Doll Skin – Manic Pixie Dream Girl

As they grab a breath after successfully being part of the 2017 Vans Warped Tour, Arizona pop punk rockers Doll Skin continue to grab attention with their recently released sophomore album, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The successor to their acclaimed 2016 debut, In Your Face (Again), the new album uncages more of the Phoenix hailing quartet’s aggressive punk fuelled infection and hard rock tenacity to continue the ear grabbing potency of its predecessor.

Meeting at the Phoenix School of Rock in 2013, Doll Skin have only flourished from the attention of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson who subsequently produced In Your Face (Again), and its acclaim garnering success which escalated the initial well received release of the outfits first EP, In Your Face on Ellefson’s own imprint Emp Label Group. Last year not only saw Doll Skin’s first album greedily received but the band hit the road and shows alongside the likes of Otep, Lacey Sturm, Fire From The Gods, Hellyeah, Dead Kennedys, Escape The Fate, September Mourning, Through Fire, and numerous more. It was a busy time continuing through this year and sure to intensify with the release of Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Produced and Mixed by Evan Rodaniche from Cage9, the album opens up with Shut Up (You Miss Me) and instantly has ears bound in a hip stealing hook; that potent lure continuing through Nicole Rich’s bass as things calm and the alluring tones of vocalist Sydney Dolezal jump in. Soon the busy and energetic heart of the track rises again, jabbing beats and catchy vocal delivery lining its swinging infection loaded melodic punk gait. There are no major surprises within the song but everything about it has body and spirit involved before Daughter up the ante with its hard rock inspired declaration. Defiant in soul and adventurous in character, the song flows from calm reflection to anthemic ferocity with sublime ease; the guitar of Alex Snowden suggestive and inventive as Meghan Herring’s rhythms pure rock ‘n’ roll behind more irresistible vocal boisterousness, singular and across the band.

Its impressive incitement is matched by that of Road Killa, a track which straight away is prowling the senses with a predatory edge. With Dolezal equally as imposing yet richly endearing in tone and presence, things only escalate in quality and rapacity as spiky hooks and wiry melodies collude with emotionally aroused vocals and the rhythmic tenacity of Herring and Rich. A rock/punk trespass, the track hits the sweet spot before Boy Band exposes its instinctive rock ‘n roll heart with relish and energy. Familiarity and fresh traits unite within the contagion of the track, its recognisable presence bolstered by its ear gripping resourcefulness as the album continues to richly tempt.

The sultry hues of Rubi entice and please next, its rhythmic grumble adding extra intrigue to a warm often fiery nature while Sunflower has an equally agitated underbelly to its more irritable and lively stomp. Though neither track quite matches up to those before them, each confirms that Doll Skin know how to sculpt the most flavoursome of hooks and twists in their songs as well as brew some seriously infectious strains within their music.

Both songs have a hint of Australian band Valentiine to them as too the beguiling Sweet Pea which follows though its melodic shimmer and elegant smoulder quickly shows originality all of its own as it lays a best track hand on attention. It is a treat of an encounter swiftly rivalled by the punk moulded stroll of Baby’s Breath but a song embracing an array of flavours within its harmonic temptation and volatile undercurrent. Again imagination and body are taken on an eventful and highly enjoyable ride but then turned on even more by the outstanding roar of Persephone. Carrying an eighties pop punk feel reminding of bands like The Photos and a modern rock ‘n’ roll ferocity akin to the likes of Courtesans, the song stalks and seduces with equal invention and boldness.

From one major highlight to another as the pure punk grouchiness of Puncha Nazi consumes ears and attention; the track a spirit stirring, rebel rousing surge of sound and intensity which actually misses out on delivering the donkey punch killer blow it hints at but still makes for another pinnacle within Manic Pixie Dream Girl before the emotionally haunted and melodically bewitching Uninvited brings things to a magnetic close. Adding just one more new turn to the imagination of the album’s body and Doll Skin songwriting as it boils to an inferno of a climax, the song provides a momentous finale to another seriously compelling outing with the band.

Over the first couple of listens, it was hard to say that Manic Pixie Dream Girl majorly built upon that first triumphant album but it was a deception as from there the release only blossoms with time to reveal a new depth to the Doll Skin sound and pretty much match the former’s impressive presence and by giving that time another 2017 highlight is the reward.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl is out now via EMP Label Group through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Bastard Sons – Smoke

The Bastard Sons _RingMaster Review

There is no escaping the buzz which has powerfully brewed around The Bastard Sons since emerging in 2011 and especially over the past couple of years, and no evading the reason why, once losing yourself in the riotous depths of the band’s debut album Smoke. It is a bulging sack of pure rock ‘n’ roll cast in a maelstrom of flavours showing exactly why the broad term rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe the band’s tenacious sounds. At times it is southern rock led, in other moments hardcore driven, and very often metal sparked; to be honest it is constantly all of those and far more, a beast of a stomp sure to incite the passions of fans to everyone from Down to Cancer Bats, Ghost of a Thousand to Black Tusk, Bloodsimple to Hellyeah, and Stone Temple Pilots to Stone Sour.

Around and since the release of their second EP Roads in the March of 2014, the British quintet has been a blur of activity drawing increasing success at the same time. A US tour with Throw The Goat pushed the band’s growing reputation stateside whilst praised appearances at Hammerfest VI and Bloodstock, a tour supporting hardcore punks Snot, and shows alongside ’68, the new project of Josh Scogin from The Chariot, and also Cavorts amongst many others has taken care of the appetites of British fans and media. Earlier this year the York hailing five-piece dropped a potent and quickly devoured teaser for Smoke in the shape of the single Release The Hounds, a dynamic hint realised and taken to greater plateaus by the album itself.

The Bastard starts things off, southern fried chords the initial lure, though for barely a squeeze of seconds as quickly the band with sinew loaded riffs and rhythms bursting set up a riotous stomp of energy and sound. Vocals, as the music, come in varied styles, hardcore and cleaner rock ‘n’ roll tones colluding in a tempestuous incitement with anthem tattooed to its gripping walls. There is a touch of Pantera, Motorhead, and Every Time I Die to the storm, but as repeated song by song, it is just flavouring honed into something unique to The Bastard Sons.

TheBastardSonsSmokeFrontCover_RingMaster Review  The earlier single comes next, and quickly Release The Hounds shows why it had so many feisty for the album, its opening grooves and vocal scowling within a rugged landscape enough to get ears smiling and appetite drooling alone. The heart of the track is unfussy rock ‘n’ roll, a balls to the wall roar coloured and constantly reshaped by flirtatious sonic enterprise and sudden compelling twists of unpredictability, musically and vocally. It is the seed design to all tracks within Smoke in many ways, but persistently twisted and taken down new and individual avenues as swiftly shown by Sobre La Muer… and before it A Lie Is A Lie. The third track rages and croons with incendiary textures and addiction forming grooves whilst its successor casts a sultry air more in Seether/Shinedown territory than anything else, yet with a predatory dark bassline and a steely touch to the guitars, it carries a constant intimidation which strongly expels its fury from time to time. Nevertheless it and the previous song are inescapable anthemic traps; the lure somewhere between Them County Bastardz and The BossHoss, and fiercely contagious.

Bottom Of The Ladder growls and sonically grizzles with scuzzy magnetism next, guitars and vocals a dirty incitement stirring up ears and soul whilst the group calls work, along with the thumping rhythms, on the body and primal instincts. As anthemic in intensity and roar as it is, the track also unleashes an agitated and gripping web of aggressive twists and belligerence toned creativity, its presence ready to brawl at the drop of a hook or scything beat.

The southern drawl of guitars brings I’m Only A Call Away alive next, the song once standing tall writhing like a barroom temptress with inescapable grooves amidst a volatile fistfight of rhythms and the ever fiery and impressive mesh of vocals. As already shown by their live history, The Bastard Sons has a sound which works with, and appeals to, a vast expanse of rock and metal styles, that diversity in no finer and pungent shape than on this fascinating riot.

Through the brief and hellacious, as well as uncompromisingly emotive landscape of the fiercely angry U.S Against Them and the classic metal lined rock ‘n’ roll of Listen Here, band and album keep the thrilling storm blazing whilst Cardboard Walls saunters in on a rhythmic confrontation bound in more of the sludgy southern wrapping the band breeds so invitingly. A suggestive hint of Crowbar appears at times within the fire of sizzling grooves and snarling riffing, but as you may assume the track, whilst being one of the more restrained adventures on the album, it simply layers more flavours and varied textures into one enthralling mix.

Like a sandstorm, vocals shower and scar Scene(ic) Root(s) next to thick success, but equally they slip into cleaner gaits with ease and power to match the similarly volcanic and pleasingly exacting sounds. The track burns on the senses, simultaneously exciting and bruising before Stay True spreads its warmer balm. Featuring Glamour Of The Kill vocalist Davey Richmond, the track is a shadow brewed serenade as atmospherically and vocally haunting as it is emotionally and physically mercurial, and quite mesmeric.

Smoke finishes with the equally potent but far more capricious and intrusive Exist-Distance, a track which kind of sums up band and album with its constant weaving of different flavours and creative twists within a perfectly coherently cultured body, and another song which stands individual in the cast list of easy to recognise Bastard Sons songs.

We gave a list of bands at the start which sort of gives a hint at who might find thick pleasure from exploring one of the year’s real treats so far. To simplify it though, if raw and passionate, imaginative and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll hits the spot than Smoke is a must.

Smoke’ is available from 7th August 2015 via Kaiju Records @ https://thebastardsons.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thebastardsons.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsonsuk

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Them County Bastardz – Sick Daze

TCB Press Photo

Sick Daze is an album which reminds us that just maybe we all can slip into the mistake of taking our metal and heavy rock too seriously and that dirty rock ‘n’ roll which is just out to have brawling fun, is as potent and enjoyable as any technically and inventively driven proposition. That is not to say that the new album from Canadian stompers Them County Bastardz is lacking skill and open enterprise, but the seven track romp is all about the heavy riot and thumping devilment of old school metal crossed with voracious country bred rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing out of Leamington in Ontario, Them County Bastardz rouses up the energies and emotions with a sound taking the southern ferocity of a Pantera and Black Label Society and the grooved predation and attitude of a Bloodsimple and Crowbar, and adding it to the roars of a Hellyeah and Volbeat. It is a brew which does not hold many surprises but relentlessly hits the sweet spot if those kinds of flavours ignite the appetite. It is a head-banger’s heaven with all the spicy grooves and toxic attitude you could wish in a mercilessly bruising and contagious encounter. Sick Daze will probably not top many best of lists come December but in favourites line-ups expect the album to be a persistent regular.

Things are instantly careering into riotous behaviour as opening Drive By spins its sonic wheels and unleashes its unbridled energy in a wall of thumping beats from drummer Jim Kay and the grouchy riffery of guitarists Brien Alexander and Mike Rennie. The song hits its intimidating stride within seconds, the dusty tones of vocalist Andrew Watson stirring up air and mischief as bassist Tyler Wickham adds darker predation to the anthemic belligerence. Neck muscles and voice are just as swiftly enlisted as the track continues to raise controlled but insatiable hell, sirens swarming in the background as band and song begin the album’s mayhem.TCB Cover - Sick Daze

The great start is straight away eclipsed by the excellent In The Country. Opening with police despatch checking out the identity of the band which leads to a panicked alert, the track simultaneously builds up its rhythmic and sonic defiance, an impending attitude led by the thick vocals of Watson who in turn is backed the band’s equally infectious calls. Its full gait and assault still has a somewhat restrained aggression but is merciless in its stalking of ears and inciting of pleasure, especially with things like cow bell mischief adding to spicy blazes of guitar to further ignite the addictively cantankerous persuasion of the song.

Buzz Kill keeps body and emotions locked and loaded on the album’s weighty temptation; the aggressor providing a rowdy but again controlled stroll with abrasing riffs and vocal attitude speared by a groove which is as virulent as it is predatory. Littered with the scorching scythes of Alexander’s guitar, the track is another formidable antagonist upon Sick Daze but matched and surpassed by the bestial treat Metal For Mark which follows after the skit intro of It’s Not Metal which lies between the two tracks. Volatile and viciously captivating, the ravenous Metal For Mark slips into its fury the raw infectiousness of Rob Zombie with the corrosive essences of Prong. Each spicing up the bootleg brewed rock ‘n’ roll snarling from the Canadian rednecks southern ‘breeding’, with extra irresistible tang.

The best track on the album leaves the closing pair of The Bastard and Rise Up some height to match and truthfully they miss its plateau but with a melodically catchy and anthemic magnetism to the first of the two and the final song offering a grizzly growl of southern rock, satisfaction and enjoyment are overflowing in response to their brawly hell-raising.

Sick Daze is rugged rock/metal which relishes a musical and physical quarrel, and only has the appetite to kick up a storm and lead the listener into salacious devilry. Ok it might not be setting down new adventures as such but there is a time to be reminded what rock ‘n’ roll is all about, and this year’s comes with Them County Bastardz.

Sick Daze is available now via Smokehouse Records digitally and on CD @ http://themcountybastardz.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.themcountybastardz.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ThemCountyBastardz

RingMaster 26/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Voodoo Sex Cult – A Year And A Day

Voodoo Sex Cult Photo

Steamy, sweaty, and imposingly heavier than a stampede of overweight buffalo, the sound of US rockers Voodoo Sex Cult is one uncompromising rampage. It also as proven by the band’s debut album A Year And A Day, makes for one exhaustingly appetising and thrilling incitement for ears, body, and passions. From a potent but steady start, the release proceeds to expand and rumble with bullish tenacity and ferocious energy, emerging as one insatiably compelling and enjoyable brawl of intimidating rock ‘n’ roll. It is fair to say that the album is not bulging with striking originality or pushing boundaries but such its passionate devilry and arsenal of demanding rhythms, storming riffs, and fierce grooves, it is hardly an issue once inside its voracious enterprise. Providing a thick swamp of hard and southern rock entwined with similarly heavy doses of heavy metal and grunge, the Arizona quintet’s sound and album is simply a creatively salacious fury to greedily devour.

Announcing themselves as, “The Rev, the Preachers Son, The Redneck, The Castilian, and The Survivalist, five guys that share one common goal, one common passion; to create their own distinct sound of rock and roll, and share it with the world”, Voodoo Sex Cult from band name and bio alone makes for an intriguing proposition which their album swiftly backs up. Unleashing Cuttin Loose as their first riot on the album, the band flings robust riffs and imposing rhythms at ears from the off. The opener bustles into life with firm aggression but soon relaxes into a classic rock stroll driven by the punchy beats of Doyle Meredith and the great slightly grizzled tones of vocalist Royce Taghon. It is a potent start to the album but not one to ignite the passions, though certainly the craft and invention of guitarists Tim Hills and Peter Avalos captivates whilst the throaty bass endeavour of Chris Burgess raises a keen appetite. It is a safe way to open the album in many ways, setting down an appealing marker before pushing limits and imagination across the release.

The following Voodoo Rising emerges from a magnetic and restrained coaxing of guitar punctuated by dramatic rhythms. It is a slow and sultry entrance which easily catches the imagination ready for the exertion of energy and intensity which soon follows with a blues whisper in its air and sonic intrigue to its creative expression. The track is an easy-going yet forceful encounter continuing the firm and strong start of the album before making way for the similarly structured and flavoured Break It On Down. There is a distinct character to the heart of the song though, its gait and tone individual as vocals roar with craft and passion whilst grooves and riffs along with striking rhythms weave a mesh of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll. There are few surprises on the songs to this point, but the riveting move into vocal and bass alone here is a tasty twist giving the track greater substance and persuasion.

From the more than decent 40 Days, the album hits a new lofty plateau starting with Down And Dirty, a track growing outward from a start of fiercely jabbing beats, throaty bass predation, and a slow wail of guitar. It is a menacing and VSCCOVERworking2gripping start which only accentuates its pressure and stature once riffs bulge alongside a southern bred groove and the bass delivers its own broody twang. Ridden by the increasingly enjoyable gravel toned vocals of Taghon, the track is an intensive smoulder of sultry heavy rock and predatory melodic expression, the first pinnacle of the album, though it is soon surpassed by Broken. Short but spicy grooves embrace ears from the start, their lure instantly matched and pushed further by the dark tones of Burgess’ bass and the similarly heavier delivery of Taghon. Like a mix of Clutch and Hellyeah with a touch of Black Tusk, the track growls and flirtatiously swerves with imposing intent and heated charm. It is an enthralling canvas which the band then turns inside out to reach even greater heights; a passage of unpredictable and startling invention seeing the track moving from a contagious stomp through a low guttural musical groan to a fiery and agitated climax merging in all the goodness the song started out on. It is a glorious proposition taking best on album honours.

Both the humid tone and energy of Fade Away and the intensive lure of Dead Season keep ears and emotions tightly involved, the first a crawling croon loaded with infectious low key melodies and stormy expression led by the varied roar of Taghon, and the second whilst moving with a similar gait, entwining dark and heavy provocation with raw grunge fuelled endeavour led by again impassioned vocals. Essences of Stone Temple Pilots make hints as the song prowls, blooms, and ruptures with attention gripping sonic enterprise and primal intensity. It is another mighty peak to the album with a seriously lingering potency that though not equalled by either Home or Legacy is emulated in their ability to leave a meaningful persuasion in their wake. The first of the pair bounces on a blend of blues and hard rock, with a just as healthy hint of funk and classic rock in its easy going rock ‘n’ roll revelry whilst its successor returns to the dark-side in sonic provocation and bass antagonism under a flame of acidic grooving and dusty vocals. Both songs feed the greedy appetite ignited earlier by the album whilst emotions are by this point bloated with satisfaction.

   A Year And A Day uncages further major highlights in its home stretch, firstly with the brilliant Vsc-17. Riffs and bass stalking straight away chews upon and ignites the imagination whilst the crisp beats of Meredith sculpts enticing bait ready for the increasingly addictive invention coursing through the song. It is a beast of an incitement and temptation, the album’s most unique offering revealing more of the potency and expressive songwriting within the band.

Closing with the voraciously infectious and anthemically aggressive Sinking Slowly and finally the inimitable provocation of Black Jesus, with blistering grooves and searing melodies across its cantankerous stride menacingly tantalising, A Year And A Day is a brute of a treat and unrelentingly thrilling. Voodoo Sex Cult has not cast a spell of originality and major surprises with their debut but certainly has unleashed a tempestuous hex of riffs and grooves to feast heartily and persistently upon, a more than good enough reason to embrace their first outburst.

A Year And A Day is available now @ http://voodoosexcult.com/shop/

http://voodoosexcult.com/

RingMaster 21/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Commander-In-Chief: Evolution EP

By now you might have heard a lot about a release from a certain young lady that is leaving scorch marks in its wake as more enthusiastic ears and views discover it. If not it is only a matter of time before the Evolution EP from The Commander-In-Chief has you stalled in your tracks, grinning deliriously, and drooling eagerly from shredding of the highest order. From the off the four track release grabs the ear with a tight metal grip demanding attention and respect but before long the full impact of the musicianship and power within, as one delves deeper floods through from an  EP which is deeply impressive.

The Commander-In-Chief is a 22 year old Norwegian lady and one of the most impressive emerging artists to badger and implore the ear for attention in a long while. She does not just ask and demand but backs up her request with skills and creativity that many others long for after decades as a musician. Singer, songwriter and a thoroughly mesmeric exponent of her 7 string guitar, Evolution is a dramatic and vibrant release that opens up metal to many opportunities and choices. Already from the evidence on the EP she is stretching boundaries and supposed limitations but for the future she offers nothing less than staggering possibilities and a definite anticipation for much more from her.

Evolution is produced by the legendary and highly acclaimed Sterling Winfield (Pantera, Hatebreed, Hellyeah). It has a raw feel which really adds to the powerful honest musicianship and sound within the quartet of striking songs. Devoid of any trickery and added falseness the release feels as clean and genuine as it does forceful and combative, The Commander playing and singing every guitar and vocal note unaided, maybe something other artists should note.

Joined by drummer Jason Bowld and bassist Andy Saxton, The Commander flexes musical muscles whilst spurting forth a fiery flare on each and every song. The explosive and sarcastic Thou is a prime example, its intimidating riffs and driving guitar not interested in mercy as it exploits and intrudes upon the ear. With the great melodic touches and finely crafted flowing combination of intense power and engaging invention the song, as is the whole EP, is an unpredictable pleasure. With graceful vocal harmonies contrasting her moments of soaring scorched high notes which at times touch her limits there is a wonderful blend of extremes which play naturally side by side. Once you add the ability and creativity of her playing to the vision and power, this and each song venture into the area of groundbreaking with ease.

Famous and Evolution are equally as impressive if not more so. The first dealing with celebrities and reality TV is a musical look down the nose at more falsehoods. The anthemic tone and badgering riffs within an easy accessible pleasure for the ear evoking attitude, energy, and the will to join the commentary in voice and aggression. The latter of the two is the best on the release, the title track rampaging with urgent riffs that scamper through the ear with enthused energy and devilment. Inspired by the scientist who invented lobotomy and the Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein, the track is a full blooded and dark indictment on science and man. Showing the diversity of her sound, Evolution offers rock essences wrapped in aggressive metal craft. The song plays in the head long after it leaves its last rippling note, a classic song sure to bring The Commander to the masses.

The EP is completed by Let It Go, a song that The Commander wrote for her younger brother and dedicated to those who have suffered bullying or depression. It is a strong power ballad seeping emotion and passion in every note and word. It is nicely balanced and though it does not hit with the same intensity as elsewhere it is as effective with its well formed and balanced ideas and sounds.

Offering riffs that ignite the heart and melodies to enthuse the senses, The Commander-In-Chief makes metal that is eagerly digestible yet thoughtful and inspiring, not to forget stunningly skilful.  This is just her debut EP, imagine what lies ahead, the wait is going to be unbridled anticipation.

https://www.facebook.com/thecommanderinchiefmusic

http://www.thecommanderinchief.net

RingMaster 12/03/2012

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