Secret Sight – Day.Night.Life

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Seemingly bred from the heyday of the genres it embraces with its spellbinding sound and presence, Italian band Secret Sight has brought 2014 one of its unexpected and compelling triumphs in the dramatic lure of Day.Night.Life. Brewing up a starkly haunting and rigorously riveting blend of post punk and gothic rock, band and album is one of those finds which you hope for but rarely get over the course of a year, an encounter which connects with primal instincts and personal passion with a recognisable sound explored and twisted into a new distinct adventure. There is plenty to intrigue and ignites ears of those without a post punk/gothic bent to their preferences though, incendiary melodies and rhythmic tenacity as prevalent as the core sound driving the release. It is a tremendous proposition and one to put the band in a firmly attentive spotlight.

Emerging from the ‘ashes’ of the members previous band which released a self-produced EP and played several gigs around Italy, Secret Sight was formed earlier this year and took little time to start working on their first release and debut Day.Night.Life. Consisting of vocalist Matt Schipsi, guitarist Cristiano Poli, bassist Lucio Cristino, and drummer Enrico Bartolini, the Ancona quartet linked up with Paolo Rossi to record the album at Studio Waves in Pesaro. Released on Red Cat Records it is fair to say that as young as Secret Sight is as a band, there is an experience and maturity which shines from obviously the member’s previous endeavours within what is a quite striking introduction to the band.

The release opens with Conquest and instantly has ears and appetite tight in its grasp as the bass of Cristino sets a dark and flavoursome coaxing in motion from within a subdued sonic squall around thumping rhythms from Bartolini. It is a4203391273_2an irresistible lure reminiscent of Leitmotiv and Joy Division, especially once the drama of the guitars and throaty tones of Schipsi join the infectious aural narrative. With a voice somewhere between Ian Curtis and Nick Cave, the frontman is a captivating shadow to the feisty but dark beauty coating the virulent energy and hook littered grooves of the song. It is a tremendous start to the album, and early pinnacle swiftly matched by Earth Overflows. With new wave seeded melodies flirting with the cold steely glare of bass amidst the song’s chilled atmosphere, it is a captivating and eagerly striding encounter. Every element of band and song casts a contagious hex without defusing the haunting resonance and cavernous emotion of the mouth-watering proposition. It many ways the track is like Interpol meets Bauhaus or maybe more so Tones on Tail, a web of scintillating sonic grooves and virulent rhythms entwined with a cold post punk voracity.

The pair of Under This Truth and Life keeps the exceptional charge and majesty of the album going, the first another melodic flirtation with a She Wants Revenge like vivacity and catchiness but exploring a heavier and imposing landscape than its predecessors. Again it is hard to ignore the pleasing Joy Division whispers but also there is a Play Dead and Public Image Ltd spicery, though it should be reinforced that despite the references Secret Sight weaves a sound which is familiar yet openly fresh and uniquely gripping. The second of the two takes a slower gait to its entrance, punchy rhythms from Bartolini leading the imagination into the waiting web of bass and guitar temptation. Though beats make a forceful energetic stride, sonically the track is a more reserved wash but no less inciting in the intriguing melodic and caustic designs of Poli and the pungent ensnaring lures spawned by Cristino.

The bassist again springs the first seduction of Indelible, an enticing swiftly enhanced and fuelled by the grooves and hooks spicing up the exceptional track. Schipsi stands powerfully over the brewing contagion of the song with his raw and starkly emotive tones but it is the bass bait and acidic strands of guitar ingenuity which sets the biggest fire. As in all the songs there is a cinematic drama which is as equally persuasive and engrossing, the following Need an instant example at this point, its noir cloaked almost sinister breath and intrigue a delicious spark for ears, feet, and imagination.

The album is completed by the similarly visually suggestive Long Line and the slightly Sister of Mercy-esque If You Turn, both songs resourcefully provocative and elegantly structured within their roaming lyrical and sonic shadows. The first has a sultry twang to its climatic presence and voice whilst the closing song ebbs and flows with intensity and energy as its masterful soundscape explores the corners and depths of dark emotions and melodic intimacy. It is arguably the most involved and exploratory track on the album and just as irresistible and explosive as those before it.

Day.Night.Life is a must for all post punk/gothic rock fans, and for us a definite favourite of 2014. There is little more to say than just go treat yourselves.

Day.Night.Life is available now from Red Cat Records @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Night-Life-Secret-Sight/dp/B00NODLP1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412691294&sr=8-1&keywords=Day.Night.Life+Secret+Sight

https://www.facebook.com/secretsight

RingMaster 07/10/2104

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Frau Pouch – All Hail Space Chicken EP

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When we were first introduced to UK post punk meddlers Frau Pouch via their excellent split release with fellow Medway band Houdini, we called them ‘the bastard evil offspring  of an illicit intrusion between The Fall and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club with some fingering from The Cramps and Turbogeist.’ Their new EP, All Hail Space Chicken or it seems also just called the Space Chicken EP, shows that that description does not truly frame their distinctive sound so now we declare the trio to be the bastard evil offspring of a mutated alliance between The Fall, Swell Maps, and The Mekons with The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and The Cramps not forgetting Gang Of Four adding their dirty little digits into the mix.

The All Hail Space Chicken EP and band will not be for everyone but if those references mentioned play with your curiosity than Frau Pouch will tease out a lifelong passion for their unique presence. Consisting of Joe Wise (guitar/vocals), Ollie Crook (bass), and Suzanne Freeman (drums), the band has continued to impress and garner a fervent fanbase through their live performances around the middle of England spreading outward but the new release places them into another spotlight of individuality which deserves to find a corner in every punk and post punk lovers psyche.

Recorded and produced by Ben Sammon alongside the band, the release soon sets free its six track psychotic dance upon the ear with opener Krakthulhu. Immediately a carnivorous bass temptress snarls at the senses with delicious rabidity in its breath whilst beats punch the ear into shape ready for the expressively quarrelsome vocals and discord scowling riffs of Wise to play within. There is a Mark E. Smith lilt to his delivery at times which only adds to the drama of the attack whilst musically the song rampages with rhythms clamping their jaws tight and a raucous sonic distrust firing an encounter which is vintage like in flavour but equally driven by current day antagonism.

The production is as caustically raw as the sound and though it at first makes you stop and assess its merits certainly against previous releases with doubt, it does compliment the brashness of the release ultimately and the great start soon expanded by the gnarly presence of Podling Party. Again the bass of Crook is irresistible, it’s growling belligerence a mighty weapon in the sound and a defences splitting barb for the passions as it forms an irrepressible spine for the guitar to throw its acrid waltz around. That Swell Maps feel is ripe here whilst at times a further Nikki Sudden hint breaks through.

Both Don and Idiocracy reap the seeds set by the earlier songs to ignite even greater rapture for their disorientating infection, the first a rhythmic donkey punch on the ear leaving an unprotected canvas for its bruising grazes of sonic caressing and the concussive consumption from Freeman to defile the senses. It is another welcome riling but everything before is left in the shade of its successor. With a certain Gang Of Four bass framework being crafted from the off and the guitar of Wise adding a flesh which also recalls the Leeds post punk giants whether intentionally or by chance, the song is the biggest highlight of the release, the track marking Frau Pouch further as one of the brightest sparks in emerging music whilst emphasising the evolution in imagination and songwriting which is grips the release. There is also a very early Killing Joke call to the track which only adds to the incendiary power of the song and its carnally propelled stroll.

The track Space Chicken lurches its quick step of bedlamic energy and psychotic dance next, guitars and bass a scurrilous blur of riffs and movement across the drum puncturing punk plain of the song. The Fall in its heart and Joy Division in its unhinged mentality, the track is another limb disjointing joy which even Ian Curtis would find dancing to problematic.

The closing predatory Aqueducts provides the perfect uncompromising wiry and discomfort forging challenge to end and sum up this fine release. The track simply sweeps you away in its accomplished and technically sculpted hypnotic whirl leaving only sheer unbridled pleasure and hunger for more behind. With only the production to bear a little with as slight labour, Chicken Space EP is a post punk/noise rock treat and one genre fans ignore at their loss.

https://www.facebook.com/FrauPouch

8.5/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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Broken Links: Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene

There has been a little bit of a stir brewing around UK rock band Broken Links and after hearing their debut album Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene a few times it is easy to see why. To be fair it only took a couple of engagements with the vibrant and compelling release to be convinced but such its magnetic and powerful pull the resistance to returning time and time again was weaker than a paper boat in a tempest.

Since forming around four years ago, the trio from Southampton has seen a slow but very solid rise with their potent mix of post punk, rock, and industrial rock with strong whispers of new wave, winning over hearts consistently along the way. Certainly locally they are one of the most talked about bands and with the release of a trio of well received EPs have built a fan base which is loyal and feisty whilst moving farther afield. Influences come from the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Manic Street Preachers and Bush, flavours which Broken Links evolved into their own unique sound. The result is songs which trigger all the keen responses and taste buds their inspirations ignited, whilst opening up new depths of pleasure for themselves. Their eclectic sound also makes the band an easy and effective fit with many genres which their sharing of stages alongside bands such as British Sea Power, The Boxer Rebellion, InMe, My Vitriol, 22, Official Secrets Act, Fighting with Wire, and The Xcerts shows.

Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene brings many of the tracks which featured on those early self released EPs with a couple of new ones to create a stirring and towering expanse of emotive and melodic invention. Even though the release strikes a match to open a full magnetism towards its sounds from the start, the more impressive it becomes with time spent in its striking aural arms. Evocative and impactful, the album leaves one breathless and invigorated whilst fully charged to dive into its shadows and immense soundscapes again and again.

The release opens on the sonic simmering of Electrik, though the track soon explodes into a sonically burning sunrise of mesmeric charms.  It is impossible not to be rocked back on ones heels by the mighty vocals of guitarist Mark Lawrence and the electronic blistering which ignites the atmosphere of the song like a cascade of hot golden rain. The rhythms of drummer Phil Boulter form a magnetic frame whilst bassist Lewis Betteridge is a prowling and imaginative shadow to the synths and expressive guitar of Lawrence. The track itself is a ravenous mix of Depeche Mode, My Preserver, and Muse, though the one band which did come to mind during the song was Ultravox, the early version before John Foxx and guitars became redundant.

Within Isolation and What Are You Waiting For? Raise the temperature even higher with their thumping urgency and inventive craft. The first is a sinewy romp of energetic vocals and riffs wrapped in riotous intent and acidic sonic manipulation, a barnstormer of an affair whilst the second explores darker corners of the sound with a smouldering heavy post punk resonance and metallic sonic licking of the senses. A Joy Divison starkness combines with  barbed Comsat Angels like hooks to leave one drooling and when the atmospheric grandeur of Modern English wraps its emotive muscular arms around the song nothing but passion is apace. It is a track which reaps the riches of the eighties yet still is of the now, the band nurturing and evolving those seeds once again into something quite irresistible and distinct to themselves.

Great tracks come thick and fast, each song without fail leaving deep pleasure and ardour behind their accomplished ingenious lures. Tracks such as the brilliant electro rock/pop  triumph We’re All Paranoid, the two part grandeur that is Choice/Decay, with Part I a chilled ambient and slightly disturbing build into the stunning crescendo of Part II, and the swaggering Shelter Your Loss, just captivate and evoke more and more heated enthusiasm.

Hitting even greater pinnacles with the snarling Therapy Sessions In The Dark and potently contagious Cherno, not forgetting the gloriously inciting What Are You Addicted to?, the album expertly and skilfully explores across styles and emotions. Melancholic and reflective, warm and oozing positivity, Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene is a true giant of a release and surely the first massive and impressive step to wide recognition for Broken Links.

http://www.brokenlinksmusic.co.uk

RingMaster 16/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright