Drive On Mak – Babylon

Creating a magnetic mix of punkabilly with blues coated rock ‘n’ roll though that just scratches the surface, Drive On Mak is a proposition, certainly with their latest EP, which teases and tempts until you cannot resist taking attention. It is fair to say that initially Babylon pleased without making a major impression but over subsequent listens where its prowess and enterprise seemed to really blossom, the release really captured the imagination.

Texas hailing Drive On Mak is the creation of U.S. Army Vet Sean Makra who in 2011 after eleven years in the forces taking in three tours in Iraq left and began focusing on pursuing his long-time musical dreams. Three years later having linked up with his brother-in-law and drummer Scott Feigh and bassist Jason Bilderback, the beginnings of what was Drive on Mak emerged. Embracing and exploring the experiences and emotions bred by those military years in his songwriting and lyrics, Drive on Mak released the Weapon EP in 2015. Now it is Babylon luring increased attention with its individual, slightly dirty and fully tenacious rock ‘n’ roll.

Babylon opens up with its title track, its initial melodic stroking of ears the tempting lead into the song’s blues kissed reggae lined stroll. Makra’s vocals make a just as alluring invitation, his tones wearing the weight of battles and sights seen without an ounce of weariness, instead coming fuelled by a lively spirit to share and express. The song continues to carry its gentle swing through ears, epitomising the release in its quality to become more potent and compelling listen by listen.

The great start is followed by the similarly boisterous Comin’ For You. Instantly it had a firm hand on attention with the flames of Feigh’s harmonica rich enticement. Its melodic heat echoes the tenacious gait of the surrounding sounds, essences of garage rock and fifties rock ‘n’ roll aligning with blues punk adventure. It is a mix and invention which escalates the strong start of the EP before Kiss Thy Hand brings more of a seventies psych rock air to its lumbering saunter. Though the song does not ignite personal tastes as potently as its predecessors it quickly feeds an appetite already brewed, nagging away with every note and fibre of its creativity to ultimately be just as memorable.

Best track comes in the shape of the cowpunk flavoured Outlaw, a dirt clad slice of punk ‘n’ roll with dust in its climate and instinctive infection in its hooked lined character. With moody rhythms courting the defiance oozing vocals of Makra’s alongside the creative shuffle of his guitar, the track is a contagion on the ear setting up the following relaxed but manipulative swing of Player. It is another which seems to find greater heights over time though tapping feet and eager hips show its no slouch at teasing involvement from the off.

Babylon concludes with When I’m Gone, a country scented proposal with Feigh again just as skilful on harmonica as in springing catchy beats. There is no escaping a slight Rancid spicing to the track either, mostly through the Tim Armstrong textures of Makra’s tones, as it canters along with a lively attitude and infectious agility.

With its songs inspired by Biblical tales and personal observations, in the case of its title track by the Heath Ledger movie A Knight’s Tale too, Babylon has little trouble in awaking interest; it is with time and more plays though that it truly comes alive …a quality only adding to many more reasons to check out Drive On Mak.

Babylon is out now @ https://driveonmak.bandcamp.com/album/babylon

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Pete RingMaster 14/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Faintest Idea – Increasing The Minimum Rage

FI_RingMasterReview

Though understandably often tagged as a ska punk band, Faintest Idea definitely shows themselves to be a true punk band with a penchant for ska bred hip swinging revelry loaded with oi! inspired snarls upon new album Increasing The Minimum Rage. The eleven track stomp is an irresistible roar of politically charged songs that have no qualms in getting feet and bodies feverishly bouncing whilst thoughts and emotions are inspired by its lyrical bite. Most of all though, the British band’s new offering is simply one of the most rousing slabs of contagious rock ‘n’ roll heard in many belligerent moons and deserving of everyone’s energy and time.

Formed in 2008, the Kings Lynn hailing Faintest Idea initially was a jugular ripping punk band venting their political unrest and distrust. That attitude and defiance has never lessened even as the band began weaving in inspirations taken from two-tone, ska and reggae influences. 2013 saw the release of debut album The Voice of Treason on Manchester’s TNS Records to swift acclaim, soon potently backed by the videos for tracks such as Bull In A China Shop and Youth. Live the band has equally become an essential great time for many, the “rudeboy street punks” taking their rousing presence to shows and festivals across Europe and the UK, including in 2014, a 10 date tour of Russia.

Now the band is ready to uncage a new infectious call to arms in the shape of the Hieronymous Melchers (Capdown, Citizen Fish, King Prawn and Snuff) recorded and Massimiliano Giorgini (Anti Flag, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Common Rider) mastered Increasing The Minimum Rage. Featuring guest contributions from Vic Ruggiero (The Slackers) and Sean Howe (Random Hand), the album quickly reveals Faintest Idea to have a grouchier fire in their creative belly and a sound at its heaviest and angriest, musically and lyrically, yet with no detriment to their instincts to swing and inflame the listener’s body. The first track, Circling The Drain opens on a theme setting sample as horns meander in the background. From there as a guitar adds its vague musing, the song grabs a breath and leaps into a captivating stroll with Jack’s choppy riffs colluding with the flirtation of mischievous melodies amidst organ shared smiles. The brass flames of trumpeter Sara, trombonist Bobble, and tenor saxophonist Lil dan add to the infection quickly grabbing ears and imagination, creating a rich platform for the snarling vocals of bassist Dani and his dark throated bassline. There is a snarl to Jack’s guitar enterprise too and a firm hand to the beats of the other Jack but as the song’s climate gets feistier and more agitated, a rampant swing stills drives it and the listener before it slipping straight into the equally irresistible Cocktails.

Faintest-Idea-Front-Cover_RingMasterReviewThe second track similarly bounds through ears with rhythms and riffs as inescapable bait and a virulent catchiness to its energy and attitude equally matched by the band’s vocals. Throughout hooks grip and again flirt with the imagination as the song’s skittish gait takes care of the body, vocals in turn challenging thoughts at the same time as brass unveils a rich seducing in something akin to Rancid meets Random Hand meets The Members. Its mellowing departure simply simmers into the sultry embrace of Down Pressure, a funk infested and ska fuelled romp as light on its feet as it is antagonistic in voice. As its predecessors, the song defies the listener not to become fully involved, dares them not to offer their hips and support; a challenge impossible to win as the song leaps around with kinetic persuasion.

The power pop/ska punk exploits of Echo Chambre steals attention next, working its addictive charm on every aspect of a willing disciple as guitar jangles and pop punk rhythms act as ringleaders to another thrilling proposal embracing smouldering brass and lively shadows furthered nurtured by Dani’s vocal attitude. Its tenacious exploits lead to the thick energy and aggression of The Well Has Run Dry which, from its first breath, is a confrontational proposition equipped with spiky hooks and a flaming melodic coaxing courtesy of guitar and some emotive lip prowess. United it stirs up air and emotions before the outstanding Stick Em Up (Lords of War) takes a stand with its punk ‘n’ roll contagion. As jazzy and funky as it is ska and old school punk spun, the track tantalises and badgers in sound and tone. Female vocals bring a B52s spice to certain parts whilst other times the song rumbles along like a mix of early Specials and The Adicts, revealing itself as another enjoyably multi-textured adventure.

Through the Clash/ Serious Drinking like chest beating of the beguiling Throw Away The Key and the ballsy rock ‘n’ roll of No Consequences, greed and thick enjoyment for the album is only confirmed before being given another big shot in the arm by the brilliant pairing of Ouroboros and Corporation. The first of the two is a web of flavours and styles as surf rock spiced guitars entangle with ska spawned riffs and intrigue loaded progressive punk grooves whilst Dani and co take potent shots at political and social injustices. The track is glorious and swiftly matched by the dramatic theatre of its successor. With vaudevillian prowess to a sinister soaked sound, the band bring the exploits of the song’s villainous title protagonist into panto-esque but certainly not trivialised view before descending upon them with oi! fuelled animosity and anthemic incitement. The track is ingenious; pure creative theatre and heading numerous memorable moments within the album.

Closing on Tightrope with its strongly brooding persuasion of sound and imagination, Increasing The Minimum Rage makes it so easy to say it is destined to be one of the year’s highlights. From start to finish it has every aspect of the listener enthralled and involved; only increasing that hold with subsequent plays whilst showing that to stand up and be counted does not have to see an absence of unbridled fun.

Increasing The Minimum Rage is released via TNS Records on 1st April @ http://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/increasing-the-minimum-rage

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Pete RingMaster 31/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sharp teeth and rock ‘n’ roll: talking Yorkshire Rats with Don Mercy

YR_RingMaster Review

March sees the release of the Trouble City EP, another rousing and provocative slice of punk infused rock ‘n’ roll from UK band Yorkshire Rats. The successor to last year’s outstanding debut album, Sea of Souls, the new three-track release is further confirmation of a band with anthemic punk ‘n’ roll flowing through their creative veins and a hunger to push themselves and their creative adventure with every song and release. Ahead of the EP’s unveiling; we gratefully took some of band founder Don Mercy’s time to dig into the origins, history, and new phase of the Yorkshire Rats increasing impact on the British rock scene.

Hi Don and thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

You formed the band back in 2004; what was the spark bringing Yorkshire Rats to life and was there a particular idea for the band?

No problem! Fuck! 12 years ago, I must say I didn’t think we’d be back rolling around, not after we pulled the plug in 2007, I think it was.

Originally it was me and a good friend of mine called Sean Brewin who came up with the idea for the band. We used to hang out together, go skateboarding drink cider, the usual teenage shit. I’d played in various bands before with friends from school but wanted to do something a bit different. I was massively into the punk rock thing but not many of the guys in my school were. Sean was from another school local to me and there were loads of guys who we grew up with that we’re big Fat Wreck, Green Day, Rancid fans. I think we were around 17 when we started the Rats. There was an old pub in our home town of Pontefract called the Counting House. All the local alternative folks used to go in there and they had live bands on every Tuesday night. We’d been drinking in there from the age of 14 and we ended up meeting a few other musicians who were into our idea to start a band. I’d write the songs and we’d kind of share lead vocals. We learnt a few covers and got into a practice room.

I think we wrote our first EP in about a month, recorded it and sold DIY copies to our pals. We played our first shows in the Counting House and they were always great. A lot of people really liked what the band was about, we sang about miners and the working class’ history of struggle in the area.

There wasn’t any big plan involved, we just wanted to have fun and play some music, cliché I know…

Photo by Carl ChalkmanVideo Arnfield

Photo by Carl ChalkmanVideo Arnfield

You had previously played in Abrasive Wheels and Billy No Mates; how did those experiences impact on how you wanted Yorkshire Rats to be, sound like, and differ?

I actually only did one tour with Billy No Mates, I wasn’t a permanent member, I just filled in for one of their guitarists. We had the same manager at the time and they had a European tour booked.

I was 18 and had never been to Germany or Italy. I got a call from our manager, then a call from Duncan. I had a week to get a passport and learn 18 songs; we never even had a rehearsal, we just went straight to Berlin and played a show. It was amazing! It was my first real tour and I learnt so much about how it all works. To be honest I don’t think I would have progressed any further without doing that tour, there’s only so many times you can read about it before you have to grab it by the balls and get out there. I seized that chance and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

I’m not sure how much it influenced my band’s sound…..

I was in Abrasive wheels for a couple of years; this was before I started the rats back up. It was ok; I was playing with some really great musicians in that band so it definitely raised my standards in terms of what kind of musicians I would want to have in the new incarnation of the rats. I wouldn’t be happy with just anyone now. I’ve always been a big fan of the early 80s UK punk thing so playing with them was fun for a while. They just didn’t tour enough for me and they all had 20 plus years on me ha-ha

The members of Yorkshire Rats were all known to each other before the band was formed; before and post break?

This is a completely new line up from the original. Me and our other guitarist Matty went to school together from the very beginning, good Catholic boys, well once upon a time anyways.

We had to get a new drummer and bass player since we released Sea of Souls because the other guys couldn’t commit to serious touring. So we got Chris on drums and then Josh on bass. We found both of those guys just before German tours. I’d suggest that anyone stuck for band members, book a German tour! You’ll find whoever you need…. eventually.

It was a strong couple of years first time around seeing a well-received single and EP released and the supporting of Rancid live amongst numerous successful shows. Then the band went on a hiatus. What primarily brought that about?

I think we all had different agendas; it went from being fun to being a drug fuelled mess. We’d had various line-up changes because people couldn’t commit and it just seemed no matter what I did, we just kept going round in circles. We were young, maybe we thought that because we had management, a label, and had done some higher profile shows that things were just going to fall into place on their own. I now know that’s not how it works, getting higher profile shows means the band is moving forward and that’s precisely the time to put extra pressure on.

And the biggest spark to the return of the band?album art_RingMaster Review

Obviously Brewins isn’t here on lead vocals, but the plan was for him to be the singer again when we reformed. He’d joined the Army after the band split and I hadn’t seen him for a while, but we met up at a Bad Religion show in Manchester. It seemed just like the old days so we agreed to give it another shot with a new line up of people we could trust to help us do it right. His Army career was supposed to be winding down so we set to work on new songs and rehearsing but it turned out that it wasn’t going to work out so we agreed that I would take over all the vocal duties.

Was it easier in many ways to return to a keenly waiting and expectant fan base than when starting out originally or vice versa?

I didn’t really give it much thought to be honest. I knew that I wanted to keep some key parts of the old band, anthemic songs, big guitars etc., but I also knew that I wanted to bring everything up to date and move forward. There’s always going to be people that say you’re doing things wrong but I usually don’t pay much attention to those guys.

Would you say that anything specifically changed within you for the band through that period away? In sound, the drive of personal etc.?

I think the sound of the band has definitely progressed. We pulled back on the hi gain guitars and it’s all about the rhythm section. I just try to write good songs. I think a good song will always win. I guess in terms of sound we have a classic rock n roll type sound; I don’t think we’re really that stylised. My songs always start on an acoustic guitar then we beef them up in the rehearsal room.

I never write a song with a particular sound or genre in mind. I don’t know whether that’s a curse right now. It’s almost like if you don’t sound like Nirvana no one cares. But then again when we first started unless you sounded like Arctic Monkeys no one cared ha-ha

Debut album, Sea of Souls marked your return in potent style with its acclaimed release in 2015. Fair to say it poked stronger and broader spotlights your way?

I think it made people take us seriously for sure. I’m not one for doing what everyone else is doing, maybe having a different sound made the album stand out.

It’s still a hard slog and we do as much of the work as we can on our own. Getting the CJ Ramone tour was a big deal for us, and now he’s a fan of ours which is really surreal. I’m a huge Ramones fan so to have someone like that telling us that we’re doing something right is a real boost. We’re hoping to play some more shows together in the near future but nothing is confirmed yet, we’ll have to wait and see.

Now you are poised to uncage its successor in the shape of the Trouble City EP this March. How would you say the two differ in their punk ‘n’ roll sounds and how you approached each in the writing and recording?

I guess both Sea of Souls and Trouble City had the same approach in terms of writing and recording. Sea of Souls has some old revamped songs from back in the day that never came out.

A lot of the songs for the rats seem to write themselves. I dick about with a guitar for a while and sing some nonsense and things seem to come together pretty quickly. That being said I don’t let any old shit through, if a song isn’t working I just throw it away and move on. I think the sound has become more mature since Sea of Souls. It’s the same kind of vibe but it feels and sounds like a band that’s been playing consistently together for a good few tours.

Trouble City art_RingMaster ReviewI believe the Trouble City EP was recorded in Berlin late last year whilst you were on tour in Germany? Was that always the aim to record the tracks over there or more making use of opportunities?

That’s right. It wasn’t part of the plan to start with, but we had a couple of shows that fell through on our last German run so had 4 days off in Berlin. A good friend of mine suggested a great studio; it was an old telecom building or something, every wall in the live room was filled with patch bays. You can just imagine loads of German phone operators flying round on their office chairs transferring calls backwards and forwards. A pretty cool vibe and the place sounded great, we plan to finish the second album there. We’ll just add some more studio time onto the back end of a German tour or something.

Give us some idea to the inspiration to the EP’s tracks and character.

We wanted to lay down some balls to the wall, riff driven tracks. I guess you can hear some Social D, Stiff Little Fingers, Ramones, Springsteen. Me, and our other guitarist Matty are really dynamic players so I wanted to enhance that on these recordings. We don’t have super hi gain amps, they’re relatively clean in all honesty, it sounds great but it makes you have to play better and play with a bit more thought into chord voicing etc.. Anything that makes us better is a good idea in my eyes.

What things and situations spark your lyrics more than most?

90% of my lyrics are true to life. Usually come from people I meet, or conversations I overhear. Trouble City is the start of a story about a prostitute called Amy that I met on tour once. We sat and drank some beers and talked shit for a while, you couldn’t make up most of the stuff she was telling me so that seemed like a good place to start with Trouble City.

Tell about the new video for the EP’s title track which you made with one of the UK’s best and brightest film makers, Chalkman Video.

Carl’s a great guy and he did a great job on the new vid. We didn’t have much time with it so we just got into our rehearsal space, he set up some lights and off we went.

Looks pretty cool I think. We spent 4 hours or so filming it then he had it finished 3 days later, he doesn’t mess around.

The EP is going to be the spark for another hectic year, live wise?

I hope so, we’re working on loads of UK dates throughout the year and heading back to Germany in October, there’s a couple of other things in the works that I can’t mention yet but yeah, we’re trying to keep as busy as we can.

YR Promo 2_RingMaster Review

Photo by Carl ChalkmanVideo Arnfield

What has the band already got in place as 2016 evolves in other news?

We managed to nail down a show with Snuff which should be fun, I haven’t seen Duncan for a while….

We’ve also confirmed a show with The Dictators.

More releases in the pipeline?

Of course! But probably not this year. Who knows.

Once again many thanks for chatting with us Don. Any last thoughts you would like to share?

No problem, I guess if people could just keep supporting us like they did last year that would be awesome, we really appreciate it.

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

RamonesPleasant Dreams, Stiff Little FingersGuitar and Drum, Green DayNimrod, Drag the RiverYou Can’t Live This Way, Ryan AdamsHeartbreaker.

I love all these records; you can probably hear these influences in the rat’s songs. I guess my songs start as simple folk songs then turn into anthems when the band gets hold of ‘em.

Read our review of the Trouble City EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/yorkshire-rats-trouble-city-ep/

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Pete RingMaster

RingMaster Review 19/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Gone By Friday – Quarter-Life Crisis

GlamourByFriday

Having grabbed attention with debut album Noisetank in 2011, New York pop punksters Gone By Friday have taken their time with its successor, whether by choice or not, but now return with Quarter-Life Crisis and it is fair to say that the band has upped the ante in sound, adventure, and fun.

The Queen’s quartet has discovered a new vivacity and energy in songwriting and sound, and they were no slouches there anyway as their last album proved. The eight tracks making up Quarter-Life Crisis simply leap at ears with a creative and imaginative vitality yet still retain the raw touches and essences which helped the band stand out in the first place. There is a maturity to the release which translates as contagious invention and whilst the release is still pop punk in its core form it captivates with raucous charm and fevered enterprise.

Formed in 2009 and tapping inspirations from the likes of Bouncing Souls, Greenday, Lagwagon, Rancid and Blink 182, Gone By Friday soon found their feet in the New York underground scene. The FreEP, a free to get EP and their live presence soon gripped ears and appetites, as well as establishing a base for their sound which Noisetank potently built upon. Now with another leap, Quarter-Life Crisis is here to re-ignite their tempting of new and broader awareness, and it gets off to a stomping start with The Hadean. The track opens on a blaze of guitar riffs which instantly has an old school punk/seventies R&B persuasion before muscular rhythms and scythes of sonic colour add to the heavily enticing start. There is a heavy rock essence with a touch of Sum 41 to it also, though it is not long before the pop punk heart of the track is romping with melodic infectiousness. The throaty basslines of Sean Ho provide their own striking bait within the encounter, but only matched in potency by the swinging beats of drummer Chris Berardi around the guitar enterprise of Peter Berardi and Billy Kupillas, with the latter’s vocals similarly bringing rich lures.

GBFcover   The strong start is swiftly matched by the raucous revelry of It All Starts With Me, a thumping stomp of a song with grouchy basslines and addiction forging hooks galore. At only a handful of seconds past a minute in length, it is far too short but still provides a tsunami of contagion and energy to exhaust and thrill without reservation. The sigh of disappointment at its brief tenure is soon forgotten once the clunky riffs and anthemic tenacity of Poison Jam steps up to ignite ears and energies all over again. There is an open familiarity to the song yet it matters little as its catchy devilry embraces body and emotions with insatiable energy and creative appetite, a mix driving the release as a whole.

600 Miles opens on a delicious acoustic enticing next, guitar and voice an immediately engaging proposal backed by the percussive and broader sonic imagination brewing away within the energetic croon of a song. Though it does not quite generate the more heightened reactions of its predecessors, the song leaves satisfaction full and appetite greedier, wants fed with gusto by Say My Name and the album’s title track. The first of the two is another acoustically opened encounter but straight away has rawness to it, a scowl of sorts which bursts into a fiery and aggressively melodic provocation. Its successor soon outshines it though, its opening dance of once more acoustically bred riffs carrying a Latin tempting which in turn ignites a voracious and welcoming tempest of compelling hooks, anthemic vocal harmonies, and irresistible nineties inspired persuasion. The song is a glorious rampage which alone sums up all you need to know as to why Gone By Friday makes for a thoroughly fulfilling feel-good proposal.

The album closes with The Story So Forgotten, a track like the last which feels like an old friend in familiarity but a brand new acquaintance in sound and temptation. It’s increasingly building and almost volatile anthemic intensity brings Quarter Life Crisis to a mighty conclusion, followed by another sigh that it is all over before fingers twitch and submit to pressing play again.

If the likes of Goldfinger, The Bouncing Souls, and Blink 182 whet the appetite then Gone By Friday have a treat for you, but equally they offer plenty to entice and please all pop punk fans within Quarter Life Crisis, so off you trot…

Quarter Life Crisis is available now @ http://gonebyfriday.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gonebyfriday

RingMaster 01/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

The Bricks – Here We Come

CD Cover for Print

     Here We Come is an album which might not be stretching existing boundaries or ideas of invention, indeed you would suggest it is not even trying to, but it is an encounter which introduces us to a potential soaked band with a sound which simply leaves satisfaction and enjoyment full. The release comes from Nebraska punks The Bricks and is receiving its broader unveiling courtesy of Raven Faith Records this month. Consisting of ten memorable if a little formulaic punk anthems, it is a proposition which leaves ears and attention wanting more of its old school punk rock.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jimmy Hobbs, lead guitarist Chris Smith, bassist Kelly Turney, and drummer Mathew Lewis, The Bricks as mentioned has an old school feel to their raw rock ‘n’ roll but equally and in varying degrees infuse essences of oi, hardcore, and Street Punk amongst many spices, into its rebellious nature and sound. It is a faith based proposition which is not backwards in coming forward with the band’s personal emotions and praising but equally does not make it a focal point. This results in an offering from the Omaha quartet which will easily appeal to all punk fans and leave them with an appetite for more.

Recorded at Two Bird Dog Studio in Sioux City, Iowa, Here We Come opens up with an immediately delicious hook within the first few seconds of Just Like You. It has a ring of The Ramones to it which only adds to the instantly attentive hunger of ears and emotions. It is a familiarity which captivates with ease, continuing its potent lure as rhythms thump on the senses and the raw tones of Hobbs, backed by group shouts of the band, bellow engagingly. Like all good punk songs it is an easily accessible stomp for the listener’s body and voice, no demands or surprises being launched just magnetic punk revelry.

The strong start continues with the excellent Punk’s Not Dead, a song which stands toe to toe with ears like a mix of The Lurkers and Dead Kennedys given a healthy dose of US oi. Again the listener is enlisted within seconds to its boisterous persuasion, something all songs achieve with little defiance coming their way to be honest, and shown again straight after by Same Old Story. Not quite having the same spark as the first two, its character a little more dour, the track still provides an infectious and captivating proposal. Its midway slip into a more restrained and melodically aflame passage also reveals a stronger twist of invention adding to the enjoyable incitement.

Yahweh has a pop punk contagion to its otherwise simple and addictively persuasive offering, again a familiar tone soaking hook and riffs but once more leaving only highly satisfied ears and a greedier appetite. Whether in their next release or further down the line we will have the same feeling of satisfaction at being offered recognisable influences and flavours we will see, but right now it works a treat with its nostalgic charm. Proof again coming in the punchy Revolt and the masterfully anthemic Omaha Punks which follows. The first of the pair brings a more metallic essence to its riffs whilst vocals and rhythms lay down a great confrontation of punk persuasion, whilst its successor dips into the essences of The Clash and Angelic Upstarts for a predatory and gripping call to arms.

We Live flirts with whispers of ska and street punk next for an inescapably catchy coaxing of Rancid meets Social Distortion like tempting. As the last track, it easily has ears and feet engaged, and emotions basking in its old school and anthemically alluring intimacy. The same can be said about the Ramones bred Red White and True which strides resourcefully in next. Early touches have a more Clash feel but as the song hits its stride and chorus, it all courted by a great rhythmic antagonism and scything riffs, the NYC legends come to mind

The final pair of tracks ensures the listener is left energised and wanting more. Small Few is a middle finger defiance, driven by crisply jabbing beats aligned to a moody baseline and belligerent backing vocal calls, and inescapable addictive whilst the closing Some Day with less rigour lights ears with abrasing energy and inviting enterprise. More of a slow burner in persuasion compared to earlier songs, it still triggers pleasure fuelled reactions and brings a thoroughly enjoyable album to a strong close.

The Bricks openly wear their influences and passions in their music and it only rubs off on the listener. There are few new things to devour but plenty to provide one highly enjoyable encounter.

Here We Come is available now via http://www.ravenfaithrecords.com/#!product/prd1/3580537951/the-bricks-here-we-come

https://www.facebook.com/TheBricksOmaha

RingMaster 17/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

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Rancid – Honor Is All We Know

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It is approaching six years since Rancid unleashed their last album Let The Dominoes Fall but the wait for another provocation individual to the band is now over with Honor Is All We Know. The California quartet has sculpted a presence truly unique within an intensive and expansive punk scene, and it is that sound and invention which again fuels the new release. A greatly satisfying and undemanding stomp, Honor Is All We Know is quite simply what Rancid does best; creating short stabs of contagious incitements which hit home lyrically and musically, punk and ska entwined in mini provocations.

Upon the fourteen track stomp, the band seems to revisit old times from across their years though they are certainly also mixing it with fresh attitude and energy. It is fair to say that surprises are low and familiarity high, resulting in a typical yet virulently addictive slab of sonic Rancid bred prosperity for ears and emotions. Expect some raising dissatisfaction at its almost ‘safe’ rioting in sound but fans will definitely and greedily lap it up whilst it is easy to see uninitiated pop punk fans making the leap into the bosom of one of modern punk’s founding fathers.

Released via Hellcat Records and produced by Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz, Honor Is All We Know instantly has feet and emotions alive with Back Where I Belong, a prize bull of Rancid incitement which roars and sonically squalls through ears. Guitarist/vocalist Tim Armstrong straight away stands tall and distinct in the infectious brawl whilst the bass lure of Matt Freeman pulsates with its similarly additive bait. Everything about the track is prime Rancid, the beats of Branden Steineckert insatiable whilst Lars Frederiksen also flares and sizzles on guitar and vocals, and whilst it feeds expectations there is nothing at play in the song to leave an already established appetite unfulfilled.

The following Raise Your Fist strolls in on a dark bassline whilst guitars layer caustic glazes of temptation. It soon settles into an imposing and unfussy stride, beats and vocals driving the raw punk tone and attitude of the track. Employing a healthy dose of oi to its again recognisable minimalistic landscape, the song also flirts with melodic scenery but it is just added colour to a rugged anthem which is matched by the fiery enticing of Collision Course. There is a feel of the band’s Let’s Go moment in time to the song linked to a Transplants spawned causticity, both uniting for another unavoidable anthemic persuasion which has body, voice, and hunger heavily involved.

Evil’s My Friend leaps in next with ska bent hips and riffs twisting and enticing respectively, keys just as flirty as guitars whilst the bass saunters and seduces with throaty temptation. The song is one inexhaustible bounce, its irrepressible energy and melodic irreverence pop/ska punk a contagious treat recalling the pinnacles of Armstrong’s solo album A Poet’s Life.

Both the title track and A Power Inside pound ears and imagination with raw riffing and pungent rhythms aligned to melodic and cantankerous enterprise. The first is a senses grazing slice of punk ‘n’ roll loaded with bruising antagonism whilst the second is a muscular yet easy going call to arms with infectiousness as insatiable as the plague. It also, around a delicious flaming of sonic endeavour, finds the band at its rawest and almost unruly in vocals and presence, lifting a good song to greater success before the aggravated intimidation of In The Streets snarls over ears      with its heavier rock intimidation. The track like many hits the spot without setting a blaze but still provides full enjoyment before the snarly dance of Face Up pushes up the ante again. With a sizzling melodic lilt to the guitar’s enterprise and thumping predation to rhythms courted by another binding bassline, the song has that familiar Rancid devilment and prowl which is maybe predictable but inescapable.

The raging hostility of Already Dead provides the next barracking, its spaghetti western climate over a ferocious canvas of antagonistic vocals and riled riffing speared by a devil spawned heavy bassline. The song is a riveting croon which does spread into new terrain for the band in some ways before the rhythm slinging, riff growling stomp of Diabolical grabs its moment in the spotlight. The track enslaves within seconds, never relinquishing its forceful devilry until the pop and sixties garage rock brew of Malfunction leaps upon the passions, it an irresistible hop of sound and energy with the flaming hues of keys as potent as the duelling vocals and cheek slapping beats of Steineckert.

The angry, busy barracking of Now We’re Through With You kicks up a bruising provocation next, its presence a senses tramping bitch slap of a treat whilst Everybody’s Sufferin’ slips into ska flirtation for a glorious two-tone shuffle which instantly makes subservient slaves of feet and emotions. Both tracks leave ears and appetite full but are surpassed by the closing triumph of Grave Digger, a quarrelling slice of street punk which has no excess to its lean confrontation but offers a fat anthemic lure which lingers as it brings the album to a mighty end.

It is hard to make claims that Honor Is All We Know is bringing anything truly new from the band and difficult to be convinced that it can convert those aware but not already enamoured with the band into their fold, but for a rigorously enjoyable assault of Rancid punk rock, it is another richly appetising scrap.

Honor Is All We Know is available from October 27th via Hellcat/Epitaph Records.

http://www.rancidrancid.com

RingMaster 27/10/2014

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