II II II : A Conundrum On My Coffee Table

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Something wicked this way comes, an exceptional experiment of sonics, sounds and adventurous sensibilities to engineer the deepest ardour. Plenty of releases excite and thrill the senses but just a few ignite a fire of passion and deeply rooted rapture for the sounds they offer. One such rarity has just been unleashed into the world by II II II. The project from former Mishkin vocalist Ben Davy is sensational and its debut release without doubt one of the most enthralling and intoxicating pleasures of 2012. The A Conundrum On My Coffee Table EP captures the imagination in every aspect, its innovative weaves and inventive teasing an invigorating breath of fresh air which like the band name inspires thought, intrigue, and a hungry anticipation which is quenched with staggering ease.

Being a massive fan of the now deceased Leeds band Mishkin, the excitement of hearing from Davy with the EP was immense and

Ben Davy

Ben Davy

arguably placed higher expectations on the impending release than any other new record might have to prove itself against. It was child’s play for the release though, its six tracks leaving hopes as just inadequate musings when placed before their creative triumphs and exhilarating sounds. Fusing  blend of mathcore, metal, jazz, and rock, the release is an experimental tempest which offers essences of Faith No More, Mishkin, 6:33, Mike Patton, Dog Fashion Disco and much more, all honed into a unique and compelling encounter. The tracks are slight sonic swipes, colourful aural blades which barely worry a third minute but are rigidly magnetic in the time they take to transform the emotions into a compliant subservient.

Dog’s Lost His Bone swaggers in with sultry melodies and bruising basslines over firm rhythmic slaps to immediately pull all focus in its direction. A tempest of delicious enterprise and aggressive sinews the track is a storm of scattergun like energies and sounds honed into deliberate patterns and senses manipulating structures. It is glorious, an evolving beast of sound which ignites every corner of mind and heart. The track reminds of Guano Padano at times especially their recent collaboration with Mike Patton, whilst offering the ever shifting weaves which marked Mishkin and the technical mesmerism of a Karnivool.

From there things just venture into arguably further elevated areas of psyched investigation and musical excellence. Firstly the psychotic HITPTYGWYDIYL exposes the nerve endings with its wanton melodic caresses and scything rhythmic malevolence, the track a piece of aural sculpture which teeters on insanity. It like the first song is just irresistible, a brief unpredictable expanse of taunting and challenges bringing the richest of rewards. If the likes of Polkadot Cadaver give you a buzz, this track as the release will have you feeling like a teenager on your first sexual quest.

No Condition and Memories follow with their own individual ingenuity, the first a tirade of white hot sonics and argumentative riffs with a smouldering seductive centre and expressive challenging gest, and the second a flash of thought exploiting invention which leaves nothing less than heightened pleasure in its wake. In addition to the previous mentioned references the release inspires there is a sense of the maniacal mischief of 12 Stone Toddler to this pair of songs bringing yet another refreshing and inspirational flavour to the whole experience.

The release is completed by the ravenous craft of The Key To Denial and the serpentine Shingles. The former is a sizzling encounter, a face to face with the devil in aural form, its sonic tongue licking over the senses with insidious sexual greed to leave you tingling whilst grinning in sheer pleasure. Like all the songs it caresses and investigates the body like an insatiable lover whilst all the time stretching and twisting their prey with their venomous desires.  The latter is even more dangerous behind its jazz lined melodic brilliance, the passage of almost corruptive challenges and dazzling invention just breath-taking and magically intrusive.

A Conundrum On My Coffee Table is pure excellence, a release coming in the closing days of December which sets the highest standard for 2013. The EP is an essential investigation and a must get with its name your own price offer on the II II II Bandcamp Page… so go on off you go.

http://ii-ii-ii.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/II-II-II/100277240054308

RingMaster 30/12/2012

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6:33 with Arno Strobl: Giggles, Garlands & Gallows

If you have not met 6:33 yet then be prepared for a musical journey and experience as eclectic, innovative, and as impressive as you could wish for.  Their new EP Giggles, Garlands & Gallows brings you into shadows, spotlights and the deepest rooted nightmares they can conjuror whilst igniting your own individual ones. The three track release featuring the vocals of Arno Strobl from Carnival in Coal, strikes with a schizophrenic core, exploring and firing up the senses with irresistible melodic invention and destructive power. Striking, wicked and most of all totally irresistible the EP is one of the best things to manipulate and violate the heart in a long time.

Giggles, Garlands & Gallows follows the acclaimed debut album Orphan of Good Manners from the Parisian quintet. As always the combined ingenuity of vocalist Rorschach, guitarist Niko, bassist S.A.D., plus Dietrisch von Schtrudle and Mr Z. on keys & machines, mesmerise, whilst confusing and treating the senses to compositions which draw on a myriad of flavours and textures to bring a maelstrom of sounds, energies, and unpredictable provocation. Veering from progressive metal/ hardcore through to electro pop and classic rock to name a few of the varied spices their music is an ever twisting and expansive weave that excites and triggers the mightiest fires. Describing them as a devilish mix of Five Star Prison Cell, Polkadot Cadaver, Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Queen and 12 Stone Toddler only scrapes the surface but it gives a good idea of the striking imagination and invention they bring forth. With a tongue firmly in place and a wink of the eye ever present the release plays on fears and amusements with equal strength, its heart a kaleidoscope of sonic colours and infectious energy.

The EP opens with Chapter 1: Order Of The Red Nose and takes a mere instance to have the ear and thoughts on full alert. From an opening warm vocals and keys beckoning the track starts bubbling as a stomping energy permeates the heart of the song. With its carnivalesque/steampunk breath already captivating the track starts flexing its muscles as the dark tale unfolds. The track swings through melodic flights of progressive rock to intrusive metallic disruptions and distortions, switching back and fro with a seamless skill as the song never lets one settle or concentrate on a single thought or instigated imagery.  As the shadows darken within the story and a call to arms like sense infiltrates the imagination the track raises the intensity whilst leaving its melodic passion full rein to intertwine with and soak the formidable sounds.

Chapter 2: M.I.D.G.E.T.S continues the mesmeric conflict and smooth union of sounds and evil within the tale as defiance and vengeance erupts in the face of the spiteful intensity which fuels the song initially. As before the music spans and meshes a multiverse of sounds and ideas to bring a consumption of persistently evolving energies and emotions. More violent and combative than the first part the song also brings harmonies, melodies, and hooks of the finest contagion to ride upon the tumultuous power that is rife throughout.  The tale closes on triumph though one suspects and feels the dark heart is never far away.

The EP is completed by I Like It, a melodic slice of rock n roll with smooth enveloping emotions and warmth. Ok this is 6:33 so it is never that simple with the song even with its open heart venturing into the darkest corners whilst the music is as hypnotic as it is exhilaratingly averse to staying attached to a straight forward idea.

Giggles, Garlands & Gallows is simply brilliant, an experience of pure magic and challenging ingenuity. With an album in the works this only goes to incite the strongest and most impatient anticipation, 6:33 a band igniting a fire for the promise of something ahead as forceful as the immense pleasure from the outstanding sounds currently gracing the ear.

If you are reading this before May31st then head over without delay to the official 6:33 website to grab Giggles, Garlands & Gallows for free.

http://www.633theband.com/

RingMaster 28/05/2012

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