Smash Fashion – Junkie Luck

smash fashion live_RingMaster Review

Ahead of their eagerly anticipated new album, US rockers Smash Fashion have uncaged a feistily flavoursome teaser in the shape of new single Junkie Luck. It has all the trademarks of the band’s decades bridging rock ‘n’ roll and the rousing mischief fans have come accustomed to and greedy for. It also hints at new flavours in the band’s power fuelled melodic roar ensuring intrigue for their upcoming release is all the more ripe.

Los Angeles bred, Smash Fashion has spent the past decade or so brewing up a sound merged from the raw energy of fifties rock ‘n’ roll, the hungry adventure of sixties psych and garage rock, and essences of punk ‘n’ roll forged ever since. With the salacious scent of glam and the anthemic energy of hard rock amongst other flavours also involved, the quartet create something that defies being pinned down yet has a broad familiarity which swiftly seduces ears and imagination. The creation of and driven by vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, Smash Fashion has increasingly lured acclaim and eager attention across a trio of albums starting with A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery in 2006. Three years later Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things stirred things up further for the band though it was Big Cat Love in 2014 which sparked the most eager and broadest spotlights yet on both sides of the Atlantic. With a clutch of ear teasing singles and a praise garnering live presence which has seen the band share stages again on both sides of the pond with the likes of Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, Missing Person, Silversun Pickups, Orson, JET, and The 88 over the years backing up the success of their albums, Smash Fashion has become a greedily devoured band with songs that just make tongues lick lips; the new single Junkie Luck no exception.

smash fashion art_RingMaster ReviewFrom its firs breath Junkie Luck is a rich enticement of guitar, the strings of Deering flirting alongside the sonic lead of Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex- Rock City Angels) before the former’s recognisable and always persuasive vocals potently leads the emergence of the song’s infectious heart. The swinging beats of drummer Repo (ex-Smack) manage to cage and incite further devilment in the song, assisted in kind by the prowling lure of Scarlet Rowe’s bass, both aiding the track’s grip on the listener’s hips and involvement. Musically Junkie Love is like a fiery blend of The Cars, Cheap Trick, Turbonegro, and Sweet with a healthy punk rock attitude but it emerges with a character and uniqueness which roars Smash Fashion.

On the B-side of the single is the boisterous punk ‘n’ roll cover of Golden Earring’s Long Blond Animal, Deering and co giving it fresh attitude for a rousing impact which for personal tastes actually puts the original in the shade just a touch. A song which will not be on the forthcoming album, it alone makes the single more than worthy of being checked out; Junkie Luck itself the thicker temptation urging all to add it to their music collection.

It is probably fair to say that you know what you are going to get with Smash Fashion, a blistering good time with sounds that easily incite body and soul, yet each release to date has only surprised and impressed with its own fresh revelry. There is no reason to expect anything different from the new album, just much more of the fun offered by Junkie Luck.

Junkie Luck is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings on download and on Ltd Ed 7”red vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion   http://www.smashfashionmusic.com

Pete RingMaster 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Thunderous Proposals: Exploring Endrah With Vocalist Relentless.

Endrah_RingMaster Review

We all know that there have been some mighty and fiercely inspiring bands which have emerged out of the Brazilian metal over past decades but its underground scene is no lightweight either. It is a seriously thriving landscape bubbling with an array of impressive bands across the whole array of metal based styles. One such proposition is Sao Paulo Deathrashcore quartet ENDRAH, a band which formed in 2002. Since then they have become one of the major roars with the Brazilian underground, one increasingly nudging thicker and broader attention. Just becoming aware of them ourselves now, we seized on the chance to learn more about Endrah and future plans with vocalist Ryan Raes (Relentless).

Hello and many thanks for sparring your time to talk with us.

Can you first give us some background to how it all started and when you got involved?

ENDRAH is based out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The band was formed by several Brazilian pro musicians and American Billy Graziadei of BIOHAZARD fame. My name is Relentless and I am the vocalist since 2005. I travel to Brazil for tours yearly, and we meet up at other locations around the world to tour.

I first heard of the band Endrah on a Blabbermouth.net post saying Project of Biohazard member looking for new vocalist. I checked it out and was blown away by the raw heavy sound. The band formed when several Brazilian members were playing together and Billy Graziadei married a Brazilian lady and they all got to jamming; things became Endrah eventually.

Have you been or are involved in other bands outside of Endrah?

Yes, I have been in California based metal band, VENGINCE for 21 years now. The band started in school, and we still play to this day. The band is more melodic than Endrah though still tough and heavy.

What inspired the name Endrah?

Endrah is a sort of twist of The Hindu God Indra and a person’s name from what I gather. I was not in the band or present during that time of the name process but each guy references Indra when asked.

endrah2_RingMaster ReviewSince the early days, how would you say the band’s sound has evolved?

Our sound has become less desperate than the beginning, but Endrah is a very heavy and technical. We still bring our trademark sound to the new songs being recorded today and I think we have grown as musicians and song writers and still have a lot to show people.

Has it been more of an organic evolution of sound or has the band deliberately tried to bring in new things?

The bands recordings have become more polished, but I know we are letting it happen and not forcing anything. The band is not “commercially viable” to most people and we have spent most of our time in the underground hardcore and metal scenes.

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

Life is a journey and we have learned a lot while walking down these dirty streets. We have similar goals as humans and musicians even though we are living a half a world away most of the time. Endrah is very good at we do and we deserve good things to happen. We have had all sorts of behind the scenes adversity to overcome already.

What things drive the voice of the band in its early days and now?

The band has a strong political and social voice, along with very thought provoking lyrics that deal with revenge.

So this is the main inspiration to the lyrical side of your songs?

I always write song idea notes whenever something comes up. Watching the news, and reading American Free Press Newspaper will get enough and then visits to Brazil’s poverty stricken areas inspires social change and awareness.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?endrah art_RingMaster Review

Covero the guitarist writes the riffs and then the bassist, Adriano, and drummer, Bruno add their parts and they tweak the song arrangements until it all flows good. Then they send to me videos of the rehearsals and demos to guide me for the lyrics and vocal mapping process which I do in my home studio in California. After that, the guys record their parts in Brazil, I do my vocals in the USA and then we mix and master somewhere. It’s all thanks to the internet that Endrah can truly thrive and communicate properly for a band.

Please give us some background to your latest release.

We are recording now for a May 2016 Release. The latest is a single titled Cadaver Na Barragem available online, and we did that for a Brazilian Compilation album. It rips! Give it a spin.

Can you give us some insight to the premise behind it?

This song is about our buddy Felipe who was stand up boarding on a reservoir in Brazil and he saw a bag floating on the water with tons of insects all over it. The smell apparently was horrific. He opened the bag and inside was a dead woman chopped in pieces. We wrote a song about what may have happened to her. It’s brutal!

You mentioned the writing process and with band members being so far apart presumably songs are pretty much finished going into the recording itself?

We try to be close as possible when entering the studio. We don’t have the luxury to pussy-foot around and waste money like the biggest bands do.

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

I am all about the live show. I thrive when it is live. I prefer touring over studio work. Endrah makes people go crazy and our crowds are wild and violent. It is a total pleasure to perform for our fans. You got to see an Endrah show yourself. Check us out!!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact nationally let alone further afield. How has Endrah found it and are there the opportunities to make a mark if the determination is there?

Yes. In fact I think there are more “pro” Brazilian bands now than ever before in the metal genre. They have a couple dozen amazing heavy bands that are well known on social media and draw good [support]. Endrah knows most of them personally, including members of the biggest Brazilian heavy bands like Sepultura, Krisiun, Angra, etc.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to be a negative or a positive as a band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

The fact that Facebook charges bands money to post to all our fans is total bullshit! They can make money in other ways, but now that they are a public company, they got to pull in more money every quarter. So, I see bands like our friends Biohazard who are only getting 10% of their audience reach when they post and it is apparently about 10% for any level band over 1,000 likes. So you have got to pay hundreds just to have your fans that follow you to all see the post. It’s some shit.

Endrah had to change our profile page when we switched record labels and we restarted the likes count, so it is not nearly as high as it should be, and it is difficult to grow the social media numbers when the companies want more and more money for artists who already have 90% of their music listeners illegally downloading the music to boot. That only leaves us with a few limited means of income and yet we are artists so we are not going away.

Once again Sir, thank you for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

Please check out ENDRAH and give us a like, drop us a comment, and share our pages. Also of course, please come to see us when we tour through your city next!!

Check out the band and their music further @ https://www.facebook.com/endrah/http://endrah.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Exploring the depths with Older Than Oceans

Older Than Oceans _RingMaster Review

Hailing from New York, Older Than Oceans is an alternative rock band which is certainly creating a name for themselves with their blend of a pop punk inspired melodic prowess and post-hardcore intensity and emotion. It is a sound which has openly evolved across the band’s releases so far and continues to blossom as the Long Island quintet work towards new exploits and another successful year. Getting in there early, we grabbed the opportunity to talk with the band…

Can you give us some background to the band and what brought you all together?

We all started playing together basically through people we were all acquainted with and the love for the type of music we all share.

Have you all been involved in other bands before and has the experiences added to what you are doing now?

Every member of Older Than Oceans has been in and out of bands growing up. We like to think we have found the perfect fit for us as a group [now].

Older Than Oceans_RingMaster ReviewWhat inspired the band name?

Nothing specifically, we all just love how the name makes you think. Once you hear the name you think about it and its meaning…Just another form of expressing creativity.

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

We wanted to definitely put an emphasis on our melodic aspects while maintaining a heavier instrumental sound. Diversity definitely plays a big role in our writing.

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

We’ve definitely been evolving both as a band and into the Long Island scene. As you attend more and more local shows you connect with so many different people on so many levels and that in itself is all the drive we need as a band.

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

Well our first EP I, Undefined definitely had a more post-hardcore, experimental side to it where as our newer EP It’s Not Me, It’s You, shows a more mature melodic sound.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

We are the type of people to take things as they come. As the band evolves and the people within it evolve, naturally the sound changes and you move forward with progression.

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

We all share a common core of favorite artists, including Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, and Taking Back Sunday, that really influence our writing as band.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?older than oceans art_RingMaster Review

We generally like to write out our instrumentals and then move on to vocals when we have a song to work with. Everything comes together from there.

Where do inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs more often than not spring from?

Different experiences in all our lives are explained through these songs. Some happy, some sad, but hey that’s life.

Give us some background to your latest release, It’s Not Me, It’s You, and some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

It’s Not Me, It’s You to put it generally, is about a toxic relationship you may have with anyone where they may be taking advantage of you or doing wrong by you and you finally say that’s enough and stick up for yourself. A lot of different topics come into play with this EP but that would probably be the main one.

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

We have gone in to start recording in both situations. A lot of the time the studio is the perfect place to make the final touches on your songs. We usually like to have every song pretty much ready to go by the time we step into the studio.

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

We love to hold an emphasis on having fun on stage. We love to throw free merch off into the crowd, keep everyone incorporated into the show, and just have a great time. Ha-ha recently this past Christmas we even had our friend dressed up as Santa come out on stage and throw gifts out to the audience!

Older Than Oceans logo_RingMaster ReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

In our world today it’s almost all about social networking and your live performances. We plan to master both and continue to write great music in the future.

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

We appreciate everyone that took the time to read this. We plan to release some new stuff very soon so stay tuned!!

 

Learn more about and get in touch with Older Than Oceans @ https://www.facebook.com/OlderThanOceans/

and their releases @ https://olderthanoceans.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Media Stres – E.V.I.L. II

Photo by Lucija Obadić

Photo by Lucija Obadić

Media Stres is an alternative rock band from Croatia which has already made some potent nudges on ears with their previous releases but now offers their biggest incitement on the broadest attention with new EP E.V.I.L. II. The five track release is the continuation of debut album E.V.I.L. (e-Virus Influenced Love), an encounter released in two parts with its second revealing the fulfilment and more of the potential fuelling earlier propositions.

Hailing from Cakovec, Media Stres emerged in 2012 drawing on inspirations from the likes of Biffy Clyro, Placebo, Muse, Royal Blood, and Punčke for their imaginative weave of sound ranging from alternative and progressive rock to post-punk and dirtier hues. Demo EP Fear and Panic was released in 2013 as the band unleashed their live presence and hunger which has since seen them play over sixty shows in Croatia as well as in countries such as Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, and France. The first well-received part of the album, E.V.I.L. was unveiled in the December of 2014, an introduction for a great many to the band which quickly marked out Media Stres as a prospect to keep a close ear upon. Now the trio of guitarist/vocalist Karlo Komorski, drummer/backing vocalist Matej Obadić, and bassist Aleksandar Hutinec complete their first full-length with E.V.I.L. II, whilst setting down a new plateau to their adventure and invention, not forgetting compelling sound.

AlbumCover2_RingMaster ReviewWhereas its predecessor was themed by a narrative concerned with the impact of technology on society and how corrupt that society became with said technology, E.V.I.L. II is the exploration of people living in the shadow of two super states and having to decide to which of the two they belong. It opens up with the scene setting Nations and instantly bold rhythms from Obadić provide an anthemic lead into the waiting narrative, the gnarly tone of Hutinec’s bass quickly adds its suggestive tempting to the coaxing too. In no time the equally dramatic tempting of Komorski’s guitar stirs up song and air, providing a sonic breeze around the hypnotic lure of increasingly pungent rhythms. It is thick captivation crowding ears and appetite, one blossoming further as Komorski unveils the song’s tale with his potent vocals as the song bristles and feistily simmers with an essence of Muse and at times something slightly Manic Street Preachers like.

The outstanding start slips into the just as enthralling and quickly addictive Right or Wrong. Making a more reserved but no less gripping entrance with bass and percussive jabs early bait, the track is soon entangled in the sonic and melodic enterprise of guitar and a spicing which plays in many ways like a mix of Fatima Mansions and Interpol. The moment when the protagonists in the album’s story have to choose their homes, the track paints the drama of the situation with a fiery blend of contrasting textures and intimidating shadows which line every shaft of melodic light and infectious flume within the intensive oppression involved. A progressively lit slice of contagious rock, the excellent track is matched in success and drama by the grungier tones of Consolation and its Bowie-esque colouring to another rhythmically and sonically dynamic incitement. Even with its rousing rock ‘n’ roll, the song’s emotion is dark and fuelled by a loss of hope again enjoyably presented by the vocal expression and strength of Komorski whilst bound in the band’s provocative endeavours.

The break out of world war is the canvas for End Times, an apocalypse sound-tracked by the song’s lively canter with melancholic melodies and, as ever, powerfully alluring vocals and highly persuasive rhythms. The song is persistently boisterous in its gait, its swing a perfect temper and spark to the solemn weave of words and emotions cast in something akin to The Smiths and Teardrop Explodes with again that Fatima Mansions like creative spicing involved.

Hope with its brooding climate spawned from the initial magnetic groan of bass completes tale and release. Shadows again encroach alongside the scything strikes of guitar and rhythmic rumblings whilst a solemnity coats the sultry melodic tendrils veining the rebuild of a desolated land and an increasingly receptive imagination to the invention and evocative theatre of Media Stres. The track is superb, matching all that came before and leaving a lingering compulsion for ears and thoughts to keep E.V.I.L. II alone a persistent companion.

The first EP of E.V.I.L. was an impressive and resourceful adventure but its successor simply overshadows it in every aspect. Media Stres may still be a secret yet to be discovered by a great many but expectations and hopes are that the band is set to receive the full attention and support their striking invention and music undoubtedly deserves.

E.V.I.L. II is available now @ https://mediastres.bandcamp.com/album/e-v-i-l-part-2

http://mediastres.com.hr/   https://www.facebook.com/MediaStres/

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Iron Jawed Guru – Mata Hari

iron jawed guru_RingMaster Review

With all the curvaceous moves and intrigue fuelled exploits its title suggests, Mata Hari is an encounter which simply and irresistibly entices ears as it infests the psyche. The new album from West Virginian instrumental groove rockers Iron Jawed Guru, it is creative espionage of the most rewarding order offering seven songs bursting with grooves that writhe like seductive snakes and a rhythmic intimidation as imposing as it is dynamically compelling. Without reserve, Mata Hari is a delicious incitement that the more you struggle to resist and move on, the deeper you get entangled up in it.

Iron Jawed Guru is the pairing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Lorenzen and drummer Roy Brewer; a Morgantown hailing project which emerged in 2013, though both members first met nine years earlier. Originally a trio with Eric Clutter, who later went on to join Karma To Burn, Lorenzen and Brewer continued as a duo from his departure evolving their fiery and rapacious psych/stoner rock sound. It is a proposition which singes the senses as it flirts with the body, its heavy yet salaciously inviting weave of grooves and riffs aligning with rousing rhythms to create the fiercely captivating and anthemic blaze that is Mata Hari.

cover_RingMaster ReviewFirst up on the album is Quake and straight away its impacting rhythms and dusty grooves echo the ferocity and agitation suggested by the name. As a sonic, almost smog like, embrace is cast, Brewer not for the last time swiftly has the senses on edge and energies ignited with his dynamic presence whilst Lorenzen only expands the flame of sultry grooves and intrusive hooks to increase the virulence of the song. An explosive yet controlled incitement, the song is more than matched by the heated aftermath of Aftershock. Toxic and flirtatious, the track is a maelstrom of contrasting and supporting textures again built on the commanding beats of Brewer and shaped by the tenaciously creative fire of Lorenzen. Bands such as Clutch and Kyuss have often been mentioned as a reference for Iron Jawed Guru, and it is easy to see why from this alone.

The deceptively wiry and full-bodied intoxication of the album’s title track is next, it expelling a sinister and tempestuous air around the undisguised salaciousness that ignites every swinging groove and deeply rooting hook. The song is a devious temptress, a predatory romance stealing breath and soul before Gemini and its mercurial saunter lays bold hands on the imagination. With sinews again flexed in every rhythmic swipe and jab as dark volatility lines the sultry climate of sonic suggestiveness, the track has thoughts leaning towards serial killer like imagery rather than astrological based tales such its rich spiral of dark and intensive adventure.

Navajo brings the hues of the dust hugged West next with its smouldering heatwave of melody inflamed enterprise amidst a web of senses scorching grooves whilst Tremors rumbles and grumbles as it descends ravenously on ears with a horde of robustly explosive rhythms matched with equally abrasive riffs. Both tracks in their individual ways are increasingly veined and bound in the ever forceful invention and irresponsible grooves of Lorenzen; they reckless because there is no doubt that hips will never be the same after indulging in the thick devilry of Mata Hari.

Unsurprisingly Vesuvius is a volcanic prowl of sound with lava-esque drama from the guitars and the expected and enterprising bone shuddering swings from Brewer. Its sizzles upon and burns the senses whilst igniting the passions from start to finish; its gripping and increasingly rabid rock ‘n’ roll the perfect exhausting finale to one increasingly thrilling release.

Mata Hari is pure manna for anyone with a groove fetish; for anyone who loves to be flirted with by swinging strains of guitar and rebellious rhythms whilst Iron Jawed Guru is a band surely on the way to recruiting a rampage of hungry appetites and spotlights.

Mata Hari is available now digitally and on CD via Grimoire Records @ https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/mata-hari

https://www.facebook.com/IJGrock/

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Slave Cylinder – Cultus

SLAVE CYLINDER Cultus_RingMaster Review

Having your chest crushed by the physical weight of a behemoth is maybe the best way to describe how Cultus devours and suffocates ears with its doom laded proposal. The two track oppression is an insatiable consumption from US band Slave Cylinder, a pestilential sufferance of sound and ill-intent that increasingly enthrals as it smothers the life out of body and soul. It is a demo which demands attention, realising its aim with increasing relish once the numbness resides and a brave exploration into its fearsome depths are made.

Slave Cylinder is a one man project from Rockford in Illinois, though of whom we cannot say as background is as absent as raw intensity from the release is constant. Cultus is the first encounter with the project, an invasive proposal recorded with Chris Galvez at Good Fortune Audio and released through Cold Dark Matter Records (Red Harvest, Fange, Compil Prima Giedi, DEAD, Ende, Immemorial).

Making a low key entrance is opening track Love Sermon, a lone guitar invitingly ambling around a vocal sample the first lure it offers. That initial ‘righteous’ moment soon erupts into a cavernous crawl with a demonic vocal insertion the trigger to lumbering riffs, invasive rhythms, and tortuously throated squalls. The raw vocals continue to assail ears amidst the heavy atmosphere; the track’s funereal march predatory and leading to destruction rather than being the aftermath of such, even with the corruption infested celestial winds that at times escape the tempest. As new twists and essences collude, every minute of the encounter becomes more fascinating than the last; a success epitomised by the haunted limbo-esque oasis of melancholy emerging to captivate ears and thought before both are in turn consumed in another avalanche of punishing drama.

Second song, The Seed features Chris Rodriguez of Tundras, and it too opens with calm scenery as church bells court a passing breeze of unsettled whispers. Subsequently though, another leviathan of sound and grievous enmity rises and envelops, it swiftly equipped with a sonic heralding for the ravishment to come. As the colossal tide smothers and trespasses, more angelically hued, siren-esque harmonics radiate in the tempestuous sky of the song whilst clear vocals rupture the wall of doom bred menace with a potency and presence as gripping as the intensity waiting to collapse upon the senses. Despite its weight and pressure, the track as good as stalks the listener rather than unleashes a full-on ravaging, that hinted at intent and confrontation for the main never erupting into the vicious hostility expected; a restraint which only makes the song all the more fearsome.

Cultus is an impressive and punishingly enjoyable first glimpse at Slave Cylinder, a project we are sure to hear more from with no doubt similarly rewarding and debilitating proposals to explore.

Cultus is available now digitally via Cold Dark Matter Records @ https://slavecylinderil.bandcamp.com/releases and on tape through Dickcrush Records @ https://dickcrushrecords.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/slavecylinderdoom/

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Acid Brains – Thirty Three

ACID-BRAINS_COVER2_RingMaster Review

Rampant with a torrent of diverse flavours all uniting in one mighty slab of punk ‘n’ roll, Thirty Three is one of those proposals which out of the blue sets energies racing and thick pleasure flowing. The rousing success of the new encounter will probably be no surprise for fans of and those in the know about Italian band Acid Brains, a quartet previous full-lengths having earned the band a potent reputation in their homeland’s rock scene, but for the rest of us the album is an impressive introduction to a thrill we have all been missing out on.

Hailing from Lucca and formed in 1997, Acid Brains create a sound which merges alternative and punk rock with grunge and new wave, amongst many flavours, a mix brewed with devilish invention and thick imagination. 2004 saw debut album The End Of The Show released after a trio of demos before it; its well-received outing more than matched by its successor Far Away two years later and Do It Better in 2009. As the new proposition, fourth album Maybe was unveiled via Red Cat Records in 2012 to show more of the evolving enterprise and boldness in a sound now inflaming ears in Thirty Three.

Produced by Gherardo Monti and Acid Brains, Thirty Three comes in two parts; the first consisting of five tracks sung in English and the second with four songs sung in the band’s native tongue. Why the segregation of languages we cannot say but the parts are a CD equivalent to the side A and side B on a vinyl release or like on a double EP.

Band and album have attention and ears in the palms of their creative hands from the off, opener Make Up Your Mind laying down an initial lure of confrontational yet controlled bass and guitar before bursting into a fiery punk rock escapade with, whether intentional or not, a more than familiar relationship to The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. The track proceeds to stop and flow with magnetic invention and aggressive ferocity throughout, creating a compelling proposal easy to get greedy over long the way, just like the following Halloween. The second track strolls in with its own slightly belligerent character, the bass of Antonio Amatulli devilishly prowling amongst the sonic tempting of guitarists Alfredo Bechelli and Stefano Giambastiani. The latter’s vocals equally engage with grouchy persuasion as the song explores a post punk/new wave fuelled slice of raw power pop, it already showing the strong variety within the album as it has the imagination bound and ears again aroused.

Sometimes steps up next, tantalising initially with a dirty flame of riffs before hitting a grunge/punk canter playing like a feisty mix of Nirvana, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, and Feud. Antagonistic but with an anthemic welcome rather than a nasty intent, the track stomps along recruiting body and appetite before On The Borderline takes over with its post punk laced, rhythmically gripping prowl. The resourceful beats of drummer Luca Bambini masterfully shape the track and entice instincts to which guitar and vocals offer their inventively bracing assets. With a spice of Gang Of Four meets Gruntruck to it, the track continues the impressive and increasingly gripping persuasion of the album, and the enjoyable wealth of diversity.

Adding a touch of glam rock swagger is Answers next, but equally a healthy scent of old school punk is the order of the day within the slimline and enjoyable canter before Tu throws some rhythmically tenacious garage rock into the album’s mix. A bracing stomp bouncing aggressively around with sonic colouring maybe best described as NOFX and The Pulsebeats in league with the punkier side of Les Négresses Vertes, it sets the second part of Thirty Three off in fine style to be quickly backed and surpassed by the outstanding nagging tempting of Mi Sorprendi. Riffs and rhythms provide a great worrisome yet addictive beckoning for the vocals of Giambastiani to stir things up in potent style within. Once more that post punk spicing add to the varied punk ‘n’ roll adventure of the track whilst hooks and the throaty tones from Amatulli’s strings only add to the inescapable captivation.

The final pair of songs ensures the album ends with as much variation and resourcefulness as it has perpetually offered already. All’infinito is first, a heavily enticing slice of drama with sinister electronics courting a grunge punk aggravation whilst closing song Solido has its own dark theatre through haunting keys within a rawer coaxing of guitar. Soon it raises its temperature and contagion with a glorious roar of a chorus that has listener participation involved with ease. Subsequently leading into another hungrily virulent blaze of rich grooves and deeply embedding hooks; that in turn the passage into an attitude loaded punk bellow of a blistering finale, it and its predecessor provides a thumping close to an increasingly persuasive and impressive album.

Acid Brains is rock ‘n’ roll to get excited and greedy over; something fresh to get lusty with through an album that flicks all the right switches.

Thirty Three is out now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acid-Brains/50227931347   http://twitter.com/AcidBrains

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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