Easter Teeth – Truckstop Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/easterteeth

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scare The Normals – Creepy Brainfood

Pic  Steven Clark

Pic Steven Clark

Providing Creepy Brainfood and plenty to keep ears and imagination excitedly busy, the second album from UK sextet Scare The Normals recently saw its outing on CD to back up its already potent digital release. The album brings thirteen socially conscious off-kilter boogies together for a warped adventure fuelled by the band’s unique fusion of electro, funk, hip hop, and psych rock ‘n’ roll, and that is to simplify their mouth-watering engagement.

Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, Scare The Normals first caught our years with their contribution to the excellent This is the sound of Sugar Town album, a compilation of bands currently lighting up the Suffolk market town’s musical landscape. Their track Tomorrow was a slice of sonic magnetism which in hindsight only gave one aspect to the band’s sound now being enjoyably discovered upon the kaleidoscopic Creepy Brain Food. With thanks to Seymour Quigley of Horse Party, another of the town’s essential propositions, who sent the release our way, Creepy Brainfood offers more aural flavours and imagination drenched hues than a Rio carnival.

It starts with Enter the Temple, a gateway into the album through voice and resonance initially but soon becoming a throbbing lure with warning sirens and sonic squelches. Vocalist/MC, like a side show barker, makes the final invitation before the listener finds himself lost in and absorbed by in the funky saunter of Four Hornets and a Goose. Carrying a Disraeli and the Small Gods feel to it, the song strolls along with a swinging body and sultry flirtations of guitar, its pulsating psychedelic coated body ridden skilfully by Illinspired’s insightful lyrical and rap prowess.

By its close the song has the body and imagination firmly involved and ready to embrace the jazzy funk revelry of Heavy Grammar. As in its predecessor, a throaty bassline from Mikey BassandStuff spines the rhythmic shuffle of Simon Chapple around which Gish’s guitar, with a host of other electronic and fuzzy textures, dances with infectious enterprise. Nineties band Honky comes to mind during the track, but fair to say a passing thought again in something unique to Scare The Normals with the vocal blend as persuasive as the tapestry of aural flirtation around them.

Scare The Normals - Creepy Brainfood cover_RingMasterReviewThe following Deeper Water is the first track to feature a guest appearance from Deftex legend MC Chrome. Straight away it has a swampy air and feel, a glorious thick bluesy tempting which soon blossoms exotic textures and Eastern melodies in its elegantly flowing body. The union and contrasts of the two vocalists is just as mesmeric, their raps at times almost mischievously duelling especially leading up to and during sizzling eruptions into rock ‘n’ roll devilry. The track transfixes as it gets hips swaying, a reaction the album manages to majestically achieve at every twist and turn including through next up Naga Viper. Predominantly a celestially lit instrumental with again worldly aural colours gracing its bubbly jazz funk, the song simply romances the imagination before Brass Leaf shares its suggestive drama of sound and word to repeat the previous rousing alchemy at play with its own individual carnival.

Through the short punk theatre of Dicky Metcalf Pawned his Pistol, a track playing with a Ripping Yarns like mischief as it touches intimate tragedy, and the even briefer noir lit meander of Bob’s Passion, Scare The Normals reveal more of their diversely adventurous exploration and theatre. Shaped by their bold imagination, each provides a new pasture to embrace with samples and dizzying spins of wax by Dr. Ughh adding to the ear gripping fun.

The album continues with its title track; another song breeding rich evocative shadows around poetic melodies and suggestive keys while sharing a darkly hued tale which crawls through ears into the imagination and psyche. The track is superb, a spellbinding hug as sinister as it is seductive and irresistible.

Luminous Footprint comes next with sonic and electronic spatters of sound almost as candescent as its title suggests. The bass brings a Cure like tone to the emerging track too, reinforcing its initial lure before another funk infested tango lifts feet and sparks hips into flirtatious motion. The Pigbag-esque instrumental borrows body and spirit with ease; passing both when finished on to the fleeting throbbing bass led swing of Sarcastic Fringe Head. One minute in length the track again has swift involvement drawn and carried on by the excellent Tomorrow. Maybe providing the biggest twist within Creepy Brainfood, the song is an enthralling enticement of electro rock with an eighties air recalling the likes of The Normal and Naked Lunch. Its mysterious electronics and prowling rhythms lay the seeds to a compelling infestation of the passions, attitude laced vocals and sinister almost cinematic sonic endeavour completing the inescapable lure of the thrilling encounter.

The psychedelically glazed soundscape of New Adventure brings the album to a close, Chrome again guesting with alongside DJ Tags. Their vocal craft including that of Illinspired creates a spiky and stirring jab to a track which gracefully envelops the senses if with a slight edge to its mystical floatation. It is a great end to an album which just grows and shines brighter with every listen, each venture finding something new to explore and become intimate with.

Scare The Normals are like few other bands, if any, and Creepy Brainfood a journey through unconventional pastures of sound and imagination which everyone deserves to get a helping of.

Creepy Brainfood is out now @ http://scarethenormals.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SCARE-THE-NORMALS-60881200139

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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LaBrassBanda – Europa

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To support and celebrate the band’s recent UK tour, German nine-piece LaBrassBanda have re-released their acclaimed 14-track album Europa, and if like us you missed it first time around, now is the time to join their compelling festival of sound. Uniting the richest contagious elements of everything from techno to funk, reggae to ska, and punk to alternative rock pop, the Bavarian outfit take ears and imagination on a euro stomp of irresistible creative revelry.

LaBrassBanda was formed in 2007, one of its founders, vocalist/trumpeter Stefan Dettl inspired by the Youngblood Brass Band. With a few line-up changes and an expansion of personnel, the band has persistently ventured across Europe with their sound, becoming renowned for their high energy live performances. As mentioned the band’s sound is bred on styles and flavours as diverse as the different musical backgrounds and tastes of its members. Originally released in 2013, Europa gets a fresh UK concentrated unleashing to accompany their just completed and highly successful tour and before the full complement of trumpeters Jörg Hartl and Korbinian Weber, trombonist Manuel Winbeck, bassist Mario Schönhofer, drummer Manuel Da Coll, percussionist Tobias Weber, tuba player Stefan Huber, and guitarist Fabian Jungreithmayr alongside Dettl hit the festivals of Europe.

The album fires up ears and thoughts straight away with opener Tecno, its sound as you would expect from its title a vibrant enticement for feet and dance-floors aligned to a great throaty shadowing of bass and tuba. The expressive vocals of Dettl are equally low in tone but as magnetic as the flames of brass which flirt with the senses across the relatively restrained but tenacious encounter. Thoughts of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth spring up as the song dances with ears before passing the baton of infectiousness over to the following Jacqueline. Immediately more feisty and energetic than its predecessor, the song swings and grooves with a funk bred air and gypsy folk devilry, again body swerves and lively feet the target.

0888837022521     The album hits its pinnacle early with the exceptional Holland, the track a slightly deranged waltz of hip hop tinged vocals and an accompanying mashing of syllables courted by a soundtrack of busy and psyche seducing brass. It is just the start of the fun and lustful persuasion though, a fluid step into a reggae spiced, punk hued romp reminding of bands like Asian Dub Foundation causing pure addiction. A track to bring graveyards alive and lungs exhaustion, the track is pure manna for body and soul. What it is about who knows, being Bavarian illiterate we fail you on that aspect as there is not an English word spoken across the whole album but we are led to believe plenty of songs are about beer, girls and partying.

Schweden next nudges and entices the listener with an electro beat based offering equipped with a potent seduction of bass which blossoms into a sultry croon of brass and melodic persuasion. It also has a whiff of nostalgia, parts of it reminding of Dalek I Love You whilst it’s more feisty and lively exotic catchiness has a sense of Mano Negra to its enterprise. The freely flowing encounter never erupts into a blaze but relentlessly seduces before allowing the agitated adventure of Z’spat Dro to tease and bounce with ears and appetite. A punk tenacity and energy surges through the infectious anthemic romp, think Biting Elbows meets Les Négresses Vertes and you have another treat of a track.

The punchy Nackert with is rock pop croon keeps the energies and thorough enjoyment in top gear whilst Sarajevo takes a gentler but no less enthralling flight across a boldly simmering but reserved scenery of melodic craft. The elegant instrumental has the imagination casting its own travelogue of adventure, brass and guitar providing the colour and rhythms the drama for thought sculpted exploits.

Entering into the second half of the album, Europa evolves into a more evocative and suggestive persuasion than the more forceful devilry of its opening half, though first of all the cosmopolitan soundscape of Frankreich reveals itself as another instrumental with bold rousing hints for ears and thoughts to play with. The colder climate of the melancholically charmed Russland comes next, its slow haunting an immersive caress whilst Western straight after saunters along with a jazz funk smile and brassy mysticism as vocals unite in harmonic, almost shamanic prowess.

Though admittedly there was pining for the outright devilment of a Jacqueline of Holland at this point, the album still has the listener firmly departed from the real world attention wise with each proposal, a success continued with the warm and dark theatre of Griechenland and following that, the folk lined shuffle of Vogerl where that gypsy folk/punk tempting returns to take feet and emotions on another flirtatious dance.

Europa ends with firstly the highly persuasive Opa and lastly the melancholic, funereal like sigh of Hymne, arguably the one time not understanding the spoken narrative is missed, though the wake like reverence of the music explains plenty.

It is fair to say that Europa is easily one of our favourite encounters this year and at times offers songs sparking a lust which borders on illegal. To bring your summer and year to life, if you have not already, time to join the LaBrassBanda festivities we suggest.

Europa is available now via Sony Music/RCA @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/europa/id651995604

http://www.labrassbanda.com   https://www.facebook.com/LaBrassBanda

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

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War is a Racket

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Like the soundtrack to a deranged tale fed on Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland and soaked in the lunacy of a Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, War is a Racket is one of those propositions which simply send ears and imagination into overload. Created by Craig Scott’s Lobotomy, the album is a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures uniting in a fascinating and warped adventure, whilst Craig Scott himself is the aural Willy Wonka, offering sonic and melodic candy created from the tang of discord and sweetness of insanity.

A bordering on psychotic tapestry of experimental jazz, alternative rock, and similarly unpredictable electronica, album and sound casts ears and thoughts adrift in a sea of instrumental incitement. Every track is a unique vehicle for the imagination to go on a creative rampage with yet they also all contribute to a perpetual flight through one fluid and invigoratingly bedlamic soundscape. War is a Racket has been three years in the making, drawing on influences, experiences, and the things Scott has learned during his life to date as a professional musician involved in numerous diverse projects. The result of everything combined is a debut album which dangles bait after bait of startling sound and seriously intriguing unconnected essences, all united in a creative toxicity which just gets deep under the skin to set off a lustful reaction in ears, thoughts, and ardour.

The previous years has seen Scott play regularly with the likes of ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’ , IKESTRA , CottonWoolf, The Bugalu Foundation, and The Hot Beef Three as well as perform with artists such as Tom Arthurs, Baba Adasose Wallace, Matthew Borne , John Potter (Hilliard Ensemble),Chris Sharkey (Trio VD/Shiver), Ball-Zee(UK Beatbox Champion) Jean Tousaint (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) , Les Smith (Cradle of Filth), and Ruby Wood (Submotion Orchestra , Bonobo). His music has grabbed the ears and support of fellow musicians like Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart / Jeff Buckley) amongst a growing horde of fans which also includes cult horror classic House of 1000 Corpses’ Bill Moseley. Anticipation for War is a Racket has certainly been more than keen but it is now with its release that it is easy to expect major awareness embracing its creator.

a4033067006_2    The album, which sees Scott accompanied by a plethora of skilled and inventive talent, opens with Gibbles and a distant wistful melody. The ear is soon under the temptation of dark double bass slaps and bass clarinet seduction though; they in turn courted by a web of brass teasing. A jazzy air soon takes on an exotic flavour through guitar and sax, excited elements entwining for a sultry and mouth-watering dance through Arabian avenues and more Caribbean spiced festivity. All the time though there is a tempering shadow, an underlying turbulence which brews up a danger with fresh seeds for thoughts to twist and redesign its visual landscape with. The nearer its conclusion the more unravelled the track and its calm becomes as it takes the listener into the sonic distortion and percussive bubbling of Proud to be a Mirkin. The second song also brings a brass fuelled agitation aligned to a sinister electronic stalking of the psyche. It is the stuff of dark dreams, though as hindsight will eventually show, just the start of bigger nightmarish intrusions to come.

Peace returns with Tempest in a Teacup next, a nine minute stroll through summer gardens and reflective atmospheres. Of course already, even on the first listen of the album, expectations are soon expecting darker warped twists too and it does not disappoint, though equally the track sets senses and emotions ablaze with a deliciously manic melodic enterprise equipped with mischievous hooks and perverted imagination. Like something from Brian Brain in a drug induced stupor, the track ebbs and flows with bright revelry and noir clad infestations of ears and thoughts. Ultimately though, you come away with feet bouncing and emotions leaping to that devilish jazz pop lure and the emerging gypsy/world music spicing which has a distinct Les Négresses Vertes feel to it.

The following Technicolor Yawn is a brighter and relatively straight forward hug of the senses, initially at least as of course it too has contrasting and darker flirtations of sound and invention to its gentle cruise. Guitars and synths collude to colour the elegant canvas with shards of seemingly improvised jazz incitement, each nudge and jab of sound a tempting spark to new diversions or characters in the imagination’s interpretation. Almost a travelogue of unique lands and atmospheres on its own, the transfixing pieces makes way for the climactic and psychotic For those with a Short Attention Span. The track is a splatter of sounds and textures which somehow within the ears unite to create a coherent if still furiously unpredictable weave of sonic colour. As all the tracks it leaves a pantry load of food for thought before making way for the irresistible lures of Voodoo Friday. Rhythmically tribal and virulent, the track opens like a thumping ‘sketch’ from percussionists Stomp, but is soon embracing darker strains of sound and harmonies. Its persuasion is meditative and demonic simultaneously, the perpetual invitation from tablas, matched by grouchy bass sounds and a swarming cloud of brass and stringed fermentation which only add to the psychedelic Hammer Movie-esque visualisation inspired across the glorious encounter. Its closing romp reminds of deranged versions of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth, that alone leaving ears and emotions basking.

The album’s title track comes next and swiftly returns the listener physically and mentally to the dark clutches of haunted realms and sinister trespasses. Keys impact with a classic thirties/forties lilt to their narrative whilst rhythmically and harmonically, the track is a web of ravenous shadows and psyche grasping evocation. The bewitching nightmare prevails with increasing sideshow devilry as the song continues its descriptive presence, reaching a restrained yet ‘hellish’ climax taunted by crooner inspired keys. The drama and air of the song is traumatic and seriously compelling just as the lighter but no less drenched in espionage album finale of Ormchestron. Opening like the theme tune to a sixties spy/thriller TV show, keys dangling inescapable bait for the imagination, the piece becomes a much cloudier and thematically minatory adventure yet with a constant tempering of melodic and inventive whimsy. The brass escapades brings hints of Essential Logic to thoughts whilst strings and keys offer a Cardiacs like devilment, but ultimately, as War is a Racket itself, it is all wholly individual to Craig Scott’s Lobotomy.

It is fair and easy to say that War is a Racket is quite brilliant, maybe not something for everyone but for those with real adventure and love of life’s and music’s discordance woven into something truly unique, simply a must.

War is a Racket is available through Wasp Millionaire Records from 30/03/2015 on CD, 12” Blue vinyl (Ltd to 250 copies) and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craig-Scotts-Lobotomy/102612563153288   http://lookatmemummypr.com/

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Halfling’s Leaf – High Time

Halfling's Leaf

All those of an addictive personality look away now for we are about to expose the newest curse set to consume and manipulate the youth of today, Halfling’s Leaf. A band from Stockport in the UK, this is a four man noise conjuring machine which can be best described as having a sound which teases like a mix of Melvins, Rage Against The Machine, The Fall Of Troy, At The Drive In, and Primus. To be honest they are impossible to pin down, their unique toxin of punk n funk an irresistible and irrepressible contagion released under the mask of latest EP, High Time.  Their second release following the equally impressive Ain’t No Candy EP of last year, the six track tempest is sonic and rhythmic devilment which will ignite the deepest passions for all who have a reticence to entertain normality, regular time signatures, and passionless monotony.

Formed in 2011 and consisting of vocalist Matt Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Mayo, bassist/vocalist Chid Seisay, and drummer/vocalist Andy Preece, Halfling’s Leaf teases, torments, and virulently dances with the senses through a hybrid of flavours soaked in instinctive mischief and skilled sonic anarchy. High Times is made up of a sextet of noise sculpted miscreants which simply call out to like-minded hearts and thoughts like an insidious siren, their lure and temptation insatiable but carrying an epidemic of rewards to thrill and excite let alone ignite the passions. Produced by the band alongside Dan Buxton, who also mixed and mastered the tempestuous taunt, the EP has everything and more that you could wish for in soul corruption.

Opening track Your Welcome… immediately riots on the ear with squalling vocals from Franklin and band alongside energetic High Time Coverand infectious riffs. It is an instantaneous temptress which continues its wantonness through the evolving bass croon of Seisay and fiery grooves of Mayo and equally salacious hooks. Unbridled in attitude and breath sapping enterprise the song lifts the emotions into a mutual stomp but just as you are flinging limbs in tandem it slips easily into a sultry stroll of provocative sonic sex. The rhythms of Preece chip away at the ear whilst the bass plays within with devious craft to its persuasion, the song brewing up another rampage though this time driven by persistently shifting stances and sonic slights of hand before unleashing one final punk spitting climax.

The outstanding start is continued through the following Goon Hammer, the track opening up its throat with again compelling bass bait to lure in the appetite and the excellent vocal exploits of Franklin. His jagged delivery at the beginning of the song picks and pokes at the listener with an almost Marilyn Manson like irreverence whilst the guitar matches his plotting with similarly spiky melodic incitement. With a gait which crawls and explores every inch of the psyche, the track stomps with predatory and maniacal intent unleashing a RATM grooved like entrapment before scooting and scrambling rhythmically and sonically with avant-garde bedlam. It is another enthralling and stunning rummage through one’s mind for the purest pleasure.

Scopplers waltzes through a funk spiced stroll of near discordant majesty aligned to a sonic palette of vibrant and searing colours whilst another expertly bred groove entrances the ear, this time with a stoner like breath, latched onto agitated rhythms and a raw expressive energy. As well as the quality of the release the song pushes the diversity out further as does the following pair of Hej and Hit It and Quit It. The first of the twin strikes of aural mania leaps at and quicksteps across and through the ear with a funk clad romp which comes with the swagger of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the irresistible heat of Pigbag before evolving into a punk speared roister of intensive rhythmic disorientation, guitar and bass snarling, and vocal scathing. It is another infection which would be outlawed in any other recreational past time, a tempestuous virus which could be described as System Of A Down meets Pere Ubu in the arms of the Cardiacs, and quite ingenious.

The second of this pair is different in voice but similar in unhinged construction, and arguably the one which without losing its creative psychotic charm offers a more straightforward canvas for less adventurous people to feast upon. To be fair though with a drift into a warm yet deranged ambience whilst St. Vitus dance rhythms frame the detour, it is never offering anything merely to satisfy expectations and stay at home appetites.

S.N.C. closes up the psycho party with one final torrent of rhythmic destruction, sonic scorching, and vocal scathing, a punk/noise rock exploitation which has the incendiary insistence of a pissed off hornet and the creative corrosive might of a tsunami. It is a brilliant certifiable conclusion for a magnificent release which easily sits amongst the best of 2013.

High Time is a release everyone should at least dip their sanity into before losing their mental strength to the delicious toxicity that is Halfling’s Leaf.

https://www.facebook.com/halflingsleaf

10/10

RingMaster 06/06/2013

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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Pigbag: Year Of The Pigbag

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    The presence of UK Funk Afro-Jazz combo Pigbag may have been a short burst of energised time in the early eighties but they certainly left a lingering and impacting legacy with their song Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag, a piece of music which has continued to bring agitated life to feet and emotions. Releasing two albums between 1980 and 1983 as well as touring extensively across Europe, Japan and the United States, the band disbanded in that final year due to musical differences. In its time the Bristol based band certainly brought a breath which invigorated and refreshed all areas from post punk to Jazz and funk to pop, their sound effortlessly find a welcome in a wide genre spawn and eager fan base. A band which apparently was banned from Top Of The Pops for trying to bring fun to their performance, Pigbag return thirty years later with their third album and certainly time has not dampened their creative enthusiasm and potency to seize senses and limbs and make them join their vibrant cause.

The band reformed in 2011 with founding members Chris Lee (trumpet) and Ollie Moore (saxes) as well as another original member in Kofi Adu (Congas/Percussion). Bringing in a quintet of new equally minded musicians in bassist Sven Atterton, guitarist Max O’Donnell, drummer John Sam, plus Karme Caruso and Matt Dowse, keys and trombone respectively, Pigbag has released an album which fuses nostalgia and brand new essences into one pleasing and engaging melody doused encounter. Released on Bristol imprint Sugar Shack Records, the album without really igniting the impetuous mischief and irresistibility of their renowned single, offers an elegantly and relatively subdued yet passionate presence across its the collection of tracks which inspires a rich affection and compulsive hunger as strong as their earlier triumphs so magnificently achieved.

The album opens with the delicious Cuban Rice (Is Very Nice), a stroll through a balmy Latin soundscape with the seductive lures of rhythmic temptation and the deeply contented blazes of horn persuasion. It is an addictive dance for heart and feet which across its enthralling presence caresses entice, and pulls emotions to their eager to jive toes. The picky guitar teases which mischievously work behind the melodic fires and golden harmonies also bring not for the first time on the album, a ska seeded fun whilst bass, drums and percussion, enlist an instinctive rapport from start to finish.

Through the shimmering strut of Disco Mama with its seventies funk boast and electrified breath, and the intriguing Out of Chaos, the release continues to trip all the right switches to magnetise the senses and attention their way. The second of the pair is an evocative mix of crystalline ambience and shadowed mystique which opens its suggestive arms into another warm and provocative embrace before handing over to the similarly heated Tabula Rasa and its sultry saunter through inviting hazy climes and reflective sounds.

Each track on the album has its individual character but together it feels like a connected travelogue of passion and sun soaked imaginative revelations. The energetic Beluga steps forward next to generously samba with the ear before stepping aside for the biggest highlight of the album to leave its thrilling touch upon the passions. Jumpers for Goalposts takes its seeds one senses from the signature tunes of football shows in the seventies, re-inventing their whispers into something impossibly addictive. With a ska base which reminds of The Specials song A Message To Rudy, the piece is a joyful and energetic playground for fun to bask in the warmth of innocent times and melodic laughter. It is a wonderful romp which holds the ear and thoughts long after it has physically left their shelter.

With the remaining Brains with its sophisticated persuasion, the picturesque Honeydew Lady, the song a canvas for lush colours and sounds to conjure a romance tinged image, and the closing Afrodite on the Horizontal which for no reason other than the name and its free form essence reminds of the work of art Tony Hancock was ‘creating’ in the movie The Rebel, the band leave emotions and passions entranced. The thought of the return of Pigbag alone raised a little excitement but Year Of the Pigbag just re-ignites all the pleasure and joy which marked them the first time around with a craft and invention which arguably is them at their best yet.

www.pigbag.co.uk

8/10

RingMaster 25/03/2013

 

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The Apples – Fly On It

The best apple is always a crisp and juicy one which is exactly how you can describe the new album from a band with the same name. Israeli post-funk nine-piece instrumental band The Apples simply light up the senses with latest album Fly On It, which is unleashed on August 6th. It is a collection of instrumental based tracks which twist and turn with relish whilst carrying a wicked glint in their eye to y thrill consistently.

The band and album brings sounds which are a hybrid fusion of jazz and funk with an enormous squeeze of multi flavoured essences veined with Middle Eastern influences. To be honest we do not have a great knowledge of this area of music but at times The Apples takes our thoughts and ears back to bands like Pigbag and Rip Rig and Panic whilst also bringing tints of the likes of De Staat, Les Negresses Vertes, and Mano Negra into view. The release is perpetually intriguing and exhilarating throughout to leave a permanent grin in the heart.

Released through Audio Montage, Fly On It was originally commissioned by Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios for Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound and was recorded over two days in Wiltshire at legendary studios Big Room. The setting and resulting tracks saw The Apples able to bring their explosive live sound and feel into the recordings bringing an irresistible energy to the album. Since forming in 2002 the band has gathered increasing acclaim with their albums Attention! (2006), Buzzin’ About (2008), and Kings (2010), not to mention their singles, EP, and a critically acclaimed version of the Rage Against the Machine track Killing In The Name. The new release is set to draw an even greater response one feels, its invention and vibrant creativity it is hard to imagine many not falling for.

The album opens with the stomping funk sounds of Preserve. Tribal with feisty rhythms and mischievous horns, the track teases and excites the ear with flickering melodies and beckoning near wantonness. Excitable and intent on exploding in every corner of the senses the song ignites a heated infection to set the release off to a great start.

The following title track ruffles the air with a sinister flicking of its tongue seemingly inspired by the trade mark Rage Against The Machine sound before opening up into an enveloping melodic atmosphere. All the time though the track winds up the senses taking them through darkened features and offshoots within the overall breath of the track which glows like a full sunset. It is another stunning irrepressible piece of music which leads into the vast soundscape of Sixth Stream.

This track is a musical world of its own bringing a slow prowl lit by Eastern promise and glowing fires of melodic imagination. Its journey is a fully contained episode to inspire evolving imagery and thoughts, a cinematic experience with an eccentricity which warms every pore. Nothing is expected or predicted on the album but this song especially is a wonderful mystery which reveals its heart note by note yet still able to offer more with each visit to its mesmeric terrain.

The brooding and pulsating funk soaked Thang and the fractious Rhinocerize keep things fully absorbing whilst the provocatively attitude dripping Looking For Trouble with its carefree belligerence, sets the heart racing with even more enthusiasm. It is the closing duo of Powder and Do The Car Horn which add extra heightened highlights to the release. The first is a swaggering weave of soulful beauty, the bass and keys prompting full engagement whilst the horns once more help build an atmosphere to fire up the passions.  The second of the two is the clear favourite from the album here, the busy, frantic, and at times niggling drive of the song overwhelmingly contagious. As the title suggests it is an industrious brew of heated mayhem and unrelenting energy brought with a wonderful cartoon/psychotic ambience to leave the most lingering pleasure on the album.

Fly On It is just wonderful and without doubt The Apples has created one of the great soundtracks for the summer if not the year.

http://www.theapples.net

Ringmaster 30/07/2012

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