Intrigue and dark secrets: talking with Modern Day Dukes

Pic Holt’s Photography

We don’t know about you guys but there is an instinctive appetite here for music which puts the bass to the fore. There is exactly what you get with UK trio Modern Day Dukes, a two bass, one drum kit combination which creates a web of intrigue, adventure, and imagination many fully instrument loaded bands would kill for. New single Okhrana is instant proof of the band’s invention and uniqueness, a combination which hit our sweet spot. With thanks to Carl Arnfield, the man behind the new single’s great video, we settled down with the band to explore the world of Modern Day Dukes….

Hi Guys, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Would you please introduce the band to the readers?

We’re a 2 bass / no guitar band from Yorkshire…Pais ‘n’ Rory on bass and Jordan playing the drums. We all sing a bit.

How did you all meet and tell us about the first steps of the band.

I (Pais) met Rory and Jordan through our old guitar boy Ben Marsden. Jordan used to stand in on drums all the time when our old drummer couldn’t make a gig so when the drum stool was vacant he was naturally the guy to fill it.

We are suckers here for all bass no guitar outfits in particular MoRkObOt and Lightning Bolt. What led you down this avenue with the band?

Hadn’t heard those bands before, just checked them out and we really dig them. I’ll add them to my No Guitar / all Bass Spotify playlist.

We were a normal guitar band, but when our guitarist left, rather than replace him we decided to go for something completely different. Rory and Jordan were playing with being a bassy duo and I’d been doing some guitarless demos so we just combined them both and kept the name ‘Modern Day Dukes’ because we had a ton of unsold merch.

There are not that many bands which explore and weave only with bass and drums, a few which do but add synths too, do you think the music scene still annoyingly look down on the instrument as a lesser cousin to the guitar?

Yes. Bass is best. If you get some decent effects, you can make a wide range of sounds.  It’s weird that bass is looked down upon; it’s normally my favourite part of songs.

Did you find a readymade appetite for your set up in your hometowns of Sheffield and Leeds?

Some people get it, some people don’t. The more we do it, the more we work out what works, so it’s easier to convert people to Dukes fans. It took us a little while to find our feet.

Is Modern Day Dukes the first band for you all?

No, Pais was in Silverjet for 8 years and Rory did some shows with a band called Screaming Eagles. This is Jordan’s first rock band.

What sparked the band name?

Pais has always found posh things kinda funny. So that’s where Dukes comes from. It’s also probably subconsciously pinched from an unreleased Weezer track called Modern Dukes. Thinking about it, it’s pretty much a direct steal.

Casting ears over your Happy Now? EP, through to new single, Okhrana, your sound has not only a potent variety to it but has audibly grown release by release. How would you describe its evolution over the past couple of years or so?

We have a couple of earlier releases (These Sick Swans and PPPEP) which really don’t reflect us anymore due to changes in sound and line-up. We’re easily bored so changing things up is a way to stop things getting stale. Every release we’ve tried to come at from a different direction. When we’ve done this bass-thing for a bit we might end up trying something completely new.

Do you go out to try new things each and every time or just let things organically explore?

Photo by Carl @ Chalkman Video Studios

A bit of both, often people leaving or joining the band has significantly changed the sound because we don’t want to just try to emulate what old members did.

Tell us about the new track, for us your most unique and tenaciously mischievous song yet and the premise to its tale.

Essentially I (Jordan) was having a YouTube history binge and stumbled upon the Okhrana. It’s quite a dark theme considering what they did but for some reason it inspired.

You linked up with those great filmmakers Chalkman Video. How did that link up come about?

We know Carl of Chalkman through Rio Goldhammer from the band 1919. Rio also owns Bunnysnot Records that put out our second EP.

Tell us about the shoot and how you all came up with the idea and feel of the film with its great sinister tone and lighting?

That’s 100% Carl. We went to him not really knowing what we wanted so he did all the creative work and we love him for it. Really happy with how it came out.

Is the song typical of what we can expect in the near future from the band and what is next from Modern Day Dukes?

We’re mid-way through recording an album; the other tracks that are completed are totally different shades of Modern Day Dukes.

Tell us how the songwriting process works within the band.

Normally one of us writes 90% of a song then we work together fine-tuning it. The latest single, Okhrana was written by Jordan and in the practice room we added the middle 8 and changed up some sections a little bit.

What has the rest of the year in store for the band gig wise?

We’ve been asked to do a few acoustic with Blacklist Saints so it’s mostly that. I’d love to book a few more full-band acoustic shows; it means we get to play a mix of old and new songs with weird stripped back arrangements.

Our big thanks again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Cheers for interviewing us Pete. Stay in school, ‘cos Jordan didn’t and now he has to play drums for Modern Day Dukes.

 

   https://www.facebook.com/moderndaydukes/    http://www.moderndaydukes.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 01/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pink Muscles -The Signal

There is no denying that 2017 has to date been a truly potent and exciting ignition of personal tastes and that success has just been given another lusty boost through the debut album from US noise punks Pink Muscles. Devouring the senses and imagination with raw hunger, The Signal is a psychosis of sound, an irritant of noise wrapped up in just as lustfully weird tales and quite irresistible.

Hailing from Seattle, Pink Muscles began as a solo project for guitarist/vocalist Marshall McLaughlin. Exploring his unique vision of sound and songwriting, he recorded the Upper Body Strength demo in 2014 before exploring the bringing together of a full line-up which saw the addition of guitarist Eric Elliott, bassist Lee Newman, recently replaced by Stuart Dahlquist (Goatsnake, Sunn O))), Asva), and drummer Janet Trares (Hell’s Belles) in 2016. Their uncompromising fusion of punk and noise rock with a cauldron of other fiercely rapacious flavours from hardcore to thrash and death metal soon found a powerful presence on the local live scene, the quartet having played alongside the likes of The Dwarves, Author and Punisher, Dayglo Abortions, and Nasalrod over the past year. Now they are setting out on trespassing and infesting broader landscapes with The Signal, bringing something unique and fresh to a punk scene which in so many ways no longer boasts those attributes.

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

A concept album in spirit with its 14 “mini-horror films” springing stories of inter-dimensional monsters invading earth to end humanity, The Signal opens with Resumption and a one minute attack of psychotic punk with exotic spatial tendrils and mass vocal causticity, all splintered with warped bursts of sax amidst sonic turmoil. It is beautiful chaos, as addictive as it is disconcerting and the spark for even greater cacophonic alchemy within Teenage Rainbows. With McLaughlin as good as bullying ears with his great vocal presence, the song swings and mentally comes apart within seconds, its creative turbulence bred on caustic guitar riffs and crazed hooks as strings are violently twanged and beats antagonistically swung in another swift off-kilter assault akin to Botch making out with The Locust.

Infestopus invades next, its earthy groove and bestial riffs making a barbarous invitation to a web of sonic loco and scuzzy goodness again as fleeting as a deep breath and just as rewarding before Star Grove unleashes it’s animalistic instincts; guitars and bass going on a murderous rampage as beats damage and bullish vocals arouse. There is a touch of Lightning Bolt to the song, a little bit Melvins too but a savaging individual to Pink Muscles as it corrupts and incites on its uninterrupted way to the waiting humans into insects pharmacy of The Man at the End of My Street. In many ways, the album becomes even more deranged and imagination gripping from this track on. Its thumping beats certainly leave the same scars as its predecessors, but there is a more abstract structure to the weave of colluding and contrasting textures making up the outstanding bughouse. The swarm of guitar trespassing ears is a toxic delight whilst vocals, as the nastily brooding tones of the bass, are a mix of predation and animosity, it all pure addiction sparking.

Black Market Tampons is next, a cosmic horrorshow of “demonic male pregnancy and magic tampons” seducing and corroding the senses. Imagine the dementia of Pere Ubu, the inspiring discord of The Fire Engines, and the punk ferocity of Today Is The Day, and you have a treat of a song if still not quite accurate of its ingenuity.

The haywire webbing of Battery Acid is even more exhilarating; guitars spinning a trap of sonic violation as rhythms tenaciously grumble and impose while vocals paint a giant arachnophobia fear fest. As all tracks, within the carnal exploits there is an infectious air which quickly steals the passions though offering its most virulent strain in this one of the album’s major highlights; a peak quickly rivalled by the visceral climate and drama of Party at Murder Beach. The track is a gripping slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a voracious swing and swagger which alone is a submission giving temptation while The Egg Lady infests and infects ears and imagination with its own certifiable bedlam and theatre of sound and invention.

I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar stems from the instrument McLaughlin inherited from his late father, the inspiration to his exploration of music, and provides fifty odd seconds of insatiable punk rock which simply hits the spot before aurally venomous The Master and Officers of the Universe with its feral dynamics and textures hungrily ravage, savage, and ignite all over again. All three bring a new lust for the album to rise, Heaven is for Real backing them up with its cantankerous wall of sound and vocal ruthlessness; the track a real beast of a proposal.

Bringing the album to a close, Mouth House grabs favourite song honours though with its nefarious air and intoxication of flavours. Playing with the imagination like an aberrantly unhinged merger of Essential Logic, Boris, and Shellac, the track is intrusive bliss building up to a scorching cacophony leaving a lasting imprint on ears and pleasure.

The Signal is the announcement of a new noise punk treat in town and quickly showing that Pink Muscles have much more than that slim tag to their imagination and beef. Another must for 2017 we say.

The Signal is out now @ https://pinkmuscles.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pinkmuscles/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

OvO – Abisso

Abisso-half

Whether coming over as a flight of insidious beauty or an unrelenting erosive nightmare, a mix of both nearer the mark, Abisso the new album from Italian nose rock experimentalists OvO is an unforgettable intrusion on the senses and psyche. At times a seductive enmity and in other moments a compelling sonic pestilence, the duo’s new release is a corrosive rapture which if it bridges a connection makes for a riveting, imagination igniting treat. It is persistently an uncomfortable provocation but one which casts an enthralling spell on thoughts, luring them into making their unique interpretation of the narrative and its intent. The band conjures a listen which makes you work hard for its rewards but gives generously and incisively across its distraught and threatening Gehenna.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist/bassist Stefania Pedretti and drummer Bruno Dorella, OvO has been a consistent antagonist on the boundaries of noise and sonic manipulation since forming in 2000. With a tempest of albums and singles behind them, as well as a wealth of collaborations and live performances around the world with the likes of Nadja, KK Null, Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, Rollerball, Thrones, SubArachnoidSpace, Zenigeva, Lightning Bolt, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Estradasphere and many more, OvO now unleash their seventh studio album via Supernatual Cat, a scorched and scorching tempest which draws on the darkest malevolent shadows from the mind and emotions.

Abisso opens with a peaceful coaxing as first song Harmonia Microcosmica sends cascades of crystalline melodic enchantments down on the ears, their celestial touch inviting yet cast in a caustic breath. Punchy beats offer a little feistiness to the mix as the track settles whilst serpentine vocal scowls lay a portent of the ruinous temptation to come. The danger heightens in degrees as the vocals add greater menace to their scarring tones and the song’s ambience, with its industrialised electro skirting of meagre guitars and bass droning, awakens an already certain and eager hunger for what the album is offering.

The absorbing start is taken to another level with the rhythmic and darkly sirenesque lure of Tokoloshi. With beats a rampant juggling dance of invention within a raw sonic storm and wrapped in captivating tormented, or should that be tormenting vocals, the encounter ignites the imagination and its suggested version of the unfolding events. Through its harsh industrial climes I Cannibali is happy to help expand the emerging interpretation, its senses chaffing touch startling before the mentally invasive A Dream Within A Dream steps up to soak the body in its corruptive suasion, both reinforcing the ravaging potency of the album. The second of the two features Alan Dubin of Gnaw and from its initial slowly stalking nastily attentive touch breeds a droning submission forcing sonic smog of intensity and addiction forging persuasiveness. It is not friendly or with mercy but thoroughly satisfying and inflammatory for thoughts and emotions.

The pungent psychotic majesty of Aeneis sends the senses into a cataclysmic lust next before Harmonia Macrocosmica unveils its sweltering beauty upon a sludge evoked canvas of bass fuelled predation, its cauldron of superbly sculpted evocative and equally mordant sonic fascination a hypnotic enslavement. The track brews up a violent intensity and murderous intent the further into its depths the listener immerses but still merges it with a melodic elegance which flickers like a raging beacon within the oppressive darkness of sound and spite.

With every track as individual to each other as you could imagine but uniting for a spellbinding and surreal soundscape which attacks and inspires every aspect of the psyche, Abisso arguably offers its most disturbing and unhinged invention with the title track; the severe vexing and spoiling of the senses a degenerative scourge. This is immediately invigorated to another invidious level by Pandemonio; the confusion of sonic fury conjured a bedlam borne ravishing. Neither are intimately pleasant experiences but both highlights of an unrelentingly exhilarating if damaging journey for both, mind, and soul.

In comparison the offerings of Ab Uno and Fly Little Demon which features Carla Bozulich with her full band Evangelista evolve the listener in less aggressively divisive sonic alchemy but equally as provocative and threateningly impacting, the first an almost shamanic seeded fire of meditative enthrallment and adventure whilst the second from a noir sourced emotive contemplation builds an intensity and virulent compulsion which voraciously spreads under its creative wings.

Completed by the sonic storm of Fame, a piece of noise which scours the surface and depths of the listener until its departure leaves peace a screaming reaction, Abisso is an outstanding violation. It will find a passionate home with only a certain few it is fair to say but for those with a sense of experimentation to their own explorations, OvO and their album provide emotional and mental infringements which work like aural manna.

http://ovolive.blogspot.it/

9/10

RingMaster 05/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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