Lower Automation – Shoebox Companion

Two years ago Chicago trio Lower Automation seared and pleasured ears with their debut EP Maps.  Now the band returns with its successor in Shoebox Companion and six tracks which also scorch, disorientate, and simply excite the senses and imagination. In some ways it is more of the same invention found in that first release pushed and taken to a whole new plateau but in far more avenues it is a new rabid animal of sound and enterprise.

Creating a ravenous spiral of math punk and rabid noise which never takes a moment to relax its tempest, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Derek Allen, bassist Brian Sutton, and drummer Matt Walen use bare seconds to infest ears and peace. As proven by both EPs, it is a welcome invasion which despite its individuality, an essence escalated within Shoebox Companion, breeds part resemblance to a feral mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, At The Drive In, and mclusky.

Shoebox Companion opens up with Coax, a track immediately luring attention though there is nothing gentle or gradual about its initial sonic trespass. The corkscrew of guitar which instantly erupts is seductively violent as too the rampant rhythms which join it. Sutton’s bass is a grumbling joy while Allen’s subsequent vocals are mellow and charming against the building meshuga of sound.  It is all though just the trigger to greater disorientation in sound and imagination as the track creatively veers this way and that like a dervish; every one of its spiky wires adding to the pleasure.

It is a glorious start kept in full charge by next up Cattle Prod Hypochondriac. Allen’s voice and guitar ravages the senses from the song’s first breath yet it is an infectious violation driven by the rapier swings of Walen and the ever compelling guttural rumble of Sutton’s bass. Discord and dissonance flood every turn, the tangle of sound as unpredictable as it is virulent across two and a half minutes of inventive chaos.

Tethered has a touch more control to its maelstrom as harmonic strife and relative calm align within the song’s sonic chasm. The irritable incursion of rhythms equally makes for a tempering contrast to the intoxicated antics of the wailing guitar; it all uniting for increasing layers of magnetism before 30 Second Song provides just that but a half minute of carnal magnificence with more than a whiff of early Birthday Party to it.

The final pair of Phil and Phyllis Philler and Swing Flesh ensures the EP’s high never dipped. The first has the body bouncing as the senses cower before its citric assault, both eagerly taking a breath within the song’s post rock nurtured lulls which bring the imagination further into play whilst its successor is a visceral fingering of psyche and anatomy. Its skeletal dance is irresistible, the rhythmic animation addictive, and sonic mutation bewitching; the perfect end to a moment of creative voracity.

Lower Automation powerfully announced its arrival with the psychotic frenzy of the acclaimed Maps, now they have not only underlined their presence but declared themselves an essential proposition with one of the year’s musts in Shoebox Companion.

Shoebox Companion is available now @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com/album/shoebox-companion

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Pete RingMaster 13/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Easter Teeth – Truckstop Fear

Within numerous instinctively magnetic musical lures for us is the temptation of rock ‘n’ roll duos. The past few years has unearthed a host of exciting and stirring propositions across an array of styles and adding to that seemingly ever expanding list is California’s Easter Teeth. Comprising of the Eymann brothers, Josh on vocals/drums and Tim on vocals/bass/keys, the band creates a predacious mix of punk infused post punk and noise rock and as proven by latest album Truckstop Fear, a blend which is quite irresistible.

Growing up listening to their mother’s array of cassette tapes including James Brown, Sam & Dave, and The Rascals while riding in back of the family station wagon, the siblings bring those spices with their subsequent discovery and love of punk, hardcore, and math rock into their own sound. It is as funky as it is irritable, as soulful as it is agitated and with its slim but rich body of rhythmic trespass and vocal energy a real fresh DIY breath in the world of noise.

Truckstop Fear is the successor to 2013 debut album Being Alone With Your Thoughts is for Inmates, the two full-lengths surrounding a split 7” EP with Moral Monsters in 2015 and two track single Shake Hands with Danger released early 2017. Within mere seconds the latest album grips ears and attention as opener Honey from the Carcass whips ears with Josh’s crispy beats, the bass a waiting hum as shouts and hits break into a hectic shuffle. Swiftly hips swing to the track’s funkiness, the senses cowering before its raw edge and scything beats; it all a corrosive temptation coloured by the electrified fuzz of keys. As the music, the vocal union of the siblings is bold and instinctive, a direct incitement hard to turn down.

The following Baby’s Got Cold Feet casts a minefield of shuddering beats as a groove woven bassline strolls with grumbling dexterity within the melodic flourish of keys. Like a scowling tango built on the attributes of Pigbag and Swell Maps, the song hits the spot with increasing addictiveness though it is soon eclipsed by the caustic Art Attacks meets mclusky tango of Play the Harp, Throw the Spear. It is a rabid trespass but with a restraint which only escalates its impact before the album’s title track raises the ante yet again. It too has the scent of numerous decades of rock ‘n’ roll in its uncompromising proposal shaped by the imposing skeletal steel frame set by Josh. Hooks and catchy enterprise erupt across its barbarous stroll, a blend of contrasts just as potent within the pair’s infectious vocal insurgency.

As the previous songs, each in turn built upon and outshone by the next, Good Intentions Paving Co. soon steals the limelight, its kinetic saunter an irresistible collusion between bass and drums enhanced by the ever rousing union of voice and Tim’s squirts of mania lined keys. The track is noise at its most majestic, and demonic, a virulent tirade of manipulative rock ‘n’ roll with a chorus only the deaf could resist joining.

Sit Down Party has its own breed of addictiveness, a fevered but again skilfully controlled incursion of sound and enterprise bearing hues of bands such as Pere Ubu, The Mae Shi, and Big Black in its design. What grabs ears though is something unique to Easter Teeth, an individual character of sound confirmed once again within the rhythmically viral, sonically lusty Inspiration Indiana and the senses stalking Just Curves, a track with something of The Mekons to it.

The album ends with Pick a Puppy, a piece of poppy noise punk with volatility in its heart and virulent dance. It is a superb end to a release which sparked a lustful appetite and hunger here for the band’s sound. At times the best rock ‘n’ roll comes raw, undiluted, and with a tart almost acrimonious flavouring; the evidence there within the wonderful wickedness that is Truck Stop Fear.

Truck Stop Fear is available on ZAP! Records @ https://easterteeth.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frauds – With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

It cannot be just coincidence that year on year December brings some of the relevant year’s best and often most dramatic releases. Maybe it is just that they generally come within a concentrated two week burst with the year’s final pair of weeks more likely to be party time for all so that it is more noticeable than in other equally productive months but there does seem to be a real gathering of striking encounters  as the year makes its departure. The debut album from UK duo Frauds simply adds to the evidence, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice a glorious cacophony of noise bred rock ‘n’ roll infested with post punk and post hardcore rapacity.

Formed in late 2012, Croydon hailing Frauds consists of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals), a musical partnership which seems to hail from well before their latest venture burst into life. Inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, Hot Snakes, and Drive Like Jehu, the pair initially began jamming together again with the intent of only playing covers. Soon though their own imagination and creativity took over and new songs emerged. Since then the band has become a potent presence on the capital’s live scene sharing stages with the likes of Idles, Life, HMLTD, Tigercub, Demob Happy, Kagoule, USA Nails, Slaves, Blacklisters, Queen Kwong and site favs The St. Pierre Snake Invasion along the way. Fresh from tour dates alongside ex-Reuben front man Jamie Lenman, Frauds are poised to nag national attention with Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, a niggling hard to see failing such its raw majesty.

Let’s Find Out kicks things off, a riveting tendril of guitar winding around ears and soon joined by the thump of Francombe’s beats. Second by second the web expands, Alvarez’s guitar creating a clamorous jangle with post punk hues to its sharp spice. Vocals equally have a caustic edge, courting the repetitious magnetism of the encounter with punk attitude and ferocity. Sonic shimmers and distortions only add to the virulent nagging, the track as much an intro as a complete offering luring ears and instinctive attention into the waiting depths of the album.

Next up, Smooth instantly twists and turns around the senses, its post punk/alternative rock antics as invasive as they are seductive. Like the spawn of a union between The Three Johns, The Droppers Neck, and Mclusky, the song swings along drawing the listener deeper into its feral majesty before The Feeding Frenzy envelops ears with its noir clad atmospheric drama. Sonic smog devours as vocals provoke, the underlying volatility brewing a ravenous toxic drone as flirtatious as it is debilitating.

From its virulent inhospitality, the mischievous exploits of Sandwiches emerge, the song a rash of hooks and rhythms around brash vocals; all carrying a liquor of humour and captivating causticity. Again there is an eighties post punk discordance in allegiance with modern creative antipathy and again everything uniting in a corrosion of punk irritability which simply sparks ears and an instinctive appetite for noise rock. As it evolves with increasing imagination, the track feeds ears with a delicious groan of bassoon-esque guitar; its barracuda tone pure manna for these senses and matched in addictiveness by the duo’s vocal lures. There are numerous major moments within the album but this is the pinnacle with ease.

The psychotic rock ‘n’ roll of Just Come Of Age comes next to be a strong rival though, beats a kinetic psychosis matched by the wandering tendrils of guitar and vocal theatre. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster easily comes to mind as the song plays with the imagination, crawling over the senses with predacious glee and tenacity.

Suck Jobs keeps the thrills high with its senses scathing sonic enticements and vocal abrasions, the song mercurial in air and relentless in infectious dynamics while Doom prowls and seeps through the body with grievous intent. Its suffocating tones devour mood and thoughts, dragging attention by the throat into a finale which is pure punk ferocity. The track is one of the least easily accessible trespasses provided by the album but joining all in leaving pleasure brimming.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice concludes with firstly Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve, another carnally tart and compelling stroll with an Engerica hue to its visceral contagion, and finally through the transfixing saunter of Give In. Rhythmically hypnotic and melodically haunting with a just as appetising acrid edge, the song slowly entangles the senses, its own individual drone like bait viral persuasion becoming more chafing and disturbing second by second.

With a hidden scar of punk as its actual final breath, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice leaves pleasure high and anticipation for their next move lustful. As earlier mentioned there have been numerous really stirring propositions this year yet it is hard to remember many as glorious as the debut from Frauds.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice is available now through Till Deaf Do Us Party Records and available @ https://fraudsfraudsfrauds.bandcamp.com/album/with-morning-toast-jam-juice

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Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gravves – Rattle

gravves-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

There is no foreplay involved with Rattle the debut EP of British noise inciters Gravves. It is a release which, certainly for us, careered straight to lustful instincts from its very first roar of breath and sound, thereon in proceeding to entwine us around its little creative finger. Having an already well-established love for The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, an open inspiration to the North West hailing trio, certainly helped its persuasion but the four tracks making up Rattle soon established the band and its sound as something individual, unique, and quite irresistible.

Since forming, the threesome of bassist/vocalist Adam Hughes, guitarist/vocalist Dave Thomas, and drummer Tom Williams have persistently lured attention and a fine reputation with a stage show seeing Gravves play with bands such as Slaves, Nothing But Thieves, DZ Deathrays, God Damn, Heck, and Misty Miller, as well as impress with festival appearances at the likes of Focus Wales, Tramlines, and Threshold Festival. Radio has also eagerly embraced the band and its striking sound, a success easy to see expanding as Rattle takes the band towards a new broad tide of ears and fans.

gravves-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewRecorded with Michael Whalley (Mums, Kong, Bipolar Sunshine), Rattle simply explodes on the senses as opener My Pet Rihanna unleashes its sonic tirade. Within the clamour though, a virulent groove is forming, escaping and driving the song from thereon in as vocals clash and collude in noisy emotion while guitars and bass flare up and seductively groan respectively alongside each other. There is an inner calm in the turbulence too, a magnetic lure which breeds monotone vocals alongside the established outcry in a reflection of the dark touch of bass. There is no escaping the air of the previously mention Brighton band and at times there is a touch of fellow Brit up ‘n’ comers like The Droppers Neck and The St Pierre Snake Invasion too, but the track swiftly breeds its own identity.

Heartbeats is just as impressive as it reveals another aspect to the Gravves character. It has a controlled hand on its tempest of noise; still offering a fuzzy infestation of ears but with a dark composed gait echoed in the vocals and rhythms. Thomas’ guitar certainly sears air and flesh, its scorching touch infused with sharp hooks and abrasive grooves which trap the passions with their intrusive infection. There is a slight scent of The Birthday Party to the song and of Mclusky too in some ways while Future of the Left also comes to mind but again as its predecessor what emerges is all Gravves.

From its opening rhythmic enticement aligned to melodic acidity which has a bit of early U2 to it, Tribes storms the barricades next; subsequently sonically and vocally raging around that persistently infectious first hook and another great blend of vocal persuasion. It is a virulent blaze as catchy and imposing as anything around right now, manna for hungry senses and appetites as too the following Hollow Bones.

The closing track also has a more stable energy and storm to its heart, its body prowling almost stalking the listener as melodic vocals and keys entwine with harsher textures. Though it hints at fiercer eruptions, the song retains its control to fine effect, providing a thrilling end to a stunning release.

Rattle is an introduction to stir things up and Gravves one of those propositions which quite simply re-ignites a lust for music.

Rattle is out now across most stores through Loner Noise Records.

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Pete RingMaster 21/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Punching Swans – Nesting

artwork_RingMaster Review

How to describe UK trio Punching Swans?

You could say they are a carnivorous groove machine, a sonically schizophrenic rumble, or a rabidly twisted siren; all applying to the creative psyche and adventure that breeds the band’s irresistible sound and now their new fiercely virulent album Nesting. Maybe the best way to describe Punching Swans is a twisted union between The Fall, McLusky, The Fire Engines, and Maths and the Moon. It is a band which despite a clutch of similarly distinct releases has remained in the shadows of the UK music scene like the black sheep of a family which gets locked away in the attic away from prying ears. Now though, the door is unlocked and the band is about to infest British rock ‘n’ roll with their tempestuously deranged math punk, courtesy of the inimitably thrilling Nesting.

Punching Swans is the ravenous creation of producer (Sunlight Studios) Greg Webster, formerly of Medway greats Houdini, the equally impressive Frau Pouch’s Joe Wise, and Pablo Paganotto from The Explorers Collective. Formed in 2011 or 2012, depending where you read, by Greg and Joe from a one-off band called Laura Palmer and the One-Eyed Jacks they got together for a Twin Peaks night, Punching Swans quickly sparked ears with a self-titled debut album in 2012, and even more so with its successor Mollusc two years later via Skingasm Records. Each has inspired potent attention and praise across fans, media, and radio shows but it is easy to feel it has all only been the taster to reactions about to be triggered by Nesting.

Telling the “story of one man’s journey from self-imposed isolation to the skies”, Nesting takes little time in gripping attention and appetite as its opener, Cuckoo Cuckold K-killed, dangles sonic bait in front of ears before the robustly contagious beats of Paganotto get to rebellious work. His swings tempt and seduce with a tenacious grin, coaxing bodily involvement as vocals walk the rhythmic web into the imagination as tangy guitar and devilish bass lures begin to stir and add to the increasingly enthralling and incendiary stroll. Unsurprisingly there is a touch of Houdini and Frau Pouch to the delicious incitement but equally thoughts of Swell Maps and inescapably The Fall also flavour the first treat.

Seriously dynamic and gripping, the album’s superb start continues with Man Nest, an even more psychotic and caustically enterprising proposition that needs mere seconds to seduce and inflame the senses too. Wise’s bass shows it has probably the grouchiest textures in British rock ‘n’ roll at its disposal whilst Webster’s guitar trespasses show no qualms about infesting the senses and psyche, acidic grooves and fiery tempting a perpetual forte.

Pigeon Street toys with more restrained energies and urgencies for its enthralling exploits next, though it is all relative to what came before as the song, with the scything beats of Paganotto an inescapable trigger to get physically involved, blossoming into an insatiable almost predatory shuffle of searing grooves, thumping rhythms, and zealous revelry. Even its calm climax has an element of off-kilter ingenuity before the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of Ovulations rumbles along with the fervent vocals of Wise and Webster holding the reins. Again hooks and grooves steal the passions as rhythms jab deeply, the song entwining post and garage punk texturing into its fearsomely alluring landscape.

That great bass tone is at its crabbiest again in the following Beak Throat and its peevish stalking of the senses within a net of guitar spun wiry hooks and sonic delights around vocal dexterity. It is hard to imagine anybody able to resist the choleric grooves of the song or possible to see the track alone avoid sending rapturous waves across post punk/noise rock pastures with its gloriously savaging and exhilarating tempest.

The brief but again irresistible invasive seduction of Ostrituals comes next to forcibly arouse the passions. If Public Image Ltd had been The Wonderstuff or Wire been McLusky, you wonder if they would have sounded like this mouth-watering predacious stomp whilst its clamorous successor Headless Chickens suggests The Dancing Did or Stomp doing salacious things with Pere Ubu or Marc Riley & The Creepers. The outcome of both and all songs though, despite suggested spices, is always something unique to Punching Swans as proven by Pecked to Death which cantankerously sits between them. Snarky in tone and unhinged in character, the track meanders and twists into unpredictable and manic detours but returning all the time to its rapacious and concussively catchy directness.

The bulging rhythms of Egg Rock is an immediate and successful infestation of the passions, its sonic tendrils and testy Mark E. Smith laced vocal strains only adding to another senses searing, lust inducing incitement before Flight brings the invasive alchemy of the album to an end. The clamant finale to Nesting is a raw soar into noise pop infectiousness and magnetic sonic caterwauling which just lights the touch paper to rapture before retiring to leave ringing in the ears and euphoria in the heart.

Nesting is the first essential album of the year and Punching Swans one of the bands set to step out of the shadows in 2016 and become seriously shouted about.

Nesting is released via Skingasm Records on 22nd January digitally and on CD with a hand numbered limited edition of 30 with a 16-page book featuring drawings and notes from the story behind the album @ http://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/

 

— Punching Swans Tour 2016 —

JAN 28 CANTERBURY w/Mass lines, Death Pedals, Negative Space

JAN 29 CHATHAM Poco Loco – MEDWAY ALBUM LAUNCH w/Girlpower & Bear vs Manero

FEB 11 CAMDEN Unicorn w/Mayors of Miyazaki + Screen wives

FEB 16 BRIGHTON TBC

FEB 21 OXFORD The Library Pub

FEB 24 BRISTOL Stag & Hounds

FEB 27 LIVERPOOL Maguire’s w/ Robocobra Quartet, Jazzhands and Cal Banda

 

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Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The St Pierre Snake Invasion – Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion

tspsi

    The St. Pierre Snake Invasion is one of those bands which has the capacity to ignite an immediate rapture and lustful hunger for their sounds, something they certainly did with us with the release of their debut EP Flesh a couple of years ago. It was a startling and synapse twisting slice of devilry, a caustic brew of punk, garage rock, noise, and insatiable mischief, though to tag their sound is as easy as scaling the Shard on the back of Katy Perry, impossible but sheer fun trying. Now the UK band return…finally…with its successor Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion, a release which rips out the essences of the earlier EP and distills them with new imaginative additives for an even greater irresistible riotous slab of Satan spawn rock n roll.

The five track EP is quite sensational, realising all the selfish expectations and hopes placed upon the band and then some. The Bristol quintet band have unleashed their distinctive venom of noise since forming in the latter months of 2010, earning a devoted and passionate fanbase and plenty of acclaim through their wild and exhausting live performances as well as the first release, but the widest recognition still waits to be triggered, something Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion has all the potency, sonic armoury, and big boy balls to achieve.

Call The Coroner opens up the release with immediate demands upon the ear and attention, which both willingly submit to as942206_642406229109685_548624207_n chunky scything riffs and a scowling banshee cry split the air. Rhythms lay in wait as the intro lays its net with the vocals of Damien Sayell scouring the senses in expressive and tortured tones, their earnest and slightly maniacal embrace as incendiary as the hungry sounds. Into its stride the chugging riffs from Szack Notaro and Patrick Daly abrase and seduce whilst the bass of Mark Fletcher prowls with menace from note to note, the combination with the magnetic rhythms of drummer Sam Forbes chaining up any chance of escape, a deliciously bedlamic yet contagious maelstrom of energy and sonic virulence.

The following Encore! Encore! plunders the ear with raptorial riffs and mutual offensive rhythms whilst the impacting squalls of Sayell scar the air with his romantic violations. The raining down of muscular and intensive slaps from guitars and bass offer a little respite in one moment of mercy as they step back for the escape of melodies and harmonies before taking charge again and completing the face to ear incitement. It is a riveting explosion of glorious filth in tale and sound which seamlessly flows into U.S.S.A., a punk fuelled bruising riot of industrial lime like sonic scrubbing. The track strains itself and the listener with greedy glee, the growling broody bassline and insatiable riffs an unrelenting scourge with the rhythms of Forbes the ringleader to total subservience before the alchemy of noise, with the vocals a rodeo cowboy riding the rapacious charge.

Hey Kids! Do The Choke Stroke steps up next to continue the eclectic force of the EP, its reserved chain gang/gallows hung intro bursting into another punk brawl with irresistible aural theatrics and epidemic infectiousness. Like many of the band’s songs it does offer up one issue…the thing is too damn short, just as the passions and limbs, not to mention voice, are casting their additional help the track leaves them a lone voice in a big all eyes watching crowd… damn them.

The closing Say No To Stop Motion leaves one final slice of brilliance, the scuzz coated epidemic of catchiness a last stomp to lose the heart to. It rattles the cages with attitude and sonic spite, something applying to the whole release, and provokes with suggestions of who the aimless ears of today’s media led appetites should really be listening to, as well as certain artists, climaxing the track. The song leaves a lasting swipe with the final forceful recommendation of The Fall, a band which is more than a potent whisper in their sound.

It is a brilliant end to an equally sensational EP, a release which goes far beyond the assumptions from an already biased heart. As mentioned it is hard to truly describe the sound of The St Pierre Snake Invasion but at any time across Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion there is a mix from the likes of obviously The Fall, as well as Marc Riley and The Creepers, Gang Of four, Wire, Houdini, McLusky, Dope Body, Melvins and many other similar suggestions, though the band in as many ways does not sound like any of those either. A must have release from one of the UK’s most impressive and boundary splitting bands.

http://tspsi.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 30/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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