Zurich – Small Wars

Zurich_RingMaster Review

Like Paul Haig meets Modern English in a creative hug with The Slow Readers Club, Zurich has a sound which leaves you awash with welcome nostalgia and invention soaked freshness. The proof comes via debut EP Small Wars; five tracks of post punk and eighties electro pop bred temptation infused into a fiery rock heart. At times rousingly anthemic and in other moments warmly intimate, the EP is a compelling introduction to the UK trio, one which early on had thoughts moulding the assumption that the Oxford hailing band is heading towards to major things.

Consisting of bassist/vocalist Adrian Banks, guitarist/vocalist Chris Gillett, and drummer Leigh Taylor, Zurich since emerging in the July of 2014 has built an impressive reputation for their live presence and sound in the always busy Oxford music scene. Now the whole of Britain gets to hear why with the Gary Stevenson produced Small Wars; an encounter which captivates from its first touch and just gets bigger and bolder in its persuasion and adventure thereon in.

cover_RingMaster Review     The release opens with Chemical, a song making a low key but instantly engaging entrance as atmospheric synths and melodies entice from the distance; coming closer with every passing second before rhythms and scythes of sultry guitar break loose to further spark ears and imagination. Already memories are basking in older essences as the appetite latches on to the robustly vocal textures of a fiercer but no less warm modern vivacity and invention. In no time the track is strolling along with infectiousness dripping from its every chord and rolling beat, their tempting matched by the excellent vocals of Banks and Gillett. The track is an instant friend, one you feel you know but only bringing new adventure and enjoyment the way of ears and emotions. Anthemic pop at its best, the song is a thrilling and commanding early persuasion from the EP, one masterfully backed by Alone.

The second track jabs with punchy beats as a guitar dangles its melodic bait initially in front of ears, a coaxing which maintains its potency and clarity as rhythms and more guitar swiftly add new eager energy and spice. A slower but still lively enticing compared to its predecessor, its canter bounces along drawing quick involvement physically as strings and a thick weave of keys build and unite in a highly provocative proposal for the imagination to get fully involved in. Once more vocals and individual prowess shines as openly as the collective enterprise in a song which as good as glows as it incites body and heart.

Small Wars offers its title track next, a smouldering croon with tenacious beats and a melancholy toned bassline which play against and with the lighter but equally emotive melodies of keys and guitars. Strings once more add further drama and emotional intimacy to the heartfelt dance of the song’s croon whilst its chorus just gets into the psyche from its first call, all aspects creating another major highlight of the EP before Invisible Man takes over with its own creative theatre. Straight away it offers melodic resourcefulness within a feisty serenade which can only be called Black like, the song growing and exceling as emotion packed sinews and inventive drama continue to blossom.

The EP is brought to a fine close by Menace; a pulsating shimmer of guitar and creeping keys its opening tempting and climatic beats and vociferously sultry endeavour it’s subsequent and gripping majesty. The bass of Banks is compelling in tone and expression whilst the rapier and adventurous rhythms of Taylor ignites the air around the increasingly volatile and imaginative journey of the song. Add relentlessly mesmeric keys and guitar craft which just rises to the occasion whilst pushing that same moment to new enthralling heights, you have one blaze of brilliance to complete an encounter just as constantly impressive.

Zurich is not a name which leaps out and grabs or indeed sticks in the memory as powerfully as maybe others but it does not need to when the band’s sound definitely does. Small Wars declares that fact and fair to say because of it we are already impatient to hear what the band comes up with next.

The Small Wars EP is available digitally from Kestrel Records on September 21st via the band’s Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Horse Party – Paydirt EP

photo by Kate Wood  White-Robot Photography

photo by Kate Wood White-Robot Photography

Often there comes an underlying fear with something that is so good it makes you drool but still seems to go unrecognised by the masses, that success always managing to evade the deserved. So it is with the music of Horse Party which continue to release fiercely exhilarating songs bred on a sound which is furiously fresh but with an old friend like invitation. The British alternative rock ‘n’ rollers have done so yet again with new EP Paydirt, a captivation of three fiery tracks breathing open diversity within the band’s superb fusion of emotive aggression and bewitching charm. It is an incitement which manages to be raw, mellow, and incendiary simultaneously, basically manna for ears and imagination. There is a line in the EP’s second song which declares “We are the eye of the storm”, and that sums up Horse Party and their gripping sound as a whole perfectly.

Since emerging in 2012, Bury St Edmunds based trio of guitarist/ vocalist Ellie Langley, guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, and drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope have explored and developed their music through a host of songs, starting with the track Clarion Call which was even more impressively followed by their first official single Back To Mono in 2013. Grabbing ears and appetites of an increasing fan base and the underground media, the band pooled that early success, in turn sparking greater spotlight on them and acclaim, with their debut album Cover Your Eyes a year later. Equally the band’s live and hungry presence has also lured only praise and a potent reputation, Horse Party sharing stages with bands such as Tunng, Pinkunoizu, Shonen Knife, Heartless Bastards, Ghostpoet, Slaves, Levellers, Basement Jaxx, The Nightingales, Dingus Khan, We Are The Physics, and Vuvuvultures over the past years.

cover_RingMaster Review     This year has already seen a pair of striking propositions from the band with a new chapter in the movement and evolution of their sound. The double A-side single Out Of Sight/Receiver was first, its two songs revealing new growth and smoother textures to their still raunchily organic sound, an exciting turn taken forward again by What I’d Do just a few weeks back. The single was a rousing mix of bracing roars and intimate caresses, of light and dark emotions with again that now keener surface to an instinctively unpredictable and riveting enterprise. Paydirt continues the captivating adventure in sound but also as most of its predecessors comes with its own stock of individual surprises and addictive invention.

The EP’s title track is first, pumped beats and spicy riffs the first bait offered with the former just managing to hold a rein on urgency and the latter sizzling on flesh with their inviting tang. Within a few more breaths additional slithers of groove and nags of magnetism join in through the second guitar as Langley just as potently entices with her recognisable, melancholy lined tones. Alone the song has the appetite chained, lips only more ravenously licked as the track burst into scuzzy roars within an ever addictive stroll. Dark emotions and predatory shadows equally lurk throughout, as too a hint of bedlam in the song’s exciting tempestuous moments; it all uniting for another breath-taking Horse Party incitement.

Second track Animal similarly makes a rousingly compelling start with choppy rhythms and riffs which almost stalk the rich voice of Langley. It swiftly forges its own identity though as teasing melodies and caustic tempting spring from Quigley’s fingers on string, licking the senses like flames whilst Hope badgers with her flirtatious beats. A sublime breeze of psych rock brews within the track too, finding its moment to croon in an oasis of mellowness within the stormy textures of the song. A whiff of post punk only adds to the alchemy, with Au Pairs coming to mind as the track leads the listener on a merry escapade of drama and imagination.

The closing acoustic based seduction of October has ears enchanted as the EP completes its rich temptation. In every second of the song, melancholy smoulders through word and emotion whilst melodies and the vocal union of Langley and Quigley simply mesmerises. As in every release to date, increasing depths to the songwriting and invention of the band are revealed, sublimely in this third song and though it does at first take a touch longer to whip up the lustful reactions as earned by its companions within Paydirt, it has emotions and thoughts chained with increasing potency over every eager listen.

Paydirt is another irresistible gem from Horse Party, a band which it is impossible to tire of saying ‘ just gets better and better’. It is time for the UK to wake up, indeed Europe and the world, to the Horse Party; if you do not you are truly missing out.

The Paydirt EP is available via R*E*P*E*A*T Records/Pure Deadly digitally and on 7” vinyl from 4th September.

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Orange Vision – Dark Around the Eyes

OV_RingMaster Review

Listening to Dark Around the Eyes, the new single from UK quartet Orange Vision, is like delving into a treasure trove of sounds from the past five decades or so. It is a kaleidoscope of flavours bred from sixties psych rock, seventies post punk, eighties new wave/shoegaze, and twenty first century imagination, and one delicious temptation revealing why there is a hoo-hah brewing up around the band.

cover_RingMaster ReviewIt was almost two years to the day that Oxford hailing Orange Vision emerged from the creative bonding of vocalist/guitarist Edmund Quigley and lead guitarist Matthew Holford. Finding a mutual “love of clothes, music and a generally delinquent approach to their depressing surroundings and sapped music scene”, the pair formed the band with its line-up subsequently completed by the addition of bassist Daniel Jones, and drummer/backing vocalist Jacob Mott. The past year has seen Orange Vision impressively support Superfood and Honeyblood on the NME New Breed Tour, earn strong radio attention from the likes of Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and more recently release the acclaimed How You Feel single. There is a certain feel going round that this is a band going somewhere, especially after Dark Around the Eyes works its compelling charm.

A stroke of jangly guitar is an instant lure, one quickly joined by more stringed bait and bass seduction speared by crisp and equally tempting beats. As soon as the sultry tang of melody breaks out persuasion is in full and relentless flow. The song’s early smouldering acidic charm is soon hugged by rumbling rhythms and spicy enterprise which is almost XTC entangled in Echo and The Bunneymen further embraced in Pulp meets The Cure honesty and pop alchemy. A relentless breeze of sparkling hooks, dark rhythms, and dourly tantalising vocal adventure entangle ears and imagination but all the time a host of other gripping twists and inventive essences enthral within the bewitching mix; a sixties pop shimmer of guitar just one irresistible element in the glorious infestation of dark pop.

Dark Around the Eyes is one half of the new double A-sided single from Orange Vision. Sadly we were not sent Wish You were Orange over to cover too, but if it is half as potent as its companion and the band’s other songs released to date, then it too will be part of possibly the best pop song unleashed this year.

Dark Around the Eyes/ Wish You were Orange is available from August 31st

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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We’ll Go Machete – Smile Club

We'll Go Machete_RingMaster Review

Though knowing the name and reputation earned through their earlier releases, we had yet to get to grips with a We’ll Go Machete encounter. So it is with thanks to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Paul Warner, who introduced band and new album Smile Club to us just recently. All that can be said is boy have we been missing out, as the band’s second album is a glorious tempest of sound, striking imagination, and creative intensity. Smile Club simply infests ears and psyche with a hex of noise rock, post punk, and math rock plus any other caustic spicing you can think of, and certainly left us not hungry but desperate for more.

With a line-up completed by bassist Chris May and drummer Rachel Fuhrer, the Austin hailing We’ll Go Machete first sparked interest with their 2009 self-titled EP though it was debut album Strong Drunk Hands two years later which was the catalyst to richer attention and acclaim. Live too the band has garnered a healthy name and stature, shows alongside the likes of Future of the Left, Melvins, Hammerhead, and Fatal Flying Guillotines, as well as their own headlining events over time marking We’ll Go Machete out as one of the more exciting emerging propositions. Late to the party, as said Smile Club is our first real taster of the band and fair to say the, as its predecessors, Cedar Fever Records released album just whipped up a frenzy in sound and lustful reactions.

cover_RingMaster Review   Absence is the first welcome stirring of the senses, tangy grooves and thumping beats enriching an instant sonic swamp of noise swiftly loaded up further with the distinctive, angst hued tones of Warner. It is a striking and invigorating mix which has body and thoughts fully involved from the first trespass. Like something springing from a blend of Melvins, Quicksand, and Sofy Major, the track continues to growl and flex its confrontational muscles yet breeds an inescapable contagion. Adventure is already bold in the album, the song for example slipping through mellower evocative scenery across its potently unpredictable landscape for a mighty start to the inventive emprise of Smile Club.

The following and as outstanding Drawstring is just as quickly captivating, its entrance of tenaciously prowling rhythms and rapaciously alluring riffs gripping attention and appetite immediately. Spicy grooves and sharp hooks only add to the emerging theatre of sound and melodic drama with the again pungent voice of Warner only seeming to inflame the sounds around him into greater enthusiasm of craft and energy. Like a web, the track has fresh inescapable treats at every turn, the rhythms of May and Fuhrer cage like in their union around the acidic tapestry cast by the guitar.

A post punk tone and imagination comes with The Bardo though it is soon overwhelmed by a noise rock tsunami of emotional intensity veined by creeping sonic tendrils of guitar. The song does not have the same immediate impact as the pair before, but blossoms into a bordering on sinister persuasion of clanging dissonant chords amidst suggestive and volatile textures to only enslave over time.

Strasberg Air is a far swifter raw seducing with again hooks and rhythmic tenacity key bait in the evolving ingenuity of sound. Like a more restrained Fat Dukes of Fuck and mellower Shevils, the track bounces off the walls of ears and senses with Fuhrer alone creating an inescapable trap with his addictively imaginative beats. Carrying a grungier colour to vocals and melodies, the song leaves a lingering thrill before making way for the melancholic tempest of Scratch Built. The early solemn come doomy premise and air is eventually set ablaze by the corruptive quickstep of toxic riffs and earthy basslines splintered by viciously swung beats. With its own emotional ecoclimate, the track shifts from heavily dark through torrentially volatile to infectiously energetic before heading back into imposing shadows in a final exhilarating outburst.

The major pinnacle of the album is Positive People which comes next. It is another delving into post punk terrain, an eighties genre spicing lining choppy riffs and a wonderfully brooding bass tempting from May. Elements remind of bands such as Artery and The Fire Engines, whilst the cold air certainly has a Joy Division-esque feel to it, but again We’ll Go Machete only sculpt a startling and addictive exploration of their very own. Discord is always a friend of the musician and here perfectly woven into the torment soaked anatomy of one glorious incitement, its majesty continuing into Break the Kettles which evolves out of its predecessor’s tail wind. A slower corrosively elegant proposal, the track binds ears and imagination with sonic lacing whilst simultaneously sending splinters of guitar invention and rhythmic animosity into its angst thick drama.

Both Shot Giant and Cigarettes and Face Masks keep the compelling power and industry of Smile Club ablaze, the first an intensive shuffle pressuring ears with spiteful beat spilling agitation and ravaging riffery but unafraid to slip into something more melodically provocative and hauntingly intimidating. Its successor brews its own ridiculously addictive and threatening maze of fierce imagination and bitchy rhythms infested with swarms of toxic grooves and citric melodic endeavour. Each only ignites greedier pleasure but the second is especially virulently disorientating and thrilling.

The album is brought to an end by firstly the warped harmonious beauty of Molten Tiny Cell, a song nagging in sound and repetitious mastery until satisfaction is drooling and lastly Dust Storms May Exist. The final song is just superb, a hellacious storm of flavour and imagination which at times has a spicing reminiscent of KEN mode, in others moments a raw tone and feel which is similar to In Love Your Mother, and continually leads the listener on a spiral of exhaustive and perpetually resonating adventure in craft, energy, and again relentlessly twisting swirls of rabid sound and invention.

There is plenty more to say in praise of Smile Club but bottom-line is we simply adore it and feverishly recommend it to all fans of noise, psych, punk…well any lover of fierce rock ‘n’ roll.

Smile Club is available now via Cedar Fever Records.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rusty Pacemaker – Ruins

Rusty Hessell_RingMaster Review

The first listen of Ruins, the new album from Austrian project Rusty Pacemaker, definitely caught ears and thoughts by surprise but laid the seeds to an increasing understanding and appetite for the artist and release’s particular uniqueness. It has grown with time into a compelling and fascinating proposition, one with aspects which still challenge slightly the success of the release, but an encounter which never lacks the ability to intrigue and thickly satisfy.

The band is the solo project of the Lanzenkirchen hailing Rusty Hessel, a musician who began making his own music in 2003. Heavily influenced by Quorthon of Bathory, Rusty enlisted drummer Franz Löchinger to play on his first album Blackness and White Light which was released in the October of 2010 on his own Solanum Records, a union which is repeated on the new album. Within a few months of its release, Rusty was writing new tracks for its successor and with preproduction finished in 2012, the Markus Stock mixed and mastered Ruins began emerging; its recording completed last year and release coming a few short weeks back. It is an encounter which commands attention and sparks the imagination, and even with a ‘flaw ‘or two, only leaves a contented appetite and certain captivation in its wake.

Rusty Pacemaker Ruins_RingMaster Review   Ruin’s title track is the first engagement on ears and thoughts, opening with a tantalising melodic caress of guitar. It is melancholic yet vibrant and already from that stroking of strings, a gothic air kisses the senses. That whisper only increases as sounds and invention develop, and indeed once the striking vocals of Rusty join the tempting. His delivery is as distinctive and individual as the sounds cradling his monotone stance but also more of a challenge as they conflict organically and purposefully with the dark beauty of the music. At times across the album his voice simply flows with the tide of the emotion and tone of the music but in others, as here, wrong-foot and test song and listener alike. It has to be said though when working well or even not quite agreeing with personal tastes, his vocal presence, as the album’s, is a riveting texture and incitement. The song itself continues to evolve and explore fresh strains of gothic and dark metal, its atmosphere stark and intimately provocative simultaneously.

The following Made Of Lies is a more rugged and furious blaze of metal, rhythms and riffs a swiftly enticing confrontation breeding even greater endeavour and persuasion as it embraces sonic and vocal enterprise. Though predominantly a metal and heavy rock seeded offering, the track reveals a great eighties and nineties gothic/post punk nature to its shifting character, bands like Leitmotiv and Type O Negative coming to mind. The rousing encounter departs to be replaced by the opening lapping waves of Ocean of Life, a song growing into an evocative and poetically harmonious croon within dark and predacious shadows. It also features the siren-esque vocal charm of Lady K, her alluring presence perfect company to the more dour but resonance wrapped tones of Rusty. Musically as in the previous songs, the Austrian creates an enthralling landscape of ideas and flavours skilfully woven into passages which only lure the firmest attention.

The steely air and textures of The Game come next, its imposing death seeded tones the lead into an infectious shuffle within a fiery web of classic and melodic metal. The song feistily simmers in intensity and attitude, often unveiling a raw snarl to disrupt and complement the more restrained but piercing sonic tenacity entangling ears. Vocals ebb and flow in potency and note, but their element of discord so often only aligns to a similarly striking flirtation in sound.

Both Night Angel and Candlemass push the album to another level, the first a sorrowful piano and melodic seducing which perfectly suits the slow and plain dynamic style of Rusty’s vocals whilst again welcoming the bewitching voice of Lady K. Her appearance so lights air and song that it is easy to wish she was a more regularly hue to the album, it being no coincidence that many of the pinnacles within Ruins involve her presence. The folkish hue and serene elegance of the song’s sound is as mesmeric, potency emulated in its successor for different reasons. The excellent track is a haunting and imposing proposal, its darkly clouded sky and doomy breath invading cavernous like depths whilst colluding with sinister shadows. Yet half way in, a bright light expels XTC like revelry, a wispy charm sparking a fresh turn and endeavour to the tempestuous landscape of the song.

The swift acoustic enticing of Forever reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Ruins in its one minute plus before Matter Over Mind unveils its own creative bellow of imagination and inventive sound. Again thoughts are nudged by bands of the past, March Violets and Fields of the Nephilim whispering in ears as the song takes the listener on its own diverse and absorbing journey, but equally, as across the whole of the album, there is plenty more original ideation and sound going on.

Knowing is another where Rusty’s voice takes attention away from the gentle stroll of music, yet there is no thought of tearing away from his almost mischievous presence, which is good as the song is soon breeding muscle and drama with hungry snarling riffs and quaint melodies. Fair to say it is a song taking time to persuade, winning out by the time Pillow of Silence comes forward to complete the album. It also opens with a mellower air but is persistently brewing up a raw volatile climate which never actually explodes to consume song and senses but ensures even in its closing kiss of beauty, the track has a dark and menacing edge to it.

It is probably fair to say that Ruins will split opinions, mainly when it comes to the vocals. Acclimatising to their peculiar ‘oddity’ is worth the attention though as many songs use them as bold textures to the undoubtedly skilled atmospheres and sounds woven into the album. It is a magnetic and charismatic release making another potent step in the emergence of Rusty Pacemaker. Just one request to the man though, please use Lady K more, and if we dare suggest as the lead as there feels a potential show stopper with her tones leading Rusty’s striking songwriting and sounds.

Ruins is out now via Solanum Records

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Ringmaster 21/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net


Maff – Self Titled EP

banda_piso_RingMaster Review

It is not too hard to guess some of the bigger influences upon Chilean band Maff whilst listening to their self-titled debut EP, the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine amongst them, yet fair to say the Santiago quartet weaves it all into songs which reveal their own distinct characters. Bred from an evolving fusion of shoegaze, alternative rock, noise pop, and indie to try and pin down the mix, sound and songs are a striking and tenacious shimmer on the senses which it easy to find yourself getting a touch greedy over. The release is a captivating introduction to a band with all the potential and imagination to evoke a worldwide appetite if not now surely ahead.

Maff began in 2012, formed by Richi Gómez (vocals/bass/guitar) and Nicolás Colombres (drums), two childhood friends who had previously played together in various punk rock bands. The line-up expanded with the addition of Nicolás’ brother Martín (guitar) in 2014 and was completed earlier this year by Talo Correa (guitar/bass /vocals/synth). Creating, recording, and producing their EP in their own studio, Maff has already sparked potent reactions to their music, dreampop duo Ummagma already amongst those enamoured, recognition which should now ignite through the EP’s release. Exploring themes such as innocence, mysticism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom, and timelessness within its songs, the Maff EP is a sultry romance for ears but one unafraid to ignite an unpredictable blaze or two in sound and energy.

The EP opens with Act 1, a spatially atmospheric instrumental evolved from post punk and eighties alternative rock which swiftly brings the imagination to the boil with its evocative soundscape which is best described as Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It is a dramatic and rousing start to the release, an incitement of dark rhythms and sonic exploration wrapped in vibrant freshness and familiarity.

Maff - Maff Cover Art_RingMaster Review     Its potent persuasion is followed by the just as invigorating Linger Around, a hearty stroll of riffs and beats which relaxes a touch but simultaneously increases its fiery atmosphere and dark shadows as the mellow effect lined vocals of Gómez step forward. That influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain is a spicy ingredient to the gripping incitement swiftly seducing ears, adding thick hues to a provocatively crafted blend of almost prowling dark tones and emotions aligned with melancholic beauty and shimmering resonance.

Walking On Fire slips in next on a slim and radiant melody, the simple coaxing soaked in childlike innocence and radiance. It is soon courted by pulsating beats and a darker celestial climate though as the song’s entrance increasingly captivates, the atmosphere and scenery becoming more inflamed and hazy respectively. Vocal harmonies are as much about texture as narrative here, more so in many ways as the song’s chorus revolves around bewitching singular repetition with the end result as all unite together, a magnetic piece of composing and enterprise which inspires body and mind from start to finish.

     A more indie toning comes with Million Year Picnic, the guitars exploring a richer creative clang against another enthralling lure of post punk seeded bass and crisp jabs of beats. Vocally and melodically the song still immerses in shoegaze imagination but its canvas has stronger clarity from clearer air for the craft and individual incitements of the band to weave their combined tapestries of temptation. The House of Love essence to the song just adds to its lure and sets up of ears nicely for the ethereal charm of Someday. Featuring guest vocals from Francisca Morandé alongside Gómez, the supernal seduction of the song’s warm balladry simply drifts over the senses, immersing ears in an electronically sizzling Lush like embrace.

A fuzzy courting of the senses with a deeply rooted growl comes next in the shape of You, its shapely and slightly scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll rumble toying with aggression and causticity whilst casting a sultry anthemic enticing. Its dirtier air is the perfect taster for the outstanding Planet Wave, an inventive maelstrom of garage and surf rock embroiled in a just as thrilling alignment of space and psychedelic revelry. It is the most exciting and exhilarating offering on the EP, standing out amidst a collection of tracks which are certainly not lacking in those resourceful traits either.

The release is finished off by the rhythmically forceful and sonically bracing Blue Seas. As all around it, varied strains of flavours combine to create an inviting web, though primarily the encounter is more indie rock with potent hues of rock, grunge, and electronic rock. Even if not whipping up the passions as much as other tracks, it is a highly satisfying ‘end’ to the EP, though the actual final track is a radio edit of Walking On Fire.

For a debut Maff makes a striking statement and as they and their sound evolve, it is probably safe to assume more and greater offerings and enjoyment are ahead.

The Maff EP is available now via http://maffmusica.bandcamp.com/album/maff-2

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RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Feral Kizzy – Slick Little Girl

Phote by Luke Fisher

Phote by Luke Fisher

The debut album from Californian dark poppers Feral Kizzy is simply an aural playground, a landscape of musical roundabouts spinning through modern tenacity and invention and creative swings whooshing across eighties new wave and jangle pop. Slick Little Girl is soaked in originality and nostalgia, a mix providing a riveting and thrilling treat ultimately cast as something unique to the Long Beach quintet; and something very easy to get addicted to.

Formed in 2010, Feral Kizzy consists of five musicians uniting a rich variety of inspirations in the band’s sound. References have been made to Patti Smith, Concrete Blonde, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Cure, though the one band which comes to the fore more than most, whether an influence or not, is eighties US band Pylon, especially their first album Gyrate. As suggested all spices and essences are evolved into something new but there is certainly a potent and enjoyable similarity in textures, sound, and unpredictable invention. With some guest contributions from bassist Hannah Smith Keller and Hannah Blumenfeld (Jail Weddings, White Murder) on violin and cello, the five piece of vocalist Kizzy Kirk, keyboardist/vocalist Brenda Carsey, guitarist Johnny Lim, drummer Mike Meza, and bassist Kevin Gonzalez perpetually explore their and the listener’s imaginations within Slick Little Girl, and fair to say they leave major pleasure in their wake.

Opener Lapdog Apparition needs little time to lure ears and appetite with its potent charms, a thumping initial beat casting the first hook swiftly assisted by a jangle of guitar and the saucy shimmer of keys. Quickly into a magnetic stride the song swings along with sharp twists, subsequently slipping into a more fluid and mellower enticement then just as easily coming out of it and starting the cycle again. A tinge of the Au Pairs flirts with thoughts as it continues to dangle bait and enterprise through ears, though it is the delicious B-52s like detour which seals a lustful deal with emotions through its Rock Lobster like tease.

Feral-Kizzy-Slick-Little-Girl-Cover__RingMasterReview   The track is creatively irresistible, a major flirtation matched by the band’s new video/single Community Service. A throbbing Cure like bassline sets things in motions, whispers of guitar lining the entrance of vocals with Kirk alone an enthralling invitation and in union with Carsey, inescapable tempting. The song proceeds to spin a web of tantalising vocals and hooks as its rhythms offer a shadowed prowl against the more celestial flight of the keys. It is captivating stuff, an inventive weave of textures and melodic infection, with the description of Xmal Deutschland meets Throwing Muses and indeed Pylon a canny hint.

The Way We Are has a fine line in guitar jangle and spicy melodic imagination backed by another addictive dark rhythmic baiting from Meza and Gonzalez, whilst vocally a Debbie Harry like whisper clings to the expressive roar of Kirk. Matching the invention and lures, Carsey breeds a pungent waltz of persuasion with fingers on keys too, it all colluding in a busy and thick dance of jangle pop before making way for the melodic caress of Sally and the Emcee. A gentle saunter equipped with rawer, incisive edges, the song is a provocative croon which thickens with every passing chord and beat until filling air and ear like dense melodic smoke. It persistently smothers the senses and seeps into the psyche, seducing with increasing effect over every play.

With a similarly sculpted canvas Lament comes next quickly breeding its own distinct character with a bluesy tang and citric adventure of spatial keys. The track is mesmeric but with a fire in its belly leading to a feisty rock tenacity driven by masterful riffs and hooks from Lim. Again sounds from earlier decades entwine with a modern invention and freshness, culturing something as much psyche pop as it is punk rock. From one album pinnacle to another with the scuzzier Life Associates which straight away is a more forceful and rugged proposition through the snarl of bass and guitar alone. Again there is a punkish element to the song’s roar and a sultry kiss to the melodic endeavour on offer, something like Siouxsie and the Banshees merged with Martha and The Muffins a strong reference, though as across the release, songs come with Feral Kizzy originality which argues against any comparisons as much as it sparks them.

More blues bred twangs grip the guitar enterprise in Not My Mind, the spicy coaxing quickly engulfed in the melodic poetry of keys and attention grabbing vocals. Though it does not quite light the same rich fire in ears and thoughts as its predecessors, the track reveals yet another side and depth to the songwriting and invention of the band, its body a volcanic fusion of sounds and textures which never erupts but is a constantly imposing and gripping incitement unafraid to unleash the heat of its heart.

The Dinosaur flirts and sways with sixties garage pop captivation and indie rock mischief next, flirting with body and thoughts from start to finish and never relinquishing its tight vivacious hold until passing the listener over to the just as ingeniously compelling tempting of The Skin Is Thick. A darker but no less boldly imaginative encounter, the song winds around ears like a lithe temptress, constantly stirring up shadows and deep rooted instincts through heavy seductive tones of bass and enchanted keys spilled drama. With vocals also on a resourceful intent to enthral and enslave, the song makes an impressive and exciting warm-up act for the closing show stopper What Are You Doing? All the lures and creative theatre of its predecessor is taken to a new level, every second of the song a controlled but rich blaze of skilled and impassioned endeavour. It is an epic bellow from the imagination and creative depths of the band only enhanced further by the sensational presence of Kirk and the intense incitement of the orchestral coloured strings, their spicy lure bringing echoes of Sex Gang Children back in the day.

Feral Kizzy is superb at uniting slim and often repetitive textures with thick tapestries of ingeniously woven enterprise, the last song epitomising that craft and success which flows across the whole of Slick Little Girl. The album is a thrilling adventure; one bred across the years in many ways but solely of the now, and Feral Kizzy a band surely looking at big things ahead.

Slick Little Girl is available from June 26th on LP/CD/Tape/Digital via eliterecords @ http://www.eliterecords.de/#!webshop/cst1

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RingMaster 25/06/2015

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