Buster Shuffle – I’ll Take What I Want

As you shiver over the winter months, body and energy needs something to keep the cold at bay and spirit stomping and Buster Shuffle have just the right tonic in the shape of their new album, I’ll Take What I Want. Bursting with their most virulent and imaginative sound yet, the UK quartet’s fourth full-length mischievously swings and devilishly strolls as it grabs limbs and soul like a rascal puppeteer.

I’ll Take What I Want casts more of the fusion of ska, pop, and rock ‘n roll Buster Shuffle has increasingly pushed and established since emerging back in 2007. Each of their previous albums has added a fresh lick of enterprise and adventure but the street carnival of their latest offering is a whole new ball game and easily the band’s most unique and thrilling proposal yet. Debut album Our Night Out of 2010 swiftly lured acclaim and attention the way of the London outfit subsequently backed by a live success soon seeing the band share stages with the likes of The Holloways, The Wombats, Goldie Lookin’ Chain and Chas ‘n’ Dave, a list which Buster Shuffle over the years has added artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Frank Turner, Drop Kick Murphys, Madness, The Blockheads, The Rifles, and Flogging Molly. The albums Do Nothing and especially Naked has increased their presence and reputation with unerring fun and craft something I’ll Take What I Want can only vigorously escalate.

With their street wise/reflective lyrics and multi-flavoured sound, Buster Shuffle instantly infest ears and appetite with album opener I Don’t Trust a Word You Say. Straight away a rousing wave of vocal and musical temptation surges through ears, vocalist Jet Baker leading the way with his tones and equally potent piano revelry as rhythms swing. Hitting an impossibly contagious stroll part ska, part old school punk with a dash of fellow Brits The Tuesday Club to it, the song instantly has the body bouncing and passions greedy with its boisterous antics.

The forcibly captivating start only continues as We Fall to Pieces steps in with its folk ska rascality, the song like a fusion of Blur and Tankus The Henge around the throbbing lure of Tim Connell’s double bass and the crisp beats of Terry Mascall. Again Baker’s piano and James Stickley’s guitar collude in creative chicanery as the former’s tones and words tantalise across two minutes of instinctively bold rock ‘n’ roll before Pretty Boy swaggers in with its own infectious dynamics and enterprise. Imagine Television Personalities and again Blur bursting in on Bad Manners and you get a flavour of the track’s gorgeous recipe of enticement.

There is no escaping a rich Madness spice within next up See You Next Week, its determinedly infectious canter pure instruction to the body to dance and ears to greedily devour before The Estate takes the listener into the danger and shadows of modern city life with its spunk pop manipulations. Set across two stages, the day light vivacity of its initial stomp is a darkened night lit rush by its departure, song and imagination running with instinctive eagerness to only increase the already rich impact of the release.

I’ll Be in Peckham has a touch of gypsy to its virulent amble next, its seductive yet off-kilter street  waltz manna to these ears as pretty much the whole of I’ll Take What I Want to be honest but especially manipulating as it sets up the warm gallop of the album’s madness soaked title track. It is ska pop to get frisky with, hips getting a keen workout as melodies and hooks unite in an irresistible web of catchy temptation.

With a throbbing tuba-esque hook to swing from, Your Mommy Is So Hot for Me is simply ska impishness so easy to devour, the band’s constant humour as virulent as their sound as too their lyrical prowess as shown yet again in the predacious flirtation of The Tables Have Now Turned and the indie punk pop jangle of Take Them All. Both songs tease and tempt with their creative twists and unpredictable turns, all lined with the never relinquishing infectiousness of the Buster Shuffle sound.

The album is completed by the folk littered contagion of Banana Thief, its ska spun carnival also embracing a country twang as tasty as its other infectious ingredients, and finally the instrumental skanking and harmonic seduction of the Outro Song. With its sixties espionage/sci-fi TV theme tune air and not for the first time, the golden hues of backing vocalist Carrie Griffiths radiating, the track is a masterful end to a real treat of an album. Also featuring the keyboard and vocal enterprise of Pete Oag, I’ll Take What I Want is sheer pleasure and addiction in one; quite simply another year high for music.

I’ll Take What I Want is out now via Burning Heart Records on iTunes, Amazon, and other stores.

https://bustershufflemusic.com/     https://www.facebook.com/bustershuffleofficial

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hole In The Head – Primitive Love

HITH 2015 line-up

HITH 2015 line-up

It is always a negative when someone says they need something like a hole in the head, but when it applies to the Finnish rockabilly band of the same name the want is completely different, especially if talking about the band’s debut album Primitive Love. It is a ten track stomp bred in a rockabilly heart but involving spicy rhythm ‘n’ blues and broader rock ‘n’ roll adventure to create something not exactly unique but predominantly individual to Hole In The Head.

The Kuopio hailing band began in 1997, founded by vocalist/guitarist Sasse Savolainen. Two 7” EPs, Tornado Ride (2000) and Trouble Cruiser (2003) were well-received successes for a band also experiencing a few line-up changes. The summer of 2012 saw the quartet of Sasse, Brother Andy Liukko (guitar, harmonica, sax), Turkka (upright bass), and Laasanen (drums) begin recording Primitive Love with Tomi Leino at Suprovox Studio, Ikkala. In the wake of the recording though Laasanen left the band with Turkka subsequently leaving too. The remaining pair decided to carry on performing as the Sasse & Andy Duo and work towards releasing the album. New impetus to Hole in the Head after its near demise came with the recruitment of Tony Lehto (upright bass) and Joonas Hiltunen (drums), the band hitting the live scene again with force further backed by the 2015 release of Primitive Love.

A strong start to the album is made by Out of Hands, the opener coaxing ears with scuzzy guitar and the winy charm of Andy’s harmonica incitement. With punchy rhythms and inviting vocals, the enjoyable encounter is an easy to climb on board canter with swinging hips and excitable energy that has feet bouncing and attention aroused. Increasingly more virulent as it stomps into its dynamic climax, the track passes an already keen appetite over to the following Bad Luck Driver. Straight away a sultry and siren-esque psychobilly tang wraps ears as the bass of Turkka gets the instincts going with its delicious dark stroll. With beats just as enticing, the track only blossoms further as blues lined tempting escapes through a flirtatious sax as the potent tones of Sasse strike up further pleasure and satisfaction, each adding to the excellent Frantic Flintstones meets Ray Campi with a touch of Roy Hawkins like song.

picture By Ville Angervuori

picture By Ville Angervuori

From one big treat to another as the dark noir mystique of The Night Walk takes over, its blues/surf blend of temptation a smouldering seduction of spicy air and sound. The resonating elegance of the guitar comes with a great sinister swell to its tone whilst the rhythms perfectly temper that intoxication with understated but pungent repetition. Already song by song, Primitive Love gets thicker and bolder in adventurous invention, a trend continuing with the swiftly magnetic Let Me Be Your Heartbeat. Imagine The Stray Cats in collusion with Tiger Army without the haunting and you have the anthemic prowess of a gripping track only broadening in varied sound with each passing minute.

Vintage Kind of Fever leaps in with tenacious rhythms and an energetic swagger next, its fifties nurtured and robustly delivered rockabilly weave littered with flaming sax, scything guitar, and a rhythmic rumble to lose the body too. Addiction is inevitable as also through the bluesabilly romp of Rude Boy Blues, a mix of rousing enterprise and fiery flavouring at times reminding of The Shakin’ Pyramids. Both tracks are superb incitements to lose inhibitions to and quickly backed by the jazzy canter of Lonely Wolf, the song a Parisian touched harmonica wielding vagabond of a song which simply leads hips into an eager sway.

Rhythmic jabs and swinging hooks are the order of the day within Knock Out Boogie, bass and guitar hooks hypnotic bait as masterful vocals and bodacious sax lead the listener on a rebellious yet controlled dance before having to make way for the sixties R&B hued blues devilry of Wolf Girl. Bounding around with the scent of The Living End and Johnny Burnette to its insatiable energy and feverish character, the song just entices and incites like a frisky temptress.

The album is closed by Bondage Love, a track living up to hopes inspired by its title with its exotic melodic landscape and addictively nagging rhythms. Like a rapture driven shindig on the banks of the River Nile, further accentuated by the Madness like smooch of the sax, the track is pure manna for ears and rock ‘n’ roll passions; a claim easy to attach to the whole of Primitive Love.

It may have taken time to see the light of day, but Primitive Love hits the sweet spot with persistent ease whilst suggesting to the world that Finland has a rockabilly/R&B band which deserves real attention.

Primitive Love is out now @ http://hith.net/wordpress/shop/

http://hith.net/   https://www.facebook.com/holeintheheadfin

Pete RingMaster 12/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Rousing carousels: an interview with Woody Woodgate

 

woody_RingMaster Review

This past week saw the highly anticipated debut solo album from Woody Woodgate released, a pop adventure lighting ears and imagination at every captivating turn. In Your Mind is an encounter which put a smile on our faces whilst often providing evocative hues to reflect and linger over. We had to delve a little deeper into the album and with the kindness of the man himself we explored one of this summer’s treats…

Hi Woody and many thanks for sparing time to chat with us.

Let us get straight to the main reason for taking a slice of your time, debut solo album In Your Mind. With your long creative career in music it feels a little surprising it has taken so long for a solo project to emerge from you. Has this been bubbling in thoughts for quite a while or something which suddenly erupted inside because of a break in other endeavours?

After releasing the Magic Brothers album The Magic Line with my brother Nick, I wanted to take our songs to another level. Quite simply I wanted to work with other musicians. My brother Nick and I have been writing songs together for years. Songs that are appropriate for Madness, go to Madness, songs that I love, but aren’t appropriate for Madness I’ll work on. It’s no good if they don’t see the light of day. Nothing’s been bubbling; it’s all been coming out for years in different guises.

The diverse tracks and sounds within the album is something distinctly different to Madness and indeed Magic Brothers for me. I think I read they were originally planned for the second Magic Brothers album, is that so and how much did you develop further once they were destined for In Your Mind?

They were destined for the Magic Brothers, but it wasn’t really a Magic Brothers project once I got Dan Shears (vocals) and Tim Maple (guitars, and Keyboards) on board. I also took over all the arranging and producing, so it became increasingly my project.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster ReviewWere there any particular musical inspirations which might have sparked flavours woven into In Your Mind?

I’m a kid from the seventies so it’s packed with influences from the Beatles, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc, through to Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Not forgetting my 37 years of Madness, which is my default setting when writing 3 minute pop songs?

Obviously writing and developing songs within a broad line-up like Madness must be very different to composing and creating in Magic Brothers and your solo release. Have you found there is a kind of freedom coming with writing your own music and songs without having to I guess compromise more?

It’s very rewarding being able to put in rock guitar riffs, solos, multi-layered vocals, and do soppy love songs, but it’s also quite hard in the sense that you don’t have anyone to tell you whether or not you’re going up your own jacksy. Self-indulgence can be a dangerous thing, if not checked.

As much as the songs and sounds captivated us here so did the wave of nostalgia it sparked, memories of being a small excited and innocent kid going on that big adventure on a holiday etc. I am assuming it was those kinds of experience and memory for you inspiring songs and album?

If I can put across my experience, I guarantee there’s someone out there who can relate. I also think that lyrics can mean different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of music. The simple fact that you were captivated, and conjured up visions of “a small exited and innocent kid on that big adventure on a holiday etc.” says it all. You (as a listener) were transported into another world though the music, drawing on your own imagination. Hence, “In Your Mind.”

How personal and intimate are the songs to your childhood and experiences?

It’s a mixture of one’s own experience, and imagination.

Was it easy to expose a real part of you as a person and your experiences in life into the album?

I didn’t know I had? So I suppose the answer is “Yes.”

Music was a big part of your upbringing and your brother Nick’s too?

Very much so…It was pivotal.

One of the reasons behind the album was the time allowed because the second Magic Brothers album had to be postponed because of Nick’s “on-going battle with mental health issues” to quote the press release for the album. May I ask what kind of impact his problems have brought to Magic Brothers and In Your Mind in regards to its tones, reflective depths, and lyrical themes?

To be honest, the only thing that was affected by Nick’s illness was his ability to perform live, and take the new album on the road. Nick thought it was only fair that we try out other singers, as the pressure was getting to him, and pressure can set off psychotic episodes. When I found Dan Shears, the pressure on Nick was lifted, and he was able to go back to what he’s best at, and that’s writing great songs. When it comes to writing songs Nick’s illness isn’t a problem, it doesn’t impair his ability to write, and his lyrics very rarely touch on his psychosis, they’re more about his relationships. In all respects he’s just a songwriter, like anyone else. It’s just he’s a very good one, who happens to have schizophrenia.

So though not to the fore Nick’s creative hand is more involved in the album than we might initially imagine?

The album would be nothing without Nick. He is the catalyst to all the songs. I simply reconstruct the dinosaur from the scraps of bones I’m given. Granted there is a lot of interpretation involved, but all in all we complete each other.

Tell us about the link up with Dan, how did you meet and what inspired you to get him involved?woody_RingMaster Review

I worked in a school ten years ago teaching Music Technology and Media Studies, and Dan was a student doing his A-levels. He stood out from the crowd, and was clearly a special talent, with a great voice, and musical sensibility. A part from that we really got on well, and he made me laugh. When I was trying out new singers for the album the one thing that became apparent was their lack of range. I hadn’t seen Dan for ten years, but he kept cropping up in my thoughts, as he was the one singer I knew could do the job, but I had no idea where he was, or what he was doing with his life. Ironically he contacted me on social media to say that he was releasing a solo album, and would I be interested in giving it a listen? I put it to him that I too was doing an album, and would he sing on it? The rest is history.

His voice reminded us of a mix between Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and really stoked and matched the feel of the music and their intimate revelry well.

Interesting? Queer Core Lightening Seeds. Not something I envisaged, but I can see where you’re coming from.

How involved was he, other than vocally of course?

Involved in as much as he was encouraged to be himself, and to put his own inflections into the vocal performance

Is there any particular moment within In Your Mind which gives you a certain tingle of satisfaction or pleasure etc.?

Only that it sounds great on radio…Which gives me a buzz from a technical point of view.

Now it is out luring acclaim and attention, is there a thought inside that you should have done this sooner?

I couldn’t have done it sooner, I wasn’t ready. I had too much to learn. Now is the perfect time. I’m ready.

Time allowing, will exploring further solo adventures possibly be on the cards?

Absolutely!

woody and dan from In Your Mind video_RingMaster ReviewI love the video for the song In Your Mind, a song relating to Nick’s issues I believe? Who is behind and created its captivating and evocative look?

Tom Johnson, another of my brilliant students back in the day created the video, but you’re wrong about the subject matter. It’s not about Nick, and in a way you have fallen into the trap of stigmatising him. Just because the video is surreal, and the title is ‘In Your Mind” you are presuming it’s about mental illness. It is in fact about getting lost in your imagination, the way children do when they play, and how we get carried away in a book, or story. We can be transported to another world in our minds. It’s as simple as that.

(In our defence it was the press release stating the song “was an ode to a younger brother battling his demons” which led our thoughts to that conclusion and only in regard to that one track)

Is there a chance any of the songs within In Your Mind might get a live airing at some point, somewhere?

I’m going to try and put in a gig or two, in between Madness commitments. We’ll see.

Once again big thanks for taking time out for us. Is there anything you would like to leave us with?

My advice to anyone listening to the album is to take out of the equation the fact that my brother is a schizophrenic, and judge it on its merits alone. You may hear the album in a new light, and it won’t cloud or prejudice your thinking.

Lastly, I know you are working with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. Would you like to give details/links people can go to learn more and offer their support?

Twitter: @rethink or www.rethink.org

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

Read the In Your Mind review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/woody-woodgate-in-your-mind/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/07/2015

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

Woody Woodgate – In Your Mind

Woody with Dan_RingMaster Review

It is a bit of a surprise that Madness drummer Woody Woodgate has only now unveiled a debut solo album, though given the busyness of the man over the years with various projects as well as of course with the Nutty Boys similarly it is not. Anyway the time has come and the enjoyably charming In Your Mind does not disappoint.

Taking the opportunity to hit the studio with fresh ideas whilst the Magic Brothers has been put on hold due to an on-going battle with mental health issues for his brother Nick, the other half of the acclaimed band, Woodgate has created a collection of melody rich pop songs which vivaciously dance on the senses and imagination. They also carry an openly personal and intimate aspect to them, playing like a kaleidoscope of reflections from the life of their creator whilst shimmering on and seducing the ears.

With vocalist Dan Shears aligning his unique and captivating tones to the sounds of Woodgate, contributions from guitarist/keyboardist Tim Maple, bassist Dan Drury, Madness’ brass section The Brass Monkeys, wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick, and brother Nick bringing their skills to the magnetic release also, In Your Mind swiftly has thoughts engaged as it opens with This Is It. The track is a brief scene setter, a glimpse of life breeding the spark to go on ‘romantic’ escapades, they starting with the following Magic Train. Instantly the song, through keys and a jazzy air, is an escape from the mundane into vibrant adventure, melodies and grooves flirting with the imagination whilst beats dance with ears and feet. The expressive tones of Shears bring their alluring colour to the ‘trip’ soon after, his voice courting songs like an enjoyable mix of Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and indeed here but more so across the album strong whispers to The Lightning Seeds kiss the music too. Becoming richer and thicker with every passing temptation, the song is an inescapable infection getting the album off to a strong and highly pleasing start.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster Review     A spicy tang coats the following Something, guitar and keys bringing a smattering of country rock to their enterprise whilst vocals and harmonies swing with catchy revelry throughout. A bluesy tone also adds to the energetically creative waltz of the song whilst the brass seducing is simply the cream on the top of another captivating persuasion before the bewitching stroll of the album’s title track slips in. Bred in a sixties pop smile and melodies which quickly bring the sounds of Kirsty MacColl to mind, the song is a serenade for the summer, a warm kiss of pop which simply blossoms in strength and persuasion with every listen, in sound and the just as potent intimacy fuelling the lyrics.

Come To Me is just as irresistible straight after, though admittedly taking longer to find the same depth of reactions as other songs upon the album. There is a strong resemblance to UK indie pop band The Tonics in the song at times, but once the brass free their rich flames, the song soars into celestial climates. One of the numerously pleasing aspects of songs is the ‘simplicity’ of the lyrical side, a repetitious flare which just works, in choruses especially, but never defuses the thick emotive strength of words and intent as it graces the tenaciously spun web of catchy sounds.

The Beach marks our arrival at the seaside, its joyful lure the lead into the warm embrace and festivity of We’re All Going To Brighton. Everything about the track from the smouldering brass caresses and swaying vocals to the energetic but relaxed rhythms says escape, relief from the pressures and boredom of life’s normal days whether as a child or adult we have all felt, its charm and presence sublimely relating those emotions and excitements.

The ska seeded Friday Night To Sunday Morning saunters through ears with a dreamy glaze to its poetic pop hug. The song almost glistens as guitars, harmonies, and brass venture into their imaginative exploits, rhythms in turn bringing their own pulsating shadow, wrapped bait to the sultriness of the song. There is no escaping a feel of Madness to the rich atmosphere and happy-go-lucky sway of the song either, or another potent slice of distinct variety within the album as also on offer in Everything Is Sunshine and its tantalising croon awash with an eighties pop lure which occasionally whispers Squeeze and The Bluebells. The track quickly has the listener involved though it is soon outshine by the excellent Flower and its psyche pop beauty. ELO has reportedly been an inspiration to the songs within In Your Mind, and for sure the legendary Birmingham rock pop band is a delicious hue to the siren-esque majesty of the album’s best track, though that choice does vary from listen to listen if we are honest.

The funky psychedelic tango of Mother comes next, the song a sweltering breath of seventies inspired blues/pop rock which at times feistily simmers and in other moments enflames with tenacious ingenuity. Its success is followed by the electro rock exploration of Shaman where within its relatively gentle hug on the senses drama bubbles away, creative and emotive shadows colluding with emotive energies for a fascinating and invigorating theatre of sound.

The album is brought to a close through Thank You and its melancholic yet vibrant balladry of emotional textures and words. You can feel the heart of Woodgate fuelling its presence and sentiment, portrayed potently by Shears and only accentuated by the expanding and evocative sounds around him.

It is a fine end to an increasingly enthralling and enjoyable proposition. It is easy to assume something similar to Madness from the encounter but In Your Mind swiftly sets that thought straight and just grows with every listen. At its height it is majestic and throughout is one nonstop summer of nostalgic incitement and warm enjoyment, an encounter you firmly resolve to hurry back to time and time again even before it runs its first course.

In Your Mind is available now via DW Records

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

RingMaster 07/07/2015

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

 

Grassroutes – Subliminal

Grassroutes pic 2

Breathless and basking in a ska shaped incitement which never tires however it comes, we eagerly suggest checking out the new single from UK rockers Grassroutes. Drawing on the ska/ indie fusion which goes to good use by numerous bands, the Leamington Spa quintet give it their own unique flavouring and rampancy to leave ears excited and knees buckling under the weight of the enthusiasm it inspires. Subliminal is a devilment, an insatiable persuasion which if you have a penchant for ska and the likes of Madness, The Vox Dolomites , and The Talks all rolled up into one new adventure, the closest we can come up with to describe their sound, then Grassroutes is for you.

There is plenty more to the Grassroutes sound to that suggested above of course, one additional spicing maybe coming from the Jamaican descent of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jay Hall and certainly through his reggae inspirations. Linking up with lead guitarist Ben Knight, a long time school friend, the pair started indie rock band The Royal Players. It was the seed and gateway to the emergence of Grassroutes, with line-up changes over the years subsequently bringing bassist Justin Bygrave, keyboardist/guitarist Levi Washington, and drummer Jimmy Barnwell into the band’s fold. Year and a half on from its start, the band is still earning a potent reputation for their live performances and now working on their debut album, to which Subliminal is a teaser Grassroutes - Subliminalalready brewing up impatient anticipation in some quarters.

The first breath of the song brings an earthy bassline and charming melodies cast by guitars and keys. It is a catchy entrance enhanced further by the slightly gravelly tones of Hall and an increasingly stronger swing to the song which infects bass, riffs, and keys alike with every second. An anthemic chorus with full band vocal participation sparks another wave of rich pleasure; its punk lined revelry flirted with by great Mike Barson like mischievous and infectious keys. It all combines for slavery of feet and emotions. A bustling riot and temptation of sound is never an offering to turn away, but especially in a track like this where from its infectious and relatively restrained moments, it ignites with increasing virulence on its way to an exhilarating climax.

Listening to Subliminal again and again, a whisper of King Prawn shows itself within the single, a scent which can only ever be a good thing at any time though again like all colouring it only adds to a proposition which is solely Grassroutes. The single is primed to set the year alight, to bring the summer in early though thoughts and emotions are left with just one thing to say…bring on the album.

Subliminal is available from Feb 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/grassroutesband

RingMaster 03/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox – House of Dolls

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Ever wondered what the warped and twisted offspring of Madness, Oingo Boingo, and Mr Strange would be like? Then welcome to the dark ska-deville world of Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox.

Entwining the revelry of ska with the insatiable temptation of psychobilly and dark hearted vaudeville theatrics, Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox is an irresistible incitement to question your sanity to. Hailing from Tyne and Wear, the septet is a full on drama and irrepressible mischief which through their new five track EP takes ears, imagination, and passions on a non-stop mystery tour. House of Dolls is a thrilling proposition which makes you wonder why ska and horror has not prolifically mixed before. Better late than never though, and if you are enjoy walking with the dead, aliens, and the kind of fantasies only the mind of Tim Burton can conjure, all to the swinging sounds of devilish invention then this is a band for you.

The opening of Spooky’s Lunchbox sets the Graveyard Calling released EP, a UK-based cassette/digital label, off in fine riveting style. A lone piano offers its haunted expression initially to tease thoughts and nudge the imagination. It has coveran air of a dusty run down theatre holding a steampunk breath of old and modern. The instrumental soon has the senses and thoughts embraced in its noir bred shadows, the keys continuing to evocatively colour the scenery under melancholic sax lighting. It is a mesmeric enchantment which leads straight into the celestial charm of Aliens. It is a coaxing soon immersed in a ska driven stomp, the steady rhythms of drummer Raggz Chandan hand in hand with the dark lures of bass cast by Rob Carrol enslaving an already firm appetite for ska. It is barely seconds before feet are jerking in unison with the jagged riffs of Allen Humes whilst the delicious expressive keys of Davie King incites ears and the flaming sax lures of tenor sax player Dean Wiseman and Ben Creaser on alto sax take care of the imagination once again. It is a gloriously striding song which if you ask us is basking in the attention of its alien abductors and their invasive investigations. The vocals of Kieran Jobling have a rawer less polished feel, his expression flirting and enhancing the drama of the scenario and song perfectly. At times the song apart from those earlier references has an essence of Mojo Fury about it and also for unsure reasons eighties punk folk band The Dancing Did. As eccentric as it is virulently infectious, the track is a riveting adventure which is as impressive crooning as it is running with nostrils flaring.

The following Do You Know? is another breath-taking instrumental dance, this complete with manic chuckles and demented urgency. Like Night Boat To Cairo off course and going through the tunnel of a Ghost Train, the track is inescapable bait for body and soul and it is a sad parting as it drifts into Freak Show. The track soon creates its own unique and seductive adventure though, to hold all attention and thoughts. Adding a carny like atmosphere with Jobling like a side show barker, the band writhes suggestively with its inventive bedlam of lyrical intrigue and musical unpredictability. Like the final blast of devilry for lost souls, the song’s finale is a crescendo of wanton melodies and lustful rhythmic lunacy which could be a distant cousin to those found in Cardiacs.

The title track brings the release to a close, a sonically sepia piece of drama linking it with its predecessor before the song dances into ears on its melodic toes led by another delicious tease of piano. Veering to the more folk side of sound, think Tankus The Henge, the track strides with an air of knowing that it has the listener in the cups of its hands. Melodies sway and caress whilst rhythms swing with a robust tenacity, and as for the brass they croon with a slightly melancholic breath to complete the soulful yet haunted landscape of the song.

With a healthy diversity and compelling drama across its tracks, House of Dolls is pure pleasure, especially if a rich dose of ska and theatrical madness is a tasty brew for you. Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox is not exactly creating a new style of music but they are certainly crafting a template as yet undiscovered.

House of Dolls is available via Graveyard Calling @ http://graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/album/house-of-dolls digitally and on very Ltd Ed Silver-screen grey cassette.

www.facebook.com/SpookyJeffersonsIdealLunchBox

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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