Hole In The Head – Primitive Love

HITH 2015 line-up

HITH 2015 line-up

It is always a negative when someone says they need something like a hole in the head, but when it applies to the Finnish rockabilly band of the same name the want is completely different, especially if talking about the band’s debut album Primitive Love. It is a ten track stomp bred in a rockabilly heart but involving spicy rhythm ‘n’ blues and broader rock ‘n’ roll adventure to create something not exactly unique but predominantly individual to Hole In The Head.

The Kuopio hailing band began in 1997, founded by vocalist/guitarist Sasse Savolainen. Two 7” EPs, Tornado Ride (2000) and Trouble Cruiser (2003) were well-received successes for a band also experiencing a few line-up changes. The summer of 2012 saw the quartet of Sasse, Brother Andy Liukko (guitar, harmonica, sax), Turkka (upright bass), and Laasanen (drums) begin recording Primitive Love with Tomi Leino at Suprovox Studio, Ikkala. In the wake of the recording though Laasanen left the band with Turkka subsequently leaving too. The remaining pair decided to carry on performing as the Sasse & Andy Duo and work towards releasing the album. New impetus to Hole in the Head after its near demise came with the recruitment of Tony Lehto (upright bass) and Joonas Hiltunen (drums), the band hitting the live scene again with force further backed by the 2015 release of Primitive Love.

A strong start to the album is made by Out of Hands, the opener coaxing ears with scuzzy guitar and the winy charm of Andy’s harmonica incitement. With punchy rhythms and inviting vocals, the enjoyable encounter is an easy to climb on board canter with swinging hips and excitable energy that has feet bouncing and attention aroused. Increasingly more virulent as it stomps into its dynamic climax, the track passes an already keen appetite over to the following Bad Luck Driver. Straight away a sultry and siren-esque psychobilly tang wraps ears as the bass of Turkka gets the instincts going with its delicious dark stroll. With beats just as enticing, the track only blossoms further as blues lined tempting escapes through a flirtatious sax as the potent tones of Sasse strike up further pleasure and satisfaction, each adding to the excellent Frantic Flintstones meets Ray Campi with a touch of Roy Hawkins like song.

picture By Ville Angervuori

picture By Ville Angervuori

From one big treat to another as the dark noir mystique of The Night Walk takes over, its blues/surf blend of temptation a smouldering seduction of spicy air and sound. The resonating elegance of the guitar comes with a great sinister swell to its tone whilst the rhythms perfectly temper that intoxication with understated but pungent repetition. Already song by song, Primitive Love gets thicker and bolder in adventurous invention, a trend continuing with the swiftly magnetic Let Me Be Your Heartbeat. Imagine The Stray Cats in collusion with Tiger Army without the haunting and you have the anthemic prowess of a gripping track only broadening in varied sound with each passing minute.

Vintage Kind of Fever leaps in with tenacious rhythms and an energetic swagger next, its fifties nurtured and robustly delivered rockabilly weave littered with flaming sax, scything guitar, and a rhythmic rumble to lose the body too. Addiction is inevitable as also through the bluesabilly romp of Rude Boy Blues, a mix of rousing enterprise and fiery flavouring at times reminding of The Shakin’ Pyramids. Both tracks are superb incitements to lose inhibitions to and quickly backed by the jazzy canter of Lonely Wolf, the song a Parisian touched harmonica wielding vagabond of a song which simply leads hips into an eager sway.

Rhythmic jabs and swinging hooks are the order of the day within Knock Out Boogie, bass and guitar hooks hypnotic bait as masterful vocals and bodacious sax lead the listener on a rebellious yet controlled dance before having to make way for the sixties R&B hued blues devilry of Wolf Girl. Bounding around with the scent of The Living End and Johnny Burnette to its insatiable energy and feverish character, the song just entices and incites like a frisky temptress.

The album is closed by Bondage Love, a track living up to hopes inspired by its title with its exotic melodic landscape and addictively nagging rhythms. Like a rapture driven shindig on the banks of the River Nile, further accentuated by the Madness like smooch of the sax, the track is pure manna for ears and rock ‘n’ roll passions; a claim easy to attach to the whole of Primitive Love.

It may have taken time to see the light of day, but Primitive Love hits the sweet spot with persistent ease whilst suggesting to the world that Finland has a rockabilly/R&B band which deserves real attention.

Primitive Love is out now @ http://hith.net/wordpress/shop/

http://hith.net/   https://www.facebook.com/holeintheheadfin

Pete RingMaster 12/01/2016

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Venus de Vilo – Slashing Through The Snow

Venus de Vilo2_RingMaster Review

Bringing Halloween to Christmas with more charm and bloodlust than Tim Burton could ever imagine, Irish queen of the macabre Venus de Vilo recently unveiled her new Frightmas EP Slashing Through The Snow. Consisting of three tales of festive mayhem sculpted in the distinctive and seductive style the Dublin born songstress of the grave is increasingly renowned for, the EP suggests there is hope for the Christmas song after all.

Once more Venus de Vilo tempts ears and imagination with her mix of acoustic and vocal rockabilly/vaudeville inspired prowess, a sound and temptation littered with additional aural candy. It is a blend which has already lured acclaim for previous releases such as the Edgar Allan Ho EP and Handle With Scare; a creative haunting and bewitching trespass masked as songs which has also seen the lady light up Dublin’s rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, and open mic nights for the past years. She is also an alluring artist and writer/poet amongst many things, qualities also adding to the enthralling package of Slashing Through The Snow.

artwork_RingMaster Review   Santa’s Slay is the first dark deed on the EP, Venus instantly enticing ears vocally as her fingers strum with equal temptation on her guitar. A twisted and uncompromising visiting from the guy in red, song and artist reveal the real bloody heart of the revered protagonist of the festive event. It is a gripping insight, the outstanding and persistently compelling voice of Venus as mischievous as it is creatively harmonic and a rousing incitement on the imagination alone, but especially when loaded with her lyrical devilry.

Second track Mistletoetag is a dark folk lined encounter, Venus colouring her words in the most open and strongest lilt of her accent heard before in her songs, which only adds to the pull of the siren-esque croon. Every noted element of the season is sinisterly woven into the dark romance taking the listener from the heart to the slab, each a flirtation drawing the imagination deeper into the beguiling treat playing like an intoxicatingly intimate Black Christmas.

The EP is completed by The Night Before Christmassacre which as expected twists the ‘traditional’ yuletide story into one of visceral foul play and inescapable outcomes. Venus spins a web of grim and murderous predation, entrails and body parts littering the superb piece of rouge red prose cradled by haunting harmonies and electronic ambience.

The track as both its companions is outstanding, Venus at her best and more whilst taking ears and thoughts on a thrilling horror stained ghost train ride, one stalked by the big bloke and his guts splattered beard. Christmas is the time when you find out if you are on Santa’s good or bad list, though it matters little in the world of Venus de Vilo as confirmed by Slashing Through The Snow; there you are going to get yours come what may.

Slashing Through The Snow is out now @ https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/album/slashing-through-the-snow-album-comic-book-and-killendar-2016 and includes illustrated lyrics, comic book, and the digital version of Venus de Vilo’s 2016 “Killendar”.

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Pete RingMaster 11/12/2015

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The Elfish Presleys – Santa Was a Rockin’ / Will Santa Come Down the Chimney

artwork_RingMaster Review

It is December and we all know what that means, the assault of the Xmas single; something notably worse than that obscenely patterned sweater your Gran knitted or the curry kit your partner brought you when misunderstanding the request for something hot and spicy. It is an element of the festive season the world will forever have to endure but at times there is a glimmer of hope, a once in a blue moon unveiling of something to get lustful over. This year it all starts with such a treat courtesy of The Elfish Presleys and the double A-sided single Santa Was a Rockin’ / Will Santa Come Down the Chimney.

Norm_RingMaster Review   The release comes from Norm Elliott of Norm and the Nightmarez fame, who has only just released the outstanding single, She under his own name. Now he gets all festive on us through a download only single released via the great UK label Western Star and thankfully shows bad taste and songwriting does not have to be part of Christmas.

Santa Was a Rockin’ instantly has ears and feet leaping within its fifties seeded rock n’ roll stroll and spicy melodic temptation. With the pulsating upright bass aligning with crisp beats as Norm’s guitar spins an infectious web of smiling enterprise, the track proceeds to have hips swaying and skirts swirling with its energetic shuffle. It is the perfect party track, an incitement to see halls and front rooms a blur of movement with its The Stargazers (eighties band) meets Big Bopper festivity.

Accompanying it, Will Santa Come Down the Chimney offers a more relaxed and sultry atmosphere under a noir lit sky as surf laced guitar and mellow flames of sax wrap the croon’s emotive lyrical heart. There is a touch of Bobby Rydell and Reverend Horton Heat to the song but spicing to something as ever, and shown throughout his career to date, distinctive to Norm Elliott in sound, voice, and mischievous composing.

Certainly an abhorrence of Christmas ditties will continue with us but we are ready to make exceptions when it is something special, and Santa Was a Rockin’ / Will Santa Come Down the Chimney is certainly that. Having a party? Then you really need this to get it off with a big swing.

Santa Was a Rockin’ / Will Santa Come Down the Chimney is available now via Western Star as a download only release @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Santa-Was–Rockin-Elfish-Presleys/dp/B017BHBTG8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1446460104&sr=8-4&keywords=the+elfish+presleys

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Pete RingMaster 03/12/2015

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Old House Playground – 21st Century Glory

OHP_RingMaster Review

Having already seduced 2015 with their dark blues honed rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of The Great Escape EP, UK homed Old House Playground do it again with their new single 21st Century Glory. Continuing the compelling and fiercely alluring sound of their last release, the Manchester based trio take ears and imagination into another shadow built and gothic aired adventure, a creative escapade as seeded in “the songwriting culture of traditional Greek folk music” as it is the noir spawned recesses of modern blues rock. The result is a pair of songs which bewitch and inspire, and a single sure to add pressure on the richest spotlights to wake up to the impressive band.

Athens bred, Old House Playground relocated to Manchester in 2009, to “experiment with new musical paths and forms of expression.” Consisting then of vocalist/guitarist Tryfon Lazos, drummer Andreas Venetantes, and bassist Conor Loughran, the band drew on inspirations from the likes of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave as well as Greek artists Psarantonis and Marcos Vamvakaris as their sound’s character and voice evolved. After the departure of Loughran, the remaining pair recorded debut album God Damn That Gold with producer/musician Chris Evans, its release coming in 2013 through Evening Economies/Fat Bob Records. Well received and praised, the full-length led to a collaboration with Durutti Column, that leading to Lazos singing onstage alongside Vini Reilly. The addition of bassist Jago Furnas was made in 2014, with the threesome going on to record, and earlier this year release, The Great Escape.

21st Century Glory Artwork_RingMaster Review   Now it is the turn of 21st Century Glory to whip up ears and appetites, a success quickly in motion as the track opens with flames of brass upon strolling rhythms and fiery guitar coaxing. The distinctive tones of Lazos are soon adding to the temptation as the song itself entwines strands of blues and jazz into its emerging sultry swing within an imagination driven intent. As with their previous release, strong hints of artists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and The Doors collude with the scent of others like Eighties B-Line Train Disaster and Bernaccia, yet what emerges is a mischievous proposal that stands alone as an Old House Playground incitement. The virulent nature of the song continues to enslave, even as the guitar at times creates a fuzzy sizzle of persuasion; that underlying catchiness perpetual and inescapable bait throughout.

The song is bewitching; a lively shuffle of gothic intrigue and tenacious sultriness, matched in kind by the accompanying Love And Other Demons. A slower rockabilly coloured saunter, the song courts ears and imagination with the guile of The Stray Cats and the tangy noir scent of Chris Isaak, whispers of Gene Vincent and Harry Connick, Jr. also lighting its presence as it swaggers along with poise and charm. As restrained as it is in comparison to its companion, there is zeal to its persuasion and presence which seems to know it is something special as it infests the psyche.

Like a great many, Old House Playground is proving to be a band we cannot get enough of, so if you have yet to be infected by their majestic dark alchemy, we suggest 21st Century Glory is the perfect way to be first bitten by them.

21st Century Glory is out now via Horus Music.

http://www.oldhouseplayground.net/   https://www.facebook.com/oldhouseplayground  https://twitter.com/oldhouseplay

Pete RingMaster 17/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dick Venom & the Terrortones – SnakeOil for Snakes

Dick Venom_RingMaster Review

Eagerly awaited and as rascally salacious and creatively lecherous as hoped, SnakeOil for Snakes shows exactly why for a great many, Dick Venom & the Terrortones is THE essential British rock ‘n’ roll band. The band’s debut album is a web of flirtation and riot of rhythmic agitation bound up in vats of garage punk contagion posing as songs. It is manna for the insane and inspiration for the lascivious, but most of all, the album is punk ‘n’ roll to get a nation and continent romping.

Formed in 2010 by the inimitable Dick Venom, the Nottingham hailing band has left a fevered trail and reputation behind their live presence, an acclaim infected assault matched in plaudits by their increasingly impressive releases. Aside their own sweaty live stomps, the band has shared stages with the likes of The Meteors, The Rezillos, Bad For Lazarus, Demented Are Go, Lawnmower Deth, The Radiacs, Vince Ray & The Boneshakers, and Savage Messiah amongst a great many whilst first EP RockinRollin VampireMan set the trend for luring strong reactions and praise. Invasion Of The Spider Queen in 2013 only increased awareness and the band’s fan base, with last year’s EP The MonsterPussy Sessions nudging broader spotlights to match the band’s new step forward in sound. Yet another plateau of trash punk invention and pleasure has been breached by SnakeOil for Snakes, its crowd of dirty rock ‘n’ roll bred tracks the kind of thing addiction was invented for.

cover_RingMaster Review     With Wrex St.Clair, Dusty Vegas, and Stevie Vee alongside, Dick Venom is soon infesting ears with his distinctive and zealous tones, leaping forward from the choppy riff toothed entrance of Gun of a Tongue. The opener is soon into an eager stride, interrupting its jagged scenery with glam rock enterprise and sonic mischief. The Rezillos were mentioned earlier and there is an air of the Scottish band as the song bounds into the passions with its garage punk/rockabilly revelry.

I Can’t Find my BrainCell swiftly keeps attention and appetite engrossed and increasingly wanton for more straight after. As a thickly enticing bassline from St.Clair leads the virulence of the song, guitars spring tendrils of sonic temptation whilst beats roll along with a promiscuous tenacity. Venom as ever is a schizophrenic bundle of vocal imagination and rebelliousness, lauding over but only adding to the theatre of the track with his rousing energy, a success only repeated time and time again across SnakeOil for Snakes as shown quickly by TightPants (DoubleHeaded). Surf kissed strands of guitar spin their own irresistible weave as female vocals add a great snarl alongside Venom’s. The song despite its edge is more restrained than the previous pair of songs but just as fiercely catchy and impressive in its fifties rock hooks and tangy melodic imagination.

Three tracks in and it is fair to say that building from the potent inventive base of The MonsterPussy Sessions, the band has honed hooks to be more barbed and gripping with roars even more anthemic and rousing as ideas…well they are shaped by even greater ferocious imagination. Taken from that last EP, Dead Deadbeat Delinquent first time around was proof of a greater adventure being forged and even now, as an old well known friend, it holds the same rich enticement amongst just as devilishly imperious tracks. With bass and guitar bouncing around with slim yet inescapable addictive post/garage punk lures as the beats of Vegas rumble with the senses, the song is primal seduction; everything from toes to emotions quickly recruited and eagerly involved in its fresh psychosis of sound and maniacal enterprise.

Shimmering grooves from Vee welcome ears in next up FFFunny Kinda Luvin, the song’s winy nectar of temptation framed by more inciting rhythms and the measured vocal rowdiness of Venom. Bass and drums subsequently create a tribal enticing as sonic hues smoulder and grow into bedlamic invention around them, it all strung together by a prime hook which even in its absence within the proposal seems to weave rich magic on lustful emotions.

Dirty rock ‘n’ roll colours the walls of Last DumbDregs of Dragsvile after that, essences of The Stooges merging with something akin to The Spits feistily pleasing ears, whilst Go Fuck on the Sidewalk gets garage punk funky with its Cramps meets The Ghastly Ones tango. Both tracks thrill and lead to forceful hip swinging, especially the second of the pair before things get scuzzy with Do The Mash. Though not quite living up to its predecessors, certainly in swift convincing, the track soon boils with its fire of spicy guitar and robust rhythms courted by Venom at his most grouchy and gruff yet.

Taunting with an initial coaxing which surely is a distant relation to something the Knack might have conjured, No Good to get Up To thrills as it spills its intoxicating devilment next. Bluesy to the air, punk rock to the growl, the track prowls and stomps around with attitude and intimidation, igniting another wave of greed from the appetite along the way. It is success emulated by the gloriously lustful seduction of Planet of the HoneyFuzz. Imagine Sweet as Turbonegro and then bound in The Phenomenauts contagion and you have a hint of this unique Dick Venom & The Terrortones treat of an infestation.

   MyWay or the DryWay saunters in next, rhythmic taps a lead into a gorgeous creeping of noir woven creative theatre, whereas Crypt Tonight is a throbbing of garage rock ‘n’ roll which throughout its surf embraced rhythmic meander and melodic shimmering, is like a tongue led insatiable kiss on the senses and passions.

A final trespass of deeply biting and lingering hooks amidst compelling vocal and sonic imagination brings the album to a riveting close, Get Fucked Up Good a brilliant libidinal enticing and entrapment of ears and equally lusty reactions and a sensational end to an album exciting in all departments. Hopes were high and demanding because of The MonsterPussy Sessions, but now left looking lightweight by SnakeOil for Snakes. Dick Venom & the Terrortones are ready to be spoken in the same breath of the garage punk greats yet it is still easy to feel we have still only tapped into the first layer or two of their devious majesty.

SnakeOil for Snakes is out now via Jailhouse Morgue digitally and on 12” vinyl @ http://terrortones.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DickVenomandtheTerrortones  

http://www.dickvenom.com

Pete RingMaster 09/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Norm Nightmare – She

She Cover_RingMaster Review

He has given us the thrilling Norm & the Nightmarez and been part of the mighty Mickey and the Mutants in the past couple of years or so alone, but now Norm Nightmare unveils his new solo single in the shape of the dark romance She. It is a croon from the shadows, a haunted serenade from a melancholic heart; quite simply acoustically shimmering rockabilly for emotions and the imagination to immerse in.

As mentioned Birmingham hailing singer/songwriter/guitarist Norm Elliot, with already a long and potent CV of bands and success behind him, created psychobillies Norm & the Nightmarez a couple of years back, a quickly and eagerly supported band which released the outstanding album, Psychobilly Infection last year. Now ahead of maybe hopeful rumours of another offering from the band in the future, the man has gone into the studio to record, as well as a Xmas treat to be freed ahead, new single She.

Haunting from its first breath, the song is an enticing lure of Norm’s captivating warbling tones and nimble guitar craft. Lyrically it has an intimacy which translates into the swarthy air and charm of the track, and equally a wonderful sinister shadow which courts the narrative and physically ebbs and flows in resonance across the song. At times, Norm toys with the listener, building crescendos that swing away from expectations whilst once or twice he lingers on a note before springing to the creative point with relish and a mischievous invention.

She is a flirtation, one as imaginative and resourceful as its central character and a song relishing its simplicity as it seduces with magnetic charm and attraction.

She is released via Western Star on November 2nd.

https://www.facebook.com/Normandthenightmarez

Pete RingMaster 29/10/2105

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Dead By Dawn – Dead Time Stories

Courtesy of George Martin Photography_

Courtesy of George Martin Photography_

You can never have enough ghouls rocking the breath from your lungs by our reckoning, so it is great lusty pleasure that we bring you Dead Time Stories the new EP from UK horrorbillies Dead By Dawn. It offers four tracks, which like a swarm of the undead, unleash contagious bloodlust and decayed virulence across relentless stomps which increasingly become ravenously addictive.

Dead By Dawn rose from the cold dank earth in 2013; escaping graveyards in the North East of England and coming together to brew a plague of rockabilly, punk, and ska; all strains soaked in horror. Before their enrolling in the walking dead, the band’s members earned their musical claws and experiences playing in a host of hard rock, punk, metal, and ska bands. Their subsequent resurrection as Dead By Dawn has already seen the release of the well-received Re-Animation EP and attention grabbing debut album 13 Nightmares. Now it is Dead Time Stories prowling the nation and devouring the psyche with one thoroughly welcome and thrilling rock ‘n’ roll rampage.

The defilement starts with Romero & Ghouliet, its first touch a raw scraping of riffs quickly bolstered by the deeds of Shovel, who with a name like that you just know will be the drummer. His beats are like sledgehammers on the senses as guitarist Dead Bundy weaves a tendril of sultry enterprise around the mischievously alluring voice of Siouxsie Psycho once she joins the already forcibly infectious proposal. Her string prowess backs up her joyful vocal enticement and the spicy grooves of Dead Bundy whilst Ruby Morgue swings thick lures from her upright bass like a big boned seductress. It is striking stuff with a smiling chorus so catchy it borders on candy pop and works superbly within the predatory and salaciously enticing sounds around it.

Deadtime-Stories_RingMaster ReviewThe great start to the EP only get musically juicier and more creatively ravenous as Bloodlust: Hellbound Hearts takes over. Shovel brings the song in on a rousing roll of his ever intimidating beats, the guitars adding their lures swiftly as boisterous riffs and another web of wicked grooves and sonic endeavour escapes, their temptation lined with an exciting tinge of discord. The track’s body continues to rock like a dog in heat, bass and drums cultivating an addictive swing over which guitars devilishly prowl and Siouxsie spreads her siren-esque intent.

The Dead By Dawn sound lies somewhere between HorrorPops, The Bloodstrings, and Dragster but continues to find its own increasingly unique character as shown over the band’s trio of releases and indeed American Mary. The third track on the EP leaps from a slither of a cinematic tempting into a rhythmic stalking draped in punk hooks and intoxicated grooves, the guitar’s winey lure as compelling as the psychobilly growl uncaged alongside them. A whiff of The Creepshow and Zombie Ghost Train seeps through in different ways from within the bracing dark tango but again it only colours a heart bred devouring which is primarily Dead By Dawn.

Dead Time Stories saves the best till last in the mouth-watering heavy canter of its title track. Once more hooks and grooves provide a constant supply of inescapable traps laced with delicious discord whilst the band unleash their inner vocal bedlam around enchantress lures laid by Siouxsie’s delivery. There is great simplicity to the infection loaded bait uncaged within Dead By Dawn songs but it is with instinctive imagination and craft that it becomes so successfully woven into fiercer, predacious exploits without either contrast losing its impact. The final track, with another impossible not to get involved in chorus, is the perfect example as it gives a rousing end to one exhilarating encounter.

It might be fair to say that Dead By Dawn is still looking for their majorly unique sound but when they do, and you feel they certainly will on the evidence of Dead Time Stories, there is little to stop them finding real success ahead; though the fact that every genre of heavy music it seems has at least one band with the same name might be a shadow the band has to escape from too.

The Dead Time Stories EP is available now

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2015

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