Slug Comparison – When You Were Living Here

Definitely more a wave than a tingle of anticipation exploded when Dutch label, Rock Company, sent a bundle of their latest and forthcoming releases over to us for consideration. Pretty much the sole reason with respect to all artists put forward being the fact it included the new album from Slug Comparison, a proposition which had seduced ears and ardour so totally through a debut full-length and subsequent EP. There was also a tinge of disappointment at the realisation that we had missed a trio of subsequent EPs; investigation showing a combination of technology fail and not being sent them. It was a niggle swiftly dissolved as When You Were Living Here brings all four previous EPs together with new tracks to offer a festival of sound and beauty from one of the world’s most magnetic and rousing songwriters.

Slug Comparison is the solo project of vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison of Canadian progressive rockers Fen. The release of his first album, the eagerly acclaimed Trails Out Of Gloom in 2014, brought an enthralling collection of tracks which seemed to knowingly tap into personal thoughts, experiences, and desires. That fusion of intimacy and an instinct for contagious imagination and enterprise was even more intense and seductive within the IIa EP of 2017. The new release reveals that the following EPs were just as rich and potent as too are the brand new tracks gracing the first truly majestic and irresistible treat of 2019.

The Slug Comparison sound is similarly nurtured within the progressive rock heart which Fen embraces but Harrison draws on a seemingly leaner but soon proving itself broader palette of sound. Acoustic and electric dexterity entangle with a craft and infectiousness which easily beguiles and invigorates. There is an energy and snappiness to his melody thick ballads and affectionate intimate warmth to tracks with eager boisterousness. As album opener, exactly what to do, epitomises, all songs with their instinctive catchiness share a confidentiality and affinity to creator and listener. The track swings in on a tenacious but controlled stride wrapped in instantly magnetic strands of guitar. The song’s lures only intensify as its rock ‘n’ roll welcomes the ever captivating tones of Harrison and his web of melodiously thick grooves and hooks. A grungy rapacity brings even greater flavour to the contagious theatre gripping ears and imagination, the track always a big favourite at The RR since its appearance upon the IIa EP blossoming further as the introduction to When You Were Living Here.

The following hyperslump arrives with its own individual swing, a trait all tracks carry in their particular gaits and guises. Again a melody just slips from the guitar like fine wine as vocals alluringly unveil the heart of song and writer. There is no escaping the virulent bounce infesting feet and hips, nor locking into its conflict of desire and obstacle as hook and melody ensnare with almost predatory prowess before let some light nestles in ears with acoustic tempting aligned to dark rhythmic intimation. Emotion clad reflection escapes Harrison’s throat just as suggestively, it all uniting in a masterful flame burning into a heated roar as the song’s chorus flourishes in perpetually infectious temptation.

Alone all three tracks make When You Were Living Here a fascinatingly essential proposal with the added guest contributions from the likes of guitarist Sam Levin (Fen), bassist Mike Young (The Devin Townsend Band), Randall Stoll (Congenital Fixation, KD Lang), Jeff Caron (Fen), Nando Polesel (Fen), Dave Young (Devin Townsend) and others add craft and spicing to these and other songs.

Drama lines every note and syllable of next up fine with it, but a theatre of the heart which smoulders within the track’s calm yet fiery rock breath while thoughts offers a relaxed stroll but with an edge to its tone and thought which comes from Harrison’s inner angst. There is an anxiety to each track which easily aligns to their contagiousness as epitomised in the second of the two, the track maybe relatively reserved but as virally catchy as a cold and with its predecessor alone showing that Harrison is as compelling a vocalist and musician as he is a songwriter.

Two tracks within When You Were Living Here are dedicated to the memory of Eric Rose, “Harrison’s former roommate, friend, and creative accomplice”, the first in the album’s title track coming next with the second, beings far away, coming a few tracks later. Both are pure beauty soaked in enchanting melancholy; when you were living here a haunting almost dream like embrace which just touches thoughts and heart, essences even more intense within beings far away, it too a ballad of pensive sadness bound in love and joyful respect  which incited a lump in the throat even before knowing its inspiration.

In between, the folkish canter of becoming seduced, its smouldering persuasion inescapable manipulation, and the raw edge rock ‘n’ roll of so ya got a great guitar aroused; both tracks a galvanic persuasion in their unique ways impossible not to lend one’s own exploits too. The latter has something of a Fen snarl to it but only a hue to Harrison’s own design and irritable release.

Bringing further fresh shades and temptation to album and ears, hold of you gently smooches with the senses next, its acoustic contemplation and musing Simon and Garfunkel tinged, whilst the closing pair of purple monkey and one more step respectively beset the imagination and appetite with unfeigned evocative beauty and stirringly animated enterprise amidst almost untamed rock adventure.

They conclude an album that simply aroused body, spirit and soul. The music got under the skin as the lyrical explorations sparked thoughts and heart as if Harrison was tapping into one’s own psyche. When You Were Living Here is simply intimate splendour with melodic nobility sure to be deserving of every ounce of attention and acclaim it will inevitably garner.

When You Were Living Here is out now through Rock Company and also available @ https://slugcomparison.bandcamp.com/

http://www.slugcomparison.com   https://www.facebook.com/slugcomparison

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Das Fluff – Anxiety Dreams

Though last year we came to the third album from Das Fluff late, we devoured the temptations within Flower With Knife last year like a kid in a candy store. Released in 2016, it introduced an artist who had an instinctive agility in grabbing attention and ears whilst seducing the imagination. It also sparked keen intrigue and anticipation for the full-length’s successor which the band was beginning to breed at the time we discovered the release. Now we stand poised on the lip of the release of Anxiety Dreams and all we can say is if you were wrapped up in the pleasures of Flower With Knife and its predecessors you really have only been dipping your toes in the post punk electro rock filth fuelled delights of Das Fluff.

Das Fluff is the creation of Berlin/London-based vocalist/writer/producer/rhythm guitarist Dawn Lintern, an artist who like the band’s sound just evolves and grows as an artist by the record. Alongside her is long-time collaborator Christian Ruland, a similarly magnetic presence with his electronic and visual art prowess. 2011 saw the release of debut album Would You Die for Me? with Meditation And Violence following two years later. Both encounters awoke ears and attention to the dance and drama loaded enterprise of the project though it is fair to say that it was the acclaimed Flower With Knife which really awoke a whole new wave of recognition and fans. With lead guitarist Joe Dochtermann alongside the pair, Anxiety Dreams can be expected to ignite even greater and broader awareness amidst a tide of plaudits the way of the band with its every breath, layer, and shadow echoing the intimation of its title.

The album roars into life with Millennial, a track which instantly had appetite and imagination on red alert as fluid electronic squirts align with inescapably coaxing beats while electro punk tendencies gather. In no time it breaks into its infectious stroll with Dawn’s melodic tones as mercurial in expression and attitude as the sounds around her. It is a rousing start to the album, a magnificent trespass of temptation and multi spiced sound seeing lips being licked for what is to follow.

The album’s title track is next up providing a prowling enticement with a matching vocal intent from Dawn as rhythms pulsate. Its electro post punk swells remind of Fad Gadget, an inherent catchiness which lines every dark breath and flirtation within the excellent seduction before Bleed Me Dry brings its own almost tenebrific yet radiant climate to immerse within. There is a far heavier tone and intent to the song compared to the previous one, an imposing threat cast by determined rhythms, the brooding bass of guest Wendy Solomon, and a gothic lined tone which is defiant and bold in its attitude.

Next up is Ringmaster, already a favourite offering from the band here. Released as a single and teaser earlier this year, it is a song which we have a natural connection with not only through its name but in the fact we somehow managed to be a part of its inspiration or rather our review of Flower With Knife was. A richly alluring serenade with a lively energy and pulse, the track rises from a sonic sigh and melodic caress with the ever magnetic presence and tones of Dawn leading the way. Immediately there is a drama to sound and voice; words emulating the theatre as the song’s sawdust earthiness colludes with melancholy lit but elegantly seductive harmonics. As burlesque nurtured shadows continue to envelop the darksome heart of the encounter, a Stevie Nicks-esque hue tinting the vocals, intimate shivers breed at the lure of the crepuscular but starry romance.

Through the irresistible strains of the rather outstanding Animal, a punk bred slice of rapacious electro rock with a deviously manipulative swing and imagination and the predacious almost vaudeville like antics of Freaks, the album evolves yet another shade of adventure and invention. The first of the two manages to be simultaneously hypnotic and feral, Dawn coming over like an especially magnetic Siouxsie Sioux within The Creatures like heart of the track while its successor probes and teases with feline grace within a dark visceral captivation as untamed as it is seductive.

The apocalyptic shuffle of Obey is a web of samples and stirring enterprise where dark predatory clouds and sonic winds trespass the psyche amidst melodic viscera and vocal dynamics. As its rhythmic incitement invades hips, the track invades thoughts and fears with devastation in its dust. As the previous track and Ringmaster, the song sees additional guitars from Stefan Missfeld to add to imposing drama so easy to devour though it still gets firmly overshadowed by the simply glorious affair that is The Cure. Smouldering surf kissed strokes of guitar are the first seduction on offer, Dawn’s melodic prowess the second with both undiluted seduction from the start. There is an intimacy to the album’s best song which feels like you are the focus of its intent while a sixties glaze just adds to its beauty, Dawn like a bewitching blend of Susan Maughan and Chantal Claret but as unique as the music hugging the senses.

The final pair of Rise and Supervolcano ensures that Anxiety Dreams leaves with a lingering touch and tempting. The former also has sixties pop colouring to its much more intense dynamics and suggestiveness nurtured by conspicuous imagination and equally lays blossoming seeds in thoughts for best song honours with the latter matching its fascination through its climacteric breath and inevitable destiny built upon portentous temptation and shamanic beguiling.

Anxiety Dreams is a release with so much in its intrigue carrying layers and diverse depths that each outing is a fresh adventure. We were already locked in an on-going affair with Flower With Knife but quite simply its successor leaves it trapped in its shadows as Das Fluff treads a whole new plateau of creative sorcery.

Anxiety Dreams will be released September 20th via Sohappymusic.

Upcoming das Fluff Live Shows:

September 14 – The Railway Hotel / Southend

September 20 – Monster Ronsons / Berlin (DE album launch)

October 26 – Paper Dress / London (UK album launch)

October 27 – The Railway Hotel / Southend

November 2 to 25 Asia Tour: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam including 23-25 November The Quest Festival, Hanoi, Vietnam

 http://www.dasfluff.com     https://www.facebook.com/dasfluff/   https://twitter.com/dasflufftwit

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Canshaker Pi – Naughty Naughty Violence

The word is that Dutch outfit Canshaker Pi is one emerging proposition sparking excitement and keen attention at every turn.  Now having been introduced to them through their first album it is easy to hear why. Naughty Naughty Violence is a devilishly magnetic and creatively mischievous indie rock romp; one spawned from a fusion of ear grabbing flavours equipped with an arsenal of hooks to make a Cenobite jealous.

The Amsterdam band’s sound is bred through varied strains of rock, punk, indie, and noise woven into a web of rhythmic and sonic manipulation. Since forming, the quartet has earned increasing attention and praise through their music and a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of The Cribs, Car Seat Headrest, Parquet Courts, Pip Blom, and Scott Kannberg’s Spiral Stairs and this year alone gather plaudits from playing Eurosonic, SXSW, and The Great Escape. That Pavement link is maybe no surprise as the band’s sound has a certain spicing of them and no doubt helped the band grab support slot on Kannberg’s side project’s tour in 2017 and continues with Canshaker Pi’s debut album being produced by Stephen Malkmus.

Naughty Naughty Violence swiftly shows that there is a definite individuality to Canshaker Pi’s sound, one not necessarily unique but springing a fresh and distinct character of imagination and flavouring which quickly got under our skin. Album opener is Pressure From Above, a song instantly teasing with an electronic wag of its creative finger and soon bursting into a fuzz fired boisterous stroll. As calm vocals join in, the track relaxes but is soon romping again bringing greater clamour and tenacity to its contagious rock ‘n’ roll. Already it is easy to sense that Pavement inspiration and too of bands like The Mai Shi, a kaleidoscope of hooks and melodic unpredictability additionally lighting the great beginning to the release.

It is a start soon eclipsed though, the initial off-kilter sonic lure of next up Tonsil enough alone to ignite our discord loving instincts. It is a kind of false start but the trigger to the glorious swagger wearing exploits of the track, that continuing discord a delicious clamour of temptation and trespass often enticing like a raw pop fuelled mix of Shellac and The Melvins. The final sonic sigh of the track drifts into the opening vocal and sonic discordance of Sooner Later. Around a compelling bass throb, the brief but dramatic track ignites and disrupts the senses, noise and voice a volatile incitement driven by the irresistible manipulation of the drums.

Three tracks in and fair to say we were hooked and only dangling with further enjoyment as Smurf uncaged its infectious canter like a grunge inspired Fountains of Wayne next with the following If Kelly Doesn’t, Then Who Will calming things down with its melodic and rhythmic pop ‘n’ roll. Neither track quite sparked the more lustful responses caused by their predecessors but ears could not evade being caught up in their individual and increasingly persuasive captivations; the latter especially as it just blossomed play by play to have us bouncing around as forcibly as its own endeavour.

But Why provided one minute of rousing noise rock next, rhythms humping ears as guitars meddle with the senses and vocals tease. With not even a breath allowed between them, No Sack, No Way saunters in to match its success, an immediate ear enslaving hook steering its lure. It is matched in magnetism by bass and vocals, each a controlled but virulent tempting entangling for even greater seduction of the imagination. Pop rock has rarely been heard more addictively in our speakers though its successor Put A Record Out with its ballsier rock ‘n’ roll was more than a match as it unleashed its resourcefully fiery clamour around further rhythmic machination.

In contrast to its raucous blaze, Legless provided a calm almost solemn amble through sound and imagination. The outstanding track carries something of early Cure meets Dinosaur Jr to its tantalising slow post punk sway while The Indie Academy straight after is up on its heels swinging along with pop rock devilment to almost as imposingly please.

The final pair of Half Book and Beautiful World brings the album to a potent conclusion, the first of the two again inventively merging flavours and eras with its post punk/pop punk infested rock before the second leaves ears immersed in a shadow wrapped melancholic croon with its own infectious gait and enterprise boiling up to a rousing corrosive climax.

Naughty Naughty Violence is an album which was really hard to move on from which tells you all about its exploits and temptations. As we said at the start, Canshaker Pi is being very highly talked of right now, their new album gives all the reasons why.

Naughty Naughty Violence is out now through Excelsior Recordings.

http://www.canshakerpi.nl/   https://www.facebook.com/CanshakerPi/   https://twitter.com/CanshakerPi

Pete RingMaster 05/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bottle Next – Bad Horses

Bottle Next is a hard folk band from the French music scene. It is a tag which is maybe unique to the band not having come across it before but only partially touches on their sound. Weaving seriously engaging songs from the imaginative threads of everything from indie and pop, through progressive blues and hard rock to folk and indeed any mischievous form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to suggest, Bottle Next make for a tantalising proposition which within debut album, Bad Horses, persistently encroaches upon rich fascination and aural seduction.

There is a real sense of fun within and with the duo of guitarist/vocalist/saxophonist Pierre Rettien and drummer/vocalist Martin Ecuer; a feistiness and devilment which openly fuels their music. From the release of their first single in 2011, the pair has drawn increasing attention and support with a pair of EPs surrounded by other individual tracks and videos as well as an energetic live presence which has seen them play across France and further into Europe; sharing stages with the likes of Triggerfingers, Lofofora, Zebda, Mass Hysteria, Didier Wampas, and No One Is Innocent as well as appearing at festivals such as Rock’n’Poche Festival, The Festival du Chien à Plûmes, Musikmesse in Germany), Belgium’s Mannrock (Belgium) and the Swiss Zikamart Festival.

Released a few weeks back, Bad Horses is an announcement for a wider range of ears and spotlights of the presence of Bottle Next; the Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames) mixed release swiftly making the most of the opportunity with its opener Break Down the Door. The initial twang twisted strums of Rettien have an instinctive striking swing to their nature, a zeal matched in the senses rapping beats of Ecuer. That energy is equally as frantic in the delivery and character of the former’s vocals; together the duo creating a body inciting, spirit dancing slice of tenacious melodic rock as garage raw as it is hungrily infectious.

It is a thickly enticing start matched in memorable heights by next up Choices, the song a swagger loaded stroll of blues tinged rock ‘n’ roll sharing a Queens Of The Stone Age meets In The Whale like adventure. There is a rapacious essence to the grooves winding around ears and an atmospheric suggestiveness to the keys which interrupts the urgency of the canter whilst emerging folkish revelry has a funk seeded grin encapsulated by the earthily sultry lures of sax.

From one mouth-watering escapade to another as next up, Running Herd, takes ears in its grips with stabby riffs and agitated beats, both entangled in a volatile web of melody and vocal dexterity. As with its predecessors, involvement in its tenacious shuffle is instinctive; voice and hips giving quick submission to its imaginative multi-flavoured dance before Revolution shows the grittier hard rock side of the band’s sound. It too though weaves in a lure of melody and pop scented indie enterprise topped by a chorus wearing sixties/seventies pop rock catchiness.

A slightly calmer air drifts over Age of beauty; the song tempting and vivaciously crooning like a mix of XTC and Be Bop Deluxe though like all songs it never settles for one idea or style for much longer than it takes the imagination to adopt one of the moments of creative chicanery.  At times it is an almost punchy encounter, the next a floating caress and consistently a captivating proposal before the outstanding Overthere grabs an already keen appetite for the release’s romp with its heavier touch and spikier climate. Again a grunge seeded essence runs alongside the song’s heavier rock instincts, colluding in a slimline, impulsively addictive temptation smoking in its shadows with a wealth of additional flavoursome scents.

The album’s title track is a more kinetic and wiry caper, guitars and drums magnetically nagging and popping as the track’s rock heart and vocals roar; pure rock ‘n’ roll its creative mantra while Machines courts a matching breeding in its mellower, blues rock tinged pop ‘n’ roll. Both offerings make swift deals with ears and imagination, More Humane matching their success with its folk/indie rock enticement brewing up from within initial suggestive smog of melodically nurtured atmospherics; funk and progressive keys born revelry growing across its enthralling body sparking canter.

The melody woven infection of The Lift off straight after is no less an inducement of physical participation, its warm and boisterous invitation a fest of inventive festivity for limbs and energy. The same equally comes with closing song The Woody Man where its folkish colour and melodic charm takes the track’s kinetic nature in hand, giving it a great layer of restraint without defusing its multi-style embracing devilry and impact on body and spirit. It is a great end to a rather fine album which it is fair to say had us leaping and grinning from start to finish, no track anything less than an imaginative galvanic romp. Bad Horses offers something really fresh in its familiar flavours and boundless enterprise in its bold and playful quest to simply rock ‘n’ roll. The best album you will hear this year, maybe or maybe not; destined to be one of the most enjoyable, without question.

Bad Horses is out now @ https://bottlenext.bandcamp.com/album/bad-horses

http://bottle-next.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Bottlenext/

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Backtrack Lane – In Fine

Four years after the release of their well-received debut album Black Truth & White Lies, French rockers   Backtrack Lane return with new EP, In Fine. Offering six creatively robust and impassioned tracks, the EP revels in a new energy and flair of enterprise in the Paris quartet’s sound; it a mix of the familiar and the captivatingly fresh sparking rich enjoyment with ease.

Formed in 2009, Backtrack Lane has played hundreds of gigs across their homeland, moving from small local stages to some of the most prestigious venues whilst playing alongside the likes of Black Star Riders, Gotthard, and numerous more. 2011 saw the release of first EP, It’s Not Like…, the national attention stoking Black Truth & White Lies album appearing two years later. The multi-flavoured alternative rock of In Fine is Backtrack Lane poking even bigger and broader spotlights while being for many a potent introduction to a band which knows how to rock ‘n’ roll.

With its lack of real uniqueness more than countered by the passion and energy at its enterprising heart, In Fine is a magnet in the speakers swiftly grabbing ears with opener Fifteen Minutes. Straight away the steely riffs of Adrien Crestey and Stefan Gatti spark the appetite, the heavier dark throb of vocalist Raphael Gatti’s bass zoning in on the instincts for predatory sound. Their collusion is instantly joined by the latter’s vocal prowess; his energy in delivery matched in the sounds blossoming up around him. With keys melodically shimmering behind the forceful yet invitational web created by the foursome, Gui O’Crest’s rapier like beats are like a punctuation to each strand of temptation. The song continually expands and grows note by note, blues filtered grooves only adding to the creative prowess working on body and imagination while familiar hues, with a suggestion of Sick Puppies/3 Days Grace to them, simply accentuate the lure and adventure of the encounter.

Underground is no less of a temptation with a vine like groove instantly wrapping around ears as desert rock seeded melodic enticement brews around another great vocal beckon from Raphael Gatti. A definite Josh Homme air creeps across the songwriting and character of the track, its slightly tempestuous climate and energy as irresistible as its sonic dexterity and spicy melodies with Crestey’s lead enticement teasing with a Billy Idol hue. As its predecessor, the song might be missing majorly unique surprises as feet and spirit are keenly manipulated yet expectations are left empty by its adventure and fresh breath, qualities just as rampant within next up Perfect Motion. Though there is more restraint in its first touch than those before, its zeal to stomp is soon in charge and throwing rapacious grooves and boisterous rhythms at ears as vocals add their own catchy exploits. Once more Queens Of The Stone Age is an inescapable clue to the bold and potent sound inciting something which simply is a thick pleasure.

Breaking the Rules has a broader hard/alternative rock landscape to its sound, Stefan Gatti and Adrien Crestey blending their hook littered designs with infectious prowess as rhythms stroll and vocals roar. Ultimately the song misses matching the lofty peaks of those before it but thorough enjoyment and involvement is a given as with the blues lined inevitably catchy prowl of the following Stray. An energetic slice of pop rock with a broad smile in its air and nature plus a snarling bassline to get greedy over, the song saunters without distractions into eager ears and spirit with its lively romp.

The EP is closed off by After the Rain, another song with a sizzling blues rock nurtured spicing and instinctive contagiousness in its creative veins. Once more things are familiar yet full of an adventure with a seduction and craft hard to not be taken by. In Fine delivers rock ‘n’ roll which feeds all the wants; fun, energy, and passion all served with something extra driven by imagination.

In Fine is available now.

http://www.backtracklane.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Backtrack-Lane-143002764878/    https://twitter.com/backtracklane

Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vukovi – Self Titled

Even before seeing her, Janine Shilstone, the lead singer of Scottish outfit Vukovi feels like a blend of Barbarella and Harley Quinn; a bold vocal seduction of beauty and devilry, glamorous temptation and mischievous warrior which her visual presence and energy only accentuates. Vukovi matches that inescapable focal point with a sound and energy just as tenacious and creatively boisterous not forgetting hungrily imaginative. It is all in evidence within the bands self-titled debut album,  a rousing and enjoyably imposing roar of pop infested rock ‘n’ roll as colourful and attention grabbing as its vocal protagonist’s hair.

Emerging in 2010, Vukovi have earned an acclaim ridden reputation for their live prowess which has more recently seen them successfully play festivals such as at Download, T In The Park, Hard Rock Calling, Live at Leeds, and British Summer Time Festival as well as open for Highly Suspect late last year. Equally a clutch of singles, many bringing their thrills to the album, have lured increasing attention which now the band’s first full-length will surely explode into even eager life such it’s striking fun and adventure.

Vukovi, band and album truly explode into life with opener La Di Da, a recent single which leaves the speakers shaking and body exhausted. Immediately, as a strike of musical drama scythes across ears, the titanic presence and roar of Shilstone ignites the imagination, her vocal strength and character a glorious trespass as warm and inviting as it is formidable and striking. Bass growls and swinging beats are equally as dynamically riveting, Hamish Reilly’s riffs almost stabbing the senses as Shilstone continues to blaze. A song partly inspired by the singers almost obsessive appreciation of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, it is a volcanic pop and rock stomp with a touch of Djerv about, indeed the Norwegian band’s vocalist Agnete Maria Kjolsrud the closest comparison to Shilstone’s distinctive presence that we can suggest.

The track is immense, a plateau setter which the album does not always match from thereon in but certainly worries track by track starting with And He Lost His Mind. With steely riffs quickly chaining ears with their predacious intent, and  vocal cries and rebel rousing just one trap in its manipulation of ears and body, the track borders the carnal whilst unleashing a catchiness as invasive and inescapable as it’s primal urges. For no obvious reason, post punks Xmal Deutschland frequently come to mind during the song, well a pop version of them, the track carnivorous in its earthy air and sonic snarl.

Weirdo has a lighter pop flirtation to its body yet still riffs and bass add their already established barracuda growl and heavy prowl to the stirring tempting. Drummer Colin Irving jabs with relish as melodies swirl with their own raw magnetic flair around emotion lined vocals before the Blood Red Shoes meets Morningwood stroll of Target Practice involves more caustically shadowy endeavour. Again bassist Jason Trotter brings a deep dark edge to the affair with ears while the catchy tenacity of its predecessor is equally matched as Shilstone robustly serenades with increasing passion.

Through the Paramore-esque charm of Prey, though we would suggest that the Americans have never discovered the instinctive thunder in their sound as that which persistently frequents song and album, and the controlled but naturally frantic exploits of Bouncy Castle, ears are aroused and buffeted with feet unreservedly worked on with zeal as the imagination is fed a variety of textures and enterprise.

Vukovi is more often than not tagged as a pop rock band but already the album has established them as real rock ‘n’ roll with a skilled hand at creating the warmest moments of infectiousness and emotive intimacy as betrayed in the beguiling Wander; a song where vocals alone seem to come from an inner flame of personal revelation. Similarly, I’M WIRED has that potency of word and expression within its cauldron of lava-esque sound, mercurial rhythmic incitement, and melodic radiance. Both tracks beguile; their personalities from another place on the Vukovi spectrum of creativity and as powerful and compelling as anything around them.

Next up, Animal has things lustfully bouncing again, its rhythms a driving infection as spiny riffs grizzle alongside the ever radiant vocal lament of Shilstone who in turn is hugged by the siren calls of keys, while Boy George leaves little to be further desired with its Animal Alpha hued stew of sound and imagination if admittedly it does not quite ignite personal passion as much as other songs, their success rather than any deficiencies within it the reason.

He Wants Me Not is another which only pleases with its crystalline grace and rousing energy but cannot quite live up to the heights of certainly the likes of La Di Da and Wander, though by its close satisfaction is overflowing and hips weary but still willing to embrace the gentle swing and roaring heart of closing track Colour Me In.

Produced by long-time collaborator Bruce Rintoul, Vukovi is our introduction to its creators, an encounter which with no expectations of it, surprised, thrilled, and certainly across its first two thirds just blew us away; its final stretch only confirming a new lusty appetite for the band’s sound. We do not expect to be alone in that realisation and strength of enjoyment.

The Vukovi album is out now through LAB Records, physical copies available @ http://vukovi.tmstor.es and digitally @ http://labrecs.com/VUKOVI-iTunes

http://www.vukovi.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/vukoviband      https://twitter.com/Vukoviband

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Of Kings and Captains – Jack My Boy

of-kings-and-captains-pic_RingMasterReview

Ahead of their new EP Give ’em Hell Son, British pop rockers Of Kings and Captains have released new single Jack My Boy, a mercilessly infectious slice of robust rock ‘n’ roll lying somewhere between The Pirates, Eddie and the Hot Rods, and The Wildhearts. It is hard to imagine that the Black Country hailing band could have found a more rousing teaser for their new EP, the new single taken from it one of those proposals which instinctively grips ears, voice, and bodies easily enlisting their eager involvement in short time.

Stourbridge bred, Of Kings and Captains released their debut album in 2015 to eager reactions; its success backed up by a potent live reputation which has seen the band share stages with the likes of McFly and Kids in Glass Houses among many and recently undertake a five date stadium tour with Bon Jovi. The foursome of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Luke Wassell, lead guitarist Joshua Lomas, bassist Dean Greatbatch, and drummer Kieran Lock linked up with producer Gavin Monaghan (The Twang, Editors, Niplozi) and Joseph Murray for Give ’em Hell Son and if Jack My Boy is anything to go by, with thrilling success.

A song according to Wassell which is “…about self-confidence and defying people who doubt you! it’s all about sticking to your guns and being yourself regardless of how people might put you down. It’s about being individual and kicking back against the norm“, Jack My Boy has all attention leaning its way from the initial lure of drum enticement. Lock’s magnetic rhythms are quickly joined by an anthemic bassline and eager twang loaded riffs, they in turn turning to an array of fifties seeded hooks as Wassell’s tones whips up even more infectious bait to the already catchy encounter. From there the track continues to lead the listener, drawing them towards seriously virulent choruses, they irresistible peaks in one, from start to finish, spirit arousing stomp.

It takes just one listen to be firmly involved in the song with every encounter after drawing keen and full participation. If Jack My Body is a sign of things to come with Give ’em Hell Son, the EP is a must.

Jack My Boy is out now with the Give ’em Hell Son EP available for download from all good digital retailers September 9th.

Upcoming Gig Dates:

Sept 9th – Katie Fitzgerald’s – Stourbridge (Acoustic Show)

Sept 29th – RiverRooms – Stourbridge

Sept 30th – The Shed – Leicester

Oct 15th Wulfrun Hall ­‐ Wolverhampton

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Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

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