Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is the new and fifth album from US Transcendental Dance Poppers Tunabunny, a huge adventure which sees the Athens, Georgia hailing quartet at their most poppy, darkest, experimental, and compelling. A double album breaching 28 imagination stoking tracks, it is a kaleidoscope of sound; no track like any other or pretty much any offering from the band to date, and a carousel of creative drama which pushes the listener into places they might not know exist let alone have contemplated.

Apparently PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is “structured as a song-by-song response to The Beatles’ White Album” and through its songs explores themes such as surveillance, futility, alchemy and winter, metamorphosis and anger whilst its fourth side features a twisting song cycle about motherhood; from pregnancy to birth, through postpartum emotional desolation, to the rebirth of self. Whatever their inspiration, the album’s songs challenge and arouse physically, mentally, and emotionally ensuring you get a full and thrilling workout with the foursome of Mary Jane Hassell, Scott Creney, Brigette Adair Herron, and Jesse Stinnard.

Rather than do our usual track by track look, such its bulging size, we are going to pluck the moments which ignited the imagination most forcibly but be assured barely a moment passes within the whole release without making a potent and appealing impact. From the opening atmospherically sinister Cartesian Theater, a track which appears like an intro but is so much more, Tunabunny set the speakers and passions on fire with Incinerate. A recent single, the track is glorious; a slice of indie pop which has the head bobbing, feet shuffling, and ardour brewing within its first round of seduction. Adding one’s own breath is inevitable to a sublime chorus, the vocals a flirtatious beauty matched in temptation by the gentle swing of the sounds cradling their charm.

There is no better moment within the album but plenty of times rival the height of the superb encounter, the following Noise Problems a swift example with its post punk/new wave canter carrying a definite resemblance to eighties UK band The Passions. The stroll of the bass is as deeply appealing as the wiry jangle of the guitars, vocals again an inescapable magnetism in diversity and harmony whilst the song’s emerging discord is simply delicious.

The indie/psych pop of Seek Consequence is another major magnet; the swaying vocals siren-esque as darker hues brew and evolve behind their lyrical wiles until heatedly bubbling up with a drone like fever while Blackwater Homes rises up from a gentle melodic murmur into another virulently infectious and shadowed canter playing like a mix of Stevie Nicks and Pylon. Worryingly easy to be seduced by its haunting lures, and not for the first or last time fiercely tempting post punk bass bait, the track swiftly worms into the psyche.

The bass again grips the instincts within Oracle, its Psycho Killer like coaxing backed by shiny tendrils of guitar as vocals procrastinate; its success followed by the matching triumph of Start It where PiL meets The Breeders is a good hint to the track’s melodic post punk clamour. These tracks alone show the diversity within PCPPAIWJR, The Raincoats tinged pop clang of Nevermind The Cobblestones and the Slits scented monotone shuffle of Yellow Heart Is My Sky Sign further evidence, both tracks bringing fresh greed in a healthy appetite for the release.

A healthy addictiveness is spawned by the raw swing and charm of the boldly infectious The Way The World Works, the song a dulled yet sparkling gem in the album’s jewellery box of sound and another collusion of band and listener rarely matched outside of the album though within, the minimalistic pop of Me And Nancy, a track with an echo of The Cure on their very first outing, and the dark scuzz fuelled post punk of Pretending To Bend as well as the similarly styled but oh so different Count To Ten rise to the challenge.

There are tracks on the album which explore noise and its depths of suggestion, each inciting the imagination even when they barely grasp a handful of seconds in length; times which really test  but reward the listener’s ability to compose and interpret. With further moments of never less than thoroughly enjoyable and provocative adventure across the album, songs like It Could Be Something, the absorbing and inexplicable Shiftchanger featuring Jason Jackson Wellz, and Magic January all tantalising and enthralling, things are brought to a lengthy imposingly and enjoyable close with the fuzz pop clamour of I Thought I Caught It (With You).

As suggested, every track is a fresh and rewarding twist in the landscape of PCPPAIWJR, not one of them merely filling space and all firing up ears and imagination. Not for the first time Tunabunny has provided not only a real treat to mull over and enjoy, but another new plateau in their invention and imagination.

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland JR is out now via HHBTM Records @ http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=640 and https://tunabunny.bandcamp.com/album/pcp-presents-alice-in-wonderland-jr

https://www.facebook.com/Tunabunny/

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Maff – Self Titled EP

banda_piso_RingMaster Review

It is not too hard to guess some of the bigger influences upon Chilean band Maff whilst listening to their self-titled debut EP, the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine amongst them, yet fair to say the Santiago quartet weaves it all into songs which reveal their own distinct characters. Bred from an evolving fusion of shoegaze, alternative rock, noise pop, and indie to try and pin down the mix, sound and songs are a striking and tenacious shimmer on the senses which it easy to find yourself getting a touch greedy over. The release is a captivating introduction to a band with all the potential and imagination to evoke a worldwide appetite if not now surely ahead.

Maff began in 2012, formed by Richi Gómez (vocals/bass/guitar) and Nicolás Colombres (drums), two childhood friends who had previously played together in various punk rock bands. The line-up expanded with the addition of Nicolás’ brother Martín (guitar) in 2014 and was completed earlier this year by Talo Correa (guitar/bass /vocals/synth). Creating, recording, and producing their EP in their own studio, Maff has already sparked potent reactions to their music, dreampop duo Ummagma already amongst those enamoured, recognition which should now ignite through the EP’s release. Exploring themes such as innocence, mysticism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom, and timelessness within its songs, the Maff EP is a sultry romance for ears but one unafraid to ignite an unpredictable blaze or two in sound and energy.

The EP opens with Act 1, a spatially atmospheric instrumental evolved from post punk and eighties alternative rock which swiftly brings the imagination to the boil with its evocative soundscape which is best described as Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It is a dramatic and rousing start to the release, an incitement of dark rhythms and sonic exploration wrapped in vibrant freshness and familiarity.

Maff - Maff Cover Art_RingMaster Review     Its potent persuasion is followed by the just as invigorating Linger Around, a hearty stroll of riffs and beats which relaxes a touch but simultaneously increases its fiery atmosphere and dark shadows as the mellow effect lined vocals of Gómez step forward. That influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain is a spicy ingredient to the gripping incitement swiftly seducing ears, adding thick hues to a provocatively crafted blend of almost prowling dark tones and emotions aligned with melancholic beauty and shimmering resonance.

Walking On Fire slips in next on a slim and radiant melody, the simple coaxing soaked in childlike innocence and radiance. It is soon courted by pulsating beats and a darker celestial climate though as the song’s entrance increasingly captivates, the atmosphere and scenery becoming more inflamed and hazy respectively. Vocal harmonies are as much about texture as narrative here, more so in many ways as the song’s chorus revolves around bewitching singular repetition with the end result as all unite together, a magnetic piece of composing and enterprise which inspires body and mind from start to finish.

     A more indie toning comes with Million Year Picnic, the guitars exploring a richer creative clang against another enthralling lure of post punk seeded bass and crisp jabs of beats. Vocally and melodically the song still immerses in shoegaze imagination but its canvas has stronger clarity from clearer air for the craft and individual incitements of the band to weave their combined tapestries of temptation. The House of Love essence to the song just adds to its lure and sets up of ears nicely for the ethereal charm of Someday. Featuring guest vocals from Francisca Morandé alongside Gómez, the supernal seduction of the song’s warm balladry simply drifts over the senses, immersing ears in an electronically sizzling Lush like embrace.

A fuzzy courting of the senses with a deeply rooted growl comes next in the shape of You, its shapely and slightly scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll rumble toying with aggression and causticity whilst casting a sultry anthemic enticing. Its dirtier air is the perfect taster for the outstanding Planet Wave, an inventive maelstrom of garage and surf rock embroiled in a just as thrilling alignment of space and psychedelic revelry. It is the most exciting and exhilarating offering on the EP, standing out amidst a collection of tracks which are certainly not lacking in those resourceful traits either.

The release is finished off by the rhythmically forceful and sonically bracing Blue Seas. As all around it, varied strains of flavours combine to create an inviting web, though primarily the encounter is more indie rock with potent hues of rock, grunge, and electronic rock. Even if not whipping up the passions as much as other tracks, it is a highly satisfying ‘end’ to the EP, though the actual final track is a radio edit of Walking On Fire.

For a debut Maff makes a striking statement and as they and their sound evolve, it is probably safe to assume more and greater offerings and enjoyment are ahead.

The Maff EP is available now via http://maffmusica.bandcamp.com/album/maff-2

http://www.maffmusica.com/   https://www.facebook.com/maffmusica

RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Persian Leaps – Drive Drive Delay

Picture 61

Creating a sparkling clang of noise pop with indie breeding and a raw slither of punk, the sound of US band The Persian Leaps is one of those propositions which you do not realise how much you are enjoying it until it departs the ears. Certainly that was the effect of their new EP Drive Drive Delay, an encounter which made a strong if not exactly overwhelming start but by its third song had feet dancing to its tune and by the close urged an immediate need to press play all over again. It is hard to declare the offering as a major breakthrough for the Saint Paul in Minnesota hailing band, but it has plenty to awaken a real appetite for more and the potential of that upcoming moment.

The band’s seeds began with singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg, who came up with the name in a doodle whilst attending a college Greek Archaeology course. Using the name to write music independently over many years, sound inspired by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub, he eventually brought the band to full life in 2012 with the expansion of the line-up. Last year saw the release of their acclaimed debut EP Praise Elephants, a well-received proposition now potently backed and at times surpassed by Drive Drive Delay.

Fire Starter sets things off and as mentioned at the start, makes a good if not exactly attention grabbing opening to the release. With thick chords and keen rhythms shaping its body after an initial vocally abrasing start, the song jangles and sonically sparks in ears with agreeable responses but there is something missing energy wise and exposed further by subsequent songs. Nevertheless bright harmonies and that persistent discordance clad ring of the guitars ensures it is no throwaway offering, just a less striking one especially once the following Pretty Boy takes over. The song swings with hefty beats from drummer Michael McCloskey across the caustic flame of Forsberg’s guitar whilst his great vocals, accompanied by the band, bring vibrant colour to the already tenacious mixture. An old school punk spice lures at the heart of the track and is especially delicious, recalling the likes of The Lurkers and the pop punk of the Radiators, whilst the song as a whole pushes Drive Drive Delay to loftier heights.

The next up (Goodbye to) South Carolina flows through ears on a scuzzy tide of riffs but with a raw bait courted by an almost spatial melodic flaming which is almost Birdland like in sonic Picture 62enterprise. Like the first song, it does not stir the imagination and emotions as its predecessor but still makes a tasty appetiser with its great acidic twang for the final pair of outstanding songs.

Truth = Consequences is a fiery croon of sound around a similarly delivered mellow caress of vocals. The track shimmers and bellows with creativity as again riffs and hooks glow with sonic heat and enterprise whilst the throaty basslines of Brad Hendrickson simply enslave the appetite in the short but riveting encounter. It is the new peak for the EP but straight away eclipsed by the excellent Permission. The closing song swings in on a rhythmic rumble clad in the fuzzy temptation of guitar, swaggering with melodic radiance and thickly barbed bass tones. That My Bloody Valentine influence is a loud whisper across the evolving landscape of the track, but equally there is unique freshness to the virulence and character of the hooks and winy grooves which vein the warm if volatile ambience of the triumph.

The EP is a potent introduction to newcomers to The Persian Leaps like us and in hindsight an impressive continuation of the qualities in the emerging band that their fans already knew about. It may have made a slow impression initially but more of the same ahead would certainly go down a treat.

The Drive Drive Delay EP is available now via Land Ski Records and digitally @ http://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/

http://thepersianleaps.com/

RingMaster 12/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Heavy Hand – Northwoods Knives

pic Mike Olen

Remember that first instinctive tingle and thrill when discovering The Pixies? Well stand by as you just might be getting a healthy hint of that with Heavy Hand, certainly our gut instincts and emotions felt a similar fingering upon hearing the band for the first time through their new album Northwoods Knives. Now we are not claiming they are going to rise to such influential and dynamic heights as the Boston quartet but they certainly have the potential and unique invention to make a very hefty impact.

The Milwaukee trio of vocalist/guitarist Anthony Weber, bassist Isa Carini, and drummer Chris Roberts, bring essences of their experiences past and presence from playing in bands such as Like Like The The The Death, The Scarring Party, and The Silence into the distinctly unique sonic character of Heavy Hand. Formed in 2011, the band first drew attention with their EP Confusion is Body Parts of the following year. Their songs leap at the senses and imagination even if at times some barely hang around long enough for a snack let alone a full meal. Such their ingenious flavouring though they all draw you straight back into their mischievous web of creative revelry, and we suspect as for us it will be impossible for most to listen to Northwoods Knives only once in each sitting of their insatiable and deliciously twisted, post punk spiced, noise rock ‘n’ pop.

Opening track is David Bowie Wants to Steal Your Baby, its title alone enough to get excited over and spark a lick of the lips for the devilry to come. Less than a minute long, the track is an instant blaze of acidic guitar swiftly joined 10296960_586252141494327_5213763507857338502_nby thumping beats and the pungent tones of bass. That is enough to incite the senses but once the yelping tones of Weber tease and spill their tangy expression in ears the track is a full seductive trap. The track continues to bounce and squeal along like a mix of The Mai Shi and Hot Hot Heat with the eccentric invention of The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, that last essence making stronger whispers throughout the rest of the EP.

It is a glorious start swiftly backed up by the outstanding Winner Winner (Beer for Dinner). A gnarly bass riff sets up the immediately eagerly devoured proposition, its predatory bait irresistible and only enhanced by the crispy percussion and beats of the drums and the punk seeded vocals. The track is soon in full swagger as searing scythes of guitar temptation flash across the compelling stroll of the incitement. Also reminding of UK band Frau Pouch, Heavy Hand and song proceed to enslave an ardour soaked reaction before stepping aside for the more pop soiled Milwaukee Cum Dumpster. Hooks lay siege to ears right away within a cage of forceful beats aligned to another twist of the voice and enterprise of the bass. There are whispers of The Pixies to the song but soon lost as it twists and flirts with imagination through burrowing grooves and sonic toxicity within a virulently contagious enticement.

Hot With Dads Tiger Beat Nation, even if it is hard to make sense of the title, makes an openly obvious yet unpredictable persuasion with a tasty jangle of riffs and infectious hooks. We have no idea of inspirations to the threesome but you have to suggest maybe Melvins makes a nudge to their creativity going by the song’s unrelenting teasing and sonic magnetism. It is a glorious provocation but soon put in its place by the exceptional Secret of These Wedges. Imagine The Minutemen meeting eighties UK band The Fire Engines and you get a whiff of the heated alchemy at play within the brief and epidemically potent track. As at this point more expected, sharp hooks and barb littered riffs tangle for a merciless tempting which only leaves you wanting so much more.

Not quite as dramatic but no less addictive, the next up I Freed All Four Wizards croons and yelps musically and vocally to twist ears and imagination around its little finger, or should that be short body, whilst the following Motherfucking Bobcat turns a brawl of sonic assault into a climate of stoner kissed grooves and adventurous rhythms courted by a heavy throated bass prowl. It is a snarl of a song but with a raw melodic colour and feisty attitude combining to again light up ears and thoughts, it also lays a seduction impossible to ignore.

The closing pair of tracks ensures the release ends on a high, Urban Coyote first up bringing a more expansive and less striking impact than others with its noise smoked sonic narrative but it smoulders with raw charm and smart invention to match the heights and appeal of the punchier, more direct tracks on Northwoods Knives. Its successor Bend at the Waist is another bout of pure virulence, playing like UK’s Houdini in a salacious intercourse with Dope Body but distinctly and imaginatively all Heavy Hand. Binding ears in a passion fuelled rampage of riff irritancy and rhythmic agitation bounded over by the irresistible squawking vocals, the track is an exhilarating sonic fire to lose bodily fluids over.

Northwoods Knives is exceptional, one of the most exciting releases this year and as suggested maybe the doorway to bigger things for the band; if not certainly its incorrigible arms will drag hordes more into the peculiar riveting world of Heavy Hand.

Northwoods Knives is available via Latest Flame now @ http://www.latestflame.com

and @ http://heavyhand.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavy-Hand/122042274581985

10/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Machismo’s – Good Things About To Happen

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Earlier this year we were treated to the re-releases of the first EP and album from the mighty under acclaimed early 90s alt-rockers Jacob’s Mouse and now if that was not enough to feast upon, also via Sturm Und Drang Recordings we are being blessed by Good Things About To Happen, the solo album of Bury St Edmunds-based songwriter/producer Sam Marsh, and the vocalist/drummer of said previous band. Under the name The Machismo’s, Marsh started writing and recording around the time of the demise of Jacob’s Mouse in 1995. He recorded two full albums in his home cassette portastudio subsequently whilst assembling a live band to take the music to the masses. It was seemingly not a ‘serious’ intent as Marsh moved onto other projects and the songs and albums were put aside unreleased. Thankfully twenty years on the man re-looked at this work and realising their quality and worth has brought 1996 debut album Good Things About To Happen to the world, a gift to us all with its exceptional songs and invention, the release easily one of the most enjoyable encounters this year.

The Machismo’s is very different to the almost psychotically arranged sounds of Jacob’s Mouse, but like that band the album has a seed of discord brilliance and startling yet thoughtfully composed simplicity that is just riveting and the spring board for thoughts and passions, from him and in us. Also like his previous band, the presence of The Machismo’s is impossible to place just in one box, or at times even find a pigeonhole for. A blend of acoustic and folk caresses placed in an experiment of noise pop and synapse teasing enterprise, the best we can do in description, Good Things About To Happen instantly tells you all you need to know about album and artist with its opening title track, and it has to be said that its seductive sting is instant and lingering.

The first song almost lumbers into view as heavy acoustic riffs and equally weighty rhythms introduce themselves but there is a vibrancya0731346688_10 and energy to it that draws limbs and emotions to their eager feet. Composed and performed by Marsh alone, as is the mixing and production, the song takes a mere breath to impress, the range of guitar tones and vocal invention side by side each other irresistible whilst the dark twang of chords and the almost sinister throaty bass stalking of the senses just delicious. As mentioned discord adds its fingertips to the surface of all aspects too, adding a richer tang to the aural spice that tempts reactions into aural lust. Infectious and hypnotic, the track is a thrilling introduction to something which expectations and hopes came nowhere near in assumption.

The following Macho Theme and Jilt compliment the start potently, even if they miss gripping the opening plateau set by a whisker. The first is a sonic wash of caustic garage rock with punk shadows, guitars slashing across the ear with fire bred intensity and sinew clad rhythms caging senses in an enslaving web of beats and intimidation. Its successor then comes in to slowly swarm over the body with slightly acidic melodic hugs aided by a rhythmic shuffle. As with most songs, Marsh offers a twin vocal attack that is quite riveting and here mesmeric in its charm and persuasion, matching the mix of beauty and cutting invention veining the sounds. With a barbed groove that is rich in familiarity and a melodic toxin, the track is a slow burner that creeps up on and steals the passions over numerous plays. The great thing about the album and emphasised by this track alone, is that the seeming familiarity is so often from songs and bands coming after the writing of the never released album two decades ago, coincidence can be a tease at times.

From the immense start there is another elevation in excellence starting with Down The Drain, the track a sauntering slice of sonically sculpted R&B with the individuality, in not so much sound but unique composition and fusing of discordant fuel and melodic fire, that marks the solo work of Frank Black, and also the contagiousness. There is dark blues sultriness to the track too which brings Black Keys/Jack White essences to bear. After next up Ickworth Park Song, another track which took time to persuade with its noir elegance, Loosen Up strolls down the senses into the heart with its rhythmic trot. Across its stroll the guitar forges a repetitive coaxing that is irresistible whilst the UB40 like prowl of the song carved by the excellent bass lure and dark almost carnivorous second guitar is a blissful counter to the again excellent dreamgaze like vocals of Marsh, though they too have a steel and raw edge.

A pinnacle though it is, Good Things About To Happen only moves on to greater things as surrounding the supremacy of the tautly harmonious New Start and the intriguing Rogue Males, there are the show stealers When You Know It’s Real and The Storm. The first of the two struts with an opening reggae seeded lope of guitar cuts and roaming heavy bass drawl, both ridden by the drifting vocals of Marsh. Teasing upon dubstep, the song evolves into an imagination capturing leisurely drift that has thoughts climbing all over the idea that the song is like World Domination Enterprises and Shriekback playing together under a summer haze with Dalek I Love You and The Gist. It is a glorious amble for the passions easily matched by the final song. The Storm is sheer brilliance, a track which again suggests others though damned if they come to mind within its familiar presence.  Crafted with a virulently addictive heart stroking mesh of repetition, vocal evocation, and rhythmic conjuring, it is a stunning end to an equally majesty release.

We may have unknowingly had to wait a long time to devour creativity of this quality but Good Things About To Happen is now here to make our hearts and the world a better place. Roll on album two.

www.facebook.com/themachismos

9.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The TenFiveSixty: Do This For Me

Pulsating and thoroughly absorbing the debut single from electronic/indie trio The TenFiveSixty,  is a vibrant and mesmeric treat for the senses. Do This For Me is a song which lights up the air with an expansive enveloping breath of melodic warmth and magnetic harmonic energy.

Formed by Jen Bailey and Rik Hornby the band found its seeds sown when the pair met in a deserted music shop. Finding a mutual understanding and sharing thoughts and feelings about bands and songwriting they began working together and The TenFiveSixty was born. Drummer Seb Sternberg came in on drums to bring the band up to a three piece and soon they grabbed acclaim and attention with the track Killer’s Son which was released as a free download earlier this year. Released through Giant Haystacks/Fierce Panda the new single is sure to trigger the same reaction and invite a fuller and louder acclaim.

Opening with programmed beats reminding immediately of Fad Gadget and early Mute Records, the song soon brings in a beckoning guitar and the excellent voice of Bailey. With a littering of atmospheric touches and sounds the song moves into a stroll as it lifts the energy and pace to an insistent. The voice of Bailey is wonderfully emotive with the music surrounding her offering an equal passion and emotion. Once in its full stride the song finds a keener mesmeric caress as it wraps its melodic weaves around the senses, the warmth and radiance from voice and synths subtly infectious.

Accompanying the single there is a remix of the single by San Diego indie rock/noise pop band, Crocodiles. The band twists the song inside out with Bailey emerging from behind an electrified scuzz of haunting sounds and blistered melodic energy. The track is a great interpretation of the single, a distinct variant and certain equal to the original.

With an album in the works, Do This For Me is a great invitation and taster for The TenFiveSixty and the future release. With its warmly crafted soundscape and inciteful energy there is a great blend of drama and emotion wrapped within the hard to refuse invitation to move your body and heart. The single also makes the wait for more from the band impatient and the finger trigger happy as it hits replay persistently.

https://www.facebook.com/thetenfivesixty

RingMaster 10/06/2012

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