Infidel – Self Titled EP

Infidel_RingMaster Review

Providing a fresh snarl and roar to the hardcore scene, US punks Infidel introduce themselves with an impressive attention grabber, their self-titled EP. Hailing from the perpetually stirring hardcore scene in Detroit, the quartet recently signed with Imminence Records and has taken little time in slamming their potency and anthemic credentials down on the table with their first provocation. It is also an encounter rich in contagious resourcefulness which whilst the songs are bellowing with confrontation lyrically and musically, they are also flirting away with striking invention. Excitement certainly brewed listening to Infidel with a strength which few bands in the genre have stirred so tenaciously over recent times.

The band’s sound is a skilled mix of old school strains of hardcore with fresh hostility and imagination whilst lyrically they set their sights on anything from animal rights and patriotism under fire to police injustices, the two political party system, and positive incitement promoting “never giving up on life when the road gets tough.” Both aspects of their songs make an immediate and strong impression as the EP opens up with Patriotism Under Fire, the song starting with a sample of the opening scene from Jarhead, its unifying bellow quickly overrun with rhythmic artillery and a torrent of raw riffery equipped with swift infectiousness. In full stride soon after, the song relaxes a slither as vocalist Andrew Thomas uncages its lyrical and impassions intensity, almost immediately raising its ire and aggression again to match and raging like a mix of Stuck Mojo and Minor Threat, the track getting heavier and more voracious with every passing minute.

infidelcoverRingMaster Review     The attention grabbing and appetite igniting start is soon surpassed by What We’re Made Of, a rigorous stomp fuelled by melodic contagion and antagonistic defiance driven by inventive hooks and violent rhythms respectively. There is a touch of Shelter to the catchier side of the song, its tempering infection the perfect contrast to the eager bruising wilfulness and energy, and their union a swift anthemic enlistment of body and emotions.

Call Of The Wild follows and from its first breath it is sonic and emotional rebellion stirring up air and thick satisfaction. Featuring Keith Allen of GhostxShip, the track is as militant as it is inviting, the drums casting a rousing incitement matched by the increasingly spicy invention and antagonism of guitars and bass. Loaded with magnetically uncompromising vocals, the track roars incitement and contumacy quickly matched by similar confrontation in Protect And Serve straight after. As the EP opener, there is a metal seeded ferocity to the encounter which seamlessly slips into a melodically coloured but no less aggressive turn of imagination. With guest DJ Bean of For All Who Fail involved, the song stands toe to toe with the listener, eye balling them with rigorously anthemic sounds whilst challenging the seeds spawning its narrative and emotion.

Next up is Politics, a track built from the same kind of template and core sound but quickly establishing its own adversarial identity with scything rhythms and spearing riffs. Their union provides the frame for swarms of sonic incitement and almost psychotic grooves to strike and if that was not enough to draw keen submission, a burst of melodic vocals and enterprise only lights song and ears further before parting with a final fierce growl for a superb cover of the H2O track What Happened? .

Bringing the outstanding release to a thoroughly enjoyable close with their stirring cover, we can only suspect that Infidel is a band destined to be soaked in attention and acclaim as more engage and become thrilled by this and their subsequent and evolving exploits. Fair to say, hardcore has a new spark to its fire in the belly.

The Infidel EP is available now via Imminence Records.

https://www.facebook.com/Infidel586

Ringmaster 26/06/2015

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Ligaments – Ligaments (Eat Pizza EP)

Ligaments Online Promo Shot

As soon as learning that the armament within punk ‘n’ rollers Ligaments involved a double bass, intrigue and excitement, as we are suckers for the throaty seduction of said instrument, was rife. It was an anticipation swiftly satisfied by the London based trio’s excellent Ligaments (Eat Pizza EP). With throaty bass slaps in tandem with roaring vocals and voracious riffs, the four-song encounter proved itself to be an imposing and impressive introduction to the band.

Formed in 2012 after Napoli hailing Nicola Itro (double bass, vocals) and Londoner Jake Maxwell (guitar, vocals) met at the 12 Bar Club in Soho, Ligaments create a sound which is part ’77 punk, part old school rock ‘n’ roll, part rockabilly rapacity, and all 21st Century ferocity. Last year saw former Pettybone member Zel Kaute join the band on drums, bringing a passion for pizza with her which humorously themes the visual side of the new release. Already Ligaments have supported the likes of Pure Graft, The Meteors, The Vibrators, and GBH, and made Europe a regular playground for their thumping live presence, but it is with their debut EP that it is easy to expect a new spotlight shining on the creative bellow and potential of this exciting band.

Recorded with Wayne Adams (USA Nails, Death Pedals), the EP takes little time grabbing attention as opener Precinct 13 brews up an immediate dirty hard rock coaxing. Initially held in a Ligaments covermore distant embrace, it is soon bursting loud and anthemically upon the senses, and straight away Itro’s moody basslines are claiming an eager appetite. Equally the blaze of riff causticity and swinging punchy rhythms from Kaute are stealing their share of the focus. Minor Threat has been offered as a reference to the band’s sound but similarly here essences of Living End and AFI make a potent flavouring to the riotous proposition.

The great start is right away eclipsed by 4th, and again bass slaps and tenacious beats provide inescapable bait for the guitar of Maxwell to blaze over. Into its stride, the track marries a melodic ferociousness with a whiff of The Bronx to it, to a bruising yet captivating Peacocks like punk rumble. It is raw, unfussy, and magnetically anthemic but just an appetiser itself for the closing pair of treats starting with the Tiger Army like swing of Turn To Acid. Sultry in air and contagious in rhythmic enterprise, Itro again laying down virulent temptation, the track is stripped down rock ‘n’ roll providing an unpolished but craftily lean musical narrative almost revelling in its addictive nature.

Final song In The Black Lodge emerges as the favourite, again the dark charms on Tiger Army and AFI seeping into the psychobilly kissed landscape of the song. An anthem for feet and voice to instantly consume, the track stomps through ears, jabbing the senses with every swing of its epidemic energy. With thick basslines and insatiable melodies adding further primal tempting, it is a roaring blaze of the song.

Whether a fan of punk or rockabilly, in fact for anyone with a taste for any shade of rock ‘n’ roll, there is great pleasure to be found in Ligaments first release, and a ripe potential fuelling their impressive debut which suggests the band is going places.

The Ligaments (Eat Pizza EP) is available through all digital platforms from Monday 16th February and on ltd edition (250 pressed) CD @ http://theligaments.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheLigaments

RingMaster 16/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Jacob’s Mouse: The Dot EP / No Fish Shop Parking

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    Jacob’s Mouse was a band in the early nineties which stretched creative limits and ventured into unexplored sonic shadows but also escaped the deserved success and recognition less worthy ear friendly bands received. The trio brewed an instinctive and intrusive blend of indie rock, post punk, and various incisions of inciting noise and aural storms, a sound which explored the listener as much as its own corners and boundaries. Now for the first time two of their releases have a digital release, their debut EP The Dot and first album No Fish Shop Parking, and a long overdue treat for noise fans they truly are.

From Bury St Edmunds, the 1988 formed Jacob’s Mouse consisted of identical twin brothers Hugo and Jebb Boothby on guitar and bass respectively, and vocalist/ drummer Sam Marsh. Taking reported influences from the likes of Fugazi, Minor Threat, Big Black, Pixies, and Hüsker Dü, the band released by the vinyl-only The Dot EP through Liverish Records in 1990. The release grabbed critical acclaim and led the way to support slots with the likes of Nirvana, Suede, Th’ Faith Healers, and Manic Street Preachers, as well as enthused support from John Peel and Kurt Cobain. The following year saw the release of No Fish Shop Parking on Blithering Idiot, an imprint label of the band and continued the strong responses and acclamation surrounding the trio. As the nineties bred and flocked to the Brit-pop phenomenon, Jacob’s Mouse was found itself left out of the focus of an indie scene which was drooling over Oasis, Blur, and similar flavoured presences with a seeming tunnel vision. The threesome reacted in their own way by becoming even more experimental and creatively wilful, their following albums I’m Scared in 1993 and Rubber Room of 1995, released via Wiiija Records (home to Cornershop, Therapy? and BiS), testing and pushing their invention and craft to continually unappreciated responses. The year of their third and last album also saw the band call it a day to leave behind a legacy of unique and inspiring releases and songs which now finally have the chance to cast their magnetic sonic incitement once again.

Both releases come through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and make just as impressive an impact as they did first time around. TheJacobs Mouse Dot EP sleeve Dot EP musically is easy to describe though what you consequently imagine barely glances the reality of the sounds created. Like a searing fire of World Domination Enterprises, The Fire Engines, and Hüsker Dü, the five track release teases and taunts whilst creating its own eclectic character and originality. Opening track Signs initially plays with the ear with an inviting sonic groove before vocal squalls assault with abrasive passion. Unveiling up a web of mischievous delicious hooks and addictive discord driven melodies, the song is the strongest persuasion possible ably coaxed deeper into ardour by the wantonness of the basslines.

The following garage punk caustic brawl of Enterprise leads into the mesmeric Hey Dip Sugar with its dub infused charms and exhausting sonic adventure. Both tracks leave passions ablaze whilst Ho-Hum ignites the senses with insidious repetition lyrically and sonically for a full capture of the imagination and a grazing of their sensibilities. Closing on Microflesh with its blistered atmospheric radiance and gloriously acidic melodies, The Dot was and is an irresistible and deeply compelling introduction to the band and it is no surprise that the releases garnered such plaudits.

Jacobs Mouse - No Fish Shop Parking - front cover      No Fish Shop Parking shows the evolution in the ideas and sound of the band at the time. It still has the essences which made the EP so refreshing but expands to explore and extend the innovative design of the imagination reaped. Opening track Tumbleswan envelopes the ear in a sonic blaze veined with evocative spoken vocals, provocative bass taunts, and more defined melodies than found on the EP. There is a Gang Of Four breath to the track which opens up the attraction further whilst immediately standing as a step forward from their debut release. The following tracks Twist, She Is Dead, and A Place to Go to, entrap the passions further with their distinct stances, the first another Gang Of Four like provocation whilst the other pair search through garage rock seeds to breed their own senses confronting glories.

From the dub blossomed Carfish, a track which has a touch of Ruts about it, the best track not only on the album but arguably one of the best from the band ever sends one into orbit. Caphony is simply sensational, a psychobilly rhythm and simmering tease loaded into a hungry and devilish groove and energy. Though the song predates Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers they are a fair reference with slithers of Screaming Blue Messiahs adding extra spice. Justice and The Vase complete the exceedingly magnificent album with further unique enterprise, the whole release an inspiring sculpted maelstrom of invention and noise.

As more and more noise rock bands emerge you can hear the sounds and inspirations of Jacob’s Mouse within much of their creativity, whether they realise it or not and with this twin release maybe the band will now get the full recognition and awareness it so surely deserves.

www.facebook.com/jacobsmouse

The Dot 9/10 No Fish Shop Parking 9/10

RingMaster 12/03/2013

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Super Luxury – Mystery Thriller Teen Drama EP

You can hear so much promise and potential within the debut EP from UK band Super Luxury that it is hard not to be excited about them and their future.  The three track Mystery Thriller Teen Drama EP just bristles with energy and musical contempt let alone mischief to ignite a strong eagerness to follow their evolution and creativity ahead whilst sparking real pleasure in the now.

From Leeds, the quintet of Christobel Jacobs, Hamish Samsonite, Ace Nodwell, Si Cartwright, and Charles C. Bell, formed in the merging weeks of 2010 and 11. They could be classed as punk, rock, garage punk, noise or…but to be honest they do not slip wholly into any category yet involve all in their abrasive rock n roll sounds. Their influences are listed as bands such as AC/DC, Big Black, Jesus Lizard, Minor Threat, Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, Ween, and Laughing Hyenas, and you can hear those seeds in their sounds but they offer much more of their own conjuring. Their music like the release is raw and relatively lo-fi, an unpolished gem, and you can only hope no one does come along and adds a sheen or gloss to the band to surely dissipate their potency and uniqueness.

The title track steps into view upon bold consistent beats spearing light scythes of guitar and discord with keys bubbling behind lying in wait. The brew is soon agitated into a riot of vocal squalls, caustic guitar abrasions and hypnotic rhythms, and as a spidery groove scampers over the ear the song expands its reach. Scorched discord dipped guitars send shards of sonics across the song as the bass and drums control the cage of sound one is willingly sucked into. The song never explodes into the storm it suggests yet is all the better for the defined restraint holding back its hunger. The track is well crafted and deliberate without sounding at any point contrived or forced, a impressive and compulsive start.

The following Kellogg’s Wasps starts off with a classic rock swagger and group shouts to stir up attention before exposing its veins of niggling guitar manipulations which buzz around the head in the suggested manner of its title subjects. Lyrically one can only interpret the intent, its intrigue as striking and open to thought as the aural narrative and provocative sonic stings alongside.

Ghostesses completes the release just as impressively as the other tracks stated their case. It is a blistered rant of persistent beats, expressive slightly desperate gaited vocals, and fiery guitar play. The track sits more in the noise arena than the other pair, its acidic rushes bringing a full whisper of bands like The Gaa Gaas and Raised On Replicas but with a stronger raucous garage air.

It is a fine finish to an excellent first release from the band. Admittedly the production is too low key for the songs and they maybe lack a fuller punch considering it is a five piece, but it does not detract from the obvious quality and promise of the band. Super Luxury have the skills and imagination to evolve into something quite special with every step going on the evidence of Mystery Thriller Teen Drama, going to be a unpredictable and eagerly followed joy.

Get your name your own price copy of  the EP @ http://superluxury.bandcamp.com/

http://superluxuryofficial.blogspot.co.uk/

RingMaster 09/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Old-timers: Soli Deo Gloria

South African based punk band The Old-timers list in their influences the likes of GBH, The Subhumans, Headnoise, and Minor Threat, inspirations their music proudly builds upon. As their debut album Soli Deo Gloria shows the trio do not hold back in either sound, energy or passion, their lyrical theme and music created to glorify God whilst have one riot of fun in the process. Released jointly through Thumper Punk Records, Caustic Fallout, and Veritas Vinyl, the album is fourteen unashamed storms of emotion and aggressive energy which leaves one thoughtful, provoked and satisfied.

The Old-timers is a band thanks to modern technology which creates music at distance. Vocalist Dave Emerson and guitarist/bassist Don live in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth respectively and twelve hours apart, whilst drummer Matt Lagusis is based in California. With the mixing of the album being done in Idaho and the mixing in North Carolina, it is a release which has chalked up some cyber miles in its making.

The seeds of the band came when Dave whilst on holiday in the home town of Don, met him through a mutual friend in 2011. Their joint love of punk and the JCHC (Jesus Christ Hardcore) movement helped a strong friendship emerge and the eventual sending over of tunes from Don which Dave leapt upon with love and vocals. The tracks became the Punk’s Not Dead! Nor Are We! demo which led the band to the attention of the previously mentioned labels and the planning of an album. At this point Matt who was playing drums for another Thumper Punk Records band, False Idle, joined the band, and now Soli Deo Gloria, one feels it is time for The Old-timers to take their place on the punk map.

From the first track The Old-Timers Intro one knows they are in for a blast of old school punk rock brought with just the right amount of discord, aggression, and irresistible hooked riffs. From the brief declaration the album soon explodes into the boiled atmosphere of Adonai’s Agape and its ‘ode’ to the Son of God. It is an in your face surge of passion and energy which easily whips up the senses into an agitated pleasure. The melodic hooks of Don are as infectious as the coarse shouts of Dave are hungry in sharing their intent. Vocally there is rare deviation throughout the album to the hardcore delivery shown here but it never did Henry Rollins any harm right?

The first single from the album, This City is another tasty slice of senses ruffling and emotion baiting, its power and rough handling of the ear pleasing and greedily welcomed. As the track plays, thoughts of the likes of UK band Crisis, Angelic Upstarts and Shelter come to mind, the sound a feisty mix of all and dripping Old-timers distinctness.

Songs like Posi Isn’t Enough, the Suicidal Tendencies like eruption On Hope, and the contagious Prescribed Rebellion with its irresistible addictive melodies and shifting muscles, leave one tenderised and smiling in satisfaction but it is with the title track that the band deliver the biggest triumph. Soli Deo Gloria from its opening riffs and bruising rhythms slaps the senses into adoration within moments. The song excites and incites with every note and syllable, the music driving with a wicked grooved mission to infest and the vocals offering their only real moment of variety on the release, the expected shouts stepping aside at times for actual singing and group shouts and it works a treat. One wonders if this would have made a better first single but it will get its day for sure.

Soli Deo Gloria is a great album with for many will have a big but. For many like us who do not share the same beliefs and passions as the band, we welcome their heart and thoughts but just like bands that use other personal passions and themes to fuel their creativity and energy, when it borders or leaps into preaching, the barriers come up. At times the album comes over that way, track after track slamming home the uncomplicated and direct lyrical content within. The passion driving through makes the release powerful admittedly, but the lack of subtlety and repetition becomes a demand and order rather than a guiding message or heartfelt view to leave one with some negativity towards what is one punk album which still is able to fire up any punk heart. The Old-timers join the growing brigade of great bands showing real punk has not had its day.

RingMaster 15/08/2012

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