Get Stoked – Washington Street EP

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Creating a proposition which simultaneously invites the listener to brawl and party with its feisty mix of pop punk and rawer hardcore aggressiveness, the Washington Street EP is one impressive entrance from US punks Get Stoked. It unleashes five tracks which show an imagination and want to invent something strikingly different yet comes with a familiarity which plays like a returning friend loaded up with devilish intent. It is a highly enjoyable romp which dares to be adventurous and is confident enough to employ those highly flavoursome and recognisable spices.

Hailing from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Get Stoked consists of vocalist Cameron Wheeler, guitarists Ryan Turek and Zach Smith, bassist Ben Jensen, and drummer Jacob Cardona. Other than the quintet citing influences such as The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, Set Your Goals, A Day To Remember, and All Time Low upon their music, there is little more we can tell about the band other than they write and craft rather appetising slices of sinew sculpted pop punk.

Released via Imminence Records, Washington Street opens up with the instrumental Intro, a minute and a half of thumping rhythms provoking through infectious riffs and hooks courted by a dark toned bass temptation. It is not an ep_Cover_3explosive piece but one hinting at the potent offerings to come whilst treating feet and imagination to an energetic dance. Its successful beckoning is followed by the imposing presence of Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Starting with the strong tones of Wheeler over swipes of guitar and an increasingly intimidating run of beats, it is an engaging if unsurprising start even with the also appealing backing vocals of Turek building up the lure of the song. It is when the track suddenly twists into a livelier surge of antagonistic beats and scything strikes of guitar that it comes alive, slipping into a melodic flame of expectations feeding and ear refreshing pop punk revelry. From vocals to sonic incitement, heavy rhythms to abrasing riffery, the song is a thrilling stomp which allows its inventive unpredictability to run naked through the track. The song also shows why the band has been compared to some of their inspirations but just as strongly and pleasingly it lights the senses with older essences of Hagfish and Mucky Pup.

The following Hand In Your Demise takes little time in seizing the imagination and appetite, its opening roam of compelling rhythms and an evocative melodic tendril the forerunner to a blaze of sonic endeavour and melodic tenacity ridden by once again impressing vocals and flirtatious energy. The track is soon stamping its rhythmic feet with firm intent too whilst the guitars cast a web of emotive and infectious designs to which Wheeler wraps his pleasing delivery and lyrical narrative. Though not quite matching its predecessor, the track similarly just grows and excels vocally and musically the deeper into its body it goes to provide another exciting proposition.

Forward Progress lacks the spark of the last pair of songs but nevertheless parades a strong mix of ideation and sounds revealing more of the depth and expressive ability of the band whilst shaping another infectious and provocative encounter. It is soon left in the shadow of the closing title track though; a song from its opening crystalline melody embraces a string of styles and inventive exploration. A rugged cage of riffs and beats initially traps ears with a vocal drama from Wheeler captivating the imagination. The track then bursts into another pungent stride of pop punk clad in a hardcore predaciousness before slipping into something melodically comfortable and anthemically contagious. It is an enthralling slab of punk rock which alone provides enough evidence to suggest Get Stoked is a band with the potential to make major strides and create impressive marks on the punk scene.

That suggestion is more than backed up by the rest of the Washington Street EP, a release easy to recommend to those wanting something more substantial and braver in their pop punk.

The Washington Street EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/washington-street

https://www.facebook.com/GetStokedMI

9/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

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DogHouse Swine: Dogs Of War

DogHouse Swine pic

    Dogs Of War, the latest album from US rockers DogHouse Swine is not a release which re-invents the wheel but it sure smashes aside any bumps in the road not ready to join its bruising riot. The nine track album is a muscular treat which rampages through the ear like an antagonistic adversary whose only real intent is to offer up a good feisty time, something it does with ease.

The New Jersey band has earned a good reputation for their sounds and energy through live shows, which has seen them share stages with the likes of Electric Frankenstein, and Mucky Pup, and their previous album Faster Side Of Normal. Formed in 2009 by lead guitarist and vocalist Ian with former The Wretched Ones guitar player B.T. and co-founder and drummer Chris DeBellis, the band has been on a powerful rise which the new release only adds stock to. Now a quartet with bassist Iron Rich joining during 2012 which saw B.T. moving from bass to rhythm guitar within the band, DogHouse Swine has unleashed an album to stir up the heart and quell inhibitions with its punk rock passion and breath; a punk n roll treat to bring an insatiable party to each and every day.

The release opens with the first single from the album, I’m Suffocated. From its barging riffs and keen sonic guitar squalls the trackDogs Of War CD Cover has limbs and senses at the mercy of its powerful rhythms, venomous basslines, and sizzling guitar play. The effected vocals bring a menace to proceedings before turning into a defiant and raw rub across the ear. The song is a fiery excursion for the passions, an aggressive and anthemic instigator for which only full enthusiasm and energy can be given in return. The song like their sound overall, reminds of bands like Motorhead, Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre, and DC4 delivered with a healthy presence of punk rock found in the likes of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. It is not anything particularly brand new to the ear but brought with an accomplished skill and unbridled musical lust which takes it above most similarly sounding contemporaries.

The excellent Hard Luck Education takes over next with more of the same offered in a different thrilling guise. There is a swagger to the song which makes it openly infectious though the sing-a-long chorus and teasing melodies are as much to blame for its pleasing contagion. It is fair to say both tracks are like old friends, companions you basically know but with a new wrap of quality aural clothing to make them deeply welcome and enjoyable.

The glorious chunky riffs and ravenous basslines within Open Wide bring a new angle to the release, the slower stalking gait of the song an intimidating and fully rewarding confrontation, whilst Nonstop To Nowhere pulls one into a vintage punk brawl of belligerence and honest acceptance. Both leave one greedily satisfied and eager to hear more of the barracking rhythms and scathing sonic riffs crafted impressively by the band. Neither song is arguably as memorable as the previous tracks but still only light further desire to share their sounds again and often.

Goin’ Down The Bar is a song you will not forget, from its predatory bass leering start through the rampant guitar scrubbing and vocal celebration and on to the anthemic alcohol dripping declaration, the track is an irresistible and simple mission all can aspire to and climb on board with, thematically and musically. There are no frills or pretty decorations to the song, just pure and raw rock n roll, a claim you can happily throw at every track.

Dogs Of War is completed by a quartet of live cuts including the single Bitch from their earlier album. The tracks are rough and in your face, brawling at you as if you were there at the time. They do pale compared to the studio tracks but still only incite the need to retrospectively check out Faster Side Of Normal and catch them live if the opportunity arises.

If you want a slab of true and undiluted rock n roll/punk rock then DogHouse Swine is a band for you. With a new video for Goin’ Down The Bar directed by Dave Neabore of Dog Eat Dog fame ( he also did the one for Bitch) due soon and the planning of their third album for a possible August release, 2013 is looking like being a big year for the band and our grateful ears going by their latest album.

http://www.doghouseswine.com

RingMaster 31/12/2012

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