Jane Allison – Just Another Girl

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The album may describe its creator as Just Another Girl but its contents give compelling proof that KarmaDeva’s Jane Allison Stanness is anything but as an artist and songwriter. Under simply Jane Allison, she has cast a blend of intimate acoustic and folk elegance with potent Americana flavouring into a collection of songs which seduce whilst embracing emotive shadows and personal angst. Equally there is an infectiousness to the tracks which adds an inescapable weave of colourful persuasion lyrically and musically, it all suggesting as mentioned that Allison is anything but just another singer songwriter.

The songs for her debut solo album Just Another Girl were written whilst Welsh born Allison was in Berlin, having moved there to finish the second KarmaDeva album. Taking inspirations from childhood heroes such as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joan Baez, the songs were bred from her soul and inspired by the experiences and struggles of previous years. Recorded at The Tea Rooms studio in the heart of the Ardennes and produced by Alonza Bevan, Just Another Girl also sees additional guest guitarists on some tracks in the skilled shape of Country Dave Caven as well as Mark Legassick of Howlin Lord. The now Bristol based Allison, who also has notable acting roles and appearances under her belt, including the Julia Davis penned shows Hunderby and Nighty Night, as well as Human Remains and the Simon Pegg movie A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, takes little time to embrace ears and stroke emotions upon her first album.

The title track starts things off, warm vocals and acoustic guitar instantly smiling at ears alongside evocative melodies. It is a gentle start bringing the folk and country hues which vein the whole album swiftly into view before a subsequent 10351077_671996669557637_1070732306411286045_nbolder Americana suasion adds further texture and substance to the emotive encounter. It is an alluring introduction to artist and release, a soft and catchy coaxing awakening a quick appetite for the proposition which is soon reinforced by the first single from the album, Hymn To Hope. Similarly the track offers an elegant hug to the senses with its melodies and a great skittish rhythmic enticing which courts the thoroughly appealing and impressive vocals of Allison, her additional harmonies just as mesmeric as the track expands its provocative dance. As its predecessor, the folk seeded song complete with a healthy country twang, does not leap from the record but certainly raises further enthralling temptation for ears and imagination to immerse in.

Seizing a tighter grip on thoughts and passions is the following Fading Moon. From its first seconds there is a rhythmic tenacity to the track which even in its simple pace provides potent bait as vocals and melodies emerge and bloom around it. A folk charm soaks every note and syllable with essences of Fleetwood Mac making hints as the song wraps radiantly around ears and emotions. With a contagious swing to its respectful gait only adding to its captivating presence, the track is one of the biggest pinnacles of the album, though it inadvertently places a shadow over the next up Country Lovin’. To be fair the song also strolls along with a infectiousness which is impossible to dismiss and a fascination which actually slips pass our inherent disinterest in country music, whilst with each listen it just grows on increasingly open ears as Ms Allison lays an unexpected hex on the appetite.

Both Catch Me and All Over Now ignite imagination and ears with ease. The first explores western scenery beneath a sultry melodic sky, seducing from its first acidic twang and the open embrace of its Morricone kissed climate. It is a gloriously cinematic narrative with similarly captivating vocals whilst its successor is a slow croon with provocative key sculpted drama, and another track which simply blooms and increases its riveting seduction over time through its sixties enchantment. Each leaves a greedier taste in emotions and appetite before the brilliant Joan Of Arc offers its own impassioned balladry. Allison is scintillating, her voice as melancholic as it is beautiful, whilst the melodic lure of the track combines with her emotional majesty to send tingles down the spine.

From one impressive peak the album brings another straight away with Real Life. Again a sixties adventure cloaks the song, aligned this time to a seventies rock heart with psychedelic whispers. It is a transfixing encounter which shows the inspiration the like of Joan Baez has made on Allison. With guitars bringing electrified invention to the song, it leaves ears wanting more and duly served right away by the just as thrilling Wait For Me. It is a song bred from the same vat of invention and flavouring yet sculpting its own unique proposition within the album. In many ways the second half of the album is its strongest and most adventurous, pushing the creativity and presence of the artist to even greater heights.

Completed by the piano driven ballad Farewell My Boy, with Allison again vocally radiant, the melodically glowing Just Another Girl is a thrilling treat to lose thoughts and senses in with the richest rewards in return. Jane Allison is a bright spark in folk inspired invention with the potential to make a potent mark with her solo endeavours in the future.

Just Another Girl is available now @ http://janeallison.bandcamp.com/album/just-another-girl

http://www.jane-allison.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/09/2014

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Blackwitch Pudding – Covered In Pudding Vol. 1

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A year ago Oregon metallers Blackwitch Pudding released debut album Taste The Pudding, a collection of tracks which the trio of Wizards ‘took back stole and diluted their invention’. The story goes for newcomers to the Portland band, is that for 600 years Blackwitch Pudding has been “conjuring evil riffs, casting spells and wreaking supernatural havoc upon this planet” only to have mortals steal their creativity for their own success. That is the short version of the tale behind the presence of the band and their striking releases which take existing songs and turn them into the beasts they feel they were meant to be. You cannot call their tongue in cheek exploits the work of a cover band because of the whole new character and twisted invention they evolve songs with as well as the new warped lyrical adventures each comes with. Simply they take an established canvas and build a new ravenous predation of doom speared with caustic stoner grooves, biting hooks, and narratives of sex, drugs, and witch bred salaciousness. Now the band has unearthed the Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 EP and another quartet of singularly compelling and questionably sinful exploits.

Opening track Night Of The Blackwitch, stemming from Roky Erickson‘s Night of the Vampire, is a dank and pestilential crawl over the senses, riffs moving with erosive rapaciousness and rhythms with a military bearing which is as deceitful as the hypnotic seduction within their malevolent intent. Psychedelically enhanced and insidiously aired lyrically and sonically, the song makes for a black soaked night of incitement complete with the rawest vocals to be found still churning syllables in a graveyard. It is doom with a ridiculously enticing core which overpowers the mischievous intent to its sculpting and devilry.

The following and irresistible Toke’n Man is equally as lumbering in its primal filth clad predation as it ‘steals’ back the essence of Rush track Working Man. You can almost taste the fumes of its hazy breath and addled imagination as Blackwitch Pudding - Covered in Pudding (web)the track seeps relentlessly over senses and imagination. Riffs make for the darkest web whilst rhythms again have a controlled frame to their corruptive endeavour but it is the bass stalked grooves and vocal recruitment of the band which makes the strongest toxic persuasion.

Kiss lose their anthem God Of Thunder to the threesome next as they unleash Gods Of Grungus and its bar room brawl of liquor soaked ferocity and devilment. Whereas the first two songs had a laid back senses consuming gait, the third track sees the band break into what can best be called a limping swagger with is muscles swinging lethargically and an energy keen to riot yet not too far away from the next swig of alcoholic poison. It like its predecessors is a magnetic treat to make you forget the source of their birth, each track so far improving on the original canvases.

Bong Hits and Lust completes the EP with an eleven minute epic doom transformation of Diamonds And Rust of Joan Baez and Judas Priest fame. It is a rabid and vicious slab of slow ear entwining doom revelry which exposes more of the undoubted skill and craft of the band members and of course their cauldron of possessed diablerie.

To be honest it is hard to know how to take the EP and album before it. Certainly it is a thoroughly enjoyable and accomplished encounter to easily recommend indulging in, but something inside for all the work and enterprise the band puts into each track wants Blackwitch Pudding to confront with something completely of their own…though maybe they already do that in another guise?

The self –released Covered In Pudding Vol. 1 is available now digitally and on 200 limited-edition, wizard-conjured cassettes @ http://blackwitchpudding.bandcamp.com/

http://blackwitchpudding.com/

8/10

RingMaster 14/08/2014

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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