Bloodclot – Up in Arms

Pic Rick Rodney

Bringing together the highly recognised talent of certain individuals from various acclaimed bands does not always guarantee something special but in the case of Bloodclot, it feels a given such the instinctive union between its collective. The band is the coming together of Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph, former Danzig and Murphy’s Law guitarist Todd Youth, drummer Joey Castillo formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig, and Eagles of Death Metal, and Mondo Generator frontman and ex- Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they confirm that given with debut album Up in Arms, a physical and lyrical roar of hardcore defiance.

Unleashing twelve ravenous slices of punk rock with more inescapable hooks than found in Leatherface’s pantry, all fuelled by raw irritability at the state of the world today, Up in Arms is a crowd uniting battle cry. It fuses familiar essences with the fresh appetite and invention of a quartet seemingly destined to come together at some point. Everything about it is as organic as it is rabid, as challenging as it is rousing; taking no prisoners but rewarding those who it devours time and time again.

The album’s title track crashes in on the listener first, springing from an invasive sonic mist with a slavery of guitar and rhythmic predation as Joseph pokes and stirs the senses with voice and word. Castillo’s beats are rapier sharp and imposing, Oliveri’s bass carries an infectious brooding whilst Youth’s riffs and hooks ensnare across four eventful minutes.

It is an ear gripping, appetite inflaming beginning which only kicks up a gear with the following Fire, a belligerent brawl of punk ‘n’ roll instantly chaining ears with a  virulent hook as rhythms jab and incite. If the Angelic Upstarts was merged with Sick Of It All, this could be their anthem while Manic infuses an even greater physical psychosis and unforgiving attitude to the torrential gait of its predecessor in its own addictive multi-flavoured rumble.

Through the sonic call to arms scourge of Kill the Beast and the Dead Kennedys scented Prayer, new twists of sound and invention force themselves through ears, each with a virulent strain of spiky hooks and body twisting grooves, while their successor has things bouncing like a dervish. Siva / Rudra is a contagion of enterprise as cantankerous as it is exotically seductive marked, as all three, by Oliveri springing basslines as funky as they are carnal. Alongside, Youth’s riffs and grooves come as primal as they are compelling whilst Joseph squeezes every ounce of uncompromising adventure and emotional incitement out of tone and syllable.

Soldiers of the New Babylon locks metal and punk together in its prickly vent, a testy proposition woven with nagging riffs and a magnetically throbbing bassline before Kali throws all those attributes into an insatiable maelstrom of punk rock temptation, taking best track honours along the way. Barely seeing the one minute mark, the track is irresistible but swiftly rivalled by the crabby assault of Slow Kill Genocide, the catchiness moment within Up in Arms and arguably the most choleric.

Pure punk rock truculence shapes the breath-sapping antics of the following Slipping into Darkness, Oliveri spawning his most addictive moment within the album bound in the searing flames of Youth’s guitar as vocals and beats vent their animosity with Life as One backing up its triumph with its mercurial but always commandingly imposing tapestry of quarrel and imagination.

The album is closed by You’ll Be the Death of Me, a slab of rock ‘n’ roll taking big chunks out of the senses as it excites with its Lard-esque espionage. Addiction has never been more vicious and seductive within three and a half minutes, certainly in recent times, as that spawned by the outstanding finale to one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation) and mixed by Kyle McAulay at NRG, Up in Arms transcends being just a great release from another so called ‘super group’, it has given hardcore a fresh new breath and snarl which we can only hope is the first of many gales from Bloodclot.

Up in Arms is out now on Metal Blade Records across most stores and @ https://bloodclot.bandcamp.com/album/up-in-arms

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Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Luna Sol – Blood Moon

Pic_Colin Farrell

Pic_Colin Farrell

Vocalist/guitarist David Angstrom has been part of and behind a few potent propositions, Hermano, Supafuzz, and Asylum On The Hill included, but he might have just outdone them all with Luna Sol, certainly if their debut album is a taste of things to come. Blood Moon is a glorious roar of backwoods bred stoner rock, bulging with voracious riffs and intoxicating grooves as well as a blues spicing to have you woozy. It is also one of the most contagiously virulent slabs of dark rock ‘n’ roll to hit the senses in recent months, nay years.

It was 2012 when Angstrom moved to the mountains just north of Denver and began being inspired by the local news and folklore, and you might suggest the “we don’t like strangers” mind-set that small out of the way communities can develop. With songs in his creative pocket, Angstrom formed Luna Sol with local musicians in the creative shape of guitarist/ vocalist Shanda Kolberg (The Swanks), bassist /vocalist Shannon Fahnestock (The Swindlers), and drummer Pat Gill (The Feds, ’76 Pinto). Recorded at Sierra Estates in Colorado, Blood Moon is the first aural moonshine from the band, a collection of songs easy to get a greedy taste for alongside a rabid addiction too.

Musically there is no escaping offering references to the likes of Kyuss and early Queens Of The Stone Age, but they are colours to a tapestry hard to suggest is anything but Luna Sol like. Quick evidence comes with album opener Bridges. Percussion and guitar make an immediate lure which soon expands in a haze of sonic electricity and spicy enterprise as the vocal roar of Angstrom hits ears and appetite as forcibly as the sounds around him. It is soon evident that vocals are shared in varying ways across the band which only adds to the diversity and theatre of song and creative release. The album also features several guests, here Dean Smith (Supafuzz) adding bass growls within the fiery web of guitars.

Lunasol_Blood Moon_Cover_RingMaster Review   The excellent enslaving start continues with Death Mountain, the skills of bassist Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquestra del Desierto) and slide guitarist Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters) adding to the crawling seduction on offer. Almost from its first breath, ‘drunken’ grooves are winding their meandering charm around the imagination whilst the bass is a grouchy but compelling protagonist against the potent twin vocal delivery. Like a primal seductress the track entices and crawls over the listener, intimidating as it lures until the infection flooded chorus warms the soul as the prowess of Martin bewitches.

The pair of December and Leadville keep ears and appetite just as engrossed next, the first of the two with its dirtier air and more predatory attitude backed by the additional magnetic tones of John Garcia (Vista Chino, Hermano, Kyuss). The track has the weight and muscle of a beast and the sonic toxicity of neat liquor as well as the melodic beauty of a mountain vista, whilst its successor unleashes an addiction forging swing any rock band would salaciously solicit for. Its swagger is irresistible and sonic air bracing with the peak of pleasure arriving with the slips into the relative calm of banjo plucks and vocal repetition courted by a juicy dark bass tempting.

Pretty Rotten keeps that slightly bestial tone going in its compelling stroll lined with the barracuda like tones of the bass provided by Nick Oliveri (Vista Chino, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age). As with the previous pair of tracks there is also an essence of what is basically rock pop catchiness which plays like a mix of 12 Stone Toddler and Eagle of Death Metal and has ears and emotions fired up as greedily as the tonic of blues flames scorches the whole thrilling affair.

Thicker classic rock hues join stoner instincts for Operator, a song which took longer to warm to in the same way the others inspired but almost creeps up on the passions as by half way realisation sets in that body sways and vocal participation have joined the call before thoughts. The track is hypnotic, another hazily crawling tempting which eventually and fully has its way before passing over ears to Standley Lake for an infestation of the imagination and psyche with its rhythmic spell and scorching winey grooves. It too is a slow burn on the passions in a way but a highly resourceful and successful one easily involving hips and throat by the time Your Way steps forward with its rich blues and psych rock smoulder aided by the Hammond prowess of Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses). Immersive and atmospherically ablaze, the track leaves lips licked in satisfaction before leaving the darkly haunted In the Shadows to being the album comes to a close. Jason Groves (Supafuzz, Asylum on the Hill) offers the bass bait in this mouth-watering caliginous proposal, musically and narratively the song aural drama of noir soaked hidden deeds and dark souls, and thoroughly riveting.

It is a mighty end to one thoroughly exhilarating release; the last card in a deck of spellbinding persuasion which from start to finish enrols the listener in an adventure of strange melancholy and curious endeavours. It is also a swamp of rock ‘n’ roll which just rouses the spirit in possibly the best heavy rock album this year, certainly the favourite.

Blood Moon is available from September 11th across UK/Europe via Cargo Records.

Pete Ringmaster 11/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Welcome The Howling Tones – Green & Blues

Welcome The Howling Tones_RingMaster Review

Around two years ago, UK rockers Welcome The Howling Tones offered a thrilling introduction with their first release, a two track single that suggested it was merely the “appetiser for greater incendiary things to come”. It has been a fair time coming but now the Farnborough quartet are poised to release their debut album Green & Blues, and prove all hints and subsequent expectations from that point were right on the money. The eleven track stomp of spicy rock ‘n’ roll is a blaze of that early potential woven into even more crucial and exhilarating blues/stoner bred exploits. Imaginative and impassioned, it is a fiery party for the senses and rebellion for the feet, and proof that Welcome The Howling Tones is indeed an incitement fit to majorly arouse British rock ‘n’ roll.

Welcome The Howling Tones cover_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2012, the foursome of guitarists Pauly T and Chris Gilday, drummer Lawrence Arnold, and vocalist/bassist Iain Turner quickly drew strong local attention with their tenacious classic rock bred sound infused with flavoursome strains of blues and alternative rock alongside funk infested grooves and more aggressive textures, a blend impressively fuelling the thick persuasion of Green & Blues. Soon spreading their reputation and music further afield, the band released that earlier mentioned double A-sided pairing of Eyes to Hypnotise and Broken Man, earning broader and acclaiming attention in return whilst live they proceeded over time to shared stages with the likes of Godsized, The Jamie Lenman Band, Nick Oliveri, The Icarus Line, Breed 77 and many more, again to regular high praise.

Green & Blues looks to stir up ears and emotions from the off, taking little time to leap into its feistiest persuasion with opener Deep River Blues. From its first breath the guitars are spinning a tasty web of grooves, their strong coaxing aided by the just as potent and impressing vocal tones of Turner. As it slowly broadens its shoulders and expands its landscape, the song is still teasing with its early enticement, its slim but thickly tempting invitation helping to restrain excess energy even as rhythms and a cloudy atmosphere joins the revelry. Classically toned and spiced with a delta blues hue which only intensifies as the song’s drama brews, the thrilling encounter leaves on a rousing finale of stoner sculpted flames, meaty rhythms, and acidic grooving.

It is a mighty start to the album but quickly eclipsed by both Eyes to Hypnotise and Broken Man. The first of the pair virtually drizzles its initial guitar lure over ears, swiftly awakening attention and appetite in turn. It is a gripping start quickly tightening with the addition of a throaty growl from Turner’s bass and the heady swipes of Arnold’s beats, which subsequently become a mosaic of creative animation as the song grows. The grooves and riffs spilling from the fingers and strings of Pauly T and Gilday are toxic in their addictive nature and tempting, inflaming further a track which in a matter of seconds is as irresistible as it is voraciously creative. The instrumental swagger of the song alone enslaves and with the expressive tones of Turner’s voice powerfully riding their compelling enterprise, it leaves a licking of lips and hunger for more which is easily satisfied by its successor, which also from its first moments has ears and pleasure in a spin. From the first clicking of drum sticks to the tangy grooves, sandy vocals to pulsating beats, the encounter is an inescapable trap which welcomingly imposes further with a siren-esque lure of spice fuelled melodies and stoner grooves. With thrilling spurts of discord and noise seeded imagination for good measure, the rousing stomp is the kind of thing lust was invented for.

     There is no let-up of quality and success with Never Said Forever and its drama spilling alternative rock resourcefulness. Amongst many traits which stand out in the band’s sound and songwriting, unpredictability is a potent asset and in full bloom here as the track twists and turns rhythmically and sonically, every move lined with bold adventure and mouth-watering imagination. Carrying a delicious solo for extra flavour, the album’s pinnacle is set down, though rivalled throughout with Burn my Bones a swift contender next. A blues shuffle emerges with Arnold again creating a commanding frame within which a great vocal mix and the most citric flavoured sonic exploit yet on the release plays. It is an enthralling hex swinging and growling with a vintage toning courting modern dark rock prowess.

Honey I Want You NOT Your Money keeps things rocking like a dog in heat, its raucous energy and melodic flames as bracing and incendiary as standing in a lightning storm on a cliff top whilst Fresh Flesh straight after explores a sultry embrace with prowling riffs and thumping rhythms bound in evocative vocals and great sonic tartness. It does not quite have the bite of previous songs but still leaves thoughts and emotions alive especially with its increasingly volatile assets.

The southern rock brewed Dip Me in Mud is another which initially seems to lack the heat of other encounters within the album but over time emerges as a need to return to as often as possible tempting of craft and passion. It is a potency applying to the whole of Green & Blues to be honest and certainly She’s My Kind of Woman with its sweltering climate of blues expression woven in to a nest of grooves recalling the charm of the sixties, mischief of the seventies, and the snarl of the now.

Though not a hell for leather assault on the senses, Green & Blues is a highly charged encounter which never gives the body a rest, its rowdy bouts of balls swinging rock ‘n’ roll through to steamier strolls all providing a constant adrenaline shock to the system. Green God Envy is one of the saltier seductions, it’s swaying body and humid nature temptress like, and just as persuasive and intensive as such a siren before making way for the closing I Can Go Bad. As hoped and expected, the song is a stonking rocker of a proposal to end things up but also as should be assumed, loaded with alternative rock imagination and sparkling creative diversity.

The first Welcome The Howling Tones encounter certainly suggested the band was capable of something as glorious and exciting as Green & Blues but over two years you never know. Well now we do and with one of the most enjoyable propositions anywhere this year, the band confirms themselves as potentially another of those destined to pungently shape the future of the UK rock scene.

Green & Blues is available from on 13th July @ http://welcomethehowlingtones.bandcamp.com/

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RingMaster 08/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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