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

Bastards Of Fate – Suck The Light Out

 

If Bethlem Royal Hospital had a house band at the time of its notoriously infamous period when it was better named as Bedlam, Bastards Of Fate would have fitted the role like a glove. The Roanoke, Virginia hailing outfit create a sound and incitement to which a description of lunacy is inevitable and inescapable yet, as evidenced in their new album Suck The Light Out, it is a skilfully woven and creatively deceptive aberration which borders on genius; a dementia ridden habitude obviously.

There are few bands which truly offer an adventure for mind and ears but Bastards Of Fate go even further; challenging and testing the listener, almost examining their tolerance and their psyche for unsettling creative behaviour but with something which is rich unrelenting fun. Though our introduction to the band thanks to our bud Mike at Crashing Through, the well-received releases of their previous two albums suggests the quintet has been sharing striking and daring proposals for a while, most likely from the first emerging breath in 2012 as a solo project for frontman Doug Cheatwood. Without experiencing either 2012’s Who’s A Fuzzy Buddy? or Vampires are Real and Palpable two years later, it is still easy to say that Bastards Of Fate have hit a new plateau in sound and imagination, as well as mania such the might of Suck The Light Out.

From its first breath the album has claws in the imagination, opener Freemasons heralding its arrival with the ringing of bells recorded at a Cardiff church during a UK tour. Swiftly their call is smothered in darker off-kilter hues; a breeze evolving into a quirky theatre of sound with an air of hallucination and as suggestively clockwork as it is nursery. Vocals led by Cheatwood are just as eclectic settling into a controlled incitement with a scent of Bill Nelson’s Red Noise to it, Cheatwood indeed not for the last time with a touch of that band’s founder to his delivery. Across its tempestuous flank, the song shows irritability in it rock ‘n roll, the guitar of Benji Pugh mischievously colluding with the keys of Camellia Delk for cheerier temptation while the constant nagging of bass from Jason Wellz and Doug Shelor’s swinging beats drive the raw aggressive drama boiling up in it all, an agitation ebbing and flowing with mercurial energy as 12 Stone Toddler like dynamics further colour the fevered affair.

The following Portal to Hell is creative mayhem from the first second, rhythms jabbing with relish as Cheatwood announces his throaty demon. Soon a muggy start, it subsequently clears as a melody sizzles, it in turn relaxing as madness boldly simmers before infesting the song’s eruption with a legion of styles and flavours at its merciless fingertips. Fondling the senses and thoughts with pleasure igniting insanity and psychosis loaded unpredictability, like Pere Ubu on LSD, the track is unfathomable glory. Again the former Be Bop Deluxe frontman in his latter solo era is reminded of at times but only in something so unique to Bastards Of Fate it too is hard to believe.

To be honest numerous artists are nudged into suggestion across Suck The Light Out but none are truly accurate clues to the beautiful absurdness and imagination bursting fun on offer, next up Dark Matter pushing XTC and The Residents as possible references yet neither really fitting the maze of metal and heavy rock growling upon the song’s indie and pop sculpted landscape, a pasture in a constant flux of broken normality.

Through the relatively stable stroll of Book of Lies, though a romp with volatility in every element from tenacious rhythms and synth spun poetic webbing to melodic suggestion and vocal paranoia laced reflection, and the vocal lamentation of Misanthropy, bewitchment and confusion collude in a lustful embrace of the continuing diversity and irrational lure of Suck The Light Out. All releases need numerous listens to truly get to grips with thoughts and emotions on what they offer and there is no doubt that this album needs it more than most with the pair of songs alone showing the increasing rewards to be gained.

From the captivation of Girlfren with its crystalline melodies and screwy charm to the slow funk swing of the rhythmically tribal and vocally weird Caligula, ears and pleasure are only further inflamed, the latter and our favourite track, a salaciously deranged waltz. Its majestic prowess and mental manipulation is matched by that of Supercollider, a frenzy of sound and energy bursting from calm if warped crooning like a dangerously corrupted Pryapisme; punk and psych rock just two flavours in the frantic dementia.

Unicorns in Love is instinctive Bastards of Fate twisted rock ‘n’ roll with Waste My Time backing up its raw captivation with its hazy hug of melody spun, scuzz kissed, Fleetwood Mac spiced beauty with Delk taking vocal lead; her delicious tones as mouth-watering as the sounds caressing her harmonic presence.

The album is closed by Meatstar, a celestial dirt ball of progressive and melodic intrigue again tempting comparisons but evading all with its uncompromising invention in a brewing cacophony of sonic drama and imagination driven refreshment. It quite simply sums up the album, something aggressively individual and hungrily entertaining not forgetting deliriously deranged.

Suck The Light Out is, as Bastards Of Fate, indeed Bedlam and simply one of the most striking and uncomfortably fun propositions in recent years.

Suck The Light Out is available now digitally and on vinyl through HHBTM Records from most online stores with a special limited vinyl edition including a bonus LP of alternate tracks through http://hhbtm.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsoffate

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frau Pouch – Fairymares

cover-image-social_RingMasterReview

I am sure we were not alone in eagerly anticipating a first album from British no wave post-punks  Frau Pouch. They are a band which captured and ignited our imagination on our introduction to them in a split release with fellow Kent outfit Houdini back in 2012. Their sound is a sonically and creatively gurning fusion of post and garage punk with other feverish forms of wonderfully irritable and imaginatively twisted rock ‘n’ roll. Each release, since that first meeting, has seen the Medway trio stretch, twist, and inject their imagination with new creative psychoses, nurturing their most irresistible outcome yet in debut album Fairymares.

Released via Skingasm Records and recorded with Greg Webster of Houdini/ Punching Swans, Fairymares is warped manna for the ears especially if they have been nurtured on a diet of post punk seeded bands such as The Fall, Pere Ubu, and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club. The album swiftly enforces the fact that Frau Pouch has its own sound though, even with essences reminding of others, it stands boldly unique and creatively salacious to the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Joe Wise(also of Punching Swans), bassist Ollie Crook, and drummer Suzanne Freeman.

As previous tracks and the All Hail Space Chicken EP before it, Fairymares swiftly entangles ears in a web of sound and invention, opening up with the band’s lust breeding single of last year Biscuit Beard. From the glorious carnivorously natured, bestial toned growl of Crook’s bassline setting things off, the track infests body and soul. Wise’s riffs are just as carnal in touch and sound, his flowing grooves equally rapacious as Freeman’s controlled swings punch further subservience to the song’s call on an instantly lustful appetite. The track is pure addiction, its Gang Of Four soiled rhythmic tempting alone irresistible and the wiry web of sonic endeavour and vocal nagging Mekons like.

It is just the start of the album’s insane grooving and rhythmic baiting with the following Dracula Pukes revealing its own nest of creative vipers as cutting scythes of guitar and punch happy rhythms challenge and enthral for a mere fifty seven seconds; a gripping minute of cantankerous confrontation leading to the virulently infectious stroll of Ham Planet. Like Pere Ubu on steroids as Turbogeist writhes under the punk influence of The Fall, the track dances with pop infused boisterousness though every swinging movement of its creative hips comes with seductive venomous intent as Wise declares his vocal desires.

The exceptional Burn Baby keeps the lust hungrily burning next, its lo-fi canvas a tangle of steely petulant grooves, intimately flirtatious beats, and crabby bass groans as vocals install their own brand of psyche trespassing persuasion. It is aural corruption leaving a lingering touch though Witch Fingers straight after soon steals all attention. With we assume Freeman taking vocal lead, the track is like a demented fusion of Daisy Chainsaw and The Fire Engines, off kilter toxic melody and dancing vocals uniting in an adult nursery rhyme like trespass of sanity.

Ghost Fire offers its own cranky invention, stabbing riffs and sonic vining shadowing Wise’s compelling stabbing vocals as another gloriously testy and intrusive bassline sparks feverish submission across its single minute before the repetitive prowess of Erotic Clocks has ears tempted hook, line, and sinker. With a slight whiff of Spizzenergi to it, the track is another sure fire infestation of body and psyche with its rhythmic nag and caustic expulsions.

With seductive danger to its cartoonish and creative loco, Gotham Piper lures the listener in next, continuing to lay a certifiable creative hand on the senses before intermittently uncaging its inner meshuga in ferocious style. The Cardiacs comes to mind within the thrilling encounter, Mark E. Smith and co even more so in successor Cat Curfew though once more as Wise lords over his own weave of sonic wiring and the rhythmic union of Crook and Freeman, Frau Pouch imprint only their own uniqueness.

Sleepstalker completes the line-up of treats, its sombre yet vibrantly magnetic fingering of the senses the stuff of nightmares; Crooks’ grievous bassline the stalker, Freeman’s beats the trap, and Wise in voice and sonic intrusion the swamp impossible to escape from. They are all delicious ingredients in a thrilling end to not only the best thing to come from Frau Pouch but potentially 2017 as a whole.

Fairymares is released 27th January via Skingasm Records.

https://www.facebook.com/FrauPouch/    https://fraupouch.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stoor – Self Titled

stoorJosef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines

No idea what is in the water over at Stereogram Recordings but this past twelve months has seen the label release a clutch of albums that simply ignite ears and connect with the imagination like no others. Amongst them have been encounters with bands such as St. Christopher Medal, The Filthy Tongues, and The Eastern Swell. Now adding to that adventurous collection of treats is the self-titled debut album from Dundee based outfit Stoor, a release which just might be the most impressive and ridiculously addictive of the lot.

The Stereogram Recordings offering is actually a full re-release of the band’s first album which was self-released on vinyl last year but sure to be the first real engagement for a great many with a quartet which rose up back in the first breaths of the nineties. Musically Stoor seem to embrace post punk/new wave sounds found in the couple of decades before their emergence, and though it is bordering on impossible to pin down their sound imagine Josef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines and the warped imagination of Pere Ubu in close attendance.

Centred around the off kilter invention of bassist/vocalist Stef Murray, drummer Scott McKinlay, and guitarist Ross Matheson with guitarist Davie Youngblood completing the current line-up, Stoor get straight into ears and psyche with album opener Secret World Of Cement. It is an instrumental which gets right into our already existing passion for post punk devilry, sparking the imagination with its cinematic urban soundscape. Hips and feet are swiftly indulging in its virulent Fire Engines hued strains as hooks and melodies tease and tantalise within something wonderfully akin to the most addictive sixties TV theme tunes.

It is a wonderful start quickly matched up by Liberator, a track just as rapid in its persuasion as spicy lures of guitar link up with the tenacious rhythmic bait laid down by McKinlay. The vocal tones of Murray attract like a mix of Jello Biafra and Pere Ubu’s Dave Thomas, expelling their earnest cries from within another seriously catchy stretch of invention before the brilliant Aye, No raises the ante. A fiercely seductive bass line invades first, strolling from the initial clash of sound to be quickly joined by equally salacious guitar hooks following the same route as Murray’s grooving. Like a pied piper the union draws the listener into an explosive crescendo, riffs and rhythms colliding before the temptation begins all over again with even greater strands of delicious discord involved. All the time Murray places a potent vocal grip on an already eager appetite, backed by the band within what is one gloriously repetitive and enthralling swagger of a song.

art_RingMasterReviewInfect Me steps forward next to keep the enslaving of ears tight, its Gang Of Four like rhythmic escapade chaining attention alone, the brooding basslines and stabs of guitar extra chains to trap attention and ardour. Bursts of raw rock ‘n’ roll only adds to the magnetism as too the distinctive and increasingly flavoursome vocals of Murray, here finding a Stan Ridgway flavour to his excellent theatre of voice. Between them Murray and McKinlay rhythmically have the passions chained up like Houdini, though no escape is possible especially as Matheson and Youngblood create a web of melodic intrigue and deranged drama.

Through the heavier almost muggy escape of Devil Rides Out, a song with a touch of Scars meets again Pere Ubu to it, and the pulsating psych rock infested instrumental of March Of The Molluscs, the album adds further diversity and creative theatre to escalate an already established habituation to its additive prowess, backing their success up with the punk rock of Frack where thoughts of bands like Swell Maps and television Personalities are sparked, though, as constantly across the release, Stoor conjure up proposals unique to their own senses entangling invention.

The calmer saunter of Open The Box comes next, its character a more stable affair but prone to Devo-esque twists and turns before making way to allow the psychedelically spiced Hold That Thought to serenade ears. To its warmer and gentler nature though, there is an underlying tempestuousness which channels its energy into a swinging post punk canter a la The Three Johns.

The bands new single Witchfinder General has ears and lust over excited next, its rhythmic romp alone an unshakeable grip with Murray’s bass swing a predacious seduction reinforced by the tangy weave of guitar and the eager dance of the vocals. Dark and mischievous, compelling and shadowy, the track is superb, a certain doorway into the album come its release though fair to say any track is a suitable invitation.

Going out as it came in with a mouth-watering, imagination stoking instrumental going by the name of Sure Beats Me, a piece which plays like B-52s engaged in carnal knowledge with The Shadows, the album leaves only an urgent urge to dive right back into its body of fun.

Stoor may have been around for a fair few years now but this is the moment they should be enveloped by the biggest spotlights, courtesy of an encounter which has to be considered as an album of the year contender.

Stoor the album is released October 28th on Stereogram Recordings digitally and on CD with the single Witchfinder General out on October 21st.

STOOR are supporting Brix Smith & The Extricated on Sunday 30th October 2016 and The Membranes on Friday 27th January 2017, both nights at Beat Generator in Dundee.

https://www.facebook.com/stoormusic/   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/stoor/

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spaztic Robot – Skip Rope Rhymes

album_art_RingMasterReview

On an empty sunny day in 1990, when I was nine years old, I saw two dead dogs. Each at opposite ends of the same street. One was big and brown, the other small and grey. Both greeted me with the exact same pitiful manner. Their sunburnt tongues bathing on the gravel gave the illusion of salmon rising from black tar rivers. As the odour began to rise with the dusty heat, I felt like I’d snorted fizzy pop. I chucked up. Through teary eyes I scanned the motionless street in which I stood. Nothing. Nothing but ugly new houses. Ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.

I wasn’t to know it at the time, but Spaztic Robot was born at that very moment. With no evidence offering itself to the mystery of the dead dogs, my nine year old self began to piece together his own chain of events…a different one lending itself to each house on the street. I was convinced that behind the bricks and mortar of one of these seemingly inconspicuous houses lay a dirty little secret.

Skip Rope Rhymes was created in the same vein. It’s a gathering of characters and stories. Characters and stories that could all easily exist, in one street, behind the closed doors of ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.”

This biography placed introduction to Spaztic Robot pretty such sums up the air and dark intensity which floods a myriad of sounds and imagination making up Skip Rope Rhymes, the band’s debut album. In a broad array of characters, songs offer shadowed adventures all equipped with intimate secrecy, like behind closed doors insights as dramatic and often cinematic as they are seriously captivating.

Spaztic Robot is the solo project of Robbie Sparks, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Stourbridge punksters Rebel City Radio. With the band taking a break from gigging and writing over the past year or so, Sparks has used the time to dive into the writing and creating of this his debut album. Recently released, Skip Rope Rhymes has taken little time in drawing eager praise. Its potent diversity means some tracks more forcibly connected with personal tastes than others but from start to finish it is one compelling exploration easy to hear why it has lured strong attention.

The album opens up with Robot Rape, metallic sounds immediately surrounding the senses as whispers in the dark outskirts of the piece share their paranoia. Samples and infectious rhythms soon join the enticement, varied vocal eruptions and a pulsating throb in tow as Sparks begin infesting the imagination in word, tone, and sound. It is an enthralling start which leads into the magnificent theatre of Walk The Long Way Home. Again bold ideas collude with a whiff of insanity as they lead the listener into a sinister noir lit drama of intent and emotion. Nagging and virulent in its catchiness, the track is like a bedlam bound Brian Brain (aka Martin Atkins of PIL, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke fame), a contagious infestation of ears and psyche from repetitious invention and nagging imagination. It is off kilter, bordering deranged, and inescapably irresistible as waves of intensity and psychosis engulf the listener.

The Ants! follows sharing everyday observation in alignment with broader dangers. It sweeps over the senses with again heavily pulsing rhythms and electronic shadows suggestively courting thoughts as much as the intimacy of the vocal and guitar melody. Its low key but involving presence makes way for the pop toned exploits of Confetti Crowns, a song which was one of those not quite igniting ears and imagination as much as those encounters around it. Musically and in songwriting, the song does little wrong yet feels like it is there to provide an accessible doorway and infectious invitation into the real and challenging heart of the album where for us the major excitements lie. Nevertheless, the song does please before the Aphex Twin meets The Cure like Ugly Flower and the scuzzy neurosis of Fingered At The Disco steal their share of attention. The first is a shadow thick serenade of sorts whilst its successor again has a tinge of Brian Brain alongside essences hinting at the likes of Fad Gadget, Pere Ubu, and Wire. It is a glorious and disturbing slice of rhythmic dementia and sonic aberration matched in creativity and emotion by Spark’s schizophrenic vocal delivery.

The melancholy soaked embrace Birth (Goodbye Roggar) offers a collage of flavours and samples next, reminding a touch of Cardiff producer Conformist as it flows like melodic mist through ears with whirls of creative and emotional disturbance interrupting its tempestuous calm while This Is God! induces smiles and glances over the shoulder as the introspective story of death bound life comes with the nag of throbbing rhythms, repetition fuelled melodic temptation, and the stable reflection of its provocateur. Another pinnacle of the release, the track bewitches before Sparks infests the classic (Don’t Fear) The Reaper with his own haunting and acoustic imagination to fine effect.

Skip Rope Rhymes concludes with firstly the creative delirium of At Daggers Drawn, a song which absorbs ears in its society bred dementia and finally the invasive yet solemnly beauteous darkness Extinction Song. Both tracks ignite ears and imagination while challenging each, a quality which infests and shapes the whole of Skip Rope Rhymes in varying ways.

Only listening to Skip Rope Rhymes does it true justice though words like ours, as with Confetti Crowns, hopefully become an enticement to want to leap into the dark and thrilling realms of Spaztic Robot; the rewards are swiftly evident for those that do.

Skip Rope Rhymes is out now across most online stores.

http://www.spazticrobot.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spazticrobot   https://twitter.com/robbiesparks

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Machismo’s – Share One With A Friend

TM's_RingMasterReview

At times listening to Share One With A Friend, the new album from The Machismo’s, it is hard to decide whether it is a kaleidoscope of its author’s talents and imagination or a bedlam of the same. It is one of the most eclectic and unpredictable escapades you could wish to be confronted with and one of the most inescapably enjoyable.

The album consists of fifteen one of a kind slices of creative exploration and mischief, and the first new songs from the band in eighteen years. Its sound ranges from indie and alternative to punk and noise rock with experimentation at every turn. The band itself probably described their music and release best via their Facebook page where it says they are “Putting the Punk and the Weirdness back into Indie.” with “Now includes added poetry….” as an extra essence. It is a suggestion that they certainly live up to within Share One With A Friend.

The band itself is the brainchild of Sam Marsh, once of the compelling and irresistible Jacob’s Mouse. Initially a solo project, The Machismo’s formed in 1995 and recorded two full albums in Sam’s home cassette portastudio. Recruiting additional members for their live exploits, the band never really exploded into serious action though and disappeared with many recordings put aside unreleased as Sam moved onto other projects. Almost two decades later though, he relooked at those songs and releases that lay awaiting attention and realising their quality and worth, released the 1996 recorded debut album Good Things About To Happen in 2013 whilst also reviving the band with Rachel Marsh and Karly Stebbings. The album was a striking invitation for those of us missing the Bury St Edmunds hailing band first time around to explore, and it seems a spark for Sam himself to push The Machismo’s on with new zeal in what is a very exciting music scene within his home town right now. As mentioned, Share One With A Friend offers the first brand new tracks from the band in a long time whilst equally offering reasons to suggest that The Machismo’s is one of the most compelling propositions within the British music scene, past and present.

The album opens with the warm and fuzzy indie pop of The Loveliest, the song a sizzle of melodic guitar jangle and robust rhythms around the expressive tones of Sam. It has an echo of the tracks within that debut album as a raw and unfussy elegance captivates as potently as the catchy swing of the song. It is a straight forward start, in comparison to things to come, and an alluring one with its additional folkish hues before the unpredictable tango of Vrrrm! takes over. Beats throw their agitated lures all over the place from the start, though finding more restraint as punkish flames of guitar align with the great dual vocal persuasion. The further ears get into it, the more volatile and thrilling things become; all the time a debut album era Squeeze essence adding to the off-kilter indie punk attraction of the song.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe outstanding Collapse To Be Rebuilt grips ears and imagination next with its garage punk infused punk ‘n’ roll. With an addictive swagger as riffs and rogue voices add their unconventional roars, the Iggy Pop meets Pere Ubu like stomp has ears and body bouncing, and an already awoken appetite licking its lips and greedy to indulge in the following dark theatre of Bad Dreams.  Straight away a grumbling static storm crowds and rumbles around vocal poetry as a single slim guitar melody adds its own melancholic emotion to that of the vocals within the thickly compelling piece.

It is hard not to think of Jacob’s Mouse a little as the sultry sway and bewitching climate of When You Know It’s Real seduces ears next, its bulbous rhythmic swing the spine for flirtatious melodic vocals and the percussive imagination making equally irresistible advances within the excellent track. It has a brilliance of presence and fun which is emulated instantly by the punk devilry of Rise Again. Snarling guitars opens up and a flirtatious noir lit hook pushes on the irresistible encounter; the latter swiftly joined by the swinging vocal persuasion which as much as anything urges hips and spirit to get involved. Twanging bass groans, sonic sighs, and ear clipping beats only add to the smile inducing adventure of drooping hopes and their Viagra crafted resurrection; whilst the combined festivity of all creates one of those moments that only lingers.

Through the likes of the muggy aired and sonically bracing Should Recognise and in turn the folkish canter of Plastic Surgery, with Sam again leaning on his poetic craft as much as his musical prowess, band and album surprise and enthral, using the following Belvia to stir up an even stronger hunger with its scuzzy pop punk trespass. It has an old school punk tone to its rapacious character and energy too, a hue which only adds to the dirty and inviting bait rushing through ears.

Post punk meets indie discord is maybe the best description for the ear grabbing, pleasure giving lo fi stroll of Gotcha!, bands like The Three Johns and Swell Maps coming to mind for certain essences of the song. To be fair though, any references are hints to portray the individuality of song and The Machismo’s free and rebellious experiments of sound and imagination which continue to evade expectations with the folk laced croon of A Better Man and the addiction forging shuffle of The Storm. Like The Jazz Butcher meets Mark E. Smith but not, the latter track is manna to ears and passions; the kind of stripped back rock ‘n’ roll with a grin in its heart that all music should be bred from.

The album concludes with the trio of firstly, the melodically salty and slightly Cajun scented However Nice You Are, There’s Always Someone Who Think’s You’re A, the Pixies-esque garage punk rumble of Class A High, and finally the nursery bred and chimed ingenuity of Machismo’s 4 Tha Kids!; all three songs offering yet more fresh twists in the album’s tale to feel stimulated and refreshed by.

The Machismo’s is not exactly a new band but their presence and invention within the album feels like something that is, which of course the album’s songs are.  So if you are looking for the unconventional but something damn good too, then go Share One With A Friend.

Also worth noting as treating yourself with is The Poets Pendulum: Is It Good Or Is It Shit?, an album of Sam Marsh’s poetry which he has been bringing to the band’s live shows for quite a while to eager responses. Both albums are available as Name Your Price Downloads @ https://themachismos.bandcamp.com/album/share-one-with-a-friend with Share One With A Friend also available on very Ltd Ed vinyl.

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Pete RingMaster 21/04/2016

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