The Chewers – Downhill Calendar

Defying the claws of pigeonholes and predictability with even greater relish and mischief, US duo The Chewers release their new album in the devilish shape of Downhill Calendar. Off kilter rock is pretty much what the band calls its sound and more than anything echoes the captivating web of styles and flavours making up their new release and rock n’ roll.

The Chewers is the creation of Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, both West Virginia bred who by chance eventually met up having individually relocated to Nashville. 2010 saw the release of debut album Every Drop Disorganized and the raw seeds of the sound and humour which has grown over subsequent releases and now boldly flourishes within fourth full-length Downhill Calendar.

I’m Getting Thinner starts things off and within its seven plus minutes of captivation entangles a host of flavours from art/avant rock to post and raw punk through to noise and experimental rock. Immediately bass and drums lay down a repetitive lure smothered in sonic lacing and rising acidic grooves. The rhythmic core of the song echoes the prowess of Gang of Four, its sonic side also hinting but expelling a more feral touch and intent. There is an instinctive nagging at the heart of the song, rhythms its main fuel, which epitomises all album tracks; each song almost harassing attention but rewarding with contagion loaded enterprise matched by the lyrical agility and magnetic delivery of the vocals.

Never a labour only an addictive pleasure even at its extensive length, the excellent opener hands ears and imagination over to the following Skin Stay Thin. Its first breath brings an inescapable swing which again is as primal and raw as it is compelling and manipulative. Hooks and grooves spring like leeches at the imagination, a mischievous edge to them all recalling the creative antics of former PiL/Killing Joke/Pigface member Martin Atkins in his Brian Brain guise. Becoming more caustic by the moment it in turn makes way for the electro /noise punk courting of Where Is the Fun?, those wonderfully infernal rhythms again worming under the skin and into hips within seconds. Vocals, words, and guitar swiftly entwine and saunter across that rhythmic incitement, the latter embracing blues grazing to its melodic vines and funk nurtured swings.

 Rat Belly crawls through ears next; squirts of brass radiating on its heavy infection loaded lumber. With the song’s step never accelerating, the guitar scorches its flesh as electronic resonance brings its own dark dissonance. Bordering on bedlam but just managing to restrain its mania, the track pretty much slips into the psyche trapping Frankie’s Downhill Calendar. Once more drums lead the incursion, their instinctive agility a puppeteer to physical involvement and a rock ‘n’ roll appetite as the creative toxicity of guitar and imagination sear song and senses alike. As vocals once more unearth their own regular magnetism eighties post punk hues please and intimate but only adding to the individual sound of The Chewers.

Without quite sparking the same ardour for its predecessors Yo Yellow Pig still got attention locked in with its mischief coated swing and blues nurtured causticity while the excellent Then There’s Me offers a corroded blues rock canter as seductively elegant as it is openly mordant.

Both tracks trapped attention with ease leaving I Let the Stooge Loose to bring things to a close with its untamed but masterfully mercurial rock ‘n’ roll. Not only to the closing track but The Chewers’ sound in general, there is a sense of bands like Pere Ubu, Powersolo, and The Residents to its character but as the song proves all essences in something unique to The Chewers.

So if you are looking for rock n’ roll in its most “off Kilter” adventure then Downhill Calendar is a must exploration, indeed one for all fans of the flavours The Chewers twist, corrupt, and use so enjoyably.

Downhill Calendar is available now @ https://thechewers.bandcamp.com/album/downhill-calendar

https://www.facebook.com/thechewers/

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eureka California – Roadrunners

With their 2016 album Versus one of our favourite encounters in recent times, there is always certain anticipation here when the name Eureka California crops up. What that album maybe lacked in uniqueness it more than made up in imagination and individual enterprise. Now its successor Roadrunners has arrived to explore real originality in sound whilst accentuating the band’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll clamour and rumble amidst fresh intricacy of invention.

Consisting of the vocal and jangling sonic rapacity of Jake Ward and the rhythmic manipulation of Marie A. Uhler, Eureka California has become one of rock’s keenly embraced propositions over the decade and a year since first emerging from Athens, Georgia. Across their three previous albums, the duo’s garage rock/pop has evolved with their craft and experiences. Last year saw the release of the Wigwam EP, a proposal which blended a new rawness with the punk like aggression of Versus. It also suggested a greater subtlety and technicality to their writing and sound which has now been given its head within Roadrunners. That raw edge of the EP is less pronounced but still an ear grabbing texture in the band’s new release. It all makes for a proposition which maybe took longer to take to, compared to its predecessor, as its layers were explored but emerged as Eureka California’s finest moment yet.

Fourteen songs rich, Roadrunners begins with MKUltra and instantly a cloud of inviting jangle surrounds ears as rhythms build their own potent tempting. Once hitting its calm but clamorous stride, the vocals of Ward erupt with matching appetite and dexterity to the sounds around them. Like a garage bred dissonance fuelled Beach Boys, the track dances in ears to give the release an immediate high point.

The following Perfect Grammar is similarly bred and woven but with a raw angst and air which sears the senses as it seduces them. Uhler’s beats inspire a simultaneous swing to the track which has feet dancing to its mix of the wild and composed before Threads steps forward to forge a new high within Roadrunners. From its opening hook to its swiftly advancing rhythmic flirtation, the track had us licking lips and keenly bouncing. There is a great seventies DIY indie punk lining to the track recalling the likes of Television Personalities and ‘O’ Level, which surrounds an indie pop holler forged with hooks and beats which with its portentous heart just infested instincts and imagination.

It is followed by the calmer melodic seducing of Time After Time After Time After Time. It too has an immediate and organic infectiousness which worms into the psyche before its more feral side rises up in tenacious rock ‘n roll. There is a hint of The Monochrome Set to the song at times as it matches its predecessor’s triumph, both in turn equalled by the rousing antics and rhythmic dynamics of Over It. The trio all vie for best track honours, together providing the album’s pinnacle point.

I Can’t Look In Yr Direction is next, its sonic angst matched in lyrical reflection as its mellower contemplative complaints flare up amidst searing aural flames while Howard Hughes at the Sands is an acoustic saunter with caustic eruptions. Both tracks intrigued as they captivated, neither quite emulating the glory of those before but only adding to the album’s thick lure; bait only accentuated by the short but rich rock ‘n’ roll of following instrumental Buffalo Bills 1990 – 1993.

Through the excellent post punk wired JJT and the unpredictable poppier escapade of SWDs, Eureka California continue to unfold the new invention in their writing and music. The latter is a glorious slice of hook woven pop ‘n’ roll with a Pixies tint while next up Gila Monster just seduces attention second by second from its initial guitar scratching to its summery discord. Its swing and jangle is like hay fever, persistently nagging away but in contrast only pleasurable before in turn Telephone Tone shares its own infectious warm canter with zeal lined calm.

Concluding with the masterfully flirtatious and simultaneously fiery How Long Has This Been Going On? and the Frank Black meets Pere Ubu flavoured Mexican Coke, the continuously appetising Roadrunners swarms ears with its sound and imagination. It is easily the band’s most inventive and individual proposition to date and in turn their most compelling and enjoyable; simply one of the must check out highlights of 2018.

Roadrunners is out now digitally and on CD and Ltd Edition vinyl via Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records (HHBTM); available @https://eurekacalifornia.bandcamp.com/album/roadrunners and @ http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=652

http://eurekacaliforniaband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/eurekacalifornia     https://twitter.com/eurekacalifone

Pete RingMaster 26/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Easter Teeth – Truckstop Fear

Within numerous instinctively magnetic musical lures for us is the temptation of rock ‘n’ roll duos. The past few years has unearthed a host of exciting and stirring propositions across an array of styles and adding to that seemingly ever expanding list is California’s Easter Teeth. Comprising of the Eymann brothers, Josh on vocals/drums and Tim on vocals/bass/keys, the band creates a predacious mix of punk infused post punk and noise rock and as proven by latest album Truckstop Fear, a blend which is quite irresistible.

Growing up listening to their mother’s array of cassette tapes including James Brown, Sam & Dave, and The Rascals while riding in back of the family station wagon, the siblings bring those spices with their subsequent discovery and love of punk, hardcore, and math rock into their own sound. It is as funky as it is irritable, as soulful as it is agitated and with its slim but rich body of rhythmic trespass and vocal energy a real fresh DIY breath in the world of noise.

Truckstop Fear is the successor to 2013 debut album Being Alone With Your Thoughts is for Inmates, the two full-lengths surrounding a split 7” EP with Moral Monsters in 2015 and two track single Shake Hands with Danger released early 2017. Within mere seconds the latest album grips ears and attention as opener Honey from the Carcass whips ears with Josh’s crispy beats, the bass a waiting hum as shouts and hits break into a hectic shuffle. Swiftly hips swing to the track’s funkiness, the senses cowering before its raw edge and scything beats; it all a corrosive temptation coloured by the electrified fuzz of keys. As the music, the vocal union of the siblings is bold and instinctive, a direct incitement hard to turn down.

The following Baby’s Got Cold Feet casts a minefield of shuddering beats as a groove woven bassline strolls with grumbling dexterity within the melodic flourish of keys. Like a scowling tango built on the attributes of Pigbag and Swell Maps, the song hits the spot with increasing addictiveness though it is soon eclipsed by the caustic Art Attacks meets mclusky tango of Play the Harp, Throw the Spear. It is a rabid trespass but with a restraint which only escalates its impact before the album’s title track raises the ante yet again. It too has the scent of numerous decades of rock ‘n’ roll in its uncompromising proposal shaped by the imposing skeletal steel frame set by Josh. Hooks and catchy enterprise erupt across its barbarous stroll, a blend of contrasts just as potent within the pair’s infectious vocal insurgency.

As the previous songs, each in turn built upon and outshone by the next, Good Intentions Paving Co. soon steals the limelight, its kinetic saunter an irresistible collusion between bass and drums enhanced by the ever rousing union of voice and Tim’s squirts of mania lined keys. The track is noise at its most majestic, and demonic, a virulent tirade of manipulative rock ‘n’ roll with a chorus only the deaf could resist joining.

Sit Down Party has its own breed of addictiveness, a fevered but again skilfully controlled incursion of sound and enterprise bearing hues of bands such as Pere Ubu, The Mae Shi, and Big Black in its design. What grabs ears though is something unique to Easter Teeth, an individual character of sound confirmed once again within the rhythmically viral, sonically lusty Inspiration Indiana and the senses stalking Just Curves, a track with something of The Mekons to it.

The album ends with Pick a Puppy, a piece of poppy noise punk with volatility in its heart and virulent dance. It is a superb end to a release which sparked a lustful appetite and hunger here for the band’s sound. At times the best rock ‘n’ roll comes raw, undiluted, and with a tart almost acrimonious flavouring; the evidence there within the wonderful wickedness that is Truck Stop Fear.

Truck Stop Fear is available on ZAP! Records @ https://easterteeth.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/easterteeth

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scanner – Under the Devil’s Tail

If there is one thing you are sure of getting with US outfit Scanner, it is a healthy and seriously persuasive outing of punk rock and so it is again with their latest EP, Under the Devil’s Tail. Offering four slices of unfussy rock ‘n’ roll sculpted with an openly accomplished hand and imagination, the EP embraces the mixture of old school punk, garage rock, and virtually every other rock ‘n’ roll scent you might imagine which has already fired up previous successful releases, boiling it up for another highly enjoyable stomp.

Formed in 1979 by lead vocalist/bassist Joe Brady and guitarist Junnie Fortney and adopting the name Scanner two years later, inspired by the David Cronenberg film Scanners, the Pennsylvania trio has become a potent part of the local punk scene. The current line-up, completed by drummer/vocalist Troy Alwine, was in place by 2012 and followed by the release of debut album One Foot In The Grave, And More Pissed Than Ever a year later, then live outing Exploding Heads in Harrisburg – Live Recordings From 1982, and in 2015 second studio full-length Splat. The latter saw increased attention looking the way of the trio which Under the Devil’s Tail will surely re-energise.

Maybe due to it only being four tracks, the EP seems less broad in its sound and adventure than within Splat but uses that restraint to nurture a character which is the heart of the band’s sound and more tenacious and persuasive than anything before. The release opens up with its title track, Under the Devil’s Tail strolling in on Alwine’s tempting rhythms which are soon joined by the equally teasing mumble of Brady’s bass. The hook spun out by Fortney’s guitar quickly after has The Damned all over it, a hue especially potent when combined with the continuing bait of that moody bass. Dirty rock ‘n’ roll soon consumes ears and song as Brady’s eager tones jump on board, the song drawing on a mix of seventies punk and pub rock along with heavy rock textures lured from across the decades.

More persuasive with every listen, it is a potent start soon eclipsed by next up Tapeworm which starts up like a rock ‘n’ roll Pere Ubu before note by note hints at greater Ramones like revelry in its cranky romp.  Like its predecessor, the song only strengthens its grip on ears and appetite over time though it too finds itself overshadowed by its own successor.

Without doubt Membrane Men emerged the firm favourite within the EP, its opening bass lure and subsequent synth misting deliciously Devo-esque before Dead Kennedy like devilry leaps on the imagination. The track hits the spot straight away, emulating its companions in tightening its hold and our involvement with every passing minute spent in its presence.

Final track is Hippie Authority Song, a slice of street natured punk rock unafraid to add some bluesy hard rock strains to its raucous escapade. As all the songs, it has mischief on its face and in its heart which alone endears itself whilst fuelled by a sound which refuses to be anything other than true to its instincts and inspirations. It all makes for one inescapably enjoyable time; a description fully fitting the whole of Under the Devil’s Tail which may not make your top ten end of year but will still be satisfying your punk appetites as others slip away.

Under the Devil’s Tail is out now and available through   http://www.scanner1979.com/Music.html

https://www.facebook.com/Scanner1979

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Day by day with Reverse Family

We all have different outlets for extreme emotions be they bred in grief, frustration, anxiety or romance for example. For many an artistic avenue is the release from such overwhelming trespasses and so it is with Reverse Family who are about to unleash a daunting but we can already assure you irresistible adventure for ears.

The Reverse Family is the solo project of Dermot Illogical, someone probably better known right now as Andreas Vanderbraindrain, the frontman of British outfit The Tuesday Club. Towards the end of last year, he released acclaimed debut album My Songs About Life Mid Crisis, a collection of multi-flavoured lo-fi experimental goodness which continues to hang around in the imagination and passions like an inescapable itch. It was an introduction which commanded attention and breeds real anticipation for the next epic outing with Reverse Family.

Starting in October, Dermot is releasing 365, a project made up of 52 EPs released as one a week for a whole year. Before panicking, shouting impossible, or mistakenly thinking anything that massive has to be more filler than thriller let us declare that with the evidence of the sampler sent by the man our way in our hands, it is going to be an escapade taking ears and imagination on a helter-skelter of honest and emotionally raw but instinctively fun exploration; a journey given greater intimate potency by Dermot’s diary entry of that particular day by the way of ‘sleeve notes’.

The tracks making up the project were all recorded DIY style at home between Jan 1st 2015 and Dec 31st 2015 with Dermot playing every instrument and sharing every syllable. Everything heard is as played and recorded; no editing or tampering made with every song bred in heart and spontaneity. It is an organic air and array of textures which grips the imagination as much as the sounds themselves; a fly-on-the-wall like climate baring the same open heart as that of their creator.

The catalyst to the project was the death of Terry, the drummer of The Tuesday Club. His sad passing came just as the band was deservedly stirring bigger and bolder praise carrying spotlights, a time topped by the band supporting Toyah at The 02 Islington and releasing their most successful and critically acclaimed EP to date. It was a world crushing time for the band and especially for Dermot who was also coming to terms with divorce, life dictating and changing illnesses for both parents as well as the constant struggle of being self-employed. It was a time many would have buckled under but Dermot focused all the suffocating turbulence into his music and turned it into a creative quest, one which at times you feel probably completely took over his world but gave him a survival and now the listener a spark for pleasure and thoughtful contemplation.

As the tracks we have reveal there is no ‘woe is me’ self-pity fuelling the adventure. Yes, it scratches his open wounds at times and is not always sharing smiles but every moment is an open insight and reflection on his feelings across the evolving year of those challenges and the life around Dermot in St. Albans with plenty of knowing black humour involved along the way.

The first track swiftly grabbing years was Future son – The Twa Twa’s, day 8 of the creative pilgrimage. Instantly it reminds of My Songs About Life Mid Crisis with its post punk twang and Dirk Wears White Sox era Adam and The Ants like character. A gorgeous hook lurks within the angular clamour, Dermot’s vocal delivery a swinging flirtation matching the similar allure of bass. The structurally organic design of the track alone is a web of lust clasping shenanigans, the song in its whole a psyche infesting treat.

Some tracks have an even rawer sound and temptation than others, This house is empty (day 10) one which borders abrasive in sound but within its causticity is an instinctive funkiness which has the body bouncing and appetite eagerly exploring words and emotion. There is a sense of despair and also hope carrying new beginnings felt with the track, a conflict most of us are no strangers too at some point and can grab with nodding recognition.

The clutch of songs within the sampler show the great array of styles embraced by the Reverse Family sound, the outstanding I stand alone (day 13) a post punk natured infestation managing to sound like a mix of Fire Engines, Swell Maps and unsurprisingly The Tuesday Club with Dermot’s distinctive tones yet is unique in every pore while MP3 (day 310) is a junction box of sonic wires casting a Devo meets Pere Ubu scented discord over the imagination.

The darker, grungier Faded colours (day 336) offers melancholy at its most magnetic, In my head (day 337) sharing a sonically and emotionally haunting incursion on the senses as pained as it is corrosively elegant, and both songs continue the broadening maze of flavours and emotional tempestuousness within the sampler alone. Like many tracks, each is also a relatively brief encounter; fleeting moments in an unsettled and often unsettling day though Bad cartoon (day 343) stays a little longer with its melodically jangling and evocatively persuasive as Bowie-esque toning draws the listener with seductive ease into its own personal melancholy.

The punk ‘n’ roll of Do it just for me (day 344) hits the spot just as easily, its tenacious canter a gentle cacophony of guitar, rhythms, and voice while I built a new contraption (day 356) shares a broad grin in its post punk/art rock pop. The pair relish in the addictive prowess Dermot constantly finds in his minimalistic but oh so potent grooves and hooks, though he saves maybe the most addictive for Breathy graffiti (day 365), its electronic poking the kind of inescapable nagging lust was bred for.

So that gives a hint of what is in store for us once 365 begins revealing its heart in a few weeks. It would be a little unrealistic to expect every one of the songs within the 52 EPs, each suggested to contain seven tracks, will hit the lofty heights of those on the sampler but do expect each to be the most honest and spontaneously shared temptations sure to intrigue and captivate like nothing else around today.

We for one just cannot wait!

The first of the 365 EPs will be released digitally from 2nd October 2015 through Perfect Pop Co-Op / Nub Country with one a week through to the first week of October 2018. For more information keep an eye on http://reversefamily.co.uk and https://www.facebook.com/reversefamily/ or through https://twitter.com/PerfectPopCoOp and the Perfect Pop Co-Op magazine.

Pete RingMaster 26/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hypochristmutreefuzz – Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia

There is music which is bred out of bedlam, sounds which are seemingly born out of creative psychosis and challenges which are feverishly psychotic; and there is that from Hypochristmutreefuzz. The Belgian noise-rock outfit create a psyche infesting collusion of all that and more; a theatre of fun coming to an insatiable head on their debut album Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia.

Meaning the phobia of long words, Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia immediately hints at the mischief and insanity at play with its off-kilter title spelling; traits swiftly infesting body and spirit from its first seconds. Instantly it has the body bouncing and imagination dancing, unpredictability and that creative madness fuelling every fascinating, entrapping second.

Hailing from Ghent and taking their name from an avant-garde jazz piece by Misha Mengelberg, Hypochristmutreefuzz has already teased and lured acclaim through a self-titled EP in 2015 and a host of surrounding singles. Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia though takes things to a whole new inventive and magnetic level. Drawing on inspirations ranging from The Residents, The Birthday Party, and Sonic Youth to Pere Ubu, Television, PJ Harvey, and The Germans, the quintet instantly traps attention with opener Finger. Teasing tendrils of guitar beckon first, their lures intermittently joined by an electronic throb. It is a lingering enticement with the sonic post punk causticity of Bauhaus and the instinctive though waiting dance antics of an Axis Mundi rising up alongside. The union continues to imposingly quiver as the vocals of guitarist Ramses Van den Eede add their uniqueness, his tones as distinct as the sounds brewing up around them and with all the ingredients in place, the track strolls along with a raw and infectious air; a touch of Asylums and Allusondrugs meets The Residents further colouring the irresistible adventure.

It is a compelling, thrilling start causing hips to swerve and appetite to lick its lips, a tempting just as potent in the following Gums Smile Blood. Getting down to even swifter business, the song offers a punk toned, electronically nurtured virility to its mouth-watering creative animation. Like a blend of De Staat, G.R.I.M, and Big Black, the track prowls and swings with the seduction of a rabid pole dancer before Hypochondria invades with the scuzzy antics of guitarists Jesse Maes and Van den Eede courting the jabbing beats of Elias Devoldere. Carrying a more primal edge compared to its predecessors, the song still flirts with a lightness of whimsy through the synth of Thijs Troch; dark and light, heavy and fuzz entangling across its eventful drama.

Chromakalim is a far calmer experience, its minimalistic entrance reeking of deceit and espionage as vocals stalk attention. That imagined tempest does erupt with unbridled rigour before swiftly settling down again waiting for its return in a volcanic chorus. The bass of Sander Verstraete struts with menace throughout, its intensity leaking into the discord of guitars and keys as the track spreads its mercurial heart. Nothing less than captivating it is still eclipsed by the sauntering haunting of Music Of Spheres. A noir lit, jazz cloaked venture to the atmospheric darkside, the track is a maze of sound and evocative incitement taking ears and imagination down shadow cloaked paths.

From there the album hits its pinnacle with a couple of quite manipulative encounters. First up is Elephantiasis, a slice of schizophrenic yet restrained noise rock which has the listener involved from its first trespassing breath and in eager participation by its vocal and musical meander a host of seconds later. A track which haunts the memory after just one listen it too is then overshadowed by a successor in Clammy Hands. The song is an asylum of imagination and enterprise; a fusion of flavours and styles which too needs barely a handful of breaths to seduce and enslave. A patchwork of vocals amidst an equally varied synth palette of enticing steals the passions even before its chorus has vocal chords hollering and limbs punching.

The mellow though no less cracked balladry of Don’t Drown only mesmerises if without the major impact of the previous duo while One Trick Pony simmers then boldly romps in with a rhythmic tenacity as vocals and add their lively smoulder to that of the sounds. The skittishness of the beats and throb of the bass has the body in eager motion whilst ears are drawn to the melodic beauty sharing their moment. Within it all causticity lies in wait, igniting its fuse further down the line for a scuzzy, electrifying and almost terrifying finale.

The album closes with the funky, noise jaunt of Spitter; a breeding of movement which starts in the big toe and has the whole body popping by its first vocal line and feverish by the time brazzy flames course through the tango of sound. Of course there is an acidity and rough play within its dance; textures only adding to the fun and energy of the encounter when spreading their addictive toxicity. Throw The Magic Numbers, Billy Momo, Pere Ubu, and Primus into a pot, stir with psychotic vigour and you have this, one gripping conclusion to one mighty album.

Its title might be impossible to say, still not possible after twenty tries or and indeed spell with ease, but the contents of Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia are manna to the ears and the loco in us all.

Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaiophobia is out now across most stores an @ https://hypochristmutreefuzz.bandcamp.com/album/hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia

 http://www.hypochristmutreefuzz.be/    https://www.facebook.com/Hypochristmutreefuzz/    https://twitter.com/HypoFuzzMusic

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pink Muscles -The Signal

There is no denying that 2017 has to date been a truly potent and exciting ignition of personal tastes and that success has just been given another lusty boost through the debut album from US noise punks Pink Muscles. Devouring the senses and imagination with raw hunger, The Signal is a psychosis of sound, an irritant of noise wrapped up in just as lustfully weird tales and quite irresistible.

Hailing from Seattle, Pink Muscles began as a solo project for guitarist/vocalist Marshall McLaughlin. Exploring his unique vision of sound and songwriting, he recorded the Upper Body Strength demo in 2014 before exploring the bringing together of a full line-up which saw the addition of guitarist Eric Elliott, bassist Lee Newman, recently replaced by Stuart Dahlquist (Goatsnake, Sunn O))), Asva), and drummer Janet Trares (Hell’s Belles) in 2016. Their uncompromising fusion of punk and noise rock with a cauldron of other fiercely rapacious flavours from hardcore to thrash and death metal soon found a powerful presence on the local live scene, the quartet having played alongside the likes of The Dwarves, Author and Punisher, Dayglo Abortions, and Nasalrod over the past year. Now they are setting out on trespassing and infesting broader landscapes with The Signal, bringing something unique and fresh to a punk scene which in so many ways no longer boasts those attributes.

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

A concept album in spirit with its 14 “mini-horror films” springing stories of inter-dimensional monsters invading earth to end humanity, The Signal opens with Resumption and a one minute attack of psychotic punk with exotic spatial tendrils and mass vocal causticity, all splintered with warped bursts of sax amidst sonic turmoil. It is beautiful chaos, as addictive as it is disconcerting and the spark for even greater cacophonic alchemy within Teenage Rainbows. With McLaughlin as good as bullying ears with his great vocal presence, the song swings and mentally comes apart within seconds, its creative turbulence bred on caustic guitar riffs and crazed hooks as strings are violently twanged and beats antagonistically swung in another swift off-kilter assault akin to Botch making out with The Locust.

Infestopus invades next, its earthy groove and bestial riffs making a barbarous invitation to a web of sonic loco and scuzzy goodness again as fleeting as a deep breath and just as rewarding before Star Grove unleashes it’s animalistic instincts; guitars and bass going on a murderous rampage as beats damage and bullish vocals arouse. There is a touch of Lightning Bolt to the song, a little bit Melvins too but a savaging individual to Pink Muscles as it corrupts and incites on its uninterrupted way to the waiting humans into insects pharmacy of The Man at the End of My Street. In many ways, the album becomes even more deranged and imagination gripping from this track on. Its thumping beats certainly leave the same scars as its predecessors, but there is a more abstract structure to the weave of colluding and contrasting textures making up the outstanding bughouse. The swarm of guitar trespassing ears is a toxic delight whilst vocals, as the nastily brooding tones of the bass, are a mix of predation and animosity, it all pure addiction sparking.

Black Market Tampons is next, a cosmic horrorshow of “demonic male pregnancy and magic tampons” seducing and corroding the senses. Imagine the dementia of Pere Ubu, the inspiring discord of The Fire Engines, and the punk ferocity of Today Is The Day, and you have a treat of a song if still not quite accurate of its ingenuity.

The haywire webbing of Battery Acid is even more exhilarating; guitars spinning a trap of sonic violation as rhythms tenaciously grumble and impose while vocals paint a giant arachnophobia fear fest. As all tracks, within the carnal exploits there is an infectious air which quickly steals the passions though offering its most virulent strain in this one of the album’s major highlights; a peak quickly rivalled by the visceral climate and drama of Party at Murder Beach. The track is a gripping slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a voracious swing and swagger which alone is a submission giving temptation while The Egg Lady infests and infects ears and imagination with its own certifiable bedlam and theatre of sound and invention.

I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar stems from the instrument McLaughlin inherited from his late father, the inspiration to his exploration of music, and provides fifty odd seconds of insatiable punk rock which simply hits the spot before aurally venomous The Master and Officers of the Universe with its feral dynamics and textures hungrily ravage, savage, and ignite all over again. All three bring a new lust for the album to rise, Heaven is for Real backing them up with its cantankerous wall of sound and vocal ruthlessness; the track a real beast of a proposal.

Bringing the album to a close, Mouth House grabs favourite song honours though with its nefarious air and intoxication of flavours. Playing with the imagination like an aberrantly unhinged merger of Essential Logic, Boris, and Shellac, the track is intrusive bliss building up to a scorching cacophony leaving a lasting imprint on ears and pleasure.

The Signal is the announcement of a new noise punk treat in town and quickly showing that Pink Muscles have much more than that slim tag to their imagination and beef. Another must for 2017 we say.

The Signal is out now @ https://pinkmuscles.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pinkmuscles/

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright