Lauren Hoffman and The Secret Storm – Family Ghost

lauren-hoffman_RingMasterReview

Often there is nothing more seductive in music than emotional and creative melancholy, a thought wonderfully backed up by Family Ghost, the debut album from Lauren Hoffman & the Secret Storm. Coming from the latest project of songwriter/vocalist/musician Hoffman, no stranger to acclaim through her solo releases, Family Ghost is an imagination stoking dark theatre of word, emotion, and beauty, or as potently suggested by its press release, “A whirl of cabaret, broken ballads, and indie rock, it is a collection of heart-bending narratives that double as emotional exorcism.”

Hoffman’s songwriting was already alive but was further nurtured by Jeff Buckley after she met him backstage while waiting for her father. He became her mentor up until his death in 1997, just one month before she released her debut solo album. Released by Virgin Records, Megiddo was critically acclaimed and subsequently followed by just as evocative and striking encounters. Hoffman assembled the Secret Storm a few years ago with its intimately and personally open Family Ghost built on songs written over a decade ago as well as newer explorations by their creator.

The release opens with Don’t Look Back, a tantalising serenade with wistful melodies and a brush of rhythmic coaxing around the enticing tones of Hoffman. The shadowy groans of cello from Cathy Monnes (of the indie-pop Sally Rose Band) are as potent and persuasive as the imagination of keyboardist Ethan Lipscomb, both bewitching textures in a swiftly riveting encounter. Its thicker crescendos of sound and evocation just reinforce the persuasive majesty of the song while all the time Hoffman’s vocals sublimely capture ears and thoughts.

family-ghost-artwork_RingMasterReviewFrom its gothic, funereal spiced enterprise, the band unveil a lighter gait and atmosphere with second offering Feel It All, though again the darker hues of cello and brooding tones of Jeff Diehm’s bass provide rich drama against the livelier air cast by guitarist Tony Lechmanski (Bella Morte) and Kevin Ardrey’s boisterous beats. Though less pronounced the vaudevillian touch of its predecessor colours the track to captivate before Let The Waves Crash On Me hugs the senses with its country rock/folk lit embrace. Its reflective heart and rich weave is a kiss on the ear, Hoffman a beacon at its core.

Sick With Love radiates in melancholic intimacy and vocal openness next while In The Sun bewitches as it grows in gentle but open intensity and imagination with each passing second. Both tracks easily excite but find themselves outshone by the following I Just Broke Up With A Guy Who Looks Kinda Like You. Carrying a Young Marble Like Giants like minimalistic air and seduction as bass and guitar entangle their descriptive prowess, the irresistible song blossoms into a tenaciously catchy slice of pop ‘n’ roll with spicy melodies and swinging rhythms. Even its magnificence though has to play second fiddle to the album’s title track which seduces straight after. There is drama in every riff, theatre in each ear flirting hook, while rhythms and vocals bring their own creative imagination to the compelling tapestry. Like a siren, the song lures the listener into its busy evocation of spirit and emotion.

Through the noir lit stroll of Fast Lane there is no let-up in the album’s grip on body and appetite. The song is as funky as it is jazzy, as folky as it is poppy; its dark rock ‘n’ roll nurtured croon simply haunting infectiousness. It is majestic in an understated but bold way, a success matched by the similarly catchy saunter of Broken. A thin but rich melody initially courts the magnetic presence and tones of Hoffman as the track offers another slim yet thickly provocative adventure and insight to get seriously caught up in.

The exotic bordering sinister hug of The Dragon comes next, the track a shadowy seductress in air, intent, and voice increasingly infesting and seducing body and psyche from its first provocative breath. There is also volatility in its nature which only adds to its might on the way to taking best track honours.

Family Ghost is concluded by the calm yet emotionally inflamed Til It Lasts, a fine end to a release which is Lauren Hoffman at her most creatively adventurous and open, backed by a band with as much suggestiveness in their sounds as in the singer’s heart bred words. It is darkly magical and sure to be on the favourites lists of a great many.

Family Ghost is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.thesecretstorm.com/   https://www.facebook.com/laurenhoffmanmusic/   https://twitter.com/ShhSecretStorm

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Rogue Network – Binary

binary-ep-cover_RingMasterReview

If like us you were taken by their debut EP of 2015 and the two track single last year which it spawned, you will be pleased to know that The Rogue Network has taken things on their part and our attraction to another level with Binary. The four-track EP is another slice of the band’s blues fuelled rock ‘n’ roll yet revealing a broader canvas of sound as catchy as it is adventurous.

The band, taking inspirations from seventies nurtured blues/soul, has increasingly grown into a compelling proposition since emerging in 2015. Led by vocalist/guitarist Gerallt Williams, The Rogue Network re-energised an already growing interest and support for the band’s sound and live presence with the Milk and Honey/Lowland City single in 2016, a tantalising melody rich affair now eclipsed by the Binary EP.

From the first eager throes of opener Operator, band and release has ears and attention locked in. A tasty groove makes first contact, grumbling pulsating electronics and bassline in close attention as sonic enterprise brews around them. With a controlled easy going gait, the song soon eagerly strolls through ears, harmonies and fiery grooves in turn wrapping the potent tones of Williams. There is feistiness to the track which infests every aspect, giving it a raw tempestuous texture which never erupts but adds weight to the infectious funk clad encounter.

It is a fine, seriously catchy start quickly backed up by the melodically charmed Venodotia. There is a Paul McCartney-esque feel to the song, its pop prowess Wings hinting as picturesque lyrics and suggestive melodies embrace and inspire the imagination while Hammond spiced keys add extra colour. It is easy to get lost in its lure, its infectious chorus and a refreshing canter especially though it is soon overshadowed by the EP’s best track.

Ruby is pure enslavement, a slice of pop ‘n’ roll which chains appetite and lust as soon as its opening drama reveals the salaciously seductive bait of piano and the sinister charm of atmospheric melody. Demanding to be a single, the track dances like a mischievous temptress with body and spirit, its spicy blues flirtation alone irresistible around a chorus which has vocal chords dancing without inhibition.

The EP is concluded by Pam Fi, a Welsh sung proposal with rumbling bass and crisp beats clad in fiery melodies as wiry grooves infest the imagination. It is, as now expected, an inescapably catchy tempting bringing the release to a fine conclusion, quickly defusing the niggle of not knowing what its lyrical heart is sharing.

The Rogue Network have really hit their stride in songwriting and sound, Binary relishing another step in craft and boldness which if it continues suggests even bigger exciting things ahead.

The Binary EP is out now across most online stores.

https://twitter.com/THEROGUENETWORK   https://www.facebook.com/theroguenetwork/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Weaves and carousels with Demi The Daredevil

demi-the-daredevil_RingMasterReview

It is fair to say that bands which bring a diversity of imagination and sound together stand out from the thick music crowd more than most and that is exactly what is happening with Demi The Daredevil. Since forming in 2006, the Texan outfit has explored their art rock natured sound without allowing it boundaries, persistently luring attention from fans and media alike to now knock on global awareness. We recently had the chance to do our own exploration of the band with one of its founders Jeff Azar to look at the beginnings of Demi The Daredevil, that journey through sound and imagination, their latest release and much more…

Hello, many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the bands beginnings?

My name is Jeff Azar from an Art Rock/Dark Theater band called Demi the Daredevil. It all started in our hometown El Paso; El Chuco as some like to say. Jovan (RIP) and Marc started playing guitar together, and I was introduced to them by a mutual friend. I started off on the drums in this band.

Were you involved in other bands before Demi the Daredevil? If so what influence did those experiences have on what you are doing now?

Marc is in a few other bands. I jammed with some people sometimes. I guess they helped me realize what direction I did NOT want to go in.

What inspired the band name?

Demi is short for demigod, which is a half man half god. Kinda like a Hercules type.

Not sure about Daredevil. Marc and Jovan chose Demi the Daredevil over The Rootbeer KamiKazis.

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

No, at least it was more intuitive rather than a logical idea behind what we were doing. When we first started, Jovan was inspiring from random things like film scores or TV show theme songs or video game music and we punk rocked those out. We didn’t have too much of an audience in mind, we just wanted to make loud fast melodic music.

When my brother came into the mix later down the road, I thought we’d have two ideas: classical music merged with the pop world and the world of movie acting/very obvious themed songs. Currently, the main goal is to have 1) good chord progressions 2) good melodies 3) and killer grooves. Besides that, there is no one idea musically, and as far as the lyrics go, I’m speaking to those who struggle with mental health.

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

That’s a good question. At first it was the pure fun of playing and analyzing music, with no thought of an audience. Then the drive became to be a critical success. Now, the drive seems to be connecting with kindreds, with like minds. Wanting a sense of community is the drive.

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

This band has had a lot of style changes. There have been phases, which might have made it hard to pinpoint an audience. But it was a necessary exploration…. Anyway, at first it was balls out punk rock or power pop. Then during a Beatles phase it became more reserved and softer. When my brother Thomas came into the mix, it became very Broadwayesque, because he’s a classically trained pianist and likes Broadway styled melodies.  Now, there don’t seem to be rules. As long as the songs are accessible, emotional, and will stand the test of time at least for a little while, we can inspire from soft rock, power pop, classical, funk, dark cabaret, etc…

It has been more of an organic movement of sound rather than you deliberately trying new things?

It’s always been an organic movement of sound. At every point in the history of this band we’ve just dished out what we were taking in at the time. For me it’s intuitive writing in that I take in a bunch of impressions, and then somehow something is synthesized from all those impressions.

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?

Yes. You’re right about there being such a wide range of influencers. I’ve obsessed over bands during each stage…And can’t list them all. But, even though I’m ashamed to keep bringing up this contemporary band that only in the last year has been the biggest personal influence, Twenty One Pilots has had a major impact on my personal approach. I had similar subject matter to Tyler lyrically; he just said it better with zero pretence. He got me to get more sober, gave me faith in making songs that don’t have to be master crafted mega hits, just as long as they are good and accessible. They made me go the distance with grooves, and incorporate all these intricate rudiments I learned in drum line. And they created online community of a certain type of fan with a very particular identity which I’d like to reach too. The live show energy; I could go on. Please stop me.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting within the band?

For me, I need to start with a timeless and emotional chord progression…Or at least a variation of one.  That is most important to me. I try out syncopated rhythms with the core instruments. Melody then is experimented with. Previously written poetry is put more into lyric and song form. Recording programs help with happy accidents. There is a long phase of punching the song up after the main idea is there…So many bases to cover.

Where do the biggest inspirations to your lyrical side come from?

Lyric inspiration starts from what I think is a big realization or feeling.

I then take months to get a more bird’s eye view on it and to say it better than when I tried to describe it initially.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

A lot of the lyrics for it were written in strange places, like an attic on the UT campus during my last summer of school there, a couple psych hospitals(a lot of time to reflect there), and in a tee pee (which I needed to live in to save money for marketing). The band was in flux, and our producer lived in New York. So it took a long time to coordinate with our producer long distance, which left me a lot of time to treat the songs like Frankenstein until they were the best they could be.

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

The EP is called Secret Schizoid. The schizoid, defined by a psychologist Rollo May, is someone unable to feel, or to have close connection with others. They are out of touch with themselves. So these tracks are tracking that recovering the self process and piecing it back together.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to leave plenty of room for development as you record?

Definitely a band that goes into the studio with songs more in their finished state. Unless a group of musicians are dedicating enough time with each other to make magic happen going into the studio without set ideas seems like a nightmare. Plus we really just need to record live drums in the studio. The rest can be tracked at home.

 Tell us about the live side to the band?

We’re starting to prep for the live shows and trying to make them theatrical, in the sense that we we’re creating little inner dialogue scenes with voices on the back tracks, or I should say monologue scenes because they are like schizophrenic voices, in between songs…And making it engaging with the audience. We want people to feel like they are part of the inner turmoil.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark?

Yes, there are opportunities to break through; the key is knowing what kind of person your fan is and send them personal messages. Build relationships. Also learning how to using social media to reach them. Facebook offers a really useful audience insights tool to learn more about your fans, and a power tool editor to advertise correctly.  In terms of playing live shows to regional fans when you don’t have money or resources to book nation or worldwide tours, promoting your shows to potential fans in whatever area will make it more worth your while. No industry ppl who can take you to the next level will mess with you without fans, and you can’t leverage anyone in the industry without fans.

You touched on social media there, how has it impacted 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 or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

At first, the social media made us feel insecure because we just got crickets. After understanding how to use it (to spread your music to people who are care about that kind of music), it’s a free marketing tool. You have to learn how to use it and adapt. If you want to get signed to a company, you need to prove you have engagement from a Fan-base because that is in our control now. If you don’t care about getting signed you still need to use social media to have a Fan-base. You can play a show to ten people, two whom really likes you, or you can reach 8,000 people by $20 to market a live performance online for example.

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

Thank you for asking good questions! Yes, admit insanity, embrace your humanity.

If you are plagued with self-doubt, are conflict ridden, and someone who asks existential questions listen to our Secret Schizoid EP 🙂

http://www.demithedaredevil.com/    https://www.facebook.com/demithedaredevil/   https://twitter.com/demidaredevil

The RingMaster Review 13/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cool Thing Presents: Alternative Occupations EP

ep-cover_RingMasterReview

There is no hiding that we have a lustful appetite for UK band Asylums and their feverishly inimitable sound, a hunger now being fed again by the Alternative Occupations EP. The Southend-on-Sea quartet have also shown through it that not only do they create some of the most essential propositions heard in recent times they have an eye and ear for other striking talent. Evidence comes in the trio of bands providing the other songs making up the EP released on Asylums own label Cool Thing Records; each an attention grabbing proposal just as ruthless on bodies and imagination.

asylums_RingMasterReviewAsylums set things rolling with a new previously unreleased track written and recorded as the busy wake of releasing acclaimed debut album Killer Brain Waves was settling down and the aftermath of Brexit consuming, that album still drawing plaudits and excited new fans the way of the foursome. Reflecting on “harsh education and health service cuts, post-Brexit Britain, and the running battle of grafting at creative efforts vs. grafting to keep afloat”, Alternative Occupations descends on ears with searing guitars and robust rhythms, openly sharing the creative traits which made the album and its songs such a rousingly infectious proposition. The warm and engaging vocals of guitarist Luke Branch increase the enticement, lyrical suggestion to the fore as melodies fly skilfully from his and fellow guitarist Jazz Miell’s strings. Feet are swiftly recruited in turn by the rhythmic tenacity of drummer Henry Tyler; it courting the seductive throb of Michael Webster’s bass as every element combines for another unique, memorable, and instinctively irresistible Asylums encounter.

The second track on the release comes from Petty Phase, an all-girl quartet also from Southend unleashing a fiercely infectious slice of punk rock

Petty Phase-photo kana waiwaiku

Petty Phase-photo kana waiwaiku

going by the name of You’ll Be Dead. Like a belligerent mix of L7 and The Kuts, the band pulls no punches with their attitude loaded sound in this their debut single, delivering one minute twenty of skilfully raucous invasively catchy rock ‘n’ roll for the EP. It is a snarling, hook swinging flirtation with riffs and rhythms as uncompromising and addictive as the melody lined snares gripping the imagination; though there is just one issue with it, the glorious strike is just so damn short.

The Horse Heads photo kana waiwaiku

The Horse Heads photo kana waiwaiku

The EP’s second side brings Essex punks The Horse Heads and their new single Castles to the party and as their companions the Chelmsford trio need little time to incite body and appetite with their post punk/punk rock trespass of the senses. Created by vocalist/guitarist Ronaldo Rodriguez, drummer George Young, and bassist Chad Worsley, Castles grumbles from the off, a deliciously throaty bassline the lure into a raw wash of biting beats, caustic riffs, and the similarly grouchy tones of Rodriguez. There is no escaping the old school punk air to the song and its components, an Angelic Upstarts/early Clash spicing flirting with scuzzy essences of bands like The Hives as its virulent assault equally stirs up nostalgia and fresh adventure. It too is over before enjoyment would wish, something applying to every song to be honest, meaning the replay button is well used across the EP.

Closing track I’m Still Here comes from Bait, a musician/visual artist we can tell you little more about except that he creates a tapestry of post punk contagion within his offering which is addiction in a speaker. Nagging hypnotic beats and rapacious riffs surround haunting predation lined vocals, an incessant tide of lures coaxing the listener deeper into the song’s tempestuous and imposing imagination coloured by lyrical suggestiveness. Artists like Brian Brain, Shock-Headed Peters, and Ministry are nudged across the compelling encounter but as all tracks within Alternative Occupations, it breeds its own uniqueness swiftly and dramatically while slipping unstoppably under the skin.

There has been numerous splits/multiple artist offerings in 2016 but few, if any, have induced lust like the Cool Thing Records proposal.

Cool Thing Presents: Alternative Occupations EP is available now on limited 12” white vinyl @ https://asylums.tmstor.es/

https://www.facebook.com/asylumsuk   https://www.facebook.com/pettyphase/   https://www.facebook.com/TheHorseHeads/

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hibernation Masturbation: The Video

km-vid_RingMasterReview

As the world and its ‘masters’ increasingly seduce and trap its inmates in their own design, the new single from Scottish indie musician/songwriter/producer Kevin Mcgowan is a timely statement and wake-up call with a striking video to reinforce its attention grabbing presence.

Hibernation Masturbation was written seven years prior to its new release and back then it reflected a growing virus within a populace increasingly disconnected from the world and its furtive and often more openly selfish vices. Fair to say the track’s observation is even more relevant to the now and the apathetic blindness to the controlling addiction shaped and driven by technology and media.

Talking about the song recently, Mcgowan said,” The song is basically saying how we are all in a state of hibernation and are unaware of what is going on in the real world around us. We get all our information from a screen, be it TV, mobile phones, computers or mobile tablets, and it has become a problem to decipher fact from fiction.

We are all caught up in the subterfuge in various ways, even reading this and watching the video part of being connected to “some kind of self-absorbed internet addiction”; Mcgowan adding; “As a society we have lost our way and exist in our own little bubbles where we can’t tell the real person from their social media profile. We are an idea of our dream selves rather than simply existing, images dictate our own person, creating unattainable needs, desires and aspirations.

km2_RingMasterReviewThe song’s video and its surreal atmosphere is an echo of those thoughts; its intimate and occasionally claustrophobic insight reflecting the bewitching fantasy and the ease in slipping into its fake but easy to devour stealing of choice and honest observation.

Even loneliness is nurtured by the reliance on thought dictating and enslaving technology and its wares, the video again with its distant but potent Alice In Wonderland like surrealism a direct poke which makes you think and assess as the enthralling song itself captures a share of the imagination.

With deceptive self-reliance on this escape leading to being wrapped up in one’s own world similarly courted by the enticing imagery of Hibernation Masturbation, an eye luring landscape interrupted by great shots of Mcgowan and his guitar craft, the video and indeed song enlightens and transfixes while almost being a paradox in that captivation with its theme.

The video is also a wealth of fun which should not be skipped by, with the power of a great song as its soundscape, Hibernation Masturbation is a spark for a grinning but thoughtful imagination to fall in to.

Check out the Hibernation Masturbation video @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgNxdF01iX4  while the single is available to buy via imagine & believe Records on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hibernation-masturbation-single/id1146680042?ls=1&app=itunes

For more information and news from go to https://www.facebook.com/kpmcgowan and https://twitter.com/kevinmcgowan67

Pete RingMaster 30/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kevin Mcgowan – Hibernation Masturbation

km-pic_RingMasterReview

Hibernation Masturbation is the new single from Scottish musician/songwriter Kevin Mcgowan, an artist who collaborated a few months back with Karel Fialka on his new album Peace v War. Written seven years ago as Mcgowan reflected on the growing reliance of the world on technology and the media for information and allowing its guidance of our lives, the song is a tantalising landscape of indie rock with the potent harmonic tones of its creator inciting the imagination in fine style.

The theme and insight of the track is even more relevant to the now as people seemingly live their lives in the fantasy of the internet, its relationships, and through media controlled information rather than the real world around them.

km-art_RingMasterReviewMusically the song carries a nineties indie/Brit pop feel, essences of bands like Suede and Pulp teasing ears within Mcgowan’s own open invention. Its opening touch is woven by the strings of Mcgowan’s guitar, each note a lure inviting and tantalising as darker rhythms stroll alongside with the weight of shadows on their shoulders.

Instantly engaging with a growing catchiness to its character and gait, Hibernation Masturbation only tightens its grip on ears and appetite as a blossoming tapestry of captivating hooks and suggestive melodies entangles the imagination along with the descriptive potency of the lyrics and vocals.

With every aspect of Hibernation Masturbation from creation to release a solo effort by Mcgowan, the single is a creative statement which commands attention, its sound and enterprise simply ensuring that success is a done deal.

Hibernation Masturbation is out now via imagine & believe records on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hibernation-masturbation-single/id1146680042?ls=1&app=itunes

https://www.facebook.com/kpmcgowan   https://twitter.com/kevinmcgowan67

Pete RingMaster 28/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stoor – Self Titled

stoorJosef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines

No idea what is in the water over at Stereogram Recordings but this past twelve months has seen the label release a clutch of albums that simply ignite ears and connect with the imagination like no others. Amongst them have been encounters with bands such as St. Christopher Medal, The Filthy Tongues, and The Eastern Swell. Now adding to that adventurous collection of treats is the self-titled debut album from Dundee based outfit Stoor, a release which just might be the most impressive and ridiculously addictive of the lot.

The Stereogram Recordings offering is actually a full re-release of the band’s first album which was self-released on vinyl last year but sure to be the first real engagement for a great many with a quartet which rose up back in the first breaths of the nineties. Musically Stoor seem to embrace post punk/new wave sounds found in the couple of decades before their emergence, and though it is bordering on impossible to pin down their sound imagine Josef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines and the warped imagination of Pere Ubu in close attendance.

Centred around the off kilter invention of bassist/vocalist Stef Murray, drummer Scott McKinlay, and guitarist Ross Matheson with guitarist Davie Youngblood completing the current line-up, Stoor get straight into ears and psyche with album opener Secret World Of Cement. It is an instrumental which gets right into our already existing passion for post punk devilry, sparking the imagination with its cinematic urban soundscape. Hips and feet are swiftly indulging in its virulent Fire Engines hued strains as hooks and melodies tease and tantalise within something wonderfully akin to the most addictive sixties TV theme tunes.

It is a wonderful start quickly matched up by Liberator, a track just as rapid in its persuasion as spicy lures of guitar link up with the tenacious rhythmic bait laid down by McKinlay. The vocal tones of Murray attract like a mix of Jello Biafra and Pere Ubu’s Dave Thomas, expelling their earnest cries from within another seriously catchy stretch of invention before the brilliant Aye, No raises the ante. A fiercely seductive bass line invades first, strolling from the initial clash of sound to be quickly joined by equally salacious guitar hooks following the same route as Murray’s grooving. Like a pied piper the union draws the listener into an explosive crescendo, riffs and rhythms colliding before the temptation begins all over again with even greater strands of delicious discord involved. All the time Murray places a potent vocal grip on an already eager appetite, backed by the band within what is one gloriously repetitive and enthralling swagger of a song.

art_RingMasterReviewInfect Me steps forward next to keep the enslaving of ears tight, its Gang Of Four like rhythmic escapade chaining attention alone, the brooding basslines and stabs of guitar extra chains to trap attention and ardour. Bursts of raw rock ‘n’ roll only adds to the magnetism as too the distinctive and increasingly flavoursome vocals of Murray, here finding a Stan Ridgway flavour to his excellent theatre of voice. Between them Murray and McKinlay rhythmically have the passions chained up like Houdini, though no escape is possible especially as Matheson and Youngblood create a web of melodic intrigue and deranged drama.

Through the heavier almost muggy escape of Devil Rides Out, a song with a touch of Scars meets again Pere Ubu to it, and the pulsating psych rock infested instrumental of March Of The Molluscs, the album adds further diversity and creative theatre to escalate an already established habituation to its additive prowess, backing their success up with the punk rock of Frack where thoughts of bands like Swell Maps and television Personalities are sparked, though, as constantly across the release, Stoor conjure up proposals unique to their own senses entangling invention.

The calmer saunter of Open The Box comes next, its character a more stable affair but prone to Devo-esque twists and turns before making way to allow the psychedelically spiced Hold That Thought to serenade ears. To its warmer and gentler nature though, there is an underlying tempestuousness which channels its energy into a swinging post punk canter a la The Three Johns.

The bands new single Witchfinder General has ears and lust over excited next, its rhythmic romp alone an unshakeable grip with Murray’s bass swing a predacious seduction reinforced by the tangy weave of guitar and the eager dance of the vocals. Dark and mischievous, compelling and shadowy, the track is superb, a certain doorway into the album come its release though fair to say any track is a suitable invitation.

Going out as it came in with a mouth-watering, imagination stoking instrumental going by the name of Sure Beats Me, a piece which plays like B-52s engaged in carnal knowledge with The Shadows, the album leaves only an urgent urge to dive right back into its body of fun.

Stoor may have been around for a fair few years now but this is the moment they should be enveloped by the biggest spotlights, courtesy of an encounter which has to be considered as an album of the year contender.

Stoor the album is released October 28th on Stereogram Recordings digitally and on CD with the single Witchfinder General out on October 21st.

STOOR are supporting Brix Smith & The Extricated on Sunday 30th October 2016 and The Membranes on Friday 27th January 2017, both nights at Beat Generator in Dundee.

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

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright