Feral Kizzy – Slick Little Girl

Phote by Luke Fisher

Phote by Luke Fisher

The debut album from Californian dark poppers Feral Kizzy is simply an aural playground, a landscape of musical roundabouts spinning through modern tenacity and invention and creative swings whooshing across eighties new wave and jangle pop. Slick Little Girl is soaked in originality and nostalgia, a mix providing a riveting and thrilling treat ultimately cast as something unique to the Long Beach quintet; and something very easy to get addicted to.

Formed in 2010, Feral Kizzy consists of five musicians uniting a rich variety of inspirations in the band’s sound. References have been made to Patti Smith, Concrete Blonde, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Cure, though the one band which comes to the fore more than most, whether an influence or not, is eighties US band Pylon, especially their first album Gyrate. As suggested all spices and essences are evolved into something new but there is certainly a potent and enjoyable similarity in textures, sound, and unpredictable invention. With some guest contributions from bassist Hannah Smith Keller and Hannah Blumenfeld (Jail Weddings, White Murder) on violin and cello, the five piece of vocalist Kizzy Kirk, keyboardist/vocalist Brenda Carsey, guitarist Johnny Lim, drummer Mike Meza, and bassist Kevin Gonzalez perpetually explore their and the listener’s imaginations within Slick Little Girl, and fair to say they leave major pleasure in their wake.

Opener Lapdog Apparition needs little time to lure ears and appetite with its potent charms, a thumping initial beat casting the first hook swiftly assisted by a jangle of guitar and the saucy shimmer of keys. Quickly into a magnetic stride the song swings along with sharp twists, subsequently slipping into a more fluid and mellower enticement then just as easily coming out of it and starting the cycle again. A tinge of the Au Pairs flirts with thoughts as it continues to dangle bait and enterprise through ears, though it is the delicious B-52s like detour which seals a lustful deal with emotions through its Rock Lobster like tease.

Feral-Kizzy-Slick-Little-Girl-Cover__RingMasterReview   The track is creatively irresistible, a major flirtation matched by the band’s new video/single Community Service. A throbbing Cure like bassline sets things in motions, whispers of guitar lining the entrance of vocals with Kirk alone an enthralling invitation and in union with Carsey, inescapable tempting. The song proceeds to spin a web of tantalising vocals and hooks as its rhythms offer a shadowed prowl against the more celestial flight of the keys. It is captivating stuff, an inventive weave of textures and melodic infection, with the description of Xmal Deutschland meets Throwing Muses and indeed Pylon a canny hint.

The Way We Are has a fine line in guitar jangle and spicy melodic imagination backed by another addictive dark rhythmic baiting from Meza and Gonzalez, whilst vocally a Debbie Harry like whisper clings to the expressive roar of Kirk. Matching the invention and lures, Carsey breeds a pungent waltz of persuasion with fingers on keys too, it all colluding in a busy and thick dance of jangle pop before making way for the melodic caress of Sally and the Emcee. A gentle saunter equipped with rawer, incisive edges, the song is a provocative croon which thickens with every passing chord and beat until filling air and ear like dense melodic smoke. It persistently smothers the senses and seeps into the psyche, seducing with increasing effect over every play.

With a similarly sculpted canvas Lament comes next quickly breeding its own distinct character with a bluesy tang and citric adventure of spatial keys. The track is mesmeric but with a fire in its belly leading to a feisty rock tenacity driven by masterful riffs and hooks from Lim. Again sounds from earlier decades entwine with a modern invention and freshness, culturing something as much psyche pop as it is punk rock. From one album pinnacle to another with the scuzzier Life Associates which straight away is a more forceful and rugged proposition through the snarl of bass and guitar alone. Again there is a punkish element to the song’s roar and a sultry kiss to the melodic endeavour on offer, something like Siouxsie and the Banshees merged with Martha and The Muffins a strong reference, though as across the release, songs come with Feral Kizzy originality which argues against any comparisons as much as it sparks them.

More blues bred twangs grip the guitar enterprise in Not My Mind, the spicy coaxing quickly engulfed in the melodic poetry of keys and attention grabbing vocals. Though it does not quite light the same rich fire in ears and thoughts as its predecessors, the track reveals yet another side and depth to the songwriting and invention of the band, its body a volcanic fusion of sounds and textures which never erupts but is a constantly imposing and gripping incitement unafraid to unleash the heat of its heart.

The Dinosaur flirts and sways with sixties garage pop captivation and indie rock mischief next, flirting with body and thoughts from start to finish and never relinquishing its tight vivacious hold until passing the listener over to the just as ingeniously compelling tempting of The Skin Is Thick. A darker but no less boldly imaginative encounter, the song winds around ears like a lithe temptress, constantly stirring up shadows and deep rooted instincts through heavy seductive tones of bass and enchanted keys spilled drama. With vocals also on a resourceful intent to enthral and enslave, the song makes an impressive and exciting warm-up act for the closing show stopper What Are You Doing? All the lures and creative theatre of its predecessor is taken to a new level, every second of the song a controlled but rich blaze of skilled and impassioned endeavour. It is an epic bellow from the imagination and creative depths of the band only enhanced further by the sensational presence of Kirk and the intense incitement of the orchestral coloured strings, their spicy lure bringing echoes of Sex Gang Children back in the day.

Feral Kizzy is superb at uniting slim and often repetitive textures with thick tapestries of ingeniously woven enterprise, the last song epitomising that craft and success which flows across the whole of Slick Little Girl. The album is a thrilling adventure; one bred across the years in many ways but solely of the now, and Feral Kizzy a band surely looking at big things ahead.

Slick Little Girl is available from June 26th on LP/CD/Tape/Digital via eliterecords @ http://www.eliterecords.de/#!webshop/cst1

http://www.facebook.com/feralkizzy   http://www.feralkizzy.com

RingMaster 25/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ann Scott – Venus To The Sky

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Wrapped in the warm and mesmeric tones of Irish singer songwriter Ann Scott from within songs which equally transfix with seductive elegance and smouldering beauty upon her latest release, it is very easy to see why the artist has been richly acclaimed in her homeland and beyond. Her new album Venus To The Sky is a magnetic persuasion, one which toys with and evokes the imagination into exploring self-reflective climes as well as those offered from inside the ten track evocation. It is a masterful release which has attention and emotions lit from start to finish, and appetite for the darkly sirenesque charms of Scott dipped in hunger.

From her well-received debut album Poor Horse, Dubliner Scott has been no stranger to acclaim as she forged a position of being one of the Ireland’s most creative and unique emerging artists. Her blend of folk and indie pop imagination has seen her twice nominated in the best female category for the Irish Meteor Awards and the albums We’re Smiling and Flo garnering her an ever increasing and potent critical acclaim and greedily growing fan base. Live she has also earned a striking reputation, the sharing of stages with the likes of Patti Smith, Howe Gelb, and Fairport Convention whilst her collaborative projects and touring duties with a great many has only increased her stature. Fourth album Venus To The Sky finds Scott fronting a full band and stepping in to even greater pastures of shadowed aural dreamlike textures and lyrical adventure. Co-produced with Karl Odlum and with a line-up of Dave Hingerty, Kim Porcelli, Katherine Atkinson, Gemma Hayes, and Katell Keineg helping bring her songs into compelling realisation, the album makes a thrilling persuasion which plays within the realms of riveting to irresistible with every breath it takes.

The song Hoola opens up the release with bewitching guitar crafted ambience and a slowly beckoning melodic invitation. It is instantly a Ann-Scotthaunting lure to which attention is inevitable and full focus given once the vocals of Scott enter to caress the ears. Her voice is a smooth and mouth-watering melodic flame but one which is emphasised even more in other tracks as having keen adventure to its invention like her music. With repetition a contagious air to a harmonically droning enchantment the track is an enthralling start for the album one which is lifted another level by the following You To Me. A lone guitar strokes the ears first before soon being joined by Scott, her voice finding an organic texture which is as honest as the narrative it portrays. With restrained military rhythmic juggling skirting the vocals and guitar, there is an undefined familiarity about the song which adds to its instant appeal whilst the building spires of rock bred emotive and intensive melodic fire only provides a stronger pleasure to eagerly enjoy.

Both Unite and Stripes offer their individual temptations to continue the grip of the album. The first has an atmospheric embrace and impacting emotional wash which reminds of the A Forest era of The Cure. Aligned to the vocals which play like a mix of Tanya Donelly and Dolores O’Riordan, the song again pushes levels to be backed firmly by its successor, the track a melodic flight with a plumage of melancholic strings and harmonic grace which dances tenderly with the senses whilst coaxing the imagination into a delicious seduction.

The opening bass sway of Joy again reminds of The Cure in many ways, its throaty respect the major vein to a weave of emerging poignant stimulation which again hold senses and thoughts tightly. Like the album it is fair to say it is a bit of a slow burner, more textures and shadows being discovered the more company you allow it with greater awards given in return. It is the same with the sultry simmer of Coming Up and the slow winding kisses of For The First Time, the two songs offering a mesmeric contact which is only a tip of their depths and need time to immerse within, something easy to do such the initial arousing allurement they tease with.

Solemn is another track which took time to fully persuade, its country laced folk bait not immediately convincing for personal tastes but the song evolving from there, whilst still employing that spice, into a wholly enticing encounter with guitars and vocals especially beguiling. There is no need to wait for the glory of next up All About Love to engulf ears and passions. The song is a magnificent slice of enchanted pop, its golden breeze of melodic wonder a breath-stealing sunset of craft and ingenious enterprise which seduces the emotions into an evocative frenzy of pop alchemy. It is easily the best moment on the album in an expanse of only impressive songs and alone shows why Scott is thought of as one of the most exciting emerging artists.

Completed by the celestial dream cast fascination of Stars, the song a final enchantment, Venus To The Sky is a full bodied temptress which leaves only intensive pleasure in its wake. Though the album never explodes into the fire it sometimes suggests is waiting, Ann Scott leaves satisfaction full to the brim with songs which tell the most arresting stories lyrically and musically.

http://www.annscott.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mike Tyler – Money Grows on Your Knees

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    Money Grows On Your Knees the new single from poet and musician Mike Tyler is a deceptive little tease, a song which left indecision during certainly its first and even second excursion through the ear  but all the while was working away and laying a hook which emerged again and again well away from its source. It is an addictive little creature which though still coated in a less than stable opinion is like a tic which is almost impossible to remove from thoughts and imagination.

Taken from his well-received album Erection of last year, the first thing to note and praise about the release is its packaging. Coming in a 7” green vinyl/CD bundle with a sleeve design complete with jigsaw front and lyric sheet back, the single takes one right back to the late seventies/early eighties when sleeve design and imagination was as rife and vibrant as the sounds they enclosed. It is an instant clutch of strong points on the board for The Art Can Not Be Damaged released single. It is also very apt for the artist from New York. Mentored in a bar by the poet Delmore Schwartz, Patti Smith, and Tom Verlaine of Television, Tyler has sculpted interest, respect, and inspiration with his words within others. World famous graffiti-smith Banksy stencilled his words “only the ridiculous survive” outside Paddington Station in London whilst Beck also was inspired by his charismatic pull when honing his song writing craft. Tyler became known as The Most Dangerous Poet in America after breaking his arm during a reading, and his poem The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language has found its place on the blogs, MySpace pages, and Facebook walls of a great many, not to mention fridge doors. He is a puzzle in many ways, an intricate confusion which the packaging of the single perfectly hints to and to further give relevance of the artwork the artist talks about his single by saying “My new single is such a lopsided seductive beast. Deep deep bass with a pop frosting and a growling lead yawp. It can be kind of sweet in places and then a dungeon-door-slamming-echoed-thud takes over; a contradiction in tones. It’s the boiled pot of the gumbo stew of black and white that is America; greed and innocence, joy and exhausted hustle. Might explain why we decided the packaging of the single would include an actual puzzle.

Money Grows on Your Knees instantly punches the air with heavy pressing beats soon joined by great expressive keys and the straight face vocals of Tyler. He is not a natural vocalist, his spoken word delivery a dulled edge to the vibrancy of the music but it soon persuades the longer the track plays with the ear. The persistence of the rhythmic seduction and equally tempting bass is near irresistible whilst the keys craft a warm engagement which holds the hand as the songs opens up its summer framed by additional vocals from a sirenesque female voice and singing from Tyler both standing behind his core gait of delivery. As one would expect the lyrics make you think without needing to spend over time evaluating their coaxing narrative whilst the brassy bellows of the synths are like small fanfares in the sultriness of the song’s skies. An encounter easily described as Jonathan Richman meets Jona Lewie whilst John Otway and Mike Doughty add their support, it has proved its dangerous contagiousness as whilst writing the review up to this point and listening to its throughout,  Money Grows on Your Knees has provided  a conclusive argument and won its case…or maybe just worn down the defences, whichever it is a devious little treat.

Accompanying the song on the single is Corny Song, a new track from Tyler. Energetic and mischievous the song was inspired by a show in the UK where he was promoting the Erection album. It like the first is not an instant draw and has yet to convince but again it lingers and teases long past its expiry time.

For quirky, unpolished, and honest indie/pop devilment the single is well worth a fun filled amble with, but be warned it will not be leaving you alone from that point on.

http://www.cutepoet.com/

7/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

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Roxanne De Bastion – The Real Thing

Roxanne

In an interview between us and singer songwriter Roxanne De Bastion held after the release of her riveting debut single Red And White Blood Cells, the artist when asked about her first album said it was a collection of songs with numerous characters and styles involved within their breath. The release of The Real Thing more than lives up to her words its wealth of evocative and emotive tracks taking their own individual journeys towards providing a constant richness of quality and pleasure. The single only hinted at the range of expressive depths and musical voices upon the album, the song itself a wonderful ‘cuckoo’ within a varied and captivating clutch of mesmeric ideas and songs.

Born and raised in Berlin, Roxanne moved to the UK after finishing school on a one-way ticket in 2007. The following years saw her continue to develop her craft and creativity whilst travelling all over the country to play shows , her nomadic approach to music giving her many musical bases and a strongly brewing following. As mentioned her first single drew great and potent responses from fans and media with its striking presence and made the anticipation for her first album eager and excitable. Released on her own Nomad Songs label, The Real Thing was recorded with producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor) in Berlin and brings ten inspiring and graciously caressing songs to the passions. It is a release which also holds shadows within its vocal and emotional touch whilst the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Regina Spektor, and Judee Sill, just some of her potent  musical inspirations, are at times open whispers within her already unique stance.

The album catches the ear with 1964 first of all, its simple acoustic guitar and vocal union an upbeat smile upon the senses with a the_real_thing_coverknowing understanding of how to invite and seduce interest alongside the emotions without making an overstated entrance. The vocal harmonies bring extra warmth to the already wonderfully persuasive tones of Roxanne and though the whistling for personal preferences throws a slight unbalance to the flowing charm of the song, it is a brief aside before the track reasserts its compelling hold.

The following Here’s Tom With The Weather brings a slower walk across the ear, the guitar of Roxanne adding to the narrative painting of lyrics and vocals whilst the touch of the keys add light kisses upon the brow of the song. It is a delightful melodic embrace which sets up the appearance of new single Some Kind of Creature perfectly. The song has an even stronger folk pop lilt to its warm tones than with the earlier songs as well as an open sinew to the vocals and its energy. The Hammond sounds paint an emotive atmosphere behind and around the striking vocals whilst like the first and despite the strong shadows which makes suggestions within words and shaded corners of the track, it has a vibrant and lively stroll to its heart.

The raw Empty Space with its slightly smothered but effective sheltered sound makes way for the excellent Red And White Blood Cells. With a core presence which can be described as The Pixies meets Patti Smith with Belly and the Young Marble Giants adding their unique flavours, the song has a magnetic electric guitar tease stroke niggle which across the song builds and excites itself into a sonic crescendo of energy and eagerness whilst vocally Roxanne is like the angel and devil on the shoulder of the track stroking mischief and beauty with equal clarity. It stands wide apart from the other songs in its individuality and shows even stronger width to the variety at play from the artist.

Both The Life I Lead and Handwriting, in again individual ways, engage the ear and thoughts with accomplished craft and ease, as does the slightly plaintive Somewhere upon Avon before the pinnacle of the album steps forward for the greatest seduction of the release. My Shield begins with a subdued caress of vocals and guitar, the spine and impressive stance of all songs on the album, but then allows hearty beats to add their intriguing touch. At this point the piece certainly has senses and attention riveted but it is when the strings unveil their emotive beauty that a new rapture is ignited. The melancholic yet radiant voices of the cello and violin expand into even more potent wraps and aural beauty bringing every emotive essence from the lyrical narrative and vocal deliverance to irresistible witness.

Closing with the gentle cradle of the title track, The Real Thing is an enchanting and passion capturing treat. The songs recorded as a live capture reaping every ounce of emotive value and musical imagination from their hearts for a mix of styles which leave the purest satisfaction. A must listen from one impressive emerging talent.

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

8/10

RingMaster 18/04/2013

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The Creeping Ivies: Stay Wild

Having been left in rapture by their previous EP Ghost Train earlier this year, the anticipation and excitement going into Stay Wild, the debut album from Scottish rock n rollers The Creeping Ivies, was near on immeasurable. Admittedly it would have had to be a car crash of apocalyptic proportions not to have found approval, but the ten track psyche buzzbombs, to steal one of their song titles, took existing expectations and hopes and elevated them into a debauchery of passion. Stay Sick is a stunning irrepressible feast of wickedness which could grace any dance floor, riotous party, or waking graveyard.

The Creeping Ivies consists of the powerful inciting vocals and carnal riffs of Becca Bomb alongside the senses slapping, primal incendiary beats of Duncan Destruction, a duo which ignites primitive urges and raw hunger for their challenging and insatiably thrilling sounds. Together they brew up a storm which plays like the bastard sonic offspring of an illicit engagement between The Cramps, Wanda Jackson, The Orson Family, Patti Smith, and Ray Campi, whilst being violated by Alien Sex Fiend. It is an unforgettable and unique cacophony of instinctive mischief bringing the fullest most invigorating rewards.

Debut EP Rock N Roll Party in November 2011 was their first full statement of intent, though the song Shake It Up had already inspired acclaim and strong responses to the band with its appearances on a couple of compilation albums. The band also landed good airplay around the world which accelerated with the Ghost Train EP, including being featured on The Bone Orchard podcast. Shows alongside Viv Albertine of The Slits and Vic Godard & Subway Sect, as well as their own gigs have only gone to place the band as one of the most exciting in the UK, something which Stay Wild will surely turn into worldwide recognition with deserved luck.  Released on December 10th as a vinyl/download through US label Dead Beat Records, the album is a simple yet powerful trip to orgasmic satisfaction.

The album opens with the magnificent Black Cat, a track with a groove which has you scouring rooftops for the Caped Crusader and an honest swagger inviting full participation. The uncomplicated gait of the song is hypnotic enough but with the sonic scrubbing which explodes out and scorches the ear intermittently, adoration is the only outcome. The vocals of Becca demand attention as firmly as her guitar lashes, and standing side by side with the thumping rhythms of Duncan, the pair scar the air and senses with a delicious assault of lustful irreverence.

The feisty stomp of Buzzbomb rampages over the sores caused by the opener with garage punk/rockabilly energy and punchy enterprise. Carrying a spice of The Stooges, Ramones, and The Creepshow to its gait, the song is a storming treat of public disorder combined with sonic revelry and showing the variety of sound and imagination which screams out from within the album.

Madhouse Blues and Mirror Mirror step up next to fire up the passions, the first a flow of caustic strokes from Becca around her wonderfully expressive and synapse scorching vocals. The track has a punk breath to its repetitive and salty touches which steps into numerous realms of genres whilst firmly borne of the first seeds of rock n roll. It is a persistent treat taking no prisoners with its corrosive intent and sets up the second of the two with its throaty tones and ‘banshee’ squalls perfectly. The track transported thoughts to Korean horror film Into the Mirror for some reason, probably due to the The 5,6,7,8’s like spicery of the song and the sharp tingling sonics which enflame the heart throughout.

Every track on the album is a triumph and inspires the same level of wanton devotion; songs like the brilliant punk n roller Spinning, a track which is as spicy and seductive as sex, the sensational echoing tank slapper Bop Like That, the slower but equally compelling song The World, and the steamy House of Ivy, all staggering examples of the uncluttered inventive mastery and brilliance on show. The latter is a raucous maelstrom of feverish energy and body rapping beats, a sadistically teasing psychobilly binge with whispers of L7 and Bone Orchard to its striding exploits.

Completed by Rock N Roll Ghost, a song which devours the heart like a fusion of the Misfits and Horrorpops, and the final exhilarating bruising encounter of the closing title track, the sigh of deep pleasure is audible at its end and the rush to press the play button again to the whole feast of magic beyond eager. Stay Wild is simply astounding and if this was to be the only music to soundtrack the rest of our lives there would only be greedy acceptance and joy.

http://thecreepingivies.com

RingMaster 21/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Roxanne de Bastion: Red & White Blood Cells

With an album on the horizon it is never a bad thing to tease the world with a track which is startling and unique from it before its arrival. This is just what singer songwriter Roxanne de Bastion has done with the song Red & White Blood Cells. Not only is it the first flavour from her upcoming debut, it is a track which you just cannot ignore or resist, an unpredictable barbed hook to lure one to her quirky sounds and an album which one can only assume will be the same.

Playing her first gigs at ten and writing her own songs at the age of 15, Roxanne set out on her own with guitar in hand from Berlin to London. Though not knowing anyone she was soon playing as many open mic nights, venues, and bars as she could and travelling the country via bus and trains to reach and perform  in as many places as possible. With a growing reputation she was soon being asked back to venues across the UK, Germany, and the United States. Her bio states heroes include John Lennon, Ray Davies, Bob Dylan, and Judee Sill, but as the song shows musically she reaps and blooms a sound which is distilled from varied distinctive sources twisted into her own simple and inciteful sound.

The track opens with a persistent guitar tease which threatens to niggle but instead offers an magnetic aural finger like beckoning which in its simplistic intent is irresistible. It is the perfect companion to the voice of Roxanne, her tones angelic and devilish at the same time. She croons whilst grabbing at words to deliver them with a bite yet soothing directness to have ear and attention only focused on her and the song. Whether representative of what her album will bring time will tell, but Red & White Blood Cells taunts the ear with a touch of The Pixies, Belly, and Young Marble Giants wrapped in the punk breath of Patti Smith and easily ensures the forthcoming album will be paid plenty of attention here.

Barely two minutes long the track ends on a crescendo of fiery guitar sonics and abrasive energy to complete the capture of imagination and enthused intrigue. Produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor), the track more than hints as to why Roxanne has found a firmly growing success and with the release of her album early next year you can only see her finding even greater ardour wrapping around her music.

Red & White Blood Cells is available for free download from http://roxannedebastion.bandcamp.com/track/red-and-white-blood-cells

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

RingMaster 16/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright