Mongrel – Snakes

Mongrel

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

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

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

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

http://www.mongrelband.com/

http://mongrel.bandcamp.com/music

10/10

RingMaster 29/10/2013

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Obsessive Compulsive – Seculo Seculorum

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There has been a good buzz about Seculo Seculorum, the second album from UK punksters Obsessive Compulsive, since its release a couple of months ago but now having allowed its thrilling exploits to tease and excite our senses the record far outweighs the plenty of good responses draped upon it so far. It is an outstanding release, a collection of songs that stand toe to toe with the ears intimidating and coaxing them and all beyond into its riotous and provocative charge. Rife with feisty riffs, probing rhythms, and more hooks than to be found in an angling store, as well as the excellent spitefully seductive tones of vocalist Kelii, the album is an irrepressible temptation declaring the rock and punk fused presence of the band as one of the most exciting in the UK.

The Manchester quartet first drew attention with a couple of EPs but fired up a stronger awareness with debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams in 2010. Released on their own Vociferous Records and produced by Russ Russell (The Wildhearts/Evile/Napalm Death), the album triggered strong and eager responses as well as a wealth of underground media acclaim. Renowned for their live performances, which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Goldblade, GBH, Anthrax, The Damned Things, KMFDM, Wolfsbane, and The Japanese Voyeurs as well as igniting festivals such as Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, and Download Festival, Obsessive Compulsive are now poised to raise their stature to a much loftier level with the James Loughrey (Skindred/Bjork/Page & Plant) recorded Seculo Seculorum (meaning ‘forever and ever’).

As immediately evident on the album, Obsessive Compulsive reaps the finest essences of punk, alternative rock, and a multi-flavoured OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArock rawness which combines to create a confrontation which leaves you breathless and gripped by a hunger for more. Imagine The Distillers and The Duel tied down and milked for their antagonistic charms whilst Karn8 stands astride adding their wantonness and you get a sniff of what the album offers. There is also a melodic fire and bite which harkens back to the late seventies with both The Photos and Penetration coming to mind at times. The moment opener Sick Sick Sick bursts into a blaze of hypnotic riffs laced with a contagious groove and commanding rhythms, there is a cage around the passions sparking them into life especially as Kelii brawls into the ear with sexy intimidation. There is a sense of US rockers Mongrel about the song too when it flares up in pissed off crescendos around its virulent infectious call. It is a scintillating start that lingers around for a long time inside though it is soon matched by the brilliant Regurgitate.

The second song on the album initiates the strongest lure just by the instant firm stroking of guitar and vocals, the combination a temptation which seems to know there is no escaping its toxicity. Into its stride once again the suasion is immense and impossible to resist, the roguish roam of the riffs framed by crisp beats seemingly seeded in old school punk rock whilst Kelii provides a Pauline Murray like snarl and melodic craft to her delivery. It is another instant pinnacle which alongside its predecessor puts the rest of the album under pressure.

Both the inventively unpredictable Stamp Your Own Path and the smouldering Jardim Gramacho put up massively satisfying efforts to grip the same heights whilst Nail In My Coffin stands shoulder to shoulder with the openers with its scything riffs and barracking rhythms egged on by the continuing to impress vocals. The track engages full thrusters in the energetic chorus to rampage as melodic flames hang on to its wind, though they are later allowed to settle and bewitch the listener with skilled and inventive narratives either side of the storm. The track again shows the variety in sound and imagination already on the album, the diversity brought with invention and an array of ingenious barbs which are never too much or allowed to get too complicated.

Float idles up next with bass and deep toned guitar edging the sultry tones of Kelii as the track unveils a slightly chilling and menacing beauty to its expansive breath, keys bringing an enveloping atmosphere which almost haunts the ear whilst shards of hot guitar coals light the skies. Drawing up its sinews and malevolent passion the song builds into a rapacious fire before settling down again into the initial smoulder. It is another slice of brilliance helping to propel the album into classic areas, the evidence of that status cemented further by the twin glories of Soul Sucker and Things Clean And Unclean, the first very much a Karn8 type inducement with elements of Hole and Hitchcock Blonde to it and its successor a gritty slice of dirty punk with L7 whispers to its stunning suasion, the steely bass bait a greedy temptress. It should be noted though for all the references mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive sound is still as distinct as you would hope.

After the metallically honed triumph Fight Or Flight the album unleashes its finest moment in the punk fury of No Logo. The track is pure venom and belligerence, a blistering X-Ray Spex like piece of contentious savagery which squalls and scowls with no mercy shown or considered. It is a bruising fight which accentuates the beauty of closing song Swallow The Sound all the more, the song a compelling rock ballad with a melodic heat that frames the vocals perfectly.

Obsessive Compulsive is a band which leaves only the richest appetite and urgency for their creativity in play, and Seculo Seculorum an album which seriously threatens the best UK rock album claims for the year. A must listen release.

http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/08/2013

 

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Dirty Danzig: Horror Vibes From Nowhere

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    If you have the feeling in the dead of night that someone, something is watching with a dark lust in their eyes, then feel yourself very lucky if it is the crypt stalking horror rock conjurors Dirty Danzig. Not that you will be safe in their company or escape a horrendous fate but whilst committing their heinous deeds they might just treat you to a healthy dose of musical sensation to be found on their demo, Horror Vibes From Nowhere. The release from the Italian trio is a delicious mortuary of cinematic mayhem and thunderous ground shaking menace which ignites the fullest fire deep inside.

Formed on Halloween in 2010, the Grottammare threesome of mayhem in the persuasive shape of vocalist/guitarist Christina Deth, bassist Kellen Deth, and drummer Markus Carpenter, with no surprise bring the heavy influence of Glen Danzig into their creativity, from both Misfits and Danzig eras. Despite that obvious spice the songs which make up the EP stand as their own aural death dealing card with a presence which stands the band away from and to the fore of most. The release is also inspired by horror movies with film soundbites relating to the songs they inspire, a potent introduction to what are unreservedly compelling songs.

Voodoo Death opens up the all-consuming horror, a track which within seconds has the senses dancing through its raucous riffs, 300 (1)punchy rhythms, and the excellent vocals of Christina, her delivery a biting yet seductively melodic instigator of pleasure and intimidation. Her vocals snap at the ear as well as harmonically caressing them to add extra menace to the predatory basslines of Kellen, the merciless beats of Markus, and her own insatiable guitar abrasion. It is an excellent song which is pure infection and total magnetism, a storm of Misfits, Mongrel, and Calabrese like splendour.

The following House on The Hill with its sample of Vincent Price from the film House On Haunted Hill has attention riveted before a note is lit but when the track explodes into vindictive action the addiction is pure and torrential. Like the first it is prime horror anthem as catchy as a fever and energetically a brawling irresistible burn upon the senses. It is a rawer assault than its predecessor but leaves just as rich and potent a satisfaction through its unrelenting growl and predacious riffs framed by bone splintering rhythms.

With already a full submission to its terrific confrontation the band seal the deal with the ferocious Vampire, a track which goes for the jugular, naturally, and dances on its victim with a fiery groove spearing a tempest of uncompromising rhythms and gnawing riffs, whilst the vocals just tear at the senses with bloodlust. It is another simply outstanding encounter to end the release but…the band has not finished with its prey yet. As the final note leaves its glorious scar keep patient and wait within the silent shadows of the release as the band have one hidden unnamed treat to enjoy. The mystery song is a furnace of intensity and energy, a bear of a track with more muscle and hunger than before and just as much majestic malice.

Horror Vibes from Nowhere is quite brilliant; a hellacious ride from a band in Dirty Danzig which has one drooling in anticipation for what is next and breathless from what they have just inflamed the heart with.

Grab the EP as a free Download @ http://bit.ly/W5qNq6

https://www.facebook.com/dirtydanzig

9/10

RingMaster 16/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Adam Savage of Mongrel

Hard work and fighting spirit, not to mention determination, has been a trade mark alongside their outstanding punk/metal sounds of US band Mongrel, a quartet which has thrilled and ignited passions through their dynamic live shows and equally impactful releases. Shows with major rock names such as Misfits, Korn, Otep, Sepultura, Mindless Self Indulgence, Wednesday13, and Prong to name just a few has brought the band to the fore of attention for masses of fans, as well as their albums and EPs, but there has been plenty of obstacles to overcome at the same time. With the release of their excellent new album Reclamation, a definite contender for album of the year, Mongrel have emerged again as one of the most impressive rock n roll bands around. The band has been a permanent feature of The Reputation radio Show and Bone Orchard podcast for many years so we just had to grab some time of guitarist and band founder Adam Savage to find out about the band, their album, and their new refreshing onslaught on rock music.

Hi Adam and many thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

My pleasure!

It is probably fair to say the last few years has been a battle for the band so how does it feel to finally be unleashing your new album in a stable and powerful situation, band wise and support wise with the label?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say it felt great!! It’s definitely been a struggle the last few years for sure, and fighting to get this album done and released has been a huge amount of time, stress, energy, frustration, etc since the initial start of the process over 3 1/2 years ago. Not to say there wasn’t good stuff going on and lots of fun these last 2 years but finally putting this album out and being able to do so with a great team of people both in and around the band (label, publicist, radio promotion, etc) feels great!! It’s a huge relief and certainly really exciting to see where things will go now.

Before we get in to certain aspects of that time can you give for newcomers to Mongrel some early background to the band, its beginnings and early successes?

Sure, I started the band in 2003 with our original singer after pulling the plug and imploding my prior band. We went through a lot of early transitions of band members and within 6 months I was the only survivor of the original line-up but we found new people and carried on. We eventually found some longer term members, put out our 1st full length album in 2006 which was then picked up by Screaming Ferret Wreckords/ Locomotive Records and re-released in 2008. In 2009 we put out another EP in association with Screaming Ferret. After some revamping of the band (new drummer and now a female singer) we released “The New Breed of Old School” EP in September 2010, “Declamation” EP in May 2011, and now the “Reclamation” album on September 25th 2012 on THC-X.   Some of the early successes were getting to play at CBGB’s before they closed, tours with Blitzkid, Trashlight Vision, and FEAR; getting called “the hardest working band in Boston” in Metal Edge, some really cool sponsorships; playing with bands like the Misfits, Otep, Korn, Prong, etc. Getting played on Sirius/XM and Music Choice; and seeing support from people around the world from us has always been amazing to me.

You have played with many of the major names in rock and metal as you just referred to; did that bring any direct positive impact and openings for the band outside of your home state other than making your Resume look rather special?

Hah hah. Well a good resume doesn’t hurt but yeah, it definitely helped get our name out, and it got us into some places in other markets for sure.

2010 saw the departure of your long time vocalist and drummer, obviously a major setback for any band, but how did it affect you as people and your determination to keep fighting as a band?

It was a setback in the sense that we had actually just finished up a new album (mixed/mastered/etc) at that time which was then promptly scrapped. But in all honesty it was actually the best thing possible for me as a person and for the band. Tensions in the band were horrible and negativity was continually getting worse. It wasn’t at all fun anymore dealing with it.  So as odd as it may sound, I was far less stressed out when it was myself and Rev (our former bassist) left in the band than I had been for a good number of months with a full line-up. I was then even more determined to rebuild, regroup, and re-record the album and to make the band better than ever. It was definitely a blessing in disguise for sure!

After trying a few vocalists I believe as you kept gigging as a band throughout the period and you called on your friend Jessica Sierra to fill in some dates. We know she was a great presence and vocalist back from her days with Affliction and may I say even more impressive now fronting Mongrel, but as initially it was for just a few shows to help out why did you look at a female vocalist for such an initially planned brief moment in the band’s life, or was there a secret plan at work? :)

I wish I could take credit for some super diabolical master plan in that regard but essentially we’d been auditioning male singers, we got a new full time male singer (Scott Campbell, ex-Graveyard BBQ), but due to other issues in his life it didn’t work out and he had to drop out. We had 3 days notice to cover a show we had booked months prior in Boston and the only singer I could think of who’d potentially be ready in 3 days like that was Jessica….she did it, and she did a great job with the situation and continued covering shows… lo-and-behold she sounded great on the tunes, we were having a lot of fun again and she threw her name in the hat to audition for the band (and yes, she insisted on going through the formal audition process despite having done like 6-8 shows with us at that point). It was just too perfect and worked too well for it not to go forward like that.

At what point did you make the decision to make her a permanent member and I assume there was no persuasion needed to convince her?

Shortly after her “audition” we made her official at a show we did in her hometown right around her birthday (early August 2010) actually so it worked out pretty cool like that. Other than promising her that we would eventually get her a pony for the tour bus Dethklok reference> it didn’t take a lot of persuasion.

We know what we feel she offers the band which has brought a new strength to your sound but what for you has she brought which has helped evolve and shape your music now?

Jess brings a whole lot of personality and fun to the band as well as a new sense of melodicism and aggression (she’s gotten even fiercer since she came back from her hiatus!), plus having a female singer brings a different level of meaning to some of the songs (for example, the kind of sultry melodic singing she brought to “Zombies of War” on the new album to me brought a layer of meaning cause of how they try to sell the military as sexy and glamorous in order to recruit people).

Drummer Dave Kazukiewicz joined just before Jessica, and most recently bassist Micah Maltais joined the band as replacement for the departing Rev. How did you come across the guys and can you give a word about the legend which is Rev?

Dave was actually introduced to us by his girlfriend who was a fan of the band and it worked out perfectly at the time (he’s actually just recently been replaced by new drummer Mike Hogan as Dave stepped down in order to focus on his painting and his band Polluted Remains). Micah we knew from shows we played over the last few years with his band Tell It To The Dead. Micah was a big fan of the band and we always had a great time hanging out with him when we’d do shows together so it was really cool cause he had so much enthusiasm about the songs and getting into the band since he was a fan first.  As for Rev, he’s a hell of a bassist and a fun person to have around. Very witty and a very unique character (in a good way). Definitely not a bad word to say about “responsible rockstar #1″ – he’s currently playing in several projects but primarily in a band called The Evil Streaks (female fronted surf-garage-rock-horror punk) and in a Rob Zombie tribute band called American Hellbilly.

Would you say Rev leaving was a bigger jolt than anything before, just for personal feelings?

Yeah, I was personally more bummed about Rev leaving than the others before him cause he is such a good guy to have around and it was a bummer we wouldn’t get to see him/hang out as often but he put a lot into the band over the years and was such a class act (even recording 2 EPs and an album with us knowing he was going to be stepping down so as to make sure we didn’t get sidelined again with this album). He seems really happy with what he’s doing musically these days and will on occasion do a guest spot with us so it’s all good. Thankfully we have a great group of people with us still though and Micah has worked out great for us, not necessarily filling Rev’s shoes but bringing an equally cool pair of his own to the party if you know what I mean.

Let’s come to the main reason we grabbed you, your new album Reclamation. A mighty, rampaging, and thrilling release which dare we say is your best yet by far? There must have been a real buzz brewing as the songs and release came together for you?

Thank you! I definitely agree that this is the best release yet for us. Part of the frustration with the delays and sidelines over the last few years has been that I truly believe in these songs and felt that they had to be recorded and released properly come hell or high water. It’s great to see in the really early reviews we’ve gotten for it (your own included) that other people really are connecting with the songs too. It’s definitely been exciting seeing it all coming together finally and who knows, maybe the timing is finally “right”, the stars aligned, etc and this was the time it was right for it to come out. Who am I to argue that is so, we’re just super excited that it’s all finally happening.

Did the songs find their first breath around the time of the Declamation EP of last year or were recorded later? I ask as the EP feels like a lead in to the album, a teaser of what was to come.

So you did catch that. Well played Ringmaster! Yeah, we actually recorded all 17 tracks at the same time. Our then management consultant (and later label boss, Thom Hazaert) suggested splitting it into an EP and a full album. So we figured out what we thought made for the best full album and what songs worked best as the EP and “Declamation” and “Reclamation” were born. The similar names and artwork were definitely intentional since the EP was meant as both a teaser for the full length album and as a companion piece to it. Originally we expected to release “Reclamation” much sooner after the EP but when we found out that Jessica needed to step down it got put on hold again until her return this past spring.

How long did the album take to record, one senses you are a band which is explosive in all aspects and just gets down to it and to the point in all aspects.

We recorded it (and Declamation simultaneously) over the span of 2 months I believe (we were playing shows and such still as well) and then mixing/mastering/etc was another couple months span or so. We definitely don’t screw around in the studio though. We’re not a band who goes into the studio to write songs while the clock is ticking and we know we’re not there to slack so things definitely do get done pretty quickly when the time comes to hit the studio.

Tell us about the writing process within Mongrel.

Historically I’ve been the main songwriter in the band. Typically I’d have lyrics and the basic outline of the song and bring it in and we’d jam on it then decide if it needs anything else, if it works, etc. With the new line up though, I expect we’ll have some more collaboration on the next album as both Jessica and Micah have been songwriters in their prior bands and will be able to contribute the next time around.

The album is released through THC: X, but I gather there was plenty of hard work and again battles behind the album, in getting it to this point (though not within the band), certainly with labels and things?

When Jessica came back and we were going to start figuring out the release plans for Reclamation, I had approached our on again/off again management consultant about putting it out through his label. After some discussion we worked it out and then it was time to set a release date and get the game plan in order. so definitely work was taking place and since then in the getting the full team together, coordinating, etc but Thom (Hazaert) and I have been talking for years now so that process was actually pretty smooth.

It is so hard to pick out favourite tracks, everyone a blistering slice of essential punk/metal/rock n roll. Twist our arm and maybe we would pump, today, for Pseudocide, C and a Half, Crucifiction and Revisionist. Is there any moment, song, or element of the album which gives you the deepest glow personally inside?

Honestly it’s really hard to say, I’m really happy with all of them personally…. I dig Tarnished Halo and Zombies of War a lot cause I think they kind of branch out style wise a bit, Revisionist like you said cause of the story/message of the song, No Gods No Masters is kind of our anthem… like you said, it probably varies day to day here too.

Mongrel is a band which has never not been flat out gigging, so one assumes there is a feast of dates coming up to support the album?

Yeah, we’ve been doing a run of cd release party shows and we’re playing the Rock & Shock Festival (rockandshock.com) with the Misfits, Shadows Fall, God Forbid, and Vision of Disorder in Worcester MA on October 12th which we’re psyched for, we’ll even be at the convention all that weekend where they’ve got stars like Danny Trejo, the guy who played Dante in Clerks, Bill Mosley, Sid Haig, Peter Criss, Dee Snider, etc all doing meet and greets and such. It’s gonna be amazing!

Where do you get the deepest pleasure as a band, live or in the creating and studio times?

At the core we’re a live band. That’s what we do all of this for is that thrill and energy of getting on stage and connecting with people. Obviously we get excited about creating new music, and while perhaps more tedious at times the studio is exciting too but it’s that time on stage that is truly what it’s all about.

Listening to the album one senses a freedom to the band again, is that how it feels and what is on the horizon for us from the band?

Can’t agree more! It’s fun, it’s exciting for us, having Jess back with the band, and the enthusiasm we have going right now is awesome. We’re hoping to work on writing towards the next EP or album over the winter when the show schedule slows down a bit just cause of the unpredictability weather wise it’s incredibly frustrating getting a show snowed out or something so we’ll prolly keep a lighter show schedule but spend more time writing over the winter months. I’d like to see a second video from the album happen as well so hopefully that will fall into place as well. We’re also working on releasing the album in the UK as well later this fall (physical CDs, not just iTunes since it’s already on there and Amazon, etc)…. a lot will depend on how things take off and play out with the new album though. Fingers are definitely crossed though!

Lastly tell us about the new video for Bored To Death, the first song on the album.

We did the new video with Red13Media, who happen to also be the people we recorded the new album with and who did our photo shoot as well. They really “get” us there and have a good sense of what we’re about and work well with us so it’s very low stress and a lot of fun working with them. The video itself was shot in one day at a couple of locations, and in our traditional “keep it in the family” way of doing things, actually features 2 people who at different times covered some shows on vocals for us (Blu Jess and Scott Campbell) so it was a cool family reunion type thing doing the video. The response on YouTube for the video has been really cool to see with over 2,000 views in just about a week so far. It’s been awesome and we’ve definitely seen the impact at shows where people who don’t have the album yet since it JUST came out, are already singing along with that tune which is the greatest feeling as a performer. If any of the readers haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZiczkduf2E&feature=share&list=UU2JwNRa_Sc4-OktF5-CiU-w (or below)

Thanks for talking with us, really appreciate it and good luck with the album…any final words?

My pleasure! Thank you for all the support, the great review of the album on your site, and for really doing your homework on these questions!! You rock!!  If people want to hit us up directly they can reach us at http://www.mongrelband.com  and http://www.facebook.com/mongrelofficial  or http://www.twitter.com and I hope everyone will check out the new album Reclamation on iTunes, Amazon, etc.   Thanks again!!! -

Read the review of Reclamation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/mongrel-reclamation/

RingMaster Review 02/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mongrel: Reclamation

For those aware of US band Mongrel, it is wide knowledge that they are one of the most exciting and accomplished underground rock n roll bands around, and have been since forming in 2003. For those still to discover their addict forming blend of punk rock and metal now is the time to feel their bite as they release new album Reclamation, a collection of songs which will have fans and newcomers reeling from its might and infectious brilliance.

Reclamation emerges from what basically has been four years of turmoil for the band through line-up, studio, and studio disruptions. From early on right through to now the Boston, Massachusetts quartet has established a permanent place in the hearts of growing multitudes from their releases and sharing of stages alongside the likes of Misfits (multiple times), Gwar, Korn, Otep, Sepultura, Mindless Self Indulgence, Prong, Fu Manchu, Psychostick, Wednesday13, Dizzy Reed (Gn’R), and Piggy D (Rob Zombie) to name just a few, alongside their own tours and shows. It was the departure of their long term vocalist and drummer in 2010 which dropped one of the biggest obstacles in the way of and to slow down the rampaging charge of Mongrel. Dave Kazukiewicz was soon enlisted to bang the skins but a vocalist was less easy a solution to find. Another male singer was brought in as they searched long and hard but that was a short lived answer. Still gigging as is the Mongrel way, they called on their friend Jessica Sierra from the band Affliction to cover some shows with eventually the temporary arrangement becoming, to our pleasure, permanent.

Now a powerful and stable unit of band founder Adam Savage, bassist Rev, Sierra and Kazukiewicz, the quartet set about re-recording tracks from the releases which had thrilled in the early days, debut album Fear, Lies & Propaganda of 2006 and the Revenge EP three years later.. These tracks came out upon the excellent The New Breed of Old School EP. To those who had grown with the band it was a surprising but mighty evolution from what came before, the vocals of Sierra bringing a tighter grip and quality to the sound which only impressed. 2010 saw the band enter the studio once more to record a further step forward with the Declamation EP and most impressive of all this the Reclamation album. Of course a battle ensued to get it released as is the life of independent bands (as well as the more recent departure from the band of Rev to be replaced by Micah Maltais) but now the album is here released through THC Music imprint THC: X, and ready to snarl and take chunks out of all lucky enough to ensnare it.

The album slaps the ear around from the start with Bored To Death, a feisty slice of anthemic punk rock. It is easy to digest and irresistible, straight forward rock n roll brought with fiery riffs, thumping beats, and the intimidating tones of Sierra, her voice a beckoning tease and attitude snapping aural harpy. It is a powerful and energetic start soon ramped up by the following Pseudocide and Fuck Off And Die. The first just burns the senses from its first note and leaves one smouldering in glee by its end. Ramones meets The Distillers; the track is a punk explosion which scorches the senses to near orgasmic pleasure. The second song prowls and snarls with a ravenous intensity, its heart and Sierra ready to pounce and rip its victim apart whilst the metal driven riffs scythe their way through the ear with caustic power.  Another song leaving one breathless it adds to a high octane start.

One almost expects things to drop level wise at some point as with most releases but this is not like most albums and with the likes of the prowling Zombies Of War with Sierra giving Brode Dalle a run for her money in a delivery of melodic snarling, The More I Bleed with its corrosive guitar abrasions, and the Otep tinged Tarnished Halo, igniting deeper and fuller pleasures, there is no chance of any lost of levels.

     Reclamation is a masterclass in punk rock/metal from first note to last but some tracks simply exhaust the passions such their towering quality. C and a Half is one such song, a sonic addition of rampaging riffs and riotous chorus assaults with the guys backing up Sierra perfectly, spite dripping from every note and syllable. The groove magnet Crucifiction alongside the delicious melody drenched Revisionist, easily rival in their diverse and imaginative ways to continue the immense satisfaction and clear variety on show within the combative cloak of sound. As with all songs they are openly contagious, rippling with hooks and grooves and outstanding vocal spreads from Sierra to fire up heart and passion.

The blistering tempest which is Stillborn Saviour, the ferocious Wake Up, and a reworking of an old song from their first album in No Gods No Masters, end what is easily one of the best albums this year, not only in punk rock or metal but across all genres. Reclamation is sheer excellence whilst Mongrel are at their strongest t ever and still one of the leading underground rock bands, though now with this album one expects their elevation to the big metal table to be imminent.

http://www.mongrelband.com/

RingMaster 18/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Love Stricken Demise: Psychotrip EP

Not many can turn their noses up at some dirty explosive and honest rock sounds, something you get with relish from US rockers Love Stricken Demise. Their debut EP Psychotrip is a wonderful insatiable bruise of rock n roll, colourful and insistent. Consisting of four songs which ignite an overspill of adrenaline, the release leaves one fully gratified and eager for more.

The background to the Texan quartet is as full and multi hued as their sounds. The band was started in 2011 by guitarist and vocalist Billy Blair, a musician who from fronting shock rock band Surgeon General in the early years of this century with whom he shared stages with bands such as KISS, Poison, Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth and Cinderella, played bass for Earshot in 2008. The years in between also saw him in the likes of Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, and Messer. Over the past decade he ventured into acting appearing in films Mongolian Death Worm, Jonah Hex and Machete. With the intent to form a new band Blair turned to a drummer he worked with in the past in Rico (Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, Spearing Britney, EKG, Mind Gallery and KRADL).

Next the pair brought in vocalist Nikki McKibbin, a singer they had worked with previously. Her musical career saw her fronting groups like Downside, Rivithead and Mother Truckin Skulldiggers and most recently Wicked Attraction as well as releasing solo material, but a fame of a sorts came her way on the first season of American Idol and subsequent appearances on Fear Factor, Celebrity Rehab and Sober House,

The band was completed with the addition of bassist Holly Wood, a lady who apart from playing guitar for the past decade, switching to bass for Love Stricken Demise, is a master of ceremonies and hair stylist who not only preens the locks of Blair but has managed the hair of the Bush family. Arguably a larger than life canvas behind the band but no one should think of dismissing the quality and sincerity of their sounds.

Produced by Sterling Winfield the EP shows the strength and high level of the music immediately with the excellent title track. It is a song as infectious and hungry as a flea on a dog. Feisty riffs first stand tall barracking the ear before making room for the sharp melodic hooks of Blair. The rhythms of Rico are commanding and jab with an aggressive control to frame the song but it is the bass of Wood which ignites most adoration. Her sounds stalk and pace the track with a deep throaty growl like a wolf just waiting to pounce, her heavy presence making the perfect balance to the heated strokes and play on Blair. Once the vocals of McKibbin fire up the atmosphere everything is in place for the aural party, her delivery and voice impressively strong and varied, offering a snarl to the words and contempt to the heart of the track.

Celebrity High follows to keep the great start going. A track about and borne from the battle McKibbin herself had with drugs, alcohol and her subsequent recovery, the song is straight from the heart, its passion and emotion pouring through. The personal intensity makes for a potent and inciteful piece of muscular punk/hard rock and takes the song deep into thought and feelings.

This Life stirs and winds its way to attention with firstly sparking melodic guitar play and then a following addictive groove which wraps itself around an even deeper ravenous growl from Wood and sharper destructive power from Rico. The track is a tempered crawl though there is no restraint to its aggression and directness. A track born to soundtrack the most seductive pole dance possible, well certainly the music, the song is a teasing weave of contagion which lingers long after it burns its last flaming chord.

The release is completed by the stomping combative Love And Hate, the song storming across the senses with a barbed intent as it unleashes its passions and fiery breath. The track also powerfully shows a further expanse to the sound and creativity of the band. Love Stricken Demise here and throughout the EP, reminds of Boston punk metal band Mongrel, the voice of McKibbin very similar to that of Jessica Sierra which is wholly a good thing. Left on a real high by the track, the only moan is it is all over so soon immediately instigating an impatience for much more, and soon.

The Psychotrip EP is the best kind of rock n roll and Love Stricken Demise just what rock music needs, something on the cusp of being dangerous, fully inspiring, and brought with open honesty.

http://lovestrickendemise.com/

RingMaster 17/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Objex – Reservations for Debauchery

Rattled, battered and thoroughly yet pleasingly wasted is how one feels after sweltering in the full blistering punk rock force of Reservations for Debauchery from Las Vegas based band The Objex. If you thought punk rock had seen better days then get your eager mitts on this unapologetic orgasm of uncontrollable punk intensity and attitude thrust through the ear via vital and eager riffs wrapped in pulsating sexual energy. 2011 saw original punk show its heart is still beating loudly with the likes of UK’s The Duel and US band Cute Lepers releasing albums of stunning quality and enjoyment, to which we can add Reservations for Debauchery. Whereas the British band came from the safety pin cutting edge of the likes of X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad, The Objex take pop hook laden sounds reminiscent of the likes of Generation X and Vibrators and forge them with a rock powered intensity. They are an irresistible blend of The Plasmatics, Mongrel, and The Distillers yet completely distinctive and totally exhilarating.

Formed around 2006, The Objex was the creation of drummer Joe Perv and front woman Felony Melony whom he had enlisted to front his band The Pervs on the remaining dates of a tour it was on. After the tour the duo decided to carry on working together forming The Objex, the name coming from a conversation about Melony’s breasts involving The Briefs member Daniel J. Travanti. April of the same year saw the joining of guitarist Jim Nasty and the element that really completed the band as a force, his style a perfect fit. A 5 song demo Bound And Gagged followed alongside a bounty of shows and tours as the band built an eager and rapidly growing fan base with their dynamic sounds.

Preceding the unleashing of debut album Attack Of The Objex in 2007 to ever increasing acclaim and demand, the band added the bass skills of Aly 2X, a musician who self proclaimed she was the “best damn bass player with a vagina that you will ever see”. The album’s response led a year of highlights including notable appearances at the SXSW music festival, The Afro Punk music festival in Brooklyn, NY, plus support slots touring with Demob, Gold Blade and The UK Subs in the UK. The following year the band began working on new material though it too saw the departure of Joe Perv due to creative differences. Taking months finding the right replacement the twilight months saw the addition of drummer Chile and the band ready to use 2009 for writing and working on preparation for follow-up album Reservations for Debauchery and shows. The band entered the studio in 2010 with producer Jason Tanzer of Dust Tree Production Studios and work on the album began, boosted by the winning of the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band and signing a contract with European based independent label, Crownn Recording Group for the global release of the album, which was unveiled early the next year.

Obviously concerned for the moral welfare of the vulnerable amongst us, The Objex start the album with a public warning of the corruption ahead in the brief song ‘Fingered’. Once out of the way the band go hell for leather to assault, violate and most of all pleasure the senses. ‘RSVP’ swaggers in on a rock riff that squeezes the ear before exploding into a combative declaration and defiance. The guitars whip up a frenzy whilst a deep poking bassline veins throughout. Melony instantly shows she is one formidable vocalist, an eager extrovert without losing the anger and intensity all punk should come with, nothing lightweight about her or the band. Sounding like a cross between Brody Dalle and Wendy O Williams with a touch of Joan Jett she commands songs and attention with the openness to allow everyone in the band to shine.

Every song is deeply impressive and beyond satisfaction though there are some tracks that just edge others though it really is by slim margins. ‘Social Disease’ attacks with bitterness and venom leading one to know you would not piss off this lady intentionally. With a siren like riff the track leaps upon and dances within the ear leaving no response possible but to physically respond in kind. This is matched by the equally addictive ‘Toxic Waste Girl’, again linchpinned by a mesmeric hook it has a slightly more melodic wrap though still as excitable and relentless as anywhere on the album.

Getn Back’ grabs hold with mischievous intent to do damage whilst exciting at the same time. Complete with a riff that chips away at the senses incessantly the song just epitomises what the album and band is about and the quality of all its parts. The rhythms of Chile demand attention and the array of riffs that probe tease and linger from Jim Nasty fight for the same piece of the listener. All elements of the band want and deserve focus but it is all in a unity with the others, the production showing all off without threatening the unity of band and songs, and for the record Aly 2X certainly supports her claim with some of the most delicious basslines anywhere, male or female.

If pushed best song on the album is probably ‘Squeeze’, favourite anyway. As the album is as a whole, the track is relentless high octane punk flowing with acidic melodies and pulse racing energy. Melony stamps herself as one of the most exciting and accomplished vocalist, though as the album pushes its charms into the face the Mohican clad new Queen of Punk proves that everywhere.

It is rare to come across an album where you cannot find any real fault but it truly is the case with Reservations for Debauchery, tracks like the glorious ‘Retribution’ and ‘Criminal State’ just as worthy of the words and impressive reaction given elsewhere. The Objex has given one punk album you definitely should not be without; this is a release the word ‘essential’ was created for.

https://www.facebook.com/objexlv

RingMaster 12/01/2012

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