Dead Cross- Self Titled

Pic SAWA

As the world seemingly surges rather than drifts into bedlam it is maybe not surprising that a sound is rising to echo it’s chaotic and discord fuelled order. It resonates from the creative union within Dead Cross, a project said to have emerged “out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation.” Featuring the combined acclaimed talent and creative ingenuity of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas….), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross has just released their self-titled debut album; a deviously manipulative and skilfully conjured tempest of noise and intent, simply manic manna for the senses and imagination.

There really is no need to provide background to the members of Dead Cross, each individually and within a mass of bands having set down incitements and inspirations so many have fed upon and blossomed their own ventures with. So it is straight to the first breath of the foursome’s first release we go and the initial sonic mist of Seizure and Desist. From its midst surging raw riffs and rampaging rhythms burst, their assault soon joined by the distinctive and ever rapaciously mercurial vocals of Patton. Just as recognisable are the dynamically imaginative and textile swings of Lombardo; his anthemically biting incitement entangled in the sonic rapacity of Crain and the grumbling bestial tones of Pearson’s bass. A senses crumbling assault of hardcore, he track is as multi-flavoured as it is uncompromisingly furious and a hint of the developing web of noise and varied rock ‘n’ roll infesting the punk heart of the release.

The following Idiopathic even further harries and bullies the senses, its rhythms fuelling a barbarous catchiness which spreads to the united vocal attack and raw tone and causticity of the outstanding track. Unpredictability is as rampant as animosity, mischievous craft and fun equally as bold within the senses ravishing, body inciting maelstrom. Every passing second brings a fresh breath of bold and devilish adventure, the track a dancing predator by the time it makes way for the waspish nagging and unrelenting beating of Obedience School. It is glorious stuff, barbarous and harmonically bewitching leaving a tapestry of punk, alternative metal, and gothic rock suggestion.

Shillelagh is simply punk rock yet hardcore unafraid to embrace the spices of other pungent flavours to its infectious animus; the result a venomous contagion which has the body bouncing and appetite drooling before the imagination is enslaved all over again by a riveting cover of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Infesting it with the kind of energy and boisterousness felt at the Batcave venue back in the day, Dead Cross ensure the shadows and haunting atmosphere of the original are still an invasive temptation; Crain casting veins of melodic acidity which alone beguiles the senses.

The caustic invasion of Divine Filth hits the spot dead centre right after too, Patton and co vocally swinging from imagination’s rafters as the music around them throws itself around like an imaginatively manic dervish, again every passing second bringing new twists and expectations destroying adventure. Grave Slave is equally as tenacious in tone and intent, the Suicidal Tendencies exploits of Lombardo seemingly inspiring the whole of Dead Cross as they funk out with raw intensity and rancorous resourcefulness whilst equally embracing a Melvins meets early Therapy? like friction. It is a highly addictive proposal within an album similarly growing drug like in its temptation.

The persistent creative harassment of The Future Has Been Cancelled matches the lure and entrapment of its predecessor with its own individual and increasingly ravenous quicksand of sound and invention, at one point sinking into a quagmire of heavy seduction before bursting out with its instinctive rabid virulence of energy and sound to head towards the waiting heavy set jaws of Gag Reflex. It too meanders and dashes through a landscape of evolving gaits and twisted manhandling of the listener; each turn increasing its magnetism and our subservience to its manipulation.

The industrially lined shadows of Church of the Motherfuckers brings the album to a mighty conclusion, the track lumbering along with a primal swagger as resonating beauty glistens in its atmosphere. On the ground irritability guides the tempestuous exploits of the track, its climate remaining relatively clam but around a volatile heart which beats with combustibility. Through it all Lombardo springs a rhythmic trap which enslaves body and spirit, his creative mastery the last word in persuasion as the album comes to a thrilling close.

The tag super-group is bound to accompany many references to Dead Cross but ignore them. The band is a real and potent new force in its own right, yes embracing the previous experiences and exploits of its creators but offering something very different and exciting to rival and outshine most hardcore/punk noise exploits around them.

The Dead Cross album is out now via Ipecac Recordings through most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Le Butcherettes – A Raw Youth

photo credit- Monica Lozano

photo credit- Monica Lozano

Contagious and fierce, diversely imaginative and aggressively bold, A Raw Youth is punk rock at its best. In sound it might not always seem so but in attitude and uncompromising nature it is a rebel, a confrontation to match its theme, which is best described by the words of Teri Gender Bender, “The focus of the album is the recurring conflict between minorities (the raw youths) and society: The oppressor and the oppressed,” the vocalist adding “Each song is a different story of a youth from a different time era. Some of them want to die because their faith in humanity has ended, some want to fight the authority, think outside themselves.

The new album from Mexico based Le Butcherettes also roars with a celebratory air and rousing enterprise, a quality ensuring each track not only hits the spot musically and lyrically but leaves a lingering web of temptation for body and emotions. That will not really be a major surprise to fans of the band, their previous albums Sin Sin Sin of 2011 and last year’s Cry Is For The Flies especially, bulging riots of gripping sound and middle finger combat, but fair to say the trio of Gender Bender, drummer Chris Common (These Arms Are Snakes) and bassist Jamie Aaron Aux have pushed the creative intensity and adventure on again with A Raw Youth. The band’s third, and as its predecessors, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez produced, the album is their finest incitement yet, a rebel rousing slice of primal, thought provoking rock ‘n’ roll.

It all begins with Shave The Pride, a growling punk bred encounter quickly availing ears of grouchy riffs and the ever appealing tones of Gender Bender. Common’s beats frame the union with zest whilst Aux’s bass just snarls its way into the passions. The song itself never meanders from a cantankerous tone and infectious stride through ears, leaving greater adventure to those to come but easily makes for a stirring and anthemic start which has ears and appetite wide awake and ready for tracks like My Mallely which follows. Discord kissed melodies from keys opens up the swift attention grabber, bass and guitars again adding their irritable bait before the compelling and ever distinct tones of Gender Bender enrich ears. The infectious swagger of the song, driven by the excellent addictive nature of Common’s rhythms, has a 4 Non Blondes feel to it backed by warm keys which just slip over the senses with emotive temptation.

Le Butcherettes A Raw Youth Cover_RingMaster Review   From one major highlight to another pair in Reason to Die Young and La Uva. The first seduces and bellows like a blend of PJ Harvey and a restrained Lene Lovich, voice and sound effortlessly inciting body and emotions with its tempestuous yet wholly virulent, slightly No Doubt like, blaze. Within it that an off kilter enticing adds a great unpredictability which is fully explored more in its successor. The fourth track on the album is a maze of textures and inventive sound entwining with and bouncing off the superb vocal union between the siren-esque harmonics of Gender Bender and the dark, lordly tones of guest Iggy Pop. Like De Staat meets Bauhaus with the devilment of a 6:33 infused, the track is a gloriously sinister and gripping fascination; a union of dark and light, warped power and innocence.

The outstanding Sold Less Than Gold keeps the lusty emotions inflamed again with its sixties pop meets indie revelry. A song looking on women who are sold into marriages or sex slavery, it is an invigorating flame of catchy rhythms, warm vocals, and bracing horns within a bouncy canter and energy in which potently reflects the resilience in the spirits of those enslaved.

Tantalising tones over a fuzzy landscape provides the next recruitment of feet and imagination in the shape of Stab My Back, its punchy touch and defiant nature ebbing and flowing with greater voracity across its four minutes before the aggression of They Fuck You Over ensures things get even scuzzier and antagonistically fiercer. A storm of punk and garage rock, it brawls with the listener yet has them on the dance-floor too. It with raw zeal uncages a contagion of addiction which in its own distinct way is matched by Witchless C Spot. Atmospherically immersive and haunting, the track wraps the senses like a dry mist initially, the voice of Gender Bender hypnotic in presence and word, before stalking textures and suggestiveness boil over in a fiery but controlled crescendo. It is a tempting repeating again, with the calm after holding more spicy additives second time around.

The Hitch Hiker is a riveting duet between the two protagonists within the narrative of the excellent encounter, Gender Bender taking both sides against saucy keys with an Oingo Boingo essence to them, and the ever welcome trespass of bass and swinging beats. Again the band has bodies out of their seats with ease whilst inciting thought, the lyrical writing and prowess of the vocalist as cutting and potent as the sounds relishing their input. It is a quality of course shown again in the transfixing Lonely & Drunk, a song far more hard hitting than on first appearances and increasingly magnetic with its golden melodies and predatory rhythms.

A favourite moment of the album comes with Oil The Shoe If The Critter Knew Any Better, a funk punk stroll of garage rock tenacity and psych rock hues which is as masterful prowling the imagination as it is venting its full energy and rapacious intent. The track just hits the spot leaving closing song My Half a tough job to match. Fair to say it does not quite find that success yet with the featured John Frusciante bringing his majestic fingers on steely strings to the bluesy/psyche mix, the album is provided with a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive end.

Le Butcherettes continue to burn the imagination and the issues of the world with their ravenous maelstrom of rock ‘n’ roll and A Raw Youth is their latest plateau of craft and imagination. There is always a smile when something new from the band arrives and their new album shows exactly why; one highly recommended proposal for you all.

A Raw Youth is available via Ipecac Recordings from September 18th via through all digital platforms.

Pete RingMaster 18/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up +

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

If you have yet to make acquaintance with the acerbic and snarling charm of UK duo Sleaford Mods, then Chubbed Up + is a must. Released originally in February this year as a digital release, the album is now receiving its physical unleashing via Ipecac Recordings, and makes an inescapable and irresistible doorway into the antagonistic world of the band. As the earlier unveiling, the album is a collection of tracks making up the bands recent clutch of singles but this time with an additional trio of unreleased songs. Following the acclaimed seventh album Divide and Exit which hit the senses this past April, Chubbed Up + reminds that there has been a long-time impressive assault and presence to the Nottingham provocateurs which may have slipped many by until this year.

Sleaford Mods is unique, a proposition which can be best described as Swell Maps and The Fall meets Pop Will Eat Itself driven by the observation and caustic lyrical ire of Mark E Smith; yet it is different and individual again. This is probably a band which seduces or alienates, it’s strikingly individual and fury fuelled provocation manna or poison for ears and emotions, but it is a challenge which has to be met face on to know your fate. If they hit the spot it is a long term allegiance which as their albums keep showing, just gets more potent and tightly gripping.

The emergence of Sleaford Mods came in 2006 when Jason Williamson drew on his frustrations with life and society to breed a verbal and lyrical causticity which he honed over the next months. A couple of years in London saw him hit the live scene before in 2009 returning to his home of Nottingham and subsequently meeting and uniting with Andrew Fearn in the band. By this point Sleaford Mods already had four albums under its belt but the fifth, Wank, was the first drawing on the lyrical and vocal fire of Williamson aligned to the musical and sample imagination of Fearn. Its success only led to greater invention and acclaim as Austerity Dogs in 2013 and then Divide and Exit has shown. Now like a stock take and reminder of the bands smaller but no less incendiary minimalistic brawls, Chubbed Up + is a call to new and extra treat for existing fans.

Sleaford Mods’ sound is a two prong attack, the lyrical scathing and vocal belligerence of Williamson in league with the predatory rhythmic seduction of Fearn. There is more to the band’s proposals but that is the dual prime bait as shown by opening song The Committee. One of the brand new songs, it snares ears straight away with a gnarly bassline which alone steals the imagination. With vocal sways inviting equally intimidating beats, the song soon embraces the stirring and raw tones of Williamson. A mix of speaking and rapping, his delivery has a great John Cooper Clarke monotony which swiftly binds attention so that every syllable and word is tightly gripped, yet it does not defuse the equally pungent Sleaford Mods ipc-162lure of Fearn’s sounds.

Though each track has seeds in a similar template, minimal flirtations of hypnotic and repetitive rhythms stalking the corrosive wordage of Williamson, all grow individual characters such as the electro pumped Jobseeker with its post punk bass tempting, the funkily incessant 14 Day court, and the punk heroics of Black Monday. The third of the three strolls with a Caped Crusader enticing, bass and percussion a nagging persistence wrapped in just as small but flavoursome keys. Old school punk with a kiss of early Cure and Television Personalities to it, the song stomps with insatiable appetite and irresistible revelry.

If like us you are seduced by addictive and unremitting basslines than Sleaford Mods and tracks like Jolly Fucker in the bands arsenal trigger instinctive hunger. The song pounds and intimidates physically and mentally, challenging thoughts and passions with sublime ease whilst lighting up body and imagination with terrier like persistence and ferocity. Tweet Tweet Tweet is another ridiculously compelling example, though its tone comes with a more restrained but similarly contagious swagger, musically and vocally a feisty striding unafraid to drape slithers of melodies and harmonies over its robust flanks.

   Chubbed Up + is an unrelenting string of addictions, the unique throaty sonic colouring of Bambi sparking immediate lust with a bassline and scything guitar repetition which lies somewhere between Gang Of Four and Morkobot. Lorded by the riveting antagonism of Williamson, the song is one of the band’s loftiest pinnacles, though the majority of their tracks stalk the same plateau as proved by the earthy menace and anthemic prowl of Routine Dean and the sultry shuffle of Scenery, the latter holding a repetitious spine but a cloudy haze to its slim line landscape of sound around lyrical spikiness.

The bestial tone of the bass returns for the outstanding Pubic Hair Ltd; a rhythmically punchy and vocally anthemic scowl loaded with more contagion than found in the world of banker’s greed. Its enthralling and glorious baiting leads into the final two songs of the album, the other pair of brand new tracks. Bring Out the Canons explores a predatory intent and sound, bass and beats almost leering over ears as vocals and choice lyrics grip the imagination. It is an engrossing and intrusive pulsing of lyrical grudge, which along with the opener and last song Fear of Anarchy, hints that the band is worrying even greater invention ahead. The album’s last track seductively sways with bulky rhythmic hips and melodic intrigue, blasts of brass like teasing adding to the incendiary mix grasping the broody vocal incitement.

It is a scintillating finale to an outstanding release. To be fair any way into the creative anger of Sleaford Mods is a choice invitation but if they have yet to infest the psyche then Chubbed Up + is a must. Be warned though, once tainted it is impossible to give them up.

Chubbed Up + is available now, digitally @ http://sleafordmods.bandcamp.com/album/chubbed-up-the-singles-collection and physically with the extra songs through Ipecac Recordings @

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chubbed-Up-Sleaford-Mods/dp/B00NQZLIS4/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414432923&sr=1-3

http://www.sleafordmods.com

RingMaster 27/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Melvins – Tres Cabrones

melvins tres cabrones

Since day one there has been a magnetic charm, flair, genius, whatever you wish to call it about Melvins and their unique releases. It is a potency or schizophrenic mastery which has seduced and fulfilled an ever growing legion throughout their thirty year inventive assault. Whatever the success and heights individual releases have found the band has never left anyone wanting for quality and the distinctive essence which is pure Melvins, and new persuasion Tres Cabrones is no exception. Whether it is one of their finest moments to date can and will be discussed no doubt but certainly this mischievous temptation is prime Melvins, a riveting, and exceedingly satisfying provocation which feeds expectations whilst stretching areas of their sound just that little bit more.

The twelve track Ipecac Recordings released album sees two thirds of the first band line-up in place, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover linking up with original drummer Mike Dillard who left the band in 1984, and with diversity and unpredictability set in the familiar Melvins cast style Tres Cabrones makes for an irresistible rampage through the imagination. It is an instant instigator for the passions from the very start with opener Dr. Mule with its addictive blaze of crisply laid rhythms and fiery grooves within a sonic web of enterprise, making a compelling introduction to the release. The song unleashes an almost sirenesque lure through its seductive sonic tempting, an element of Pere Ubu spicing its presence with the vocals especially recalling the bedlamic delivery of David Thomas. It is an outstanding entrance into the album immediately backed up by the just as impressive City Dump.

The second track is a dirty growl of rock ‘n’ roll, carnivorous riffs snarling persistently whilst sonic flames scorch the air with an equally needy rabidity which leaves a hunger rife within the emotions, this fired up appetite soon given plenty to chew upon with American Cow and Dogs and Cattle Prods. The first of the pair is a stalking intimidation, its predacious riffery a deliciously worrisome confrontation skirted by dark throated basslines and sonic manipulations of guitar. There is a grizzled contempt to the vocals throughout too though nicely tempered by the cleaner delivery both adding impressive bait within the cantankerous prowl. The second of the two is a festering of grimy hard rock and sonic teasing which makes a straightforward bruising narrative for its first stretch before exuding the band’s finest stoner imagination and fire as it evolves its striking presence with a sultry breath, acoustic caresses, and crawling, searing dynamics.

The song is followed by the second of three fun filled interludes; Tie My Pecker to a Tree, 99 Bottles of Beer, and You’re In The Army Now all delivered in the inimitable Melvins style to leave grins wide and providing a respite from an intensity built in other tracks, such as the synapse tantalising Psychodelic Haze, a song which sizzles whilst leering greedily at and putting pressure upon the senses through a sonic infused concussive smog. If that enthralling mental trip was not enough the threesome take it further with the excellent I Told You I Was Crazy. The discord fuelled, brain addling treat is swamp gas seeping sonic devilry at its best, a presence which soaks and tempts the imagination into a shadow drenched slice of asylum courted majesty, its sinister cradling of the ears a cross between Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers and  Buzzov•en, but all Melvins.

Both Stump Farmer and Walter’s Lips provide riff sculpted temptation which is impossible to resist, the first a brief and forceful acquaintance which though reined for the main still has a ferocity which is commanding and insatiable whilst the other track is a gnarly mix of punk and heavy rock which abrases with its raw causticity and seduces with wanton melodic flames.

The closing of the album is left to Stick em’ Up Bitch, a glam rock inspired riot which opens with a lure straight out of Ballroom Blitz and continues to rattle nostalgia cages with its lascivious offering. It concludes Tres Cabrones in fine style, completing what is a deeply satisfying and thrilling release. The album is pure Melvins, an encounter which arguably does not challenge expectations too rigorously but definitely gives them food for thought and exciting adventures to find unpredictability within, without question another must investigate album from a continually inspiring band.

http://www.themelvins.net

9/10

RingMaster 05/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Melvins – Everybody Loves Sausages

Melvins Everybody Loves Sausages hi res

Bands doing covers is always an intrigue if only to see what one assumes has inspired them but when it comes to whole albums of bringing forth hopefully re-invented versions past experiences usually show it is just a lead to disappointment. So many bands just produce the original in their own voice without seemingly using a thought to actually making the songs their own. Approaching Everybody Loves Sausages from the Melvins though there was only excited intrigue with doubts given no breathing space just because it was the Washington band, a group who has never just painted by numbers.  Of course there could still be a chance they would fall the way of so many others but the thirteen track triumph soon puts that notion to bed. The album is magnificent, a window into the as vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne explains, “This record will give people a peak into the kind of things that influence us musically.” Melvins do make the songs theirs and even those they approach using the template of the original it still offers twists and seditious creativity which only leads to lustful wonder.

Released via Ipecac Recordings, Everybody Loves Sausages as expected has a mischief across its length though also an open respect for the sounds and artists which inspired them. It is impossible to imagine the original creators of the songs being anything other than impressed and thrilled by the release even when some of the tracks actually outstrip the originals. The album sees the full line-up of Osborne, Dale Crover, Jared Warren and Coady Willis on the album though there are a trio of tracks with the Melvins Lite incarnation of the band on Osborne, Crover and Trevor Dunn.  It also sees plenty of guest appearances to add extra texture and riveting enterprise to the release.

The release opens with Warhead, the band faithfully brewing the seeds of the Venom black metal classic with the bite of Scott Kelly of Neurosis rearing its might on vocals and guitar. It is an immediate lure into the potently eclectic album, its abrasive snarl as anthemic and tempting as the original setting the senses off on a rush of anticipation as the following Queen track (You’re My) Best Friend steps forward with a surprising Nintendo like 8-bit beckoning. With Caleb Benjamin from Tweak Bird handling the vocals wonderfully, the song is a mellow caress with the veins of Mercury and co wrapping the ear from within the seductive and fiery touch of the Melvins. Though not as flamboyant as the original though with a broader pop invitation, it still brings a grandeur and showy embrace forth which leaves the listener warm and energised for more.

After the impossible to disapprove of take on the Ram Jam track Black Betty, the album breaks out its real glories starting firstly with Set It On Fire, an excellent track of The Scientists revived and given a fresh growl with Mark Arm of Mudhoney adding his ever outstanding vocals. It is an excellent aural scowl upon the ear which is then pushed into the shade by the stunning Station To Station. Already haunting and experimental in the hands of Bowie, Melvins turn it into a deeper more intimidating corrosive beauty. The opening industrial malevolence of everyday intensity stalks and congests the ear, a sonic ambience stinging the senses within the restrained yet bedlamic shadowed fuelled wash enveloping the listener and thoughts. From within a lone melodic figure steps forward accompanied by a carnivorous bass provocation before the guitars send sonic flames across the roof of the psyche bending track. With vocals from JG Thirlwell of Foetus bringing the narrative to vibrant life within the scuzzy cavernous texture, the eleven minute song is wonderful, its busy snarl a step into everyday life torture never investigated in the excellent original.

Further intense highlights to rival the pair come in the likes of the punk grazing Attitude with Clem Burke of Blondie joining the band on the Kinks song, the excellent Timothy Leary Lives, one of the tracks with the Melvins Lite line-up and a song which plays like a mix of Stan Ridgway and The Dickies, and an abrasive punk version of The Jam song Art School featuring Tom Hazelmeyer (founding member of Halo Of Flies and the proprietor of Amphetamine Reptile) on vocals and guitar. The last of the trio borders a Spinal Tap moment but pulls it off brilliantly with the fake cockney accent coming over like Danny Dyer playing Jimmy Pursey but recruiting the passions and sending them off with the devilment of the closing almost valid piss-take. To be honest every track is a gem, the choice of material and its re-working contagious with even tracks which held no place in the passions before now finding an elevated status in the arms of the Melvins.

Two more great moments come with the closing take of Throbbing Gristle’s Heathen Earth, the band re-inventing its existing brilliance and the stunning In Every Dream Home A Heartache. The Roxy Music track features Jello Biafra and ex-Melvins bassist Kevin Rutmanis, and is a delicious dark entry on the album and psyche. Opening on a funereal doomy entrancement with Biafra adding an irresistible psychotic lilt to the already shadowed provoking song, the band ignites further sonic flames and intense energies to stretch its chilling presence.

Everybody Loves Sausages is pure joy and an album to set standards for all others contemplating covering other’s material, with first key being do it with passion, something Melvins do everything with.

http://themelvins.net/

9/10

RingMaster 29/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Guano Padano: 2

Like a soundtrack to a disturbed world drawn from the imagination of Sergio Leone, David Lynch, and Robert Rodriguez, 2 the glorious new album from Italian band Guano Padano, lights up every aspect of the body. The release awakens the senses, incites thoughts and imagination whilst using feet like a puppeteer with their contagious heated sounds and rhythms. The album is outstanding, a release which fits nowhere but has a feast of delights for all.

The new album follows the 2009 self titled debut album from Guano Padano which had a limited release in Italy. Released through Ipecac Recordings, 2 gives the band a needed and deserved wider canvas to recruit from and it is hard to imagine their following not increasing dramatically as the album reaches many more ears. The trio of guitarist/multi-string instrumentalist Alessandro Stefana, Danilo Gallo bass/piano/organ and Zeno De Rossi on drums, unleash a series of cinematic instrumentals which evoke individual moments and lives within this golden world which dazzle and transport thoughts to new yet familiar soundscapes. Musically the band combines the fine flavours distilled from jazz, bluegrass, surf rock, country, folk, rock and more, to conjure a smouldering journey with a spaghetti western film noir breath. To be honest it is wonderfully hard to explain but very easy to immerse within and enjoy to the full.

The album opens with the short Last Night, a piece of music which is emotively elegant but comes with a blistered background and increasing intensity as it moves into the waiting heat of Zebulon. The second track gallops into view with an eager swagger and shimmering spaghetti western melodics. You can feel the heat sliding off the atmosphere which wraps the music and visualise sceneries of sand and bristling activity. There is also a slight surf spice to the composition which wakens the taste buds for the full flavour a little further on within Gran Bazaar.

The track is stunning, a sultry presence within the ear and a seductive temptation for the senses. With guitars either picking at notes to find their limits before snapping  or sending flames of sharp melodic  passion through the air, the track is an insatiable infection offering a fluid feast of Middle Eastern promise and surf romance within its mesmeric world. It is a near wanton tease which no one can or would refuse.

The album as each track passes into the imagination, shows fully eclectic sounds and ideas, the likes of the slow pacing Gumbo with its pulsating jazz whispers and evocative melodic showers, the excitable hoe down Bellavista, and Miss Chan with its hypnotic oriental kiss, all offering  new detours and experiences within the expansive journey. The last of the three starts off with a scratchy mesh of oriental radio voices and the plunking of traditional eastern strings before erupting into another sizzling fire of surf and Japanese sounds veined with acidic sonic guitar manipulations. As seemingly everywhere one is transported into an enveloping weave of picture telling emotion and sonic sights soundtracked by great provocative sounds.

2 is an album with every track leaving nothing but deep pleasure in their wake but as always personal tastes finds ones which stand out from the crowd and alongside Gran Bazaar there are two which ignite the fullest fires. Firstly there is Lynch, a track borne from the dark shadows and empty solitary street corners with just a lone jazz musician for a friend.  The track has a film noir breath but behind it there is a sinister and almost unworldly pulse, a hungry discord waiting to misdirect the melodic enterprise. It is glorious, arguably the most powerful of all the tracks and one which lingers in the mind well past its expiring notes.

As with their first album, the band brought in the talents of others on 2 letting the craft of the likes of Marc Ribot (John Zorn, Tom Waits), Chris Speed, and Paul Niehaus (Lambchop) grace the release. The other great highlight of the album Prairie Fire, the only track with vocals. It also features a guest, the inimitable Mike Patton. The track is brilliant, a song with the wicked grin of the devil and the mischief of, well Mike Patton. It is slightly schizophrenic with more than an air of a Gotham City villain to the vocal character. It is a rock n roll contagion of the purest sin brought with a wholly unique and inventive majesty to have one dribbling lust. If this song does not take Guano Padano in the ears and minds of the world nothing will.

The album ends with a cover of the Santo & Johnny track Sleep Walk, a song which has had numerous versions made of it and it has to be said Guano Padano do not do anything to make it their own. Against the excellence before it is just a pleasant kiss goodnight from the album to be honest and the only time the album drops its levels.

2 is a vibrant dream and escape rolled into one stirring and immersive journey. It gives only pleasure whilst inspiring thoughts to create their own landscape and companions for the trip alongside your aural tour guide Guano Padano.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/GUANO-PADANO/128526000583127

RingMaster 23/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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