Healthy Junkies – Delirious Dream

Two years on from the album Box Of Chaos outshining its impressive predecessor The Lost Refuge, which had started the trend by eclipsing the band’s debut Sick Note, UK punksters Healthy Junkies have again repeated the feat with their fourth album. Delirious Dream is a collection of tracks embracing the band’s broadest kaleidoscope of flavours yet over a punk ‘n’ roll landscape; a 15 song strong release which is for sure their finest moment to date keeping expectations clueless and the imagination enthralled.

Recorded with Brian O’Shaughnessy and mastered by Pete Maher, Delirious Dream is the songwriting and sound of the band at its boldest yet most intricately woven. With the founding duo of vocalist Nina Courson and guitarist/vocalist Phil Honey-Jones tapping into their most imaginative depths yet alongside the rhythmic prowess of bassist Dave Whitmore and drummers Pumpy and Adam Lewis, Healthy Junkies have created a new magnet of sound which needs mere seconds to demand attention through album opener When All Is Said And Done.

Instantly the track is strolling eagerly through ears with a rich melodic hook amidst eager rhythmic bait, all the while keys adding their intimation. Courson’s ever alluring vocals quickly join the mix, adding elegance and harmonic radiance to the earthier breath of the song. With drama soaking every note and syllable, theatre intensifying across the host of twists and turns making up the simply outstanding punk ‘n’ roll incitement, the track immediately sets the high creative bar and striking character of the release.

This Is Not A Suicide brings its own exceptional roar of sound and enterprise straight after. Dirtier and grumpier than its predecessor and driven by attitude fuelled riffs and senses biting rhythms, the track sets its own particular pinnacle within Delirious Dream. Nagging grooves and garage punk spicing also add their incitement to the bracing trespass before the even tempered rock ‘n’ roll of Juliet’s Call saunters in. Like a gothic rock nurtured punk inspired collusion between Siouxsie and The Banshees and In Evil Hour, the track is pure virulence.

The band embraces more hard rock like hues for next up Johnny Demented, its raw sonic haze magnetically tempered by Coulson’s angelic tones. The song did not quite raise the roof as its predecessors in appetite and the passions here yet from start to finish it is a full captivation raising the ante as its holler and breath erupt across its eventful body.

Through the infectiously tenacious croon of Some Kind Of Girl and Ghost Without A Soul with its shadow draped atmosphere, riveting sound and adventure abounds with unpredictability and rapacious enterprise while All Talk brews an emotive entanglement of old school punk and classic rock in its own individual recipe of temptation. All three tracks easily grip ears and appetite though the delicious punk instincts and pop flirtations of The Sound Of My Guitar outshine all. The track is Class-A addiction spurning late seventies kissed new wave/punk rock slavery as ripe with hooks and celebration as a festive holly bush.

The following Boy Or Girl is something akin to a meeting of early Blondie and The Photos and quite irresistible with its successor, Meet & Greet preyed on an already aroused hunger for what is on offer with its predacious escapade resembling a kind of X-Ray Spex/Spinnerette collusion as the band take a swipe at musical greed. It is simply another major highlight of the album echoed in success by the frisky indie/pop punk animation of This Condition with Honey-Jones leading and dueting on vocals.

The album’s worst track is next and These Boots Are Made For Walking is nothing less than full pleasure as Healthy Junkies make the classic their own by giving it a predatory breath as classic rock guitars blaze before James Dean rumbles with old school punk ‘n’ roll lust and uncontainable ebullience.

The album concludes with the pair of Theft and Part 2. The first is a rebel rousing protagonist vivaciously prowling the senses before breaking into a similarly ravening rock ‘n’ roll canter with erupting psych rock bred flames while the second is its dark but incandescent underworld where physical and emotion elements of the tracks shimmer, smoulder, and burn.

Together they make for a fascinating conclusion to Delirious Dream, echoing its title despite their brooding volatility and showing there is so much more to the creative palette of Healthy Junkies, one they have still yet to fully explore.

We always feel a sense of excitement when a new encounter with Healthy Junkies comes along as they have always manage to outdo themselves so far; Delirious Dream is no exception; in fact it pretty much outshines most other punk/rock nurtured offerings around this year too.

Delirious Dream is out now via Banana Castle Records/Cargo Records UK across most online stores.

http://www.healthyjunkies.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/healthyjunkiesband   https://twitter.com/HealthyJunkies

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons – Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll

pic debbie-attwell

pic debbie-attwell

As the band work and finish material to grace a new album, British rockers Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons have linked up with Dirty Water Records for the long awaited digital release of second album Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll and quite simply if you missed it first time around and have an instinctive appetite for insatiable bordering salacious punk infested rock ‘n’ roll, than it is a must.

Formerly in a band just called The Johnsons, the Basingstoke hailing trio is fronted by the wild feline wiles of vocalist Puss Johnson with founding guitarist Dirty Jake (Feckle, Lube) and drummer Filfy Antz (The Krewmen) alongside uncaging their own raw and incendiary antics. It is an explosive combination which saw their 2010 debut album Exercise Your Demons earn many plaudits as too over the years a blistering live show seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Thee Oh Sees, The Fuzztones, Mad Sin, The Damned, 999, The Polecats, The Creepshow, The Rezillos, Bow Wow Wow, The Meteors, The Vibrators, Resurex, DragSTER, Trioxin Cherry, and Atomic Suplex.  Three years later, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll was the cause of even greater eager attention and acclaim upon Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons; a spotlight sure to be regenerated by its digital uncaging ahead of as mentioned a new album.

Featuring eleven tracks spun from attitude loaded threads of everything from punk, garage rock, glam, psychobilly, garage punk and any other form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to offer, Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is an explosive riot for senses and body alike. Produced by Alex McGowan and featuring guest double-bassist Phil Bloomberg of The Polecats on a couple of tracks, the album instantly prowls the listener as opener Burying The Bodies settles in to place, once set continuing to stalk but with an infectious swagger led by the biting beats of Antz. Straight away there is an obvious devilment in the band’s sound and the lusty roar shared by Pussycat, her presence and delivery a snarling seducing. With big hooks and winding grooves, the slab of predacious rock ‘n’ roll is an irresistible start to a release proving to be unrelenting in its fiery creative and aggressive incitement.

Hell Bent is swift agreement, its whining grooves courting flying rhythms and Pussycat’s plaintive cries, all united in another tenacious track which eyes you up with distrust yet reveals the most compelling enterprise amidst mouth-watering unpredictability before Livin’ With Mum And Dad sees the band move from raw rock ‘n’ roll into a more seventies flavoured encounter as much glam rock and power pop as it is old school punk. For personal tastes, it lacks the bite and spark of those around it but with its Pistols-esque hook and caustic catchiness there is no escaping being sucked in.

front-cover_RingMasterReviewPsychobilly flavours the magnificent stomp of Get Outta My Face next, Bloomberg bringing his masterful slaps to the Batmobile meets Imelda May scented stroll with Pussycat like a punk Wanda Jackson. Fiery guitar and senses badgering beats bolster the seriously rousing proposal as the song shows another aspect to the album and the Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons sound.

The scuzzy blues punk of She Don’t attacks and excites next, its corrosive character and sound as virulently infectious as anything upon the album while Mirtazapine uses similar strains of flavouring for its own individual trespass. With a touch of post punks Bone Orchard to its untamed garage punk challenge, the track is a superb mix of rapacious restraint and unbridled furor taking ears and imagination into the darkest shadows of the fiercest volcano.

There is no let-up of the enjoyably exhausting confrontations as Why Do You Hate Me? sears the senses with its punk rock lava around a rhythmic tempest while Dirty Li’l Dog, with the magnetic craft of the Polecat returning, leaps around with uninhibited rhythmic rioting as blues guitars embrace numerous other spices around the carnival barker leadership of Pussycat.

The final trio of songs just epitomise the variety and devilish imagination in the band’s songs; Sort Yourself Out a fuzzy blend of growling punk and toxic blues within The Pirates like rock ‘n roll and Souvenir simply one glorious invasion of garage punk with a scent of The Cramps, Animal Alpha, and In Evil Hour in its unique best track earning triumph.

Closed out by the adrenaline fuelled and feeding Hideous, a final belligerent detonation of rabble-rousing incitement, the outstanding Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is its title and so much more. It might not be a new release but it deserves this new exposure and Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons the fresh attention ahead of what can only be anticipated as another uncompromising uproar.

Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is available digitally through Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/Pussycat-and-the-Dirty-Johnsons-Dirty-Rock-n-Roll/p/75045471/category=2793895 with physical options @ http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/shop/4564430166

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Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

In Evil Hour – Built On Our Backs

Photo Helen Templeton Photography.

Photo Helen Templeton Photography.

How do you back up debut album which a great many, us included, called a modern punk classic. Well with another equally blistering triumph of course. Easy on paper and in thought but not so simple in deed but that is exactly what UK punksters In Evil Hour have done with new EP Built On Our Backs. The follow-up to the exhilarating roar that is The World Bleeds Out, their new six-track new fury is a furnace of attitude and defiance loaded with lethal hooks and virulent contagion, all honed to incite and inflame ears and thoughts. To put it simply, it is hardcore punk rock at its ferocious best.

Darlington bred, In Evil Hour formed in the summer of 2011 drawing on inspirations from bands such as AFI, Black Flag, Sick of it All, and the Nerve Agents. Very early on the quartet was becoming a potent presence and draw on the live scene, shows with the likes of Leftover Crack, The Misfits, H20, and The Creepshow earning a quick reputation as one exciting onslaught which was further confirmed by their first EP, the Antipop Records released Tell Your God To Ready For Blood of that first year for the band. The World Bleeds Out really awoke attention and fevered appetites with its unleashing in 2013 on STP Records, its release at that year’s Rebellion one of the highlights of the weekend for band and fans.

With a tour alongside the $wingin’ Utters and their own jaunt into Europe and around the UK this August under their 2015 belts, In Evil Hour have provided another rousing and irresistible storm with Built On Our Backs. As you might suspect it is a collection of socially and politically challenging furies immersed in songs which spit fire and boil infection ripe seduction. The EP opens with Progress, which spins immediate bait of alluring guitar before broadening into a full enticement of spicy riffs, sharp hooks, and pungent rhythms. The persuasion is complete with the recognisable snarl of Alice’s voice, attitude and defiance dripping from every syllable as the track whips up an even keener and catchy aggressive stomp. Fair to say the song does not offer something to majorly blow ears and thoughts away, whilst undeniably heavily pleasing body and appetite, but rather provides the perfect base and launch pad for greater adventure to erupt from, which it certainly does with Blood and Majesty.

cover_RingMaster Review     To be honest the difference to the individual characters of the two tracks is nothing big or particularly definable yet the second song just pushes the right buttons to a more lusty reaction. Its first rumble of riffs and scythe of beats carries a spark suggesting a mighty tempest to come, an explosion of voice, riffs, and barbarous rhythmic enterprise confirming it swiftly after. Melodies and vocals have a toxic edge to them whilst Gareth’s guitar and Gib’s bass just grumble and growl with their particular torrents of caustic endeavour and nature. Throw in scarring swings from drummer Mike and you have one glorious addiction at work.

There is no way anyone could resist getting fully involved with the song, physically and vocally, and the same applies to Ascension. Its first touch is a ‘mellower’ vocal alluring from Alice against a raw riff, though there is that ever present snarl just adding its edge to her tones and being fully exposed across the track as it brews up an intensive and energetic blaze which once fully aflame, provides another surge of irresistibility and senses igniting provocation. That early melodic calmness is never driven away though, seizing the moment in a mouth-watering detour which is just not long enough before the creative raging is back igniting the air.

The bass of Gib leaves a tasty morsel of bait in the third song and again lays down an early bestial lure within the following EP’s title track, an anthem with vocal hooks and temptations galore and antagonistic ingenuity a plenty. It defies the listener not to physically leap on board as it brawls lyrically and musically, a challenge almost as potently thrown out by Bright Lights. At one minute and a large nudge, the track in some ways does not have long enough to establish its own uniquely corruptive web of tempting but still offers a storming slice of creative aggravation and enjoyment to get teeth fully into before Predators brings Built On Our Backs to a might close.

The track is prime In Evil Hour, every existing and newly discovered quality and skill in songwriting and sound within the band uncaged in its melody ripe hardcore and angst driven combat. A battle cry for the twenty first century and daily living, it is superb and the perfect end to an EP emulating its success in a themed journey across the elevation of hope, hard work, and rewards but resulting in exploitation and worse. As ever In Evil Hour play hard, hit hard, and have set free another standard setting fury for modern punk.

Built On Our Backs is available now via most online stores and digitally as well as on CD at the band’s Bandcamp and Bigcartel store respectively.

Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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DRAG – Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind

Drag Online Promo Shot

With greater potential in its body than maybe actually exposed in its fiery riot, Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind the new album from UK punks DRAG, is nevertheless a rather compelling and increasingly enjoyable provocation to get teeth and thoughts into. Nine tracks of old school seeded punk with as much of a nineties twist to its predation as modern inventions, the release is an attention grabbing and imagination stirring entrance by the Midlands quartet.

Since forming, the Birmingham four-piece has earned a strong reputation through their live presence which has seen them play alongside the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer, as well as a couple of earlier EPs. Their sound as evidenced on the crowd funded Neurotica, is like a raw and antagonistic merger of Au-Pairs and L7 with just as healthy essences of In Evil Hour and Penetration. It is a mix which you expect to be explosive and for the main is within the potent album, though it does miss that key spark to set the promise openly surging through its creativity and sound truly ablaze.

With songs which look at uncompromising themes ranging from self-harm, mental health, to sexuality, Neurotica takes little time in awakening attention and appetite with the opening title track. From the initial scrub of acidic guitar punctuated by thumping beats, the song takes a swift hold and even more so when the band expel a raw and flame of attitude and sonic causticity led by vocalist Heather. The track snarls and rumbles enticingly with the bass of Matt and abrasing guitar craft of Velma crafting an infectious web framed by the punchy rhythms of drummer Andy. Littered with resourcefully catchy hooks around the appealing vocals, it is a formidable and convincing start to entwine thoughts and emotions easily.

The following Fine with its opening moody bass tempting also needs little effort to engage ears and imagination, its strong initial lure expanding into a more reserved but no less potent expanse of rapacious enterprise and contagious DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artworkprovocation. It is not a song to startle but certainly keeps the initial impact of the album high before the mighty Axewound preys on the senses. Lyrically and musically it takes no prisoners, with that earlier Au Pairs reference at its most open on both aspects, the raw and honest approach very similar to that offered a few decades ago by those fellow Brummie protagonists. The track is alive with agitated rhythms, intrigue spiced hooks, and a ferocious breath which all combines for one of the major highlights of the album pushing forward the exciting potential of the band.

Next up The Ugly romps with rhythmic bait which inspires another wash of greed to an already hungry appetite whilst the grizzled bass tone found by Matt grumbles potently within the weave of sonic and defiant endeavour. The song keeps things roaring nicely but does lack the stature and persuasion of its predecessors as does in some ways Dandy Boy, though in other aspects it stands out pleasingly. A union of acoustic guitar and the melodic tones of Heather, her voice revealing more of its strength here than at any other point of the release, the song gently caresses and provokes, keeping its poise and lure as the rest of the band bring their evocative touches to the increasingly intensive track. Keys add good expression to the song too though it also feels like there is a spark missing to really exploit its creative strength, something which applies to Neurotica as a whole.

Shock & Bad Taste with its more defined L7 lures comes next to set feet and reactions on eager edge, its riling riffs and jabbing rolling beats as inviting as the vocal belligerence and sonic entrapment colouring the richly satisfying track. It is soon left sounding a little pale though by Hell 7 (American Mary), the track a ferocious scorching of corrosive riffs and merciless rhythms from the first second which settles into a less threatening gait for a few breaths before unleashing a chorus which gnaws at the senses with anthemic mastery. Again it is fair to say that there is not much to challenge the boundaries of punk rock but plenty to give it an invigorating incitement.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the pleasing Wet with its scowling sound and challenging premise, and lastly through the predatory stalking of Dead Zebra. Both tracks ignite another wave of satisfaction if again failing to match previous heights upon the album; the forced vocal growls offered by Heather in the last of the two an element which defuses the potency of the song and leaves thoughts feeling unconvinced for the only time. Each song still leaves Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind on a high with that rich promise flooding both, as it does the album, to leave pleasure high and excited anticipation over DRAG ahead.

Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind is available now on the band’s own Sleazy Punk Records @ http://dragbirmingham.bandcamp.com/album/neurotica-a-compendium-of-tales-regarding-body-mind-2

http://www.sleazypunk.com/

8/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

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In Evil Hour – The World Bleeds Out

pic by Helen Templeton Photography

pic by Helen Templeton Photography

A snarling insatiably commanding beast of a release, The World Bleeds Out the debut album from UK punks In Evil Hour is a sensational blistering of senses and thoughts from a band who know how to craft virulently contagious and potently provocative songs. A blaze of essential fresh punk rock with a lyrical bite which takes no prisoners within incisive swipes upon politics, society, and the apathy and ignorance that pervades modern culture, the ten track release leaves a fully exposed and hunger driven passion in its wake, whilst In Evil Hour steps forward as another irresistible voice declaring that UK punk rock is again leading the world.

Formed in 2003, the quartet from Darlington takes seeds out of inspirations from the likes of AFI, Amen, Black Flag, The Stooges, Bad Brains, NOFX, Bad Religion, Sick of it All, and Rise Against to name a few, into their own flavoursome hardcore punk. It is a sound which is not unafraid to load itself with infection soaked hooks and riffs but as an additive to tempt rather than undermine the sinew lined directly evocative heavy punk attack they conjure. Released through STP Records, The World Bleeds Out is a savage yet anthemic confrontation which allows hope and temptation to be as rife and alluring as the aggressive and spiteful creative toxicity which stirs up and incites the imagination.

Opener Divide And Conquer stands eye to eye with the listener as the rasping growl of Alice confronts the ears skirted by crisp and a0645899867_2antagonistic rhythms and swiping raw riffs. The track is soon charging for the jugular of the senses with rabid beats from Mike whipping the song on whilst bassist Mark and guitarist Gareth create a vitriolic and persuasive mesh of caustic might. With anthemic vocals in league with an equally demanding instigator in the chorus, the song is an outstanding and powerful entrance into the album.

     Far From Home takes up the fury next with a splattering of rebellious beats sparking the rest of the song into an initial rage against the senses. It is a great start but one which is left behind once the song settles into an incisive stomp of rumbling rhythms ridden by the continuing to impress, with greater strength as each song steps forward, vocals of Alice. There is a Wendy O Williams essence to her delivery which only enhances the lyrical expression and song attack overall, something which the music seems to understand and find inspiration from, this track gaining ever increasing intensity and rapaciousness with every syllable expelled with brawling strength.

Both As Seas Rise and Where You’re Left continue the immense presence of the album if not quite to the earlier heights set, the first creating a sonic scrap with the ear in which there is only one winner, especially with the deliciously catchy swing and barbed melodic enticement through the guitar skills and vocal harmonies and calls. Its successor is a scorching flame of guitar scalding and rhythmic bashing again steered impressively and skilfully by the vocals singular and as a riotous union.

The lethal swipe of animosity that is Little Death is a fifty five second storm of magnetic viciousness, a hardcore blitz which thrills from its first uncompromising breath through to its last. It moves over for the mutually outstanding Help Me Out, an acidic spiral of heavy rock guitar teasing and taunting whilst the rest of the band adds their particular predacious craft and incendiary invention. A bruising rock n’ roll rampage which leaves the passions aflame with greedy appetite it provides one more stunning moment amongst a great many on the release.

The instantly compelling bass lure to The Terminal brings in another exceedingly agreeable altercation, the band arguably more restrained in its proposition though no less direct and imposing lyrically and in presentation. The bass continues to steal the show on the track, its finest and most potent moment on the album where at times it feels like it is given a back seat place in the production, whilst as now expected Alice draws attention with her striking presence which to be fair often puts most other aspects in the shade.

The excellent title track grazes up the senses and passions with its own individual exciting and imaginative spat whilst the brilliant I Lost Years, where bass and guitar find another plateau to tease a new rapture out with their impossibly addictive rough charms. A Dead Kennedys like hook steers the passions whilst the surrounding body of the song is a mix of Angelic Upstarts/UK Subs and Penetration/AFI. It is a terrific creative and raucous adventure cementing the depth and quality of band and album.

With Murder Murder closing up The World Bleeds Out with one final tempest of contagion drenched excellence, a blend of Bad Religion and The Duel coming to mind as it steals another wave of ardour from the emotions, In Evil Hour emerge as one of the most impressive emerging forces in punk rock, and not just in the UK. A classic album from an extremely impressive band, not much left to say.

http://inevilhour.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/InEvilHour

10/10

RingMaster 17/09/2013

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