Dumb – Two Bottles Video

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    UK melodic noise makers Dumb is earning a fine and eager reputation for their vivacious and energetically contagious sound, something the new video and song Two Bottles sparks another keen ardour for with its expressive and emotive freshness. The second track on their recently released AA single Supersonic Love Toy/Two Bottles through One Beat Records, it makes another potent and earthy persuasion to the thrilling emergence of this Birmingham band.

    Filmed by James Woods at Viceroy Shoots, the Two Bottles video like the song itself is a relaxed party of freedom and losing inhibitions. It provides an almost fly on the wall like narrative to scenes around the central core of the band as they play the song in an informal manner. Visually too there is a clarity and at times starkness in colour, tone, and scenery which lays suggestions of making adventures from little stimuli and uninspiring climates. The video provides fine seeds and potent imagery for the imagination to interpret and dance with whilst the song provides a weave of melodic jangles and provocative rhythms from its opening seconds which equally flirts with thoughts and emotions, not forgetting inspiring feet to add their keen shuffle to the experience.

   Dumb has already fired up appetites for their sound though the release of debut single Dive and the following Retina as well as their acclaimed live performances which has seen them sharing stages with the likes of The Charlatans, The Vaccines, New Order, Darlia, Skaters, LSA, Superfood, Baby Strange, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs and many more. Recorded with producer Cam Blackwood (Darlia, London Grammar, George Ezra), Super Sonic Love Toy/Two Bottles takes the band’s presence and stature up another level with the new video an additional impressively magnetic enticement into the world of Dumb.

   Musically the band combines inspiration from Pixies and Built To Spill into their own indie/noise alchemy, one with an elevated distinctive twang to its breath and expansive depths to its passionate sonic sculpture. The other song on the single release also has a video already released to match its thrilling sound; Super Sonic Love Toy making an engagingly and evocatively expressive temptation on ears and imagination matched by the monochrome air and beauty of the video merging the band at play, work, and scenic stalking. Whereas plenty of videos just place a band in a set to play out the latest track, both videos and Two Bottles especially, leads the listener into an honest world of lyrical and emotional intent.

    Dumb is a band on a feisty march with Two Bottles its latest irresistible invitation. It is easy to imagine that very few will be unaware of the band over future horizons but as the new video suggests, why wait for it to happen when the gateway to fun and adventure is there already. So we suggest heading over to the band’s website at http://www.werdumb.com to immerse into both songs and videos and catch Dumb on the start of their certain ascent.

Two Bottles song and video 9/10

RingMaster 17/03/2014

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Deathcrush – Skool’s In

deathcrush pic

As instantly impacting as a right hook to the jaw, Skool’s In from Norwegian band Deathcrush easily shows what the buzz covering the band right now is all about and proves it is more than justified. A seamless collage of sounds and invention brought with a primal growl and uncompromising hunger, the 12” debut from the Oslo trio is a scintillating and passion gripping tour-de-force, and one you only feel is scratching the surface of the band’s depths and future.

Released on the back of their limited flexi disc release within a double poster magazine, Skool’s In is a four track vinyl temptress which is devilishly seductive and mercilessly addictive, and again that is only the tip of the sonically and rhythmically carnivorous bewitchment. Since forming the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Linn Nystadnes, bassist/vocalist Åse Røyset, and vocalist/drummer Vidar Evensen has garnered potent acclaim and fanbase through their live performances across Norway, Europe and beyond with their thick and magnetic noise rock originality. Recording a bundle of songs with Billy Anderson (Swans, Melvins, Mr. Bungle) and Jørgen Træen (Datarock, Annie, Sondre Lerche), the band is with Skool’s In starting off a much anticipated series of singles, the first a mighty scintillating beginning it is.

Opening track Lesson #3 for Gina Kikoine / You Now takes no time to unleash a bass snarl which preys on the ear whilst the drums stalk a1169124254_2with their own teasing design. Across it the vocals of Nystadnes and Åse Røyset either alone or together enchant with charm and menace whilst the guitar splits and sculpts the air with flesh singing sonic narrative. It is a powerful insidiously sirenesque persuasion which brews an intensity and smothering embrace which defies escape and breeds addiction whilst the electronic teases and taunts only excite the senses further into greater lustful submission. Like a mix of Melt Banana, Spinnerette, and 4 Non Blondes, but not, the track is a blistering almost disorientating sabre swipe of noise rock with acidic pop infectiousness and an exceptional start to the EP.

The immediate pinnacle is soon followed and matched by Lesson #4 for Wharton Tiers / Strauss, a track which explores even darker intensive shadows and the sonic creative destructive depths of the band and their craft. The first soundscape of the song is an apocalyptic like burning corrosive flight which takes a breather for the vocal almost childlike kisses to sooth and strap the passions in before making another fall through a synapse scraping imagination poking tempest. Nor as easily accessible as its predecessor but completely equal in impacting strength, aggressive persuasion, and unbridled excellence, the song leaves no doubt to the extensive intent and expanse of the band’s sound and ideas. It helps pile on the rabid anticipation for future singles and releases, something which is just as easily fed by the next up track.

     Lesson #13 for Nanker Phelge / Fire was the song which featured on the flexi-disc and within such immense company stands as potent and unique as before whilst increasing further the band’s reputation and stature. A track which from the start stalks and prowls the senses providing ammunition for heart and mind whilst feeding the senses and emotions with a slow romp of ridiculously contagious sound and imagination, the track just traps and enslaves with its ear bracing synapse eroding guitar and bass crawl within a rhythmic herding of the passions. There is a post punk charm and punk voracity to the song which reminds a little of the Au Pairs and The Raincoats whilst the noise slicing of the atmosphere is Pixies/ Valentiine like, yet again these are slight references  to something unique to Deathcrush.

The outstanding release is completed by the Fire remix of the third song by James Njie. It is a pop /dancefloor igniting electro stomp with a breath of J-Pop to its mesmeric and irresistible dance. Still managing to retain an element of the carnivorous side of Deathcrush the track is a crystalline treat which makes us almost reassess our thoughts on the point of remixes.

Released via Norway Rat Records, Skool’s In is just magnificent, a raptor of brilliance within a noise and mental examination, and the undeniable debut of a band which is going to coax and command our attentions and passions for horizons to come.

http://www.deathcrush.no

10/10

RingMaster 07/10/2013

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Bête Noire – Shut Your Mouth

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Of course everyone has spent a moment to wonder what a merger between Joy Division, The Pixies, and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster would sound like right? But ponder no longer as UK band Bête Noire brings you the answer with their debut release Shut Your Mouth. Unveiling much more than that trio of essences suggests, the two track single is a thrilling and potent introduction to a band which is almost as new itself as the release is to the world.

Hailing from London and consisting of vocalist David M Hargreaves, guitarists Danny Defalco and Billy Bloom, bassist Andrew G, and drummer James Whitfield, Bête Noire has been existence for around six months though listening to the songs you hear a maturity which leads one to believe their musical exploits could stretch back further. Taking influences from the likes of Chameleons, Magazine, Pixies, Stereo Lab, and Serge Gainsbourg, the quintet create a post punk stemmed sound soaked in dark shadows and chilled ambience but equally littered with hooks and deceptive melodies which only captivate in their worst moments and seduce at their heights. The single is a stirring marker for the band which though you could suggest right now their sound lacks a little originality you feel time and evolution will solve that minor ‘issue’.

Shut Your Mouth is the lead track and needs only the brief moment that it takes for the opening beats to be joined by the wonderful coversnarl bitten bass to secure full attention and draw a lick across the lips of the passions. As the steely jangle of the guitars coax in the excellent expressive vocals of Hargreaves the Joy Division vibe is instantaneous but only a strong flavour in a vibrant mix. Whilst the song wraps its cold engaging charms around the senses with flushes of warmth contradicting and elevating the core of the song through the hooks and sonic caresses, there is a feel of early Devoto led Buzzcocks peeping through and a noise rock shimmer bringing remote comparisons to bands like The Gaa Gaas and Engerica. It is an outstanding brew that issues distrust and persuasion with open hands whilst rising the temperature of the psyche and hunger into a greedy recipient.

Its companion Out and Proud is a similarly bred song but with more restraint in its deliberate prowl of the ear, the guitars crafting a sonic narrative to spark upon ear and thoughts whilst the bass kindly stalks their colour within a firm rhythmic frame. Once more the vocals tantalise with the great expressive delivery of Hargreaves coated in a hollow effect and pointing to Ian Curtis in likeness. With the bass offering throatier bait as the song progresses and the chorus providing the road to addictiveness, the song is like its predecessor a potently appealing and compelling encounter.

The single simply impresses from start to finish. It flows with such promise and enterprise that expectations of major things ahead from Bête Noire are already flourishing. Possibly it is too early to make such assumptions but as Shut Your Mouth holds the ear in its creative palms again, there is no betting against it.

http://betenoiremusic.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/betenoiremusic

9/10

RingMaster 22/08/2013

 

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Jacob’s Mouse: The Dot EP / No Fish Shop Parking

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    Jacob’s Mouse was a band in the early nineties which stretched creative limits and ventured into unexplored sonic shadows but also escaped the deserved success and recognition less worthy ear friendly bands received. The trio brewed an instinctive and intrusive blend of indie rock, post punk, and various incisions of inciting noise and aural storms, a sound which explored the listener as much as its own corners and boundaries. Now for the first time two of their releases have a digital release, their debut EP The Dot and first album No Fish Shop Parking, and a long overdue treat for noise fans they truly are.

From Bury St Edmunds, the 1988 formed Jacob’s Mouse consisted of identical twin brothers Hugo and Jebb Boothby on guitar and bass respectively, and vocalist/ drummer Sam Marsh. Taking reported influences from the likes of Fugazi, Minor Threat, Big Black, Pixies, and Hüsker Dü, the band released by the vinyl-only The Dot EP through Liverish Records in 1990. The release grabbed critical acclaim and led the way to support slots with the likes of Nirvana, Suede, Th’ Faith Healers, and Manic Street Preachers, as well as enthused support from John Peel and Kurt Cobain. The following year saw the release of No Fish Shop Parking on Blithering Idiot, an imprint label of the band and continued the strong responses and acclamation surrounding the trio. As the nineties bred and flocked to the Brit-pop phenomenon, Jacob’s Mouse was found itself left out of the focus of an indie scene which was drooling over Oasis, Blur, and similar flavoured presences with a seeming tunnel vision. The threesome reacted in their own way by becoming even more experimental and creatively wilful, their following albums I’m Scared in 1993 and Rubber Room of 1995, released via Wiiija Records (home to Cornershop, Therapy? and BiS), testing and pushing their invention and craft to continually unappreciated responses. The year of their third and last album also saw the band call it a day to leave behind a legacy of unique and inspiring releases and songs which now finally have the chance to cast their magnetic sonic incitement once again.

Both releases come through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and make just as impressive an impact as they did first time around. TheJacobs Mouse Dot EP sleeve Dot EP musically is easy to describe though what you consequently imagine barely glances the reality of the sounds created. Like a searing fire of World Domination Enterprises, The Fire Engines, and Hüsker Dü, the five track release teases and taunts whilst creating its own eclectic character and originality. Opening track Signs initially plays with the ear with an inviting sonic groove before vocal squalls assault with abrasive passion. Unveiling up a web of mischievous delicious hooks and addictive discord driven melodies, the song is the strongest persuasion possible ably coaxed deeper into ardour by the wantonness of the basslines.

The following garage punk caustic brawl of Enterprise leads into the mesmeric Hey Dip Sugar with its dub infused charms and exhausting sonic adventure. Both tracks leave passions ablaze whilst Ho-Hum ignites the senses with insidious repetition lyrically and sonically for a full capture of the imagination and a grazing of their sensibilities. Closing on Microflesh with its blistered atmospheric radiance and gloriously acidic melodies, The Dot was and is an irresistible and deeply compelling introduction to the band and it is no surprise that the releases garnered such plaudits.

Jacobs Mouse - No Fish Shop Parking - front cover      No Fish Shop Parking shows the evolution in the ideas and sound of the band at the time. It still has the essences which made the EP so refreshing but expands to explore and extend the innovative design of the imagination reaped. Opening track Tumbleswan envelopes the ear in a sonic blaze veined with evocative spoken vocals, provocative bass taunts, and more defined melodies than found on the EP. There is a Gang Of Four breath to the track which opens up the attraction further whilst immediately standing as a step forward from their debut release. The following tracks Twist, She Is Dead, and A Place to Go to, entrap the passions further with their distinct stances, the first another Gang Of Four like provocation whilst the other pair search through garage rock seeds to breed their own senses confronting glories.

From the dub blossomed Carfish, a track which has a touch of Ruts about it, the best track not only on the album but arguably one of the best from the band ever sends one into orbit. Caphony is simply sensational, a psychobilly rhythm and simmering tease loaded into a hungry and devilish groove and energy. Though the song predates Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers they are a fair reference with slithers of Screaming Blue Messiahs adding extra spice. Justice and The Vase complete the exceedingly magnificent album with further unique enterprise, the whole release an inspiring sculpted maelstrom of invention and noise.

As more and more noise rock bands emerge you can hear the sounds and inspirations of Jacob’s Mouse within much of their creativity, whether they realise it or not and with this twin release maybe the band will now get the full recognition and awareness it so surely deserves.

www.facebook.com/jacobsmouse

The Dot 9/10 No Fish Shop Parking 9/10

RingMaster 12/03/2013

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Velcro Hooks: Gymnophoria

Photo by Nat Bevinshttp://natbevins.com/

Photo by Nat Bevins
http://natbevins.com/

With a history almost as intriguing as the tempest of innovative and startling sounds they create, UK indie noise manipulators Velcro Hooks have released one of the best and thrilling albums this year in their debut Gymnophoria. It is a seven track sensation, a release embroiled in sonic teasing yet seductive with its unpredictable and mesmeric ingenuity, and one which offers something distinctly different with each mischievous slice of imaginative enterprise.

The Bristol based band finds its first seeds with the chance meeting between Vancouver musician Jenner Blank and Bristol offspring Thomas Mason in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. A fortnight of ‘escapades’ ended with each gent returning to their respective countries and a year doing their own thing, which according to the promo sheet for the release consisted of beans and plants. Then Blank turned up in Bristol and the pair began experimenting with aural creativity soon aided by the addition of local talents in Dominic Mitchison and George Garratt. Since then it seems to have been a constant rise for the band, a year of playing free shows where ever they could led them to the attention of Howling Owl Records. That took the band to supporting local bands such as Towns, Weird Dreams, and La Sera, and the release of their first single The Surfing Song and an accompanying video, both finding a strong and eager reception. Now with the release of the magnificent Gymnophoria, it is hard with its outstanding content not to expect the band to wake up the UK as a whole to their immense inventive presence.

Musically the band offers a riotous mix of post punk, noise pop, garage punk, and fuzz rock not to mention plenty more hungry spices. There is admittedly a strong Pixies feel to their sounds but wrapped in flavours which provoke thoughts of many more bands whilst still standing strong as something unique to Velcro Hooks. The release opens with A Love Song For T.S. Eliot and instantly the scythes of guitars has the senses simmering with content. As the vocals enter and the song spreads around the expressive tones that Pixies comparison is rife, especially when discord soaked melodic scarring ensues. There is much more to the song though, the guitars at times bringing a breath which recalls the sharp melodic play of Television and the energetic surges spills essences of Buzzcocks in to the mix.

It is a striking start easily matched and elevated by the following Wasabi Colonel, a song which crawls over the ear with a wicked glint in its eye and the hunger to light up the passions in its heart. From the slight Frank Black like vocals and fiery hooks the song weaves a blend of feisty punk rock and smouldering melodic caressing to bring thoughts of Max Raptor and The Fratellis into the equation though again it must be emphasized the results is something wholly unique to the band.

The album has a variation which can only be admired, a diversity which links every track to another all the same whilst standing clearly and inventively apart. The excellent Wildman with its pulsating bass line and clashing guitars bursts through the ear with the outstanding potent simplicity of The Fall and swagger of the Arctic Monkeys whilst The Prerogative Of Daniel Potter is simply a dark vaudeville delight, both showing the impressive expanse of ideas and sound to the band. The first of the pair is a wonderfully blistering rub of punk with the psyche vocals as unbridled as the maniacally carved sounds, its charge irresistible and imagination a twisted and compulsive contagion, whilst the second collects all the shadows possible to entertain them with unbalanced keys and slight sonic squalls behind the spoken narrative and bedlam dragged screams. Imagine The Shanklin Freak Show meets the Cardiacs and you have a clue to its majesty.

The best track on the album comes in Girlfren, a song which spills its psychotic breath on to relationships for a storm of noise rock which just lights the strongest adoration its way. It is brief, too short to be honest as you feel so disappointed at its conclusion, but in its exhilarating crusade it lays a maelstrom of The Gaa Gaas, Devo, and Innercity Pirates to spark an orgasmic ardour.

Gymnophoria is completed by the just as impressive Yesterday’s Man, a song which is arguably the most straight forward on the release with its postpunk/Joy Divison pop croon, and the mighty Grandpa, No. The closer returns to the more open Pixies soaked sounds which were at large in at the beginning of the album and leaves one wanting so much more as its final sonic wave disappears into the smouldering sunset of the album. It is a staggering release which just leaves thoughts and senses drooling. Velcro Hooks are destined for great things and the album their first great triumph.

https://www.facebook.com/velcrohooks

RingMaster 16/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

EndAnd: Adventures of Fi in Space

EndAnd is one of those bands which instantly strikes up a rapport with the senses, heart and mind. They are refreshing, honest, and more than a little mischievous which is always a plus but most of all they create music which you feel you need. The trio barge through the ear with a brew of garage rock and melodic punk which is all passion, an insatiable noise to excite the palate and thrill the extremities.

Their new album Adventures of Fi in Space is made up of two EPs, Adventures of Hi-Fi in Space and Adventures of Lo-Fi in Space. The first is a five song adventure consisting of pristine studio recordings whilst the latter brings a collection of DIY recordings. Together they combine for a release which provokes and incites in equal measure and most of all gives the fullest pleasure.

Formed in early 2011 in Brooklyn, New York, EndAnd was originally the project of duo of vocalist and guitarist Daniel Fern and drummer Mike Morales. As their stock rose and acclaim gathered around them the band expanded to a trio with the addition of bassist and vocalist Bill Fitzgerald, a man they found playing for Capita Clip who the pair shared a stage with one night. Asking him to sit in on a practice he became a full member from that point and EndAnd from a project became a power trio.

Adventures of Hi-Fi in Space is a breathtaking quintet of songs which fire up the senses with explosive rock n roll at its finest. The opening Far In Between is an openly infectious feast of sticky hooks and melodic teasing driven with addictive rhythms and vocal harmonies to devour greedily. The song is impossible to refuse and soon has voice and limbs let alone passions, in sync to its compulsive eagerness. It is as poppy as is possible without any lost of power and in many ways takes one back to the eighties when power pop found a foothold in punk rock.

The Pixies flavoured Labor Force continues the stunning start. The guitar of Fern churns up the senses through inciteful discord whilst the bass of Fitzgerald stokes up any dormant embers within for more raging flames of pleasure. With elements of bands like The Melvins joining the sound the song scampers through the ear with relish intent to ruffle up the edges of the constant enjoyment instigated by its melodic presence. The track works on every level and leaves a big grin inside by its end.

The scuzz littered So What Now and Commando, a track which bristles with an intensity which leaves one gasping, both take the ear and beyond on a riotous electrified journey, brief and explosive it may be especially with the first of the pair but gloriously rewarding. The closing Death Song too is a storm of riled sounds brought with a relentless abrasive energy. Looking in to every corner and cranny of the EP to try and find some less successful element to temper the unbridled enthusiasm towards the release the realism that there is nothing soon emerges, the release hitting every spot dead centre for the greatest satisfaction.

Of course we have Adventures of Lo-Fi in Space yet to maybe bring a balance to the adoration so far. Made up of four songs the second EP is a raw warts and all slice of unpolished punk n roll. The untouched sound gives a different organic feel to the companion EP but is no less absorbing as songs like Dawl and Legend arguably reveal more about the strength and craft of the songwriting and the band. It also shows how DIY can spawn the most pure and honest sounds, the two songs just mentioned alone taking you emotionally places a studio cut can only dream of. The second of the pair brings a mix of The Jam, Pere Ubu, and Screaming Blue Messiahs to mind as it lights up the ear whilst the garage rock distillery of sound within Sweet is a Kinks borne hybrid which one can only relish deeply.

Bottom line, Adventures of Fi in Space is quite brilliant, an outstanding treat of punk and garage rock all can delight and get dirty within. Oh, and its available at a name your own price offer @ http://endand.bandcamp.com/ so basically all your birthdays have just gathered at your door, go enjoy!

RingMaster 14/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Goodbye, Labrador – A Thousand Times Before

If you are looking for a stirring and heated soundtrack for your summer days than A Thousand Times Before from Goodbye, Labrador is easily one of the best candidates. The six track EP is a stunning voice for hazy days and heated emotions with its dreamy and infectious immersive sounds the perfect backdrop to emotive and passionate endeavours.

     Goodbye, Labrador formed in 2008 and finds its members based in Barcelona, Brooklyn, and Prague. 2010 saw their self titled debut EP pull in enthused attention as the members came together for shows in Portugal supporting Ölga and its recording. Now the quartet of Martin Pípal (guitar, vocals), Phil Gold (guitar, percussion, vocals), Gonçalo Hipolito Martins (bass, vocals), and J. M. Silverman (drums, percussion), return with their second release through Dead Fisherman Records to once more place their masterful touch upon the senses. As with their first EP the band upon A Thousand Times Before create dream state borne sounds steeped in eighties post punk invention and nineties art rock imagination. Recorded with Eduardo Ricciardi at Golden Pony Studio in Lisbon, the release is a delicious palette of melodic imagination and emotional caresses brought with stirring energies and sleepy calm.

     Goodbye, Labrador open up the EP with the golden toned Intrepid. The first notable thing is the striking bass sounds of Martins and their captivating presence as they explore and expand the shadowed corners of the light bursting from each and every song. Alongside the beguiling guitar play they create a balance which steers the majestic flow of the songs deeper and with stronger contagion aided by the wonderful duality of the vocal attack. The male and females voices sweep the lyrics through the ear on whispers and rays of warmth for the fullest pleasure and it is hard to think of another band recently able to find the consistent heights in this vocal craft as Goodbye, Labrador do. As mentioned the band find influences in the heights of the eighties and as the EP plays the likes of House Of Love and Felt easily slip in to view as comparisons.

Sirens takes over next and easily emerges as the best song on the release. It immediately lures full attention as the bass paves the way with its heart exciting tones whilst the song is soon lighting up the atmosphere with imagination and spiralling melodic enterprise. There is a great discordant feel to the track too especially through the explosive guitar manipulations and energy which reminds again of Felt but also others like The Passage and Birdland with its rawer surface. With a fiery climax to crumble before, the song is simply outstanding and alone ensures the band is one to always keep an eager eye on.

The likes of Falling Away and Embrace The Stranger continue the growing affection inside with their well crafted sounds and shapes. The first of the pair is an easy to consume continuation with dwells on the plateau built from the starter whilst the second with a slight Pixies air to its bewitching presence ventures into further cascades of sonic beauty and incendiary discord lined aural explosions. All of this drama and stirring wonder comes within that dreamy magnetism, the expertise of the band to merge both so fluidly and contagiously deeply impressive.

The excellent Silence Of Me and the emotive Memoir complete the line-up of excellence just as enjoyably as what came before. As the former of the two weaves its startling melodic prowess one realises the band is finding the levels of melodic infection in their emotive hooks as those which made the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen and Wah! so essential.

If there is one slight criticism for the release it is the similarity across the surface of songs which makes it easy without retaining an element of focus to find the songs merging. Of course given firmer attention the songs without fail unveil a wealth of diversity and invention which is undeniable. A Thousand Times Before is a gem of a release which makes one hope Goodbye, Labrador get together often and bring much more of their outstanding creativity and sounds to our ears.

RingMaster 05/08/2012

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The Amputees – Commence The Slaughter

US punk n roll band The Amputees first came to our notice with their excellent contribution to the We Love Trash compilation album from Garage Punk Hideout, with their growling middle finger up slice of feistiness Ted. September 1st sees the release of the debut EP from the band Commence The Slaughter, an EP which sees more of the same eagerly given as well as other unexpected pleasures. Raw and mischievous, it teases and antagonises with equal relish to leave one quite spoilt.

The band has members from several states and consists of Louis Ramos (vocalist/guitarist) who is based in Harlem, Gary Young (guitar) from the Bronx, Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar) from New Jersey, Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals) from Long Island, and Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals) out of Texas. Also in the band there is half Brit half Ecuadorian Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass) and Juliet Eldred (guitar/bass) to make for a multi flavoured energised unit.

The EP consists of four songs which offer a diverse canvas of ideas and sounds to enjoy. The title track is a dirty garage rock n roll scowl upon the ear, its combative punk rock breath lined with a melodic discord which makes it as infectious as it is belligerent. Far too brief to give a slightly moan, the song is a grizzled joy to rile up the senses.

Beater is a similar attitude loaded track with an in your face stance within a storm of electrified energy. Ramos growls with perfect spite whilst the female vocals behind liven up the air with an added wickedness. A punk song of the highest order it makes a strong claim as best song on the release.

It is closely challenged though by the excellent fiery rock crawl of Devil With The Red Dress. The song swaggers with lust and wanton urges whilst its melodies lick their lips with insatiable eagerness. The song shows the full diversity in the band and their rock based sound, its scorched energy incendiary and a completely different variant to the punk which infused other songs. It is impossible to tell you who actually contributes what on each song apart from Ramos, but simply the band is a collective of musicians able to equally bring quality to songs, and this song yet another example of invention and raw rock music at its best.

The fourth song to complete the release is Lunch, a strange and to be honest still hard to get a handle on song in relation to the other tracks. It is a subdued almost folk shadowed dark song with just female vocals and a hollow sound, slightly Pixies like if a comparison is sought. Though it does not really fit with the other tracks it is intriguing and offers again a variety to the music of The Amputees which only ignites interest.

Commence The Slaughter is an excellent debut from an exciting emerging band. If garage rock, punk, and unwashed rock is your type of joy than The Amputees could just be your new best friends.

http://www.theamputees.org

RingMaster 28/07/2012

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Eden Wakes – Darkest Before The Dawn

The strong and positive word about UK metal/rock band Eden Wakes inspired some eager anticipation for their debut album but it did not prevent total surprise at the unexpected sound that flew from the tracks that make up Darkest Before The Dawn. The first ‘meeting’ with any band is a surprise to some extent and with the Manchester quartet it was certainly wrong footing, the album taking a while to immerse into before the awareness of what a distinct and darkly engaging release it truly was sunk in. As a fan of music and artists that use discordancy as a tool and weapon it was a little strange that it did take a while to get the ear attuned to the creativity the band produce but once hooked there was no escape. With a sound that is hard to fully pin down in description and influences there is a down turned vibrancy to Eden Wakes that is as hypnotic as it is challenging.

Formed in late 2008 by twin sisters Jane Hebenton (lead guitar) and Helen Hebenton (bass) with close friends Mark Holden (vocals & guitar) and Tom Buxton (drums & vocals), Eden Wakes have created a sound that is best described as Deftones meets The Fall with early Misfits filtered through the punk of The Damned and Hagfish. With added diversions only the likes of Pixies and Swell Maps could come up with this mix gives you an idea of the vicinity the music the four piece produce hangs in. For many the album may need a practice run first just to get a feel of its different flavours before then sitting down to properly focus on and ultimately appreciate its impressive elements. Primarily it is the vocal/music ‘conflict’ that throws the ear and thoughts at first an intriguing as at times it is almost as if Holden is going down a different road to the music within songs but once the ear warms up to this it is a very hypnotic and unique aspect that becomes one of the biggest positives. Over the years many bands have tried this approach but not many take it this far or as successfully. If it is a natural occurrence or planned only the band knows but it works a treat giving something new and exciting to the sounds. For some it may not ever sound right but for those it does it is a thrill alongside the well thought out and delivered rock, metal and punk sounds the band grace each song with. 

Darkest Before The Dawn starts off strongly but as it progresses it gets immensely better and better.  The opening duo of tracks in ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ and ‘Hide & Seek’ open up the ears and senses firmly with a great mix of rock and metal sounds fused with punk energy, the guitars of Holden and Jane Hebenton at ease in melodic sensitive parts as they are thrashing out riffs whilst the rhythms from Buxton and pulsating bass tones of Helen Hebenton reach deep and forcibly. As the album moves through its songs it is as if the band‘s confidence and belief increases and by the time the excellent ‘Faust Macabre’ and the brilliant ’Fall Before Vermillion’ unveil their glory near the albums end, the band is on a different plateau. The first of these two is marked by scorching scything guitar riffs that brand the soul, their discordant strikes intrusive in contrast to the melodic play surrounding them, whilst the latter ripples with 70’s gothic punk sounds to stoke up the pulse.

Released via Rising Records Darkest Before The Dawn is a true gem, yes it needs a little bit of focus at first but once it reveals it’s wonderfully disjointed but mesmeric charms there is no going back to plain formula sounds again. Upon the album Eden Wakes, despite its impressive and great satisfaction giving sounds, still give the impression that they are a release or two away from finding their truly distinctive and glorious sound which makes the anticipation of what is ahead, listening to this stunning release, very exciting indeed.
RingMaster 24/11/2011

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Johnny Foreigner – Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything

Though it has only been two years since their last album Grace And The Bigger Picture, the wait has felt much longer and another release well overdue. The wait is now over as November 7th the Birmingham noise pop maestros Johnny Foreigner unleash their massive 17 track album Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything. The band’s first release on Alcopop! Records, the album is an expressive and emotive array of light and not exactly darker but carrying the real tones that touch our each and every day, and as singer/guitarist Alexei Berrow reveals the album “sounds like a huge expansive sprawling ambitious and personal version of us.”

Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything is this time self produced with the band basically having full control over everything and it shows, the album oozing elements that make up the band as musicians and people. Recorded with long time friend Dominique James (Sunset Cinema Club) who understood the band far beyond the music side, the DIY plateau the Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything was created upon has brought out even more charm and essences of the band than in their previous impressive and certainly welcoming releases. Again Berrow sums it up better commenting “We started writing it two years ago, and staggered recording and mixing over 5 months. The title came first. This is the first full length record we’ve made without a Grammy – nominated producer, without contracts and New York and professionals. The biggest challenge we’ve faced as a band, and the worst thing about leaving the world of corporate-funded labels, was knowing that sooner or later we’d come to this point; having to make a way better record for a way worse budget… and I’m beyond proud to say that I think that’s exactly what us and Dom have achieved. We’ve made the record that sounds like we do in our heads.”

The songs within the album come in varied guises and intent but all come equipped with incisive melodies and emotions that cause smiles alongside personal reminders and references all can recognise and feel somewhere within the release. Songs swoop upon and mingle with the senses with equal  wonder whether brought with indie punk urgency, charismatic pop allure, or touching sentiment, the overall effect the same of pleasure and a sense ‘they know’ because they have been there and the songs playing are their lives too.  

A rundown of all seventeen gems would take longer than the albums length but some tracks play deeper and stay longer than others. The opening pop artistry of ‘If I’m The Most Famous Boy You’ve Fucked Then Honey Yr In Trouble’ and the hypnotic vibrancy fuelling ‘Hulk Hoegaarden, Gin Kinsella, David Duvodkany, Etc.’ alongside the melodic trickery of ‘Electricity Vs The Dead’ and slow burn into anthem flow of ‘New Street, You Can Take It’ simply inspire and excite the senses with manic enthusiasm. The combined vocals of Berrow and bassist Kelly Southern a perfect union whether in frantic energy or powerful sentiment; melodic and harmonious and as engaging as their eagerly striking sounds from exploratory teasing guitars and delicious thrilling basslines over the classy and inventive rhythms from Junior Elvis Washington Laidley.

The songs within Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything ripple with various essences that recall a maelstrom of delights from the wells of Pixies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, Daisy Chainsaw, and very, very early The Cure. Melodic, discordant and thoroughly inventive the album is a complete joy to the ear and heart. The more you listen the more you get from it and the deeper Johnny Foreigner becomes a part of your world.

RingMaster 19/10/2011

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