Mongrel – Evolution

MONGREL - Evolution - front cover - scaled

Towards the end of last year US punk metallers Mongrel released the single Snakes to provide a very appetising taster for their next EP whilst simultaneously reconfirming themselves as unique and passionate provocateurs of antagonistic punk rock and dirty metal. The band now unleashes that highly anticipated Evolution EP, a release which surely places them on the precipice of a well-deserved intensive world spread spotlight. Sealing a spot on an impending cover mounted CD of the renowned Terrorizer magazine as well, The Boston quartet are poised to make the next big step in recognition. It is an ascent their releases have threatened to spark for the past couple of years but it is easy to feel and expect that Evolution will be the potent fuse that achieves the breakthrough.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist Adam Savage, Mongrel has earned themselves the reputation of one of the hardest working and increasingly acclaimed bands in the underground of metal and punk rock. Each one of their releases has thrust the band on another lofty step though it was the addition of vocalist Jessica Sierra in 2010 where things truly clicked into place and the arguably dormant fire in their already impressive sound and presence erupted. From The New Breed of Old School EP of that year through the following Declamation EP in 2011, there was a new potency and venom on the grooves, hooks, and rhythms which core Mongrels’ invention. Alongside these successes the band live has earned a reputation most bands could only dream of, their sharing of stages with the likes of GWAR, Korn, Otep, Sepultura, Prong, Halestorm, Wednesday13, Fu Manchu, Dizzy Reed, Misfits FEAR, Blitzkid, Trashlight Vision, Michale Graves, Mindset X and hordes more garnering tides of fans and recognition. The Reclamation album of 2012 saw the band ascend to new heights in songwriting and imagination which now Evolution pushes further forward. Recorded with Jim Foster (POD, Nullset, Sully Erna), mixed by Dave Fortman (Slipknot, Evanescence, Godsmack), and mastered by Howie Weinberg, (Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pantera), the EP is a stirring anthemic brawl which is as contagious and addictive as it is raw and lyrically uncompromising.

Snakes opens things up and as soon as the initial controlled blaze of guitar from Savage hits the ears there is a sense of impending infection which is soon confirmed by the crisp beats of drummer Mike Hogan and even more so by the riveting vocals of Sierra. With the pulsating bass groan from Michael Ariza added to the mix, the song is rapidly into a potent stride heading towards its virulently compelling chorus. The band takes little time in enslaving the imagination, treating it further with a seamless drift into a smouldering sultry passage with emotive guitar rubs and a glow to the voice of Sierra, a lady who seems to own ears, thoughts, and songs whether she is roaring with antagonism or seducing like a temptress. Building up its energy and passions throughout the lighter flight, the song creates a dramatic crescendo of a finale which leaves appetite licking lips and emotions looking at a lustful hunger.

Mongrel have a certain distinct sound which never deceives its source but within that the band with Evolution seems to be exploring their punk side this time around, the first song giving a major hint which the following Oxygen Mask elaborates on within a still heavily insatiable metal toxicity. An acidic groove hits ears first, though rhythms and a great gritty bassline is courting its coaxing. Pulled together by the commanding vocals, the track twists through a predatory intensity and gait, Savage spearing the air with metallic vines of sonic bait. Persistently turning with singular moments for the bass and guitars to flirt with ears, the song recalls essences of Siouxsie and the Banshees, certainly if they had embraced metal. Imposing but respectfully forceful the track backs up the immense start easily even if without matching its heady heights.

That first plateau is equalled by Consumed; a deliciously abrasive enticement of caustic hooks and senses burrowing grooves. Guitars worm under the skin within seconds with rhythms swinging punches soon after, the combination a hungry platform for the dark hearted bass sounds and rich vocals to colour their canvas. Unleashing a swagger to match the almost brutal energy, the song stomps with epidemic irresistibility, those spiteful grooves especially inescapable whilst sonic hues sculpted by Savage in an engrossing solo provide further rigorous colour to the outstanding incitement.

Best Revenge has the hard task to follow the triumph which it does with a rawer hostile punk enticement, the bass finding a carnivorous throat to its presence and the guitar a combative attitude to its riffs and squalling flames. Once again though it is caged by great controlled rhythm work by Hogan and led by the expressive might of Sierra. The track is not as immediate as others on Evolution but emerges as another pinnacle with punk nostrils flaring and metallic muscles challenging.

The release is concluded with another sizeable success with the riotously catchy Over And Over. An addiction forging bassline sparks ears first before riffs and rhythms cascade upon the lure to build a rampant canter of punk rock. Hooks and grooves from both stringed antagonists grip with a constant temptation whilst Sierra swings syllables and intent into their barbed scenery with the expected but never under-appreciated skill and passion she brews. It is an exhilarating conclusion to a tremendous encounter, leaving ears, thoughts, and passions bursting with greed for more.

Guiding their sound to a side step in many ways from that taking Reclamation to such heights, Evolution stands side by side with its predecessor’s undoubted success and quality, though with a heart for well-crafted punk rock if pushed the EP shades it. What is clear for all though is that Mongrel just goes from strength to strength whilst evolving with a constant flair and voraciously appetising enterprise. It really is about time the band was known worldwide and Evolution might just be the trigger.

Evolution is available on iTunes on May 20th and via all major online retailers and streaming services from June 3rd with physical copies available through Mongrel, Unable Records and Amazon.

http://www.MongrelBand.com

http://mongrel.bandcamp.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 16/05/2014

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Mongrel – Snakes

Mongrel

The first release since the outstanding Reclamation album of 2012, US punk metallers Mongrel unleash their new single Snakes and continue to set new standards for themselves and aspiring rock/metal bands. Taking from their upcoming Evolution EP which is slated for an early 2014 release, the new track employs all the renowned and expected inventive and addictive aspects of the band but gives them a new fire to burn explosively within further exploration from the band and their songwriting. As anthemic and contagious as you would expect from the Boston quartet, Snakes reinforces the hunger of their fans for their bruising, riotous sounds whilst laying down plenty of bait to recruit new greedy hearts.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist Adam Savage, Mongrel has over the years evolved into a highly sought after live band and a formidably potent studio encounter with a wealth of releases strikingly marking their steady and continual rise. Since forming the band has laid waste to stages alongside the like of GWAR, Korn, Otep, Sepultura, Prong, Halestorm, Wednesday13, Fu Manchu, Dizzy Reed, and the Misfits numerous times as well as touring with others such as FEAR, Blitzkid, Trashlight Vision, and Michale Graves, all the time continually drawing acclaim. Equally from the start their releases have lit up the passions of fans as well as the independent airwaves, the band a regular on the likes of shows at http://www.Audioburger.com and The Bone Orchard podcast, but it is fair to say that the full potency and heart of the band exploded when they enticed vocalist Jessica Sierra into the fold, her snarling vocal beauty igniting something lying dormant in the band with previous frontmen. Through The New Breed of Old School and Declamation EPs on to Reclamation, Mongrel has grown and evolved into an intensive and magnetic force which Snakes only elevates further.

The single wastes no time in tempting the ears as the guitar of Savage skilfully strokes the extremities with his inviting riffs, its call soon a0370760246_2joined by a pulsating bass call from Michael Ariza and the crisp beats provided by drummer Mike Hogan. Settling into an open temptation, the power and thrust of the song is taken up another level as Sierra punches the lyrical intent forcibly and melodically into the imagination. All the while there is a reserved but persistent groove which wages seduction upon the senses throughout the song, it enticing greater passion and hunger from the listener and it is fair to say that at this point the single has submission already in its hands. This is not enough though it seems as the instigator then shifts seamlessly into an evocative and intimidating yet smouldering flame of sonic endeavour and emotive persuasion which has the band pushing their boundaries and ideas without losing their core energy and intensity. The moment is brief but potent and makes for a building step for the final adrenaline lit finale. There is a certain pop punk element to Snakes which arguably has not appeared before with Mongrel and it is a refreshing move brought with craft and adventure which avoids eroding any of the band’s confrontation and  inciting invention.

It is hard not to be excited and full of impatient anticipation for the Evolution EP thanks to Snakes, but the wait will be relatively short and the single ensuring the time is well fed with its incendiary exploits. A name your own price release at Mongrel’s Bandcamp profile, the single is the perfect invitation for those new to one of metal’s best ‘undiscovered secrets’.

http://www.mongrelband.com/

http://mongrel.bandcamp.com/music

10/10

RingMaster 29/10/2013

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Thirteen Shots – Tales That Start With A Whisper

13 shots

After the success of their excellent debut album Vaudeville just over a year ago, UK horror punk n rollers Thirteen Shots teased the appetite further with songs like Zombies From The USSR, a track which made up one of their contributions to a split release with fellow raisers of the dead, Trioxin Cherry and Raizing Hell. Little did it and fellow song Get In My Crypt fully reveal was the step forward and extra adventure the Birmingham quartet had explored for their outstanding new album Tales That Start With A Whisper. Employing even richer flames of numerous genres and decades, the nine track release is a riot to ignite the senses and passions, a seemingly uncomplicated yet fully involved feast of dirty decaying invigorating rock n roll.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist Johnny Rose and guitarist Joe Public, long-time friends who moved from the hard rock sound they had earned a good name for into bringing a unique form of horror punk n roll, Thirteen Shots immediately drew attention with the release of debut single Danzig in the September of their first year. Completed by guitarist Izzy, bassist GMT, and drummer Chelsea, the band had over 300 downloads within a week of the release of the single. As the year rested in its grave and the new broke free, the five-piece entered the studio to record their first album, Vaudeville which was self-released on April Fool’s Day 2012. With a subsequent re-release via Psycho-go-go Records, the album drew great and eager acclaim and set the band up for two full tours across the UK. With the band also having gnawed and infested audiences alongside the likes of Demented are Go, The Peacocks, Rezurex, Howling Wolfmen, Graveyard Johnnys and more, across the years and finding great appetite for their sounds not only from fans but people such as Michale Graves through that first single, Thirteen Shots stand at the gate to the widest recognition within all shadowed corners of rock n roll, the new album promising to be the key to swing the iron clad entrance wide open.

As their previous releases, Tales That Start With A Whisper finds the band infusing elements and textures of sixties rock n roll, front covergarage blues, and horror punk with plenty of spice from psychobilly, punk, and rock, but this time it is all sculpted into brawling encounters which are more rounded, sure of their intent, and in league with each other whatever their individual stance in attitude and style. Whereas Vaudeville at times lost its way and has an undulating effect, its successor is one big eclectic bang on the senses; simply the band has come of age with a maturity honed into their sound for one insatiable and perpetually rewarding treat.

Opener Death Jam 2000 steps forward with a Jerry Lee Lewis like fired up hungry rockabilly call, with blues driven guitars flaming up the air and the vocals of Johnny snapping at the ear. With punchy rhythms caging the senses the song romps across the senses for the perfect start, simple, dramatic, and inciting not forgetting exciting. It is an easy introduction to the release which hands over to the outstanding Zombies From The USSR, an anthemic lure which never loses its potency and success no matter how many times you face its charge. With an intimidating riff driven gait and challenging breath, the song prowls and claws at the emotions, its crowding unrelenting stalking of the ear a restrained but deceptively quick and lethal hook to match the raptorial groove and vocal recruitment; it is the perfect soundtrack to any George Romero or modern zombie film. Having heard the song enough times to recall its declaration and words before remembering the names of all family member there is still the impossible to resist itch to hear the song at least twice before moving on to the rest of the album such its addictive hold.

The excellent Bewitched comes next, its scuzzy breath a fire within the garage punk unpolished embrace of the belligerent sonic confrontation and rhythmic caging. The bass of GMT is an exceptional temptation, its throaty grizzled snarl a contagious predator to menace and pushed the shadows of the song forth from behind the burning flames of the guitars. It is not the most infectious of the songs on the album but still consumes the passions with unbridled vehemence leaving Psycho Jukebox to work on the addiction side of things. Starting off with an Eddie Cochran like beckoning, the song then merges ska carved strokes and surf rock persuasion for a ridiculously catchy persuasion whilst its chorus is where the storm has its wildest greedy moments. Again bass and drums steal their share of the limelight with skilled mischief and again a different tone to their invention whilst the guitars simply sizzle with enterprise and swagger.

Get In My Crypt is another fiery garage punk rampage that sparks full participation and ardour, everything from guitar to vocals and harmonies to rhythms conspiring to leave an exhausted rapture clinging to its refreshing corpse whilst Nekro Sexual is a salacious and provoking slice of dirty devilry, a b-movie driven suggestiveness with a chorus of ‘Stomp On my Balls’ which defies anyone not to shout it persistently during and long after its devilment.

The album closes firstly with the brilliant title track, a groove laden addict making beats of a track writhing in classic/glam rock misbehaviour and horror rock roguishness not forgetting hook loaded grooves which would do the Buzzcocks proud. It is followed by two live tracks, Dead Girls Don’t Scream and This Looks Like A Job For Batman which tells you all you need to know about the band on stage and why you should not miss them if at a venue near you.

Anticipation and expectations were high going into the album but Thirteen Shots and the Freaky Pug Records released Tales That Start With A Whisper left them behind in their triumphant and impressive flesh chomping attack. A must have album for all horror, garage, rock, and punk fuelled fans.

https://www.facebook.com/thirteenshotsband

9/10

RingMaster 26/04/2013

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Full Story At Midnight: No Rest For The Rotten

   Full Story At Midnight-

   Reaching out from beneath the damp heavy earth of Tucson, Arizona graveyards, horror rock band Full Story At Midnight is poised to stalk every living nightmare with their debut album No Rest For The Rotten. Eight tracks of sonic evil and blood-letting menace, the album brews up a potent potion of horror rock, punk and psychobilly which is as heavy as the night and as intimidating as shadows.

The band began in 2004 as a solo project of vocalist/guitarist Elvis Aron Deadly under the name The Sacred Profane. Going through a few names the band eventually stepped forth as Full Story At Midnight with Deadly having recruited some equally creative ghouls alongside him. 2007 saw the band as The Sacred Profane appear on the Halloween Compilation from Fear The Dead Records and release the successful Alone In The Dark EP. Then and since Full Story At Midnight has appeared alongside the likes of Michale Graves, The Koffin Kats, Mercy Kill, Mommy Sez No, The Independents, Calabrese, The Returners, Wednesday 13, and Demented Are Go with a fine live reputation in tow which their well-received Drive In Horror Show EP built further upon with equally impressive responses.

Their debut album is an explosive riot of sound with a raw live feel which makes it coarse but fully engaging and organic, the passionfsamcolor and energy of their richly flavoured horror rock a coarse and incendiary gnaw on the senses. The release opens with Lawnmower Limb Thrower, its initial electric feed sizzles in the air before concussive rhythms and snarling riffs rip up the chilled ambience. It is immediately into a rampant stride with an insistent intensity covered by the excellent vocals of Deadly, his Jerry Only like tones a seductive lure against the rasping shouts and caustic squalls behind him. The song is a vibrant mix of Misfits and Blitzkid with a scowl which is pure punk.

The crawling heavy malevolence of Boogieman Like Me spreads its vindictive charms next with thumping rhythms and ravenous riffs chewing up the ear whilst the sonic persuasion of the guitar flames against the tumultuous energy. Unleashing its bruising might the early-AFI spice of the song sparks against the muscular punk fire of the song and continues the strong start to the album with ease.

A smoother melodic breath smoulders within next up Everything But A Tomorrow, the song offering warm melodies and harmonies within a heated sonic embrace framed by sturdy sinews of rhythmic fervor. It has to be said though that the production on the release is a mixed bag. On one hand it gives the great unpolished element of the album as on this song a strong platform to bring the live power of the band to the release but against that it does deny a clearer clarity which the excellent tracks deserve. Despite this tracks like Total Hate with its carnivorous riffing and seductive vocal croon and Hideous Infant with its gnawing guitar grazing and bass prowl, stand as absorbing and challenging encounters which only satisfy.

Before departing the death drenched release brings further mental violations through the rapacious Making A Monster, its startling insatiable sonic bloodlust a furnace of The Ramones. The Meteors, and Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, and the fiery Puzzle Box, a song rippling with rockabilly passion and hardcore energy. Both songs again bring diversity to the album to keep the listener fully attentive and pleasured.

Ending with a final charge of unbridled energy and eager psychobilly/horror rock in the raucous Trick Or Trick, the album completes a fully pleasing and exciting confrontation. No Rest For The Rotten is an album to re-animate any dormant rock n roll hearts and invigorate the living dead, and suggests that if you give Full Story At Midnight the studio and tools to fully bring out their undeniable invention and craft then the living best start running.

http://www.facebook.com/FullStoryAtMidnight

7/10

RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Dr. Spookenstein – They Came From A World Long Dead

Front Cover

As mysterious as the shadows which undoubtedly spawned them, Dr. Spookenstein is an entity which remains in the dark but from their hidden domain unleashes sounds which equally thrive upon and incite nightmares as they surely ignite the passions. Stalking similar roads to those well-trodden by the likes of Misfits, Danzig, Michale Graves, Calabrese, and Blitzkid, the North Carolina horror punk band has conjured a stirring death drenched album in the shape of They Came From A World Long Dead which just hits the sweet spot at every turn. It challenges as much as it sends flames of pleasure shooting through the heart, the result an ultimately exciting and bruising treat.

They Came From A World Long Dead follows the well-received album Devil Clown Hunts the Town of 2010 and marks Dr. Spookenstein as one predatory and intimidating band in sound and intent. The release offers numerous recognisable influences and flavourings to its compelling and contagious night shift but also plenty of original and striking elements bred solely by the band. It is not flawless but never is anything less than compulsive listening and at its pinnacles a senses buffeting rapture instigator.

The punk fuelled Hang ’em High barges through the ear first, it’s thumping rhythms and ear trawling basslines an immediate lure into the aggressive heart of raging riffs and fiery energy. The core hook and bass riff is a ‘plundered’ delight which is like a returning best friend though one is unsure of its original home and with the strong vocals and infectious chorus leaves only highly enthused adoration in its vibrant wake.

The album is a little inconsistent at times though mainly through the vocals which vary from excellent to ‘wobbly’. Actually as in the following Witch Bitch when the vocals are less impressive they are still good but strangely seem to be running different notes and melodies to the sounds. On this track the voice has a definite decent Misfits attack whilst the music is a more classic rock inspired fire and the two struggle to lie with ease side by side. It is just a niggle which occurs from time to time but generally a minor aspect against the strength of the album.

At the heart of the album a wealth of outstanding tracks stomp through the ear to forge the greatest pinnacles on the release. The Ramones lilted I Don’t Wanna Go To Hell is first, its anthemic breath and incendiary energy takes no time in recruiting the listener to its thrilling cause and with an excellent metallic twist and surge nearing its climax shows the invention and mischief of the band. Challenging for best track on the album You Will Burn also ripples with imagination and enterprise within its uncomplicated and raptorial presence. Another metal stoked riot of irresistibility the track swaggers and weaves around the ear with gladiatorial expertise and a devilish hunger to own the senses and beyond. With its ear stroking riffs and beckoning vocals driven by the oppressive metallic intrusions it ensures there is no defence to its immense glory.

The Fog is an equally addict forming instigator, its Misfits/Balzac like beckoning a raging invitation to join vocally and with limbs its punk rock tempest of pleasure whilst Fire In The Sky with its scorched guitar teasing and hard rock stance just treats the listener like its helpless puppet, manipulating body and passions with its magnetic incitement and melodic hooks. The track in between its most compulsive moments breaks out riotous rock riffs and sizzling guitar taunts which recall the likes of Metallica, it is a mix which intrigues and satisfies from start to finish echoing the album as a whole.

Though the occasional song does not live up to its surrounding companions it is still an enjoyable lull in the elsewhere raging pleasurable storm and with songs like the title track, a song which starts by inspiring only uncertainty and leaves behind definite satisfaction, They Came From A World Long Dead is a thoroughly intriguing and intoxicating joy.

The mighty We’ll Take Your Face also has to have a mention, another track with an impressive claim to top honours. It is a tempest of metal and classic rock invention with a punk heart which at times teases Municipal Waste realms with a Murderdolls gait, quite simply horror punk at its best.

They Came From A World Long Dead chews on the ear and heart with accomplished insatiable greed and receives an equally potent reaction in return. It is a great release and its creators Dr. Spookenstein angling to be your new favourite horror punk nightmare.

https://www.facebook.com/SPOOKENSTEIN

RingMaster 16/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright