Conformist – Lifestyle Bible

conformist5_RingMasterReview

It has been three years since British electronic weaving producer Conformist released his debut album Paid to Fake It to swiftly draw attention and acclaim. It was a weird and often psychotic tapestry of sound and samples which simply ignited the imagination as enjoyably as it did ears. Now the Cardiff born conjuror is back with its successor, the equally as dramatic and compelling Lifestyle Bible. It is more of the same creative adventure but with a new honing of inventiveness amid greater suggestive collages of sound.

Conformist is the project of Michael Simmons, who as mentioned stirred up attention with the 2013 release of Paid to Fake It. Written between 2014 and 2016, the Jerome Schmitt (Alt-J, Diplo, Mr Scruff) mastered Lifestyle Bible is an unrelenting flickering of sound and incisive sampling, a non-stop parade of textures and aural suggestiveness but with a tightness to its weaves and greater rounded character to its songs which insists Conformist is a proposition if not necessarily ahead of the game is certainly weaving its own creative field.

The previous album drew comparisons to the likes of Steinski, The Dust Brothers, Avalanches, and Aphex Twin. They are references again easy to offer up for Lifestyle Bible but as suggested Simmons is honing a unique proposal with every new track. As opener Trust Exercises entangles ears, swiftly a new air of adventure to the album escapes its creator, the track virtually creating its weave before ears as strands of electronic intrigue and twisting samples interlock and unite as it emerges. Repetition and sonic psychosis only add to the brewing landscape of persuasion, all elements tempting rather than forcibly taking attention but successful all the same.

artwork_RingMasterReviewThe following industrially stalked electro punk romp of Rock n Roll Dead Man slips straight out of the final lure of its predecessor, quickly parading commanding beats as hooks and strands of sound wind around the imagination. Again it is a perpetual stabbing of sounds bound in melodic mischief; like a disorientated rocker lurching from hook to hook with endearing prowess before stepping aside for new single Komputer Jenerated and its funk ‘n’ roll swing of electronics. There is a whiff of Yello to the devilry soon baiting and enslaving the senses, its sudden stop and go moments and off kilter twists all adding fuel to one fiery captivating ride.

Next up Harm Hides at Home is a slower bloomer though straight away it has ears fully engaged but it is with every passing minute and listen that layer by layer it reveals its compelling depths whilst coming over with fresh character each and every time whilst swinging from the same constantly seductive vine of melodic enterprise.

The variety within the album continues as the warped presence and psychosis of Life! Death! Prizes! clambers psychotically across the senses and imagination before the excellent A Snake Eating Its Own Tail saunters through ever magnetic creative circles, each rotation a writhing web of electronic provocation with a flavoursome touch of Pop Will Eat Itself to it.

The album is completed by the screwy exploits of firstly Art Colony, a pixilated jungle of beats and electronics which again inescapably conjures new adventures within thoughts with every listen, and lastly the enveloping melodic and sinister drama of the Nothing Important Happened Today. Intimate in its haunting proposal courted by ominous noir lit shadows, the track is almost a baiting of the emotions; a daring of thinking all is well as dangers lurk in an encroaching sombre dark.

It is a fine and compelling end to another great proposition from Conformist. Lifestyle Bible is an album which will trap and excite all who like their imaginations to be twisted and turned inside out by their electronic music, as well as their eager ears.

Lifestyle Bible is released October 14th through Consumer Consumer Records @ http://www.conformistmusic.co.uk/shop/4587936298/lifestyle-bible—cd-album/10915384

http://www.conformistmusic.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/conformistmusic   https://twitter.com/conformistmusic

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scarlet Fantastic – Beyond Pluto EP

scarlet-fantastic-beyond-pluto-art_RingMasterReview

Following the release this past June of the well-received album Reverie, British artist Scarlet Fantastic is poised to light the skies with the Beyond Pluto EP. With its title track taken from that recent album, the EP brings new encounters and remixes to the celestial hug of its lead track, eighties pop spice fuelling all in what is a warm and charming proposal.

Scarlet Fantastic is Maggie K de Monde, an artist whose musical work spans over 4 decades and has enjoyed chart success in the ’80s with her bands Swans Way (Soul Train) and in turn Scarlet Fantastic (No Memory). Over the years she has worked and collaborated among a great many with the likes of Mike Thorne, Crabbi from Pop Will Eat Itself, ‘Hifi’ Sean Dickson of the Soup Dragons), and Martin Watkins from Marc Almond’s band and appeared on shows such as Top of the Pops, The Tube, The Old Grey Whistle Test, The Roxy, No Limit, and MTV.

There is much more to the creative history of Maggie which has been highlighted again by the release of Reveries and now the Beyond Pluto EP. The title track of the latter opens up her new proposition and quickly lures attention with its initial cosmic doodle and acoustic prowess. A gentle strum of guitar is swiftly joined by Maggie’s endearing tones, both essences increasing in poetic persuasion as the song calmly blossoms in depth and temptation. Beyond Pluto is a song which makes no demands yet firmly holds ears as southern bred sighs and floating harmonies also join the lively serenade.

Du Quesne steps forward next, the song more fiery than its predecessor to match the focus of its tale. Guitar and voice again steal attention as the temptress within the track is portrayed, keys providing the suggestive flare of her lure. Stealing the show within the EP, the track is a tantalising encounter quickly followed by the plaintive melodic caresses of Lucky 7, a song which first featured on the 24 hrs album of 2007 and still flirts with ears and imagination as freshly as back then in the EP’s version.

Completed by two remixes of Beyond Pluto by Hifi Sean and Carsten Dusener respectively, the Scarlet Fantastic EP is a magnetic escape from the raw roar of the day; a gentle escape to relax into with ease.

The Beyond Pluto EP is released September 23rd on Dirtbag Baby Records via Right Track/Universal and available from most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/scarletfantasticofficial/   https://twitter.com/ScarletFantast  http://www.scarlet-fantastic.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calling All Astronauts – Anti-Social Network

Calling All Astronauts Promo Picture_RingMasterReview

It is easy to have an on-going appetite for a band but not always as simple to keep the fervour of the enthusiasm for their work burning just as brightly, especially as they evolve and move away from the things which first beguiled ears and imagination. With British electro rockers Calling All Astronauts no such problem has existed to date; with each release as they have grown and experimented, they seem to have sparked even more vivacious praise and greed; a success which will only continue with their new album Anti-Social Network.

The eleven track incitement is the CAA sound at its most rounded and mature yet and equally at its most adventurous and diverse. Recently talking about Anti-Social Network, band vocalist and album producer David Bury revealed, “We wanted to make an album we would buy ourselves, that pays homage to our heroes and many influences whilst still sounding like us. I think we’ve just about got there” Get there they did with tracks with harken back to seventies/eighties gothic and electro pop influences whilst uncaging a modern snarl of rock ‘n’ roll with a political and emotional bite as forceful as the virulence which ensures feet and hips are as eager and voracious as ears.

The successor to heavily acclaimed debut album Post Modern Conspiracy, and in turn the singles and EP which followed it, the band’s eagerly awaited second album is the outcome of “20 months of insane creativity that saw the guys locked in their studio for days on end as they wrote, engineered and produced an album that stretched their creativity like never before.” Straight away it makes a potent impact, Living the Dream bringing the album to ears with a poppy yet shadow kissed invitation. Within it, the dark bass lure cast by Paul McCrudden almost prowls ears as a melodic and infectious swing brightly entices around the distinctive stony vocals of Bury. Feet are tapping within the first round of electronic beats whilst hips soon get involved with J Browning’s spicy grooves, the body seduced by the lively contagion which is slightly reminiscent of bands like Modern English and B-Movie.

art_RingMasterReviewIt is a great start quickly eclipsed by the even more addictive Empire. Released as a greedily devoured single towards the end of last year, it immediately runs its tempting fingers across the senses with the moody bait of McCrudden bass and the mouth-watering hooks of Browning, all within an equally captivating electronic climate. Punkish with an alluring irritability to its twists and a scent of aggravation to Bury’s expressive vocals, Empire beguiles body and thoughts, inciting thick involvement from each before making way for the spiky electro punk defiance of Time to Fight Back. With the additional agitated tenacity to spark any dance-floor, the song has the body bouncing as emotions raise a middle-finger to surrounding ills, a touch of Sigue Sigue Sputnik meets Pop Will Eat Itself doing its successful persuasion no harm.

The already familiar Hands Up Who Wants To Die? is the provider of more energetic and contagious exploits, ripe hooks and flaming guitar enterprise lighting ears as rhythms back the punch of vocals and words with skittish boisterousness. It too has an imposing charm and vivacious resourcefulness hard to resist, as too Life as We Know It which follows with a mellower but no less fascinating and arresting romancing of hips and ears. CAA might take swipes at establishments and worldly corruptions but barely a song goes by without the trio leading the listener into physical collusion with its inescapable dance-ability.

Through the heavier air and rock ‘n’ roll of The American Dream, a track which gives a hint to what Iggy Pop would sound like it he went down the electro/industrial route, and the fiery God Is Dead with its bubbly scathing, attention and thick enjoyment is again firmly taken care of, even if neither quite live up to those before them, whilst Always Be True hugs ears with a synth pop laced reflection. It too might miss the last spark of other tracks for our ears but with Bury adding a great Tom Waits like texture to his enticing tones as the electronic atmospherics of the song come loaded with their own suggestiveness, the Fad Gadget tinged track is a compelling and increasingly potent proposal.

The outstanding Look in Your Eye has ardour blazing again with its conspicuous gothic punk and post punk imagination. Touches of bands like Play Dead and March Violets emerge across the thrilling encounter, but as everywhere, familiar essences and textures are mere strands in something unmistakably Calling All Astronauts. As mentioned earlier, the band wanted to pay homage to their inspirations without losing their own individuality, this track on its own proving their success.

Anti-Social Network is completed by firstly the predacious and again insatiably alluring Black World where a Sister Of Mercy/The Mission like courtship of ears and imagination instantly beguiles and only becomes more intoxicating over time. Finally the band unleashes Divisive upon the passions; its attitude loaded presence spawned from electro punk/metal irritability and infested with devious and rebellious strains of funk and electronic devilment.

It is a mighty close to another powerful and galvanic release from Calling all Astronauts, and the sign that the band is ready to step out of the underground scene and stir up the biggest attention.

Anti-Social Network is released March 11th via Supersonic Media across most online stores.

http://www.callingallastronauts.com   https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllAstronauts/    https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster 11/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Seething Akira – Airstrike

Cruisin'_RingMaster Review

Like a raid on the senses and a mass riot for the body, the new single from UK rockers Seething Akira sets the world on fire in just three volatile minutes. Setting out the kind of tempest fans to the band’s fusion of alternative and heavy rock with electro and hardcore dub step are accustomed to, Airstrike equally thrusts its hellacious mitts into a richer and deeper vat of anthemic intensity and psyche twisting tenacity for one ferocious devilry.

Hailing from Portsmouth, and with inspirations from the likes of Prodigy, Senser, and Enter Shikari joining their own rebellious ideation, Seething Akira was soon inciting a potent and loyal local support when emerging in 2011. First EP, You Missed The Show that year showed the band was loaded in potential but it was from the Transmission EP a year later that they hit their stride in sound and broader persuasion. Live the band has only earned an acclaiming stature, the quintet taking in shows with bands such as Hacktivist, The Algorithm, Senser, Don Broco, Black Futures, Sonic Boom Six, Max Raptor, PWEI, and Heart Of A Coward over the years. Last year the Aggro Vito EP reinforced and pushed on the band’s sound and presence but for us Airstrike is the band’s most exciting and ridiculously involving offering yet.

Airstrike_RingMaster Review     Airstrike allows no escape for feet and emotions, let alone voice, stirring them up in its first seconds and then dragging them into its maelstrom of energy and attitude. It spews increasing slavery through voracious rhythms, psychotic enterprise, and a vocal assault which makes the term incitement seem lightweight. The thumping beats of Stu Mealcliffe alongside the pulsating synth stabs of Charlie Bowes cast the first lure, their union unrelenting until the subsequent vocal roars of Kit Conrad and Bowes add their united antagonistic charm. The metal spawn riffs of Harvey Sneezeface Ware aligned to the predatory prowl of Terry Brown’s bass instantly turns the already virulent temptation into a beast of a proposal, their entrance sparking greater intensity and aggression elsewhere too. The landscape of the song continues to evolve and unpredictably shift, sinister melodic endeavour from the guitars sparking a similar air to keys before the dynamics at the heart of the song explode once again in a torrential and commanding cascade of techno trespasses, heavy duty rhythmic and riff induced incitements, and vocal belligerence.

Airstrike is a brawl impossible to resist and it is easy to imagine Pendulum being offered as a hint to the song’s might. But more so it has the hues of bands like G.R.I.M, Axis Mundi, and a dirtier Pop Will Eat Itself to it. Those flavours do bring a certain familiarity to it at times but that is countered and overwhelmed by the sheer energy and unique enterprise of Seething Akira. This is a band which just gets bigger and better whilst persistently knocking on the fullest spotlights.

Airstrike is available from July 27th

Upcoming Seething Akira tour dates:

July 31st O2, Islington, UK *

Aug 1st Downstairs, Aberdeen *

Aug 2nd Audio, Glasgow, Scotland *

Aug 3rd Bannermans, Edinburgh, Scotland *

Aug 4th Warehouse 23, Wakefield *

Aug 5th The Asylum, Birmingham *

Aug 6th Academy 3 Manchester, UK *

Aug 7th Waterfront, Norwich, UK *

Aug 11, Knust, Hamburg, Germany *

Aug 12 West Park Eventhalle, Inglostadt, Germany *

Aug 13 Little Devil, Tillburg, Netherlands *

Aug 14 Hypothalamus, Rheine, Germany *

October 3rd, MAMMOTHFEST, Brighton

* Main support to Mordred on EU tour

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

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lifecycle – Lino Cosmos

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Listening to Lino Cosmos is like being locked in a creative frenzy brought with the most sublime resourcefulness and intricate control. The new album from UK rockers Lifecycle is a delicious weave of styles and imagination which defies description yet nestles perfectly in the appetite of any melodic and alternative rock fan. Strolling with bold exploration through rhythmic jungles, melodic dramas, and electronic emprises, Lino Cosmos is an insatiably adventurous flight driven by sultry tribal tenacity across diverse soundscapes beneath hazily psychedelic skies.

The London band consists of guitarist/vocalist Geoffrey Dent, bassist Letitia Austin, and drummer Nick Holder. The history of Dent and Austin goes back a fair way having met in the nineties. It was another fifteen years though before the pair met again and merged their skills in Lifecycle with Holder, having come across Dent in 2009, linking up a year later. With the album Luxury Condominium under its belt and a renowned live presence which is as much a trigger to mass bodily involvement in dance fans as rock, the trio release their most gripping and incendiary incitement yet. Lino Cosmos is a voracious flirtation and agitated seduction which just cannot be ignored, a tapestry of flavours and genres which converge into one inescapable psyche swamping sensation.

As soon as the opening rhythmic shuffle of Dissolve tantalises ears, band and album has attention and imagination in their palms. It is a teasing invitation which swiftly grows in stature as beats gain weight and Austin’s bass begins its primal flirtation. The instinctive dance only increases in temptation as Dents sandy tones courted by melodic intrigue add their colour to the creative revelry. There is a swagger and energy to the song which recalls the core of Happy Mondays whilst rhythmically the band brings thoughts of eighties band King Trigger to the fore. Never exploding into an outright rampage but wonderfully nagging away with anthemic potency across a net of magnetic beats wrapped in a warm electro ambience the track is insatiably hypnotic and warmly fascinating.

The powerful start is swiftly matched by the gorgeous beauty and infectiousness of Not Enough. Entering on another eighties seeded melodic and rhythmic dance, thoughts of Electric Guitars and Hey! Elastica swiftly in place, the song is soon breaking out its sinews with heavy bass courting and funk bred enterprise. Again it is all bound in an electro festivity and vocal excellence with radiant harmonies, the mix a full captivation to feet and imagination. Virulent in its energy, exhausting in its voracious persuasion, and incessant in its almost exotic charm, the song is scintillating and easily one of the best incitements heard this year.Lino Cosmos art SUPSYM004_4000

The rhythmic and melodic seducing shows no signs of relinquishing their addictive holds as both Patterns and Burst Your Bubble swarm over ears and emotions. The first has a slightly more restrained vivacity compared to the previous songs but with bewitching and increasingly feisty agitation to the rhythms and a Police like mellowness to vocals and melodies, it moves and flirts like a Caribbean temptress as radiance spills from every caress of keys and stroke of guitar. Its successor prowls with a shadowed smile to its presence and intriguing colour, the song as others carrying a melodic grin within a web of alluring rhythms, yet there is a bordering on sinister lilt to the heart and atmosphere of the emerging exploration too. At times the track has a whisper of Pop Will Eat Itself to it and in others an enticing of Vampire Weekend meets Silhouettes, and though it is more a smouldering tempting than the instantly enslaving stomps of its predecessors, the track evolves into an equally compelling treat.

Every song upon Line Cosmos has its own individual drama, the meaty scenery and scorched rock walls of The Big Picture next a riveting example. It spreads cunningly over the imagination, sparking new adventures with every climb of its broody and continually expanding narrative. Listening to the album is like being bound and held in the throes of sonic alchemy, the next up Rush Into This immersing senses and thoughts in a haunting melodic experiment as rock, pop, dub, and electronic majesty entwine in an extraordinary cinematic descent into dark realms and emotional shadows.

Change Tact also explores a haunted realm, melodies emotionally reflective whilst shards of guitars and breezes of keys paint the song’s canvas with crystaline and celestial hues respectively. The track is engrossing though it lacks something to spark the passions as the previous songs, similarly final song Greed. Nevertheless both leave ears satisfied and appetite full, the closing track springing a fiery stroll of rock pop with electronic spotting.

Lino Cosmos is an encounter which lingers longer than most and incites complete involvement of body and soul in its company. Lifecycle are sonic alchemists, centuries ago they would be burnt as witches but today we can only hungrily indulge and devour their creative majesty.

Lino Cosmos is available now digitally and on CD via Supersymmetry and at http://thelifecycle.bandcamp.com/album/lino-cosmos

http://www.thelifecycl.es/

RingMaster 28/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up +

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

If you have yet to make acquaintance with the acerbic and snarling charm of UK duo Sleaford Mods, then Chubbed Up + is a must. Released originally in February this year as a digital release, the album is now receiving its physical unleashing via Ipecac Recordings, and makes an inescapable and irresistible doorway into the antagonistic world of the band. As the earlier unveiling, the album is a collection of tracks making up the bands recent clutch of singles but this time with an additional trio of unreleased songs. Following the acclaimed seventh album Divide and Exit which hit the senses this past April, Chubbed Up + reminds that there has been a long-time impressive assault and presence to the Nottingham provocateurs which may have slipped many by until this year.

Sleaford Mods is unique, a proposition which can be best described as Swell Maps and The Fall meets Pop Will Eat Itself driven by the observation and caustic lyrical ire of Mark E Smith; yet it is different and individual again. This is probably a band which seduces or alienates, it’s strikingly individual and fury fuelled provocation manna or poison for ears and emotions, but it is a challenge which has to be met face on to know your fate. If they hit the spot it is a long term allegiance which as their albums keep showing, just gets more potent and tightly gripping.

The emergence of Sleaford Mods came in 2006 when Jason Williamson drew on his frustrations with life and society to breed a verbal and lyrical causticity which he honed over the next months. A couple of years in London saw him hit the live scene before in 2009 returning to his home of Nottingham and subsequently meeting and uniting with Andrew Fearn in the band. By this point Sleaford Mods already had four albums under its belt but the fifth, Wank, was the first drawing on the lyrical and vocal fire of Williamson aligned to the musical and sample imagination of Fearn. Its success only led to greater invention and acclaim as Austerity Dogs in 2013 and then Divide and Exit has shown. Now like a stock take and reminder of the bands smaller but no less incendiary minimalistic brawls, Chubbed Up + is a call to new and extra treat for existing fans.

Sleaford Mods’ sound is a two prong attack, the lyrical scathing and vocal belligerence of Williamson in league with the predatory rhythmic seduction of Fearn. There is more to the band’s proposals but that is the dual prime bait as shown by opening song The Committee. One of the brand new songs, it snares ears straight away with a gnarly bassline which alone steals the imagination. With vocal sways inviting equally intimidating beats, the song soon embraces the stirring and raw tones of Williamson. A mix of speaking and rapping, his delivery has a great John Cooper Clarke monotony which swiftly binds attention so that every syllable and word is tightly gripped, yet it does not defuse the equally pungent Sleaford Mods ipc-162lure of Fearn’s sounds.

Though each track has seeds in a similar template, minimal flirtations of hypnotic and repetitive rhythms stalking the corrosive wordage of Williamson, all grow individual characters such as the electro pumped Jobseeker with its post punk bass tempting, the funkily incessant 14 Day court, and the punk heroics of Black Monday. The third of the three strolls with a Caped Crusader enticing, bass and percussion a nagging persistence wrapped in just as small but flavoursome keys. Old school punk with a kiss of early Cure and Television Personalities to it, the song stomps with insatiable appetite and irresistible revelry.

If like us you are seduced by addictive and unremitting basslines than Sleaford Mods and tracks like Jolly Fucker in the bands arsenal trigger instinctive hunger. The song pounds and intimidates physically and mentally, challenging thoughts and passions with sublime ease whilst lighting up body and imagination with terrier like persistence and ferocity. Tweet Tweet Tweet is another ridiculously compelling example, though its tone comes with a more restrained but similarly contagious swagger, musically and vocally a feisty striding unafraid to drape slithers of melodies and harmonies over its robust flanks.

   Chubbed Up + is an unrelenting string of addictions, the unique throaty sonic colouring of Bambi sparking immediate lust with a bassline and scything guitar repetition which lies somewhere between Gang Of Four and Morkobot. Lorded by the riveting antagonism of Williamson, the song is one of the band’s loftiest pinnacles, though the majority of their tracks stalk the same plateau as proved by the earthy menace and anthemic prowl of Routine Dean and the sultry shuffle of Scenery, the latter holding a repetitious spine but a cloudy haze to its slim line landscape of sound around lyrical spikiness.

The bestial tone of the bass returns for the outstanding Pubic Hair Ltd; a rhythmically punchy and vocally anthemic scowl loaded with more contagion than found in the world of banker’s greed. Its enthralling and glorious baiting leads into the final two songs of the album, the other pair of brand new tracks. Bring Out the Canons explores a predatory intent and sound, bass and beats almost leering over ears as vocals and choice lyrics grip the imagination. It is an engrossing and intrusive pulsing of lyrical grudge, which along with the opener and last song Fear of Anarchy, hints that the band is worrying even greater invention ahead. The album’s last track seductively sways with bulky rhythmic hips and melodic intrigue, blasts of brass like teasing adding to the incendiary mix grasping the broody vocal incitement.

It is a scintillating finale to an outstanding release. To be fair any way into the creative anger of Sleaford Mods is a choice invitation but if they have yet to infest the psyche then Chubbed Up + is a must. Be warned though, once tainted it is impossible to give them up.

Chubbed Up + is available now, digitally @ http://sleafordmods.bandcamp.com/album/chubbed-up-the-singles-collection and physically with the extra songs through Ipecac Recordings @

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chubbed-Up-Sleaford-Mods/dp/B00NQZLIS4/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414432923&sr=1-3

http://www.sleafordmods.com

RingMaster 27/10/2014

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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Axis Mundi – Sci-Curious

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If debut album Chapel Perilous was the gas cloud holding the seeds to their genesis and the Science Junkie live single the spark to their expulsion, Sci-Curious is the big bang thrusting UK’s sound adventurers Axis Mundi into global recognition. An incendiary merger of aggressive rock, voracious rave, and untethered dubstep just to suggest some of its blistering invention, the band’s second album is a coming of age, a realisation of the potency in songwriting and sound which tempted before whilst breeding another strain of potential to even greater heights. A roaring celebration of science with insatiable riffs, hooks, and melodic predation, the album puts an already irrepressible proposition into the arms of essential investigation and devouring.

The trio of drummer Matt and guitarist/vocalist Gary Frewin with lead vocalist Shaun Garner first emerged in late 2008, taking little more than a year to become rated as one of the top upcoming bands in the UK. Originally a quartet, Axis Mundi earned an acclaimed reputation for their live performances and emerging songs. Already holding a passionate appetite and exploratory intrigue for all things science and its battle against the likes of politics, religion, and apathy, the Hinckley band worked closely with best-selling science author and New Scientist writer Michael Brooks during his election campaign against Hinckley and Bosworth MP David Tredinnick. Their first EP Find the Others caught strong waves of attention but it was with Chapel Perilous that the band really sparked a wider appetite for their sounds within the underground scene and subsequently more established media spotlights. Sci-Curious though makes it all seem like just the appetiser before its own main meal.

Through an attention raising Introduction, the album erupts with the instantly transfixing and highly animated opening shimmering of Sci-Curious-CoverE-Bomb. Synths merge on the senses with sonically drenched colour and vivacity from its first breath, tempting the senses in league with increasingly tantalising sounds. Into its energetic and fiery stride the track dances around ears with a dervish like enthusiasm before settling into a more relaxed stroll within which the melodic tones of Shaun unveil the song’s narrative as infectious guitar toxins bred by Gary entwine their shadowed bait around the imagination. The sounds are as provocative as the lyrical view and its look at the turning away from scientific truths from those which choose to be blind. A masterful blend of electro alchemy and compelling heavy rock, the track is a magnetic tempest setting the album off to a tremendous start.

It is a potent entrance swiftly taken to another level by Movie In The Mind which emerges from the finale of the previous treat. Like a side show barker, Shaun coaxes in thoughts as a great niggling rub of guitar skirts his tones. The rhythms of Matt join the revelry soon after, his precise jabs adding to the unpredictable and intriguing showmanship of the song’s initial gambit. Just as immediate is the contagious air to the track, its irresistible call wrapping every note and syllable of the punk and metal kissed canvas beneath the subsequent rampantly swirling keys. Whereas the its predecessor had a feel of the Pendulum to its character, this plays at times like a rapacious merger of Pop Will Eat Itself and Enter Shikari, though as with the first song Axis Mundi have developed their sound to a point that first thoughts are always of the band itself when describing any of its distinct aspects.

The album continues to stir up hunger and passions with its might and established band sound as Science Junkie steps into view next. A favourite of seemingly everyone upon its release as a live track a while ago, the trio have understandably relinquished some of the unbridled urgency and rabidity which marked the original release with a greater adventure and melodic clarity on the album. The track still gallops like a stallion in heat, keys and guitars brewing up a techno maelstrom which is impossible to escape. As it sways, lurches, and climbs all over the senses you can almost see the invention of the song pulsating through its veins, its sonic blood rushing around the hypnotic hooks and seductive melodies which parade relentless across its ravenous body as glorious vocal harmonies between Shaun and Gary caress like a devious temptress. The track is a ridiculously thrilling encounter soon rivalled by the enthralling and confrontational rocker Shut Down The Rave. Feisty guitars and more sinewy toned vocals lead the track into another variation within the release, it in many ways a more straight forward course of electronic metal and rock but with plenty, like the acidic scythes of guitar and flowing evocative key sculpted hues, to steal the imagination all over again. With an antagonistic climax which smells of Rage Against The Machine at their best before a final bloom of seducing melodies, the song is a magnificent incitement.

As undeniable impressive as the album is already, the next stretch of songs secures its status as a classic protagonist. Springing from an informative sample, their use another pleasing additive to the album, The Astounding Fact unleashes almost ten minutes of heart racing, bone juddering invention but equally it involves elegant and sweetly melodic caresses between rabid outbreaks of predacious ravishment. Consistently evolving into and involving further anthemic strolls and almost Manic Street Preacher-esque like croons the ingenious provocative and unpredictable storm alone shows just how far the band has come in its songwriting, musical skills, and mischievous designs. It is just the start though as both What Do You Get? and Little Stories Of Discovery climb up to yet another plateau of persuasion. The first plays with that earlier carnival like premise of Movie In The Mind, though its intensive menacing onslaught of initial rhythms and guitar around discord blessed keys is a differing frightening prospect. Once the vocals enter to stir up air and lyrical dirt, a deranged fairground essence seeps into the riveting equation, wonderfully darkly tainted verses inspiring thoughts of Insane Clown Posse more than one or twice. Switching with a chorus cast in melodic rock, the song is a puppeteer of shadows and passions, the best track on the album though straight away challenged by its brilliant successor. It is a psyche /indie rocker which leaps and swaggers with the relish and craft of a Reuben and a Bloc Party aligned to the melodic craft of a Feeder, though despite those references the bewitching slice of invention is again uniquely and irrepressibly all Axis Mundi.

The album carries on enslaving thoughts and emotions though maybe not to the same heights such the brilliance of earlier songs but certainly the rich and welcomingly bruising rock endeavour of Only Genes Can Judge Me and the jagged reggae inspired canter of The Gospel According To Science steal their very fair share of the passions with their highly accomplished and skilfully coloured tales whilst the closing New Scientist brings one final undiluted festival of dancefloor igniting voracity. Within all the tracks the band again thrusts a middle finger to expectations with their enchanting harmonies and reserved melody fuelled breezes within diverse tempestuous stomps, and all constant instigators of feet and passions.

Sci-curious is an exceptional kaleidoscopic offering which takes Axis Mundi into a whole new realm of quality and instinctively invigorating adventure. You can only hope and suspect that the world will take intensive notice of the UK trio as they and the album dive into an insatiable rampage which maybe even scientific doubters will find no resistance for.

The self- released Sci-curious will be released on June 1st

http://www.axismundionline.com

9/10

RingMaster 16/05/2014

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