Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out

Just the thought of two of metal’s finest most influential bassists linking up whets the appetite; indeed a potential pleasure which pretty much inflamed said optimism with the release of an EP five years back. That teaser though has just become a full on feast of hard rock ’n’ roll pleasure with the release of Get It Out the debut album from Altitudes & Attitude.

For those yet to discover the outfit, Altitudes & Attitude is the creative union of Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson. It was a partnership sparked when the pair started touring together to lead bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke in 2010.To provide backing tracks to support their demonstrations the pair began writing songs, this leading four years later to the unveiling of a three track EP. Now the link-up has brought us Get It Out and thirteen tracks which pretty much rock the life of the majority of hard rock offerings of recent times. You might say that the album is not the most unique, it openly embracing assumedly some of the hues of the pair’s own musical likes and pleasures over time, yet it has a freshness and individual character which uses such flavours rather than relies on them. At times it has a definite John Bush led Anthrax meets Foo Fighters roar but from start to finish stomps with its own voice and gait to relentlessly thrill.

Produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and with drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Filter) unleashing the driving rhythms throughout, Get It Out sees a host of guitarists guesting alongside the bass and rhythm guitar sharing of Ellefson and Bello, the latter providing the vocals and lyrical prowess. Among them is the familiar craft of Ace Frehley, Gus G (Firewind), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall/Anthrax) and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour); with all musicians involved adding to its magnetic lure.

The album opens with its title track and swiftly and easily had attention gripped as guitar bred wires entangled ears; their nagging increasingly compelling before riffs and rhythms add their persistence to the baiting of the senses. Bello’s vocals are just as potent as the track erupts into that Foo Fighters tinged roar which sweeps across the album at times. It is an outstanding track and start quickly matched by the similarly stirring and vigorous Late. The second track is less forceful in its initial tempting, almost teasing ears before hitting its muscular stride with Friedl’s beats a crisp trespass alongside the melodic caress of guitar. With a Verni like hue to its infectiousness and controlled holler, the song also effortlessly hit the spot with its multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, the album sees Bello open up to personal experiences and the intimate turbulence which have been part of his life; explorations just as intriguing as the sounds around them and fuelling further quick success in the likes of Out Here and Part Of Me. The first shares a delicious groove aligned to mountainous rhythms, their captivating unity matched by the harmonic call of vocals and guitar while the second is pure incitement from its gnarly bassline to thumping beats and hook springing virulence. Both tracks leave little to be desired but the latter with its imposing but galvanic trespasses was rock ‘n’ roll manna to personal tastes with a guitar solo to lap up.

The irresistible Slip ventures into a more indie rock lined hard rock stroll, vocals and melodies as infectious and manipulative as a virus while next up Talk To Me provides a relatively calmer but no less persuasive canter draped with a great Julian Cope-esque feel in voice and sound. Both tracks add to the already lofty heights of the release with creative and hearty relish before Leviathan shares more classic and heavy/progressive metal strains of enterprise. The instrumental is a magnetic detour from the thrust of the album so far adding another aspect to its increasingly varied landscape.

Cold shares some of its predecessor’s colouring within its own heavily satisfying melodic rock ‘n’ rumble with Another Day returning to shades of Dave Grohl and co with its controlled yet fiery saunter.    It was a song which maybe did not have us bouncing as lustfully as others but its magnetism was inescapable as too its hungry hooks and lures; coaxing just as thick and even more compelling within the emotively atmospheric and revealing All There Is where melodic droning and vocal intimacy blossoms.

The album concludes with bonus cuts of the songs which made up that first EP; all three remixed and re-mastered. Booze And Cigarettes has a great feral edge to its rock clamour, Tell The World a melodic almost poppy instinct to its catchiness, while Here Again is as much punk as it is heavy and hard rock bred; all three showing why Altitudes & Attitude had so many excited a few years back and anticipation for the album, they now thrillingly end, so keen.

A record which will appeal to a vast array of metal and rock fans, Get It Out is rock ‘n’ roll at its hearty best, so no more words needed just your soon to be hungrily happy ears.

Get It Out is out now through Megaforce Records.

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Silver P – Self Titled

Providing a debut album easy to suspect most heavy metal fans will find plenty within to spark an eager appetite, Silver P is the solo project of guitarist Pugnale, alias Roberto Colombini. The self-titled release though also embraces a host of rock and metal flavours to its creative heart providing an even wider range of ears a rich and intriguing experience.

Creating Silver P early 2017, Pugnale approached drummer/sound engineer Antonio Inserillo with a clutch of songs a few months later, persuading him to get on board with the emerging project. Finding a singer was a more difficult issue but eventfully Alex Jarusso was enlisted to the Italian band’s line-up, in turn becoming a quartet for the album with bassist Alessandro Cola. Their sound takes inspiration from the likes of Airbourne, Dio, and Megadeth but finds its own if not unique certainly distinct voice within a first album released through Red Cat Records.

The Deep Breath Before The Plunge opens up the release, its dramatic instrumental landscape a firmly magnetic intro to the release. The imagination easily ran with its epic and growing theatre of intimation and sound before Fields Of War erupts from its portentous air with an armoury of infectious riffs and rhythmic confrontation. The classic/eighties metal influenced delivery of Jarusso soon erupts from the battlefield and though it is a general vocal flavouring which we generally find hard to embrace as a style, his presence and prowess only adds to the track’s heavy/classic metal nurtured appeal and enjoyment.

Pugnale’s guitar craft and enterprise is another potent feature and provides even more attention grabbing enticement within next up Road To Hell, his grooves wrapping round ears with infectious intent as the rhythms of Inserillo and Cola rap and throb with flirtatious aggression. Growing into a definite best track contender it is swiftly rivalled by the blues rock lined strum of Memories; a track with a whiff of stoner rock and grunge to its relatively calm but increasingly tempestuous climate

Thrash and alternative hues colour the metal heart of The Net, wiry grooves luring quick pleasure into a just as enjoyable web of heavy and classic metal smelted invention. It is a trap as unpredictable as it is familiar in certain ways and another song adding to the album’s best passage of tracks though A Shade In Light with its opening feral riffs and nagging grooves within predacious shadows is as attention enslaving as anything around it. It never relinquishes that hold either as its dark trespass and melody woven predation continues to captivate.

Out Of This World follows and also ensures a compelling engagement with ears and appetite. It too has a darkness to its body and air which is disrupted and seared by bewitching sonic flames and melody hot tendrils and it is maybe no coincidence that for us the truly standout tracks are those bred in the shadows.

The thrash poked chug of I8 is old school metal/hard rock at its most wild and frivolous but built on open craft and adventurous mischief which seems to get more daring by the twist while Straight At The Heart closes things up by uncaging a rock ‘n’ roll holler not too hard to have body and spirit bouncing with.

Generally classic/heavy metal is a flavour others will appreciate more than us here but we cannot deny that Silver P, band and album, pleasured and captivated before getting under the skin in many ways.

Silver P is out now via Red Cat Records across all worldwide digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/SilverPugnale

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Johnny Wore Black – Ultra Violent Light

Pretty much enamoured with the Johnny Wore Black sound and creative adventure since its first couple of singles way back in 2012, the past two to three years have been seemingly rather quiet for the band. It has as ever been a busy time for the project’s creator and vocalist/writer Jay Coen though, the man throwing his stuntman body and audacity around in a number of features you may have heard of which include Game Of Thrones, Ready Player One, Spectre, Hitman’s Bodyguard, Rogue One, Spiderman-Far From Home and more. Now the band has returned with new album Ultra Violent Light, a simply compelling release which shows that Coen has also been rather busy these past months growing, honing, and exploring his project’s already established musical prowess.

Released in two parts over the course of 2014, Johnny Wore Black’s debut album, Walking Underwater, deservedly drew acclaim and a major flood of fans the way of the band. It was a tapestry of melody wired metal and rapacious rock as contagious as it was imaginative and emotively provocative. Ultra Violent Light is more of the same yet a whole new realm of craft and invention across every aspect making its predecessor so captivating.

Coen’s continuing link up with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson is as alive and potent as it has ever been within Ultra Violent Light too, for which he has also enlisted the creative courage of Earthtone 9 members in drummer Simon Hutchby and guitarist Gez Walton, the latter also producing the album alongside David Bottrill (Tool, Stone Sour, Dream Theater), to realise his new collection of songs.  Additional enterprise from keyboardist Cameron Daniel William Hill, cellist Kate Shortt, vocalist Adam Sedgewick, and bassist/vocalist George Donahue only adds to the bold and imaginative canvas of the release.

Ultra Violent Light opens up with latest single Gun True Love and instantly had attention wrapped up as Coen’s vocals come entangled in the evocative wires cast by the guitar. It is a coaxing which respectfully nags but with an intimation of darkness which expands as the track erupts with muscular dexterity. The tone of Ellefson’s bassline is growling manna to these ears but just as magnetic is the web of melodic enticement and vocal harmonics which tempts from within the more volatile climate of sound and emotion.

Straight away there is a richer depth and feel to songwriting and music in comparison to previous releases, a realisation compounded by next up One Sexy Scar. Carrying drama from its very first note, the song breaks from its slightly tempestuous entrance into a composed stroll with warm keys and melodic caresses. Even so there is a perpetual lining of volatility which simmers and boils up as the mercurial character and air of the track persistently enthrals before the following Plastic Ocean creates its own tantalising yet stormy captivation of sound and character. It is a moment of seduction as threatening and imposing as it is flirtatious, in so many ways a predator and relentlessly alluring.

Honey Club is similar in nature with the big swings of Hutchby an instinctive incitement even when adding restraint to their trespass and the wiry intimation of Walton’s guitar as provocative as the grizzled voice of Ellefson’s bass. Another track bewitchingly capricious, Coen’s ever individual tones croon and richly lures the listener into the heart of the song, a contender for best track with its unapologetically resourceful touch and darkly brooding imagination.

Through the likes of the arguably less bold but just as infectious and dark RIP Mr Man and Boy Soldier with its melancholic grace, emotive intimacy, and turbulence corrupted tranquillity, band continues to expand the emotion fuelled storytelling and creative emprise of the release. It is an adventure which reveals more by the listen, the deeper into its heart you venture the more it expresses its richness and agility as proven yet again by the similarly composed Southern Storm, a song with a seemingly intensely personal heart amidst a military rhythmic bearing. It has echoes of Big Country to its inventive scenery and an Americana/folk whisper to its breeze in a proposition becoming more powerful and compelling with each listen.

Broken uncages an anthemic tempest of metal infested rock ‘n’ roll next, the track an robustly eventful and muscular affair with a virulent catchiness and evocative twists of thoughtful calm to its armoury while the album’s following title track borders on the carnivorous with its rhythmic spine and senses prowling riffs, but a predatory stalking aligned to vocal and melodic charisma lined with emotional angst.

The album closes with Ultimate Fighter which deceptively opens with Coen’s magnetic tones alongside Hutchby’s spirited beats under a sonic sigh aligned to a shadow courting grumble of bass. It subsequently ignites in a chained tempest with beats exploring even greater tenacity as guitars flame and vocals roar. It never explodes into the beast expected but becomes a just as dynamic and imposing anthem with invention in its enterprise and zeal in its release of that adventure.

It is truly an outstanding finale to a release which thrilled from the off but really came to life and magnificence by the subsequent ventures into its imaginative lair, becoming a seriously must explore encounter along the way.

Ultra Violent Light is out now via EMP Label Group across most stores.

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com/   https://www.facebook.com/johnnyworeblack   https://twitter.com/johnnyworeblack

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Saviours

Pic By Gord Weber

Recent times have seen a growing wealth of eighties bred metal bands rising from their assumed demise or slumber. Thrash metal especially seems to have that power of resurrection. Some of those bands are venturing into new areas, some simply continuing what they did best back in the day which lured potent attention, success and reputation. Infrared sits in the second camp, their love and hunger for classic thrash openly inspired by contemporarys like the Big 4 as well as the influence of Sabbath, Maiden and the likes. As old school thrash never dates or tires in our ears, a resourcefully woven and imaginatively delivered encounter of said genre has a welcoming place and the new album from the Canadians is that and more.

Hailing from Ottawa, Infrared grew from local legends to stirring real attention within the national metal scene. Their sound was and is rooted in 70s and early 80s metal, bands such as Accept, Scorpions, and Judas Priest alongside those already mentioned inspirations on the quartet. Their rise came to a halt as life took members down different paths until 2014 saw three of the original four reuniting; vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx coming together again. Original bassist Shawn Thompson had since relocated to Miami so Mike Forbes was brought in to complete the line-up. The foursome then released debut album No Peace which featured songs written all those years ago. Now successor Saviours brings eight brand new tracks to ears, songs which swiftly grabbed ours as themes of “demagogues, dictators, and religious leaders professing to be the saviours of the world but instead inflict the most brutal attacks on humanity imaginable” roared.

Saviours erupts into life with Project Karma its opening magnetic yet portentous lure, one becoming even predacious as it prowls the senses. A delicious groove spears it’s stalking, a swinging proposal aflame with sonic enterprise and rhythmic incitement. Its initial lengthy instrumental is irresistible and only accentuated once the warrior tones of Kamal backed by the band head the song’s even fuller assault. Familiar and fresh hues collude in its web, imagination blossoming across its fiery body as a tremendous start to Saviours is set.

That predatory air retains its presence within The Demagogue, the following song also a court of threat and contagion which almost swaggers around ears as the guitars spin their sonic threads and rhythms pounce. Like a fusion of bands like Testament and Slayer, it hits the spot; increasing its temptation as calmer climes are ventured and melodic intimation embraced. It’s subsequent rising heat and intensity brings it back to its original sonic inference before Saviour explores an even darker trespass of menace and seduction. As we suggested, Infrared is not set on reinventing the wheel of thrash metal or even their core sound but there is a bold lining of adventure and imagination which makes their music and especially this track stand out.

Through the melodic and melancholic elegance to tempestuous roar of The Fallen and the voracious charge of All In Favour the album just hit the spot. Across both tracks the vocals of Kamal added more incitement to an appetite already happily feasting on the individual prowess and enterprise of the band, Forbes’ bass especially dark liquor stirring our taste buds. They are all attributes just as persuasive within the predatory They Kill For Gods and Father of Lies with its intensive atmosphere over increasingly manic and ferocious entrapment around demonic character. The most adventurous of all the tracks it simply enthralled.

The album finishes off with Genocide Convention, a trash dervish of sound and aggression with spiralling sonic wires and senses blistering turbulence. Our favourite track it brings the thoroughly and increasingly enjoyable release to a mighty close.

Uniqueness might be a rarity compared to familiarity within Saviours but from an already established base it breeds fresh adventure and captivation. The album lit our pleasure from start to finish and Infrared is further proof that very good things can only get better with age.

Saviours is out now through iTunes and other stores as well as @ https://infraredmetal.bandcamp.com

http://infraredmetal.ca   https://www.facebook.com/infraredmetal   https://twitter.com/infraredmetal

Pete RingMaster 27/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Promethium – Faces Of War

There is nothing better than hearing, release by release, the growth of a band in craft and sound especially when their potential is realised step by step whilst offering plenty more promise to be anticipated. Such has been the case with British metallers Promethium, a band who has openly blossomed record by record and now breaches a whole new plateau with Faces Of War.

Creating a sound merging old school with modern rapacious flavours, Lancaster hailing Promethium formed in 2007. Inspirations to the quintet included the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera, essences still colouring a sound today which is as individual to its creators as you would wish. Quickly releasing their first EP, The Revenge, it was in 2009 and with debut album, Welcome to the Institution, that the band grabbed our, as so many others, attention. It was a raw yet accomplished introduction rich with that earlier mentioned potential brought to some fruition in its successor Origins four years later. As it built upon its predecessor’s strengths, so Faces Of War builds upon the second album but with a far more dramatic impact in songwriting to imagination to craft.

A concept album with each song offering a different perspective to war, the album launches at the senses with opener Enemies of Fate. A portentous sonic tone lures a march of riffs and rhythms into view with grooved armoury in its midst as vocalist Steve Graham swiftly joins the attack. It is a composed assault though, the band almost sizing up the listener rather than going at them full charge, providing a healthy mix of intrigue and predacious intimation. In no time guitarists Dan Lovett-Horn and Rossi are weaving a transfixing tapestry which is more than matched by the great vocal backing unity between Rossi and bassist Henry Greenwood; just two aspects in the inescapable maturity and growth in the band’s sound already being unveiled.

The outstanding start is followed by the similarly impressive Declaration. From its initial grooved trespass and Graham’s earnest calls, the track just wormed its way under the skin. The swinging strikes of drummer Kev Yates potently stir the senses, their rapacious incitement aligned to the groaning contagion of Greenwood’s bass as again a great maze of sonic enterprise is cast by the guitars with Curran Murphy guesting with a flavoursome solo. Drops in intensity brings spoken words from Nev Jones as Graham croons, a fluid twist which subsequently sparks a roaring finale before the outstanding P.O.W steps forward with its own dark clouds and intent. Grooves and rhythms instantly collude around vocals as an irritability fuels the nature of the track, essences of those aforementioned influences to the band spicing the volatile air of the track.

A shadowed calm is brought in by next up Shell Shock, its atmosphere as claustrophobic as it is seductive. That reflection rich restraint intermittently erupts in a cauldron of turbulence and emotive turmoil yet all the time guitars continue to weave a suggestive web of melody and predation. It is another gem and though only four songs in fair to say Faces Of War had us firmly hooked; a grip only tightened by 20,21,15 and its wirily grooved stroll. With Barry Mills sharing vocals with Graham across the song it boils with sonic dexterity while rumbling with rhythmic manipulation.

Such the massive heights of the first half of the album maybe it is inevitable that the task of living up to what came before slips up meaning personal tastes are not always stoked up as rigorously yet everything about Turncoat, from its vocal mix and rousing rhythms to sonic invention, is an ear grabbing proposition. It just misses some of the major sparks of its really striking predecessors.

As soon as the grooved webbing of Stolen Valour wraps ears straight after appetite was back to greedy, guitars and rhythms almost dancing on the senses with their snarling and badgering enterprise as again a vocal blend simultaneously entices and harries. With every passing minute the track simply blossoms as it evolves, harmony loaded vocals and creative unpredictability fuelling its compelling arsenal of invention. Another candidate for best track it is swiftly followed in matching captivation by Final Solution, itself an almost deceptive proposal being as intimidating and predatory as it is invasively infectious.

Featuring one of our favourite guitarists in Jay Parmar, Kill on Demand is one of those rousing anthems which have thoughts and spirit as eagerly active as the body. Led by the crunching beats of Yates and the brooding tones of Greenwood’s bass, the track is a magnetic fusion of old school and current ferocious metal shaped by the ever imaginative work of Lovett-Horn and Rossi and capped by the stylish raft of Parmar.

The album closes with its title track, another rigorously catchy and aggressive creative raid warlike in its tone and galvanic in its character. Epitomising the fresh strength and guile not forgetting that real maturity in the band’s sound, the track is a masterful conclusion to one mighty fine release.

Promethium and their sound just go from strength to strength, in turn so too pleasure. Yet there is still the feeling that they are yet to hit their full potential which considering the sheer unrelenting  quality of Faces Of War is something to keenly anticipate.

Faces Of War is available now @ https://www.promethiumband.com/product-page/faces-of-war

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Hound – Dawning

Without a plaintive twang in sight, Dark Hound presents a new side to the assumed Nashville music scene though new album Dawning. Hear the Tennessee capital’s name and you automatically think country music in its glory but the ear grabbing quartet prove that its metal scene is in pretty good shape too.

Dawning is the band’s second album and sees them more than build on their well-received Oceans EP of 2015. That followed a self-titled debut full-length from a year earlier which itself sparked strong support across the local rock and metal scene. Formed in 2009, Dark Hound has persistently built and earned a potent reputation for themselves highlighted by Oceans and now set to be escalated by the Kaelin Tauxe/Dark Hound produced Dawning.

The band’s sound is a magnetic mix of flavours; heavy, alternative, and groove metal as prevalent as more progressive and voracious flavours. It is a blend which swiftly grabs attention within opener album Ashes of Your Worth. Instantly riffs ride the senses, the just as persuasive tones of vocalist/bassist ET Brown melodically surfing their tenacious waves. With grooves swiftly winding around ears as a grunge wash descends the track only tightens its grip, guitarists Evan Hensley and Preston Walls weaving a mesh of enterprise as crafty as it is imposing. The track is superb, taking little time to incite and inflame an appetite for stylish yet instinctively rapacious rock ‘n’ roll.

The ticking bomb of Josh Brown’s beats leads in the following Guilt Tripper, his bait accompanied by citric soaked grooves. The punk coated attack of ET’s voice soon joins the thrash spiced temptation, his bass invitingly throbbing as melodic hues infest voice and sound; the cycle repeating with greater endeavour as the track embraces fresh flavours each round. The song bears some of the inspirations to Dark Hound, essences of bands such as Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and more so Testament rising in its heavy metal exploits before making way for the equally infectious trespass of Carnival of Youth. ET’s seemingly calm tones again have an underlying snarl in their arsenal, it igniting with raw dexterity to match the fire of the sounds around him led by the rapier swings of Josh. Captivating from beginning to end, the track reminds of UK band Promethium a touch, the Dark Hound sound infusing their individual invention with more familiar ingredients to fine effect.

The opening whirl of guitar in The Answer had ears totally enthralled, its craft irresistible and continues to tempt across a song which to be honest otherwise did not make the same impact as its predecessors yet was the centre of attention in its increasingly enjoyable company before Crisis of Hope takes centre stage. It too makes a transfixing entrance, its hook fuelled lure Skids like and subsequently coring an emerging Jane’s Addiction-esque stroll. As the previous song, it was bit of a slow burner on ears though making a more than decent first impression, but grew minute by minute, listen by listen into another highly enjoyable encounter within Dawning if still missing the heights of the first trio.

Predacious in tone and sound Thrown to the Wolves quickly hits the spot next, the track almost crawling over the senses even with its eventual lively gait and nagging persistence while Stripped Away aligns acoustic flirtation and creative drama for its own gripping theatre. Considered and seductive, boisterous veering on rabid, the song is a carousel of adventure making a big statement for best song, both tracks in the running and matched all the way by the raucous yet harmonically teasing Balancing Act. Again recognisable flavours collude with strong surprises for a proposal which infested ears and appetite like an aural addiction.

Through the shadowed lined charge of The Jagged Edge pleasure was constant though certain moments did not connect with personal tastes as firmly as others, nothing though to dismiss the increasingly persuasive encounter over, while Thrashgasm delivered exactly what you would expect with its title with aggression and creative passion energy, the snarl of the bass and the ever energetic vocal incitement especially enjoyable.

The album concludes with Here Lies Truth and immediately trespasses ears with carnal riffs and teasingly salacious grooves. Again vocals simply draw involvement as guitars badger and conjure, rhythms imposing and driving song and spirit in fine style alongside as Dawning closes on another high

After the first couple of involvements we would have said Dark Hound had something worth checking out, numerous listens later it is a proposition which needs to be explored. This is a fine band in the making with an album we have found ourselves only getting greedier over.

Dawning is released digitally and on CD January 19th, available @ https://darkhound.bandcamp.com/album/dawning

https://www.dark-hound.com/    https://www.facebook.com/darkhoundband    https://twitter.com/darkhoundband

Pete RingMaster 19/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Doll Skin – Manic Pixie Dream Girl

As they grab a breath after successfully being part of the 2017 Vans Warped Tour, Arizona pop punk rockers Doll Skin continue to grab attention with their recently released sophomore album, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The successor to their acclaimed 2016 debut, In Your Face (Again), the new album uncages more of the Phoenix hailing quartet’s aggressive punk fuelled infection and hard rock tenacity to continue the ear grabbing potency of its predecessor.

Meeting at the Phoenix School of Rock in 2013, Doll Skin have only flourished from the attention of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson who subsequently produced In Your Face (Again), and its acclaim garnering success which escalated the initial well received release of the outfits first EP, In Your Face on Ellefson’s own imprint Emp Label Group. Last year not only saw Doll Skin’s first album greedily received but the band hit the road and shows alongside the likes of Otep, Lacey Sturm, Fire From The Gods, Hellyeah, Dead Kennedys, Escape The Fate, September Mourning, Through Fire, and numerous more. It was a busy time continuing through this year and sure to intensify with the release of Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Produced and Mixed by Evan Rodaniche from Cage9, the album opens up with Shut Up (You Miss Me) and instantly has ears bound in a hip stealing hook; that potent lure continuing through Nicole Rich’s bass as things calm and the alluring tones of vocalist Sydney Dolezal jump in. Soon the busy and energetic heart of the track rises again, jabbing beats and catchy vocal delivery lining its swinging infection loaded melodic punk gait. There are no major surprises within the song but everything about it has body and spirit involved before Daughter up the ante with its hard rock inspired declaration. Defiant in soul and adventurous in character, the song flows from calm reflection to anthemic ferocity with sublime ease; the guitar of Alex Snowden suggestive and inventive as Meghan Herring’s rhythms pure rock ‘n’ roll behind more irresistible vocal boisterousness, singular and across the band.

Its impressive incitement is matched by that of Road Killa, a track which straight away is prowling the senses with a predatory edge. With Dolezal equally as imposing yet richly endearing in tone and presence, things only escalate in quality and rapacity as spiky hooks and wiry melodies collude with emotionally aroused vocals and the rhythmic tenacity of Herring and Rich. A rock/punk trespass, the track hits the sweet spot before Boy Band exposes its instinctive rock ‘n roll heart with relish and energy. Familiarity and fresh traits unite within the contagion of the track, its recognisable presence bolstered by its ear gripping resourcefulness as the album continues to richly tempt.

The sultry hues of Rubi entice and please next, its rhythmic grumble adding extra intrigue to a warm often fiery nature while Sunflower has an equally agitated underbelly to its more irritable and lively stomp. Though neither track quite matches up to those before them, each confirms that Doll Skin know how to sculpt the most flavoursome of hooks and twists in their songs as well as brew some seriously infectious strains within their music.

Both songs have a hint of Australian band Valentiine to them as too the beguiling Sweet Pea which follows though its melodic shimmer and elegant smoulder quickly shows originality all of its own as it lays a best track hand on attention. It is a treat of an encounter swiftly rivalled by the punk moulded stroll of Baby’s Breath but a song embracing an array of flavours within its harmonic temptation and volatile undercurrent. Again imagination and body are taken on an eventful and highly enjoyable ride but then turned on even more by the outstanding roar of Persephone. Carrying an eighties pop punk feel reminding of bands like The Photos and a modern rock ‘n’ roll ferocity akin to the likes of Courtesans, the song stalks and seduces with equal invention and boldness.

From one major highlight to another as the pure punk grouchiness of Puncha Nazi consumes ears and attention; the track a spirit stirring, rebel rousing surge of sound and intensity which actually misses out on delivering the donkey punch killer blow it hints at but still makes for another pinnacle within Manic Pixie Dream Girl before the emotionally haunted and melodically bewitching Uninvited brings things to a magnetic close. Adding just one more new turn to the imagination of the album’s body and Doll Skin songwriting as it boils to an inferno of a climax, the song provides a momentous finale to another seriously compelling outing with the band.

Over the first couple of listens, it was hard to say that Manic Pixie Dream Girl majorly built upon that first triumphant album but it was a deception as from there the release only blossoms with time to reveal a new depth to the Doll Skin sound and pretty much match the former’s impressive presence and by giving that time another 2017 highlight is the reward.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl is out now via EMP Label Group through most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/dollskinband    http://www.dollskinband.com

Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright