Choking On Illusions – Rest/less

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Hailing out of South-West Germany, Choking On Illusions is a band which looks like they are about to be on the receiving end of an enthusiastic roar of attention. The reason being their new album Rest/less; a beast of a melodic hardcore incitement which is as fiercely confrontational and emotionally voracious as it is inventively compelling. On first listen, it is not one which instantly leaps from the crowd though it certainly is a more riveting and fascinating encounter than most, but over time it reveals an imagination and craft which leaves ears and attention gripped. You would still not say that the second full-length from the Saarbrücken quintet is going to turn the hardcore scene on its head, but it definitely gives it an exciting proposal to chew over.

Formed in 2008, Choking On Illusions has frequently awoken keen and increasing interest in their presence; a self-titled EP in the following year starting the growth which was backed and nurtured further by a two track demo in 2010 and the band’s keenly supported live presence. It has been from the current line-up’s coming together a year later though that the band and their sound really hit its stride, as established by their well-received debut album Guide me home in the summer of 2012. Alongside all these moments the band has similarly drawn great praise and following through shows with the likes of Stick to your Guns, Comeback Kid, Terror, Evergreen Terrace, Hundredth, Counterparts, and La Dispute amongst a great many, as well as tours with The Green River Burial, Wasted Bullet, Chronograph, and Seasons in Wreckage. It all only reinforced and enriched their emergence in the hardcore scene. Now the band is lining up to burst into the broadest spotlights with their Bastardized Recordings released Rest/less, and given the time and focus it needs and deserves, it would be hard to expect anything but further potent success.

The opening Intro is a decent enough emotional scene setter, guitars melodically eloquent within a heavily brooding atmosphere whilst leading ears and imagination into the jaws of the following album title track. The second track bursts into life with ravenous rhythms and fiery riffs, each intensifying as the vocals of Mario Strasser begin their agreeable roar and the guitars of Jannik Aulenbacher and Maciej Spiczak align in a tempting mix of caustic riffery and sonic enterprise. It is when singer and melodies really erupt in an infectious and lively embrace that the song truly comes alive, their brief expulsion of revelry infecting the subsequent antagonistic side of the song which too develops an intriguing mix of catchiness and emotional provocation. It is a great start to the release, and like the album, it takes time to explore all its twists and depths, though its appeal and appetite sparking potency is swift.

Choking on Illusions Cover   The following Sleepwalker explodes in a creative and impassioned tirade you expect to hear in a hardcore based offering, continuing to feed with satisfaction those thoughts but twisting them into fresh endeavour through the persistently thoughtful and skilled ideation of the guitars. As in its predecessor though, there is a particular moment where the good song ignites into something greater, and here it is the lull in the sonic tempest where the bass of Christian Pontes takes over with a richly carnivorous bass tone matched in intimidation by the muscular swings of drummer Dustin Ueckert. It is a mere moment in the passage of the track but again seems to instil a new attitude and impact into the following adventure and passion of the proposition.

Both Left Unsaid and 13 rage and bellow with explosive and intriguing creativity, the first punctuated by the thickest rhythmic jabs yet on the album but tempered by a tantalising flame of impressive vocal harmonies and guitar crafted melodic acidity. The song continues to be unpredictable and enthralling, a slip into an acoustic landscape bewitching in company with calm and captivating clean vocals. Its heart felt and raw emotion though is soon back filling the senses, and again it is fair to say this also seems to return with a new air and vitality in its angst and sound. It is of course all sparked by the band’s dramatic adventure in songwriting and sound, with these moments seeded in a strong array of flavours outside of hardcore. They are essences not always apparent at the start of songs but emerging impressively throughout and something the band will hopefully utilise even more ahead as this is when Choking On Illusions impressively breaks free of any formulaic hardcore restraints and expectations. The song’s successor is the same, spinning a recognisable initial weave of sound and aggression built on open invention before sculpting a predatory net of rhythms and sonic imagination. It is the most straight forward song on the album in many ways but when relaxing into a smouldering embrace of warm melodies and intimate vocals to again cast a new light on its body and heart.

The disorientating dazzle of guitar and rhythms at its start sets Borderlines off in fine style and initially it is a shame it is not a constant incitement throughout the excellent track, the band preferring to unleash it in bursts amongst the muscular antagonism of the song. The truth is the band get it right, its intermittent diversity makes for thrilling eruptions of bedlam in the ferocious roar of the song and the subsequent melodic poetry charming from its heart. The song is superb, whilst the album simply gets stronger and more exciting with every offering.

The peaceful radiance of Interlude allows a breath next, its brief instrumental a classic hug of keys but as the intro, embraced by a more and increasingly turbulent ambience. Its beauty makes way for the fiery energy and intensity of Broken Song, a blaze of an encounter with deep anxiousness to its air and hostile emotion fuelling its fury. It is another which simply grows in weight and persuasion as it reveals more invention and unpredictable ideation once established in the ears; post and melodic hardcore colouring its ire as forcibly as a punk viciousness.

A new peak is set with the hellacious charge and presence of Death Waltz next, the track a thunderous predator of the senses unafraid to draw on noise rock and metallic essences to ignite its creative battlefield. Complete with soaring harmonies and sonic intricacies, the song is a raucous anthem and impassioned croon simultaneously, and quite sensational in its distorted and scuzz lit brilliance giving next up L.O.V.E. a hard task to emulate. It gives a mighty effort though with a bass sound from Pontes which is raw and carnal in touch, whilst a blistering furnace of sonic rapacity and vocal incitement treats the senses. It also has that fresh onslaught of punk hostility to it which seeps into the album’s latter tracks to enjoyable success.

Closing track Baptism – Funeral enters on a rhythmic enticement from Ueckert which alone secures hungry attention, and continues to drive and ignite the solemn and melancholic heart of the increasingly ferocious encounter. It is a mighty end to an outstanding release, one sure to put Choking On Illusions on the widest hardcore map and suggesting potential of greater things yet to come, though more of the same to be fair would not be too disappointing either.

Rest/less is available from March 27th via Bastardized Recordings @ http://shop.bastardizedrecordings.de/product_info.php?products_id=2411

https://www.facebook.com/ChokingonIllusions

RingMaster 26/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Statues – Together We’re Alone

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Blistering is the best way to describe Together We’re Alone, the debut album from Australian hardcore band Statues, that and thoroughly enjoyable. Hailing from Perth, the band uncages a “chaotic” style of the genre which has a just as keen penchant for acidic noise and caustic punk. Like a voracious merger of Ghost of a Thousand and Shevils with Coilguns and Kabul Golf Club, band and sound is a corrosive and exhilarating proposition, not forgetting one of the most unique.

Formed in 2009, Statues became swiftly recognised and renowned for their high intensity stage performances, shows which has seen them play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Northlane, Stray from the Path, Stick to Your Guns, Structures, and La Dispute. Their reputation has gone before them but Together We’re Alone is the band’s first real foray into global attention and it is hard to see the release missing out on awakening an intensive spotlight on the quintet’s presence.

As unafraid to make a searing commentary on social and personal issues as it is in scorching the senses, band and album instantly stirs up attention and imagination with the brief and seriously potent All Fears Are Learned, All Victories Are Earned. The opening song almost swaggers as it casts percussive bait straight away but is soon turning its enticing entrance into a brewing maelstrom of raw grooves and caustic riffs. There is still a teasing lure to the track though, a lighter almost mischievous wink which subsequently turns to a scowl and roars along with the imposing and striking vocals of Jayme Van Keulen. As swiftly realised across the album, how a song starts and tempts is never a consistent narrative, just a moment in a fury of invention shown here by the guitars of Scott Kay and John Overthrow mixing stabbing riffs and hook spilling noise to further colour and ignite the already incendiary proposition.

The following Always Building, Always Breaking similarly opens with an engaging temptation before venting its rage, a bluesy flame of guitar a spicy offering initially. It is soon battling c7e74127-c689-4e43-ad49-1d7a5e203f3cwith and aligning to, a fierce bluster of noise and the rapid fire skills of drummer Daniel Harper as the track explodes with fierce enterprise and magnetic intensity. As its predecessor, there is as much irresistible contagiousness to the encounter as passionate fury, especially through the masterful infectious lures laid down by Matthew Templeman’s bass skills which seem to creatively revel in the tempest. The track is a brawl of an incitement, a torrential outpouring of angst and hostility within a weave of sonic ingenuity. Only two songs in and Together We’re Alone is already announcing that it is one of the most startling and exciting hardcore releases of current times.

Oh Precious Commodity does nothing to defuse that thought and declaration, its hoarse vocal and anthemic barracking accompanied by throaty bass groans and tangy grooves which feverishly scorch and light the senses. There is hailstorm of piercing beats throughout the knee buckling ferocity too which collude with a cascade of just as hellacious vocals and dramatically imaginative inhospitality. Together they make an antagonistic treat matched in its individual way by the mouth-watering sonic hysteria of Forseeing the Cloud and Not the Rain and the hellacious rampage of Affliction Prescription. With a great many hardcore bands similarity seems to creep into any clutch of songs but there is no sign of that across Together We’re Alone, this pair alone steeped in abrasing individuality and unpredictable invention.

The band throws a curve ball from left field next, the simple and bewitching soulful blues croon of I Want Peace stepping forward with just voice against handclaps as its body, before the impassioned hostile delirium of Abide consumes ears and senses. As now expected, the track is a shifting landscape of imposing ideation and eventful sound, ruggedly caressing and forcibly pounding the psyche from start to finish. The thrilling turbulence makes way for Burning the Truth At Both Ends with its spiralling acrid grooves of and the concussive might of The Wanderer; both a crippling net of rhythms and scalding vat of sonic exploration bound in emotional ferocity.

Between the slower melodic almost post hardcore tinged Hard Words, Softly Spoken and the closing Within Arm’s Reach, another unexpected twist comes with the blues instrumental twang of Hope Is. Its minute plus lure is an intriguing and pleasing respite ready for the final creative furor of the album, Within Arm’s Reach arguably the most intensive and painfully invigorating track on the album, though all songs truthfully leave senses sore and emotions elated.

Statues have set down a benchmark not only for themselves but hardcore with Together We’re Alone, the first of many you imagine if this release is anything to go by.

Together We’re Alone is available now via https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/together-were-alone/id944791123

https://www.facebook.com/statuesau

RingMaster 14/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Patrons – Self Titled

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With passion and angst dripping from every syllable and note, the self-titled EP from UK alternative punks Patrons is the first encounter from a band it is easy to suspect we will all be hearing plenty more of in the future. The three track release is not one which barges in and demands your acclaim or sparks an eagerness to shout from the rooftops about its merits, but slowly and potently from a certainly attention grabbing first bluster across the ears it emerges as a highly evocative and willing persuasion. Good things have been said about the band and it is easy to see why with their first introduction via I Hate It Records.

Hailing from Plymouth, Patrons was formed in 2013 with a sound which was soon being wrapped in references to bands such as This Will Destroy You, Thrice, Reuben, and La Dispute. Their live shows have also recruited high praise, another aspect to them which will be taken further afield with the band’s plan to tour across the UK and mainland Europe later this year in support of the EP. Recorded with producer James Bragg at Middle Farm Studios in Devon, the EP is a cauldron of emotion and intensity which not only thrusts the heart and power of their sound forward but more than hints on how incendiary you imagine their stage presence to be.

As soon as Rituals strokes the ear with guitar and subsequently bass tempting there is an instantly brewing feeling of drama as well as a coverscanbuilding recognition that the band knows how to craft and present narratives which grip and incite intimately as well as on a broader scale. The vocals of guitarist Danny Brooks bring a richly expressive and angst kissed presence to the song and lyrical presentation, a strong texture which seems to spark a greater hunger and urgency to the guitar designs of himself and Mark Hoynes whilst the rhythmic provocation of James Corby courted by the velvety tones of Olly Reed’s bass bring thick and equally compelling shadows to the invasively appealing colour of the track. It is a striking persuasion which d rides the senses with unreserved emotion whilst tantalising the imagination with continually evolving ideas and adventure. It is not a song which wholly steals the memory but rather offers small unforgettable treats which you hang onto and put together for a longer reflection. It is an unusual aspect but one which works very well.

Movements is a less impacting compared to Rituals, but no less forceful in tone and emotional weight. As the track croons and pleads its purposeful suasion you can see where certainly small comparisons to Reuben have emerged even if Patrons has some way to go to match the stature of one of our favourite bands. As the rhythmic design bullies the ears whilst the intensive emotional pressure of the song does a similar thing to the senses, the track comes alive to emulate the whole EP in making a stronger lingering convincing the more you immerse in its heartbreak and vocal desperation.

From a minor weak first few seconds where the first glance of vocals seems to lack the strength of the guitar around them and the inevitable outpouring of Brooks soon after, third song Little Victories is soon wrapping its endeavour and melodic seduction around the senses courted by fine harmonic heat from Brooks, all from within the tempestuous weight and fire of caustic guitar enterprise and rhythmic incitement. The song is a magnetic piece of songwriting, the best track on the release and a strong indicator to the prowess and thoughtful inventive craft of the band in creating and delivering their impacting excursions.

The band’s first release does not put a match to the passions but undoubtedly has them smouldering enthusiastically for them and their evolving potential. As we said at the top, expect Patrons to be a proposition that is a regular contributor to the buzz around the music world.

http://www.wearepatrons.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/wearepatrons

8/10

RingMaster 31/03/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The New Sheriff – BlackSwanSongs EP

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Having been more than impressed by his previous projects, their distinctly different sounds lighting some potent passion, vocalist James Scott-Howes has stepped forward again with another unexpected but equally intriguing project in the shape of The New Sheriff. From the soulful mischievous  hip hop enterprise of Great Imitation through the startling experimental haunting adventures of Shrikes, Scott-Howes and his lyrical prowess has engaged and pushed the envelope of himself and listener but the post hardcore squalling intensity of The New Sheriff may just be his most disruptive and challenging moment yet. The Leicester based band is not all about him though, the frontman joining the accomplished and imaginative skills of guitarist Tom Whitmore, bassist Ollie Jones, and drummer Mark Abbott for a combined force which ensures attention is all theirs whilst they bruise and intrigue thoughts and senses.

With influences taken from the likes of Touche Amore, Pianos Become The Teeth, Defeater, La Dispute, At The Drive-In, and Refused, coverthe quartet create they own abrasive confrontation which takes its debut upon the BlackSwanSongs EP. The four track tempest of emotion and sonic spite is a raw and uncomfortable listen but a richly compelling and provocative one, and in no mood to take it easy on the ear from its very first tempestuous breath. Opening track Pinky Swear approaches with strokes of jangling guitar before big boned rhythms thump out their intentions alongside the dark growling bass. The combination has no problem in sparking the appetite as they set the platform for the caustic scowling attack of Scott-Howes to work senses and thoughts. As expected his lyrical stance and stylish script is magnetic but his delivery initially throwing assumptions off balance. Being used to his rapping and word crafted explorations the acidic and abrasive vocals shock and take a while to get used to but soon make the strongest persuasion. The song itself swipes and intimidates the ear yet within its full intensity, the sonic colours of the guitar casting a rich tale upon the muscular satisfying canvas.

Eternity Means Eternally steps forward next, well barges forth, with again a forceful almost rabid hunger. There is a punk grazing to the provocation especially in the group chorus which breaks out whilst the grizzled bass voice is a ravenous predator within the welcomingly wearing assault of guitar and vocals. The drums of Abbott cage and pummel the listener with excellent maliciousness especially entering its climax, and overall though the track is firmly seeded in post hardcore there is more than a whisper of the punk hardcore assault of Amen to its threatening lure.

The following Bitter Magicians restrains some of its intensity for an evocative weave of expressive guitar sculpting and less confrontational but more potent vocal suasion, the hard spoken delivery of Scott-Howes offering more clarity which certainly has essences of his previous band without losing the already in place spite or venom. As with all the songs there is no escaping or hiding from the power and intensity of the band which the EP closer In Heliotrope We Burn equally ensures. Moving from where its predecessor left off, the slower clear tones of sound and voice welcomes the ear into the impending storm of corrosive emotion and sonic spleen bred creativity, the track an inciting finale to a strong and impressive first encounter with The New Sheriff.

BlackSwanSongs suggests the band is still in the process of evolving and defining its sound and unique voice to stand out amongst a torrent of emerging post hardcore band but it is rife with promise which ignites real anticipation for their future creativity…a band to keep a close eye on indeed.

https://www.facebook.com/TheNewSheriffOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

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

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