Powerman 5000 – New Wave

Since first album The Blood-Splat Rating System was uncaged in 1995, it has been so easy to form a soft spot for the metal exploits of Powerman 5000 and all the reasons why are there blazing away in new album New Wave. Across nine studio full-lengths, the band has aroused and stirred the imagination in varyingly successful degrees but always left a potent impact on personal pleasure, their new offering hitting that mark with ease once again. Whether New Wave is their best proposition to date or indeed their most unique we will leave others to debate; as to whether it is one of their most exhilarating and addictive incitements there is nothing to question.

Though metal bred, Powerman 5000 has always felt as much punk rock in tone and attitude as any more recognisable punk ‘n’ roll proposals; an air which is at its most vocal within New Wave. The album opens with Footsteps and Voices, its electro instincts teasing and tempting as rhythms and vocal chants gather in the industrial background. In no time though, the track is strolling along with a muscular swagger, vocalist Spider One the ringmaster ready to share his spirit rousing rap as the rhythmic shuffle of drummer DJ Rattan and bassist Murv Douglas flirt with the electronic revelry. Like a fusion of Marilyn Manson and Hed (PE) but uniquely Powerman 5000, the track has the body bouncing and vocal chords hollering; its rock ‘n’ roll inescapable bait.

The following Hostage is just as manipulative, again bringing all its virulent aspects together before leaping into a contagious canter with biting beats aligned to compelling grooves and riffs cast by the guitars of Ty Oliver and Ryan Hernandez. Submission and involvement with its epidemic of enterprise and incitement is unavoidable and liberating as the track’s punk fervour takes hold before exhaustion soaked pleasure is passed onto and emulated by the band’s latest single. The warped love affair of Sid Vicious in a Dress lives up to its theme in sound, a psyche twisting infestation only leading to addiction as heavy grooves and rapacious riffery unites with the rapier swings of Rattan and Douglas’ bass grumble. As its predecessor, the song’s catchiness and ear arousing antics are viral, a toxic sonic trespass leading to dependency from which escape is not an option. There are plenty of familiar aspects to the track and all adding to its forceful persuasion upon body and spirit.

 The electro waltz of David F**king Bowie is no mean spirit in stirring ears or appetite either, its gait and energy a calmer but lively instigator swiftly tempting forceful participation from vocal chords. Its celestial meanders allow a breath to be taken though equally it leads to a hankering to be back romping which the song subsequently provides before Spider stands centre stage to call on ears and his flock with Cult Leader. An anthemic hard rock meets glam punk roar again very difficult not to get caught up in it does lacks some of the unique sparks of its predecessors but leaves the listener wanting little.

The alluring balladry of No White Flags settles the charge of the album but not the rich attention it continues to earn; the song a tantalising mix of melodic alternative metal and heavy rock while Thank God is a gloriously irritable slab of nu-metal lined punk metal as raw and antagonistic as it is uncontrollably contagious. One minute plus of primal temptation it sets yet another lofty marker in the landscape of New Wave, one teased if not hit by successor Die on Your Feet, a song of typical yet openly individual Powerman 5000 enterprise carrying all their established traits in its scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll blaze.

Get a Life steals the passion next with its prowling Dope/Rob Zombie-esque taunting. The track hints at and flirts with an instinctive tempest but keeps it restrained to only further seduce. That volcanic eruption never does not really escape even as the song expels a more tempestuous energy and aggression in its riveting stalking, again though this only adding to its show stealing majesty.

The album concludes with Run for Your Life, an electro rock nurtured, groove swinging slice of infection which in no time has hips swaying as feet and spirit dance. At times there is whiff of Ministry before Al Jourgensen turned his synth pop industrial metal to the song which potently colours up the Powerman 5000 creative theatre working away on the imagination. As it departs with a clunky abruptness you wonder if the song was a late addition or originally meant as a hidden treat, or indeed maybe a clue from the band of things to come, but it is a welcome and thoroughly enjoyable addition which lingers as much as any other gem within New Wave, an album which declares Powerman 5000 as essential as they have ever been.

New Wave is out now via Pavement Music across most online stores.

http://www.powerman5000.com    https://www.facebook.com/officialpowerman5000/

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Refuelling the snarl: chewing the Sonick Plague flesh with Ken Cuccaro

Ken_RingMaster Review

Already this year, many old treats and classics which were lost to the radar of the many originally, have been unleashed again on the metal scene from decades past. Many of the bands are seeing a new lease of life and one certainly looking like re-igniting a previous blaze and more is West Virginian thrashers Sonick Plague. Linking up with Pavement Music, the band has re-recorded and re-energized their 1988 debut album What’s the Purpose, breathing new ravenous breath into it as it comes now as a self-titled proposal. We as so many missed the band and record first time around and were caught by surprise by the new release because of it. Now all we want is to hear and know more, so with thanks drummer Ken Cuccaro who kindly sat down to indulge our nosiness, we explored band, album, and plenty more…

Hello Ken and many thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

The band has just re-released 1988 debut What’s the Purpose via Pavement Music; but not just set the same version free again or simply re-mastered it as so many old encounters being uncaged again are, but re-recorded it. Was there a particular reason for going down that route?

We really needed to. The first one sounded pretty bad, we lost the masters and really just wanted to start fresh again. It’s very much like giving the old stuff a shower.

SP_RingMaster ReviewDid you look at the songs any differently for the fresh recordings from first time around and they take on a new relevance for you when approaching them?

I wouldn’t say we looked at them differently, but as far as new relevance absolutely! Damn a lot’s happened in 30 years! I’m laughing my ass off right now because of how we approached them. Very carefully, like sneaking up on a gator. We had to make sure we could still play that stuff. Although we all kept playing over the years we’re older and beat up. Hell poor Sean had 2 broke feet when we first got back together.

Obviously technology has changed over the decades. Did you make particular use of modern possibilities in recording the songs or went for a more raw and organic approach to again and successfully ignite the same vital character of their first appearance?

We went for the more organic thing. We played live in the studio and really wanted to try to capture the energy again. There were definitely some modern amenities [the studio did have a great blender] we used but not too much. We didn’t want it to sound robotic and triggered, and all that shit. Not knocking anybody’s stuff, I just personally feel the metal and thrash stuff now is so electronic, click tracked, and feels the same. Some of these guys are awesome but everything sounds the same and is just so cut up. Again not knocking their musicianship there are so many great bands out. Right now there’s a guy reading this saying “these guys are so fu@#$kin old they don’t even know how to use the shit and they suck!” That’s ok; we probably could still kick your ass. I think the people that listen to this stuff want to feel that energy and little variations in the music, it makes it human. We recorded at the Carriage House Studio the place was incredible.

Apart from the obvious change in sound quality etc. did anything else brew up in songs when recording the new versions which maybe was unexpected or added something different to additionally enjoy?

I only know one way to play ‘em. Chuck and Matt put their own stink on it. I personally was shocked how well Sean’s voice held up over the years he can still belt it out. But all in all we kept it very close.

Obviously the original recording of the album was with guitarist Tony Teodoro in the band. Sadly he died a few years ago. Did you find there was some emotional intensity around the new recordings because of his passing and presence first time around?

Absolutely! Me personally whenever I get an ache or pain I think of what he went through, it kept me going. I don’t think anybody in the band didn’t think of him every day we were recording this.

It was his death, which the press release said, brought the three of you together again and talking music, the band eventually to full strength with the addition of Matt Dupre. Was that indeed the spark or were there already thoughts of maybe reuniting in maybe one or two of you?

No that was it. That got us talking about it again. It’s strange how a tragedy can change things.

The new album is simultaneously a reminder, revisit, and introduction to Sonick Plague for fans old and new. Is it also any sort of teaser to the new songs and sounds you guys are working on?album-cover-_RingMaster Review

Well sort of, we still got some tricks up our sleeves. That was kinda what we had in mind, turn some new people on to our old stuff and some of the old timers on to our new stuff. A lot depends on the listeners, if we’re lucky enough for them to like it we’ll do some more…Maybe in less than 30 years.

Can you give us any clues as to what you next release and songs will offer? Any spoilers?

I’m not going to tell you shit. It’s a surprise!! It’s definitely heavy metal rock and roll. You can get sweaty to it with your girl.

Between the two periods of the band, how musically were all your times taken up?

We all played in different bands, definitely kept playing and raising our kids. Myself I did a lot of hunting and a retreat in New Zealand where I was taught the ways of a true warrior killer. I had to do it for work. They wouldn’t use me as an extra on the Lord of the Rings set. I was sad about that.

Are these experiences you would say have impacted or certainly are spicing up the heart and nature of your new tracks?

The warrior thing yes. The guys are in constant fear of my wrath. I could snap any of their necks in a second for no reason what so ever. We all still have a lot to be pissed about and we’re broke. That’s what keeps us young and energized.

There is no denying something very familiar to the album yet that comes from the bands and releases filling ears and lighting appetites since the songs were first impacting on the thrash scene. Has it frustrated that some others have found greater recognition with a sound you all helped originate way back and which has obviously inspired them?

I’m asked that a lot. I wouldn’t say frustrated …yea let’s stick with frustrated. We worked our asses off, but it is what it is. I wouldn’t have minded making a living playing drums but things happen for a reason. I’m not pissed that other people “made it” I think it’s cool whenever anybody gets success in what they’re doing. I just find it extremely sad that nobody picked up any of the great bands in Connecticut back in the day. You had Liege Lord, Skeletal Ambitions, Disaster, Forced Reality, our old touring buddies Lost Generation, that’s not even scratching the surface. It seemed if you weren’t from the bay area they didn’t want to know you. It’s too bad there were some great music people missed out on. Maybe we should have switched to rap.

How did the link up with Pavement come about?

Chuck busted his ass hookin’ this stuff up. He’s the motor, our little energizer bunny. He never stops working at this. Pavement has been incredible, great bunch of guys.

SP2_RingMaster ReviewThe live side of Sonick Plague is as alive as the recording side?

Better! I always thought we we’re a workin’ man’s band. I love that energy you can only get from a crowd.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

We’ll see. It’s our middle aged crisis experiment. It really depends how the music sells. Hopefully people will dig hearing our old brand of thrash. I know we’re having fun playing again.

Once again thanks so much for chatting with us, anything you would like to add before we let you go?

YUP! Thank you so much to all the people who are still showing an interest in this band this has been really cool! I never thought in a million years people would even remember us. We wouldn’t be shit if it weren’t for all the great people in the metal community. Its guys like you who keep this stuff pumping. THANKS

https://www.facebook.com/sonickplague    http://www.sonickplague.com/

Read the review of the Sonick Plague album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/sonick-plague-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Sonick Plague – Self Titled

SP6_RingMaster Review

You have to be grateful to Sonick Plague and Pavement Music for bringing us not only a blast from the band’s past but giving it a fresh breath and energy, though it is easy to suspect a straight release of their 1988 debut album would have been a treat too for those us missing it first time around. The West Virginian thrashers though have re-recorded and re-energized that rampage, originally titled What’s the Purpose, and uncaged it as a self-titled offering and attention filler whilst the band works on new material. It is old school thrash dosed up with punk and classic metal ferocity, and yes the band’s sound has been emulated, reworked, and twisted many times over the years since Sonick Plague unleashed their album, but still the songs just stir up ears and appetite.

Formed in 1984, the band’s first ‘memorable’ line-up of Ken Cuccaro (drums) and Tim Meehan (guitars), alongside Tony Teodoro (guitars) and Sean Donnelly (bass, vocals) came a few years later, the four behind the band’s 1988 debut album. Though it swiftly gained hordes of new fans and attention, not long after it’s unveiling, Meehan left the band to be subsequently replaced by guitarist Chuck Crilly. From there Sonick Plague undertook their own self-supported tour and shared stages with the likes of Death Angel, Voivod, Gwar, Pantera, Ludichrist, Crumbsuckers and many more. The intensity of that tour and surrounding shows saw the band’s stability shaken, and after a few unsuccessful line-up changes the band parted. It was apparently the sad passing of Teodoro in 2012 that sparked Cuccaro, Donnelly, and Crilly to begin talking musical things again, and with the addition of Matt Dupre, Sonick Plague reformed and set about re-recording their first offering.

album-cover-_RingMaster Review     Recorded at the legendary Carriage House Studios, the album quickly gets down to business with Street Wars. An alluring melodic entrance gives no indication of the sonic rioting to come but it does wake up ears and imagination nicely. Increasing its muscle and drama with every passing chord, riff, and spiky beat, the track eventually hits full steam, the vocals of Donnelly ripe with attitude and aggression. We are as many, not able to bring a comparison to the first version of the album but it is hard to imagine his delivery being any more potent first time around. Musically, with age and maturity involved, you can assume the release also has a richer and thicker body, and certainly the opener rumbles and grumbles as if old school thrash was a fresh proposition.

The great starts continues with My Gun, the throaty bass of Donnelly a great coaxing alongside the virulence of driving riffs and concussive swings cast by Dupre, Crilly, and Cuccaro respectively. Settling with an attack somewhere between a lively prowl and an all-out charge, the track bites and snarls whilst a solo lights the air. Of course we have heard this all before in many ways, but from those coming after and being inspired by Sonick Plague and the bands around them in the eighties, and a great many of them definitely labour to make the same highly satisfying assaults as the reworked but undiluted proposals offer on this release.

Both AA and I Don’t Want to Relax churn up air and the senses, the first with a rabid nagging of riffs and crisp beats led by the grouchy tones of Donnelly, and its successor through its military and Celtic teased imagination. The second of the two is pure anthem, enslaving from its opening contagious moments to and across a ravenous landscape of psychotic grooves and quarrelsome riffing speared by rhythms as hellacious as they are viciously precise. The track is thrash bred but simply rock ‘n’ roll in its most irresistible form, and easily our favourite, and probably the best track on the album, despite many challengers. Its punkish character also adds to the anarchic glory before making way for the crushing yet infectiously tempting turbulence of View of Death and straight after the middle finger growl of One Swift Kick. Each keeps body and appetite greedy, the first with its predatory and unrelenting gnawing at the senses and the second courtesy of a deliciously bestial bass sound and another scourge of heavy niggling riffs and contagion spilling grooves; the mesmeric melodic oasis deep into its tempest is pretty juicy too. The track stands aside I Don’t Want to Relax as the pinnacles of the album, each the perfect invitation to newcomers to Sonick Plague past and present.

The pair of Misc Bullshit, with its classic metal hued enterprise within another savaging embrace, and finally NRG brings the album to a great close. The last track simply brawls with the listener vocally and musically, leaving no attitude coated stone unturned in its tenacious and uncompromising carnage, and both songs again showing plenty of accomplished and inventive touches not always fuelled by hostility.

As mentioned we cannot say how much the songs have changed during their re-recording etc. but there is no denying the unfussy but skilled craft and technical ability set loose. This is certainly an album in many ways you already know thanks to those who have followed over the years employing the sounds Sonick Plague and their like inspired originally. It is going to be interesting how the band’s new songs shape up, but easy to suspect they will also offer a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Sonick Plague is available now digitally via Pavement Music and on CD @ https://squareup.com/market/sonickplague/sonick-plague-cd

https://www.facebook.com/sonickplague   http://www.sonickplague.com/

RingMaster 28/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net