Punching Swans – Faces

If you have allowed the boisterous noise and feral enterprise of Punching Swans to trespass ears before you will not be surprised to read that as maturity and a new bold touch embraces their latest release, their cacophony of sonic devilment is just as insatiable. Faces is a collection of tracks which stalk the imagination, manipulate the senses, and send the body into blissful spasms whilst courting a whole new level of adventure with the British trio.

Bred in the ever fertile round of the Medway region of Kent, Punching Swans is the creative union of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster (Houdini), bassist/vocalist Joseph Wise(Frau Pouch), and drummer/vocalist Pablo Paganotto (The Explorer’s Collective). Formed in 2012, apparently “as a dare”, alongside their other projects, the band has simply grown in a sound, taking on inspirations from the likes of from The Fall, Sonic Youth, Bogshed and Mclusky as well as the dark realms of John Carpenter, The League of Gentlemen and The Evil Dead films, their imagination ensnaring releases perpetually earning bigger and keener acclaim. A self-titled debut that first year was a kind of warm up for the greater exploits inside Mollusc two years later. The album reinforced the band’s inimitable sound and creative mischief but flourished as the threesome in many ways ’took things more seriously’ with the project. Its qualities and success was only eclipsed by its successor Nesting in 2016 just as its seriously impressive character and adventure has been put in the shade by Faces.

The new album’s theme is a dark and compelling proposition; the release made up of eleven faces (tracks), each referring to the faces of serial killers. As Webster explains, “They each have a stupid feature for a face which is related to their story… so people who look kinda stupid and are unlikely killers. But then again, who is a likely killer? Can you really tell by appearance? As we wrote each new song they seemed to fit into a particular image of a face and from there we wrote what their particular background story was. We were picturing a kind of Dick Tracy rogues gallery of villains. “

The album opens up with Blood Face, gradually looming up on the senses in a sonic shimmer before a raw wash of voice and sound explodes on ears. The scything beats of Paganotto pounce and swing as a sonic swash of guitar colludes with the rapaciously dark mumblings of bass, a fiercely magnetic union completed by eager vocals. Slipping melodic teasing amongst its ravenous discord, the track is a magnificent and quickly addictive start to an album which only escalated every lure heard with imagination thereon in.

The following Areola Face instantly had hips swaying and appetite’s tongue licking lustful lips as Wise’s throaty bass strolls with dark but infectious intent, a catchiness only accentuated by the more ‘violent’ animation of guitar and beats. Ebbing and flowing in its volatility, vocals following suit, the track provides a caustic flirtation before Strobe Face licks at the senses with a rapid flicker of beats and a sonic sunspot which in turn sparks a slightly corrosive but fully captivating trespass; a captivation only boosted by the singular dance of vocals and beats which escapes before things become more psychotic yet tenderly seductive.

Through the calm but predacious post punk militance of Batter Face and the reserved siren-esque psychosis of Coral Face, animated temptation richly soaked ears; Paganotto’s kinetic swings as conniving and irresistible as the intimation shredding exploits of Webster and Wise’s skilful rhythmic dark saunters, traits fuelling the whole album from start to finish. The latter of the pair has a definite Houdini meets The Fall feel before making way for the simply glorious murderous drama and inharmonious beauty of Cliff Face. Featuring Dan Toms of Bear vs Manero and the biggest treat out of nothing but, the track is simply manna for ears and spirit, unscrupulous rascality at its best.

The following pair of Grater Face and Lady Cheese Face refers to each other, the songs “Romeo and Juliet-style lovers who simply could not be.” The first is a wild slice of post punk ‘n’ roll with a personality something akin to Mclusky meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion while its companion of sorts shows a devious side to its more tamed incursion on the senses. Discordant yet with a sonic elegance which is as threatening as it is alluring, the track is a true predator of a song, getting under the skin with subtlety and flirtation before gnawing away with bloodthirsty relish.

Raw and wolfish, Carpenter Face infiltrates ears next with an almost industrial like hue to its expanding tapestry of lawless noise. A low key serenade with a portentous breeze of sonic duplicity inserts itself in the breaths between it and Face Face straight after, the piece brief and never quite breaking the surface of its limbo before the penultimate track careers in on a rhythmic canter with a sonic mane spraying in its trenchant winds.

God Face completes the release, the song a lure of shadow bound celestial scheming simultaneously  tenebrific and radiant round another simply rousing rhythmic incitement from Paganotto and Wise alongside the melodic dissonance of Webster.

It is an enthralling end to a quite superb and increasingly addictive release. Punching Swans has never been as so damn manipulative or devilishly rousing as they are within Faces. It is not only a band at its momentously best but noise rock/post punk too.

Faces is released October 26th via Skingasm Records; available now for pre-order @ https://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/album/faces

Upcoming live shows:

OCT 26th LEEDS, Chunk

OCT 27th LIVERPOOL, Invisible Wind Factory

NOV 9th LONDON, Aces & Eights

https://www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans   https://twitter.com/punchingswans

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SΔCRED ΔPE – Self Titled

We are among many claiming Sligo based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer John Bassett as one of the most inspiring and refreshingly imaginative composers/songwriters around today and the first album from his new project gives no reason to pull back on that acclaim. SΔCRED ΔPE is Bassett’s, the founder and driving force of KingBathmat and post/progressive metal solo project Arcade Messiah, exploration into electronic/synthwave bred adventures. It is a bold new avenue to pursue for artist and listener but a continuation of the kaleidoscopic sound and visually stimulating artistry within his eager imagination.

As poppy as it is progressive, as emotive as it is instinctively infectious, the SΔCRED ΔPE album needs little time to infest an eager intrigue for something new from its creator; as instantly exciting the senses and involving thoughts and more physical involvement. In many ways, it is his most accessible offering yet though attracting and gripping attention and pleasure has never seemed to be something needing a great deal of time across any of his releases to date. It has a freedom suggesting Bassett is embracing his own electronic loves seemingly with an eighties breeding; playing with inspiring sounds and textures with zeal but weaving them into pieces suggestively complex and intimate and, especially in the album’s pair of instrumental soundscapes, cinematically pregnant though all tracks have just as potent passages.

The album opens with its first instrumental, Horn and swiftly has ears and appetite entangled with its electronic coaxing equipped with virulent melodic hooks. Intrigue coats every note and their emerging collaboration, sonic shadows dancing with melodies and repetitious seduction like an aural cousin to the imagery at the start of the old British TV show Tales of the Unexpected. Spatial yet sinisterly terrestrial, bright but with an almost cold war like drama, the track is a virulent transfixing of ears and imagination and just irresistible.

Asleep At The Wheel (Part 1) follows, contrasting its predecessors light frenetic gait with a heavier almost prowling slow stroll. There is a weight to its air and emotion, a thoughtful pondering soon emulated in the vocals of Bassett. Again melodies escaping synths rise to a celestial atmosphere yet laden with those ever present shadows to temper the climate before Birds Fall From The Sky pulsates with sonic palpitations. From within the animated lightshow a glorious darkwave scented groan, for want of a better word, erupts and swaggers into the passions. With surrounding melodic revelry and an overall creative drama at play in sound and lyrical word, there is a touch of OMD to the song; a flavouring adding to a familiar Bassett design yet as ever one of singularly fresh enterprise.

As a tangy melody steers in next up I Want To Go Back To The Happy House, a Blancmange like lure teases ears continuing to attract as the song broadens its landscape and voice with more of a Kraftwerk meets Giorgio Moroder inspiration. The instrumental floats across and surrounds ears like a summer haze with electronic imagery indistinctly but evocatively flirting from within; easily sweeping the listener up in its flight if without quite igniting the same lustful reactions as those before it.

Through the reflective embrace and dark pulsations of Season Of The Damned and the compelling theatre of Walking On Ice, Bassett has enjoyment and manipulation of the imagination in the palms of his hands; both tracks individual slices of ethereal synth pop with an earthier heart and spine to their explorations with the first a warm hug of temptation. Its outstanding successor though, brings the darker suggestion of the first into a more tangible touch on ears and thoughts creating a John Carpenter like cinematic espionage of suggestion creeping upon and infesting the senses as melodic infection gathers. It is a catchiness which soon leads the way but never diminishes the darker threat alongside resulting in the kind of mouth-watering blend Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget) was so skilled at weaving.

The album concludes with the lullaby-esque Asleep At The Wheel (Part 2), an epilogue of melancholy fuelled, melody woven inference with a childlike clockwork skeleton. It is a sigh of emotion which bursts into greater weight and drama midway and again simply captivates from its first to last breath.

It is too easy to expect big things from John Bassett because of past experiences with his music and it is an instinct sure to continue with SΔCRED ΔPE adding another impressive and seriously enjoyable string to his creative bow. It is an aspect in his creativity we fiercely hope he continues to explore and we are certain in that wish we will not be alone.

The SΔCRED ΔPE album is out now and available @ https://sacredape.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.johnbassettmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/arcademessiah/

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Prowling the dark side of being: exploring the corners of Invertia with Dave Coppola

Invertia4

An invasive corrosion of senses and emotions, Another Scheme of the Wicked from US band Invertia stands to the fore of psyche invading threats and violating seductions unleashed in 2014. The album is a virulently compelling incitement of senses and thoughts from a duo in guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson who seem to instinctively press all the right buttons with their provocative sonic and primal explorations. With an appetite to find out more about the band and its dark depths, we had the pleasure to talk with Dave who helped us explore the new album, the creative union between the two, the art of remixes and plenty more…

Hello Dave and welcome to the site and thanks for agreeing to talk with us.

Thank you for the interview, my pleasure!

First of all can you tell us about how you both met?

We actually met thru a mutual friend.

Was there a musical connection right away and how long before thoughts of creating a band took hold?

We started working on songs right away. We basically just started tracking guitars to a beat. Those songs would eventually become Blasphemy Be My Name and Perpetual Alert from the first album. We didn’t think of it as a “band” at first. It was just a recording project that became a band! We never thought we would play live when we met, that’s for sure. It’s crazy when we think about how we started to where we have come; for example opening for Blood of Heroes with Bill Laswell, getting a remix done by Justin Broadrick from Godflesh, to putting out an album with Ohm Resistance. It’s unreal.

Did you have any specific intentions when working on your first songs or was it more of let’s play and see what evolves initially?

It was more let’s see what happens. I never thought Tim and I would still be doing this years later…I’m glad we are though.

Invertia2Though your sound seems to be tagged most often as industrial black metal we found it to be so much more and pleasingly impossible to tie down. What are the most predominate inspirations upon yourselves which you feel have spiced your writing etc.?

Thanks for the kind words! We have all kinds of inspirations whether it be bands, film, books etc. There are too many to name, especially between the two of us. I listen to a lot of metal like Mayhem and Burzum, and industrial as well, Godflesh and Ministry. Tim likes the Residents and Adam Ant. We both like the same bands like the Pixies and the Butthole Surfers. William S. Burroughs and George Carlin are huge influences as well. Also the film They Live by John Carpenter is having a huge influence on the new album which is currently underway. So that’s why we sound the way we do.

You have recently released Another Scheme of the Wicked, a captivating and intrusive hybrid of sound and enterprise. Did it in creation fulfil or your hopes and thoughts or has it evolved beyond even your expectations with its potency and might?

We did the best we could, we always do. That way no matter what anybody says about it we are still satisfied in the end. Albums are like Presidents, it takes time to see the mess you made!

It feels a much darker and more predatory encounter than your previous release, more dangerous one; does it feel like that to you and if so was that a deliberate aim from the start or an organic emergence?

I agree, it is much darker…It has a little more of a dynamic feel to it than the first one. I’m not saying it’s a dynamic album just more than the debut haha! We are fast and in your face the whole time with this album other than the remixes. When we were writing we didn’t sit down and plan it that way it just happened. I think that’s the way it goes for most artists, you never know what you’re going to get at the very beginning. It’s always a surprise at some point during the process.

How do the songs come together and evolve primarily between the pair of you?

Typically myself or Tim will write a beat, I’ll put the guitars and bass down and go from there. Tim will take the beat and make it into drum sections and the song will evolve over time. Songs can be like a photo, you have to capture the evolution at the right time or you’ll miss it.

Tell us about the intent and premise behind Another Scheme of the Wicked.

The intent was to put out a decent industrial metal record. The premise was to make it original and not your every day run of mill metal record. I think we achieved that if I may say so. The album got mixed reviews from the metal community. I knew it would, and at the end of the day I’m glad it did.

The five tracks come with another five remixes, each an interpretation of the previous quintet, was this planned from the first seeds of the release?

Not at all… That was pure luck with a sprinkle of dedication. If you would have told me this album would have those artists on it remixing our music, I would have laughed at you.invertiacoverofficial

In many ways the remixes are doppelgangers of the originals for us, though it is debateable which are the darkest and most frightening versions. Did you give free rein for the likes of Justin K. Broadrick and End.user in their take on your songs?

Absolutely…There was no way I was going to tell those guys what to do. There is no way I could have. You can’t tell Justin Broadrick or Kurt Gluck how to do their job, they just do, that’s why we chose them. That’s the element of surprise I enjoy in this art form I spoke of earlier.

It has to be admitted we have never been fans of remixes, or maybe just do not understand their function though those on Another Scheme of the Wicked have impacted far deeper than most others we have come across on our thoughts. What is it about them which inspires you and lent the idea to include them on the new release?

We are big Skinny Puppy fans and we always liked the way they remixed everything. So I guess it just comes down to demonstrating a different point of view thru a common theme. I always thought that was interesting. I think it gives an extra depth to the album when played in its entirety. The next album we may, if at all, do them separately. To be honest my thinking was it’s just cheaper for the people purchasing the album to not have to buy remixes. But this time around we will give them the choice.

I have to ask as it must happen to someone somewhere, how would you deal with a remix which you did not like and felt did not warrant a place or fitted on one of your releases?

Well, we would be pissed; we hope it would not come to that. That’s why we asked the artists we did, and of course they were very professional in sending us either a couple of versions or following up with us to make sure everything was cool.

Back to your songs; at times they seem to be alive as they ignite the imagination and emotions, feeling like they have hidden depths unrevealed to the listener. How intensively did you take sculpting and shaping the songs of the release?

We are very picky in studio. We have a simple chemistry, and it goes like this. If Tim doesn’t come out of his seat during playback of the initial arrangement, it’s not good enough and I’m back to the drawing board. That’s how I know it will ignite the imagination and emotion, because we can see it in ourselves. If it works for us it might work for the listener as well.

InvertiaWas it an on-going honing process until recording time?

Pretty much, mostly the guitars and arranging…We can bring in ideas on the spot with samples and bass parts.

How about the lyrical side of your music? Was that an intensive development and what inspires their breath predominantly?

The lyrics are inspired by just peoples wrong doing really…People’s hatred for one another and trying to get the last laugh on your own species. It’s a place I don’t like to go for too long a time. We would probably have more material if I frequented the place that inspires the lyrics more often, but it’s a creepy spot.

Tell us about the other projects you are both involved in, and were involved in a couple of the remixes on Another Scheme of the Wicked I believe?

I have another industrial project called TranZi3nT and Tim has another project call R3TRD. We use them as a break from Invertia.

What is next on the horizon of Invertia?

We just released a new single for download at http://invertia.bandcamp.com/ called Existence Exit. It won’t be on Amazon or ITunes as they called the cover “pornographic”. You can judge for yourselves.   We also a have a 7” single coming out called Forever Incision that will have a live version of Facility of the Feeble on it, which is the opening track of the debut album. That will be put out through our label Ohm Resistance, which you will be able to get at http://ohmresistance.bandcamp.com/ soon.   As for the new album we are hoping for late spring time. We are looking to play some more live shows as well. Hopefully 2015 will be a good year for Invertia!

Thanks again for chatting with us; any final thought you would like to leave us with?

Thanks Pete! It was a pleasure doing this interview, good luck to you!!!

Dave (INVERTIA)

Read the review of Another Scheme of the Wicked @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/invertia-another-scheme-of-the-wicked/

http://www.inv3rtia.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 08/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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