocals unite across the track, melodic caresses and sonic blistering teasing together alongside as again Lords Of Acid simply steal attention.

My Demons Are Inside from an underwhelming start for personal tastes was another which eventually wormed into the psyche, its KMFDM like instincts and breeding nagging its way into the passions though it is soon over shadowed by the album’s best track for us. Closing up the release, We Are The Freaks was quite simply irresistible from its first breath. Drama oozes every pore as industrial confrontation rises to its deviant feet to subsequently embrace a minatory Latino taunting. It is a glorious end to an album which not for the first time sees Lords Of Acid enjoyably tainting the music scene with their rivetingly unique electronic disease.

Pretty In Kink is out now via Metropolis Records; available @ https://lordsofacidofficial.bandcamp.com/album/pretty-in-kink

http://www.lordsofacid.com   https://www.facebook.com/lordsofacid/    https://twitter.com/RealLordsOfAcid

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scant Regard – Skipping Over Damaged Area

Pic by Thomas Triton

A body infesting, imagination twisting kaleidoscope to the hope and insanity of the world we shape, Skipping Over Damaged Area is the senses ravishing new captivation from Scant Regard. An album of unscrupulous hooks, electronic virulence, and guitar carved intimation, it surges through ears casting a realm of suggestion and reflection as devilish as the themes inspiring its creative antics leaving hope, fear, and sheer pleasure in its wake.

Scant Regard is the solo project of London-based guitarist/writer/producer Will Crewdson. He is a musician few can have failed to have been consciously or unknowingly pleasured by. Whether with the rock escapades of Rachel Stamp, which he co-founded, and She Made Me Do It or through his work with the likes of Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Flesh for Lulu, Bow Wow Wow and numerous other bands he played guitar for, Crewdson is a guitarist who has been in demand because of his instinctive ability to incite and bend the imagination as well as simply ignite songs and ears alike. Scant Regard has been an adventurous showcase for his craft and skills across four previous albums, Skipping Over Damaged Area a riveting new addition to their ranks.

Exploring various shades in an overall theme “of the apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, Skipping Over Damaged Area is a tenacious maze of styles and flavours glazed with a sci-fi nurtured intrigue. At times it is like a warped soundtrack to a seventies TV show such as UFO, Space: 1999, or Doomwatch but with a dark lining in its every move; corrupting hope and light at a turn, tempering their threat in the next.

The album opens up with the swiftly addictive Mostly Accidental, electric pulses exploding on impact as it swaggers into view with an almost predacious swing. Instantly electronic suggestion and animation dances and flirts on the senses, thick doomy hues underlining the brewing Westworld-esque imagery conjured in thoughts by the instrumental piece which fully comes alive once Crewdson’s guitar explodes on the imagination.

It is an outstanding beginning, one to be honest we had to listen to twice before moving on upon our first listen to Skipping Over Damaged Area but quickly matched in strength and temptation by Fuck Everything. Repeated samples of its title float across a landscape of attitude, another electronically woven tale which immerses the listener in an evolving cascade of light and dark, fun and irritancy driven by inspiring shards of guitar.

The following Ill Gotten Gains is a corruption of sound and reflection; an addiction breeding ground with melodic lures aligned to dark deeds. At times it lies somewhere between the evolution of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh’s project British Electric Foundation into their band Heaven 17 but with thicker shadows and dare we say even more infectious boldness.

Similarly Destroy (We’re Here to) has an eighties electronic edge to it around hooks and melodies which border on the salacious. Like the musical voice to a modern day Mars Attacks, the track waltzed over the senses, sending them spiralling as the imagination conjures. Simultaneously feet and hips were given a good smile wearing work out before BIGBLACKSHADES creates a conspiracy of sound and suggestion with its cold wave meets industrial espionage. Electronics and guitar again unite in a dark interpretation of life, its funkiness contrasting yet complementing the song’s voracious dynamics.

A lighter climate accompanies the outstanding Car Crash on Pluto, the track like something akin to Fred Schneider colluding with Helldorado as they glide the cosmos upon surf rock fuelled winds, while Hemi Demi courts indie rock tenacity within its electro pop enterprise as again seventies flavoured hues spice its rock ‘n roll.

Through the celestial smoulder of Traits, a track with lava hot melodies veining a volatile shimmer, and the hook carrying electro smoking canter of Sublineage Blues, ears and imagination are drawn into further incendiary drama while Posthistoric springs a more intensive atmosphere and adventure to navigate as a bubbling undercurrent of catchiness snaps, crackles and pops. All three simply tantalise and captivate as the imagination fantasises, Crime and Retribution in turn sparking the same responses with its brooding electronic groans and emerging guitar spun cold war clamour.

The album closes with Blue Moon Juice, a collage of vivacious sounds woven into a canvas of rockabilly bred devilry; imagine a psychobilly Yello and you get a hint of the track’s irresistible lure as it brings the album to a forcibly magnet conclusion.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is a prismatic insight and incitement for body and thoughts. It impacts on numerous levels, pleasures on every one. Crewdson is no stranger to attention and acclaim and can expect plenty more with what just might be his finest moment yet.

Skipping Over Damaged Area is out now on download and CD @ https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-over-damaged-area

https://scantregard.com    https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pyramid Park – The Unexplained

With their debut album luring rich attention and plaudits since its recent release, Pyramid Park now unveil its first single in the fiercely infectious and emotionally open The Unexplained; a track which captivates in sound and character whilst providing a potent invitation into band and that first album, Vulnerability.

Pyramid Park is the creation of Cambridge based songwriter/musician Peter McAllen; primarily a one man alternative/ indie pop project though McAllen readily embraces the talent and imagination of others. Emerging from a time of “personal struggle” when he says “as a consequence I couldn’t seem to write songs that meant anything to me, and I was bored of my guitar playing”, Vulnerability, the album’s title track and subsequently its body, became his cathartic release.

The Unexplained was the last song to emerge for the album, taking a year to finish, before the whole thing saw McAllen uniting with producer Iain Hutchison in the studio. The single epitomises the emotive and melodic elegance to be found across Vulnerability, McAllen bearing his heart and thoughts with open intimacy. The single closes in from a distant melodic mist, keys shaping its invitation and impending drama. Once within touching distance, McAllen’s heart bred expression and tones caress ears and thoughts, keys and rhythms soon joining its reflection with a vibrant energy and an eager catchiness.

References to artists such as Phoria and Two Door Cinema Club have been laid at the feet of the Pyramid Park sound but for us the eighties scented character and swing of the song reminds of Paul Haig and to a lesser degree Heaven 17.

Hooking ears and imagination within a few breaths and increasing its captivation with its lively enterprise and emotional depth, The Unexplained is a stirring temptation for Vulnerability and the magnetic sound of Pyramid Park.

The Unexplained is released November 10th with Vulnerability available @ https://1pyramidpark.bandcamp.com/

https://www.pyramidpark.net/    https://www.facebook.com/1pyramidpark    https://twitter.com/1pyramidpark    https://1pyramidpark.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nasher – 432-1: Open The Vein

Taking the listener in a melodic hug whilst opening windows and spotlights upon lives, intimate and more politically social, the new album from Nasher is nothing less than captivation. 432-1: Open The Vein shares memories and reflections like the sun provides warmth and clarity through songs as compelling in their writing as in the melodies and harmonies bringing them to life. It is blessed with truly bewitching and memorable moments within a body which from start to finish has ears hungry for more as the imagination weaves away.

Nasher is Brian Nash, the guitarist for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Before his part in their success, he had already linked up with drummer Peter Gill and vocalist Holly Johnson in Sons and Egypt, forming the outfit with the duo after playing in several other bands with varying styles. Sons and Egypt came to an end in 1980 when his colleagues left to join a new band in the shape of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The departure of Gerard O’Toole from that band two years later saw Nash link up with his former band mates again, the band going on to have international triumphs of course with the likes of Relax and Two Tribes. After their demise in 1987 Nash collaborated with singer Grant Boult as Low and later again in Dr. Jolly’s Salvation Circus. Two solo albums in Ripe and Le Grande Fromage appeared in 1999 and 2002 respectively, Nash also creating his own Internet-based label, Babylon Pink, around that time upon which 432-1: Open The Vein now appears.

It opens up with Salt in Our Veins and the sound of water falling and lapping from presumably the Mersey of his hometown as its specific noises raise their heads. From within their evocative textures, Nash’s acoustic guitar strokes the senses, his following vocals similarly coaxing attention with their harmonic warmth. The emotional suggestion and plaintive insight of his words are just as magnetic, Nash seemingly sharing light on his move to the capitol and the retaining by Liverpool of his heart. The wonderful song is a sign of things to come, of the drama lining every note and syllable, of the infectiousness fuelling every ballad and livelier engagement with ears and thoughts.

The fine start continues through the folkish stroll of Still Can’t Find the One, a song embracing eighties pop hues more akin to the likes of Blancmange and Heaven 17 than his Frankie exploits, and the observational melancholic theatre of I Spy. Not for the last time upon the album, there is something of XTC to the songwriting or more the Colin Moulding side of the band, the song a pastoral reflection in sound and insight in word of modern life. Both tracks are instinctive magnetism, warm yet shadowy caresses matched in strength and beguilement by the sunny disposition and emotional sentiment of Whole.

Through the harmonic questioning of one of the bitter protagonists of today in Katies and the boisterous rock ‘n’ roll of Prostitutes and Cocaine, the album only adds to its riveting and skilled pleasuring of ears while Just Sounds Like Noise engagingly repeats words that people of a certain age share about Saturday afternoon and evening TV. It was better in our day is a staple claim of every generation and forever will be though not always with the charm given it by Nash.

The mellow hazed Pebbles to Dust seduces next; the increasingly bewitching song almost somnambulistic in gait and air as it melancholically smooches with the senses. Its darkly lit atmosphere flows into the equally sombre glide of Where Will the Kids Live? through the lively antics of youth. The track is gorgeous, once more drama seeping into every melodic sparkle and haunted glaze of sound and emotive shadow.

Both Nothing Homes and XO simply captivate; melodies and harmonic sighs to the fore with the second of the two slipping into an animated skip for its pop catchy incitement of feet and emotions. With a whiff of Pete Wylie to its contagious enterprise, the track has the listener physically and emotionally bouncing before Yesterday’s News closes things up with its Jam lit croon. More of a grower compare to the instant persuasion of earlier tracks, it emerges as a just as momentous and stirring proposition within 432-1: Open The Vein, an album which leaves the heart even more lustfully in love with music, especially if you hang on for its hidden Bowie inspired finale.

 432-1: Open The Vein is out now through Babylon Pink Recordings.

https://www.facebook.com/Nasher-105270312871476/

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Caesaria – Wavin’ Goodbye

Setting up the September scheduled release of a new EP, French outfit Caesaria have video/single Wavin’ Goodbye out to tempt: the song a slice of electro pop/rock bringing instant infection to ears and body.

Consisting of Théo Chaumard, Ced Machi, Thomas Fariney, and Louis Arcens, the 2013 formed Caesaria has already earned potent attention and support with their debut EP Sparks of Visions. Offering five tracks giving the dance-floor a busy time, the band has surrounded its success with a live presence which has included opening for Naive New Beaters and appearances at festivals such as Printemps de Bourges music festival and Les Eurockéennes de Belfort.

As mentioned, Wavin’ Goodbye is the prelude to their next EP, a song embracing familiar essences in its own fresh and energetic bounce. Keys shimmer in and around ears initially, closely following vocals cloaked in harmonies as eager to entice as the rhythmic coaxing now at play. Once into its infectious stride, the song glistens with melodic enterprise whilst its jangle feels like it is teasing the darker grooves of the bass. In some ways the track is like a fusion of Heaven 17 and Orange Juice, in other ways MGMT meets Empire Of The Sun comes to mind; all flavours which add to the overall shine of the song and its introspective theme of a dying person looking back on their life.

Increasingly accomplished and contagious, the track similarly growing in its creative textures, Wavin’ Goodbye provides plenty for body and pleasure to find a keen appetite for whilst setting up that forthcoming EP very nicely.

Wavin’ Goodbye is out now.

http://www.caesaria.fr/     https://www.facebook.com/wearecaesaria/    https://twitter.com/WEARECAESARIA

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrigh

Star Dancer – Welcome To My World

Star Dancer_RingMasterReview

Whether by coincidence or intent, Welcome To My World feels like an homage to suspected inspirations to its creator. It offers a bundle of songs and flavours which seem like friends before they even finish making their first persuasion with originality not as ripe as the craft bringing them to life. The result though is a fun time which it is hard not to like and enjoy, and increasingly so with every listen.

The album is the debut from Star Dancer, a band created by Detroit hailing vocalist Robert Star and Sponge members Vinnie Dombroski and Tim Patalan who produced it. Welcome To My World is as much a jukebox of recognisable “snapshots” of assumedly the music lighting the artist’s life and passions as it is of “both the world surrounding Robert and a troubled modern day America” explored “through Robert’s unique lens.

Highly enjoyable is what it predominantly is and straight away as Welcome To My World opens with its title track, a feisty slice of hard rock with classic rock inflamed grooves wrapped in rousing backing vocals provided by Tosha Owens and Rachel Williams. As well as kicking the album off in potent style, the song gets the appetite and spirit going too and ready to embrace the more restrained but openly magnetic Earth Mother Dancer. Flirting with a Billy Idol meets Johnny Wore Black swing to its rock ‘n’ roll; the song is as instinctively simple and catchy as it is sonically colourful with the leading lures of David Black’s guitar pure captivation alongside the more punk ‘n’ roll riffs of Wally Filipiak.

Great Sexpectations (Turn Off the Lights) provides an eighties hue to its hard rock revelry next, an easy to bite on hook framed and speared by the punchy beats of Jerome Day. Guitars create a splattering of that nostalgic enticing throughout the song whilst bassist Jason Lollio prowls it all with a great throaty and contagious tempting. From one easy pleasure to another as She’s In Love With Joan Jett takes over; a song echoing the focus of its title whilst also sharing an Elvis Costello meets The Cars like air to its boisterous stroll.

Star Dancer Artwork_RingMasterReviewDiversity continues to enrich album and ears as the sultry smoulder of The Weed Don’t Lie radiates warm melodic and harmonic persuasion across an exotically textured landscape whilst hugging the increasingly impressing voice and presence of Star before High & The Mighty brings its own individual tempting to bear on the imagination. A web of varied rock flavours from electro to heavy, the song entices like an unexpected mix of Ministry before they went metal, Heaven 17, and Spineshank. The track is another of the peaks of the album matched quickly by the melodic shuffle and seducing of Annie and an excellent spin on EMF’s classic, Unbelievable.

In the first of the two there is a whiff of Bowie which is even bolder in the following IntraVenus FlyTrap, though at times it becomes Bolan-esque as the track grips ears with its steely rock ‘n’ roll built on snarly riffs and electronic imagination. The vocal union again, as across the album, simply whets the appetite as hooks and grooves work freely on the imagination before the punk ‘n’ roll of Before I Die brings the album to spirit rousing close. From a lo-fi strum, the song erupts; leaping and bouncing as southern and punk rock flavouring infests its anthemic vivacity.

The final song epitomises the album; many flavours combining in many ways for something very familiar and so easy to get fully and eagerly involved in. If you are looking for a good time and something to feel good from, then Welcome To My World just might fit the bill.

Welcome To My World is released April 20th on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.stardancerband.com   https://www.facebook.com/Stardancer13

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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