Shevils – One Thousand Years

shevils live_RingMaster Review

The world might be coming apart at the seams around us, its future looking bleaker and more chaotic with every passing week, but there is no reason not to swing those hips and throw those feet around in a fitting dance. That is what Norwegian hardcore noise merchants Shevils think as they continue to create sounds which caustically roar and challenge physically and lyrically in confrontations driven by an inescapable infection of virulent hooks and fiercely manipulating rhythms. The Oslo band has been doing this for a long while now, providing the soundtrack to a social and world bedlam with voracious and increasingly addictive tempests, and ahead of their new album they have unleashed one of their fiercest temptations yet in the shape of One Thousand Years.

cover artist Chris Facco

cover artist Chris Facco

The new single draws on the band’s early raw sonic winds, aligning this with the anthemic disorientating stomps they have become perpetually acclaimed for over past releases. Formed in 2011, the band which is centred around the songwriting and craft of vocalist Anders Voldrønning, guitarist Andreas Andre Myrvold, and drummer Anders Emil Rønning (former member Christoffer Gaarder also involved in the creation of the new single), quickly sparked attention at home with early single Is This To be (Our Lives)? and debut album The Year Of The Fly their first year. The Necropolis EP in 2012 was when broader appetites began to be lured, its success in turn seeing its predecessors get fresh focus in Europe and further afield. Outstanding second album Lost In Tartarus was the real break-through release into stronger spotlights, its storming character and sounds cementing Shevil’s reputation for punishing and inflaming the body and psyche simultaneously, a success boiling over again with the new single.

Produced and mixed by Marcus Forsgren, and taken from the band’s upcoming third full-length The White Sea, everything about One Thousand Years, from its siren clad cover to the riotous sounds is a lure into dark ravenous depths. A grouchy blaze of guitar is the first tempting; a rally of anthemic beats the next with both aligning to a heavy predatory bassline to welcome the distinctive sandy roar of Voldrønning. A ‘mellow’ caress of causticity soaks the chorus whilst around it those merciless rhythms continue to incite ears and movement like a puppeteer as the guitars blaze away with raw enterprise and instinctive sonic ire around them.

It is a feverish and inescapable mix which in some ways sees Shevils at their hardcore purest in intensity and power for quite a while. As expected and always with surprising resourcefulness though, the band’s instinct to create a cacophony of anthemic contagion, band vocal roars and rhythms to the fore, that is littered with hooks gripping deeper and lingering longer with every outing, infests One Thousand Years and again sets the band not only aside the crowd but on a plateau ahead of it.

On the evidence of One Thousand Years, we have the thick potential of another essential triumph with The White Sea, something else which will not be a surprise for fans. For the rest it is time to tap into the Shevils hardcore furnace we say but be warned, are your feet and bodies up to it?

One Thousand Years is out from October 3rd with The White Sea due November 6th.

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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I Cried Wolf – Hollow Heart

Lamp Shade Press Shot _RingMaster Review

Real uniqueness in music is a long sought after and if we are honest rarely found aspect in the current music scene. But there are always a few exceptions and many more which come pretty close to finding that clear originality, and one such incitement is UK post-hardcore/punk ‘n’ rollers I Cried Wolf. The band is poised to release their new EP Hollow Heart, and it is a rousing roar of fierce invention and raw intimacy which sets the case for the Banbury quintet being the next big thing in certainly the British hardcore scene, if not its rock ‘n’ roll landscape, whilst creating an incitement which sets ears aflame and the band well away from the crowd.

Hollow Heart is a diverse and unpredictable encounter which you can at times reference to the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die as well as others such as Pantera and Reuben in certain moments and aspects, but an invigorating trespass on the senses and imagination which has a character and invention of its very own. The EP is the work of a band formed in 2012 and becoming quickly renowned for their ferocious live presence which has in turn garnered an increasingly potent and loyal following. The past couple of years or so has seen I Cried Wolf share stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, Hacktivist, Create To Inspire, Let’s Talk Daggers, Red Seas Fire, Bad Sign, and Surrender The Coast around the UK. Recorded with producer Sam Winfield (Bring Me The Horizon, Dry The River), Hollow Heart is the band’s broadest wake-up call for the country yet and one hard to imagine being ignored by very many.

Lyrically relating to the life of vocalist Harry Davies, “his reluctance to let go of the past….Of loss, lust, and betrayal”, Hollow Heart opens up with Scratching My Head With Ink and a scratching of riffs before exploding in a howl of sonic turbulence and vocal angst. To that though, is an immediate swing and volatile stroll bursting with imagination and quickly gripping hooks. The guitars of Louie Hodgson and Alex Gibbons cast raw smog of irritable riffs and gripping grooves whilst the drums of Oli Hampshire ransack the senses with their rugged yet rousing incitement. It is a thrilling and bracing proposal enhanced by the roaming throaty bassline spread by Jacob Rudman and the impassioned squalls from the lungs of Davies. That alone would be enough to provide potent bait for the appetite but it is the unpredictable nature of the song which makes a great song something special. The grooves just get heavier and spicier whilst Davies as he digs deeper into his emotions discovers a gripping Anselmo like grizzle to his delivery, whilst the song, well that just bristles punk attitude and heavy rock tenacity as it twists and turns.

ICW_Hollowheart_EP_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start is not let down by its successor, Massokiss Me an agitated swarm of toxic riffs and rhythmic rumbling from the off only breeding keener grooves, greater vocal diversity, and serious invention as it explores a host of flavours all bred in rock ‘n’ roll of some design. That subsequently leads into an impassioned post-hardcore seeded outpouring of melodic and vocal emotion, the track evolving within ears with broader and bolder enterprise before making way for the enthralling It Takes A Slave. It starts with a swing which is best described as blues meets ska punk meets jazz rock where Davies uncovers a dusty growl to his tones as the guitars weave a sultry enticing and the bass a funky lure behind him. It is an entrance which eventually expands into another fascinating and exciting entwining merger of diverse flavours, Faith No More a suggested hint to the ingenuity at play. Each song in a way is ordered bedlam, a vat of individual textures and styles twisted and aligned for songs which, as here, smash expectations and leaves a lingering and inescapable intrigue which simply draws ears keenly and swiftly back into its midst for more exploration.

Kensopia is a spiral of melodic revelry and suggestion from the off next, guitars almost duelling with their individual exploits as rhythms tenderise ears ready for the vocal prowess of Davies and band. Jagged riffs bring another new shade to the sound and release whilst an air of bands like Bring Me The Horizon comes forward briefly as the track moves on to pastures new and old in the strike of a chord or swing of a stick. It is another enjoyable aspect to the I Cried Wolf sound, it never stands still, always in creative motion meaning ears and thoughts have to be lively and willing to rerun the bruising fun again, and again to grasp all the rewards.

Sharkfeet brings Hollow Heart to its close, the track another cauldron of emotion and mouth-watering revelry in songwriting and a tenaciously uncaged tempest. Sonically burning, rhythmically intimidating, and consistently engrossing, the song simply boils over in adventure and almost psychotic invention yet, as all songs, manages to find a coherent and fluid passage across the whole of its explosive passage.

Impressive on the first listen and increasingly impacting and thrilling thereafter, there is only one word for Hollow Heart…remarkable!

Hollow Heart is digitally available from September 11th via Crooked Noise Records.

Pete RingMaster 11/09/2015

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Static Daydream – Self Titled

SD cover_RingMaster Review

Ever had that dream where you are submerged in a thick and ravenous atmosphere haunted by the darkest predatory and invasive shadows, a little like the climate in the Silent Hill games? Listening to the new album from Static Daydream is like being immersed in that except everything about it from its raw breath and melodic discord is seriously invigorating and welcome. Carrying tracks bred in the bracing winds of noise and psych rock and equally cultured in shoegaze and dream pop beauty, the debut album from the US duo of Paul Baker (founding member of Skywave and Ceremony) and girlfriend/musical partner Jamie Casey is a tempest of sound and emotion to simply bask in.

Taking inspirations from 60’s girl groups alongside 80’s and 90’s British noise-pop, the pair began recording The Only One EP, their first release, in 2012. Earning strong critical acclaim upon release in 2014 on Moon Sounds Records, it was a swiftly devoured proposition instantly laying down the seeds of major anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. Released through Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records, that encounter is here, eleven tracks igniting ears from the very start with reverb infested melancholic sound matched in potency by vocal and lyrical prowess within senses disorientating, discord fuelled roars. Within that ‘storm’ too ravishing melodic beauty and creative elegance shines. It is a fusion which has a sense of familiarity yet defies any real pinning down as to why, despite any references to others which may be suggested, for a unique and virulently contagious offering which just grows and strengthens in persuasion with very single listen.

The album opens with the immediately rousing More Than Today, a song which starts with a raw flame of guitar hinting at the raw punk hues of Birdland before blossoming a warm and caustic breeze of noisy but mellow pop with shades of House Of love. The dual vocals of Baker and Casey just entwine perfectly within the fuzzy climate of keys and the continuing sonically punk guitars. It is a stirring start matched by the slightly harsher air of Nowhere To Hide, a song fusing My Bloody Valentine like charm with the coarser haunting sonic ambience of Ceremony. The song gets darker and more energetically rabid with every passing minute, its already tenaciously fiery body just bristling with intensity and turbulence by its exciting close.

Run Into The Night grumbles with rhythms and riffs as it harmonically serenades next, its touch a fierce simmer on the senses and urgent spark for the imagination. Continuing to show a new aspect to the character of the album and Static Daydream’s sound, the song becomes a fire of noise and persuasion though it is quickly over shadowed by the outstanding Blue Tambourine Girl. Ears and emotions were enslaved almost instantly as a glorious Simon Gallup/Cure like bassline colludes with just as magnetic hooks and melodies to set things in motion, resonance wrapped vocals and firmly delivered beats only adding to the again seemingly recognisable but distinct theatre. That bass seducing continues to grip attention and ardour yet never takes away from the other just as masterful and spellbinding sounds aligning with it. The track is aural slavery and the pinnacle of the album, though there are many subsequent close-runs coming to snatch its title.

Just Stay is one such rival, its rhythmic and melody honed shuffle Jam like whilst as a mesmeric shimmer of reverb fascination and splintered but captivating dark rock grooves evolve alongside. The track is brimming with compelling hues which just hang around to light up an irresistible incitement on ears and rich pleasure, even when it brews up its own individual bluster of noise and dark romantic energy.

There is a similar canvas to the following Until You’re Mine, though its landscape is far busier and comes rapaciously inflamed as harmonies and melodies smoulder in the face of a wall of reverberation and scuzz spewing resonance. Throughout the album, Static Daydream weave in enticing essences of post punk, but this is the first song alone which virtually wears the flavour as it continually slips through a soundscape of fresh scenery and emotive atmospheres for another major highlight to the release.

The pair of Another Rainy Night Without You and When I Turn Around You’re Gone keeps ears and appetite aroused, the first with its dirty Jesus and Mary Chain pungency over glowing psych rock melodies and ethereally coloured vocals. Its successor flirts with more seemingly Cure inspired hooks and revelry, smothering them in dramatic sonic clouds veined by acidic grooves and deeply biting hooks, and a bassline which again has nostalgia and salacious seduction in its armoury.

One thrilling and inspiring trespass is followed by another and the eighties spiced The Only One. At times it is a fiercer provocative than its predecessor but in other moments a gentler heatwave of sound, the extremes fluidly united and continually matching inescapable sirens on ears It is a success only continuing with the gloriously aching noise haze of When She Falls and indeed last song I’ve Destroyed Everything. The album’s closer is sweltering smog of sound and emotive intensity with again post punk flavours woven into an alluring cacophony of discordance and sonic spicery breeding impassioned vocals and bristly melodies.

The final triumph helps suggest that Static Daydream’s album is arguably stronger in its second half than first but the difference in invention and certainly enjoyment is marginal at any time. The feeling coming out of the band’s label Saint Marie Records, is that they are rather excited about this release and fair to say they have plenty of reasons to be. If the thought of fuzzy, indeed seductively scuzzy sounds with vibrant imagination excites, then Static Daydream, band and album, is one offering you need to be checking out.

Static Daydream is available from August 28th on Vinyl, CD, and digitally via Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

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We’ll Go Machete – Smile Club

We'll Go Machete_RingMaster Review

Though knowing the name and reputation earned through their earlier releases, we had yet to get to grips with a We’ll Go Machete encounter. So it is with thanks to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Paul Warner, who introduced band and new album Smile Club to us just recently. All that can be said is boy have we been missing out, as the band’s second album is a glorious tempest of sound, striking imagination, and creative intensity. Smile Club simply infests ears and psyche with a hex of noise rock, post punk, and math rock plus any other caustic spicing you can think of, and certainly left us not hungry but desperate for more.

With a line-up completed by bassist Chris May and drummer Rachel Fuhrer, the Austin hailing We’ll Go Machete first sparked interest with their 2009 self-titled EP though it was debut album Strong Drunk Hands two years later which was the catalyst to richer attention and acclaim. Live too the band has garnered a healthy name and stature, shows alongside the likes of Future of the Left, Melvins, Hammerhead, and Fatal Flying Guillotines, as well as their own headlining events over time marking We’ll Go Machete out as one of the more exciting emerging propositions. Late to the party, as said Smile Club is our first real taster of the band and fair to say the, as its predecessors, Cedar Fever Records released album just whipped up a frenzy in sound and lustful reactions.

cover_RingMaster Review   Absence is the first welcome stirring of the senses, tangy grooves and thumping beats enriching an instant sonic swamp of noise swiftly loaded up further with the distinctive, angst hued tones of Warner. It is a striking and invigorating mix which has body and thoughts fully involved from the first trespass. Like something springing from a blend of Melvins, Quicksand, and Sofy Major, the track continues to growl and flex its confrontational muscles yet breeds an inescapable contagion. Adventure is already bold in the album, the song for example slipping through mellower evocative scenery across its potently unpredictable landscape for a mighty start to the inventive emprise of Smile Club.

The following and as outstanding Drawstring is just as quickly captivating, its entrance of tenaciously prowling rhythms and rapaciously alluring riffs gripping attention and appetite immediately. Spicy grooves and sharp hooks only add to the emerging theatre of sound and melodic drama with the again pungent voice of Warner only seeming to inflame the sounds around him into greater enthusiasm of craft and energy. Like a web, the track has fresh inescapable treats at every turn, the rhythms of May and Fuhrer cage like in their union around the acidic tapestry cast by the guitar.

A post punk tone and imagination comes with The Bardo though it is soon overwhelmed by a noise rock tsunami of emotional intensity veined by creeping sonic tendrils of guitar. The song does not have the same immediate impact as the pair before, but blossoms into a bordering on sinister persuasion of clanging dissonant chords amidst suggestive and volatile textures to only enslave over time.

Strasberg Air is a far swifter raw seducing with again hooks and rhythmic tenacity key bait in the evolving ingenuity of sound. Like a more restrained Fat Dukes of Fuck and mellower Shevils, the track bounces off the walls of ears and senses with Fuhrer alone creating an inescapable trap with his addictively imaginative beats. Carrying a grungier colour to vocals and melodies, the song leaves a lingering thrill before making way for the melancholic tempest of Scratch Built. The early solemn come doomy premise and air is eventually set ablaze by the corruptive quickstep of toxic riffs and earthy basslines splintered by viciously swung beats. With its own emotional ecoclimate, the track shifts from heavily dark through torrentially volatile to infectiously energetic before heading back into imposing shadows in a final exhilarating outburst.

The major pinnacle of the album is Positive People which comes next. It is another delving into post punk terrain, an eighties genre spicing lining choppy riffs and a wonderfully brooding bass tempting from May. Elements remind of bands such as Artery and The Fire Engines, whilst the cold air certainly has a Joy Division-esque feel to it, but again We’ll Go Machete only sculpt a startling and addictive exploration of their very own. Discord is always a friend of the musician and here perfectly woven into the torment soaked anatomy of one glorious incitement, its majesty continuing into Break the Kettles which evolves out of its predecessor’s tail wind. A slower corrosively elegant proposal, the track binds ears and imagination with sonic lacing whilst simultaneously sending splinters of guitar invention and rhythmic animosity into its angst thick drama.

Both Shot Giant and Cigarettes and Face Masks keep the compelling power and industry of Smile Club ablaze, the first an intensive shuffle pressuring ears with spiteful beat spilling agitation and ravaging riffery but unafraid to slip into something more melodically provocative and hauntingly intimidating. Its successor brews its own ridiculously addictive and threatening maze of fierce imagination and bitchy rhythms infested with swarms of toxic grooves and citric melodic endeavour. Each only ignites greedier pleasure but the second is especially virulently disorientating and thrilling.

The album is brought to an end by firstly the warped harmonious beauty of Molten Tiny Cell, a song nagging in sound and repetitious mastery until satisfaction is drooling and lastly Dust Storms May Exist. The final song is just superb, a hellacious storm of flavour and imagination which at times has a spicing reminiscent of KEN mode, in others moments a raw tone and feel which is similar to In Love Your Mother, and continually leads the listener on a spiral of exhaustive and perpetually resonating adventure in craft, energy, and again relentlessly twisting swirls of rabid sound and invention.

There is plenty more to say in praise of Smile Club but bottom-line is we simply adore it and feverishly recommend it to all fans of noise, psych, punk…well any lover of fierce rock ‘n’ roll.

Smile Club is available now via Cedar Fever Records.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

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Sewer Rats – Money Maker EP

_RingMaster Review

Dirty, energetically angry, and sonically visceral; that is Money Maker, the debut EP from British psych rockers Sewer Rats. The band has a sound which more than lives up to its name and a release which is bred from the filthiest recesses of their grungy psychedelic lit minds. The five track encounter, unleashed by London based label Fluffer Records, intimidates and tempts in equal insatiable fashion whilst providing the potent seeds for a very healthy and musically carnal future for the band.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Luke Morris, bassist Iain Morrison, and drummer Dean Robbins, the Immingham in Lincolnshire hailing Sewer Rats has been brewing up plenty of keen attention through their fiery live presence and abrasive sound. Money Maker is sure to inflame matching success, its recent release already luring rich acclaim and hungry new appetites their way.

cover_RingMaster Review   It all begins with Skint and a swift caustic wind of guitar which in no time is part of a sonic lacerating of the senses as gnarly bass, scything beats, and raw intensity joins the mix. It is a blend weaving a sludgy swamp of stoner bred grooves and heavy, almost animalistic, riffs led by the scowling, Lemmy-esque tones of Morris. As thick and aggressive as that is, the scuzzy roar accompanying the sounds expelled ensures there is viciousness to the swing of the song and an irked belligerence to its bracing air. It is a superb start to the release, addictive hooks and grooves vocal throughout the tempest before it all makes way for Devil Blues.

The second track has a slightly more laid back approach to its bluesy filtered cauldron but still stirs up a blaze of scarring sonic trespass and anthemic hostility bound in more scorching grooves. Again this is a title which perfectly sums up its content; rock ‘n’ roll to open up hell and enslave salacious souls, and indeed leave the listener exhaustingly wanting more.

The psychedelic instincts of the band take centre stage with the instrumental Black Label Serotonin. It is a sweltering climate of sultry melodies and surf rock twisted enterprise, providing rich evidence that Sewer Rats can be as emotionally and sonically gentle as they are aurally ferocious. It is a bewitching hex which is swiftly a memory as the EP’s corrosive title track surges with toxic radiance and caustic energy straight after. Once more grooves collude with searing hooks and ever grouchy vocals to create a swagger to the sonic blizzard, and again feet and senses are treated to a rebelliously contagious and enjoyably punishing stomp.

Money Maker is concluded by So Far Away, the brutish Motorhead meets Black Tusk corruption of its predecessor replaced by a wash of psych rock acidity aligned to a southern kissed morass of aggressive invasiveness and inhospitable noise. It is a mighty end to a gripping release, though you can easily sense that Sewer Rats is only at the start of its evolution and there will be plenty more attention grabbing and mightier proposals forged ahead, certainly just as uncompromising ones.

If the likes of Bad For Lazarus, Converge, Mastodon, Unsane…well you get the idea, are your temptation check Money Maker out for sure.

The Money Maker EP is out digitally and on vinyl now through Fluffer Records.

RingMaster 14/08/2015

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The Dropper’s Neck – Nineteen|Sixteen

The Droppers Neck Promo shot_RingMaster Review

To date there has always been a licking of lips in anticipation of any new encounter with The Dropper’s Neck and each time so far they have rewarded with dark rock ’n’ roll which simply infests body and imagination. True to form the UK quintet has done it again with their Nineteen|Sixteen EP, the dirtiest, sludgiest, most aggressively provocative offering from the band yet, an aural proposal perfectly suited to and reflective of its lyrical theme. The EP is inspired by The Great War and takes the listener along with its protagonist into the initial ‘glamour’ and lure of conflict, through its fierce pestilence before leaving them in the stark aftermath which follows. This all comes with the familiar but ever evolving fusion of psych and noise rock, punk and psychobilly brewed by the band, and quite simply it is another ravishing treat from The Dropper’s Neck.

Formed in 2011, The Essex band quickly pricked attention and appetites with early songs and releases but it was debut album Second Coming which lit an acclaiming and hungry spotlight. Drawing on influences such as Gallows, Blood Brothers, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, and Dead Kennedys, band and album unleashed something familiar yet powerfully unique, a distinctiveness which has festered and blossomed through the incendiary single Line Me Up For The Firing Squad and now to stronger depths with Nineteen|Sixteen. The single was certainly a potent teaser for the EP, though in hindsight just one glimpse of the dark throes and adventures now uncaged.

The Dropper's neck Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The release opens with the scene setting 57,470, an intro thrusting ears and imagination right into the landscape of rifle fire, thunderous artillery, and fear soaked horses. It’s violently portentous hue leads into King & Country, a sonic bridge to the incoming bruising beats and ravenous riffs entangled in an invitingly spicy groove. Rousing and anthemic, the track is a sign up of ears and emotions as potent as the bait enticing the young men of the narrative. Already though there is a snarl and corrosive edge to the music, expulsions of vocal hostility from Lloyd Mathews aligning with his expected and great monotone laced delivery. Hard rock ‘n roll stirring up air and body, the track is a forceful incitement setting things in compelling motion.

Somme comes next, the rhythmic and anthemic overtones of its predecessor veining its initial coaxing whilst hooks and grooves are soaked in even sharper, almost venomous incitement. Striding with an Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster meets Engerica like warped swing and brawling with a caustic Cancer Bats/KEN mode like ferocity, the latter becoming more intensive in ears as the reality of the horror of war is opened up, the track is little less than deranged bestial contagion.

Its increasing hellacious presence makes way for the even more psychotic Line Me Up For The Firing Squad, the track a maelstrom of rabid sounds, scarring vocals, and blistering viciousness. Within its raw and merciless tempest though, grooves and rhythms create the addictive shuffle of bait and infectiousness renowned from the band, the bass of Jack Turner especially seductive at times within the muddy and humid atmosphere of the unforgiving blaze. Production across the release is raw and very often as cold as the soundscape being explored; an aspect some have offered as a slight flaw but it only adds to and represents the physical effect and filthy ambience of the ground the EP’s context is inspired by.

The thumping beats of drummer Jamie Abela trap and push ears into the scuzzy punk ‘n’ roll of 200 Volts next, the guitars of Chris Blake and George Barrows creating a creative antagonism of defiant riffs and provocative grooves respectively. The predatory spine of the song is a virulent enticing which sends searing flames of sonic fire and expels hardcore spawned vocal hostility from its sobering bait with increasing tenacity and rage. It is an abrasive storm exciting and scarring already bruised and tender senses, no respite coming with the outstanding contagiously toxic and inventively addictive Monster. The track swarms through ears and over the psyche with its rhythmic emprise and sonic nagging, its body as the previous encounter, a garage punk spawned dynamo of bracing angst and violent intoxication, and the best track on the release, though there are so many rivals such as the closing Stutter which rampages straight after. Everything about the song, from jabbing and military seeded beats to erosive riffs, vocal diversity to scything grooves, is sheer inventive and hostile virulence, rock ‘n’ roll to honour the dead and incite the darkness of horrors past.

With a bugle announcing the end of hostilities in hidden track The Eleventh Hour, the Nineteen | Sixteen EP comes to a haunting close leaving thoughts rife and satisfaction full. The release is not a history lesson but certainly it makes a provocative and striking proposal with its pungent theme whilst musically revealing another thrilling exploit from one of the UK’s most exciting bands.

The Nineteen | Sixteen EP is available from 13th July @

RingMaster 10/07/205

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Watertank – Destination Unknown

SLF019 - hi-res cover_RingMaster Review

After ten years of existence, French rockers Watertank released debut album Sleepwalk in 2013 to heavy and deserved acclaim. Like for so many, it took our ears and appetites to hungry heights; in the words of our review the release was “an instigator of the purest temptation.” Now the band unleashes its successor Destination Unknown and lures even lustier responses with its irresistible concoction of sludge, stoner, and various other compelling styles. Taking the essential essences with made the first album so potent; Destination Unknown emerges as a fuller, more gripping proposal of sound and invention which in turn shows that its predecessor was just the appetiser to greater Watertank alchemy.

The Nantes band began in 2013, swiftly forging a strong fan base and reputation for their sound and stage presence with increasing success over the years. A couple of well-received EPs earned strong attention and praise before the release of Sleepwalk, whilst on stage the band proceeded to play with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Baroness, Capricorns, Lair Of The Minotaur, and The Ocean amongst a great many. The band’s first album certainly sparked new spotlights upon Watertank though not to the level now expected to be aroused by Destination Unknown.

The album opens with Automatic Reset and straight away transfixes ears with its opening mist of guitar; the sonic shimmer quickly followed by a bulging blast of heavy riffs and rhythms. With them a groove also joins the tempting, its lure relaxing as the song settles into its stroll and welcomes the dusty tones of vocalist Thomas Boutet before returning with even spicier toning to its sultry tendril. Just as quickly a contagious air floods the encounter, a persuasion which never loses its potency as the song shuffles up its gait and intensity across the rest of the magnetic offering. The guitars of Rémy Bellin and Bojan Anicic continue to wrap ears and song in resourceful and gripping enterprise, greater colour added to the excellent start to the album all the time.

Straight away it and the following Fever reveal a more rounded and deeper depth to the band’s music, a less raw and caustic sound which still retains the growl and intensive weighty hues which fuelled the previous release. The second song is a far more aggressive offering than the first, punkish in its attitude and energy with wiry hooks to match. The bass of Maxime Coste is a grumbling potency whilst drummer Jocelyn Liorzou lashes skin and senses with adventurous and antagonistic scythes. It is a glorious riot bringing a mix of Torche, eighties band Skyscraper, and a touch of Motorgrator to entice before making way for the gentler smouldering charm of Contrails. It is still a heavyweight proposal though which seems to grow and loom over the senses with every passing second. Once more hooks and grooves grace a dynamic web of imagination and primal temptation, the latter at times as intimidating as the swings of Liorzou and the predatory riffs.

The song closes with similar reflection soaked calm to how it started, drifting away so the heavy resonance of Coste’s bass can lure attention ready for an intensive crawl of riffs and grooves. DCVR is another swift inescapable persuasion equipped with a sonic tang and commanding stature, not forgetting an addictive swagger even with it is on the prowl. It is also another track showing the greater expanse and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound, and their ability to perfectly entangle rugged terrains with highly provocative ambiences of sound and emotion.

   The bubbling electronic start to Last/Lost Hope instantly catches expectations unawares and by surprise, though they are barely given a nibble to feast on within Destination Unknown anyway. Its enslaving coaxing soon evolves into a thrilling and lively shuffle of sonic and melodic festivity guided by the ever appealing tones of Boutet. At times elements of post punk and new wave, as well as noise rock, seem to add their spice to the infectious tapestry of the rock popper, a strong catchiness emulated again in the dirtier but just as contagious Surrender. As much as you can find hints in varying degrees of bands such as Torche and Queens Of The Stone Age to the song, there is an older hue to the outstanding stomp, elements across its kinetic two minutes recalling eighties and nineties seeded ingenuity.

Doomed Drifters explores the darkest shadows and corners of the band’s sound but again tempers it with a sonic and melodic resourcefulness which energetically and brightly smoulders as it masterfully fuse contrasts and flavours. Seducing with greater and more experimental suggestiveness for an emotionally provocative and atmospheric climax, the song leaves ears enthralled and primed for the bewitchment of the similarly expansive landscape of Scheme. Growing bigger and bolder with every passing harmonious whisper and melodic enticement, the song dances and flirts with ears and imagination, recalling a strong if coincidental feel of Comsat Angels to its exceptional and thrilling adventure.

The album ends with its just and adventurous title track, Destination Unknown a thick provocative embrace which evolves and then revolves through a soundscape of sonic and emotional intensity. It is a fine finish to an exhilarating proposition. Watertank certainly thrilled with their first album but leave it looking a touch pale against the creative vivacity and explosive drama of Destination Unknown, one of the most exciting encounters this year so far.

Destination Unknown is out now via Solar Flare Records @ and

Ringmaster 30/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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