Various Artists – Our Voltage

Released via Chicago DIY label Girlsville Records, Our Voltage is a collection of tracks from an array of bands embracing a similarly broad landscape of sounds from garage and post punk to psych, noise, and Lo-Fi Trash Pop. It is one of those independent treats which come along now and then to introduce new bands to the ears and new tracks from those which may already be on the radar. Our Voltage is also here to help raise funds for great causes; its proceeds benefitting legal aid for anti-racist activists and a new community self-defence gym in Chicago called Haymaker.

As with all collections there are tracks which hit the spot and passions more central than others, understandable when 14 bands are coming together but it is honest to say that every encounter within Our Voltage had us off eagerly exploring their creators with further treats the reward.

The album opens with OFF DUTY NUNS from Olympia, Washington trio UK GOLD. The band consists of Matt Murillo (Ka-Nives, Jewws) Forrest Peaker (Wisdom Teeth), and Vadi Eredal (Pitted Youth) and released their debut single last April. Off Duty Nuns is a brand new slice of the band’s post punk shuffle which, with guitars spiralling with their flavoursome jangle around senses badgering metronomic beats and one instincts pleasing bass line, is pure magnetism capped by just as tenacious vocals. At barely one minute 45, the song is too short but oh so addictive.

THE BUZZARDS offer up TENNESSEE next, the Detroit outfit featuring Joe Burdick (The Dirtys), Maribel Restepo (Detroit Cobras) and twins Nancy and Leslie Paterra. It too is a brand new song grabbing quickly attentive ears with ease; the band’s garage rock ‘n’ roll a boisterously rapacious proposal with thumping beats and vocal zeal aligned to angular guitars and another bassline which danced with personal tastes. It is not necessarily a unique encounter yet everything about it rouses body and attitude like all potent rockers.

Raw noise/punk rock is offered up next by GERM HOUSE in the shape of 7 INTO 7, a gripping burst of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with the catchy instincts of pop rock. The band is the solo project of Justin Hubbard, formerly of Boston band Turpentine Brothers, which expands live with the addition of his wife Tara McManus-Hubbard (Mr. Airplane Man / Turpentine Brothers) and Joe Ayoub (Marked Men / Shangalang). The song has the kind of mouth-watering DIY glaze which nurtured so many treats in the late seventies and similarly coats the album’s fourteenth and final song which sees Hubbard inciting ears just as potently through a second song in SHOWING SYMPTOMS.

Before then the fun keeps coming as firstly THE MYRMIDONS unveils a gorgeous cover of the Siouxsie and The Banshees classic CHRISTINE. The band is the union of Ted Ottaviano and Lauren Johnson of first wave electronic pop group Book of Love and Lori Lindsay of The Prissteens and Purple Wizard. Together they have taken an already irresistible track and coated it in a darker gothic almost predacious sheen whilst invigorating its natural infectiousness. Its post punk bassline just hits the spot, a feature recurring between instrument and appetite over numerous songs it seems.

PILOT’S PIPE from DAMAGED BUG, the solo project of Oh Sees vocalist/guitarist John Dwyer, is a tantalising psych pop seduction; a woozy slice of temptation uniting synths and guitars under a psychedelic glaze and sounding like something you would expect in a Lewis Carroll penned Barbarella seduction. It is quite mesmeric before making way for WHAT DID YOU SAY? from UK post punks VIRVON VARVON. The London-based band comprises of members of The Jazz June, Black Time, and Candy Highway and creates a trespass, on the evidence of this track, which is inherently catchy but with great volatility in its heart which leads ears into rapacious noise and cacophonous punk ‘n’ roll. We would offer up comparisons to give you an idea of its raw beauty but we could not find any, a splendid sign.

FREAK GENES step forward with HE’S UNHAPPY, a British band which lists the likes of Swell Maps, Nick Lowe, and Devo among their likes, of which the first pair do come to mind almost weirdly within the slice of lo-fi punk pop and add a whisker of MC Lars to that thought and you get a real feel of the band’s excellent offering. Featuring Charlie Murphy of Red Cords and Andrew Anderson of Hipshakes, Freak Genes tease and taunt ears, and a lusty reaction, throughout their two minutes before handing over to BEASTII the moment to uncage their cover of The Violators track, SUMMER OF 81. The Chicago psych/pop trio initially coax ears with their own possessive treat of a bassline before wrapping it in siren-esque harmonies and brining in mischievously rousing beats. It then all unites in a rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll which reminds of something akin to Fatal Microbes meets The Kut and more than does another classic song justice.

The devilish garage punk of DO THE OCTOPUS keeps the passions flying; the track from Kansas duo MR. AND THE MRS. Primarily an instrumental with vocal devilment, the track recalls the fuzz antics of The Cramps, the punk salaciousness of Dick Venom, and the gothic contagion of The Orson Family as it has hips swinging and dark deeds brewing before a never before released track from 90’s gracing NYC punks THE PRISSTEENS.  STUPID NOTHING serenades in tone and voice within a fuzz lined tunnel and is simply as captivating as you would expect from the excellent outfit.

One of our already favourite bands is next; London garage punk noiseniks ATOMIC SUPLEX stirring up trouble with a cover of Bo Diddley’s WHO DO YOU LOVE? It might be the dirtiest, scuzziest thing heard from the band yet as they if not making the song their own, give it a seriously stirring feral work over.

MARCUS from Cincinnati garage fuzz stirrers BUMMERS EVE strolls in next, the trio providing a beat textured ballad about 3-year-old autistic boy who was murdered by his foster parents while MR. AIRPLANE MAN dance with the senses and imagination through BELIEVE. Both tracks spark a need for more, the first with its insatiable scuzz hustle and the second through its psychedelic blues punk shuffle and vocal seduction.

With that second Germ House offering completing the line-up, we found the only thing to do after listening to Our Voltage just the first time around was press play again and go exploring. The rewards have been quite refreshing.

Our Voltage is available now through Girlsville Records @

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Baronen & Satan – Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? / Satan Is A Lady

As each year passes it seems harder to find something truly unique to feast upon so those encounters which do carry that special character make a most striking impact and hopefully temptation. The sound of Swedish outfit Baronen & Satan magnificently fits that claim and hope, its nature a psyche twisting trespass and voice a senses searing incitement which together go to make one glorious seduction on body and imagination.

Though formed in 2014 after guitarist Philippe Jean-Piere Dominique Sainz met vocalist Linda Rydelius, the pair uniting in love and creativity once meeting, our introduction to Gothenburg hailing Baronen & Satan is now through Dirty Water Records USA and their releasing of the band’s new EP, Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? in tandem with the re-release of 2016 album Satan Is A Lady. It is a long overdue meeting as hindsight shows the band has been teasing attention across a horde of tracks and years but one we like so many others are greedily devouring. Completed by bassist Marie Bergkvist and drummer Stefan Young Sik Olsson earlier this year, Baronen & Satan create what we assumed has been self-penned as “Garagedeath”.  Whatever you call it, the Baronen & Satan sound is a wonderfully invasive yet flirtatious trespass of reverb grafted adventure conjured from a mix of garage and psych rock, garage punk, noise, and punk rock with plenty more teasing away in its predacious and haunting swamp thick sonic psychosis.

Produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirt Bombs), Baronen & Satan’s new EP greedily consumes the senses from its first breath. Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? opens up with new single Elisa and instantly consumes ears in a tide of riffs and rhythms entangled in spicily melodic tendrils. As a bass grumble teases, beats fly with fevered energy, Sainz’s guitar weaving away with salacious grooves as the distinct and unique tones of Rydelius deliciously ‘whine’. Her presence almost steals all attention but with the devilish textures and enterprise at play around her, the whole song seduces in equal measure to get things flying.

The following Buttermilk Sky has a similar but fully individual presence and sound, its psych and garage rock bred rock ‘n’ roll an incitement to appetite and hips as it dances provocatively in ears. Its citric melodic spicing is less kind in the second track compared to its predecessor but just as alluring; the song offering a beefier intrusion taken to darker temptation yet again in the EP’s title track. With the swinging biting beats of Olsson rampant and Bergkvist’s bass sound gnarly, seduction is swift from personal tastes; add the sonic squall of Sainz and Rydelius hellish beauty in voice  and submission to the track’s rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is welcome slavery which the melodic toxicity with its tinge of Echo and The Bunnymen compounds.

All three tracks unite for one unwavering increasing addictive proposal to have us reeled in hook line and sinker; a triumph equally matched by last year’s album, Satan Is A Lady. It similarly needs mere seconds to tempt and begin brewing up a tight grip as opener Lady Creature lies its initial sonic nagging upon ears. Quickly the boisterous beats of Olsson descend and romp; the track bouncing around with eager tenacity as Rydelius casts her riveting vocal antics into the stomping devilment of a proposal. At times Scottish trio The Creeping Ivies is provoked in thought by the track but a great spicing to something again as unique as all the subsequent essences and adventures across the album prove to be, all hues in viral sonic toxins particular to Baronen & Satan.

Next up is Catwalk, its feline prowl lively and predacious with Olsson’s swings marking every step with zeal. Always fuelled by a boisterous spirit, the song stalks the listener as vocals wrap their flirtatious clutches around psych and garage infestation. Magnetic drama, the song sublimely bewitches before the even more energetic exploits of Asskisser bound in. With shimmering sonic suggestion and more rhythmic rascality, a PiL-esque sheen invading its bold canter, the track commands the listener like a puppeteer, its noise nurtured tendrils veining its wonderful manipulation.

Headcuts lurks and taunts with an instantly open Cramps inspiration, continuing to size up its victim before launching into a rapacious garage punk stroll with fifties rockabilly spicing. As its predecessor, the track is glorious; caustic manna for ears and instincts which a fine line of sixties garage rock a la Cradle to add another twist.

Expanding and thickening its ravenous enterprise and character, Satan Is A Lady hits another sweet spot with the sonic buzz of The Projects, a minute and a breath of irresistible niggly punk rock which Comet emulates in success with its own demonic affair for ears and imagination. As most tracks, its core is a relentless nagging which gets right under the skin; heavy dark bait bred on rhythmic and sonic almost wanton dexterity honed into a cauldron of virulent temptation as carefully woven as it is rabidly unleashed.

The album’s title track swings in with muscles tensed next, a riveting PiL meets Siouxsie and the Banshees hook circling ears as once more the compelling tones of Rydelius grip the bold intrusion. Sainz’s initial bait swiftly develops a Buzzcocks spiced essence as the track flexes its animated imagination, every second a beguiling and infectious scheme to enslave.

Through the psychotic stomp of Pony and its sonic Cramps meets the Orson Family moonshine pleasure only escalates, the latter of those hues a bolder essence in the dark saunter of Sugarwalls which too only inflames an already greedy appetite for band and sound. Invasively ethereal and ravenously portentous, the song also gives a glimpse of what you might imagine bands like Blood Ceremony and Jess and the Ancient Ones could sound like if mutant off springs of Lux Interior and Jim Morrison.

The album ends with the invasively haunting Underwater Love, an immersion into a sonic sea of intrigue and unpredictable imagination steered by the alluring vocal ingenuity of Rydelius. It is dark, bordering on suffocating and a compelling end to a quite thrilling and refreshing album.

Uniqueness is rare but when it comes it should be devoured especially when it bears the dark discord and beauty of Baronen & Satan.

Both Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? and Satan Is A Lady are out now @  and respectively.

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Das Fluff – Flower With Knife

When checking out a mere week or two ago the band’s latest single, Far Gone, we suggested the forthcoming new album from Das Fluff “should be very highly anticipated”, as too for newcomers the source of the single, their current and third full-length which recently had its vinyl release. At the time it was still an unrealised pleasure for us but now having heard and devoured Flower With Knife, we can say that intrigue and hunger is now greedily lying in wait for that new album currently being created.

Das Fluff is the brainchild and creative vehicle of Berlin/London-based vocalist/writer/producer Dawn Lintern. The project’s first two albums, in 2011 debut Would You Die for Me? and Meditation And Violence two years later potently built the reputation for highly danceable and inventively dramatic propositions with songs never accepting the predictable. Fair to say though it was Flower With Knife which saw Lintern’s writing and sound blossom into an invigorating trespass infesting body and imagination like a lustful virus. Linking up with guitarist Steve May, and the electronic experimentation of Christian Ruland, Lintern brought the richest drama and deepest tapestry of sound to the Das Fluff psyche; the result a release which plays like an aural psychological movie whilst grabbing the listener like a puppet forcing feet and hips to indulge.

Flower With Knife opens up with Popstar User, a track featuring a different guest guitarist as too upcoming album songs in Nothing and Pleasure, which prowls ears with seductive menace as Lintern vocally pouts and entices. The throbbing bassy electronics similarly tempt as synths simmer and flame as the guitar spins its own inviting web. It all colludes in a riveting slice of electronic rock providing the perfect doorway into the following shadow clad, noir lit, and creatively mercurial adventures.

The furtive gothic/post punk walk of Fuck The Trees swiftly has its grips on attention and thoughts next, Lintern purveying the raping of beauty by the intent of modern thought and deed. The pulse of the song is accusation, its gait almost predatory before Someone I Adore outdoes both the first pair of tracks with its striking electro punk saunter. Again there is menace in the air, an Au Pairs meets Siouxsie and the Banshees scent tempering yet equally adding to that confrontation within the senses arousing treat.

In turn it is then eclipsed by Pleasure with its gorgeous Slits meets again Au Pairs like dub lit temptation. Within moments the hips of song and listener are swaying in unison, thought locked up in the provocative turns of voice and word as music infuses its own inventive dance into ears and appetite. More than living up to its name, the track is the pinnacle of the album’s theatre but closely matched around it and indeed by that recent single Far Gone. Almost unnerving in its psychosis fuelled canter, bass tones and scything key bred strings cinematically Hitchcock like, it is the driving rhythms and intensity of the song which brings it all gloriously together for another mighty incitement.

Through the mellower but just as dark and rapacious Enemy, a song tempering its threat with open reflection and emotion, and the hauntingly enchanting jazz kissed beauty of The Stars, the album’s adventure evolves and turns down new avenues again. As the tracks before them, each is a new adventure to sink into, all connected by shadow clad risk and perilous influences. Both songs beguile with the second especially bewitching, while the grittier growl of Love and Peace snarls and intensely throbs like a predacious temptress bred from the thickest tempest.

Throughout Lintern’s voice magnetises as it reveals an array of depths and expressions, her bold and magnetic tones seeded in the similarly adventurous writing at the heart of songs and the trio’s creative imagination as epitomised in the heavier rock of Nothing, a track embracing a host of styles to its melodic and electronic bosom. It simmers and boils with energy and emotion second by second, Lintern the vocal ringmaster within shaping song and thoughts breath by syllable.

The album concludes with the electronic asylum of Strip Down, a proposal which harries thoughts with dark flirtations and sinister airs as pulses and melodies suggestively invade and swim the senses. The track is pure drama, an irresistible fire of emotion and intensity borne of daring imagination…and that pretty much sums up Flower With Knife as a whole; a release which stretches the listener as much as itself as a kind of psychosis hugs its heart. Most of all, it is a release which has the body bouncing and pleasure brimming…roll on the next album.

Flower With Knife is out now and available through the Das Fluff website @

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

öOoOoOoOoOo – Samen


Every year seems to have one month where riveting surprises and essential releases come at ears in a keen flood. This year it is maybe two as October follows September in unleashing records which simply inflame the imagination, an increasing list now added to by the irresistible and rather deranged offering from öOoOoOoOoOo (“Chenille” in French, “Caterpillar” in English).

A new collaboration between former Pin-Up Went Down vocalist/lyricist Asphodel and multi-instrumentalist Baptiste Bertrand, öOoOoOoOoOo creates a theatre of sound and imagination within debut album Samen. “Visually built as an art exhibition”, the release is a kaleidoscope of styles and invention cast in an avant-garde/experimental metal/rock adventure. Helped by the rhythmic prowess of session drummer Aymeric Thomas who is no stranger to creating off-kilter and seriously unpredictable exploits with Pryapisme, the duo ignite and enslave ears and psyche from the very first seconds of Samen, never relinquishing their magnetic grip of mercurial enterprise driven alchemy.

Rules Of The Show opens things up, the track initially enticing with a tender melody as a darker groan lurks before quickly welcoming the instantly impressing tones of Asphodel. Her voice is as magnetic as the sounds brewing around her with a growing blend of bewitching harmonies courting as the song slips into a catchy stroll with a poppy air. Soon it unleashes its hellish heart in a ravenous metallic outpouring as honed in gothic and epic metal as it is through orchestral and melodic rock. It is a virulently infectious affair, its tempestuousness icing on the compelling cake with Asphodel’s unexpected and masterful barbarous death bred growls extra engaging bait.

Its increasingly deranged presence is followed by that of Fucking Freaking Futile Freddy a track wearing Pryapisme like scent at times but equally sparking thoughts of bands like The Creatures and Stolen Babies. Thomas is a blur of rhythmic tenacity, Asphodel vocally captivating, while Bertrand creates a tapestry of sonic and melodic bedlam shaped into one fluid skittishly versatile weave.

cover_RingMasterReviewFrom one pinnacle within Samen to another and the creative devilry of Meow Meow Frrru, a track teasing with melodic intrigue while taunting with bolder energies, the first shaped by electronic fingering with a slight medieval essence and the latter through climatic crescendos which become more irritable and prolonged with each expulsion. The deeper into its insanity the song goes the more it evolves, an espionage loaded hook and System Of A Down flavoured revelry especially tempting.

Straight away the suggestive lures of cello from guest and Psygnosis member Raphaël Verguin charm ears and imagination as the following No Guts = No Masters launches its bruising and increasingly dramatic rock ‘n’ roll upon ears. A blackened air grabs the senses at times, its occasional trespass imposing on the glorious melodic seducing surrounding the shining vocal prowess and class of Asphodel and a psychotic majesty which would be almost sinister if it was not so glorious and irresistible.

Verguin also features on next up Bark City (A Glimpse Of Something), his bow on strings the poetic shadow to a track which merges the melodic beauty of a Nemesea with the dark secrets of creative dementia, all on show in a track which kisses the senses as it corrupts the psyche. Again understandably there is a touch of Pryapisme to the song but equally Russkaja, Siouxsie and The Banshees, and Die So Fluid are pointers to the uniqueness of the band’s sound.

There is a Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks feel to the bewitching Purple Tastes Like White, the track yet another brazenly diverse aspect to the landscape of Samen with the brooding bass a particular treat alongside the melodic might of Asphodel while I Hope You Sleep Well is a cracked and bedlamic web of ideas and imagination stirring sounds hard to describe in words but so easy to physically indulge in with its sinister nursery room childlike innocence and crazed invasive genius.

With Adrien Cailleteau guesting as on its predecessor, Well-oiled Machine draws ears next with its soulful R&B infused balminess. With a flaming sax igniting the jazzy noir atmosphere of the brief song, all courting the somewhat pub-singer like fun of the male vocals, the song only leaves a smile in the imagination before the outstanding Chairleg Thesis dances with the listener in an eighties spiced affair which is at times as ruggedly boisterous as it is erotically seductive and ravenously stormy.

Across the screwy pop/hip hop soaked metal of Fumigène, a song revelling in a Lady Dynamite meets The Sugarcubes meshuga, and the gothic rock drama of LVI where band and album explore even more enjoyable expectations defeating adventures, the latter with Germain Aubert and Verguin bringing their individual craft, the inescapable lure of Samen just strengthens.

Completed by the fierce death metal toned blaze of Hemn Be Rho Die Samen, a song soon showing an array of contrasting yet perfectly uniting strands to its inventive disorder and predacious appetite, Samen leaves an exhausted and blissful pleasure in its wake. Even in the most off-kilter sounds and releases there is an order, an underlying texture which links all. Within Samen it is only the members of öOoOoOoOoOo themselves as unpredictability and unbridled imagination locked into one glorious ride.

Samen is released October 21st via Apathia Records, available @

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Healthy Junkies – Box of Chaos

HJ_RingMaster Review

It was September 2013 when we last had Healthy Junkies igniting ears with a release; that being their impressive second album The Lost Refuge. One of our parting lines then was that the UK had “come of age and you only sense they will get better.” It was partly right as the London quartet has only gone from strength to strength on the live scene and now with third album Box of Chaos. Their coming of age back then though might have been a touch premature for the riveting and dynamic fourteen track punk ‘n’ roll stomp from the band firmly outshines its acclaimed predecessor.

Emerging from a meeting between founders, guitarist Phil Honey-Jones and Paris hailing vocalist Nina Courson at the venue Punk in Soho in 2009 and their creative bonding over mutual loves and influences, melodic punks Healthy Junkies took little time to start leaving their stamp on the UK punk and rock scene. Making their live debut at an all-day punk festival in Brighton in 2010, the band has become a rousing roar around the UK moving into Europe and one of London’s most exciting and prominent live attractions with their self-hosted monthly night at The Unicorn in Camden a regular treat. Debut album Sick Note awoke a broader attention on the band when released, a success forcibly backed up by The Lost Refuge. Throughout the time line-up changes have only seemed to refuel the band at various times too, the latest coming since the recording of Box of Chaos with bassist Ivan Baragone replacing the departed Dave Renegade alongside Courson, Honey Jones, and drummer Tony Alda.

HJ(1)_RingMaster ReviewWhilst The Lost Refuge was a rousing tempest in ears from the first roar, Box of Chaos takes its time to build and entice even greater greedier reactions. Certainly its first play and touch is a potent lure but each listen reveals greater depths and imagination at the heart of the release which only adds to its strength and drama. There is also seemingly richer old school punk and rock ‘n’ roll hues this time around, essences no doubt bred from inspirations to Honey-Jones and Courson such as Sonic Youth, Hole, Sex Pistols, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Iggy and the Stooges, and David Bowie. One band which our thoughts most leaned to as a reference across the new album though is Penetration; a similarly evocative nature and tone to the great County Durham band spicing the band’s adventurous sound from the off with both Nice n Sleazy and its successor Never Want It Again. The opener emerges on a sonic shimmer with waiting riffs quickly stirring into predatory life as ears continue to be enveloped in that initial mist. Rhythms are soon just as pressing as Coulson’s magnetic voice seduces, her tones a smouldering caress within the rising fiery heat of the song. It is an increasingly virulent protagonist grabbing swift involvement of the listener, setting them up for more riotous stroll of Never Want It Again. It is a tenacious canter though superbly twisted with ska/like asides as rhythms and vocals flirtatiously swing with mischievous intent within the otherwise busy attitude loaded rock ‘n’ roll of the song.

Danny Trash keeps the potent start to the album in top gear, its catchy canter and haunted atmosphere soon enslaving hips and imagination respectively. As expected and already shown, Health Junkies produce choruses and anthemic moments which are inescapable; voice and body soon on board with a track which is a maze of evocative sounds, pungent emotion, and creatively boisterous exploits.

The following Hypocrite is the opposite but just as glorious, its punk rock fury offering one minute fifteen seconds of cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll with raw riffs and repetitious brawling spawned from delicious old school incitement before I Don’t Give a Damn springs with a similar aggressive heart into ears. It is soon casting another prowling proposal with addictive hooks and gripping rhythms; both swift slavery as the guitars weave a melodically provocative narrative for thoughts to get wound up in as successfully as the body is lost to the anthemic prowess of the encounter.

The more hard rock meets punk ‘n’ roll tempting of Je Suis Free is an inviting and again contagious defiance next whilst Watch Out has a blues rock lining to its infection loaded, roister fuelled smoulder. Both tracks lead the listener into energetic and galvanic ways before Rebellion, with presumably Honey-Jones standing toe to toe with Courson in duet, stirring up another urge to take a stand and lose inhibitions in voice and deed. The track is Healthy Junkies at their rock ‘n’ roll best, direct, lyrically potent, yet igniting the want to fling the body around.

The confrontational rock pop enticement of Just a Fool steps up next, it too quickly sparking total involvement before the outstanding creative theatre of Runaway Devil infests ears and psyche. There is no escaping a Siouxsie and the Banshees air to the song, keys running their melodic fingers over the senses as Courson’s ethereal tones enchant seductively around the darker touch of rhythms. In short time the track is soon a fiercely bubbling and intimidating tempting, reminding of fellow Londoners The Duel, but still with that early coaxing a rich lure.

There are numerous peaks in the landscape of the album, that one pinnacle almost matched by the dirtier rock ‘n’ roll of Hustle Street straight after and indeed the twin tempting of the melodically mesmeric Captive with its dub shimmer and the robust swagger of Don’t Give Up where scything beats, bass rumbling, and scuzzy riffery crowd around the ever alluring tones of Courson. Reggae seeded turns and again dub spiced inventiveness only increases its grip on ears and appetite, Ruts DC like imagination leaving satisfaction bulging.

Closing with D7, another spellbinding mix of evocative calms, atmospheric haunting, and vocal seducing in a case of antagonistically anthemic rebel-rousing, Box of Chaos is a thrilling blaze for the ears and manna for the spirit from a band looking at their most successful and surely acclaimed loaded year yet.

Box of Chaos is released February via STP Records.


Pete RingMaster 01/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Midday Veil – This Wilderness

MiddayVeil_new1_RingMaster Review

The release of Midday Veil’s third album, This Wilderness could possibly not come at a more apt time in the course of mankind and civilisation. In a world of beauty being ravaged by its occupants, in a time when worldly community is being questioned, tested, and shown up, perfectly epitomises the stark reality but also beauty, globally and intimately, we all are an integral essence of. Vocalist Emily Pothast describes it best with “Lyrically, the songs on This Wilderness are a cycle that explores the self-destructiveness implicit in the civilizing impulse. It comes from a place that is critical, but ultimately acknowledges its complacency in this beautiful, terrifying culture that we all participate in whether we want to or not.

The release goes deeper than that in many ways too but ultimately the biggest thing about the Seattle band’s new proposition is that it is simply virulently glorious, a musical travelogue of spatial sound, mystique lined textures, and sublime beauty. It is a feast for ears and the imagination, a perpetually giving confrontation that sublimely seduces as it incites thoughts and emotions. The successor to the band’s acclaimed 2013 full-length, The Current, the seven track exploration is Midday Veil creating a new plateau for themselves and for others to seed ideas from.

This Wilderness opens with Babel, the keys of David Golightly immediately conjuring a cosmopolitan weave of sound and suggestion. Initially minimalistic, beats are soon throwing off their restraint to dance engagingly on ears in union with electronic vivacity and the swiftly seducing tones of Pothast. In no time, the song is a busy bubble of sound and activity with the bass of Timm Mason exploring the shadows lining the vibrant scenery, sparked by Jayson Kochan’s guitar, revelling around it. The track is sheer magnetism, a feisty serenade on the senses which just gets funkier, more diverse, and increasingly compelling with every invigorating minute.

midday veil this wilderness_RingMaster Review     There is a darker lining to the song though and equally the lure of Pothast’s lyrical narrative. Her voice alone is siren-esque if in an understated way but though all radiance provides, as the song, a vehicle for brooding shadows which are a stronger presence in the following Cages. Straight away there is a more melancholic feel to the song, in its air and tone even as keys pulsate with melodic light around the mellower and more sombre heart of the song. The percussive coaxing of Garrett Moore adds to the warmer side of the track’s flowing landscape whilst between them Golightly and multi-instrumentalist Mason create a tapestry of melodic suggestion within an evolving sound which as good as besieges the imagination.

The irresistibility of that song is intensified in Empire Is No More, the pinnacle of the album. Around a chilled sonic lure, crystalline shards of keys transfix, enticing the listener into an emerging exotic and sultry stroll. Rhythms quickly have feet and bodies involved as Eastern mystique lines the melodies oozing from keys and voice. There is a flirtatious nagging to the encounter too which through Kochan’s bass, he switching his string prowess on different songs, and Moore’s beats never lessens in potency as the song slips through the sense of past empires, and with an increasingly volatile energy, subsequent turbulence and discord. The song is rousingly mesmeric, at times igniting ears like a mix of eighties band Monsoon and the colder infection of a New Order, whilst persistently inflaming the senses and imagination.

Assumed Stockhausen inspirations prowl the dark elegance of The Water which follows, its haunted atmosphere a cavernous but again intimate embrace of primal rhythms and percussion within slowly revolving, melodically bred aural luminance. Pothast’s voice is dreamy and slightly shamanic, an external lure to inner reflection and accompanying instincts in the sonic, almost erotic, pool of sound cast by band and song. It is pure bewitchment which again has thoughts working feverishly before Circle takes over with its bolder electronic pulses and temptations within a lofty flight of vocal caressing and provocative enterprise. Closing eyes adds to the sense of soaring inspired by the track; celestial warmth soaking the senses’ wings as vocals fly alongside and over darker rhythms amongst sizzling textures cast by keys and the inventive strains of guitar and additional strings.

I Am The War has the body swaying with more urgency next, it’s still restrained but more tenacious energy and melodic resourcefulness touching on essences of artists such as Cybotron, Ladytron, and Propaganda. Lighting ears and appetite with its more classically honed wash of strings, a swift immersion into evocative depths and poetic incitement is unavoidable; and it is the same with closing track Universes. Both songs are individually ethereal beauty; the final track a gorgeous gloom lit haunting wrapped in Siouxsie and the Banshees like, or maybe more so The Creatures, bleak but golden seduction. With ghostly harmonies and limbo-esque sounds, it is simply majestic and another massive peak in the stunning landscape of the album.

Also featuring guest appearances from musicians such as Bernie Worrell (Parliament, Funkadelic), Eyvind Kang, and Skerik amongst a few, This Wilderness is a major moment in 2015, in fact it is possibly the album of the year.

This Wilderness is available from September 11th via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond.

Pete RingMaster 11/09/2015

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Feral Kizzy – Slick Little Girl

Phote by Luke Fisher

Phote by Luke Fisher

The debut album from Californian dark poppers Feral Kizzy is simply an aural playground, a landscape of musical roundabouts spinning through modern tenacity and invention and creative swings whooshing across eighties new wave and jangle pop. Slick Little Girl is soaked in originality and nostalgia, a mix providing a riveting and thrilling treat ultimately cast as something unique to the Long Beach quintet; and something very easy to get addicted to.

Formed in 2010, Feral Kizzy consists of five musicians uniting a rich variety of inspirations in the band’s sound. References have been made to Patti Smith, Concrete Blonde, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Cure, though the one band which comes to the fore more than most, whether an influence or not, is eighties US band Pylon, especially their first album Gyrate. As suggested all spices and essences are evolved into something new but there is certainly a potent and enjoyable similarity in textures, sound, and unpredictable invention. With some guest contributions from bassist Hannah Smith Keller and Hannah Blumenfeld (Jail Weddings, White Murder) on violin and cello, the five piece of vocalist Kizzy Kirk, keyboardist/vocalist Brenda Carsey, guitarist Johnny Lim, drummer Mike Meza, and bassist Kevin Gonzalez perpetually explore their and the listener’s imaginations within Slick Little Girl, and fair to say they leave major pleasure in their wake.

Opener Lapdog Apparition needs little time to lure ears and appetite with its potent charms, a thumping initial beat casting the first hook swiftly assisted by a jangle of guitar and the saucy shimmer of keys. Quickly into a magnetic stride the song swings along with sharp twists, subsequently slipping into a more fluid and mellower enticement then just as easily coming out of it and starting the cycle again. A tinge of the Au Pairs flirts with thoughts as it continues to dangle bait and enterprise through ears, though it is the delicious B-52s like detour which seals a lustful deal with emotions through its Rock Lobster like tease.

Feral-Kizzy-Slick-Little-Girl-Cover__RingMasterReview   The track is creatively irresistible, a major flirtation matched by the band’s new video/single Community Service. A throbbing Cure like bassline sets things in motions, whispers of guitar lining the entrance of vocals with Kirk alone an enthralling invitation and in union with Carsey, inescapable tempting. The song proceeds to spin a web of tantalising vocals and hooks as its rhythms offer a shadowed prowl against the more celestial flight of the keys. It is captivating stuff, an inventive weave of textures and melodic infection, with the description of Xmal Deutschland meets Throwing Muses and indeed Pylon a canny hint.

The Way We Are has a fine line in guitar jangle and spicy melodic imagination backed by another addictive dark rhythmic baiting from Meza and Gonzalez, whilst vocally a Debbie Harry like whisper clings to the expressive roar of Kirk. Matching the invention and lures, Carsey breeds a pungent waltz of persuasion with fingers on keys too, it all colluding in a busy and thick dance of jangle pop before making way for the melodic caress of Sally and the Emcee. A gentle saunter equipped with rawer, incisive edges, the song is a provocative croon which thickens with every passing chord and beat until filling air and ear like dense melodic smoke. It persistently smothers the senses and seeps into the psyche, seducing with increasing effect over every play.

With a similarly sculpted canvas Lament comes next quickly breeding its own distinct character with a bluesy tang and citric adventure of spatial keys. The track is mesmeric but with a fire in its belly leading to a feisty rock tenacity driven by masterful riffs and hooks from Lim. Again sounds from earlier decades entwine with a modern invention and freshness, culturing something as much psyche pop as it is punk rock. From one album pinnacle to another with the scuzzier Life Associates which straight away is a more forceful and rugged proposition through the snarl of bass and guitar alone. Again there is a punkish element to the song’s roar and a sultry kiss to the melodic endeavour on offer, something like Siouxsie and the Banshees merged with Martha and The Muffins a strong reference, though as across the release, songs come with Feral Kizzy originality which argues against any comparisons as much as it sparks them.

More blues bred twangs grip the guitar enterprise in Not My Mind, the spicy coaxing quickly engulfed in the melodic poetry of keys and attention grabbing vocals. Though it does not quite light the same rich fire in ears and thoughts as its predecessors, the track reveals yet another side and depth to the songwriting and invention of the band, its body a volcanic fusion of sounds and textures which never erupts but is a constantly imposing and gripping incitement unafraid to unleash the heat of its heart.

The Dinosaur flirts and sways with sixties garage pop captivation and indie rock mischief next, flirting with body and thoughts from start to finish and never relinquishing its tight vivacious hold until passing the listener over to the just as ingeniously compelling tempting of The Skin Is Thick. A darker but no less boldly imaginative encounter, the song winds around ears like a lithe temptress, constantly stirring up shadows and deep rooted instincts through heavy seductive tones of bass and enchanted keys spilled drama. With vocals also on a resourceful intent to enthral and enslave, the song makes an impressive and exciting warm-up act for the closing show stopper What Are You Doing? All the lures and creative theatre of its predecessor is taken to a new level, every second of the song a controlled but rich blaze of skilled and impassioned endeavour. It is an epic bellow from the imagination and creative depths of the band only enhanced further by the sensational presence of Kirk and the intense incitement of the orchestral coloured strings, their spicy lure bringing echoes of Sex Gang Children back in the day.

Feral Kizzy is superb at uniting slim and often repetitive textures with thick tapestries of ingeniously woven enterprise, the last song epitomising that craft and success which flows across the whole of Slick Little Girl. The album is a thrilling adventure; one bred across the years in many ways but solely of the now, and Feral Kizzy a band surely looking at big things ahead.

Slick Little Girl is available from June 26th on LP/CD/Tape/Digital via eliterecords @!webshop/cst1

RingMaster 25/06/2015

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