Hentai Babies – YO!


Managing to persistently sound familiar and simultaneously unique, primarily down to having developed a one of a kind vivacious sound, UK indie popsters Hentai Babies have been one of the most criminally ignored bands in the British rock scene. Well that is not entirely true as the duo from the Isle of Wight has forged an increasingly devoured live presence and found a flood of radio play with independent radio shows and station, with Reputation Radio leading the way. National awareness it is fair to say has not yet been breached though, despite a host of ridiculously contagious and creatively blistering singles. That may all change now with the release of the band’s debut album YO!, a mouth-watering devilment which sooner than it takes a door knocking Jehovah Witness to clear a lively street, has body and emotions involved in one exhausting and exhilarating stomp.

Formed in 2012 and consisting of vocalist/guitarist/ programmer Paul McCann and bassist Bianca Kelly, Hentai Babies create pop rock with an inescapable addictiveness. Once infested by their sounds there is no escape, it is just getting their jangle into the psyche of the masses which, as all emerging bands find, is the hard part. YO! might and should be that trigger, the spark to widespread recognition for a band and sound which draws on inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Oasis, Michael Jackson, Smashing Pumpkins, Perfume, Manic Street Preachers, Madonna, and Weezer for their invention, though it is only the latter you would really offer as some kind of reference to the originality of their songs.

The contagious party of YO! starts with Action Jackson, and an instant union of guitar jangles and expressive vocals which have ears and appetite on instant alert. Riffs and rhythms provide a pungent lure from the start too, the basslines of Kelly as throaty as they are seductive, whilst the crisp electronic beats simply match the voracious energy of the song. Punk, pop, indie, it is all in the slice of magnetic rock ‘n’ roll and there is no way anyone will have dormant feet or unused vocal chords by the end of the song. That is a reaction to expect from every song on the album, Canary Into The Cave proving the point straight after. It does have a more reigned in exertion compared to its predecessor, but in sound and enterprise it is just as tenacious and anthemic, and subsequently successful in fully involving the listener physically and emotionally. Hooks and melodies have a spicy tang to their infectious clamour too whilst vocally the band simply stirs up song and ears from start to finish.

cover   Hentai Babies has a busy sound which as shown in the last song, at times can hide some of the great twists and nuances working a way in songs. The second track provides a whimsical kiss of keys from within its depths but easy to miss as you leap around to the call of the encounter. It is not an issue or flaw but something extra to discover over subsequent plays, not that you are ever given a moment to take a breath with Yo!, the following One Potato Two quickly jabbing with an initial tease of guitar and punchy beats provided by guest drummer Rían O’Gandhi, before opening up into another full-on stroll coloured by a swaggering bassline and the ever alluring vocals. Lyrically repetition plays a big part of songs which might not work as well for some as others across a whole album, but it definitely only reinforces the anthemic quality of songs and makes them even easier to join in on, much to the neighbour’s annoyance admittedly.

Pop Is My Prozac comes next and despite its title actually has body and psyche even more agitated even with its gentler persuasion. No one told the hooks and infectiousness of the song to take it easy on the listener and again by its close the temptress of a song has you gasping for air before Something Uncomfortable strolls in. It also has a mellower presence then plenty of those around it but with a thick rock roar and sinew crafted rhythms to it, the song provides a fresh melodic blaze to the variety to the album.

US band Super Happy Fun Club come to mind with Sports Jerk which follows; a bounding romp of a song with a hook which spirals like a pole dancer around the appetite, whilst the following Harmony swerves and flirts with it grooves and spicy melodies for the same epidemic effect. Both tracks are newer ones in the imagination of McCann’s songwriting and explore new twists of sound and texture, whilst unearthing an even juicier form of the discord which always lights up their songs.

   A swift leap at ears, Bubblegum offers no polite introduction as it explodes in a blur of energy and sonic contagion. Hooks grin and riffs bristle as the punk infested song aggressively bounces around as if carrying ADHD, whilst vocally the band finds their most raucous persuasion yet. It is another leaving exhaustion in its wake though for maybe the only time, the band allows some respite from its energetic tempest with Nail On The Head. A dark flirty bassline comes wrapped in surf rock seeded melodies whilst the vocals also show some reserve in their delivery. A sixties rock pop hue emerges to embrace the enterprise of the guitar, and at one point the image of Freddie and The Dreamers swinging their deranged legs along to the song does came to mind.

Everything feistily erupts again with Super Sad, a song also opening with a big hook which has seeds in the pop of earlier decades. Addiction is a given with YO! and it shows no mercy here; vocally and musically the track an insatiable dance of pop punk ingenuity, quickly matched by the sonic and vocal croon of Sober As A Judge. The diversity of the album never diminishes as each song makes its offering, the penultimate incitement embracing a melancholic and reflective sentiment with matching melodic understanding.

Hentai Babies leave on one final bang in the rowdy shape of Go Fish. The song is a predator, riffs and bassline almost carnivorous whilst the beats sting on impact. Vocally too there is an attitude which snarls with every syllable yet that constant instinct inside the band to brew an epidemic riot of fun and body manipulation is an unavoidable temptation. The song is punk rock at its most boisterously infectious and a seismic end to a quite exhilarating album.

If after YO! Hentai Babies is still an unknown quantity then the nation is deaf, blind, or stupid. For us in the know though nothing changes, the band still remains one of the best unsung talents in the British music scene and equally one of the most exciting.

YO! is out now as a name your own price download @ https://hentaibabies.bandcamp.com/album/yo

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RingMaster 23/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Statues – Together We’re Alone


Blistering is the best way to describe Together We’re Alone, the debut album from Australian hardcore band Statues, that and thoroughly enjoyable. Hailing from Perth, the band uncages a “chaotic” style of the genre which has a just as keen penchant for acidic noise and caustic punk. Like a voracious merger of Ghost of a Thousand and Shevils with Coilguns and Kabul Golf Club, band and sound is a corrosive and exhilarating proposition, not forgetting one of the most unique.

Formed in 2009, Statues became swiftly recognised and renowned for their high intensity stage performances, shows which has seen them play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Northlane, Stray from the Path, Stick to Your Guns, Structures, and La Dispute. Their reputation has gone before them but Together We’re Alone is the band’s first real foray into global attention and it is hard to see the release missing out on awakening an intensive spotlight on the quintet’s presence.

As unafraid to make a searing commentary on social and personal issues as it is in scorching the senses, band and album instantly stirs up attention and imagination with the brief and seriously potent All Fears Are Learned, All Victories Are Earned. The opening song almost swaggers as it casts percussive bait straight away but is soon turning its enticing entrance into a brewing maelstrom of raw grooves and caustic riffs. There is still a teasing lure to the track though, a lighter almost mischievous wink which subsequently turns to a scowl and roars along with the imposing and striking vocals of Jayme Van Keulen. As swiftly realised across the album, how a song starts and tempts is never a consistent narrative, just a moment in a fury of invention shown here by the guitars of Scott Kay and John Overthrow mixing stabbing riffs and hook spilling noise to further colour and ignite the already incendiary proposition.

The following Always Building, Always Breaking similarly opens with an engaging temptation before venting its rage, a bluesy flame of guitar a spicy offering initially. It is soon battling c7e74127-c689-4e43-ad49-1d7a5e203f3cwith and aligning to, a fierce bluster of noise and the rapid fire skills of drummer Daniel Harper as the track explodes with fierce enterprise and magnetic intensity. As its predecessor, there is as much irresistible contagiousness to the encounter as passionate fury, especially through the masterful infectious lures laid down by Matthew Templeman’s bass skills which seem to creatively revel in the tempest. The track is a brawl of an incitement, a torrential outpouring of angst and hostility within a weave of sonic ingenuity. Only two songs in and Together We’re Alone is already announcing that it is one of the most startling and exciting hardcore releases of current times.

Oh Precious Commodity does nothing to defuse that thought and declaration, its hoarse vocal and anthemic barracking accompanied by throaty bass groans and tangy grooves which feverishly scorch and light the senses. There is hailstorm of piercing beats throughout the knee buckling ferocity too which collude with a cascade of just as hellacious vocals and dramatically imaginative inhospitality. Together they make an antagonistic treat matched in its individual way by the mouth-watering sonic hysteria of Forseeing the Cloud and Not the Rain and the hellacious rampage of Affliction Prescription. With a great many hardcore bands similarity seems to creep into any clutch of songs but there is no sign of that across Together We’re Alone, this pair alone steeped in abrasing individuality and unpredictable invention.

The band throws a curve ball from left field next, the simple and bewitching soulful blues croon of I Want Peace stepping forward with just voice against handclaps as its body, before the impassioned hostile delirium of Abide consumes ears and senses. As now expected, the track is a shifting landscape of imposing ideation and eventful sound, ruggedly caressing and forcibly pounding the psyche from start to finish. The thrilling turbulence makes way for Burning the Truth At Both Ends with its spiralling acrid grooves of and the concussive might of The Wanderer; both a crippling net of rhythms and scalding vat of sonic exploration bound in emotional ferocity.

Between the slower melodic almost post hardcore tinged Hard Words, Softly Spoken and the closing Within Arm’s Reach, another unexpected twist comes with the blues instrumental twang of Hope Is. Its minute plus lure is an intriguing and pleasing respite ready for the final creative furor of the album, Within Arm’s Reach arguably the most intensive and painfully invigorating track on the album, though all songs truthfully leave senses sore and emotions elated.

Statues have set down a benchmark not only for themselves but hardcore with Together We’re Alone, the first of many you imagine if this release is anything to go by.

Together We’re Alone is available now via https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/together-were-alone/id944791123


RingMaster 14/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Black Black – Boogie Nights


There is no denying that the One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger 7” single from The Black Black towards the end of last year, scored a deep rooted place on the soundtrack of our and a great many other’s passions with its three tracks of psyche flirting post punk. The release was not only confirmation of an already impressing emergence from the Brooklyn band but a sign post of greater exploits being brewed. It is a recipe which has come to a scintillating and seriously compelling boil on the trio’s debut album Boogie Nights, a salaciously contagious and schizophrenically toned incitement of post punk devilry. Inspired by the 1997 movie of the same name, the album is dirtily seductive and sonically swarthy, though no fakery in colour or overblown additives can be found on the lean and creatively rapacious groove machine. If you thought The Black Black was already the tang to your ears and day, be prepared for melt down once the rhythmically voracious and sonically irresistible Boogie Nights takes hold.

Formed in the latter months of 2011, The Black Black were soon luring attention with the self- release of a pair of EPs in 2012 and a split 7” with fellow Brooklyn band Low Fat Getting High. The early weeks of 2013 saw the band entering the studio with drummer Stephen Chopek (The Everymen) to record the double-A single One Blunt Death Party / You’re A Danger, the first for Money Fire Records and released in the September of that year. It was the spark to a far broader awareness and attention upon the band, the acclaimed release also in the words of the band, the first which “truly captures the bass-driven, groove-heavy sound and energy of the band.” With drummer Tomo Ikuta joining the founding pair of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Daily and bassist/vocalist Chris Schnaars also that year, the band has obviously continued to hone their sound and invention resulting in an album which stalks new plateaus of imagination igniting alchemy.

From the first stubby rhythmic swipes and acidic strikes of guitar, opener the plan is, there is no plan has thoughts and appetite on their feet and throwing moves. The angular spicy sparks and grooves of guitar are instant flirtation which the wonderfully throaty bassline and crispy rhythms match in imposing kind. Teasing with a bluesy scent to those grooves and its air, the song continues to rumble and shuffle vivaciously as expressive vocals behave as mischievous and predatory as the sounds around them whilst sudden dips into restraint and melodic seducing add extra bewitchment.

The tremendous starts is straight away emulated by black black snow, the second song again throwing out wiry and tasty grooves as its body swings beats and riffs like an Ian Curtis dance. AlbumCover-MichaelSincavageThoughts of Wire come to the fore quite swiftly, as too of The Gaa Gaas whilst the raw and rhythmically addictive side of the track is bred from the same primal instincts as The Fall. The track is a scuzzy turbulence of pure addictiveness and sonic sexiness, but it and its predecessor soon have to bow before the brilliance of until death do us party. The lead single from the album, it is a temptress from start to finish with a compelling acidic groove, coldly exotic hooks, and anthemic vocals as its biggest weapons out of many. Discord as ever is a vibrant colour to the band’s sound whilst a toxic melodic hue only excites the already vivacious adventure, but with grizzled bass tones and agitated rhythms courted by Mekons like sonic tenacity, the track breaches an ingenuity which is breath-taking.

The following what the world needs now strides purposefully in next with a beat carrying bulging biceps and a grizzly bass enticement which soon has the appetite licking its lips. A low tone to the vocals adds to the addictive drama before the song expels a caustic breath and garage rock ferocity. It slips through both elements again before twisting into a psychotic swing and vocal bedlam which again has body and thoughts dribbling in pleasure. The glorious tempting takes a different avenue with the darkly shadowed machine, who me?, cold almost sinister essences draping over the vocal agitation and Joy Division seeded revelry. As in all encounters though, numerous side steps and unpredictable turns bring greater fascination and ardour the way of the eventual Baddies flavoured evocation.

The previously exalted you’re a danger soon has ears and feet engaged with its slightly unruly but seriously infectious sonic emprise. Wrapped in richly spiced tendrils of melodic fire and intimidating bass menace, the song simultaneously smoulders and stomps on the way to hypnotising the senses with its unrelenting and feverish tapestry of alluring discord and searing guitar toxicity. The track as so many from the band, just seems to grow and worm deeper under the skin over time, a persistence which flows through the album and especially in songs like this drink’s familiar. Shimmering loudly with every shudder of guitar strings and grouchily tempting with every bass slap, the song slowly swarms over the senses, flirting with ears on the way through with bright flickering moves and raunchy beats.

Things get dirty and greedily energetic again with the silence is deafening, a grooved beast of riotous and infection fuelled escapades, and restrained with the sultrily tempting phillip gets divorced. The second of the pair is unafraid to occasionally fire up its bedlam though and bursts into occasional fierce blazes of sound and vocal fury, whilst both songs treat the imagination and passions to exhilarating doses of bracing and abrasing rock ‘n’ roll.

With the similarly irresistible creative psych-out of this land is not your land bringing the album to a close, Boogie Nights has little difficulty inflaming old passions and triggering new lustful responses. It is a certain challenge to all best of lists due to be offered around now and for newcomers to The Black Black an inescapable and thrilling doorway into post punk anarchy whilst for fans it is simply the best thing since…well the band’s last sonic plaything.

Boogie Nights is out now via on Money Fire Records digitally and on 12″ white vinyl @ http://moneyfirerecords.com/boogie-nights-by-the-black-black/ and http://theblackblack.bandcamp.com/album/boogie-nights


RingMaster 12/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Auxes – Boys In My Head


Storming the psyche like a deranged bluster forged from the sonic invention of The Pixies and Melvins bound in the raw devilment of The Fat Dukes Of Fuck and the acidic charm of The Mai Shi, Boys In My Head is contagion gone wild. The new album from Germany based noise punks Auxes is a masterfully devious roar combining addiction with primal seduction for without any doubt one of the year’s most essential propositions.

The successor to their previously acclaimed More! More! More! of 2012, Boys In My Head sees the band take some of its raw punk persuasion and fuse it to a broader noise and psyche rock exploration. The result is their most compelling and spicily intrusive incitement yet, which as well as those earlier comparisons also sows essences found in band such as At The Drive In, The Birthday Party, and The Locust. Consisting of the combined experiences and adventure of Dave Laney (the co-founder of Milemarker and Challenger), Florian Brandel (Eniac, Kommando Sonne-nmilch, Airpeople) and Manuel Wirtz (Eniac, Honigbomber, Die Charts), Auxes fire up ears and emotions with swift drama and success as Boys In My Head entangles ears with opener To All The Fires. Song and release provide an infestation which is as fascinating as it is unpredictable, as anthemically warped as it is sonically scorching, and from their first notes inescapable slavery.

To All The Fires immediately encases ears in a web of weighty beats and sonic intrigue, a coaxing soon flourishing with feistily flavoursome melodic enterprise fuelling enslaving grooves and hooks. Vocals too have an alluring expression which subsequent harmonies only enhance as the song continues to flirt and dance with the imagination. The impressive start is straight away surpassed by I Can’t Stand You Any Longer, the song from its initial feisty rub of riffery and jabbing rhythms, a voracious stomp of virulently gripping hooks and tangy melodic intrigue. There is a grunge spice to certain aspects of the track but primarily it is a merger of garage and noise rock devilry sparking thoughts of Fake Shark-Real Zombie!

The following I Wanna See Results riles up the passions with its brief but ravenous temptation, a gnarly bassline relentlessly courting acidic guitar endeavour whilst increasingly impressing vocal causticity and just as hungrily agitated rhythms unleash their narratives. Far too brief but irrepressibly thrilling, the encounter makes way for the album’s title track, itself an epidemic of rhythmic bait and resourceful hooks within a sonic haze. Seemingly strongly inspired by The Pixies, the song is a delicious weave of sonic slavery, every groove and tangy chord easy thraldom of thoughts and passions.

The pair of Dog & Master and Life In Their Television increases the album’s grip, the first opening with a predatory rub of riffs and similarly commanding rhythms before striding purposefully with creative rabidity and bewitching enterprise. The track is a scintillating hex on body and emotions whilst its successor is an instant tease with its percussive coaxing and boys in their headmischievous beats. It is revelry though which cannot resist bursting into a punk fired tempest of abrasing guitar invention and vocal confrontation, all around a throaty bass spine. The track is a fiery charge soaked in punk belligerence, it again igniting fresh hunger in the appetite for the outstanding release; a greed right away fed wholesomely by the Frank Black spiced Boom Boom Town. Harmonies and melodies thrive in the sonic tapestry around them, drawing on an acidic wine of sound to brew their equally captivating toxicity.

Every song brings a fresh peak to Boys In My Head, though maybe none as insatiably as Under Fire. Its primal seduction of bass and drums is the foreplay to an orgasmic devilment of barbed hooks and intoxicating grooves, a dramatic infection where there is no second where feet are relaxed and emotions silent, though that to be fair applies to most tracks, especially the relatively calmer but no less transfixing Hand In Hand With The Man and the sultry rock ‘n’ roller Dead Dead Eyes. The first of the two sways and flames with siren-esque sonic candy which brings hints of eighties bands like The Fire Engines and Scars. The second of the pair again has that breeze of nostalgia, offering whispers of the Scottish bands as just mentioned and the likes of Josef K but infusing it into a punk bred slice of ferocious rock with infectious vocals and chorus eventually aligned to anthemic chants.

The album closes with the darkly shadowed I’ve Had Enough, a post punk coloured antagonism engaging ears with a noise and punk rock provocation, and another which is as much an epidemic of tempting as it is a blast of creative turbulence. The song is a brilliant end to quite simply one of the year’s biggest triumphs. There have been a few essential encounters in 2014 and Boys In My Head easily joins the list; in fact it might just be the one heading the queue.

Boys In My Head is available now via Gunner Records, digitally and as CD, vinyl, and cassette versions @ http://auxes.bandcamp.com/album/boys-in-my-head


RingMaster 26/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Damn Vandals – Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World


Providing another irresistible taster and invitation to their widely acclaimed, album of the year contender Rocket Out Of London, UK psyche rockers Damn Vandals are unleashing a new double A-sided single. Comprised of two tracks distinctly different but deviously united in stealing the passions, the release is a ridiculously contagious and venomously caustic stomp. Both Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live and Cities Of A Plastic World worm under the skin with compelling ingenuity and voracious enterprise, offering another inescapable temptation bred from a riveting brawl of garage punk infused with psyche and stoner rock from the London band. Quite simply it is punk infused rock ‘n’ roll at its most rigorously captivating and addictive.

Damn Vandals first gripped the passions with their Beautiful Mind EP, itself surpassed by debut album Done For Desire in 2012. Earlier this year the Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) DE Ade Mulgrewproduced Rocket Out Of London set a new plateau for the band and template for emerging garage punk bands, the new single brings a stirring reminder with its sonic and deranged alchemy.

Both songs on the single provide a startling and magnetic scourge of unique sound and invention. Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live makes an early vocal declaration before the track slips into a sultry and feverish stroll of melodic acidity and sonic expression. There is a sweet and sour twang to every slither of guitar incitement cast by Frank Pick whilst the bass of Adam Kilemore Gardens provides a throaty temptation which flirts with ears and imagination. Driven by the vibrant sinews of Chris Christianson’s beats and lorded over by the deliciously unique tones of Jack Kansas, the song finds a higher gear as it unleashes a captivating canter to its discord licked persuasion. Like Fatima Mansions meets Queens Of The Stone Age, with a flavoursome side dish of Engerica, the song is a glorious haunting of ears and passions.

   Cities Of A Plastic World breeds its own distinct veining of warped endeavour, a web of drama drenched sonic intrigue from the guitars aligning with jabbing beats for a delicious nagging on the senses and thoughts. A mischievous intimidation comes with the bass lures whilst vocally Kansas again parades the lyrical narrative with devious and raw expression whilst pure virulence soaks the dynamics and discord fuelled breath of the song. Complete with psychotic imagination to its rebellious nature, the track is one of the band’s finest moments to date.

If Damn Vandals has managed to escape the clutches of your attention then getting your teeth into the infectious heart of their new single is a must. Theirs is a sound which seduces and infests body relentlessly right through to emotions for the richest long lasting rewards; the twin temptation Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World the perfect vehicle for their corruption of your soul.

Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World is available on CD and digitally on iTunes and all major download sites from 22nd September.


RingMaster 21/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Dropper’s Neck – Second Coming

The Droppers Neck Online Promo shot

UK psyche rockers The Dropper’s Neck has been lurking in our passions ever since their richly promising attention grabbing debut EP early last year. It was a release which suggested this was a band with a dramatic presence pending in the future. Their first album Second Coming now not only confirms this but takes that assumed potent emerging stance into areas maybe not anticipated but greedily welcomed. There have been numerous comparisons placed on the band and their sound too, but though agreeing with most whilst listening to the new release the only description applicable is that The Dropper’s Neck is the mutant hybrid of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Engerica. There are numerous other spices rife within the concoction brewed for sure but there is no escaping this pair at any point on the release. It is the only thing stopping the release sealing full marks for itself, the possibly too close for comfort likeness to that pair of references but such an exciting and innovatively brought familiarity it is, quite simply Second Coming is one of the real triumphs of the year.

Hailing from Essex and formed in 2011, the quintet of vocalist Lloyd Mathews, guitarists Chris Blake and George Barrows, bassist Jack Turner, and drummer Danny Keene, soon snarled at and ignited the local scene and began building a vigorously loyal fanbase through their unforgettable and predatory live performances. The previously mentioned EP announced them as an emerging danger and temptation to the wider country but Second Coming is the consumption which will devour all hearts and devotion given the opportunity. A stirring mix of garage punk, alternative rock, and dark carnal sounds, their sound crawls over and infests the senses like a virulent scourge but one which awakens all the forgotten wantonness and hunger of rock ‘n’ roll.

Recorded with esteemed producer Paul Tipler (Placebo, Idlewild & Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), Second Coming begins its The Droppers Neck Cover Artworkrapacious touch within the opening seconds of the title track, the first song on the album taunting with raw scuzz lined riffs before equally teasing rhythms add their touch. Into its stride the track is a scorching rampage through the ear, one which scrubs and boils every inch of internal flesh with its sonic fire and temptress groove. The vocals of Mathews bring a great mix of delivery, all drenched in an expression and passion which comes over like the call of a part desperate and part belligerent provocateur. It is a very Guy McKnight like sound he has with more than a nod to David Gardner of Engerica it has to be said, though pure coincidence you would guess, but one which only leads the songs into further delicious misdemeanours.

From the strong start things just accelerate into rapture with the first single from the album, Darker Waters. The guitars exchange their distinct swiping tones at first before the cantankerous bass of Turner joins in with a dark hearted prowl and the beats of Keene snap and barge the ear with contempt. With all uniting their league of menace together, the song adds insatiable grooves and barbed hooks to corrupt and capture the imagination whilst Mathews again is the ringleader with his almost carnival barker like lure. It is a brilliant song which pokes and incites limbs, thoughts, and passions to climb on board the shadow crafted ride, to immerse in its sinister and delicious pervading toxicity.

The follow pair of Abrasive and Three Little Pigs refuses to let the rich temptation waiver either, the first track a brawling punk tempest of squalling sounds and guitar bred melodic heat caged in another mesmeric rhythmic web. As dark and foreboding as it is ungraciously addictive, the track sears the senses into eager capitulation ready for its successor and another major pinnacle on the album. With a spine tingling groove made of pure magnetism and a psychobilly tone across the niggling gait, the song is a lethal enticement which secures eternal submission to its glory.

The following I Am The Law, is like a homage to Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the band getting as close as they dare to one of UK’s debatably underpraised former giants, the vocal groupings and dark crooning as well as the repetitiously tempting groove and torrential rhythmic demanding aural handcuffs for the heart. Its majesty is replicated by the psychotic Sir Sibilance in another chaotic blaze of invention and psych engineered imagination. With more twists and deceit than a geriatric pole dancer, the devilish maelstrom is an exhausting and scintillating masterpiece.

When the two weakest tracks on the album which turn up next, Second Coming Pt. 2 and My Lime Tree are best described as riveting incitements of tyrannical and hypnotic rhythms amongst washes of caustic noise and heavy shadows of lyrical and musical irreverence honed into bruising bone shaking mentally charring slices of creative ferocity, you understand how impressive and unmissable this album is. As the closing intensive darkly sculpted passionate furnace Save Me From Myself with its ominous breath and scarring touch providing a final doomy wrap of powerful drama, escape from the clawed clutch of band, album, and lingering sounds is impossible and primal hunger for more incorruptible.

     Second Coming is magnificent and The Dropper’s Neck carrying on the charnel seeded legacy of The Cramps in their own almost wholly unique way. Brilliant stuff!



RingMaster 29/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Overcoming nature’s fury: an interview with Mathieu of Sofy Major

4SM press

The events and drama which stood in the way of the recording of the album Idolize would have left any band lost in turmoil and self-pity, but for French metallers Sofy Major it was just an obstacle to climb over and use, with the help of similarly determined and generous people. What emerged was a beast of an album, a release which takes noise rock/hardcore/metal, whatever you wish to call the diverse mighty sounds explored on the album, to greater levels. We had the distinct pleasure of delving into not only the band itself but also the devastating events confronting the recording of Idolize and its aftermath with vocalist and bassist Mathieu. Also looking at touring and the music itself he gave us full insight into the past few months.

Hi and welcome to the Ringmaster Review, thank you for taking time to talk with us.

Hi Pete, I’m Mathieu doing bass and vocals for Sofy Major, here are the answers to your questions

You have just released your, may I say outstanding, new and second album Idolize, a release which faced a shall we say’ very testing time to be born’. The relief to get it out there must have been more intense this time around I am imagining?

Yep, we’re in the process of promoting the album now and the endless touring time is coming! Yeah!

Could you tell us about the dramatic obstacles you faced after travelling to Brooklyn to record the record?

Well, basically we were supposed to spend nearly 2 months in the US recording and touring. The journey originally had to start with a 3 weeks recording session. I remember that I left Europe first and alone as we were travelling in separate planes. As I arrived, no New-Yorker was telling me about a potential disaster or what so ever was coming. When I first met Andrew, our producer, when we arrived, he told me that a hurricane was on his way to the coast, but you couldn’t feel any panic all around in NYC. Probably because people out there know that it’s not supposed to be a common weather phenomenon regarding the location of the city. The day before we were supposed to begin doing the tracking work, we did all the drum set-up and we checked all the lines, everything was ready for an über blast. When we left the studio, it was already windy outside and I could see the industrial canal fronting the studio facilities having a super high level, literally as high as the parking lot was. The day after, when we came back to the studio (the first tracking day), the facility had already been a little bit flooded and it already had damaged some of the practice rooms. We tried to help the studio owners securing the building, putting sandbags in front of the doors and then we left as the water was coming to the building.

The hurricane happened at night and actually destroyed the studio in its entirety; you could see those old Telefunken mics in the middle of the parking lots… Sad.

There must have been moments where you thought it was never going to be possible to record it? Or did your determination refuse to accept defeat?

When it happened, I just didn’t know what to think. I knew that Andrew our producer was even more affected and I was just thinking something like: “man, we don’t want to disturb even more”… considering he took care of us as we were homeless after the disaster happened. The next few days, when we were walking from a place to another with our 30kgs backpacks, I guess I thought 2 or 3 times that we’d better go home, particularly when we didn’t know which place we were going to sleep in. This plus the fact that I felt like it was too much for the people to whom it happened, yeah that was a weird feeling. But Andrew is always a positive-minded guy, he told us: “You came here to record an album, you need to leave the States with an album”! Dave Curran assisted him, saved our asses and lent us the gear to record.

I read that the band lost its equipment as well as the studio; this meant all your instruments, amps etc.?sm 2

This means all the stuff we bought when we arrived (cabs, pedals, various stuff) and all the gear we rented (which means that they took the deposit for each item we lost and/or didn’t manage to save from the water).  All of this is nothing compared to what the studio’s owners lost.

How did that impact on the recording using equipment you are not used to and at one with in many ways?

Well, if you’re a musician you know what it is not to play on your own gear, when we’re on tour I usually admire drummers who are not playing on their hardware. Imagine you’re a guitar player and you play with another guitar with a different tune without having practiced on it. It’s like you’re running for a Formula 1 Grand Prix and they tell you you’re going to use a different car 5 minutes before the race begins. We were lucky to have the opportunity to record though, I cannot really complain about this. But yeah, I remember the gear at Translator Audio was perfectly fitting our needs until it happened.

The local music scene gave you great support and help to be able to do the recording after the disaster, showing the strength of the community out there. This must have added extra spice to your passion during the recording sessions?

Well, what is crazy is that those guys didn’t know us until it happened. That’s funny because when I think about this happening in France, nobody would be giving a single fuck, we don’t have that strong music community background here. Everybody showed us so much support, including bands whose gear was entirely destroyed as well, it was 100% sure this record would include a little bit of those people.

We called the album which did come out, Idolize carnivorous, in sound and intent, and wondered if the circumstances surrounding its recording added extra snarl, rawness, and venom to the music. Do you think that is so?

Probably. The reason we came to work with Andrew is that we like his approach of getting the organic and natural feeling a band can provide while recording. All the records he made had that particular thing, it’s like he always manages to catch the best he can get from the purest recording string. Also we were not playing on our own gear; this gave another harsh thing to add on this album.

Did the album emerge exactly as you imagined before travelling out to record it or do you write songs in the studio generally?

When we arrive in the studio, 90% of our music is already written, but we need those 10% of improvisation. If there’s a cool lead, or something we might want to add on the album and didn’t think about when we were pre-producing, we want to have the ability to do it. But yeah, usually everything’s is planned and written.

Your sound straddles numerous genres, from noise to hardcore, metal to psyche punk. What are the inspirations which have would you say initially fuelled your own distinct ideas?

We listen to tons of different genres, the extreme music field is wise, it can be Noise Rock, Free Jazz to Crust Punk and Black Metal. We don’t restrain ourselves to a specific genre when it comes to listening to music. We like to write consistent music though, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck in something really particular. I’d say we’re punk rockers and metallers playing noise rock. The three of us have their own personal influences, but we do have the same roots. I mean all those scenes you’re talking about are connected to each other. Everything comes from the riffs, if the riff is cool, let’s just play it.

There is a passion to your sound which suggests the main directive of your songwriting is to create sounds that you like to listen to then everything else falls in to place…

I’ve always been willing to create something I could see live and say “cool, those guys are great”. The fact is that we’re also a live band, gigs and shows are part of the game, I’d be egocentric if I said that I would not care about what the audience is feeling while I’m playing. I do enjoy playing live for sure but this is not a competition. If you go on tour, you’re here to share it with the audience, not masturbating your guitar in front of 100 people, what’s the point? I don’t get bands who do not play live, there are so many. Life is hard for everyone those days regarding money, living conditions, etc… so I want to provide the audience something great, something which I worked a lot on, if the dude pays 5€ for a show, I’m here to give him what he came to hear.

There is also that rawness suggesting tracks are recorded live in the studio, is that the case?

Nope, that’s where Andrew did a fantastic job. The organic and live feeling was provided as we were recording separately. It’s like what the Melvins did with their last albums, the drums sound amazing. They manage to play those songs live and it’s like listening to the CD with more beers and more sweating.

coverhighThe album is out on Solar Flare Records, which I believe is the band’s own label? What inspired the creation of the label?

Well, the idea of creating Solar Flare Records first came early last year. Andrew and Dave did have the first Pigs record ready and I suggested to them: “Hey, I can help you release it”. I was a little bit nervous as it was the first time I was releasing something for another band. The funniest thing was that I didn’t even listen to the record before throwing the idea of releasing it. Well, I was lucky as this is probably one of the best records of 2012, that album is a gem and we all have to see this band live. I was already working on Sofy Major’s promotion and distribution and was doing a whole label’s work for my own records; I just did the same for another band. We’re in 2013, the time when bands got signed on major labels is now over, there are so many bands all over, you can’t wait to get into a super big label like Relapse or Sub Pop if you really want to release records and tour ; this will actually happen for 0.01% of the current touring bands. Many good bands are also doing everything themselves, I know that Big Business did their own label to release their records, that’s probably true for tons of other bands. Now I’m releasing the 11th record for Solar Flare Records and I still enjoy it, I’m glad to release records for bigger and less known bands. If I dig into your band’s music, there’s no reason you won’t be into the Solar Flare roster.

With the situation with the hurricane it must have stretched the finances for the label and yourselves to the limit?

That was terrible when it happened, but so many people helped us, we got donations and merch sales from all over the world. I did lose a shitload of money on this one, but I was glad I managed to make the trip happen anyway. Every single penny I’m earning with my regular job is injected in the label or the band, hope we can recover quickly.

After recording the album you went on tour in the US; that must have revived the spirits…

We knew what to expect. All our friends who toured the US told us it was really… particular. You don’t have the same touring conditions that you can get in Europe: no food, no sleeping place, not a lot of money, that’s probably one of the hardest country to tour and it obviously didn’t improve our financial situation. But we met many good people, great crowds and we left the US with tons of new friends. Also you have so many great bands there that it was a pleasure to share the stage with them. That’s hard for an indie band, not signed on a major label, to tour the US, especially when all the money you’re spending is coming from your personal funds. But when you’re working hard, almost everything can be done.

You are a band who loves to tour and lay waste to audiences obviously, more so than recording?

Nope, we love both equally. We love to tour as that sounds like the best way to share and promote our music, as simple as that. We could hit the studio, release a record and just wait for something to happen, but what’s the point again? We don’t have enough money to travel by our own or go on holidays; it also enables us to discover different cultures. That’s our main motivation about touring: promoting what we do and showing our work to the audience, and meeting other bands. Also, this is probably the best way to sell your records and make enough money to record new songs.

Can the rest of 2013 expect to see the band out there taking the album and sounds to the masses?

Sure! We’ll be supporting Pigs on their first European tour this fall on 20 gigs. Come see us, spit on us, have a beer with us.

Are you a band who is continually writing and already working on ideas for the next release?smnbfinale

Funny you’re saying this because we’ve already been writing a couple new songs; we love to move things forward. I guess we’ll be touring for a couple years now to promote Idolize.

I can assume you will be taking closer of inspection of the weather when choosing the next studio? Ha-ha

A friend of ours recommended us to record our next album in the Bahamas in the middle of August.

Once again Mathieu many thanks for chatting with us.

Any last thoughts you would like to leave us with?

It’s hot outside, don’t forget to drink beers otherwise YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.


Read the Idolize review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/sofy-major-idolize/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 24/07/2013

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