Her Despair – Mournography

Mournography is an exploration into the mysteries of tragedy, blasphemy, death, and love; both literally and figuratively…The mourning of some, the lust of others. These songs praise and pervert the Word of God simultaneously: providing a deeply unsettling spiritual experience set to a bleak backdrop of melancholia.”

The words accompanying the new EP from UK goth/dark metallers Her Despair perfectly encapsulate its tone, heart, and seduction. It is a journey into dark places as broad as they are intimate through a sound as melancholic, thickly shadowed, and mesmeric as the emotion laden words within.

Formed in 2015, Berkshire hailing Her Despair began as the solo project of J; the album Hymns For the Hopeless its introduction that April. It set down the seeds and template for the rich fusion of atmospheric and emotive gothic and dark rock with the trespass of punk and metal. It was a captivating raw mix within that first encounter but now with Her Despair a fully-fledged band makes for one richly compelling proposition within the new encounter.

With guitarists Dan and Jord, bassist Vikki, and drummer Lee alongside vocalist J, and recorded with Matt Bew at Whitehouse Studios in Reading, Mournography immediately strikes the imagination as it opens up with Blaspheme With Me. Straight away there is a tenacity and controlled urgency in rhythms as the guitars entangle their lures; an energy which fuels every aspect of the emerging song until it hits a boisterous stroll behind the enticing tones of J. Hues of bands such as Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim collude with the uniqueness of Her Despair as the track grows, each essence adding to its captivation and seamlessly changeable gait. The outstanding song epitomises the band’s sound; it’s embracing of sturdier metal traits with its gothic instincts.

The following Valentine’s Mourning similarly has a raw energy and swing to its attack driven by the senses nagging boisterousness of rhythms with this time harsher punk essences infesting its character. Keys add to the melodic seduction and flames tempting within whilst as with the first track, an organic catchiness brings something akin to bands like Dommin to the imagination.

A darker calm caresses ears next with Within Tragedy; it’s almost funereal march an imposing yet rousing incitement matched in tone and intimation by the air and words escaping J’s vocals. The track is pure seduction with heavy drama in its tone and an immersive lure to its rich web of almost threatening romance.

Charming keys and harmonic calm opens up Damnation Tonight next, their coaxing soon immersed in the song’s thick theatre of sound and intimation. Though missing the final spark of imagination of its predecessors, the track simply tempted and embroiled ears and thoughts in its creative and emotive melodrama as the body instinctively swung to its virulent inclination.

In the Arms of a Sadist brings the EP to a close, it too making a calm entrance with reflection colouring word and sound. It is a dark brooding though which escalates throughout, sometimes ebbing as the track and J’s vocals reach deeper into the heart but always giving a magnetic shadow and trespass to the dark intoxication.

It is a fine conclusion to a release which fascinates from start to finish. Possibly there is a lack of individual surface uniqueness between the five tracks making up Mournography yet each enthrals in their own ways, more so with attention and time, and united ensures from start to finish the EP transfixes and impresses; increasingly so by the listen.

Mournography is released July 20th; available @ https://herdespair.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/herdespair/   https://twitter.com/herdespairband

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Hell Night / Sweat Shoppe – Split

A new split on Encapsulated Records sees two of St. Louis, Missouri’s finest come together for one simply tremendous encounter. The release features five tracks shared between Hellnight and Sweat Shoppe, a quintet of tracks which all unerringly got under the skin.

Pic by David Torrance

Hell Night provides the first two tracks within the split. Formed in 2014 by guitarist Andy White, the band additionally consists of bassist Eric Eyster, drummer Adam Arseneau, and the distinctive tones of former Shadows Fall and Overcast vocalist Brian Fair. Their sound is a ferocious yet instinctively animated fusion of metal and punk and as emphasized by the duo of offerings here fraught with virulently incisive hooks and grooves.

Their first track is Unincorporated, a predacious nagging of enterprise which is part feral part manipulation from its first breath. Fair’s rasping roar is soon infesting the invasive contagion, that array of flavours a rapacious entanglement squirreling its lures in ears and psyche. The track is superb, not richly unique yet wholly individual to the quartet as too its companion Overburden. Heavier and slightly more intense in its gait and tone, the song also webs the senses in the niggling prowess of guitars and bass as Arseneau’s beats bite and arouse. Its melodic undercurrent is just as tempting, new wave hues lining its understated but potent tease within the more carnal trespass.

Hell Night’s outstanding duo of tracks as quickly matched by the trio uncaged by punksters Sweat Shoppe. Another foursome, the band emerged in 2015 and includes members of The Disappeared, Horror Section, and The Timer as well as Ultraman vocalist Tim Jamison, the full line-up completed by Justin Haltmar, Gabe Usery, and Andrew Brandmeyer.

Lost and Mean is the first of the band’s tracks and immediately barrages ears with its unfussy yet skilfully honed attitude and ferocity. Its old school tone is instantly addictive within the minute and a half of punk belligerence, riffs unleashed and hooks uniting for a catchy invasion which continues within the even briefer Circumstance. The track’s hooks and riffs are ravenously contagious within the darker tone and climate of the song, aiding its inescapable persuasion and addictive trespass whilst reminding a touch of British punk legends Angelic Upstarts.

The final track from them is Clawing Brain, another antagonistic scowl of sonic contagiousness and rhythmic contempt around the attitude loaded vocal release of Jamison. It completes five tracks which do the highly enjoyable business with raw passion, energy, and imagination as well as a bit of intimidation. If either Hell Night or Sweat Shoppe has yet to hit your radar, their coming together here is one unmissable introduction and you can enjoyable further songs from both outfits on the Quarter Hour Of Power compilation also from Encapsulated Records; each release available digitally and on 7” vinyl now @ https://www.encapsulatedrecords.com/collections/releases   https://encapsulatedrecords.bandcamp.com and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hellnightus/   https://www.facebook.com/sweatshoppemusic/

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Filaments – Look to the Skies

There are some sounds and records which may be firmly bred in a certain style or flavour but organically transcend boundaries to appeal to a diverse multitude of appetites. UK punks The Filaments and new album Look to the Skies epitomise that quality, its overwhelming energy, captivation, and simply rousing escapades posing as songs instinctive pleasure for almost anyone with a passion for creative fun.

With their debut album released in 2001, The Filaments has become one of punk’s finest and richly established propositions if not quite sparking the tide of success and awareness their songs and releases have deserved. Even the disbanding of the Chelmsford septet in 2005 has not diluted their creative prowess; in fact since reforming in 2009 the band has just tapped into a richer vein of writing and sound for our ears, with Look to the Skies their finest offering yet.

Bred from a punk heart as classic as it is bold, The Filaments’ sound just as keenly and instinctively embraces the rich hues of ska, 2-tone, Oi and more. Straight away Look To The Skies relishes this creative appetite and zeal, opener Fuck The Alt”-Right driving through ears with raw energy and attitude fuelled by its street punk breath. There is a great Stiff Little Fingers lilt to the short but explosive start to the album, its aural discontent mutually uncompromising and contagious.

Look To The Skies follows up its great start with its title track, another swiftly virulent encounter with a ska nurtured swing to its punk roar reminding of another of the UK’s finest in The Vox Dolomites. Hammond spiced keys add to its tide of lures, the duo of guitars and vocals a raucous incitement alongside and even more manipulative in next up Rip-Off World. More ska punk than ska spiced punk rock, the song had bodies bouncing and vocal chords blazing within seconds, only encouraging greater participation as it upped its magnetic enterprise and infection.

With barely a breath allowed from the listener between songs, album and band incite even greater involvement with the catchy punk ‘n’ roll holler of No Men To Parade. Something akin to Flogging Molly meets Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions to try and tag its individuality, the song is viral infection with a just as magnetic snarl and lyrical snagging.

As manipulative as their energy and catchy prowess is so is the diversity to the band’s sound which is emphasized by the emotive serenade and drama of the following Living In The Crosshairs. Like Rancid crooning with The Members, the song just got under the skin, brass and keys warm caresses to its rhythmic enticement before  Underdogs sets the album’s bounce at its loftiest. The track is superb, an invasion of invention and flavoursome fun which has every limb and deed locked in its sights and persuasion in quick time. It also echoes another great trait to the band’s sound, its seemingly familiar sounding uniqueness and relentless freshness; here a seductive Ruts DC scented dub twist adding to the lure.

Tread Carefully is just as insatiable in its hunger to get the listener leaping whilst snarling at the world; sounds, vocals, and words in rapacious league to infest and incite which it does with undiluted success for two breath taking minutes while its successor Ask No Favors shares four minutes plus of melodic flirtation lined with Madness-esque poppiness as drama builds syllable by syllable, note by note in tandem with pleasure.

The dirtier roar of All We’ve Ever Known leaves body exhausted and lungs empty next, another track hard to evade raucously joining in with, but somehow the album draws another burst of energy in both as within a breath of its predecessor, The Verge uncages its irresistible deeds and coaxing.

Killing Machine brings things to a mighty close, the track a punk driven rebellion with psychobilly devilry and ferocious virulence.

We could go on about the triumphs of Look to the Skies for numerous more paragraphs but the bottom-line is it is an album which attacks, consumes, and excites from start to finish with as mentioned barely a breath from release or listener being taken. It is not an album for punks; it is a release for anyone who loves rousing rock ‘n’ roll.

Look to the Skies is available now via Pirates Press Records and @ https://thefilaments.bandcamp.com/album/look-to-the-skies

 

https://www.facebook.com/thefilaments

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tailblock – Think Or Be

As much as instant slavery of ears goes down a treat with us offerings which take their time to blossom and accelerate their temptation are just as enjoyable. Think Or Be, the new EP from British trio Tailblock manages to be as good as both. It is a six track roar which easily grabbed the appetite from its first attack but only grew and flourished with greater and in turn keener attention play by play. High praise took to its predecessor couple years back and it is unlikely it will be a stranger this time around either.

Hailing from Dartford in Kent and emerging in 2016, Tailblock released debut EP, Burn Your Bridges, at the close of that first year. It was produced by Ian Sadler (Anavae, Roam), who returns to add his touch to Think Or Be, and as said earned numerous plaudits. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Glassjaw, Hundred Reasons, Rival Schools, and Reuben and it is the latter which most comes to mind in varying shades across the new EP. Even so, the threesome of Jak Coleman (bass guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Kingsmill (drums/percussion/backing harmonies), and Gary Ptaszek (guitar/lead vocals) hold their own individuality in a release which sees their post hardcore nurtured sound much more assured, diverse, and adventurous than in that first encounter.

The EP opens up with its title track and an immediately insistent tide of riffs and rhythms from which a delicious hook springs to quickly be joined by the strong tones of Ptaszek. In no time it is a rousing roar, even in its calmer moments a spirit sparking incitement from within which that infernal hook has ears and lust dangling.

It is a seriously infectious and muscular start to the release firmly backed up by Heavy Arms. The band’s latest single it too teases and tempts with a hook which just gets under the skin, this time the band using it from the first second to nag and tempt. There is a more controlled gait to the song and a swing which had the body moving in unison, Jamie Lenman and co an easy comparison to its opening infection. There is also an underlying volatility which does not quite ignite but definitely adds a great feral quality around the pure catchiness of the song. A mix of pop, punk, and alternative rock, the track is thick contagion with the backing vocals of Coleman and Kingsmill as potent as Ptaszek’s lead and all three’s musical prowess.

Rocket follows quickly establishing its heavier presence as the wires of the guitar and throbbing lines of the bass surround the thumping beats of Kingsmill. It too has a catchiness which cannot fail to incite feet but did miss the particular spark of its predecessor for our ears. Its emotive edge though is a strong hue, an increasingly persuasive one which leaves nothing on the table within the ferocious Blisters. A fiery attitude soaked offering as inescapably catchy as it is imposingly aggressive it soon steals favourite track honours especially with its melodically seductive climax.

The EP concludes with firstly Listen, a song rising from a rockabilly-esque temptation to another emotionally charged yet controlled saunter. Even so its melancholic elegance erupts in moments of sonic fire with its mercurial landscape a ride of heart bred turbulence and tenacious enterprise. Its successor, 100, similarly has a great unpredictable air and touch to its character, acoustic coaxing and vocal reflection leading to melodic infection and spirited release in emotion and sound.

It is a fine end to a proposition which grows and further impresses by the listen. From the start we rather liked it, now it is one we fiercely recommend. There can never be another Reuben, one of our all-time loves at The RR, but in their own distinct way that gap just might be filled by Tailblock; Think Or Be suggests so.

Think Or Be is released July 13th digitally and on CD.

https://www.facebook.com/tailblockband

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Between The Lines – To The Wind

We can debate whether two tracks constitutes an EP or a single as in the ‘old days’ but what was easy to agree on at The RR is that To The Wind, the debut release from UK outfit Between The Lines, is one very enjoyable and blatantly contagious affair. Creating a mix of pop punk and alternative rock, the Bedfordshire based quintet has introduced themselves in fine energetic style.

Formed in 2017, Between The Lines soon inspired potent local and further afield support before earning shows alongside the likes of Better Than Never, The Young & Restless, SEASONS, and Reckless Intentions. There has been real energy to the emergence of the melodic punks which has been as infectious as the spirit in the two tracks which have attention locked, pleasure loaded, and the body bouncing within their debut.

To The Wind starts with its title track, a distant rhythmic heartbeat swiftly looming in with that seemingly instinctive spunkiness quickly being joined by an animated hook amidst lively riffs. Settling into its snappy stroll, the enticing vocals of Alex Lewis step forward with a delivery which reveals potent variety as the song continues. Driving the track, the beats of Tom Hogan nag and harry ears, inviting eager physical response as the guitars of Adam Brewster and Sam Burnage spin their web of melodic and spiky goodness. Perpetually cored by that flirtatious hook, the track leaves ears wanting little; certainly there is something strongly familiar about the track but it only adds to its vivacity as the band’s more individual potential hints.

Second song is Anywhere But Here and it too needs a mere breath to manipulate feet and attention as riffs and tenacious rhythms get to work. Whereas the bass of Lewis Wolton was sunk a touch too much into the mix of its predecessor for personal tastes, it is a throbbing lure at the forefront of the final song with his lines as inescapably virile as the rousing vocal roar and the urgency of the guitars. Punk rock unapologetically catchy and punchy with great zeal in its heart the song hit the spot with ease.

Being suggested for those with an appetite of bands such as Four Year Strong, Chunk! No Captain Chunk, and State Champs, Between The Lines is a band worthy of keeping a close ear upon especially if they can realise the promise of their excellent debut and fuel it with the uniqueness they are already giving glimpses of.

To The Wind is released July 6th digitally and on CD.

https://www.facebook.com/BTLUK   https://twitter.com/betweenTLband

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cancel – Dark Reveries

Dark Reveries is the new album from Swiss hardcore fury Cancel; a release which echoes its titles with tracks which savagely grab you from reality to immerse in rousingly, often carnally raucous dissonance. It makes no compromises in its assault and attitude loaded irritability but tempers the compelling causticity with flirtatious imagination whilst declaring the Luzern quintet ready to seize global attention.

Founded in 2011, Cancel has released a host of ear grabbing proposals around a richly received debut album in Circle of 2015. Their sound has evolved across each encounter and ventures a whole new plateau of enterprise and devilry within second full-length Dark Reveries. It is tagged as hardcore but freely ventures across the landscapes of noise, punk, metalcore, and post hardcore with each individual song.

It opens up with Mind Burial, instantly expressing raw vocals and sound upon the senses as rhythms closely prowl. Stalking the listener, the track soon hits a more urgent stride without losing all its restraints; captivating attention with every passing second of its Coilguns meets Red Tape like assault. An instinctive groove seizes its moment to enslave as rhythms continue to prey, all the while the band’s imagination brewing and taking a thicker hold on the album’s thrilling start.

The following Hysteria surges through ears with punk ‘n’ roll rancor, beats thumping with flirtatious violence as group shouts and urges accompany individual temptation. It is a seriously enjoyable and insatiable trespass emulated in its own way by successor Golden Rats but given a whole new web of twists and turns to become scorched by and addicted too. Both tracks reveal more of the bolder hunger and adventure in the band’s sound; exploration further stretched and exploited within the invasively mercurial Death Cab. As its punk heart bellows and ensnares like a malicious Shevils, the band’s rock ‘n’ roll instincts gains momentum, the great blend of vocals following the imaginative endeavour. Wiry grooves and the brooding growl of the bass only add to the unbridled magnetism brewed and devoured.

Poor Man’s Sermon is pure seduction from its first breath, the song slowly unwinding its unpredictable body note by note, clean syllable by alluring word until strolling through post punk/rock terrain courted by throat raw vocal toxicity. It is a fascinating affair and mix which only intensified its ire and hold by the second before the punk hostility of Chased Feelings ripped through ears. It too though embraced a mix of flavours and urgencies within its brief tenure, making way for the anthemic roar and challenging antipathy of Freedom On A Cross. As its predecessor, the track swiftly got under the skin with its predacious swing and inescapable curse of hooks and grooves.

The following minute and a half sees You`re Everything I`m Not ravage the senses, its Converge-esque punk feud colluding with rock ‘n’ roll arousal to manipulate and enslave while Human Machinery straight after sees Cancel spark the imagination more forcibly in its minute of instrumental darkness than many bands do in a ten minute plus flight of suggestion.

Dark Reveries finishes off with its title track, another song which is on the hunt from its opening seconds of sound and invention but with an eagerness which refuses a negative response. It is a swing and purpose which shuffles its attack but cores it with an infectious lure which never deviates from its intent and success.

It is a fine end to an album which just impresses further by the listen. Cancel might not grow to be one of Switzerland’s greatest exports but already they are definitely one of its most pleasurable and captivating.

Dark Reveries is available now @ https://cancel.bandcamp.com/

 http://cancelband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/CancelBandOfficial

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hot Sauce Pony – Burnt Ends

With the debut album from Hot Sauce Pony prowling anticipation, the UK outfit unleash its first lure in the shape of the carnally seductive Burnt Ends. The track is a ravenous teaser of that forthcoming self-titled offering, a song which has calm, beauty, and ruin colluding for a frustratingly but imperiously short one minute plus.

Formed in 201, the London band consists of vocalist Caroline Gilchrist, guitarist Ross Davies, bassist Stephen Gilchrist, and drummer Anna Dodridge. Their sound is a unique fusion of noise and punk rock with grunge, post punk, and hardcore hues. They call it Avant Hard; we call it in regards to the new single feral sensuality. The track and the upcoming Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey) album follow a first single in Fenced In which aroused rich attention and intrigue. Burnt Ends more than builds on its ear grabbing success and thick potency with a moment where extremes unite to devour the senses with beauty and ruin.

From its first breath Burnt Ends had us licking lips, the charred growl of the bass a bestial temptation matched by the just as roasted snarl of the guitar. Swiftly the melodic siren tempting of Caroline’s vocals drew ears deeper into the cremated offering, the slow manipulative swing of Anna’s beats just as irresistible. Like a fusion of Horse Party, Morass Of Molasses, and Mudhoney with a whiff of Young Marble Giants yet firmly individual, the track just got under the skin and into the psyche as hips continued to sway to its primal groove.

Such the pleasure, it really does frustrate when the track stops suddenly and without warning barely a clutch of seconds past its first minute. It leaves nagging, teasing fingers though as its elements continued to echo in thoughts long after departure.

Leave them wanting more is the key to success some say, and without doubt the hunger for the band’s eponymous debut album is on the point of rabidity thanks to Burnt Ends.

Burnt Ends is released June 22nd via Brixton Hillbilly. The band also has first single Fenced In available as a free download  @ https://soundcloud.com/brixton-hillbilly/fenced-in-by-hot-sauce-pony

Upcoming Hot Sauce Pony live dates:

23rd June Club 85, HITCHIN

30th June Betsy Trotswood, LONDON

16th August – HY-Brazil, BRISTOL

https://www.facebook.com/hotsaucepony/

Pete RingMaster 20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright