The Beauty of Noise: The Gaa Gaas Interview

As a fresh decade takes its first breath there was only one place to start a new series of interviews with some of the most exciting independent bands and artists and that was with one of our major faves here at The RR. So with big thanks to band founder Gavin Tate welcome to The Gaa Gaas…

Hi Gavin and thanks for sharing your time with us once more.

It has been a long while in the planning but you have just unveiled the band’s debut album. What have been the prime emotions in its build up and now final and highly anticipated release?

GT: Bonjour, mettez-vous à l’aise. The honest truth is that as well as the unfortunate circumstances of label battles, finance was a huge factor for the reason it took so long to release a full album. I was abused as a child at a detention centre in my home island of Jersey where I was illegally locked up in solitary confinement for sometimes months at a time and was beaten. I received a big compensation from the Government that I’ve put into the physical side of the album release out on our own label Movement-2 Records. It’s a fantastic feeling to know the album is finally out there, the response has been amazing! 

 For those new to The Gaa Gaas could you reveal how the band began and its history since?

GT: I attended a tour in 2002 that consisted of 3 pinnacle groups of the time which were Ikara Colt, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and The Parkinsons. That show in Brighton inspired me to form The Gaa Gaas made up of members that I had met at a club night called Bomp! (a weekly event that was held in our birth town of St Helier). The band relocated to Brighton in the mid 2000’s and we’re now mainly based in London. Prior to the album we had released two 5 track EP’s, a few singles, a couple of split singles and have been featured on many compilations since! We have also been given the opportunity to play some big name festivals alongside bands such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Primal Scream, The Stranglers, Happy Mondays, and Richard Ashcroft.

What were the inspirations which most sparked your own musical adventure and also the band’s sound?

GT: I think a lot of it was to do with attending gigs and festivals. I always wanted to be on stage and behind the scenes because that side of it felt more appealing to me when I was just a young lad. The sound of the group has been developed and matured through observation and experimentation. We love lots of different styles and even though this band has had many members over the years, we’ve still managed to maintain the same sound throughout. It’s post-punk more than punk, but can still be classed as rock. We’ve stayed true to our name by making it a bit nutty as well.

 Turning back to the album; a powerful collection of songs to tempt newcomers it also in a way works as a round-up and compilation of the creative adventures existing fans have devoured over the years. How did you approach it to make it strikingly fresh, which it is, to all?

GT: There was the option to record the album with completely new songs and leave what we had already done behind, but our fan base would have been completely thrown off as songs like ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’ are strong enough album tracks. It was decided to have our previous singles included on the release along with the best tracks of both EP’s and a studio outtake that we well and truly underestimated titled ‘The Type of Mood’, which has had the most radio interest, something we never expected at all. ‘Indian Giver’ album version was kept behind as we knew we wanted it for the release and it works being the only instrumental on the menu. No one counted on it and that’s what we wanted. We’ve now created more anticipation as the next album will follow up in 2020 with songs no one has yet heard and I tell you hand on heart, the new stuff wipes the floor with anything we’ve done before.

 It does feel like the closing of a chapter before The Gaa Gaas unveil a new adventure ahead, is that how you see it in some ways?

GT: We’re not the most organised band in the world, but we make up for that with enigma. No one ever knows who’s actually in the band as every time we play live there’re always new members. We are like today’s equivalent of The Fall. Not by choice either. Maybe I’m a difficult person to work with, maybe they are. Also we’ve had some almost fatal hardships within the group that has led to cancellations of planned shows and tours. Every band goes through bad experiences, but you just have to soldier on. The new decade will see us actually jumping in vans and doing the circuit again, something our fans have been really gunning for, and plus with the new material it will be like a complete reincarnation

 Obviously some of the songs within the album were written way back, are you someone who has had the self-will to leave them alone or over the years have found yourself nagging away at them in some ways?

GT: I just think those songs really deserved to make an album. I’d love to see our first record stacked alongside stuff like Damned Damned Damned and Never Mind The Bollocks in the bargain shelf at Wax Factor Record Shop in Brighton one day. That to me would feel like more of an achievement than seeing it in the racks at Rough Trade. Everything’s too polished these days. We are as true to punk rock as the innovators and that attitude in music needs to come back hard ‘cause the industry is mostly made up of rich geeks and there’s no flare like there used to be. I believe those songs carry some of that old skool sensibility!

 As you mentioned the band has been based between Jersey, Brighton and London over those same years, putting aside now with the album’s release, which has been the most potent moment for you in The Gaa Gaas emergence?

GT: I think the release of ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.‘ was monumental to the band. As soon as that came out we were getting booked to play everywhere…The coolest club nights throughout the UK and Europe, being played on Radio 1 on MTV 2. At that point I thought we were going to explode as Island Records were interested and we were playing shows every week. But it’s like anything. People inside and outside of the group had misconceptions and doubts about where it was all going, but I’m still on that boat of the best is yet to come.

Have you found that it has become easier for a DIY fuelled independent band to find opportunities to play and find a release for their art or harder?

GT: Groups such as The Cramps did everything themselves. Pressed their own records, designed their own fanzines, organised their own shows and tours. In the end the best thing about that is you’re not owing an advance to any labels. DIY and the independent side of the business is where most of the bands and labels we all know and love first began, but inevitably everything gets snapped up by the majors because people need money for bigger projects, for security, and a lot of the time for their own Cocaine fuelled ego’s. Not needing to be under anyone’s wing or supervision is no chore to us. We would quite happily carry on independently until our livers pack in, our lungs collapse, and our nostrils fall off. Even then we would probably still keep going!

 And how hard has it been to keep the passion and determination going in making music across the long life of the band?

GT: The great thing is people never know what to expect from us. Maybe that forms some sort of excitement in itself. Music is always being written and recorded. There’s so much that has never seen the light of day and now that we have a functional record label of our own we can look at more frequent releases. We are going into the new decade with a much more experienced head on our shoulders. As well as for our own passion and our own urges, we would really love to put Jersey on the musical map of producing great bands in the same way The Parkinsons did for Portugal.

 I know there are new songs poised to bring bold new Gaa Gaas adventure to UK music; can you give us some idea of what they will reveal?

GT: If you enjoyed the political vision of ‘Close Your Eyes‘, let’s just say the 2nd album will hold more of that fire. We are going more electronic the next time around massively influenced by Ultravox, but also taking inspiration from greats such as U.K. Subs and The Damned, also stuff like Tool which I’ve only really just adapted to thanks to our new guitarist Simon. The next wave of songs will be a massive step up from what anyone has previously heard. That’s all I can give you!

So what is on the horizon for The Gaa Gaas live and recording wise?

GT: Our first show of 2020 will be a headline slot at 93 Feet East in London’s Brick Lane as a release party for the first album with support from some of our current faves. Robert King of legendary Scottish post-punk band Scars will also be DJing. From then on we’ll be playing constantly the same way we were this time 10 years ago. The live shows are where it’s at with this band. As soon as we came off at Weekender Festival last year, we just wanted to do it again and again. We were tempted to over step Stereo MC’s slot, that’s how much we enjoyed it. As for recording the next venture will be album number 2.

The Gaa Gaas have been a band which has perpetually excited us at The RR, is there a particular moment which has given you the biggest satisfaction and pleasure in its time to date?

GT: I think it would have to be performing at Drop Dead Festival cause it was the furthest we’ve ever travelled to play. Right on the outskirts of Russia and we got billed alongside bands such as Zounds, Specimen, Sex Gang Children, Noisy Pig, and Stereo Total. It was an honour to be invited to play at that event. We still can’t believe we made it there in one piece.

 Again big thanks for chatting with us, anything else you would like to add?

Please donate anything you can to Crisis UK and get behind the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign organised by Emma Rule. Let’s try and get Britain back to a much better state by forming unity and becoming a more humane place to live.

Check out The Gaa Gaas further @ http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas and read our recent review of their excellent self-titled debut album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/the-gaa-gaas-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Halshug – Drøm

Temptation can come in a broad and varied landscape of enticement; it can be a warm seduction or a nagging teasing among numerous other incitements. In the hands of Danish band Halshug it is a challengingly fearsome proposal and as their new album proves one irresistible proposition.

Hailing from Copenhagen, the trio of bassist/vocalist Jakob Johnsen, guitarist Mathias Schønberg, and drummer Mads Folmer Richter create a voracious trespass of hardcore and noise punk but as their third full-length Drøm quickly establishes it is a sound which has evolved across previous releases to embrace industrial, post punk, and numerous other darkly bred sounds. Its title translated as ‘Dream’, Drøm is bred on the theme that dreams are “a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind. And also sort of a vision or a wanting of something more than just what is.” With even richer depths and variations to that exploration, the album never leaves ears and imagination alone in thought. Whether nagging on the psyche, intruding on the senses, or manipulating body and imagination, a degree of emotive frustration almost lining it’s every moment, it harasses from start to finish and it has to be admitted, few moments shared here this year have been more rousingly thrilling.

From the moment album opener, Kæmper Imod, with its first breath begins clipping at ears, attention and appetite were stirred; Richter’s magnetic percussion almost teasing as it lured. Seemingly knowing when the listener should be hooked beats hold a momentary pause from which a punk scourge of sound and voice explodes. The band’s hardcore instincts fuel the eruption as the song continues to grip and captivate, its proposal just taking on a whole new character to its beginnings and escalating both by each raucous senses baiting second.

It is an outstanding introduction to Drøm yet quickly and continually eclipsed or certainly matched across the release with next up Dø Igen raising the ante in craft and temptation. Richter’s beats again make for an animated and compelling coaxing and more than equalled in enticement by the visceral growl of Johnsen’s bass. If the first song teased with a whiff of post punk amidst darker sonic deeds, the second track exploits their tenebrific coercion to ravish and inflame the senses. From within its voracious noise clad insurgency, essences of bands like Faith No More, Sex Gang Children, and The Three Johns tease which only adds to its inescapable seduction of ears.

Schønberg’s filth soaked guitar brings Fantasi to ears next; Johnsen’s similarly polluted vocal attack standing eyeball to ear on the tide of antagonistic punk riffs and rhythms. Devious twists and diversity only add to the excellent track’s evolving body and increasing prowess before Giv Alting Op swings in with matching animosity and discord. As with all tracks, there is a kind of psychosis which shapes its tone and invasion; one never allowing a moment for album or listener to relax within the infernal kaleidoscope of illusory or maybe real provocation.

Spejl hounds and disturbs next, riffs and rhythms chaffing on the senses as melodic toxins and scorched grooves seduce across a volatile gait which launches itself with nostrils flared and at times prowls with equally venomous intent. Once more there was no defence to the at times almost drone like quality of its urging as neither was there any barrier to prevent the industrial compulsion and intimation of the dystopia flooded 02.42. The track’s cold intense threat is as claustrophobic as it is galvanic; a web of intrigue and ravening malevolence greedily devoured, rapacious hunger just as forceful and rabid for its successor Tænk På Dig Selv. Again Richter had rhythmic claws in psyche and instincts from the off before all three musicians unleashed their enterprisingly tortured throes of sound and emotion. If that was not enough to embroil the passions, an X Ray Spex meets Essential Logic flavoured sax incursion only sparked lustier reactions.

Through the feral yet imaginatively crafted transgression of Ingen Kontrol and the virulent sonic appropriation of the senses by Et Andet Sted resistance was thread bare to the album’s continuing indeed increasing domination, not that defiance was actually contemplated or offered, a fact the closing majestic post punk incitement of Illusion seized with rhythmic and sonic devilment. The simply glorious instrumental is part nightmare part psyche haunting escape from reality and simply cathartic suggestion to, as we found, increasingly greedy ears and animated imagination.

It is an avidity flooded appetite which is just as ravenous for the album as a whole especially as every play revealed further aspects to its devious body. With a presence and sound which ultimately defies being truly pinned down Drøm has declared itself as one of the year’s essential moments.

Drøm is available now via Southern Lord @ https://halshugsl.bandcamp.com/releases

Upcoming Live dates:

7 Sep – Oslo, NO – Vaterland

12 Sep – Aalborg, DK – 1000Fryd

13 Sep – Aarhus, DK – Radar

14 Sep – KBH, DK Stengade

20 Sep – Gøteborg, SWE – Kulturhuset

27 Sep – Malmø, SWE – Plan B

28 Sep – Stockholm, SWE – Hus 7

http://halshug.blogspot.com   https://halshug.bandcamp.com   http://www.facebook.com/halshugcph

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

She Made Me Do It – Drenched

pic by @dcmusicvideos

There is nothing better than an encounter which immediately enthrals attention and appetite but is only scratching at the depths of temptation and adventure within. The Drenched EP from She Made Me Do It is one such offering; a release which instantly had ears pricked and the body bouncing but was just revealing the seeds to blossoming levels of imagination and seduction.

The four track release is another in a long line of rich enticement from the duo of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, Scant Regard, The Selecter, Bow Wow Wow, Flesh For Lulu) and one of the pairs’ most deviously tempting offerings. From start to finish it is a magnetic almost teasing fusion of dark shadows and elegant radiance bound in an equally rich mix of punk, new wave, post punk and alternative rock adventure. The successor to their 2017 album, The Frantic Legion, the compelling exploits of Drenched sees the band’s sound even more defined yet bolder in its adventure and tapestry of flavours. Through the captivation and intimation of Dax’s golden yet often almost portentously lined vocals and the descriptive yet rousingly tenacious antics of Crewdson’s guitar to the suggestive caresses and intriguing shimmers of their keys, She Made Me Do It create a captivating web to immerse in and dance with.

Produced by Crewdson and with Joe Holweger providing drums, Drenched opens up with the swiftly irresistible Bones. Straightaway post punk tendrils escape Crewdson’s guitar, their clinging hues something akin to the claws cast in the past by the likes of Leitmotiv and Sex Gang Children. Escalating these lures by the second, the track builds into a lumbering but lively stroll where Dax soon springs her own potent temptation as bass and drums steer the dark throes of the song’s canter; the punk hues of guitar only adding to its anthemic and equally predacious swing. Inescapably infectious but with that great edge of danger and intimidation, the song, as indeed the EP, needed a mere play to get under the skin and only burrowing, deeper and deeper thereon in.

The following Broken Morning is a just as skilful manipulator of ears and appetite even as it instantly reveals a much warmer and calmer nature. That is no chain to an instinctive catchiness and creative eagerness though, the song devilishly impossible to resist joining in with especially when faced with one contagion laded chorus and again a swinging energy which enlivens the body and spirit of song and listener alike. There is something, if right now indefinably, familiar to the track but a hue which only adds to its compelling design and persuasion.

Ashes is next up, electronic pulses gently but firmly resonating before the dirtier breath of the bass joins up quickly followed by the similarly beckoning strains of guitar and voice. A song which relishes its electro pop instincts as fully as its rock ‘n’ roll heart, it offers a tapestry of flavours and creative twists, all as unpredictable as the track is unsurprising in its voracious zeal and stirring enterprise.

The release ends with the melodically celestial beauty of Time, a song of intimate and spatial elegance over an earthbound spine that just as easily ignites the imagination as the siren-esque flight above.  It is a hauntingly mesmeric conclusion to a release which as we said just grows more impressive and tantalisingly by the listen. It is a heavier, more guitar driven rocker than predecessors but equally richer in its melodic and broad weave of flavours and adventure; a must in anyone’s book.

The Drenched EP is out February 1st on Catranstic Records with pre-ordering available @ https://shemademedoit.bandcamp.com/album/drenched-e-p and https://shemmdi.com/store

 

https://www.shemmdi.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shemademedoitpage   https://twitter.com/SheMMDI

Pete RingMaster 30/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

System Of Hate -There Is No Madness Here

The world may be on a downward spiral to destruction guided by the corruption of humanity but it is also spawning some glorious reactions along the way and maybe none as thrilling as the second album from UK outfit System Of Hate. Part commentary, part serenade to apocalyptic horizons, There Is No Madness Here is a tenebrific tempting bred from the united breaths of punk rock and post punk, and simply one of 2018’s finest moments.

Released via Louder Than War Records a few weeks back and the successor to the band’s well-received 2016 debut, Unhallowed Ground, the ferociously compelling There Is No Madness Here is an honestly snarling, venomous contagion of sound and observation. As with their first full-length, the Barnsley hailing band has linked up with producer Matt Ellis for their latest meshuga of blackened intimation and dark punk enterprise. It roars with inescapable uniqueness yet keenly embraces the hues of bands such as Killing Joke, Angelic Upstarts, Leitmotiv, and Theatre Of Hate for a proposal as psychotically clamorous as it is skilfully woven.

There Is No Madness Here opens up with its title track, instantly enticing with a wiry guitar lure before slipping into a lively predacious prowl eagerly twisting and turning with every passing moment. Equally Dave Sutcliffe’s vocals stalk ears with lyrical suggestion as an anthemic breath fuels the whole sonic web in a proposition virtually impossible to resist participating in.

That irresistibility is an on-going tempting across the album as proven by the following pair of Black Fire and We Who Walk With God. The first is similarly portentous but with an infectious swing which lines its dark inference. The sonic lattice of Patrick Crawford’s guitar is wrapped in the similarly suggestive lure of keys cast by Martin Roberts, both aligned to the dark pulsation of esurient rhythms sprung by bassist Shaun O’Neill and drummer Carl Gulliford with vocals a raw angst lined narrative to the black infestation. The second presented an even darker and heavier trespass as it unsettled and ensnared the senses. Both tracks, as indeed all across the release, are loaded with appetite entangling hooks and acerbic melodies creating an array of temptations which needed little time to get under the skin.

In The Shadow Of The Cross teases and nags as it rises to its feet next, every tendril of guitar and caress of keys a blend of danger and enticement until the track breaks into a just as magnetic ravening canter. There is a great touch of Sex Gang Children meets 1919 to the track while there is something of an Adicts hue to the punk bred Your God Is Dead. Even so, System Of Hate’s sound is strictly individual and as virally rabid here as in the subsequent caliginous joys of Tears Of Blood, with its wolfish grooves and toxic air, and in turn within the abrasive and bracing sonic plague that is Resurrected.

The latter has the senses feeling flailed and energised; its defiance and animosity a rousing incitement matched in its own particular way driving by the raucously anthemic Rising and its fiery winds. If its predecessor was an announcement of intent, this track is the threat in full holler and again a song impossible not to get embroiled in.

The album concludes with firstly Ill Are The Cursed, a calmer melodically alluring but no less imposing and rousing proposal and finally the track System Of Hate. The closer harries and taunts ears with its sonic exploits whilst seducing with its acidic melodies and raw siren-esque vocal harmonies. It is a last incursion of sound and adventure which sums up the album’s heart and the band’s music and imagination perfectly as indeed the thrilling contagion of each aspect.

We have come to the album’s apocalypse later than others but join the call that There Is No Madness Here is and will be as relevant to the world and humanity’s decay as to post punk and punk ‘n’ roll for years to come.

There Is No Madness Here is out now via Louder Than War Records.

http://www.systemofhate.com/    https://www.facebook.com/systemofhate/   https://twitter.com/systemofhateuk

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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