One Minute Silence – Fragmented Armageddon

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On hearing that UK rap metallers One Minute Silence were about to rampage across thoughts and senses again after a seven year hiatus it is fair to say excitement was high and expectations hungry. Just maybe there was also a wonder and fear that the band would have lost their potency through the long break. Listening to new EP Fragmented Armageddon wiped any such concerns away, the release confronting the ear with the power and imaginative attitude sculpted sounds we are used to from the quartet and when played alongside last album, the 2003 released One Lie Fits All, and the likes of the Revolution EP or the single We Bounce, it is like they have never been away. It is an absorbing and inciting confrontation which awakens thoughts and passions and though the release has elements which do leave one a little dissatisfied in the lack of more new material, it is impossible not to  feel even more enthused from its creative tempest.

Since the hold on the band its members have eagerly explored new musical styles within projects set in the likes of folk to electronica and jazz to beat poetry. These are essences which appear to have brought influences and inventive ideas to the new phase of One Minute Silence though their core is still openly rap metal with hardcore/punk grievousness. The band on the evidence of the EP has certainly lost none of its fire in sound and politically inspired narrative neither, lyrically and in attitude but at the same time appear to have stretched into new avenues to express their passions and intrigue the mind and senses. It is hard to make a full declaration of there being new venture to their sound and enterprise and imagination from two songs of course, the planned album to be released next year will confirm if that is so, but it is easy to be assumptive in the strong possibility indicated by Fragmented Armageddon. With original members vocalist Yap, guitarist Massimo Fiocco, bassist Glen Diani linking up with new drummer Martin Davies, One Minute Silence will easily grab attention with their returning release, the collection of new material, re-workings, remixes, and an acoustic track sure to spark up and refresh the greedy appetites which feasted on the band before.

The Freeport Entertainment released EP brings opening track Fruit From The Lie into view through a compelling sonic mist but Fragmented Armageddon EP coveras soon as the recognisable voice and taunt of Diani’s bass and the vocals of Yap encroach the ear everything steps into place musically and emotionally for the passions. As spine-tinglingly distinctive as ever and ripe with that expected sense that band and song are about to leap for the jugular, the track instead takes its time, teasing with chilled atmospheric embraces and melodic dances whilst drums brew up an agitated framework to further captivate and feed on the listeners reactions. Once the explosive heart of the track does erupt air is driven from the lungs and thoughts ignited from the blaze of rapacious energy and provocative lyrical persuasion. The track continues to ebb and flow in intensity and attack but is a continual aggravator of the mind and instigator of unashamed selfishness to hear and feel more from the song, which it delivers with raging invention across its rhythmic barracking and sonically carved melodic fascination.

Second new song Pandemic Schizophrenia opens amidst street unrest and a social emergency call, vocals beginning a raw stance whilst bass and drums spear the scenery with monosyllabic punches. It is a potent warning on the ear with the guitar riling the ambience further as it leads to another contagious bruising laced in a sonic heart driven fire of intensity. Not quite corrosive but defiantly abrasive, the song tantalises and strokes the ear with addictive grooves and predatory imagination whilst the vocals of Yap prowl and incite it all, his delivery at times an acidic torrent of expression which sounds like a mix of John Lydon and Kirk Brandon. Like its predecessor it is a stunning track and ensures the wait for their proposed album is going to be impatient.

The release continues with firstly a reworking of You So Much As Move, a track from the One Lie Fits All album, and two remixes the second of the same song by Fiocco with before it a remix of Fruit From The Lie by Ben Hurd. Though they all feel like fillers to stretch the comeback release they do not hold back on providing satisfaction, the first of the trio a rampant and slightly rabid expanse of atmospheric temptation and carnivorous ravishment. It is shaped with enthralling enterprise and thought, its intent chewing on the senses whilst simultaneously bewitching them into uncaring submission. Though not a fan of remixes here, both tracks do leave a welcome taste in the mouth even if fires are not sparked by their presences, which also applies to the closing acoustic song Early Morning, though again the melodic emotive caress offered leaves sure and undeniable pleasure.

     Fragmented Armageddon is a great return from One Minute Silence which shows them to be as strong and creative as ever. It is also a rich tease for their future album and following stage return. World be warned the impacting storm has not lost its bite.

www.facebook.com/oneminutesilence.band

8/10

RingMaster 16/06/2013

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The Duel – All Aboard The Crazy Train

Steeped in 70’s punk and 80’s new wave, the new album from London Punk Rockers The Duel is a glorious nostalgic trip and modern interpretation of all that made original UK punk the reason some found music as something more than just for the ear. The band and their third album All Aboard The Crazy Train ripple with reminders and influences of an array of essential bands turning them into their own stirring sound. There is a wealth of ‘punk’ bands around now but there are not many that proudly hark back to a time that set so much in motion like The Duel who use it as fuel for their own vibrant and honest music. For an album that song by song has essences of so many from the past the release is one of the freshest and encouraging this year.

The Duel began in 2001, a duo of vocalist Tara Rex and keyboardist / bassist Andy Theirum. Finding their feet and sound before expanding the line-up the band’s first gig was supporting the Dead Kennedys. Since then they have played with the legendary might of the likes of UK Subs, The Slits, Buzzcocks, Sham 69, The Vibrators, and Angelic Upstarts to name just a few. Their first two albums, the 2007 debut Let’s Finish What We Started and its 2009 follow-up Childish Behavior took them into a bigger and wider national spotlight fan and media wise and now with the release of All Aboard The Crazy Train through FFR UK on 28th November, the anticipation of further strong acclaim is surely to be realized.   

Though soaked in a marinade of old school punk/new wave The Duel have fused it into their own electro/cyber punk/rock  pot of sounds combining instinctively bold vibrant riffs, direct and sharp attacks and vocals with melodic and resourceful hooks and synth/keyboard weaves. Combined it makes for songs that are inventive, easily accessible and pulsating. Each track carry the true punk ethos of challenging boundaries and being oneself, loaded in self expression and DIY truth it is an example and reminder to all current punk bands about the real meaning of what they claim to be.

The title track opens up All Aboard The Crazy Train to immediately lay down what the band is all about. The track bristles with a firm drum beat from Pumpy, whilst the keyboards of Thierum soar nonchalantly throughout the song. The vocals from Tara Rez coated in effect, ring with a deliberate disdain adding to the tracks moody feel. Though a mid pace stroll it sneaks up and by its end one realizes it has its hooks deep inside and has taken over the ear, that is until the energetic and slightly discordant punk attack of ‘Singing N Dancing’ takes over. Pulsating with the bass of Chris McDougall and a rock guitar ending from Thanos Oscar Pap it plays like an X-Ray Spex/P.I.L. merger and Rez herself sounding like the vocal offspring of John Lydon and Siouxsie Sioux.

The following songs all play and satisfy immensely like the Horrorpops/The Creepshow sounding ‘Empty Highway’ and the emotive and in many ways surprising ‘Loneliness’. When the big bass thumping and vibrant pop punk of ‘I’m On To You’ takes the stage though things go up a level and continues until the end of the album. Addictive and bouncy with again a Horrorpops feel, it enthusiastically entices and beckons with its blatant hook and melodies. The ska vibed Clash like ‘Freeway’ with Rez sounding a little like Penetration’s Pauline Murray, the Generation X punk ease within ‘Blaze Of Fury’, and the TV Smith/ Adverts flavoured ‘We The People’ with a mesmeric pulse beat ,all feed the senses eagerly and wonderfully.

The album contains 16 great songs and those mentioned and not, all deliver and please with equal quality, the album is a joy but two tracks have to be mentioned. Firstly ‘Not Found Behind A Gun’, a song that hungrily and openly displays its fine attributes to reel in the heart. Its sound is very Psychedelic Furs and Rez herself seemingly takes on some of Richard Butler’s vocal style, a wonderful track that despite its skill is eclipsed by the best song on the album ‘The Way London Used To Be’. A pulsating union of The Clash, Ruts and Transplants, it rings with a hypnotic hook and bass stomp alongside the keys of Thierum which dance engagingly. The song builds into a big sounding and pumped climax; with its anthemic hand and social commentary it epitomizes the band and their fine sound.

All Aboard The Crazy Train is simply excellent and the more one hears the more one sinks into its glory and bathes in its simple magnificence. As the penultimate track declares “Get ready for the sounds of liberation…” that is just what The Duel and their album bring.

RingMaster29/09/201

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