Exploding Head Syndrome – Aristocratical Tendencies

If the recent release of the new Cockroach Clan album was not enough proof there is now the new EP from Exploding Head Syndrome to prove that the Norwegian punk scene is in fine fettle. Aristocratical Tendencies unleashes five slices of punk/hardcore incitement which raucously roar with voracious contagiousness.

Aristocratical Tendencies follows the Oslo based band’s acclaimed 2016 album World Crashes Down and comes just after the quintet have returned from a mini-tour covering Norway, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary and included playing Europe’s Number One punk festival Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia, sharing stage with NOFX, Pennywise, Frank Turner, Propagandhi, Descendents, Anti-Lam Front and many more. With their live reputation already highly praised and established through their own headlining shows and gigs alongside bands such as Satyricon, Sham69, Honningbarna, The Good Bad and The Zugly and Blood Command, Exploding Head Syndrome only reinforce and push on a similar stature gained through their records with their latest offering.

Shades is first up on the EP, a stroke of guitar igniting a hungry lurch of rhythms and vocal incitement before it all comes together in a virulently voracious trespass of sound. Vocalist Eirik Ekholdt bellows from within the punk eruption, the guitars of Morten Rørvig and Jonas Andreassen casting ferocious yet greedily infectious encouragement around him as all the while rhythms bite and trespass. It is a glorious assault, ripe hooks sprung with keen devilment and sonic threads spun with imposing drama but a song unafraid to go for the jugular.

The following Hardcore Jesus makes a more considered approach, melodic wiring enticing attention as around them a brewing tempest of sound grows. In quick time, the track breaks into a rapacious stroll, the swinging beats of drummer Lars Kirkerud steering its feisty gait as Håvard Jacobsen’s bassline broods. Again it is a feral invitation impossible to ignore and soon resist with its contagion loaded chorus, a hardcore meets hard rock landscape doing nothing to diminish its insistently catchy punk instincts.

I Got Feelings provides two minutes of equally rousing punk confrontation where open irritability colludes with anthemic prowess in a climate of discontent, the result another infectious incursion upon welcoming senses before You Have Your Dreams (I Have My Nightmares) sinks its similarly belligerent and fractious claws into ears and appetite. Once more there is bassline to devour and a creative squall of guitar to swing with, vocals and rhythms only adding to the manipulation as it all heads towards a robust holler.

The EP is closed up by All Change Is Bad, the track springing from the sonic departure of its predecessor with heftily swung beats and an entanglement of wiry guitar enterprise. That alone proves enough to infest body and attitude but with the raw incitement of vocals and the swinging groove of the bass, things only become more insatiable and gripping.

It is a great end to a superb release from a band we only find ourselves becoming more addicted to by the listen.

Aristocratical Tendencies is out now via Big Day Records; available @ https://ehspunx.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates:

18.10.19 Oslo Bloodbath X, Oslo

09.11.19 Checkpoint Charlie, Stavanger w/Kåte Klør

15.11.19 Verkstedet Bar, Oslo w/The Nika Riots

http://www.explodingheadsyndrome.net/   https://www.facebook.com/explodingheadsyndrome

https://www.instagram.com/exploding_head_syndrome/

Pete RingMaster 20/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead By Monday – Almost Punk

Having earned a strong reputation for their live shows and energy, Scottish outfit Dead By Monday are out to spark similar praise on a broader scale with the release of debut EP, Almost Punk. Offering four slices of ferocious punk rock with an almost deceitful character as they reveal a far richer breeding of flavours once immersed in their roars, it is a release which not only warrants attention but pretty much commands it.

Formed in 2016 within the Glasgow music scene, Dead By Monday has as mentioned drawn great plaudits for their live dynamic and aggressive presence which has been rewarded with gigs alongside the likes of The Living End, Daggermouth, Annewrage, and WRCKG. Initially coming together with the intent of creating politically charged punk rock, the foursome soon found a harder, harsher, and heavier sound emerging but one still embracing their punk rock hearts alongside inspirations from the likes of Rage Against The Machine and The Dillinger Escape Plan, NOFX, and Gallows. Almost Punk is their first nationwide trespass and a very potent introduction it proved to be.

Certainly the EP was a slow burner with us, making a good first impression but really blossoming over time and listens as its creative depths emerged. The release opens with The First, and instantly had attentive ears with its simple but efficient opening punk bred riff. Paddy Chapman’s guitar is the lure, the throbbing bassline of Declan Buist a waiting trap before the song explodes into its rapacious and irritable stroll. The gruff tones of vocalist Murray Taylor are soon sharing its grievances as the swinging beats of Ciaran Whyte spark the track’s contagious gait and energy. There is little particularly unique about the track at first but with its mellower detours and sharp hooks grows into an ear grabbing proposal, those animated rhythms of Whyte particularly magnetic.

The following Dead Souls soon overshadows its predecessor, the excellent track a bruising slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a tasty line in hard rock to its twists and turns. Again Taylor’s vocals almost bully the listener as surrounding sounds work on their rocker instincts while spiky hooks and gang vocals make for an additionally tenacious incitement. Firmly the song took best track honours, though it was swiftly challenged by next up Our Doomsday. Straight away Whyte’s rolling punches had attention gripped, Buist quickly backing up the rich coaxing with its own throbbing bait. It is a magnificent start which in some small ways is followed by an anti-climax as the track opens up into its grouchy punk holler but it is a mere quibble as the track soon seduced the appetite with its snarling attack. There is something of Stiff Little Fingers to the song at times which does it no harm at all, indeed helps make it another bright spark in the growing potential and ready-made enterprise of the EP.

The closing Choke brings a post hardcore tone with its opening strains, clean vocals from Taylor strongly enticing with an underlying emotive warble well backed by the harmonic tones of Whyte. Eventually its captivation leads to the ferocious heart of the song, its hardcore instincts expelled with force and dexterity for a caustic finale. The most inventive and unpredictable track on the release it also challenges for top song honours, holding it for a while with its outstanding start and engaging imagination.

Almost Punk is an ear grabbing introduction to its creators but it is the potential and instinctive invention it carries and of which it suggests there is much more to come, that makes it more than just a great first encounter.

Almost Punk is released July 27th.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadbyMonday/

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Voice Of Addiction – The Lost Art of Empathy

This started out as a piece on one track from their new album, an introduction for us sent by Voice Of Addiction which was so persuasive the whole album had to instead be the focus of attention. A multi-flavoured punk rock roar from the Chicago based band, The Lost Art of Empathy is one rousing confrontation which has the body bouncing and spirit leaping with its boisterous escapades from start to finish.

Becoming a potent part of the Chicago punk scene through their explosive live shows, Voice Of Addiction have been stirring up ears and venues since 2004, with a handful of releases and a host of compilation appearances marking their way. At their centre is vocalist/bassist Ian “JohnnyX “ Tomele joined upon the latest Voice Of Addiction stomp by drummer Dennis Tynan, guitarist/backing vocalist Jake Smith, and backing vocalist Luke Ostojic. Listening to the treat that is The Lost Art of Empathy, it seems impossible that the band is not a more widely recognised proposition within the global punk scene; a prospect their new album just might trigger.

With politically and socially challenging lyrics matched by a sound which bites however it comes across it’s twelve tracks, The Lost Art of Empathy opens up with that first song heard here. Rustbelt instantly coaxes ears with a spicy hook which is soon joined by a grouchy bassline and jabbing beats. Together they surge at the senses, developing an infectious urgency as Tomele’s vocals with equally potent backing swiftly capture the imagination. In no time the romp is igniting ears and appetite, its drive towards one irresistible chorus just as manipulative as everything from hardcore, pop and classic punk seems to get involved.

The following Dead By Dawn has a rawer manner in tone and touch but is equally as contagious with athletic beats and the grumbling bass shaping the assault from within which a collage of vocals and the clang of guitar entice. Smith spins a web of sonic endeavour as unpredictable as his riffs are rabid before Unity brings its own belligerent defiance to the party. Tomele’s bass again whips up the appetite, its magnetic prowess matched by another potent mix of vocals across the band.

Petty Schemes swaggers in next with a knowing mischief before bounding into a snarling and keenly eventful melodic punk blaze while the soulful Corporate Pariah evolves into a ska punk canter before which feet and hips are leaping as thoughts are provoked by the tracks incisive words. Both songs hit the spot, the second especially persuasive before Lockwood uncages its sonic spiral and subsequent punk contagion to eclipse both. Across the album bands such as NOFX, Bad Religion, and Angelic Upstarts come to mind, this track especially hinting but there is no denying that Voice Of Addiction embrace all into their own individual furor.

The street punk fuelled I Can’t Breathe invitingly brawls with the listener next, the band merging US and seventies UK punk for its tenacious attack and triumph; a success matched by the visceral punk holler of Everything Must Go. It too is a collusion of styles within the punk banner; alternative and math rock flirting with hardcore tendencies to enthral and arouse.

Through the caustic yet melodically hued tear up of Ad Nauseum and the equally uncompromising and enticing Eviction Notice, the album continues to grip attention even if the songs do not hit the same level as those before them; a plateau Alcorn Queen definitely flirts with straight after with its Mars Volta meets Converge like adventure and animosity. The track is superb, stealing best track honours at the death though there is still time for the acoustic brilliance of Are We Even Human Anymore to shine with Tomele vocally luring ears like moths to a flame.

The Lost Art of Empathy is a moment in time not to be missed; indeed all punks should make it their cause to share its compelling sound as too the presence of Voice Of Addiction. America is catching on, now it is our turn around the world.

The Lost Art of Empathy is available now @ https://voiceofaddiction.bandcamp.com/album/the-lost-art-of-empathy-2

https://voiceofaddiction.com/    https://www.facebook.com/voarockers/    https://twitter.com/VoArockers

Pete RingMaster 09/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Hostiles – Last Call

The Hostiles Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Giving the most glorious workout to swinging hips and inexhaustible feet, as well as instinctive pleasure, Scottish Ska-punks The Hostiles recently released new album Last Call. It offers thirteen tracks of melody thick, brass clad, and feverishly delivered punk ‘n’ roll as raw and snarling as they are inescapably irresistible.

Formed in 2001, The Hostiles began with brothers Josh (guitar/vocals), and Chris Barron (bass/vocals). Growing up in the US, the pair was seduced by the sounds of west coast ska and the likes of Reel Big Fish, NOFX, and No Doubt. In their teens, the pair moved to Scotland, soon discovering the rawer energy and sounds of bands such as Capdown, Lightyear, and King Prawn. Linking up with Callum Douglas (drums) and Steve Bruce (trombone), The Hostiles was soon rousing the local live scene with in time Joe Stainke (trombone) completing the current line-up. Quickly renowned for their energetic live performances, the band’s reputation swiftly grew and spread, helped in turn by the release of debut album Always Looking Forward in 2009. Proceeding to share stages with bands such as Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Zebrahead, The Mad Caddies, Strike Anywhere, and many more, The Hostiles followed up their attention luring first album with the Late Nights… And Early Hours EP in 2012 and the single/video For A Good Time Call 07946058526 two years later.

Now it is Last Call drawing attention and from its first minute arousing body and spirit. From the opening intro, the album leaps upon the listener with opener Ed Knows. An attitude laden bassline stalks the initial vocal draw, both leading into a fiery lure of guitar and rapier like swings from Douglas. Quickly as the trombones share their melodic flames, the track is a contagious blaze of infectious sound with a funk infused swing and punk ingrained fuel to its roar. There is little time before the listener is adding their full contribution in voice and movement, a success matched in the following Inconsiderate. A lighter stomp of a song with Hammond flavoured keys courting its instantly open catchiness, it carries a familiar air which only adds to its thrilling appeal.

The Hostiles Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe band’s inspirations are never far from the surface at times, the second song evidence but spices used to shape songs which undoubtedly have The Hostiles character, as shown again in the prowling You Liar. Swaggering alone with mischief in its creative glands, the song is confrontational but an epidemic  of big hooks and intimidating attitude, and quite superb. It reveals the great mix of pop honed and punk rock driven sounds which have sparked the band’s passions over time, all woven into another distinctive proposition before things calm a touch with I’ll Assume. It is just a touch too as the song soon shows its teeth and melodic prowess in a King Prawn like canter with exotic melodies and moody basslines entangling the ever potent vocals and swathes of mariachi hued trombone.

Both Night Out with its dirty tone and ridiculously infectious enterprise and its successor Wish You All The Best has body and soul leaping. The first is ska punk at its most creatively virulent and indeed addictive while the second is a boisterous romp shaped with smart hooks and persuasive melodies as well cast in imaginative drama coloured by rock guitar and theatrical brass.

The album continues to keep the listener on their toes with a broad grin on their face as the punk brawl of Spend My Life, the gentler sway of So, I Wonder, and the blazing exploits of Late Nights come, go, and leave ears and appetite aroused. The third of the trio especially adds another pinnacle to Last Call, all offering undeniable reasons to embrace The Hostiles adventure, with To Err Is Human providing another major highlight. The band’s latest single, it also has a hint of Mariachi El Bronx to its melodic and trombone nurtured side, a great flavour mixing with heavier punk rock attitude.

Released From Captivity uncages another addictive tempting, guitars and bass alone creating a web of hooks which snare body and heart with ease. Familiar essences come to the surface of the song but flavours simply used to shade its own individual devilment before the closing pair of encounters starting with Nobody Else. The song does not make the same impact as others within Last Call, yet has mutual participation with ease so does little wrong before the album’s title track brings it all to a cantankerous close. It is a ska infested hardcore brawl of a proposal, vocals a throated scraping challenge as brass bring a tonic to the imposingly grouchy touch of guitar and rhythms.

It makes for an unexpected and pleasing end to a release which sees ears and fingers itching to go again within seconds of its close. There are a few rather special ska flavoured punksters around right now and as proven by Last Call, The Hostiles stand by their side.

Last Call is out now on Bubble Tea Records @ http://thehostiles.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thehostiles/   http://www.thehostiles.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 05/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

BarCreeps – The Hour Between Dog And Wolf

Dog and Wolf_RingMasterReview

As to who BarCreeps are is a mystery and will remain so with the UK based band presenting themselves anonymously; set to represented by a generic ‘BarCreep’ in a challenge to “the current fragmentation of music into ‘writer/programmer’ and ‘celebrity personality as singer’ and [their]feeling that this process is syphoning the artistry out of culture.” What is no secret going by debut single The Hour Between Dog And Wolf though, is that the band creates one seriously enjoyable and raw punk rock incitement.

Roaring out of London, BarCreeps is said to consist of a quartet of members from all over the world united by a love of record labels such as Fat Wreck, Epitaph, Touch and Go, Jade Tree, and Dischord. Their individual histories seem to include bassist Railgrind formerly being in The Pipettes who toured the world with the likes of Amy Winehouse and The Beastie Boys. As for vocalist Bannister and fellow guitarist Hendricks, they “started the Hong Kong loft show scene” and shared a stage with Fugazi whilst the former has also been in The Young Playthings whilst the latter put on ‘Refugee Rock’ last year, where the Wedding Present headlined a gig that helped raise over £3,000 for the immigrants in the Calais jungle. With a line-up completed by drummer Campari, who played in Italian band Cream Pie as well as Italy’s premier Ramones tribute act, BarCreeps is a proposition that has a lively background but revealing little about themselves at the same time.

Bands should always let their sound do the talking of course, and BarCreeps certainly do that in The Hour Between Dog And Wolf. Their first single opens on a group howl and proceeds to entwine ears in catchy tendrils of guitar and ripe hooks framed by heftily landing rhythms. The equally raw and dirty tones of Bannister add a further easy to take up invitation to a caustic slice of joy which, with its uncomplicated yet potent melodic hardcore scented roar, becomes increasingly magnetic as it breeds a NOFX meets Propagandhi like rousing of ears and attention.

It is only one song heard so far, so too early to say how unique the band’s sound is though The Hour Between Dog And Wolf suggests that such an essence is still in the brewing stage. Fair to say though, that the single hits all the right spots with its uncompromising and highly satisfying punk rock and in return we eagerly await the band’s next offering.

The Hour Between Dog And Wolf is released April 15th on BCHR Records.

Upcoming Live BarCreeps Dates:

April 23rd – The Barfly Camden, London

May 14th – The Queen’s Arms, Reading

August 27th – Sea Change Festival, Totnes

https://www.facebook.com/BarCreeps   https://twitter.com/barcreepsband

Pete RingMaster 15/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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POPULAR FRENCH POP PUNK OUTFIT, THE SHAPERS RELEASE NEW EP!

European trio ‘The Shapers’ set loose their spanking new EP ‘Reckless Youth’, through all digital platforms on Friday 26th February. Look out too as the gritty rockers prepare to tour the UK in 2016

The Shapers Online Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Currently residing in Toulouse, France, Euro punk rockers ‘The Shapers’ delectably embrace the garage rock vibes of ‘The Hives’ and ‘Nirvana’, merged with the early urgent delivery of ‘Green Day’ and ‘A Day To Remember’. Born in 2009 and consisting of Anthony Cauvin (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Raphaël Bouissière (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Benoit Holin (Drums), this power trio have certainly undertaken the punk rock DIY ethos. With a keen zest for touring and adventure, the band headed out to China and Indonesia in 2011 to play a series of highly successful shows, and because of the response and support, the threesome returned the following year and again last year. In 2013, The Shapers won a ‘Best up-and-coming band’ competition, lapping up a prize to tour throughout North America where the alt-punks shared stages with punk rock legends NOFX and Pennywise. Last year, the band again toured, this time in Thailand. The three piece were overwhelmed with responses and will tour South East Asia again next year.

As well as a hearty diet for touring across the far reaches of the world, the band have also extensively played throughout France, and are currently planning their attack on the UK. Blessed with a CV that boosts support shows with The Flatliners, NOFX, Silverstein, Pennywise, Face To Face, and Dream on Dreamer, and critical acclaim for 2012’s debut album ‘Everybody Needs To Have A Dream’, which picked up rampant praise across the board, the band show no signs of letting up.

The Shapers dropped their video single “Can’t Forget”, directed by Mayol (media director of Vans, who has worked with successful bands like the Foo Fighters, among many others) this summer. The single is the opening track from the band’s hotly anticipated new EP ‘Reckless Youth’, which is unleashed this February. With six cuts of scuzzy punk, the record is a true calling to all fans of Punk in its varied forms. Drawing from the early vigour of Blink 182 and the raw power of Nirvana, marinated with a hint of The Subways, this EP is destined to break the band to the UK.

The_Shapers_Cover_Artwork.jpg_RingMaster Review

https://twitter.com/theshapers   https://instagram.com/theshapers  https://www.facebook.com/TheShapersOfficial/   http://theshapersofficial.com

Acid Brains – Thirty Three

ACID-BRAINS_COVER2_RingMaster Review

Rampant with a torrent of diverse flavours all uniting in one mighty slab of punk ‘n’ roll, Thirty Three is one of those proposals which out of the blue sets energies racing and thick pleasure flowing. The rousing success of the new encounter will probably be no surprise for fans of and those in the know about Italian band Acid Brains, a quartet previous full-lengths having earned the band a potent reputation in their homeland’s rock scene, but for the rest of us the album is an impressive introduction to a thrill we have all been missing out on.

Hailing from Lucca and formed in 1997, Acid Brains create a sound which merges alternative and punk rock with grunge and new wave, amongst many flavours, a mix brewed with devilish invention and thick imagination. 2004 saw debut album The End Of The Show released after a trio of demos before it; its well-received outing more than matched by its successor Far Away two years later and Do It Better in 2009. As the new proposition, fourth album Maybe was unveiled via Red Cat Records in 2012 to show more of the evolving enterprise and boldness in a sound now inflaming ears in Thirty Three.

Produced by Gherardo Monti and Acid Brains, Thirty Three comes in two parts; the first consisting of five tracks sung in English and the second with four songs sung in the band’s native tongue. Why the segregation of languages we cannot say but the parts are a CD equivalent to the side A and side B on a vinyl release or like on a double EP.

Band and album have attention and ears in the palms of their creative hands from the off, opener Make Up Your Mind laying down an initial lure of confrontational yet controlled bass and guitar before bursting into a fiery punk rock escapade with, whether intentional or not, a more than familiar relationship to The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. The track proceeds to stop and flow with magnetic invention and aggressive ferocity throughout, creating a compelling proposal easy to get greedy over long the way, just like the following Halloween. The second track strolls in with its own slightly belligerent character, the bass of Antonio Amatulli devilishly prowling amongst the sonic tempting of guitarists Alfredo Bechelli and Stefano Giambastiani. The latter’s vocals equally engage with grouchy persuasion as the song explores a post punk/new wave fuelled slice of raw power pop, it already showing the strong variety within the album as it has the imagination bound and ears again aroused.

Sometimes steps up next, tantalising initially with a dirty flame of riffs before hitting a grunge/punk canter playing like a feisty mix of Nirvana, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, and Feud. Antagonistic but with an anthemic welcome rather than a nasty intent, the track stomps along recruiting body and appetite before On The Borderline takes over with its post punk laced, rhythmically gripping prowl. The resourceful beats of drummer Luca Bambini masterfully shape the track and entice instincts to which guitar and vocals offer their inventively bracing assets. With a spice of Gang Of Four meets Gruntruck to it, the track continues the impressive and increasingly gripping persuasion of the album, and the enjoyable wealth of diversity.

Adding a touch of glam rock swagger is Answers next, but equally a healthy scent of old school punk is the order of the day within the slimline and enjoyable canter before Tu throws some rhythmically tenacious garage rock into the album’s mix. A bracing stomp bouncing aggressively around with sonic colouring maybe best described as NOFX and The Pulsebeats in league with the punkier side of Les Négresses Vertes, it sets the second part of Thirty Three off in fine style to be quickly backed and surpassed by the outstanding nagging tempting of Mi Sorprendi. Riffs and rhythms provide a great worrisome yet addictive beckoning for the vocals of Giambastiani to stir things up in potent style within. Once more that post punk spicing add to the varied punk ‘n’ roll adventure of the track whilst hooks and the throaty tones from Amatulli’s strings only add to the inescapable captivation.

The final pair of songs ensures the album ends with as much variation and resourcefulness as it has perpetually offered already. All’infinito is first, a heavily enticing slice of drama with sinister electronics courting a grunge punk aggravation whilst closing song Solido has its own dark theatre through haunting keys within a rawer coaxing of guitar. Soon it raises its temperature and contagion with a glorious roar of a chorus that has listener participation involved with ease. Subsequently leading into another hungrily virulent blaze of rich grooves and deeply embedding hooks; that in turn the passage into an attitude loaded punk bellow of a blistering finale, it and its predecessor provides a thumping close to an increasingly persuasive and impressive album.

Acid Brains is rock ‘n’ roll to get excited and greedy over; something fresh to get lusty with through an album that flicks all the right switches.

Thirty Three is out now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acid-Brains/50227931347   http://twitter.com/AcidBrains

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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