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

http://www.facebook.com/feralkizzy   http://www.feralkizzy.com

RingMaster 25/06/2015

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

 

KEN mode – Success

photo Brenna Faris

photo Brenna Faris

Predictability has never had a presence in the sounds and imagination of Canadian noise wreckers KEN mode, though that in itself is something to be expected. Their caustic and furious brews of post-rock, hardcore, metal, and noise, to mention just some of their flavours employed, have ignited ears and imaginations with a tempestuous almost petulant creativity ensuring the band’s propositions are some of the most persistently and highly anticipated treats. The Winnipeg trio’s new album Success is no exception but this time it has taken a detour which definitely takes assumptions by surprise.

The band has gone back to explore the sounds and invention which were fermenting and fuelling the late 80s/early 90s when KEN mode began to sow its own sonic explorations. The album’s press release lists the album as paying homage to “both their Canadian Prairie roots, and a time when they first started to care about making music; the burgeoning grunge; and Touch Go/Dischord scenes of, with bands like Nirvana, Big Black, Cop Shoot Cop, The Cows, Circus Lupus, and Drive Like Jehu warping their teenage minds.” Listening to Success though you can go back further and find the seeds in predominantly post and noise punk with the album persistently sounding like a primal version of Gang of 4 on steroids. It is the band as raw and aggressive as ever, probably even more so at times, and still lyrically stirring up thoughts and emotional involvement, but it shows a new character and new compelling designs from the band which might not quite work for all but here is being greedily devoured.

KMSuccessCover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Recorded with Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey) and recorded as a fully live and analog session, KEN mode’s sixth album opens with Blessed, a track which from its initial sonic whistle turns into a heavy bestial prowl. Simultaneously a swagger emerges in the grizzly tones of Scott Hamilton’s bass as magnetic jabbing lines the beats of drummer Shane Matthewson. Intimidating restraint replaces their predacious aggression at this point, the vocals of guitarist Jesse Matthewson crawling syllable by syllable with open ire over the addiction igniting web now in place. The song’s volatile instincts soon return to take rein though, almost insidious discord and hostility invading whilst binding excited senses in inventive and mischievous rancor.

The outstanding start kicks up another notch with These Tight Jeans, a song which roars and excites like an illicit union of Nirvana, Black Flag, and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Of course that is a mere hint to something unique to KEN mode, the track a rumbling, grumbling contagion of wiry hooks, spicy grooves, and rhythmic badgering. As ever the song is driven by fury loaded vocals but this time assisted by the excellent punk lures of guest Jill Clapham who just adds richer colour to the slimline unbridled furnace on the senses.

The Owl… follows the brilliance of its predecessor with its own gripping dark beauty. A sinister noir lit intrigue escapes the growling bass groove, its drama escorted by the similarly potent landing of drum sticks as vocals dangle their raw tone and narrative over the imagination. An air of Bauhaus wraps the absorbing lure and agitated swing of the song as guitars and bass spring an inescapable menace of a flirtation which only gets darker and more imposing as the emotive intimacy of cello from Natanielle Felicitas returns after first gracing the opener. The solemn gentle passage hugging her enterprise is soon a brawl of noise and intensity again before regaining control in a mesmeric finale which leaves ears and emotions in lustful bliss

The grungy turmoil of I Just Liked Fire explodes next, it too a rebellious blaze for ears and appetite to get lustful over as twisted discord and carnal noise collude to abrase and infest the senses whilst its successor Management Control, with greater restraint crowds ears with a thick resonating bassline and a tangy vining of guitar endeavour. The beats of Shane once again provide disorientating yet anthemic bait aligned to the predatory and contagious groans of bass but sonically the song is more involved and less instant with its catchy hooks and grooves. This is not to say the track is any less virulent than the previous songs, just a more intensive exploration with layers of waiting rewards.

There is a feel of Psychic TV to the following A Passive Disaster as its carnivorous basslines and caustic bellow gets right under the skin and into the psyche whilst Failing At Fun Since 1981 straight after, is punk belligerence at its blisteringly sonic and primitively rhythmic best. Both songs are a jungle of menace and bracing invention, individual noise riots to thrill and linger though they get outshone a touch by A Catalog Of Small Disappointments and in turn closing song Dead Actors. The first of the final pair is an uncompromising persuasion, its stalking rhythms and vocal angst entwined in the rabid theatre of guitar and lyrics. The track enslaves body and emptions with ease, threatening and seducing with every snarl and raw fingering of the senses before its successor takes over with a psychotic and darkly elegant Gang of 4 meets Wire like meander of sound and distress lined emotional reflection. The song is spellbinding, a long term journey taking itself and the listener on a traumatic and turbulently fascinating adventure.

It is hard to say yet if Success is KEN mode’s finest hour such its big enough departure to previous encounters reveals something openly and strikingly different but the seriously thrilling encounter is definitely a contender.

Success is available via Season Of Mist now @ http://shop.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=102, http://kenmode.bigcartel.com/, or https://kenmode.bandcamp.com/album/success

http://www.ken-mode.com/

Upcoming KEN mode dates with Fight Amp

June 16, 2015 – Toronto, ON @ The Shop (Parts & Labour) w/The Great Sabatini

June 17, 2015 – Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus w/The Great Sabatini

June 18, 2015 – Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus w/Pyrrhon, Couch Slut

June 19, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

June 20, 2015 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups w/Lo-Pan

June 21, 2015 – Chicago, IL @ The Burlington w/GOBO’S CVIT

June 26, 2015 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Goodwill w/Pop Crimes, Teethmarks *no Fight Amp

RingMaster 16/06/2015

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

Tyranny Is Tyranny – The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism

TyrannyShout_credit_Bronson_Karaff_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

The time between 2013 debut album Let It Come From Whom It May and its successor The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism has certainly seen no change or lessening in the ferocious incriminations and outrage at the current world and its masters from its creators. Musically though, Tyranny Is Tyranny has used it to evolve and explore bolder and more expansive sonic landscapes and ideation. The US post noise rock band has openly grown in songwriting and sound without losing any of the compelling turbulence and ire which sparked within their first pleasing offering. Indeed the Madison quartet has possibly turned their anger into an even more corrosive and uncomfortable trespass this time around but woven it into sparser yet intimately imposing, and inescapably immersive soundscapes clad in caustic and emotionally stark atmospheres. It is another imposing confrontation which will scare as many as it seduces, and further evidence of Tyranny Is Tyranny emerging as one of rock’s exciting uncompromising challenges.

Inspirations to Tyranny Is Tyranny comes from the likes of Neurosis, Explosions In The Sky, and Fall of Efrafa, essences once again laying as clear seeds in the tempest of The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism, whilst lyrically and emotionally the unjust, corruptive landscape governing our lives is again the influential cancer. Opener Or Does It Explode?, brings swift evidence that musically we are into new territory evolved from the band’s previous successes. The guitars of Jason Jensen and Russell Emerson Hall cast the first descriptive hue, chords a cold and ominous lure as well as the spark to an infectious canter of rolling rhythms and dark yet inviting riffs. Shadows drape every aspect of the lively encounter, coating the raw tones of the Hall’s vocals and fuelling the magnetic post punk bred bassline offered by M. Guy Ficcioto. The song fluidly moves through slow, doomy elegance and raucously aggravated energy across its provocative terrain with the rhythms of drummer Jonathan Brown a perpetual incitement. It is a heavy and welcoming, explosive and fearsome journey for song and ears, an adventure which never settles into one scenic provocation for long and has emotions and imagination riveted from start to finish.

DisasterCover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   The following She Who Struggles is an instantly sombre affair, guitars and vocals a low key coaxing of emotive unrest courted by punchier rhythms. As it opens up its narrative and nature a surf spiced tang colours sonic endeavour whilst an agitated and emotionally unbalanced raging overwhelms vocals and riffs. Soon song and listener is in a dark place but there is a constant light and escape through the sultry craft and imagination of the guitars. The bewitching nature of the encounter is ravaged and pulled this way and that across the seven minutes of tempestuous imagination, but never gives way or loses its potency as the album continues its impressive start.

Pillar Of Cloud, Pillar Of Fire makes a similar proposal but with the smouldering enticement of Ficcioto’s trumpet a swift success and enthralling lure in a cauldron of volatile textures and emotions, the song is soon sculpting its own unique and extensive questioning. Brown is the protagonist crafting and roaming a tenaciously unpredictable canvas, the guitars and vocals the rich unsettling passion, but it is even in brief moments, the coaxing of trumpet which tugs on thoughts and emotions with the strongest toxicity.

The album’s best track twists and bellows next, Kabuki Snuff Theater a post punk expulsion of creative drama and raw emotional disquiet. It is glorious, bass and drums building an inescapable rhythmic trap which shards of guitar and sonic causticity shape and colour with even more virulent temptation. For all of its easy contagiousness though, there is a ferocity and abrasive challenge to it igniting the passions and setting up the listener perfectly for the closing epic fifteen minute conflict of Victory Will Defeat You. The final song takes ears and thoughts from a raw calm through an emotional and vocal confrontation before luring them into a severely restless and ireful cyclone with a creative turbulence to match. Though finding it slightly too long, the track is a massive and stirring finale to one simply excellent encounter.

The Tyranny Is Tyranny sound has grown up, not come of age as you sense there is still plenty more within band and song writing to develop, but evolved into something masterful and dynamically striking. That has resulted in an uncomfortable and richly enjoyable new offering which will undoubtedly reward the brave.

The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism is available from June 13th via Phratry Records digitally and on CD and vinyl and @ https://tyrannyistyranny.bandcamp.com/

http://tyrannyistyranny.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TyrannyIsTyranny

RingMaster 12/06/2015

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

 

Falling Stacks – No Wives

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No Wives is one of those album’s you can imagine being described as anything from a glorious disorderly revelry to a cacophonous irritant, but for those with an appetite for psychotic rhythms, abrasing discord, and virulent noise it is easy to suggest that the Falling Stacks’ debut album is going to be one of the highlights of the sonic year. Like a highly agitated union between early Wire and eighties post punks The Diagram Brothers infused with healthy, or maybe unhealthy, essences of bands like The Fall and Fugazi, sound and album provide a raw and lingering magnetism. For sure No Wives is a proposition some may hate but be impossible to ignore but for those with experimentation in their genes, it is a mouth-watering dissonance to get fully involved in.

The UK trio formed in 2011, emerging in Bristol with an appetite for the likes of Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Pavement, and The Wedding Present. Falling Stacks’ music suggests there are many other likes and influences involved in the band’s own invention, whether intentionally or not, and it all makes for web like songs which catch ears and attention with a babel of sound and imagination. As the band soon revealed in a trio of EPs after their first steps, all sonic squalls and rhythmic trespasses, along with vocal incursions, come veined by an understated but potent order. In previous and enjoyable encounters it was swamped by the free hand given to riots of sound but with No Wives, the band has seized such structures and worked outwards resulting in their finest provocation yet.

The album opens with the quickly spicy and rowdy Pool Party, a sonic welcome the lead into a volatile shuffle of jabbing beats and throaty basslines courted by bracing vocals amidst a tangy guitar clamour. Once hitting its full and irregular stride, a contagion soaks ears and attention, the lure of disorder subsequently providing two minutes plus of inescapable virulence. It is a riveting start continued by the just as eagerly inventive sonic chatter of Dust Motes. Hooks and rhythms barely stand still long enough to cast a shadow within the song, the guitars dancing with almost autistic tendencies over rolling beats and a bassline which moves from moody to carnivorous and back again on a whim. The vocals across the release are a more straight forward proposition yet they too lyrically and in delivery are mischievously unpredictable and a thick hook here especially.

Sections And Sub-Sections restrains some of that turbulent energy next, an opening saunter of bass resonance posing as a riff and caustically delivered vocals the spark to similarly reserved but jabbing rhythms within guitar varied jangles. Overall the song does lack the spark of its predecessors but there are moments in its imagination which are almost sinful in their rousing invention and inimitable tempting.

Both No Stops and Los Ticos get ears and emotions over excited, the first with its persistently evolving landscape of time disruptions and seductive discord, Swell Maps coming to mind at times, whilst the second is a prowl with a devilish glint in its eye. It strolls with a deliciously compelling bassline and a mesh of guitar intrigue around gripping rhythmic bait which as every element, has a distrustful feel to its roll. The song is made up of confrontations sharing a tantalising collusion and fair to say the song is probably the only schism that is in truth the perfect union of discontent.

A darker more predacious place is explored on A Fly Would Slide, the track a hug of sonic tension and imposing ambience but coloured with further clashes of melodic and vocal discordance. Its intensity ebbs and flows as energies and emotions revolve with restraint and roars, but whilst the track takes longer to trip the switches than those before it, full persuasion is inevitable over time.

Seven Cuts is a far quicker success on ears and emotions, its caustic tapestry of snarling bass, punchy beats, and kaleidoscope of guitar endeavour, a swift fondling and thrilling of the imagination before its successor Silverware uncages a similar but individual psyche twisting dance on the senses. Rhythms and hooks have as many grasping teeth as a zip as the song shows itself to be a temptation of invigorating disunity aligning in one jungle of infectiously deranged harmony before taking its leave. It is replaced by the tinny beat loaded opening of Double Scull. Magnetism does not do the track’s start justice or the subsequent slim lead into the inevitable busily disharmonic heart of what is another slow but fiercely successful persuasion.

Closing with the physically and emotionally turbulent New Dog, the song like the shadow to the previous track in many ways, No Wives is an enthralling and exciting incitement for ears and thoughts. At times it does not go far enough with its adventure and clangor of sound, an exploration for the future, and some songs just miss the final ingredient of those providing the major peaks of the release, but Falling Stacks has given noise and rock one thoroughly fulfilling stirring.

No Wives is available from June 8th via Battle Worldwide Recordings through http://battleworldwiderecordings.com/battle/album/battle023/

https://www.facebook.com/fallingstacks/

RingMaster 08/06/2015

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

 

Plastique – Quake

By Loïc Martenot

By Loïc Martenot

Bringing fresh aggressive incitement to the dance-floor along with the virulent contagion of sound they are renowned for, alternative-electro trio Plastique unveil new single Quake. It comes after a quiet period for the band, a time which saw them take time away to reassess their direction and next step. Vocalist Anelise Kunz spoke about that period and the new single recently, saying “After two albums we kind of wanted to add something new to our sound, but we started pressuring ourselves for new song ideas…and because of that nothing was really happening, the new single [‘Quake’] came out as a sign of hope…there was no pressure, the vocal jam just happened, and soon we were all involved in getting this one ready to go!

11035313_812517938830346_8230624647920208335_n     It is fair to say if only with one song to assess it by so far, that it was a reflection and exploration spawning potent results. Kunz, guitarist Fabio Couto, and DJ/producer Gabriel Ralls have returned with a feistier and more voracious attitude in sound and intent. Coming together as Plastique, Brazilians Kunz and Fabio Couto with British bred Ralls quickly gripped keen attention with their self-titled debut album late 2011. It was a release backing up their growing stature on London’s alternative scene, a presence pushed and ignited further by its successor #SocialScar two years later. Now after that time away, the threesome are back with a more industrial rock fuelled incitement, one sure to spark frantic activity on the dance-floor again but this time with darker predatory inclinations.

From its first creative mechanism of sonic and rhythmic provocation, Quake displays a psyche challenging imagination and turbulence to it. Beats thump with resonating toxicity whilst guitars blaze with their own raw aggravation, yet there is that expected virulent catchiness and techno energy which sends addiction spawning urges through ears and body. The vocals of Kunz bring their own challenging posture to the song, her tones and delivery reminding a lot of Lesley Woods of eighties post punks Au Pairs, and indeed there are elements of that genre within the increasingly magnetic encounter. Equally essences of PJ Harvey and Cauldronated come to mind as the song continues to cantankerously ripple and contagiously seduce the senses.

If Quake is the sign of things to come, the wait since the last album was well worth the frustration for fans and band alike. It also suggests that Plastique’s next full-length will be their finest most intoxicating offering yet, something you can apply right now to their single.

Quake is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/quake-single/id980105266

http://www.plastiqueband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/PlastiqueBand

RingMaster 05/05/2015

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

 

Chick Quest – Vs. Galore

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Their sound is self-tagged as spaghetti western post-punk and their name, as that of their debut album, is pure B-movie manna for the imagination. Chick Quest is a band from Austria who in already a wealth of exceptional releases in 2015, may have just stolen the whole show to date with Vs. Galore. Every essence of it from song title to sultry blazes of brass provides cinematic adventures equipped with rhythms to command feet and sonic temptations to get lustful over. It is a puppeteer for body and soul, an unpredictable and slightly deranged dance of sound and invention providing one of the most intoxicating and exciting debut incitements heard in recent years.

Vienna hailing Chick Quest, began in 2014 with two friends who decided to form a band to play feistily danceable songs based on Spaghetti Western chord progressions and called Lee Van Cleef. With fresh songs under their belt the pair pulled in a bassist and trumpet player, renamed the whole adventure Chick Quest and set about recording their first album. And here we are with the outcome and quite simply it is one of, if not the, best things in indie rock and dark pop you are going to hear this year.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Ryan White, drummer Iris Rauh, bassist Magdalena Kraev with the additional talent of trumpeter Christian Sonderegger, Chick Quest instantly get down to startling seduction with album opener Somebody Call a Doctor. A swipe of sultry guitar ignites ears and imagination right away, rubbing away with teasing effect before being joined by punchy beats and a swiftly following more caustic sonic wind. Vocals offer a punk nature to the constantly evolving song whilst the lure of the trumpet and understated melodies within the infectious stomp, have s smouldering western tang seeded in Ennio Morricone compositions. There is also a deranged element to the encounter which simply adds further bait for the appetite to hungrily devour, the whole thing playing like a Swell Maps meets Helldorado revelry.

10306227_1564340900473132_6071600067425424794_n     The following Girl on Fire is even quicker in stealing attention and the passions, the gnarly grouchiness of the bass which brings the song in, alone enslaving ears and emotions. It also has a swagger to its Gang Of Four like lure which aligns with a seductive caress of guitar which appears not long into the magnetic song. The crisp beats of Rauh take their fair share of the brewing lust too, whilst the trumpet…well that just oozes sonic seduction. Once the vocals come in, the whole blend has a feel of The Clash to it, White’s voice alone having a Strummer-esque quality. Basically tangy rock ‘n’ roll with that cinematic quality mentioned in word and musical enterprise, the track is the first pinnacle of the album, but not the last.

Vengeance is Fun bounces in next, an agitated slab of post punk pop with a feel of Baddies and Futureheads to its energetic psychosis of sound. Addictiveness was made for songs like this, its raw rock ‘n’ roll merging with virulently warped pop punk for yet another stonecast favourite and triumph. The flames of brass only adds another twist in the character and psyche of the encounter, an unpredictability which is as potent as the sounds it toys with and again potent fuel for the wonderful exploits of Sounds Like Bruce! which follows. A warmer but no less compelling bass welcome starts the song off with surf bred melodies entwining their dark lure around it with equally virulent temptation. The instrumental sends the imagination into overload, scenes of hot sandy shores with sex and sinister danger across their expanses brewing in thoughts, the song the sizzling soundtrack to untold mischief and espionage.

As exceptional as it is, the track is soon a passing memory as I’m Tired of Pretty Girls prowls into view with attitude and creative devilment in tow. Rauh pounds out an almost predatory shuffle of beats, luring in the listener with tribal incitement before Kraev’s bass unveils its own climatic and dramatic enticement alongside similarly throaty and colourful strokes of guitar. There is a psychotic edge to the song and that is before White opens up the agitated narrative with an equally twisted and unsettling delivery. Fuzzy, dirty, and irresistible, the song virtually stalks the senses with its discord kissed rant for yet another important moment in the health of the album and modern music.

Through the mellower sway of Schatzi and the militant stomp of Explain Yourself to a Bat, band and album has body leaping and pleasure elevated all over again. The first, sung in German, is a more even tempered spot of rock pop with an air of Yello meets Violent Femmes to it under an intensely simmering sun of trumpet enterprise whilst its successor strides purposefully through ears on a single minded stamp of thumping beats. Around this thick spine a dark bass shuffle ebbs and flows with tantalising menace whilst the guitars unveil a vivacious jangle. Both leave the listener short of breath and hungry for more, as does the humid tempting of Fashion Fascist. The heat of the trumpet is an early hot kiss on the senses but it is the again a snarling bass tone which especially sets things off in the passions, its raucous contagion courted by resonating beats for an inescapable persuasion. Whether the rest of the song lives up to the tremendous start is debatable but with that rhythmic baiting never relinquishing its hold as vocals and guitars create a tempestuous weave of arousing incitement, it all occasionally coloured by the sizzling trumpet, the song is raucous punk ‘n’ roll to put the world on hold for.

Surf rock resourcefulness and sixties garage rock collide with modern psych pop for a fiery adventure in Monkey No Dance For No One next, another instrumental stretching limbs and thoughts with its unrelenting rhythmic nagging and exotic melodies. Far too short and pure musical alchemy, the track is one you have to play twice before moving on and falling into the scuzzy arms of the also tremendous You Have a Future in Television. With old school punk breeding and unhinged energy, let alone nature, the song manages to be nostalgic and new whilst providing yet another shade to the presence and invention of the album.

Vs. Galore is brought to an end by Go Back to ze Dezert, an instrumental escapade through drifting ambiences and steamy surroundings with romance and adventure in its voice and melodic theatre in its brass and guitar crafted embrace. It is a thrilling end to a sensational release, an introduction to Chick Quest which has instantly installed a deep rooted affair with emotions. Of course individual tastes in each of us will decide if Vs. Galore goes down as the album of the year come December but it will be there in the handful of most enjoyable treats given the chance.

Vs. Galore is available now via most online stores and at https://chickquest.bandcamp.com/album/vs-galore

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

RingMaster 22/04/2015

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

 

The Cathode Ray – Infinite Variety

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The energy around the arrival of and anticipation for Infinite Variety, the second album from Scottish band The Cathode Ray, ensured that intrigue and enthusiasm of a great many was high going into the release. It is fair to say that the proposition not only lives up to hopes and expectations placed upon it but leaves them lightweight against its kaleidoscope of fun, sound, and adventure. What was not predicted here was the nostalgic impact it had on ears and thoughts, as well as memory, for our first time with the band. Musically it weaves in essences from the seventies and eighties into an invigorating modern tenacity but it was finding out the background to the members which inspired us to first trawl through cases of vinyl on a nostalgia trip to relive old favourites ashamedly neglected over time.

Formed in 2006, The Cathode Ray was initially a song-writing collaboration between Jeremy Thoms and ex-Josef K frontman and solo artist Paul Haig, a band and solo project straight away dug out for a reprise in the ears. A couple of well-received singles followed before Haig left the project in 2009. Taking it over Thom enlisted guitarist Steve Fraser once of Edinburgh post punk band the Scars, another enslaving proposition for our passions way back, and alongside him drummer David Mack and bassist Neil Baldwin to complete a new line-up, the latter bringing another search through boxes to relive the glories of the disgracefully under-rated Bluebells and post-punk group TV21. Once that was out of the system it was full-steam ahead with Infinite Variety, an album swiftly living up and more to anything its creators may have helped craft before.

The album’s landscape uses various decades of sound as its palette, twisting and shaping them into unique and colourful proposals with a lyrical exploration to match. Said to loosely be a concept album, Infinite Variety visually and aurally references the natural world whilst looking at emotions involved with the human condition. The songs are kind of bundled into three areas; ‘fear, paranoia, lust and betrayal’ spicing the first few songs before looks at ‘transformation, honesty and realisation’ and subsequently love in various light and dark forms flavour the tracks. Like in a kaleidoscope though, it all seems to disarrange and evolve with every twist of a track to provide an on-going and increasingly fascinating adventure.

10425081_1014104828616219_3923383927065033299_n   That diversity to songs is one of many potent aspects to the album and it all starts with the outstanding Backed Up. A simple rub of guitar and accompanying cowbell prods make first contact, soon joined by crisp beats and an expanding coaxing of melodic enticing. The expressive tones of Thoms join the widening incitement next, his entrance awakening bolder enterprise in the guitars, whilst riffs and hooks come with a great post-punk spicing. The reserved but lively melodic invention provides a sultry colouring which the dark bass tones wonderfully temper whilst vocally Thom drives it all with a voice which is like a mix of Pete Shelley and Ste McCabe to offer another rich texture within the potent album starter.

It is a strong beginning straight away eclipsed by the outstanding Resist, one of the most addictive slices of warped pop you will come across this year. Its hooks instantly get under the skin and into the psyche, swiftly followed by the vocals and the thick bass bait. The song’s infectiousness is simply virulent bringing a whiff of The Revillos to its power pop stomp, a passing scent not as strong as the Buzzcocks like catchiness which oozes from the following Nowhere At All. Again it is merely a spicing though, this time to a captivating stroll of imaginative percussion, imposing rhythms, and addictive enterprise, all soaked in inescapable contagion.

Don’t Waste Your Words strides in next to bring an addictive lure of hip swinging rock ‘n’ roll. Feet and ears are an early submission, whilst the capture of the imagination is barely a drum stick swing away in the riveting temptation of the song. It is not alone in offering hooks and a presence which are indelible in thoughts and emotions even after the album’s departure, but it is probably the most intoxicating though matched straight away by the excellent Buck The Trend, a song with a healthy breath of Tom Verlaine and Television to it. Keys and guitar spin a gorgeous eighties web for the rhythmic and vocal prowess of the song to pull this way and that, a combination sculpting another major highlight in the album. There are times across Infinite Variety, like here, where thoughts wonder if the band may have missed the boat with their sound in the fact that The Cathode Ray would have surely been a big inspirational player in the eighties. Every time that suggestion raises its head though band and album almost in anticipation provides evidence to differ, like No Holds Barred which comes next, proving that they are definitely a perfect fit for the now. The song is a slower but similarly infectious offering with a held in check energy which still has body and emotions swaying feistily with its low key and thoroughly addictive swagger. Once more riffs and melodies combine to create a fresh twist and distinct romp of sound and invention in the album.

The brilliant Eureka Moment! is simply a montage of eighties goodness crafted into a transfixing and exotic jungle of imagination fuelled rhythms, Scars like sonic sweeps, and Bluebells bred melodies. It feels like a song dipping into its creators past exploits and those of others whilst equally drawing on new ingenuity. The John Foxx led version of Ultravox comes to mind as does The Creatures as the track seduces and incites but again they are just particular hues in an new enthralling and thrilling aural conjuring by the band.

This Force Of Nature brings its flowing melodic breeze next, female vocals seducing alongside the tones of Thoms, whilst Torn Apart explores an immersive and haunting cavern of sonic reflection which in many ways has seeds to the likes of House of Love and My Bloody Valentine. The absorbing and mesmeric encounter, as so many songs, keeps the album turning over in imagination and invention, as well as variety, before making way for the post punk croon of The Eyes Are The Window To The Soul. With a bassline which recalls early Cure and an Orange Juice like jangle to its chords, the song is bewitching and engagingly dramatic like a modern day Associates.

The album is closed by the elegant reflection of Saving Grace, a semi-acoustic ballad which simply whisks ears and thoughts off into hope soaked clouds under a smouldering exotic sun of melodic temptation. The song is spellbinding but also only telling half the story at this point. Around mid-way the calm is suddenly infused with ominous rhythms and sinister keys, nothing over imposing but certainly a brewing provocation which is soon ripe with surf rock tendrils of guitar and a tempestuous air. As if warning that good times still offer a stormy adventure, the track is irresistible manna for ears and imagination with seven minutes of sonic alchemy.

Infinite Variety is quite breath-taking, leaving thoughts basking and appetite hungry for much more. There have been many releases and bands recently creating real triumphs of nostalgia and new invention, but The Cathode Ray tops the lot.

Infinite Variety is available through Stereogram Recordings now on CD and download via http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/audio/infinite-variety-the-cathode-ray-cddl/

https://www.facebook.com/thecathoderay

RingMaster 21/04/2015

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