Ward XVI – The Art Of Manipulation

Grabbing attention, certainly for a moment or two is pretty much within the ability of most artists with an inkling of imagination in their sound and presentation; sustaining it across a parade of tracks and releases is not so easy but a prowess well within the capabilities of British outfit Ward XVI. They poked at ears and an initial awareness of their individual adventure with a self-titled debut EP in 2015 and now truly stoke the fires of both with their first album. The Art Of Manipulation is a 16-track escapade as diverse and bold in flavours as it is compelling in theatrical imagination and oh so enjoyable and fun.

Hailing from Preston, Ward XVI is a sextet of musicians bringing an array of widespread inspirations into their individual and united creativity. Since the release of that first EP, the band has shared stages with the likes of William Control and The Men that will not be Blamed for Nothing, played the main stage at O2 Academy Leeds in the final of the Soundwaves Music Competition, and increased their reputation and success across their native North West with a host of headlining shows. Recently signing with Germany’s Rock ’N’ Growl Records, the band is now teasing and tempting national recognition with The Art Of Manipulation, a release which has you rocking in body and imagination from start to finish with its multi-flavoured avant-garde rock.

A concept album telling the introspective story of a female psychopath locked away in a high security asylum, each track a delving into her past life and telling the story of how she manipulated a man into killing for her using her feminine charm, The Art Of Manipulation introduces itself with doctor and protagonist tempting and contemplating the story leading to the waiting embrace of Ward XVI. Take My Hand emerges from its lead, melancholic guitar and keys caressing the senses as vocalist Psychoberrie adds her potent lures to its entrance. Soon a gentle stroll, the song swiftly reveals an infectious swing, a low key flirtation which soon finds a hungrier intent as the song explodes with a fusion of metal/rock tenacity. Two minutes of rousing rock ‘n’ roll, the song sets up appetite and attention with ease and ready for the album’s following title track. Again a mellow start beckons ears, guitars weaving an elegant web before the darker shadows of Beardy McStumble’s bass and the senses clipping beats of Jake step in. There is an elegant but portentous air to the joining keys of Min, a threat which ignites as the song slips into a tempestuous canter of riffs and rhythms led by the increasingly enticing and impressive tones of Psychoberrie. Theremin lures add to the intrigue and appetising character of the track, punk and metal essences colluding with the rapacious rock ‘n’ roll steered by the guitars of Lex Whittingham and Dr. Von Stottenstein with the song ebbing and flowing in energy and aggression across its eventful body, every second a tease and temptation to devour.

A verbal interlude bridges one rich highlight to another as The Flight takes over, the track at first a heavy boned hard rock stomp but soon surrounding its heady march with electro revelry. It is a glorious rousing mix, a fusion of flavours which, though not exactly in a similar sound, ignites the imagination like a fusion of Kontrust and Russkaja, heavy metal flames extra spicing to the fiery mix. By now the diversity of the Ward XVI sound is inescapable, a magnetic trait among many which continues into the next up and brilliant Crystal Ball. Instantly capturing ears with its open Stolen Babies inspiration, the song quickly adds some gypsy dance revelry to the mix, Min’s accordion a flirtatious enticement as it aligns with Molotov Jukebox like antics and emerges as another unique track in the Ward XVI asylum.

The piano nurtured beauty of Hold Me calms things down a touch, the key’s suggestive writing courted by spicy guitar strains and the bewitching voice of Psychoberrie as the song irresistibly serenades the senses. Becoming more volatile with each passing minute, the track keenly captivates before another revealing interlude splits its draw and the equally potent call of Blackened Heart. A heavy rock roar, the song shares its own creative dance of varied spices and individual craft to keep the pleasure flowing even though it misses the bolder attributes of other tracks around it such as Run For Your Lives. The track is a boisterous mix of antagonism and flirtation, the keys mixing gypsy punk with the hard rock throes of riffs and rhythms and with vocals just as textually mixed and gripping, irritability increasingly brewing in them as the sounds until the carnival dance of its finale, it is another pinnacle of an already highly addictive proposition.

Adrenochromania seduces like a dark dream, its predacious shadows and spatial melodic caresses a weave of emotional disorder and euphoria; a union careering towards rock ‘n’ roll psychosis which breaks with zeal and enterprise as the guitars subsequently sizzle and keys progressively weave with equal relish. Psychoberrie gives the recipe to manipulation within it all, her tones a lingering essence as the song departs for the lively electro rock ‘n’ roll of Cry Of The Siren to step up and stir up body and energy.

Its potent temptation is instantly overshadowed by the psychotic nursery room smile of Toybox, the song recalling Stolen Babies again with a touch of Venus De Vilo to the vocal dance of Psychoberrie. Accordion and guitars wrap around rhythmic trespasses as the song hits its full weighty voice though it is that initial innocence spawned discordance which steals the passions most on its subsequent return into the track’s muscular tempest.

The outstanding Inner Demon has ears and thoughts flared up again with its rapacious punk ‘n’ roll, hooks and grooves as dangerous as the edge in the vocals and the song’s rhythmic infestation of the senses. Providing another major highlight, the song brings another hue to the landscape and adventure of the album, as all those before it, pushing and stretching the band’s sound and drama to another slightly different and deranged quarter without losing the inherent infectiousness of the release.

The album closes with the track Ward XVI, its own and its inmate’s final destination reached. An initial keys crafted gentle start deceives; its suggestion of contrition and realisation soon consumed by the raging blaze of sound and intensity which erupts as the release burns its final success into the senses and imagination. It is a fine end to an encounter which offers a little more with every listen; a striking affair from a band we for one are already hungrily waiting to hear more from. The Art Of Manipulation is a must for the bold, musically adventurous, and yes slightly deranged.

The Art Of Manipulation is out now on Rock ’N’ Growl Records @ https://wardxvi.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-of-manipulation

http://www.wardxvi.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WardXVI/

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Holly Holden y Su Banda – Tropical Soul

Putting on notice body curves and swerves, we suggest no summer will be complete without the exotically sexy and melancholically captivating Tropical Soul. Just as suitable for smouldering cold hugging nights before a flaming fire, the new EP from Holly Holden y Su Banda is a musical travelogue and emotional reflection to seduce ears and spirit. It is also one of the year’s biggest delights so far and potentially the moment an already acclaimed and eagerly followed singer songwriter comes under the biggest spotlights.

From London and with many years of her life also embracing the relative beauty and life of Cornwall, Bristol, and Berlin as well as just as inspiring travels, study, and musical collaboration within Latin America and the Caribbean, Holly Holden brings it all to her wonderfully eclectic and adventurous sound, perfectly tagged as tropical soul. Like music as a whole, it is a borderless proposition offering a worldly exploration for artist and listener.  Flavours from Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia, and Dominican Republic collude with Caribbean and European enterprise, a mix dancing and flirting round intimate and love nurtured reflections as irrepressibly evidenced by her new EP.

Already with plaudits for her 2012 formed collaborative project and album Xistence with Cuban rapper Alayo Style as X Planet, Holden linked up with guitarist Frank Clarke and drummer David Beauchamp in 2014, Holly Holden y Su Banda emerging from their combined venture. Seemingly persistently busy with her own shows and as part of female vocal group Deep Throat Choir who have just released debut album Be OK and Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, things will surely become even more hectic and crazy as Tropical Soul infests bodies and imaginations.

The EP opens with the irresistible El Impulso, its inescapable temptation instantly teasing through Holden’s smiling bass throb, it courted by small but spicy sparks of guitar. Her voice is soon an energetic smile in ears too, slipping effortlessly between English and Spanish as melodies from Clarke’s guitar weave their warm coaxing. It is hard to truly give a proper reference to Holden’s music such its diverse and unique character and presence but a mix of Holly Walker, Regina Spektor, and Molotov Jukebox gives a pretty good idea of the pleasure waiting within Tropical Soul. With percussive scrapes and Beauchamp’s frisky beats, the song is manna for feet, hips, and enjoyment and still just about eclipsed by its successor.

The ska lined Run immediately has its swing emulated by flesh, its relaxed but tenacious stroll a lure of wonderful ska inspired riffs and rising flames of brass as Holden’s melodic croon contemplates aided by just as tasty harmonies. Across the release, contributions from percussionist Satin Singh, keyboardist Daniel Correa, trumpeter Will Roper, Marcos Caballero on tuba and alto saxophonist Sarah Parkes add their prowess to the trio, Clarke also a blast on sax. Who plays where I cannot say but as on the second track, it all makes for a captivating rhumba some might say addiction was invented for.

Dead Coral swings in next, its Caribbean spices and Cuban spotted grooves sharing infection as Holden effortlessly grips in voice and word. Again you know it is a proposal doing good as feet instinctively shuffle and bums bounce before bodies rise to full height and spring their lustful involvement, the proof in The RR office. To be honest such the power and potency of the sounds, the EP need a few listens before attention can delve deeper in the lyrical explorations of Holden, a just as rewarding discovery as personal and intimate thoughts are shared.

There is a definite feel of The Specials to Mellow Drama, its ska seeded keys and air carrying the lonely almost noir lit shadows of Ghost Town  yet tempered by the sultry sway and waltz of brass and guitars. The epitome of melancholic seduction and elegance, the song is a haunting bewitchment lingering long after its departure though within the release quickly replaced by the blues and reggae hued soul of the imposingly catchy Benji Muji Mau; another inescapable tempting for physical and vocal participation.

The EP is concluded by Born At The Right Time, a more low key incitement, though it is all relative, but still equipped with juicy hooks and rhythmic bait around the ever fetching tones of the lady. It also has its own blues seeded breath as guitar and trumpet align in rueful endeavour, a final imagination stroking smoulder to fly away with.

Like for so many others we suspect, Tropical Soul is our first global tour with Holly Holden y Su Banda; a thrilling escape for which no passport was needed; as her bio suggests Holly Holden’s music provides that.

Tropical Soul is released April 9th.

http://www.hollyholdenmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/hollyholdenmusik   https://twitter.com/HHoldenmusic

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vienna Ditto – Ticks EP

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Bringing their most eclectic sound and irresistible hex yet to follow up an eagerly acclaimed debut album, British duo Vienna Ditto are about to unveil new EP, Ticks. It is seven tracks of fiercely diverse and mesmeric aural imagination; a collection of encounters embracing voodoo rhythms, electrified blues temptation, and beguiling vocal dexterity honed into a septet of unique psyche twisting proposals.

From being child student and guitar teacher in 2000, creatively reuniting a decade later, vocalist/synthist Hatty Taylor and guitarist Nigel Firth have become one of the most intriguing and imaginatively unpredictable encounters within the British underground rock scene. The Oxford hailing band through EPs and singles since their first, a self-titled EP in 2011, has explored, nurtured, and uniquely spun a sound which has always fascinated but become increasingly more fascinating and spellbinding release by release. That growth and exploration accumulated in the release of their feverishly praised debut album, Circles, last year. With the release of Ticks and some hindsight though, the impressive album now feels like it was the end of the band’s first chapter, a rounding up of early ideas and successes providing a springboard into even darker and boldly adventurous escapades to experiment with, such as those making up the sensational Ticks.

The EP opens with its title track, a slice of quirky pop with wonky melodies and smouldering rhythmic grooves around the immediately siren-esque tones of Taylor. Beats play as a settling lure until the song opens up with an even darker tang to its grooves and new wave like hues to its hooks and excitable energy. Slipping back into that initial seductive coaxing, things down settle again though a lingering volatility is there waiting to fuel another round of the addictive chorus and the subsequent sinister emotive waltz and mischievous musical tango which begin entangling each other. The track is glorious and, as the EP, simply more infectious and imposingly addictive with every listen.

art_RingMasterReviewTiny Tambourines follows up the thrilling start with a gentler melodic kiss on ears, though tantalising electronic incitement and an off-kilter rhythmic shuffle are also there courting the warmer hues of sound and Taylor’s ever evocative voice. The track is a fuzzy romancing of ears and imagination, again with a great tempestuousness which means unpredictability lurks at every twist and turn before the brilliant warped bossanova of Frank Account takes over. From the first strains of guitar, ears sense a festival is waiting to pounce, a few seconds more brings confirmation as strolling beats and swinging harmonies surround Taylor and the flirtatiously jazzy grooves and devilish hooks of Firth. Like a slightly deranged hybrid of The BeauBowBelles and Molotov Jukebox, the song bewitches and enslaves; taking body and imagination on a lively and provocative adventure.

The mesmeric blues croon of Motherless Child comes next, the song a melancholic serenade lined with sultry yet unsettling shadows within a brewing portrait of loneliness and loss cast by voice and melodic discordance. It is spellbinding stuff, becoming more potent with every listen; a quality admittedly every song holds including the haunting cinematic drama of My Way of Missing You. Maybe best described as Portishead meets Morcheeba whilst lost in a dark world shaped by Lydia Lunch or The Sugarcubes, or not, the song has thoughts drifting off into shadowy exploits as ears fall for its invasive and hypnotic beauty.

The band’s sound switches to a spirit sparking gospel character for next up Go Down Moses, an incitement with loco guitar revelry and twisted gothic blues ingenuity to create a sure fire passion igniting protagonist. Its dark rock ‘n’ roll joins the long list of momentously rousing songs and moments within Ticks quickly joined by closing track Come Back and its busy and sinuous landscape of textures and craft within a cosmopolitan theatre of sound. Alone leaving ears and appetite greedy for more, the song brings Ticks to a sensational end while revealing yet another aspect to the creative sorcery breeding the release.

Vienna Ditto is a band which keeps on impressing and providing adventures which continually surprise and excite as they themselves become bolder and more dramatically imaginative.

The Ticks EP is released 13th May 2016 via Ubiquity Project Recordings @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

The BeauBowBelles – A Thing of Reality

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I will be honest, for the first time, other than rooting for Finland’s Lordi a few years back, there was a flicker of interest in this year’s Eurovision song contest once learning that the UK entry had a sound seeded in the ever infectious realm of swing. Any hopes and attention were defused of course once having heard the song and finding it had turned an instinctively contagious sound into something yawningly bland. It was poor old school with no adventure and modern imagination fuelling its proposal; once again the contest living up to its uninspiring reputation.

What does this have to do with the new proposition from The BeauBowBelles you are probably asking right now? Well the failure of seeing what is in and the choosing of what represents our voraciously inventive British music scene just leaves thoughts bewildered when, if we go down the swing road, the likes of the Electric Swing Circus, Molotov Jukebox, and especially The BeauBowBelles are creating irresistible and inventively magnificent propositions. Whether any of them would want to be involved in such an event is another question but each spins a web of virulently inventive escapades bred from diverse and colourful sounds, and this is where the seriously impressive A Thing of Reality, the debut album from The BeauBowBelles comes in.

The London quartet’s new melodic jaunt is a mouth-watering adventure of folk swing cast in unique sceneries of personal intimacy and expansive revelry with every track. It can stomp like a dance hall, seduce like a temptress, and reflect with emotive elegance, but whichever avenue a song escorts the imagination to it has body and attention enthralled. In many ways the delicious exploits of A Thing of Reality is no surprise having been spellbound by their first EP To The Moon in 2013 and a year later the single All Over That. They were sparkling appetisers for this first full-length dance but only a hint of its majesty too.

An album version of that last single opens up A Thing of Reality, and again as the first time around, All Over That easily captures the imagination with its opening embrace of melancholic yet smiling strings within seconds. No matter the number of times heard, the entrance of the song casts a spell, which the quartet of Bertie Anderson (vocals, violin), Emma Price (vocals, flutes, accordion, bells), Ros Wilks (vocals, violin, keytar), and Marcus Daborn (guitar, kickdrum), proceed to turn into a blaze of swirling devilry. That is a little down the line though, as guitar and a sultry kiss of brass light ears next, their coaxing the perfect company to the tantalising vocals. It is like an emotive waltz, a rising dance which is soon quick stepping with flirty riffs and mesmeric coverharmonies. Then the romp truly begins as thick basslines and vivacious energies descend on the senses, awakening an even more wanton appetite for its offerings. A gentle relaxation breaks the surge momentarily before the devilment swiftly returns for another whirl of rhythmic hips aligned to tenacious gypsy punk curves, all aligning for one infectious melodic shuffle.

The brilliant start is matched straight away by the following Lo Ho Down. Again a slow temptation brings the track into view, a reflective shanty of sound the initial invitation. It is also just an introduction to livelier things, a folk emprise with Celtic breath showing its light feet and keen moves soon after before drawing on even broader spices as a country and jazz persuasion adds their hues to the continually evolving canvas and gait of the contagion.

The summery charm of Blue Tree floats in next; it’s almost whimsical spots of melodic colour a smile on the ear within which voice and strings paint an increasingly colourful and vivid picture. There is a sixties pop air to the heart of the song and a classical elegance to the narrative of the violins and horns, both sparking up the imagination for the emerging anthemic stroll of the excellent encounter. Three tracks in and the album is as varied and creatively expansive as anyone could wish for and continuing to move into new pastures as the warm deceptive balladry of Sleep and the delicate flirtation of Fly Away seduce and serenade the senses. The first gentle strokes ears with its calm melodies and evocative textures yet has a mischief in its heart as it brews up a stirring chorus with invigorating rhythms and similarly gripping theatre. From a calm start the track turns into a chest beating, rattling romp of a croon and again has emotions and body lustfully involved. Its successor remains the serene host of bright melodies and magnetic adventure it initial portrays, though it too breeds a drama which adds an anthemic edge to it all.

A fifties rock ‘n’ roll revelry aligns to the insatiable energy of swing for Lotions, its rousing body and temptation a feisty waltz for feet and energies. The track makes for another mighty pinnacle on the album, from voices to percussion, strings to keys, and the rest, inescapable bait in a creative emprise stealing the passions. It is exhausting fun after which a breath can be taken with The Boy with a Boater on his Head, though it too is a transfixing sway. There is that particular English uniqueness to its music which no one else outside our shores can emulate but equally a country-esque whine and pop swagger makes rich spices in the fascinating mixture.

The graceful Sophie is a celestial kiss of harmonies and emotional intimacy, a resourceful ballad which as previous songs climbs from mere riveting hugs into almost riotously melodic dramas, keys especially poignant here. Its alluring smooch is subsequently followed by the vaudeville delights of Fools & Fairytales. The track ebbs and flows with cinematic essences and stage like performance from the sounds. It is like a soundtrack to a play wrapped in folk lore and personal exploration, and again aural theatre is the best way to describe the song and its spellbinding fantasy, that and ingenious majesty.

The smouldering seduction of Make Up brings the album to a close; its seventies psychedelic pop and classical grace an absorbing end to one irresistible and thrilling release. Certain songs overwhelm body and soul whilst the rest like an epidemic relentlessly seduce every pore; the result an irrepressible gest to light any and every day.

A Thing of Reality is available now digitally and on CD via Woodster Records @ http://thebeaubowbelles.bandcamp.com/album/a-thing-of-reality

http://www.thebeaubowbelles.com/

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Cable Street Collective – The Best of Times

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Back in the day, the UK was once under the spell of the South African kwela song Tom Hark. It was an encounter uncaged by The Piranhas which gripped the feet and bodies of a large chunk of the nation, an infectious scourge impossible to resist. Now the same kind of epidemic has been unleashed to infest the psyche and passions of the country again, only this time in comes in six insatiable devilments from London bred Cable Street Collective. Led by lead single Can’t Take Me Under, it alone an unscrupulous temptation, the band’s recently released debut EP The Best of Times is a decade of summers rolled into one addictive slice of worldly contagion, or as they call it, Carnival Pop.

Cable Street Collective formed in 2012, emerging at the same London open mic night that produced Denai Moore. With two of its members growing up in Swaziland and Malawi, inspirations and musical passions provide a varied weave from which the band’s dramatically compelling songs are bred. The same kwela influences which fuelled the success of the song from the Brighton band we first mentioned, finds an equally welcome home in the music of Cable Street Collective, but also do other rich flavours and styles from that part of the world alongside Latin enticements and more European bred spices from funk to ska, indie pop to swing, and that is still to peel all the layers from their music. Drawing acclaim with their energetic performances at festivals such as Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair, and the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi, the band has been laying down a trail of creative revelry since forming, one coming to its first gripping crescendo in The Best of Times.

The opening twenty second Intro is just a searching of a radio dial to find some flavoursome sounds, a success coming with the sultry sway of Wasted Hours which sidles up to ears in a seductive manner. The instantly magnetic vocals of Fiona Jane cast a warm welcome, an invitation matched by the throaty tones of the bass and the holiday flirtation of the guitars. Rhythms and Picture 15beats energetically pop across the bubbly landscape thereafter as a dynamic revelry begins busying itself. Just as you get a handle on things and hips prepare to swing though, a great unpredictable mischief wrong-foots expectations. It is a brief and pleasing detour which returns again from time to time, but mere moments in a track which is soon back into its refreshing and magnetic shuffle as Fiona almost siren like incites the melodic temptation around her.

It only takes that one song, certainly here to be bound and enslaved by band and release, but to make sure escape is not an option, He’s on Fire erupts next with a thick rockabilly snarl of guitar. Rhythms are swiftly adding their tenacious bait, the bass especially virulent alongside just as dramatically alluring vocals. A song to bring the tenants of cemeteries to rigorous festive life, it is a rhythmic maelstrom complete with an addiction breeding melodic hex and vocals which stir up the devilry like a harmonic carnival barker.

Yin & Prang has a tangy ska like rascality to its kwela sculpted merriment whilst the twining of female and male vocals adds another great twist to an already individual romp. The bass once again lays down a delicious dark throated coaxing over which percussive adventure and diversity relishes its freedom, gripping bodies like a puppeteer as melodies and riffs spark with firework intensity across the mouth-watering escapade.

The sultry seventies funk kissed Interlude (Feel It Fall Apart) bridges its predecessor and the following Can’t Take Me Under, the pulsating instrumental a cauldron of feistily simmering magnetism. Seamlessly slipping out of its climactic heat, the new single sways its rhythmic hips under the song’s virulently smiling melodic enterprise. There is also a slight punkish edge to its character, the track coming over like a tasty mix of Sonic Boom Six and Molotov Jukebox whilst entertaining a wealth of other styles and essences in its infectious alchemy.

The EP is brought to a thrilling end by Two Cities, a more indie pop lined offering with a Holly Walker essence to the vocal and lyrical character of the song. Lyrically across the whole release, the band is just as vivacious and colourful, numerous lines and picture-esque word crafted scenes making their own flirtatious and memorable contributions to the breath-taking encounter.

     The Best of Times is a festival in the ears and a party in the emotions, and one of the most riotously thrilling proposals likely to be enjoyed this year. Cable Street Collective is edging to be our new favourite band, more offerings like this and it will be a done deal.

The Best of Times EP is available on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-best-of-times/id942762566 and as a physical release now @ http://www.cablestreetcollective.co.uk/?product=best-of-times-album whilst new single Can’t Take Me Under is available from February 16th again through iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/cablestreetcollective/

RingMaster 16/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – White Teeth, Black Thoughts

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You will excuse any misplaced words and deviation of thought as you read this review as it is all down to the fact that these hips are still swerving as feet are stomping with a dervish passion whilst emotions flying high from listening to the delicious romp of White Teeth, Black Thoughts. You can blame its creators Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for this over enthusiastic and lingering unprofessional relish as they spread the irresistible swing and jazz passion of their new and sixth full-length release via People Like You Records. Bringing eleven richly flavoured and distinctly shaped temptresses to flirt, seduce, and enslave the imagination, the album sees the US band diving back into their swing and jazz inspired natures, leaving the more eclectic worldly sounds of previous offerings to the side, for one terrific and unforgettable party.

From the release of their 1990 debut album Ferociously Stoned a year after forming, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies has ignited bodies and passions with their constantly tempting sounds; the band fusing weaves of potent spices and styles along the way. They brewed or certainly accelerated a loyal and swiftly growing fanbase around the world with their compilation Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin’ Hits of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies in 1997, it the catalyst to a new concentrated attention and hunger for their sound. Since its invitation albums like Soul Caddy and Susquehanna in 2000 and 2008 respectively, with their wider striking mixes of flavours such as ska, rock, and at times pop, have only increased the band’s acclaim and presence whilst shows and tours with bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid and Bad Religion have unreservedly enhanced their reputation and stature.

The early more concentrated swing and jazz fuelled time of their first releases though for many is the core and instinctive sound of the Press_CoverOregon band and returning to it White Teeth, Black Thoughts proves the octet has lost none of their flare and fervour not to mention skill for the styles. The album is not a throwback to those times though but a fresh and contemporary slice of revelry immersed in the world of today and its issues. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Perry, who founded the band alongside bassist Dan Schmid, described the album and the intent of the band with it as “We’re a modern band talking about modern problems,” going on to say “This is not a nostalgic record. If anything, it’s a record about nostalgia. I’m not interested in old things; I’m interested in how old things function now.

As soon as the brass flames soar over the ears escorted by crisp beats and a riveting dark bass tone, opener The Babooch has attention in the palm of its hands; trumpet, sax, and trombone similarly igniting the imagination with their fiery temptation. Settling into a steady stroll, keys and rhythms entangle an already awoken appetite further whilst the smooth tones of Perry croon with an eager smile as group vocal additives and cheeky twists within the song skirt and accentuate the lure of the track. Well into its stride the track subsequently lifts its urgently driven feet to run with the melodic devilry grinning within all members and their instrumentations; the encounter a glorious and irresistible start to the album swiftly backed and increased by I Love American Music. Like its predecessor, the song needs no time to warm up its intent and desire to have the listener instantly engaged and dancing with its swinging gait and boldly stomping hips. So with more contagion to its narrative and melodic toxicity than at a sultry burlesque show and just as much aural sex, the song magnetically storms and seductively smoulders across its piece of defiant devilry, alternating the bait whilst providing an unrelenting temptation of insatiable imagination.

The following Whiskey Jack ensures that there is not lifting of the persuasion and energy, its blustery brass caresses potent incitements to thoughts and feet. Their masterful seizing of the senses is persistently coaxed and driven by the as now expected excellent vocals of Perry and the colourful dance of keys, though once again it is a song which skilfully throws strands of unexpected textures and unpredictable sounds with equally intriguing ideation into the mix. Hunger for the album at this point is intense; greed just as wholesomely fed by Doug the Jitterbug, a glorious cover of the Louis Jordan track, and the sultrily fired title track. The first of the two is a jazz bred quickstep of mischievous urgency and vivacious enterprise whilst the second whilst also being seeded in a rich soak of jazz tempting, finds just as riveting strains of blues and R&B within its simmering and evocative melodic blaze.

The dark boisterous and pulsating entrance of next up Brown Flight Jacket immediately has lips licked, the resonance of hollow yet vocal drums, similarly intensive bass, and the ever descriptive keys merging for a mouthwatering welcome. In many ways the emergence of the undeniably mesmeric and enthralling keys and vocal harmonies thereafter is an anti-climax such the impressive build-up, but the song soon has mind and heart locked and loaded within its mellow enticement. The song whips up yet another lustful response towards the album, taking longer than most may be to get there but over time seducing with the guile and poise of a siren.

The variety within the release continues with another masterful cover, this time of the Hank Penny track Bloodshot Eyes, which riles up another surge of eagerness in the appetite, and then the inventive and unexpected proposition of Jakes Frilly Panties. The song sees the band dig right back in time with its blues piano swagger but it is the static in the production recalling forties and fifties recordings which steals the imagination most. The success of the pair is matched by the darker toned almost salacious Huffin Muggles, a weave of heavily throated and resourceful temptation walked through by equally mysterious and darkly alluring vocals. Its outstanding sound and invention reminds of the sounds bands like Molotov Jukebox and The BeauBowBelles have been spreading around the passions.

As good as the trio of songs are they have to play second fiddle in a way to the final cover on the album. Recorded back in the day by Bull Moose Jackson, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies give Bowlegged Woman an accomplished devilry musically and vocally which cannot fail to raise constant chuckles and pleasure. Its boisterous revelry is followed by the closing masterful call of Concrete Man Blues, arguably the biggest swing number on the album with its orchestrated fire. The song completes a captivating and dramatically thrilling release, White Teeth, Black Thoughts an addiction casting treat which shows that Cherry Poppin’ Daddies are still the masters of swing induced jazz sculpted revelry. If the likes of King Salami and the Cumberland 3, The Stargazers, and Brian Setzer tinkle your fancy then Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and their new album is a must.

White Teeth, Black Thoughts is available now via People Like You Records.

http://www.daddies.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryPoppinDaddies

9/10

RingMaster 05/05/2014

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Molotov Jukebox – Carnival Flower

Molotov Jukebox pic

It has already been firmly established that if you want your feet and body exhausted but blissfully contented then colourful UK revellers Molotov Jukebox are your puppeteers, their previous pair of EPs already the launch pad for riotous hips and gaping grins. Now the band parade their debut album, Carnival Flower, an eleven track festival of lyrical adventure and lustful melodies framed in a rhythmic escapade which frees inhibitions and ignites the raw dancer inside. It is a release which tempts and smoulders, caresses and incites as it takes the imagination on boldly hued and energetically fuelled romps. Unlike their previous releases there may be no real killer tracks at large, songs which virulently ignite the passions, but instead the release has a perpetual seduction which just as potently brews an enraptured submission.

Molotov Jukebox is a six-piece celebration of passionate aural festivities merging styles such as Latin soul, calypso, gypsy, swing, and dubstep into a unique revelry which has been tagged as gyp-step. Led by the distinctive sultry tones of Natalia Tena (an actress renowned for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), and comprising of guitarist Adam Burke, bassist Tom Wilson, drummer Max Burnett-Wain, trumpeter Angus Moncrieff, and violinist/vocalist Sam Apley alongside her, the band has constantly garnered acclaim whilst inspiring an ever growing and feverish fanbase with their vibrant sound and equally vivacious live shows. Both their debut EPs, Double Dare and especially its successor Bang thrust the band into a concentrated spotlight feistily backed by unrelenting festival appearances, certainly in the past eighteen months or so. Now with the release of Carnival Flower there will be no surprise to see the London based band taking country and bodies further afield by the scruff of the neck and leading them to filling streets and dance halls with swerves and sexual dance moves, all to the sound track of Molotov Jukebox.

As soon as rhythms hit to mark the entrance of opener Tread Softly, an itch begins in the toes. The punchy beats of Burnett-Wain hold a Mol juksmile to their swing which is as infectious as the soon to join warn embrace of strings and the vocal persuasion of accordion caressed into life by Tena. It combines with whiffs of sonically crafted guitar and a percussive coaxing into an even tempered but inciting romp brought further to life by the seducing vocals of Tena within sober blazes of trumpet. It is not a riotous start but an eager persuasion which twists and flirts with sound and ideas to waken attention, appetite, and imagination with ease.

From the slightly annoying fade-out of the song, just a personal gripe in a liking for proper finales to songs, temperature and bait is increased thr0ugh Don’t Wanna Know. A vocal croon by Tena courted by excellent group harmonies beside her, kiss the ears initially providing a sexy flirtation which evolves into an agitated stomp with melodic skirts swishing over the senses as pulsating bass riffs use salacious tempting under the climactic flames of trumpet. As its predecessor, the song is not a full-on stampede of aural diablerie but holds an irresistible anthemic lure which enlists body and passions without resistance. The song simmers and at times almost taunts with rhythmic enterprise and string plucking, everything combining to design an evocative and humid template for addiction.

The band’s new single, Neon Lights steps up next, again gentle sexually inviting suasion starting things off before trumpet and vocals soar gloriously across the ceiling of the song. Veining the flight the bass strolls with inviting shadows whilst keys and accordion add their intrigue and mystique to the noir shaded scenery. It is a sumptuous blaze of colour and sound, a track which just grows and grows in the psyche and memory the more it infests the ears. That is true of the album to be fair, first impressions impressed and keen but a new breed of appreciation and ardour emerges given time; previous releases were an instant lust but the album takes a different longer route but with the same result.

The following Can’t Find You is another slow starter on emotions though a swift temptress of ears and thoughts. Almost like a formula for the album, the song also opens up with reserve and a melodic flutter of its lashes before throwing off its hood for a fleet footed waltz of provocative melodies and wanton hues. A mix of pop and swing, it moves around imagination’s dancefloor arm in arm with flailing hooks and elegant harmonies casting a robust yet sensual toxicity over the senses.

The jazz lounge like bred Punchlines weaves and glances across ears with a rich and soulful fondle lighting up thoughts. It is a graceful flame of emotional melodies and sixties harmonies which leaves satisfaction bulging if passions simmering, though they are soon aflame with the brilliant House Fire Smile. The first surprise emerging from the heralding blaze of trumpet and electro additives is that the lead vocals are taken by Apley, an inspired move as his vocals are impressive and make a brave and successful twist to the album. There is a feel of Lazy Habits and Dizraeli and the Small Gods to the song, a whisper of hip hop toying with the heart of the song as a reverse of the norm vocally throws a deliciously unpredictable and magnetic new coal in the fire of the album. The song has a bounce and swagger to its relatively considered stroll though there is always the feeling it wants to explode. Tena’s voice and a niggling guitar toxin only add to the riveting call of the song, an encounter which steals top honours on the album.

Both the frisky Sexfoot and the smouldering Nina keep hunger lively though both are openly pale against certainly the previous triumph. The first of the pair is like a tempered foxtrot with moments where it unleashes its inner devil whilst its successor with the smokey voice of Tena stroking every syllable and the senses in a steamy seduction courted by a classically bred Latin hearted acoustic guitar sends the imagination into a romantic encounter.

From the exotic gala of Tropical Badboy where even the dead could not resist its carnivalesque voracity, the album comes to a close with firstly the dynamic and atmospheric jubilee of No Lady, a track which finds an eighties whisper of bands like Pigbag to its determined sway of melodic curves and rhythmic hips, and lastly a reworking of Trying, a song previously on the Bang EP. The song is a masterful tempting which just has that instinctive lure to inspire full allegiance and union with its potent musical poetry but it has to be said that the new treatment does not quite work as well as the original. Despite that the track is outstanding and the perfect end to a quite impressive and incendiary release for body and heart.

Though Carnival Flower does not quite live up to definitely Bang, it is an open and thrilling doorway into Molotov Jukebox, both a proposition you need to explore at least once in your life, though be warned as one bite is all it takes to be lost to the temptation of the band.

The self-released Carnival Flower is available now!

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com