SPANKTHENUN – Initial Decay Control

Everything about electro/industrial outfit SPANKTHENUN is unorthodox; from sound to imagination, from craft to the way it releases its art, the project is an anomalous protagonist of tradition and expectations. They are old school, bootlegs and unauthorised remixes boldly standing amongst the project’s equally unpredictable releasing of their own work. It all makes for an intriguing proposition with, more importantly, sounds which infest and manipulate like a glorious virus; it all and more in evidence within debut album, Initial Decay Control.

Dallas based SPANKTHENUN is the creation of Eric Hanes with regular collaboration and link up with brother and long-time band mate Jeremy Hanes. Collaboration is at the heart of the project, Eric also working with a host of bands and artists, Initial Decay Control itself seeing the likes of Claus Larsen (Leæther Strip, Klutæ, AM Tierpark), Colin Allrich (Slighter), Jay Ruin (Ruinizer ), and Zoog Von Rock (Angelspit) involved on certain tracks. With Scott Fox of iVardensphere linking up with SPANKTHENUN to produce and mix the majority of the album, it all makes for an encounter which stalked the senses and ignited the imagination.

Across its twelve tracks, Initial Decay Control springs a kaleidoscope of flavours and a web of entangled styles yet it is all united by a nagging pulse which even in its numerous individual characters burrows through ears into the psyche with hypnotic success. Lead track Glitch opens up the release, a distant march of disturbance gathering in the background before inciting a controlled but infectious rhythmic stride. Devo-esque electronics break the evolving lure of the song, thought preying vocals with a Fad Gadget like darkness to them walking through the shadows. The track continues to twist and turn; every move whether bold or a moment of calm subterfuge a magnet for ears as a revolving web of styles across the decades make up its irresistibility.

Burn follows, its first breath a darker coaxing with an ominous air coating every brewing aspect of its challenge and seduction. Like an electronic incubus it lies upon the senses, writhing across their defences to tempt and steal the listener’s faith and safety rather than its body though that is soon lost to the tracks rhythmic swing and spiky hooks anyway. Submission was quick and confirmed by a chorus impossible to resist while Carbon Responder enslaved the same addiction through its energetic concussive percussion and a just as eager vocal fertility and delivery. As persuasive and captivating as the first pair were, the track breached a whole new level of ardour as the album for us uncaged its finest moments.

Both Swallow and Sometimes proceeded to have us dangling on and dancing to its temptation wired threads, the first a contagion of big intrepid beats and flesh searing electro hooks. As ever voice and lyrics bring threat and provocation with viral seduction, combined it all evoking energy to have the body zealously bouncing before its successor unveils its predatory instincts and heart after a deceitful melody lined invitation. An aberrant romance entangled in its own turbulence of thought the track is superb, the trio our pinnacle moments of the album.

Even so Sin straight after was nothing less than compelling with its taught distortion bearing drama while Slow Suicide with its rhythmic concussion and collision of imposing multi-styled textures around sinisterly borne vocals trapped attention and imagination with the following Killx3 pure toxic venom and barbarous catchiness within its industrial EBM scented predation; itself another prime moment within Initial Decay Control.

Altered Carbon equally provided a riveting and increasingly gripping moment, its cyborg cold march and electronic chill perfectly aligning with a melodic sizzling and vocal fingering as fearsome as it was twistedly mesmeric; its addictive gyration and success matched in the similarly outstanding Dance Fight Or Die which needed mere seconds to worm under the skin and have body and spirit pulsating to its contagious oscillation.

The album closes up with another pair of its finest protagonists, the incongruous drive and melodic flaming of Beautiful undiluted feral manna to these ears and the prowling menacing of Rotting Meat which niggles away as it entices until it instinctively commanded body and greedy attention. Both tracks epitomise the variety and creative prowess of the album and its almost infernal fascination and touch.

Up till now SPANKTHENUN may have been an undiscovered encounter for a great many but hard to see that being the case after the release of the seriously rousing trespass that is Initial Decay Control.

Initial Decay Control is out now, available @ https://spankthenun.bandcamp.com/album/initial-decay-control

https://www.spankthenun.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spankthenun/   https://twitter.com/spankthenun

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Nature of Wires – Modus

photo by Russ Dalen

Some releases shine like a beacon attracting ears like moths to a flame. One such lure for us is the new album from UK synth pop outfit Nature of Wires. Almost straddling every decade of its prime genre whilst teasing of future exploration but most openly seeded in eighties influence, the album proved a swift magnet of sound and temptation firmly commanding current attention.

Formed in 1986 by vocalist Andrew Stirling-Brown and synthist/programmer Gary Watts, the Herefordshire band followed the 1993 release of their debut album, Modus Operandi, by going on hiatus the following year until reforming in 2015.  A year later the band unveiled their second album, Cyber Rendezvous, with CountessM on lead vocals and now the band has Modus to tempt the imagination, a collection of songs which harken back to those early years having been written between 1986 and 1993 but carrying a modern edge though being “recreated using 21st century technology.” It is also a dual album in one package, with a second CD featuring re-imaginings of the release’s tracks from an array of inspiring artists.

Straight away Modus embraces ears like an old friend yet just as quickly establishes a presence and character which is solely Nature of Wires. As soon as opener Feel the Hunger spreads its electronic arms, there is no escaping teases to the likes of Erasure, Heaven 17, and Blancmange but the song quickly breeds its own individuality in sound and enterprise led by the alluring tones of Stirling-Brown. Striking melodies are fuelled by infectiousness whilst rhythms as good as nag with their eager canter. Fair to say we were caught up in the song’s contagion in short time, vocal chords and body swings adding to its own eager endeavours.

Time is Come steps up next, again its initial coaxing shadow lined before bursting out with radiant melodies and vocal encouragement. Equally keen pulses core the lively croon with the song’s gait and energy as bold as it is spirited, a whiff of A Flock Of Seagulls only adding to the song’s infectious captivation before Negative Resolutions emerges with a darkwave breath, bubbles of pop soon joining the tempting before synths weave a tapestry of melodic intimation over an electro grumble. When its poppiness catches the song infested the body while its darker melancholic calmer moments are alone pure fascination.

Through the crystalline design and dark throb of Seagull and the reflective heatwave of Every Single Sun, captivation with Modus only escalated, the first a spirited seduction and its successor a weave of melodic flames and balmy caresses while Harry’s House eclipsed both with its creative drama and dance-floor animation.

It in turn was slightly outshine by Madame Serena, a song with electro rock essences which reminded of bands such as Original Mirrors and Modern English whilst hinting at the pop instincts of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. With emotive shadows and a great lining of dark threat, the track soon rises as another unique Nature of Wires temptation very easy to greedily devour.

The first CD closes with the immediately enthralling First Light, a song bringing yet another shade of flavour and enterprise to the album with its rich entangle of electronic and electro rock hues. Bringing the release to a potent close if not quite igniting the passions as those before it, though ears and imagination were firmly in its charge all the same, it potently  concludes the first adventure of the release before Modus turns to the second.

CD 2 embraces that collection of remixes and re-imaginings of its songs starting with the Atomzero Nightlife Remix of Feel the Hunger. Given a darker almost tenebrific air, the track takes on a whole new persona as it does with the NoW AT4 version which takes it to the opposite light with equally enjoyable effect.

Among the host of truthfully ear pleasing encounters, the untamed rock ‘n’ roll brought to Time is Come by The Cowls, the dramatic theatre sparked within the Klammer Remix of Harry’s House, and Leaether Strip’s voraciously virulent trespass of Madame Serena especially caught the imagination. Fair to say though that Cyferdyne’s Glass Half Full Remix of Negative Resolutions, Workings of a Madman Remix of Seagull, the St Lucifer reworking of Every Single Sun as well as the Mesh Remix of First Light and Room 1985’s progressive rock interpretation of Time is Come all left pleasure rich.

And that is a declaration which tenaciously applies to Modus as a whole, a release to hungrily spend time with as we eagerly await the next chapter and exploration in the adventure of Nature of Wires.

Modus is released August 16th through Analogue Trash across most stores and @ https://natureofwires.bandcamp.com/album/modus

Upcoming Live Dates

Sep 20 BERLIN – The Mazen (with The Pink Diamond Revue, LegPuppy & e-bit)

Sep 21 LEIPZIG – Noch Besser Leben (with The Pink Diamond Revue & LegPuppy)

Oct 12 COLOGNE, Germany – Wachsfabrik (with Bandmachine)

Oct 18  BIRMINGHAM – The Mill, Digbeth (with Among the Echoes & Toyah)

Nov 8   BIRMINGHAM – Scruffy Murphy’s (with Vieon, Among the Echoes & Vain Machine)

Nov 9   LONDON – Beat:Cancer Festival 2.0, Electrowerkz

http://www.natureofwires.com   https://www.facebook.com/natureofwires/   https://twitter.com/natureofwires

Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pig – Prey & Obey

If there is a more potent manipulator of body, imagination, and spirit than Raymond Watts it is hard to think of them especially as the latest <PÎG> EP is infesting the psyche with virulent ease. The mastermind behind <PÎG> and a founding member of KMFDM, Watts has infested the senses and passions with frequent regularity since the eighties whether in his projects or in collusion with numerous others, a long list we will leave you to explore, the Prey & Obey EP now adding to that tide of irresistible industrial rock bred temptations and trespasses.

Consisting of three new psyche trespassing incitements with drama fuelled remixes of each backing them up, Prey & Obey embeds itself in ears and appetite straight away with its title track. Guitars instantly rub themselves upon the senses, their raw intensive strokes almost flirtatious as thicker brooding textures come with rhythms and vocals. With Marc Heal and Phil Barry of Cubanate in league with Watts, the track prowls and preys on the senses, Watts like a dark conjuror as hooks and grooves crowd and litter washes of industrial toxicity. It is a glorious web of intrigue and danger, subservience coaxed and demanded by the track’s rampant rhythmic muscle as well as its virulent sonic and electronic dexterity.

The robustly stirring encounter is followed by The Revelation, an even more imposingly catchy enticement body and vocal chords alone fall before in swift time. Co-written with Ben Christo, long-serving guitarist with The Sisters of Mercy, the track roams with a predacious intent, its creative indoctrination built on waves of persistence honed into thought provoking, body twisting primal seduction. With an additional Ministry-esque nagging around glimpses of cinematic theatre, the song is pure devil spawn scheming, Watts the insidious engineer.

The Cult of Chaos ventures across a calmer landscape of persuasion though the song written with former Combichrist member Z.Marr shares its own individual and challenging shadows. Their dark edges court the mellower presence of vocals and melodic suggestion, the song’s infection carrying eighties industrial flavourings merging with harsher textures reflecting the world today. Transfixing in its throbbing repetition, magnetic in its harmonic and melodic tapestry, the track beguiles and intrudes with equal ingenuity; addiction the guaranteed response.

Completing the release is firstly a psychotic remix of the track Prey & Obey by Leaether Strip, the track given a make-over resembling the bastard result of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meeting Celldweller. Its inescapable stomp is followed by the Z.Marr Revelectrix Mix of The Revelation; a version which simultaneously feel heroic and serial killer like in its tone and physical intent.

Completed by the En Esch Remix of the opener, a subdued but enticing take, the Prey & Obey EP is pure industrial corruption bred with the finest creative toxins. Each of its three tracks is a rabidly tempting and resonating anthem backed by highly evocative alternative aspects; what more would you want?

Prey & Obey is out now through Metropolis Records @ https://metropolisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/prey-obey

https://pigindustries.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pigindustries/    https://twitter.com/raymondwatts

Pete RingMaster 18/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nine Seconds – Nothing To Confess

nine seconds 01

Nothing To Confess is the second electro stomp from the collaboration of vocalist Oliver Spring of Sleepwalk / tEaR!dOwN / Nerve Conflict ) with No Comment keyboardists René Ebner and Thomas Kowalzik which goes under the name Nine Seconds. The successor to their successful and well received debut Poladroids of 2013, the project’s new album is an insatiable march of synth pop driven EBM. It is bursting with electro anthems which simply declare defiance from feet and enjoyment as unacceptable. That is a strong weapon for any album to have and a potent essence to Nothing To Confess but to temper its success, it is not always backed up by songs which forge a lingering grip or leave expectations challenged. To be honest though with the infectious tenacity and magnetism the album holds it is a missed opportunity easy to forgive.

Flickering electro sounds open up first track Attractive Lies, their one dimensional coaxing leading to a more flavoursome web of synth spawned enterprise and harsher rock energy. Vocally Spring brings raw texture to the song too, his coarse melodic roar cradled in a tantalising blend of causticity kissed endeavour and hook lined virulence. In no time the song is a contagious antagonist dragging body and emotions into its aggressive devilry and setting up listener and album for the following adventures, starting with Antistar Machinery. The second song has an even darker character and ferocity to its hypnotic enticing which with a similar trait to the vocals, is swiftly dominating attention and imagination. Holding a nice strain of harsh industrial belligerence in its infection fuelled persuasion too, the song continues the strong and impressive start of the release.

To be fair no track ever lets that stature drop too far but some lack the same stirring spark, such as Borderland (2nd Attempt) with its pungent intimidating atmosphere over a rebellious smile of sound, though this lurks more than unleashes its inhibitions. It is intriguing and again easy bait for dance-floors with a healthy spice of bands like Depeche Mode and early Ultravox to its sinew sculpted provocation. The lack of that particular addictive essence which ignited its predecessors is the key to its inability to stay with the listener long term, especially once Pompeii energetically bubbles in ears next and quickly takes all thoughts and focus in its arms. Exhausting in its sonic persistence and vigorous movement, the track is an irresistible lure turning Nothing To Confess back into an epidemic of sound and temptation.

As Waiting For The Last Kiss plays next, the vocals reveal one of the limitations of the release. Though Spring is a potent presence and vocal agitator, there is at times no daring in the Nine Seconds - Nothing to confessdelivery and diversity of his attack. This admittedly is more a flavouring of the scene rather than something specific to the band itself but it is telling that the better moments on the album see him and the band stretching that aspect more. The song itself is an enjoyable if familiar design and another soon put aside as firstly the sinister instrumental Malfunction 09 encourages the imagination and The Forgotten Man provokes the appetite with its eighties post punk/electro punk spiced challenge.

   No Shut Eye (Fight Back mix) ferments nicely in the ears next; it’s fiery heart and similarly inflamed creativity an evocative proposal which suggests sonic anarchy more than it actually realises. The song makes for a tempestuous enticing though No Shuffle soon puts it in its place with a tapestry of robotic beats, android like vocals, and an engrossing weave of effervesce electro invention prone to psychotic eruptions. It is a thrilling and dynamic slice of electro revelry stealing top honours from those earlier successes.

The album’s last unique track is Planet On Fire, a journey through a sultry ambience by portentous vocals and a fiercely smouldering intensity. It is another excellent canvas for the imagination to play, though for once feet are left to amuse themselves by the thought provoking exploration. The track shows another side to the band’s exploration in songwriting and makes for an intriguing conclusion to the album.

Nothing To Confess actually ends with the obligatory genre remixes; here Waiting For The Last Kiss being given a Nine Seconds vs Cryo Club Mix and Attractive Lies a Nine Seconds vs Mind.In.A.Box reworking whilst Antistar Machinery is treated to a Nine Seconds vs Leaether Strip interpretation. It is the main body of the album which impresses though. Yes it feels like there is a classic lurking within the release which the band could not quite find but when it sounds this enjoyable and provides an hour of body inciting tempting it is hard to imagine too many worrying.

Nothing To Confess is available now via Space Race Records @ http://spaceracerecords.com/releases/nothing-to-confess/

https://www.facebook.com/nineseconds

RingMaster 09/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Concrete Lung – Tolerance & Dependency

CL_2014

If fans of Concrete Lung thought their uncompromising sound could not get any more corrosive and emotionally destructive then new EP Tolerance & Dependency is going to leave them shell-shocked and blissful. The six track provocation is a scourge of sonic voracity and imaginative violation, the duo of Ed Oxime (vocals/guitars) and William Riever (bass) finding new imagination and despair in their creativity and music to explore. As ever a Concrete Lung encounter is not for the faint hearted but for a tempest of industrial grindcore and death metal veined hardcore, it is pure ruinous manna.

Since signing with independent label Armalyte Records in 2010, a year also seeing the Manchester, UK hailing band’s debut EP Waste Of Flesh, Concrete Lung swiftly garnered critical and fan acclaim with their Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and early Pitchshifter inspired provocation. Live too the band only impressed and ignited the passions, the sharing of stages with the likes of The Young Gods, Funker Vogt, Leæther Strip, Grendel, Agonoize, and Front Line Assembly gracing their first few years. First album Versions Of Hell in 2011 reinforced and accelerated the band’s emerging presence whilst the Die Dreaming single the following year, and the Subtract Nerve in 2013 put the band under a fiercer spotlight and into the nightmares of an increasing fan base. As suggested, Tolerance & Dependency is the band corrupting another level in their sound and extreme aural hostilities generally, a continuation of its predecessor in theme and intent but reaching into the darkest corners of their rage, animosity, and merciless creativity.

Though both its members are now located wide apart, Australia and Sweden to be exact, Concrete Lung feel even more bonded and vindictive in sound and emotional rancor, opener Engine CL_TD_Cover_ArtVein swiftly stirring up ears and attention with its initial sonic lure and lead into a heavy handed prowl of ravenous yet seductive enterprise amidst predatory rhythms. The first impacting move in evidence is the live drums on the song and release which replace their until now ever present drum machine. It gives the track a spite and intensity, which was never lacking in the band’s sound previously, more bite and bad blooded ferocity. Soon the prowl slips into a just as menacing stroll, beats and riffs as imposing as ever and Oxime’s vocals raw and compelling venom. As it plays with its assault and expels a horde of inescapable hooks, the track has ears ringing and psyche cowering, its black heart exuding pained expression and emotion.

It is a pungent and striking start but just the appetiser for the dual brilliance of Die Dreaming Pt. II and Chemical Muzzle. The first crawls over the senses with an opening guitar snarl and a scuzzy bassline which has a flavour of early Wire to its very dirty temptation, the first of a torrent of baits band and track ensnare the passions with. The death seeded scourge of the Concrete Lung sound has the main voice as the song smothers and oppresses thoughts and senses, yet a nagging groove and barbarous baiting equally ignites lustful hunger for the infestation of sonic and impassioned malevolence. It is a brute of a proposition, primal and insatiable, as well as simple addiction, whilst its successor from a similar canvas of intent and maliciousness casts its own distinctive violation. It is arguably the track with the thickest toxin of punk to it, vocals and bass bruising the senses with a wall of intimidation from its first breath but with a contagiousness which only has the listener embracing it with willing submission, the track is a rabid seducing of jaundiced tempting.

   Self-Shriek (Self Murder) with its sonic and emotional detestation keep thoughts and feelings ruffled and engrossed. The crawling demonic tone of the vocals play with post punk shadows and doom soaked ambience within a unrelenting suffocation of sound and intensity. It is a riveting, hypnotic drama and trespass of the senses as well as further thick evidence of the band’s bold exploration of themselves and sound. Its erosive smog seeps into the portentous and cavernous depths of the following Plastic Mind too, but rapidly immersed into an industrial swamp of abrasing enterprise. As the last, the exceptional track is a slow smother of ears and beyond, its serpentine breath and sonic acidity a hope swallowing animus creeping note by note, syllable by syllable.

     Tolerance & Dependency is brought to a close by Closed Mouth, a track with the kind of infectious simplicity which historically has bred nursery rhythms at the heart of another unstoppable oncoming of an emotionally loathing and aurally consumptive wave. The track is quite simply an unavoidable intrusive seduction for those with a penchant for cruel invention.

Concrete Lung leaves every emotion ransacked and sound twisted upon their new violation, their most potent and violently compelling triumph yet. They just get better and nastier with each release, which after this makes the next equally as appetising and fearsome.

Tolerance & Dependency is released via Armalyte Industries @ 12am UK time Sunday 30th November and will be exclusive at http://concretelung.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/concrete.lung

RingMaster 28/11/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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System:FX – Twentyfirst Century

   Front Cover

     Twentyfirst Century, the third EP from UK industrial antagonists System:FX, is one of those releases which as it ravages and enthrals the ear feels like it is standing astride the senses with a sledgehammer of sound and wash of melodic animosity. It is a collection of colossal songs which seem to come at the body and those beleaguered senses from every angle and through every pore whilst treating the bruising with invigorating and refreshing radiance. Already used to strong acclaim upon their steady and rapidly ascending rise the London duo have taken their sound and stature to another level with the new EP, giving it a spite and anger that provokes from start to finish whilst unleashing the most potent rewards.

Formed in 2011, System:FX has already set stages alight alongside the likes of Panzer AG, 32Crash, DAF, Client, Implant, Grendel, Assemblage 23, Nitzer Ebb, Combichrist, Leaether Strip, Uberbyte, Inertia, Deviant UK, Cybercide, Crash Symptom and many more, each performance adding to their increasing reputation. Last year saw the band playing Resistanz 2012 as Phil Barry’s (Be My Enemy, Cubanate) live band whilst this year at the same event their new EP felt the hunger of fans as they clamoured for its purchase, something which is going to be emulated one suspects as the release works its way into the passions and psyche of not only the UK industrial scene but the world. Consisting of Steve Alton (vocals/guitar/programming), who recently also linked up with Fredrik Croona in the latter’s project Cynical Existence, and Debs (drums/backing vocals), with the band expanding to a trio for live performances, System:FX go for the jugular with Twentyfirst Century, its sinew driven body of sound and the lyrical/sonic intensity inspired by the disappointment of adult hood and seemingly seeded in the memories of the London Riots, clenching its jaws around the throat of the senses and thoughts never relinquishing the grip until the last note has seared its imprint into place. No mercy is given, or wanted when a release sounds and feels this good.

Surrounded by the dissident calls of the populace opener Vengeance courts the ear with scratchy guitar and equally blister electronic lures before exploding into a storm of thumping hungry rhythms awash with deliciously fiery melodic bait. It is an instantly hypnotic temptation, its touch a barracking intensity on the senses but accompanied by a colour fuelled seduction which ensures any discomfort is a prize worth taking. Just as passions and thoughts have no resistance to the intensity and empowering provocation of the song, limbs are mere pawns to the heavy trodden dance beats and the epidemically compelling sonically sculpted enticement. It is a maniacal puppeteer leaving a breathless and fully satiated victim in its undertow.

The following Fire, skirts around the ear initially with a scattering of sonic steps punctured by muscular strokes before letting the intensity off of its rein to prowl and intimidate. With samples adding further menace and intrigue the track is a rapacious journey through the shadows and blackest corners of society, its Prodigy like urgency and punk toxin aided by the snarling vocals, a belligerent poison to the seemingly warm electronic embrace. Though not as impossibly addictive as its predecessor the track is a thoughtful imagination spiking treat which evokes and narrates its intent superbly.

The title track like the first brings the sound of streets in turmoil to the ear to compliment the rigorously persistent start of worrisome electronics and riffs framed in unbreakable rhythmic caging. Danger and unrest stroll hand in hand with the pulse bursting stomp of the song whilst the sonic heat rinses the air of the song in impacting and emotively inspired imagery, helped by the continuing samples of sirens. An intensive imposition on apathy and assumptions, the track is another weighty tempest to capture the appetite before handing over to the closing red alert of Stay In Your Homes. With samples of martial law declarations punctuating the thrilling start, the track pulls to its loftiest heights on the EP and proceeds to oversee a nation in self-destruct with a rain of sonic mercury and melodic acidity falling upon a web of rhythmic and bass toned predation. It is a stunning finale of corrosive imagination and commentary leaving the body and mind exhausted but fulfilled.

Twentyfirst Century is a devastatingly outstanding release which only gives a ‘complaint’ to its briefness of just four songs, but episodes which confirms System:FX as one of the most exhilarating bands in the UK. Roll on an album is all that is left to say.

https://www.facebook.com/SysFX

10/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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