Head On – Ubik

photo by Aggeliki Mourtzouchou

Cold and calculating yet atmospherically immersive and at times invitingly suffocating, the debut album from Greek outfit Head On is a sonic trespass of the senses which simply commands attention. It is an invasive confusion of noise skilfully and deliberately woven to entangle and distract, disturb and invade; one which ignited the imagination at virtually every turn.

Head On are a quartet from Athens which creates a post punk bred sound infested with the raw snarls of grunge and heavy expansive climates of post rock. In fact it is a sound which embraces the causticity and dark depths of many flavours for its physical and emotional dissonance. Ubik is the band’s first album; an introduction quite easy to see taking the band’s presence far beyond their local borders.

Produced by the band with Iraklis Vlachakis, Ubik swiftly takes hold of close attention with opener Entropy. The instrumental is a rousing invitation into the release immediately revealing the aural palette the band creates from; its drifting waves of post rock nurtured sound lapping a post punk hued landscape. In no time the imagination was keenly involved and even more so as the track slips into the nagging prowess of next up Σήψη (Decay). Riffs and dark grooves collude in its similar swells of sound, casting hooks for ears and appetite to be ensnared by as vocals prowl the murky intimation for something akin to a blend of Joy Division and Leitmotiv and quite addictive by its close.

Lexicon follows with its own arsenal of compelling textures and trespasses. As vocals again almost stalk proceedings, the bass uncages a delicious dark nagging on ears around which guitars spin a rapacious web of grooved bait. It is highly magnetic and even more so when the track twists into grunge lined punk rock, the captivation only more tempting in its second cycle before Dylarama springs its own punk infused challenge on ears and an already greedy appetite. The track is a lime pit of varied rock ‘n’ roll; scorching and eating away at the senses with its sonic tides and attitude, a PiL like glaze liquor in its tart toxicity.

The stark soundscape of Imipolex G is next, a track with a hint of Alien Sex Fiend to its dissonance and Sex Gang Children to its emotive character. Harsh and corrosive yet with a melancholic elegance which boldly simmers up at certain moments, the song grips ears with ease if not quite to the intensity of successor Life Seems Johnny Rotten. It’s Bauhaus seeded groove and spirals of guitar swiftly enthral, the subsequent vocal drone and melody infested post punk stroll elevating the song’s thick magnetism. A kaleidoscope of sounds and hues, the song is glorious expanding its lure as its tight senses encroaching tunnels of noise erupt into expansive sonic scenery.

Across the great irritant that is No Harm, a track which niggles and nags the senses into easy submission, and the rich rock ‘n’ roll of Broom of the System the album just accentuates its potency and variety in sound. Both embrace a mix of flavours with the second especially making a bold side step from post punk instincts with its heavy and classic rock spiced escapade though it still retains the steely repetitious instincts of that core genre in its depths.

Closing out the album is Scum Manifesto, a sonic scalding which boils from imposing calm into an acrimonious flood of noise and intent. It entices until it is ready to unleash its venom, which it does like pouring boiling oil on the senses. It is masterful end to an album which increasingly impressed play by play.

If not with Ubik, though the album has everything needed to lure rich praise, Head On is facing the prospect of real attention within the European rock scene. How their sound will evolve is intriguing and already keenly anticipated here but more of the striking same next time around will do very nicely too.

Ubik is available now digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/album/ubik

Upcoming UK tour dates.

Jun 28 The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Jun 29 New Cross Inn, New Cross

Jun 30 The Pipeline, Brighton

Jul 01 The Old England, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Varsovie – Coups et Blessures

Comprised of Arnault Destal (drums, lyrics, music, arrangements) and Grégory Catherina (vocals, guitar, music), Varsovie is a band which has just released one of the year’s most compelling propositions so far in the shape of third album Coups et Blessures. It is our introduction to the French outfit and the beginning of a very attentive affair with their individual post punk/dark rock inspired sound.

Formed in Grenoble in 2005, Varsovie released their first EP, Neuf Millimètres the next year and were soon playing shows and touring outside of their homeland, playing the likes of the Drop Dead Festival in Prague, the Crimson Night in Münster, and the Creeper Fest in Vilnius. 2010 saw debut album Civil Status released on Infrastition Records with its successor,  L’Heure et la Trajectoire coming five years later. Both were well-received propositions and took the band to new European shores and shows. As mentioned though, we had managed to escape their presence until Coups et Blessures and if it is an echo of things past we have definitely been missing out.

Released through Sundust Records, Coups et Blessures quickly shows itself a dark and invasive trespass of the senses and imagination but with an instinctive catchiness which swiftly gets under the skin. It is a virulence of sound and intent which is certainly predacious in tone and touch but equally contagious. Maybe unsurprisingly, given the band’s name which translates as Warsaw, there is a Joy Division-esque feel to the band’s music and similarly one of Polish post punks Siekiera who seem to have been an inspiration to the pair, yet it is inescapably individual to Varsovie. The first song immediately beats on ears to grab attention while teasing with a melodic lure. This potent lure unites with a gloriously dark contagion loaded bassline and in turn the potent tones of Catherina; magnetism rising with each addition as the song almost menacingly pulsates upon the senses. Its fusion of post punk and raw rock ‘n’ roll continued to grip and imposingly seduce as twists and turns added to a tremendous start to the album.

The following Revers de l’aube has a far darker air from which a rhythmic web swiftly entangled ears and appetite, Destal in two songs already proving his craft a dynamic and deviously compelling aspect within the Varsovie sound. The track envelops the imagination like a frenetic fusion of The Three Johns and The Birthday Party pulled into the distinct individuality of Destal and Catherina; the result an incitement just as enslaving as its predecessor and one soon matched by the darkly lit Va dire à Sparte. More controlled in urgency as emotive and physical shadows align vocal and melodic intimation, the track prowls ears whilst all the time enticing eager attention especially with guitars, bass, and its instinctive drama.

Killing Anna is similarly hued; dark and intense but with a persuasive swing enhanced by the tantalising wiry exploits of the guitar. A sinister air soaks the encounter, its noir lit character a tenaciously smouldering gothic suggestion resembling a mix of bands like Sex Gang Children, Dead Can Dance, and Artery. Transfixing from its first breath, the track is superb; addictive from the off and almost matched in heights by Le Lac. The bold mesmeric rhythms of Destal fuel song and attraction, a strain of punk bringing attitude to the rock ‘n’ roll bred, resourceful sonic clamour.

That punk ‘n’ roll courted trespass is even more pronounced in next up Intersections, an intensive and slightly irritable tapestry of sound and flavour challenging and tempting in equal measure before Discipline reverberates on ears with tenebrific emotion within an invasively haunting atmosphere. Neither track quite sparked the reactions given to their predecessors but each adds a captivating variety of edge and imagination to the release which could only be hungrily feasted upon.

The final pair of Chevaux échappés and Feux complete Coups et Blessures in fine style, the mesmeric first a nagging temptation of dark sound and emotive hinting prowling the senses and imagination while its successor provides a melancholic reflection which simmers with an underlining volatility before erupting into an infectious canter with melodic flames licking at its intense drama spawned body.

With the album totally sung in French, a language we have yet to master, it is impossible to share the lyrical content of Coups et Blessures yet the hearts of songs and their emotional intensities are inescapable. The album is a magnet, fascinating and virulent at every turn and Varsovie a band we wish we had come across before and will have ears clamped to hereon in.

Coups et Blessures is out now through Sundust Records; available @ https://varsovie.bandcamp.com/  and https://www.sundust-records.com/en/349-e-shop

http://www.varsovie-propaganda.fr/    https://www.facebook.com/varsovie.propaganda/

Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rotten Mind – Self Titled

photo_by_Mikael_Lindqvist

Talking about the band’s new self-titled album, Rotten Mind vocalist/guitarist Jakob Arvidsson stated that, “Our main idea was to work in a new way. We had no rush and the songs were written during a period that lasted for over a year.” Whether that intent and process was the reason or the spark, the Swedish quartet’s second album has emerged with new maturity and creative roundedness in sound and songwriting. Without losing the punk snarl of its predecessor, it is a proposition which has attention on board within a handful of seconds and firmly held until its final breath.

The album sees Rotten Mind uncage their distinctive fusion of punk, garage rock, and post punk, a sound which simultaneously feels familiar yet forcibly fresh. It is a mix which saw their debut full-length, I’m Alone Even With You, eagerly received and praised upon its release in 2015, its success followed by a torrent of live shows and two tours across Europe. Indeed the writing of its successor, taking over a year, simultaneously occurred as shows came thick and fast; songs relishing the experiences and inspiring sights found to push on in all aspects from its predecessor.

As evidenced from its opener alone, the album flings physically gripping hooks and imagination inciting melodies at will; all keener and more powerful than anything the band has conjured before while rhythmically the release is a cauldron of anthemic temptation. It is fuelled by the scuzzy almost suffocating Rotten Mind sound which marked the first album and the Uppsala hailing band’s potent live presence; Wish You Were Gone starting things off revealing all of those established  attributes and plenty of new ones.

Dangling bait sonic initially, one soon entwined with a spicy melody, the first song soon bursts into a virulent stroll, the album’s first essential hook from Johan’s guitar wagging an irresistible finger as the rhythms of bassist Rune and drummer Victor collude in rolling infectious bait. The temptation only increases as the track boils, Jakob’s vocals just as magnetic as that first strand of piercing persuasion continues to persist while revealing psychobilly tendencies against the track’s intensifying punk punch.

There is a touch of Psychedelic Furs to song and release, nothing concrete just a scent which continues in the more irritable rock ‘n’ roll of Things I Can’t See. At times, as beats jab and riffs bite, the song feels like it is slamming its fists down on the table temperament wise but discontent aligned to a catchy restraint ensuring great volatility in the rousing incitement of sound and enterprise. The track is one of two singles laying down potent teasers for the album earlier this year, the second following straight after.  Still Searching sonically shimmers before laying down a trail of rhythmic manna, the brooding voice of the bass courting rapacious beats. The track’s post punk persuasion makes swift slavery of ears and appetite, its bait only accentuated by the subsequent acidic hook and swinging groove loaded gait of the song. Kind like a mix of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Sex Gang Children, the track, as the album, simply seizes ears and appetite with relish second by second.

Dark Intentions bounds along with contagious energy and rhythmic dexterity next, its atmospheric and emotional shadows just as potent as its melodic suggestiveness before Got Me Numbered reveals a seventies inspired punkiness recalling the likes of Buzzcocks and The Vibrators. Both tracks have the body bouncing and spirit ignited while When You Come Back meanders along in a web of wiry melodies as rhythms grumble. Infectious vocals especially within the potent chorus only add to its lure, its tapestry of flirtatious strums and inventive persistence demanding inevitable and lustful listener involvement.

Through the creatively and emotionally agitated Real Lies and Out Of Use with its darker predatory hues,  enjoyment is an eager torrent, the first captivating with robust rhythmic incitement and hard rock infused melodic jangle while the second prowls the senses with a union of primal and fiery contrasts. There is a surface similarity to many tracks within the album, but a deception greater attention defuses with both tracks showing potent diversity, with the second especially bold.

The rock ‘n’ roll clash and holler of Safer Place keeps things feverishly lively, its dark haunting textures surrounding a sonic blaze of invention before I Need To Know brings things to a richly satisfying close with its boisterous croon.

It is a fine end to an album which brings greater individuality to the Rotten Mind sound though there still feels like there is plenty of room for greater uniqueness to blossom which on the thick enjoyment of their album only adds further excitement for the future.

The Rotten Mind album is out now through Lövely Records @ https://lovelyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rotten-mind-rotten-mind

https://www.facebook.com/rottenmindua/

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kyy – Travesty Of Light

KYY cover_RingMaster Review

Though blossomed in the heart of traditional Scandinavian black metal, there is no escaping the rock ‘n’ roller in the sound of Finnish metallers Kyy. It has a rousing quality which tempers yet equally accentuates the dark and creatively ravenous instincts of the band’s music which brews a toxicity living up to the meaning of their name, which in English means viper. The invasive evidence relentlessly roars from the band’s debut EP Travesty Of Light, four tracks of insidious black ‘n’ roll to breed a healthy appetite for.

Formed in 2013, the Lahti quintet fuels their music with the “sole purpose is to spawn an antithesis to existence of universe and to serve the Great Unknown.” The tracks making up Travesty Of Light were recorded towards the end of last year with E. Wuokko and came to the attention of Saturnal Records who signed the band up for its unleashing this month, a release coinciding with the same day the band’s first steps into the live scene, starting at Rooster Death Fest in Lahti.

The EP opens with Death – The Great Liberator and an immediate consumption of ears by thick riffs and challenging rhythms escorted by venomous vocal squalls. Already there is a devilish swagger to the track and subsequent scythes of steely sonic bait from the guitars, their lurking presence and occasional expulsions icing on the toxic cake of corrosive intensity and drama clad and hostile enterprise. The track continues to swamp the senses like waves of the sea across its harrowing length, at times a relative calm soaked in melancholic rapacity escaping whilst for the main of its body, the song is an undulating tsunami of inhospitable emotion and ravishing but eventful destruction, physically and emotionally.

Everlasting Fire follows and quickly exposes its rock ‘n’ roll attributes. Whereas its predecessor was a more ‘formula’ black metal affair, the second song instantly rocks like a horned goat in heat but infusing it with an increasingly intrusive and caustic soaking of blackened animosity and sonic brutality. It’s less than three minutes also flirts with understated but unmissable, almost siren-esque, whispers and tendrils of acidic post punk spicing which incite thoughts of bands like Sex Gang Children.

The EP’s title track crawls in next, its melodically honed citric vines of guitar veining a lumbering body of rhythmic punishment and raw intensity. As in the previous pair, vocals are varied but even more diverse and compelling to match the epically hued musical narrative of the encounter. With great choral chants across the band and the song erupting into a corruptively magnetic canter at times, it is a theatre of suggestiveness and imagination all on its own.

Travesty Of Light is brought to a close by Immaculate Serpent King, another track stalking the senses and imagination with shadowed gripped grooves, belligerent rhythms, and a spread of vocals as harrowing as its canvas of sonic and emotional pestilence. Once more there is an instinctive rebellion to the song, a rock ‘n’ roll roar which only enhances and inspires every festering tempting of the elements uniting for the excellent violation.

We are not going to say that Travesty Of Light is going to be the best black metal encounter you will come across this year or that Kyy is going to reshape the genre’s landscape in the future, but both has the potential and right now create one of the most enjoyable raw metal offerings over past months.

The Travesty Of Light EP is available from August 17th via Saturnal Records.

RingMaster 17/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

We Are Hex – W.D.M.R.S/Tongues 7”

Photo  Gregthemayor

Photo Gregthemayor

Providing two tracks which would soundtrack any occultist or pagan ritualistic dance with a toxicity even the exponents of those dark arts would fear, Indianapolis quartet We Are Hex unleash their new 7” single W.D.M.R.S./Tongues. The release is a glorious ravaging of the psyche and calling of the primal predator in us all, and one of the most virulently addictive and seductive releases in a long time.

We Are Hex has never been slow in ripping up the rulebook and infiltrating the senses with an infestation of their sonic irreverence and rhythmic antagonism, as shown by the likes of Gloom Bloom (2009), Hail The Goer (2010), and the Jon Spencer produced single Lewd Nudie Animals / Real Waco Lot Lizard of last year; just three of their uncompromising manipulative adventures. The band creates a gothic drenched death rock which just seems to get darker and thicker in its causticity and brilliance, but the new pair of songs has found a depth and plateau which leaves everything before it in varying degrees of shade. Both tracks are simple glorious, rapacious stalking of senses and emotions which leave the longest lingering and most deeply entrenched alchemy from the band yet. Ahead of a new full-length and continuing the striking legacy of their 7” unleashes, which includes the Jack White recorded Twist the Witch’s Titty, the new single is pure salacious joy and the reason the devil loves rock music.

W.D.M.R.S leads the persuasion, emerging from a sinister sonic mist of intrigue and menace as a portentous declaration marks our We Are Hex - W.D.M.R.S covercards. Named after sixties band Coven’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, and featuring the guest tones of Jinx Dawson from the band, the song entangles ears and senses in a web of guitar temptation aligned to calls of torturous souls. It is intimidating bait which the rich throaty voice of the bass and a percussive flirting only accentuates before the body of the song leaps from the tempest to immediately grip the passions. Rhythms unleash their heaviest thumping suasion right then too as guitars entwine and score ears with minimalistic but resourcefully precise melodic toxicity. It is a gorgeous swamp of sound, a Siouxsie Sioux element touching the vocals of Jill whilst moonshine like whiffs of The Slits soaks beats and their imposing agitation. The song transports the imagination into the heart of sultry satanic scenery, a sonic clawing and rhythm driven hypnotism inescapable bonds holding thoughts and emotions, not forgetting swiftly ardour wrapped passions tight. With seventies bred garage pop and psychedelic whispers also adding their coating to the recipe, the song is pure aural venom and quite delicious.

Its success and immense seduction is swiftly thrown up another level or three with Tongues, the track two minutes of addiction causing ingenuity driven by rhythmic irritation and sonic nagging. It is simply brilliant, a carnivorous tsunami of tenacious melodic scorching and sonic animosity strapped to a rhythmic hostility and persistence which draws the deepest insatiable lust in return for its rampant enticement. Imagine Alien Sex Fiend and the Sex Gang Children in an illicit union with Stolen Babies and Morning Wood and you get an idea of the sheer ingenuity and virulent compulsion that is Tongues. Arguably the best song heard this year and last, it is a musical bitch with all the charm and voracity of a rabid burlesque dancer, something which applies to the sound of We Are Hex full stop really.

Sometimes you come across a band which consistently sculpts templates for others which in turn subsequently breed new depths of subservient allegiance towards them; We Are Hex is one of the most masterful and deviously riveting bands and if you have doubts we give the W.D.M.R.S/Tongues 7” as our proof and recommendation to go be infected.

W.D.M.R.S/Tongues is available via Latest Flame Records now @ http://wearehex.bandcamp.com/album/w-d-m-r-s-tongues

https://www.facebook.com/wearehex

10/10

RingMaster 17/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Rubella Ballet – Planet Punk

RB

It is probably fair to say that most punks know the history of, impact, and importance to the genre UK’s Rubella Ballet has made since forming at a Crass gig in 1979. Built around the nucleus of Sid Truelove and Zillah Minx the band brought intensive colour musically and visually to an anarcho/gothic punk scene. Their subsequent course saw the band perform two John Peel sessions and release from the first dramatic Ballet Bag cassette only unleashing of 1981, a trio of albums, and a mass of singles and 12” encounters as well as numerous collections. Live the band toured and supported the likes of Crass, Death Cult, and the Poison Girls amongst a great many whilst helping upcoming bands such as Ritual, Sex Gang Children, Ausgang, and Skeletal Family. As said most know the background to Rubella Ballet and their presence, the band summed up recently as, “They were the band who bridged the gaps between The Sex Pistols, X Ray Spex, and Crass.”

That is history though, important but belongs to the past. What is relevant to the now is the release of their new album Planet Punk, the first release of new material since 1986’s album If, an album declared by the majority as their finest moment. That was until the uncaging of Planet Punk, a quite extraordinary and fascinating provocation which sits boldly on the frontline of the pinnacle of punk releases in recent years. A release which provokes thought, passions, and feet like an ingenious puppeteer; a sonic devil which sits on the shoulder inciting and teasing until it has wormed under the skin and is riding the psyche in an irrepressibly diverse punk rodeo. Sid Truelove and Zillah Minx have conjured one of the most riveting and invigorating rebellions to sit alongside the likes of the recent Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions album When…? and the new Waging War full-length from The Duel as important propositions within punk rock.

From the opening title track the London band and release strikes at the heart of world and social wrongs, the like of banks, the illuminate, RB coverand the Hillsborough Stadium disaster amongst many things under a spotlight in the fifteen track creative tempest. The songs never preach and shove opinions down the throat though, just inform, inspire, and give their own premise. The first song instantly takes the listener and imagination back to the band’s early days, its old school stomp and breath a pervading suasion entwined with middle finger bred grooves and combative vocals which have a modern day eyeballing maturity. With sharp hooks and fiery dynamics, the song is a glorious spark to set Planet Punk off, its title track an instant trigger to the agonist dormant in us all.

The excellent start is swiftly matched and pushed to a new plateau by both All Potential Terrorists and Run Run. The first, spawned by 9/11, thrusts angry riffs and rapacious rhythms at the ear as the magnetic tones of Minx ripple with intensity and antagonism. Clad in contagious resourceful sounds, the track rampages irresistibly but then twists the scenery into a delicious darker incitement as Truelove adds his vocal suasion into a mix now coursing with warnings and sirens as well as startling enterprise. It is hard uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll at its best, guitars flaming with a reserved yet bright flame within the imposing scenario. Its successor stalks and prowls around its victims, the banks. Again samples as in the previous pair colour the landscape, their information courted by throaty basslines and predatory riffs which Minx manipulates further with her vocal confrontations. There is a raw air to the song; every aspect ablaze with a caustic glaze which only adds to the narrative whilst within the unrelenting menace the essences of bands like Fatal Microbes and The Molesters only enhances the pleasure.

The album continues to get stronger and more dramatically thrilling as each track infests senses and imagination, the next up Killuminati climbing another step with its voracious heavily weighted riffs which ooze ravenous hunger. The rhythms are just as full of rabidity but as ears succumb to their pressure the band suddenly explodes with a kaleidoscope of invention and ingenuity, the imposing Truelove vocal lead joined by soaring flumes of Minx’s symphonic seduction. At its core the track is an antagonistic brawl but with all the riveting twists of invention now at play equally soaked in the predation which drives the song from the start, the encounter is one of those moments you can only use the word classic for.

The bewitching Pandora’s Box has its designs on that mantel too, and achieves it with a sirenesque portentous hymn. It is a song which seduces and slowly swarms all over senses and passions, a mix of Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Duel, but as in all cases any references are just a hint to the startling originality. The album’s greatest offering, the track is as sinister and compelling as the science it is prowling, Minx at her glorious whilst the songwriting and invention of the band could be best described in literary terms as Frankenstein meets Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Both the equally chilling and ominously glazed Anonymous and the insatiable Hellbilly Heroin fire up body and emotions next, the first a captivating slice of bleak cyber punk and its successor, a track seemingly looking at Truelove’s own health problems and issues with drugs, their effect and ownership, is a honest and uncomplicated punk rock roar which pulls no punches. Both songs without matching the previous tracks, a level always going to be hard to maintain, easily ignite another wave of hunger in the appetite for the album which Bio Hazard instantly reinforces with its accusing web of sonic enterprise aligned to the temptress tones of Minx, its bait and lyrical canvas enthralling.

Through the absorbing stark infectious lure of Silver Or Lead, a song with aspects of calling All Astronauts to its presence, and the heavy rock smog of Wonderful Life, the album continues to find new impressive ways to light the passions, the second of the pair an incitement thick in intensity and robustly smothering sound which is speared and lit with the oppression tempering croon of Minx. It is a mouthwatering intimidating mix which is equalled in success by the coarse pop punk vivacity of You’ll Be Sorry and then the crunchy charred sound of Sedition. Both tracks in their unique ways embroil sounds of the late seventies and modern multi-flavoured punk into an irresistible uncompromising proposition. It is fair to say that the album is not as strong in its latter stages as its blisteringly inventive start, the songs at this point, more direct and straightforward then strikingly dramatic but still wholly addictive.

The final trio of songs are a mixed bag starting off with the outstanding Victory For The Victims. The imposing heavy bass within seconds flicks the switch to return the imagination to the heights which opened the album, quickly contradicting our just mentioned thought at that point. It is a minimalistic song in many ways looking at Hillsborough, but stunningly effective as it enslaves and invigorates thoughts and emotions. Its triumph is then matched by the brilliant Vampire Wedding, a dark gothic waltz equipped with Sister Of Mercy like rhythmic seduction and Sunglasses After Dark shadows which is then transformed further with bloodlusting angelic charm and vocal imagination.

The album concludes with Starship Transporter, a spatial flight of acidic colour and celestial sonic weaves narrated by Minx. It is a decent enough song but fails to come anywhere near the other tracks on the album though admittedly it still makes a provocative and skilfully sculpted end to an exceptionally tantalising and thrilling release. There may be a vast amount of time between new material but Rubella Ballet has not been resting on laurels instead designing and honing an evolution of presence and sound which in so many ways sets a new template for punk bands and fans to been inspired by. Planet Punk is the band’s best release with ease and a definite album of the year contender.

Planet Punk is available via Overground Records on all formats now!

https://www.facebook.com/rubellaballet

9.5/10

RingMaster 26/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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PREHUMANITY- Death Wave

Prehumanity 2

A crawling intensive examination of the senses and psyche is the best way to describe Death Wave, the second album from industrial/electronic/rock band PREHUMANITY, or as it is also tagged death wave. It is a striking and deeply pleasing encounter which is as impressive as it is abrasively uncomfortable, and thoroughly compelling.

The band is the project of Alexander K. Harris, an artist who before PREHUMANITY fronted numerous punk and metal bands, flavours which also add their harsh essences to the album. Starting up the project in 2008, Seattle based Alexander primarily took influences from electronic and death rock bands and released three EPs though they were only available at live shows and online which grabbed the attention of a great many. Continually assessing and writing material whilst performing live with additional musicians, the debut album Not So Becoming was released in 2011 to strong responses. Moving to LA the following year, Alexander wrote and recorded 70% of the follow up as well as recruiting percussionist Seage to the mix for live shows in the city. Completed after additional refining and re-recording of some vocals once he had moved again, this time to Raleigh in N Carolina, Death Wave had its release at the tail of the year. The album has a horror tainted heart and sound which is soaked in the new wave and gothic spices of the eighties and a modern harsh electro/industrial imagination. It is a feisty and bruising confrontation with constant rewards from its intensive violations.

Better Broken opens up the encounter with pulsating beats and a prowling intimidating synth pressuring the ear. Soon into its Prehumanitydefined step the track then brings in a melodic hook which immediately reminds of eighties band Visage and as the track spreads its sonic touch and melodic caresses it takes one back to those vibrant times three decades ago with one foot still firmly entrenched in the powerful wells of today’s sinewy sounds. The track is best described as Specimen and Alien Sex Fiend, a band the album often harkens to, caught in an uncompromising position with Landscape whilst Cease2xist is looking on adding its own intrusive thoughts. A compelling and infectious assault the track is an excellent start to the release soon matched by its successor.

As soon as the stomping strokes of Pills breaks the brief silence between tracks the senses are under an electronic barracking from within a thick cloud of energy. As with the opener the vocals of Alexander are a caustic lashing upon the ear. Expressive and impassioned they are an uncompromising grazing which opens the gateway to darker shadows to join those already lit by the again contagious sounds. Taking a more Skinny Puppy/Ministry gait with a hungry blackened intent the song alongside its predecessor makes one greedy for more and more from the release which of course the album happily and spitefully provides.

The doom encrusted Calling with its brew of Sex Gang Children and Nine Inch Nails like erosive melodic squalls and the thick predatory consumption provided by the metallic Bad Things ignite further intrigue and passion for their inventive contention sparking carriages but it is the track which splits them which almost all alone ensures PREHUMANITY and the album has a permanent stature in our personal playlist. Blood Soaked Suits disorientates with dazzling sonic expulsions before unleashing a rampage of insatiable intensity and invigorating energy, though it erodes as equally as it sparks the body and emotions into unreserved life. With towering rhythms, further caustic vocals, and a wonderful unsettling discord wash to the melodic imagination to the track, the song is a memorable and irresistible bruising with only its briefness a niggle for the hunger it incites.

The excellent Single File with its cavernous depths and ravenous breath not to mention viral sonic teasing is a weave of thunderous energies and heavyweight textures which leaves one exhausted and glowing under its blistering heat. It is only the appetizer though as the equally oppressive and intense Vote With Your Dollars brings further aggressive rage to the canvas of the album. The closing track though offers a warmer melodic coaxing to its rampant storm of stomping dynamics and destructive layers. Like early Young Gods if it also contained Marilyn Mansion, Gary Numan, and John Foxx is a way of describing the expansive sound of the track and it makes for a riotous and challenging end to an outstanding release.

PREHUMANITY wears its influences openly yet turns them into something new and refreshing. Death Wave is an album which all from electronic through industrial to metal fans will find plenty of pleasure from, it is just immense.

http://www.prehumanity.com/

http://facebook.com/Prehumanity

RingMaster 11/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright