Casual Nausea – Demons

It has been a long wait for fans of Casual Nausea to get the chance to devour a first album from the Ipswich spawned quintet which formed in 2012 but time fully rewarded with what is destined to be one of the year’s finest, most irresistibly enjoyable moments. Demons is a carnival of punk rock embracing every angle of the genre imagined whilst getting its rabid teeth into the ills of the world. Street and crust punk unites with hardcore, pop, and old school punk across its belligerently devilish stomp and there is still room for plenty of other ear gripping flavours to deviously corrupt and manipulate in one unruly hook strapped triumph of a release.

Demons unleashes 19 tracks with dirty claws into themes such as “working pointless jobs and general pressures of society along with a few uplifting tunes celebrating the DIY punk scene” alongside equally rousing moments when the band is taking the piss out of us and themselves with relish. Maybe surprisingly there are no fillers in that tenacious mass of songs only prize punk agitation in its feral glory.

The album lustily launches at the listener with Vote, handclaps luring in listener and band as their voices arouse attention. It is a 3 barrel vocal machine gun led by the twin bore attack of Simon and Zoe but equally driven by the fierce tones of Ed; anxiety, anger and mischief colluding in every word shoved through ears from the opening breath of this opener to the albums final tirade. The latter’s guitar is not tardy in freeing up scurrilous riffs either, his hooks just as incisive here and thereon in. It is an outstanding start more than matched by the boisterous offensive of Cockroaches, the senses scything swings of drummer Shawn contagiously lethal as Matt’s bass magnetically groans with every throbbing line escaping its catchy stroppiness.

DIY or Die canters in next, an Angelic Upstarts scenting coating Ed’s hook spun coaxing before again the great vocal mix of the band descends on body rousing rhythms. Its proud declaration had the appetite drooling before letting the rapid incitement of Move On work on truculently animated limbs, fists, and vocal chords; its uncompromising spirit swiftly matched within the unapologetically quarrelsome Empty Rewards. Both of the latter tracks go for the jugular with a feisty intent, contagion fuelling each with the second of the two pop punk infested.

One minute of hostile hardcore scrapping under the guise of Another Way is next before Terminator leaps from its cowpunk teasing to harass and ignite participation with its vocal and continued country punk revelry; a pair of tracks which mercilessly got under the skin just as easily as Fuck Up in turn had the throat zealously ranting at the world. Maybe a song which did not quite rise up to the lofty heights of its predecessors there was still no escaping its forceful touch and incitement or the pleasure in the ready submission given.

The album’s title track bullies and seduces with a great blend of resolute aggression and melodic tempting, its virulent catchiness enslaving with the unity of the threesome’s vocal contrasts emulating the texturing of sounds increasingly invigorating the track.

It is hard to pick a best track within Demons but Blood In The Oil is a permanent favourite, its ska/ reggae nurtured stroll irresistible and a hue of The Members delicious while Predator swiped its fair share of the passions with its gypsy punk shaped antics; both tracks quickly harried for matching plaudits by the furious venom spilling assault of Corruption and indeed Defective with its touch in cheek self-deprecation to a pop swinging punk soundtrack.

As suggested there is no weak moment within Demons, just an ordering of favourites, Gonna Blow and Til The Day I Die cementing that success with their respective anarcho punk bruising and old school soaked defiance steeled assertion. Similarly Assembly Lines and Misery added further proof, the song another thick favourite with its raucous dexterity and manipulative prowess bringing hints of bands like 999 and Eater to mind within its more hardcore bred holler.

Attention is just as tightly gripped and enjoyment uncaged across the album’s final trio of tracks; Zombie niggling away with a devious hook throughout and Pay Your Sins Away simply lighting up the passions as Casual Nausea stomp like Les Négresses Vertes inspired guttersnipes. Built To Break finally brings things to a close with a punk fury which just epitomises the character, prowess, and persuasion of band and sound.

Actually show patience and one more treat emerges from the silence in the shape of an acoustic version of Blood In The Oil, a final pleasure to cap what is a quite glorious album. Punk continually gives us major moments to devour and the manic indeed deranged Demons is one real feast to get rabid teeth into.

Demons is out now via TNS Records; available @ https://casualnausea.bigcartel.com/ https://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/shop/tns-releases/pre-order/casual-nausea-demons/ or https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/demons-2

https://www.facebook.com/casualnausea

 Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

And the Wasters – State Of Repair

The State Of Repair EP is the first offering since UK band Will Tun and the Wasters became simply And the Wasters last year. The change seems to have sparked a new fresh swing and adventure to their sound too; the band’s new release a vibrantly infectious romp with lyrical insight and worldly reflection in tow. It is ripe with the fusion of ska, folk, and punk with dub and Latin overtones the band has also seen acclaim for, but in their boldest most rounded and adventurous proposal yet.

Already with a clutch of well-received releases and a fine reputation for their live antics under their belts, And the Wasters followed their moniker change in 2016 with attention grabbing main stage appearances at festivals such as Bearded Theory and Boomtown Fair, an extensive Europe tour, and now with the name your own price release of State Of Repair.

It is a celebration of cosmopolitan sound with attitude and a snarl in its heart as songs reflect on the “sense of sadness, anxiety and uncertainty faced in the modern world, while also promoting an empowering message of solidarity, friendship and collective action.” As suggested, it also finds the band involve their broadest wealth of flavours and imagination yet for a rousing and infectious escapade sure to edge And the Wasters closer to major attention.

The septet of Dan Kemp, Ivo Johansen, Jared Dyer, Celeste Cantor-Stephens, Danny Epstein, Jack Kitchen and Jo Dobraszczyk, who we truly thank for bringing the EP to our attention, gets things stomping with opener Lion’s Share. Vocals and melody tempts ears first, their warm invitation soon joined by boisterous rhythms and strolling riffs as brass and the alluring charms of Dobraszczyk’s accordion flirt. As swiftly as the sounds engage ears, the track’s swing has feet shuffling and hips grooving, its individual ska/punk mixed proposal carrying essences of bands like Faintest Idea, By The Rivers, and Gogol Bordello to great effect.

It is a stirring start straight away matched by the dynamic throes of Small Victories. In some ways the song is a mellower proposition than its predecessor yet has a rivalling bounce and lively passion leaving exhausted pleasure in its wake. There is a touch of French band Les Négresses Vertes to the swagger and flavouring of the track but equally its punk edge hints at the likes of Operation Ivy and Sonic Boom Six; more evidence of the new diversity in the band’s sound.

Thoughts of the Paris outfit are prompted again with Reduce, Reuse, Rebel, especially as it enters with a captivating dance of accordion spun melody. Diversity of vocal aggravation and incitement is a potent temper to the charm of the sounds gaily strolling around them, attitude and beauty uniting in a magnetic collusion. Unpredictability is also a ripe trait; the unexpected slip into sombre calm with the siren-esque lures of a trumpet for company wrong-footing but an enjoyable lead into the folk bred canter which has body and spirit launched with zeal once again, rowdy punk intent subsequently to the fore.

Bound as One is another kaleidoscope of sound and texture, a boisterous stroll with the heart and liveliness of a carnival as voice and word call on unity. It is a captivating close to an increasingly rewarding and enticing release; though State Of Repair actually ends with the two minute sway and pulsing of Intro Dub which you wonder might have been rewarded with better attention if placed earlier within the EP, as the urge at the end of its fourth song is primarily to leap back to its first.

And the Wasters are ready to breach the biggest spotlights with a sound which, as the thoroughly pleasurable State Of Repair suggests, is blossoming into something rather special.

State Of Repair is available now @ https://andthewasters.bandcamp.com/album/state-of-repair-and-the-wasters as a free/ pay as you feel download.

https://www.facebook.com/willtunandthewasters

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Acid Brains – Thirty Three

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Rampant with a torrent of diverse flavours all uniting in one mighty slab of punk ‘n’ roll, Thirty Three is one of those proposals which out of the blue sets energies racing and thick pleasure flowing. The rousing success of the new encounter will probably be no surprise for fans of and those in the know about Italian band Acid Brains, a quartet previous full-lengths having earned the band a potent reputation in their homeland’s rock scene, but for the rest of us the album is an impressive introduction to a thrill we have all been missing out on.

Hailing from Lucca and formed in 1997, Acid Brains create a sound which merges alternative and punk rock with grunge and new wave, amongst many flavours, a mix brewed with devilish invention and thick imagination. 2004 saw debut album The End Of The Show released after a trio of demos before it; its well-received outing more than matched by its successor Far Away two years later and Do It Better in 2009. As the new proposition, fourth album Maybe was unveiled via Red Cat Records in 2012 to show more of the evolving enterprise and boldness in a sound now inflaming ears in Thirty Three.

Produced by Gherardo Monti and Acid Brains, Thirty Three comes in two parts; the first consisting of five tracks sung in English and the second with four songs sung in the band’s native tongue. Why the segregation of languages we cannot say but the parts are a CD equivalent to the side A and side B on a vinyl release or like on a double EP.

Band and album have attention and ears in the palms of their creative hands from the off, opener Make Up Your Mind laying down an initial lure of confrontational yet controlled bass and guitar before bursting into a fiery punk rock escapade with, whether intentional or not, a more than familiar relationship to The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. The track proceeds to stop and flow with magnetic invention and aggressive ferocity throughout, creating a compelling proposal easy to get greedy over long the way, just like the following Halloween. The second track strolls in with its own slightly belligerent character, the bass of Antonio Amatulli devilishly prowling amongst the sonic tempting of guitarists Alfredo Bechelli and Stefano Giambastiani. The latter’s vocals equally engage with grouchy persuasion as the song explores a post punk/new wave fuelled slice of raw power pop, it already showing the strong variety within the album as it has the imagination bound and ears again aroused.

Sometimes steps up next, tantalising initially with a dirty flame of riffs before hitting a grunge/punk canter playing like a feisty mix of Nirvana, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, and Feud. Antagonistic but with an anthemic welcome rather than a nasty intent, the track stomps along recruiting body and appetite before On The Borderline takes over with its post punk laced, rhythmically gripping prowl. The resourceful beats of drummer Luca Bambini masterfully shape the track and entice instincts to which guitar and vocals offer their inventively bracing assets. With a spice of Gang Of Four meets Gruntruck to it, the track continues the impressive and increasingly gripping persuasion of the album, and the enjoyable wealth of diversity.

Adding a touch of glam rock swagger is Answers next, but equally a healthy scent of old school punk is the order of the day within the slimline and enjoyable canter before Tu throws some rhythmically tenacious garage rock into the album’s mix. A bracing stomp bouncing aggressively around with sonic colouring maybe best described as NOFX and The Pulsebeats in league with the punkier side of Les Négresses Vertes, it sets the second part of Thirty Three off in fine style to be quickly backed and surpassed by the outstanding nagging tempting of Mi Sorprendi. Riffs and rhythms provide a great worrisome yet addictive beckoning for the vocals of Giambastiani to stir things up in potent style within. Once more that post punk spicing add to the varied punk ‘n’ roll adventure of the track whilst hooks and the throaty tones from Amatulli’s strings only add to the inescapable captivation.

The final pair of songs ensures the album ends with as much variation and resourcefulness as it has perpetually offered already. All’infinito is first, a heavily enticing slice of drama with sinister electronics courting a grunge punk aggravation whilst closing song Solido has its own dark theatre through haunting keys within a rawer coaxing of guitar. Soon it raises its temperature and contagion with a glorious roar of a chorus that has listener participation involved with ease. Subsequently leading into another hungrily virulent blaze of rich grooves and deeply embedding hooks; that in turn the passage into an attitude loaded punk bellow of a blistering finale, it and its predecessor provides a thumping close to an increasingly persuasive and impressive album.

Acid Brains is rock ‘n’ roll to get excited and greedy over; something fresh to get lusty with through an album that flicks all the right switches.

Thirty Three is out now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acid-Brains/50227931347   http://twitter.com/AcidBrains

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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LaBrassBanda – Europa

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To support and celebrate the band’s recent UK tour, German nine-piece LaBrassBanda have re-released their acclaimed 14-track album Europa, and if like us you missed it first time around, now is the time to join their compelling festival of sound. Uniting the richest contagious elements of everything from techno to funk, reggae to ska, and punk to alternative rock pop, the Bavarian outfit take ears and imagination on a euro stomp of irresistible creative revelry.

LaBrassBanda was formed in 2007, one of its founders, vocalist/trumpeter Stefan Dettl inspired by the Youngblood Brass Band. With a few line-up changes and an expansion of personnel, the band has persistently ventured across Europe with their sound, becoming renowned for their high energy live performances. As mentioned the band’s sound is bred on styles and flavours as diverse as the different musical backgrounds and tastes of its members. Originally released in 2013, Europa gets a fresh UK concentrated unleashing to accompany their just completed and highly successful tour and before the full complement of trumpeters Jörg Hartl and Korbinian Weber, trombonist Manuel Winbeck, bassist Mario Schönhofer, drummer Manuel Da Coll, percussionist Tobias Weber, tuba player Stefan Huber, and guitarist Fabian Jungreithmayr alongside Dettl hit the festivals of Europe.

The album fires up ears and thoughts straight away with opener Tecno, its sound as you would expect from its title a vibrant enticement for feet and dance-floors aligned to a great throaty shadowing of bass and tuba. The expressive vocals of Dettl are equally low in tone but as magnetic as the flames of brass which flirt with the senses across the relatively restrained but tenacious encounter. Thoughts of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth spring up as the song dances with ears before passing the baton of infectiousness over to the following Jacqueline. Immediately more feisty and energetic than its predecessor, the song swings and grooves with a funk bred air and gypsy folk devilry, again body swerves and lively feet the target.

0888837022521     The album hits its pinnacle early with the exceptional Holland, the track a slightly deranged waltz of hip hop tinged vocals and an accompanying mashing of syllables courted by a soundtrack of busy and psyche seducing brass. It is just the start of the fun and lustful persuasion though, a fluid step into a reggae spiced, punk hued romp reminding of bands like Asian Dub Foundation causing pure addiction. A track to bring graveyards alive and lungs exhaustion, the track is pure manna for body and soul. What it is about who knows, being Bavarian illiterate we fail you on that aspect as there is not an English word spoken across the whole album but we are led to believe plenty of songs are about beer, girls and partying.

Schweden next nudges and entices the listener with an electro beat based offering equipped with a potent seduction of bass which blossoms into a sultry croon of brass and melodic persuasion. It also has a whiff of nostalgia, parts of it reminding of Dalek I Love You whilst it’s more feisty and lively exotic catchiness has a sense of Mano Negra to its enterprise. The freely flowing encounter never erupts into a blaze but relentlessly seduces before allowing the agitated adventure of Z’spat Dro to tease and bounce with ears and appetite. A punk tenacity and energy surges through the infectious anthemic romp, think Biting Elbows meets Les Négresses Vertes and you have another treat of a track.

The punchy Nackert with is rock pop croon keeps the energies and thorough enjoyment in top gear whilst Sarajevo takes a gentler but no less enthralling flight across a boldly simmering but reserved scenery of melodic craft. The elegant instrumental has the imagination casting its own travelogue of adventure, brass and guitar providing the colour and rhythms the drama for thought sculpted exploits.

Entering into the second half of the album, Europa evolves into a more evocative and suggestive persuasion than the more forceful devilry of its opening half, though first of all the cosmopolitan soundscape of Frankreich reveals itself as another instrumental with bold rousing hints for ears and thoughts to play with. The colder climate of the melancholically charmed Russland comes next, its slow haunting an immersive caress whilst Western straight after saunters along with a jazz funk smile and brassy mysticism as vocals unite in harmonic, almost shamanic prowess.

Though admittedly there was pining for the outright devilment of a Jacqueline of Holland at this point, the album still has the listener firmly departed from the real world attention wise with each proposal, a success continued with the warm and dark theatre of Griechenland and following that, the folk lined shuffle of Vogerl where that gypsy folk/punk tempting returns to take feet and emotions on another flirtatious dance.

Europa ends with firstly the highly persuasive Opa and lastly the melancholic, funereal like sigh of Hymne, arguably the one time not understanding the spoken narrative is missed, though the wake like reverence of the music explains plenty.

It is fair to say that Europa is easily one of our favourite encounters this year and at times offers songs sparking a lust which borders on illegal. To bring your summer and year to life, if you have not already, time to join the LaBrassBanda festivities we suggest.

Europa is available now via Sony Music/RCA @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/europa/id651995604

http://www.labrassbanda.com   https://www.facebook.com/LaBrassBanda

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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

The Great Game – Self Titled

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It is a kaleidoscope of diverse sounds, a maze of unpredictable twists, and a tapestry of imagination bred adventure, but most of all, the self-titled album from The Great Game, is one captivating joy. Consisting of thirteen fascinating and invigorating celebrations of world bred sounds, the release is a delicious creative devilry which at times has the passions sighing in lustful pleasure and always has ears and imagination engrossed.

The band is the creation of Belgian composer and classical guitarist Mounzer Sarraf, and a union of musicians from across Europe, the Middle East, as well as North and South America. The band’s songs draw on the background and musical influences of each band member, entwining it all into exploits which defy precise description whilst creating aural travelogues which again embrace a myriad of flavours and styles in each individual creative emprise. Created from May 2014, when the full band came together for the first time, they make up one fun and mouth-watering introduction to The Great Game. Now released as a free download to “give as many people as possible the chance to get to know the music”, the band’s album is a fascinating and thrilling entrance by The Great Game.

The album opens with Science, and instantly has attention in its grasp with its opening electro like dance. It is a keen enticement which continues to coax ears as a warm caress of brass and the magnetic lure of rhythms unite with the instantly likeable tones of vocalist David Hastings. Its straight forward start is soon showing signs of unpredictability, warped essences teases in the background of Sarraf’s guitar enterprise and the continuing lively shimmer of Paul Chamberlain’s accordion which set it all off. Evolving through a blend of funk, jazz, and worldly sounds, to name just three of the textures, the song forcibly bewitches before making way for the rawer rock of Religionism. Crisp jabs from drummer Bruno Meeus and an understated but vocal bassline from the strings of Manuel Saez Canton shadow the scuzzier touch of Sarraf’s guitar. It is a tempting start if lacking the spark of its predecessor, but takes little time in welcoming flames of sax from Martin Fell and an animated stride into an emerging gypsy punk like proposal. Melodies and vocal causticity combine as a mellower rock croon also breaks out, it all again combining for a fluid and intriguing, not forgetting enjoyable encounter.

The Turning Of The Wheel Of Dhamma steps up next, its jazzy swing and rhythms a new twist in the album’s scenery. Vocally there is an intoxicated lilt whilst the guest trombone of César CD CoverRalleyguieb and trumpet of Jimi Garcia croon with melancholic expression within a smoky atmosphere. That sombreness is a deceit though, a creative smile and brass vivacity wrapping its charm around ears with an almost mischievous glint in their melodic eye. It is a bewitching offering, if one not quite holding its grip in the livelier finale, and matched by the folkish embrace of Television straight after. Featuring the lead vocals of Inbal Rosenblat, the entrancing song moves from a gentle sway into an energetic shuffle, ignited further by great and slightly psychotic backing vocals.

Another peak is hit with Bipolaroid next, the track initially a grunge seeded proposition bringing a feel of Tool to ears, which suddenly drifts into a second long quiet before returning with a psychotic look on its creative invention. It still roars with that grizzly rock breath and attitude but is soon discovering an agitation in its rhythms and a bedlamic character to its devilry, especially in the guitars and Fell’s blazing sax calls. Thoughts of French band Toumaï spring to mind at this point, the track an ingenious web of slightly disturbed twists and that fiery rock roar, vocally and musically.

Calm returns with the sultry Elhechizo De Hoy next, a kiss of Parisian charm blessed by the returning mesmeric vocals of Rosenblat alongside the more dour but as alluring tones of Hastings. Its endearing melodic flame brings a smile to ears and emotions whilst the fuzzier Poetry in Motion sparks another slither of greed in the appetite with its fusion of funk, reggae, and progressive pop. Featuring the also captivating voice of Medina Whiteman, the track dances with body and emotions, offering a flavoursome seventies tang to its appealing vivacity. Both songs are like melodic magnets and matched by the Eastern European spun revelry that is Hungarian Dream. Carrying a whisper of Les Négresses Vertes to its spicy melodies and especially its robust gypsy swing, the song transfixes ears and imagination whilst setting down another major moment in an already thrilling album.

There is that glimmer of real mischief in Pax Romana which sidles in next, guitar and bass a restrained devilment against the more solemn vocals. An essence of Yello also tints the swiftly riveting encounter though as the brass gently but vocally spread their heated expression, they spark a fiercer yet still controlled rock ‘n’ roll tenacity in the track’s heart. It like so many simply grips attention and emotions, though soon shaded a little by the sensational And The Blind Man Lead The Way. It opens with a reggae honed enticement, a UB40 like tempting, before digging into a fierce and raw rock sculpted bellow. It is the discord which flirts with vocals and hooks which steals the passions though, its angst fuelled derangement and the aligning raging, twisting a strong song into an inescapable favourite.

The enjoyable melodic and harmonic croon of Elemental Raven Storm comes next, another smouldering landscape of reflective melodies and brass colour over a bracing and unpredictable canvas of rhythms and enterprise. With a seriously compelling vocal climax, the track departs for Slave Magic, an enthralling mix of rock and blues colours. It might not quite light the flames as previous songs but burns away with craft and enticing endeavour to ensure ears and thoughts are fully satisfied.

Final track is The Great Game. Listed as a bonus CD track on our promo but included on the download version too, the closing is a solid shuffle of melodic and vocal invention combined with a jazzy pop crooning. It can be described as The Tom Tom Club meets Spandau Ballet in some ways, and again offers a pleasing companionship though not quite on the par with anything before it. Nevertheless it is a good end to a great release from a band already facing an eagerness to hear more from.

The Great Game has a sound with something for everyone, though arguably that might also be a hindrance in their appeal for some who want more stable offerings. Safe to say though that this is a band we will welcomingly be hearing a lot more of and easy to suspect with increasing clamours of acclaim and eagerness.

The Great Game is available now on CD and as a free download from http://www.the-great-game.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Great-Game/255555954610404

RingMaster 17/03/2-15

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/

 

 

 

The Cardboard Crowns – Global Citizen

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There are treats, there are triumphs, and there is undiluted devilry, and in the case of Global Citizen there are irrepressible riots of combining all three. The album comes from Canadian rockers The Cardboard Crowns, a band creating a mischievous maelstrom of adventure from the raw tenacity of punk, the majestic swagger of ska, and the sultry charm of reggae, not forgetting a very healthy dose of pop. Formed in 2009, the band has been a relative secret outside of their home borders but it is easy with a little bit of luck to see that changing thanks to the thrilling stomp of Global Citizen.

Hailing from Aylmer, Quebec and now Ottawa based, The Cardboard Crowns’ seeds begin in high school with Joel “Rat” Kuehn (vocals/guitar), David “Tokyo” Speirs (drums), and Matthew “Googles” Megannety (lead guitar), the first two already strong friends before meeting the third in that place of learning. They formed a trio of garage bands, The Madd Fizz, The Fog Pilots, and The Rocket-Propelled Space-Fish along the way of their musical journey, potent steps which have laid the seeds for what they offer today. It was with the link-up with bassist Franks “Mystery Skunk” Cuningham around five years ago though that the spark for Cardboard Crowns was ignited, and from that point it has been full steam ahead for the band and its insatiable revelry.

It does not take long to realise the eclectic and inventive expanse of sound and imagination which fuels the album, the first three songs enough to reveal the wonderfully unpredictable and infectious variety at play. Opener Pulling Teeth sets things off, its opening and immediately engaging acoustic caress and alluring vocals folk like with a summery breeze to their relaxed temptation. It is just the gentle coaxing to bigger and bolder things though, energy building towards a rampant stride of punchy rhythms and tangy grooves driven by equally tenacious vocals from Kuehn and band. The song reminds of British band Knots, its emerging instinctive and anthemic stomp inescapable flirtation for feet and passions. The track is exceptional, fiery blazes of raw guitar only adding to the drama and power of the brilliant encounter.

Its might is soon backed up as the album’s title track and the following Hats Off unveil their distinctive and diverse designs. The first of the two strolls in on a smiling stride of reggae seeded Album Cover (Small)riffs and a rhythmic swing which soon has body and imagination swaying in unison. There is a just as vibrant pop punk enterprise to the song, bands like Smashmouth and Reel Big Fish coming to mind as it swerves and entices with vivacious melodies and bubbly chords, though the track ultimately evolves a unique identity. It’s smiling gait and devilry is matched by its successor, ska bred stabs igniting ears within seconds as a punkish air sets in motion another contagious persuasion. The song though not flawless, the band shouts not working for personal tastes, manages to smoulder and bounce simultaneously, like an exotic temptress with seductive curves and voracious appetite.

Sun And The Stars winds around ears next; its tone equipped with a country twang aligned to smoky keys and Southern kissed sonic flaming. Again sound and vocals provides a seriously catchy and excitable devilry and even though it lacks the final persuasive spark which ignited its predecessors, the track leaves appetite hungrier and satisfaction fuller. It is a level of pleasure straight away thrust to new levels by the outstanding Shut My Mouth, another incendiary romp of piercing hooks and devilish enterprise allowing pop punk and ska to collude in a virulently infectious rascality which might even have the power to bring the feet of the lifeless to dance.

The thrilling adventures and diversity just keeps coming as Olé brings its Latin ska tempting to tease and excite ears and imagination. The cosmopolitan shuffle is a festival of swarthy rhythms and rosy faced melodies, a lively footed canter merging the rebellious charm of Mano Negra with the seductive zeal of Les Négresses Vertes. At the song’s end its gentle hug allows a breather to be taken before the rugged brilliance of Your Son has body and emotions leaping again. Adding new causticity to vocals and chords, the track switches its roars and croons for the album’s most ferociously captivating offering. Pop and punk collide, virtually brawling throughout as they breed some of the sharpest appetising hooks and rhythmic provocation you are likely to devour this year.

The release is brought to an end by firstly the seriously magnetic Bounty On His Head, a part punk and part folk romp, and lastly through the carnival-esque tempting of Generations. The final song is a mix of gypsy punk and folk vaudeville, like a mix of Tankus The Henge and Flogging Molly, and a sensational end to one scintillating tapestry of sound and invention.

It is hard to imagine The Cardboard Crowns remaining a relatively unknown proposition once Global Citizen works its alchemy around the world. The album offering music just as it should be; imaginative, passionate, and pure fun.

Global Citizen is available now @ http://thecardboardcrowns.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thecardboardcrowns.com/

RingMaster 04/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos – Kill The Beast

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How best to describe the sound of Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos which runs virulently threw the veins of new album Kill The Beast. Well if you take a fusion of Tankus The Henge and Gogol Bordello and spice it up with healthy doses of Les Négresses Vertes, The Pogues and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, you get a fair flavouring of the fun found within the band’s second full-length. The ten track release is a magnetic energetic party of varied sounds and flavours brewed into the band’s own riveting “carnival punk” proposition, it one rigorously exciting and enjoyable encounter. Essences of gypsy punk, ska, swing, and straight forward punk also add to the irrepressibly captivating mix, the result a wonderful deranged waltz of unpredictable adventure.

Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos spent their early years honing and shaping their sound on the live arena before unveiling debut album Victory for the Monsters in the October of 2012. Acclaimed the release was followed by the band striking out on tour across France, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic, again to strong and eager responses. Returning to Europe again last year, the Birmingham based band courted the passion of countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg in the course of their next tour, whilst appearances at festival such as Boomtown, Y Not, Tramlines, Nozstock, Wychwood, and Swingamajig as well as a third European excursion has only strengthened their presence and reputation, breeding strong anticipation for their new album. Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Destroyers, Robert Plant), Kill the Beast seizes attention from its first breath refusing to release its hold until the final note of the last song. It is a release which like all punk bred incitements, which it really is in so many ways, the album challenges and thrills with mischief and antagonistic wantonness, rewarding with a feel good factor other bands can only imagine.

Nailbiter starts things off and is instantly throwing its body through ears, revelling in its boisterous energy as brass inflames the air and rhythms march resourcefully over the senses. Eventually settling into a more controlled yet still rebellious stride with a sultry mystique to its evolving sound, the song seduces and incites the imagination with the violin of John-Joe Murray a potent lure within the strong rhythmic frame provided by drummer Matthew Osborne and bassist Chris Yates. A devious swagger breaks out from within the captivating stomp, the guitar of Kowalski stirring things up before his raw vocals add to the striking dance. There is a fairground barker drama to his delivery, expelling forcibly the narrative as strings and brass colour the scenery further, the trombone croon of Ellie Chambers and trumpeting pouts of Simon Noons rich hues to immerse within. Building up to an explosive crescendo which wickedly never materialises, the track is a glorious start to the album setting a high bar for the other songs to match.

The following When the Time Comes makes a worthy attempt, growing potently from its reserved opening stroll with flumes of brass warming a rhythmic scattering and the more reserved delivery of Kowalski. It is a spicy romp, which like a smouldering temptress sways and swerves with melodic curves and energetic tendencies over the senses, teasing with its seductive nature. It does not match its predecessor’s heights but still leaves emotions and ears enraptured as the Tequila Song stands poised to inflame their ardour once again. As you can probably imagine from the title the song is a festival in the ear; liquor kissed revelry which stomps with rhythmic knees high and infectious melodies bordering on salaciousness. The brass again almost taunts with their evocative blasts, adding to the mischief breeding every note and syllable uncaged by Kowalski and the backing shouts of Osbourne and Murray.

Next up Question the Answers strides with a rhythmic tantalising courted by a great throaty bass lure and punctuated by again fiery stabs of brass. There is a sense of unrest to the sound and feel of the song, a troubled sigh locking onto the rigid contagious press of rhythms. As vocals and subsequently violin bring their unique flavours to the developing evocative landscape, the track absorbs attention and appetite, twists of guitar and acidic stringed invention spearing the enveloping premise. The track is more restrained and arguably straight forward than the earlier tempests of adventure but no less gripping, much like Same Mistakes which swiftly adds its bold canter to the terrain of the release. Again it is a more reined in protagonist but with plenty to engage the ears if without sparking the same strength of fire in the passions as certainly the first and third song.

The excellent folk/gypsy vaunt of Raggle-Taggle Gypsy comes next to bring a traditional treat with a sense of the Pogues to its exhaustive imagination infesting polka before making way for the instrumental ‘shanty’ of What Shall We Do With a Blonde?, another track which lifts spirits and feet like a maniacal puppeteer for the fullest of pleasures. The album sees the additional dark charm of the tuba from David Yates across its body, and here he is at his exhilarating best perfectly matched by the mouthwatering skill of Murray.

     Another major treat comes with the carnival-esque sortie of That’s the One, brass and violin casting a picture of circus swing which the expressive vocals and gypsy punk spawned heart of rhythms and guitar paint in their own rich textures. In its full stride the song is an addictive tempting which as others steals control of feet and soul but it is not maintained throughout to the same potent effect leaving the listener feeling the song missed an indefinable trick somewhere. It is still a vivaciously pleasing track which the punkish The Good Shark builds from. Like The Clash meets Mano Negro in many ways, the song is a feverish provocateur which impresses and excites even more when from its fire flailing romp it hits a vein of dub/ska haunting sparking that Strummer and Co reference and thoughts of Ruts too. Finishing on the same brash and vigorous exploit it started with, the track is a wonderful slab of fun.

The title track brings the album to a strong hypnotic close with plucked violin strings around a resonating beat immediate bait and trap to devour greedily. That enticement is soon accentuated as Murray spreads the charm of his craft pushing deeper the core temptation of the song. The track as it explores its walls has a feel of Dizraeli and The Small Gods, not so much in sound but the way the song is constructed and blossomed, though the guest vocal skat of Call Me Unique itself holds some similarity to the other band’s Cate Ferris. It is a maelstrom of sound and imagination providing a final blast of fun and adventure to a tremendous album.

     Kill the Beast is a scintillating treat which even in its less lofty moments still leaves appetite and emotions raging. Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos are the minstrels of ‘Body Snatching Carnival Punk’ and if coming to a graveside near you are well worth gripping tightly on to.

Kill The Beast is available now@ http://sexyweirdos.bandcamp.com/album/kill-the-beast-2

http://www.sexyweirdos.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 26/05/2014

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