Tailblock – Think Or Be

As much as instant slavery of ears goes down a treat with us offerings which take their time to blossom and accelerate their temptation are just as enjoyable. Think Or Be, the new EP from British trio Tailblock manages to be as good as both. It is a six track roar which easily grabbed the appetite from its first attack but only grew and flourished with greater and in turn keener attention play by play. High praise took to its predecessor couple years back and it is unlikely it will be a stranger this time around either.

Hailing from Dartford in Kent and emerging in 2016, Tailblock released debut EP, Burn Your Bridges, at the close of that first year. It was produced by Ian Sadler (Anavae, Roam), who returns to add his touch to Think Or Be, and as said earned numerous plaudits. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Glassjaw, Hundred Reasons, Rival Schools, and Reuben and it is the latter which most comes to mind in varying shades across the new EP. Even so, the threesome of Jak Coleman (bass guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Kingsmill (drums/percussion/backing harmonies), and Gary Ptaszek (guitar/lead vocals) hold their own individuality in a release which sees their post hardcore nurtured sound much more assured, diverse, and adventurous than in that first encounter.

The EP opens up with its title track and an immediately insistent tide of riffs and rhythms from which a delicious hook springs to quickly be joined by the strong tones of Ptaszek. In no time it is a rousing roar, even in its calmer moments a spirit sparking incitement from within which that infernal hook has ears and lust dangling.

It is a seriously infectious and muscular start to the release firmly backed up by Heavy Arms. The band’s latest single it too teases and tempts with a hook which just gets under the skin, this time the band using it from the first second to nag and tempt. There is a more controlled gait to the song and a swing which had the body moving in unison, Jamie Lenman and co an easy comparison to its opening infection. There is also an underlying volatility which does not quite ignite but definitely adds a great feral quality around the pure catchiness of the song. A mix of pop, punk, and alternative rock, the track is thick contagion with the backing vocals of Coleman and Kingsmill as potent as Ptaszek’s lead and all three’s musical prowess.

Rocket follows quickly establishing its heavier presence as the wires of the guitar and throbbing lines of the bass surround the thumping beats of Kingsmill. It too has a catchiness which cannot fail to incite feet but did miss the particular spark of its predecessor for our ears. Its emotive edge though is a strong hue, an increasingly persuasive one which leaves nothing on the table within the ferocious Blisters. A fiery attitude soaked offering as inescapably catchy as it is imposingly aggressive it soon steals favourite track honours especially with its melodically seductive climax.

The EP concludes with firstly Listen, a song rising from a rockabilly-esque temptation to another emotionally charged yet controlled saunter. Even so its melancholic elegance erupts in moments of sonic fire with its mercurial landscape a ride of heart bred turbulence and tenacious enterprise. Its successor, 100, similarly has a great unpredictable air and touch to its character, acoustic coaxing and vocal reflection leading to melodic infection and spirited release in emotion and sound.

It is a fine end to a proposition which grows and further impresses by the listen. From the start we rather liked it, now it is one we fiercely recommend. There can never be another Reuben, one of our all-time loves at The RR, but in their own distinct way that gap just might be filled by Tailblock; Think Or Be suggests so.

Think Or Be is released July 13th digitally and on CD.

https://www.facebook.com/tailblockband

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright