Rat Fancy – Stay Cool

Two years on from being enamoured by their EP, Suck A Lemon, Californian outfit Rat Fancy has us hooked again with new album Stay Cool. Like warm honey for ears, the band’s debut full-length potently builds on the pop aspects of that striking earlier release but to the sweetness they bring an even richer tang of discord amidst the sharpest jangles to accentuate the full and unbridled seduction of one magnetic sound.

Formed in late 2016 by vocalist/guitarist Diana Barraza and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Gregory Johnson Rat Fancy has seen their sound hungrily evolve between releases. As mentioned their new album revels in the pop aspect of their creativity yet it does not derail moments of real punk instinct and aggression as well as creating muscular power pop which just gets under the skin. With its line-up completed by bassist Dan Fernandez and drummer Matt Sturgis, Rat Fancy also tease ears with a great nostalgic indie pop breath which especially reminds of the eighties which is maybe no shock as the band has linked up with producer David Newton formally of, and the always well-devoured here, The Mighty Lemon Drops; certainly you could suggest his sure hand has given it a potent voice.

 Stay Cool opens up with its title track, the tempting voice of Barraza and a fuzz lined jangle of guitar the first enticing lure. Its infectiousness is only reassured by the subsequent skip of rhythms and the darker grumble of bass as smiling melodies dance; together it all making for one captivating beginning to even richer and bolder moments.

The following Making Trouble brings a thick growl to its Vaselines-esque flirtation, eager energy and a dirt encrusted sheen adding to its instantly gripping character while Never Is Forever simply had ears hooked from its initial invitation of lone bass. The ever manipulative rhythms of Sturgis soon join the inescapable temptation; guitars and voices no slouches in adding to the refreshing enterprise fuelling one irresistible moment within Stay Cool.

Next up RIP Future has a great Weekend meets The Flatmates air to its contagious dissonance inspired rock ‘n’ roll, hooks and melodies in devilish collusion as the track again simply escalates the qualities and excellence of its predecessor, a trend started from the album’s start and only added to by the respective indie pop infection of Must Be Nice and the harmonic beauty of Beyond Belief. Each share a deft but bold tapestry of hooks and melodies around Barraza’s ever beguiling and welcoming tones with the latter aligning its radiance to big boisterous rhythms which alone echo inspirations of that eighties bred era mentioned before.

As Dreaming Is Real and Finely Knitted embrace attention Rat Fancy only add greater temptation the way of ears and appetite. The first of the songs has a warm familiarity to its brief but virulent persuasion, a whiff of The Cranberries adding to its compelling stroll whilst its successor revels in its own individual pop swing. Sugary keys add to and skilfully contrast the effortlessly infectious swing of hearty rhythms, the song pure contagion on body and imagination to steal favourite track honours.

Stuck With You with its gnarly breath and punk ‘n’ pop hunger swiftly makes a close rival for best track, the song a slice of voracious rock ‘n roll enlivened power pop which had the body bouncing as instincts devoured its mercurial gait and unpredictable antics.

Closing with the golden pop croon of Ride Or Die, the song a beguiling sunset to the album’s indie pop heatwave, Stay Cool only left a want for much more of its splendent sounds. It is also a release which only grows bigger and brighter let alone more irresistible by the listen whilst proving Rat Fancy one of indie pop’s essential protagonists.

Stay Cool is available now via HHBTM Records @ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/rat-fancy-stay-cool/  and https://ratfancy.bandcamp.com/album/stay-cool-2

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

 Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stoor – Fleam

Though addictions are triggered early on they seem to put on truly inescapable nagging shackles over time but there is one for us which was immediate, thickly gripping and has just squeezed the life out of free will ever since and that is the new album from Scottish outfit Stoor. Admittedly the seeds had been sown and blossomed already for the Dundee quartet’s unique sound through their 2015 uncaged self-titled debut album but a craving Fleam has now escalated to all devouring heights. Like the last and first thought around sleep will be of a true if maybe unattainable love, right now our every musical urge starts and ends with Stoor.

It is hard to believe that Stoor is still not a band eagerly on the lips of thick waves of indie, rock, and post punk fans after their striking first full-length but surely a puzzle going to be solved through the aberrantly extraordinary Fleam. Again bred in a sound which has echoes and inspirations of seventies/eighties post punk and rawer new wave antics, Fleam has discovered a whole new level of virulence in the hooks, melodies, and imagination which made up its predecessor. It is a mischievously multi-flavoured experience though which leaves predictability and expectations barren on the kerbside of its compelling adventure.

Released through Stereogram Recordings who are ever reliable to bring fascinating proposals to the ears, Fleam opens with the appetite securing instrumental simply called Stoor Theme. As the album’s title represents, the band’s fresh sound strikes at the heart and cuts through the thick, wasteful but deceptive excesses which fatten the success and manipulate the common ear into providing undeserved attention and through the simple but incisive groove ‘n’ roll of its initial offering makes the first hook loaded score.

It is an imagination sparking, body twisting coaxing quickly matched in craft and temptation by successor, Pain. Instantly there is an air of sonic vexation from which a bold and boisterous stroll swings forth wrapped in the wiry enterprise of guitarists Ross Matheson and Davie Young whilst driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Scott McKinlay and bassist Stef Murray. The track was soon scooping up lusty attention and even more so as it twisted through a great and devilish pop infested post punk escapades within its undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. With Murray’s lead vocals just as magnetic and persuasive to participation, the track easily stole the passions.

It is a success soon shared across Fleam starting with the pair of Lovebombing and Dig. The first comes equipped with danger and threat as well as another dose of pure musical contagion that infests ears and instincts. Nurtured in punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and armed with a lyrical prowess which grips as effortlessly as the feral sounds surrounding it, the track simply enslaved before the second of the two sauntered in and exploded in a flame of melodic discord and eccentric invention. With a breath akin to The Nightingales in league with Television Personalities to it, the track burrowed under the skin laying bait and temptation which for just over two minutes feasted on any possible resistance to its esurient endeavour.

Ark follows, its opening lure loaded croon posted in a dusty mono background before eventually leaping through ears with Murray’s tones riding its undisturbed stride. Within, the primal edge to his bass is just as appetising but equally so are the strands of sonic thread igniting the senses courtesy of the rapaciously enterprising guitars; it all seemingly imposing greater temptation as the track’s volatility ignites and erupts in a predatory trespass.

Dancing around as the world crumbles, new single Atrocities is next and immediately has the body bouncing and imagination flirting with its XTC/ Orange Juice-esque celebration bred in a Fire Engines tuned jangle cast amidst the howl of windy discordance and apocalyptic corruptions. Haunting and rousing from its first sonic rattle, its uninhibited dust finally settles as the adventurous exploits of Agags Groove steps forth. As ever the persistently captivating and manipulative beats of McKinlay steer an inescapable quest for band and listener, the instrumental simply a web of intimation and temptation spanning past decades of flavouring woven into its own unique espionage.

McKinlay is even more a puppeteer within Founding Father, straight away directing body movement with provocative craft which soon invites guitars and bass to add their own similarly devious ideation and touch. Celestial melodies subsequently escape to expand the fascination and draw of another sublimely delicious moment within Fleam, the track as seductive as it is a cauldron of disquiet and dark suggestion before the following Unlike Them brings a declaration of defiance, anarchy and musical insurrection to bear on an apathetic landscape.

The album concludes with the incendiary magnificence of Chivers; a tapestry of rhythmic stalking, carnivorous basslines, and melodic friction united in irresistible incitement further loaded by thought grabbing vocals. Lure and challenge, a term which can be applied to the whole of the release, the song is unapologetic slavery and a glorious close to the album, its mercurial but always agitational and rousing body pure inspirational pleasure.

If Stoor had been there helping drive the Scottish post punk/postcard scene way back they would be cited as an inspiration for so many just as Orange Juice, The Fire Engines, and Josef K but do not confuse that suggestion with thoughts that the band is not one of music’s most fresh and exciting propositions right now and with releases like Fleam you can be sure they will be inspiring the creativity in numerous propositions to come.

Fleam is released on white and black vinyl, CD, and download via Stereogram Recordings March 30th across numerous online stores including https://stoor1.bandcamp.com/ with a special album launch show at Dundee’s Beat Generator Live! the release night.

https://www.facebook.com/stoormusic/   https://twitter.com/STOOR44   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/stoor/

Pete RingMaster 26/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tullycraft – The Railway Prince Hotel

Despite new album The Railway Prince Hotel being their seventh, US indie popsters Tullycraft has been a name rather than musical presence on our radar here and it has pretty much been the same with global recognition and attention. It is an outfit though which is said to have been “one of the forefathers of the American twee pop movement”, indeed one of the biggest influences on so many bands emerging over recent times within the indie pop underground and beyond. On the evidence of their new offering it just might be the time they themselves step out into the biggest spotlights as The Railway Prince Hotel is simply one irresistible slice of cute pop contagion.

Tullycraft emerged back in 1995 and a swift hindsight listen in the wake of The Railway Prince Hotel shows they have been the source of a host of delicious pop songs and releases which reveal why they have been a potent inspiration to so many. The new album though is a new twist in their songwriting and sound, a collection of hungrily lively pop songs with their own individual bounce and mischief to what has come before. The riveting union of lead vocals from bassist Sean Tollefson and Jenny Mears is one of the most potent lures to the Seattle band’s music but no more so than the instinctive hooks and radiant melodies which tease and inspire attention. Listening to their new release we quickly found ourselves thinking back to the organic and viral pop of seventies/eighties bands like The Freshies, The Farmers Boys and to a slightly lesser degree Weekend and The Chefs; alluring and no doubt coincidental tinges in the openly individual character of the Tullycraft sound.

It is fair to say that The Railway Prince Hotel had us hooked and licking lips with simply its first three tracks; songs which no matter what was to follow ensured our full recommendation was lining up. Midi Midinette starts things off, its summery flames of brass and energetic bounce instantly burrowing deep as too the rising union of harmonic vocal lures. Soulful and whimsical in all the right ways, the song provides a joyous stroll which hips and vocal chords just could not resist, both soon manipulated to matching effort by the following pair of Passing Observations and We Couldn’t Dance To Billy Joel.

From its opening bait of bass, the first of the pair had the body swinging; its temptation instantly escalated by the vocal collaboration of Mears and band around Tollefson‘s lone and as potent lines. The guitars of Chris Munford and Corianton Hale again almost tease as they melodically entice but it is Mear’s melodic cries which made for the greatest seduction in a song and particularly chorus which made for increasingly mischievous aural manna. Its successor with its jovial jangle and frisky rhythms allowed for no relaxation of feet and body swerves, its flirtatious vocals and melodies a pleasing mix of comforting warmth and playful unpredictability.

Goldie And The Gingerbreads is next up sharing another bassline which just hooked the appetite. From there the skittish beats and coy but bold melodic clang of guitar escalated its hold on ears while harmonies suggest the echoing lures of bands such as The Shangri-Las and The Crystals make a natural pleasure for the band itself.

We could not say that either Has Your Boyfriend Lost His Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight? or Beginners At Best quite sparked the same unreserved reactions of their predecessors but both with their particular creative essences and enterprise left us bouncing along with a wholly satisfied smile while It’s Not Explained, It’s Delaware with its reserved country twang brought its own healthy amount of and easy to take pleasure.

The brief electro pop saunter of Lost Our Friends To Heavy Metal was another which took longer to take too even if hips unapologetically defied that sloth like appreciation while Hearts At The Sound straight after ignited another round of eager bouncing with its rowdier pop ‘n’ roll before The Cat’s Miaow In A Spacesuit had us hooked with its bass swing alone, closing the trap with vocal and melody erudition. The latter pair emerged to test the opening threesome for best song honours, a choice never settled on even through numerous listens.

The album closes out with firstly its title track, a spirited influential proposal lying somewhere between old school pop punk/power pop and brass flamed indie rock and lastly the carefree pop rock stroll of Vacaville. Each leaves a greed for more behind with the final treat another vying for the album’s finest moment.

We can only feel we have missed out on years of enjoyment listening to Tullycraft but as we feel sure so many more newcomers will do, we are making up for it with The Railway Prince Hotel, one of the year’s early and real pleasures.

 The Railway Prince Hotel is out now @ https://tullycraft.bandcamp.com/album/the-railway-prince-hotel and available on vinyl via HHBTM Records.

https://tullycraft.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TullycraftBand

 Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unleashing a spring in the step: talking Cinders

So boisterous and tenacious, let alone infectious, that a bouncing body to its bait is inescapable, the Cinders sound is an infection in the waiting. All the evidence is there on the US band’s new album; a collection of indie pop tracks embracing a host of flavours as they romp in the ears.  We had the pleasure to find out more with big thanks to the band, examining the band’s beginnings, inspirations and of course Cinder’s latest album alongside much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

No problem at all! Thank you for having us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

Cinders is a rowdy-acoustic-pop band from Salt Lake City, UT.

Members

Adrian De La Cruz: Bass Guitar

Austin Harris: Keyboard / Multi-Instrumentalist

Brad Bennett: Drums

Chelsey Powell: Saxophone / Vocals

Jordan Zabriskie: Vocals / Guitar

Montana Smith: Vocals / Guitar

We were brought together by a love for music and a desire to make a career out of doing something that we actually love. We are all of the same mind-set that if someone has a passion, they should be able to be passionate about it and do everything they can to pursue it! And for the last 3 years that is what we have been doing.

Some of us met when we were teenagers. We jammed to a lot of the same music and rebelled in the same ways (we would wait until the 3rd time our mom asked us to clean our room to actually do it). Some met a little later in life when we had matured a bit, gone to school, and experienced life around different parts of the country. Within our search for self-discovery we would always come back to music. It is what we love most and what we will continue to do the rest of our lives.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so how has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yeah most of us have been in and out of other bands! Whether they were high school jazz bands, or metalcore bands, we have all come from a musical performance background. Each group/band taught us important lessons about working together and about what it takes to make a successful band.

I think we definitely pull aspects from each band we played in. It has played a big role in creating our genre and how we act on stage. We are very different from all of those projects though so we approach Cinders very differently. Our ultimate goal is to have fun and bring people together. So we try to write songs with that goal in mind.

What inspired the band name?

It felt like an appropriate name for a band of 6 people who have played music for years but never together. It is short and sweet and represents our music well…though because it is so simple, people often feel like it should be more complicated and add in “the” to the title. We are not The Cinders ha-ha. We are a huge fan of The Led Zeppelins though…

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

It was something we all wanted and needed. Music is what drives us. Playing in a band with people as motivated as yourself is awesome. We felt the sound we had to offer was familiar but unique. It is like when you meet someone for the first time and they are super cool, but you feel like you have known them for years. You wonder why you haven’t known it this whole time and from now on it becomes a part of you.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

When we first started, I feel like we had a smaller view of what we wanted the band to become and how we were going to get there. We have always wanted to be a touring band. We were definitely driven by hopes and our dreams and by each other and that has not changed.

But what has been added to the list is a compilation of all the successes, all the lives changed, all the support from fans, all of the small goals achieved, all of the trials conquered, all the lame part time jobs, and all of the fun experiences. With all of these things motivating us and driving us, we won’t stop until we get where we want to be.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Short dumb answer would be “slowly”. We didn’t realize how much we loved yelling and hitting instruments super hard until we played live. Even the softest songs from our first record became much heavier live. So when we hit the studio again we had more of that mind-set of creating fun live songs that would appropriate to break our instruments to. We of course don’t break our instruments though… because, well, we need them to make music.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately trying new things?

Tooooootally organic for sure… I don’t think we have had very many discussions on what sound we want and there hasn’t been any disagreements with what the songs turn into. I have seen band after band split up because they have different ideas of what they want the music to be. So many start their own solo projects; so many release EP after EP sounding like a new band every time.  But with Cinders, we all just kind of do our own thing and trust each other and build on our demos until a final song just sounds like Cinders.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Twenty One Pilots, one of the biggest bands in the world right now has a heavy influence on our work ethics, our goals, and our expectations. Tyler and Josh are from Ohio and they started as nobodies. They worked hard, they released music, they toured, they did all those things that bands say “we will do that when we are a big band”. They are proof to us that any band from anywhere with whatever tools and connections they have or don’t have can make a career out of music touring the world. It has inspired us to go all out and make our live shows as crazy and fun as possible. We want people to say “that is the funniest concert I’ve been to” whether we played for 25 people or for 25,000 people.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Songs will typically start with an acoustic guitar and a vocal melody. There may or may not be lyrics written yet. The lyrics will usually come as the chord progressions are discovered. The song will form first as a rough acoustic demo, it won’t really take shape until each member has sat down with the demo to add in their flavor and make necessary changes. We often will sit down and jam with each other before we solidify a song idea.

Where do inspirations to that lyrical side come from?

Inspiration can come from literally anywhere. I remember being in the grocery store writing down the lyrics for 100 Foxes on my grocery list. Typically they will come from personal experience or feelings though. We really try to show what we are feeling lyrically rather than tell it. A story is much more interesting and meaningful than an explanation.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

We are extremely stoked that our new album, Looking Forward to Looking Back, is finally out! It just came out on September 29th and it is our second full length album. This record is much heavier musically and lyrically. It is a matured sound for the band and really drives emotion. It has been a 2 year project and our proudest achievement to date!

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

We really wanted to make something that reflected us and the way we feel, and the way our fans feel. So the premise would be that we want everyone to know that no matter what you’re going through right now, there are always good things that are on the way. The album title, Looking Forward to Looking Back really encompasses the theme of the album. Each song is very reflective and forthcoming at the same time.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We are very fortunate to have been able to build our own studio. So we are in the studio almost every day. We are always recording new ideas that we have. Whether we have a full song or just a cool line, we want to have it recorded. We started out with just over 30 demos for Looking Forward to Looking Back. In the end we felt very strongly about the 11 we chose. We didn’t want to just settle on any tracks. We wanted to make sure that this album was the best that it possibly could be.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

The shows are the best part! The crowd energy is always insane! The fans are seriously the best part of it. To hear all those people screaming our songs right back at us is so cool. We may have some easy listening songs but we treat every performance like a punk show and go as hard as we can every night. We want to make sure that everyone who paid to see us gets the show they paid for!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

The music scene in Salt Lake City, UT is awesome! There are a lot of college towns around us as well that have great venues and incredibly talented musicians. It is hard not to be a lover and supporter of music when the music scene you are in is so cool. We love touring nationally. There is nothing like coming home and playing a show for your town though. We are always the most excited for those shows!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success but in a climate where people are not buying music?

Social media has played a huge part in our success so it is hard to say too many negative things about it (other than it taking over all of our lives ha-ha). There are a lot of awesome YouTubers that have become great supporters and friends who have shared our music to their worldwide fan-base. We rely a lot on the reach of our social media and our online marketing to help reach fans across the world we wouldn’t have normally hit! We definitely look at it as a positive for our band.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you so much for having us! Looking Forward to Looking Back is out now! Make sure to follow on Spotify and Apple Music so you can hear it now!

Check out Cinders further @ http://www.cindersmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/cindersmusic/  https://twitter.com/cindersmusic

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 2

Though Black Space Riders teased us with the news that the successor to the outstanding Amoretum Vol. 1, released this past January, would also be uncaged this year maybe few expected it to swing into view within six months of its acclaimed sibling. But indeed it has and we for one could not be any more pleased because it is one stunning slab of what the German outfit does best and which is individual to anything else.

As Vol. 1 took the listener into the dark depths and thickly shadowed corners of the modern world with intimations of hope and resolution its successor “explores the tension between darkness (fear, hate, rejection) and light (empathy, love, acceptance).” Their title is a fusion of the words Amor and Arboretum, the band’s symbolic reference to the sanctuary of nature and love. The creative and musical link between the two is strong and open; no surprise with the tracks from both albums written at the same time in 2017 and recorded together, yet Vol. 2 has a devilment in its imagination and body which makes it an even more unpredictable and at times bewildering experience. The second book in the concept flourishes whether standing alone or as a continuation of the first. Its press release asks, “Is Vol. 2 the rebellious older sister of Vol. 1, or the young, untamed brother?” Often it seems like an alter-ego, a kind of Riddler to the first’s Edward Nygma or indeed both making up a sonic Magneto where light and dark entangle for varied shades of captivating character.

The quintet of JE (lead vocals, guitars, keys, electronics), SEB (lead vocals, keys, percussion, electronics), C.RIP (drums, percussion, digeridoo), SLI (guitars), and MEI (bass) have also conjured the most eclectic flavours within their sound across the fourteen tracks of Vol. 2; at times it blazes with punk like ferocity, in other moments trespasses with metal bred inclinations before seducing with pop rock irresistibility and psych rock magnetism with plenty more in store along the way.

Set over six chapters, it opens up with Before my eyes, percussion luring ears into the snarling jaws of the track. Punk, metal, and rock all collude in its grizzled climate, grooves aligning to crisp rhythms as vocals growl. In no time it had the body bouncing and vocal chords gurning, contagion soaking every second of its forcefully magnetic enterprise. The clang of post punk guitars only adds to the irresistibility before LoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLove Love (Break the pattern of fear) slips in on a dark saunter. Initially it shares a Bauhaus like breath before breaking into a garage punk meets alternative rock stroll though, as becomes the norm in songs, it begins evolving by the minute if not the second. If the opener was bliss to the ears, its successor was pure rock ‘n’ roll manna and it proved just the beginning of one exhilarating ride with Black Space Riders.

Next up is Walls away, a far calmer affair with a melodic temperament which captivated from its initial lure. It has a raw undercurrent though which accentuates its elegance breeding, that aforementioned unpredictability lurking at every corner while Slaínte (Salud, dinero, amor) has a Celtic lining to its infectious festivities; an Irish Gaelic inspiration which again had the body bouncing across its primarily instrumental canter sharing “good health”.

Assimilating love leaps in straight after, its punk ‘n’ roll grumble a collision with grungier textures and space rock dynamics as it harasses ears with rousing irritability before In our garden serenades the senses with its melancholic caress. Something akin to the dark rock of Dommin in an embrace with the neo folk of Death in June within an indie sunset, the song is as enthralling as it is sombrely radiant as too the following track, Leaves of life (Falling down). For us the song is part of the pinnacle of Amoretum Vol. 2, though such its lofty heights we continue to debate that point as thoughts change by the listen. It has an energy which infests body and spirit but equally a dark glow which draws attention and the imagination like a moth to flame, and there is a definite heat to the track as its intensity and contagion rises.

Its glory is then more than matched by Body move, a quite magnificent and addictive slice of creative manipulation which has the body swinging to its funkiness and vocal chords clinging to its virulent delivery. Pop, funk, trip hop, and infection do not come any better and wonderfully invasive than this; the imagination as firmly locked into its growing web of drama.

The dub lit and outstanding Take me to the stars had hips swaying without thought within moments next, the song another weave of individual flavours in a wholly unique yet strangely familiar bold croon while Ch Ch Ch Ch pt. I (The ugly corruptor) emerges from a sonic mist to cast psychedelic hues and intimation before Ch Ch Ch Ch pt. II (Living in my dream) draws ears through the former’s growing raw volatility into its own tempestuous heavy rock envelopment, those already in place psych flames and sighs cascading off its feral storm.

The album’s final and sixth chapter is made up of firstly the melodically wired but still gnarly Chain reaction which is followed by the devilish rock pop bred No way. The first of the two did not grab us as its companions but still leaves most tracks heard this year chasing its wake while the rousing second has a whiff of pop, psych rock, and death metal to its inimitably catchy almost fearsome clamour.

Finally The wait is never over concludes the release, the track another kaleidoscope of flavours with echoes of Ruts DC in its dub shimmers and Helldorado in its swarthy atmospherics. It is an initially low key close, a kind of epilogue but one which just transfixes from its irradiant start to its ravenously tempestuous middle on to its apocalyptic climax.

Well Black Space Riders has done it again, had us drooling at their ever startling endeavours. Quite simply Amoretum Vol. 2 is immense in every aspect. It is a treat from first to last wave of imagination and creative devilment but we suggest listening to both Volumes of Amoretum as one for a complete rush of inspiration and pleasure.

Amoretum Vol. 2 is released July 27th through Black Space Records / Cargo Records on double vinyl (w/ CD), digipack CD and digital formats; available @ https://blackspaceriders.bandcamp.com/album/amoretum-vol-2

 

http://www.blackspaceriders.com/    https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpaceRiders     https://twitter.com/BlackSpaceRider

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kleenex Girl Wonder – Vana Mundi

Creating melodic centrepieces with a lyrical heart as rich as their aural temptation is seemingly as second nature to US singer songwriter Graham Smith as breathing; proof easily gathered over closing on three decades of releases either under his name or as Kleenex Girl Wonder. As the latter he has spun yet another feverishly flavoursome collection of melody bred pop ‘n’ roll songs in the shape of new album Vana Mundi, one of those albums which schemes to get under the skin and into the imagination as it echoes contemporary life in its own distinct way.

Latin for ‘Empty World’, Vana Mundi reaches into the heart of life, into its selfish and selfless sides with often the latter emerging from the exploration of the former. It is as intimate as it can be seen worldly, suggesting experiences have bred its heart and thoughts as much as observation. It opens up with Practical Effects and immediately holds attention with guitars creating a lively clamour followed by a gentle stroll with a swing which just infests hips. Smith’s vocals soon follow to similarly beguile in their own distinct tongue and breath. Thoughts sprung to Britain’s Astral Cloud Ashes the closest comparison we can suggest to the uniqueness of Kleenex Girl Wonder, wondering if this also one man project was inspired by Smith a touch in its own individuality.

The excellent opener is quickly followed and matched by the bouncy saunter of Greek Fire, the resonating thud of rhythms alone a potent lure behind the boisterous and flirtatious exploits of voice and guitar. With each passing second each aspect accelerates its lustful gait and appeal, only relaxing to repeat the irresistible cycle with even greater enterprise and energy. Superb in every essence, the song sets a marker to be regularly worried across the release if maybe not quite by next up Trattegio. In saying that, the song only has attention and appetite keen with its calmer and eagerly infectious endeavours featuring guitarist Thayer McClanahan and drummer Matt LeMay alongside Smith.

Not for the last time on the album, Kleenex Girl Wonder brings a slight Kinks like hue to ears; Sounds Good a mellow engagement with volatility in its depths which rumbles rather than erupts across its reflection while Sexy Legitimate Threat casts an acoustic hug which soothes as lyrics strike. Like a magnet the song just draws ears and the imagination, every listen more intense as its simple but richly layered body pounces with greater enjoyment the result before The Mesomorph prowls the senses with its controlled yet open rapacious intent and tone. The dark edge of bass and rhythms seductively collude with the melodic and harmonic intimation of Smith, every handful of seconds within the song adding fresh drama to its increasing ingenuity.

Impossible Shadow is similarly inventive and distinct with its folkish aural festivities and subsequent shadow lit calms. Alongside its predecessor this pair provides the most imaginative exploits within Vana Mundi, its most powerful and impressive moments among nothing but rich moments of invention; the latter especially with its XTC-esque adventure.

The rawer buzz of Ask Mountain is not slow in tempting with arousing enterprise either; its melodic clamour resourceful and deviously catchy as electronic beats dance. It is infectiousness just as prevalent within the buoyant romp of Sunday Night Fever, a controlled but busy song with waves of energy in its voice and intent.

The album closes up with Picture the Kid, another vociferously rousing encounter with a great Frank Black like hue to its creative theatre and expressive breath. It is an irresistible end to an unavoidably fascinating and enjoyable release. It was a pleasure from the first listen earning only lustier responses thereon in; the album of summer’s dark side.

Vana Mundi is available now via Reesonable Records @ http://kgw.me/album/vana-mundi

https://www.facebook.com/kleenexgirlwonder/   https://twitter.com/grahamsmith

Pete RingMaster 26/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Twindows – Valkyrie 2.0

For most, musical bliss can come in various shapes and styles; creative adventures which just connect with personal instincts and tastes. It is fair to say that for us it recently came all rolled up in one hungrily tempting proposal going by the names of The Twindows and their debut album Valkyrie 2.0.

Hailing out of Philadelphia, The Twindows breed a rapacious sound which infuses essences of everything from noise and indie rock to metal and grunge to a punk across the decades borne heart. It is a bold and boisterous web of temptation as virulently infectious as it is ferociously imaginative and led by a voice truly we could listen to all day long. Vocalist/guitarist Aster Grimm has one of the most devilishly tempting voices and just as magnetically matched by the creative antics of guitarist Kyle Anderson, bassist Caleb Banas, and drummer Oskar Daoud across Valkyrie 2.0. Together they have nurtured a release which teases, seduces, and arouses across eleven lust inducing slices of musical diablerie.

It begins with Like My Music; raw and salacious pop infested punk rock roaring from aggravation with Damned like hooks and rhythmic rapacity to the fore. Grimm blossoms in the centre, her tones stirring song and attention further as for one minute and three quarters the track provides the album with one irresistible start.

The following Mosquito / Thick Skin swings in on a blend of grunge nurtured rock ‘n’ roll upon a ska seeded bounce. Fiercer textures with metallic toning soon sizzle and sear around the tenacious attack of Grimm, the track’s noise punk instincts just as vocal before it passed thick attention and an already keen appetite over to Forgiven. Instantly it entangles ears in rhythmic espionage; boisterously coaxing beats and a glorious bass grumble getting under the skin as guitars weave a sonic web around Grimm’s similarly magnetic lures. Something akin to Throwing Muses embroiled in the punk ‘n’ roll of Spinnerette and in turn fused with devilment of Die So Fluid, the track is sheer captivation; one as seductive as it is predacious and all feral temptation.

Dig Tree comes next, the track a bewitching slice of punk pop initially, nostalgically recalling bands such as The Chefs and 4 Non Blondes. It floats across the senses but has a sonic causticity which just adds to the song’s bait again headed by Grimm’s engagingly manipulative presence. Whilst adding a new hue to the album broadening adventure, the song has feet and hips involved just as easily as rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

That variety of flavouring across the release is encouraged again by next up Ska Death (Ska Death Lounge Death Ska), an unstoppable incursion of ska/noise punk which had the body eagerly bobbing along before expelling a hellacious sonic gas of aural volatility, a tempest returning with greater dexterity after the song relaxed again into its lively bounce, and with bolder imagination as sax flames sear the riveting bedlam. Imagine Animal Alpha infused by the spirit of The Jellycats and the punk revelry of The Mo-Dettes and you come close to the song’s infectious alchemy.

The Twindows let their punk instincts run riot in Reversals next, the track an insatiable rock ‘n’ roll charge with noise bred vapours crossing a kaleidoscope of twists and turns while Pulp within a similar but even more corrosive landscape leaps around with kinetic intensity and agility. All the while though as rhythms dance, sonic spices and melodic adventure simmers and rise up to temper and challenge the tempestuous nature of the track.

The inescapably catchy punk ‘n’ roll of Instigator unerringly worms into the psyche within seconds straight after, the song like a mix of The Kut and Daisy Chainsaw but as everywhere uniquely Twindows; a trait just as potently shown by the grunge rock of The Industry. Admittedly, the song did not quite hit the spot as those tracks around it within Valkyrie 2.0 but only added to the fun before The Pixies endowed Sleepycore had us licking our lips once more. With its almost somnolent swing and Grimm’s vocal bewitchment, the outstanding track simply transfixed, even more so when it’s deceitful gait unveiled a furious if still controlled intent.

Bringing things to a close Wire Mother surrounds its energetic croon with abrasive psych and indie punk imagination, the song another as unpredictable in sound and imagination as it is irresistible in persuasion. It provides a provocative and rousing conclusion to an album which just lit the fires of personal tastes while offering something completely fresh to ponder, taste, and devour.

We have nothing more to add except go and have a nibble yourselves.

Valkyrie 2.0 is out now and available @ https://thetwindows.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie-20

https://www.facebook.com/thetwindowsmusic/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright