Les Bof! – Voila!

Everything about Les Bof! is a surprise and real pleasure; great rewards found in our introduction to them courtesy of the guys at the ever welcome Dirty Water Records. The reason for it all is new album, Voila!; a collection of songs which got under the skin like a mischievously voracious itch.

Les Bof! revels in the heart of French 60s garage rock but a band hailing from the rousing highlands of Scotland. Featuring members of The Thanes, The No-Things, The Sensation Seekers, and Preston Pfanz & the Seaton Sands, the quartet consists of guitarist Angus McPake, bassist Colin Morris, drummer Ross Fairbairn, and French chanteur Laurent Monbel. 2011 saw the release of debut album, Nous Sommes les Bof!, something easy to feel we really missed out on such the addictive and rousing exploits now of Voila! and its fourteen enthralling romps.

From the moment opener Jezebel melodically rumbled into view it is fair to say we were hooked, especially once it set down its swinging gait and nagging stroll. Monbel’s vocals as swiftly enticed even though in a language we have never had a handle on, his tempting more than matched by guitar and rhythmic enterprise. There is a whiff of Mano Negra to the track’s garage rock revelry, a favouring which repeats enjoyably across the album from time to time.

With its drama and captivation increasing by the chord, the song makes way for the just as alluring Fin De Monde, a song with definite Stones-esque flaming to its hooks and energy. Rock ‘n’ roll of the most magnetic order it is still soon eclipsed by the thrilling Vie De Chien. Already in three songs Les Bof! have proven adept at the most merciless of hooks and melodic devilry, the third song casting its own irresistible types led by the delicious groove of the bass wrapped in the spidery snare of guitar; alone one of the most seductive moments of the album.

The sing-a-long canter of Ma Claque just commands participation next up while Je Suis Le Boss owns ears with its sepia shaded sixties shuffle blessed with the intoxicating jangle of keys and the harmonic flaming of Monbel; another great pair which is still outshone by another as Drogue ‘N’ Roll swaggers in with unapologetically flirtatious grooves leading devilish power pop tainted moves and garage pop sprung temptation.

The surf seduction of Souviens Toi nestles perfectly in the arms of the song’s intimate chanson to simply bewitch with Un Deux Trois Quatre bringing the body back to full involvement with its eager animation and virulent quiver; physical excitement further escalated by the rawer but no less melodically enticing rock ‘n’ roll of Soixante-Huitard.

As Liberes Moi with its fiery sixties breath inflames and the similarly era nurtured prowl of C’est La Vie taunts, Voila! only enriched its fascination, grip, and variety of sound with La Fievre Du R’n’R adding to all with its garage rock fever and inescapable holler.

The album goes out as masterfully as it came in; Port St Louis teasing and transfixing with its smouldering instrumental writhing with threads of sonic fire before Formidable provides arguably the most addictive moment of the album with its niggling hooks and flirtation loaded swing. It is a glorious end to quite simply one of the real pleasures of the year so far so as Les Bof! declares…Voila!

Voila! is out now via Dirty Water Records: available @ https://lesbof.bandcamp.com/album/voila

 

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Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Xentrix – Bury The Pain

It cannot be mere coincidence that plenty of the most striking and indeed enjoyable thrash bred encounters in recent times have come from bands which emerged in the genre’s youthful days, subsequently departed and have made potent returns in recent years. British thrashers Xentrix are another falling into that category and now lighting up the senses with a thrilling new proposition. Bury The Pain is the band’s fifth full-length, a release revelling in the many familiar throes of thrash metal but essences shaped in the band’s own inimitable character and imagination.

Formed by guitarist Chris Astley in 1985, Xentrix left their mark through their 1989 Roadrunner Records released debut album Shattered Existence, continuing to ingrain it upon the UK metal scene with following releases and a live force which saw them share stages with the likes of Testament, Sacred Reich, Annihilator, Sepultura, and Tankard. After three more well-received albums, the band went on hiatus before returning in 2013 and lighting up that year’s Bloodstock festival. With new vocalist/guitarist Jay Walsh leading the attack alongside the equally potent forces of guitarist Kristian Havard, bassist Chris Shires and drummer Dennis Gasser, Xentrix has again simply created another stirring strike upon the senses with Bury The Pain.

The album unleashes its title track first up, Bury the Pain luring attention with melodic wiring around a bubbling predation of sound. By the tempting chord rhythms brew their aggression, eventually sparking tides of rapacious riffs amidst their own voracious intent. Walsh’s equally tenacious tones steer the trespass, the song continuing to involve melodic and rousing enterprise within the virulent offensive.

Cover art Dan Goldsworthy

It is a great start to the album swiftly matched and eclipsed by the fiery discontent of the outstanding There Will Be Consequences; an anthemic protagonist stirring up the spirit with its gang hollering and nagging dynamics. Accelerations in physical and vocal antipathy only add to its prowess and persuasion before Bleeding Out casts its own melodically woven web of enmity upon ears; a netting to creative and bodily irritability which is just as menacingly compelling.

Both The Truth Lies Buried and the following Let the World Burn tighten the grip of the album, the first emerging from elegant melodic intimation to ravage with control and imagination with its successor hen accosting the senses with a far more untamed demeanour and truculence for matching success and captivation. It is magnetism just as potent within The Red Mist Descends, another track rising from a classic melodic coaxing to uncage creative hostility and viral animosity. As suggested there is plenty within all tracks which is bred from familiar trash ingredients but as this trio epitomise alone, each launches individual and magnetically enterprising propositions.

It is dexterity and fertility just as open and strong within the predatory instincts of World of Mouth, the song a seriously nagging assault of pleasure, and similarly the addictively harassing exploits of Deathless and the Divine. Feral bordering on bestial, the latter leaves no tantalising stone of hostility unturned as not for the first or last time individual craft and imagination unite.

The final pairing of The One You Fear and Evil by Design provides a closure as striking as the album’s beginnings. The first is another which initially tempts with melodic radiance, this gentle caress the lure into a hellacious onslaught of sound and intent providing a multi-textured and flavoured tempest to indulge in. The closer in turn invades with animalistic nostrils flared and creative acrimony freed, savaging and seducing with matching rancour especially within its latter raptorial prowl.

It is a fine end to one mercilessly stirring release. Xentrix are heavier and more ruthless than ever before and at their most compelling with Bury The Pain laying down another mighty notch for British thrash metal.

Bury The Pain is available now through Listenable Records; available @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/en/268_xentrix and https://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/bury-the-pain

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Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deathcrush – Megazone

It has been a long five and a half years since we first posted and lusted over the Skool’s In EP from Norwegian trio Deathcrush and that it is only now that their debut album is with us. But it is a wait and anticipation that Megazone voraciously rewards with nine feral slices of the band’s inimitable and enthralling noise punk/ death pop tempestuousness.

Distinctly unique to the Oslo outfit since day one, the Deathcrush sound has only escalated its distinct character as it has evolved and blossomed to greater heights as embraced by Megazone. Each track within the album is a fusion of invitation and warning, all a magnetic lure into the dissonance and threat of a world in chaos. Yet their infectiousness means you want indeed need to be there surrounded by the virulence of their arousing trespasses.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Linn Nystadnes, bassist/vocalist Pelle Bamle, and vocalist/drummer Vidar Evensen relish their music’s instinctive catchiness within album opener EGO. The song offers a hug of warmth and calm poppiness which is never quite repeated across the release again; an individual dance of temptation which just glows on the senses as vocals caress around the tenebrific stroll of bass. Even so there is a underlying darkness which gathers and festers as the track builds its tension, a sonic dissonance that corrupts the light if not the song’s resonance and contagiousness.

The great start is swiftly escalated by the caustic winds of PushPushPush. Guitars are a scathing insight as Evensen’s animated rhythms rally and assault the senses, all the while Nystadnes’ tones a belligerent match to the toxic flames of her stringed insurgency. Gripping attention, the track scars as it enamours though it is soon eclipsed in personal tastes by the bewitching Khmer Rich. Almost prowling the listener even with its excited stroll, the song simply entangled the imagination in its corrosively incandescent web whilst the body bounced to its nagging punk catchiness.

As the song outdid its predecessor, so Dumb left it in the shade a touch with its communicable dance and discord. Again drone and incessant nagging makes up the irresistible character and insistence of a Deathcrush song, its repetitive but adventurous persistence a voraciously crawling incitement proving so easy to devour before Filthy Street casts its own magnetic sonic austerity; it too something which stalks as it seduces while throbbing resonance springs from Bamle’s bass infestation. Unsurprisingly the song’s sound and breath echoes the landscape of its title, getting into every pore and corner of the psyche like aural pestilence and igniting both for richer pleasure.

Bedsit is next up, its malignant pop an evocation and infestation of soulless exposure with a great underlying Pixies-esque bewitchment while Trust Me follows with its particular punk noise prowl, one as with all tracks which can be taken into intimate or broader interpretations and reflections as the music only gathers in a momentum of temptation.

It proved hard to choose a main favourite amongst all the tracks within Megazone but the final pair of Daemon with its infernal melodic flames and mordant breath and State of the Union makes persistent claims. To be honest the last track steals it at the death; its rhythmic contagion alone pure manna to these ears and unerring hypnotic bait which vocal dexterity and the spellbinding drone around it respectively ride and cling to for certain rapture.

For many reasons we did expect to enjoy Megazone but it still left us far more impressed and breathless than we could have imagined. We really should not have been surprised after all this is Deathcrush and they are no strangers to harrying noise, imagination, and boundaries.

Megazone is out now via Apollon Records.

http://www.deathcrush.no/   https://www.facebook.com/deathcrushbaby  https://twitter.com/deathcrushbaby

 Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unimagined – Friendless

Something wicked this way comes and it goes by the name of Friendless, the debut EP from US rockers Unimagined. Offering five rousing slices of the band’s “theatrical metal”, the release swiftly and increasingly had ears and imagination in the palms of its creative hands as it introduced a proposition we found rather easy to devour.

Hailing from St. Louis, Unimagined emerged in 2017 and soon earned a potent reputation and support across their local scene. Their sound is an animated mix of post hardcore and alternative metal; something akin to a n animated fusion of Pierce The Veil, My Chemical Romance, and At the Drive-In. It is a carnival of flavour and imagination honed into one melodically rousing and tempestuously seductive proposition which across Friendless never leaves a moment void of bold adventure and creative drama.

Too Dead To Dance sets the EP off and alone convinced there was something special going in within ears, its declaration subsequently echoed across its companions. The outstanding opener instantly had its hooks under the skin as the rich clean vocals of guitarist Caleb Freihaut align with the rapier swings of drummer Kai. The guitars of Jake Morgan and Nathan Simpson add to the emerging theatre with the waiting throat scathing roars of fellow vocalist Jarett Clark poised to erupt upon the already alluring mix. With every passing second the track simply escalated its captivation, the grumbling swing of Patrick Reuben’s bass adding further threat within the melodic enterprise embracing Freihaut‘s expressive dexterity.

It proved enthralling stuff and was soon matched by the imagination fuelling next up Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Its entrance is maybe less dramatic than its predecessor’s but with boisterous energy to its stroll and the crystalline caress of keys the song had little difficulty enticing attention, undisturbed focus rewarded with a tempest of aural drama and fiery invention brought with craft and imagination. The contrast of the lead vocalists works a treat in the creative maelstrom, the tenacity of the sounds crowding their magnetism simply rousing and as with all tracks every second, note, and syllable brings compelling persuasion.

The EP’s title track follows, Friendless. strolling in with a certain swagger as its theatre of sound and intimation quickly casts its narrative. Raw vocal prowess provides a scathing trespass within the swiftly thick theatre of enticement, the song almost bullying with its melodic wiring and muscular manipulation. Eventually its pressure becomes a senses harrying assault but one tempered by the melodic elegance of keys.

The final pair of She Was Scared Of Storms and Lemons & Sodomy simply escalated the bountiful character and prowess of the EP. The first of the pair is a serenade with fire in its belly, a pyre of creative animation and endeavour which had the body bouncing and appetite lusting while the second from its inescapably seductive melodic teasing erupts in a kaleidoscope of inflamed passion and resourcefulness ; both fascinating stages for the fertile craft and imagination of Unimagined.

As Friendless reaches new borders it is easy to expect and assume Unimagined will be launched into keener spotlights. The EP is a thrilling beginning to a proposition with still so much more to discover within their depths and imagination; something else to be eagerly excited over.

Friendless is out now via Standby Records; available @ https://standbyrecords.merchnow.com

https://www.facebook.com/UNimaginedBand/   http://unimagined.standbyrecords.com

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Back To The Warehouse

Pic By Gord Weber

The Back To The Warehouse EP sees Canadian thrashers Infrared releasing in their words “… the last of the old songs that we felt should see the light of day.” It comes as the band prepares to record a new album for an anticipated 2020 release and we can only agree that its 4 originals and one cover of an Iron Maiden song are certainly deserving of this rather enjoyable outing.

Ottawa hailing Infrared originally rose up back in the mid-eighties as the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax were shaping the attention on thrash metal. Embracing that Bay Area inspiration, Infrared released the R.I.P. EP in 1988 before going on an extended hiatus the following year. 27 years on the band united with original members in vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx recruiting bassist Mike Forbes to replace the other band founder, Shawn Thompson who had since those early days moved to Miami. A debut album in No Peace soon followed with its successor, Saviours, released last year.

Back To The Warehouse echoes that time when the Big 4 were driving thrash, the likes of Testament, Exodus, and SOD equally making an open inspiration to the tracks within it yet it has a freshness to its particularly individual nostalgia which is not out of place with anything new being cast by current thrashers.

The EP opens up with Meet My Standards and instantly hits its stride and groove as riffs and rhythms cast a familiar thrash incitement upon the senses. Its voracious swing just as urgently got under the skin, setting up body and appetite for the subsequent trespass of familiar yet as suggested freshly animated thrash enterprise. As arousing as its assault is there is also a predatory essence which particularly stalks the listener in certain moments before One Mouth Two Faces brings its own rapacious canter and character to the fore. Forbes’ bass particularly grabbed the appetite but no more than the insurgent riffs and intrepid wires of the guitars and Kamal’s potent tones, it all resulting in a track which easily splattered the spot.

Hate Today, Despise Tomorrow launches on another great rhythmic incitement from Groulx, his tenacious and galvanic dynamics sparking similar exploits in the exploits of Gidley and Kamal as the song expanded its infectious character and enterprise. With a Skids like tinge to its hooks and real individuality to the craft of the guitars, the song takes favourite track honours though it is soon seriously harassed for the title by the just as outstanding Animated Realities. With a punk-esque strain to its hooks and manic edge to its unpredictable nature, the song simply stirred the passions and a greed for more.

Infrared’s cover of Maiden’s Wrathchild is a sure and enjoyable proposition which fans of the latter will embrace with ease but against the prowess of the previous four songs just did not light the fires here. Even so it makes an alluring end to a great EP.

We admit Back To The Warehouse is our introduction to Infrared and we cannot help feeling that we have seriously missed out if the EP’s songs are the last of their arsenal deserving release.  As for the next Infrared album, it cannot come soon enough.

Back To The Warehouse is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/infraredmetal/   https://twitter.com/infraredmetal   http://infraredmetal.ca/

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

House Of Hatchets – Reach

Having heard rather good and promising things about UK outfit House Of Hatchets there was genuine intrigue and a sense of real anticipation facing the band’s debut album, Reach. Across ten slabs of multi-flavoured alternative metal, the encounter swiftly revealed all the answers to any questions posed and yes the Edinburgh quintet pretty much live up to the ‘hype’ and potential offered.

Reach also quickly established that the band’s sound is a kaleidoscope of styles and textures, each track a twist from another revelling in familiar flavours and unique enterprise and all emerging as something as individual to House Of Hatchets as you can imagine or wish. A hindsight listen showed that the seeds and hints were already firmly sowed in the band’s 2017debut EP, The Grind and now in full bloom within Reach. As with that earlier encounter, the band has linked up with Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me the Horizon, Bullet for my Valentine, Monuments) upon their first album, a release in full rousing voice from its first breath.

Moth Song starts things off, looming in from the distance on a sonic thread with soon reveals its melodic intimation. Finally face to face with the listener wires of guitar entangle with restrained but muscular rhythms, a confrontation which relaxes a touch as the voice of Chris Allison joins in and erupts in full temptation as the track instinctively bounds through ears. Even then it is a mercurial attack, ebbing and flowing in intensity and aggression as its unpredictable nature colludes with enterprise and an impassioned heart.

It is a great start to the release driven by the rhythmic powerhouse of drummer Frazer Parker and bassist Pete Cook; their muscle complemented by craft as echoed within next up Epitaph. Similarly the prowess of Allison’s delivery and tones are a potent essence in the track’s adventurous stroll, the guitars of Jamie Parker and Lewis Wheeler writhing and creating around all with sonic and melodic dexterity. As all tracks; it too is an offering which revels in its mix of metallic and melodic strains which teases of others yet never shares anything less than individuality.

The voracious instincts and contagion of The Sick And The Damned follows with its web of styles and adventure across a melody rich and unapologetically infectious exploration. A relentless temptation within which guitars seduce and sear, rhythms tempt and assault and vocals singularly entice and unitedly arouse before Lilith unveils its own sonic landscape of beauty and tempestuousness. For all their ravenous appetites and imposing trespasses, there is an instinctive poppiness to songs which is no better highlighted than with the creative and fiery cauldron of this excellent proposal.

Uprising leaps upon the listener next, its nu-metal essences colluding with crossover instincts as the song jabs and incites before sharing its full melodic anthemic roar. Hooked on its lures in quick time, the track only escalated its persuasion by the twist and turn, placing a firm hand on best track honours though quickly rivalled by subsequent incitements such as the following Burn. Ferocious in breath and intent as extreme and melodic metal merge, the track provided an invigorating and thrilling incursion to challenge its predecessor.

There is a somewhat calmer nature to Open Ocean, a melodic tide in sound and voice infesting whirling sonic eddies to break up an otherwise fierce maelstrom of emotion and intensity. It is a skilfully woven mix which if not quite matching up to other tracks just captivated before Black And Blue brought its tempest of sound and imagination to accost the senses. Virulent in every trespass shared, it too made a potent play for favourite song with the outstanding Asylum making another compelling declaration soon after with a voracious onslaught of thrash fuelled adventure.

Last One Lost brings things to a close, the song a beguiling melodic metal croon come insurgent storm with richly persuasive power in its voice and heart as the album makes a final turn in its constantly changing sequence of enterprise and adventurous sound.

House Of Hatchets is a band demanding and deserving of closer attention and their first album one which you can only see bringing that greater recognition. For all the great releases heard across a year few truly ignite real excitement levels but Reach is one.

Reach is released June 21st; available @ https://houseofhatchets.bandcamp.com/album/reach

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rat Fancy – Stay Cool

Two years on from being enamoured by their EP, Suck A Lemon, Californian outfit Rat Fancy has us hooked again with new album Stay Cool. Like warm honey for ears, the band’s debut full-length potently builds on the pop aspects of that striking earlier release but to the sweetness they bring an even richer tang of discord amidst the sharpest jangles to accentuate the full and unbridled seduction of one magnetic sound.

Formed in late 2016 by vocalist/guitarist Diana Barraza and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Gregory Johnson Rat Fancy has seen their sound hungrily evolve between releases. As mentioned their new album revels in the pop aspect of their creativity yet it does not derail moments of real punk instinct and aggression as well as creating muscular power pop which just gets under the skin. With its line-up completed by bassist Dan Fernandez and drummer Matt Sturgis, Rat Fancy also tease ears with a great nostalgic indie pop breath which especially reminds of the eighties which is maybe no shock as the band has linked up with producer David Newton formally of, and the always well-devoured here, The Mighty Lemon Drops; certainly you could suggest his sure hand has given it a potent voice.

 Stay Cool opens up with its title track, the tempting voice of Barraza and a fuzz lined jangle of guitar the first enticing lure. Its infectiousness is only reassured by the subsequent skip of rhythms and the darker grumble of bass as smiling melodies dance; together it all making for one captivating beginning to even richer and bolder moments.

The following Making Trouble brings a thick growl to its Vaselines-esque flirtation, eager energy and a dirt encrusted sheen adding to its instantly gripping character while Never Is Forever simply had ears hooked from its initial invitation of lone bass. The ever manipulative rhythms of Sturgis soon join the inescapable temptation; guitars and voices no slouches in adding to the refreshing enterprise fuelling one irresistible moment within Stay Cool.

Next up RIP Future has a great Weekend meets The Flatmates air to its contagious dissonance inspired rock ‘n’ roll, hooks and melodies in devilish collusion as the track again simply escalates the qualities and excellence of its predecessor, a trend started from the album’s start and only added to by the respective indie pop infection of Must Be Nice and the harmonic beauty of Beyond Belief. Each share a deft but bold tapestry of hooks and melodies around Barraza’s ever beguiling and welcoming tones with the latter aligning its radiance to big boisterous rhythms which alone echo inspirations of that eighties bred era mentioned before.

As Dreaming Is Real and Finely Knitted embrace attention Rat Fancy only add greater temptation the way of ears and appetite. The first of the songs has a warm familiarity to its brief but virulent persuasion, a whiff of The Cranberries adding to its compelling stroll whilst its successor revels in its own individual pop swing. Sugary keys add to and skilfully contrast the effortlessly infectious swing of hearty rhythms, the song pure contagion on body and imagination to steal favourite track honours.

Stuck With You with its gnarly breath and punk ‘n’ pop hunger swiftly makes a close rival for best track, the song a slice of voracious rock ‘n roll enlivened power pop which had the body bouncing as instincts devoured its mercurial gait and unpredictable antics.

Closing with the golden pop croon of Ride Or Die, the song a beguiling sunset to the album’s indie pop heatwave, Stay Cool only left a want for much more of its splendent sounds. It is also a release which only grows bigger and brighter let alone more irresistible by the listen whilst proving Rat Fancy one of indie pop’s essential protagonists.

Stay Cool is available now via HHBTM Records @ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/rat-fancy-stay-cool/  and https://ratfancy.bandcamp.com/album/stay-cool-2

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 Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright