Austerity – Anarcho Punk Dance Party

There is something wrong with the year if the creative landscape of Brighton has not provided one major moment for us to greedily devour and 2019 has not let us down. Not only is the long awaited debut album from The Gaa Gaas finally here there is the introduction of Austerity to lustfully feast upon courtesy of their first album, Anarcho Punk Dance Party.

Bred from the discourteous instincts of post punk and anarcho-punk, the Austerity sound is a virulent fusion of numerous flavours honed into confrontations which bite as they manipulate as they infest with viral precision. It is a proposition which would easily have made a major impact back in the time when many of the band’s inspirations were in full roar but firmly is an incitement of the now as fresh and compelling as anything around. Those influences include the likes of Gang Of Four, Swell Maps, The Fall and early Devo, all flavours which appear as strong spicing within Anarcho Punk Dance Party to enhance its very own inimitable antics.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Vincent, bassist/vocalist Stu Chaney, and drummer Sam Luck, Austerity have no qualms about attacking the political and social injustices and bigotry bred issues infesting the UK and world right now. Every track is a blatant attack and snarl but each also a puppeteer on jerking bodies and instincts to defy.

The album opens up with the increasingly clamorous Aaaaaaaaarrrrrghhh, the vocal pairing of Vincent and Chaney painting the stark background of the people betraying political landscape with increasing venom matched in sonic dissonance. It is a sonic trespass which demands and received full attention but a start from which band, album, and listener really get down to business.

We’re Not Evolved follows, bounding in on a rhythmic enticement and swiftly uncaging irregular and urgent dynamics spawned by the threesome. That Gang Of Four reference is a quick thought within the track, The Redskins arising through its punk challenge and The Three Johns in its sonic contortions. Even so the track stands bold as something individual to Austerity, a bruising and seductive blend which drags limbs and thoughts to life before Occupation unveils its own unique shuffle. Like a mix of Shockheaded Peters, Essential Logic, The Slits and Frauds, the track twists and turns snapping at ears and the country.

Fiddling with and infesting appetite and imagination from its first breath, Nice Guy needs mere seconds to get under the skin, bass and guitar hungrily picking through defences with their rapacious enterprise as Luck’s beats tenaciously nag. Vincent’s tones and words only add to the captivation and provocation, words stalking sexual predators and their delusion on their exploits. A song you can guide to specific protagonists and broad misogyny equally, it unleashes an infernally addictive swing easily devoured before White Men courts similar devotion with its corruptive dance. As in Occupation previously, the sax of Vicky Tremain is compelling additional incitement and pleasure to the song and its Artery/Fire Engines lined ingenuity.

As Rinse And Repeat flirts with and engages Gang Of Four hued instincts in its dextrous moves and The City Is Dead revels in punk causticity for its raucous holler it is fair to say we only found greedier appetite for the album which was only further intensified as Glass House had us twisting like a pretzel in the making with its rhythmic manoeuvres whilst roaring with its vocal and angular sonic tension lined turbulence. All three tracks explore a fresh aspect to the Austerity sound within a distinct character increasingly individual to the band though the trio are soon eclipsed by the outstanding One Man Terror Dance. If we suggest there is a bit of The Mekons, a slither of Delta 5, and a pinch of World Domination Enterprises in its creative theatre you may get a sense of its glory.

Herded provides a slightly calmer moment to only get further hooked up on Anarcho Punk Dance Party though it too is an animated rhythmic shuffle from the off with increasing volatility in its breath and busy agitation while Capital springs a virulent dance of fertile manipulation again reminding of The Fire Engines as well as the likes of Tones On Tails, Big Black, and Cabaret Voltaire whilst setting its own uniqueness.

Lambrini Anarchist concludes the release, a track to turn any dance floor into a feral playground whilst provoking disorder and mutiny; a description applying to the whole of Anarcho Punk Dance Party, one of the year’s major highlights.

Anarcho Punk Dance Party is out now via Every Man His Own Football Records digitally and physically through Quiet Backwater Records: available @ https://austeritypunk.bandcamp.com/album/anarcho-punk-dance-party

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Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Tea Set – Back In Time For Tea

Like all those with horniness for music, over years of finding encounters which spark extra love, lust, and addiction within the heart there are some moments which rise even above that in the passions. It is fair to say that from the moment punk rock erupted we have discovered a horde of such essential triggers to eternally drool over but of those that reign over the passions most a certain two remain to the fore. One is the single, Sex Cells by The Table and the other was provided by The Tea Set in the shape of their 7”, Parry Thomas. The first of the two only produced two singles before their shall we say chaotic and certainly uncompromising existence finally came apart but the latter over their three years left a host of further adventures which indelibly left their mark on ears and passions. So it was major excitement that we jumped on the opportunity, thanks to our friend Andy at Perfect pop Co Op, to check out Back In Time For Tea, an album bringing all of The Tea Set recordings together in one place with two new rich brews to sup on.

Hailing from Watford, born within its art college to be exact, The Tea Set emerged in 1978 out of punk band, The Bears. Initially called Screaming Ab Dabs until they realised that was an early name of Pink Floyd they renamed themselves The Tea Set, though weirdly the guys found out that Tea Set was another incantation from which the Floyd would rise. The name stuck this time and with a line-up of vocalist Nic Egan, bassist Ronny West, drummer Cally, and keyboardist Mark Wilkins, the band quickly released the Cups and Saucers EP, upon which Stewart Kinsey played guitar.

We discovered the EP and its glorious vinyl wrapping art work after being seduced by its successor, Parry Thomas and it is the quartet of tracks making up Cups and Saucers which opens up Back In Time For Tea. The four songs revel in the punk instincts which made The Bears a well-loved proposition but more so reveal the broader post punk meets art school sound the band were developing. On Them steps up first, from its first breath the song daring the listener to jump upon its ear nagging canter for a ride of unbridled enterprise and mischief. There is something akin to bands like Television Personalities and O’ Level to the song but already and across its companions you could hear something individual brewing and across following releases standing unique to The Tea Set.

The hectic punk ‘n’ roll of Sing Song is one of those songs which just sweeps you up in its swing and antics, revelling in the creative nagging which marks out all the band’s songs, that a persistent urging which only ever led to eager participation while Grey Starling revealed the experimentation which also grew and became ingrained in their sound over future songs. The Swell Maps meets Wire-esque B52G completed the EP and already it was easy to hear the inimitable character of the band’s sound and the defiant imagination which only blossomed by the release as evidenced by the perpetually irresistible Parry Thomas single.

Its two tracks are next on the album and a release which again came bound in just as imaginative and pleasing packing, the punk DIY ethic fuel to The Tea Set’s own independence in all things, and yes we still have the tea bag which was included in its body, unused of course. The single saw Ronny on guitar with Duncan Stringer now teasing and taunting with the bass, and Parry Thomas sparking one of the major addictions in music we have spawn. Written about John Godfrey Parry-Thomas, a Welsh engineer and motor-racing driver who at one time held the land speed record, a subsequent attempt taking his life, the track’s engine idles over initially with drama lining every shimmer of keys, suspense of guitar, and low rumble of rhythms that emerges. Eventually it sets off, Nic’s vocals narrating the disaster to happen with the fascination all moments, massive and small, like that seem to trigger in us all. The song is superb and has never lost its magnificence and slavery on ears for so many.

Tri X Pan which accompanied the track is just as addict forming, it’s developing shot of choice punk hooks and manipulative rhythms another trigger to eager participation, one only further strengthened by the beckoning tones of Nic.

Though Parry Thomas is suggested as the band’s biggest moment we suggest it is their next single which is the one those outside fan love might know them for. Certainly it is the one song that outside of John Peel, which seemed to get radio airplay of some sort most often. Keep on Running (Big Noise From The Jungle) is a song written by Jamaican ska and reggae singer/ songwriter Jackie Edwards and another one of the delicious moments when The Tea Set simply refuses to let go of your ears and attention. Produced by The Stranglers Hugh Cornwell, the song strolls in on a rhythmic swagger knowing that your body is going to instinctively bounce to its throb and voice sing to its infectiousness.  As much pop punk as it is post punk devilry, the track just harasses and entices until you are hollering to its controlled yet wild endeavours and swinging with its virulence.

The single saw Ron back on bass with guitarist Nick Haeffner now part of the band, both just as tempting in their part of single B-side, Flaccid Pot, a psych pop instrumental seducing the senses around the first’s  masterfully pulsating bass before it bursts into an inescapable sing-a-long inducing punk ‘n’ rocker.

The band’s next single was no stranger to certain radio shows either, the again wonderfully wrapped two song line-up of South Pacific and The Preacher simply one more memorable and again irresistible moment with The Tea Set. South Pacific is another track which just swings on the passions like a simian tease, the song a contagion of tantalising hooks and ravishing devilment getting under the skin as quick as a blink of the eye and an incitement even a bag of bones surely could not resist the urge to swing their inhibitions aside for.

The Preacher arrives on a cosmic mist of psych rock, a spatial missionary for the imagination and again nothing less than full pleasure as the band weaves another flight of originality and captivation.

Back In Time For Tea is completed by that couple of never heard before tracks, the first being Walk Small. It is a song recorded just before the band broke up sharing the same seeds as the previous track in many ways to blossom into a fascination of ethereal pop. There is a tinge of The Monochrome Set to it but so uniquely The Tea Set and so majestic you wonder if it had been released back in time theirs might just have become a name on the lips of so many more.

Pharaohs was recently recorded, a fan favourite which we can only feel blessed has found the light of day to light up speakers and ears alike and a song which sums up everything wicked, disobedient, and wonderful about The Tea Set and their idiosyncratic sound and indeed imagination.

So that is the recording history of The Tea Set, a band which has lit up stages alongside the likes of The Clash, U2, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, and The Skids and been one big reason why music has been essential to so many, and that is Back In Time For Tea, the biggest treat for fans and newcomers alike.

Back In Time For Tea is out now via Cleopatra Records @ https://theteasetuk.bandcamp.com/album/back-in-time-for-tea and https://cleorecs.com/store/shop/the-tea-set-back-in-time-for-tea-cd/

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Pete RingMaster 29/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Audra – Dear Tired Friends

photo by Jaymz

A decade is a long time to be without something but well worth the wait when it comes to the new album from post punks Audra. It is ten years since the Arizona hailing band released third album Everything Changes and it is fair to say a great many have been eagerly and patiently awaiting its successor and just as simple to assume they are going to greedily bask in the dark beauty of Dear Tired Friends.

Formed in 1991 and primarily brothers Bart and Bret Helm, Audra enfold the inspirations of post punk and its numerous shapers alongside the eclectic imagination found in the likes of the Velvet Underground, Jane’s Addiction, Joy Division, David Bowie, James, and Tom Waits within their sound. As Dear Tired Friends proves it emerges a riveting often haunting embrace of intimate shadows and bewitching melancholy framed in post punk starkness and gothic rock romanticism.

An album which “deals heavily with loss and letting go” and described as “a testimony of the effect the last decade had on each band member”, Dear Tired Friends opens up with the song Tired Friends and took barely a handful of seconds to seize attention with the sizzle of Bart’s guitar across the bold but controlled rhythms of the band’s drummer, Jason DeWolfe Barton. From there pure addiction grew as the track unveiled its post punk prowess around Bret’s potent tones, the imagination only further ensnared as a calmer passage of reflection bares the heart of the track. It is a compelling and irresistible start to the album and quickly followed and matched by the outstanding Wish No Harm.

This is a song which began back in the early nineties and reappeared on a cassette they found when the band was assembling demos for what originally was to be a 4-track EP. Completed last year, Bret adding lyrics and melody to the original demo, Wish No Harm became the lead single for Dear Tired Friends and there could be no finer invitation to the album. The opening bassline was immediate manna to the ears, its lure unapologetic flirtation echoing the core essence of eighties post punk and only enhanced by the swiftly following enticement of vocals and guitar. There is something of Bauhaus meets The Cure to the song with a just as flavoursome tease of bands such as Leitmotiv and Gene Loves Jezebel but nevertheless stands unique to Audra and their dark imagination.

Another Fallen Petal is next up, the song a slowly unfurling piece of emotive solemnity and melodic intimacy within the mournful yet radiant embrace of keys. With the pure captivation bred leaving a lingering presence in thoughts, the song simply beguiled as too its successor, Drinking Yourself To Sleep. Fuelled by an instinctive catchiness bred in all tracks however their darkness and character, the equally enthralling song bears a glam rock lining to its harmonic stroll with psych rock currents in its breath.

Sunglass provides another romance of ears, keys and vocals almost crawling over the senses with the subsequent blaze of guitar sparking a Bowie-esque hue to the soulful and atmospheric piece of dark rapture while Planet Of Me steps forward with a knowing swagger to its rousing virulence. Featuring Mike VanPortfleet of Lycia as guest on lead guitar, the track is a weave of contrasts and stirring imagination; it as striking in its calm as it is in its lively eddies of contagious enterprise.

Across the fertile almost invasive liveliness of Sliding Under Cars and its Numan-esque poppiness, through The Sound/The The styled bold rapture that is Fireflies, and over the doleful but enslaving fascination of 1987 we can only say that Dear Tired Friends engrained itself deeper under the skin and into the passions before Falling brought it all to a close with its dark wave nurtured seduction. Volatility lies in the heart of the song, never fully erupting but teasing fiery emissions to the surface as it adds to the inherent beauty and splendour which lines its shadowy magnificence.

We all may have lingered ten years for a new adventure with Audra but we can tell you that every long second was worth the wait and more.

Dear Tired Friends is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl; available @ https://audra.bandcamp.com/album/dear-tired-friends

https://www.audramusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/audramusic   https://twitter.com/audramusiccom

Pete RingMaster 28/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Model Depose – Damage Control

Bred from the seeds of eighties post punk and synth pop, the Model Depose sound has only nurtured and forged its own identity since the Netherland band’s first release back in 2013 and within new album, Damage Control, has cast its richest individuality and temptation yet.

The Groningen hailing outfit openly bear their inspirations on their creative sleeves with maybe a Depeche Mode influence the strongest yet they have increasingly been woven into the commanding imagination of the band. Damage Control though is most unique offering from the quartet yet. Certainly across its tapestry of flavours embracing dark and new wave, indie pop and post rock among many to that post punk/electro pop core certain shadow wrapped moments and electronic breaths sparked thoughts of the likes of Marc Almond, Editors, Modern English, Dead Register and the original Human League alongside Dave Gahan and co, yet every track rose to share its own rare presence of familiarity and uniqueness.

Damage Control opens up with Wights and quickly had attention secured as the rich vocals of Roeland van der Velde stepped forward within an electronic shimmering. An emotive lining to his tones are echoed in the synth shared melodies of Mariët Gast and the almost nagging jingle of Jobbe Holtes’ guitar, the song in no time an eager captivation. Their warm lures though are courted by dark shadows, bassist David Bos prowling their intimation as thicker and increasing drama marries every note and syllable. It is an enthralling almost haunting beginning to the album, its grip on the imagination already in place and only tightened thereon in.

Stranger follows and equally has melancholy for company as van der Velde again immediately impresses. There is a fire in the song’s dark belly though which without truly igniting gives it energy and intensity, the former ensnaring hips and the latter an emotive engagement. By its finale, its Depeche Mode-esque catchiness is in full swing yet without defusing its darkened breath.

The album’s title track follows and immediately had the body bouncing with its eager bold rhythms and the scything strikes of guitar behind again the rich invitation of vocals. The song is pure esurient contagion getting under the skin in no time and using body and spirit like a puppet as electronic and indie rock textures collude and roar in defiance. A definite favourite song contender it is quickly matched by the darkly lit virulence of Red Alert. There is a Muse like tint to the song, its evocative almost dissonant thoughts and breath united with instinctive rock ‘n’ roll catchiness which itself has something of She Wants Revenge to it.

Through the crepuscular but inflamed serenade of Blackstar and the light of magnetism that is Cold War, there was no loosening of the album’s hold on ear and pleasure. The second of the two features the guest vocals of Groningen-based singer/songwriter FENN and her duet with van der Velde is worth the admission fee alone while their successor, Drawing the Line, brings an electro rock incitement which again had body and imagination doing its contagious bidding. It is another which makes a firm claim for favourite album moment, the track sheer temptation from first to last second.

 #Dancelikenooneiswatching has an electro punk sneer to its synth pop calling, the track predominately a slice of rock dexterity smouldering with a host of other spices and quite addictive while the riveting Yesterday’s Gloom is a tenebrific croon with tempestuousness in its heart and intensity. Both tracks epitomise the diversity of sound within Damage Control but equally the unity of the Model Depose breath and craft to ear catching enterprise.

The album concludes with the pair of 03:00Am and bonus track Bombs Are Falling, the first an atmospherically evocative seduction within a sunless yet beguiling landscape and the second a gripping post-traumatic stress themed expression of power, intensity and magnetic craft.

Together they provide a potent end to a striking release, one which with its influences fits in with the eighties scene many of those inspirations come from but is firmly as fresh and adventurous as anything within the electronic /indie rock landscape Damage Control now lights up.

Damage Control is out now through Trisol Music Group across most stores.

http://www.modeldepose.com   https://www.facebook.com/modeldepose   https://www.instagram.com/modeldepose  https://www.darkmerch.com

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Impulsive Compulsions – SAMPLER 4

Another compelling issue of the In The Club Magazine from Perfect Pop Co-Op and another treat in word and sound had us basking in some of the very best independent goodness. The autumn 2019 edition of the online magazine from the label, issue 41 to be exact, comes with the fourth edition of their free sampler Impulsive Compulsions featuring artists and sounds from within the embrace of the Perfect Pop Co-Op family. It is fair to say that its three predecessors left us and an increasingly great many basking in a rich array of sounds and flavours but No 4 might be the most eclectic and irresistible mix yet meaning to ignore it would be an act of great stupidity.

Formed in 2011 by members of The Tuesday Club; Dave Worm, The Beautiful Wolf and Andreas Vanderbraindrain for the sole purpose of releasing their own music, Perfect Pop Co-Op has grown and stretched its reach to, as mentioned earlier, bring a great many other artists into the family; they regularly featured on The Andreas and The Wolf Radio Show, the in house monthly podcast, and teasing the imagination within the Impulsive Compulsions samplers.

The latest begins with Andreas and the Wolf and their track All I want is you. Its relatively calm entrance belies its pop punk instincts yet it is the melodic enterprise and drama from guitar and keys which enlists the imagination most firmly. The track is a ridiculously catchy affair, an aural romancing of ears and for us the most captivating offering from the band yet as the Sampler gets off to a potent start which continues with the mystic rock magnetism of Nashville hailing duo Hello Dearies. Like a shadow bound nursery rhyme All The Pretty Boys and Girls simply beguiled, its Wicker Man-esque spiced chant a tenebrific celebration and just delicious upon our musical palate.

Nine Day Decline is a newcomer to these ears but swiftly through their contribution to the sampler had us rushing to their social media profiles to learn more. With the likes of Altered States, Dead Heaven, Complicity, Christian Death, Counting the Mad, F.O.C., Section 3 and more in their histories, the British trio cast a goth clad post punk tempest as atmospheric as it is emotive. Decisions is a haunting slice of sonic dissonance, its raw melodic drone and impassioned breath akin to a mix of Play Dead, Sisters Of Mercy, and London After Midnight but openly unique to the London based outfit.

Inadequacy (day 197) is the track from sampler regular Reverse Family, an electro spattered piece of DIY enticement from the solo project of Dermot Illogical and a piece of soul searching reflection with its own sneaky swing while Dislocated Flowers immediately after wraps its psychedelic seduction around ears and imagination with Orange Roses and Yellow Tulips. Both tracks quickly and easily got under the skin being rapidly joined by The Scratch through their punk nurtured power pop rocker No two castles are the same. Taken from their excellent last album, Great Adventure, the song infested and resonated beyond its stay; always a sign of something rather tasty.

Equally flavoursome and a spark to greed is 50ft Woman and Psychic Hygiene. From its initial sonic squeal a devious swing erupts, the just as guileful tones of Minki riding its infectious pop punk ‘n’ roll sway. The track is another which leaves on-going tendrils of flirtation igniting continual companionship before She Made Me Do It ensured they get their chunk of the passions through their track, Fun and Games. The union of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, Scant Regard) is one of our favourite propositions to erupt from speakers and their latest song is pure alt-pop manna, a virulent contagion defeating any ill wished cure.

One of the biggest traits of these samplers is that we have yet to come across anything which merely satisfied, no fillers ever on offer and the fourth is no different as it continues with GLUE from The Dodo, a keenly catchy post punk/punk rock stroll with a definite Swell Maps tinge and heart to it, and straight after Night of the Wild Mind courtesy of Suicide Tapes. A quartet from Ware in the UK, the band similarly has post punk instincts to a goth rock heart and upon a contagion of rhythms weave a magnet of a track which had us hungry for more. Originally formed in 1983, the band reformed a short while back and are raising a stir, no surprise with tracks like this Flesh For Lulu scented incitement.

The Tuesday Club and Venus Overload bring this particular treat to a close. The first gives us a live slice of fan favourite Lady Gargar, a track revelling in all the mischief, imagination, and uniqueness which fuels the band and its rare fusion of punk, indie and the creative devilment which shapes the best rock ‘n’ roll. The latter of the two provides Afghanistan Bananastand, a ravening dance of garage and psych rock intimation which had hips and feet as keenly engaged as ears and imagination.

That is Impulsive Compulsions 4, a release which had us basking in great sounds, fresh adventures, and new explorations of artists which like those before them deserve proper attention. The fun involved was just icing on the cake.

Check out the latest and past editions of In The Club Magazine @ https://perfectpopco-op.co.uk/magazine/  and further releases from within Perfect Pop Co-Op @ https://theperfectpopco-op.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crooked Ghost – Colors Bleed

photo by Rome Widenhouse

If you look at the press release for new EP, Colors Bleed, it suggests the sounds within would make something appealing for the fans of bands such as The Smiths, Suede, The Cure, Muse, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Gun Club, and early R.E.M. With each a valid clue to the Crooked Ghost sound it is a list suggesting its thickly flavoured body but maybe not quite its distinctly fascinating and often consuming character.

Asheville, North Carolina hailing, Crooked Ghost has already made a potent impact in 2019 with their album Skeleton House, released this past February. Recorded with producer Edward Madill, Colors Bleed now sees the quintet cast tracks which are “bigger and brighter than those before” but within the shoegaze, post punk, and dream pop seeded tapestries there is no escaping the invasively intimate shadows and esurient often raw melancholy fuelling their hearts and imagination.

Latest single, Black Rainbow, opens up the release, its gentle melodic beginning an evocative coaxing. Soon it is building up into a creative crescendo, the lively rhythms of drummer Jon Wyatt uniting with the jangling prowess ringing from the guitars of Charles Reed and Ray Lark, with the latter’s similarly magnetic vocals swiftly adding to the catchy temptation. Already there is emotional weight and tempestuous to the track and its mental illness themed intimacy, the keys of Alex Cannon radiant smog within the textures as the bass of Chris Saldin brings firmer shape to its inherent shadows.

By the breath the song only intensifies its fears and emotional turbulence yet there is a melodic sun at its heart which just beguiled before Sinew In Red shared it’s even more fervid breath and conflict. Again there is an enveloping heat to sound and emotion at the core of the song, its dark embrace a fusion of enquiring warmth and invasive melancholy within the haunting bewitchment consuming ears and attention, it all enveloping like a kind of rapturous romance. As its predecessor, the track simply bewitched though again as with the first leaving a lingering touch built on doubt and hope in its wake.

The final pair of Golden Blue and Bright White Noise provided just as evocative explorations to keenly immerse in. The first rises from its crepuscular calm with melodic captivation wrapped in more strident sonic threads yet again there is instinctive warmth which seduces across both keys and guitars. Lark’s inimitable tones only add to the bracing emotion soaked soundscape, his voice and words crafted in open and candid reflection.

The closing song is in many ways the most intense and haunting track of all, its sorrow verging on claustrophobic and melancholy devouring  yet once more Crooked Ghost bring a glow and melodic captivation which lights its shadows alongside the listener’s thoughts and feelings.

Colors Bleed quickly proved a gripping release but became increasingly spellbinding as each fresh listen opened up more depth and temptation in its body and imagination.

Colors Bleed is out now: available@ https://crookedghost.bandcamp.com/album/colors-bleed

https://www.facebook.com/CrookedGhost   https://twitter.com/thecrookedghost

Pete RingMaster 05/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unhappy Fly – Self Titled

UK hailing Unhappy Fly is described as a post punk and no wave supergroup but trust us that description of their sound is like simply calling the sea blue and vegetation green. As their self-titled debut album quickly reveals, every song from the quartet is a tapestry of flavour and temptation as diverse and vast as the landscape of those previously mentioned features of planet earth.

Across its eleven tracks every second of the Unhappy Fly album is a theatre of sound and drama woven from everything around that post punk/new wave intimation to folk, jazz, baroque, indie and rock and still we are missing a plethora of other spices in its creative recipes. The resulting fusion is brought with unapologetic pop instinctiveness as Unhappy Fly share one of the most enthralling and captivating moments of this year indeed of many before it and no doubt to come.

Unhappy Fly is the compelling coming together of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Xentos Fray Bentos and drummer/percussionist Richard Dudanski with musician/electronic instrument builder/vocalist Sarah Washington and saxophonist/flutist John Glyn. Those familiar with the four and especially the first pair will know of the varied experiences and adventures in their extensive musical histories yet it gives no real clue to the uniqueness of the Unhappy Fly album.

There is a pop perfection to every song within the release, each bringing a manipulative bounce and catchiness upon ears and body whilst weaving proposals as rich in styles and textures as a dressmaker’s wardrobe.  Now Alasdair Owns Me opens up the album and swiftly unveils its character of imagination and craft and the virulent temptation which flows through the release. Its gentle entrance on rhythmic coaxing amidst melodic strands is pure delight as too the soft tones of Bentos which as quickly tempt away. The song was already under the skin before it then erupted in pure animated and thickly assorted contagion. Few albums this year have made such a magnetic start as Unhappy Fly’s yet it is just the beginning of the bold adventure to come.

Boneyard follows and as its rhythmic pulse teased ears it too soon buried itself deep especially through its guitar spun hook. Melodic entangling of appetite continued to spread from the catchy heart of the song, keys adding a crystalline glamour as Glyn’s sax teases with relish. Infectiousness soaks every note and syllable, its mellow aside as thick in imagination and temptation as the rousing swing of the tracks persistently encouraging body. Such the majesty of songs it is hard to pick a firm favourite but this has a firm hand on the decision though successor Superfifcial does its best to muddy the waters with its flirtatious teasing of sound and Bentos’ inimitable ever enticing vocals presence alongside Washington’s similarly beguiling tones. Everything about the track is simple yet skilfully conjured and offered for two and a half minutes of pure pop pleasure.

The cosmopolitan tango of Holocene provides a jazz scented enticement which is again nothing less than full seduction, its funky breath and jazz folk hues an infestation of the imagination alone before Feet of Clay embraces the listener in a theatre of musical intrigue and stringed drama. Shadows and whimsical mischief equip the track’s irresistibility, a mandolin and richness of vocal dexterity accentuating its power and beauty.

Latest single, Electric Light is next and immediately had ears greedy and the body bouncing through its exuberant almost voracious catchiness. It is a pop song though unafraid to twist and turn through jazz lined surprises and fresh shades to its instinctive creative ebullience for one of the best three minutes heard this year.

Country bred sighs welcome Angry In The Head, continuing to colour its catchy swagger and emotive plaintiveness while Singing Flame and Hit ‘n’ Miss after it only ignite further pleasure being side by side with the release. The first has a sixties pop croon to its tenacious shuffle, Bentos and Washington providing a seriously magnetic vocal union against the gorgeous rhythmic manipulation of drums and bass, it all within a weave of sound which becomes more varied in flavour and dexterity by the second. It’s equally enslaving successor similarly has that nostalgic breath yet is all fresh and innovative in its diversely bred pop ‘n’ roll stroll.

The final pair of Big Picture with its fifties inflamed, seventies glam tinted rock ‘n’ roll and the moment of undiluted rapture that is Golden ensure the album leaves as memorably and hypnotically as it began. Both are as individual in presence as they are united in fascination and the inimitable prowess of their creators.

The Unhappy Fly album is a wonder of beauteous melancholy and shadow enhanced beaut. It also proved, to use the word again, pure rapture upon these ears and it is hard to feel we will not be alone in finding a greed for its thrilling adventure.

The Unhappy Fly album is out now via Emotional Response Records; available @ https://emotional-response-recs.bandcamp.com/album/unhappy-fly

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright