Watch Clark – Couch

photo by Christy Wiseman

The sound of Watch Clark is suggested as being akin to the Seattle indie goth/industrial scene of the early 2000’s but definitely there is also an eighties synth pop inspiration which richly flavours its imagination. It is a fusion which goes to make new album, Couch, one ear grabbing and imagination slab of contagion and very easy to recommend to all electronica embracing ears.

Watch Clark is the solo project of Seattle based musician Paul Furio, a former member of Static Engine and SMP. Founded in 2012, Watch Clark released debut album Perfect Imitation the following year with its well-received successor, First Week of Winter unveiled in 2017. Produced, mixed and mastered by Kasson Crooker (Freezepop, Symbion Project, ELYXR), Couch is the striking successor very easy to see pushing Watch Clark into a far bigger spotlight.

A collection of songs themed by a reflection on relationship, political, and life turmoil, Couch immediately had ears and appetite hooked with opener Misery. The blooming of keys and heavy pulse of rhythmic enticement openly wears a Depeche Mode influence but as swiftly the track reveals its own individual character around the magnetic tones of Furio. Industrial dissonance breaks upon the melodic landscape throughout to escalate the potency of drama within the unapologetically catchy and rousing affair.

The outstanding start to the release is matched by the infectious body and swing of the following Class Actress. Like a blend of B Movie romanticism with Kudzu post punk shadows within a Visage-esque croon, the track like its predecessor is pure contagiousness, its instinctive bounce manna to appetite and body before The Sound of Robots Pooping parades its industrial nurtured dance. As dystopian in breath as it is warmly infectious, the predominately instrumental track proved as much a spark for the imagination as an incitement for hips.

Diversity is a potent trait within Couch and potently shows its creative worth with next up Tansfläch, the track an electro industrial incitement bearing the Neue Deutsche Welle tempting of a D.A.F. alongside the cold wave theatre of a Kraftwerk, while The Darkest Place adds its own individual new wave lined proposal in the varied mix with contagious appetite and dexterity. In voice and sound, Furio lights up ears and speaker with a virulent touch which is hard to ignore in movement let alone pleasure.

The following Cross the Chasm has compelling darkness in its heart and touch which only accentuates its bold almost invasive yet haunting quality while The Act of Wanting offers a flirtatious slice of electro rock which again has energies and limbs hooked like a puppeteer across its purposeful stroll. Each again only adds further sides to the varied electronic prism of the album which Math Grenade emulates with its teutonic breath upon industrial dissonance. Again dystopian hues explore thoughts from within the dark infection and once more Watch Clark had attention glued before the equally arousing Get to Win added its particular electro punk grip on ears.

Featuring a vocal duet with Lark Remy in its haunting sigh, Weakness made for easy captivation. Though the sounds around them only hugged satisfaction it was the vocal prowess of Furio and Remy which most seduced and the way the production alternated between moments when each voice has slight dominance in their union.

Completed by the dark infested instrumental of The Cup of Bitter Fate and the melancholy soaked balladry of Choose, two tracks which lingered to haunt the imagination once sharing their final breaths, Couch is an album which provides a rousing fusion of nostalgia and new imagination which as mentioned earlier can only be suggested as a definite exploration for all with a taste for electronic pleasure.

Couch is out now; available @ https://watchclark.bandcamp.com/album/couch

https://www.facebook.com/WatchClarkMusic   https://twitter.com/WatchClarkBand

 Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Briefs – Platinum Rats

As much as we have an ever ready appetite at The RR for all things punk from across the decades it is the 77’ eruption and the DIY irreverence it sparked which gets us most excited; lustfulness now ignited once more by the new album from Seattle punksters The Briefs. Coming to the end of their second decade as one explosive and mischievous proposition, the band still breeds its antics on the inspirations of that time and as Platinum Rats proves, it only makes for the most rousing and thrilling romp.

With a lull in their escapades, the quartet within the 2000 formed Briefs were just as busy with other ear grabbing propositions. Guitarist Daniel Travanti formed Sharp Objects and drummer Chris Brief brought us Suspect Parts while guitarist Steve E. Nix and bassist Kicks created another of our major favs in The Cute Lepers but as their bio says, “In the end, it all came back around to the beginning—to The Briefs” and another quite irresistible outing with them courtesy of Platinum Rats.

It is a collection of songs unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeves but it would be wrong to think there is anything but individuality to The Briefs seventies punk meets power pop styled sound. Released via Damaged Goods Records, Platinum Rats bursts from the speakers with its lungs in full holler, never taking its foot of the throttle until its final virulent note and breath is expelled.

Bad Vibrations starts the stomp off, riffs and rhythms in mass assault spilling hooks and grooved lures from every devilish move. Unapologetically infectious from its first roar, the track revels in the angular clips of the guitars and the swinging incitement of its rhythms, vocals just as persuasive in their recruitment of listener involvement before Shopping Spree takes over body and involvement with its own severely short but hungrily catchy pop punk.

Just as animated and galvanic as they are, both songs are quickly eclipsed by next up Nazi Disko and its rawer punk trespass. Like the deformed offspring of illicit doings between The Vibrators and Slaughter And The Dogs, the song barracks and bruises the body it has bouncing from its first handful of notes, only escalating all traits as it bares its antagonism.

She’s The Rat has the same effect on limbs and energy but inspires with its own particularly inescapable lures, one being a flavouring out of The Dickies songbook, one as anywhere on the album twisted into the band’s own unique character and voice while GMO Mosquito does the same to Buzzcocks spiced hooks and riffs. With a seventies glam rock lining to its chorus reservedly audible too, the song nags ears and appetite with ease, recruiting each with increasing potency by the listen.

The feral rock ‘n’ roll of Underground Dopes adds yet another fresh and hungrily tempting flavour to the album, roaring with something akin to a fusion of The Pirates and The Saints while I Hate The World is defiance fuelled virulence recalling bands such as The Flys and Radio Stars and straight after The Thought Police are on the Bus springs a general seventies punk hue within The Briefs stubbornly individual sound and enterprise.

The contagiousness soaking the whole of Platinum Rats is at its greediest within the outstanding Dumb City, a song with a sweeping breath of The Cortinas to its pop infested punk epidemic and no less rapacious as Out of Touch uncages its dirty and irritable punk ‘n’ roll stroll. From its ear snagging hooks to tenaciously biting rhythms, the track is a seductive bully which again the body had no defences to.

The album concludes with the dual stomping of Kids Laugh at You and What’s the Use, two tracks which alone sum up the pop punk mastery and devilment of The Briefs past and present. The first is Class A addiction in the making, every hook and melodic lure devious in their success as rhythms and vocals unscrupulously manipulate. Its successor closes things up with a bold Eddie And The Hot Rods meets The Motors saunter as less openly a Devo-esque essence flirts.

If there is a single punk bone in your body it is hard not to see Platinum Rats stirring up the spirit and if the genre, especially from its first breath, is food and drink expect to heavily drool.

Platinum Rats is out now via Damaged Goods Records.

http://www.thebriefsofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/TheBriefs

 Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Watch Rome Burn – Vox Heretic

Seattle has been one of the most refreshing conveyor belts of musical pleasures over the decades and shows no signs of slowing down as from its dirtiest grunge punk depths it brings us the inimitable sound of Watch Rome Burn. The two brother outfit has just uncaged their new album and it has swiftly become something we for one cannot get enough of.

Last year the pair of guitarist/vocalist Drew and drummer Jestyn Cummings lured eager plaudits with Now on VHS, an attention grabbing encounter laying the seeds for the rapacious roar of its successor Vox Heretic. The new release escalates the dirty crust-esque punk aspect of its predecessor but equally embroils itself in the grunge and alternative rock side of that first proposition but drawing on the rawest breath and predacious intent of both to leave the former laying in its dust.

Vox Heretic immediately had ears and imagination hooked as a sonic drawl brought opener Consumed into view. Its broiled shimmer in turn triggered a rhythmic prowl aligned to an equally skulking vocal prowess, all the time that sonic dissonance pulsating. Never particularly deviating from its initial intent but rich in intimation, the track is superb; pure creative devilry setting up the promise and adventure of things to come.

The following Thief is soon into its carnal swing, its unapologetically raw air and flesh instantly magnetic and bawling away with proto punk causticity. As with the first, there is an inherent catchiness which had the body bouncing even when tempered by the song’s feral garage rock belligerence. Abrasive and bracing, the track just hit the spot as too unerringly did next up Motley. Like a mix of a proto punk Queens Of the Stone Age meets the hungry rock ‘n’ roll of The Sea, the song is another predatory trespass which simply aroused body and spirit.

On The March flares up with an industrial hue next but is soon into a rock ‘n’ roll stride with Jestyn’s rhythms manipulating song and listener as Drew further incites both with his electric intrusion and vocal dexterity. Imagine a punk ‘n’ roll Therapy? and you get a whiff of the outstanding stomp.

The duo showed they can glow with undiluted melodic enterprise too, though Crystallized straight after equally has a fried haze to its coruscating glow while with Be What You Want they caused inescapable addiction. Its caped crusader tinted swing instantly got under the skin, vocal enticement adding to the potency as similarly the wired almost uptight grooves which escape the strings of Drew’s guitar.

The release is brought to a delicious close by firstly War Blues, a track surely bred from illicit blues stills hidden in the shadows of the band’s home city. Its melodic liquor is intoxicating punk blues soaked in the contagion which flavours every track within Vox Heretic; a blend which had the body worked like a puppet before things are finally concluded by the melodic seduction of Up Here. Uncluttered but as rich in flavour as you would wish, the song is a captivating sundown on the album, a final surf kissed glow and sigh which only lures ears right back into the release.

Vox Heretic is Watch Rome Burn knocking on major attention, a door which surely cannot stay closed much longer against the indisputable roar and often corrosive but ever alluring raw charm of their sound.

Vox Heretic is out now and available @ https://watchromeburn.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/jointheburnlegion/

 Pete RingMaster 22/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SixTwoSeven – Some Other’s Day EP

You cannot just make up real rock ‘n’ roll; it is in the heart as evidenced by Seattle alternative rock outfit SixTwoSeven. You just know it is an instinct in the quartet as their debut EP, Some Other’s Day rumbles through ears to arouse the spirit across four riotous tracks.

Formed in 2016, SixTwoSeven consists of vocalist/lead guitarist Greg “illfunk” Bilderback, his brothers in drummer Matt aka “the Machine” and guitarist Jason aka “J Danger”, and longtime friend Mike “MK Ultra” Knapp. This line-up was actually completed during the recording of Some Other’s Day with producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden) at Soundhouse Studios, Matt coming in for backing vocals and leaving as a fully-fledged member of SixTwoSeven.

The EP itself opens up with One Single Night, instantly luring ears with a dirty riff soon joined by Greg’s grumbling tones. Bass and drums quickly add their moody touches as infectiousness infests all aspects of the emerging track. The song’s swagger is right there grabbing body and spirit, the creative flames of guitar luring the imagination deeper into its own increasingly magnetic prowess. Altogether it is a masterful persuasion and quickly matched by successor Wreckless Soul. It too has a certain confidence in its gait and swing, vocals a lighter invitation in the grungier nature of the song but loaded with the same catchiness as the hooks and riffs flirting boldly alongside.

Joshua’s Song has a calmer personality which its melodic imagination exploits with emotion and invention. The harmonic blend across the band brings extra light to the song and the SixTwoSeven sound, the band showing the variety in their creativity. Admittedly, the song did not quite light the excitement as its companions but it certainly left a strong air of satisfaction before the EP’s best track brings things to a mighty close.

An aggressive slice of punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, Top of the World is a virulently contagious incitement which has body and emotions bouncing in quick time. It snarls and entices, prowls and stomps with attitude and zeal ensuring listener involvement is hooked in no time. One of the reasons maybe that the band has been compared to the Weezer and Foo Fighters, the track alone makes SixTwoSeven a prospect to keep a close ear upon; a thought more than reinforced by Some Other’s Day as a whole.

Some Other’s Day is available now @ https://sixtwoseven.bandcamp.com/album/some-others-day

https://www.dubsevenrecords.com/    https://www.facebook.com/SixTwoSeven627

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright