Watch Clark – Couch

photo by Christy Wiseman

The sound of Watch Clark is suggested as being akin to the Seattle indie goth/industrial scene of the early 2000’s but definitely there is also an eighties synth pop inspiration which richly flavours its imagination. It is a fusion which goes to make new album, Couch, one ear grabbing and imagination slab of contagion and very easy to recommend to all electronica embracing ears.

Watch Clark is the solo project of Seattle based musician Paul Furio, a former member of Static Engine and SMP. Founded in 2012, Watch Clark released debut album Perfect Imitation the following year with its well-received successor, First Week of Winter unveiled in 2017. Produced, mixed and mastered by Kasson Crooker (Freezepop, Symbion Project, ELYXR), Couch is the striking successor very easy to see pushing Watch Clark into a far bigger spotlight.

A collection of songs themed by a reflection on relationship, political, and life turmoil, Couch immediately had ears and appetite hooked with opener Misery. The blooming of keys and heavy pulse of rhythmic enticement openly wears a Depeche Mode influence but as swiftly the track reveals its own individual character around the magnetic tones of Furio. Industrial dissonance breaks upon the melodic landscape throughout to escalate the potency of drama within the unapologetically catchy and rousing affair.

The outstanding start to the release is matched by the infectious body and swing of the following Class Actress. Like a blend of B Movie romanticism with Kudzu post punk shadows within a Visage-esque croon, the track like its predecessor is pure contagiousness, its instinctive bounce manna to appetite and body before The Sound of Robots Pooping parades its industrial nurtured dance. As dystopian in breath as it is warmly infectious, the predominately instrumental track proved as much a spark for the imagination as an incitement for hips.

Diversity is a potent trait within Couch and potently shows its creative worth with next up Tansfläch, the track an electro industrial incitement bearing the Neue Deutsche Welle tempting of a D.A.F. alongside the cold wave theatre of a Kraftwerk, while The Darkest Place adds its own individual new wave lined proposal in the varied mix with contagious appetite and dexterity. In voice and sound, Furio lights up ears and speaker with a virulent touch which is hard to ignore in movement let alone pleasure.

The following Cross the Chasm has compelling darkness in its heart and touch which only accentuates its bold almost invasive yet haunting quality while The Act of Wanting offers a flirtatious slice of electro rock which again has energies and limbs hooked like a puppeteer across its purposeful stroll. Each again only adds further sides to the varied electronic prism of the album which Math Grenade emulates with its teutonic breath upon industrial dissonance. Again dystopian hues explore thoughts from within the dark infection and once more Watch Clark had attention glued before the equally arousing Get to Win added its particular electro punk grip on ears.

Featuring a vocal duet with Lark Remy in its haunting sigh, Weakness made for easy captivation. Though the sounds around them only hugged satisfaction it was the vocal prowess of Furio and Remy which most seduced and the way the production alternated between moments when each voice has slight dominance in their union.

Completed by the dark infested instrumental of The Cup of Bitter Fate and the melancholy soaked balladry of Choose, two tracks which lingered to haunt the imagination once sharing their final breaths, Couch is an album which provides a rousing fusion of nostalgia and new imagination which as mentioned earlier can only be suggested as a definite exploration for all with a taste for electronic pleasure.

Couch is out now; available @ https://watchclark.bandcamp.com/album/couch

https://www.facebook.com/WatchClarkMusic   https://twitter.com/WatchClarkBand

 Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bait – DLP

Going into the review of the new single from UK outfit Bait it took us by surprise just how long ago we drooled over the band’s self-titled debut album. It feels like yesterday but was at the beginning of 2017 so the fact that it still features on our just for pleasure ‘turntables’ shows how pleasurable we found it. DLP is destined to join that compelling full-length, the track a wonderfully nagging and rousing slice of the band’s unpredictable and riveting sonic imagination.

Southend based Bait first tempted almost taunted us with a track upon the Alternative Occupations EP from Cool Thing Records which featured four of its striking bands. The intrigue and appetite the song bred was richly fed by the debut Bait album, addictively satisfied by the unique fusion of punk, post punk, and industrial espionage which thrilled within. So you can imagine the tingle when the band’s vocalist/songwriter Michael Webster got in touch with their latest track. Of course there are never guarantees, expectations and assumptions always there to be shot down but not this time. DLP was another addiction in the waiting and a big excuse for us to again push you all towards the creative exploits of Mike, Luke Branch, Jim Webster, and M R E.

Synths instantly mark their territory as DLP takes a mere breath to calmly entice, its second exhalation springing a rapacious but inviting stroll impossible to prevent hips and neck muscles responding too. There is an inherent darkness and threat to it all though, that delicious niggle which has marked previous tracks from the band and simply accentuates all the hues and manipulative agility of the song.

At times it calls on ears and imagination like a tenebrific blend of Malicious Damage era Killing Joke, Dalek I/Dalek I Love You, and Nine Inch Nails, but with bleakness as radiant as it is dissonant. Even with those clues to their characters, song and sound are fiercely unique to Bait and barely come close to any true comparisons.

DLP is another invigorating and galvanic outing with Bait, an experience which challenges and rewards, questions and supports with unapologetic eagerness. If you have not checked out this band shame on you, the perfect moment though is now.

DLP is out now via Cool Thing Records.

https://www.facebook.com/hatebait   https://twitter.com/hate_bait

Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

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

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

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

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

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

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

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

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flesh Tetris – Insert Coin EP

Pic Chris Clark

We have all come across and been excited by the prospects of Super Groups; adventures bred from the union of various members of renowned and occasionally legendary bands. Sometimes it leads to new pleasure sometimes disappointment. In the far busier landscape of the musical ‘underground’ such fusions of talent are as prevalent and very often much more thrilling as in the mouth-watering case of UK outfit, Flesh Tetris.

The London quintet makes their introduction to the world with debut EP Insert Coin in May; a collection of songs which with the ease of the summer sun has the spirit rising, body dancing, and juices flowing. To be honest our imagination and excitement had their running shoes on even before a note of their first release was heard; racing away just from the names behind this new proposal. Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of members from four of our indelibly favourite bands and, to us, new musicians just as easily grabbing ears and appetite. First there is long-time friend of The RR, guitarist/bassist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer, Cauldronated, The Duel and a clutch of other projects fame. Then there is the inimitable presence and vocal prowess of vocalist Eva Menon also from Cauldronated as well as the distinct creative mischief and character of vocalist Andy Heintz from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing who has already released one of the year’s essential gems in the shape of the album Double Negative. Alongside the three is Karen Bell who quickly reveals herself as one mighty ear lure with keys, voice, and theremin on the EP and drummer Jez Miller, who lays down inescapable bait with his manipulative swings.

pic by Neil Anderson

It is a line-up which quickly turned an instinctive interest because of their other adventures into lusty attention and an eager appetite for their sound. Described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash”, Flesh Tetris weave a kaleidoscope of styles and flavours in their music, embracing everything from punk and its electro form, to pop and rock, techno, industrial and much more. It makes for something fresh, virulently infectious and imaginatively gripping eager to throw the body and imagination around like a puppet through its animated antics.

Insert Coin opens up with Rabbits, keys initially hugging, inciting, and worming under the skin with lively rhythms for company before Heintz and Menon add their vocal character. The pair have two of the most distinctive voices and unique deliveries in music which alone just stir the passions but together…well it is as if they were born to be alongside each other at some point such their magnetic union. Swiftly the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords employed, its electro dance a viral infection to feet and hips as the cosmic enterprise of Bell and the hypnotic escapades of Duke and Miller romp. With more chance of there being parity across society than escaping the creative fingering of the song, Insert Coin is off to a flyer and only builds from there.

Next up Partners in Crime instantly looms up with intrigue and adventure, like an adult electro bred Scooby Doo adventure with defiant threat and noir kissed romance at its heart. The great grizzled tones of Heintz and the equally alluring European lilted suggestion of Menon take ears and thoughts on the run, sound providing scenic temptation before the seriously magnetic tones of Bell serenade from the midst of the caper. Few bands have one great vocalist, to have three feels greedy and just another reason to explore Flesh Tetris. The track is superb, managing to even eclipse its outstanding predecessor before The Hardest Part swings in with its dub nurtured electronics and rhythmic intimation. Duke has hips swerving with a gentle but keen hunger whilst the controlled skittishness of Miller’s beats is an additional glorious itch to movement. Within this magnetic landscape vocals prowl and roar stirring up even greater greed and lust for a track which simmers before it boils compared to the more instant explosions of those before it but sizzles to the same heights all the same.

The EP closes up with Glass Bottom Boat, a seaside ode starting with a poetic casting regaling the romantic days of old Brighton. As waves lap a delicious hook springs its bait, a potent lure which you would surmise could only come from the imagination of Duke such its individuality. With Bell’s keys flirting alongside, the slice of smiling rock ‘n’ roll quickly has body and participation rocking; nostalgic pop nurtured harmonics adding to the song’s grin. Imagine a fusion of The Revillos, Chicks On Speed, and The Dreadnoughts and you get a whiff though nothing more of the great EP finale.

Flesh Tetris describe their music as “pop music for unpopular people” and if this is what ‘hate’ inspires we for one quite content to be among the disliked at the kind of thrilling party where you Insert Coin and salaciously enjoy.

The Insert Coin EP is released 26th May across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kudzu – Defeated

With a sound as eclectic and unpredictable as it is ravenously catchy, US synth pop duo Kudzu have just released their new album, Defeated. It is an infestation of infectious hooks, flirtatious synths, and rousing escapades but to tag it merely as synth pop is an injustice to its diversity, the album a stirring web of post punk, electro punk, industrial and more across its seriously magnetic body.

Springfield based Kudzu consists of Seth Goodwin (vocals, synth, and drum programming) and Mark Gillenwaters (vocals and guitar). Inspirations to the project include the likes of Tears For Fears, The Cure, Spectrum, Guided by Voices, Sympathy Nervous, and This Heat but as suggested, their sound has a much broader tapestry which is as bred in the seventies/eighties synth landscape as the creative now. It makes for a proposition which is as familiar as it is boldly fresh and one massive treat of a listen.

It opens with the punk assault of Some Cops, a track bursting from its electronic shimmer with zeal and urgency soaked in creative dissonance. At the same time it is a virulently catchy incitement, its fuzzy fumes leaving the senses as woozy as the bone shuddering beats. Like Calling All Astronauts meets Artery at its core, the song equally embraces psych rock winds in its contagious turbulence to provide Defeated with one ear grabbing start.

Straight away the variety of the album is at play as the following and quite superb No Backbone breaks the dividing peace with electro pulses straight out of the early Mute Records catalogue. Instantly thoughts of bands like The Normal arise but are soon pushed to the background as guitar spun melodies and harmonic vocals tease and caress respectively.  The hook Gillenwaters casts with his strings is simply delicious, a psyche enslaving lure soon backed by the darker pulsation of keys and the snapping resonance of rhythms; kind of like a fusion of B-Movie, The Cure, and Modern English yet unique from start to finish.

The album’s title track brings a scuzzier breath to ears; its post punk irritability echoed in the John Lydon textured vocals but again there is a repetitious coaxing teasing and tempting at the centre of the fuzz ball which necessitates only submission to its infectious demands. As its predecessor, it brings another hue to Defeated as does next up Burn Yourself, though its electro punk surge is akin to the opener. With the increasingly magnetic vocals almost gliding over the tides of noise springing from synths and guitar, it was so easy to be swept up in the raw yet skilfully nurtured arms of the track as thoughts colluded with its lyrical insight. Defeated is described as “a reaction to mounting disappointments and frustrations with increasingly frustrating and disappointing realities” and with intimacy and a worldly observation its often dissonant words hit the spot whilst almost arguing with the rousing catchiness of their vehicles.

The mesmeric Balking the Grave is next, the song a riveting post/gothic punk shadow bound serenade which almost seeps under the skin with its slow drawl and bordering concussive clang while Sleep in Disguise is a boisterous slice of synth pop/new wave with the scent of bands like Mr.Kitty, OMD, and early Human League to its bright if slightly caustic breeze.  Both tracks border the irresistible yet still get slightly outshine by One Purpose with its flirtatious Blancmange like melodies and climate.

One definite peak in the lofty heights of Defeated is followed by the ear grabbing proposal of When You Were Mine. The song is almost like a weave of the best traits of its predecessors, a tenacious pop song with attitude and seduction in its raw charms which manages to grumble and serenade in the same breath before leaving to allow B.I.Y.E. to bring things to a transfixing close. With its cold scenery and instinctive bounce, the song merges the alluring traits of a Joy Division and Modern Eon in its industrially edged and melodically draped canter. It is a fine end to an album which we are finding hard to shake off as new propositions to look at build up. That is never a bad aspect to have and as Defeated is so enjoyable we are certainly not complaining.

Defeated is out now via Push & Pull Records; available @ https://kudzukudzukudzu.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kudzuspringfield/    https://twitter.com/kudzuzudukudzu

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pavillon Rouge – Dynasteia Klub

Continuing the conflict in their self-acclaimed “War on the dancefloor”, French metallers Pavillon Rouge are poised to unleash their latest assault in the shape of third album Dynasteia Klub. It brings an escalation in their sonic violence, drama, and virulent trespasses as well as thickly bound fascination as the band’s fusion of electro, industrial, and blackened extreme metal breaches new thresholds and heights in creative dissension. It is a one of a kind hostile pleasure invading body and psyche like a contentious puppeteer.

Formed by guitarist/programmer Mervyn and drummer YVH back in 2008, Pavillon Rouge swiftly made a potent impact with their merger of black metal and hardcore techno bound in atmospheric suggestion but especially caught attention and acclaim with debut album Solmeth Pervitine three years later. Its success and strengths were subsequently eclipsed by its successor Legio Axis Ka in 2015, an inescapable assault and incitement capping a time seeing the Grenoble hailing outfit play with the likes of Psygnosis, Himinbjorg, Svart Crown, and The CNK. Both releases were fuelled by a sound which showed real individuality and now finds even stronger character and adventure within Dynasteia Klub. It has the body dancing, the imagination conjuring, and the senses cowering to its bold invasive tempest; guitarist/vocalist Mu Cephei, bassist E.Shulgin, drummer XVH, and Mervyn, a line-up completed live by guitarist ADB, voraciously trespassing with industrial uniqueness.

Album opener L’Harmonie et la Force instantly spreads an atmospheric breath around ears, intrigue and shadows blending within its intimation as melodies begin to vein the lure. All the time a rhythmic pulse is brewing, looming closer with portentous hues and eventually driving the heart of the sonic incursion. Vocals scowl and holler as beats throb, melodic enterprise as toxic yet magnetic as the black raw intensity of the track. Within seconds the body was bouncing, ears devouring, and enjoyment brewing, the track increasingly offering the kind of predacious enterprise which marked out the last album but with greater craft and maturity not forgetting fresh character.

The following Ô Legions, Ô Triomphes initially gives respite for the breathlessness drawn by its predecessor, synths colluding in the song’s melodic weaving though all the time you sense an underlying voracity and urgency which soon takes the reins of another quickly and fiercely addictive challenge. Even then it still retains its control as vocals and heavy shadows accentuate its theatre of threat and manipulation though a mercurial edge lines it all ensuring a lack of predictability.

The album’s title track immerses the senses next, its weave of electronic, industrial, and grievous metal an infestation of irritable infectiousness around vocal and rhythmic discord and temptation respectively. There is a cosmopolitan hue to the guitar’s melodic web, a theatre echoing the lyrical aspects such as discipline, joy, and forgiveness bred in the release’s Ancient Greek Philosophy inspired themes. Again the band refuse to release the listener from its invasive physical tenacity; ebbs and flows in its gait only adding to the inescapable infectiousness before Le Rayonnement Du Temple Nouveau brings a relative calm with its initial invitation. Soon though, an intrusive tapestry of sound and emotion envelops ears, its grasp dark and suggestive as it explores the senses and imagination.

From its first breath, the outstanding In Aenigmate grips with insatiable hunger, senses whipping rhythms pushing its boisterous trespass as guitars and bass flirt with the same rapacious intent while Bodhisattva offers a kinder intensity though it is just as potent in its creative maze and emotional ferocity led by vocal friction. An inventive fusion of the familiar and fresh, the song did not quite inflame the passions as many before it but with the body uniting in its energy and appetite in its drama, the song left pleasure full before the more atmospherically and physically barbarous Notre Foi Brûle Encore took limbs and lungs on another solicitous ride. As with all tracks, unexpected twists and turns add to the drama of its insatiable intent without ever bringing a deviation from the creative, emotional, and corporeal voracity.

The album concludes with firstly another of its pinnacles in Dans L’ailleurs Absolu; a song which, if not in sound, rhythmically and intensively has something of an early Killing Joke feel to it behind a collage of samples and riveting textures. Its unbridled magnetism draws the listener into the closing ethereal embrace of Ad Augusta. Unsurprisingly it has a tempestuous heart which breeds ravenous rock ‘n’ roll, a storm of enterprise continuing to be draped in the melodic poetry of synths.

It is a tremendous, energy sapping end to an album which relentlessly devours the listener as much as it persistently pleasures them. Like many we were hooked on Pavillon Rouge’s warfare thanks to Legio Axis Ka, now the even more creatively powerful and striking Dynasteia Klub brings lust into play.

Dynasteia Klub is released March 30th through Season of Mist.

http://dynasteiaklub.com/    https://www.facebook.com/LuxDiscipline/

Pete RingMaster 27/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

As A New Revolt – Speechless

Unleashing the turbulence and discontent fuelling the world today, As A New Revolt provides a potent voice for the masses and another truly fresh breath for a year with many momentous propositions within its roar. Speechless is a stunning introduction to the duo of Manu Barrero (vocals, machines) and Julien Lhuillier (drums), a four track EP reflecting the oppression around today and the increasing defiance to it but also a title pretty much summing up certainly our lost for words response to its impressive presence.

As A New Revolt create a sound spawned from the feral fusion of rapcore, punk, industrial, hip hop and much more. What emerges is a unique and ravenously rapacious affair driven by the dexterous tenacity of Lhuillier’s rhythms and infested with the sonic discord and vocal dissonance of Barrero. It is a greedily welcomed trespass of noise which swiftly gets under the skin and proceeds to manipulate body and spirit with its almost carnal infestation.

Speechless opens up with its title track, samples and corrosive noise colluding as tension springs an imposing swagger of noise and Barrero’s slightly psychotic tones. An underlying volatility only adds to the threat and lure, the track lumbering along with predacious intent as inspiring rhythms land with calculated intent. Essences akin to bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Pitchshifter, G.R.I.M., and Nine Inch Nails tease within the cauldron, all hues in the stirring and individual web of the French pair.

The following Riot Porn is even more urgent to invade the senses, its gait boisterous but happy to ebb and flow as Barrero fingers song and thoughts with his vocal stabs. As within its predecessor, electronic and melodic tendrils spiral across the encounter, their magnetic attraction and imagination as toxic as the barbarous winds sonically blowing around them. Lhuillier splinters it all with his own gripping rhythmic drama, every beat a shuddering yet anthemic coaxing inciting song and listener alike and managing to be even more manipulative and colossal in next up Now!, a track which steals the show for personal tastes.

With its eastern sonic lures and compelling beats, the track instantly seduces attention, its portentous air gripping the imagination as a tapestry of sound and enterprise aligns in a mutually riveting web. Though not in sound as such there is something of early Killing Joke to the song and band’s general sound, the same kind of rhythmic addictiveness and nagging ingenuity eating away at defences to inescapable success.

Perfect brings things to a close, the song ‘mellower’ in attack but tenebrous in tone and atmosphere as it challenges and incites second by second, note by note, noise by noise. Unsurprisingly after taking in the previous trio of tracks, there is a gloriously capricious character to the assault, a tempestuousness which builds and boils though it is content to menace through simmering provocation too as vocals and rhythms probe and inflame.

It is a superb end to a truly thrilling release which among many mouth-watering and momentous encounters across 2017 just might be the best of the lot.

Speechless is available now through Atypeek Diffusion / Sand Music across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/asanewrevolt     https://twitter.com/asanewrevolt

Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright