Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos – European English

Photo Credit: Kat Bennett

Like for everyone, there are a few bands which spark a moment of pure excitement when news of a new release is in the air and for us one is Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos. Reasons why can be found in previous album Kill The Beast alone, “a wonderful deranged waltz of unpredictable adventure” but it has to be said are even more imposingly obvious within its successor European English. The album boisterously lives up to its name from start to finish, offering a skilfully crafted diverse and bold bedlam of continental flavourings within an eccentricity of sound which only we Brits can imagine. The result, a carnival of irresistible punk ‘n’ folk ‘n’ roll which has body and spirit relentlessly bouncing.

After the release of their outstanding last album, Johnny Kowalski and The Sexy Weirdos descended on Europe on a five week tour which saw the band “almost fighting children in Paris, a 14 hour van journey from Orleans to the French Mediterranean, and having bought cannabis from a police officer, the band squatted in a football club near Milan.” That was followed up by a weekend of spontaneous gigs with antifascists in Verona and dates in Trieste, Slovenia and Austria before arriving in Josefov where the majority of the new album was written, the band inspired by the Austro-Hungarian fortress town sparsely populated by Romani gypsies and its artists. Whatever the town had, it has bred a new wind in the rousing imagination bred exploits of the band and a sound which has always been original but has found true uniqueness within European English.

Welcoming the guest talents of Tamar ‘Juggernaut’ Bedward [Malarkey], Katie Stevens [Bonfire Radicals], Smut Rahkra [The Tenbags] and Anne Marie Allen across the release, the Birmingham based quintet open up the album with Megahorse. Instantly the bow of violinist John-Joe Murray is enticingly scything across strings into the imagination as Johnny Kowalski’s distinctive tones stroll, the darker tones of his guitar and Chris Yates’ bass lurking alongside as beats jab and tempt. It is a seriously inviting prelude to a lively gypsy folk romp driven by the flirtatious rhythms of drummer Matthew Osborne and the percussive tenacity of Illias Lintzos. This in turn leads to an evolving landscape of inventive sound and unpredictability never giving the body a moment to relax or attention to wander.

It is a forcibly excitable and thrilling start swiftly matched by the creative drama of Relative Rudeboy. Like a punk infused fusion of Mano Negra and Les Négresses Vertes with the grumpy rascality of the bass at its core, the song soon has hips swinging and emotions growling in league with its own attitude fuelled multi-flavoured stroll. There is no escaping its addictiveness or physical manipulation of body and spirit, the brass craft of Katie Stevens fuelling the fires, a tempting just as potent within the Balkan swing of next up Serbian Rhumba. It is a sultry flirtation on the ear, an evocative serenade with instinctive catchiness around the punk scented delivery of Kowalski.

The Sicilian Stallion is a celebratory canter mixing Celtic and Romany spices with Latin breeding in its instrumental celebration; quite simply two minutes plus of instinctive pleasure before Minor Calamities courts its own equally rich persuasion with a dark rhumba of musical and rhythmic theatre. As the tracks before it, another individual hue to the whole creative canvas of European English grabs ears and appetite; its body and tone a darker, more intense but no less infectious proposition.

In pretty much nothing but emerging favourites, Didn’t Find The Money puts its imaginative head above the firing line with compelling devilment and creative mischief. With the body instantly popping to its rapacious exploits, vocal chords swiftly locked in its virulent chorus, the song strolls along with a punk meets folk meets indie rock swagger, all unleashed with flirtatious dexterity.

The quite stunning Raggadub follows; its adventure a web of styles and sounds within a dub bred echo of invention. At times it vibrates with ripples of Ruts DC, in other moments flirts with Morcheeba-esque seductions, or snarls with King Prawn punkiness as a host of vocalists join the rapacious party; all the time increasing its hold on ears and lustful satisfaction.

The instrumental dance of Matthew Matthew provides a robust adventure of sound and international flavours, a piece which manages to simultaneously be fiery and smoulderingly seductive as rhythms cast a kinetic incitement, before Juniper brings a quite delicious recipe of temptation which teases and taunts like a blend of The Specials, Gogol Bordello, and Russkaja.

Its inescapable tempestuous virulence is followed by the instrumental elegance and grace of closing track Chinese Icicles. A melodic bloom in an initial alluring calm, the piece builds into a robustly dynamic yet still radiantly melodic saunter through scenic suggestion and oriental hues with rock edginess for company.  Eventually Kowalski’s vocals join the adventure bringing another breeze of boisterous and rowdy enterprise to the compelling end of one mighty release.

As we said earlier, every upcoming Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos encounter brings an elevated anticipation which European English rewards tenfold. It has the body bouncing and spirit racing; what more would you want?

European English is available now @ https://sexyweirdos.bandcamp.com/album/european-english

European English Upcoming Tour Dates

21/10/17 – The Earl [Worcester]

28/10/17 – Vegan Fair [Wolverhampton]

04/11/17 – Karns Bar [Hinckley]

17/11/17 – Cafe Rene [Gloucester]

01/12/17 – Rumpus [London]

23/12/17 – Secret Location [Birmingham]

https://www.facebook.com/sexyweirdos/

Pete RingMaster 10/10/2017

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

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