If I Die Today – Cursed

If I Die Today_RingMaster Review

There is a torment in the heart of the new album from Italian post-hardcore band If I Die Today, and a tempestuous air which lives up to any ideas inspired by the name Cursed. There is also an invasive and at times punishing darkness and emotional trespass coursing through the veins of the encounter but equally an imagination loaded, gripping enterprise which ensures it easily stands out against any other similarly sculpted and bred offerings. Cursed is destined not to be for everyone, and will frighten many off with its searing intensity and emotion  but there is no escaping that it announces If I Die Today as one of the more fascinating incitements in the post and hardcore scene.

If I Die Today emerged in Mondovì in 2007 and by the early months of the following year had released their self-titled debut album through Wynona Records. The release enabled the quintet to tour their homeland and share stages with numerous bands, that success reinforced by the You Are Alone EP in 2009, again unveiled to strong and positive reactions. It was the same with second album Liars the following year, its potent presence luring greater attention and acclaim cross Europe, the band following it with shows across Italy, Hungary, France, and the UK as well as playing alongside artists such as Sum 41, Offspring, No Use For A Name, Simple Plan, Face To Face, Taking Back Sunday at Bologna’s Independent Days Festival. The band’s workload and reputation continued to grow as 2012 saw the release of the Postcards From The Abyss EP and If I Die Today playing with bands like Every Time I Die, Good Riddance, and H2O as well as going on a tour taking in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and venues back home. Since then more venues and countries have been scorched by the band’s sound, before and after the recording of Cursed last year, which with its worldwide release through Sliptrick Records sets a new chapter in the rise of If I Die Today.

image1_RingMaster Review     It’s opening handful of seconds are an inviting temptation but in no time Jesus becomes a searing sonic wind blowing over thickly jabbing rhythms and coming loaded with spicy hook lined enterprise from the guitars. Vocalist Marco Fresia roars just as swiftly and intensely in the tempest whilst the caustic breath and heart of the track is perfectly tempered by the magnetic lure of the throaty bassline from Morgan Ferrua and the controlled rhythmic dance cast by drummer Davide Gallo. There is no escape from the sheer energy and emotional turmoil of the song though or its flesh scarring sound with its virulent onslaught as gripping as it is intimidating.

In the sheer wind tunnel like delivery of the song there are essences of bands like Kabul Golf Club, KEN mode, and Statues in its creative adventure and tenacity, a potent mix continuing in Adams which is another instant arousal of attention and appetite with thumping bold beats and bracing vocals. Settling down a touch once established, though still a bruising confrontation, the guitars of Antonio Aresu and Michele Testa spin a web of raw aggression and intricate sonic seducing whilst the bass creates another deliciously alluring and individual line of bait. As its predecessor, the song is an epidemic of punishing and invigorating incitement, pure abrasive adventure to get your teeth into and drool over before it fluidly flows into Lucifer and its own exhausting tempest of scarring emotion and increasingly volatile and creative ferocity.

Through Patrick and Elisabeth, band and album continues to wither flesh and create emotional tension but again with plenty of fresh twists and adventure to their canvases. The first of the enthralling pair comes in a hostility lit slow shuffle with numerous expulsions of energy and vocal angst but also tendrils of flirtatious grooves and addiction breeding rhythms. There is no compromising with an If I Die Today proposal and no chance of being subjected to anything mundane or predictable as shown by this and its successor. Elisabeth maybe offers less uniqueness within the album than other tracks but it too is ripe with seriously enticing slithers and caresses of sonic ingenuity and melodic seducing, all resulting in less than two minutes of exciting violation.

Faustus borders on barbarous with its bestial weight of sound and energy but counters it with a tapestry of punkish hooks and twisted sonic imagination that simply whips the passions into a maelstrom of lust whilst The Ancient Mariner prowls the psyche and taunts ears with its fusion of noise rock and punk in stormy hardcore antagonism. Both tracks are glorious, adding their full thrilling and inventive weight to the unrelenting persuasion of the album.

An even fiercer punk venom courses through Vincent, the song openly revealing the inspirations of the band with its Every Time I Die meets Converge like onslaught. There is plenty more in the depths and brutish body of the song of course, lots to get greedy over before the album’s title track gives Cursed a whole new climate to explore. The band is tagged as post-hardcore but the closer is the one song which perfectly fits that billing, the rest a wonderful bedlam of styles and flavours. With a blackened and frosty air to its invasive ambience over hauntingly cold scenery, the track is an inhospitable drift through a dark and emotionally tortuous landscape compellingly bringing the album to a highly provocative and startling end.

Instantly gripping, Cursed only gets more powerful, persuasive, and emotionally penetrating with very listen. It certainly lingers and leaves scars in its wake too, but only to please and make demanding reasons to go back into its merciless majesty. If I Die Today is one of the truly exciting bands in the post and neat hardcore scene, Cursed shows exactly why.

Cursed is out now through Sliptrick Records.

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Siren – The Row

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Loaded with a boisterous and captivating strain of alternative rock aligned to pop punk vivacity, The Row from Italian rockers Siren is a release which may not be driven by startling originality but thoroughly thrills and rewards just the same. Consisting of eleven tracks which hold a creative swagger and contagious presence, the release is a debut to wake up potent attention, if not one to inspire a shouting from the rooftops over the Pesaro quartet.

Siren was formed in 2013 by guitarist Jack Nardini and soon grew with the addition of drummer Mark “Spud” McKenzie, vocalist/guitarist Samuel Frondero, and Marcus Kawaka on bass and synths. There were also personal and creative connections between various members of the band, which it is fair to say has brought a unity which it is easy to suggest helps their sound come over tight and impassioned. The Row is their step into the fuller gaze of not only Italy but the world with its release via Red Cat Records, who Siren recently signed with. Around a year in the making, the release is a gripping temptation of thick hooks and fiery melodies all locked in rock ‘n’ roll carrying a broad smile to its character.

The album opens with Swan’s Tale, a track where we would be lying if we said it instantly roused the passions. Now it would be wrong to mistake this for a poor start to The Row as it is a compelling and intriguing entrance into the release, slowly entwining melodies with a classical seeding caressing ears as male and female vocals seduce whilst a military lilted rhythmic lure make its potent persuasion. The track is pleasing and accomplished but for some reason for personal tastes offers more than it delivers, only whetting the appetite with its symphonic teasing rather than igniting it. It also is deceitful, its presence very different to the sound and revelry which emerges straight away in the following Dr. Saint and subsequently across the album.

The second track swiftly strides with punchy beats and enticing riffs, a hard/alternative rock bounce and catchiness fuelling the following strides of bass and spicy hooks. Vocally too Frondero comes with a contagious persuasion and energy, backed as resourcefully by Nardini and Kawaka. It all combines for a virulent stomp, one with enough reserve to stop it turning into a riot but plenty of aggressive enterprise to make a rich and lingering impression. Its excellent incitement is matched by the equally fiery and excited Mission. Again hooks and melodies hold a mischief in their tenacity and infectiousness, thoughts of Super Happy Fun Club and at times Offspring coming forth.

Through the tantalising intrigue of sound and expression in Lonely Dance, the album leaps another step in irresistible adventure, stalking guitars and sinisterly toned vocals the prelude to an energetically seductive chorus, which in turn 10538561_795983157088448_3710117029647500301_nis linked to its next expulsion by a teasing of minimal but potent melodies across an anthemic stroll of rhythms. It is a gripping bait of sinew framed melodic rock which is followed by the not quite as striking Track ’92, such the power of its predecessor. The song though instantly inspires the imagination, its open glaze of enticement amidst a mellow breath offering a Blue Oyster Cult air which floats into a canvas of evocative melodies and an increasingly brewing uprising of raw riffs and passion drenched vocals. More a smoulder than a romp as earlier songs, it offers a relentless expectations fooling temptation from first listen until it too stands to the fore of the biggest highlights of the album over time.

Love Is Gone steals tops honours on the album though; it’s niggling riffs and beats from the first second swiftly complimented by a tangy new wave vocal taunting wrapped in wiry grooves. At times the song and its imaginative flirtation borders on insane though it, as the sounds, is honed into a riot of rock pop contagion which leaves a nagging and lingering impression.

The pair of Wave, with its XTC whisper, and Roger Sabbath cast less dramatic but easily as engrossing offerings, the first song a summer breeze rolling in on a muscular rhythmic shuffle with melodies as pungent as the vocal harmonies embedded within its warm charm, and the second a classic rock spiced canter, equipped with jabbing beats and exotically flowing keys. It is the gnarly basslines though which ultimately steal the passions, its snarl a great temper for the flames of melodies and increasingly impressing vocals. Though neither song can match the pinnacle of The Row, both leave appetite lustful for more and emotions happy to throw increasing praise on band and release. Carpet also falls into that richly satisfying category, though with its sneaky stroll and elegant charm of keys, the track creeping with the rascality and buoyancy of 12 Stone Toddler, it puts a further high peak in the album’s suasion.

The Row is completed by firstly the raw and brawling punk bred Spit, punchy keys and beats the bait to which anthemic tendencies in riffs and vocals dance an agitation tune. It is a glorious charge through ears, though once gaining submission it teases with a side step into a drama hued calm before erupting again into that great energetic bluster. It is succeeded by Falling Down, the closing song an exceptional tenacious waltz with jagged riffs, flaming melodies, and emotion soaked strings all adding to its spellbinding tapestry.

From a decent start, The Row proves to be an outstanding and eventful debut from Siren, at times living up to the band name. Is it bursting with something truly new, not really but if you want to know if it is an inescapably enjoyable encounter, of that there is no question.

The Row is available now via Red Cat Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/the-row/id926291276

http://www.siren.rocks

RingMaster 31/10/2014

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The Sticky Boys – Make Art

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An album which is as much punk as it is hard and heavy rock, Make Art is an unexpected pleasure which is simply what all great albums should be, out and out rock ‘n’ roll. The new slab of dirt encrusted sleaze kissed revelry from French trio The Sticky Boys, is certainly not making a major statement of originality but for riotous fun aligned to bruising voracious sounds it is hard to think of many better mischievously enjoyable heavy rock rampages this year.

Rampaging out of Paris in 2008, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Alex Kourelis, bassist/vocalist J.B Chesnot, and drummer Tom Bullot drew attention with their early demo Rock’n’Roll Nation two years later but more so with debut album This Is Rock’n’Roll in 2012. The album was an easy on the ear arguably unsurprising but thoroughly satisfying rock ‘n’ roll. Make Art can in many ways be described by the same line but with its stronger fresh adventure and that punk seeded ferocity to an undemanding presence, the Listenable Records released album is a new and attention grabbing offering from The Sticky Boys.

Opening track Mary Christmas swiftly ingrains flavoursome riffs upon ears before unleashing a feisty tide of thick guitar and bass enterprise punctuated by the jabbing beats of Bullot. If like us you have an aversion to seasonal songs never fear as the lyrics soon steer towards the salacious side of festivities whilst hooks and rhythms bring an intoxicating spirit. Like Turbonegro meets Skid Row, surprises are few and pleasure high as the track strolls proudly towards the following Bad Reputation. Here a Motorhead influence is open as grimy riffs entwine with predacious hooks and rhythmic confrontation. There is also a breath of Offspring to the track, the punk bait making its most vocal suasion yet around the subsequent melodic flames of Kourelis which scorch and treat ears simultaneously.

A great throaty bassline opens up the AC/DC spiced High Power Thunder and continues to spine the stroll of heavy metal draped in guitar cast melodic flame. It is a strong if unspectacular track, keeping attention and appetite keen 10501716_10152593575618919_2268711738949228514_nbefore making way for the similarly toned classic rock coloured Mrs Psycho and subsequently Uncle Rock, a quickly pleasing anthemic stomp primed with a classic hard rock swagger and belligerent rhythmic attitude. Again neither song sparks a fire in the belly but leaves the body drenched in sweat and emotions well satisfied.

There is no need to reveal the theme of Party Time, its title the perfect summing up of the addictive energetic mosh and rhythmic contagion. It the previous track was anthemic this is a brawling call to arms for the devil’s mischief and rock ‘n’ roll at its primal best , a triumph swiftly matched by The Ramones spiced The Future Is In Your Hands. Equally there is an essence of The Clash to the album’s best song, both flavours adding to the captivating hard rock cored encounter.

Love On The Line explores the same classic rock/punk scenery as found in Bad Reputation to similar success as Make Art continues on its most potent stretch to date, its sonic intrigue and craft a compelling texture to probably the most intensity soaked song on the album. That high level is reinforced by the excellent agitated confrontation of The Game Is Over. Persistent scythes of rabid riffs and uncompromising beats gnaw and flirt with the senses whilst the bass sculpts another dark temptation as Kourelis explores a seemingly Lemmy inspired delivery. It is a thrilling proposition which makes its own claim for best track accolades.

Make Art concludes with the more than decent pair of Juicy Lucy and its title track, each providing a strong and in the case of the closer a thrilling finale to the release. The first of the two is an all-out heavy rock charge and the last a punk infused rocker which opens with Boomtown Rats like keys and proceeds to twist and flirt through pop punk hooks, sonic causticity, and aggressive vocals, all within a melody strewn hard rock climate. It is a real grower and to be honest over time manages to make the strongest persuasion with its adventurous and imaginative invention; think 999 meets Mötley Crüe.

Not carrying major surprises but loaded outright creative revelry and undiluted fun, Make Art offers the kind of devilry it is hard to get enough of. Every rock ‘n’ roll party, riot, and rampage needs a heart to drive it and they do not come much more enthusiastic and enjoyable than this from The Sticky Boys.

Make Art is available now via Listenable Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/ee/album/make-art/id904560291

http://www.stickyboys.eu/

RingMaster 30/09/2014

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Boy – Darkest Visions

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Imagine a mix of The Angelic Upstarts and UK Subs with an equally potent blend of Rocket From The Crypt and Turbonegro, and you have a sense of Czech punks Boy and the body of their outstanding debut album Darkest Visions. Fusing old school British punk with a touch of glam and raw rock ‘n’ roll, band and release make a dramatic entrance to a worldwide market with their Rebel Sound/Voltage Records released rampage. It is an encounter which has a welcome familiarity to its brawl but just as strongly a unique breath and substance which marks out Boy as a band with a potentially mighty future within the world of punk rock. The band name suggests wishy-washy media friendly teen pleasing blandness, what you get is raw antagonistic punk rock of the finest order.

There is little we can reveal about the background of the band with any available bio offered in Czechoslovakian, but they are a quintet from Brno who have previously released a three track 7” EP via Voltage Records last year and before that had a track on the 2012 compilation Brno stále v plamenech (Brno Still In Flames). Their new full-length is produced by Turbonegro’s Tommy Akerholdt and features numerous guests including Ronnie King (who has worked with NOFX, Rancid, Offspring, Snoop Dog) on piano, Shawn Smash (Total Chaos) on guitar, Daniel Marusack (Chancers) on flute, Theresa Kovalová (Calm Season) on cello, and Martin Maleček (ex – Centaury ,SRK) on conga. That piece of info alone tells you the flavoursome design and sounds bursting from within the punk bred tempest, though the album starts off with a more straight forward belligerent sound.

The title track opens things up with a fiery welcome, hooks blazing vociferously within the ears whilst vocal samples bred from 9/11 place front coverthe drama of the release. It is a heavy weight welcome with sinews building up their intent and intensity ready for the following I Need Your Hate. The second track is immediately snarling and gnawing at the senses, riffs bordering on carnivorous and rhythms an imposing barracking. The excellent rough vocals roar and confront with a voracity which matches the passion of the sounds around them, the song further flaming with seductive melodies from within its rapacious onslaught. There is nothing dramatically ground breaking about the song but with impressive individual skills, a scorching solo, and anthemic band vocals it is an irresistible proposition.

Never Break Us Down binds the imagination next with an instant addictive groove, a lure aligned to numerous sharp hooks and that again virulent anthem seeded suasion which already the band proves they are expert at sculpting. The resourceful romp offers that earlier mentioned RFTC comparison as well as holding a touch of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones to its catchy temptation, both elements re-occurring across the album and adding extra spice to the outstanding raucous charge of punk ’n’ roll. It is a mix which lights up Back For More to a different degree, the band grazing the senses with greater causticity and ravenous breath. Again there is a compelling contagion to the track which has attention and appetite impatient for more which Stay Free more than happily provides. Abrasing ears with acidic sonic swipes from the first second along with an evocatively brewing wash of keys, the track broadens its riveting narrative with a wonderful dark cello croon and atmospheric shadows. It is like a mix of UK band The Duel and Russian punks Biting Elbows, an invasive seduction which subsequently stretches further into a NOFX like imposing. The track is quite glorious, pushing the invention and songwriting of the band whilst still entrenched in their epidemically appealing seventies seeded punk.

Stop Talking To Me stalks and riles up the imagination next, riffs on a chunky prowl speared by predatory rhythms. The vocals are vitriolic in delivery and malevolent in intent, a seemingly different voice leading the intrusive belligerence as the track squares up to the senses and emotions. It is a great strike but one which ends far too soon, only one minute forty seconds in length, and closes on a frustrating and actually very annoying fade-out. These grievances are soon forgotten though as Drop The Bomb scores ears with an acrid flame of guitar punctuated by keys and wisps of melodic guitar invention. The song strides purposefully with a slow predation, absorbing imagination and the by now constantly submissive passions. It is another total captivation revealing yet more of the depths of sound and invention within Boy, the unveiling continued with the heavy rock exploits of It was the Alcohol. The track is prime punk and hard rock with glam devilry and metal toned hunger, and impossibly addictive especially its infectious chorus which is bait only the deaf or the six feet under could resist joining in with.

The album comes to a close with firstly the thrilling quarrelsome bluster and catchiness of Fashion Police then the incendiary glory of Just A Number. The last track is an aggressive scrap of spellbinding hooks, fierce riffs, and punchy rhythms all merged into a rabid contagious punk spat, a last lingering triumph to sear the sound and name of Boy in to the memory and passions.

Darkest Visions is one of the punk glories of recent years and a potent suggestion that Boy has all the armoury and invention to be a real force in punk and rock rioting across numerous horizons to come.

Darkest Visions is available through Rebel Sound and Voltage Records now as a black vinyl release with a 12 -page booklet and in a deluxe version clad in silver foiled artwork.

https://www.facebook.com/PUNKROCKHOOLIGANS

http://www.boy-punk.com/

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

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Gaz Patterson – King Of You

King Of You Artwork

    Gaz Patterson will probably be a name most are unaware of at this moment in time but as debut album King Of You unleashes its enthused stomp and impressively accomplished swagger you have a niggling suspicion that this secrecy will not be a long running status for the British punkster. Creating a boisterous party of melodic and pop punk, the Bedlington, Northumberland hailing musician has made an introduction which captures the imagination. The album is not bursting with originality it has to be said but comes with vitality and a refreshing passion which only accentuates the promise bursting across the eight track storm of enterprise.

As soon as a big bass groan ignites the first seconds of opener Walking Backwards there is a sense of something potent waiting to seduce the ears, a hint soon brought into realisation as riffs flame around the ear and rhythms romp with sinews to the fore through the emerging track. As it hits its stride with the smooth tones of Patterson adding to the persuasion there is a familiarity to the song but one which only adds to the strong lure being laid before the imagination. Comparisons to the likes of Blink 182 and current Green Day have been placed upon Patterson’s sounds and as the track charges contentedly, it is easy to see why especially in regard to the former of the two.

The strong start is matched by the following Last Round, again the throaty voice of the bass standing out from the start whilst the guitar casts a skilled temptation within the pleasing encounter. Slightly more restrained but of the same breed as its predecessor, the track strolls with a purpose and appealing presence if without quite sparking a major fire for its resourceful offering. The same to some extent applies to the next up Broken Hearts On Parade, the track a brief rampant blaze of punk ‘n’ roll with a great fiery solo and combative rhythms.

Going Out My Mind is another pungent tempting of addictive hooks and magnetic melodies ridden by the easy on the ear vocals of Patterson whilst the bass provides its own irresistible vaunt to compliment the enterprise and inflate an already awakened appetite for the release. In many ways the tracks to this point have all come from the same well of textures and invention though with individual faces to their presences, but it is all shaken up pleasurably by the melancholic embrace of Elona. The slow smouldering ballad is an ambient emotive wash of acoustic guitar, softly delivered vocals, and a stringed caressing which is absorbing. With keys adding to its evocative plot, the track debatably is out of place on the album but a thrilling aside to the thrust of the album earning an acclaimed place.

The pinnacle of the album comes with the title track, the song a riff clad, rhythmic tempest of punk rock which from its first chord has mind and heart enlisted in its compelling adventure. An element of The Ramones adds its enthusiasm to the fever whilst an Offspring like bustle encourages the belligerent lyrical content, it all uniting for a thumping ride of a great punk song.

    See You In The End and Pieces Of Two complete the album in fine style, choppy riffs and cantankerous rhythms driving the first of the two directly into the senses, vocals harmonies adding to the punk pop purity whilst the closing track provides a lingering convincing of melodic rock which seals the success of the album and reaffirms the promise of the artist with another varied slice of enterprise.

     King Of You as mentioned is not going to take you down new avenues but instead explores existing ones with an energy and investigation which marks Gaz Patterson out as one to watch closely.

http://gazpatterson.bandcamp.com/album/king-of-you

https://www.facebook.com/GazPattersonMusic

7.5/10

RingMaster 04/12/2013

 

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Ellice Blackout – Bad Tattoo EP

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With more virulent toxicity and passion chaining irresistibility than a bondage party at the sex addiction wing of the local hospital, well one can dream right?…Canadian melodic punksters Ellice Blackout unleash their debut EP Bad Tattoo, a release which inspires mischievous moves and greedy hunger. Made up of three adrenaline driven tracks which riot with and ignite the passions, the release is the arrival of a new voraciously energetic force in pop punk.

Hailing from Victoria, BC, Ellice Blackout was founded by members with a wealth of experience through several successful Vancouver Island bands such as Fineas Gage, Reaver, Killing In The Name Of, Funk Vigilante, The June Fiasco, Calling All Wave, Saul, and Dead Eyes Open. Creating an insatiable rampage of predacious rhythms, acidically squalling guitars, and a wealth of addictively barbed hooks, the band leaves the air breathless and listener sweat drenched with one of the most excitable and exciting introduction this year.

The title track ignites the touch paper for the release, guitars immediately teasing before the band explodes into a charged stomp of crisp rhythms and jagged riffs behind the appealing vocals of David Fraelic. From its first notes the song has imagination and emotions swinging with its eager sway, those sharp riffs from Joshua Boudreau and Josh Desjarlais continuing to lure whilst the bass of Josef Faraguna without breaking sweat adds the right depth of skirting shadows to the incendiary mix. Fraelic is a busy and enthusiastic, not forgetting impressive driver of the runaway melodic punk wagon potently backed by the tones of Faraguna and drummer Derek Zemanek, and with all elements flirting with breakneck rampancy the track is a thrilling epidemic of an enticement from the band.

Pretty Sexy For A Sexist shows right away it is not prepared to let its predecessor take all the glory, guitars stroking the ears with a sultry melodic taunt which is soon joined by firm beats and a darker bassline. Once into full swing with riffs getting feistier and the bass throatier, the track strides like a combination of Offspring or Fall Out Boy aligned to Alkaline Trio and Billy Talent, sinews turning carnivorous at times and intensity intimidating. It is a powerful encounter showing the strength of the band’s songwriting and attack, a declaration soon matched and reinforced by the closing storm of The Best Revenge. Like the other two tracks, it is rife with addiction causing grooves and spiky hooks within rowdy riffs and commanding rhythms. The vocals of Fraelic and band are as catchy as the lures laid elsewhere within the song’s more hard rock like premise, whilst the tight sonic mastery and acute passion swarming through the song has an element of My Chemical Romance to it.

The song, like the Bad Tattoo EP is littered with appealing additives from numerous styles and essences providing a spicy form of melodic punk which leaves emotions racing and anticipation for more from this emerging force, hankering for it to be sooner than later. Ellice Blackout has the promise and sound to be a name on the lips of pop punk and melodic rock worldwide and with their EP a free download it all starts here.

https://www.facebook.com/elliceblackout

http://elliceblackout.bandcamp.com/album/bad-tattoo-ep

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/11/2013

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Keyside Strike/Rust– Olde Worlde-New World split 7”

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A rigorous bruising of dirty uncompromising punk rock, the Olde Worlde-New World split 7” is one of those releases which slaps you around the chops and lifts the spirits as only the purest form of the genre can. Featuring UK punks Keyside Strike and Australian aural rioters Rust, the five track EP leaves emotions and thoughts drenched in aggressive intent whilst basking in raw stringent punk at its antagonistic height.

Released via Rebel Sound Music, the raucousness starts with two tracks from Rust. Hailing from Sydney, the band formed in 2005 and Rustfeatures members from some of Australia’s most prominent punk rock bands from over the years including Crucified Venus, Crankcase, Rule 303, World War 24, and Black Rose. The band is no stranger to acclaim back home and further afield from live performances which has seen them veterans of three UK tours and recently their first around America, as well as sharing stages with the likes of Dead Kennedys, GBH, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, The Exploited, UK Subs, DOA, The Business, Sham 69, Rose Tattoo, The Varukers, The Vibrators and many more. With equally potent responses to their releases, especially the 2010 album Lean Mean Street Machine and Oi Oi Aussie Rock & Roll live, Rust now offer two striking tracks to Olde Worlde-New World, starting with Send My Love From England. An opening throaty bass croon immediately grips attention and more, its coaxing irresistible and soon joined by the caustic riffs and strikes of guitar within a punching rhythmic testing. With the kind of punk vocal delivery you almost expect with old school bred assaults, the track offers strong magnetic hooks and excellent anthemic moments to seize full vocal and body co-operation from the listener. It is a great start, a song with no surprises but one that ticks all the boxes for a deeply pleasing slab of punk antagonism

Their second offering is a cover of The Specials track Concrete Jungle, another undeniably enterprising and enjoyable swipe across the jaw. With a sinew driven rhythmic frame close to the original but more exploratory flames of guitar invention rousing the spirits within one of its creators most memorable stomps, it is impossible not to swept up in its riotous but respectful barging. Rust have taken the already punk element of the song and given it freedom to shape its own riveting romp with an oi rampancy, the result we suggest one of the best covers this year.

Keyside Strike    Taking over on the EP, Darlington trio Keyside Strike create tempests of punk infused with dirty rock ‘n’ roll, blues, hardcore, and psychobilly. Formed in 2002 their sound is one which stomps on the senses whilst plucking the passions with irresistible hooks, all within again a brawling maelstrom of roughly imposing energy and invigorating urgency. Their two albums and numerous appearances on compilations has made the band one of the true rock ‘n’ roll bands in the Northeast of England whilst their impressive live shows has seen them share stages with bands such as The Business, Murphy’s Law, Street Dogs, UK Subs, Demented Are Go!, Discharge, Madball, Demon City Wreckers, Stitch Hopeless And The Sea Leg and loads more across the UK, Europe, and America.

The band instantly snarl and rampage from within the split EP with Back From Hell, the track an avalanche of barbaric beats, caustic riffs, and squalling grouchy vocals. Immediately the fury is like a violation from a banding together of Motorhead, Offspring, Discharge, and The Pirates. With the song already making the fullest persuasion, the waspish niggling grooves and vocals tension honed into anthem causing chants only secure a long term appetite which is fed to even greater heights by the following Knives, the best song on the EP. Bulging drum beats open up the passions to gripping effect and are soon leading the senses into a psychobilly honed bait flavoured to greater potency by the menacing blazes of guitar and rising swells of sonic invention not forgetting a predatory bass stalk and great vocal gruffness which are simply enslaving. In full stride the song grips with infectious hooks and a vibrant jaw which flings the imagination and emotions around like a submissive carcass, whilst the Therapy? like carnivorous seduction of primal voracity breeds lustful addiction to the rioting predation.

The final offering is Youth (Y2K), a cover of a track by The Blitz and a closing slice of pure old school punk which you just cannot resist adding voice and fist strikes to as it ignites nostalgic rapture with its raw simplicity and uncluttered, uncompromising punk rock hymn. It makes a great finish to an excellent release featuring two bands which from strangers will trigger a wealth of new attention and for fans simply confirm what they knew for ages, Rust and Keyside Strike are two outstanding impressive punk bands.

https://www.facebook.com/rustpunk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keyside-Strike/146906715382167

8/10

RingMaster 10/10/2013

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Emerging Canvas: an interview with artist Anja Tvrtkovic

AnjaT

For every album, single, book, or DVD there is a cover or accompanying piece of art to portray what is within and tempt the emotions into the heart of the host. Always looking out for emerging independent artists The RingMaster Review had the pleasure to come across a young artist from Serbia, Anja Tvrtkovic, whose work has already grabbed thoughts and attention. Such the potency of the few things seen we felt the need to find out more about the lady and her work.

Hello Anja and thank you for talking with us.

Hello, and thank you for the interview!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a person that likes to  do too many things interested in art and music. I am a student of University of Applied Arts studying Animation. In my free time I work art designs for bands, t-shirt designs and illustrations for younger children. I am playing bass and back vocals in an all-female band called Plump (named after a song played by Hole). Two months back I ended up in a band called Jailbait (an all-girl band that is a tribute to the Runaways and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)! And I don’t know what else to say and not end up sounding like an egoistic person  haha :))

When did art first catch your imagination and who were your early influences?

When I was a kid, it was my passion, so most of the time I was watching Flight of Dragons, The Last Unicorn, The Railway Dragon and many more cartoons in that style of drawing! Of course those were the times of VHS so I would record a lot of cartoons and watch them over and over. I can’t say who would be my influence as a person. I was more in my world at the time, with an idea of dragons and dinosaurs in my head.

How would you describe your style of art?

My style? Hmmmm, I always wanted to look badass with my drawings and make people go into “WOAH!” effect, but I would always end up drawing something cute and attractive to a child’s eye. But there are the times when I get into my more serious state, but I never published it.

Is there any particular medium you prefer or find better for your ideas?

Digital art. Definitely. I am too clumsy to work traditional and would always end up all in colours and not satisfied.

artwork2What inspires your work and ideas predominantly?

Other people, friends, but mostly artists all over the world. Internet is a great tool in meeting other styles and techniques.

Music is obviously also an important thing in your life?

Oh yes, very! My bass and love for singing also helps and inspires!! Music is a big part of my life, the thing that gets me going. Every time I stay up late, working for my University, I crank up some good old grunge and metal so I could get through.

What bands and genres are your favourites?

There are too many but, there are some times when I am into grunge, rock, sometimes punk, sometimes I end up in heavy, death and some older thrash. Few of the favourite bands would be: Gojira, System of a Down, Black Sabbath, Offspring, Nirvana, Queen, Deep Purple, Slayer, Kultur Shock, Babes in Toyland Hole, L7, Guano Apes….
I have many local bands that I love and support so I would include them too: NoYz?, Hatred, Uneven, Fandango, Seljačka Buna, Cannot and many more!

When and how did the two mediums come together with you designing art work and posters for bands?

When I was in high school. Because it was a school of Design, a lot of projects were designing CD covers and posters. I was always glared down by my teachers because of doing a design for Opeth, System of a Down and a few more local bands haha.

If given just one choice would you choose working in music or illustrating for children’s books etc?

I would probably find myself more in illustrating then in music. Drawing is more my thing, I would leave music making to more talented people 🙂

I believe you are creating the artwork for the forthcoming album from Serbian band Noyz?

Yes! I am doing the cover and booklet for upcoming album. It is a lot of work, but that is a dream of every artist. To work with a band that  you love, and gets you easily inspired. So I am the lucky one 🙂

Can you give any insight as to what it will be like?

Well, Sharkey(frontman and guitarist) and I had a long talk about the album, and I know very well all the songs (yeah I am a big fan), so there is going to be greyish, a little bit dark, but with symbolic elements. I will try to keep the grunge spirit that Noyz have!

What other artists have you worked with or are looking at in the future?artwork1

I haven’t had a chance to work with other artists, but I hope I will! I like collaborations! But if you think for music artists I worked with tons!

You create music yourself so what do you feel is the biggest similarity between creating pieces of art and making music?

I literally did just one part of a song in collaboration with my friend and Sharkey, as a gift to one dear friend. I  always have a blockade in my head when I am starting to do something. Even for this song I had a blockade, I had to make the melody and lyrics and couldn’t do it. Few days later it just hit me, out of nowhere! That is the same process I am having with my art. So yeah there is a big similarity 🙂

Have you an aim or ambition for your art ahead?

I can’t say there is an aim. I am still in the shell, I don’t have goal in my life, maybe dreams, but those are still far away!

Where can people see your works of art?

For now, I don’t have an online portfolio, and my deviant art page is old and hasn’t been updated in a long time, but I am hoping in making a site as soon as possible! Some of my really old stuff can be seen here: http://njanjadesign.daportfolio.com/

Once again many thanks for talking with us.
It was my pleasure! The questions were fun! 🙂

Would you like to end with three of your favourite works of art and three favourite albums?

I would end up with: From Mars to Sirus – Gojira; Bleach – Nirvana;  Diabolus in Musica – Slayer.

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Popular Giants: Self Titled

Pop Giants

    Whilst arguably not offering anything new in the grand scheme of things the self-titled album from Californian rockers Popular Giants is a quite irresistible riot of rock n roll. Fusing the best varied flavours of punk rock with garage rock and other distinctive flavours, the Los Angeles quartet burst out of the speakers with an energy and hunger which is impossible not to be persuaded and enamoured by. Consisting of thirteen raucous treats of rock music at its dirtiest best the album unleashes a vigorous fun in its boisterous company which you just cannot deny.

The band was formed in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Christopher Peacock with the intent of getting back to playing the old school punk he grew up upon. With the addition of guitarist/vocalist John Fortin, bassist Francis Cyan, and drummer Mike Criddell to the ranks, the sound of the band found its own natural evolution to the bruising, insatiable, and varied sounds which light up this impressive album from start to finish. The four members found an instant and shared vision on how songs and their music should find their most powerful and dynamic stature as well as on how they would sound to escape the ‘sterile’ digital prevalence of today. The band recorded their album using a Stevens two –inch analog tape machine from the seventies to produce the ‘fat steamroller sound of Popular Giants live’, and in fact the machine was the exact same one Pink Floyd used on The Wall.

As soon as the immediate contagion of Pretty Life sets in to start the album off, there is a sense of something exciting in the winds, 309054_505764392782988_2063941150_nthe release soon proving that right with ease with every one of its infectious seconds. The opener lights up the ear with bulging rhythms and coaxing riffs whilst the vocals of Peacock top the riot with expression and passion. With essences of Foo Fighters and Living End to its irresistible anthem, the song flicks all the switches of satisfaction and full pleasure to begin one thrilling cruise down their sonic highway.

So Happy sends the infection up another level with its delicious teasing beckoning within a stormy energy, the song a punk/rock incitement recalling spices of Nirvana and Offspring in a new tasty recipe all Popular Giants. The following On The Road is just the same though for the Seattle trio loud whispers swap an Everclear loud hint for the ear from within another bounty of compelling riffs, teasing hooks, and ear rapping beats.

Song by song the passion and balls of the band fire up their imaginative party, the likes of We Want Your Soul with a Buzzcocks scented hook and pop punk harmonies, the garage rock/grunge coated Devil I Ain’t Done, and the barging old school punk bite It’s Not Your Fault, leaving a warm glow on the heart and a ripe greedy demand for much more. The third of the these songs barely musters 30 seconds in length but in its snapping snarl leaves a giant rapture, a song in all ways seventies punk bands would be proud of.

Amongst nothing but real highs across the whole release the loftiest pinnacles come in the second half of the album starting with the excellent Trepidation. With Fortin taking the lead vocally, the track bristles with the agitation and contagion of Bad Religion across its drive of provocative riffs and jabbing rhythms. It is an addiction forming song backed up with equal potency by the stunning I’m Not The One. With a heavier muscular intensity and force to its predatory stance, the track melds a rich mix of garage rock and punk with a Heartbreakers breath to its fiery voice. It is an instinctive squall for the passions to latch on to and be inspired by, a song which calls to the heart.

The cover of the Turbonegro track Get It On is a very decent encounter with a great punk rawness to its roar whilst its successor Antibody is a delicious attitude spitting poke with a New York Dolls swagger and Richard Hell snarl. It also has a ‘nasty’ Pistols groove which lights the deepest fires and a barrage of riffing that demands and receives willing attention.

With plenty more great tracks including another cover, this time of Unsatisfied by The Godfathers, this is an album which feeds all the wants of a punk rock album with accomplished excellence. Ok it is not going to break down new walls for you to play behind but it is hard to remember too many punk releases recently offering this much energy and fun to unite with.

https://www.facebook.com/PopularGiants

8/10

Ringmaster 02/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Punk for The Gospel Benefit Compilation

Punk for The Gospel Benefit is a 2 volume compilation consisting of 42 bands who donated songs to help raise money and awareness to support the work of foreign Missionaries and families which includes Dave Emmerson of The Old-timers and Aaron “Liberty” Wells of True Liberty, from within the Christian punk community. It is also one triumphant barrage of high quality punk music brought together by Thumper Punk Records and Caustic Fallout. Eclectic and highly charged, the album hits all the right spots whilst doing good things at the same time, a winning combination.

The first important thing to note, other than the cause of course, is that the release is for everyone who loves punk in any form. Many, like we initially wondered, might think it will be ‘an in your face’ faith shout from beginning to end but though the tracks all come from Christian bands and are predominantly in praise of ‘the higher good’, the release is a stirring charge of energy, great sounds, and good will, which has more than something for everybody, believers or not.

The 42 songs which are split evenly over the two volumes include 19 which are either new or previously unreleased and include the first song released by The Deal in 8 years. The impressive thing about the compilation is that truthfully there is not a moment where quality takes a dive just to make up the numbers, every song in their live, raw, or polished studio form grabbing the fullest and most satisfied attention. Obviously personal tastes dictates some tracks light bigger fires than others and it is individual to each, but even those just sparking appreciation do it with pleasing passion and energy to leave one fully contented. The tracks mentioned further on are our favorites only, with those not mentioned left to surprise and delight when you make your own investigation which you really should.

Volume 1 starts off with the old school punk of South African band The Old-timers and their song This City, a direct and challenging track which sets the tone and cocks the trigger for the release ahead, the hungry and rampant breath lighting the touch paper to quality punk energy and sounds across the board.

The excellent Offspring like Homeland Insecurity from Californian melodic hardcore band Dogwood has the pulse rate firing and soon has its back covered by the great Flatfoot 56 and their excellent Smoke Blower, an explosion of intensity and punk rock complete with anthemic choruses and glorious pipes blazing away in the background.

The album continues in strong and varied style but finds its fullest height at the end with a quartet of songs to ignite every passion. The first of the quartet Hold On from The Altar Billies fuses great strains of rockabilly into its presence whilst The Meteors lined Swing Low, Sweetheart by Alaskan band The Scurvies is simply irresistible psychobilly.

As the album plays one quibble did arise and that was lack of female fronted bands but Mason Summers do remedy that a little with their dual vocal attack from Lydia Danger and Mikey Scars in their sinister and hypnotic song Pedestal.

The best song of the whole compilation ends the first volume, a track as essential as it is infectious. I Wanna Be A Kennedy from The Shiny Darks is stunning, the Texans exploring the ear with incendiary melodic strikes and intrusive beats all borne from a flaming energy and intent.

The second volume it has to be said starts off as the first ended, with songs to leave one breathless, deeply satisfied, and energised through some of the best punk rock around today. Marked For Life from Virginian punks True Liberty fires up all the senses with intense energy and Bad Religion and NOFX like dynamic sounds. The song sets up the album perfectly, again the track listing making sure fires are raging from the off.

The following hardcore veined Retaliate from False Idle and the melodic punk gem Blind Eye from The Way ensure the great start is continued and built upon whilst the rock driven Nancy Don’t Fall Asleep from The Deal is a welcome return from the band.

Again this album is a consistent treat from start to finish and arguably stronger than its sister volume, especially with the inclusion of two songs as magnificent as the top one of the other volume. Haunted House from Grave Robber is brilliant, a Sex Pistols/Misfits/Calabrese feast of terror to dine on forever, horror punk at its very best and equalled in excellence by the Metanoia song Evidente. The track from the Chileans is high octane skilled punk rock brought with craft and unbridled energy, a real find amongst so many on the whole release.

As said there is nothing but great sounds and bands on the album and surely a must check out for all punk lovers. Available either as individual purchases or as a bargain package, Punk for The Gospel Benefit is a release well worthy in cause and sound of your time and attention.

To find out more about the album go to http://thumperpunkrecords.storenvy.com

RingMaster 05/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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