Top Buzzer – The Sprollie EP

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It has been two years since pop punksters Top Buzzer paraded their irresistible talents and mischievous sounds on debut album Outside Is a World, twenty four months or so full of impatience certainly in the past half a year waiting for more of their devilish goodness. Finally the London based quartet has returned to tease and rummage in our ears with a new energetic slice of punk rock devilment in The Sprollie EP. Consisting of four songs which in many ways continues where the album left off whilst bringing another fresh sail to their contagious flights of creative fancy, the release does not exactly surprise in any shape or form but as an encounter which leads the passions and body into a compelling dance of pleasure, it is one thrilling riot of enterprising infectiousness.

Hailing originally from Jersey and formed in 2011, the band has driven their own path from day one, creating their own label Back2Forward Records as they made their debut with The Hands Up EP and forging an impressive reputation for their live performances especially once they relocated to London. First single Remission and the aforementioned album took the band into the media awareness of everyone home and in the US from Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese in the written press, Kerrang, Q Radio, BBC Introducing, KROQ, and Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg show on the radio, and internet forging shows like Audioburger.com and The Bone Orchard. The new EP follows their stunning contribution to the 2012 Rebel On The Underground – A Tribute To X-Ray Spex compilation, a release in aid of the US charity Sweet Relief, and sees original members vocalist/bassist Dukey, guitarist/vocalist Becksi, and drummer/vocalist Welshy joined by newest member on guitar and vocals Soni.  Alongside the release of The Sprollie EP, Top Buzzer are currently playing European shows with Californian legends Face To Face and CH3 leading to their appearance at the Rebellion Festival. They have never been away really despite our opening line, with a wealth of gigs but something tangible in hands and ears for everyday use is what was yearned for and now satisfied by this delicious treat.

First to accost and light up the ears on the release is Mannish Girl, an irrepressible piece of pop punk with the distinctive Top Buzzer a0483369368_2stamp of irritatingly addictive hooks and tongue in cheek intent, though that part of the song’s anatomy does wander to lick at and incite everything from ear and senses to thoughts and passions. From the opening flurry of riffs and rhythmic beckoning the song launches straight into its tempting chorus which lays its lures in two parts before Dukey begins the simple and irreverently appealing narrative. Flames of grooves and melodic barbs swing out from within the hungry drive of the song, the guitar sculpted persuasion reminding of The Vibrators whilst the vocal mix and melodic suasion offers a mix of Baddies and seventies band The Flys from within something wholly Top Buzzer.

The following Look At You initially gallops into view with hooks and riffs open before finding a canter of fiery imagination ridden by the ever boisterous delivery of Dukey vocally and on bass matched in eagerness by the rhythms of Welshy and the great group backing vocals. There feels something different to those to be honest, whether that is the presence of Soni adding his tones we will find out in due course , but there is a great variety behind the lead delivery which captures the imagination as much as the heated guitar play around them.

We Are Merely Filters has the sense of early Buzzcocks to its initial impression, the again virulently infectious call of the song leading energies on a rampant swagger of invention and rascality. Midway the song slips into a blues/ska smelling stroll which for personal tastes pulls the charge of the song up into a near stall though its creation and craft is excellent, but back into the romping pace and energy which set off the track it leaves only the strongest taste and pleasure in its feisty wake.

Final track Wet Pets is one minute of Dickies like shenanigans, a burst of punk roasting with the anthemic heights of a bunny girl. It is pure bliss and completes another scintillating release from one of Britain’s best punk rock bands. The Sprollie EP is a real joy and rock ‘n’ roll at its infectious best, and as the release plays in greedy ears whilst writing another thought comes to life…maybe in all the best senses of the description Top Buzzer is the twenty first century reincarnation of The Leyton Buzzards…just a thought.

http://www.topbuzzer.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

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The Sea: New York

With their new album Rooftops due for release in May indie rock band The Sea give an advance taste with their new single New York, and what a full and vibrant teaser it is. Their first release since2009, the track is a mighty feast of big melodies and even bigger sounds that lift the emotions and send the senses reeling in a swell of warmth and energy from its upbeat heart.

The Sea consists of brothers Peter (vocals, guitar, piano) and Alex D’Chisholme (vocals, drums) and has only has one intention which is to inflame the heart with infectiously melodic tracks brought within a large and welcoming wealth of sound. New York epitomises their intent perfectly and lays great anticipation down for the forthcoming album.

The duo began in 2007 out of their garage in Newquay, their jamming sharing time with surfing. The following year saw them voted “best unsigned band in the UK” by XFM radio as well as grabbing a support slot for The Enemy at London’s Brixton Academy. 2009 saw firstly their debut single Love Love Love thrust them to stronger attention, the release selling out within two months of its January release and receiving impressive acclaim from the UK music media such as NME, Kerrang, The Fly and also becoming the single of the week in The Guardian. Released on their own Lusty Records label the pair followed it up with their further acclaimed debut album Get It Back, again off their own fiercely independent backs on Lusty in the UK and Pop Up Records in Europe. Subsequent singles Don’t You Want Me and By Myself only cemented and increased their stock as did the touring for the remainder of the year within England and Europe which included supporting Muse at their Teignmouth homecoming gigs in September and a gig at the CMJ in New York in October.

2010 saw the band work on follow up album Rooftops bringing in producer John Cornfield (Muse, Supergrass, Oasis, Razorlight) to help realise the bigger sound they were contemplating for the release.  Alongside this The Sea played four separate European festival headline slots including the Musikschutzgebiet Festival in Germany and Kuahgartn Open Air Festival Switzerland and for the latter part of the year with the recordings into their final stages played 20 gigs in seven countries in 22 days all of which sold out and ending in their triumphant UK homecoming in London. Shows continued into 2011 across Europe and N. America until a freak surfing accident that summer left Alex with a broken neck and the distinct possibility he would never play or walk again. But he is a drummer after all and within months he was back behind his kit, at full steam and engaged in Autumn tours through Europe, New York and Montreal.

New York marks their welcomed recording return with an anthemic power alongside a fine melodic finesse and sound that sets The Sea up for another successful year. The song confidently strides in on eager yet compliant guitars and rhythms, the sound a warm invitation before expanding with irresistible glorious arms of dazzling horns and grand harmonies. The result is an insatiable rousing of the senses and emotions, a song one cannot fail to be swept up to joyful heights and in to breathlessness from. New York is immense; a towering explosive creature that one just knows is as mighty live.

If New York is the indication of what Rooftops is going to treat us too roll on May, in fact let us delete April and get right too it.

RingMaster 03/04/2012

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The Dead Lay Waiting – Almost Heaven

It has been impossible to miss quite a flurry of negative almost vehement reviews and first reactions to the new album from UK metalcore band The Dead Lay Waiting. Certainly Almost Heaven is not the perfect album or a classic in the making but it is also far from being the car crash and failure that many seem to be declaring. Obviously any review is down to personal opinion and taste as much as the evidence that is the music but it is hard to understand the harsh and destructive views of many towards the album and band itself. Maybe The Dead Lay Waiting is simply the current band to hate much as My Chemical Romance and Disturbed and countless others have been before them. All that is apparent from Almost Heaven is that though not flawless the album is a very agreeable and enjoyable release that shows a band creative and with great promise.

From their coming together in 2007 the band has grabbed attention, making a marked impact on a swiftly growing fan base. Debut EP Memories Of A Massacre in 2007 followed the next year by a self titled one plus an appearance at the 2008 Bloodstock Open Air Festival increased the interest and led to signing with UK based label Rising Records. January 2010 saw the release of the band’s debut album We Rise surrounded by acclaimed performances at Download in 2009 and ’10, plus tours with the likes of Trigger The Bloodshed, Bleed From Within and Sarah Jezebel Deva. The band this year found themselves nominated for KERRANG! Magazine’s ‘Best British Newcomer Band’ award, and the Metal Hammer Golden God ‘Best Underground Band’ award, their stock and rise continuing at a rapid rate, something surely Almost Heaven will accelerate further. 

The album starts with an ascending intense sound erupting into the explosive ‘This Day Will Be Your Last’ through the brief but mountainous intense ‘Wake Up’. Crushing riffs and ear bending rhythms pour incessantly over the senses, vocals growling deeply and threateningly aided by lighter screamo chants and shouts. As following track ‘Take Me Away’ picks up the hard lined energetic baton it is apparent The Dead Lay Waiting know how to create and deliver flesh melting sounds and have a string ability to write memorable and intricate songs. It is also clear that they are far from the finished article which gives exciting promise ahead from the impressive sounds within Almost Heaven.

One can understand some of the criticism laid at the band’s door for as good and as agreeable the strength and incisive music within the album is there is not a great deal of originality there. This is not to say it is just reproducing sounds others have created but there certainly is nothing awe inspiring or jaw dropping either. This can be said about75% of all releases this year so it is a criticism that applies to a great many. The two things that do stop the album from being a major land mark is firstly and something that I never thought I would complain about, that the songs are too varied within their own skins. This makes songs such as ‘Always Ask Why’, chaotic with many elements included which would really work if they were better blended with a more seamless feel, something experience will surely improve. It should be remembered this is a very young band and credit should be given that they do try to be different and attempt to make their songs unique, it is just they need to know when less is more. The other problem with the album is that it feels like the band is trying too hard, as if comments given and seemingly continuing made them try so hard that their instinctive touch and ease was held down.

Despite this the album is an impressive release with songs like ‘Open Your Fucking Eyes’ with its crunching basslines, the abrasive ‘Choke on Your Words’, and the immense ‘Burnt to Ashes’ easily bringing great pleasure and pulse racing emotions. Even the epic meanderings of the closing title track ‘Almost Heaven’, despite its slightly overblown near ten minute journey gives far more joy than doubts.

Almost Heaven has its negatives but far more positives and is far ahead of the majority of albums coming out of the woodwork these past months. Why some have such a downer on the band is hard to comprehend unless it is solely based on their seemingly manufactured visual image. The Dead Lay Waiting will ahead make those doubters eat their words one suspects; they just need more time to find their very own unique sound and undeterred belief.

RingMaster 27/11/2011

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