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.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMachismos   http://themachismos.tumblr.com/

Pete RingMaster 21/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Punching Swans – Nesting

artwork_RingMaster Review

How to describe UK trio Punching Swans?

You could say they are a carnivorous groove machine, a sonically schizophrenic rumble, or a rabidly twisted siren; all applying to the creative psyche and adventure that breeds the band’s irresistible sound and now their new fiercely virulent album Nesting. Maybe the best way to describe Punching Swans is a twisted union between The Fall, McLusky, The Fire Engines, and Maths and the Moon. It is a band which despite a clutch of similarly distinct releases has remained in the shadows of the UK music scene like the black sheep of a family which gets locked away in the attic away from prying ears. Now though, the door is unlocked and the band is about to infest British rock ‘n’ roll with their tempestuously deranged math punk, courtesy of the inimitably thrilling Nesting.

Punching Swans is the ravenous creation of producer (Sunlight Studios) Greg Webster, formerly of Medway greats Houdini, the equally impressive Frau Pouch’s Joe Wise, and Pablo Paganotto from The Explorers Collective. Formed in 2011 or 2012, depending where you read, by Greg and Joe from a one-off band called Laura Palmer and the One-Eyed Jacks they got together for a Twin Peaks night, Punching Swans quickly sparked ears with a self-titled debut album in 2012, and even more so with its successor Mollusc two years later via Skingasm Records. Each has inspired potent attention and praise across fans, media, and radio shows but it is easy to feel it has all only been the taster to reactions about to be triggered by Nesting.

Telling the “story of one man’s journey from self-imposed isolation to the skies”, Nesting takes little time in gripping attention and appetite as its opener, Cuckoo Cuckold K-killed, dangles sonic bait in front of ears before the robustly contagious beats of Paganotto get to rebellious work. His swings tempt and seduce with a tenacious grin, coaxing bodily involvement as vocals walk the rhythmic web into the imagination as tangy guitar and devilish bass lures begin to stir and add to the increasingly enthralling and incendiary stroll. Unsurprisingly there is a touch of Houdini and Frau Pouch to the delicious incitement but equally thoughts of Swell Maps and inescapably The Fall also flavour the first treat.

Seriously dynamic and gripping, the album’s superb start continues with Man Nest, an even more psychotic and caustically enterprising proposition that needs mere seconds to seduce and inflame the senses too. Wise’s bass shows it has probably the grouchiest textures in British rock ‘n’ roll at its disposal whilst Webster’s guitar trespasses show no qualms about infesting the senses and psyche, acidic grooves and fiery tempting a perpetual forte.

Pigeon Street toys with more restrained energies and urgencies for its enthralling exploits next, though it is all relative to what came before as the song, with the scything beats of Paganotto an inescapable trigger to get physically involved, blossoming into an insatiable almost predatory shuffle of searing grooves, thumping rhythms, and zealous revelry. Even its calm climax has an element of off-kilter ingenuity before the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of Ovulations rumbles along with the fervent vocals of Wise and Webster holding the reins. Again hooks and grooves steal the passions as rhythms jab deeply, the song entwining post and garage punk texturing into its fearsomely alluring landscape.

That great bass tone is at its crabbiest again in the following Beak Throat and its peevish stalking of the senses within a net of guitar spun wiry hooks and sonic delights around vocal dexterity. It is hard to imagine anybody able to resist the choleric grooves of the song or possible to see the track alone avoid sending rapturous waves across post punk/noise rock pastures with its gloriously savaging and exhilarating tempest.

The brief but again irresistible invasive seduction of Ostrituals comes next to forcibly arouse the passions. If Public Image Ltd had been The Wonderstuff or Wire been McLusky, you wonder if they would have sounded like this mouth-watering predacious stomp whilst its clamorous successor Headless Chickens suggests The Dancing Did or Stomp doing salacious things with Pere Ubu or Marc Riley & The Creepers. The outcome of both and all songs though, despite suggested spices, is always something unique to Punching Swans as proven by Pecked to Death which cantankerously sits between them. Snarky in tone and unhinged in character, the track meanders and twists into unpredictable and manic detours but returning all the time to its rapacious and concussively catchy directness.

The bulging rhythms of Egg Rock is an immediate and successful infestation of the passions, its sonic tendrils and testy Mark E. Smith laced vocal strains only adding to another senses searing, lust inducing incitement before Flight brings the invasive alchemy of the album to an end. The clamant finale to Nesting is a raw soar into noise pop infectiousness and magnetic sonic caterwauling which just lights the touch paper to rapture before retiring to leave ringing in the ears and euphoria in the heart.

Nesting is the first essential album of the year and Punching Swans one of the bands set to step out of the shadows in 2016 and become seriously shouted about.

Nesting is released via Skingasm Records on 22nd January digitally and on CD with a hand numbered limited edition of 30 with a 16-page book featuring drawings and notes from the story behind the album @ http://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/

 

— Punching Swans Tour 2016 —

JAN 28 CANTERBURY w/Mass lines, Death Pedals, Negative Space

JAN 29 CHATHAM Poco Loco – MEDWAY ALBUM LAUNCH w/Girlpower & Bear vs Manero

FEB 11 CAMDEN Unicorn w/Mayors of Miyazaki + Screen wives

FEB 16 BRIGHTON TBC

FEB 21 OXFORD The Library Pub

FEB 24 BRISTOL Stag & Hounds

FEB 27 LIVERPOOL Maguire’s w/ Robocobra Quartet, Jazzhands and Cal Banda

 

http://punchingswans.tumblr.com   https://www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans   https://twitter.com/punchingswans

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Min Diesel – Mince

Photo by Lori Wilson.

Photo by Lori Wilson.

Mince, the debut album from Scottish band Min Diesel, is a clash on the senses and for some maybe a car crash as certainly their sound is not going to be an easy fit for many. It is a challenging proposition, and at times has even keen ears unsure but its real potency is in luring back regular attention which shows album and band are doing plenty right.

Aberdeen bred Min Diesel take inspirations from late-80s/early-90s punk, lo-fi and math-rock bands into their abrasing cacophony of sonic enterprise. They are a trio also becoming used to strong support and praise, through a live presence which has seen the band play with the likes of Errors, Acoustic Ladyland, Joan of Arc, Johnny Foreigner, Playlounge, Tuff Love, Hot Club de Paris, Sky Larkin, and Paws since forming in 2009 and a clutch of EPs. Two splits with Sidca and Pinact respectively in 2013 lured potent acclaim whilst last year’s Puzzle & Activity EP gave an enticing teaser to Min Diesel’s debut album now uncaged and prowling the psyche.

The threesome of Zippy, Stu, and David state inspirations come from the likes of Fugazi, Pavement, and Shellac whilst others have compared the band to artists such as Dinosaur Jr. and Stapleton. They are all understandable references though you can add many others, for us at times thoughts of Pere Ubu emerging in certain places across Mince. Equally though there is a freshness to the band’s sound which puts them at least one step aside of the crowd. Opener War Band swiftly entangles the senses in a healthy scrub of guitar and thumping beats, their union with the throaty lure of bass a magnetic invitation for ears and attention. The vocals come from within the thick mesh of sound, laying deeper in their textures than expected but working enjoyably as contagion brews within the enjoyable encounter. A searing spearing of guitar erupts in its closing moments, its acidic aggression imposing and magnetic as the track leaves with impact.

a2445096622_10   The following Pagan Pageant opens with a folkish air and quaint melody wrapped in caustic ambience, the blend further coloured by raw and often wandering vocals. Slightly deranged and openly wrong-footing, the song swings from good to not sure regularly but already there is that captivation at play meaning you want to indulge in its confusion and incitement again and again in response to its increasing persuasion. Next up Trail of T-Shirts is a more immediate tempting but also reveals stronger enticing over listens. Sharp hooks and spoiled melodies provide an appealing enticement whilst the energetic rhythms quickly bait ears and appetite, but it is the delicious discord coating the clang which steals the passions, another mighty aspect across the release backed as here by potent guitar craft and rhythmic juggling.

Kirk Session reveals a mellow though no less concussive quality to songwriting and sound next, the band casting a jarring croon of sound and vocal prowess which again will work for some and not others whilst Down on the Green straight after, goes for a more predatory intent for its pop rock cacophony. The bass discovers a bestial growl over which voice and guitar dance with brash yet warm resourcefulness. As it continues the track seems to turn a little mellower though ears are still resonating to the sonic jangle and rhythmic confrontation by its close.

The album hits its high spot with the next trio of tracks, starting with the virulent swagger of dB where again the bass is wonderfully bestial against the melodic ferocity around it. The song emerges like a tart mix of Swell Maps and Asylums though there is also a strong whiff of Josef K and very early Orange Juice to the encounter, all spicing adding to the invention of the best track upon Mince, though it is quickly challenged by Last Bus (Emm Es Bee ). The new encounter sways whilst caressing ears with citric melodies and a tangy sonic tempting, musically playing like a raw lemon on the tongue, making the senses pucker at its touch but sparking a hunger for more. Again though, it is the inventive discord trespasses which steal the show, adding greater intensity and weight to the thrilling croon.

Another song which half thrills but leaves questions in its wake, Musskulls is a psyche pop/noise rock tangle of sound and ideation. It twists and turns through coherent and deranged scenery with seamless and ultimately enticing adventure though vocally something goes a little astray. That said without finding the same spark as the last two songs, it still engages ears and thoughts forcibly and as the album grows with every listen.

Mince is brought to a close by firstly the volatile energy and aggression of Bastards, an encounter with a catchy melodic spine of infectiousness, and finally North-East Soul, a dark and raw serenade which sparkles with the Scottish lilt of the vocals, the first time the accent really comes into play within the album. Stray twangs and off kilter noise add to the drama and lure of the enthralling end to the encounter, the band almost exploring improvisation with sonic relish across the turbulent landscape.

We are on safe ground suggesting that Mince will not be a tasty offering for all but it is a release which needs time and focus to explore and come to terms with; for us as an example, it making an ok first impression but with regular engagement turning into a vat of increasing persuasion and thorough enjoyment.

Mince is available now via Struggletown in association with AlbTwo Records and Cool Yr Jets digitally and on Ltd Edition 12” cream or red/white vinyl @ http://mindiesel.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Min-Diesel/122142337808269

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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

The Harry MacIntosh Project – Such is the Vulture’s Love

Photo courtesy of (c)liarbillyt132014

Photo courtesy of (c)liarbillyt132014

Returning with their first collection of new songs in around seven years, UK experimental punks The Harry MacIntosh Project unleash the Such is the Vulture’s Love EP to remind the British rock scene what an exciting proposition they are. Berkshire based, the quintet contrary to what the band name might suggest, create a bracing brew of punk and noise rock wrapped in alternative rock tenacity. There is still more to their sound as proven by the new release, but imagine a brew of Richard Hell, At the Drive In, The Jesus Lizard, and Blood Brothers, and maybe add a thick pinch of Pere Ubu and you get a clearer idea.

As said it has been quite a while since the self-release of their Macrophage EP in 2006, though there has been a live album to keep us happy too, but with their recent signing to London-based Zube Records the band is back to incite ears and psyche in fine style once again. The time between releases has also seen a line-up change and a more defined and mature handle on their ever warped ability to stir things up with instinctive, noise fuelled invention. It is all in evidence upon Such is the Vulture’s Love and it is fair to say that it is good to have fresh and raw sounds from the band in the British rock ‘n’ roll landscape again.

10291714_10153149234802438_5040363608279764080_n     It all starts with Error Terror, a warped sonic disturbance of jazzy intent brewing up to the point where the band step forward with sharp hooks, wiry grooves and bustling rhythms. It is an immediate flavoursome tonic of sound, becoming more acidic and tangy with the vocals of Trip Hazzard, his appearance seeming to spark a more citric touch to the guitar enterprise of David Anderson and Thomas Cox. The song continues to prowls the senses as the meaty beats of Paul Hopgood collude with the throaty lines cast by Thom Draven’s bass, but throughout and just as potent is an infectious almost virulent swing to the track. It is a mighty and compelling start to the release and quickly matched by its successor.

…and this Cat has a similar swagger to its body and presence too, guitars spilling catchy grooves whilst rhythms are more boisterous than aggressive. It is a gripping entrance soon leading to greater reactions as the track slips into a melodic calm with evocative resonance and invasive, slightly Parisian charm. The track is outstanding, too short maybe causing a moan when it stops such the enjoyment given, but a tapestry of hues suggested by many of the bands previously mentioned. They are just small hints of colour though to a sound which comparing it to anyone borders on selling it short, certainly from within the second song upon Such is the Vulture’s Love.

(I Spent the Night In A) Washing is a voracious rock ‘n’ roll stomp doing its best to steal top honours on the EP. Rugged on its punk side and bewitching in its sonic endeavour, the track bullies and entices ears simultaneously, rhythms the most volatile protagonist, though the gripping bass part of their invention with its catchiness tempers the ferocity of the drums. With Hazzard spilling more and more expression, and at times animosity with every song, the encounter is another to leave like-minded bands wishing it was them and the listener feeling like they are being serenaded by a pissed off hornet.

The release closes with Mouldy Water, a dark intimidation of a song with a muddy atmosphere and a seemingly antagonistic nature caressing the senses with caustic melodies bullied by tempestuous rhythms. As in the other songs we are only giving glimpses to the emotional and atmospheric turbulence and raw beauty pervading the encounter, every moment in a song a new wash of invention and wonderful agitation hard to replicate in words.

Hopefully it will not be another vast stretch of time before The Harry MacIntosh Project unleashes some more of their impressive new direction of sound. Such is the Vulture’s Love is an excellent and enthralling treat for the now but it also leaves pleasure in the arm of want, a need for more, and even its superb body can solely satisfy that for too long.

Such is the Vulture’s Love is released April 25th via Zube Records on CD, seven-inch coloured vinyl, and as a digital download.

http://www.facebook.com/theharrymacintoshproject

RingMaster 23/04/2015

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

BulBul – Hirn Fein Hacken

EOM57_PromoWallet

Ok I will admit I had not come across Austrian band Bulbul before being handed their new album Hirn Fein Hacken, a release which sees them returning after six years from not sure where, but from here on in after the intensive psyche examination presented by their latest, a backward investigation is sitting high on the list of musts. An insatiable and mischievous, not forgetting criminally addictive, exploration of every delicious element you can imagine to rile, ignite, and seduce the very core of the mind and senses, Hirn Fein Hacken is quite simply sonic irreverence and quite brilliant.

The first sign of Bulbul we can find is the release of their self-titled debut album in 1997, Bulbul a one man project of guitarist/vocalist Raumschiff Engelmayr at the time. With Derhunt linking up on bass, the band released second and again self-titled album in 1999, via as the first via Trost Records. Drummer Ddkern joined not long after as the band continued to experiment with sound, imagination, and their fans minds through their third and fourth albums in 2003 and 2005 respectively, again under the same monikers as the others. 2006 saw fifth album BlllBlll unleashed whilst the Patrick Pulsinger produced 6 was uncaged via Exile On Mainstream two years later to strong acclaim and attention. Hirn Fein Hacken is as mentioned the band’s return, again via EOM, and takes little time in slipping under the skin of the senses and psyche as well as giving the passions an irresistible creative toxicity to feast upon.

The Vienna hailing band’s influences according to the press release include the likes of The Kinks, Cpt. Beefheart, Rhys Chatham, Django Reinhart, Abner Jay, Fats Domino, and Bob Dylan, but as the album seduces with its ingenious seductive dementia we would suggest artists such as Kontrust, De Staat, Yello, and Fantomas as a starting place. Opener Fire offers a wide groan before bringing all of its thought and energy into a concentrated rhythmically driven nagging of ears and senses. Riffs gently niggle as the bass provides a fuzz kissed tonic to greedily swallow whilst all the while strong vocals dance over the bait with devilry in their tone and relish on their lips. The song continues to swagger and weave across the imagination, enterprise of the guitar as boisterously naughty as it is creative and the bass an irresistible growling incitement impossible to tear emotions away from.

It is a magnetic start which has little difficulty in making slaves of thoughts and passions, leaving the following Uhu a willing canvas to play with. An electro simmering ebbs and flows initially, its voice slightly smothered but eager to break free to greater clarity. That aspect is taken by the funk bred grooves and suasion of the guitar matched by the vivacious vocal delivery. The song smoulders, never lifting its gaze or energy from a wanton sway of its body and sex infused melodies. Not as dramatic as its predecessor but equally as enthralling, the song makes way for I hea eh scho lång nix mea, a song which like the first secures its initial conquest through repetitive coaxing before exploring an industrially inspired realm with clanking tubes, concussive temptations, and unpredictable almost maniacal imagination. The track pushes the earlier thoughts of De Staat to the fore, the song a cousin of their Sweatshop track without the same feverish urgency. It is a glorious trap for the passions warming them up for the even greater infestation to follow.

That virulence comes in the shape of the ridiculously addictive and epidemically infectious instrumental Kanzla. From its first second, guitars respectfully grind against the ears whilst the bass again adds a barracuda like tone to the abrasing lure of the song. The rhythmic restraint with punctuating twists of the drums only reinforces the delicious irritancy as the track persists with its rub through sonic rises and falls. The dip into a brief sultry teasing only inflames the senses more before the track reverts to its feverish meshuga of a tango, intermittently interrupting its blaze with further inventive twists.

Both the psychotic Fisole, where instruments are abused and random items employed for a warped bedlamic cacophony, and the noise rock taunting of Quicksand keep the passions breathless, the second of the two finding an element of Melvins and even Pere Ubu to its spellbinding guitar sculpted temptation. As impressively thrilling as they are the pair are only the appetiser for the pinnacle of the album, Gurdy. The track takes a breath before cantering eagerly through the ears, spicy short guitar strokes and rumbling riffing spurred on by the darkly sinister vocals and unrelenting rhythms. The track is pure 100% unbudging contagion, every flavour, trait, and inventive bait pure addictiveness. Imagine Mike Patton, Pryapsime, and Queens Of The Stone Age engaged in an illicit enterprise and you have the quite magnificent Gurdy.

Genderman Can provides a raw punk fuelled rampage next, vocals and bass antagonistic whilst the guitar boils the air with a blues tasting sonic toxin which again is only good for health and passions, especially its closing warped and sizzling smothering of the senses. From here the album relaxes its energetic stance to unveil a pair of slowly burning treats. Bomb comes first, its opening air awash with the fiery country blues flames which were hinted at on its predecessor. With pulsating beats and a psychedelic ambience drifting over song and listener whilst the vocals like the music flickers within a seductive fire formed around the narrative, the track is a mesmeric enchantment littered and primed with broad intrigue and unruly invention, but within a relatively sobering confine.

The closing A To Beans is just aural sex, a slow hip swerving seductress with smooth rhythms, a throbbing intent, and a sinister vocal invitation which should be avoided but impossible not to embrace as deeply as the noir blessed sounds. It is a ridiculously captivating end to a quite sensational release. As these last words are written contemplation of how BulBul avoided our attention is loud and incriminations rife, but it is hard to imagine previous releases being better than Hirn Fein Hacken so maybe this was the right time to find the band. We are heading back into their history as you read and suggest you do the same once you have been infected by this mad beauty.

http://www.bulbul.at/

http://bulbul.bandcamp.com/album/hirn-fein-hacken

10/10

RingMaster 08/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Melvins – Tres Cabrones

melvins tres cabrones

Since day one there has been a magnetic charm, flair, genius, whatever you wish to call it about Melvins and their unique releases. It is a potency or schizophrenic mastery which has seduced and fulfilled an ever growing legion throughout their thirty year inventive assault. Whatever the success and heights individual releases have found the band has never left anyone wanting for quality and the distinctive essence which is pure Melvins, and new persuasion Tres Cabrones is no exception. Whether it is one of their finest moments to date can and will be discussed no doubt but certainly this mischievous temptation is prime Melvins, a riveting, and exceedingly satisfying provocation which feeds expectations whilst stretching areas of their sound just that little bit more.

The twelve track Ipecac Recordings released album sees two thirds of the first band line-up in place, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover linking up with original drummer Mike Dillard who left the band in 1984, and with diversity and unpredictability set in the familiar Melvins cast style Tres Cabrones makes for an irresistible rampage through the imagination. It is an instant instigator for the passions from the very start with opener Dr. Mule with its addictive blaze of crisply laid rhythms and fiery grooves within a sonic web of enterprise, making a compelling introduction to the release. The song unleashes an almost sirenesque lure through its seductive sonic tempting, an element of Pere Ubu spicing its presence with the vocals especially recalling the bedlamic delivery of David Thomas. It is an outstanding entrance into the album immediately backed up by the just as impressive City Dump.

The second track is a dirty growl of rock ‘n’ roll, carnivorous riffs snarling persistently whilst sonic flames scorch the air with an equally needy rabidity which leaves a hunger rife within the emotions, this fired up appetite soon given plenty to chew upon with American Cow and Dogs and Cattle Prods. The first of the pair is a stalking intimidation, its predacious riffery a deliciously worrisome confrontation skirted by dark throated basslines and sonic manipulations of guitar. There is a grizzled contempt to the vocals throughout too though nicely tempered by the cleaner delivery both adding impressive bait within the cantankerous prowl. The second of the two is a festering of grimy hard rock and sonic teasing which makes a straightforward bruising narrative for its first stretch before exuding the band’s finest stoner imagination and fire as it evolves its striking presence with a sultry breath, acoustic caresses, and crawling, searing dynamics.

The song is followed by the second of three fun filled interludes; Tie My Pecker to a Tree, 99 Bottles of Beer, and You’re In The Army Now all delivered in the inimitable Melvins style to leave grins wide and providing a respite from an intensity built in other tracks, such as the synapse tantalising Psychodelic Haze, a song which sizzles whilst leering greedily at and putting pressure upon the senses through a sonic infused concussive smog. If that enthralling mental trip was not enough the threesome take it further with the excellent I Told You I Was Crazy. The discord fuelled, brain addling treat is swamp gas seeping sonic devilry at its best, a presence which soaks and tempts the imagination into a shadow drenched slice of asylum courted majesty, its sinister cradling of the ears a cross between Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers and  Buzzov•en, but all Melvins.

Both Stump Farmer and Walter’s Lips provide riff sculpted temptation which is impossible to resist, the first a brief and forceful acquaintance which though reined for the main still has a ferocity which is commanding and insatiable whilst the other track is a gnarly mix of punk and heavy rock which abrases with its raw causticity and seduces with wanton melodic flames.

The closing of the album is left to Stick em’ Up Bitch, a glam rock inspired riot which opens with a lure straight out of Ballroom Blitz and continues to rattle nostalgia cages with its lascivious offering. It concludes Tres Cabrones in fine style, completing what is a deeply satisfying and thrilling release. The album is pure Melvins, an encounter which arguably does not challenge expectations too rigorously but definitely gives them food for thought and exciting adventures to find unpredictability within, without question another must investigate album from a continually inspiring band.

http://www.themelvins.net

9/10

RingMaster 05/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Psychic Teens – Come

Heads 2013 by John Berry

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/PsychicTeensNetwork

9.5/10

RingMaster 13/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com