Medusa – In Bed with Medusa

 

Having found ourselves taken with sound and invention of UK trio Medusa with their 2011 released second album, Can’t Fucking Win, it quickly became apparent that there was nothing predictable about the band’s music but as confirmed by its successor Headcase’s Handbook three years later it has persistently proved a thickly compelling affair. Both albums were rich in the band’s punk fired rock sound and bold in their intrigue loaded magnetism, traits again just as fertile within the band’s new album, In Bed with Medusa.

The new release though is a whole new beast to be tempted by, one which still bears the inimitable breath and touch of the London based outfit but as its title suggests has an unwrapped intimacy which challenges as much as it fascinates. It is a far darker and rawer involvement with Medusa, one which startled from the off and has persistently caught us off guard with its almost feral emotions and untamed enterprise but fair to say with every listen has left us thickly hooked.

Emerging in 2006, Medusa is the creation of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Julian Molinero, the band’s line-up on the new release completed by bassist Kotaro Suzuki and Towers of London drummer Snell, the latter recruited barely eight weeks before recording which took place with Steve Albini at his studio, Electrical Audio, in Chicago across the first four days of  December 2019. You can only imagine this intense recording time has added to the raw energy and heart of a release though equally such its resourceful drama and touch you can only feel it was always meant and going to be such a soul bearing proposition.

Oblivion opens up the album, a song which instantly unravels an instinctive infectiousness in voice and sound even before hitting its more aggressive and energetic punk ‘n’ roll stride. Molinero’s tones are as bare breathed and provocative as the melodic wiring escaping his guitar between punk bred chords, rhythms a potent anthemic incitement beneath it all.

*love not included seamlessly springs up from the closing straits of its predecessor, the track another with a persistent, indeed voracious catchiness to its punk ‘n’ roll incitement. Hooks and sonic wiring lured and gripped ears as boldly as rhythms and vocals, the track provoking and inviting keen involvement in its naked heart and touch before River Phoenix, inspired by a biography on the actor, lays a calm hand on ears before erupting in a tempestuous rock ‘n’ roll squall again embroiled in emotional turbulence.

There is an open richness to Medusa sound which is entangled in a host of rock flavours, alternative and hard rock textures among them involved within the melodically woven, deviously contagious reflection of The Girlfriend Experience while Lost in Dystopia shares more classic hues in its virulent canter; a grunge lining to both tracks as well as others within the album accentuating the wonderfully unvarnished feel of its presence and heart. Indeed Ride the Styx bears Nirvana-esque shading to its greedy nagging of the senses, the first of our favourite moment considerations within the album swiftly set.

The pair of No Such Thing and Inverse Paradise offer up quick challenges to that choice though, the first with something of an Everclear air around a classic metal wired holler another pinnacle of the release with the second eclipsing both through its almost XTC like setting bound in blues nurtured wiring as Molinero muses proving irresistible. The latter is also one of a pair of acoustic tracks which were recorded in a hotel room overlooking Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle, in Transylvania.

Lenore provides a fiery enticement for ears, maybe one which lacks the sparks of its predecessors for us but still held eager attention before that final slice of acoustic enterprise in the shape of Distress Signal brought In Bed with Medusa to a fine close. Whether bred on intimate experiences of its creator or through observation, it is a potent engagement with ears and thoughts alike; one epitomising the stripped and exposed fertility of the album.

A release which grew in presence and enjoyment by the listen, In Bed with Medusa simply backs up its predecessors in suggesting Medusa is one of Britain’s brightest and unique propositions and with its own openly individual endeavour a band all should at least consider checking out.

In Bed with Medusa is out now and available @ https://medusaworld.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 26/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Ghost Wolves – Let’s Go To Mars b/w Last Man

Real uniqueness is a rarity you greedily feast upon when you find it and such it is for us with The Ghost Wolves. There is nothing like the sound that the Texas duo spring upon ears out there, plenty maybe akin to it in some slight aspect but nothing truly like it as proven once more within their new two track single, Let’s Go To Mars.

Formed in 20010 and voraciously playing shows at home subsequently venturing into the world ever since, The Ghost Wolves consists of husband and wife, drummer/vocalist Jonny and vocalist/guitarist Carley Wolf. Their sound is a fusion of punk, rock ‘n’ roll, garage punk, and blues with an equally ripe appetite for electronic imagination.  It has bred a host of ear grabbing releases across the years, another coming now in the shape of the combination of Let’s Go To Mars and Last Man; for us their finest most irresistible moment yet.

Let’s Go To Mars lures the listener aboard its flight from its first cosmic breath and indeed Carley‘s mischievous giggle, the song quickly and eagerly strolling alongside the firm urging beats Jonny swings. The nagging blues of the guitar makes for a just as inviting reason to participate, the pair’s vocals goading the same intent as Jonny’s analog synthesizer casts fumes of melodic intimation. Like a mix of B-52’s, Snake Rattlers, and The Immortal Lee County Killers but unmistakably unique; together sound and song rousingly enveloped the airwaves in cosmic captivation.

Last Man provides the just as thrilling B-side, the track an apocalyptic serenade upon dark electronics with an early Fad Gadget scent. It is a haunting piece of seduction, Carley’s vocals siren-esque over the calm but still lively beats of Jonny, her guitar a flirtation similarly reserved but hungrily potent amongst it all.

The Ghost Wolves again prove and insist of their distinctiveness and creative peculiarity with their new single and once more of the feral majesty they bear.

Let’s Go To Mars b/w Last Man is released via Dirty Water Records worldwide on 7” vinyl and digitally on February 7th; pre-ordering available @ https://theghostwolves.bandcamp.com/album/lets-go-to-mars-b-w-last-man

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Pete RingMaster 28/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Unbroken – Human Crown

It may have been unleashed last year but Human Crown is one encounter you really do not want to have missed. The release comes from Brooklyn metallers The Unbroken and offers five rousing tempests that had us grinning from ear to ear.

The quartet brews a ferocious cauldron from a feral fusion of punk, thrash and groove metal and it proves a potently incendiary mix in this their debut EP. Influences to the band include the likes of Metallica, Pantera, and Slipknot and in some ways there is plenty that is familiar to the release yet from first to last breath Human Crown stands as something aggressively individual and fresh in ears and indeed the metal scene.

Co-produced by the band with John Bender (Breaking Benjamin), mixed by Johan Meyer (Gojira) and mastered by Alan Douches (High On Fire, Mastodon), Human Crown erupts upon the senses with Stuck In The Way, an initial spiral of guitar sparking a thicker volution of groove wiring, the pugnaciously swung beats of Tamas Vajda in the middle. That grooving continues to wind around ears as lead Mark Johnson skilfully entangles the lead vocals of fellow guitarist Chester Oszustowicz, the song forcefully jabbing and inciting as it leads to a chorus which is just as galvanic. There is something akin to American Head Charge meets Mudvayne to the encounter but swiftly it stamps down its own compelling character as the EP gets off to a voracious flyer.

Suffering In Silence follows and quickly lays down its own formidable proposal, rhythms tenaciously marching through a weave of riffs, from which Johnson casts another rich melodic web. Hitting its meaty stroll, contagion soaking sound and vocal attack, the track swings with more of the virulent grooves the band is already proving so fertile with as the bass of Jeff Hinz magnetically growls in the midst of it all, ears and attention eagerly immersed in the thick enterprise making up the welcomed trespass.

Though the track did not quite get under the skin as its predecessor it only had us greedy for more which the EP’s outstanding and spiky title track delivered. Its calm melodic opening made for an evocative contrast to the storms before though a volatile heart is soon exposed as Oszustowicz’s belligerent vocals erupt in the background. As things brew a delicious nagging groove breaks, the vocalist’s snarl riding its rapacious incitement while it all leads to a brief but dynamic chorus, the cycle repeating to further enthral.

Just as addictive is next up I Never Forget, its agile entrance soon the seeding for more of The Unbroken’s unapologetically ravenous grooves and barbarous but welcomingly manipulative rhythms. From start to finish the song savages as it seduces; it’s snarled tone and truculent nature proving as irresistible as the quarrelsome sounds making up its untamed character and inescapable persuasion.

Nothing Left To Sell brings the release to a close, it immediately coaxing ears with a melodic caress full of intimation and elegance and again from the equally warm and intrigue hug of vocals which blossoms a charged and irritable eruption breaks driven by thrash nurtured riffs. The song though is a tapestry of contrasts, the reflective and serene uniting with a disturbed and volatile divergence as the band’s imagination and craft shape another fresh aspect in writing and sound.

The Unbroken is a band easy to see making great strides up the metal ladder especially if Human Crown is a sign of things to come and they exploit its very open potential and prowess.

Human Crown is available now @ https://theunbroken.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Flesh Tetris – High Score

We left checking out last year’s debut album from UK outfit Flesh Tetris by declaring it “a tonic for the musically curious, a rousing reward for the bold.” It was an adventure with the band’s unique sound and creative devilry which offered a big boisterous treat for all dipping into their enthralling world. High Score is the band’s new EP, a trio of tracks which exploits the ripe mischief and temptation at play within that full-length, Wrong Kind of Adults, and soaks it with a fresh dose of enterprise and flavouring demanding attention.

Once more the ingredients to the Flash Tetris sound are as potent and captivating individually as they are united. The double vocal dynamics of Eva Menon (Cauldronated) and Andy Heintz (The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing) are a fusion of tease and attitude, a mix echoing their lyrical revelry while the tapestries of hook loaded melodic and electro enterprise woven by bassist/guitarist Andy Duke (Top Buzzer/The Duel/Cauldronated) and keyboardist/vocalist Karen Bell provide the springboard for lost inhibitions. It is an incitement for body and imagination driven by the manipulative rhythms of drummer Jez Miller (The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing), the quartet a creative devil which as we have found before quickly had us dancing to its tune within High Score.

Though their inimitable fusion of electro rock, punk, and alt pop stands well aside of anything else there is a certain Rezillos-esque character to Flesh Tetris especially suggested by their new EP. Their sounds are wide apart but the hook swinging contagion they conjure and the massive grin carrying mischief they spring in enterprise and fun has a close connection to Scotland’s legends.

High Score opens up with A.I. and immediately has vocal chords indulged through the song’s own call before leaping into its infection loaded stroll. Heintz and Menon entangle their individual antics with that ever present devilment to the fore, their united rousing of ears joined by Bell’s equally bewitching tones. Unsurprisingly to Flash Tetris fans, things only twist and warp as the track evolves, Bell’s theremin prowess as magnetic as the unpredictable throes of the song on its way to erupting in a virulent contagion of a chorus.

Already a new richness in sound and writing is evident, the song a fully rounded encounter with all the creative fiction and daring rascality we have come to expect from their music. The following Schadenfreude is a potent echo of the fact, its body a swinging pop rock holler built on wiry grooves, melodic trickery and across the band vocal fertility. As Miller’s beats wield their air puncturing dexterity Bell’s keys weave a radiance which envelops the passions as much as the sonic agility of Duke.

Three In A Cubicle concludes the romp, the track sauntering with an imperious groove as the band observe or recall “seedy goings on in a nightclub lavatory.” Even in its relatively controlled gait there is a feral quality to the song with aligns perfectly with its melodic dexterity and inescapable catchiness. There is also a great seventies power pop scent to its buoyant breath which got under the skin as easily as the song’s many other infectious aspects.

Infection is indeed the most apt way to describe Flesh Tetris’ music, one we hope to never shake off though with releases like the delicious High Score that is not going to happen any time soon.

The High Score EP has its launch on February 15th at The Dublin Castle, Camden.

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Pete RingMaster 05/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

She Made Me Do It – Scorched

She Made Me Do It is a band which weaves compelling adventures not only in sound and the web of flavours making up its character but also from the rich shadows within the depths of both and the duo’s imagination. Across a host of releases and tracks it has provided a kaleidoscopic landscape of intimation and contagion which has maybe been no more compelling than within new EP, Scorched. Its five tracks share intense enterprise and rich drama, the release a bold venture into the outfit’s creative psyche and one eagerly tapping into the cinematic conjuring of the listener.

The successor to their acclaimed Drenched EP, Scorched finds the twosome of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, Scant Regard, The Selecter, Bow Wow Wow, Flesh For Lulu) infesting their alternative electronic rock with the richest tapestry of genre varied threads to escape the London based pair yet. Theirs has been a proposition always embracing the ripest essences of punk, new wave, post punk but the new encounter borders on the ravenous in its seizing of fresh diversity.

Scorched opens with the band’s new single, Love’s Demise bounding in on a tide of voracious rock riffs and swinging rhythms before the swiftly joining tones of Dax show just as much hunger in their melodic enticement. Crewdson’s guitar continues to snarl as its infectious nature aligns with that of Dax, hard and punk rock spices taunting as electronic fingers tease in the riotous but controlled stomp.

The rousing start is only accentuated by Fun and Games, a track which lit up the airwaves with its uncaging as one of last year’s best singles. A calm but keenly coaxing electronic pulse dances in ears first; it’s subdued but apparent skittishness soon surrounded by a contagion of air splattering beats and attention burrowing hooks, it all courted by the delicious dark bassoon-esque grumble of the bass. The infection loaded stroll is soon equipped with greater temptation as Dax brings her perpetual craft and captivation, alt pop and punk insisting on uniting with the track’s rock instincts to dig deeply and relentlessly under the skin.

Throughout both, shadows lurk if in a subdued state but now flood the sounds within the EP’s stunning third track and our senses. It is a cover of The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys, a slice of already undeniable greatness given a whole new breath of drama and potency. Crewdson and Dax draw out the anxiety and tension of the original, increasing both as they escalate the post punk heart of the original. It is pure drama, emotions caught in a dense spiral of apprehension and inescapable contagion as the band equip the song with a cinematically claustrophobic air soaked in an emotional cold war amidst a crepuscular soundscape.

The equally exceptional Poison Aura follows, it too a dark senses consuming address of ears and thoughts even with the golden glow of Dax’s voice an absorbing light across the track’s caliginous tone and post punk nurtured landscape. The encounter ignited the imagination as much as ears as again a theatre of intimation provided a palette of suggestion so easy for the imagination to paint with.

For all the thick ravenous shadows the band breeds, each track is a surge of greedy catchiness too, the band’s pop instincts fuelling the heaviest dark and equally the most boisterous light, final track Fatal Confidante epitomising all in its esurient virulence and pop punk featured tenacity. As much as the EP’s tracks infest ears and imagination with the creator’s craft and fascination, all invade feet and body with a matching zeal, the last song on offer unscrupulous in getting the listener bouncing.

With a cover any band on a similar endeavour will have to truly go some to match and a striking quartet of inimitable and unique She Made Me Do It goodness, the sensational Scorched confirms the duo as one of the UK’s most exciting and imaginative encounters; one we have already been enslaved by and do not apologise for urging all to check out with even greater lust.

The Scorched EP is out now, available @ https://shemademedoit.bandcamp.com/album/scorched-e-p

https://www.shemmdi.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shemademedoitpage   https://twitter.com/SheMMDI

Pete RingMaster 05/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Engine Summer – Back-Street Boys

Suckers for idiosyncratic hooks, irregular rhythms, and drone back grooves which nag their way into the psyche, it was inevitable that the new EP from Chicago hailing trio, Engine Summer, would have us dangling from its aberrant antics and warped imagination like a dysfunctional puppet and lusting after every second time and time again. Back-Street Boys is manna to the anomalous freak in us all; a collection of tracks seeded in the deviancy, irreverence, and contagion of the finest post punk, psych rock, and indie eccentricity known to man but a gathering breeding the kind of uniqueness which keeps us lustfully lost in the grip of music.

Consisting of Jeremy, Benny, and Ry, Engine Summer formed in late 2016 and quickly made a potent mark on the Chicago live before venturing further afield with two tours of the East Coast. Sharing stages with the likes of for Ra Ra Riot, Bodega, Acquaintances, and Baked along the way and a pair of EPs as well as their debut album has only cemented their reputation for creating apologetically catchy but maverick songs which linger long after their arrival. Back-Street Boys is the successor to their acclaimed Indiana EP, one “piggybacking off” their 2019 Dion Lunadon of A Place to Bury Strangers mastered predecessor to breach a whole new plateau of Engine Summer pleasure.

Their new offering is bookended by the band’s previously released singles, Carol’s Dead and Night School, an entrance and departure which is worth the effort of digging into Back-Street Boys alone. The first of the two more taunts than invites attention with its initial resonating throb of bass and lure dangling guitar but with the same impossible to ignore intrigue at its core. As tenacious beats increasingly swung their manipulative bait and the band’s twitchy vocals united in a just as lively and devilish static dance on the ears, the track enslaved as it stomped around with irresistible dynamics and attitude. Teasing with essences reminding of bands such as Gang Of Four, Artery, and The Fall across its more forceful individuality, the song is glorious and one of the best tracks of the past decade.

Night School similarly proved why its great success as a single, its stroll less boisterous but just as persuasive as nagging chords and persistent rhythms aligned to orchestrate instinctive movement and further hunger for their atypical exploits, Each are feasts for any with a post punk and krautrock nurtured appetite and fair to say that in between, the two tracks the enticement proved just as addictive and galvanic.

Suds follows the EP’s first track, quickly laying out its own web of spiky hooks around motion chivvying rhythms. Like a hybrid birth in a contorted fusion of The Fire Engines, Swell Maps, and We Are The Physics, it like its predecessor had us wrapped around its sonic finger before Under the Sea leapt in with an indie pop dance within a psych punk cage of compulsion to equal have us drooling.

Groovin’ on 63rd marries the renegade of eighties post punk with a similarly aged new wave devilment before embroiling it in the band’s freak bred imagination, a garage punk breath only adding to its funky disposition while Likes saunters along with a meandering Melvins-esque smile to effortlessly worm under the same skin its predecessor had already breached.

Completing the line-up is Spice Boys, a psych pop serenade as sublimely infectiously in its harmonic charm as it is in its darkly contrasting rhythmic canter. Adding yet another shade of imagination and flavouring to the release, the track seduced as it coerced; its intoxication epitomizing the fascination and distinctive enterprise which makes Engine Summer one seriously hypnotic band and the Back-Street Boys EP their finest moment yet.

Back-Street Boys is available now @ https://enginesummer.bandcamp.com/album/back-street-boys

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Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

LongFallBoots – For The Journey

The clue was there in the EP released soon after their debut album of 2015, a more than strong hint now thickly fuelling the new album from UK outfit LongFallBoots. Quite simply as it has evolved, their sound is becoming dirtier and more primal yet equally it is becoming more compellingly devious and eagerly imaginative, a mix which makes For The Journey one easy to recommend invasion of the senses. It is a release which will not be for everyone but hold an appetite for voracious grooves, dense scuzz soaked riffs, and a heaviness which devours the senses whilst a band spins a web of invigorating enterprise and it is a must investigation.

The Warwickshire band was formed by guitarist Alex Calvert-Caithness (KOSS, Cincinnati Bow Tie) and drummer Ben Holdstock (Paralus, Cincinnati Bow Tie) the night their other members of the band they were in  failed to turn up for rehearsal one night. Two and a half hours later and LongFallBoots emerged with the It Was Duke EP written. A series of further EPs followed, all written in a single night and recorded over a brief weekend. It was debut album Wait For The Echo of 2015 which awoke a great many more to their voracious multi-flavoured sound, the You’ll Know It When It Happens EP a year later cementing their reputation for ear grabbing enterprise and senses devouring sound whilst igniting that fresh feral but inventive breath which makes For The Journey so boldly stand out.

With stoner, space, and heavy rock essences as ripe within their noise borne groove woven sound, it is enjoyable not to easily tag the results but imagine a fusion of Melvins, The Great Sabatini, Mastodon, KEN mode, and Converge and you get a suggestive whiff of For The Journey. Diving into album opener Start offers the character if not the diversity of the album, the song coaxing ears with a melodic invitation before invading ears with a horde of guitar and bass riffs upon the biting beats of Holdstock. His throat scarring roars only add to the impact with the track truly gripping ears through virulent grooves and a combined vocal prowess across the band.

Bullet Cake follows, it too needing mere seconds to entice attention as stoner nurtured lures beckon ears as an increasingly heavier breath soaks every subsequent note and roar. All the while melodic and harmonic enticement work their temptation, the bass and vocal potency of Amy Smith a contrast of dark and light around the sonic weaving of Calvert-Caithness and fellow guitarist Jonathan Martin. The track is a magnet pretty much like all within the already gripping release, next up No Rest confirming the point. Once more a gentle captivating beginning leads to a primal surge of sound and subsequent senses ravishing endeavour, a great sludge rock consumption revolving its persuasion with intricate melodic teasing.

That ability to intrigue and seduce from the very first second of a song is a potent trait in the band’s writing and imagination, the outstanding Good (In Theory) stepping forward next to epitomise that quality, the punk soaked scourge of sound which follows its opening persuasion as captivating in its voracity and discontent while Part of the Plan for one minute and a half relishes the temptation of its Melvins meets Pixies spiced irritability before in turn Devolver shakes things up again with its fusion of sludge thick enmity and gentle melodic reflection.

That diversity within For The Journey continues to flourish as the grunge meets melodic rock of Take It Back demands attention, the volatility in its heart and breath as compelling as its calmer infectiousness while both Nihilust and POWAH welcomingly trespass ears with their respective melodic/garage rock and infernally barbarous proposals. The thrilling latter nags as it drones, seduces as it entices, ears never knowing whether to succumb or escape as the song twists through its kaleidoscope of imagination.

As Megabear teases and taunts with the vocals of Smith pure temptation and To A Man wraps its web of wiry deceit and tenacious enterprise around again fearing but addictive ears, the album just breaches another level of tempting, one cemented by the dense and delicious rock ’n’ roll of The Old Tongue and the drama soaked journey of Sailing Stones.

Concluded by the epic adventure of Palindrome, a track which ensures its length is easily embraced through surprises, enterprise and imagination, For The Journey left us exhausted and hungry for more. LongFallBoots is band which in a way came to be by accident or after the glory of their new album maybe it was simply music fate.

For The Journey is available now @ https://longfallboots.bandcamp.com/album/for-the-journey-2

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

Pete RingMaster 26/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright