Always The Quiet Ones: Drought / Ghost In The Filament

Though only in August, our list of certain singles of the year has meant shoes and socks have had to be removed to keep a tally of our claims so far. Obviously it is too early to really make declarations though here we have a single which possibly leaves all in the shade. It comes from UK rock band Always The Quiet Ones and is formed of two tracks, Drought and Ghost In The Filament. Quite simply it is one of the most exciting and exhilarating things to come along in recent months and though we will keep a rein on claims it is hard to think to date of many singles which rival it.

Always The Quiet Ones first drew a wave of feverish attention with their debut EP Freakshow from not only us but from media and fans countrywide. It was a release which once it took hold led to a deep connection and near adoration of their sound though the new songs have ignited things to an even  higher intensity. Formed in 2010, the Liverpool quintet of vocalist Blas Barragan Jr., guitarists Joe Danher and Adam Lucas, bassist Chris Nicholls, and drummer James Lorenzo, took no time in owning audiences through their live performances which saw them sharing stages with the likes of Deaf Havana, Mojo Fury, The Safety Fire Axis Of, Turbogeist and Fighting With Wire. As mentioned their EP drew strong responses upon its release earlier this year with the band seeing heavy play on Total Rock Radio, XFM and Kerrang! Radio, as well as extensive press coverage. Already the new single has been eagerly featured on The Reputation Radio Show and upon its release August 20th is sure to fire a real acceleration of acclaim upon the band.

The promo for the release opens with the line ‘Pounding on your front door like the bastard love child of Tool and early Biffy Clyro…’, and you can definitely apply that to the song Drought though the swapping of Biffy Clyro for The Manic Street Preachers would be more accurate. The track opens with slapping beats on the senses from Lorenzo brought with the eagerness of kids playing the old classic prank though there is no running away involved. Group shouts bring the hairs on the back of the neck to attention as they scorch ears with tribal intensity, before things erupt in to a storm of feisty riffs and melodic incision to further rile up the passions. Things take a breath as the band settle into an emotive vein, the bass of Nicholls throbbing with a deep resonance amidst the sharp enticing play of Danher and Lucas. The vocals of Barragan Jr. are immense continuing on from their strong showing on Peepshow but with even greater expansive expression and control.  There is a definite James Dean Bradfield feel to his tone and delivery, the emotive feel and expressive power he brings to the songs immensely striking and impressive.  The track expands with angular strides in sound and energy as it explores its limits, its muscles and invention sprawling over the senses. The track ends as it begins to leave one breathless and fully agitated in the very best way.

Ghost In The Filament makes its introduction in a less dramatic way but with just as much infectious force with the guitars twisting and immersing the ear in sonic imagination. Again it takes a step back in intensity to let the bass stomp with its hungry breath whilst the vocals hungrily prowl and growl over the senses. Distinctly different from its companion but equally as mighty the track is a fiery captivation, its flames of imagination and intelligence igniting the deepest satisfaction. There is great rock music and there is the place where Always The Quiet Ones goes where the word brilliance seems the only appropriate one. The song as does Drought , leaves one on the edge of exhaustion and urgently eager to hear more.

Both songs show a band improving at a gallop and set to explode UK rock music into places it has not graced in a long time. Always The Quiet Ones really are that good and getting better all the time.

www.facebook.com/alwaysthequietones

Listen to Always The Quiet Ones on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show .

RingMaster 16/08/2012

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Axis Mundi -Chapel Perilous

Axis Mundi is a band which has you smirking, open mouthed, scratching your head, and wondering what just hit you. Most of all the quartet from Hinckley, UK have you rocking like a bird on an electrified fence, vibrating, busting moves, and a shell shocked wreck by the end of the experience. Becoming well renowned for their live shows their debut album Chapel Perilous is the impressive result of the transfer of their live energy and mischief to the studio. The album romps all over the senses and pumps up the ear with eight vibrant violations headed up by an opening Disclaimer to cover their wicked little hearts.

Formed in late 2008 Axis Mundi have excited, enthralled, and surprised every step of the way. The year after starting, the band was rated as one of the top upcoming bands in the UK from a group of over 12,000 other strong candidates and they left venues like Indigo2 in London a hollow reflection of themselves with their riotous shows as their stock grew. 2010 saw them working closely with best-selling science author and New Scientist writer Michael Brooks during his election campaign against Hinckley and Bosworth MP David Tredinnick, the politics of the band striking a stance as strong as their irrepressible sounds, and there was the little matter of a 4 track EP Find the Others making waves too. Since its release in the twilight weeks of last year Chapel Perilous has thrust the band into brighter headlights as more fall under its stomping presence and unpredictable manipulations.

The album ‘a 9 track story of a series of real life legal and illegal experiments conducted into consciousness and perception’ hits the senses with unbridled mischief from the off, the Axis Mundi freakish blend of unrelenting acid house build ups and ear slamming rock riffs and vocals clashing in an irresistible cacophony of sonic blaze. Classed as psychedelic raverock the band tease and mislead the senses whilst mistreating and molesting them at the same time. They come at you from every direction with the misdirection of maniacal hysterical magicians, the ensuing maelstrom of sound across the album an unsettling pleasure and sheer fun. Imagine a cauldron of Pop Will Eat Itself, Manic Street Preachers, and Rage Against The Machine flushed through a vat of The Browning and infected with a healthy dose of acid house mayhem and you have Axis Mundi.

Goat Boy opens up the chaos, its provocative riffs stroking the ear roughly as guitarist/vocalist Gary Frewin sets the stage for the rampage ahead. His voice plays like a cross between James Dean Bradfield and Zack de la Rocha and adds a perfect edge to the all enveloping sounds surrounding him. As bassist James Midgley thumps in pulse energising riffs the synths swarm and slap with a loving hand. The song is infectious and heart pumping stuff closely matched by the following eager to engage Rich And Famous. With scrambling riffs and dazzling bubbling waves of synth lapping the ear the song reaches deep with a less frenetic intrusion than its predecessor.

Chapel Perilous has a strength across its length which many bands would yearn for but with two tracks the band out shine even themselves. First there is the romping stomp of Tales from the Galapagos, an early Faith No More flavoured feast of energy and siren spawn sounds. It sways and teases with a cocksure confidence that you cannot resist its charms as it investigates and ventures up and down varied rock and electro avenues. Alongside the opener it is the best song on the album, one of a trio as the pair are joined by Eden Alive! in jostling and flaring up the heart. With soft expressive vocals and thought invoking guitar and synth melodies the song immediately captivates, then when it explodes into full on electro bedlam with a chest beating fist pumping energised aggression it spawns sonic rapture. Like a mini rock opera the song encapsulates everything you need to know about Axis Mundi and their fine imagination and ingenuity.

With further great songs like The Limitations Of Thinking Things Are Real with a stroll and attitude as mischievous as a gang of drunk school boys, the metal fuelled The Fool, and the schizophrenic Blue Cunt, Axis Mundi have produced an album that attacks and lights up every pore with fast flowing and mesmeric invention. First time you listen you grin, the second you find the glories within, and the third you are infected for life, enjoy!

RingMaster 06/03/2012

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