The Hillbilly Moon Explosion – With Monsters And Gods

THME_RingMasterReview

With a band like The Hillbilly Moon Explosion and a heavy clutch of ear thrilling and imagination gripping releases, it is hard to pick what might be the best. It is easy though to suggest that their new encounter, With Monsters And Gods is going to be right there as an option for most. The fourteen track stroll through their most eclectic and fascinating slices of rock ‘n’ roll yet is pure captivation. It stomps, it seduces, and rouses the spirit as it takes the listener on a magnetic escapade of creative fun, mischief, and imagination.

Returning to the local Swiss studio where they made their early rockabilly albums, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion have found a fresh edge and snap to their sound in whatever aspect it tempts from upon With Monsters and Gods. Vocalist/upright bassist and album producer Oliver Baroni recently said that the band wanted the album “to reflect the somewhat harder edge you get from the months on the road,” to create “a louder, more rock ’n’ roll album.” Fair to say they found success and more in an album which just seems to become more riveting and dynamic with every listen.

It opens up with the mesmeric In Space, a celestial romance of the senses with a disco beat and charm reminding a little of Blondie’s Autoamerican period. As exotic hues tease, the song evolves and blossoms into a sultry seduction with a persistence of nagging rhythms and surf rock scented melodic trails of guitar around Emanuela Hutter’s siren-esque tones. It is a hypnotic affair setting up ears and appetite for the adventure to come with Temptation next in line to live up to its title. Guest sax flames courtesy of Pete Thomas are soon licking at the imagination after an initial tenacious caress of guitar, their entrance lighting a lively stroll with celestial harmonies around the mariachi theatre provided by the horns of Calexico. As it swings and bounces, a ska bred flirtation adds to the persuasion too, just another twist and turn in the creative blaze of the anthemically outstanding and inventively cinematic track.

Depression throws the listener into a beefier rockabilly bred canter next; its riffs carrying a grouchy edge as Baroni’s bass and vocals swing with infectious enterprise. The scything beats of Sylvain Petite are just as catchy too, finding themselves bound in the spicily addictive grooves of guitarist Duncan James as the song provides a straight forward yet individual prime Hillbilly Moon Explosion stomp before letting Down On Your Knees gets in on the act of stirring up ears and appetite. A seriously catchy blaze of rock ‘n’ roll as potent in its mellow saunter as it is in its fiery roar, the song weaves a thrilling proposal with additional strands of seventies glam pop in its virulent rockabilly.

art_RingMasterReviewThe noir lit Midnight Blues brings some great sixties garage rock keys from Baroni into play next, that a decade equally referenced by Hutter’s glorious vocals and the harmonies swimming through the seductive air of the track. A blues hue coats the guitar solo at the heart of the seductive smoulder too, a tempting which never relaxes until it steps aside for the rockabilly saunter of Desperation where Hutter is again as magnetic as the contagious hooks and swinging rhythms.

If With Monsters And Gods stopped there, acclaim would be easily offered but things just continue to entice and spellbind as its title track creates a smooch with the senses and imagination. Country seeded essences mix with surf and again sixties nurtured serenading as orchestral and emotive drama ebbs and flows across the track’s bewitching landscape. There is a blues spicing hanging around too though it is a far thicker and a more vocal ingredient in the feisty stroll of Love You Better which follows. The track listing within the album is superbly thought out; small essences in one song being developed in the next while it in turn brews other hues to be explored in the next. As the blues textures are a fiery roar around the tones and piano of Baroni here, the slight discordance to its revelry is subsequently bred further within next up Black Ghost.

The song is the first of two almost expected and hoped encounters featuring Marky “Sparky” Phillips from Demented Are Go. Hutter’s tones glow and resonate within the sonic shimmer of the song while in the background Phillips prowls and vocally prods before bringing his great gravelly presence fully into the awaited duet between the two. Once they are aligned, honky tonk keys and a cowpunk swagger join the unpredictable and thrilling party; numerous other spices and textures also before many are brought to greater irresistible life in the quite brilliant Heartbreak Boogie. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers like in its blend of dark rock ‘n’ roll, jazz flirtation, and almost steampunk rebel rousing; the song is an electrified fence of creative devilry with further provocative sax tempting beside the mighty vocal union of Hutter and Baroni.

That Blondie essence returns in its successor, though unsurprising as it is a swiftly pleasing cover of the US band’s Call Me with a rockabilly slant The Hillbilly Moon Explosion style. It soon has the body bouncing as too the garage punk contagion of You Miss Something where again a host of flavours collude for a virulent hop fuelled with blues liquor and fifties punk ‘n’ roll merriment.

The second song with Phillips on board comes next; Jackson a great cover of the Johnny Cash and June Carter track. Converting some of the country character of the original to a ska/reggae carnival of sound with the smiling swing of keys and seductive flames of sax further temptation, the song just hits the spot as too the union of Phillips and Hutter.

Completed by the boisterous r&b toned Rose Outside, think Imelda May meets Ronnie Dawson as a hint of its galvanic sound, With Monsters And Gods is simply a riot of fun and bold incitement for the ears. As mentioned earlier, it is hard to pick the band’s best release to date, so many choice moments for fans to devour, but as we press play again, With Monsters And Gods has to be a strong contender, maybe the strongest.

With Monsters And Gods is released May 13th through Fredonia Entertainment in the UK via Amazon on CD and Vinyl and digitally through iTunes.

http://www.hillbillymoon.com/   https://www.facebook.com/hillbillymoonexplosion   https://twitter.com/TheRealHME

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers – Ugly Mobile

Hipbone Slim_RingMasterReview

With some artists, the news of a new release sparks a twitch in the hips and itch in the feet. Such it is with Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers after enjoying four slabs of the band’s individual rock ‘n’ roll, and such it was coming into new album Ugly Mobile. Containing fourteen slices of multi-flavoured incitements bred on the seeds of original rhythm ’n’ blues, the album is manna for the ears and a puppeteer to the body. Released via the ever treat giving Dirty Water Records, the press release for Ugly Mobile stated that the album is the band’s “finest offering so far!” After the umpteenth romp with the irresistible release, we can find no reasons to disagree.

It is hard to be surprised at the sound and infectious mischief that Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers create when you look at its members. The band is led by vocalist/guitarist Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim), the man seemingly involved in more bands than a wedding courting jeweller. Among the list is the inimitable likes of Louie & The Louies, The Kneejerk Reactions, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs, and The Magnificent Escapades; that just ‘scratching the surface’ of his tenacious presence and work. Alongside him is drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, a veteran of bands such as the Milkshakes, Headcoats, the Masonics and more who has also worked with Holly Golightly, the Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, Wreckless Eric, Mungo Jerry, and Link Wray. The line-up is completed by bassist/harmonica player Gastus Receedus who has played in the likes of Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys, and worked with legends such as Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, and Dale Hawkins amongst many. It is a trio which let rips from the first note of Ugly Mobile and relentlessly continues to incite and thrill until its flirtatious last.

The album opens with Bald Head, Hairy Guitar, a track opening like a Hank Mizell scented rumble as bass and drums grumble with a wink in their creative eye. In no time Sir Bald is spilling guitar and vocal bait into the virulent mix, the song mixing prowling devilment and infectious stomping to grip ears and body with relish. The same applies to the album’s title track which follows. You can almost see the grin on its creative face and eager energy as it flirts with a Bo Diddley spiced shuffle very easy and very quick to get physically and vocally involved in.

art_RingMasterReviewOrangutan steps up next, it’s beguiling coaxing carrying a great Johnny Kidd & the Pirates feel to its sultry persuasion and sound. The beats of Gastus alone create an anthemic trap reinforced by the great throaty roam of Bash’s bass. Further bound in the spicy string picking prowess of Sir Bald, the song as its predecessors, needs little time to seduce and enslave before One Armed Bandit brings its own quick persuasion, this time the band slipping in a seductive Del Shannon reminding melody amongst strands of surf rock tempting. A spark for ears and imagination, the instrumental also shows the variety already flowing through the album’s first quartet of songs.

The garage rock boisterousness of Sally Mae continues that flavoursome spread, keys and nagging riffs riveting textures in its rawer rock ‘n’ roll before Voodoo Love puts its late fifties/early sixties hex on ears and appetite. The fun uncaged simply continues as the exotic mystique of Hieroglyphic dances and flirts with the listener, its instrumental seduction nostalgia and fresh revelry combined whilst Hey Ramona! simply has the body bouncing with its lively contagion.

A steely texture lines the guitar bait as Hammond-esque enticement adds further tasty hues to next up Indestructible Love; the track part garage punk and part blues in its old school seeded rock ‘n roll that warms ears up nicely for the throbbing suggestiveness of Why Can’t I Find What I’m Lookin’ For. From its opening bass swing, the track has lust offered in return and only increasing its hold as a Meteors meets Billy Lee Riley like croon blossoms thereon in. The track simply hits the spot as too the excellent Don’t Know Where To Start, an irresistible and ridiculously catchy call for voice and body participation swiftly answered as the Johnny Cash tinted track ignites the passions.

The smouldering flirtation of Meanwhile, Back In The Jungle keeps things inflamed with its tribal rhythms and imagination stroking hooks  before Number One Son brings limbs into even keener action with its blues hued rockabilly and Joe Poovey like tenacity.

Closing with the bracing rocker, There’s Only One Louie, band and album provide a feel good stomp that simply leaves ears, spirit, and emotions high. If real rock ‘n’ roll is to your fancy, Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers and Ugly Mobile are a must.

Ugly Mobile is out April 22nd via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=10017028&offset=0&sort=normal

http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/hipboneslim

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Murena Murena – Shame Over

Pic © Jann Averwerser_klein

Pic © Jann Averwerser_klein

Genius or lunacy?

A question to ponder as Shame Over seduces ears and infects the psyche with its deranged carousel of dark imagination and off-kilter rock ‘n’ roll. The riveting aural amusement park of warped thrills and twisted adventures is the new album from Munich based Murena Murena. Though self-tagged as horror soul,  the release offers twelve tracks of unique imagination twisting alchemy embracing both genius and lunacy which, though hard to easily reflect in word, is maybe best described as Powersolo meets Wall Of Voodoo meets Nick Cave whilst lost in the realm of Twin Peaks.

Murena Murena is the creation of Daniel Murena, vocalist and writer/composer of some of the most irresistible cinematically lit murder ballads and sinister shuffles heard in a long time. 2014 saw the release of debut album Ghoaster Coaster, a slice of sonic and creative loco within which the seeds to Shame Over can be clearly heard. They are beginnings though which have blossomed into a proposal far more unhinged and seductively unsettling; an album of songs which work the ears and imagination of the listener like a puppeteer. With Albert Pöschl, Tagar, and Dizzy Errol alongside Murena, the band and Shame Over simply turn ears into an addict whilst sharing a cracked Sin City like comic book of noir fuelled escapades.

The album opens up with Newsflash Apocalypso, a dark romancing of ears with a rumble in its belly and a Yello-esque flirtation to its electro hues and devilry. Imposing in emotive dark and beguiling with a maze of vocals which trespass song and imagination, it is an attention grabbing start to the album and swift glimpse into the house of visceral shadows and provocative tales to come, starting with the outstanding Drag Race. Cowpunk rhythms and an appropriate swing quickly grip body and appetite with rockabilly devilment swiftly adding to the Cajun tinged stomp. Again vocals are a mesh of asylum bred incitement matched by beats and country hooks, an aligning of textures breeding a scent of Powersolo / Heavy Trash to its rascality.

The necrophilic romance of Le Van´s Wife immerses ears and thoughts in dank graveyard mustiness next, its soulful moon lit insight hosted by a sultry electronic glow framed by prowling rhythms. There is no escaping a Nick Cave hue to the excellent nocturnal disturbance and its smothering embrace of dark doings, or the invigorating diversity brewing in the album which continues with the reggae spiced bounce of Dancing Naked. The grouchy tone of bass enjoyably tempers the lusty shuffle of riffs and skittish beats hugged by the warm kiss of keys, a fusion of textures creating an addictively surreal surf/spaghetti western/ska flavoured hop

cover_RingMasterReviewCountry and rockabilly strands entwine the following Lovely Homes, skittery beats laying an eventful canvas for the smouldering dark charm of air and narrative of voice to conjure upon. Guitars and bass only add to the increasing drama, spawning a Helldorado like theatre that once having seduced ears and enjoyment, steps straight into the unbalanced horseplay of Pretty Please! which quickly has feet and thoughts  jumping like a psychotic mix of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Johnny Kidd and The Pirates with an added twist of The Dancing Did.

The pair simply disorientates and ignites the senses before Peace swaggers in with its throaty Johnny Cash climate and vocal dexterity as rich sultrily hued melodies wind seductively and poetically around ears. The track epitomises the whole of the album and Murena Murena sound, there seeming little going on in the building of a thick array of textures yet every moment is a kaleidoscope of new noise and imagination which reveals more and more with every dark engagement.

A lighter dance is provided by Shy Goose, its sixties pop and electro rock dance a magnetic croon which gets right under the skin with bass and beats masterfully leading the infestation. It shimmers and erupts with increasing tenacity and bewitchment before being pushed aside by the addictive sonic and rhythmic agitation of Tu Tu. Sounds and textures almost seem to battle each other in the bedlamic stomp, but in the end they simply collude for a hyperactive rock ‘n’ roll waltz that leaves body and soul alive and ready to be drawn into the psych rock haunting of War Drugs.  In another twist to the album, it is a dark enveloping of the imagination which is alive with vocal psychosis and warped echoes of noise and emotion, and quite beguiling if equally disturbing.

Shame Over is brought to a close by the pair of Fossil Fuel and Fossil Fuel 2. The first is a throbbing draw of vocal resonance and ethereal electronic theatre with plenty of suggestive bite whilst its successor is a blues romancing equipped with nostalgic easy listening country-esque mesmerism. Both tracks sublimely bewitch with their individual imagination, a description which fits the whole of the quite unique and gloriously unpredictable, not forgetting wonderfully eccentric or should that be crackpot, Shame Over. Creative diablerie does not come much better or deliciously darker it is easy to say.

Shame Over is released globally by Totally Wired Records on April 15th @ https://totallywiredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shame-over

http://murenamurena.com/   https://www.facebook.com/murena.munich   http://danielmurena.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Braddock Station Garrison – A Hint of Recognition

BSG_RingMaster Review

Last year US rock band Braddock Station Garrison gave a strong and enjoyable introduction to their rock ‘n’ roll with debut EP/mini album High Water. Exploring all the best bits of that release whilst honing other potential but previously less striking elements in their sound, the Washington DC quartet has recently unveiled its successor, A Hint of Recognition. Still carrying a flavoursome Americana tang to their no frills rock ‘n’ roll, Braddock Station Garrison have produced another highly magnetic and creatively organic proposition with their second full-length to thoroughly enjoy. It is probably not a game changer in stirring major awareness of the band by wider spotlights, though it has enough to make a stir if given the chance, but A Hint of Recognition is definitely going to entice new fans as they show they are heading in the right creative direction for bigger rewards ahead.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and lead guitarist Tom Soha in 2011; Braddock Station Garrison take inspirations from the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens into their openly growing sound. Completed by drummer Michael Chapman and bassist Michael Haddad, a line-up in place since mid-2014, the band released High Water last year to keen responses. Its fusion of classic and modern sounds was a highly appetising if unspectacular proposal which left a richness of pleasure in its wake. A Hint of Recognition continues the groundwork it laid but with more inventive tenacity, bolder imagination, and depth of sound. It is still not the offering to make an explosive impact but it definitely guarantees a thoroughly enjoyable time with every listen and who can say no to that.

cover_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Forgotten Teenage Dream, a contagious little number with jangly riffs and a great alluring bassline alongside the ever distinctive and appealing tones of Schillinger. With crispy beats adding to the easy going stroll, the song rather than providing a big splash to start things off is more a catchy coaxing, a warm up to bigger and brighter things. Nevertheless grooves and melodies offer a pleasing tempting which the more relaxed and emotive She’s Too Cool employs with relish in its more fifties rockabilly seeded stroll. As in its predecessor and the band’s sound generally, there is a masterful simplicity at work; leanness to the invention which ensures only the choice cuts of sound and imagination get involved in the song whilst avoiding unnecessary embellishments.

Things really takes off from the album’s third track, Lies, where once more a fifties breeding is carried by the tantalising air of the song, and initially through another tasty bass lure and the rich vocals. It is a flavour continued by sultry melodies and welcoming riffs cast by the guitars whilst a raw cascade of intensity only adds to the drama and unrelenting addictiveness of the song. Its success seems to spark something extra in its following companions too, Hey Cindy spinning a web of sonic tendrils across its body within a great rhythmic beckoning next. To this the guitars spray a creative smog like contrails behind a plane, with both Chapman and Haddad laying down gripping bait before Never In Danger emulates the earlier Lies with its own dark rock hues, though this time they touch upon a R.E.M. colouring in the song’s evocative swing. Infectious from first breath to last, the track is a reserved but lively seduction adding more warmth to the satisfaction already brewed by A Hint of Recognition.

More heady bass temptation brings a grin to lips as Any Day Any Way opens up, the enticement persistent as guitars spread fuzzy causticity across a punkish encounter unafraid to change tact and energy at the drop of a note. More inventive and fiery with each passing minute, the track is another striking high point which Stop and Reflect struggles to match right after, though its country twang and melodic smoulder only feeds a happy appetite before Johnny Stone Stole My Girl brings things to a rocking close. Its unsurprising yet irresistibly catchy shuffle feeds all wants from a slice of rock ‘n’ roll, especially with more of that flavoursome old school fifties tone to please personal tastes; a pursuit of which would definitely go down well and add something more to future Braddock Station Garrison songs it is easy to suggest on the evidence of A Hint of Recognition. More of the very solid and enjoyable sounds found on the band’s new album would be quite fine too.

A Hint of Recognition is out now via the Braddock Station Garrison Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison   https://twitter.com/BSGRockNRoll

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Vienna Ditto – Circle

Vienna Ditto _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With every song and single released, UK duo Vienna Ditto has enhanced the seductive hex they have laid on certainly our ears since being infected by the band’s Ugly EP in 2013. Now the pairing of Hatty Taylor and Nigel Firth has set free their long awaited and highly anticipated debut album, and fair to say that their melodic voodoo has just got seriously enslaving. Bringing some old fan favourites together with re-workings of older releases and brand new slices of sonic devilment, Circle is a bewitching romance of sultry atmospheres, bordering on sinister melodic beauty, and psychedelic sunspots of harmonic alchemy.

Originally meeting when Firth taught Taylor the guitar when she was 11 years old, the duo began writing and creating together in 2009 after meeting by chance again in the street. Within a week of that moment, they recorded an electronic version of the Johnny Cash classic Ring of Fire and in a matter of another seven of so days created and unveiled their own first song Long Way Down. This quickly managed to find itself played on Huw Stephens’ Radio One show, leading to Vienna Ditto playing the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. 2011 saw the band’s self-titled debut EP get a well-received release, its temptation the beginning to greater attention and responses earned by a couple of singles and more so the Liar Liar and Ugly EPs two years later. With further singles only enhancing and confirming the duo’s potent emergence and increasing evolution of sound, there has been a greedy appetite brewing amongst a great many for this first album. Now here it is easy to say that no-one will be disappointed and for newcomers, well simply welcome to a new musical lust.

The encounter opens with This Is Normal, a song instantly luring ears through a minimal but potent bassy riff and the siren-esque tones and expression of Taylor’s voice. As crispy beats and additional guitar enticing joins the mix so the song’s energy also elevates, though it is quickly back into the low key gait so things continue to be potently intriguing and unpredictable. As electronic invention springs its bait next, the track eventually slips into a magnetic stroll with Morningwood like revelry but yet again things only get twisted and turned around to relentlessly excite ears and imagination.

Owly circle_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review    The irresistible start is emulated and surpassed by the following Feeling Good. With garage rock hooks colluding with surf and sci-fi shimmers, the song is quickly teasing and flirting like a sixties Venusian temptress. Also though there is simultaneously a climatic and sultry air enveloping the senses whilst beneath it a smouldering Tarantino cultured landscape becomes the home for an irresistible dance of vocals and grooves. The song is pure musical and emotional drama, an infection getting under the skin and into the psyche whilst providing the first major pinnacle of the album.

A melodic calm caresses ears next through the mellow charm of Wintertime. Comparisons to Portishead have been a regular offering since Vienna Ditto began and easy to see why with the golden kiss of charm offered by the tantalising third song on the album. It has its own intimacy and individual, almost raw innocence and beauty though as it casts a lingering peace which eventually makes way for the off kilter cosmopolitan enticement of A Happy Car is a Stolen Car. With a ska shaped bassline and exotic melodic hues within a spatial atmosphere, the song is a fascinating waltz of warped imagination and enterprise. The effect hugged vocals of Taylor court the bedlamic shuffle of the song and again a sixties pop hued psyche rock twisted soundscape. It takes a couple of listens or so to fully explore and understand the wonderful turbulence of ideas and bold adventure at work but rewards patience with another major highlight within Circle.

The band takes ears back into the dusty climes of a Morricone like terrain next through Pale Horse Rider, voice and strained guitar strings a compelling lead into a continually evolving and absorbing immersion of sound and emotion. Beauty again is the keenest description to lie at its door before the first of the band’s two current singles step forward side by side. Oh Josephine which we are led to believe is a tribute to dancer and civil rights icon Josephine Baker, has a haunting and pulsating shine to its air, a glow which resonates across every aspect as rhythms and the simply catchiness of the song steal body swerves and lustful thoughts from the listener. The following Long Way Down is an epidemic of addictiveness and brilliance. Primarily garage punk and rock across its numerous strands of temptation, the song also weaves a funk and synth pop lure encased in psychedelic salaciousness. Think Chick Quest meets MGMT with a touch of Jingo for good measure and you have a closer clue to the brilliance of the song.

     Both the hypnotic almost oppressive psychedelic wash of A Wheel Within a Wheel and the bulging devilry of Hold On enthral and thrill; the first a song bordering on psychotic with its kaleidoscope of sonic colour and melodic seducing aligned to off the wall ingenuity. The second of the two is jazz/funk pop twisted out of shape and stretched on muscular rhythmic sinews, then infused with guitar jangles and electronic mania before being given to Taylor to bind in her ever alluring vocals. The result is one virulent dance of unbridled infection and enjoyment though it is soon overshadowed by the sensational Hammer and a Nail. Opening with a caress of southern guitar and the endearing tones of Taylor, the song soon spreads into again Morricone seeded scenery within a dusty hot ambience. It is a transfixing maelstrom of mystique kissed sounds and emotional drama which toys with ears and imagination. The more revealed the darker the track becomes, its rapacious throat and intensity an encroaching clouding over the open beauty and sultry resonance of voice and melodies. As a single this incitement was glorious but reshaped and re-coloured for the album it is simply majestic.

The gentle croon of Liar Liar Quietly is almost an anti-climax initially after the previous glory but soon has ears and thoughts firmly in its soft and persuasive melody soaked hands. It is a spellbinding kiss with a need to spill eighties post punk like invention from within its serenade, again the band reaping seeds from earlier decades to enrich their own scintillating invention.

The album closes with a smouldering slice of gospel bred psyche balladry; I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole another cast in the dark country of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. As expected the track spins a mesh of perpetual unpredictability and off beat exploration which just gets darker, bolder, and more addictive with time and age.

There is also a bonus track on certainly the digital version of Circle called Squeaking Wheel and it too is a sensational romp, one built on a blues sound and craft wound in creative mischief and ingenuity. Whether this or I Know His Blood Will Make Me Whole completes the album, Circle is easily one of the most scintillating and invigorating thrills of the year so far. Full of surprises and originality, album and Vienna Ditto deserve all your attention with the only losers being those not taking a listen.

Circle is available now @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/album/circle

http://www.viennaditto.com/ https://www.facebook.com/viennaditto

RingMaster 16/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Casting reflections and dispersing shadows: talking Johnny Wore Black with band founder Jay

jwbnew3-hires

  2014 has been a big and flavoursome year for British melodic and alternative rock, and in no small part thanks to UK band Johnny Wore Black. The brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury ) Jay, the project on the back of a host of attention grabbing singles and videos over the past eighteen months or so, has released two acclaimed and enthralling albums this year. Walking Underwater Pt 1 and 2, the second released barely two week ago, encounters which and immerses ears and imagination in an evocative embrace, thought provoking propositions which infuse passionate creative roars with poetic melodies and fiery textures. Both albums reinforce the emerging stature and recognition of Johnny Wore Black as one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative songwriters and rock artists. With the kind sharing of Jay’s time, we delved into the heart of the man, band, and particularly the fresh majesty of Walking Underwater Pt 2.

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing time to speak with us.

My pleasure…thank you for listening.

You have just released second album, Walking Underwater Pt 2; how were feelings as the unveiling swiftly approached?

It’s always a strange time around release, in a way exciting and in a way a test of patience as in reality it’s about waiting to see how the product is received. As an artist, the reviews are important to gauge how good a job you have done!

Are there different emotions and expectations this time around after the acclaim and success of Walking Underwater Pt 1 earlier this year?

Walking Underwater Pt.1 was an opening, a beginning if you like so it will be interesting to see how Walking Underwater Pt.2 is received and how the journey develops in other people’s jwbnew1-hires2eyes and ears. It’s important to make music for yourself first and yet in reality, once released its journey becomes a public experience. My expectations are for people to enjoy it and find the right environment to use the music.

How should people look at the two releases, as two parts of one whole entity or the new release as an evolution and unique exploration from the themes and narrative fuelling the first album?

It is a new release of course, and yet a journey too. Honestly people will make of it what they want. Personally there is a journey there, a cleansing and an exorcism of past demons…to make way for new ones maybe?!

Before we look deeper in to the new album, can we ask about your history musically and other aspects before Johnny Wore Black?

Childhood poems then set to music when learning to play the Spanish guitar, pretending it was electric! Onwards, days in studios as birthday presents from my dad when I was fifteen and sixteen. Johnny Wore Black is the conclusion of life experience, being a singer songwriter, being in bands, and generally loving music.

What was the spark bringing the band to life?

The spark was a need to express my songs in a new way, to attempt to get closer to the music that turns me on and lights my fire!

The band name inescapably brings thoughts of Johnny Cash, is there a meaning behind the title?

I like the analogy of why Johnny Cash wore black, to identify with those less fortunate than himself. My dad called me Johnny and my grandmother Evelyn bought me a black suit, which I wore at my Dads funeral when I was seventeen. So, you see, life and all its shards of dark and light.

What would you say are your major inspirations?

A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Stone Sour, Johnny Cash…to name but a few.

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2Because of the success and potency of your first album anticipation and expectations of Part 2 are probably over demanding. Has this added any pressure for its creation?

In a way yes, but to be honest most of the pressure is self-inflicted. My goal is to make great music, who can say when that has happened? Really, I see it as a never ending journey.

With the close proximity to the release of the two albums, it is easy to assume both sets of songs or certainly many over both albums have been bred from around the same time. What is the time frame in that area and if they were written around the same period how did you decide which song went on which release?

I tried to put together songs that felt good together in order to create the story. There are songs here spanning a ten year period, hence why they needed to be cleared in order to move on.

Did you learn anything on Part 1 which you took into its successor to help its emergence or give it something different recording wise?

The process included working with guitarist James Coppolaro and drummer Simon Hutchby whilst David Ellefson and I also collaborated in more depth than before so that was a rewarding experience.

Listening to Part 2 we felt there was even greater personal intimacy to certain tracks than on the last; how close are the seeds of your songs to your life and experiences?

Some songs are closer personally than others but it’s interesting which songs individuals feel are intimate.

The album as you mentioned again sees you collaborating with David Ellefson, of course of Megadeth, in writing and playing. How did you guys meet and when did the link up musically begin?

We met backstage at Download in the UK some years ago. We started chatting music and immediately kind of bonded. I then began sending David songs in progress and he agreed to play on the first Johnny Wore Black single, All The Rage.

When you come to songwriting together, is it an even contribution or does David look towards the rhythmic side more?

It does vary per track. So far, on some David has sent riff ideas, like Firefly and on Gift of Desperation he sent a lyric, which I then developed. Writing is a very fluid process with no rules.jwbnew2-3-lo-res

There often seems to be a different kind of spark to songs you too have created together, not bigger or lesser than on other tracks, just strikingly different. What would you put that down to?

I suppose that’s just two minds rather than being the dominant decision maker however I’d be interested to ask you that question back and see what you feel is strikingly different about those tunes?

Tell us about the new album; is there a specific underlying theme to its lyrical explorations?

Each track has a different theme so really would need to answer this on a track-by-track basis. My lyrics explore people, the world and our continued need to understand.

How did the recording go; was it an all meet up situation or more technology driven coming together of the band for the album?

Some of the album was musicians in a studio, old skool style, and some via Skype and Dropbox. This was an international project via the USA, UK, Canada and Croatia.

Walking Underwater Pt 2 also features Croatian singer Sara Renar on the track Shine On and Loretta Heywood on a cover of her own track Winter in July. How did those guest appearances come about, especially with Loretta. Was she instantly open to you taking on her song?

Sara and I met on the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia some years back. We stayed in touch and I have followed her musical career. She has a unique quality to her voice I felt complimented Shine On, on the album. She was happy to contribute once she heard the song, and recorded her parts in a studio in Split, Croatia.

Now Walking Underwater Pt 2 is out there wooing the world, what is next in store for Johnny Wore Black, alter ego ha-ha, and band?

There is work to do, releasing singles and creating more music videos. We are having discussions about hitting the stage and seeking to break the back of the USA. Oh and by the way, another album is due next year, totally new material and bigger than Texas!

jwbnew2-hiresA big thank you for chatting with us again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just that I am truly grateful for your time and interest in Johnny Wore Black and thank you for providing a platform to help spread the gospel according to Johnny Wore Black.

And lastly I cannot go without asking about the film samples which graced the first album. Can you tell us about them and why you did not use them for the new release too?

The first ones were from a documentary my late father directed back in 1967 called The London Nobody Knows. The samples fitted the music, the songs and were a tribute to him. I will say, we are currently in discussion about producing The London Nobody Knows Revisited to mark its anniversary. I liked the idea of samples a-la-Floyd to be part of Walking Underwater Pt2 but decided to just focus on the songs.

Read the review of Walking Underwater Pt2 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Snack Family – Pokie Eye EP

SF_PR1_14

It is not often you get a real tingle in the ‘loins’ as a band tempts the ears for the first time, but there is no doubting the lustful response UK rockers Snack Family inspired with their deliciously warped Pokie Eye EP. Casting a sound which could be described as gothic blues but fits better the description of The Birthday Party in its early days meeting Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers in a sultry and unhinged embrace with The Fat Dukes Of Fuck and Melvins, the release is a unique and rebellious slice of rock ‘n’ roll derangement and inescapably addictive.

Hailing from London and formed in 2011, the trio of Andrew Plummer (baritone guitar/ vocals), James Allsopp (saxophone/key), and Tom Greenhalgh (drums) swiftly and understandably drew references of Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart, and Morphine with their startling invention, as well as an eagerly growing attention. Debut release, the Belly EP lit new fires earlier this year which Pokie Eye inflames again with its own rich tonic of Southern bred creative dementia. Recorded with Ben Lamdin at Fish Market Studio, London and wrapped in the striking artwork of conceptual artist Drew Millward (Gallows, Pulled Apart By Horses, Oceanside), Pokie Eye is a wake-up call for the imagination, psyche, and sonic insanity.

Lupine Kiss is first, swinging in on groove infected keys and mischievous beats all lit by jazzy flames of brass. It is an immediate trap soon developing a hazy seduction and virulent toxicity as a thick tang infiltrates grooves and the highly evocative sax temptation. The song soon nudges thoughts of films like The Monster Club and From Dusk Till Dawn, it casting the imagination in a jazz fuelled, liquor soaked nightclub dwelt by the most salacious dangers and evil seductions possible. The song swerves tantalisingly with its melodic curves whilst the crispy high-hat sound is simply tantalising persuasion amidst the devilment of the rhythms. Leading it all like a devious bartender is the gruff crazily alluring tones of Plummer, his delivery as fascinating and irresistible as the creative loco around him.

The track is a riveting enslavement soon emulated in its own wholly distinct nature by Plastic Factory, a cover of the Captain Beefheart classic. Within seconds the song is strolling with sf_pokie_eye_frontbulging beats and flirtatious sax temptation but wrapped in a sinister and darkly enticing air, its fiery rock ‘n’ roll tempered by the prowling stance of the song and the heavy basslines courting the gravelly vocals. It is a blaze of aural salaciousness, especially from Allsopp’s sax which when really inflamed reminds big time of the kind of brilliant discord cloaked revelry Essential Logic conjured back in the seventies.

No Reason is a journey into the darkest and menacing corners of the mind and Snack Family’s invention, the song a slow swarming croon of a proposition embracing the heavy smoky Cash like tones of Plummer. It is stuff of your darkest dreams, a brilliant noir drenched, jazz bred smoulder of primal seducing and imagination. Keys resonate as indefinable sounds simply colour the drama, the track enthralling and immersive but most of all just brilliant, though it is soon surpassed by the closing revelry of Pokie Eye Poke Ya. The final song is psychotic manna, from the first flirtation of sax soon joined by a contagion of rhythms which in turn ignite a Cajun kissed jangle of strings and vocal rampancy, the track is simply sensational. Percussion and beats are as psychotic as the sounds dancing with lost inhibitions around them, a mix recalling again Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers but also Dutch band De Staat. It is rock ‘n’ roll devilment, a lunacy as controlled and resourceful as it is manic, and easily one of, if not the best song heard this year.

Pokie Eye is a must for all those with a taste for the references offered here or anything from blues rock, psychobilly…well simply rock ‘n’ roll of any slightly off kilter colour and ingenuity. Snack Family just might be our new favourite band and we suggest they may be yours too.

The Pokie Eye EP is available from December 6th via Limited Noise @ http://snackfamily.bandcamp.com/album/pokie-eye and through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

http://snackfamily.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/snackfamilymusic

RingMaster 05/12/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/