The Guilt – Self Titled

Here to give your senses an abrasively bracing blasting and the body an irresistible work out is the debut self-titled album from Swedish duo The Guilt, a band which just might be the most exciting thing to happen to punk rock in recent times. Musically the pair of vocalist Emma and guitarist/beat caster Tobias create something angry and seductive from styles bred from electro punk to heavy rock and any flavour of rock ‘n’ roll your ears desire, or as they call it, laserpunk. Bottom line though is that The Guilt creates instinctive punk rock to rouse the spirit and assault the world in one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

The Guilt emerged in Helsingborg 2012, Emma and Tobias making a fresh musical start after the death of an old friend. Initially the pair used an iPod for synths and beats rather than replace the drummer before turning to a Roland synthesizer resulting in the fine mix assaulting the listener from within their first album. 2015 saw the release of their maiden EP on Heptown Records, who now release the album, with another outing for it last year through Suicide Records. It was a nudge on attention now being followed by a mighty slap courtesy of, as already suggested, one of the essential moments of 2017.

An electronic squiggle draws ears to the waiting clutches of opener Cunty Mess, the song swiftly taking advantage of intrigue with its scuzzy riffs and wandering groove. Once the voice of Emma saunters in, defiance reeking from every breath and syllable, the song just comes alive. Tobias conjures a web of hooks and unpredictability as a gnarly bass grabs its piece of an already lusty appetite for the track’s punk ‘n’ roll. Bouncing with catchy enterprise across its body but especially a pop infested chorus, the song seduces within its first spirit inciting roar.

The following Hate Hate Hate is swifter to unveil its antagonistic attitude, guitar and synth colluding in devious coaxing before Tobias unleashes a deliciously nagging groove as Emma stands hollering, irritation fuelling her presence and attack. She almost prowls song and listener, building her zeal loaded rage for the rapacious chorus; the sounds around her just as dynamic and predacious. Yet there is virulence to the repetitive groove and tenacious beats which has limbs and body as involved as energy and thoughts, dancing and rioting united in one song, though pretty much all the tracks within the album spark matching reactions.

I Don’t Care follows with its dose of crabby rock ‘n’ roll, the track simply punk rock to its core. Like L7 meets Midnight Mob, the song strolls along with a militant air; its middle finger raised under the defiance stoking shout of Emma and driven by the equally ferocious sounds of Tobias. The track is superb, maybe even eclipsing its predecessors before I Just Know It has feet and hips bouncing to its electro pop punk antics. With a touch of The Objex to it when it snarls and a whiff of The Knife in its calmer electronic shuffle, the song epitomises the band’s ability at fusing danceable pop and threat loaded punk rock if showing more restraint of its aggression than those tracks before it.

Having your senses crawled over; imagination fingered does not come much more potent or enjoyable than the start of Bad Things. It infests ears with its dark deeds and growling textures, the Roland popping away with its electronic spots to highlight rather than temper the irritated heart of the track; a union only blossoming to bigger exploits as the song boils over in another anthemic chorus surrounded by enjoyably corrosive flames.

The stunning Anomlays is next; the band’s latest single an incendiary eruption of punk and pop sounding like Animal Alpha leading Morningwood into a pit of hellacious body corrupting toxicity. One of the highest pinnacles in nothing but across the album, its success is closely matched by It’s Not Me It’s You. A little like Blood Red Shoes given a hefty dose of animosity but again emerging as something unmistakably unique to The Guilt, the song swings and grooves while spreading venomous fun and ravishing attitude; electro pop and punk has never sounded so delicious together.

That is another key thing about the album; for all the references we suggest or others different people may offer, The Guilt has a sound which stands alongside no-one. Its voice, imagination, and character is one of the most original around right now yet feels like a friend from its first hungry touch. Next up When The Honey Comes is proof, the track swaggering through ears with another grimace to its tone but is as quickly springing infectious flavours and hip provoking exploits as guitar and bass niggle away with their great persistence.

The release is brought to a fiery close with firstly the cantankerous stomp of Give It and lastly the psychotic hop of Ovaries. Both tracks leave exhaustion and instinctive pleasure in their wake, the first with its primal punk ‘n’ roll and its successor with its electro punk revelry though even with its kinetic web of sound and contagious consuming of the body there is something inescapably predatory to the album’s thrilling conclusion.

The Guilt is beginning to catch and excite new ears and passions in droves, their album shows exactly why. It assaults, infests, demands, and rewards in equal measure; most of all it gives music and its fans the kind of fun time and rebellious streak it has arguably been missing lately. We say let their album be your next port of call and as for us, they just might be your new favourite, probably obsessive passion.

The Guilt album is out May 5th through Heptown Records.

http://www.theguilt.se/    https://www.facebook.com/theguiltsweden/    https://theguiltswe.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 05/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vukovi – Self Titled

Even before seeing her, Janine Shilstone, the lead singer of Scottish outfit Vukovi feels like a blend of Barbarella and Harley Quinn; a bold vocal seduction of beauty and devilry, glamorous temptation and mischievous warrior which her visual presence and energy only accentuates. Vukovi matches that inescapable focal point with a sound and energy just as tenacious and creatively boisterous not forgetting hungrily imaginative. It is all in evidence within the bands self-titled debut album,  a rousing and enjoyably imposing roar of pop infested rock ‘n’ roll as colourful and attention grabbing as its vocal protagonist’s hair.

Emerging in 2010, Vukovi have earned an acclaim ridden reputation for their live prowess which has more recently seen them successfully play festivals such as at Download, T In The Park, Hard Rock Calling, Live at Leeds, and British Summer Time Festival as well as open for Highly Suspect late last year. Equally a clutch of singles, many bringing their thrills to the album, have lured increasing attention which now the band’s first full-length will surely explode into even eager life such it’s striking fun and adventure.

Vukovi, band and album truly explode into life with opener La Di Da, a recent single which leaves the speakers shaking and body exhausted. Immediately, as a strike of musical drama scythes across ears, the titanic presence and roar of Shilstone ignites the imagination, her vocal strength and character a glorious trespass as warm and inviting as it is formidable and striking. Bass growls and swinging beats are equally as dynamically riveting, Hamish Reilly’s riffs almost stabbing the senses as Shilstone continues to blaze. A song partly inspired by the singers almost obsessive appreciation of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, it is a volcanic pop and rock stomp with a touch of Djerv about, indeed the Norwegian band’s vocalist Agnete Maria Kjolsrud the closest comparison to Shilstone’s distinctive presence that we can suggest.

The track is immense, a plateau setter which the album does not always match from thereon in but certainly worries track by track starting with And He Lost His Mind. With steely riffs quickly chaining ears with their predacious intent, and  vocal cries and rebel rousing just one trap in its manipulation of ears and body, the track borders the carnal whilst unleashing a catchiness as invasive and inescapable as it’s primal urges. For no obvious reason, post punks Xmal Deutschland frequently come to mind during the song, well a pop version of them, the track carnivorous in its earthy air and sonic snarl.

Weirdo has a lighter pop flirtation to its body yet still riffs and bass add their already established barracuda growl and heavy prowl to the stirring tempting. Drummer Colin Irving jabs with relish as melodies swirl with their own raw magnetic flair around emotion lined vocals before the Blood Red Shoes meets Morningwood stroll of Target Practice involves more caustically shadowy endeavour. Again bassist Jason Trotter brings a deep dark edge to the affair with ears while the catchy tenacity of its predecessor is equally matched as Shilstone robustly serenades with increasing passion.

Through the Paramore-esque charm of Prey, though we would suggest that the Americans have never discovered the instinctive thunder in their sound as that which persistently frequents song and album, and the controlled but naturally frantic exploits of Bouncy Castle, ears are aroused and buffeted with feet unreservedly worked on with zeal as the imagination is fed a variety of textures and enterprise.

Vukovi is more often than not tagged as a pop rock band but already the album has established them as real rock ‘n’ roll with a skilled hand at creating the warmest moments of infectiousness and emotive intimacy as betrayed in the beguiling Wander; a song where vocals alone seem to come from an inner flame of personal revelation. Similarly, I’M WIRED has that potency of word and expression within its cauldron of lava-esque sound, mercurial rhythmic incitement, and melodic radiance. Both tracks beguile; their personalities from another place on the Vukovi spectrum of creativity and as powerful and compelling as anything around them.

Next up, Animal has things lustfully bouncing again, its rhythms a driving infection as spiny riffs grizzle alongside the ever radiant vocal lament of Shilstone who in turn is hugged by the siren calls of keys, while Boy George leaves little to be further desired with its Animal Alpha hued stew of sound and imagination if admittedly it does not quite ignite personal passion as much as other songs, their success rather than any deficiencies within it the reason.

He Wants Me Not is another which only pleases with its crystalline grace and rousing energy but cannot quite live up to the heights of certainly the likes of La Di Da and Wander, though by its close satisfaction is overflowing and hips weary but still willing to embrace the gentle swing and roaring heart of closing track Colour Me In.

Produced by long-time collaborator Bruce Rintoul, Vukovi is our introduction to its creators, an encounter which with no expectations of it, surprised, thrilled, and certainly across its first two thirds just blew us away; its final stretch only confirming a new lusty appetite for the band’s sound. We do not expect to be alone in that realisation and strength of enjoyment.

The Vukovi album is out now through LAB Records, physical copies available @ http://vukovi.tmstor.es and digitally @ http://labrecs.com/VUKOVI-iTunes

http://www.vukovi.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/vukoviband      https://twitter.com/Vukoviband

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Horse Party – Horizons

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Pic by Jeff Higgott

Regular readers to The RingMaster Review will know we have enjoyed an on-going affair between ears and music with UK trio Horse Party ever since they emerged in 2012 and unveiled their first pair of songs in Clarion Call and Back To Mono.  Since then, as their sound and imagination has grown and evolved, each single, EP, and indeed debut album, Cover Your Eyes, has bred a lustier and greedier appetite for their post punk/indie rock seeded adventures. Now the Bury St Edmunds hailing band has a new album to excite and draw spotlights their way, and in Horizons, one suspects and hopes, the key to deserved major attention.

Horizons is a compilation of sorts; a collection of the tracks released by the band across 2015 through EPs and singles. For fans there is the added bonus of a previously unreleased track and for newcomers, Horizons is an A-Z to why Horse Party is for so many British rock ‘n’ roll at its inspiringly majestic best. Released via R*E*P*E*A*T Records, the album is a kaleidoscope of the imagination and dark yet vibrant sounds which the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Ellie Langley, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley and drummer Shannon Hope weave into their songwriting and acclaimed live shows. The fact that the tracks are laid out in release order also reveals the growth in the band’s sound over the past twelve to eighteen months alone.

It opens with the two tracks which started 2015 off in major style as a 7” vinyl single. Out Of Sight is first and instantly entices ears with a dour yet flirtatious bass riff. From its first breath, the outstanding song prowls ears and imagination, a predacious air to bass and guitar leading the seduction as beats crisply land around the just as swiftly alluring voice of Langley. Though it broadens its expression and melodic touch, the song never loses its darkly hued and persistent beckoning, even as rawer rock flames accompany the new zeal and energy fuelling the vocals. With psych rock lighting adding to the potency, the track is inescapable anthemic rock ‘n’ roll which is quickly more than matched by Receiver.

The second track shows a fleeter foot in energy and rhythms, almost bounding into view as riffs jangle and entice around the just as thickly coaxing vocals of Quigley. A delicious nagging seeded in post punk and punk with a slither of noise rock to it, the song dances around the senses, only increasing its tempting as transfixing harmonies expose lust in an already eager appetite and hooks toy with an alternation of slim and inflamed bait. Like a mix of like Au Pairs, Joy Division, and Morningwood, the track is simply irresistible.

album cover by Kate Wood

album cover by Kate Wood

What I’d Do steps forward next, its strolling gait and intensity another reserved but vibrant beckoning with emotive hues lining voice and melodic enterprise. The steely tone of bass holds ears tight from within the hazy but openly textured song, its dark touches courting the melancholically evocative tones of Langley as well as the more sultry strains of guitar. A slice of psych/rock pop, the song has a Forever Still meets Stevie Nicks air to it, and easily casts its spell on attention before Horizons shares it’s more relaxed but no less provocative presence. Quigley again takes the vocal lead, his potent presence nestling compellingly within a landscape which uncages moments of tempestuous energy and sonic voracity. There is surprisingly a touch of The Housemartins to the song and indeed a whiff of Paul Heaton to Quigley’s expression though once more what emerges is a song as distinct to Horse Party as their name.

A brand new song in the shape of For All I Know follows and swiftly has ears engrossed and enjoyment stirred as a solemn mix of guitar and bass suggestiveness wraps the equally mellow vocals of Langley and the magnetic rhythmic enticement of Hope. It is another with fire in its belly though that is held in check for the main even with the thick nudges of Hope’s swings, the drummer as shown throughout the album, able to create anthemic incitement without disrupting the emotive flights of songs.

A hypnotic nagging steers Paydirt into ears next, its persistent jab of beats colluding with scuzz kissed riffs as minimalistic but potent grooves flirt. In full swing, the track is a bracing proposition which sonically sizzles whilst in its more mellow moments it is monotone sculpted romancing of the senses, and throughout, an addictive breath-taking stroll cast in dark emotions and predatory shadows. It just lights up air and ears, melancholy lined vocals a single seduction among many shared by the song before Animal similarly provides a rousing and compelling experience. As Langley’s almost challenging tones align with choppy rhythms, the track enforces quick submission to its expanding lures. Everything about the song provokes with aggressive intent yet only flirtation is felt as Hope harries and bass and guitars stalk and erupt. That tempting is especially arousing in the passage of surf rock seduction which has body and thoughts aflame in a moment, as echoed by the lyrics, which is like the glorious eye of an equally thrilling storm.

The acoustic hug of the darkly lit and captivating October enchants next, Langley alone and in vocal union with Quigley mesmeric within the blues expressed guitar before Money Talks saunters in on a scuzzy lure of riffs. Gentle slithers of guitar and catchy beats align with the initial tenacious draw and subsequently the siren-esque call of the vocals, it all finding extra drama in the occasional bursts of intensity which punctures the highly infectious persuasion.

Essences of noise rock and new wave creep into Rocket Science next; its canter a lively enticing within post punk shadows and blues lit sonic suggestiveness. Predictability is never an element within a Horse Party song, a point tenaciously shown here as volatile textures and energies engage with the outstanding encounter’s absorbing and seductive serenade.

Smouldering surf rock inspired melodies shape the beauty of Looking For Life next, the song an elegant and radiant shimmer of melodies and harmonies around resonating rhythms. It is a bewitchment of ears, a sonic smooching of the senses and quite delicious epitomising of another quality in the Horse Party creativity, that every listen just makes a song more compelling and impressive.

The emotive soothing of Howling At The Sun surrounds the imagination next, the twin vocal seducing as rich and dramatic as the brooding atmosphere and sounds around them whilst Gratitude Falling brings the album to a spellbinding close with its evolving tapestry of beguiling sound. From a single melody, the track courts a thick growl of bass and a sharp guitar jangle, going onto breed scuzzy expulsions of tempestuous sound whilst all the while Langley grips ears with her narrative and magnetic tones.

Horizons is simply one of the year’s musts; an essential invitation not only into the creative arms and charms of Horse Party but to one of the new breed destined to inspire the future of British rock ahead.

Horizons is released on download and CD on April 1st via R*E*P*E*A*T Records and @ http://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty    https://twitter.com/horsepartyparty

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Witching Waves – Crystal Café

Photo by David Garcia

Photo by David Garcia

Of the albums most anticipated by our particular ears was one from UK duo Witching Waves. They had us on line with their ltd edition cassette Concrete/Chain Of Command in 2014 and inescapably hooked with debut album Fear Of Falling Down later that same year but things have just got contagiously fiercer and even more sonically fascinating courtesy of their second full-length Crystal Café. It is a stunning roar of sonic and emotional dissonance fuelled by cutting hooks and feverish melodies, and that is not to forget the ever darkly mesmeric and often challenging lure of the vocals.

A mix of corrupted psych and surf rock fever with punk and post punk attitude, the Witching Waves’ sound mighty be better suggested by casting it as a union of the punk antagonism of The Raincoats and the garage punk ‘n’ roll devilry of The Creeping Ivies in collusion with the raw and virulent off-kilter pop of The Adult Net , Morningwood, and Delta 5. To be truthful, the London band has a sound which has always been its own individual but now forcibly so on Crystal Café. Intrigue for what the band will reveal next is always company to eager anticipation and indeed expectations, and it was no exception this time around, especially with the duo of founding members, vocalist/guitarist Mark Jaspar and vocalist Emma Wigham, having grown by one with the addition of bassist Ed Shellard since that previous impressive album.

Crystal Café opens up with Twister, a song shedding drama with its first surge of guitar. As it hits a heady stride with scything beats lining the brooding bassline of Shellard, the track has ears and imagination onside with ease, even more so as the siren like tones of Wigham collude with Jaspar’s sonic tendrils, all hot spice and raw flirtation. Not for the last time, a scent of The Cure certainly hits the rhythmic side of a song, adding appealing hues which engagingly merge with the fiery enterprise of guitar and voice.

art_RingMaster ReviewThe outstanding start continues in the concussively seductive Seeing Double, a roar of scuzzy guitar and alluring vocals with a sniff of almost Xmal Deutschland like post punk coldness. It is a grouchy encounter, epitomised by Jaspar’s aggressive vocal outbursts, but simultaneously also a raw melodic enticement which simply grips the imagination.

The following Pitiless uncages an anthemic rumble of rhythms as Wigham’s captivating vocals get entangled in the citric lines of just as compelling guitar spawned imagination. Juicy hooks are as frequent as searing sonic endeavour, being caught up in a bracing infectiousness which has the body jerking and senses wilting, though they do get respite from the alluring repetition sculpted instrumental Red Light Loop that follows. It is the first of a few imagination sparking interludes, a break before the raw trespass of contagion continues, in this case with Make It Up. There is a Wire like quality to the song which only adds to the pop catchy theatre that evolves to seriously excite and involve the listener. The track is as irresistible as a fondle in the shadows; offering a warm moment of pop slavery in the senses whilst they get intruded upon by the dissonance soaked soundscape of the album.

Anemone spreads a portentously melancholic instrumental breeze next, its starkly lit prowl a rising smog of discord as invasive as it is intimidatingly bewitching. The track sets up ears and imagination for The Threat, it a melodically cultured temper to the previous trespass with its boisterous surges of muscular beats and flowing vocal warmth over less kind but as riveting grooves. It too brews into a swarming sonic assault but without losing any of the pungent temptation it began coaxing ears with before the brazen temptress that is the excellent Red Light wraps its raw hunger and salacious beauty all over the listener.

The scathing sonic air and vocal angst of Receiver then takes over, its Jaspar voiced tempest bold exploration of the senses with underlying seduction added by the harmonies of Wigham, whilst after its pleasing encroachment and the evocative caress of instrumental Inoa, the album comes to a mighty close with new single Flowers. Wrapping around a glorious bassline echoing early Cure as crisp beats descend with resonating effect, strings of melodies and atmospheric suggestiveness come together, in turn swiftly joined by a dual smooch of vocals to captivate and entrance to which Wigham further adds her spellbinding lures. As seductive and inviting as it is, the track equally offers a host of descriptive shadows and sonic discordance that fester in thoughts and emotions to fine effect.

The track is an enthralling end to a simply superb release; another from Witching Waves and easily their finest moment yet. Hopefully this time around, the band gets the attention and surge of fresh appetites for their unique sound which previous releases warranted but Crystal Café demands and deserves.

Crystal Café is available on vinyl, cassette, and digital download from released February 26th via Soft Power in the UK and HHBTM Records in the USA.

https://www.facebook.com/witchingwaves   http://witchingwaves.tumblr.com/

Pete RingMaster 26/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bells and Hunters – Modern Witch’s Songbook Vol I: Fairy Tales

Bells and Hunters - Modern Witch's Songbook Vol I- Fairy Tales - cover_RingMaster Review

Hailing out of Washington DC, Bells and Hunters recently recorded their debut album Modern Witch’s Songbook and has set about revealing it to us all via three instalments. The first part comes in the new and suitably titled EP, Modern Witch’s Songbook Vol I: Fairy Tales. Consisting of four tracks revelling in the diversity of sound and imagination which the band’s fans already heartily embrace, the EP is a captivating introduction for the rest of us to the Bells and Hunters temptation.

Bells and Hunters began in 2008, formed by vocalist Kelliann Beavers and vocalist/guitarist Keith Fischer who united through “a mutual love of creativity, song writing, and Jeff Buckley.” In no time their emerging eclectic sound enticed ears; its fusion of folk, blues, and varied decades of rock stirring up attention, as shown by debut EP The Static Sea in 2010. Three years later the band released their acclaimed first album Weddings and Funerals, though the next horizons of the band almost saw it all come to an end as members relocated to other cities across the US. Instead Beavers and Fischer called on long-time friends in drummer Guido Dehoratiis, guitarist Joe McMurray, and bassist Avi Walter, to be replaced later by Eric Putnam, to complete the new line-up.

It is fair to say that the Bells and Hunters sound has been in constant evolution across its releases but Vol I: Fairy Tales shows the biggest step through its quartet of offerings, a trait to be presumably continued across the remaining parts of the album ahead. Opening with Bruises, the EP quickly grips ears and appetite with the song’s fiery start veined by great spicy grooves with a touch of Rocket From the Crypt to them. Led along by thumping beats and eager riffs, those grooves and indeed song soon have hips swinging and attention quickly on board, even more so as the similarly tangy tones of Beavers show their magnetic lure. The track continues to stomp and invention romp with infectious enterprise and anthemic energy, those early hooks still perpetual bait within the controlled yet rousing character of the Morningwood meets Martha and The Muffins like persuasion of the song.

Warm and vibrant Keys bring the following Mexico into view next, the engaging entrance springing into a busier blues rock toned canter led by the vocals of Fischer this time around. Again rhythms are a pungent enticement, bold and firmly offered as the guitars spin a spicy sonic web courted by the rich addition of Beaver’s dark siren-esque vocal backing. Sultrily tantalising, the song makes a compelling proposal more than matched by that of Lady Luck. Again sticky blues air and melodic flames colour a flavoursome stroll, though a dark country spicing adding brings new ripe hues to the seductive shadows and evocative breath of the fiery croon.

The EP is brought to an end by the electronic tempting of Fairy Tails; a song merging eighties synth pop and nineties indie rock in an electro romance. It is a hug further enhanced by the primal bass resonance rumbling within the ethereal and increasingly muggy embrace of sound and vocal seducing from within the song. Reminding of Young Marble Giants in some ways, it is a mesmeric conclusion to a great first taste for us of Bells and Hunters.

The second part of their new album is released February 2016 and anticipation for that, thanks to the thoroughly enjoyable Vol I: Fairy Tales, is already impatient in us and a great many more.

Modern Witch’s Songbook Vol I: Fairy Tales is out now and available as a name your price download at the Bells and Hunters Bandcamp profile.

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Pete RingMaster 15/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fight Like Apes – Self Titled

Fight Like Apes Cover _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It has been as good as five years since the release of their second album, though there was a rather satisfying EP in between, so it is fair to say that anticipation for Fight Like Apes’ new encounter across the board has been bursting with hungry excitement. It is a wait now relentlessly rewarded by each of the twelve songs making up the self-titled proposition, offerings taking ears and imagination on a unique and rebellious exploit of indie pop devilry. It really only takes one listen to establish the album as a favourite and barely a couple more to suggest it is going to cast as one of the major triumphs of 2015.

Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2006, Fight Like Apes and their synth pop/alternative rock sound has been luring in keen and potent attention ever since the release of the EPs How Am I Supposed to Kill You When You Have All the Guns? and David Carradine Is a Bounty Hunter Whose Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch in 2007. The following year saw them nominated for two awards at the 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards, and it has only been a continuing torrent of support and acclaim since, though equally there have been moments to challenge as with any band. Debut album Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion that same year poked a keener, broader spotlight, attention emulated and pushed to new heights by second full-length The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner in 2010. Their sound and songwriting had already found uniqueness in presence and character which has consistently evolved from release to release, song to song at times, and it is again prevalent upon the new offering. The time between albums two and three saw the band dropped by their record label but they decided to go down the crowd funding route with quick success. This meant that it has been a length wait for their new epic of fun but as hinted at by the Whigfield Sextape EP last year; the band’s return has only brought new seductive and vivaciously eccentric pleasures.

Unleashed through Alcopop! Records, the album quickly has ears and imagination immersed in its pop alchemy through I Am Not a Merry Man. A quaint electronic coaxing jabbed by firm beats initially the song is soon sauntering along with a melodic swagger and lusty bassline, and lit up further by the ever bewitching vocals of Mary-Kate “MayKay” Geraghty. Moments of feistier endeavour also clad the constantly alluring stroll, the song an inescapable flirtation for ears and thoughts with the flowing keys and backing vocals of Jamie “Pockets” Fox just as magnetic as the pulsating rhythms and prime melodic roar of MayKay.

The following Crouching Bees from a single crisp rhythmic rap is soon engulfing ears in an elegant weave of melodies carrying a slight Altered Images air and once more badgered by thickly tempting rhythms. Vocally MayKay again is as potent in casting a mellow seduction or an impassioned raucousness, her heightened delivery a fiery incitement to the calmer waters of the keys, though they too at times provide an off kilter element of their own. The infection of sound and imagination of the album is already enslaving the psyche two songs in and only increases its bait through Pop Itch and The Schillaci Sequence. The first of the pair is a more ‘regular’ canter of indie pop design, though as it is Fight Like Apes there is plenty of sparkling vocal adventure and sonic twists whilst the second sways over the senses with melodic eloquence. It too initially seems a more reserved example of the band’s invention and creative exploration but with an agitated rhythmic shuffle and Devo-esque electro psychosis it soon puts expectations straight.

Fight Like Apes _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review Both songs keep enjoyment keen and appetite greedy, though everything is soon eclipsed by the brilliant Didya. Easily our favourite proposition on the album, maybe from the band full stop, the song ambles in on a melodic hook which is Weezer like. That alone has lips licked but it is once Pockets takes the vocal lead with a punkish anxiety to his tone that things erupt into genius. The throaty bass and wilder tempered beats are belligerent whilst the voice of MayKay similarly has a challenging edge to it, the blend a spellbinding incitement though it is the vocal bedlam which follows that has these ears and passions are enslaved. It is like a warped mix of The Dancing Did and The Ting Tings, pure creative mania and manna, setting up the listener for a blaze of a finale.

Numbnuts calms things down a touch next, its persuasive croon persistently littered with stirring vocal snaps and musical twists on the way to creating an increasingly fiery climax whilst its successor Pretty Keen on Centrefolds has ears captivated with an eighties synth pop bubbling that nudges thoughts of Blancmange and Soft Cell. Of course things are never that simple, punchy and at times bedlamic beats adding a drama to match that of the vocals whilst keys whip up a contagious tempting for the dance-floor.

Like a mix of Morningwood and Yeah Yeah Yeahs but all Fight Like Apes, The Hunk and The Funplace sculpts another major pinnacle for the album. Rhythmically anthemic and imposing, melodically spicy and slightly nostalgic, the song easily has ears engrossed but it is the roaring chorus which takes a great song to the plateau of brilliance. It is pop at its most dynamic, provocative, and irresistible.

There is no let-up of the thrills and creative spills as firstly I Don’t Want to Have to Mate with You swirls around ears and leads expectations on a merry dance. It is a lively breeze of fascinating textures and rousing calm providing a spellbinding theatre of sound and voice, emulated in its own way by Baywatch Nights with its even slower smoulder, though again there is a snarl to vocal moments, spicy intrigue to keys, and dark shadows to surrounding scenery. Both tracks make riveting listening, a norm across the album to be fair and continued in the excellent Maevis Beacon: Annihilation, a song with more than a whisper of Young Marble Giants to it especially in its opening minute or so. All tracks make a quick and thick first impression but some reveal even more to their depths and beauty over time with this a prime example.

The mesmeric seducing of Carousel brings the release to an emotive and reflective close, and a dramatic one as epic rhythms and brooding melodies rise as the song progresses. Folkish theatre and heavy tribal rhythms break free too in the scintillating end to a sensational encounter. It may have been a while in the making and coming but Fight Like Apes has spent that time crafting their most vigorously inventive and exciting sound yet. This is a must have for all experimental and rousing pop enthusiasts, actually just every pop fan out there.

Fight Like Apes is available via Alcopop! Records from 18th May @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fight-like-apes/id981566460

https://www.facebook.com/fightlikeapes

RingMaster 08/05/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Murder Shoes – Self-Titled EP

Murder Shoes_Credit Photo to Aaron Fenster_01

Photo -Aaron Fenster

 

A slice of dark seduction always goes down a treat especially when brought with an imaginative smile and psyche haunting radiance. A healthy dose of rhythmic drama and melodic revelry similarly has ears and imagination more often than not seriously enthused within that kind of sultry landscape. It is a delicious mix which leaves us generally hosting a keen appreciation for its source, and in the shape of the self-titled EP from US band Murder Shoes, an especially lustful one. The five track encounter from the Minneapolis quintet is an intoxicating temptation of surf, alternative, and indie rock ‘n’ roll, a sound basking in the smouldering essences of each whilst creating its own individual inescapable seducing.

The seeds of Murder Shoes begin with the meeting of guitarists Chris White and Derek Van Gieson, seemingly at a bar where one worked and the other frequented. Conversations about music led to the pair uniting as songwriters, with a torrent of songs emerging from their complimenting ideations. A new potent factor emerged when vocalist/keyboardist Tess Weinberg was brought into the mix, followed by another spark of dynamics when drummer Elliot Manthey and bassist Tim Heinlein completed the line-up. With everything in place Murder Shoes stepped into the light and released the low key three-track Cash On Fire EP last December. It was just an appetiser for major things, a more than decent toe tester in creative waters, but in hindsight now blown totally aside by the might of the band’s new offering on Land Ski Records.

cover Derek Van Gieson

cover Derek Van Gieson

The adventure begins with Charlotte Manning and an opening temptation of sultrily toned guitar strokes aligned to smaller nibbles of their strings on ears. Van Gieson and White swiftly grip the imagination before the siren-esque lure of Weinberg begins her vocal caresses to intensify its involvement. It is a magnetic entrance but soon finding new levels of persuasion with the darker spicing brought by the throaty bass and more fiery hues to the guitar enterprise. A surf rock seducing by this time is just as fruitfully lighting body and thoughts, it all driven by the respectful and increasingly anthemic endeavour of Manthey. Like that packet of your favourite candy where good intentions in having just one becomes two, then another and subsequently the whole thing, such is the power of the song, every minute left alone listen, leaving an insatiable want for more.

And so it is with the following Maybe You Can, and the whole EP to admit the truth. It is another song rampantly persuasive and in control of the senses from its first singular guitar baiting of ears. That lone lure is soon bulging with a feisty march of beats and wrapped in fresh swarthy kisses of guitar as Weinberg produces more of her warm vocal enticing. There is a feel of The Capsules to the melodic and smouldering aspects of Murder Shoes songs whilst the unpredictable twists and invention within the encounter is like a blend of Chick Quest and Two Wounded Birds. The track continues to masterfully impose and enthral before making way for the fiery Under the Sea. You can almost feel the hot tingle of sand between toes as the surf pop persuasion dances with ears and emotions. Its sixties breath adds to the compelling character and sound of the song whilst mini crescendos even in their brief moments just breed a catchy drama to the glorious pop flirtation.

The following Sea a Little Louder brings another embrace of mellower energy but again without losing any of the gripping invention and melodic poetry of its predecessors. It is too bubbly to be classed as a piece of balladry but similarly with its alluring restraint far from being an incitement of intensive activity, a mesmeric croon the apt description for the song’s atmospheric and creative hug. It is easy to drift away with the breezy temptation, even its muscular rhythm saunter and the little bursts of climatic endeavour only empowering its immersive qualities.

Final track In Your Bed Or On a Train has limbs back in a frenzy and emotions fired up with its fusion of old school rock ‘n’ roll, sweltering surf ambience, and indie rock unpredictability. Think a modern day Wanda Jackson fronting a Morningwood type proposition and you sense why the EP’s closing offering is so irresistible. Rolling beats from Manthey again provide the resourceful and unrelenting wave of rhythmic enslavement which cores most songs whilst guitars and bass spin sticky darkly hued webs of adventure. Shrouded in the almost celestial tones of Weinberg, it is an exhilarating proposition, as the whole EP, and if the flavours we most mentioned, surf, indie etc. bring a lick of the lips, you are looking at potentially your favourite release of the year.

The Murder Shoes EP is available now digitally and on CD via Land Ski Records @ http://murdershoes.bandcamp.com/

http://www.murdershoesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-Shoes/331873790352913

RingMaster 05/05/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net