Dead Cross- Self Titled

Pic SAWA

As the world seemingly surges rather than drifts into bedlam it is maybe not surprising that a sound is rising to echo it’s chaotic and discord fuelled order. It resonates from the creative union within Dead Cross, a project said to have emerged “out of a series of impractical schemes, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation.” Featuring the combined acclaimed talent and creative ingenuity of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas….), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox), and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross has just released their self-titled debut album; a deviously manipulative and skilfully conjured tempest of noise and intent, simply manic manna for the senses and imagination.

There really is no need to provide background to the members of Dead Cross, each individually and within a mass of bands having set down incitements and inspirations so many have fed upon and blossomed their own ventures with. So it is straight to the first breath of the foursome’s first release we go and the initial sonic mist of Seizure and Desist. From its midst surging raw riffs and rampaging rhythms burst, their assault soon joined by the distinctive and ever rapaciously mercurial vocals of Patton. Just as recognisable are the dynamically imaginative and textile swings of Lombardo; his anthemically biting incitement entangled in the sonic rapacity of Crain and the grumbling bestial tones of Pearson’s bass. A senses crumbling assault of hardcore, he track is as multi-flavoured as it is uncompromisingly furious and a hint of the developing web of noise and varied rock ‘n’ roll infesting the punk heart of the release.

The following Idiopathic even further harries and bullies the senses, its rhythms fuelling a barbarous catchiness which spreads to the united vocal attack and raw tone and causticity of the outstanding track. Unpredictability is as rampant as animosity, mischievous craft and fun equally as bold within the senses ravishing, body inciting maelstrom. Every passing second brings a fresh breath of bold and devilish adventure, the track a dancing predator by the time it makes way for the waspish nagging and unrelenting beating of Obedience School. It is glorious stuff, barbarous and harmonically bewitching leaving a tapestry of punk, alternative metal, and gothic rock suggestion.

Shillelagh is simply punk rock yet hardcore unafraid to embrace the spices of other pungent flavours to its infectious animus; the result a venomous contagion which has the body bouncing and appetite drooling before the imagination is enslaved all over again by a riveting cover of the Bauhaus classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Infesting it with the kind of energy and boisterousness felt at the Batcave venue back in the day, Dead Cross ensure the shadows and haunting atmosphere of the original are still an invasive temptation; Crain casting veins of melodic acidity which alone beguiles the senses.

The caustic invasion of Divine Filth hits the spot dead centre right after too, Patton and co vocally swinging from imagination’s rafters as the music around them throws itself around like an imaginatively manic dervish, again every passing second bringing new twists and expectations destroying adventure. Grave Slave is equally as tenacious in tone and intent, the Suicidal Tendencies exploits of Lombardo seemingly inspiring the whole of Dead Cross as they funk out with raw intensity and rancorous resourcefulness whilst equally embracing a Melvins meets early Therapy? like friction. It is a highly addictive proposal within an album similarly growing drug like in its temptation.

The persistent creative harassment of The Future Has Been Cancelled matches the lure and entrapment of its predecessor with its own individual and increasingly ravenous quicksand of sound and invention, at one point sinking into a quagmire of heavy seduction before bursting out with its instinctive rabid virulence of energy and sound to head towards the waiting heavy set jaws of Gag Reflex. It too meanders and dashes through a landscape of evolving gaits and twisted manhandling of the listener; each turn increasing its magnetism and our subservience to its manipulation.

The industrially lined shadows of Church of the Motherfuckers brings the album to a mighty conclusion, the track lumbering along with a primal swagger as resonating beauty glistens in its atmosphere. On the ground irritability guides the tempestuous exploits of the track, its climate remaining relatively clam but around a volatile heart which beats with combustibility. Through it all Lombardo springs a rhythmic trap which enslaves body and spirit, his creative mastery the last word in persuasion as the album comes to a thrilling close.

The tag super-group is bound to accompany many references to Dead Cross but ignore them. The band is a real and potent new force in its own right, yes embracing the previous experiences and exploits of its creators but offering something very different and exciting to rival and outshine most hardcore/punk noise exploits around them.

The Dead Cross album is out now via Ipecac Recordings through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deadcrossofficial/

Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hey Colossus – The Guillotine

As proven time and time again with UK outfit Hey Colossus, the only thing expectations can assume is that any encounter with them will be thickly compelling and singularly distinct in theirs and the surrounding musical landscape. And so it is with new album The Guillotine, a release taking the sextet’s sound to a new terrain of adventure and unpredictability whilst bewitching body and imagination like never before.

Formed in 2013, Hey Colossus have persistently nurtured and evolved their sound and its exploration; from the earlier lo-fi sourced, psychedelic and heavy noise rock bred triumphs of Radio Static High and In Black And Gold, the two albums which really drew thick attention the way of the band through the more hi-fi live causticity of Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo, nothing has ever stood still or relaxed into one realm of imagination. Within those albums, there was an open quest to push things further and further.  The Guillotine is no different, a creative emprise of brooding tones and dark atmospheres woven into trespasses of the imagination and physical arousing of body and spirit. Using hindsight, there has been hints to this new vein of fertility within previous releases, especially those just mentioned but glimpses of something startling and vigorously thrilling which trespasses us now.

The Guillotine sees the controlled and new mesmeric tones of Paul Sykes to the fore, his presence almost like a storyteller and as boldly alluring as the sounds and voices found within the collective ingenuity of Rhys Llewellyn, Roo Farthing, Robert Davis, Joe Thompson, and Timothy Farthing alongside. The album begins with the tantalising dark psych rock of Honest To God, a track which is pure alchemy. Its initial wiry psych shimmer breeds a post punk lined meander as a slowly strolling guitar and bass grooves saunter across the awakening web of temptation. Every aspect is a rich lure, accentuated by Sykes’ gentle but dark vocal swing. Like a nostalgia kissed mix of Spizz Energi, Zanti Misfitz, and The Three Johns, the song teases the psyche with its seductive fingers while brewing up a raw energy which erupts with scuzzy zeal. Revolving through each stage of its perpetual metamorphosis, the song is pure manna for noise/post/psych punk hungry ears and appetite.

The exceptional start is swiftly followed by the fuzzier venture of Back In The Room, a track rolling on hypnotic rhythms and fizzing upon the senses with its three guitar pronged shuffle. The dual attack of vocals is just as magnetic, a collusion resourcefully driving the volatile proposition with a hint of The Birthday Party adding to its arousing shadows and increasingly rabid head. The song is part nagging dirge and part raw but multi-textured seduction united in a thorough captivation which eventually makes way for the gentler climate of Calenture Boy which smuggles its increasing delirium through ears while a smouldering climate is equally blessed with a sonic psychosis which sizzles with increasing heat second by second.

Its raw croon is followed by the mercurial enterprise of Experts Toll where beats dance with flirtatious trespass as the bass throws its own captivating dark steps into a jungle of craft and skittish imagination. The song’s relatively calm opening and agitated dexterity is subsequently given to more forceful inclinations, the track twisting into a heavily stomping, dirtily intensive brawl of enticing sound cored again by those unruffled vocals before Potions casts its own somnolent charms around ears like a melodic narcotic shaped with stout rhythms and veined with willowy psychedelic tendrils. As its creative elixir thickens so does its intensity but moving through the stages of evocative density with a calm and fluid ingenuity.

Though every track within The Guillotine had us locked into its snare, certain moments simply steal the passions; Englishman the stealthiest, glorious one of all. A stroll of senses clipping beats, broody basslines, and teasing riffs, the song simply bewitches. Scything melodies and infection loaded vocals only add to the irresistible bait enslaving ears and imagination which though not necessarily in matching sound, creates a tapestry rich in the attributes of XTC, Melvins, Talking Heads, and Fugazi; all twisted and reenergised by the unique imagination of Hey Colossus for total bliss.

The album concludes with firstly In A Collision, another brooding trap of sound and creative cunning as shadowy as it is instinctively catchy, even when its once darkly mellow body and atmosphere ignites with dirty raptorial virility. Raw beauty from start to finish, the song is succeeded by the album’s title track, an even more predatory proposal drenched in melancholy, antipathy, and sonic mesmerism with the bass at its earthiest, carnivorous best. With the guitars as potent in elegance or being abrasively bracing, the song is a final captivation to get hooked on and lost in.

The Guillotine is simply magnificent, leaping to the frontline of favourite releases of the year so far with its manipulation of body and imagination while proving Hey Colossus as one of, if not the, most exciting thing in the weaving of noise around.

The Guillotine is out June 2nd through Rocket Recordings and available @ https://heycolossus.bandcamp.com/album/the-guillotine

https://www.facebook.com/heycolossus/    https://heycolossusband.wordpress.com/    https://twitter.com/HeyColossus

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pink Muscles -The Signal

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

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

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fashion Week – So Last Season

Like the fall out and indeed initial impact of the detonation of a nuclear device, the sound of US noise mongers Fashion Week is a ravenous inescapable scourge feasting on flesh and senses. Debut album Prêt-à-Porter was savagely enjoyable proof of the fact, its release on Solar Flare Records a testing and thrilling examination of body and emotions. Now two years after its scorching eruption, the band has released So Last Season. A coming together of rare and unreleased material, including Fashion Week’s first demo, two EPs, live tracks and a couple of covers, the album oversees the birth of the band and its growth in sound right up to that first inimitable album.

Founded in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Joshua Lozano (Inswarm, Jarboe, Cobalt, Family, Shai Hulud, Vampillia), NYC hailing Fashion Week quickly drew eager attention with their diverse, melody tinged swarms of noise. Taking inspiration from the diverse likes of Unsane, Coalesce, and Botch through to Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Melvins, and Quicksand with plenty more embraced under their creative wing, Fashion Week soon sculpted their own distinctive dirty sound as evidenced by first EP, Applicator in 2011 and its successor Coextinction #11 two years after. Prêt-à-Porter was the wake-up call to broad attention which the striking re-emergence of earlier and rare material courtesy of So Last Season can now only reinforce.

The album opens with the three tracks which made up Coextinction #11, songs the band were invited to record for the internet label of Unsane’s Dave Curran, Coextinction Recordings. The raw, at times almost carnal assault of Heroin Chic is first. As nagging citric guitars and a gloriously grumbling bass instantly descend, an underlying melodic lure simmers and brews, subsequently taking its central spot in the grungy smog of sound. Warm vocals spring from within the addictive assault, welcoming yet as edgy as the intimidatingly voracious sounds around them.

Andrew Cunanan follows, its rural harmonica shared comeliness soon a tempest of hungry rhythms and greedy riffs with that snarling bass again addictive bait alongside the furnace of voice and guitar. As its predecessor though, melody and restraint get involved, hand in hand prowling the senses as the former laces seductively wiry grooves. The track is pure magnetism, a trait matched in strength by God Save McQueen. Its hardcore rapacity smothers ears before twisting them with a web of flavours all bleeding aural and emotional tartness.

The brief rabid attacks of both Fab and Smyze follow; two live cuts which infest body and psyche with their caustic holler and predatory sonic trespass with the second a beast of a proposal stalking the listener with its sludge bred intent. Their debilitating prowess is followed by a cover of the Helmet track, I Know. A calmer affair with harmonies instantly slipping their invitation into the more fractious draw of guitars and bass, the song flirtatiously twists and swings like a primal seductress, never moving out of second gear but only increasing its siren-esque appeal with each enterprising second.

The next three tracks come from un-released EP Little Black Dress which seemed to have been pushed aside as the band worked on Prèt-â-Porter. Lydian Hearst dances with discontent and melancholic charm first, melodies a sombre enticement and rhythms a truculent incitement though they too develop a vibrant if filth lined swing led by the ever gnarly bass. With Lozano’s vocals a plaintively bracing squall, a squall in time joined by a tamer presence, the track boils in touch and temptation before So Last Season unveils its abrasive grunge clad pop ‘n’ roll on the table. The song is a spiral of contrasts, like a maelstrom of Converge, Sofy Major, and Melvins, and as imposingly catchy as it is greedily corrosive.

The following Little Black Dress, featuring guest vocals from Dave Castillo, Kurt Applegate, and Tom Tierney, equally has infectiousness coursing irritable rock ‘n’ roll seeing bodies bouncing as the senses shrivel under vocal causticity and increasing sonic hostility, only to be re-animated by the spicy grooves entangling song and listener.

It would have been a crime if the EP had never seen the light of day, one of many major reasons to grab the album, a felony repeated if Rich Hallister, a song originally recorded for Prêt-à-Porter which the band eventually did not feel fitted, was not heard. It too is ferocity of noise and attitude with a virulent catchiness which enslaves ears and hips, rogue beats alone a busy temptation as vocals increasingly lose their grip on composure being matched by the growing bedlam of guitar.

With Vinny Signorelli of Unsane guesting on drums, Fashion Week takes on his band’s track Only Pain next. A potent mix of sample and keys draw the listener into the waiting doomscape of sound and emotion, Lozano searing it with his raw throated delivery backed by the equally apocalyptic and melancholic roar and melodic suggestion of guitars. It is a compelling take on a great track arguably giving an even grittier and rawer aspect to its emotionally decayed antipathy.

The digital version of So Last Season is completed by the re-mastered version of the band’s original demo, Applicator, which also comes as an additional 7” with a vinyl edition of the album. Beginning with the rusty hues of Fierce, the four tracks making up the release are the heart and seeds of Fashion Weeks’ current sound, the source of uncompromising intent and endeavour making up the impressive stature of Prêt-à-Porter. The track is undiluted sonic threat and emotional turmoil, a vat of creative rancor matched by that festering within the equally corrosive and catchy Heidi Klum and the hook wired Bryant Park, the second a web of guitar woven tempting and intrigue wonderfully sullied by Lozano’s flesh grazing vocal deliver and increasingly ruinous vitriol.

Completed by the hardcore scourge of Fabulous, the track pure venom in noise and presence, So Last Season is a must for newcomers to the band, for those who missed out on their earlier assaults and noise rock victims as a whole.

So Last Season is available now @ https://www.fashionweek.bandcamp.com/album/so-last-season

https://www.facebook.com/FashionWeekBand       https://fashionweeknoise.com/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Astral Cloud Ashes – Too Close to the Noise Floor

Album Art_RingMasterReview

With three attention grabbing and imagination sparking singles under the belt, Astral Cloud Ashes unveil debut album Too Close to the Noise Floor. It is a collection of songs which arouse and serenade the senses, often simultaneously as the project’s mesmeric songwriting and emotive melodic elegance seduces.

Astral Cloud Ashes is the new project of Jersey bred songwriter/musician Antony Walker, previously better known as one half of the Channel Islands hailing Select All Delete Save As. Having already created music under the name ALPA, amongst other monikers, Walker quickly sparked attention to his latest project last year with first single Too Close To The Noise Floor, the now title track to the new album. Primarily a solo project but with backing vocalist Jason Neil a permanent fixture in the band, Astral Cloud Ashes draws on inspirations ranging from The Cure, Bloc Party, Interpol, At the Drive In, Mars Volta, and Say Anything as well as flavours bred in indie and alternative rock/pop. Equally though, the album shows bold ventures into more progressive and post rock pastures without losing the instinctive catchiness and melodic romancing found in those earlier propositions.

Mixed across its tracks by Gareth [The Fold], Edd HartwellPaul Miles, Daniel Szanto,  and Walker himself, with the mastering undertaken by Tim Turan, Too Close to the Noise Floor opens with The Man I Had To Become. Instantly a temptation of bubbling guitar captures ears, the coaxing quickly joined by a wave of rhythmic jabbing and a thicker weave of melodic guitar and harmonious vocals. It is a gentle yet boisterous affair easily whipping up the imagination and spirit with Walker’s distinctive tones the mellow flame within a more combustible web of enterprise. It is a great mix which marked those early singles but already seems to have blossomed within the album into a more adventurous and confident entangling of the listener.

The great start is followed by the album’s title track, Too Close to the Noise Floor showing a rawer, more imposing energy as it takes the imagination into the intimacy and adventure of cosmonautics but equally involves “family values and unwanted first-world paranoia” in its energetically hugged theme. Punching its rhythmic and contagious essences home, it also carries a hazy climate to its atmosphere with the bass a deliciously throaty lure amongst nothing but virulent temptation. Embracing a XTC feel and Melvins like revelry, the track has body and appetite eagerly involved in swift time.

Grateful for the Ghost In Our House steps forward next and as the last track showed a more formidable presence to its predecessor, this song reveals a fiercer predation to its opening and subsequent invention within another wash of suggestive melodies and smouldering dynamics. Though not in the actual sound, it is easy to see where an influence of The Cure comes into play, Walker creating an emotional and musical drama which has the senses riding a roller coaster.

Recent single Get Real follows, strolling along with the ever present catchiness which Walker conjures with seeming ease across every track. Guitars pop and bubble throughout the song as rhythmic tenacity creating an anthemic frame to the vocal and melodic ingenuity before Flashback takes over. A calmer and mellower engagement but even more emotively forceful, the song caresses ears with a lone guitar melody before being joined by a heavily shadowed bassline aligned to a broader floating melodic enterprise. Vocally, Walker provides an introspective narrative as provocative as the poetic almost volcanic fuzziness of his guitar. Adding another individual shade and hue to the album, the track shows the broader landscape of Walker’s songwriting and an intimacy, whether personal or observational, which fuels his words.

With drummer Max Saidi guesting, Avant Blah! strolls boldly in next, its lo-fi pop ‘n’ roll blending Weezer infection with Pavement-esque invention while its successor Lites almost lumbers into view in comparison with the brooding bass and irritable riffs to the fore. In all songs there is a great repetitious quality brewed by Walker, here almost coming over drone like to great effect around the solemn melody and the similarly melancholic vocals. As it expands though, a wave of rich textures and rousing energies flood the song, returning throughout the low-key yet thickly enjoyable, almost imposing encounter.

The excellent This Once Great Place has an air of The Cure again with its atmospheric landscape, reminding of the A Forest/Pornography era of the trio across its own captivating journey before the equally impressive Housing in a Bubble makes a grab for best track with its more punkish/grungy roar of sound. Everything about it has a snarl not heard on the album previously; revealing more of the diversity the release carries whilst stirring up a fresh greed in ears and pleasure.

Our Holiday brings Too Close to the Noise Floor to a sombre and enthralling close, the track initially a dark sigh but soon building its own catchy canter loaded with spiky hooks and spicy melodies around another slightly foreboding and compelling bassline. Once more thoughts of Robert Smith and co are sparked but again as a flavour in something individual to Astral Cloud Ashes. It is a riveting end to a striking and increasingly impressive first album from Walker.

The clues to the project’s potential were there in its first trio of singles, and now confirmed and partly realised by Too Close to the Noise Floor. The feeling is that there is plenty more to come and to be explored within that promise, and going by the strength of this thoroughly enjoyable offering, we are all in for many treats ahead.

Too Close to the Noise Floor is released July 11th @ http://apple.co/1RFvoL8

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes   https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/   https://twitter.com/AstralCloudAsh

Pete RingMaster 08/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Falls – One Hundred Percent Strong

FALLS Promo_RingMasterReview

We all have bands, and no doubt many, which almost with their first creative breath spark an instinctive and lustful affair between their sound and ears. For us UK noise poppers Falls is one such union, a riotous quartet which spins webs of invention so contagious that they make the common cold seem lazy. Back in 2014, the band had us hooked with their self-tagged gash pop/fuck rock via the Dirtbox EP. Now they have unleashed its successor, One Hundred Percent Strong; a bigger, bolder, and even more devilish affair to rapture over.

Formed in 2013, Falls has been a hungry and irresistible live presence from day one, tours and shows with the likes of Allusondrugs, Shikari Sound System, God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks among their own headlining conquests. The Dirtbox EP equally sparked attention upon its release, eclipsed the next year by the band’s two track single Mastiff which saw a host of radio play and support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Alex Baker, and Sophie K. Ahead of a co-headlining tour with I Cried Wolf and an appearance at ArcTanGent in August, Falls is now uncaging One Hundred Percent Strong, a four-track stomp sure to outshine its predecessors in acclaim to match the leap in sound and invention.

There is a more mature and accomplished feel to the songs with the band’s latest offering, but without defusing the loco imagination and quick fire twist and turns which have already marked out their sound and imagination. In fact those elements have been honed with an even keener creative devilment to keep ears and the imagination as busy as the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll does the body. With everything combined, Falls’ music is like a mix up in a noise infested pop factory blending early XTC with Hawk Eyes as seepage from Melvins adds a thrilling contamination.

front cover one hundred percent _RingMasterReviewIt all starts with the kinetic shuffle of Get Well Soon; a track instantly accosting ears with throbbing bass grooves and rolling beats as the guitars of Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall perpetually cast wiry hooks and teasing riffs. That alone is enough to infest the psyche and lift the spirit, but add the rousing vocals of the band, with one of the three string pickers leading though no idea which, and you have instant emotional arousal. The track continues to swing and thump, even as its pop fuelled chorus dances provocatively on the imagination. It is simply glorious; we all find manna for the ears in certain songs and this is ours.

Though it is quickly matched by the even more tenacious and slight psychotic Shady Nasty. Again grooves and hooks are swift bait around the lively inviting beats of Steff Jones with the band’s vocals further harmonic and mischief making fun. There is also a volatility to the encounter, at times it almost intimidating ears with the resonating snarl of Ben Griffiths’ bassline a prominent enticement though it is just as compelling in the warmly flirtatious moments too.

SWARM comes next and lives up to its name as riffs crawl incessantly through ears, though there is no particular urgency to their incitement. Instead the song writhes around with steely grooves and off-kilter exploits within a web of punk hooks and noise rock sensibility. Ultimately, it is as funky as it is ferocious, as poppy as it is cantankerously inventive and pure alchemy for the senses and at this point our very greedy appetite for the release.

There is no relaxing of the twisted tempting and addictive ingenuity with closing track Death In Disco Shoes either, the track leaping around like a hyperactive sugar fuelled teenager not knowing whether to party hard or be creatively responsible and doing both with unbridled zeal.

It is an exhilarating end to one of the year’s major propositions so far and no doubt will remain so. Falls and One Hundred Percent Strong are noisy, raucous, and prone to addictive habits; the very best kind of rock ‘n’ roll.

The One Hundred Percent Strong EP is out now via Venn Records digitally and on 7” vinyl @ https://www.vennrecords.com/shop/music/fallsvinyl/

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

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Boudain – Way of the Hoof

BOUDAIN_SPACELAB

For those with a lust for the groove and the fattiest slabs of heavy rock ‘n’ roll flavoured meat, the checking out of US stoners Boudain might just be the best order of the day. The quartet has just unleashed debut album Way of the Hoof,  a ravenous swamp of stoner and sludge infested waters  which preys on the psyche whilst feeding the appetite for dirty and fiery rock ‘n’ roll. Influences to the band include the likes of Sleep, Melvins, Kyuss, and Fu Manchu which their album does not shy away from bringing to the party in flavour across its eight thumping trespasses, especially the last of the four. To that though, Boudain add their own meaty sauce for something which mighty not be breaking the banks of originality but certainly feeds the soul and appetite for imposing metal and invasive rock.

Consisting of bassist/vocalist Chris Porter, guitarists Brian Lenard and David Karakash, and drummer Stephen Jester, Boudain released their first EP in 2013. The self-titled six-track offering caught the ears and attention of a great many which Way of the Hoof is now poised to escalate, to easily assumed, broader heights. Opener Sleazy Feats swiftly has ears wrapped in almost salacious grooves as rhythms badger and bear down on the senses with a hefty hand. Riffs and vocal swipes only add to the highly agreeable introduction, a potency which continues as the song swings with zeal and enterprise across its fiery body. Surprises are not an open proposal though a freshness to the familiar landscape is, and increasingly so as Lenard and Karakash incite their grooves and toxic melodies to breed an even stronger strain of temptation.

Boudain art _RingMasterReviewSome might suggest that the album is a touch muddy but as the opener and following Neptune alone show, it is a thick smothering which adds to the swampy, at times almost delta blues like, intensity and richness of songs and release. The second track brings a bit of punk to its contagious confrontation too, clashing percussion uniting with the predation of the rhythms as the song simultaneously swings and prowls. Quickly it eclipses the impressive strength of its predecessor, continuing to impress and inflame ears with its thickening web of grooves and sonic acidity before allowing CODA to share its own imposing wares. Whereas the first pair flew at the jugular and senses, this track prowls, almost stalks the listener as its tar thick sludge breeding consumes ears. Porter’s vocals, or Lenard’s as the two apparently share duties across the release, again provide a great mix of growl and dirt encrusted infectiousness as they match the textures of the sound around them.

A cosmic ambience lines the sweltering lure of guitar as 3 Man steps up next; that sultry invitation and suggestiveness lying upon a great rhythmic rumble led by the swinging throaty infectiousness of the bass. The song soon slips into a more expected stoner blaze though drums and bass continue to cast their rhythmic hex on ears and appetite as the guitars weave an intoxicating tapestry; a knit which continues right to the end even as the song becomes more aggressively volatile.

First Class rips into ears next, it taking the listener back to the more hellacious type of assault the album opened with as tangy grooves and scything beats take their share of attention along with the brooding bass and attitude soaked vocals. Once more, a recognisable air to the track is rife but only within that welcoming Boudain character that ensures nothing is as simple as being a copy of those earlier mentioned influences or others.

Through The Mighty Turn Around and its sonically spatial exploration, and the rawer bruising stroll of Disco Jimmy, ears and album continue to be bound together. The first of the two has some of the most mouth-watering bait in its grooves and psyche infesting rock ‘n’ roll whilst its successor is a psych rock igniting of the imagination which lights the flames of thorough enjoyment if not the major excitement some of its earlier companions provoked. Nevertheless both leave ears more than content with the closing cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla adding its enjoyable feed; the band treating the track to its prowling strain of sludge and stoner predation.

It is a fine end to an album which might have provided its major moments in its first half but from start to finish only inspires a real want for more and the idea that Boudain have the potential to sculpt major temptations luring equal attention ahead. They have plenty to get a little lustful over right now too which Way Of The Hoof offers with relish.

 Way Of The Hoof is out now @ http://boudain.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 21/04/2016

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