Hung Like Hanratty – What You See Is What You Get

For us there is little as rousing and rejuvenating as punk rock at its aggressively mischievous best especially when carrying old school loaded attitude and rebellion. In the UK alone we are blessed to have a plethora of such stirring propositions across the country with so many seemingly discovered and uncaged through the excellent label, STP Records. The latest to do the inimitable deed is Hung Like Hanratty, no newcomers to punk devilry, but set to cause a major outcry of pleasure and new support with latest album What You See Is What You Get.

Hailing from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Hung Like Hanratty raised their first middle finger together in 2011, the band name inspired by a man hung in the UK in 1962 but whose guilt has since been questioned. Whereas many bands focus on worldly ills and injustices, Hung Like Hanratty targets those everyday irritants and its participants which piss us all off, songs which simply have devilment and fun running through their core. Previous albums, the 2014 released Human Pig and its successor 50 Shades Of Shit two years later established the quintet as one of punk’s irresistible incitements though pound for pound What You See Is What You Get is a much punchier, dynamic, and addictive protagonist.

The album immediately surges through ears with Clampit Town, the swinging rhythms of drummer Kye Bosh and bassist Tez Tickle driving the instant revelry from first to last note. Vocalist Al Sation stands centre stage exposing the lo fi clothed antics, surrounded by tuneful backing and viperish hooks which bite from the guitar of Vallam amongst Rick Ettes’ riotous riffs. It is a simply outstanding start which has body and spirit bouncing alongside a broad grin, and fair to say the track echoes the album ahead and its title, just it is what you hear is what you get.

The following Lawyers For You stomps around like a fusion of The Adicts and Dirt Box Disco, laying down gentle teasing lures which rise up into irritable charges, moments which will undoubtedly echo every time you see those infernal TV ads. As with most tracks, the song’s title tells you all you need to know about the focus of attention, Disabled Parking another delicious example. Again hooks and grooves become a fresh addiction as rhythms get the body up to misdeeds, Al Sation a magnetic roar poking at the relevant targets. All that is needed is someone to invent a way to have this blaring out every time someone encroaches on spaces they are not eligible for.

Through the provocatively insightful punk ‘n’ roll of Harvey Weinstein and the bold grubby stroll of Stop Playing With Yourself, the album easily keeps attention and participation enslaved, even if neither of the undeniably galvanic tracks quite matched their mighty predecessors. Equally they get slightly eclipsed by Shut My Gate, a Vibrators meets The Damned uproar we have all expressed at one time or another.

As to the last track, there is a rawer edge to Neighbourhood Watch, old school punk driving the contagion compared to more new wave like hues of earlier tracks. Vallam’s guitar catches flames throughout bringing a hard rock scenting to the holler before Evil Clown fingers and torments with its flirtatious escapade. Arrowing straight for the blimp trying to direct the world, this is simply sheer salacious punk craft at its most addictive; vaudevillian punk panto and more potent than a horde of politically charged complaints.

The dark nagging of Outer Body Experiences is just punk manna to these ears, Tickle’s darkly seductive bassline alone reason enough to get inescapably hooked with the jagged claws of the track escalating through the other members. Its glorious act is quickly matched by the open irritability of Keep Your Cat Off My Garden, fine lawns and roses coming before the family pet and in turn Taxi Driver where all our grievances are forcibly aired by the band.

For all the lyrical insight and connections so easy to find, Hung Like Hanratty simply write unapologetically contagious and gleefully insubordinate punk songs, Ten Bob Millionaire and Mr Boring further rousing examples, both tracks infectious trespasses with a dab hand at melodic enterprise and deviously compelling hooks, each continuing the individuality in the band’s sound from song to song.

Closing with the album’s stomping title track, Al Sation the barker fronting a belligerently defiant punk show refusing to bow down, What You See Is What You Get is simply one of the punk riots of the year. Add the fact that the STP Records appetite has been grabbed by the band and Stu and Co only have an a hunger for meatiest morsels going by their releases to date; the album is a undoubted must.

What You See Is What You Get is released September 29th via STP Records, being unveiled at North East Calling in Newcastle.

https://www.facebook.com/HungLikeHanratty/

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Uniforms – Reasons To Breathe

Uniforms has a name which if not careful when searching out the band can lead you in the wrong direction, a single additional letter a spark to that deceit alone, but find the Scottish quartet and you will hear nothing  but an individual prospect not so easy to miss. The band has just released new 7” EP, Reasons To Breathe; three slices of earthy punk rock as infectious and rousing as they are emotionally raw and attitude laden.

Hailing from Dundee, Uniforms uncaged their presence and sound in 2011 and has since become one of Scotland’s most potent punk experts. Fresh from rousingly closing up the Manchester Punk Festival, Uniforms have now unleashed the successor to their acclaimed 2015 Pink Couch EP, to show they are still writing and banging out some stirring punk moments.

Though punk rock bred, their music and the new release also show a dab hand at bringing pop punk and additional raw hues to its sound. Opener Get Me Out Of Here immediately entices with guitar wires before rhythms bound in to escalate the song’s initial hook on attention. Swiftly the catchiness of the track aligns to its rawer instincts, an infusion of pop enterprise lining and breeding a chorus which soon has the body bouncing. In many ways it is akin to a collusion of Stiff little Fingers and Yorkshire Rats with a whiff of Top Buzzer pop rockiness but soon establishing its own individual roar and presence in highly magnetic proposal.

The following My Wise Friend is just as adept at getting the body bouncing, its own contagious exploits merging punk belligerence to organic infectiousness. Stabbing rhythms and sonic clashes of guitar magnetically align to a vocal incitement just as potent in rousing the senses. For two minutes, the track snarls and incites ears and imagination, a time of natural pleasure repeated in final song Searchlights. It too had limbs and hips flying in quick order, retaining their subservience as it revealed a revolving cycle of energy and enterprise, every twist, each turn, bringing fresh temptation to eagerly chew upon.

Inspiring an appetite from something larger from the band, Reasons To Breathe is Uniforms back better than ever and providing a trio of excuses why DIY punk is still one of music’s essentials.

Reasons To Breathe is available now via TNS Records digitally and on Ltd white vinyl (300) @ https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/reasons-to-breathe or https://uniforms.bandcamp.com/album/reasons-to-breathe-ep-2

 https://www.facebook.com/WEAREUNIFORMS/   https://twitter.com/weareuniforms

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Chewers – Downhill Calendar

Defying the claws of pigeonholes and predictability with even greater relish and mischief, US duo The Chewers release their new album in the devilish shape of Downhill Calendar. Off kilter rock is pretty much what the band calls its sound and more than anything echoes the captivating web of styles and flavours making up their new release and rock n’ roll.

The Chewers is the creation of Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, both West Virginia bred who by chance eventually met up having individually relocated to Nashville. 2010 saw the release of debut album Every Drop Disorganized and the raw seeds of the sound and humour which has grown over subsequent releases and now boldly flourishes within fourth full-length Downhill Calendar.

I’m Getting Thinner starts things off and within its seven plus minutes of captivation entangles a host of flavours from art/avant rock to post and raw punk through to noise and experimental rock. Immediately bass and drums lay down a repetitive lure smothered in sonic lacing and rising acidic grooves. The rhythmic core of the song echoes the prowess of Gang of Four, its sonic side also hinting but expelling a more feral touch and intent. There is an instinctive nagging at the heart of the song, rhythms its main fuel, which epitomises all album tracks; each song almost harassing attention but rewarding with contagion loaded enterprise matched by the lyrical agility and magnetic delivery of the vocals.

Never a labour only an addictive pleasure even at its extensive length, the excellent opener hands ears and imagination over to the following Skin Stay Thin. Its first breath brings an inescapable swing which again is as primal and raw as it is compelling and manipulative. Hooks and grooves spring like leeches at the imagination, a mischievous edge to them all recalling the creative antics of former PiL/Killing Joke/Pigface member Martin Atkins in his Brian Brain guise. Becoming more caustic by the moment it in turn makes way for the electro /noise punk courting of Where Is the Fun?, those wonderfully infernal rhythms again worming under the skin and into hips within seconds. Vocals, words, and guitar swiftly entwine and saunter across that rhythmic incitement, the latter embracing blues grazing to its melodic vines and funk nurtured swings.

 Rat Belly crawls through ears next; squirts of brass radiating on its heavy infection loaded lumber. With the song’s step never accelerating, the guitar scorches its flesh as electronic resonance brings its own dark dissonance. Bordering on bedlam but just managing to restrain its mania, the track pretty much slips into the psyche trapping Frankie’s Downhill Calendar. Once more drums lead the incursion, their instinctive agility a puppeteer to physical involvement and a rock ‘n’ roll appetite as the creative toxicity of guitar and imagination sear song and senses alike. As vocals once more unearth their own regular magnetism eighties post punk hues please and intimate but only adding to the individual sound of The Chewers.

Without quite sparking the same ardour for its predecessors Yo Yellow Pig still got attention locked in with its mischief coated swing and blues nurtured causticity while the excellent Then There’s Me offers a corroded blues rock canter as seductively elegant as it is openly mordant.

Both tracks trapped attention with ease leaving I Let the Stooge Loose to bring things to a close with its untamed but masterfully mercurial rock ‘n’ roll. Not only to the closing track but The Chewers’ sound in general, there is a sense of bands like Pere Ubu, Powersolo, and The Residents to its character but as the song proves all essences in something unique to The Chewers.

So if you are looking for rock n’ roll in its most “off Kilter” adventure then Downhill Calendar is a must exploration, indeed one for all fans of the flavours The Chewers twist, corrupt, and use so enjoyably.

Downhill Calendar is available now @ https://thechewers.bandcamp.com/album/downhill-calendar

https://www.facebook.com/thechewers/

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hardball – Dirty

We are not sure if the North East is Britain’s capital of rock ‘n’ roll trespass but there has been a definite vein of rousing rock bands escaping its depths over the decades. The latest is Darlington quartet Hardball who have just uncaged their debut single/EP in the shape of Dirty. Offering three tracks as individual to each other as they are united in stirring up eager attention, the release is a bruising yet inescapably inviting slice of hard and punk rock embroiled in aggressive enterprise. It is also a potential stocked introduction from a band already sparking a real appetite to hear much more of.

Months maybe mere weeks old, Hardball consists of vocalist/guitarist Tim Smith, guitarist Phil Bailes, bassist Neil MacGillivray, and drummer Denz (Gareth Westgarth). There is little more we can tell you about the band though there is probably little more to share with the band so early in its emergence though you might recognise Denz’ uncompromising dextrous swings from bands such as Hung Like Jack, ill fated riot, and Supercharger.

Recorded live at White Wolf Studio, the band’s debut encounter swiftly had ears on board with opener Dirty. A lure of guitar dangles potent bait first, its classic rock feel a tease into the waiting rapacious embrace of the track. Riffs and rhythms instantly impose once unleashed but with incitement rather than threat while the harmonious tone of the vocals only adds to the rousing temptation already raised, as too the grooves which need seconds to get under the skin. Though surprises were few, everything about the track was fresh and distinctly individual ensuring that the first contact with Hardball was strong, highly enjoyable, and firmly memorable.

The invention within the song was soon escalating as Ballad Of John Fox stepped up next, the song a calm but bold saunter with shimmering melodies and intimation fuelled enterprise to its instrumental and a spirited raucousness to its vocal expulsions. It has an anthemic feel which grows by the minute and a great weave of guitar enterprise as bluesy as it is hard rock inspired.

Our favourite track though is Closed For Inventory, a real gem of a proposal from its initial groove draw to its punk ‘n’ roll roar and scheming rhythms. Carrying a predatory intent at times, especially when those delicious grooves steer the rack’s inescapable manipulation, the final track stole the passions with ease here even against the definite prowess and quality of its companions.

With a first release, any band can only hope for attention and an awakening of their presence as its main success and Hardball will surely achieve that and much more with Dirty. You want some honest, spirit sparking rock ‘n’ roll? Then look to the North East for some Hardball.

https://www.facebook.com/Hardballrock/

Pete RingMaster 28/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Buzzkillz – Major Fucking Complications

Having caught the Buzzkillz bug last year after being introduced to their debut album of the previous year, there was certain anticipation with an edge of excitement when Jybe from the Finnish band got in touch to say a new EP was winging its way over. Major Fucking Complications is a five track holler of the band’s increasingly individual punk ‘n’ roll/punkabilly; an encounter which eagerly builds on that first full-length and demands greater attention goes the way of the Helsinki quartet.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Ultima Foole and double bassist Jybe, its line-up subsequently completed with the addition of guitarist Antti and drummer Joiku four years later, Buzzkillz saw potent praise come their way through 2016 debut album Scum Of The Earth. It also introduced them to a new wave of fans outside of their homeland. Major Fucking Complications should incite even thicker attention as it expands on the potency of its predecessor in songwriting and sound. It some ways it does not offer anything majorly removed from the album but every track has a richer character and thicker enterprise to their stomps.

Major Fucking Complications also features across its length the guest vocals of Titch from legendary psychobilly band Klingonz alongside its creators, the release opening up with its title track. Slowly but deviously swinging in with open mischief in its intent, the song quickly bursts into a psychobilly nurtured stroll within a punk bred roar. Senses clipping rhythms easily had instincts on board, the lustful slaps of Jybe on bass string appetite exciting as Foole’s growling tones backed by Titch’s distinctive tones add to the infectious dissent. Addiction teasing hooks only add to the persuasion, guitars teasing and taunting as the track’s swing mastered eager hips and limbs; it all making for a fiercely rousing start.

The following Envy, Hunger and Greed though quickly makes a demands on top track honours; it too needing mere seconds to incite the listener with rock grooves , punchy rhythms, and a punk bred ferocity. Calm and virulently catchy in its lead up to a lustfully raucous chorus, there was no stopping the track getting deep beneath the skin from its first cycle. There was definite catchy times within that first album but now that contagiousness has been honed as inescapable bait and traps within song and EP with an imagination which bordering on bedlamic never rests.

Its glorious punk ‘n’ roll hue is then merged with more punkabilly natured tenacity within next up That Shit Is Gonna To Kill You. Jybe’s bass saunter is the first mighty lure, a firmly pulsating one eventually joined by the rest of the band’s swinging escapade. Centred by an ear seizing hook, the track becomes a dirty canter of attitude lined punk rock around a rockabilly seeded rhythmic stroll. The further into its infectious trespass darker hues and bolder imagination escape to add to its increasing temptation before Lie! twists and turns with belligerence and muscle.  With a touch of early Grumpynators to its dissent, the track is punk ‘n’ roll contagion. It may be less adventurous and more invasively irritable than its predecessors but it does not stop it being a fully contagious involvement.

Completed by the psychobilly fuelled Keep On Crawling, another moment which had our appetite for the flavours the band weaves into their sound drooling, Major Fucking Complications is a declaration that Buzzkillz is ready to roar in a whole new landscape of recognition. The surf kissed shimmer of guitars within that final track just epitomises the bolder invention and imagination in their sound and why we are already eagerly awaiting its next adventurous move.

Major Fucking Complications is released July 27th via Fast Decade Records on 12” vinyl.

 https://www.facebook.com/Buzzkillzband/   https://buzzkillzband.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead By Monday – Almost Punk

Having earned a strong reputation for their live shows and energy, Scottish outfit Dead By Monday are out to spark similar praise on a broader scale with the release of debut EP, Almost Punk. Offering four slices of ferocious punk rock with an almost deceitful character as they reveal a far richer breeding of flavours once immersed in their roars, it is a release which not only warrants attention but pretty much commands it.

Formed in 2016 within the Glasgow music scene, Dead By Monday has as mentioned drawn great plaudits for their live dynamic and aggressive presence which has been rewarded with gigs alongside the likes of The Living End, Daggermouth, Annewrage, and WRCKG. Initially coming together with the intent of creating politically charged punk rock, the foursome soon found a harder, harsher, and heavier sound emerging but one still embracing their punk rock hearts alongside inspirations from the likes of Rage Against The Machine and The Dillinger Escape Plan, NOFX, and Gallows. Almost Punk is their first nationwide trespass and a very potent introduction it proved to be.

Certainly the EP was a slow burner with us, making a good first impression but really blossoming over time and listens as its creative depths emerged. The release opens with The First, and instantly had attentive ears with its simple but efficient opening punk bred riff. Paddy Chapman’s guitar is the lure, the throbbing bassline of Declan Buist a waiting trap before the song explodes into its rapacious and irritable stroll. The gruff tones of vocalist Murray Taylor are soon sharing its grievances as the swinging beats of Ciaran Whyte spark the track’s contagious gait and energy. There is little particularly unique about the track at first but with its mellower detours and sharp hooks grows into an ear grabbing proposal, those animated rhythms of Whyte particularly magnetic.

The following Dead Souls soon overshadows its predecessor, the excellent track a bruising slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a tasty line in hard rock to its twists and turns. Again Taylor’s vocals almost bully the listener as surrounding sounds work on their rocker instincts while spiky hooks and gang vocals make for an additionally tenacious incitement. Firmly the song took best track honours, though it was swiftly challenged by next up Our Doomsday. Straight away Whyte’s rolling punches had attention gripped, Buist quickly backing up the rich coaxing with its own throbbing bait. It is a magnificent start which in some small ways is followed by an anti-climax as the track opens up into its grouchy punk holler but it is a mere quibble as the track soon seduced the appetite with its snarling attack. There is something of Stiff Little Fingers to the song at times which does it no harm at all, indeed helps make it another bright spark in the growing potential and ready-made enterprise of the EP.

The closing Choke brings a post hardcore tone with its opening strains, clean vocals from Taylor strongly enticing with an underlying emotive warble well backed by the harmonic tones of Whyte. Eventually its captivation leads to the ferocious heart of the song, its hardcore instincts expelled with force and dexterity for a caustic finale. The most inventive and unpredictable track on the release it also challenges for top song honours, holding it for a while with its outstanding start and engaging imagination.

Almost Punk is an ear grabbing introduction to its creators but it is the potential and instinctive invention it carries and of which it suggests there is much more to come, that makes it more than just a great first encounter.

Almost Punk is released July 27th.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadbyMonday/

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Imaginary Hat – Age of Anxiety

Photo by Beth Eloise Fraser

Hailing from England’s capital, The Imaginary Hat creates a sound self-penned as 1920s Punk Rock. As much as your imagination might work with that tag it will only guess at the rich mix of flavours making up the band’s music and new EP Age of Anxiety. Alongside their fusion of rock, punk and 20’s inspired jazz you can find essences of rockabilly, swing, folk and more. It makes for a proposition and new release which is unpredictable, mischievous, and seriously appetising.

The London based outfit formed in 2014 and swiftly earned a potent, attention luring reputation for their music and live presence across the capital and beyond. This year has seen the band emerge with a new and expanded line-up and now second EP, Age of Anxiety, the successor to their well-received debut, Ladies And Gentlemen Kindly Remove Your Hats released this past January.

The spirited rhythms of drummer Phil Joyce kick EP opener Pretty Little Features into life, their increasingly tenacious antics luring ears, appetite, and the guitar jangle of Luke Fraser. Swiftly his vocals also jump in, the track bouncing round with its fifties rock ‘n’ roll scented jazz punk. With a touch of eighties band The Stargazers to it and also the jump blues hues of a Louis Jordan, the song leaps and swings, successfully insisting on the same from the listener. Punk riffs taunt throughout as the flames of Nick Smith’s Trombone unite with the sax of Oscar Ives-Owen; each adding to the virulent contagion of an outstanding start to the release.

A trombone sigh brings up the following Tick Tick Tick, its enticement soon joined by the boisterous stroll of Sam Dimond’s magnetic bass. Vocals again simply entice as they dance devilishly within the similarly insistent sounds around them, enterprise which becomes more bedlamic and frantic by the second but with reins which hauls the chaos back into a just as addictive imaginative canter. You can call the track whatever style you wish but at its heart it is punk rock and relishing its anarchy.

Right Side is next, uncaging a thick dark grumble around another instinctively catchy lure of rhythms. It is infectiousness and swing echoed in Fraser’s vocals as the track prowls, as good as stalks ears and imagination. Bordering blues funereal in gait, salacious seduction in tone, the track physically smoulders as it sears itself into the memory, it too becoming more hellacious in tone and texture by the handful of seconds.

The Imaginary Hat is back in full bounce with Monkey Glands straight after, the track like a swing jazz equivalent of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers at their devilish while Until One Of Us Dies closes up the release with its dark seduction. Both tracks just hit the spot, the first a collusion of punk ’n’ roll fuelled flavours akin to Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux meets The Strangler Figs under the tutelage of Cab Calloway with its successor unleashing flames of jazz conjured rock with increasing rigour across a landscape as mercurial as it is dramatic.

Though into their fourth year, 2018 might be the moment The Imaginary Hat get crowded by much broader and eager attention. Their two EP’s this year, especially Age of Anxiety, give evidence that it is more than deserved.

Age of Anxiety is out now, available @ https://theimaginaryhat.bandcamp.com/music

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

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright