The Imaginary Hat – Age of Anxiety

Photo by Beth Eloise Fraser

Hailing from England’s capital, The Imaginary Hat creates a sound self-penned as 1920s Punk Rock. As much as your imagination might work with that tag it will only guess at the rich mix of flavours making up the band’s music and new EP Age of Anxiety. Alongside their fusion of rock, punk and 20’s inspired jazz you can find essences of rockabilly, swing, folk and more. It makes for a proposition and new release which is unpredictable, mischievous, and seriously appetising.

The London based outfit formed in 2014 and swiftly earned a potent, attention luring reputation for their music and live presence across the capital and beyond. This year has seen the band emerge with a new and expanded line-up and now second EP, Age of Anxiety, the successor to their well-received debut, Ladies And Gentlemen Kindly Remove Your Hats released this past January.

The spirited rhythms of drummer Phil Joyce kick EP opener Pretty Little Features into life, their increasingly tenacious antics luring ears, appetite, and the guitar jangle of Luke Fraser. Swiftly his vocals also jump in, the track bouncing round with its fifties rock ‘n’ roll scented jazz punk. With a touch of eighties band The Stargazers to it and also the jump blues hues of a Louis Jordan, the song leaps and swings, successfully insisting on the same from the listener. Punk riffs taunt throughout as the flames of Nick Smith’s Trombone unite with the sax of Oscar Ives-Owen; each adding to the virulent contagion of an outstanding start to the release.

A trombone sigh brings up the following Tick Tick Tick, its enticement soon joined by the boisterous stroll of Sam Dimond’s magnetic bass. Vocals again simply entice as they dance devilishly within the similarly insistent sounds around them, enterprise which becomes more bedlamic and frantic by the second but with reins which hauls the chaos back into a just as addictive imaginative canter. You can call the track whatever style you wish but at its heart it is punk rock and relishing its anarchy.

Right Side is next, uncaging a thick dark grumble around another instinctively catchy lure of rhythms. It is infectiousness and swing echoed in Fraser’s vocals as the track prowls, as good as stalks ears and imagination. Bordering blues funereal in gait, salacious seduction in tone, the track physically smoulders as it sears itself into the memory, it too becoming more hellacious in tone and texture by the handful of seconds.

The Imaginary Hat is back in full bounce with Monkey Glands straight after, the track like a swing jazz equivalent of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers at their devilish while Until One Of Us Dies closes up the release with its dark seduction. Both tracks just hit the spot, the first a collusion of punk ’n’ roll fuelled flavours akin to Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux meets The Strangler Figs under the tutelage of Cab Calloway with its successor unleashing flames of jazz conjured rock with increasing rigour across a landscape as mercurial as it is dramatic.

Though into their fourth year, 2018 might be the moment The Imaginary Hat get crowded by much broader and eager attention. Their two EP’s this year, especially Age of Anxiety, give evidence that it is more than deserved.

Age of Anxiety is out now, available @ https://theimaginaryhat.bandcamp.com/music

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

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – White Teeth, Black Thoughts

Press_Photo_01

You will excuse any misplaced words and deviation of thought as you read this review as it is all down to the fact that these hips are still swerving as feet are stomping with a dervish passion whilst emotions flying high from listening to the delicious romp of White Teeth, Black Thoughts. You can blame its creators Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for this over enthusiastic and lingering unprofessional relish as they spread the irresistible swing and jazz passion of their new and sixth full-length release via People Like You Records. Bringing eleven richly flavoured and distinctly shaped temptresses to flirt, seduce, and enslave the imagination, the album sees the US band diving back into their swing and jazz inspired natures, leaving the more eclectic worldly sounds of previous offerings to the side, for one terrific and unforgettable party.

From the release of their 1990 debut album Ferociously Stoned a year after forming, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies has ignited bodies and passions with their constantly tempting sounds; the band fusing weaves of potent spices and styles along the way. They brewed or certainly accelerated a loyal and swiftly growing fanbase around the world with their compilation Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin’ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies in 1997, it the catalyst to a new concentrated attention and hunger for their sound. Since its invitation albums like Soul Caddy and Susquehanna in 2000 and 2008 respectively, with their wider striking mixes of flavours such as ska, rock, and at times pop, have only increased the band’s acclaim and presence whilst shows and tours with bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid and Bad Religion have unreservedly enhanced their reputation and stature.

The early more concentrated swing and jazz fuelled time of their first releases though for many is the core and instinctive sound of the Press_CoverOregon band and returning to it White Teeth, Black Thoughts proves the octet has lost none of their flare and fervour not to mention skill for the styles. The album is not a throwback to those times though but a fresh and contemporary slice of revelry immersed in the world of today and its issues. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Perry, who founded the band alongside bassist Dan Schmid, described the album and the intent of the band with it as “We’re a modern band talking about modern problems,” going on to say “This is not a nostalgic record. If anything, it’s a record about nostalgia. I’m not interested in old things; I’m interested in how old things function now.

As soon as the brass flames soar over the ears escorted by crisp beats and a riveting dark bass tone, opener The Babooch has attention in the palm of its hands; trumpet, sax, and trombone similarly igniting the imagination with their fiery temptation. Settling into a steady stroll, keys and rhythms entangle an already awoken appetite further whilst the smooth tones of Perry croon with an eager smile as group vocal additives and cheeky twists within the song skirt and accentuate the lure of the track. Well into its stride the track subsequently lifts its urgently driven feet to run with the melodic devilry grinning within all members and their instrumentations; the encounter a glorious and irresistible start to the album swiftly backed and increased by I Love American Music. Like its predecessor, the song needs no time to warm up its intent and desire to have the listener instantly engaged and dancing with its swinging gait and boldly stomping hips. So with more contagion to its narrative and melodic toxicity than at a sultry burlesque show and just as much aural sex, the song magnetically storms and seductively smoulders across its piece of defiant devilry, alternating the bait whilst providing an unrelenting temptation of insatiable imagination.

The following Whiskey Jack ensures that there is not lifting of the persuasion and energy, its blustery brass caresses potent incitements to thoughts and feet. Their masterful seizing of the senses is persistently coaxed and driven by the as now expected excellent vocals of Perry and the colourful dance of keys, though once again it is a song which skilfully throws strands of unexpected textures and unpredictable sounds with equally intriguing ideation into the mix. Hunger for the album at this point is intense; greed just as wholesomely fed by Doug the Jitterbug, a glorious cover of the Louis Jordan track, and the sultrily fired title track. The first of the two is a jazz bred quickstep of mischievous urgency and vivacious enterprise whilst the second whilst also being seeded in a rich soak of jazz tempting, finds just as riveting strains of blues and R&B within its simmering and evocative melodic blaze.

The dark boisterous and pulsating entrance of next up Brown Flight Jacket immediately has lips licked, the resonance of hollow yet vocal drums, similarly intensive bass, and the ever descriptive keys merging for a mouthwatering welcome. In many ways the emergence of the undeniably mesmeric and enthralling keys and vocal harmonies thereafter is an anti-climax such the impressive build-up, but the song soon has mind and heart locked and loaded within its mellow enticement. The song whips up yet another lustful response towards the album, taking longer than most may be to get there but over time seducing with the guile and poise of a siren.

The variety within the release continues with another masterful cover, this time of the Hank Penny track Bloodshot Eyes, which riles up another surge of eagerness in the appetite, and then the inventive and unexpected proposition of Jakes Frilly Panties. The song sees the band dig right back in time with its blues piano swagger but it is the static in the production recalling forties and fifties recordings which steals the imagination most. The success of the pair is matched by the darker toned almost salacious Huffin Muggles, a weave of heavily throated and resourceful temptation walked through by equally mysterious and darkly alluring vocals. Its outstanding sound and invention reminds of the sounds bands like Molotov Jukebox and The BeauBowBelles have been spreading around the passions.

As good as the trio of songs are they have to play second fiddle in a way to the final cover on the album. Recorded back in the day by Bull Moose Jackson, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies give Bowlegged Woman an accomplished devilry musically and vocally which cannot fail to raise constant chuckles and pleasure. Its boisterous revelry is followed by the closing masterful call of Concrete Man Blues, arguably the biggest swing number on the album with its orchestrated fire. The song completes a captivating and dramatically thrilling release, White Teeth, Black Thoughts an addiction casting treat which shows that Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are still the masters of swing induced jazz sculpted revelry. If the likes of King Salami and the Cumberland 3, The Stargazers, and Brian Setzer tinkle your fancy then Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and their new album is a must.

White Teeth, Black Thoughts is available now via People Like You Records.

http://www.daddies.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryPoppinDaddies

9/10

RingMaster 05/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com