This is the Sound of Sugar Town Volume 2

In the past, compilation albums showcasing the talent of a local area were a prevalent and exciting exploration which certainly for us opened the door to a host of great artists and lustful obsessions. A less prominent opportunity these days, far far less as splits seem to be more in favour, there have been a few releases keeping the tradition alive. One was the excellent THIS IS THE SOUND OF SUGAR TOWN released late 2015, an ear pleasing spotlight on the vibrant DIY driven music scene in and around Bury St Edmunds. Now the people behind the album, again in union with R*E*P*E*A*T Records and Pure Deadly, return with Volume 2 and another large clutch of Suffolk goodness.

As the first it comes wrapped in the fine art of Kate Jackson and has been released as a download and Ltd Edition 12” album with all profits being donated to local charity Julian Support, which helps people with mental health issues to lead independent lives. It gets right down to juicy business with opening track SHE from psychedelic noise poppers SUN SCREAM. The quintet swiftly has ears entangled in a sultry melody, the guitar soon joined by imposing beats and a grumbling bassline. Part seduction, part intimidation, the track shares quick magnetism especially as the vocals lay their own harmonic charm over the heated and already successful persuasion. Offering one delicious hook and an instinctive catchiness, the track is a potent start to the album and introduction to the captivating outfit.

Returning from a potent place in the first volume, alternative art rockers CATHEDRALS & CARS ​offers up THE CONCIERGE for its successor. Like a fusion of PiL and The Wedding Present, the excellent track is a jangle loaded, rhythmically agitated shuffle with its own inescapable virulence in character and adventure. A post punk hook from vocalist/guitarist Jack Stevens simply hits the spot as too his web of melodic acidity whilst the rhythmic union of bassist Danny Robertson and drummer Steve Long easily infects limbs and spirit.

The first album featured the attention grabbing and now sadly demised quintet of Voter Kernel, four of which return this time around with bassist Bobcat Whittaker as JANET STREET SLAUGHTER. Offering up a visceral fusion of indie, punk, and noise rock going by the name of THE SENSITIVE SIDE OF BILL SYKES, though it is hard to pin down their striking sound, the band prowls and crawls the psyche, their salacious touch as dirty as it is invitingly warped led by the equally individual and off-kilter vocals of guitarist David Jago. In any collection of songs a few hit personal tastes more than others and this treat did just that with psychotic intent.

The broad landscape of sound within the Bury St Edmunds scene has always been one of its potent features and enticingly represented across Volume 2 and clearly represented by the likes of THE WILSONS with their Americana flavoured rock ‘n’ roll and the raw punk rock of THE CUTS. The first of the two shares IF IT WASN’T SO SOON, a track from their 2015 album Crow which has feet tapping and head bobbing in no time. There is an instinctive energy to the encounter, signs of a band having fun and doing what lights their own fires. A same feeling comes through their successors, a band we can tell you little about having found no sign of them anywhere else online but The Cuts track HOMETOWN is more than enough to brew a hungry appetite for their raw and rousing punk rock.

Side one is completed by firstly by a band that has already had our juices flowing with their previous offerings. GAFFA TAPE SANDY recently released their debut EP Spring Killing and for the album provide a track which made up part of their impressive first single Smart Dressed Guy. A boisterous and inventive slice of the band’s highly addictive garage rock/punk infused pop ‘n’ roll, L’APPEL DU VIDE, as their whole sound, dares you not to get involved physically and vocally, the song openly manipulative with the vocal unity of guitarist Kim Jarvis and bassist Catherine Lindley-Neilson as the rhythmic bounce of drummer Robin Francis guides the tiller. They are followed by the bracing and abrasive sounds of BRACKEN, a predatory and senses consuming tsunami of sludge thick, stoner ripe doom. Formed in 2013, the quartet has bred a trespass which invades every corner of the senses and imagination, SLAVES PT. II an uncompromising slab of that punishing pleasure.

No example of Bury St Edmunds sounds can be without the mighty HORSE PARTY, increasingly one of the most exciting propositions within the British music scene. With vocalist/guitarist/bassist Seymour Quigley one of those behind the two compilations, there is no surprise the band appears again but a crime if they had not and brought us the outstanding LOOKING FOR LIFE. Always a band revealing a keen diversity of sound, the track is a smouldering and seductive slice of surf coated indie rock. It is pure bewitchment, an enchantress behind the siren tones of vocalist Ellie Langley and an echo of the core imagination and quality within the band’s writing and music.

Through the resourcefully catchy indie rock exploits of SUBURBAN MINDS with SUNBREAK and the alternative rock fuzz of MOONMAN from THE VIRTUES, intrigue and pleasure is reinforced, the first of the two a quartet seriously whetting the appetite for their just released debut EP, I’ll Exist Again When I Wake Up while the second is a four piece creating a tapestry of sound with a host of atmospheric and textually potent styles from Brit Pop and indie to alternative and psych rock.

Singer songwriter JACK RUNDELL calms things down with his country/folk spiced track WICKED WORDS, a fun and infectious stroll with a grin on its face while SIAH teases the imagination with their compelling mix of classic and melodic rock smoked with post punk/new wave nurtured adventure through SUSIE SMOKES. It is an unpredictable and intriguing fusion of sound which works a treat within their album proposal; a fascinating brew matched in temptation by the closing punk lined grunge ‘n’ roll of TUNDRA. Lo-fi and raw, and increasingly tempting, VACATION (CHEER UP CHUCK) brings the album to a strong close whilst emphasising what a rich and exciting landscape can be found in the surrounds of Bury St Edmunds.

This Is The Sound Of Sugar Town Volume 2 is out now through R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly and available @ https://repeatfanzine.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-sound-of-sugar-town-volume-2

 https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsTheSoundOfSugarTown     http://www.juliansupport.org/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Various Artists -This is the sound of Sugar Town

Artwork _RingMaster Review

Not only lighting our ears this November with another thrilling Horse Party EP, Seymour Quigley of the band and R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly have compiled and unveiled a striking compilation offering some of the best bands helping to make the Bury St Edmunds underground DIY rock scene one of the most exciting to emerge in recent times within the UK. Twelve bands providing a dozen, without exception, ear pleasing tracks, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a magnetic and thickly enjoyable invitation to explore a host of great new bands whilst helping a great cause with all its profits going to Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge.

Wrapped in the artwork of local artist and musician Kate Jackson, once of Long Blonde, This is the Sound of Sugar Town opens up with the alternative rock quintet Voter Kernel and instantly has ears and attention gripped. The band covers the senses in a web of sonic guitar bait before relaxing into a vocally rowdy and rhythmic inviting incitement laced with acidic enticement from the guitars. Into its stride Unnatural Gathering Of Animals blows a punk wind with anthemic simplicity and potency, perpetually confirming itself as one of those inescapable roars that just grabs full involvement of the listener.

The same applies to the darker post punk bred What I’d Do from Horse Party. The guitars of Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley tempt as the beats of Shannon Hope entice, each warming ears for the ever siren like voice of Langley. It is a mix that breeds the great diversity to drive the band’s releases over the past year or so, but also a unique presence to the band’s sound which is no better epitomised than in this tantalising song.

As the third track comes in view, already there is a glimpse of not only the quality in the Bury music scene but the diversity too, The Few adding to that subsequent realisation across the album, with Bury’d Alive. Not to be confused with the truck load of other bands with the same name, especially in the US, the Bury hailing proposal is an indie punk quartet which as its predecessors, soon has appetite and imagination held with an opening lure of guitar and firm beats. Carrying a tasty seventies DIY punk tone to its sound with layers of bluesy spicing amongst it, the track whips up rich bait somewhere between Swell Maps and Outcasts.

The Machismo’s has already ignited lust in these ears with their releases, and do so again with their offering Rise Again and its punk infused seduction. The trio of Sam Marsh, Rachel Marsh, and Karly Stebbings cast a web of flavours and textures bred in varying styles, creating their own temptation which again comes in varied hues as it prowls with mischievous relish through twanging bass groans, sonic sighs, and scything beats. Lyrically the open humour of the band brings a thick smile to the face as its adventure of drooping hopes and their resurrection hit, as the sound, the sweet spot.

As mentioned the variety within the album and the town’s scene is a refreshing enjoyment, continuing with the great tempestuous sound of Rats as Big as Dogs. Their track, Same Difference, is a mesh of harmonic warmth and mesmeric calm aligned to explosive raw energy and aggression. It is only around for two minutes, but a dynamically eventful and captivating time before passing the baton of temptation on to Scare The Normals and their track Tomorrow. Stalking ears with its sinister electronics and prowling rhythms, the song grows into a compelling infestation lying somewhere between Autopsy Boys and Naked Lunch; an electronic/sonic exploration also carrying an alluring scent of Fad Gadget to its creeping enterprise.

A fascinating embrace of psychedelic grooving greets ears in Sky Dance from the quartet Pale Fires next, its sultry shimmer and flowing harmonic tenacity an immersive celestial delight whilst site favourites The Vitamins saunter in with their highly flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll, The Present (Stairway) to entice with a riveting canter of potent vocals and melodic enterprise laced with a grunge/alternative rock toning. Expectations expect the trio to provide a full meal of texture and expression and the track does not disappoint with its virulent shuffle and vibrant personality.

Some growling heavy rock with punk belligerence erupts in ears next courtesy of Tryal of Witches, its Motorhead meets Kyuss meets XII Boar roar Sweating Rum, a dirt crusted pleasure contrasting well with the melodic, ambience scented enticement of alternative quintet Cathedrals and Cars. Posterity Measure is a hug of melancholy and tantalising melodic beauty becoming more energetically aroused and in turn enthralling with every passing minute.

Fortunato provide a track from their well-received Under Your Teeth EP next, Utopia a fuzzy and dynamic croon of voice and sonic imagination with a healthy line in hooks and jabbing rhythms. Its flavoursome charm parts to leave Eleanor Lou to bring the album to a fine close with Ring The Change. Hailing from the market town and currently based in Manchester, the songstress dances on ears and imagination with voice and song, the acoustic hug a mesmeric reflection further honed by the elegant tones of the singer/songwriter.

From start to finish, This is the sound of Sugar Town is a thrilling discovery of Bury St Edmunds’ underground musical heart. Some bands were familiar, many brand new, and each contributing to a release worthy of everyone’s investigation whilst at the same time helping others.

This is the sound of Sugar Town is out now via R*E*P*E*A*T Records / Pure Deadly digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://repeatfanzine.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-the-sound-of-sugar-town

Album track listing…

VOTER KERNEL – Unnatural Gathering Of Animals 03:59

HORSE PARTY – What I’d Do 03:42

THE FEW – Bury’d Alive 02:38

THE MACHISMO’S – Rise Again 02:53

RATS AS BIG AS DOGS – Same Difference 02:00

SCARE THE NORMALS – Tomorrow 06:15

PALE FIRES – Sky Dance 04:47

THE VITAMINS – The Present (Stairway) 03:03

TRYAL OF WITCHES – Sweating Rum 03:35

CATHEDRALS AND CARS – Posterity Measure 03:52

FORTUNATO – Utopia 03:33

ELEANOR LOU – Ring The Change 02:32

Pete RingMaster 18/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Horse Party – Paydirt EP

photo by Kate Wood  White-Robot Photography

photo by Kate Wood White-Robot Photography

Often there comes an underlying fear with something that is so good it makes you drool but still seems to go unrecognised by the masses, that success always managing to evade the deserved. So it is with the music of Horse Party which continue to release fiercely exhilarating songs bred on a sound which is furiously fresh but with an old friend like invitation. The British alternative rock ‘n’ rollers have done so yet again with new EP Paydirt, a captivation of three fiery tracks breathing open diversity within the band’s superb fusion of emotive aggression and bewitching charm. It is an incitement which manages to be raw, mellow, and incendiary simultaneously, basically manna for ears and imagination. There is a line in the EP’s second song which declares “We are the eye of the storm”, and that sums up Horse Party and their gripping sound as a whole perfectly.

Since emerging in 2012, Bury St Edmunds based trio of guitarist/ vocalist Ellie Langley, guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, and drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope have explored and developed their music through a host of songs, starting with the track Clarion Call which was even more impressively followed by their first official single Back To Mono in 2013. Grabbing ears and appetites of an increasing fan base and the underground media, the band pooled that early success, in turn sparking greater spotlight on them and acclaim, with their debut album Cover Your Eyes a year later. Equally the band’s live and hungry presence has also lured only praise and a potent reputation, Horse Party sharing stages with bands such as Tunng, Pinkunoizu, Shonen Knife, Heartless Bastards, Ghostpoet, Slaves, Levellers, Basement Jaxx, The Nightingales, Dingus Khan, We Are The Physics, and Vuvuvultures over the past years.

cover_RingMaster Review     This year has already seen a pair of striking propositions from the band with a new chapter in the movement and evolution of their sound. The double A-side single Out Of Sight/Receiver was first, its two songs revealing new growth and smoother textures to their still raunchily organic sound, an exciting turn taken forward again by What I’d Do just a few weeks back. The single was a rousing mix of bracing roars and intimate caresses, of light and dark emotions with again that now keener surface to an instinctively unpredictable and riveting enterprise. Paydirt continues the captivating adventure in sound but also as most of its predecessors comes with its own stock of individual surprises and addictive invention.

The EP’s title track is first, pumped beats and spicy riffs the first bait offered with the former just managing to hold a rein on urgency and the latter sizzling on flesh with their inviting tang. Within a few more breaths additional slithers of groove and nags of magnetism join in through the second guitar as Langley just as potently entices with her recognisable, melancholy lined tones. Alone the song has the appetite chained, lips only more ravenously licked as the track burst into scuzzy roars within an ever addictive stroll. Dark emotions and predatory shadows equally lurk throughout, as too a hint of bedlam in the song’s exciting tempestuous moments; it all uniting for another breath-taking Horse Party incitement.

Second track Animal similarly makes a rousingly compelling start with choppy rhythms and riffs which almost stalk the rich voice of Langley. It swiftly forges its own identity though as teasing melodies and caustic tempting spring from Quigley’s fingers on string, licking the senses like flames whilst Hope badgers with her flirtatious beats. A sublime breeze of psych rock brews within the track too, finding its moment to croon in an oasis of mellowness within the stormy textures of the song. A whiff of post punk only adds to the alchemy, with Au Pairs coming to mind as the track leads the listener on a merry escapade of drama and imagination.

The closing acoustic based seduction of October has ears enchanted as the EP completes its rich temptation. In every second of the song, melancholy smoulders through word and emotion whilst melodies and the vocal union of Langley and Quigley simply mesmerises. As in every release to date, increasing depths to the songwriting and invention of the band are revealed, sublimely in this third song and though it does at first take a touch longer to whip up the lustful reactions as earned by its companions within Paydirt, it has emotions and thoughts chained with increasing potency over every eager listen.

Paydirt is another irresistible gem from Horse Party, a band which it is impossible to tire of saying ‘ just gets better and better’. It is time for the UK to wake up, indeed Europe and the world, to the Horse Party; if you do not you are truly missing out.

The Paydirt EP is available via R*E*P*E*A*T Records/Pure Deadly digitally and on 7” vinyl from 4th September.

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

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