Foreign Legion/The Shame – Split 7”

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Courtesy of a co-release between Aggrobeat and Rebel Sound Music, punk from both sides of the pond links up in a 7” split which just ignites the appetite. On one side stands Welsh oi/punks Foreign Legion and on the other Tulsa Street punks The Shame, both offering two tracks of highly satisfying incitements. There have been a few potent punk splits over recent times and this stands right up there as one of the best.

Foreign Legion_RingMaster Review     Emerging from the ashes of Dead On Arrival, Foreign Legion began in 1984 infusing an oi seeding with varied essences of punk rock. The years have come and gone, line-up changed but the band has never slowed down or taken the heat out of their creative and lyrical rage as shown by the new release. Recent years has seen Foreign Legion share stages with the likes of Cockney Rejects, Guitar Gangsters, Control, The Warriors, GBH, The Ruts, and Stiff Little Fingers and play festivals such as Back On The Streets, Punk & Disorderly and Rebellion, whilst over time they have played in 15 different countries and remained the only Welsh band to ever play at the legendary CBGB’s in New York. With four albums under their belt, including the Mick Jones produced What Goes Around Comes Around, as well as a split full-length with Major Accident and numerous other splits and compilation appearances, the band instantly show they are as stirringly confrontational as ever with their first contribution to this new encounter.

Nowhere Left To Hide strides in straight away with commanding rhythms and attention seizing riffs, their mix a potent lure which the grizzly tones of Marcus stand astride. An air of Angelic Upstarts lines the attitude and presence of the track whilst backing vocals are as anthemic as the core hook repetitiously fuelling the infectious challenge. With guitarist Simon and bassist Dave colluding to grip ears and appetite with their creative bait as the rhythmic swings of Sid thumps them, the track stirs up air and emotions with its old school tones and a modern attitude driven on by the lyrical attack on the state of the world, a premise continued in its successor.

Our World Today is even more addictive with its central hook incessant in nagging repetition and inescapable virulence. Around this the guitar flames with sonic enterprise whilst the throaty bass belligerence snarls with antipathy to match the thick accusation of the lyrics, again anthemically and intimidatingly delivered by Marcus. As its predecessor, the track is not trying to stretch boundaries and venture into unique landscapes but for a thrilling and provocative slab of honest punk rock it is prime incitement.

The other side of the release belongs to Tulsa’s The Shame, another band breeding their attacks from old school punk this time with maybe more US heritage though there are undoubtedly The Shame_RingMaster Reviewsome essences of British punk found within their sound. Their potent history has seen the band play with bands such as Queers, Downtown Struts, Noi!se, Bishops Green, The Templars, Fatskins, Concrete, and Those Unknown whilst their discography includes an album and a 7”. With a new EP scheduled for later this year, the band launch their part with Crossing the Line first of all and quickly gets down to being musically and vocally grouchy and thrilling ears straight away.

Riffs and rhythms rise as one and are soon taking the listener on a feisty attitude driven ride. A thick bass lure easily grips the appetite as does the group calls around the chorus, but from start to finish with a whisper of bands like NOFX to it as well as a UK influence of bands like The Business, the song is a rousing stomp led by pungent hooks and beats around the stirring influence of the lead vocals.

Its successor is just as contagiously imposing and bullish, Faded Glory emerging as a thick anthem of nostalgia and rebel rousing inspired by beer and sonic rioting. A little more reserved in energy compared to their first, song and band still raise the passions and spark the defiance in us all with accomplished and galvanic posture.

The four tracks on the release all hit the spot with ease in a reminder that punk on both sides of the big water is still roaring as strongly as ever. ‘

The Foreign Legion/The Shame 7″ Split EP is available now on exclusive US red vinyl version (250 copies) via Rebel Sound Music and European blue vinyl version (250 copies) via Aggrobeat

RingMaster 04/07/2015

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Fossils – Flesh Hammer


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     Having been only a few reviews ago talking and enthusing about carnal provocations comprising of just bass and drums with the Atacama Death Experience album Wasted Time And Broken Bones under focus, we now have another impressive similarly sculpted offering to thrill and ignite the passions, possibly the most masterful yet. This time it is Danish duo Fossils with second album Flesh Hammer, a rigorously incendiary and compelling uncaging which again proves you do not need guitars and keys, and in their case also vocals, to send the imagination and passions on an intrusively invigorating and breath-taking inspiring ride. A caustically instrumental noise/rock ravaging of the senses, the ten track scourge of invention and craft, not forgetting violent seduction, is a magnetic tempest which through relatively brief scythes of noise driven ingenuity leaves no inch of the body, mind, and emotions Fossils free. The second release on new Danish independent record label, Indisciplinarian, Flesh Hammer is simply one of the early major pinnacles of the year.

     Consisting of Simon Tornby and Per Silkjær, bass and drums respectively, Fossils’ brew of sound with seeds bred from punk and metal has drawn strong attention and acclaim already through their previous releases, debut album Meat Rush in 2012 and live album The Veal Thing last year. Performances with the likes of Zu, Liturgy, Death Crush, ICEAGE, Dope Body, Thulebasen, Queers and many more as well as tours across the US, Germany, Sweden and their homeland have equally impressed and reinforced the emergence of this unique band. Released digitally and on vinyl worldwide, Flesh Hammer is a new hefty stage for the band to persuade upon, something they do with sublime voraciousness and ease.

   The first shard of lethal seduction comes through Carnivore Arrest, a title perfect for song and release. Thrusts of raucous a0613610799_2bass noise strikes the air first punctuated by drum punches before the track settles into an immediately potent stride of bass grooving which reminds of Gang of Four with hypnotic feet inciting beats. Explosive rubs of expressive predatory noise continue to interrupt the swagger of the song whilst little teases of finger sculpted dark lures and bolder abrasive intensity entice the senses in to compelling effect, before they combine to forge a ferocious brawl a of delicious noise driven causticity.

    It is a tremendous start instantly matched by both Critical Mass and Pelvis Crust, the first a virulent epidemic of rhythmic seduction and vivaciously hungry riffing, grooves a twisted blaze of toxicity entwining around and through the primal core of the song. There is a deeper darkness to the track, an intimidation and predation which builds across its initial persuasion before climaxing in an antagonistic furnace of energy and craft. Its successor is equally as vindictive in its intent just going straight for the jugular from its first breath. There is an almost acrid edge to the grooves and sonic adventure too which breeds from the mastery of Tornby whilst rhythmically Silkjær’s scythes splinters bits of cartilage from the ears with every swipe. A more straightforward heavy rock tsunami than the previous more unpredictable and deliberately testing tracks, it is no less uncompromising or magnetic.

     Lard Obstacle steps up next to leave another blaze of noise alchemy ringing around ears and emotions, its rapacious throat and appetite an unrelenting preying on the psyche until it secures submission and then rewards with a slender but entrapping maze of invention and solicitously grooved coaxing. The track lures you in and seduces like it wants your soul, which as it climbs to its ruinous finale it is given without regret. The following Cat Stalker is no less a dramatic protagonist and insatiable conjuror of malevolently creative rhythmic webs and animalistically toned riffery, its short abrasing of the senses full and irresistible.

    The broader distortion glazed suasion of Filet Horizon brings a nastier severity to the storm though again the pair of antagonists are happy to weave in some undiluted addiction sparking assets in their rhythmic and sonic minimalistic glory. The groundwork set by the song is taken to new exhaustive heights through firstly Stun, the track an iron cast wall of raw endeavour which like the Red Sea splits for a brief moment to embrace further singular but as potently enthralling and arguably psychotic strands of deliciously poisonous imagination.

    The final trio of tracks bringing the album to a powerful end starting with the exceptional Spamtastic, a sinew sculpted waltz of intoxicating adventure and magnetism. It’s masterful trap is similarly matched by the thick intensity powered Flesh Pillar, its oppressive swamp of sound and energy insatiable in hunger and presence, whilst final song Crack Horse simply welcomes all the wounds and submissive compliance offered the album to date and chews them up all over again with a torrential cyclone of rhythms and scathing bass magnificence. It is a stunning conclusion to a quite brilliant album. Flesh Hammer is simply exceptional and though it is easy to imagine there might be a surface similarity to essences of tracks which the lazy and impatient might pull at, beneath there is undoubtedly an irresistible world of ingenuity to devour. Fossils have created a slice of noise alchemy, a destined poll header come December.


RingMaster 03/03/2014

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