Bokassa – Divide & Conquer

The recent release of their single Walker Texas Danger suggested that the debut album from Norwegian punks Bokassa might be something a little bit special. The track was a relentless nag of their self-proclaimed stoner punk, a breath-taking tirade of sound and attitude simply demanding attention and lustful reactions. Its potential and promise is more than lived up to by Divide & Conquer, even left looking pale at times by the album’s unbridled tempest of hardcore ferocity, punk belligerence, and stoner bred grooving. Beyond being special, it is one of the essential listens of 2017 from a band you still feel is only just starting out on their creative journey.

Hailing from Trondheim, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, drummer Olav Dowkes, and bassist Bård Linga took little time in sparking eager ears and local bordering national support with the release of the three track strong EP, The Great Northern Roadkill in 2014. It was the following year though through a couple of singles and the War On Everything EP that their presence really began breaking borders, success enabling Bokassa to tour across their homeland with the likes of Hold Fast, The Dogs, Frk. Fryd, Johndoe, Exploding Head Syndrome, and Warp Riders. Released on Record Day 2016, the single Make Music Great Again pushed things again, with Walker Texas Danger their biggest triumph and pull yet. It is now easy to think and expect Divide & Conquer to be a game changer for the band, the trigger to bigger, even the biggest spotlights to pay dues to one of the truly exciting prospects around.

A lone melody brings opener Impending Doom into view, its rich coaxing soon seeing stormier clouds gathering above it as riffs and rhythms join its enticing groove. Its slow stroll and portentous air subsequently slips into the waiting tempest of Last Night (Was a Real Massacre). Instantly energy and aggression is turned right up; spiralling grooves and rabid riffs grabbing ears as rhythms angrily thump. Like a raw and dirty collusion from Red Tape and Fu Manchu, the track devours the senses, feverishly crawling over them with plague like hunger to powerfully feed the thick anticipation triggered by the band’s previous single.

It is that song which comes next, Walker Texas Danger slamming its bruising qualities upon the listener from its first breath. Kaarstad is a squall of vocal attitude and discontent backed with matching antipathy by the band in voice and sound. Grooves though spin an infectious web as rhythms give a primal examination and Linga’s bass provides a grumbling lilt to the song’s stoner fuelled swing. The whole mix is glorious, a reason to welcome exhaustion before Crocsodile Dundee shows no mercy with its antagonistic rumble. Metal seeded acidic melodies court the song’s punk ‘n’ roll catchiness whilst its heart is pure hardcore pushing a magnetic bluster lying somewhere between Ghost of a Thousand and fellow Norwegians Shevils.

After its rousing assault, Genocidal Tendencies brings greater restraint in its own raid though weight and spite is as full and unbridled as in its predecessors. Equally, the song shows more of the variety at the heart of the Bokassa sound and songwriting as dark harmonies and wiry grooves conspire with the inevitably punishing rhythmic and sonic incursion also escaping the band. As magnetic as it is merciless, the track is a tenderiser of the senses, their ravaging provided by Five Finger Fuckhead with its scourge of hardcore truculence bound in mouth-watering grooves as vocal dexterity plays within the band.

As each song’s final breath becomes the next track’s first, the album just flies by, never allowing the listener to regain balance or composure. Here Goes Nothing rises from its predecessor with a head-rush of violent tenacity and creative adventure. Arguably the album’s grooviest, most kindly catchy proposal, it still offers a cauldron of intensity in its emotive onslaught while any ‘lighter’ tones are boldly absent on the punk rock salvo unleashed by Retaliation straight after, the song an one minute ambush of appetite’s sweet spot.

The album is closed by the raw captivation of Immortal Space Pirate (The Stoner Anthem). The album’s longest proposition by a mile, the track is a volatile smoulder threatening to erupt with every passing second. It never really does but there is no lightweight essence to its groove woven canter and rhythmic swing, its scuzzy air and cosmic filth as much manna for a passion for raw rock ‘n’ roll as its melodic escapades and uncompromising tide of intensity. Across its seven minutes, Bokassa merge acoustic and harmonic prowess into their instinctive sonic blitz and stoner punk ferociousness, the song alone revealing the width and depth to the band’s imagination and potential.

The bottom-line is that Divide & Conquer is superb, a bewitching brute of an encounter only leaving sheer pleasure and a hunger for plenty more.

Divide & Conquer is out now digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl via All Good Clean Records through http://www.allgoodcleanrecords.com/onlinestore/ or https://bokassaband.bandcamp.com/album/divide-conquer

https://www.facebook.com/BokassaBand

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rotten Mind – Self Titled

photo_by_Mikael_Lindqvist

Talking about the band’s new self-titled album, Rotten Mind vocalist/guitarist Jakob Arvidsson stated that, “Our main idea was to work in a new way. We had no rush and the songs were written during a period that lasted for over a year.” Whether that intent and process was the reason or the spark, the Swedish quartet’s second album has emerged with new maturity and creative roundedness in sound and songwriting. Without losing the punk snarl of its predecessor, it is a proposition which has attention on board within a handful of seconds and firmly held until its final breath.

The album sees Rotten Mind uncage their distinctive fusion of punk, garage rock, and post punk, a sound which simultaneously feels familiar yet forcibly fresh. It is a mix which saw their debut full-length, I’m Alone Even With You, eagerly received and praised upon its release in 2015, its success followed by a torrent of live shows and two tours across Europe. Indeed the writing of its successor, taking over a year, simultaneously occurred as shows came thick and fast; songs relishing the experiences and inspiring sights found to push on in all aspects from its predecessor.

As evidenced from its opener alone, the album flings physically gripping hooks and imagination inciting melodies at will; all keener and more powerful than anything the band has conjured before while rhythmically the release is a cauldron of anthemic temptation. It is fuelled by the scuzzy almost suffocating Rotten Mind sound which marked the first album and the Uppsala hailing band’s potent live presence; Wish You Were Gone starting things off revealing all of those established  attributes and plenty of new ones.

Dangling bait sonic initially, one soon entwined with a spicy melody, the first song soon bursts into a virulent stroll, the album’s first essential hook from Johan’s guitar wagging an irresistible finger as the rhythms of bassist Rune and drummer Victor collude in rolling infectious bait. The temptation only increases as the track boils, Jakob’s vocals just as magnetic as that first strand of piercing persuasion continues to persist while revealing psychobilly tendencies against the track’s intensifying punk punch.

There is a touch of Psychedelic Furs to song and release, nothing concrete just a scent which continues in the more irritable rock ‘n’ roll of Things I Can’t See. At times, as beats jab and riffs bite, the song feels like it is slamming its fists down on the table temperament wise but discontent aligned to a catchy restraint ensuring great volatility in the rousing incitement of sound and enterprise. The track is one of two singles laying down potent teasers for the album earlier this year, the second following straight after.  Still Searching sonically shimmers before laying down a trail of rhythmic manna, the brooding voice of the bass courting rapacious beats. The track’s post punk persuasion makes swift slavery of ears and appetite, its bait only accentuated by the subsequent acidic hook and swinging groove loaded gait of the song. Kind like a mix of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Sex Gang Children, the track, as the album, simply seizes ears and appetite with relish second by second.

Dark Intentions bounds along with contagious energy and rhythmic dexterity next, its atmospheric and emotional shadows just as potent as its melodic suggestiveness before Got Me Numbered reveals a seventies inspired punkiness recalling the likes of Buzzcocks and The Vibrators. Both tracks have the body bouncing and spirit ignited while When You Come Back meanders along in a web of wiry melodies as rhythms grumble. Infectious vocals especially within the potent chorus only add to its lure, its tapestry of flirtatious strums and inventive persistence demanding inevitable and lustful listener involvement.

Through the creatively and emotionally agitated Real Lies and Out Of Use with its darker predatory hues,  enjoyment is an eager torrent, the first captivating with robust rhythmic incitement and hard rock infused melodic jangle while the second prowls the senses with a union of primal and fiery contrasts. There is a surface similarity to many tracks within the album, but a deception greater attention defuses with both tracks showing potent diversity, with the second especially bold.

The rock ‘n’ roll clash and holler of Safer Place keeps things feverishly lively, its dark haunting textures surrounding a sonic blaze of invention before I Need To Know brings things to a richly satisfying close with its boisterous croon.

It is a fine end to an album which brings greater individuality to the Rotten Mind sound though there still feels like there is plenty of room for greater uniqueness to blossom which on the thick enjoyment of their album only adds further excitement for the future.

The Rotten Mind album is out now through Lövely Records @ https://lovelyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rotten-mind-rotten-mind

https://www.facebook.com/rottenmindua/

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eureka California – Wigwam EP

With the success and acclaim of their last album, Versus, still pretty much ringing in ears since its release just short of a year ago, US garage rock/pop duo Eureka California break up the  time before its successor with a new EP. Offering three slices of the band’s garage rock infused pop ‘n’ roll, the Wigwam EP is as sonically dysfunctional and magnetic as the Athens, Georgia hailing band’s last full-length but with a rawer quality which just hits the spot.

Wigwam is DIY old school, a flip back to the seventies with its design, recording, and release. Created with Dave Barbe (Sugar / Mercyland / Dave Barbe & the Quick Hooks) at his Chase Park Transduction Studio in Athens, the EP was recorded and mixed in just one afternoon. The two new songs and a cover of Superchunk’s Slack Motherfucker which emerged from that session come covered in self-made art and between them, band and HHBTM Records have set its price at virtually cost. It is a throwback in many ways to when passion and fans came first though fair to say, the music is the biggest pull with it.

The EP’s title track swiftly draws ears into its hands with a wash of initial sonic smog from which a rhythmic pulse begins laying down even richer bait. A single elegant melody soon wraps its charm around song and imagination too, another potent teaser heading towards the subsequent fuzzy squall of Jake Ward’s guitar and Marie A. Uhler’s stirring rhythmic enticement. As the former’s vocals make their plaintive case, the track’s energy and intensity begins to accelerate, its punk instincts rising for a tremendous crescendo of a finale.

With ease, Wigwam’s great start is matched by the scuzzy power pop of Only Birds (No Feathers). Within seconds Marie’s jabbing beats alone ensure the song has its hooks deep in a rock ‘n’ roll appetite, their nagging trespass surrounded by the hooks spilling exploits of Jake’s fuzz yielding strings. It is a commandingly catchy affair, a rousing incitement as seemingly familiar as it is certainly fresh and inescapable fun.

The final sonic roar of Slack Motherfucker is equally as captivating, Eureka California managing to give the track greater instinctive energy as well as melodic dexterity without defusing the causticity of the original. It is a fine end if over shadowed by the band’s original songs on Wigwam, itself a very intriguing teaser for what is to come in the future from Eureka California while being a highly satisfying romp for the now.

The Wigwam EP is out now on 7” vinyl through HHBTM Records.

http://eurekacaliforniaband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/eurekacalifornia     https://twitter.com/eurekacalifone

Pete RingMaster 25/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Madjive – Business first

All work and no play makes…. well you know the rest though no one seems to have told French rockers Madjive. There new album suggests that it is Business first but it is a sentiment which does not stop the band taking the listener on a feverish, mischievous, and riotous rock ‘n roll romp which is all about fun, fun, fun…

Hailing from the east side of France, Madjive has been unleashing their creative devilry since 2008. As their third album reveals, theirs is a sound which evades guidelines and rules, Business first a cavalcade of various styles and textures woven into a proposition as punk as it is hard rock, as garage rock as it is funk. Across two previous albums, a trio of EPs and a split vinyl release, the band has only cemented and increased their reputation while live Madjive has stomped across the broad landscape of Europe to matching acclaim, sharing stages with the likes of Powersolo, Richie Ramone, The Phenomenauts, Fuzzy Vox, The Jancee Pornick Casino, The Inspector Cluzo, Nada Surf, Lords of Altamont, VCPS and many others along the way. Business first is the wake-up call to those yet to be infested by the outfit’s devilment, a boisterous and excitable encounter which would not surprise if it incited global attention.

Ignition program turns the album’s key, its scything riffs and tenacious beats wrapped in a vocal web before leaping into a punk rock stroll sparking the body into a blur of eager movement. The funk growl of the opener twists into the punk ‘n’ roll of I am addicted. Again guitars chop and entangle the senses with their agitated jangle whilst rhythms shuffle within the quickly established funk infested saunter of the song. Led by more lively vocals, it continues to bounce and infest ears with a persuasion causing reactions living up to its title.

Its masterful temptation is swiftly eclipsed by the salacious lures of Same bone; a feisty charge of bold rock ‘n’ roll with the growl of Rocket From The Crypt and the instinctive devilish catchiness of  The Phenomenauts. At barely a handful of breaths over a minute in length, the glorious pleasure is sadly sort lived but imposingly memorable and thrilling before A spooky bargain brings its own haunted impishness to the party. Hooks escape its imagination at will, keys and guitars alone conjuring seductive bait as vocals colour and incite proceedings with mutual dexterity. Hints of Neal Hefti, the creator of the classic Batman theme tease throughout; the adventure recalling his finest moment within creative shenanigans all Madjive.

The contagious punk rock of Kid bazooka bursts to life next, it too equipped with appetite piercing hooks and devilment before the album’s title track declares its intent with rousing vocal unity quickly joined by forcibly persuasive rock ‘n’ roll. The track feels like a prelude to the bigger picture of Draft, sketch and outlines, the meeting’s  minutes setting the tone before its successor twists and turns with forceful enterprise and garage punk meets funk rock roguery. At its final statement, a moment of jazzy rascality comes over the album and ears, its unexpected detour leading to the blues funk playfulness of I can’t complain, a track somehow managing to sound like a hybrid of Red Hot Chili Peppers, System Of A Down, and Kings Of Leon without making such influences more than a whiff of a scent.

Both the previous tracks leave pleasure full if without quite at the heights of earlier tracks or found in the heavier rock ‘n’ roll of Rigged show. The track is a muscular and gnarly yet controlled and flirtatious encounter demanding subservience to its scything beats and sonic antics. There is hint of bands like Cheap Trick and Golden Earring to the song, but small hues in a certainly seemingly familiar but distinct escapade.

If the last song was relatively composed, We’re clear let’s manic traits fuel its character as it escapes speakers and the enslaving restraints of life to stir up body and imagination ready for the stormily sultry adventure of Desert peddler. The Morricone laced climate of the song is pure western drama, suggestiveness bound in similar descriptive intensity and artfulness to which Helldorado revel in, and quite glorious.

The album concludes with the vocal and melodic chicanery of Another guidance, a track trying to be composed and refined but it just cannot keep its punk heart chained, involving ears in a thrilling burst of garage rock high jinks with more than a keen nod to old school rock ‘n’ roll.

Business first, from its first dose of addictively satisfying and enterprising misconduct, inspires a hankering to get back with it as soon as possible, even before it actually comes to an end. It is a powerful lure from a stomp any fan of rock ‘n’ roll knavery will find a lusty appetite for. Throughout it does seem to persistently nag and remind of one band in particular, though one our thoughts have still yet to pin down, but Business first only announces Madjive as a band ready to stir up the rock world with inventive capers.

Business first is out now across most stores and @ https://madjive.bandcamp.com/album/business-first

Upcoming live dates:

16.04.207 – Clou – Grünberg – Germany

22.04.2017 – Cafe Ohne – Emerkingen – Germany

12.05.2017 – La Rodia – Besançon – France w/ Imperial state electric

16.06.2017 – Festival Erbasons – Etupes – France

30.06.2017 – Atelier des Moles – Montbéliard w/ CJ Ramone

25.11.2017 – La Taverne – Nevers – France

http://www.madjive.fr/    https://www.facebook.com/Madjive/   https://twitter.com/Madjive

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dope Out – Scars & Stripes

Formed on the first breath of 2013, French band Dope Out has earned a potent reputation in their homeland for their aggressive and stylish heavy rock sound. Now with the release of their highly enjoyable second album, Scars & Stripes, they are threatening to provoke the same kind of attention and support on a much broader scale.

Musically, the Paris quartet merges flavoursome traits from classic and hard rock with more punk, metal, and stoner essences for a proposition which feels familiar yet equally fresh and adventurous. The band has honed their sound and invention across a debut EP, All Hopes Inside, released that first year, and the well-received debut album Bad Seeds of 2014. The years between albums has seen Dope Out breach another level and maturity in their music; an evolution making Scars & Stripes a potently flavoursome proposal.

The four tracks making up the Lady Misfits EP which came out January 2016 made a tasty teaser of things to come, its potential straight away confirmed as Scars & Stripes hits ears with its title track. A lone bassline provides the first lure, its throaty twang soon joined by wiry riffs and rolling rhythms as the song brings its appetising bait all together for a predacious stroll awash with flaming melody. Once settled, the grouchy lead vocals of guitarist Stoner step up with attitude the fore, their irritated air matched by the hooks and grooves lining the slice of punk infused rock ‘n’ roll. Varied twists and turns follow to add to the captivation of the strong start to Scars & Stripes; a base the album only grows bolder from.

The following Dive is a just as appealing proposition, matching its predecessor’s success with its fiery web of grooves and enterprise spun by lead guitarist Crash over a rhythmic trespass driven by the jabbing beats of Mad and Doc’s heavy tempting bassline. As with the first, the song sets the tone of the album without exposing its deepest layers of imagination, that discovery really beginning from The Freakshow, which follows, onwards but still inciting a keen appetite for what is on offer so far.

The third song swiftly hits the spot, its initial pyre of sonic taunting mouth-watering but only added to by the rhythmic rumble which is soon aligned to a broadening design of flavours and invention.  Once hitting its resourceful stride, the track prowls like a mix of Dope and Marilyn Manson while its melodic blaze and earthy air has Gruntruck like hues to it. It is compelling stuff, only increasing its hold on ears as it twists and turns with imagination fuelled confrontation, blues grooves and steely tendrils increasing the fun.

Lady Misfits makes a more even tempered entrance, Stoner’s mellow tones joined by a just as relaxed melody as rhythms saunter with similar restraint. It is all a build-up though to a blaze of a chorus which after searing and pleasuring the senses slips back into the highly enjoyable calm, erupting with greater temptation throughout as the track continues to grow and reveal more of its captivating character and resourcefulness.

By now, the band and album has the lid open on their boldest adventure, next up Clan Of Bats bearing a spicy slab of imposing blues hued rock with an infectiousness breeding a chorus which is one of the truly memorable moments within the release. It is also the moment when you feel Dope Out really get to grips with their craft and imagination, the album having a real swagger to its presence and almost mischievous ambition.

The snarling rock ‘n’ roll of next up Shooting Gun keeps attention and pleasure high, its catchy swing and assertive intensity a potent mix before Nose White entangles ears in woozy blues grooves and stalking rhythms as vocals mix belligerence and invitation in their commanding persuasion. Carrying a touch of Black Stone Cherry and Hardcore Superstar to its body, only concentrated pleasure arises with it especially as its shadows darken and its tone and sinews become more invasive, luring the listener into its heart and the waiting devilry of Balls To The Wall. Another major highlight of the album, the song is a beast of almost violent rhythmic intent and sonic trespass, the guitars searing ears with their hook laden melodic flames whilst vocals scowl as the heart of the track erupts.

The album is brought to a just as feverish close by firstly Again, a song with infectiousness in its DNA and blues rapacity in its veins. As many of its predecessors, it has feet twitching and hips swinging with increasing relish, exhausting and pleasuring the body ready for the mellow caresses of closing encounter Soulmate, an acoustic reflection playing like a warm and increasingly enthusiastic night cap on a boozy rock ’n’ roll session.

It is hard to say that Scars & Stripes is overly unique yet has plenty of new elements to provide a truly fresh and increasingly enjoyable encounter; a proposition quite possibly coaxing a great more of the world to listen to Dope Out.

Scars & Stripes is digitally out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Dopeout/   https://dopeoutunited.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vukovi – Self Titled

Even before seeing her, Janine Shilstone, the lead singer of Scottish outfit Vukovi feels like a blend of Barbarella and Harley Quinn; a bold vocal seduction of beauty and devilry, glamorous temptation and mischievous warrior which her visual presence and energy only accentuates. Vukovi matches that inescapable focal point with a sound and energy just as tenacious and creatively boisterous not forgetting hungrily imaginative. It is all in evidence within the bands self-titled debut album,  a rousing and enjoyably imposing roar of pop infested rock ‘n’ roll as colourful and attention grabbing as its vocal protagonist’s hair.

Emerging in 2010, Vukovi have earned an acclaim ridden reputation for their live prowess which has more recently seen them successfully play festivals such as at Download, T In The Park, Hard Rock Calling, Live at Leeds, and British Summer Time Festival as well as open for Highly Suspect late last year. Equally a clutch of singles, many bringing their thrills to the album, have lured increasing attention which now the band’s first full-length will surely explode into even eager life such it’s striking fun and adventure.

Vukovi, band and album truly explode into life with opener La Di Da, a recent single which leaves the speakers shaking and body exhausted. Immediately, as a strike of musical drama scythes across ears, the titanic presence and roar of Shilstone ignites the imagination, her vocal strength and character a glorious trespass as warm and inviting as it is formidable and striking. Bass growls and swinging beats are equally as dynamically riveting, Hamish Reilly’s riffs almost stabbing the senses as Shilstone continues to blaze. A song partly inspired by the singers almost obsessive appreciation of the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn, it is a volcanic pop and rock stomp with a touch of Djerv about, indeed the Norwegian band’s vocalist Agnete Maria Kjolsrud the closest comparison to Shilstone’s distinctive presence that we can suggest.

The track is immense, a plateau setter which the album does not always match from thereon in but certainly worries track by track starting with And He Lost His Mind. With steely riffs quickly chaining ears with their predacious intent, and  vocal cries and rebel rousing just one trap in its manipulation of ears and body, the track borders the carnal whilst unleashing a catchiness as invasive and inescapable as it’s primal urges. For no obvious reason, post punks Xmal Deutschland frequently come to mind during the song, well a pop version of them, the track carnivorous in its earthy air and sonic snarl.

Weirdo has a lighter pop flirtation to its body yet still riffs and bass add their already established barracuda growl and heavy prowl to the stirring tempting. Drummer Colin Irving jabs with relish as melodies swirl with their own raw magnetic flair around emotion lined vocals before the Blood Red Shoes meets Morningwood stroll of Target Practice involves more caustically shadowy endeavour. Again bassist Jason Trotter brings a deep dark edge to the affair with ears while the catchy tenacity of its predecessor is equally matched as Shilstone robustly serenades with increasing passion.

Through the Paramore-esque charm of Prey, though we would suggest that the Americans have never discovered the instinctive thunder in their sound as that which persistently frequents song and album, and the controlled but naturally frantic exploits of Bouncy Castle, ears are aroused and buffeted with feet unreservedly worked on with zeal as the imagination is fed a variety of textures and enterprise.

Vukovi is more often than not tagged as a pop rock band but already the album has established them as real rock ‘n’ roll with a skilled hand at creating the warmest moments of infectiousness and emotive intimacy as betrayed in the beguiling Wander; a song where vocals alone seem to come from an inner flame of personal revelation. Similarly, I’M WIRED has that potency of word and expression within its cauldron of lava-esque sound, mercurial rhythmic incitement, and melodic radiance. Both tracks beguile; their personalities from another place on the Vukovi spectrum of creativity and as powerful and compelling as anything around them.

Next up, Animal has things lustfully bouncing again, its rhythms a driving infection as spiny riffs grizzle alongside the ever radiant vocal lament of Shilstone who in turn is hugged by the siren calls of keys, while Boy George leaves little to be further desired with its Animal Alpha hued stew of sound and imagination if admittedly it does not quite ignite personal passion as much as other songs, their success rather than any deficiencies within it the reason.

He Wants Me Not is another which only pleases with its crystalline grace and rousing energy but cannot quite live up to the heights of certainly the likes of La Di Da and Wander, though by its close satisfaction is overflowing and hips weary but still willing to embrace the gentle swing and roaring heart of closing track Colour Me In.

Produced by long-time collaborator Bruce Rintoul, Vukovi is our introduction to its creators, an encounter which with no expectations of it, surprised, thrilled, and certainly across its first two thirds just blew us away; its final stretch only confirming a new lusty appetite for the band’s sound. We do not expect to be alone in that realisation and strength of enjoyment.

The Vukovi album is out now through LAB Records, physical copies available @ http://vukovi.tmstor.es and digitally @ http://labrecs.com/VUKOVI-iTunes

http://www.vukovi.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/vukoviband      https://twitter.com/Vukoviband

Pete RingMaster 22/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Grumpynators – City Of Sin

People talk of “the difficult second album”, especially after a debut which leaves a trail of lustful fans and critical acclaim in its wake, something the first from Danish band Grumpynators certainly did. If it has been a tough period for the Copenhagen quartet it does not show within City Of Sin, their second album a seriously rousing and accomplished slab of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, or as the band calls it motorbilly. As impressive as Wonderland was, its successor outshines it in every way, from songwriting to sound, energy to contagion; it is a mouth-watering and exhilarating incitement leaving a deep and greedy hunger for more.

Formed in 2011, Grumpynators’ ever escalating reputation and rock ‘n’ roll prowess has been unmissable from day one, the band tearing up venues at a rate of knots while their first two EPs were no slouches in waking up ears beyond their already eagerly receptive homeland. It was Wonderland which truly caught broad attention though, something City Of Sin can and will only open the floodgates for. Grumpynators’ sound sits somewhere between metal and hard rock, psycho/rockabilly and punk; distinctive from day one it has only honed a uniqueness which fuels the beauty and triumph of City Of Sin today. Quite simply rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe it; the most arousing, devilishly aggressive, and irresistible kind making their new album essential stomping.

Produced by the renowned Jacob Hansen and featuring Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano, City Of Sin has ears and admittedly an already eager appetite because of past successes reeling from its first breath as opener Tears Of Whiskey bursts upon the senses. Straight away the driving beats of Per Fisker whip up hungry energy, the slapping incitement of Jakob Oelund’s double bass just as insatiable and matched by riffs and inflamed grooves. Feet and spirit are a quick submission to the bait; Grumpynators continuing to grip both with their Motorhead meets Volbeat scented charge led by the inciting vocal growl of Emil Oelund.

It is an outstanding start still managing to be eclipsed by the following pair of roars. First up is Hotel 2nd Age which needs barely seconds to hook allegiance with its initial melodic line. Christian Noergaard is a master at spinning the most addictive hook lined lures and webs, they often seemingly simple but always honed to instinctive temptation as here. As the initial tendril continues to wind around ears, a just as potent rally from Per joins in, riffs gathering behind before initiating one boisterous canter. If that was not enough to tempt the devil, Jakob uncages a deliciously throbbing bassline, raw seduction which is unrelenting from hereon in to add to the virulent and bold tango. With each hook seeming to intensify in taunting the passions as exotic hues tease from within Christian’s enterprise as Emil’s vocals and riffs further stir things up, the track is just glorious and quickly matched by its successor.

New praise gathering single Take The Last Dance With Me launches at ears with a zeal and energy again impossible not to be caught up in, riffs and rhythms colluding in tenacity as they lead to a chorus which simply demands participation. A song to ensure blossoming romances within any mosh pit it stomps and pumps its sinews like The Pirates meeting Misfits in many ways, but as all stands as something uniquely Grumpynators while preying on the weakness for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll.

Things relax a touch as the swinging throes of Then We Cried takes over, sharing its regrets and wishes borne from lost love. Jakob alone has the body bouncing, the heart yearning with the melancholic melody as Emil’s words which court self-reflection. As inherently and persuasively catchy as anything on the release; it’s tempting is full and multi-faceted ensuring thick involvement of the listener though that last lure applies to all songs as proven straight after again by Pretty Little Devil. Musically as tempting and darkly seductive as the temptress at its heart, the song croons and roars with that bass again instant slavery from within nothing but addictive temptation.

Through the heavy metal toned Far Away with its exhausting sonic gasoline and the rockabilly swinging Now I Know, the album shows even more of the diversity and adventure flowing through the Grumpynators release and imagination. The irresistible sing-a-long potency of the latter is just as persuasive in the psychobilly hued Fame, a spellbinding proposal with something of The Peacocks and Danzig about it, and indeed within St. Elvis Day after that; a song which you would expect is pure rock ‘n’ roll, a multi-flavoured romping stomping celebration.

The album’s title track sets another vertigo inducing peak in the lofty landscape of City Of Sin, the track managing to be the dirtiest most insatiably infectious slice of rock possible, almost poppy in its vocal chords stoking chorus. With rhythms relentlessly probing and sparking movement as Emil roars, the track is a bone shaking, spirit infesting uproar.

The album concludes with firstly the punk ‘n’ roll stand of We Are The Outcasts, anthemic defiance to hook and unite personal grievances with, and lastly the horror punk lit, blood strewn warning of Werewolf; together a thrilling end to an exceptional creative howl.

After Wonderland we will admit we wondered if Grumpynators could better it. Little did we know; better it? They have smashed it.

City Of Sin is released March 24th through Mighty Music.

Upcoming Live shows

24/3 Drafthouse, Hamburg (DE)

25/3 High Voltage, Copenhagen (DK).

7/4 Tante Olga, Randers (DK)

8/4 Paletten, Viborg (DK)

22/4 Sønderborghus, Sønderborg (DK)

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Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

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