Easter Teeth – Truckstop Fear

Within numerous instinctively magnetic musical lures for us is the temptation of rock ‘n’ roll duos. The past few years has unearthed a host of exciting and stirring propositions across an array of styles and adding to that seemingly ever expanding list is California’s Easter Teeth. Comprising of the Eymann brothers, Josh on vocals/drums and Tim on vocals/bass/keys, the band creates a predacious mix of punk infused post punk and noise rock and as proven by latest album Truckstop Fear, a blend which is quite irresistible.

Growing up listening to their mother’s array of cassette tapes including James Brown, Sam & Dave, and The Rascals while riding in back of the family station wagon, the siblings bring those spices with their subsequent discovery and love of punk, hardcore, and math rock into their own sound. It is as funky as it is irritable, as soulful as it is agitated and with its slim but rich body of rhythmic trespass and vocal energy a real fresh DIY breath in the world of noise.

Truckstop Fear is the successor to 2013 debut album Being Alone With Your Thoughts is for Inmates, the two full-lengths surrounding a split 7” EP with Moral Monsters in 2015 and two track single Shake Hands with Danger released early 2017. Within mere seconds the latest album grips ears and attention as opener Honey from the Carcass whips ears with Josh’s crispy beats, the bass a waiting hum as shouts and hits break into a hectic shuffle. Swiftly hips swing to the track’s funkiness, the senses cowering before its raw edge and scything beats; it all a corrosive temptation coloured by the electrified fuzz of keys. As the music, the vocal union of the siblings is bold and instinctive, a direct incitement hard to turn down.

The following Baby’s Got Cold Feet casts a minefield of shuddering beats as a groove woven bassline strolls with grumbling dexterity within the melodic flourish of keys. Like a scowling tango built on the attributes of Pigbag and Swell Maps, the song hits the spot with increasing addictiveness though it is soon eclipsed by the caustic Art Attacks meets mclusky tango of Play the Harp, Throw the Spear. It is a rabid trespass but with a restraint which only escalates its impact before the album’s title track raises the ante yet again. It too has the scent of numerous decades of rock ‘n’ roll in its uncompromising proposal shaped by the imposing skeletal steel frame set by Josh. Hooks and catchy enterprise erupt across its barbarous stroll, a blend of contrasts just as potent within the pair’s infectious vocal insurgency.

As the previous songs, each in turn built upon and outshone by the next, Good Intentions Paving Co. soon steals the limelight, its kinetic saunter an irresistible collusion between bass and drums enhanced by the ever rousing union of voice and Tim’s squirts of mania lined keys. The track is noise at its most majestic, and demonic, a virulent tirade of manipulative rock ‘n’ roll with a chorus only the deaf could resist joining.

Sit Down Party has its own breed of addictiveness, a fevered but again skilfully controlled incursion of sound and enterprise bearing hues of bands such as Pere Ubu, The Mae Shi, and Big Black in its design. What grabs ears though is something unique to Easter Teeth, an individual character of sound confirmed once again within the rhythmically viral, sonically lusty Inspiration Indiana and the senses stalking Just Curves, a track with something of The Mekons to it.

The album ends with Pick a Puppy, a piece of poppy noise punk with volatility in its heart and virulent dance. It is a superb end to a release which sparked a lustful appetite and hunger here for the band’s sound. At times the best rock ‘n’ roll comes raw, undiluted, and with a tart almost acrimonious flavouring; the evidence there within the wonderful wickedness that is Truck Stop Fear.

Truck Stop Fear is available on ZAP! Records @ https://easterteeth.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/easterteeth

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Creative espionage and inventive intimation: an interview with Aiming For Enrike

 

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Without doubt, one of the year’s most exhilarating and inventive propositions has been Segway Nation, the new album from Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike. The encounter is a fascinating instrumental adventure in sound and captivating aural suggestiveness; a multi-flavoured infectiousness created by drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen. Offered the chance to learn more with the duo, we set about discovering the creative heart of band and album.

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

First of all can you tell us about yourselves as individuals?

We are two quite calm persons; a guitar player and drummer. We love making and playing music, so we spend a lot of time in the rehearsal space, practicing, jamming, and composing.

When did you first meet and what sparked the idea to form the band?

We met in 2010, when we attended a music school in Oslo. We were both into experimental noise rock music. After seeing some mind-blowing bands like Monolithic and Zu, we wanted to do something like that as a duo. By using loops we managed to get a huge sound even though we were only two. In the beginning we had more of a noise/prog sound but over the years the songs developed into more conventional song structures where we have incorporated a lot of influences from electronica, funk etc.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

Yes, but not worth sharing 😉

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

It is wonderfully difficult to pin down the Aiming For Enrike sound for us, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

It’s an adventurous band with good melodies, cool grooves, and lots of energy. It has a very distinct sound, but still the music can go in many different directions.

What and who have most inspired your musical ideas and subsequently sound would you say?

Our sound is kind of schizophrenic and has a lot of layers because of a wide range of influences. Of course we can be inspired by other things in life, but I think it is only music and music gear that have a direct influence to our sound. Aiming for Enrike is the result of two people and sounds like something none of us would have made by ourselves.

Here are some names: Miles Davis, Josh Homme, James Brown, Nels Cline, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Greg Saunier, Hot Snakes, Glen Branca, Mike Patton, Moha…

I am no expert on the broad expanse of the Norwegian music scene right now, generally coming across the diversity of metal and rock bands from there, but I get the feeling that your music is a one of a kind there; something unusual to the Norwegian landscape of sound. Is that the reality and if so how have they taken to it?

In Norway it is very common to have musical collaborations across genres. If you look at the jazz and improvisational music scene, you have lots of artist who play music that have more in common with pop, rock/metal, electronic music than traditional jazz. In jazz festivals you can go and see pop acts, and in commercial festivals there are jazz bands playing. So I think in general people are very open to new stuff.  Most artists are not so focused on sounding like the other one. It is a good thing to be original, and have your own thing going. We don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds like us but way more people than we would have guessed have been positive and open to it.

You have just released new album, Segway Nation; a release which had our imagination as busy and enthralled as ears and feet. Where does a ‘typical’ Aiming For Enrike song start composing wise?

We always start by just playing. We spend a lot of time just improvising, or trying out different kind of ideas. It is important that we are inspired when we play, and that there is a fun factor. We try to follow our intuition, and not doubt our choices too much. Then we record our ideas and make tunes out of them.

Throughout the album, there is an organic freedom, almost as things were created, played, and improvised in the moment. Tell us about the recording of Segway Nation; were songs already AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400written before recording them or was there an element of conjuring twists and turns there and then?

Everything is played live in the studio, without any click track. That might create a more «free» or improvised feel. On Segway Nation we composed all the songs before we recorded them, but there are some parts in the songs where we improvise. It can be open sections, or written parts played in different ways. That keeps it interesting for us, and hopefully for the listeners. Some of the more «free form» songs like Minitrue and Phone Phobia are the result of some improvised recording sessions.

Another great aspect to the album is the way it inspires the listener’s imagination to create its own adventures. Can you tell us about some of the actual themes and inspirations to the tracks and their suggestive dramas?

We didn’t have any specific plans for this. But it is a good thing if the listeners make up their own adventure in the music. I don’t think there are any specific themes to the songs, but there are specific inspirations to some of the songs. It can be a groove, melody, riff etc.

The past few years has seen some impressive and ear striking duos emerge with varying styles and dynamics within their union. Often it seems that the slimness of personnel allows a band to bring its live presence much more easily to recordings. It is the same with you guys; there is a feeling that listening to Segway Nation would be like standing in front of you on stage. Do you think there is some validity in that thought from your perspective; less bodies and minds leads to less of a leaning on technology and tricks when recording music?

There is more space in the music when you are a duo, and that makes it easier to follow your intuition and play in the moment. Since we record our music live in a room, the recording becomes very representative for us as a band. There are very few options sound wise with only a guitar and a drum kit, so I think it is hard to lose the live feeling in the recording.

Marius Mada Dale

Marius Mada Dale

Tell us about your live side; how you translate the dynamics of songs to the stage?

It works really great! We played the songs live many times before we recorded them. So the recording is not much different from a live performance. With the live performance you will also get the visual aspect and a bit more playful approach to the material.

What is next for Aiming For Enrike now that the album is out and earning acclaim and new hearts?

We are working on new material, which is turning out really good! And we have some festivals coming up this summer; first there´s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, then Øya festival in Oslo. We are planning a European tour in the fall! So lots of cool stuff coming up!

Once again many thanks for giving your time to us. Anything you would like to add?

Check out our album Segway Nation, and also the live in Rohdos garage videos on YouTube.

Read the review for Segway Nation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/aiming-for-enrike-segway-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike    http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The BossHoss – Cowboys From Hell

TBH FOF Bandbild 8

The first full week of November sees German rockers The BossHoss stomping with their inimitable presence and sound as support to Motorhead in a UK tour. To accompany the three date rampage and to commemorate ten years raising rock ‘n’ roll revelry, the Berlin septet has released a UK only compilation album. Cowboys From Hell is a sixteen track rabble-rouser consisting of The BossHoss classics and live staples, a selection of tracks unleashing the full uniqueness, depth, and diversity of the band’s country rock/rock ‘n’ roll voracity.

Listening to the album you are soon stirred up by the thick weave of flavours which make up the band’s propositions. Infused in the styles just mentioned, there are just as rich and healthy blazes of punk, funk, metal, and rock pop involved, and that is still only scratching the first few layers of their contagious enterprise. The band creates rock ‘n’ roll to have fun with, sounds to lose inhibitions to, and insatiable devilry to wreak mischievous havoc to. Like a mix of Volbeat, Gene Vincent, Johnny Cash, and ZZ Top in league with The Damned, Helldorado, James Brown and Faith No More, The BossHoss is an instant provocateur and best friend with songs as evidenced on Cowboys From Hell, which are somehow instantly familiar yet a brand new incitement for ears and body to romp with.

Opening with the bluesy twang and hard rock feistiness of Bullpower, the album swiftly has feet and imagination, not forgetting ears wrapped up in its impending revelling. The multiple and varied vocals of the track, as proven across the album, is a potent lure to match the sounds around them, whilst its straight forward and highly persuasive blaze of old school and modern rock ‘n’ roll united, is one infectious and muscular stomp.

It is a powerful start which never dips below full satisfaction across the release; the following Volbeat seeded contagion of new single Whatever an immediate and richer temptation for ears and passions. Brass flames heat up the busy sonic underbelly of the song whilst heavy rhythmic baiting grips ears with predatory intent. Ultimately though, the song is a party in the ears, its electro swagger and striding urgency an addictive canvassing of thoughts and passions.

Through the hypnotic and lively anthemic prowling of Liberty Of Action, with its sizzling guitars scythes and metronomic beats, and the country spiced rap breeding of the album’s title track, God Loves Cowboys continues to recruit greater submission of body and emotions, the second of the pair an irresistible calling which shares plenty with bands like Hollywood Undead. It is fair to say that The BossHoss is still a relative secret across the UK but already four tracks in they make a potent doorway into their rigorously eventful presence and sound for newcomers and vague acquaintances.

A western twang coaxes in the start of Do It next, but is only the initial spice and lead into the funk fuelled diablerie of the song, keys and brass especially saucy in the sultry Electric Six like seduction before the psychobilly teased Stallion The-BossHoss-God-Loves-CowboysBattalion charges into ears and imagination. Hooks and grooves play with a Queens Of The Stone Age colouring whilst the weighty striding of the track is part Turbonegro and part Tiger Army, and all The BossHoss. Both keep the blood racing through veins and feet locked in an inescapable carousing, the pair straight away backed up in might and infection by the R&B/fifties flavoured rocking that is Shake & Shout. As most tracks it feels as if it is already an old friend on the first play but it does not diminish any of its enticement and unpredictable hues.

As you would expect there are particular pinnacles in any collection of songs and one comes in the mighty presence of Backdoor Man. Smouldering in tone and temptation from the first breath, the song with brass sighs and low key vocals swiftly enthralling, is an instant trap from where rockabilly and heavy rock tenacity with jazzy mischief seals the deal. A heavy and fleet footed shuffle, the track is pure rock alchemy, every twist a primal temptress clad in salacious shadow and aural deviltry. Normally any following song would struggle to live up to such triumph but both the punchy funk loaded Don’t Gimme That and the energetically simmering My Personal Song make an irresistible continuation of great times and lingering seduction. There is no way anyone can avoid swinging their body and voice to the contagion of the first of the two whilst its successor is simply what would emerge if Johnny Cash did funk pop, again the blend of different voices as thrilling as the adventurous yet unfussy sounds themselves.

It is fair to say that certainly in recent times no album involves the listener’s body and voice as mercilessly and relentlessly as Cowboys From Hell, the jumpy enterprise and energy of Keep On Dancing being no different especially as the band craft another chorus which is as incendiary on the listener as it is explosive on the air. There is a spellbinding ingenuity in how the band sculpts such virulent eruptions to enslave their recipients yet never goes for the easy route into and out of what is pure creative toxicity.

Through the hard rock powered My Way with its country rascality and the punkabilly Last Day (Do Or Die) things only continue to inflame the passions whilst Break Free with its mellower fifties pop and melodic rock crooning wrapped in soothing harmonies, incites the imagination again whilst revealing yet another texture in the band’s invention. Each track leaves a licking of appetite’s lips and emotion’s lust before the release closes up with a couple of exhilarating cover songs. First the band takes on Motorhead’s Killers, a twisting of rockabilly/blues rock drama into pure infectiousness and mouth-watering temptation, before they rip up the Cameo classic Word Up, and give it the best make-over heard anywhere. It is rockabilly funk with the blood of cowpunk running through its veins, an addiction which would be topping lists in illegality if a drug.

God Loves Cowboys is The BossHoss’ first official UK album I believe and about time after ten years of tearing up Europe and the world. If the band is new to you then the album is a must, you will never hear a more delicious and devilish slab of epidemic rock ‘n’ roll anywhere.

God Loves Cowboys is available now @ http://www.recordstore.co.uk/recordstore/recordstore/God-Loves-Cowboys/3IJC0000000

http://thebosshoss.com

RingMaster 06/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Gorilla Punch Radio – Self Titled

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Embracing a wealth of rock spices and varied flavours, Gorilla Punch Radio on the evidence of their self-titled debut album, tries and succeeds in making every song a slice of impacting revelry whether they are crooning the emotions or making irresistible incitements to feet. Offering ten tracks which leave lingering impressions with their tenaciously crafted and presented exploits, band and album makes for one attention grabbing, ear pleasing introduction.

Hailing from Leeds, the quartet of vocalist James, guitarist Boothy, bassist Sam, and drummer Paul, from the little you can find out about the band online, formed the band at least three years ago and have certainly honed their sound over time to a thoroughly magnetic proposition. Taking inspirations from the likes of Kasabian, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, James Brown, Radiohead, Green Day, Muse, Nirvana, and Michael Jackson and more, many which can be heard as spices within the album, Gorilla Punch Radio parade a maturity of musicianship and songwriting which suggests experience and definitely imagination is ripe in the band.

The album opens with the single Bragging Rights, a storming stomp of a song which alone has sparked an eager interest in the band. Fiery riffs warm ears right away before the equally appealing vocals join firm rhythms in building up 884477_505528759557315_2743931573666742889_oan attention awakening start to the song. In full swagger, the track finds a blues breath to its melodic endeavour and garage rock urgency to its stride, infecting the imagination and emotions like a horny mix of The Stones and The Killers. It is a richly contagious start to the album ensuring appetite and satisfaction is at a high ready for the following adventures.

Pick Yourself Up, the second single from the album, comes next and instantly swings a mellow tone over the senses, acoustic enticing and again the impressive vocals of James caressing ears with reflective expression. The song soon lifts its feet for the feistier engagement of the chorus whilst the earthy yet elegant croon of the song continues to embrace thoughts. The song is a gripping proposition which gains strength with every listen, much like the album. With bulging beats and group harmonies pushing its climax to greater potency, the excellent track makes way for the melodic rock stroll of I’ve Got Your Back. Though the song does not quite match its predecessors in presence and magnetism, it is a lively proposition blessed with a jazz funk jangle and sultry flames of guitar but it is it’s the rousing quality which the band instil in all their tracks, even the ballads, which steals the imagination.

Starting with a burst of sixties garage rock, thoughts of The Monkees swiftly hinting, Burn this City to the Ground erupts in a blaze of raw rock ‘n’ roll with hooks and riffs creating a scintillating tapestry. The track stands like a union between the more mod like rock of The Who and Secret Affair and the stronger blues bred enterprise of a Bad Company. The track continues to twist and turn with relish in its invention and passion in its expressive colour. The bass provides its own sublime throaty temptation whilst the magnetic guitar craft of Boothy simply ignites the track further for another major moment of the album.

Both Shadows and Follow You wind things down a little, certainly against the previous treat, but each immerses the listener into scenery of down to earth life and emotion. The first of the two glides with another impressive acoustic seduction aligned to reserved yet pungent rhythms which punctuate the evocative vocals and their lyrical narrative. There is an intimacy to the track, as many on the release, which draws in thoughts and connections. The second of the pair has that same charm as it bewitches from the start with a slow brooding expression and sound before erupting in a folk seeded romp which swiftly has feet and emotions waltzing with its punchy persuasion. A song which you could not dislike if you tried, it adds another string to the creative bow of Gorilla Punch Radio and texture to the album.

As does the excellent funk festivity of Tease, a sultry boogie primed for personal and dance-floor use. With a gnarly tone to the bass as flirtatious as the melodic vivacity and Red Hot Chili Peppers like rhythmic agitation, the track is an addiction waiting to prey on body and soul. It is a powerful weapon for the album emulated by the smouldering melodic flight of Breathe, its glowing melodies and enticing vocal harmonies absorbing hues in a riveting weave of emotional and sonic exploration.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the climactic power of Song for the Underdog, a track with thumping rhythms courting a compelling anthem of strenuous riffs and incendiary hooks. It is a glorious call to ears and passions, the best track on the album and incredibly virulent in every individual casting of the band’s lines as well as their combined explosive ingenuity. It epitomises the band’s songwriting, huge hooks and binding grooves locked into expressive and intricate invention. It is followed by Jane, the song another mesmeric ballad where vocals and guitar simply shine. To be honest the big sinew busting songs from the band have the edge for personal tastes but there is no escaping the elegance and beauty of their balladry or its persistent suasion.

Gorilla Punch Radio is a band you are destined to come across time and time again, as they can only get even better which is a truly exciting prospect after the impressive triumph of their album.

Gorilla Punch Radio is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gorilla-punch-radio/id888458114?ls=1

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gorilla-Punch-Radio/126158307494364?ref=h

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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King Salami And The Cumberland 3: Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers

With an interview with the high octane bundle of energy that is King Salami in the offing it is only right we take a look at the recent album from King Salami And The Cumberland 3. To be honest it came out in the tail end of last year but having looked for an excuse to delve back a few months and share this simply brilliant explosion of irresistible and excitable sounds an interview seems a good enough reason. Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is music at its best and what it was invented for, to ignite the deepest pleasure and thrills possible within each and every one of us.

Formed in 2006 the quartet of one Japanese, one French, one Caribbean and one Spanish conjurors of fun, draw influences and flavours from the fifties and sixties and spice them up with their own contagious blend of insatiable ingenuity and energy. Consisting of former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons, The Cumberland 3 led by the irrepressible King Salami leave one breathless and over excited with their album. Released on Dirty Water Records Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is a wonderfully agitated swell of movement, its brief to unleash an unrelenting explosion of infection and hyperactive melodic pleasure.

King Salami And The Cumberland 3 has riled up hearts and emotions all across Europe with the sharing of stages with the likes of The Pretty Things, The Trashmen, The Standells, The Mummies, The Bellrays, and The Cynics to name a few. Renowned for their irresistible live performances and sweat drizzled excitement, the band have translated that energy and insistent mischief into their previous singles and now this album. It brings the essence of having the band there in front of you as it plays with your senses whilst firing up the need and urgency to catch them on stage.

The album explodes into the ear with Do The Wurst, an instantaneous assault of punk fuelled rhythm & blues/rockabilly. The beats and rhythms assume full control of limbs like a maniacal puppeteer instantly whilst the guitars fire up the aggression and attitude expected from a meeting of Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Meteors. The track has one joining in with movement and voice within mere seconds and even has the most composed and reserved of us flinging a few air guitar chords into the heated air. It is the perfect opening and sets the album up for greatness no matter what follows. To be honest the album only took a couple of songs to make a believer and adoring fan of us here so excuse the drool dripping from each and every word we place upon it.

The excellent I Smell A Rat with its raw and hungry breath searches for the ear next. With garage caked intensity to the guitars it leaves a big grin on the face though not as wide as from the following Mojo Workout. If you could have improper thoughts about a song this would be the one at the centre, a bristling irresistible slice of naughtiness. King is supreme leading the thoughts and emotions into trouble like a mischievous big brother ably assisted and egged on by the rest of the band.

Every song deserves close attention as not once does the manic party within the album lull or slip into a reserved moment, but those pleasures are for you to find out and feel. The more fiery highlights though include songs like the wanton sax pleasuring of They Don’t Know, the tribal contagion that is Pawnee Stomp, the Big Bopper/Screaming Lord Sutch glory of Watcha Gonna Do Tomorrow, and Sweet Love To You where Gene Vincent meets Ray Campi and The Blue Cats in a salacious love nest.

A twisting and energetic boiling brew of rockabilly, rhythm & blues, punk, and explosive rock n roll    Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is simply magnificent and the surest fullest pleasure one can have within the ear. With spices and passion from the likes of James Brown, Sonny Burgress, The Sonics, and The Frantic Flintstones to name a mere few you can easily tell the vibrant and pulsating sounds within the album. King Salami And The Cumberland 3 are the match to fire up every day and heart; you just need to say hi.

https://www.facebook.com/KingSalamiandtheCumberland3

RingMaster 23/05/2012

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The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers: Drop Some Leg!

Sometimes a day just does not go to plan with frustrations bringing their mischievous devilment to taunt and obstruct whilst other times everything is blissfully on course and one can bask in warm glories and self pleasing satisfaction. For those days and anything in between one needs a soundtrack to feed and ignite the inner sun and inspire the reaction required to fight or fully enjoy. This is where bands likeThe Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers come in. They heat up the emotions and stir up the heart with irresistible sounds and feel good energy that is impossible to ignore or avoid. So with a collection of songs to fulfil any need meet the soul reaching pleasure that is Drop Some Leg! It is a pulsating re-energising array of Jamaican-style bluebeat and rhythm’n’blues songs with a concentrated dash of ska and more that leaves one pumped up and swaggering like they just won the lottery.

Now we will make no claims of knowing much about the sounds that have inspired the music of The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers but we know what we like and Drop Some Leg! definitely falls into that category. The band is Oxford based and consists of the ubiquitous guitarist, vocalist, and song writer Sir Bald Diddley (Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers, Louie and the Louies, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs to name just three of his expansive list of exploits), drummer Bash Brand (Milkshakes/Headcoats/Link Wray/Holly Golightly), plus trumpeter AJ (Intensified/Laurel Aitken/Dave Barker/Dennis Al Capone and Winston Francis), trombonist Napolean Trombonaparte, Kid Wig on piano, Johnny Loafer on tenor sax, and  the double bass of ‘Later’ Ron McRobbie (previously of Sam Brown’s band). Labelled Oxford’s Skatalites’!! the band feed from influences such as the Skatalites, Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Derrick Morgan, Fats Domino, Huey Piano Smith, Rosco Gordon, James Brown and Ike Turner, to create tunes that makes one just get involved, music to elate and inspire the emotions with a smile on the face and grin in the heart.

If you were a fan of the late seventies/early eighties ska boom Drop Some Leg! is an exhilarating feast of sounds though the music of The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers has a wider and more expressive depth which will please everyone. From the opening brass charms of If The Coast Is Clear the album lights up the ear. Ska guitars nudge and poke  whilst the piano strolls boldly behind bringing an instant engagement. Sir Bald lays down his vocals with a fifties blues rock n roll gait whilst the brass take the emotions on a hazy saunter into warm vibrant climes.

The sultry temptation of following instrumental The Elusive Mr. Kaplan takes the hand next leading one through a beckoning tease into the excellent title track. Drop Some Leg opens with a glorious throaty bass from McRobbie which instantly recalls the wonderful deep moody equivalent sounds of The Beat. The song transports one into a welcoming and sweaty smoke filled dancehall, everyone blissfully swaying and matching bodies in a relaxed mass exultant dance. There is nothing complicated about the music but not many songs sweep one up into an inner peace and wanton giving of their hearts as here, a reflection of the genre in general .

The foot provoking persistence of instrumental Bare Our Souls comes next to continue an eclectic mix of sounds with its jazz/soul stomp to be equalled by the likes of the captivating Everybody Ska with its obvious but irresistible jaunt through the ear, the brilliant instrumental Hugh Mingus where the band simply own the heart with its soulful emotive passion and imaginative craft, and the rock n roll blues gem that is Shot Full Of Holes. As mentioned the album is openly varied with these four songs alone coming from different corners and inspirations.

Every track on the album is an outstanding treat but the side by side Baldhead and Pempelem create the deepest affair. The first is just one of those sing-a-long triumphs that has one engaged within a few notes, its cheeky amble though the ear picking up emotions like hitchhikers to drop them off at a party of pure elation. There is no way if you have a pulse you can resist joining in with the chorus and vocal returns. Pempelem quite simply takes thoughts and feelings downtown into another inviting house of hungry and insatiable warm sounds. The song swings with and seduces with clean and rousing musical passion.

    Drop Some Leg! is pure pleasure, an album to turn every day into one of joy and stirring animation. Place The Nine Ton Peanut Smugglers on your daily soundtrack right now and feel the warmth and energy wrap around you.

RingMaster 25/04/2012

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The Commander-In-Chief Interview

Right now there is an artist who is stirring up a multitude of emotions and hearts within the metal/rock world with her immensely explosive and exciting debut EP. The lady in question is The Commander-In-Chief, one of the most impressive emerging talents to hit rock in a long time.  The singer, songwriter and a masterful mesmeric exponent of the7 string guitar, has just released the Evolution EP, produced by the legendary Sterling Winfield, to ever growing waves of acclaim and feverish demand for her time. The Ringmaster Review had the pleasure and honour of being able to find out more about this extraordinary talent and we are reliably informed learnt more about The Commander than anyone had previously before.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Many thanks for taking time to talk with us here.

Firstly and quite simply would you introduce yourself, The Commander and the band The Commander –In-Chief?

I am a 22 year old female Norwegian singer/songwriter/7 string guitarist/shredder.

I’m a solo-artist.

Could you give some history to your life so far?

I did visual arts for years. I always had ideas for songs, but never pursued music since I had some horrible experiences with music teachers who hated me, as a kid. Music teachers, just like art teachers in school, have a tendency to HATE creative students who do not fit into their definition of greatness. I actually failed music in school and I was denied to be part of the music program in High School. They actually put me in the IB program without any artistic classes. I hated that so much I decided to drop out and stayed home for a week. That was when my mom told them they were killing my creative spirit and I got transferred to the art program. Having said so, I had some truly important art teachers after that who did their best to convince me to pursue that road. I would say I had 4 great art teachers, one truly important guitar mentor and my irreplaceable vocal coach.

At what age did you know music was your future and when did you first pick up a guitar?

Music was always part of my life as far as I can remember. I did not pick up a guitar until 2005.

I knew what I wanted to do, and there was no way I was gonna let anything get in my way. I got lot of static in the beginning, but I just brushed that aside. 3 years down the road, people starting realising I was very serious.

Considering your impressive skill and young age how long did it take you to master the instrument to this level and how much dedication and work did you put into it?

Musicians often think they are Gods unrivalled gift to music, I have never thought of myself that way.

I always focused on all the things I could not do rather than what I could do, and never realised I was any good at all, until after some years. When I look back now I think I did always did pretty well. My greatest passion has always been and will always be creating, so I spent all my time on that. Funny enough, my greatest development happened when I kicked visual arts out of my life and decided to focus all my time on music.

I wanted to be a good guitarist and songwriter more than anything. If you think about it, It’s a pretty modest goal. If you set your mind to learn something and/or create something, it really just depends on your will power and where this will take you.

You play a seven string guitar, did you graduate to this through the more normal six stringer, and why this as your eventual choice?

First 6 strings, just tried a 7 just for the heck of it, then I fell in love.

It allows me to transcribe my music in a way I find intriguing. I can play with dynamics, going from heavy to HEAVY. Counterbalance my vocals nicely. At the end of the day, I like it, which is the most important reason.

What are your musical influences leading you into making music and on the guitarist side?

Deep Purple, Slayer, James Brown, Windir, Jefferson Airplane, Randy Rhoades….etc….etc…..

Have you always been a metal hearted girl?

Yes, only difference being that I became more interested in extreme metal acts and more up-to-date on current trends in the genre, once I started playing. I saw the genre from the perspective as a guitarist always looking for a challenge, instead of perceiving the genre as a music listener.

What came first, writing songs or being able to play?

Writing songs, that was my main motivation, and the song always comes first. I still consider myself a songwriter, above all.

Being able to play, means playing boring exercises and having an even more boring practise diary…accompanied by the unmatched beauty of a metronome…….you can make it interesting by writing your own exercises, that is how I learned tapping.

You have just released your impressive debut EP Evolution; you must be pleased with the response to it, an element of surprise too how fast it is catching the attention of people?

Makes me very happy! I think the greatest shock to me was the Paranoid release actually, as I had never had a feature or even been mentioned by any big blogs or magazines until all of a sudden that cover was all over the place. It makes me happy to see that my music fan base is growing and pleased to see that people are buying my music in an age when nobody really does.

The release has a distinct commentary on certain aspects of man, whether the abuse of science, the world of fake celebrity importance etc, does this show you are not a love song kind of writer haha?

Hahaha, you have a lot of songwriters who can fill in that gap, not that there is any, anyway lol

I am a good observer, and good art or funny lyrics will always come out of that.

I also took an early interest in social issues and was one of those annoying Amnesty International kids in high school, talking about issues nobody cared about then, and few still care about now. On one of my longer stays in Norway, when I was 17, I wrote some opinions/letters about Norwegian society (under another pseudonym), two of them were published. One of them resulting in a main article/almost full page in a nationwide newspaper. That was when I started writing lyrics and the first lyrics were the ones for THOU.

The variety of songs also indicates inspiration can hit you from any direction or with any theme, is that how it is?

Yepp, it’s cool, but it can be annoying if I do not have something to write on and with. Then I just have to rely on remembering the idea, which I usually do. My notebooks are a total mess and sometimes not even I can decipher my handwriting. My ideas can be found on toilet paper rolls, napkins, bus tickets, receipts, guitar string packages … lol … My worst nightmare was when I threw out something I thought was garbage and it was the full lyrics for a song. I could never recover that one and it still bugs me today.

Let It Go is a personal song I believe, I am right in thinking it was inspired by your younger brother? Would you elaborate on that and its wider dedication?

It is about trying to reach out to someone you care about who suffers, but do not want to talk about it. You know something is not right, but you don’t know what …You do not really know what to say either, so you try your best at being encouraging, without truly knowing what the source of the problem is.

You recorded Evolution with Sterling Winfield doing the production duties. Legendary for his work with Pantera and Hatebreed to name just two, how did your link up with him come about?

I heard him on a speaker phone with my manager, talking about how awesome he thought my songwriting was. He had obviously heard my demo as he was referring to those tracks. I thought he had contacted us first, but apparently my manager sent him a link, and then he called us, which was the phone conversation I walked into.

First he was meant to re-mix the demo, first songs being Paranoid and an unreleased original track. We decided not to remix anymore after those two, but rather focus our attention on recording songs from scratch.

We got a chance to do this in December, when we recorded 5 tracks, 4 of those resulting in the Evolution EP.

I am assuming you have a definite direction you see your songs going in as you write them how much did that alter if at all by working with Sterling?

Haha, his main job was to say NO!. I wanted to have dive-bombs on top of the tapping intro of Evolution, I had an idea for a congas in Famous and several background vocal arrangements for Thou and Evolution and a steel guitar intro for Let it go, all of which were totally rejected, lol .. luckily.

He is a funny guy to work with. Great producer and I think the combination of his extensive experience and my overly creative brain, makes a good combination, hahaha!

You are a songwriter open to suggestions and advice?

Hmmm … I will let you make an ass of yourself, trying to convince me ….. It’s dangerous to be a dictator… I will try things out, don’t expect me to like it or embrace it….

How long did the EP take to record? I ask as I hear you are unrelenting at times in your energy haha.

I did what I had to do in 11 days, well actually 10,one of those days was dedicated to bass … I recorded all vocals and came up with new ideas and variations as I recorded. Sterling wanted to try out how will this sound like with head voice, how will this sound like with chest voice, how will this sound like with head doubled with a chest voice 

I recorded rhythm and lead as well, and improvised some of the lead stuff, like the solo in Thou and some licks in Famous, I recorded 3 tracks of rhythms and wrote new arrangements as we worked our way thru the songs. To do all that in so few days, I think I almost drove everybody crazy with my energy. The short day in studio we worked 12 hours…lol

This is really an unfair question but what the heck hehe. Is there in hindsight anything on the EP which you would change or tweak?

No, I am done with these songs.

Conversely is there any moment that you are especially proud of?

Yes, I loved recording the vocals for Evolution as this is my favourite vocal line of all the vocal lines I have written. I was proud of all the solos, my favourite being the un-released one, funny enough. I guess it is hard to see yourself from the outside, so I surprised myself just as much as a surprised Sterling and my manager, haha. I was very happy when I was done recording rhythms for Thou – that was my proudest guitar moment – and the only time I had a little drink to celebrate, lol.

Are you a constantly active live band?

I bring in musicians when I need them … I will be doing more gigs from now on, as my main focus with all these demo recordings etc has been to develop my sound etc. I think I’ve done more than enough of that, I’m ready to go out and kick some f%$#@&*^  ass!

Is it just the trio onstage or do you add additional guitarists to bring your sound forth?

No other guitarist wanted.

Are you hard on them when they cannot match your own skill and creativity haha?

I have come to accept that you have two kinds of musicians, those who write and those who just wanna play. You cannot be an ass just because people are different, so as long as nobody is greedy and start making all kinds of outrageous demands, I’m okay.

Any shows lined up to promote the release?

Yes, In the UK, gonna play Bloodstock in August as well

What is next for The Commander-In-Chief?

I obviously need to be touring ,that is what people wanna see and that’s how you get a career in this industry. Personally: I wanna get a huge full length album out, I got lots of songs and I also want to re-record songs from demos etc …. my main goal as a creative person is to record as much as possible, I know what kind of videos I want, and usually have illustration ideas for my lyrics. On a different note I also design my own outfits, so I would be very happy to see all these ideas come to life, once and for all.

A great thank you for sparing time to talk with us, and good luck with Evolution not that you will need it.

Hmmm…you always need luck and someone, eventually many, who believes in you

Just like the Evolution EP does, would you like to leave with some words to fire up the readers?

Please check me out and buy my EP, and a t-shirt!! Tell your friends

Read the Evolution EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/the-commander-in-chief-evolution-ep/

The RingMaster Review 15/03/2012

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