Bernaccia – Growl Peace Belief

lp-cover_RingMasterReview

Having followed with eagerness the progress of British band Bernaccia since the release of their debut EP in 2014, it has been a source of great enjoyment hearing the evolution in their striking sound. A proposition truly hard to pin down but openly flavoured by essences seeded in the likes of neo-psych rock, desert blues, and Eastern spices, the Newcastle band’s music has blossomed from the low key yet fully magnetic alternative/psych rock tempting of that first outing, the Cinema EP, to the rousingly haunting and spiritually anthemic soundscapes making up first album Growl Peace Belief. The nine track offering simply absorbs the senses, picking up the imagination with equal ease as tribal bred rhythms and melodic suggestiveness unite with harmonic flames and lyrical drama. It is one of those rare releases which comes and along and bewitches with aural alchemy; an album forcibly pushing the band to the fore of the UK rock scene.

Originally a quartet when forming in 2014 and more recently a quintet with the addition of vocalist Ellen Chetcuti’s charmed tones alongside the powerful delivery of vocalist/guitarist Jonny Noble, Bernaccia has increasingly drawn rich attention through a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Royal Blood, Lola Colt, Alabama 3, The Fall, Twisted Wheel, CUD, and Wolf People among many and releases like Cinema, its successor Light//-//Dark later that first year and singles such as Power To The Hills, Awake, and recently Angel. Each has revealed a new blossoming in the sound and imagination of the band, it all now coming to a head in the climactic Growl Peace Belief.

The album opens up with War Cry; a track emerging from an intriguing coastal sounding landscape as the listener is drawn by an exotic guitar melody with inviting tabla inspired beats courting the coaxing. Expanding its embrace with every passing second, an Echo and The Bunnymen feel caressing the imagination, Noble’s voice is the final pull into the shamanic bordering on erotic seducing of the senses. With the darker hues of Kieran Healy’s bass a brooding tone alongside the insistent repetition of Chris Cox’s drums, and the united roar of Noble and Chetcuti an inescapable engagement over their respective psyche entangling enterprise, the track is fiercely irresistible only imposing its persuasive weight further through the creative synth drama cast by Stew Falkous.

bernaccia_promo_photo_RingMasterReviewThe following Spiral is a slimmer proposal in terms of intensity, wrapping ears swiftly with an eighties synth pop welcome with just a touch of Bowie’s Heroes to it. As the synth bubbles and expels riveting mists of electronic enterprise into the air, guitar and bass begin weaving a tapestry of imagination which in turn seems to instigate a growing tempestuousness coming to a towering head as the vocalists expertly combine. Departing with the same masterful charm it started with, the song makes way for an equally thrilling proposal in Awake. Rhythms instantly trap attention with their tenacious dance, Chetcuti joining them with her firmly enticing voice backed by Noble soon after before the song drops into a mystique laden bellow of sound with the latter seizing ears as that shamanic prowess of the band again grips body and spirit. The imagination constantly has a field day with Bernaccia songs, this one like a flight across a cavernous and intimately spiritual soundscape.

Power To The Hills also provides eighties reminding hues, this time King Trigger with their similar rhythmic invention and Nick Cave through the song’s dark rock n’ roll graced theatre of word and tone suggested in thoughts. The track is another which builds dramatic crescendos which boldly ignite the senses, the build of melodic and rhythmic ingenuity leading to them just as rewarding and provocative as the fiery expulsions themselves.

As the ear enslaving captivation of Angel and the poppier shuffle of Vega come and go, band and album simply tighten their grip and further inflame an already discovered appetite for the Bernaccia invention. The first of the pair is arguably the least imposing of the band’s songs but just as virulent in its imagination and infectious psychedelically hued tempting while its successor has all the shadowy beauty and danger found in other songs but with a catchiness which infests the listener as a blues/psych flavouring similar to that conjured by My Baby arrests the imagination.

Every track within Growl Peace Belief is a treat with Murder one of the most thrilling next with its repetitive keys placed melody and volcanic intensity. Graced by another glorious vocal union between Noble and Chetcuti and the individual theatre of sound and suggestiveness crafted by all, the track is superb, it’s nagging quality alone manna for ears before Senorita consumes with its romancing Latin seduction and dramatic rhythms as keys and harmonies virtually swamp the senses.

Concluded by its invasively melodic and drama driven title track, another stunning pinnacle of the album deserving ears more than words to reflect its might, Growl Peace Belief is the realisation of the hard work, thick imagination, and spirited energy Bernaccia has spent and discovered these past two years. It is also the declaration of a band ready to have a big say on the British rock scene ahead.

Growl Peace Belief is out now and available through many online stores and @ https://bernaccia.bandcamp.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/BernacciaMusic/  https://twitter.com/bernaccia

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

 

White Manna – Pan

WM_1Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is something deeply irresistible about the White Manna sound, actually plenty of things, but definitely there is a primal invitation to their psyche rock induced spatial adventures which makes band and releases pure contagion. The Californians’ previous acclaimed offerings bear witness to its potency, each offering a blistering infestation of ears and imagination cultured in pungent riffs and searing grooves, whilst the band’s live presence is renowned for stripping the senses blissfully bare. Now the quintet of David Johnson, Johnny Webb, Tavan Anderson, Anthony Taibi, and Michael Dieter unleash their finest moment yet in the fiercely simmering shape of Pan.

As fans of the Humboldt hailing band will expect, the heart of Pan is poached in celestial explorations and fuzz sprung psychedelic breaths driven by garage rock tenacity. It offers broad and deep, almost supernal soundscapes inspired by the Northern Californian landscape; guitarist Johnson saying about the band’s sound that “…the trees, beaches, and open spaces where we live are all integral parts of our approach to music.” This time though there is a stronger intimacy to the earth we tread and emotions felt through Pan, as reflected in the title, and a new almost predacious creative appetite and energy to tracks which are aligned to expected rhythmic virulence and psychedelic ferocity.

The album’s title track sparks ears and imagination first, a sonic piercing the trigger to a smog of fuzz fuelled riffery and atmospheric causticity. Almost straight away within the smothering embrace though, there is an infectious garage rock swagger which infects rhythms and the scuzz grooves seeping from the magnet tempest of sound. The result is a song which is a brewing cauldron of intensity and scolding sonic heat, never erupting fully but providing a seriously engaging and bracing scorching of flesh and psyche.

It is potent and stirring start quickly outshone by Dunes I and subsequently Dunes II. The first of the two similarly emerges from a sonic kiss on the senses, rapidly turning into a blaze of seventies psyche rock laced rampancy driven by a tenacious rhythmic seduction. The garage rock lustfulness of the White Manna sound is again a loudly piquant source of irresistible persuasion as it consumes ears and emotions, the song after its great start an inevitable enslavement matched and contrasted in sound by its successor. The second of the two is a slow saunter through air and emotions. Its body is a fusion of surf and psyche rock with a shoegaze like energy to its smouldering tempting, and uncontrollably enthralling. There is still a dirty tint to its atmosphere though, the band as always challenging as they seduce, stirring up things as they embrace with imagination and sound.

Yet another lofty plateau is breached with Evil. The track is a proto-punk bred treat, a catchy stomp of garage rock and scuzz pop strolling through ears like a mix of The Stooges and The Hives with a dash of The Sonics, but ripe with the uniqueness that is the White Manna sound. There is relentless drive and incessant urgency to the song as well as a great repetitious essence at its core which simply leaves you wanting more. The track is exceptional, pop rock alchemy and instantly matched by Beta Travelers. A spatial climate hints this song initially, it soon becoming the suggestive backdrop to a masterfully alluring shuffle of drum rhythms courted by choppy riffs. Everything intensifies with each circle of the rhythmic rallies though, evolving and enlarging into a melodically fuelled flame of enslaving enterprise, vocally and musically. That reiterative element of the music is once more pure addictiveness within the sonic boil up; every riff, hook, and rhythm inescapable temptation bound in grooves which flirt like a temptress within the song’s skin and psyche permeating scuzzy air.

Pan is brought to a close by Eshra, a twelve minute sonic painting of instrumental adventure and craft. Crashing waves within a lonely climate builds the scene, a canvas slowly defined and pushed by guitar and keys. Every passing minute adds a new descriptive layer and tempestuous intensity to the broadening terrain until by around halfway, the song is a fascinating swamp of sonic droning, fiery melodic exploration, and rhythmic hypnotism, all within another sultry surf seeded space rock coloured atmosphere. It is a riveting end to a thrilling encounter, and the perfect way to leave a lingering mark on the listener.

The impression Pan itself leaves is indelible, the album simply one of the most memorable and provocative encounters this year so far.

Pan is out now digitally and on CD, both versions including the equally impressing bonus tracks Slow Dust and Master Of The Universe (Live), and on vinyl. All options are available through Cardinal Fuzz in Europe @ https://cful.bandcamp.com/album/white-manna-pan and Captcha Records Stateside via https://captcharecords.bandcamp.com/album/pan

https://www.facebook.com/whitemanna/

RingMaster 05/06/2015

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

Kobadelta – Open Visions

Photo by Daniel Robson

Photo by Daniel Robson

Blending the rousing elements of their second EP and the mesmeric seducing of their last, UK psyche rockers Kobadelta unleash their finest moment yet in the hauntingly irresistible shape of Open Visions. The EP provides a feast for ears and imagination to contemplate and devour in their individual ways, its clutch of songs almost hex like in their immersion and seduction of both. Within its arcane charm the band also reveals a greater maturity and inventive lust in songwriting and sonic explorations, Open Visions the simply irresistible dark side of the band’s creativity and the listener’s psyche.

Newcastle bred and formed in 2010, Kobadelta did not take long to arouse a potent following and local clamour for their sonic swelter of a sound and matching live presence. 2013 Debut EP Ritual (Time Flies) lit more than a few fires in ears and thoughts, which the following year its successors Hidden Door and Remain Distracted, took to stronger and broader levels with their compelling sounds. It is fair to say that 2014 was a big year for the band in general. The release of the two EPs surrounded by further successes with Kobadelta being invited to perform a live session for BBC Introducing, headlining the Tanners stage at Evolution Emerging Festival in Newcastle, and playing events like Stockton Weekender alongside artists such as Peter Hook, Public Enemy, and the Happy Mondays as well as the Split Festival with the likes of The Cribs, Maximo Park, and Dizzee Rascal. Support slots for bands such as Temples, Allusondrugs, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Demob Happy, Splashh, The Temperance Movement, The Weeks, Lola Colt, and The Voyeurs, amongst many more has only increased their reputation and stature too. Now it is the turn of the Open Visions EP to push the Kobadelta cause and as we say, it is irresistible.

a0352850419_10   Even The Odds (They Mean You No Harm) is the first track on the release and immediately brings a raw and fiery proposition to bear on ears and thoughts. Guitars and rhythms make a formidable invitation which is easily accepted, even more so when an underlying melodic lure is given clarity as the initial tempest relaxes and the expressive tones of Dom Noble come in. There is still a muggy air to the song, and a siren-esque shadowing to the track which with the exotic enterprise arising from the guitar of Alex Malliris and the keys of Jordan Robson, entices like The Doors meets The Birthday Party. The song continues to immerse and swallow the senses with its sultry almost erosive beauty, increasing its glamour as it heads towards the moment it slips seamlessly into the following Blame It All On Me.

The second track is simple bewitchment from its first caress, smouldering melodies flirting with ears whilst being stalked by the throaty bassline of Jon Marley. The ticking percussive framing and rhythmic probing of drummer Chris Malliris adds intimidation to the dark premise of the song but it is the flowing melodic seducing of the keys and more unsettling designs cast by the guitars which shape the compelling drama emotively coloured by the distinct tones of Noble. There is a touch of Bauhaus to the post punk essences swimming within the psyche rock contagion whilst the gothic rock shading again springs hints of Nick Cave and co.

A fresh shimmer flows across Maskirovka next, keys and guitars a floating haze of sonic suggestiveness whilst bass and drums create a more formidable incitement which erupts with greater intensity around the climatic crescendos posing as choruses. There is something occult like in the dark rock toxicity oozing from the walls of the song and imagination of the band, an essence breeding encroaching shadows which infest and linger in ears and psyche.

The infectiousness kicks up another level with Watch What You’re Doing, its open caress of guitar the seeds for another compelling bassline and crisply landed beats to work their addictiveness as vocals and keys bring a haunting colour. Once into its magnetic stroll, the song shows itself to be as much pop rock as it is dark rock ‘n’ roll, its catchiness as captivatingly accessible as its soaring sonic enterprise is celestially provocative and darkly fascinating.

Ithaca ventures into an even heavier soundscape but swiftly tempers some of its daunting air with an echoing effect on the ever alluring vocals and backing harmonies, whilst guitars and keys sway and smother the rhythmic spine of the song with the dance of a sonic temptress. The song is pure mesmerism but with an underlying danger which seems to incite richer flames and piercing textures to emerge in the invention of Alex Malliris and Robson.

Final track Black Pyramid, like the first, accosts ears with a slightly caustic and hazy roar of sound but is soon casting an invasive exotic atmosphere through guitars and keys. Eruptions of energy and intensity only add to the sweltering air and impact of the song, whilst melodically and vocally, there is again no escaping a reference to the Jim Morrison’s led band.

If like us you fell in love with Kobadelta’s last EPs, then lust is the outcome with Open Visions, the pinnacle of the band’s sound and invention to date. If new to the transfixing world of the band, then a wealth of dark sultry treats await.

Open Visions is released on May 1st and available via http://kobadelta.bandcamp.com/album/open-visions-ep

Upcoming Kobadelta shows, including EP launch…

Friday 1st May – Think Tank? Newcastle (‘Open Visions’ EP Launch)

Saturday 30th May – ‘Sonic Union #2’ at The Sun Inn, Stockton (with TOY)

Saturday 11th July – Corbridge Festival 2015 (Acoustic Stage)

Friday 24th July – ‘Double Denim Live’ at Verve Bar, Leeds

https://www.facebook.com/Kobadelta

RingMaster 27/04/2015

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

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

 

Raketkanon – Rktkn#2

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Barely a handful of weeks back, Belgium band Raketkanon not only ignited but incinerated the passions and imagination with the single Florent. A warped rhythmic dance immersed in a startling and ridiculously compelling tapestry of noise, the song not only announced the introduction to one compelling band but made a riveting and exciting appetising to the album it came from. Now that the release has arrived, and though Rktkn#2 does not always quite live up to that first initial seduction, it makes for one blissfully thrilling proposition.

To be fair when we say the album does not match the earlier appetiser it is not strictly true as where Florent was a swift explosive dig in the ribs of attention and lust, many of the songs within Rktkn#2 provide a slow and intensely simmering temptation which need time to convince and seduce. Ultimately they do though, ensuring every listen is a fresh and perpetually unveiling exploration that is very easy to rigorously enthuse about.

With their name meaning rocket cannon in Dutch, Ghent hailing Raketkanon create an experimental incitement seeded in a wide array of sounds and flavours. From sludge and doom to noise and psychedelic rock, the band’s music has a distinct character and invention which defies comparisons on the whole. Some have offered Melvins and Tomahawk as references whilst we could suggest the likes of Kabul Golf Club, Joy Division, Coilguns, and Young Gods as a hint to their sound but only listening reveals the dark majesty of the compelling drones, incendiary rhythms, and dramatic textures fuelling tracks and release.

10959513_10153103655542112_4720665964608033336_nThe album opens with the aforementioned single and after a torrent of listens when first released, Florent still makes the greatest magnet for the band. As feedback and sonic enticement lead into discord kissed enterprise surrounding an unrelenting prowl of invasive rhythms, the track preys on body and emotions. It has a threat, a danger, and a fascination which just engulfs the ears and psyche. The quartet of Jef Verbeeck, Pieter de Wilde, Lode Vlaeminck, and Pieter-Paul Devos continue to entrance as scowling vocals from Devos spill from his throat over the expanding web of noise. A post punk tone to the bass also emerges more prominently as the song takes to a meditative respite midway; it’s tempting aligned to twanged guitar endeavour and a calm which is almost as portentous as the returning deranged dance of noise. The song never turns into a raging fire though; its droning reserved and its croon certainly unhinged yet controlled, with only the vocals a bedlamic fury.

With each song titled by a name, Nico Van Der Eeken comes next and it too opens on an immediate bait of slow but focus grabbing beats before creating a spiralling weave of synth brewed intrigue. The effect coated vocals also have a restrained introduction though it cannot stop them bringing inviting mania into the mix. They surprisingly remain ‘subdued’ as the song raises its intensity and voracity, taking centre spot in the quieter moments of a song which despite its energetic pursuits is also nothing less than mesmeric. A flush of hardcore like influence eventually ignites the vocals in an inflamed finale to a song, and end and song leaving thoughts and emotions startled and enslaved.

The following Suzanne has an instant swagger to its lively entrance and a more stoner-esque air to its melodic sultriness, both aligned to the ever vocal and enticing down tuned coaxing of guitars. The track is a more recognisable rock proposal initially, stomping with aggression and energy before wrong-footing with a drop into calm evocative waters, a simple melodic caress accompanying similarly gentle vocals. Of course all that we suggest has another lining to it, a generally indescribable one which festers and grows into something different, here a psychedelic wind of stark and uncomfortable but mentally and physically stimulating trespass growing from the calmed storm.

The albums adventure twists around again with Mathilde, the song a gentle embrace of cold but welcoming guitar and wistful low toned vocals over repetitive and wonderfully hypnotic bait. For three minutes its sombre yet magnetic temptation enthrals before lifting its muscular head and weight with a new angst in riffs and vocals matched by a dark fuelled bassline and fiercely jabbing beats. Doomy and embracing essences of post rock, the song is one of those longer to persuade but emerges as a spellbinding and ever changing sonic emprise of emotional and physical evocation.

Elisa is another long term simmering in regard to getting under the skin but with a spine of rhythmic repetition and eruption into an angst pooled vat of intensity and sonic rapacity it wins out. Exploring a more alternative rock premise whilst continuing to throw in a constant barrage of musical and inventive curveballs, it takes time to grip the passions unlike Ibrahim which has them enslaved within the first few moments of its driving and almost sonically mystical opening. The track is sensational, a rival to the opener and a tantalising maze of spicy endeavour with an imagination bordering on the chaotic yet staying within a sculpted framework, though to be honest that in itself is bordering psychotic.

Straight away another irresistible triumph is unleashed through Harald, a contagion loaded song which is as funky as it gets in a noise woven, distortion fed, and sonic crazed enterprise. Its opening minute is sheer infection but it is when the band unleashes a rhythmic stalking bred from the same wells of invention of a Wire or Gang Of Four that the track kicks off a torrent of lustful reactions. Entangling disorientating sounds, raw vocals, and sonic disturbances, the track sculpts the most enthralling and mouth-watering demented soundscape.

The album closes with the epic Hanz, a track maybe too long for personal tastes though not one moment of its nine minutes is lacking certifiable invention and engrossing ideation. Its low key emergence is soon a continually growing and intensifying brew, harsh but gentle sounds gaining an edge and attitude in many ways before finally breaking into more tempestuous scenery, though that too is just a stage in the evolution of the song. Cinematic, transfixing, and atmospherically brooding, the track eventually finds its heaviest, intrusive touch at its climax. It is a fascinating end to the album if not the most easily accessible without plenty of attention.

As we said at the start, Florent brought high and excited hopes for Rktkn#2 and the scintillating encounter has not let us down. The single forged a plateau for the band’s music which was always going to be hard to persistently match but plenty of tracks within the album do and those missing its ledge still leave a seriously enjoyable and creatively innovative experience to greedily devour. Bottom line is that Raketkanon is a must for all fans of noise, discord, and experimental challenges.

Rktkn#2 is available now via KKK Records @ http://raketkanon.bigcartel.com/ on CD and vinyl and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rktkn-2/id972774371

Upcoming show dates…

28/04/15 : Stag & Hounds – Bristol

29/04/15 : The Shacklewell Arms – London

30/04/15 : Audio – Glasgow

02/05/15 : Live in Leeds Festival – The Brudenell Social Club

03/05/15 : The Hope – Brighton

http://www.raketkanon.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Raketkanon

RingMaster 15/04/2015

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

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War is a Racket

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Like the soundtrack to a deranged tale fed on Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland and soaked in the lunacy of a Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, War is a Racket is one of those propositions which simply send ears and imagination into overload. Created by Craig Scott’s Lobotomy, the album is a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures uniting in a fascinating and warped adventure, whilst Craig Scott himself is the aural Willy Wonka, offering sonic and melodic candy created from the tang of discord and sweetness of insanity.

A bordering on psychotic tapestry of experimental jazz, alternative rock, and similarly unpredictable electronica, album and sound casts ears and thoughts adrift in a sea of instrumental incitement. Every track is a unique vehicle for the imagination to go on a creative rampage with yet they also all contribute to a perpetual flight through one fluid and invigoratingly bedlamic soundscape. War is a Racket has been three years in the making, drawing on influences, experiences, and the things Scott has learned during his life to date as a professional musician involved in numerous diverse projects. The result of everything combined is a debut album which dangles bait after bait of startling sound and seriously intriguing unconnected essences, all united in a creative toxicity which just gets deep under the skin to set off a lustful reaction in ears, thoughts, and ardour.

The previous years has seen Scott play regularly with the likes of ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’ , IKESTRA , CottonWoolf, The Bugalu Foundation, and The Hot Beef Three as well as perform with artists such as Tom Arthurs, Baba Adasose Wallace, Matthew Borne , John Potter (Hilliard Ensemble),Chris Sharkey (Trio VD/Shiver), Ball-Zee(UK Beatbox Champion) Jean Tousaint (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) , Les Smith (Cradle of Filth), and Ruby Wood (Submotion Orchestra , Bonobo). His music has grabbed the ears and support of fellow musicians like Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart / Jeff Buckley) amongst a growing horde of fans which also includes cult horror classic House of 1000 Corpses’ Bill Moseley. Anticipation for War is a Racket has certainly been more than keen but it is now with its release that it is easy to expect major awareness embracing its creator.

a4033067006_2    The album, which sees Scott accompanied by a plethora of skilled and inventive talent, opens with Gibbles and a distant wistful melody. The ear is soon under the temptation of dark double bass slaps and bass clarinet seduction though; they in turn courted by a web of brass teasing. A jazzy air soon takes on an exotic flavour through guitar and sax, excited elements entwining for a sultry and mouth-watering dance through Arabian avenues and more Caribbean spiced festivity. All the time though there is a tempering shadow, an underlying turbulence which brews up a danger with fresh seeds for thoughts to twist and redesign its visual landscape with. The nearer its conclusion the more unravelled the track and its calm becomes as it takes the listener into the sonic distortion and percussive bubbling of Proud to be a Mirkin. The second song also brings a brass fuelled agitation aligned to a sinister electronic stalking of the psyche. It is the stuff of dark dreams, though as hindsight will eventually show, just the start of bigger nightmarish intrusions to come.

Peace returns with Tempest in a Teacup next, a nine minute stroll through summer gardens and reflective atmospheres. Of course already, even on the first listen of the album, expectations are soon expecting darker warped twists too and it does not disappoint, though equally the track sets senses and emotions ablaze with a deliciously manic melodic enterprise equipped with mischievous hooks and perverted imagination. Like something from Brian Brain in a drug induced stupor, the track ebbs and flows with bright revelry and noir clad infestations of ears and thoughts. Ultimately though, you come away with feet bouncing and emotions leaping to that devilish jazz pop lure and the emerging gypsy/world music spicing which has a distinct Les Négresses Vertes feel to it.

The following Technicolor Yawn is a brighter and relatively straight forward hug of the senses, initially at least as of course it too has contrasting and darker flirtations of sound and invention to its gentle cruise. Guitars and synths collude to colour the elegant canvas with shards of seemingly improvised jazz incitement, each nudge and jab of sound a tempting spark to new diversions or characters in the imagination’s interpretation. Almost a travelogue of unique lands and atmospheres on its own, the transfixing pieces makes way for the climactic and psychotic For those with a Short Attention Span. The track is a splatter of sounds and textures which somehow within the ears unite to create a coherent if still furiously unpredictable weave of sonic colour. As all the tracks it leaves a pantry load of food for thought before making way for the irresistible lures of Voodoo Friday. Rhythmically tribal and virulent, the track opens like a thumping ‘sketch’ from percussionists Stomp, but is soon embracing darker strains of sound and harmonies. Its persuasion is meditative and demonic simultaneously, the perpetual invitation from tablas, matched by grouchy bass sounds and a swarming cloud of brass and stringed fermentation which only add to the psychedelic Hammer Movie-esque visualisation inspired across the glorious encounter. Its closing romp reminds of deranged versions of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth, that alone leaving ears and emotions basking.

The album’s title track comes next and swiftly returns the listener physically and mentally to the dark clutches of haunted realms and sinister trespasses. Keys impact with a classic thirties/forties lilt to their narrative whilst rhythmically and harmonically, the track is a web of ravenous shadows and psyche grasping evocation. The bewitching nightmare prevails with increasing sideshow devilry as the song continues its descriptive presence, reaching a restrained yet ‘hellish’ climax taunted by crooner inspired keys. The drama and air of the song is traumatic and seriously compelling just as the lighter but no less drenched in espionage album finale of Ormchestron. Opening like the theme tune to a sixties spy/thriller TV show, keys dangling inescapable bait for the imagination, the piece becomes a much cloudier and thematically minatory adventure yet with a constant tempering of melodic and inventive whimsy. The brass escapades brings hints of Essential Logic to thoughts whilst strings and keys offer a Cardiacs like devilment, but ultimately, as War is a Racket itself, it is all wholly individual to Craig Scott’s Lobotomy.

It is fair and easy to say that War is a Racket is quite brilliant, maybe not something for everyone but for those with real adventure and love of life’s and music’s discordance woven into something truly unique, simply a must.

War is a Racket is available through Wasp Millionaire Records from 30/03/2015 on CD, 12” Blue vinyl (Ltd to 250 copies) and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craig-Scotts-Lobotomy/102612563153288   http://lookatmemummypr.com/

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Surf City – Jekyll Island

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There are times when it is easy to get lost in a realm of fantasy, moments in life and indeed music when physically and mentally you can escape the hum drum and explore new landscapes. One such escape is the sultry adventure of Jekyll Island, the new and third album from New Zealand psychgazers Surf City. Basking in a sultry surf rock seeded climate wrapped in the summery smile of shoegaze and the sonic beauty of psyche rock, the release is a mesmeric lure for ears and imagination.

The successor to their acclaimed album We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This of 2013, Jekyll Island is a fascinating flight of sound and emotion. Songs again come soaked in the warm magnetic fuzziness which the band is becoming renowned for but equally feel more precisely sculpted and resourcefully rounded propositions. It is open growth and evolution in the Surf City songwriting but an emerging potency which defuses none of the band’s already rich and tantalising qualities; basically a maturity of existing prowess exploring fresh and vivaciously new adventure. Simply songs and album offer pure pop presented in summery embraces of charm and beauty.

The album is also an imposing grower on ears and passions, its early touches engaging and magnetic but continual exposure leads to anything from lustful rapture to lingering seduction. The first track though is an immediate enslavement of ears and emotions on its first ever touch. From its opening exotic web of percussive and sonic enticement, Beat The Summer Heat has imagination and appetite hooked; especially as from that opening shuffle a rhythmic contagion unleashes irresistible bait. Jabbing with their own individual swing, beats forge an addictive lure at the heart of the track, taking ears and pleasure by the hand as guitars swarm over their enticement with vivid colours and a lively shimmer. Vocally too Davin Stoddard is a beacon of warmth and magnetism, riding the contagion with radiance. The track is glorious, almost alone worth the cost of your ticket for the album’s compelling ride.

Surf City - Jekyll Island   There is no major drift in quality and temptation as the following Spec City takes over, it a song with a bubbling electro underbelly and a radiating surface of melodic and harmonic splendour. The song is a courtship of the senses, a My Bloody Valentine like caress making an unrelenting seduction as a Yo La Tengo like vibrancy brings livelier action to the romance. It is a tempting swiftly backed and taken into new explorations by Jekyll Island and the Psycosphere and in turn Hollow Veins. The first of the two is a fascinating mix of eighties new wave bred pop and nineties inspired psychedelic enterprise, but also littered with post punk hooks and a Happy Monday’s like devilry. The song is pure mesmerism and perfectly contrasted and complimented in tone by the darker rockier revelry of its successor. It romps through ears like a meeting of The Horrors and House Of Love engaged in a vintage surf rock revival, its touch and breath raw yet overwhelmingly seductive.

The guitars of Stoddard and Jamie Kennedy weave an infectious web of fuzz induced rock pop next in One Too Many Things, its twang offering a country whisper whilst its catchy tenacity has a Brit pop lilt to its tempting, whilst its successor What They Need expands the already potent variety within the album again. It opens with a droning tang of a sound you might expect from the band’s part of the world, a scuzz lined whiny lure which persists invitingly around the additional minimalistic yet weighty hug of sound filling its persuasion.

That constant tweaking of flavours has Leave Your Worries unveiling an anthemic infectiousness which plays like a the offspring of a union between The Mighty Lemon Drop, The Lightning Seeds, and Kitchens of Distinction, but as in all songs it emerges as unique to Surf City.

The delicious heavy bass seducing and just as enticing beats offered by Mike Ellis and Andy Frost at its start makes Indian Summer straight after, irresistible all on their own but infused with the melodic lustre of the guitars and the resonating touch of Stoddard’s vocals, it only proceeds to steal attention and the passions further. It is a charmer from start to finish, one carrying the right amount of mischief and excitement but an incitement which ultimately places the listener in a fulfilling and richly satisfying calm. That is a description suiting the whole of Jekyll Island to be honest, and especially the gorgeous pop of Thumbs Up which romps with ears and emotions next. Whether it is possible to ever write the perfect song is debateable but it is possible to come close and this is certainly a serious contender. Melodies reek of innocence yet are inflammatory on the ear whilst harmonies and rhythms simply engage in lustful and infection breeding temptation.

The album is brought to a just as thrilling end by firstly the more sober, in comparison to its predecessor, but raucously energetic dance of The End and lastly through the meditative glamour and brilliance of Jesus Elvis Coca Cola. Sixties kissed and soaked in aural sunshine, the track is a majestic sea of expressive harmonies and poetic melodies soaked in a wash of psychedelic humidity.

It is a transfixing end to an increasingly mouth-watering encounter. There is a great familiarity to Jekyll Island but only as a rich spice in the unique ambience and masterful imagination of Surf City. Psyche/shoegaze pop has rarely sounded better.

Jekyll Island is available via Fire Records now and digitally, on CD, and on black vinyl @ https://surfcitymusic.bandcamp.com/track/hollow-veins

https://www.facebook.com/killsurfcity

RingMaster 25/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/