The Amputees – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees

band photo_RingMaster Review

It has been just over two years since US garage punks The Amputees stirred up strong attention for themselves with the Scream EP, its body and success building on the similarly appealing beginnings founded in its predecessor Commence The Slaughter a year earlier. Always a busy live proposition, now the seven strong collective of musicians return from the studio with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees, a four track roar proving their promise drenched sound has now come of age.

To be fair, the new 7” EP is also rich in further potential too, it more the beginning of a new chapter of exploration than a final destination in sound. From day one, The Amputees have never been predictable, in the style of songs, the direction an EP might go, or the line-up at shows but always the septet makes a potent and stirring impact and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is no different; in fact it is the band’s finest moment to date.

front cover_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Louis Ramos, the band consists of Gary Young (guitar), Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar), Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals), Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals), Soledad Alvarado (bass), and Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass); musicians uniting in New York City from various US states. Inspirations range from The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac to The Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath to Nirvana amongst many; influences which no doubt go some way to the diversity of the band‘s sound and songs over their trio of EPs.

The new encounter opens with Al Hammer, the song hugging ears with a controlled but dirty guitar before launching into a fiercely rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll. Louis Ramos immediately stirs things up vocally as riffs and rhythms unite in a combative yet infectious stroll whilst hooks come with a mischievous tempting. In no time a thick anthemic quality entices and grip ears and appetite, infesting its potency into the vocals too as fiery grooves and sonic enterprise add their tenacity to the inescapable contagion driven by confrontational rhythms.

The song is superb, alone sure to wake up broader spotlights upon the band, though the following Dogrose will pull its fair share of keen appetites too. A boisterous riff steps forward first with a lure which is almost Rocky like in its challenge and invitation, though the biggest bait is the female vocals which lay tempting tones across the emerging song almost as instantly. We cannot say which of the ladies provides the lead, but her tones only seduce as the song bristles and rumbles in something akin to Breeders meets The Passions with a touch of The Raincoats to it.

Ego dives straight in next, riffs and beats inspiring a feisty stomp as vocals and guitars spread their raucous attitude and tangy resourcefulness respectively. A minute and a half of punk ferocity, the song as its predecessors, also uncages the keenest hooks and spiciest melodic twists to grab attention and ignite the passions before Dogmother grumbles into view to bring the EP to a cantankerous close. Grouchy and compelling, band and song merges grunge and garage punk to infest body and psyche with a proposal which swiftly has you heading back to the play button once it departs.

As suggested The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is the band’s finest moment so far, and clearly so, such its step forward from those previously impressive encounters. The Amputees should be stirring up crowds and ears far from home and after their new EP escapes that might just begin to happen.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is released on February 13th on Money Fire Records.

http://www.theamputees.org   https://www.facebook.com/theamputees

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016

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Grizzlor – Cycloptic

Grizzlor_RingMaster Review

As it ravished and destabilised the senses, last year’s When You Die EP sparked a lustful appetite in us for the raw and dirtily rabid noise rock infestation cast by US trio Grizzlor. It was a persuasion continuing in a split release with Norwegian duo Barron Womb earlier this year but now exploding into lofty new heights with the Connecticut trio’s new offering, Cycloptic. The 7 track 7” EP is sonic irresistibility as intoxicating as it is bruising and ravenously intrusive. This time around Grizzlor have not so much polished but stripped down their sludgy, hardcore trespass to its textured bones which in turn has fanned the fires of spiteful imagination and searing diversity. The result is something glorious, with Grizzlor now not so much one of our favourite propositions of the past twelve months since they first nudged our personal attention, but of punk/rock confrontations for many, many years.

New Haven hailing vocalist/guitarist Victor, drummer John, and bassist Wade first emerged as Grizzlor early last year, making a mark with their self-released debut EP We’re All Just Aliens, though fair to say it was its successor When You Die through Money Fire Records that stirred even more attention. Despite the impressive presence and strong persuasion of both, it is easy to suspect that Cycloptic will be a whole new ball game in luring acclaim and richer spotlights the way of Grizzlor. Its invention and fury are simply a declaration that the band is ready to be one of the major protagonists helping to inspire and reshape the scene ahead.

Cover_RingMaster Review   Cycloptic begins its intrusive contagion with Sundays Are Stupid which provides its first intrigue through a warped breath of vocal and air which quickly springs a rhythmic stalking crossed by acidic sonic swipes of guitar. Bass and drums court intimidation and appetite simultaneously, their prowling swing as instantly addictive as the hook laded groove of guitar and the overall collusion of punk and noise rock blossoming the virulent tapestry crowding the broadening vocal roar of Victor. Imagination is just as hectic too, a distorted shimmer midway turning song catching the listener on their heels before things get thrillingly tempestuous all over again.

Strolling straight out of the wake of its predecessor, a baiting bassline leads I’m That Asshole into ears and ardour, its attitude caked lure the prelude to antagonistic beats and vocals as guitars unleashes a caustic tirade of irritable temptation. No song reaches the two minute mark, most barely glimpsing its signpost, but at forty odd seconds, the second track is a fast acting short and busy predatory fondling of the senses.

     Life’s A Joke has a more even paced stride to its scathing and addictive volatility; the track teasing with the infectious toxicity of The Black Black and a primal noise/hardcore rousing reminiscent of Sofy Major, whilst Tommy takes the listener into the bedlamic emotive realm of its protagonist on a swing of funk infused demonic bass and tangy grooves with venom in their veins. Both tracks grip the imagination whilst frisking body and senses, the first being pure punk belligerence within a creative psychosis of sound and the second in a sinister incitement before Winter Blows twists and turns like a tornado flinging flirtatious hooks, scowling vocals, and rhythmic agitation from its stormy centre.

Already Cycloptic has ears and thoughts enslaved and ready to acclaim Grizzlor as hitting a plateau to match more established noise exponents, a suggestion only reinforced by War Machine. Feeling energetically more urgent than its stalking actually is, thanks to the violently frisky swings of John, the song spews its emotive animus within a tantalising surf rock hued climate; the sultry, salty tang of guitar providing a fraudulent sunset increasingly masking the ingrained dark intent and textures of the track. It is bewitching, a sonic weave of invention that seduces as it uncompromisingly ravishes.

The EP is concluded by Starship Mother Shit, a slow sludge thick creeping through ears with lumbering and intensive rhythms courted by psyche infesting guitar spawned enterprise. There is nowhere to hide as the song gets under the skin whilst rubbing its bracing force upon every inch of body and soul, and no place for anything less than rich enthusiasm for repeat prescriptions of its violating devilry.

As we mentioned When You Die had us enlisted to the Grizzlor last year, but Cycloptic simply leaves it in the shade with each of its delicious creative malefactions on the senses. If not doing so before, now really is the time to embrace the noise fuelled scourge of Grizzlor.

The Cycloptic EP is released late October 2015 through Hex Records digitally and as a limited edition red and white vinyl @ http://hexrecords.bigcartel.com/product/grizzlor-cycloptic-7

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Pete RingMaster 26/10/2015

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Grizzlor – When You Die EP

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With so many releases presenting themselves each and every week it is easy for a fair few gems to slip under the radar without an additional nudge in their direction. Such would probably have happened with the When You Die EP if drummer John from its creators, the noise/dirt rock trio Grizzlor, had not offered an invitation to check out the four-track treat. Released via Money Fire Records, the EP is a raw and ravenous cauldron of noise and voracious intensity which is also unafraid to throw in the heaviest sludge bred endeavour and toxically seductive grooves. There is plenty more to their abrasing tempest of sound too, all revelling in the fuzz filtered tempest the band casts over the senses.

Hailing put of New Haven, Connecticut, Grizzlor was formed in 2013 with vocalist/guitarist Victor and bassist Wade alongside John. Their self-titled debut provided the first statement of noise last year whilst 2014 opened with the release of its successor We’re All Just Aliens, both providing great early hints and clues to the growing emergence and evolution of a sound which has hit a new plateau within When You Die. The band’s third EP can and should be the gateway to the broadest spotlight for the band, as long as there are plenty to nudge it in the direction of unsuspecting ears like ours were previously.

No Time sets the corrosive carnival of predacious sound off in gripping style, its first breath thick voracious smog of crunchy riffs and rumbling rhythms cast in a grizzled throated bass embrace which alone has the juices leaking. Bass and guitar make a ridiculously compelling bait, at times almost Morkobot like in its uncompromising persuasion, whilst the equally raw and honest tones of Victor and the pungent web of beats from John only adds to the lure and drama of the encounter. Grooves flirt from within the oppressive sludginess of the song whilst sonic temptation within the psyche rock seduction of the tempest, is as sultry as it is mesmeric.

The outstanding start leads into the psychotic bedlam that is Plaster Cowboy, manic squalls from Victor the prelude to a rampaging stroll of meaty jabbing beats and an impossibly addictive a3850649878_2bassline. It is soon immersed in a caustic mesh of guitar abrasion, the song twisting and launching in unpredictable and riveting style like a mix of The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Melvins, and KEN Mode. There is also in many ways an element of the senses grazing rabidity which drives The Mad Capsules Markets to the sonic turbulence and tenacity spilling from within the songs creative fury. Adding a delicious strain of surf rock to its melodic acidity too, the track soon steals top honours on the release though it is soon rivalled by the salacious scuzz tempting of Stoned where sludge and noise collude with garage punk and again a surf bred devilry for a compelling seducing of ears and imagination alongside a lingering erosion of the senses.

Closing things up is Mini Spaceships, another provocation of chunky riffs and intensive rhythms ridden by antagonistic vocals. Once more that toxic surf tempting is permeating every pore whilst the seriously captivating ferocity of the beats and grizzly riffs leaves a deep hunger for much more.

There is nothing polished and arguably welcoming to When You Die yet it is one of the most gripping and inescapable joys of the year. It offers music in its rawest and most primal ingenuity with an invention and devilry which only ignites the passions. Noise rock has a new heir to its throne and it is called Grizzlor.

The When You Die EP is available now via Money Fire Records digitally or on 7” vinyl @ http://grizzlordestroys.bandcamp.com/ or http://moneyfirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/when-you-die

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RingMaster 23/12/2014

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The Black Black – Boogie Nights

BandPhoto-1-WalterWlodarczyk

There is no denying that the One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger 7” single from The Black Black towards the end of last year, scored a deep rooted place on the soundtrack of our and a great many other’s passions with its three tracks of psyche flirting post punk. The release was not only confirmation of an already impressing emergence from the Brooklyn band but a sign post of greater exploits being brewed. It is a recipe which has come to a scintillating and seriously compelling boil on the trio’s debut album Boogie Nights, a salaciously contagious and schizophrenically toned incitement of post punk devilry. Inspired by the 1997 movie of the same name, the album is dirtily seductive and sonically swarthy, though no fakery in colour or overblown additives can be found on the lean and creatively rapacious groove machine. If you thought The Black Black was already the tang to your ears and day, be prepared for melt down once the rhythmically voracious and sonically irresistible Boogie Nights takes hold.

Formed in the latter months of 2011, The Black Black were soon luring attention with the self- release of a pair of EPs in 2012 and a split 7” with fellow Brooklyn band Low Fat Getting High. The early weeks of 2013 saw the band entering the studio with drummer Stephen Chopek (The Everymen) to record the double-A single One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger, the first for Money Fire Records and released in the September of that year. It was the spark to a far broader awareness and attention upon the band, the acclaimed release also in the words of the band, the first which “truly captures the bass-driven, groove-heavy sound and energy of the band.” With drummer Tomo Ikuta joining the founding pair of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Daily and bassist/vocalist Chris Schnaars also that year, the band has obviously continued to hone their sound and invention resulting in an album which stalks new plateaus of imagination igniting alchemy.

From the first stubby rhythmic swipes and acidic strikes of guitar, opener the plan is, there is no plan has thoughts and appetite on their feet and throwing moves. The angular spicy sparks and grooves of guitar are instant flirtation which the wonderfully throaty bassline and crispy rhythms match in imposing kind. Teasing with a bluesy scent to those grooves and its air, the song continues to rumble and shuffle vivaciously as expressive vocals behave as mischievous and predatory as the sounds around them whilst sudden dips into restraint and melodic seducing add extra bewitchment.

The tremendous starts is straight away emulated by black black snow, the second song again throwing out wiry and tasty grooves as its body swings beats and riffs like an Ian Curtis dance. AlbumCover-MichaelSincavageThoughts of Wire come to the fore quite swiftly, as too of The Gaa Gaas whilst the raw and rhythmically addictive side of the track is bred from the same primal instincts as The Fall. The track is a scuzzy turbulence of pure addictiveness and sonic sexiness, but it and its predecessor soon have to bow before the brilliance of until death do us party. The lead single from the album, it is a temptress from start to finish with a compelling acidic groove, coldly exotic hooks, and anthemic vocals as its biggest weapons out of many. Discord as ever is a vibrant colour to the band’s sound whilst a toxic melodic hue only excites the already vivacious adventure, but with grizzled bass tones and agitated rhythms courted by Mekons like sonic tenacity, the track breaches an ingenuity which is breath-taking.

The following what the world needs now strides purposefully in next with a beat carrying bulging biceps and a grizzly bass enticement which soon has the appetite licking its lips. A low tone to the vocals adds to the addictive drama before the song expels a caustic breath and garage rock ferocity. It slips through both elements again before twisting into a psychotic swing and vocal bedlam which again has body and thoughts dribbling in pleasure. The glorious tempting takes a different avenue with the darkly shadowed machine, who me?, cold almost sinister essences draping over the vocal agitation and Joy Division seeded revelry. As in all encounters though, numerous side steps and unpredictable turns bring greater fascination and ardour the way of the eventual Baddies flavoured evocation.

The previously exalted you’re a danger soon has ears and feet engaged with its slightly unruly but seriously infectious sonic emprise. Wrapped in richly spiced tendrils of melodic fire and intimidating bass menace, the song simultaneously smoulders and stomps on the way to hypnotising the senses with its unrelenting and feverish tapestry of alluring discord and searing guitar toxicity. The track as so many from the band, just seems to grow and worm deeper under the skin over time, a persistence which flows through the album and especially in songs like this drink’s familiar. Shimmering loudly with every shudder of guitar strings and grouchily tempting with every bass slap, the song slowly swarms over the senses, flirting with ears on the way through with bright flickering moves and raunchy beats.

Things get dirty and greedily energetic again with the silence is deafening, a grooved beast of riotous and infection fuelled escapades, and restrained with the sultrily tempting phillip gets divorced. The second of the pair is unafraid to occasionally fire up its bedlam though and bursts into occasional fierce blazes of sound and vocal fury, whilst both songs treat the imagination and passions to exhilarating doses of bracing and abrasing rock ‘n’ roll.

With the similarly irresistible creative psych-out of this land is not your land bringing the album to a close, Boogie Nights has little difficulty inflaming old passions and triggering new lustful responses. It is a certain challenge to all best of lists due to be offered around now and for newcomers to The Black Black an inescapable and thrilling doorway into post punk anarchy whilst for fans it is simply the best thing since…well the band’s last sonic plaything.

Boogie Nights is out now via on Money Fire Records digitally and on 12″ white vinyl @ http://moneyfirerecords.com/boogie-nights-by-the-black-black/ and http://theblackblack.bandcamp.com/album/boogie-nights

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RingMaster 12/12/2014

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The Amputees – Scream EP

The Amputees pic

It has been over a year since US punks The Amputees released their excellent Commence The Slaughter EP, a release which certainly put the New York City based band on the radar whilst expelling a wealth of promise for their future endeavours. The Scream EP is the next encounter to be unleashed and it not only builds on that strong base but sees the band leaping up big levels in maturity, craft, and just plain quality. Released November 23rd via Money Fire Records, the five track release is an eclectic mix of numerous vibrant hues of punk rock for one very contagious slab of bustling rock ‘n’ roll.

The seven strong unit immediately has feet and emotions leaping with opener Beanie. A raucous riot of pop punk with a vein of a1402476998_2Ramones like addictiveness to its charge, the track is one of those anthems which lingers and hides in the psyche to appear at its own will at any time. Described as “a theme song dedicated to their bass player”, the song stomps with energy and craft, guitars carving up the air with infectious lures whilst bass and drums add a hungry texture which only adds to the contagious body, the snarling four string presence of Geena Spigarelli especially irresistible. The vocals of guitarist Louis Ramos backed by the appealing tones of Carrie Ramos reinforce the catchy and magnetic call of the song and against the strong driven rhythms of drummer Kaleen Reading make a tempering persuasion.

The outstanding start is soon matched by the darker colder charms of Holden. With riffs striding purposefully alongside again rigidly uncompromising rhythms, the song offers an intimidation missing in its predecessor and a heavier rapacious breath. Irresistible and resourcefully sculpted grooves vein the compelling track, their ridiculously addictive and almost insolent prowess mouth-watering assistance to the great vocals of guitarist Nova Luz, her voice and delivery helping send the track into comparisons to the likes of The Distillers and L7. The song continues the grip of the EP with ease, the first two songs already igniting a real passion for the release and giving a real task for the other songs to stand up to.

Both King Jubs and the title track go for it with relish, the first a thirty second stab of punk ferocity, prime old school hardcore punk spewing exhausting exciting venom whilst the second merges hardcore and pop punk into a fiery scuzz lined blaze of sinister garage punk, guitars and vocals a great caustic combination speared by those ever brisk and urgent rhythms. Though neither quite manages to rise to the heights of the opening pair of tracks, both leave hunger and emotions wanting much more for the diversity and matured strength The Amputees have bred.

The release closes with the contagion expelling 88, a song which has limbs and energy recruited with its Ramones meets Late Cambrian like blend. It is simple, raucous, and irresistibly incendiary to the passions and limbs. A final anthemic bait to send the EP off in fine style, the song equally ensures there is no option but to go back to the start of Scream and bask once again in its punk rock triumph.

The EP is the perfect invitation to newcomers into one of the US’s best emerging punk bands. A quick mention also goes to guitarist Gary Young, he another contributing strong craft to songs though it is hard to know which guitarist appeared on which song, and to Screaming Females’ frontwoman Marissa Paternoster who provided the great cover art to the release. If you are looking for punk which maybe is not yet ground-breaking but certainly refreshing and most importantly thrilling than The Amputees and the Scream EP is a must.

http://www.theamputees.org

9/10

RingMaster 20/11/2013

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The Black Black – One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger

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Creating a sound with a schizophrenic edge to its virulently contagious imagination, The Black Black has instantly thrust themselves to the heart of the fullest attention with their new double7″ single, One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger. It is a compelling, ridiculously infectious three track excuse for the passions to show some lust and a release which makes the Brooklyn trio a band to keep a close eager eye upon.

Formed in 2011, The Black Black brew up a distressed dance of sound bred from a mix of post punk, psyche rock, and punk. Latched to grooves which are epidemically riveting, it all combines for a presence which leaves a hungry appetite in the ear and passions.  Released via Money Fire Records, the single takes little time in stealing the fullest focus and appetite for their offering, the opening bass growl and similarly voiced guitar of first song You’re A Danger an immediate rich temptation which gnaws at and snatches the listener’s focus from anything else in the vicinity. Once settled in an invitingly repetitive but irresistible swagger a melodic guitar starts to entangle its sonic tendrils gently around the core of the song, its enticement matched by great harmonious vocals. The track is like a mix of Baddies and The Passions with a spice of The Gaa Gaas and Scars added for extra invention and as it continues in its romp with restraint but open energy and fevered passion, the song sculpts a highly potent declaration veined with discord kissed enterprise and melodic bewitchment, hypnotic persistence and sonic causticity also as equally ripe and convincing.

One Blunt Death Party continues the scintillating start; again a raw gnarly opening softening up the ears before sonic scythes of guitar and vocal intimidation parade their welcome barracking. As with its predecessor the rhythmic probing is inevitably thrilling, predation soaked beats and bass riffs alone caging and enslaving thoughts and hunger whilst making the perfect canvas for the guitar to unveil its mouthwatering narrative. The song has a garage punk like glaze to its sound at times, a raw and scuzzy surface which is pierced and punctuated by the imagination of the songwriting, a complete lure which offers thoughts of the likes of Wire and The Strokes a place to make suggestions. Like the first the track it is impossibly infectious, totally commanding in its presence, and simply an ingenious suasion.

Closing up the release is Cleptogina, a track which steals the show even against the brilliance of the first two slices of sonic alchemy. Taking that previously mentioned schizophrenic air into full on aural bedlam, the song is a spiteful but wholly enthralling web of rhythmic lashing and sonic acidity, again discord and uncompromising adventure raging within a honed vitriolic blaze of fury that mutually seduces and withers the senses. There are whispers of Alien Sex Fiend and early The Horrors spiking throughout the ferocious engagement but also from within the tempest a corrupted melodic acerbity which toys with the ears and brings excited hues to the aural rabidity. The closer shows the depth of the songwriting and along with the other two songs stretches the promise and further possibilities within The Black Black to highly anticipated climes.

The One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger single is an exceptional base for one exciting band and an introduction which you suspect will make for a great many The Black Black a new plaything for their passions.

http://theblackblack.bandnada.com/

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10/10

RingMaster 01/11/2013

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