Elevant – Normal Life EP

We cannot say why but the new EP from UK rock band Elevant kept reminding of fellow Liverpudlian Pete Wylie. It certainly was not in the music, the band and one of their home city’s most essential musical inspirations creating music as similar as night and day yet it was a nagging thought throughout the Normal Life EP. Moving on though, the trio’s new release is a dark and often emotionally imposing proposal but equally one open to infection loaded grooves and an instinctive rock ‘n’ roll catchiness which manages to accentuate rather than temper its shadow clad themes of “love, war, disillusion and displacement.”

Consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Edward, bassist/vocalist Hannah Lodge, and drummer/vocalist Tom Shand, Elevant has grown since emerging in 2014 to be a potent part of the Liverpool music scene as a band and in its support, Edwards fresh from organising and playing the successful Wrong Festival in Liverpool which also featured the likes of Bo Ningen, The Wytches, Part Chimp, Heck, Evil Blizzard and numerous more. They have also released a trio of increasingly well-received and praised albums with the third, There is a Tide especially lauded. Now it is the Normal Life EP casting its reflections and imaginative exploration upon ears and body, and a fine evocation of both it is too with its web of heavy and alternative rock, psych and krautrock, and grungier elements infused with plenty more spices.

Recorded at Abbey Road by Sam Jones and mastered by Pete Maher (Jack Jones/Scissor Sisters/U2), Normal Life opens with Acral Affection and instantly had ears and appetite enticed with a delicious post punk bassline carrying a funky inclination to its nature as slithers of guitars spark and scythe enticingly across its bows. With firmly skipping beats, the coaxing is swiftly addictive and only compacted by the equally inviting tones of Edwards before a momentary crescendo erupts, the cycle revisited quickly after again. Imagine a collusion between Pere Ubu, Artery, Modern Eon, and Japanese Fighting Fish and you get a glimpse of the song but not the whole picture of its enjoyably but ultimately truly hard to pin down sound.

And that broad tapestry is pushed again by the following Slow, its jazzy funk kissed entrance wrapped in a beguiling atmosphere blossoming further with post rock essences and noise rock trespasses as vocals add their enticement. With melodies courting more Beatles like hues throughout, it is an intriguing affair, slowly working its lures compared to the more direct bait of its predecessor but seeping into and lingering in psyche and appetite with each passing twist and fascinating layer, each helping building up the ingredients and invention of a desert rock/psychedelia shaped finale.

The outstanding Stabs has the body bouncing and imagination weaving with its enslaving post/garage punk nagging around Edwards’ expressive croon, all gaining greater volatility and tempestuousness syllable by note as the track draws on wider flavours for its alluring irritability and spiky trespass. The bass of Lodge is brooding and gripping, the swings of Shand invasive and anthemic as Edwards springs another round of provocative hooks and emotive insights.

The prowling shadows of next up Somewhere Safe uses mere breaths to seduce the senses, its shimmering seventies psychedelia nurtured melodies swiftly absorbing the imagination. It is with the muscular incursion of rhythms and riff led energy though where the track really ignites, an eruption leaving a touch of its intensity in the subsequent return of that initial smouldering air. The track is a fascination for ears and thoughts, not quite matching up to its predecessors for personal preferences but captivating from start to finish before the EP’s title track rumbles and grumbles to bring the release to a stirring conclusion. The final song’s aggressive nature is not adverse to melodic flames and harmonic warmth though, both coating the track’s more feral instincts.

It is a great end to an EP which grabs attention first time around and only incites greater involvement and hunger for its intriguing web of sound and creative drama thereon in.

The Normal Life EP is out now on Loner Noise @ https://elevant.bandcamp.com/

https://elevantband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Elevantmusik/    https://www.instagram.com/elevantmusik/

Pete RingMaster 03/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hag – Fear Of Man

HAG_OCT_2015_RingMaster Review

Sucking ears, senses, and emotions into its tar thick tempest, Fear Of Man is an incitement hard not to get a little lustful over. The nine track primal roar of punk fuelled, noise lit sludge ‘n’ roll is the return of London based Hag, a trio which first gripped attention with their self-titled debut EP back in 2010. The past five years have seen the band on the backburner in regard to attention but things are ready to boil over as their striking first album begins crawling over the metal/heavy rock scene.

The trio of Ian Baigent (vocals/guitar), Robin Freeman (bass), and Tamas Kiss (drums), united again with Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar at South London’s Dropout Studios to record Fear Of Man. The result is a dirty and sonically corrosive slab of instinctive rock ‘n’ roll with persistently salacious riffs, nastily bred rhythms, and cantankerously snarled vocals. Getting its subsequent release via the newly formed DNAWOT Records, the album is insatiable virulence; a gut twisting, psyche bending contagion which leaves ears and appetite very greedy.

art_RingMaster Review     The album’s title track starts the thrilling violation, its lumbering body prowling the senses initially as guitar and bass spread intrusive riffs backed by the hefty swipes of Kiss. Almost deceptively the song is soon enveloping the listener, vocals fusing melody and aggression as they lead the swarm of gnarly sound and invasive shadows. Even more invasive as the album proceeds, Fear of Man is like a cauldron seeded in Melvins, High On Fire, Pigs, and The Great Sabatini but becoming more distinct in character and individuality with every raw trespass offered.

As potent as the opener is, it is soon eclipsed by the outstanding Kingdom O. The track instantly showers ears in a barrage of addictive riffs and barracking beats entwined with catchy enterprise and a juicy sonic hook that seems to linger even as the rawer treats within the song have their say. It is gripping and addictive tempting that just gets more busy and tenacious with every thumping rhythm and punkish expulsion within the winy stoner-esque climate.

Rainbow Dust has body and soul snagged by its first wall of noise and enslaved with the swift web of sonic imagination which nets ears and the dark corners of song and voice soon after whilst Trauma Yauma provides a bedlamic provocation bulging with feverish sonic rabidity and knee buckling rhythms. Both tracks twist and turn within their core intents, the second especially riveting as the bass grumbles with craft and imaginative expression whilst prowling the ravenous tempest of guitar and confrontational vocal. The track is a major highlight amongst many and quickly matched by the anthemic nagging of Low. Like The Fat Dukes Of Fuck meets Sofy Major, the heavy rocker swings along with creative muscles to the fore but all the time it brews grooves which get right under the skin.

Up against the previous pair, Metal Detector Man struggles to escape their shadows yet still it unwinds a tapestry of binding grooves and a bracing collusion of riffs and rhythms that is easy to be eagerly entangled in with a want for more. To be fair, the track simply grows in the ear and over time stands as impressive as most before, and after it like the sonically dirty and predatory White Lion and after that the acidic rumble that is Beaten At Your Own Game. The first of the two is an intrusive infection of heavyweight, fire bred rock ‘n’ roll taking chunks out of the senses whilst laying deep rooting hooks into the passions like a Cenobite whilst its successor creates its own slightly cleaner but no less rapacious blaze of volatile sound and intensity lined with melodic imagination.

The album finishes with Wrong Bar, a final tsunami of brooding energy woven into winding sonic tendrils and crawling discontent shaped as rolling rhythms and anthemic persuasion. It is a masterful and invigorating end to a release which persistently leaves the inspiration to challenge the world in its wake.

Hag may have taken their time to back up their earlier EP but are back fiercer, bolder, and more relentlessly impressive in all aspects with Fear Of Man.

Fear Of Man is available from January 8th via DNAWOT Records @ https://hag-noise.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-man

https://www.facebook.com/HAG.LONDON   http://hagband.com/

Pete RingMaster 07/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Manilow – Cease and Desist EP

 

 

Manilow

With the aggressive contagion of Fuckshovel, the sonic seduction of PiL, and the raw energy and antagonism of UK Subs, UK punks Manilow make a striking and irresistible entrance with debut EP Cease and Desist. Consisting of four varied and ridiculously compelling songs, the release is a spark lying in wait to ignite the passions of all punks past and presence, as well as the start of a potent and greedily devoured presence for the band.

Tagged as post punk but as much punk, alternative, and noise rock as that equally rich spice, Manilow springs from South London and has seemingly already brewed up a strong buzz around themselves in the year since forming. Now making a fuller and wider announcement of their presence, sound, and intent, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Dean Moston, drummer Gary Cardno, and bassist Paul Chamberlain stir up a nostalgic and distinctly fresh and antagonistic storm with the excellent Cease and Desist EP. Co-produced by Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar and mastered by former Quireboy Guy Bailey, the EP twists and stomps with a creative relish and down to earth attitude which seizes the imagination whilst inflaming old school ears and fresh adrenaline fuelled bodies.

Cease and Desist opens with Missing, an instantly caustic blaze with bluesy riffs and grooves flirting with throaty bass bait and heavily jabbing beats. Unpolished and excitingly abrasive, the track strides with a seventies breath recalling the likes of Angelic Upstarts and Ruts, and a garage punk scuzziness with whispers of the Stooges. It is an instantly and increasingly addictive encounter, easy to add limbs and voice to whilst it roars and provokes.Cease and Desist CD Cover

The following Law Here ventures into the post punk side of the band. From a potent and firmly coaxing cold bassline, guitars respectfully flare up and drizzle psych kissed sonic designs over ears and thoughts. That PiL reference is a strong whiff here with the breeze of keys provided by Chamberlain tempering and seducing that appealing scent. Perpetually colourful in its elegant and reserved but caustically toned flight, the song swirls and growls like something related to early The Horrors and The Damned whilst transfixing ears with constant resourcefulness and magnetism.

Things kick up another gear with the final pair of tracks. Firstly there is the brawling tenacity and charm of Control Issue. From its first second, riffs snarl and badger the senses whilst the beats of Cardno rap with fresh menace. Fuelled by the aggressive tones of Moston, the song seems to grow in attitude and contempt but invites further listener participation with its terrace like bred chorus and sonic invention. It is a rip-roaring treat of a provocation matched by the closing might of Vitamins. A resonating throb of bass announces its intimidating appearance, a predatory lure swiftly wrapped in a sonic acidity from Moston’s guitar. From within the impending assault a rhythmic hypnotism emerges, Cardno soon gripping feet and hunger with a Wire like temptation. It is not too long either before compelling and contagious hooks leap at ears and passions, their simple but irrepressible enticement the lead into a vocally raw chorus. With spicy blues hues brought through the melodic and scorching endeavour of the guitar to flirt with the uncompromising hook driven spine of the song, the closer is a riveting and blissfully satisfying end to an excellent debut.

Punk in all its shades and corners is going through a thrilling adventure right now, especially in the UK, and adding another fresh and delicious string to its bow is Manilow.

The Cease and Desist EP is available from October 10th @ http://manilow.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Manilow.band/

RingMaster 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tyranny Is Tyranny – Let It Come From Whom It May

cover

Stark in tone and stark in its regard to the world, Let It Come From Whom It May the debut album from US post noise rock assassins Tyranny Is Tyranny, is a corrosive breath not only upon thoughts and senses but the capitalistic hold of society and man; the band name taken from title of the fourth chapter of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. As with most bands a tag only gives one or two levels and sides of a sound and certainly it is the same with the Madison, Wisconsin quartet. Throughout the seven startling and demanding tracks there are coarse whispers of post punk and doom rubbing their toxicity into the caustic mix to help provide an extensive and exhausting confrontation which wears down and consumes the body from top to bottom, inside and out, whilst simultaneously invigorating the self-same victims alongside enforced thoughts and contemplation.

Tyranny is Tyranny rose from the demise and collapse of United Sons of Toil, guitarists/vocalists Russell Hall and Jason Jensen emerging as an unashamedly confronting and uncompromising fury lyrically and musically, but a tempest carefully and thoughtfully crafted for maximum provocation and success. With bassist/vocalist M. Guy Ficcioto and drummer Ben Aldis alongside the pair, the band creates an oppressive web of stirring and cutting narratives within a senses sapping smog of sonic sludge and rhythmic challenging. It is a bleak and suffering encounter but deviously addictive and impressively accomplished, with a sound and presence which seduces from its first spiteful note to its last threatening breath.

Opener Manufacturing Truth makes a tempting entrance, guitars casting a slow melodic beckoning within a gradually intensifying atmosphere. Soon a sludge heavy blanket lies down upon the energetically growing riffs and awakening concussive percussion, the brewing union flaring with belligerent sinews and rabidity drenched vocal squalls. Elements of Part Chimp and KEN mode stir within the track as arguably does a taste of Black Flag but more dominantly it is a fresh and rapacious provocateur insidiously but welcomingly working upon and seducing senses, thoughts, and emotions.

The impressive start steps aside for the following Owned By Thieves, another song which makes its introduction with a slow and smouldering embrace. The track has a tender hand upon the ear again from guitar whilst a sonic uprising is just initially hinted at, an expulsion further incited by the roaming predatory bass. Strangely there is an indefinable familiarity to the track which teases throughout, at times distracting from the quality and depth of its persuasion as thoughts try to grab onto a suggested name to compare the sound to, ultimately unsuccessfully. It is an immense and enthralling continuation of the opening plateau stepped upon by Let It Come From Whom It May, and a level soon elevated by the outstanding Down The K-Hole. With riffs and bass gnawing upon the senses from its first seconds whilst a sonic hook adds addictive intrigue, the song immediately raises thoughts of early Killing Joke, that same intensive and tight primitive lure and savagery at restrained but potent work. The punk scourges which unleash their bruisings throughout accentuate the ravenous snarl and disdain, adding to a storm of intent and Prong like metallic brutality.

The best track on the album is soon followed by the equally imposing and thrilling instrumental The Haze Of Childhood; the piece an evocative slow soar through emerging menace and elegant key bred emotive caresses into a loss of once safe innocence and consumption of a stark, bleak horizon. It flows straight in its successor Apostasy, the song accepting the set premise and building upon its presence with gentle vocals and a post punk sinister glaze, the track initially parading an invitation not dissimilar to one Wire would offer. Into its full body the forceful persuasive growl and provoking pressure of the vocals and intensity make compelling declarations and impressions on the passions, and though the song does not ignite the fires of earlier songs it is arguably the most powerful and skilful in creating an unavoidable reaction within the listener.

The album concludes with firstly the contagiously repetitive and droning call of The American Dream Is A Lie, its lure a hypnotic seizure as its oppressive nature steals submission for its deceitful sonic promises, and finally the equally mesmeric Always Stockholm, Never Lima. The track in its forceful and sonically scrubbing of the senses induces a total union from the listener to its demands and control, its aggressive but devious enticements another thrilling venture within the album.

Recorded and mixed by Russell Hall and Jason Jensen at The Dock and at The House For Wayward Boys, Let It Come From Whom It May is an outstanding introduction to a band which you sense will make a major impact on noise and caustic political rock for a long time to come. The album is certainly stronger in its earlier presence but only recruits a full hunger from start to finish with its somber erosive incitement. Tyranny Is Tyranny tell it as it is with a noise spawned majesty which is as controlling and merciless as those it rages against, but in a very good appealing way.

http://tyrannyistyranny.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/09/2013

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Psychic Teens – Come

Heads 2013 by John Berry

There can be a beauty bred when caustic noise and sonic abrasion walk hand in hand but when in the hands of a band like Psychic Teens, where gothic shadows, post punk invention, and shoegaze seduction are also employed, it is a mesmeric tempest that just steals the passions. Hailing from Philadelphia, the three piece band took no time in drawing hungry responses and  support after forming in 2010, their debut album Teens of the following year garnering widespread critical acclaim. Following it with a split CD-R of cover songs with Hulk Smash and a digital EP of Misfits cover songs, as well as impressive live performances, including shows with bands such as The Dead Milkmen, Zola Jesus, Titus Andronicus, Ceremony, True Widow, METZ and many more, Psychic Teens has earned a strong reputation and fanbase but one suggests it is only a scratch which once new album Come lays down its irresistible lures and traps, will open up to full lustful wounds.

The new release takes the qualities of that first album into a new realm of imagination and niggling enterprise, its body a contagious caustic wash spawned from the post punk evocation of Joy Division with the noise rock essences of Part Chimp and the gothic dark passions of Birthday Party. There is much more to it than that though as opener NO soon confirms. The track instantly captures the imagination with a rhythmic dealing that shuffles the senses into a compelling cage. Joined by the prowling bass and sabre flashes of guitar, the song only grips tighter drawing a willing submission as the excellent vocals of guitarist Larry Ragone join the sonic affray. Sounding like Nick Cave meets Ian Curtis is tones add depth and expression to an already riveting stretch of imagination, with the bass grooved romp and sizzling guitar flames delicious enticement within a song that teases like a mix of The Pixies and Pere Ubu. It is a passion stealer of a song and start giving the rest of the album a lofty bar to emulate.

Not that the rest of the album struggles for the main, the following tantalising heat of RIP with its striding rhythms, scurrying riffs, and a1920627547_10intensive fire of sonic intrigue and mystique, another virulent call on thoughts and emotion. Throughout the strings of Ragone tease and tempt within the heady hooks and lures of bassist Joe DeCarolisa and drummer Dave Cherasaro, all combining to infect the senses and passions with a thrilling toxicity, soon matched by the potent sweltering charms of H#TE and LUST. The first of the two worries melodic intervention and harmonic persuasion into breeding an acidic haze of bristling energy and punkish provocation whilst its successor emerges from a striking suggestion of intimidation through fine guitar rubs to enslave with sinister vocals and resonating noir clad mystery crafted by the combined inventive shadows of the band’s imagination.

The abrasive LORD lays down a softening expanse of reserved yet sure cold rabidity next before making way for the best song on the release, its title track. The song again makes its entrance on a shuffle of firm and addiction causing rhythms before opening its arms to a fire of surf rock heat and emotive enticement. A song Joy Division would have wished they had composed in their time, it is a sensational sultry suasion on the soul, a fascination fuelled sunset on the world and more. The beats of Cherasaro are pure hypnotism making a platform for the vocals and guitar caresses to singe and burn the senses and mind whilst the bass of DeCarolisa is a watcher egging everything on to its fiery climax.

LESS allows a breath to be taken with its reserved introduction before it too unveils bait that is impossible to resist, the bass conjuring a Cure like toxin that works on every synapse and emotion. With the vocals courting thoughts in their continuing to impress dark and grainy delivery, the song brings a garage rock lilt to its chorus before sitting back into that impossibly beckoning stance which set it deep into the passions initially.

The rapacious furnace BUG and the slowly crawling VEIL thrillingly finish off the outstanding release, setting a further charge of distinct and individual ingenuity to work on the passions. They simply confirm the thought and feeling throughout that Psychic Teens are quite possibly the best alchemists of sonic noise and post punk devilry today and definitely that the SRA Records released Come is one of the major treats of the year.

https://www.facebook.com/PsychicTeensNetwork

9.5/10

RingMaster 13/08/2013

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Hey Colossus – Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo

 

    HC Front    Fusing sonic manipulation, melodic discord, and compelling noise into an inventive and startling persuasion, UK band Hey Colossus has never stood still in stretching their and our boundaries, but with new album Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo the band has created their finest hour for possibly our most rewardingly intrusive pleasure. Released via MIE, the eighth album from the London/Somerset octet has evolved their previously unrelenting and arguably sadistic sonic furnace into a sound which still offers nothing less than delicious abrasion but now takes its time to envelope, seduce, and corrode the senses.

     Whether a coincidence or the spark to the shift in intent, the band has enlisted Part Chimp guitarist/vocalist Tim Cedar into their line-up on drums, his presence igniting a new and fresh energy within the existing potency.  Opening track Hot Grave immediately sets the scene, its grazing guitar rub and shimmering sonics a rough dazzle marking the start of pulsating rhythmic enticement and rousing flames of guitar. With a heavy swagger and intensive gait to match, the track churns up the senses with a stoner groove and an exhausting repetitive slow rhythmic entrapment glazed in similarly sculpted riffing. The vocals of Tim Farthing also have a caustic sway to their presence, their individual rough aural scars a blistering inducement to the hypnotic repeating prowl of the song. The crystalline enterprise which reaps the fumes of the uncompromising heavy stance adds another incendiary breath to the encounter and induces intrigue and magnetic compulsion from thoughts and emotions.

The following Oktave Dokkter seamlessly steps into place with a carnally driven bass which recalls early Killing Joke, as does the serpentine effected vocal squalling which walks the stalking rhythmic provocation. There is also an early Birthday Party psyche enterprise to the prowling cause of the song, whilst the noir spiced shadows are teeming with seedy whispers and devious temptation. Again the repetitive mesmerism from guitar and rhythm is as infectious as it is debilitating whilst the caustic ambience pervading all is an ominous and intimidating coating to the exhausting and rigorous embrace.

The album plays like one whole journey, an overwhelming encounter split into individual and distinctly unique parts, a satanic sonic jigsaw which corrupts and thrills on every level. How To Tell Time With Jesus is the pinnacle of this, its psychedelic drizzling within a sunset of sonic heat a smouldering entrancement which ripples with acidic veins around the continuing to impress rhythmic entrapment of Cedar. As with all songs the additives open up further flourishes and imaginative flames within the ingenuity, the punk vocal squalls and dub induced shimmering distortions a glorious and scintillating pattern. The singular gaits of elements across the surface of songs often belies the depth of craft and honed thought which bloom within the hearts of the compositions but reap the reward of the invention to accentuate their own particular potency.

Leather Lake is an intense and threatening doomy scourge with darkly melodic blisters and rapacious sonics which crawls over the synapses with insidious breathe whilst the following English Flesh is a maliciously coarse attrition which overwhelms the ear with cavernous hunger and a greedy intent vocally and sonically to ignite the passions further. The heavy electro sweep guiding the song is as addictive as the compromising swing of the malevolent groove at duplicative play, and all combined makes for a systematically ravaging seduction.

After the closing Pit and Hope and its reserved ambience and psychedelia rinsed suggestive embrace, the knowledge of how impressive and powerful this album is rifles through thoughts and emotions. Though it is not exactly an easy listen throughout the album undoubtedly is a magnetising encounter which evokes and provokes the strongest reactions and passions. Hey Colossus continues to lead the way with invasive and dramatically appealing sonic alchemy in the UK with Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo probably their finest conjuration yet.

https://www.facebook.com/heycolossus

9/10

RingMaster 04/04/2013

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