Tom Brosseau – Grass Punks

 

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    Tom Brosseau is a folksinger and songwriter from North Dakota who has forged his own distinct place in the genre, a presence which, maybe still an unknown for a fair few, is one of those once bitten lingeringly enticed propositions. With a distinctive voice matched by his acoustic guitar invention earning him waves of acclaim and recognition through records and live performances, the now LA based artist releases new album Grass Punks. It is a release which crafts an appealing and at times irresistible encounter and though it does not quite light personal fires throughout, the album lures attendance and attention across its appealing endeavour.

    From learning the acoustic guitar through his grandmother whilst he was in grade school, Brosseau has gone on to perform across the US and UK, into Europe and on to the likes of Japan, Australia, and Taiwan. He has played and shared stages with the likes of John C. Reilly, Becky Stark, John Doe, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, as well as John Reilly & Friends whilst his previous releases has led to his songs being covered by artists such as Chris Thile, Silje Nes, Emily & Christy, and Mice Parade. Collaborations with Gregory Page in a duo called American Folksingers and with Angela Correa in the duo Les Shelleys which led to a Fat Cat Records released album in 2010 has also marked his career to date. All has added to the acclaim and stature of Brosseau earned by his own creativity which the new album again enhances.

      Released via Crossbill Records USA /Tin Angel Records and produced by Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Grass Punks takes tom-brosseaulittle time in gripping attention and a swiftly growing appetite with opener Cradle Your Device. From the dark heavy bass strum and melodic caresses around the mellow voice of Brosseau which opens up the track, an addictive potency frees its enticement to wrap around the senses and imagination. There is an eagerness and almost punk simplicity to the track which is impossible to ignore or resist, and admittedly generally move on from without a couple of replay hits before entering into the rest of the album. It is a dramatically virulent and emotive delve into a technology hampered relationship and the pinnacle of the album which instantly puts pressure on the rest of the release.

   It is a challenge most prove to be up for as after the relaxed temptation of Stuck On The Roof Again makes an enjoyable persuasion the combined lures of Tami and Today Is A Bright New Day brings reactions back up to another eager level. The first of this pair is a softly spoken increasingly infectious melodic breeze upon the ears; vocal harmonies and the poetic elegance of the guitars blending for a delightful enterprising and contagious caress. Its successor is more of a slow burner in its persuasion. Certainly it makes an appealing entrance and initial allurement but it is as passion and melodic intensity increases just a few degrees in warmth and energy that the song comes alive and strolls to almost anthemic choruses which simply invigorate the emotions.

    Both Love High John the Conqueror Root with its XTC/Andy Partridge like guitar and melodic enterprise laced with an intriguing amount of discord and Running from Zombies which simultaneously seduces and smothers to make you feel trapped and liberated such its close quarters melodic persuasion and brewing intensity, next give the imagination a blaze of impressive stimulus to devour and enjoy. They make light of the plateau set by the first song to rival it in strength and invention if not in contagion. From here on in though, the album for personal tastes does not lead the emotions to the same depths as bred by earlier tracks. Songs like Gregory Page of San Diego and I Love to Play Guitar are more than decent and skilfully sculpted pieces of songwriting and presented beautifully but fail to trigger anything more than satisfaction beyond the ears. The same applies to closing song We Were Meant to Be Together which ensures the album comes to a strong and passionate conclusion yet escapes sparking any lingering hunger for itself.

     Grass Punks is a release of two halves in many ways but one pleasing and creative adventure which entertains and impresses overall. When it is at its full potency the album is a captivating gem whilst the moments which do not spark up, what are again just personal tastes and needs, still only show a class and imaginative craft which reveals Tom Brosseau as a folk artist certain to continue to stretch and invigorate the genre.

http://www.tombrosseau.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tom.brosseau.7

7/10

RingMaster 20/01/2014

  Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kongh: Sole Creation

Kongh 2012

Swedish band Kongh undeniably has a strength and intensity as formidable as their name suggests and through their new album Sole Creation, offers forty five minutes of energy sapping, senses elating, and passion igniting creativity which is just breath-taking. Consisting of four tracks, the third full length release from the band consumes every corner of the psyche with an adventurous and hungry expanse of sludge and doom metal brought with a fiery loud whisper of progressive rock. It is an immense beast which gives some of the most melodically rewarding sounds heard in a long time whilst hungrily gnawing on the bones and synapses of the listener with heavy consuming intent.

The seeds for Kongh began in 2004 when David Johansson (guitar, bass and vocals) and Tomas Salonen (drums) met and began making heavy music together incorporating influences from their different musical backgrounds flavours from blues to grindcore. Two years later saw their first demo appeared, a four track brute of weighty sludge and loud riffing might which unexpectantly within two weeks sparked floods of strong reviews and independent label interest. By that fall the band had signed with Stockholm’s Trust No One Recordings (Isis, Khanate, Switchblade, Breach) and began work of their first album Counting Heartbeats which appeared in July of 2007. Again acclaim soaked the band backed by impressive live shows which included supporting Neurosis and Cult Of Luna. By the end of the next year following a limited split LP with Ocean Chief and a split 7” with Witch-Lord, the band and their epic musical atmospheric ‘hostilities’ were to the fore of awareness within European metal. Second album Shadows Of The Shapeless came out in 2009 and its evolved and aggressively intrusive sounds whipped up another storm of attention and acclaim from fans and media alike. It also received a full US release, the first time for the band as they received their most positive and enamoured reviews yet.

Kongh had reached a height to see them lie alongside the major doom/sludge metal names, with shows and performances with bandsARCD108 such as Weedeater, Ufomammut and YOB sealing their stature as they concentrated playing live and touring over the next two years. As the new Agonia Records released album shows this was a mere step in their rise as the further plateau reached and explored musically by Sole Creation, is their finest and most irresistible moment yet. It and the band is as confronting and abrasive as ever but with an expansive breath which reaches out further in imagination, sound, and impact. The four songs making up the album are individual slabs of dynamic sonic potency, rich melodic incursions, and senses challenging aggressive poetry.

The title track opens up the vat of dramatic excellence upon inciting rolling rhythms and a sonic wash with an acidic touch upon the ear. Soon into its sizzling gait the track unleashes teasing melodic hooks, grinding riffs, and a marked elevation in the intimidation of the rhythms. Once the growling spite of Johansson lies its rasping malevolence on flesh the song is grooving with a wonderful irritability soon tempered by the wonderful clean vocal harmonies which join the fray and insidious yet magnetic melodic caresses from the guitars. It is a sensational encounter which holds the passions tight within only the first four minutes of its ten plus. The track shifts its muscles into a varied venture of ideas and styles within the overall aggressive stance with imperious ease and craft to spark whispers of Mastodon, Kyuss, and Baroness, though Kongh capture a sound distinctly theirs at all times.

Second song Tamed Brute treats the already sore senses to a new decisive wash of sonic mastery to announce its entry before resting on an atmospheric peace though still with a disturbed air to its presence. It is not long before the track is a maelstrom of energy and passion soaked intensity which oppresses and smothers leaving one smouldering under its infectious annihilatory heat. The cleaner vocals are again especially striking though just one of a weave of sensational aspects on song and album.

     The Portals and Skymning complete the release, the first an emotion grasping physical endurance test with the deepest pleasure and enterprise the reward for its devastating and magnetic confrontation. An inferno as dense as it is incendiary the track is aural alchemy, the band turning riotous violence into a mesmeric contagious aural brilliance. The second of the two is equally guilty of the wizardry though it offers a less intensive pugnacity to its far reaching dark beauty, but again a level of musicianship in performance and songwriting which is just masterful.

Featuring a guest appearance from John Doe from Craft, the Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) mastered album is as flawless as is possible and in turn just sensational, a release which will inspire for a long time to come. Kongh now stand as massive as their cinematic namesake.

http://www.kongh.net/

9/10

RingMaster 05/2/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright