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

Spaztic Robot – Skip Rope Rhymes

album_art_RingMasterReview

On an empty sunny day in 1990, when I was nine years old, I saw two dead dogs. Each at opposite ends of the same street. One was big and brown, the other small and grey. Both greeted me with the exact same pitiful manner. Their sunburnt tongues bathing on the gravel gave the illusion of salmon rising from black tar rivers. As the odour began to rise with the dusty heat, I felt like I’d snorted fizzy pop. I chucked up. Through teary eyes I scanned the motionless street in which I stood. Nothing. Nothing but ugly new houses. Ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.

I wasn’t to know it at the time, but Spaztic Robot was born at that very moment. With no evidence offering itself to the mystery of the dead dogs, my nine year old self began to piece together his own chain of events…a different one lending itself to each house on the street. I was convinced that behind the bricks and mortar of one of these seemingly inconspicuous houses lay a dirty little secret.

Skip Rope Rhymes was created in the same vein. It’s a gathering of characters and stories. Characters and stories that could all easily exist, in one street, behind the closed doors of ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.”

This biography placed introduction to Spaztic Robot pretty such sums up the air and dark intensity which floods a myriad of sounds and imagination making up Skip Rope Rhymes, the band’s debut album. In a broad array of characters, songs offer shadowed adventures all equipped with intimate secrecy, like behind closed doors insights as dramatic and often cinematic as they are seriously captivating.

Spaztic Robot is the solo project of Robbie Sparks, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Stourbridge punksters Rebel City Radio. With the band taking a break from gigging and writing over the past year or so, Sparks has used the time to dive into the writing and creating of this his debut album. Recently released, Skip Rope Rhymes has taken little time in drawing eager praise. Its potent diversity means some tracks more forcibly connected with personal tastes than others but from start to finish it is one compelling exploration easy to hear why it has lured strong attention.

The album opens up with Robot Rape, metallic sounds immediately surrounding the senses as whispers in the dark outskirts of the piece share their paranoia. Samples and infectious rhythms soon join the enticement, varied vocal eruptions and a pulsating throb in tow as Sparks begin infesting the imagination in word, tone, and sound. It is an enthralling start which leads into the magnificent theatre of Walk The Long Way Home. Again bold ideas collude with a whiff of insanity as they lead the listener into a sinister noir lit drama of intent and emotion. Nagging and virulent in its catchiness, the track is like a bedlam bound Brian Brain (aka Martin Atkins of PIL, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke fame), a contagious infestation of ears and psyche from repetitious invention and nagging imagination. It is off kilter, bordering deranged, and inescapably irresistible as waves of intensity and psychosis engulf the listener.

The Ants! follows sharing everyday observation in alignment with broader dangers. It sweeps over the senses with again heavily pulsing rhythms and electronic shadows suggestively courting thoughts as much as the intimacy of the vocal and guitar melody. Its low key but involving presence makes way for the pop toned exploits of Confetti Crowns, a song which was one of those not quite igniting ears and imagination as much as those encounters around it. Musically and in songwriting, the song does little wrong yet feels like it is there to provide an accessible doorway and infectious invitation into the real and challenging heart of the album where for us the major excitements lie. Nevertheless, the song does please before the Aphex Twin meets The Cure like Ugly Flower and the scuzzy neurosis of Fingered At The Disco steal their share of attention. The first is a shadow thick serenade of sorts whilst its successor again has a tinge of Brian Brain alongside essences hinting at the likes of Fad Gadget, Pere Ubu, and Wire. It is a glorious and disturbing slice of rhythmic dementia and sonic aberration matched in creativity and emotion by Spark’s schizophrenic vocal delivery.

The melancholy soaked embrace Birth (Goodbye Roggar) offers a collage of flavours and samples next, reminding a touch of Cardiff producer Conformist as it flows like melodic mist through ears with whirls of creative and emotional disturbance interrupting its tempestuous calm while This Is God! induces smiles and glances over the shoulder as the introspective story of death bound life comes with the nag of throbbing rhythms, repetition fuelled melodic temptation, and the stable reflection of its provocateur. Another pinnacle of the release, the track bewitches before Sparks infests the classic (Don’t Fear) The Reaper with his own haunting and acoustic imagination to fine effect.

Skip Rope Rhymes concludes with firstly the creative delirium of At Daggers Drawn, a song which absorbs ears in its society bred dementia and finally the invasive yet solemnly beauteous darkness Extinction Song. Both tracks ignite ears and imagination while challenging each, a quality which infests and shapes the whole of Skip Rope Rhymes in varying ways.

Only listening to Skip Rope Rhymes does it true justice though words like ours, as with Confetti Crowns, hopefully become an enticement to want to leap into the dark and thrilling realms of Spaztic Robot; the rewards are swiftly evident for those that do.

Skip Rope Rhymes is out now across most online stores.

http://www.spazticrobot.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spazticrobot   https://twitter.com/robbiesparks

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bag of Nickels – Amen

art_RingMasterReview

Amen is the first release since US rockers Bag of Nickels returned from a recent hiatus and an encounter to work neck muscles and hips. Creating an indie rock sound with a penchant for infectious hooks and rousing vocals, the Wilmington, Delaware bred band is not stretching boundaries with their new offering but it is certainly a release to light the day and heart.

Coming together in 1995, the life of Bag of Nickels has seen several breaks as its members worked on side and solo projects and to defuse the effect of “the grind of playing shows, working 9-5s, and inner turmoil.” The band’s previous albums, Soul Change and Mantequilla, coincided with potent local success and the earning of a strong live reputation which in time has seen the band venture into North Carolina and play several shows in New York.

Amen suggests a band returning from a break re-energised and with intent and the energy to stir up ears and bodies. Produced by Dennis Prado and co-produced and mixed with Grammy-award winning engineer Mike Tarsia, the album immediately gets to work with Hold Your Form. Riffs and whining guitars instantly grip ears as rhythms beat out a captivating lure. The bass is a great throaty element too, its dark grooves contrasting perfectly with the infectious vocal delivery and throbbing nature of the song. It is a great start to Amen quickly engaging body and appetite as familiar yet fresh hues escape the band.

The following Impurities wears more hard rock like essences with its less urgent but as rhythmically empowered character. Again guitars weave a web of enticement combining whining grooves and spicy melodies for two minutes of nothing less than highly enjoyable fun before making way for the Mike Tarsia Remix of Trapper Keeper. Without matching the snappy nature of its predecessors, the song slips easily through ears into an already keenly waiting appetite to hear what is next within Amen, pleasing with every second as the variety across the album blossoms and continues with the equally satisfying funk seeded and blues lined heart of The Set Up.

The rawer rock ‘n’ roll of Liquidation Sale forges a new peak within the album, its feistier melodies and rhythmic incitement compelling as again vocals impress and draw greater listener involvement while rhythms entice feet to share their energy.  More potent with every listen it still finds itself in the shadow of the excellent Speedball, a slice of fiery rock ‘n’ roll with hungry riffs and swinging beats not forgetting another juicily heavy and flirtatious bassline. There is a whiff of Foo Fighters meets The John Baker Trio to the track but as throughout the album any familiar essences collude with the band’s own invention and for the main are not so easy to pin them down.

The gentler hug of the album’s title track is next, guitars and harmonies a warm breeze across the evocative textures of bass and drums, vocals again drawing the imagination with their expression and words. The song is an enthralling encounter, another highlight with a volatility which sparks and erupts to fine effect across the album’s most exciting time, a success which continues to its close.

Amen is concluded by firstly the exotically hued Refrain, another mesmeric and rousing piece of melodic incitement matching the might and imagination of the previous song, and lastly with the bewitching adventure of Sex. Carrying a great XTC feel in their English Settlement era to it, the track glides through ears, stroking the imagination with its folkish yet boisterous melodies as another rhythmic escapade enslaves body and spirit.

Strong and enjoyable from the start but simply irresistible in its closing stretch, Amen easily warrants close attention from bigger spotlights. As suggested Bag of Nickels might not be venturing into unknown pastures with their album and sound but both leave a thick pleasure and keen want for more behind, a success many other bands can only dream of.

Amen is out now @ https://bagofnickels.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BAG-OF-NICKELS-127836390586804/    https://twitter.com/bagnickelsband

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2016

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