Demons, boogies, and punk ‘n’ roll: entering the realm of The Hellfreaks

Having been hooked on The Hellfreaks and their horror punk/psychobilly bred sound way there was certain sadness when the band split up four years ago. Thankfully it was a short lived demise but their return brought an evolution in sound and new excitement and intrigue towards the quartet. We had the pleasure of catching up with the band recently so they can tell us more about times past and present, and all things Hellfreaks.

Hi all and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hell there, thank you for having us!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and how you all came together?

We are The Hellfreaks, a 4-piece punk-rock band from Hungary, Budapest, which is quite in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. But somehow, with a bit of luck and hell lot of work we managed to play way more shows over the border, than in Hungary. Since the foundation in 2009 we have played over 200 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.

In 2014 the original band split up for a while. But it looked like Sue’s (our singer) destiny did not agree with that decision, as one of her biggest dreams just arrived via email right when she started to accept the situation: an invitation to play in the USA. At that time she decided to stitch up the wounds from the past and to restart the band with a new direction and new band members. This is how the new generation Hellfreaks, the one you have right here, were born.  Our bass player, Gabi, and our guitar player, Tomi, had known each other before they joined the band, but in the end it was the band itself which brought all of us together.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

All of us played in different bands before, and all of these bands have been very different – but also, all of them have been rock bands. So we’re all true to our roots and just do what we love at the same time. However, none of us had ever had a band like The Hellfreaks, as this 4-piece-group never played together before. It’s a combination you couldn’t duplicate.

What inspired the band name?

To be honest, the birth of the band name did not happen yesterday. Sue was more or less a kid when she formed the band. The only thing she can clearly remember is that she came up with the idea when she was working at one of her very first working places, at a rockabilly bar, where she didn’t even earn 2$ / hour, so far from home that it was almost impossible to get back late at night. So the birthplace of the band was quite a hopeless place and compared to that we’re very happy about how far it went!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Our founding band member, Sue, literally grew up with this band. She never expected to tour regularly across Europe, to have a video clip with over 4 million views or to have this as her main life-project for the last 10 years. It all started in an old, dirty, wet cellar as a rehearsal room without even having a window – so we guess a band couldn’t get started more underground. There wasn’t even a goal, we didn’t even have proper equipment; it started just as a hobby thing without any plan.

That might be the reason why this band has changed so much from the start in absolutely every aspect. Our musical style has changed a lot – from a horror-punk billy influenced band, we turned into a punk-rock band, our sound developed a lot, we even changed the upright bass to a normal bass, had many line-up changes …so it has become something more, from starting without a plan to having plans and a goal.

But anyway we think that “change” in general is a good thing, nothing to be afraid of, because only change can bring development:  and we’re just not the kind of people who can stand still, we love to work hard on our skills, we love to see how we’re able to make one step after the other, even when it comes by way more effort than most of you could imagine.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

We grew up, we have changed and our goals have changed with us. Especially as we collected our little “rewards” step by step over the years: touring first abroad, touring regularly, playing with some bigger bands, touring over the big pond, recording album, getting signed by labels  etc. So it’s a natural process, that our goals have changed, otherwise nothing would push us forward.

But it’s important, that the main point – the fun and exciting process of writing songs, the feeling of getting on stage and playing for those who came there only to see you… that is the best thing ever! All that never changed, and all that make it worthy. Fun and happiness is the core of passion, and nothing could ever change that.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We would compare our sound at the beginning to a stinky, forever-alone, home sitting, but totally lovely daydreaming teenager who with the years turned into a no-risk-no-fun adventurous world traveller who is a bit better-dressed. Our sound has changed so much! In the early years we were so much focused on playing billy influenced music, belonging to that genre and that subculture, which we loved by the way. But after a while it was not satisfying anymore. The limits of the genre totally killed our creativity, it was more or less impossible to do something new, because that genre was more about being stuck with those musical roots and in the past. Which has its own magic as well – but as an artist, it wasn’t “giving” anymore, it was more a ‘taking” thing.

So in 2014, after a short break and reorganisation of the line-up we just decided to do whatever we want, which turned out to be more punk rock than expected, but it was like taking a huge breath after being way too long under the water. Luckily it turned out that our fan base was still with us, and became even bigger after we decided to walk our own path. And as we are already working on our new album, we can promise, that this road we started to walk has still not come to an end.

How much of that step towards more punk nurtured adventure was just organic and how much the band deliberately trying new things?

It comes with a lot of work, but it is also a natural process, that we hate to repeat ourselves. We like change, we like to work hard to get better, we like to see things developing, and we definitely don’t like to run the same rounds again and again. It’s a good thing when you know that you are able to push your limits, it makes you feel alive and strong.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

There are no influences on purpose, so of course we all had and still have influences but we try to use them as inspiration and try to find the sweet spot of our common musical taste. If we had to list what kind of music we listened to during the writing and recording process of our last album, you would get a list from A to Z. We think that is one of the key features that makes us able to create something unique in the end. We don’t want to walk along a well-trodden path, we don’t like being someone else – which is only possible if your creating process is not lead by someone else.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

All of our albums had a totally different writing process. Just to have a few words about our last release Astoria: Absolutely everything was different and new. New people, looking for a new sound. So there is nothing we could compare to the past. Besides that, these songs were more like written outside the rehearsal room: we made many many demos at home and some of the lyrics were not even written in the same country as in which we wrote the music! At that time, Sue was moving back from Berlin to Budapest, but she had to go back to Berlin for some weeks in the middle of the writing process. For example, the lyrics of our song Why Do You Talk was written while she was working.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Sue writes all the lyrics of the songs, and it’s hard to summarize what they are about. At the very beginning, the lyrics were more tale-like, not selling her sorrows, more like kind of entertaining ones. But as time passed, Sue grew up and realized that she was heard by way more people than she had expected, so she decided it was better to be brave than to be nothing: so right now she is really going naked in her lyrics – you find and read a lot about her thoughts and feelings in and between the lines.

 Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We don’t want to kill the magic of music for the outsider, but the truth is, that recording an album is an extremely expensive process. It always takes us a longer time till we have the necessary financial background to start recording, and we have to spend every cent of it wisely, to make sure to bring out the best of it.

It would be a dream for us to have the possibility to work in a professional studio from ground zero. But right now recording-wise we need to have a 100% finished plan and concept before we even step into a studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are a very honest, loud power package on stage … this kind of music is just made to be spread by huge boxes, so it’s just where it naturally belongs.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and beyond. How have you found and achieved it?

And again we might destroy some illusions, but the only thing we truly believe in is hard work. And that’s all that any new band can do to get wherever they want – to work your a** off and – it’s the worst cliché ever, but it’s just so right – not to give up. There is an endless number of people out there who are telling you to do it, but just don’t listen to them, go on and stay on your ground.

There are sooo many great musicians and singers out there – the only way to be better than the rest is to work more and to believe that one day it will be worth it.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

We have seen both. Personally we have grown out of the MySpace times. Our first concert invitation from abroad came via a MySpace message: so we were there when MySpace was the-place-to-be for a band, we were there when Facebook became the big thing, and we will be there and prepare for the next step as well.

For us personally, it’s a wave that we like to ride, but only because our singer is working as an online marketer as well, and she is really much into all these devices. So we accepted and also learned a lot about the platforms we can have as a band. But we see many many other bands who are struggling, because they are not into social media, they have no sense of marketing, and if they don’t find help from the outside, they are getting lost pretty quick.

But it definitely has its problematic side – if you want to be a musician, it’s not enough anymore to be a musician. In one person, you have to be your own CEO, your own sales department, your marketing department, your web designer, your graphic department, and of course, while you are all of that in one person, you still have the struggle not to lose your artist in yourself – and the artist is exactly the opposite of all of that I have listed before and that makes it quite hard.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you so much, hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows!

Upcoming Live Dates:

31.03 – Austria, Vienna at Local Bar

05.05 – Hungary, Székesfehér at Nyolcas Műhely

01.06 – Romania, Timisoara at Revolution Fest

13.07 – Serbia, Exit Festival

03.10 – München, Glockenbachwerkstatt

04.10 – Germany, Ludwigsburg at Rocknrollbar

05.10 – Switzerland, Meyrin at Undertown

06.10 – Italy, Treviso at Nasty Boys

01.11 – Germany, Hannover at SubKultur

02.11 – Germany, Erfurt at Ilvers Musikbar

03.11 – Germany, Berlin at Wild At Heart

16.11 – Hungary, Budapest at Robot

Check out The Hellfreaks further @

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A fanfare of enterprise and adventure: talking with Krista D

Singer, songwriter, artist; Krista D is an emerging talent beginning to lure keen attention especially with her multi-flavoured rock bred sounds. For our introduction to the Canadian’s music we had the pleasure of talking with Krista about her sounds, songwriting, other projects and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you for this opportunity!

Can you first introduce yourself and tell us how you began making music?

My name is Krista Acheson and I’m a singer-songwriter, with no official live line-up right now. I record with the help of session musicians and I’m mainly a studio project. I started writing quite young, around 14, and completed my first full length album at around 16. I was moderately active up until 2008 then I took a 7 year break. It’s been awhile since I’ve officially released anything.

Have you been involved in bands or projects outside of your solo work and if so how has those experiences affected your own creativity?

One other band I sang with a long time ago was called A Beautiful Disaster from Moncton, NB. They were a wonderful, talented group of guys. We weren’t really similar in style preference, but what I did learn from that experience is that music can be fun. Not that I never have fun with my own music, but when I write something it begets the process of tracking down session players and doling out money. It was just nice to play for the joy of it and get paid opposed to always being the one who is paying.

For the sake of style variety and a different direction, I actually have two other projects I’m doing right now, but they are also governed by me. Hooha and the Peter Guns is a project I will be releasing experimental rock music under and I have a soft rock project called Molly Grue. I intend to release EPs for each of those this year.

Any particular story behind the name Krista D?

I was young when I started in music so I just based it on my name, Krista Doucet. I was also recording in the Christian music genre at that time but as I got older I disconnected from that lifestyle. I decided to keep the name but ,in order to indicate the life shift, I visually branded myself to allude to the character Sandra Dee from the 70’s movie Grease; who also underwent a bit of a life transition in the film. The band logo, the name of the EP, the pitiful accordion bit I play at the very end of You & Me, are all references to the movie/musical. There’s also a snippet of the movies’ audio hidden somewhere on the EP.

Was there any specific idea behind your music and songwriting when starting out in what you wanted it to offer?

Forming my project was mostly initiated by the discovery that I had a knack for singing and songwriting in my early teens and I have carried on with it because it’s another branch of creative expression; aside from the visual art I create.

Intent-wise, I like there to be levels of meaning. For example: I would want people to listen to a track like Run Jane Run and catch that the title, and writing format, is alluding to the old Dick and Jane phonics’ books. There’s also no chorus in the song; and that kind of forces people to have to listen to the lyrics. It’s a simplified story about a mother who experienced trauma and refused to deal with her subsequent coping behaviors which then resulted in the same behavior pattern being replicated by her daughter. So it’s a song written in a basic teaching format about a topic I feel is very important.

Sonically, I choose genre to direct mood. I pick elements from various genres that I feel make a song sound happy and then contrast it with some punk rock elements because then the tone goes from happy to snarky. I also think applying perkier genre elements make lyrical content dealing with rape or domestic abuse more emotionally palatable.

How has your writing and music evolved over time?

I have to say that I didn’t evolve on this project, at all, especially as a few tracks are re-mastered re-releases from a previous album. I chose to give a few tracks a second chance because I’m very eclectic and I tend to bounce between different genres a lot. The last album was a bit of a marketing nightmare as a result of being so mixed and it didn’t do any of the tracks any favors. That’s why I’ve decided to divide my songwriting efforts into 3 projects. This project is the one I’ll release any tracks that are a hybridization of punk rock, ska, 50’s style, 3 part harmony and doo-wop. Once I complete the other two EPs and I step back and look at all of the material as a whole, it might be clearer if I’ve evolved as a writer.

It evolves a little depending on what musicians are brought in to play the project; mostly because their taste and style is automatically imprinted onto the song by the way they approach it. Where I don’t have a consistent band line-up the only thing that is left to truly evolve is me and I don’t feel I ever change very much. Overall, I feel I have a distinct pattern or rut, depending on how you view it.

So anything you try or new hues you bring in to your music is organic or more deliberate?

When I try something new it’s usually through introducing a different instrument and it’s stemming from the desire to enhance a mood; at least in my mind. I’m not sure it translates to anyone else. Like for Simple Social Tragedy, I decided to write a tuba part because I wanted to communicate a lumbering drunk feeling… like the soundtrack in an old cartoon. I’m probably a nightmare for the session musicians because my main directions are mostly “can you make your instrument sound drunk? Or can you make your trumpet sound slutty? I have a new track I’m working on that I want to hire a harmonica player for. Getting to incorporate a new instrument is always super exciting!

Are there any particular inspirations which have impacted on your music and how you approach and think about creating and playing?

When I was young, I was not really allowed to listen to music that wasn’t religious but I was sometimes able to listen to an oldies radio program called Finkleman’s 45s. I loved it. I attribute a lot of the genre elements I mix into this project to listening to that program.

Tell us about your songwriting, the processes you go through etc.

I think it’s one of those things that processes on a subconscious level and then, once it knits itself into a song, it floats to the surface and I hear it in my mind, sometimes completely formed as if it’s a song that already exists. The emergence is either triggered by a chord progression or sometimes nothing at all. Recently I had a melody repeating in my head but I was going to bed and too lazy to write it out, but when I woke up in the morning, it was still there… like it insisted on wanting to exist. So I’ve written it out and now it’s in queue to be recorded. A frustrating element to my songwriting is that I don’t even play the instruments I hear parts for. I’m sure other songwriters experience it too, but most writers I assume are at least good at one instrument. I think that’ll be my next focus; learning to play at least one instrument well, opposed to being able to clumsily half-ass several.

Where do you draw inspirations to the lyrical side from?

From the people I meet and the things that I’ve experienced. For example: Penny for your Thoughts is about the life of a woman I used to work with named Penny and likewise Black Eyed Susan is about a woman I knew named Susan. Sometimes the songs are about my own experiences; Land Mine is about the emotional process of trying to deal with a bad relationship by starting a new one that promised to be just as tumultuous. My life was a big mess when I wrote Land Mine, so the concept of dancing through volatile, unseen explosives was an apt allusion.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

This is my first release after dividing my music efforts into three. I’ve already divided my visual art, and now I’m re-launching my music career as a trimorphic singer-songwriter. The Krista D project is the one with the most experience behind it, so I’ve started with this one.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

The general theme is it all stems from life events. When songs are borne out of an actual experience, or emotion, I think it’s easier for listeners to automatically relate to.

For example: Simple Social Tragedy is about a guy who relentlessly harassed me in a bar; with such a bizarre intensity it had to have been a bet. I’m sure the track is relatable for any person who has encountered the feeling of being reduced to a sexual conquest. That feeling where the person approaching you seems to have zero awareness that you have any thoughts or feelings; you are merely a thing they want to use for their own pleasure.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I’ve been told I do things oddly, but this is my general process for anyone that is curious. First, I make a painfully rough demo. If I have no guitar player to help me do that, I’ll just record myself singing the melody and lyrics in the structure I want. The demo goes to a session musician who plays guitar and bass to a click or programmed drums. I then do scratch vocals. Then I hire a drummer. I listen to the track and decide if I like how things are feeling and if not I’ll bring in an additional guitar player whose musical background is a different genre to try to manipulate the track to the feel I’m looking for. If I decide I want to add an instrument, such as a trumpet, I work something out on a keyboard. I take the part to an engineer to help me patch the midi to its desired instruments sample so I can hear the part in context to the song. If the part I wrote works, then I hire someone to write it as sheet music- which I then give to a session player. Then after I have all the additional instruments parts in, I clean up my main vocals and do background vocals and harmonies. That’s basically the convoluted process of how a song comes about.

Is there a live side to Krista D?

You know…I’d have to say playing live is currently my least favorite thing about music, but that’s because I’m fairly reclusive personality-wise and it’s expensive to hire live session musicians. If I ever find a nice group of people to play with regularly, I’m sure it would be a lot more fun.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there?

You know…I’m not quite sure yet. Locally I’ve had a difficult time connecting with live musicians so it’s been a challenge for me to get out and play. I’ve been told it’s a great community though. Other musicians I meet seem to be very embraced by it. I, however, will be playing my first show in this city next month, karaoke style, with mannequins as my band. I do have a band to back me if I play in the Maritimes or in Calgary, if I travel west.  So, as soon as I finish up some visual art projects for local gallery shows, I may just plan to tour outside my city.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I actually have very little social media presence right now, and that’s a combination of my being terrible at it and the fact that my online social media efforts are divided into 6 projects. But the internet, in regards to connecting me to places I can’t physically travel to, and making my music accessible worldwide, is an extremely positive and vital thing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for the interview! And thank you to anyone who read the interview and listened to the EP. If anyone is interested in following my 3 music projects and/or my 3 visual art aliases, feel free to add me on Facebook : or everything is accessible individually through here:

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Double Negative

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are indeed guilty as charged; charged by us of unleashing one of the most incorrigible, darkly mischievous, punk ‘n’ roll gems of this and many other years maybe going back to the Victorian times and arcane deeds  theming their sound and glorious new outing, Double Negative. Irresistibly addictive, deviously manipulative, the British outfit’s fourth album is a coming of age of sorts but you can be assured just the beginning of richer shenanigans as they nudge on much greater attention.

Suitably, the band was birthed in the surrounds and history of Old London Town, springing from the new friendship and creative coming together of guitarist/vocalist Andrew O’Neill (SunStarvedDay/Plague Of Zoltan) and vocalist Gerhard ‘Andy’ Heintz (Creaming Jesus). The former was breaking into a successful stand-up comedy career around the time and soon invited the latter to help write and perform some daft songs and play musical saw to enhance his act. The beginnings of The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing were sown, subsequently seeing bassist Marc Burrows (The Pittstops), also a comedian and writer, joining the band  with drummer Ben Dawson (Million Dead/ SunStarvedDay) completing the line-up. This was a decade ago and since then the quartet has seen multi-instrumentalist/drummer Jez Miller (Lords Of The New Church)replace Dawson and release three increasingly well-received albums.

Their sound began with a certain air of and was embraced by the steampunk scene but has moved away from that style in heart and music by the release as now boldly proven by Double Negative. The album is pure punk rock yet has so much more to its depths; essences of metal, noise, and rock ‘n’ roll embroiled in its inimitable holler as too a devilish air akin to bands like The Cardiacs draped in that tenebrific and so often grisly Victorian drama and the brazen but never overpowering humour expected of exponents of stand-up.

It is a perfectly balanced and rousing mix which instantly fuels album opener Supply And Demand; a Burke & Hare inspired stomp bringing the listener to their feet from its first breath. Riffs and hooks collude with an inescapable rhythmic swing, the track recalling the heart of seventies punk before spreading its own theatre of enterprise within its cadaver littered tale. It had us bouncing and vocally roaring within a few swift moments, a sign of great rock ‘n roll in anyone’s book.

The following Baby Farmer is just as virulent its temptation and effect as Amelia Dyer goes about drowning unwanted babies in the Thames. The dark nagging bassline had its claws in instincts straight away, Heintz’s vocal snarl adding to the lure as the slim but potent lure of riffs, hooks, and beats. O’Neill’s even rawer backing cries only add to the overpowering persuasion before Hidden entices the listener not only into the broader depths of the band’s sound but its arcane shadows, O’Neill performing a rite called The Bornless Ritual within the song’s infectious prowl. With threads of heavy metal and gothic/psych rock entwining its punk core, the song just enthrals as it infests.

Disease Control is next, the track sparked by “John Snow’s discovery that the Soho cholera epidemic of 1854 was waterborne”. It harries and bustles around ears, its almost carnal climate a dirty punk ‘n’ roll infestation with another hip stirring groove and rhythmic teasing while Obscene Fucking Machine simply seduces from start to finish with its Dead Kennedy’s esque grumble. A damning look at Queen Victoria’s ”big, fat fucking machine” of a son,  Prince Bertie, the track is aural addiction in the waiting with its own healthy line in punk twists and rock turns.

Through the Jack The Ripper instigated Occam’s Razor, or rather the money breeding, conspiracy guessing industry grown up in its historical wake, and the raw metal punk scourge of God Is In The Bottom Line, closer attention is only enslaved even if neither quite sparked the level of lust of their predecessors. Each though fingered the wants and desires in our punk appetites which There She Glows and its ‘romancing’ of Marie Curie further rummaged with its Steve Ignorant & Paranoid Visions meets The Ghost Of A Thousand styled boisterous croon.

The album concludes with There’s Going To Be A Revolution, the only fictional track within Double Negative yet certainly one incited by the poverty, injustices, and oppression of the modern world, of any era. It is a raw and imposing tempest of sound and discontent which rubs vociferously on the senses, gnaws on ears, and gives the album a stark and sonically rapacious curtain closer to get the teeth into.

Punk rock always need a new fresh breath to keep it ahead of the game and always seems to find it. Double Negative and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing is the next wind to arouse and inspire even if a roar soaked in previous centuries and their nefarious adventures. We for one just cannot wait for its companion in the two album cycle started by this real gem.

Double Negative is out now on CD, Cassette, Vinyl and Digital Download via Leather Apron Records across most stores and @

Dates on The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’s current UK tour:

SAT 17 MAR – York, Fulford Arms

SUN 18 MAR – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms

MON 19 MAR – Cardiff, Globe

TUE 20 MAR – Chester, The Live Rooms

WED 21 MAR – Leicester, The Shed

THU 22 MAR – Exeter, The Cavern

FRI 23 MAR – London, The Dome

SAT 24 MAR – Southampton, Joiners

SUN 25 MAR – Bristol, The Exchange

TUE 17 JUL – Detroit US, Motor City Steamcon

 Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Amsterdam Red Light District – Sapere Aude

Though The Amsterdam Red Light District seized major plaudits as they boldly established themselves within the punk/hardcore/rock scene with second album Gone For a While in 2014, the release still missed stirring up the kind of fervour in us that others were finding the certainly highly enjoyable encounter. It seems that we were just waiting for a particular undefined spark which has now undoubtedly caught within the France based band’s new fury, Sapere Aude. THARD’s third album is a beast of a roar, as ferociously infectious as it is instinctively irritable and emotionally tempestuous and for us by far the best thing the band has unleashed.

With inspirations found in the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled, Europe has been the broad sounding board for the 2005 founded band’s sound over the past few years, THARD sharing stages with the likes of Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer alongside their own successful shows and tours. This month sees the band off on their travels again with Sapere Aude lock and loaded in their arsenal.

It opens up with Nobody Moves Like You and a spiral of acidic grooves and heavy handed rhythms which lure ears and attention like a magnet. Swiftly it settles into a tempestuous stroll as catchy as it is belligerent, Elio Sxone’s vocals an alluring temper in its midst backed by those increasingly captivating grooves cast by guitarist Maxxx Comby. A blend of hardcore and metal, the track has a natural swing which alone infested the appetite with the dark tones of Greg Clert’s bass adding to the instinctive temptation. Vocally Sxone brings adventure and diversity to match the raw and skilfully woven sounds around him in one glorious inventive brute of an introduction.

The following The Best Is Yet To Come is just as quickly and intrusively gripping. Featuring Cancer Bats front man Liam Cormier, the track simultaneously grumbles and seduces in voice and sound, the rhythmic trespass of drummer Julien Chanel driving its intent and forceful urgency as the guitar and melodic aspect of the vocals bring a ferocity tempering enterprise. As its predecessor, it demands and commands willing attention with adventure and imagination.

Two songs in and already the album has whipped up personal passions missed by previous offerings and only ups the ante with the fiery punk ‘n’ roll of Need. Again vocals and music create a cauldron of contrasts and ferocity with balance and adventure, the song having something of Every Time I Die meets The Ghost of a Thousand to it as it too inflamed the senses and appetite before Wild Life sparked its own blaze of praise and ardour with its hellacious creative clamour. Blending various aspects of ferocious intrusion and melodic captivation to its punk metal, vocal harmonics adding to the drama, the track simply whipped up greedy attention.

Carry On is an infection of temptation, tenacious hooks and riffs colluding with the song’s emotional irritancy and rousing breath; all bound in an enterprise as persistently catchy as it is rapacious. It all comes though with an ebb and flow which only increases its fascination and imagination while Over The Fence in turn uncages a sonic squall and a senses battering rhythmic dance which holds similarities to its predecessor before unveiling its own quest of creative discontent.

The turbulent spirals of Waiting For The Day needs little time to incite intrigue and imagination next, its opening web subsequently draped in vocal and sonic dispute again as magnetic as it is corrosive in a psyche infecting mix which nags and harries as it bruises and excites. That raw incursion is only intensified in The Whole City Burns, its melodic metal aligning with feral punk in an invigoratingly abrasive holler loaded with spiky riffs, barbed hooks, and melodic fire.

The album concludes with firstly Evil Stakeholders, a slab of crotchety yet melodically bewitching raging which maybe did not quite inflame as others before it but only reinforced the impressive character and force of Sapere Aude. Its title track is the final offering, an outro of intimation and samples reflecting the portentous state of the world with bursts of rhythmic incitement. Maybe better served as an intro to the album in some ways, it is a fascinating last breath to one striking release.

From first note to last Sapere Aude truly stirred our fullest passions, that anticipation for bigger bolder things ahead sparked by its predecessor more than realised in a release sure to feature as one of the year’s greatest moments.

Sapere Aude is out now via Red Light Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hell Fire Jack – Chains

It is dirty, raw, and unforgiving or in the words of the band itself, “Brutal Blues” which escapes the creative throes of ‘angry bastards, loud as Hell’ British duo Hell Fire Jack. It is also one compelling trespass on the senses and emotions which has come to a glorious head in the band’s debut album Chains. Imagine Seasick Steve infested by the spirit of Lux Interior as The Hangmen infuse their own devilry and you get a sense of the rapacious roar at the heart of the band’s first full-length.

Formed in 2012, Hell Fire Jack is vocalist/guitarist Alex Trewhitt and drummer Josef Karl, a pair from Yorkshire creating addictive toxic sounds which sizzle on the senses as they get rhythmically bitch slapped. It is not for those who want their music to be a comfort; an easy going escape without danger but for those who love to feel threatened whilst rocking out like a dog in heat, Chains is a thrilling demonic puppeteer.

It is also an album which simply blossoms song by song, each bringing something fresh and varied to the blues heart which breeds their predacious incitements. It is not just the sound which lures the listener into the dark, lyrically songs find seeds in “mental instability, insecurity and a constant struggle with modern life” to provide an intimacy which works away at thoughts just as the music gets under the skin and into the psyche.

As you might have surmised, we were seriously taken by Chains, it gripping attention and appetite from pretty much the first deep breath of opener Hell-O. The coarse but inviting riffs of Trewhitt’s guitar quickly lead ears into the waiting lures of his wiry grooves and the swing of Karl’s fevered beats. The former’s vocals are soon similarly magnetic, the pair creating a rousing concussive stroll leading feet and hips into fevered antics as shadows crawl the imagination. The track is irresistible, a stirring roar of blues and garage punk trespassing air and listener with every essence shared.

Cyborg swaggers in next, every beat a shuddering lead, each riff a rapacious scour on the senses but it all as virally infectious as the vocals cruising the inescapable persuasion. As the song epitomises, there is a great nagging quality to Hell Fire Jack propositions, an imaginative persistence which has body and appetite bouncing, and success Dark Horse only emulates. Its initial atmospheric smog is soon pierced by Karl’s anthemic swipes, it all building to caustic catchiness spewed by the guitar in an In The Whale/ Dick Venom & The Terrortones spiced shuffle.

The sonic liquor of Old Whiskery echoes assumptions going by its title, a sonic intoxication which deviously flirts in groove, voice, and beat while The Hustle chugs along with many similar traits of its predecessors to equal if less striking effect. It is familiarity though which gives Hell Fire Jack its individuality and incites a greed for more as words and syllables persistently bite within it all.

A sonic liquor swollen party comes in the shape of Don’t Come Knocking next, the track harrying the senses as a rousing vocal assault grips the imagination. It swiftly has its hand on best track heights before losing that honour to the quite brilliant Mr. Sinister. The track is horror blues punk alchemy, a proposition to breed lust over even with there being something indefinably recognisable about it.

Through the controlled but open sonic fever of Take a Hold and the predatory intimation of Sunday Best the album only reinforces its potency and persuasion though neither song can quite live up to the previous slices of rock ‘n’ roll manna. Each so they just grip attention with their varied enterprise, the following Lock and Key with its old school hues and garage punk dexterity then matching their heights with its composed but incisive swing.

Another major highlight is sprung with Better the Devil, its atmospheric, haunting melodic welcome alone enough to crow about but adding the subsequent tempestuous landscape and the Danzig-esque spicing which grips its tenacious blues prowl and the track simply escalates in character and prowess as well as impressiveness.

The album’s title track brings things to a close, a song which crawls through ears and thoughts with the instinctive infection of old school rock n’ roll and the lithe meandering of blues rock, it all boiling up and igniting in sonic blazes which sear the senses. Enthralling second by second, the track is rock ‘n’ roll at its basest and most compelling and a transfixing close to one thrilling release.

Hell Fire Jack never truly hit the brakes with their high octane attack and sound but when they do give them a nudge, you get taken to the darkest most seductively menacing places. Simply put Chains is a real pleasure pretty much like no other.

Chains is released February 14th on iTunes and @

Upcoming live dates:

Sat Feb 17 Hell Fire Jack album launch party, Harrogate, United Kingdom

Tue Feb 27 Lending Room @ The Library, Leeds, United Kingdom

Fri Apr 6 Al’s Dime Bar, Bradford, United Kingdom

Fri Apr 20 Verve, Leeds, United Kingdom

Sat Apr 28 THE FERRET, Preston, United Kingdom

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vantablack Warship – Abrasive Pulmonic Speak

Photo by Wayne William Archibald

Unapologetically harsh and uncompromising, arousingly irritable and voracious, Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is the debut album from Canadian fury Vantablack Warship; it is also one seriously addictive assault with as much swing and contagion as sonic violence.

Vantablack Warship is the coming together of various members from some of Montreal’s best bands including one of our favourites, Buffalo Theory Mtl.  2016 saw the release of a self-titled EP, a slab of hardcore fuelled extreme metal taking no prisoners and announcing a formidable new trespass to brave. Abrasive Pulmonic Speak builds on its potential and then wipes the floor with its sibling, the album eight chunks of barbarous punk ‘n’ metal virulent in sound and viciousness throughout, sludge thick and stiflingly suffocating when it leans back on its urgency but not its ferocity. With the rapacious tones of vocalist Yannick (Pil) Pilon (Arseniq33 / Buffalo Theory MTL) standing dead centre of the rhythmic barrage unleashed by bassist Kurt Clifford (Foreshadow) and drummer Pierre Pitre (Arseniq33 / Foreshadow) surrounded by a sonic tempest cast by guitarists Pat Gordon ( Ghoulunatics / Les Ekorchés / Leprocy / Buffalo Theory Mtl) and Thierry Hivon (Brutal Chérie / Sarkasm), Vantablack Warship go straight for the throat from the start with Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaving the senses reeling and body rocking.

The album leaps upon ears with Another Dead Rockstar, the opener swiftly a severely infectious incursion with Pilon blasting the listener from its first to last breath. Thrash nurtured riffs and senses puncturing beats surround his raw and honest appraisal, lustfully swinging grooves soon adding to the already salacious temptation. Carrying a Society One meets Converge like scent the track is dirty, hateful punk ‘n’ roll at its best and an incursion which gets under the skin like a viral puppeteer.

The following Black Tongue Bertha is a carnal invasion of sound and enmity, riffs and rhythms crawling sharing pure animosity yet from their malevolence a glorious addiction spewing groove springs. Ebbing and flowing in its urgency of attack with increasing contagion, the song breeds additional flourishes of acidic melody and body rousing incitement but never relaxing in its antipathy, in fact accentuating it as it passes its victims over to the waiting chokehold of Blood on the Mat. A “graphic account of women in the UFC”, which can be transferred to the vileness of domestic violence, the track is another barbarous anthem pulling no punches or finding a relaxing its foot on the pedal of its persistently punishing attack. It is superb, an irresistible rile to attitude and spirit; the album after three tracks already drawing fevered praise.

Kill the Kid keeps things as forcibly stirring if maybe not quite offering the individualism of its predecessors though its subsequent predacious crawl from its incendiary start brings the thickest hues yet of the sludge/doom textures in the band’s sound. Equally it rocks and batters the senses like a cyclone, as too, and even more so next up Ruderalis. Grooves, riffs, and hooks escape every angle of band and sound, even the beats of Pitre getting the body bouncing as guitars weave their infernally invasive temptations. Again Pilon’s vocal squalls bring the ill intent each track constantly embraces, his rancor soaked syllables and bad blooded breath as compelling as anything aligning his intrusion.

The album’s title track bullies and stalks ears immediately after, but Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is equally loaded with manipulative grooves and tenaciously persuasive rhythms, the gnarly barbed throat of the bass just manna to these ears. It shuffles and swings like a bare knuckled fighter, again no reserve given to its physical and emotional trespass while The Blackhole, a song about ‘Raider Nation football fans’ takes a more considered though no less corrosive energy to its lead heavy gait; both tracks hitting the spot in their differing ways.

The album concludes with the thunderous tempest of Crisis, a tenebrific slow lumber churning the senses with vitriolic malevolence with just enough instinctive catchiness to have neck muscles keenly worked. More of a slow burner than those before, it makes a fine end to the release with grooves which just seduce heavy rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak leaves the senses reeling, lungs gasping, and pleasure spilling over as the wounds build. What could be better?

Abrasive Pulmonic Speak is released January 26th; available @

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infected Syren – Self Titled

Nudging broad attention virtually since they emerged in 2011 and certainly since the release of a demo the following year, Infected Syren are now demanding it with their self-titled debut album. With eleven tracks of rapacious metal infested punk ‘n’ roll, the Cyprus bred outfit grab body and appetite with mischievous intent, rousing energy, and a craft honed in the heart of rock ‘n’ roll.

Nicosia bred and now sharing their time between their country’s capital and London, Infected Syren is said to have come to “finally consider a more serious and dedicated approach towards writing their own material and developing their sound while doing what they love most – performing heavy alternative music!” Certainly you can hear the passion at its heart and the imagination in its character; a proposition which roars with the invasive funkiness of Infected Grooves, the uncompromising punk attitude of The Exploited, the thrash devilry of early Anthrax, and the psychobilly predation of a blend of Grumpynators and Batmobile. It is a stomping incitement embracing familiar traits but all twisted into the fiercely enjoyable individual antics of Infected Syren.

The album opens with the sinister, increasingly intimidating carnival of Infected Circus, a hook woven instrumental easily getting under the skin as guitars suggestively dance and rhythms devilishly swing. It sets the mood and rascality of the release perfectly, the following romp of The B.B.P. similarly manipulative with its hook lined grooves and teasing metal spawn riffs. Guitarists Constantinos Lyras and Louis Syrimis cast a net of infectious exploits within the song’s boisterous body; the latter’s vocals as bold and devious as the addictive textures making up the track.

Already, the release is a swagger of thrash and alternative metal hued rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s punk instincts brewing nicely and erupting more forcibly within UnNormal. From a southern nurtured hook, the track breaks into an inescapably catchy stroll, wiry grooves swiftly entwining the animated beats of Constantinos Syrimis and the lithe canter of Miguel Trapezaris’ bass. With devilment in song and the charismatic vocal deliver of Louis, the track bounds along with the listener taking in calm and volatile scenery with equal ease whilst taking over hips and body like a puppeteer.

It is fair to say that every track within the album is rich in virulent bait and scheming manoeuvres, next up Sick springing its dirty rock ‘n’ roll with frisky buoyancy, bobbing along with attitude and playfulness as punk irritability meets heavy rock intensity, both imposingly irresistible sides entangled in riotous high spirit. The album’s best track is closely rivalled by the punk ‘n’ roll discord coated virulence of Unwanted, the track poking the listener in the chest with its bad attitude whilst toying with them as if a marionette. Heavy metal spices add to thrash instincts within the temptation though again it is the psyche enslaving hooks and grooves which seal the slavery.

Through the psychobilly lined Boogie Stick and the devious ingenuity of The Torture Brothers, the album only tightens its grip on ears and appetite, the first with fevered energy as it stalks the senses spreading aural narcotics laced with Constantinos striking enterprise. Its successor with a similar gait and admittedly flavouring brings its own individual addiction, those hues evolving into an infestation of rock ‘n’ roll which is as toxic as it is a tonic for the spirit, the song laying its hands on a share of best track honours.

Both Divide and Rule and Death After the Melody pretty much match the leading pair, as all tracks come close to in all honesty, their respective defiant groove wired stomp and hungrily swinging trespass each melding metal, punk, and rockabilly textures into one unique carnival of sound and infectiousness. They snarl and tease the imagination, taunt and spark the body into zealous involvement with every note and twist but Infected Syren show themselves just as effective in grabbing the listener’s subservience with unbridled muscle clad, animosity fuelled punk ‘n’ roll, Toothless Tigers the unassailable evidence.

The album closes with Syrens in The Opera, another insatiable imagination stoking instrumental to bask in. It is a fine end to an album we truly cannot get enough of. If Infected Syren cannot stir up real attention and praise their way with this gem of a release something is seriously wrong.

The Infected Syren album is out now on CD and Digitally through most digital music stores and @

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright