Various Artists -This is the sound of Sugar Town

Artwork _RingMaster Review

Not only lighting our ears this November with another thrilling Horse Party EP, Seymour Quigley of the band and R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly have compiled and unveiled a striking compilation offering some of the best bands helping to make the Bury St Edmunds underground DIY rock scene one of the most exciting to emerge in recent times within the UK. Twelve bands providing a dozen, without exception, ear pleasing tracks, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a magnetic and thickly enjoyable invitation to explore a host of great new bands whilst helping a great cause with all its profits going to Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge.

Wrapped in the artwork of local artist and musician Kate Jackson, once of Long Blonde, This is the Sound of Sugar Town opens up with the alternative rock quintet Voter Kernel and instantly has ears and attention gripped. The band covers the senses in a web of sonic guitar bait before relaxing into a vocally rowdy and rhythmic inviting incitement laced with acidic enticement from the guitars. Into its stride Unnatural Gathering Of Animals blows a punk wind with anthemic simplicity and potency, perpetually confirming itself as one of those inescapable roars that just grabs full involvement of the listener.

The same applies to the darker post punk bred What I’d Do from Horse Party. The guitars of Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley tempt as the beats of Shannon Hope entice, each warming ears for the ever siren like voice of Langley. It is a mix that breeds the great diversity to drive the band’s releases over the past year or so, but also a unique presence to the band’s sound which is no better epitomised than in this tantalising song.

As the third track comes in view, already there is a glimpse of not only the quality in the Bury music scene but the diversity too, The Few adding to that subsequent realisation across the album, with Bury’d Alive. Not to be confused with the truck load of other bands with the same name, especially in the US, the Bury hailing proposal is an indie punk quartet which as its predecessors, soon has appetite and imagination held with an opening lure of guitar and firm beats. Carrying a tasty seventies DIY punk tone to its sound with layers of bluesy spicing amongst it, the track whips up rich bait somewhere between Swell Maps and Outcasts.

The Machismo’s has already ignited lust in these ears with their releases, and do so again with their offering Rise Again and its punk infused seduction. The trio of Sam Marsh, Rachel Marsh, and Karly Stebbings cast a web of flavours and textures bred in varying styles, creating their own temptation which again comes in varied hues as it prowls with mischievous relish through twanging bass groans, sonic sighs, and scything beats. Lyrically the open humour of the band brings a thick smile to the face as its adventure of drooping hopes and their resurrection hit, as the sound, the sweet spot.

As mentioned the variety within the album and the town’s scene is a refreshing enjoyment, continuing with the great tempestuous sound of Rats as Big as Dogs. Their track, Same Difference, is a mesh of harmonic warmth and mesmeric calm aligned to explosive raw energy and aggression. It is only around for two minutes, but a dynamically eventful and captivating time before passing the baton of temptation on to Scare The Normals and their track Tomorrow. Stalking ears with its sinister electronics and prowling rhythms, the song grows into a compelling infestation lying somewhere between Autopsy Boys and Naked Lunch; an electronic/sonic exploration also carrying an alluring scent of Fad Gadget to its creeping enterprise.

A fascinating embrace of psychedelic grooving greets ears in Sky Dance from the quartet Pale Fires next, its sultry shimmer and flowing harmonic tenacity an immersive celestial delight whilst site favourites The Vitamins saunter in with their highly flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll, The Present (Stairway) to entice with a riveting canter of potent vocals and melodic enterprise laced with a grunge/alternative rock toning. Expectations expect the trio to provide a full meal of texture and expression and the track does not disappoint with its virulent shuffle and vibrant personality.

Some growling heavy rock with punk belligerence erupts in ears next courtesy of Tryal of Witches, its Motorhead meets Kyuss meets XII Boar roar Sweating Rum, a dirt crusted pleasure contrasting well with the melodic, ambience scented enticement of alternative quintet Cathedrals and Cars. Posterity Measure is a hug of melancholy and tantalising melodic beauty becoming more energetically aroused and in turn enthralling with every passing minute.

Fortunato provide a track from their well-received Under Your Teeth EP next, Utopia a fuzzy and dynamic croon of voice and sonic imagination with a healthy line in hooks and jabbing rhythms. Its flavoursome charm parts to leave Eleanor Lou to bring the album to a fine close with Ring The Change. Hailing from the market town and currently based in Manchester, the songstress dances on ears and imagination with voice and song, the acoustic hug a mesmeric reflection further honed by the elegant tones of the singer/songwriter.

From start to finish, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a thrilling discovery of Bury St Edmunds’ underground musical heart. Some bands were familiar, many brand new, and each contributing to a release worthy of everyone’s investigation whilst at the same time helping others.

This is the sound of Sugar Town is out now via R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://repeatfanzine.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-sound-of-sugar-town

Album track listing…

VOTER KERNEL – Unnatural Gathering Of Animals 03:59

HORSE PARTY – What I’d Do 03:42

THE FEW – Bury’d Alive 02:38

THE MACHISMO’S – Rise Again 02:53

RATS AS BIG AS DOGS – Same Difference 02:00

SCARE THE NORMALS – Tomorrow 06:15

PALE FIRES – Sky Dance 04:47

THE VITAMINS – The Present (Stairway) 03:03

TRYAL OF WITCHES – Sweating Rum 03:35

CATHEDRALS AND CARS – Posterity Measure 03:52

FORTUNATO – Utopia 03:33

ELEANOR LOU – Ring The Change 02:32

Pete RingMaster 18/11/2015

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Pale Fires – Mammoth EP

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Taking little time to excite but increasing its psychedelic seduction with every listen, the Mammoth EP from UK psych rockers Pale Fires, is a tenacious little offering which just does not let go even after it physically departs. With flirtatious hooks, transfixing melodies, and raw sonic temptation, the release grows from a flavoursome warm proposition into a glorious shimmering blaze over time whilst its creators show themselves to be a prospect to breed real anticipation over for their subsequent growth.

Formed in 2010, the Camden quartet of vocalist Leo Runswich, guitarist Oli Swan, bassist Harry Wreathall, and drummer Jean Stevens has built an eagerly followed presence across London and beyond, igniting audiences across venues such as The Cavern Club, 93 Feet East, The Purple Turtle, and Scala with their explosive set. Their EP Louring Skies earlier this year has equally wowed acclaim and support but it is with the Mammoth EP that a sense of something about to break for the band is truly inspired. It has a festering potency which as mentioned makes a strong first touch but continues to expand and enslave over time through six tracks which are as enthralling as they are fuzzily striking.

Opener River simply cups ears in a rhythmic enticing to set release and attentive appetite in motion before laying out a gentle scuzz lit stroll of guitar aligned to bass bred shadows and the distinctive tones of Runswich. Into its stride the song swings with a gentle melodic sway whilst guitars turn up the sonic heat in between the vocal coaxing. Runswich has a voice somewhere between Boy George and Brian Molko and increasingly impresses as song and subsequently EP immerses ears and imagination. There is not a real fire to the first song, at times missing the spark to ignite as expected, yet it is a smouldering temptation which dances with ears and passions for a highly enjoyable start to Mammoth.

The following title track offers a heavier toned bass coaxing from the off, its throaty bluster inciting a greater fiery breath in the guitars and their intensive sonic designs wrapping the excellent track. That wind relaxes for Runswich’s vocals Cover Art2caress before breaking tout again across the mesmeric heart and rumble of the track. A fuller sixties psychedelic wash and warmth flows through the song than in its predecessor, taking the listener on a sultrily glazed shoegaze infused harmonic flight. The song simmers feistily throughout, again never coming to a boiling point but flourishing in its temptation before the brilliant Peace Of Mind glides in. Once again shadows and melodic flames converge and merge around the senses, gentle grooves seducing as vocals invite subsequent sonic roars to join the irresistible slavery of the passions. When the track’s kindling does catch to set a fire, it is veined by superb guitar enterprise soaked in fuzzy and caustic beauty before drifting back into the mellow embrace of the song.

The Boat That Is Rowing Slow does not match the songs before and after it, though it is a skilfully crafted and presented slice of fuzz draped blues and Oasis like melodic balladry. With a sonic acidity to its climate and expressive elegance to its raw canvas the song does present a strong addition to the EP others will bask in but misses personal tastes here, especially when up against the closing pair of majestic sonic tempting.

First comes Howl, a slow burner of a song which almost yawns itself into existence before guitar and vocals stretch their melodic and harmonic abilities ready for the subsequent expulsion of their fiery psychedelic waltz. There is a sense of The Cult in their early days to the track in many ways, its predominantly instrumental adventure almost meditative and shamanic as it transfixes ears and imagination. It’s delicious presence is followed and matched by Earth Mother, a similarly captivating exploration of warm vocals and infectious radiance within this time an, and there is no other word for it, earthy landscape of unpolished and crystalline sonic hues draped in a melodic colour lit further by scorching sax and blistering guitar drawn flames.

Both tracks are scintillating, the richest creative tempting to bask and immerse in which over time becomes inescapable for thoughts and emotions, much as the whole of Mammoth. They make a ravishing end to a stunning release, one as said that only increases its strength and dramatic alchemy with each and every taking of its creative journey.

The Mammoth EP is available now as a name your price download and @ http://palefires.bandcamp.com/

http://www.palefires.com/

RingMaster 29/09/2014

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