Goodbye Mr MacKenzie – Good Deeds and Dirty Rags

Brandenburg photo by Martin Becker

Maybe like for many others, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie is a band which we did not pay enough attention to back when they were a potent part of a Scottish indie/rock scene lauded for the presence of bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Fire Engines, Simple Minds, The Waterboys, The Cocteau Twins and many others. The fair share of acclaim they earned was impossible to miss and a few familiar tracks, and more than we knew we knew it turns out, left a rich vein of pleasure in our personal musical journey. Funnily enough it was not the recent reforming of one of Scotland’s most iconic rock bands which has most strongly drawn us to the upcoming re-reissuing of their seminal album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags but the fact that one of our current favourite bands, The Filthy Tongues, consists of three of Goodbye Mr MacKenzie’s founders; that and the welcome urging of Shauna McLarnon of Canadian duo Ummagma.

Due for release this coming November and inspired by the massive success of their recent 30-year anniversary tour, Good Deeds & Dirty Rags has been re-mastered and comes with 3 additional tracks from those early years not previously included on the original edition. The band’s line-up at the time consisted of vocalist Martin Metcalfe, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly, the trio who have inflamed ears and the passions with their two albums as the aforementioned Filthy Tongues. Alongside them was guitarist John Duncan, previously of The Exploited, the future Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, and Rona Scobie both providing keys and backing vocals. For the rest of the band’s potent history we will let you go search but there will be no finer way to set it off then through Good Deeds and Dirty Rags.

The album opens up with Open Your Arms, a track which swiftly hooks ears with its sweeping breath and magnetic jangle. Metcalfe’s vocals resonate with the expression and character which we are more familiar with within his current creative adventure as melodies, harmonies, and sharp hooks are woven into a slice of indie contagion. There is a Big Country like grandeur to the song at times and a gnarly edge to the bass which just hit a personal appetite, again something since keenly devoured with Wilson’s presence in The Filthy Tongues.

Wake It Up follows bringing a rousing roar to its composed stroll, every aspect fuelling an unapologetic catchiness which easily swept up eager attention. In some ways there is a larger than life hue to the song which reminds of The Associates but whether familiar with or new to the band through the album there is no denying Goodbye Mr Mackenzie had a distinct individuality.

The electronic hug of the especially enthralling His Masters Voice is just a big warm smile upon the ears but another track with a certain rock ‘n’ roll edge to it which erupts with vociferous voice throughout while Goodwill City is a drama soaked slice of anthemic temptation. It is a song set in climatic layers, each small but tenacious crescendo a rich incitement on spirit and involvement with its creative intrigue and emprise. One of their less familiar tracks before this release the song soon proved a firm favourite even as the riveting Candlestick Park swung its own shadow wrapped, melancholically spun seduction upon ears and imagination. The truth is the song easily matches anything on the release, its mesmeric and indeed haunting presence a siren of craft and sound.

The song, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, is another which simply infests ears and appetite with its melodic audacity and fertile imagination. The earthy threads of guitar perfectly collude with the celestial breeze of keys and sighs of harmonies as marching rhythms firmly leave their galvanic imprint on the senses; another highlight re-introduced to ears before the band’s most famous track, The Rattler shares its masterful indie pop contagion.

Through the infectious creative animation of Dust and the glorious sonic theatre of You Generous Thing grinning pleasure only rises up, both tracks pure adventure for ears and imagination on

Goodbye Mr MacKenzie 2019 – photo by Karen Lamond

both sides of the speakers; both traits a persistent thrill across the release and echoed again within the equally superb Good Deeds. Straight away rhythmically it had us enslaved; Kelly’s agility and lures reminding of King Trigger before the rest of the band bring their own eager inventive exploits to the fascination of sound.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is completed by three demo tracks of Open Your Arms, Diamonds, and You Generous Thing; all from 1987 and each their own portion of thick temptation.

Though listening to the album inspires annoyance at not having embraced it well before now, it is a real treat to discover and you know what? It is not out of place or time within the current indie rock scene at all.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is released 2nd November via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeMrMackenzie   https://twitter.com/gbmrmackenzie   http://www.goodbyemrmackenzie.com/

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Matinée – Empty

matinee_RingMasterReview

With the melodic charms of debut album, These Days, still luring attention over a year later, backed by subsequent singles, the Italy hailing, London based Matinée are poised to unveil a new magnetic encounter posing as a single. Empty is a warm kiss on the senses, a melodic blush of elegance and catchy enterprise which equally is a rousing adventure hard to stop feet and enjoyment showing eager reactions to. The single in many ways echoes the creative exploits of that first album but at the same time pushes the invention and rich weave of flavours to new captivating heights.

Since emerging a handful of years back, Matinée has persistently impressed and fascinated a growing following of fans and attention. The success of their album has been matched and backed by a live presence which has drawn its own praise with the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Razorlight, Mystery Jets, Futureheads, The Wombats, Pete and the Pirates, British Sea Power and many more along the way. Empty sees the band linking up with Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Carl Barat, Glasvegas) again, the producer repeating his part of These Days, alongside Chris Geddes art_RingMasterReviewfrom Belle and Sebastian this time around.

Empty opens on a gentle rhythmic pulse and a charming drizzle of melodic rain, each synth cast drop a golden burst of warmth and enticement. The vocals of synth/guitarist Luigi Tiberio only adds to the attraction, his Italian accent bringing a touch of the Mediterranean and further infectiousness. Once the bolder, darker hues of Alfredo Ioannone’s bass and Alessio Palizzi’s lively beats join the affair on ears, the song is an enthralling blend of light and shadows amidst darker emotion and creative festivity.

Just as impressive in the song as the sounds offered, is the way sometimes the keys seem to lead the way, in other moments the guitar of Giuseppe Cantoli do or the vocals of Tiberio potently backed by those of Ioannone. The reality is that everything is equal yet the ebb and flow of the song, its rich crescendos provides a deceptive and very pleasing drama which consumes attention.

If you have yet to enjoy a Matinée performance, Empty is the perfect moment and adventure to spend your ticket on.

Empty is released April 29th via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thematineeband

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Desolation Yes!: Out of Orbit

1359740062

Reaping the essences of electro, pop, punk, and rock with many other fiery whispers of sound in the mix, Scottish / Slovakian band Desolation Yes! has released their new album, a collection of songs which rampage with a hunger and instinctive need to provoke and confront. Out of Orbit is a release which perfectly satisfies with infectious enterprise and compelling energy, though at times it struggles to truly ignite the passions. Upon it though the band is experimenting and stretching their diversity with open imagination which is never a bad thing.

The Glasgow based quartet found an escalation in interest in 2008 when the band began working on their debut album, CyberNation with Scottish independent record label Neon Tetra Records, which was released in 2010. The singles Templeton/Instinct (2007) and Future Pop (2008), which subsequently appeared on the album, found a strong reception and soon found extensive radio play to set up the album release as well as a wealth of impressive reviews whilst the band shared stages with the likes of The Whip, Crystal Castles, Alec Empire, Howling Bells, NoMeansNo, Simian Mobile Disco, Jubilee, and Mortiis. 2011 saw the current line-up of Paul Elliott (vocals/synth/programming), Jagged (guitar/programming), Miro Cuba (drummer/percussionist/synth), and Shisho (bass), begin work on Out of Orbit which easily gives evidence of the time and thought the band put into it.

The album explodes with a bang in the ear through opener Shivers and the following Atrophy, both sinewy charges of electro rock with industrial and pop teasing. The opening song initiates contact with electro pulses and taunts before stretching into a rampant surge of bulging basslines and coarse riffs loaded with the expressive vocals of Elliott. The song brings restraint to its charge at times to allow a breath to be taken before the high tempo riot resumes but by its end the listener is found breathless and enthused about the prospects of the album ahead. The following Atrophy unleashes a more electro voice though throughout the guitars and bass add a snarl and bite to the synth driven wash whilst the beats of Cuba resonate with power across bone and senses. Both songs have an over powering feel of Wall Of Voodoo about them, in sound and in inventive use of aural colours.

From such an impressive start maybe a drop in intensity and temptation was to be expected and despite the likes of One and Silence being accomplished and satisfying songs they do suffer alongside their predecessors. It was a tall order to contend with and the first with its slight Placebo/ Stan Ridgway tasting stroll and the second with its emotive lure both are pale in comparison though as stand-alone songs find a firmer hold.

Repent with its Axis Mundi like mischief and industrial/trance like rock and frantic gait lifts things once more though lyrically it passed by only raising an eyebrow at its lyrical intent. Musically the song is an urgent and forceful agitator to get the pulse rate up once again, if still adrift from previous heights, and is soon backed up by the growl of Radio. From this moment the album slips in a punk attitude vocally and bite musically which fully grabs a returning intensive attention and appetite.

Army Of Flesh is an intriguing soundscape of militant drums and dramatic keys with image evoking cinematic samples filling its suggestive air. It is an excellent track which firstly exposes further diversity in the song writing and imagination of the band whilst its climactic vocal repeat of the title offers a Theatre Of Hate inspiration which in turn ignites thoughts and emotions in the listener.

Hitting the dancefloor with a brewing tempest of electro pop and thick imposing ambience, Psychoelectrical coats the senses in a testing expanse of industrial/synth rock with rich rewards showering from its melodic skies and burly veins whilst the closing pair of Tech and America ensures the release departs with a couple of challenging and provoking slices of punk electro power.

Desolation Yes! and Out of Orbit leave strong satisfaction and enjoyment behind if also a sense it missed an opportunity to exploit greater heights and fires within the listener. Very worthy of checking out though followed by multiple returns

www.desolationyes.com

7/10

RingMaster 04/03/2013

Theatre Of Hate