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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Tankus the Henge – Self Titled

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Such the potent riotous seduction and thrilling devilry of Cakewalk, the first single from the self-titled debut album of UK aural mischief conjurors Tankus the Henge, you wondered if it was the taster for something spectacular or the lead into an album which would be an anti-climax compared to the excitement and hunger the introductory track spawned. With a loud and dramatic confirmation it is undoubtedly the former of the two outcomes, the eleven track feast of what the band calls Carnival rock ‘n’ roll is a pulsating, riveting triumph of musical and lyrical eccentricity, exhausting imaginative adventures, and shadow wrapped dark revelry.

With the line-up breeding the scintillating album coming together in 2011, the sextet of ‘six sharped dressed and bedraggled gentlemen hailing from some of the more eccentric parts of London Town’ has ignited a major appetite for their insatiably inventive and explosive sounds across the UK, Europe and into the likes of America, Albania and the Isle of Wight through their live shows, this year alone seemingly a successful ride of festival after festival performances. The sound of Tankus the Henge is seeded in the eclectic beds of reggae, blues, and funk to ragtime and gypsy punk, the result something unique to the band though they have been described as ‘Like The Clash from New Orleans’. Imagine a creative and passionate meeting of Cardiacs and Gogol Bordello with The Kinks and Cockney Rebel and the inventive rascality you suspect is a strong but still hinting flavour of the fun the band provides.

The album immediately seizes the hand and leads the listener into the embrace of a jazz flamed, dirty floored New Orleans speakeasy Tankus_coverwith Who’s Gonna Catch Ya, the melodic call of the trumpet from Jake Stoddart and sax of Louis Schultz-Wiremu heating up the atmosphere and setting the scene. Guitars and rhythms are soon strolling into the mix with a glint in their eyes as the excellent vocals of Jaz Delorean accompanied by his evocative keys unveil the scenic narrative. It is an addiction causing entrance soon enslaving the heart when the virulently contagious chorus reaps the submission of an already awoken hunger. With great vocal harmonies and back-up from the band to the gravel laced tones of Delorean, and plenty of delicious discord teasing across every aspect of the ridiculously infectious stomp, the track is an irresistible lure and persuasion into the album and instantly confirmation that yes the single was just the teaser to equally magnificent things.

The following Smiling Makes The Day Go Quicker opens with emotive keys alongside the expressive restrained vocals of Delorean. It is a gentle intriguing beckon which deepens with the beats of Will Stanley, which you sense they are waiting to trigger something, the fuse to an impending release of energy. The brewing evocative caress of the brass warm the ear further whilst all the time the emerging passionate fire of the song works away on the senses and imagination. It never explodes into the pyre hinted at but still creates a thumping and resonating joy of elevated passion and inciting pleasure, every part of the band and song merging into an incendiary and triumphant declaration before the greedy appetite. Its successor Hat has a more energetic intent but again is soaked in absorbing melodies from keys and brass, whilst the bass of Dan Mason roams the track with a mischievous presence behind the dual vocals of a dusty flavoured delivery from Delorean and the equally cleaner tones of either Mason or guitarist Tim Fulker, both contributing across the album but unclear who is joint leading this magnetic song.

Orange Is The New Black steps up next to seize the passions, its sultry stroll with tempting sixties Hammond keys through  Mediterranean spiced air a dramatic flight across provocative and elegant impossibly alluring skies. It makes the perfect appetiser for Cakewalk, the song still stealing top honours within heart and imagination. Swaggering through the ear with a mix of Ian Dury and early Squeeze to give a sense of its sensational enterprise whilst a lick of Mano Negra and Les Négresses Vertes punk folkiness also plays within its stride, the track is the scene of a colour drenched circus, Delorean the ringmaster to the contagion.

There is an exciting mix of sounds and invention across the album, emphasised by the likes of Lying and Recurring Dream, the first a gentle glaze of smouldering melodic kisses within a slightly darker reflective embrace, again a folk venture bringing evocation to the trip, this time with shadowed hues. The keys and sax wrap a mesmeric arm around the senses whilst the vocals offer their own tenderness within the at times wonderfully dark emotive skies, an ambience and texture to the presence reminding of Dizraeli and the Small Gods in their equally poetically emotive moments. The second of the pair stomps into a gypsy punk like encounter, the drums a rolling entrapment enslaving before the eagerly roaming guitar and bass dance their own steps within the smiling waltz of the keys. There is a XTC breath to the song at times to elevate its already lofty heights, but it is the Eastern European circus enchantment and pace that ultimately steals the heart.

      Life Is A Grimm Tale (Sometimes) is another major pinnacle, its Creature Feature like darkness and Germanic wanton gait impossible to refuse and leave alone even after the song’s conclusion. Sinister and lusciously tempting with Delorean bringing a sideshow like barker descript for thoughts, the track is a unrelenting stalker of rapture, its epidemically catchy and forcefully rioting swagger the perfect bait. Its waggish romp is followed by the slow burning Riddles, a hazy blaze on evocative persuasion and noir washed mystery, and the brilliant tale of The Deviationist Society. The song from a pondering melancholic string and key suasion expands through Morricone like sculpted western hated climes and soulful brass and harmonica sighs. It brings strengths to its melodic and infection drenched sinews as its reaches further into its imaginative and fiery story, the guitars and keys finding that lure the best sixties TV show themes had and the strings providing greater passionate tonic to the sizzling heat of the song.

The album is concluded by The Last Days Are Coming, the track a scintillating final blues and emotion encrusted New Orleans funereal march through to the full ardour the album has evoked within. It is a mighty end to a sublimely gorgeous release. Tankus the Henge is a devil bred puppeteer for limbs, heart, and soul. A band which has fused light and dark, seduction and sinisterly honed persuasion into one of the most thrilling and sensationally addictive releases this year. Roll up and enter the welcoming to the dark carnival of Tankus the Henge, you will not regret one second of its fantastic touch.

http://tankusthehenge.com

10/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

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