Hallows – Subtle

photo by Daniel Kastner

Subtle is the debut EP from Seattle based Hallows; a collection of tracks which resonated in ears and the imagination with increasing effect listen by listen and encounters that are sure to fascinate any appetite for darkwave and post punk exploration.

Consisting of Dom R. (vocals, guitar, synth, drum programming) and Vanee D. (vocals, synth, bass), Hallows emerged in 2018 in Minneapolis / St. Pau before relocating. As their first EP reveals, the duo create songs and soundscapes as atmospherically revealing as they are post punk bred and dark wave mysterious. Each of the five tracks within Subtle make for captivating encounters which got under the skin in varying degrees but all deeply fascinated from first to last tenebrific breath.

Even in the individual character of their sound, Hallows reflect inspirations from modern peers like Soft Kill and Ritual Howls but equally there are certain aspects which bear essences of eighties bred bands. EP opener Out Of Sync is a lure of dark shadows and electronic suggestion, its web portentous in a way yet melodic radiant before the following title track consumed attention. Around the temptation of Vanee’s warm tones, its rhythmic touch carries intimation of early March Violets, almost concussive small explosions on the senses drawing that echo which is only enhanced by the dark throes of bass and Dom’s equally inky tones. This is turn brings thoughts to the likes of Skeletal Family and Children on Stun yet firmly Hallows set their own identity down, the track a striking persuasion.

In a Sleeping World is next up, rhythmic bait tapping air within a sonic shimmer initially before the song breaks into a lively dawdling gait lit by electronic phosphorescence. Again there is an old school breath to the track colluding with a fresh intense sigh carrying a touch of Dark Register to it, but once more the duo breed their own unique presence and a moment which only entangled ears and imagination before The Call // Ravenous dug even deeper into the psyche. Mystery and darkness soak every second of its dramatic presence, it’s almost claustrophobic air lit by electronic beacons of sound and seduction as again the union of vocals unite imposing shadows and streetlight like safety. Effortlessly compelling, the song is superb and with the title track stealing top honours.

The EP ends with Far Too Gone, a muggy bordering on suffocating hug of sound and atmospheric gravity which subsequently evolves into a just as thick and ravenous mist of ephemeral beauty and synth borne temptation if still shrouded by heavy invasive clouds of matching intimation. It is a spellbinding and gripping conclusion to a similarly hypnotic encounter, one announcing Hallows as one great reward in embracing darkness.

The Subtle EP is out now via Phage Tapes; available @ https://hallows.bandcamp.com/album/subtle

https://www.facebook.com/hallows.seattle

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

The Room in The Wood – We’re The Martians, Now

photo by Mark Sant Angelo

As for most music lovers, our list of all-time favourite singles is quite extensive but one riding high is Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl by UK new wave/post punk outfit The Room. A couple of years short of four decades later a track by former members of the band has joined that eager line-up; Charmed from The Room in The Wood recently released before the band’s new album, We’re The Martians, Now. Its success suggested a bigger release which had the potential to capture ears and imagination alike which we can now loudly declare it does with sublime ease.

Liverpool’s The Room in The Wood is at its heart vocalist Dave Jackson and guitarist Paul Cavanagh, the former a founding member of that predominately eighties band with the latter joining them the year after the release of their 1982 debut album. Uniting again as The Room in The Wood, the pair released a self-titled first album in 2018 to critical acclaim with later that year The Mars EP more than echoing its support and potency. With twelve tracks which fascinate as they seduce, of which numerous could equally demand an attention grabbing standalone release, We’re The Martians, Now is destined to command even greater praise and success, the album one of the most captivating encounters 2020 has embraced so far.

Featuring drummer Colin George Lamont (Mark Lanegan, Dave Gahan), flutist Simon James and the celestial backing vocals of Helena Jacks, The Room in The Wood immediately compelled thick attention with album opener Diamond Clouds. The band’s sound is a tapestry of flavours; new wave, post punk, dark pop, and folk nurtured hues among them and swiftly We’re The Martians, Now revels in the rich temptation it offers. The first song saunters in on a fuzz lined melody and a rhythmic skip, Jackson’s almost stoic tones quickly walking the song’s instinctive rock bred catchiness while the angelic harmonies of Jacks make for a siren like contrast to his earthier presence, both magnetic within the flames of Cavanagh’s guitar.

Never breaking its lively amble, the track is a richly rousing affair which the following Mars (Won’t Save Us) more than matches in contagion with its post punk lined virulence. Akin to a tonic made up from the essences of The Doors and Stan Ridgway, the track is part apocalyptic insight and part celebratory flirtation and one greed eagerly took to before Stowaway lured its own healthy portion of appetite with its surf washed, dark pop/rock stroll. Warm and seductive with a gorgeous crepuscular edge, the song swiftly got under the skin, its rhythmic swing gripping hips as vocals and melodies entangle the imagination.

From one majorly favourite moment to another in Blue, a similarly shadow lit seduction haunting air and  ears alike, again something of a Mr Ridgway styled hue adding additional colour to its dark kissed intimation and breath before the album sets its title track on an already lustful appetite for We’re The Martians, Now. Again Lamont’s rhythms are eager manipulation beneath the melodic caresses of guitar and Jackson’s descriptive presence, the track another which had the body swaying and attention inescapably hooked.

Across the glistening melodic radiance of Shimmer, a song with a surface which teases volatility, and the infection loaded nostalgic bounce of Fun of the Fair, The Room in The Wood just gripped the passions tighter, the second of the two especially viral in sound and effect and  living up to its title whilst provoking thoughts. Even so they still found themselves eclipsed by the aforementioned Charmed and its esurient beauty. With a great Monochrome Set spice to its melody woven intoxication and graceful harmonies, the track is splendour in a shadow drenched world, a spark and light to the darkest day.

There is a similar tinge of Bid and co to next up Dragonfly though there is as much a XTC like breath to the folk coloured song too yet as everywhere the moment of creative glamour is as distinctive to Jackson and Cavanagh as you could wish with the flute of James a romance of fluttering gossamer wings.

The final trio of the intimately earnest and acoustically bewitching Halloween Lies, the tense indie pop lined Under the Waterfall, and the sonically aflame and rhythmically bold exclamation, The Earth is Flat ensure the album never loosened its hold from start to finish. The second of the trio carries a Wonder Stuff-esque sigh to its captivation while the last of the three is a rousing almost belligerent post punk stomp reminding a touch of bands like 1919 and Gang of Four.

And that is We’re The Martians, Now, a collection of tracks which with consummate ease simply held attention and the imagination in a realm of magnificence.

We’re The Martians, Now is out May 15th via A Turntable Friend Records; available @ https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/ digitally, on CD, and Limited Edition Vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/   https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Loose Fit – Self Titled

If we had taken the time to contemplate a fusion of the essential juices of bands such as The Raincoats, Essential Logic, Au Pairs, and Noseholes we might have conjured up something not too far removed from the pleasure now brought to ears by Australian post punks Loose Fit. In saying that though, the Sydney quartet has an openly distinct voice in sound and enterprise, it all in thrilling evidence within a self-titled debut EP.

Formed by vocalist/saxophonist Anna Langdon and drummer Kaylene Milner, fashion school friends who had bonded over their mutual love of experimental music, Loose Fit soon found itself taking creative shape with the addition of guitarist Max Edgar and bassist Richard Martin. Across 2019, the band earned a rich reputation for their live presence as they captivated a growing mass of fans around the release of their first single, Pull The Lever, earlier this year. It was a track which only enticed eager acclaim and support and they can expect more of the same through their irresistible EP, a “moody critique of the absurd” taking on themes of frustration, disillusion, fear, love, and rage.

That first single opens up the EP, Pull The Lever instantly gipping attention through the hulking drawl of Martin’s bass. Within a breath it sparks the groove and swing of the track, beats skipping alongside to escalate the temptation as the guitar teases from behind, it becoming more vocal and manipulative as Langdon’s voice with a spicing of disdain to its lilt again increases the organic addictiveness of the track. The infectiousness of the song has a touch of The Mo-Dettes to it, a punky contagion eagerly aligning to the post punk virulence just as rapaciously inspiring body and inspiration.

Riot is next up, surrounding the senses in a sonic mist before again the bass leads a voracious dance for song and body to launch themselves upon. Langdon’s vocals again mix confrontation with eager catchiness; attitude soaking both as Milner’s rhythms spring their voracious swing and Edgar’s guitar infests it all with a sonic ravening while the synth of Jonathan Boulet adds its lure.

As the first song, it proves a seed in an inescapable addiction quickly brewing which is only further stoked by the following pair of Reflux and Black Water. The first saunters in on another gripping bassline, Langdon’s sax chirping away alongside before matching its groove with its own cunning stroll. It had us hook line and sinker within seconds, only tightening the hold as again Langdon with Milner flirtatiously taunt ears with their Delta 5-esque vocal union. The second is the band’s new single and it too was soon preying on a readily given submission to the EP’s manipulations. There is a whiff of The Slits to the outstanding encounter, a spicing which only accentuates its calm but feral majesty.

The EP is concluded by Delete, a track enticing ears with the caustic persuasion of guitar and the glowing discordance of the sax, that alone enough to spark a lusty attention only spiralling with the grungy gurning of Martin’s bass and Langdon’s persistently persuasive and alluring vocals.

The EP is superb, manna for our post punk appetites with plenty more in character and sound to feast upon. We are sure we will not be alone.

The Loose Fit EP is out now via FatCat Records: available @ https://loosefit.bandcamp.com/album/loose-fit

https://www.instagram.com/loose___fit/

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Mayflower Madame – Prepared For A Nightmare

photo by Sven Santelmann

Through the striking propositions found within their debut album of 2016 and a following EP, it is fair to say that eager anticipation for the release of a new album from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame was fired up upon news of its release, one only accentuated by a recent single taken from the ten track encounter. It was an intrigue and hope which has been quickly replaced by sheer pleasure as Prepared For A Nightmare is one of the most captivating and hauntingly fascinating pleasures of the year so far.

That first album, Observed in a Dream, shared a sound which bred from a fusion of post-punk, shoegaze and psychedelia hungrily gripped and fed our ears and imagination. It proved a compelling proposition which the following Premonition EP in 2018 only echoed as it built upon the prowess and strengths of the previous release. In turn Prepared For A Nightmare has taken the potent attributes of those before it and evolved them into its own impressive strengths and temptations and indeed a real uniqueness which was may be not quite there on its predecessors. Without distilling any of the cold shadows and apocalyptically hued romance and intimation which has made their music in sound and character so compelling to date, there is a warmer dare we say slightly poppier aspect to the new album and one which has only accentuated the rich imagination and breath of the Oslo hailing trio’s sound.

Prepared for a Nightmare opens with its title track, a shimmer of light drawing attention as a darker hued sonic sigh lures the subsequent full body of rhythmic incitement and melodic intimation to emerge. It is a weave of almost menacing psych rock temptation and crystalline suggestion, the guitars of Håvard Haga and Trond Fagernes spinning strands of sonic luminosity across rhythmic manipulation. With Fagernes’ vocals an equally magnetic draw and, in the first of two appearance within the release, Petter G. Marberg’s bass a heady tenebrific grip on the senses, the track was swift and inescapable captivation.

Recent single, Vultures, is next up to be quickly followed by its successor in Swallow. The first of the two tracks similarly entices with a lone lure, a guitar suggestively teasing ears before the virulent gait and enterprise of the track erupts to join its persuasion. The senses nagging beats of drummer Ola J. Kyrkjeeide alongside Fagernes’ moody bassline were swiftly under the skin, the latter’s tones again a thick lure into the kaleidoscopic beauty of the track. Yet there is a predatory edge to it all which grips just as firmly, post punk rhythms and steely grooves colluding with spiralling psych guitars and harmonic vocals to escalate the guileful nature of the song.

The second single opens with a percussive clipping of the senses aligned to a delicious intrigue woven hook; its intimation alone a rich lure of espionage and flirtation soon taken up by the darker hues of bass and the melodic entanglement of guitars. A warmer hug comes through the synth of Kenneth Eknes who features across numerous tracks within the album, the song a calmer engagement compared to those before it but again the organic volatility within the band’s sound adds to its drama and adventure; its energetic infectiousness sparking thoughts of Modern English as its psych/shoegaze nurtured enterprise hints at the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain and House Of Love.

The instant rhythmic drive of Ludwig Meidner had us greedily hooked, the quickly surrounding smog of melodic and vocal insinuation building the fascination until the song is a thick almost concussive but invigorating engagement. The dark grumble of the bass is delicious alone; its post punk inclinations an infection to which the band only add further virulence in voice and sonic endeavour while the following   Never Turning (In Time) breeds a tenebrific seduction from its cinematic opening which enthralled as it subtly devoured. The track proved pure temptation, a dark haunting again where beauty and jeopardy collude.

Across the equally sinister Sacred Core and the crepuscular romance of The Night Before a form of addictive captivation with Prepared For A Nightmare only grew closer; the first of the two bordering on the radiantly nightmarish as the second seduced with its own Gene Loves Jezebel hued serenade while Goldmine straight after illuminates a shadow hungry dance-floor with its animated but still rapaciously intense trespass. An electronic effervesce underlines the denser touch of the song yet everything about the drama and opaque climate of the track is inescapable catchiness.

A Future Promise is another where dark intrigue oozes from every note and syllable, guitars and bass alone weaving a darkly intimating theatre within the brighter dye and optimism of the keys. As with all tracks the imagination is fuelled with an adventure to build upon, ears soaked in a bewitching sound setting Mayflower Madame apart from the rest as finally endorsed by album closer, Endless Shimmer; a song which gently radiates upon the senses as it enraptures ears and thoughts.

It is a bewitching end to an album which had us embroiled in its tantalising breath and creative web from start to finish and with greater lust by the listen; Mayflower Madame surely casting a lure to major attention.

Prepared For A Nightmare is out now digitally via Only Lovers Records @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare with its vinyl and CD release on May 15th in collaboration with Portland’s Little Cloud Records and Parisian label Icy Cold Records.

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame   https://www.instagram.com/mayflowermadame

Pete RingMaster 23/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Human Impact – Self Titled

Released this past March, there is one debut album no one should be passing by without a serious look. It is the self-titled offering from US outfit Human Impact and an encounter destined to frequent the loftier heights of best album choices for 2020 come the end of the year.

With its line-up consisting of vocalist/guitarist Chris Spencer of Unsane, keyboardist Jim Coleman from Cop Shoot Cop, bassist Chris Pravdica renown for Swans and Xiu Xiu, and drummer Phil Puleo who frequents both Cop Shoot Cop and Swans, there was instant anticipation and intrigue for Human Impact and what the band would offer but we cannot say our imaginations came up with anything as striking and thrilling as the reality of the New Yorker’s full-length.

Unleashing noise rock with electronic, industrial, and post punk instincts, the album gives glimpses of its presence in a sinister but subdued climate as November opens things up, a portentous quiet swiftly springing the minacious exploits of bass and guitar. Lively beats similarly reveal their manipulation, the track thickening within the speakers whilst enriching ears with its sinistrous drama with Spencer’s vocals equally as compelling within the quickly addictive trespass. There is contagiousness to every aspect of its enterprise, the bass of Pravdica almost grinning with creative espionage.

E605 follows, it too coaxing ears with a relative calm though this is a far darker and ominous temptation courted by the just as crepuscular hug of keys. Spencer’s vocals focus on the intent and manipulation of the song’s global protagonists as rhythms prowl the senses with a volatility which greedily erupts in the track’s voracious crescendos. There is a descriptive quality to the band’s sound which brings such depth to their songs, a dextrous intimation just as potent within the predatory Protestor and in turn the mercurial Portrait. The first is a snarling beast, but a wily one using every rhythmic twist and sonic thread to enslave as vocals forge disquiet and attitude; electronics a similarly calculating flirtation within the web while the second immerses the listener in a tenebrific electronic and sonic mist from within which Pravdica and Puleo engineer another ear gripping rhythmic manipulation. Even in its calmer stroll, the track is drenched in jeopardy and imposing darkness, every infectious note and magnetic word wrapped in threat.

At times across the release there are echoes of bands such as Big Black and Rapeman but also moments which hint at the likes of Wire and Girls In Synthesis but the uniqueness of Human Impact devours all as proven yet again by Respirator. A line of singular piano notes pave its entrance, they alone a bewitchment which is only concentrated by the swiftly accompanying swing of beats and the raw drawl of bass. The track is soon casting its own particular risk and peril, an instinctive virulence driving every growl and intimidation offered as too the melodic tension and catchy perilous hooks it bears. Proving our favourite moment within the album, the song is superb and indeed gets under the skin to claim one of the best things heard in recent times.

Through the viscerally infective trespass of Cause and Consequences, the first with its caliginous climate and the second through grooved cinematic suggestion, attention turned just as addictive as in any point before them. The latter proved especially gripping and incendiary on the passions while the following Relax whilst allowing a moments breath to be taken, still soaks the senses and imagination in industrial borne fear before in turn Unstable voraciously strolls through ears with the nagging quality of a Leitmotiv and the carnal majesty of an Unsane. Again it is nothing other than an unpredictable and hungry Human Impact incitement to fear and relish.

This Dead Sea brings the album to a close, the voracity of its predecessor now a thick tide of discontent and challenge enriched with hope for all floundering in the world’s tempest. It is a glorious devouring of the senses, a heavy imposition of sound and imagination seriously compelling in its nagging drone, melodic niggling, and sonic trespassing and that is without mentioning the irresistible hooks that litter its insurgency.

With Pravdica and Puleo surely the most potent, powerful, and manipulative rhythmic section anywhere right now and Spencer and Coleman the conjurers of vocal, sonic and melodic addiction, Human Impact has unleashed one of those classic moments which shapes directions of others to come and destined to be a favourite encounters for a great many and certainly us.

The self-titled Human Impact album is out now via Ipecac Recordings.

Also available is a brand new track and single from the band called Contact, another inimitable violation come seduction of sonic causticity and rhythmic instigation which had ears enthralled emotions aflame, and appetite greedy. Proceeds from the single are being be donated to NYC COVD-19 relief fund and can be got @ https://humanimpact.bandcamp.com/

https://www.humanimpactband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/humanimpactband   https://twitter.com/HumanImpactband

Pete RingMaster 10/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Three Way Plane – Three Way Demo

Ever since being introduced to them through the Fire EP back in 2013, Greek band Three Way Plane has continually fed our appetites here for something which grips ears as it stokes the imagination. Even as their music has grown and evolved, as too the trio’s craft and songwriting, in creating unpredictable tapestries of sound, that captivation has never wavered as proven by the band’s new outing, the Three Way Demo.

Since emerging back in 2004, Athens hailing Three Way Plane has released two EPs and a pair of albums with the second, Your Kingdom, My Life, a seriously striking moment in their ascent so far. Enjoyably the band’s sound is difficult to pin down, its breath and in many ways anarchy bred in a maelstrom of punk and hardcore melded to noise and alternative rock aligned to indie and post punk. It has grown to be something rather individual and unique with maybe UK band Houdini the closet comparisons, both bands deserving of greater attention and recognition.

Whether the raw and feral Three Way Demo will be the spark to such attention we question just because of how hard it is to snatch people from mass media fed sources but certainly it should lure a great many newcomers to the voracious realm of vocalist/guitarist Stratos, bassist John, and drummer Dams.

Denervation opens up the release, a psych kissed shimmer and melody enticing ears as rhythms gently add a lining of shadow. In no time the imagination was involved as a darker intimation brewed while the track revealed it’s slightly tempestuous nature. Eventually punk rock animation breaks free, an eruption opening up the cask of flavours and emotive voracity which bursts within music and vocals. The greater post punk character to the bass had us gripped alone but with the raptorial edge to Stratos guitar and voice, as well as the furious swings of Dam, the track proved a mighty addiction.

The following No Place To Hide immediately got down to business, the guitar probing and scoring the senses as rhythms brought a post punk dance to ears and a ready-made appetite for such tempting. There is a touch of bands such as The Mekons and Artery to the Three Way Plane sound and definitely a rich spicing to this superb track and its off-kilter antics.

The EP ends with Brave New System, a song which also needed within a breath enthralled with its rhythmic shuffle and sultry melodic meanderings. Unsurprisingly a rawer, heavier edge is waiting to expose its challenge, springing intermittent predacious eruptions within the sublime seduction of the song. Our favourite moment of three compelling offerings, the song bears all the hallmarks of why Three Way Plane never leaves expectations well fed and the imagination barren of things to be inspired by; success achieved by a whole EP that we loudly recommend.

The Three Way Demo is available now @ https://threewayplane.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/threewayplane/   https://twitter.com/threewayplane

Pete RingMaster 10/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Sheafs – Vox Pop

With rebellion in its heart and every senses trespassing riff that it unleashes, Vox Pop is the debut EP from UK outfit Sheafs and we suggest one of the most rousing and truly exciting encounters you will be likely to come across this year.

Formed in 2015, Sheffield hailing Sheafs has certainly teased and tempted attention with their songs and live presence which has seen them support the likes of The Amazons, The Coral, IDLES, and Greta Van Fleet but they have now made a full-blooded demand on scrutiny and recognition with Vox Pop which surely will prove impossible for the masses to ignore. Produced by Dead Nature/Spring King talent Tarek Musa and Jonathan Hucks, the EP pounces on ears from its first breath, its indie rock/pop punk nurtured sounds insatiable in their aggressive virulence and defiant condemnation loaded words “confronting the frustrations of a consumerist world that profits from people’s low self-esteem and self-doubt” a potent incitement.

Thinking Out Loud bursts from EP and speakers first, the track rhythmically pounding out an invitation to which guitars add rich impetus with their inviting grooves. Once a thick bassline joins the enticement, the song was in full control of attention, vocalist Lawrence Feenstra completing the fertile lure with a delivery as striking as the hooks which litter the already irresistible song. The guitars of Chris Goodacre and Charles Mellor spring a web of riffs and melodic wiring, clarity and fuzziness aligning within its irrepressible trap. The song is superb, addiction spilled with every note and syllable as the band’s already proving individual sound leapt upon ears and appetite.

As reinforced by next up World Is Falling Apart, the distinctiveness of Sheafs‘ sound is inescapable though there is something of an Asylums meets Baddies breath to it at times. The EP’s second track shows more restraint in its energy though every aspect is a boisterous incitement from its intoxicating groove to the rhythmic shuffle cast by the bass of Callum Wright and Charlie Eastap’s beats. A psych rock spice wraps each melody and seeps into every atmospheric intimation bred in the open imagination of the quintet as again inherent infectiousness fuels every intensity soaked moment uncaged before the band’s new single Total Vanity erupts. Straight away rhythms and riffs seize the moment, each pounding out audacious virulence incitement as Feenstra’s tones and words spring their own inimitable motivation upon ears and thoughts. The track is raucous splendour, a slice of fearless irresistibility sure to lead fresh hordes to the mutiny of Sheafs.

Shopping equally gripped from its first call, a post punk nagging at the heart of another unapologetically virulent tempting. As with all tracks there is a delicious tempestuousness which boils up in varying degrees but always adds riveting drama and energy to the contagion of in this case consumer exploitation.

With the just as magnificent Care Less bringing the EP to a close, the incendiary track an insatiable infestation of punk bred, dissent soaked rock ‘n’ roll, Vox Pop is an explosion of sound which certainly stopped us in our tracks. New music consistently grabs attention and excites but few things spark real anticipation of major things ahead; Sheafs and their full introduction is one of those rare moments so are you ready?

Vox Pop is out now via Blood Records.

https://www.sheafs.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/sheafsband   https://twitter.com/sheafsband

Pete RingMaster 13/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Andreas and the Wolf – Fountain Of Truth

As DJ’s for the past two years or so, through their radio show Andreas and the Wolf has fed ears a rich diet of the very best DIY escapades within and outside of the Perfect Pop Co-Op family. Before and during that time they have also teased and excited with a collection of their own tracks; alternative electronica bred songs which have caught and inflamed the imagination into its own shenanigans. Now a highly anticipated debut album is poised to present the band’s full body of enterprise and an apologetically compelling piece of mischievous magnetism it is too.

Andreas and the Wolf is the creation and coming together of Andreas Vanderbraindrain (A.K.A Dermot Illogical of Reverse Family but maybe better known as frontman of The Tuesday Club) and Johnny V (The Scratch/The Tuesday Club). As mentioned their long time partnership has been more concentrated on their fine Andreas and the Wolf podcast and the Perfect Pop Co-Op label in recent times but as Fountain Of Truth proves that time has also seen their musical adventure together equally flourish.

From its first breath there is a healthy mix of nostalgia and bold uniqueness about the album’s sound. It is an enticement which is teasingly difficult to pin down but let us give a possible hint by saying the imagining of a fusion of Television Personalities, Subway Sect, and Fad Gadget with maybe the garage instincts of The Clean for further spicing gives a taste of what delights Fountain Of Truth shares.

All I Want is You sets the album off in beguiling style, its uncomplicated yet richly woven electro pop serenade swift captivation. Guitar and synth embrace their melodic hearts around the inimitable tones of Andreas, sleight but fertile hooks adding to the lure of sentiment part romantic yet just a bit patronising.

It is a potent start to the release which is quickly backed and eclipsed by The Public Domain. As rhythms offer their invitation a masterful bassline strides forward and fair to say from thereon in we were hooked. Its flirtatious swing is quickly straddled by Andreas’ just as tempting vocals, the fuzzy breath of guitar wrapped in the similarly teasing arms of keys. Everything about the song proved virulent, hips and appetite dancing to its punk lined devilry before Morbid Fascination unveiled its British Electric Foundation meets early Human League like shuffle. As suggested earlier though, it is one of a set of infection loaded songs which rises with individual character and a true uniqueness of sound.

Similarly each track offers up something different to that before within their echoes of shadows which crowd our lives, a lyrical theme and creative trait continuing with the synth pop contagion that is Spiral. With a musical grin carried by every note, the song lit up ears and spirit, its eighties inspired instincts a vocal temptation upon electronic nagging and off-kilter imagination. Familiarity and true freshness unite in its viral exploits and aberrant imagination, instincts which mark the album as a whole in varying but always present richness as Fashion Wheel proves with its Paul Haig-esque saunter. It is a song teasing glamour and grandness but always holds its reserve and control to only increase its allure and tension before eager attention.

Through the anomalous pop of the irresistible Friction Free Zone and the haunting tenebrous seduction of its title track, Fountain Of Truth only escalated its grip on ears and pleasure, both songs rivetingly adding further momentous peaks to its landscape with the latter built around another bassline which had the juices lustily flowing, while immediately after Dead Pan Delivery Man had limbs and hips swinging with its indie jangle meets electro pop punk contagion to leave another indelible mark on the imagination.

Limited Ambition brings the album to a close, the track an electro dub loaded stroll with its own atypical disposition though one which may have its seeds sown in a Swell Maps meets The Members bedding. It is a fascinating indeed hypnotic end to an album which has only festered in the passions and imagination for greater pleasure and personal indulgence by the play.

Whether through their radio shows or the rather wonderful Fountain of Truth, Andreas and The Wolf are here to light up our lives and with their first album they do that and more.

Fountain of Truth is released October 9th via Perfect Pop Co-Op.

Check out the Andreas and the Wolf radio shows @ https://www.mixcloud.com/perfectpopcoop/

https://andreasandthewolf.co.uk/   https://twitter.com/andreasandtwolf

Pete RingMaster 13/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Scant Regard – You Know The Drill

Pic Dave Cox

If its predecessor, Skipping Over Damaged Area, was an exploration and echo of the “apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, then You Know The Drill is the bold new adventure in its escape; a sci-fi toned tapestry of intrigue and contagion wrapped in sounds which just infiltrate and enliven the body and imagination.

You Know The Drill is the new creative exploit from Scant Regard, the solo project of Will Crewdson; guitarist/musician/songwriter previously acclaim notorious for his work with Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Bow Wow Wow, and Flesh for Lulu as well as currently one half of the equally irresistible She Made Me Do It. It is an encounter which still sows its seeds in the decay and destruction of the modern world but within its body ventures into the hope and relief brought through space lit, sci-fi cultured escapades. Crewdson’s previous offering, the deviously magnetic Skipping Over Damaged Area, felt like the corruption of hope and light by a creeping darkness. You Know The Drill is the reverse in many ways, bringing light and respite to the sunless breath of the world; both encounters casting trips of sonic poetry and rich intimation drenched in uncompromising infectiousness.

 You Know The Drill opens up with Ulterior Motives, electronic pulsing instantly nagging on ears and attention before rhythms collude to pitch immediate contagion upon the senses. In swift time Crewdson’s vocals join the hungry enterprise, the knowing deception of the song’s sarcasm springing greater catchiness by the second before saving its thickest dose of virulence for the delicious throaty bass led groove which breaks out.

The album’s title track follows, blues liquor fuelling its opening flames before a surf kissed breeze courts the controlled but pungent rhythms at its core. As the opener sprung a lure of descriptive intimation in its sound alone so its instrumental successor weaves an even more stirring sonic tale of drama and suggestion to play with before No More follows suit with its shadow wrapped stroll into ears and thoughts. Again every hook carries creative revelation for the imagination to conjure with; the track nurtured in the same suggestive espionage and danger which marked the best themes tunes of sixties and seventies TV shows such as UFO, Space: 1999, The Avengers or The Prisoner.

Its dark temptation is followed by the thickly enticing lures of Projectile Comet, bait which erupts in another of those riveting hooks and grooves which Crewdson has proven so irresistible and diabolical with across the years. The intergalactic hue of the track brings threat and adventure, the concussive rhythms at its heart chased by voracious riffs and intoxicating grooves in a mix which hungrily got under the skin, an infiltration being quickly replicated by the post punk incident that is the outstanding Calamity’s Creation. Bass and guitar unite to project an instant infiltration of theatre and seduction, vocals riding the groove wired hook lined incitement with matching lust bugging enterprise. There is something of The Monochrome Set to the track at times, the scent of Lester Square creative prowess aligning to the inimitable craft and imagination of Crewdson as another momentous moment within the album is cast.

The swarthy southern hues of Nevertheless bring another hug of instrumental suggestion straight after, ears and thoughts united in their swift embrace while both A Process of Illumination and Charmed I’m Sure share thick fascination with their respective electronic web of insinuation and industrial rock incitement, the latter a piece as aggressively imposing as it is mentally manipulating.

Rogue Prototype similarly draws on industrial instincts, its cyber hull the host for pop tempting and dark post punk menace. The track proved pure fascination in its breath and imputation, suspicion and drama soaking every note boiling and erupting in its tempestuous body before leaving Heart Torn Blood Ratio to bring the gripping release to a close. Melancholic beauty and solemn radiance coat every second of the brooding serenade as darker heavier throes of enterprise rumble in its depths; the track an enthralling end to an album which danced with the imagination and provoked eager attention from start to finish with rich pleasure the outcome.

Look up the definition of fascination and you find the likes of captivation, attraction, intrigue, magnetism and obsession as similar meanings and all thickly apply to the also gloriously art wrapped You Know The Drill, Scant Regard’s greatest moment yet.

You Know The Drill is out now digitally and on blue vinyl effect CD @ https://scantregard.com/store and https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-the-drill

http://www.scantregard.com   https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard   https://www.youtube.com/user/willcrewdson

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Attrition Interview

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I started ATTRITION way back in late 1980… I’d been running my punk/post punk fanzine “Alternative Sounds” here in Coventry from ’79 – ’81 and I knew I always needed to make my own music… it began with me and my then girlfriend Julia… added a drummer and my brother on guitar… soon changing to Julia’s brother Ashley on synth and I bought a drum machine…so we quickly turned from a traditional guitar/bass/drums/ vocals line up to a more electronic sound…

Have you been involved in other bands before?

I had always been a visual artist (painter/sculptor at art school) and knew nothing of writing music… so this was my jump in the deep end… see what came out of it… we just experimented with our sound over the first few years in particular…. But still do from time to time…

What inspired the band name?

It came from “War of ATTRITION” … after the first world war…I’d always been fascinated with it as my Grandad was wounded on the Western Front at Ypres in 1917…. And I had always heard about it as I grew up…. in 2015 I finally wrote an album of interpretations of WW1 poems, from all sides….”Millions of The Mouthless Dead” – something I always had to do… I wrote it with Anni Hogan (Marc and the Mambas etc.) and was happy to have a special guest reading in German from Wolfgang Flur on there (ex Kraftwerk)

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project itself and how you wanted it represent your thoughts and emerging your sounds?

A burning desire to say something…. There was too much going on I really needed that outlet…. I still do

…and that desire still leads the way?

A lot is the same… we can never recover our naivety and things have obviously got more professional over time…. And maybe I’m not the angry young man I was in 1980…but yeah… not so very different J

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

I’ve always used technology a lot…it’s my instrument…I never learned a traditional one… and that has evolved massively over time… and that has made a difference to the sound. I’ve also taken on more musical influences… dance, classical etc… and have met so many amazing musicians over the years that have come on-board… added their talents… moved on…. It’s been an evolving project… which is how I like it..

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A mix of both… I never know what I will come out with when I start a track…and I like to see where the twists and turns lead me… there are no real rules…. But I have written soundtrack scores so that is a different approach from the outset… and in instrumentation there have been times I wanted to try working with someone new.. .for example when I introduced real violin and viola and cellos on some songs… the old samples hardly got used again…. I think that experiment worked pretty well

Presumably across your years being involved in music there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well ATTRITION is mostly me… but I take on influences from people I have worked with…and that is often as much an approach as it is the style… I love learning…. If I ever thought I wasn’t doing that any more then it would be time to stop..

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

In all of my work… regardless of the final piece or style… I start with abstract atmospherics… electronics usually… and gradually rhythms and melodies emerge… alongside the words if there are to be any…. Much like order from chaos…. I believe in that

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

From my personal life… philosophical and religious thought… political ideas… “sex, death and religion” as some would say..

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

The new single, ‘The Great Derailer’ , has just been released (on CD, download and streaming) and will be part of the forthcoming album, ‘The Black Maria’…much of my lyrical work is inspired by my subconscious thought…. And in a simple way “The Great Derailer” is my anarchist God…if you like…. I released it on Brexit day J

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or still provide room for them to develop as you record?

Since I put my own studio together in the nineties, The Cage, I work all the time on pieces of music and they gradually develop into an album… (and this is between my mastering and production work for many other bands and labels… so I never get enough time for me!…. but it is my day job so I am always surrounded by music…. And I love that) …but yes in the early days of the eighties we had very limited studio time paid for by the various record labels and we had to have everything pretty much ready to put down for the time we were in there…. Not always a bad thing actually…we learned a lot from that!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

I do love recording as much as live but yes touring is such an inspiration… I have a varying line up as I work with people all over the world, and I’ve been lucky to have toured on most continents at various points in my career… a wonderful experience… apart from my 2 beautiful kids I would say a highlight of my life…

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How did you find it back in the day and see it now?

Coventry had a great live scene when I started… after the buzz of two Tone but as much for all the other acts… personally my experimental electronics was a bit too much for the local scene back then… so we moved away to London and later I moved to Holland for a while where there a much more receptive scene…. I’ve been back in Coventry for years and I’m pleased to see it really picking up for live music, especially music with more of an edge… I think it’s true everywhere… it’s such a big thing to do making a band work… and it’s hard… but it’s so worth it if you can dedicate yourself to it

How has the internet and social media impacted on the project to date? Do you see it as  a necessary ‘evil’?

The internet in all its forms has been really helpful… having started with the fanzine I was always used to networking myself and the internet is such an opportunity for that…I can’t even imagine how I arranged tours in Europe in the eighties before email…. But maybe the reason I am still here is because I did… It’s never been easy…it never should be.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

…and thank you very much too. As I said, the new album will be out later in the year… and I am currently setting up dates for 2020… So far confirmed…

April 3rd: The Tin, Coventry, UK

June 13th: Woodgothic Festival, Sao Thome Das Letras, Brazil

June 17th – Gothic Ba, Buenos Aires, Argentina

June 19th – Producciones Mortem Collec-tions, Santiago de Chile

June 20th – Tumbas Eternas Producciones, Lima, Perú November

28th: Winter Ghosts Symposium, Whitby, UK

…and do check out our various sites…

http://www.attrition.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/ATTRITIONMUSIC   https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/   https://www.youtube.com/user/attrition   https://twitter.com/attritionuk   https://open.spotify.com/artist/5yAtVvdaWrTxW4GPC18643   http://www.thecagestudios.co.uk/

Thank you! Martin Bowes. Coventry. England. 2020

Pete RingMaster 27/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright