Exoskeletons – We Are Here To Make Things Better

Two years ago, British outfit Exoskeletons caught the imagination with their first release, the Get Lost EP. It was a striking almost rabid slice of punk infused noise rock which excited as it whetted the appetite for the band’s emerging sound. Since then the band has been in a process of “writing, gigging, destroying and rewriting material in an effort to find something new and more challenging.” The upcoming release of debut album We Are Here To Make Things Better is undeniable evidence in their discovering and exploring that new and individual incitement which most importantly is rather irresistible.

From Kent, Exoskeletons consists of members of Punching Swans, Bear vs Manero, and Houdini; all three bands which has certainly lit our fires in their own rights. Embracing inspirations from the writings of Greg Egan and Philip K Dick, especially on themes of Artificial intelligence, We Are Here To Make Things Better was recorded over 9 months between the September of last year and this past June. Released through Skingasm Records, the album is an adventurous mix of alternative rock with the band’s punk/noise origins which develops a distinct but connecting character over its ten tracks but brings an unpredictable quality and imagination to each.

Face In The Rock starts things off, the track merging from subdued sonic disturbance with beckoning beats and soon after the throbbing lure of bass. As the guitar entangles both with its acidic melodic vines, Greg Webster’s vocals step in, his distinctive tones inevitably bringing a Houdini feel though his guitar and the rhythmic imagination of bassist Peter Bevan and drummer Tom Bonner swiftly sculpt Exoskeletons unique textures and invention. The song continues to pounce and romp on the listener’s imagination, its kinetic gait and lively energy firmly gripping attention.

Even so, it is soon outshone by the following track and new single House Of Disappearing Bricks. It is pure virulent infectiousness, its firmly rapping beats and gnarly bassline instinctive manna to these ears even before the punk soaked attack of chords and vocals add to the trespass. The track’s post punk antics swiftly hit the spot, its noise punk devilry inflaming the passions as swinging rhythms and spiky hooks wake up a lustful submission to their angular bait. It is sublime stuff, pop discordance at its best and surely alone an unstoppable lure into the world of Exoskeletons for a new flood of fans.

Kuiper swaggers in next, again beats and bass casting an enslaving web as vocals across the band infest the psyche within another guitar woven tapestry of enterprise as belligerent as it is psychotic. Kind of like a mix of Shellac and The Mai Shi, the song traps ears in a compelling maze of sound before the more even keeled stroll of In Real Life takes over. In saying that, it pleasingly too has a rhythmic skeleton which jerks around with dervish like agility around which melodies with a caustic hue blossom. Passages of even calmer energy has a great feel of UK band An Entire Legion to them but again what emerges is a track distinct to its creators.

Through the catchy clamour of Crash Symbols and the crunchy prowess of Holes pleasure only escalates; the first, maybe without the striking quirkiness of those before, a magnetic cauldron of sonic imagination and rhythmic dexterity which seals the deal even before the brilliance of the irritable bass and great dissension of the vocals enslave. Its successor is a wonderfully dirty and cantankerous proposal with an addictively contagious swing which continues to infest an evolving landscape of adventure. There is a definite Melvins like ingenuity to the track but similarly echoes of the great music scene in the Medway area of Britain which the band’s line-up has been a major part of in recent times.

Again ultimately, the track is individual to Exoskeletons, a trait all songs process as shown yet unsurprisingly by next up Cicadas which is a more subdued proposition in nature to its companions but one rich in enticing hooks and dramatic ideation. Attention is putty in its hands and a greed for more overwhelming and fully fed by successor Show. It’s almost tempestuous start quickly turns to a bold saunter with another highly flirtatious bassline and spirited beats aligned to Webster’s suggestive guitar weaving and vocal dynamics. It too is low on the aggression of previous tracks but high on imposing enterprise and a flavoursome mix of imaginative post and noise punk tenacity.

The penultimate track is Dust; an expected atmospheric indeed haunting piece of sci-fi bred AI suggestiveness. Minimalistic but very potent, it has the imagination at play before the album reveals its best track to bring things to an enthralling close. Wild Swimmers is simply immense and for personal tastes leaves everything before it, and a heady collection of songs they are too, in its wake. From a distance it flows in with bass and sonic intrigue to the fore; both essences soon uniting with the most delicious hook nurtured melody. Alongside, a nagging tide of riffs work away, always there enticing even as the track twists through its unpredictable landscape. Bevan’s bass is once more manna to ears, its grumbling exploits as eventful and persuasive as the lithe rhythmic craft of Bonner and Webster’s resourceful sonic painting. Add the ever captivating vocal strengths of the band and you have a feast for the ear and a song which suggests we, as the band, have so much more to discover ahead with the Exoskeletons imagination.

Because of the Get Lost EP and the previous exploits of its band members which we previously got hooked on, we expected to find plenty to enjoy within We Are Here To Make Things Better but not to the lustful extent we did. Quite simply the album and band back up the declaration of its title in one of the year’s major highlights.

We Are Here To Make Things Better is released November 10th on Skingasm Records.

UpcomingTour Dates

19/10 – Maidstone – Drakes

03/11 – Ramsgate Music Hall

17/11 – Manchester – Fallows Cafe

18/11 – Leeds – Tbc

23/11 – Camden, London – Our Black Heart (album launch show)

22/12 – Chatham – Poco Loco

http://weareexoskeletons.com/    https://www.facebook.com/weareexoskeletons/    https://twitter.com/weexoskeletons    https://weareexoskeletons.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frau Pouch – Fairymares

cover-image-social_RingMasterReview

I am sure we were not alone in eagerly anticipating a first album from British no wave post-punks  Frau Pouch. They are a band which captured and ignited our imagination on our introduction to them in a split release with fellow Kent outfit Houdini back in 2012. Their sound is a sonically and creatively gurning fusion of post and garage punk with other feverish forms of wonderfully irritable and imaginatively twisted rock ‘n’ roll. Each release, since that first meeting, has seen the Medway trio stretch, twist, and inject their imagination with new creative psychoses, nurturing their most irresistible outcome yet in debut album Fairymares.

Released via Skingasm Records and recorded with Greg Webster of Houdini/ Punching Swans, Fairymares is warped manna for the ears especially if they have been nurtured on a diet of post punk seeded bands such as The Fall, Pere Ubu, and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club. The album swiftly enforces the fact that Frau Pouch has its own sound though, even with essences reminding of others, it stands boldly unique and creatively salacious to the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Joe Wise(also of Punching Swans), bassist Ollie Crook, and drummer Suzanne Freeman.

As previous tracks and the All Hail Space Chicken EP before it, Fairymares swiftly entangles ears in a web of sound and invention, opening up with the band’s lust breeding single of last year Biscuit Beard. From the glorious carnivorously natured, bestial toned growl of Crook’s bassline setting things off, the track infests body and soul. Wise’s riffs are just as carnal in touch and sound, his flowing grooves equally rapacious as Freeman’s controlled swings punch further subservience to the song’s call on an instantly lustful appetite. The track is pure addiction, its Gang Of Four soiled rhythmic tempting alone irresistible and the wiry web of sonic endeavour and vocal nagging Mekons like.

It is just the start of the album’s insane grooving and rhythmic baiting with the following Dracula Pukes revealing its own nest of creative vipers as cutting scythes of guitar and punch happy rhythms challenge and enthral for a mere fifty seven seconds; a gripping minute of cantankerous confrontation leading to the virulently infectious stroll of Ham Planet. Like Pere Ubu on steroids as Turbogeist writhes under the punk influence of The Fall, the track dances with pop infused boisterousness though every swinging movement of its creative hips comes with seductive venomous intent as Wise declares his vocal desires.

The exceptional Burn Baby keeps the lust hungrily burning next, its lo-fi canvas a tangle of steely petulant grooves, intimately flirtatious beats, and crabby bass groans as vocals install their own brand of psyche trespassing persuasion. It is aural corruption leaving a lingering touch though Witch Fingers straight after soon steals all attention. With we assume Freeman taking vocal lead, the track is like a demented fusion of Daisy Chainsaw and The Fire Engines, off kilter toxic melody and dancing vocals uniting in an adult nursery rhyme like trespass of sanity.

Ghost Fire offers its own cranky invention, stabbing riffs and sonic vining shadowing Wise’s compelling stabbing vocals as another gloriously testy and intrusive bassline sparks feverish submission across its single minute before the repetitive prowess of Erotic Clocks has ears tempted hook, line, and sinker. With a slight whiff of Spizzenergi to it, the track is another sure fire infestation of body and psyche with its rhythmic nag and caustic expulsions.

With seductive danger to its cartoonish and creative loco, Gotham Piper lures the listener in next, continuing to lay a certifiable creative hand on the senses before intermittently uncaging its inner meshuga in ferocious style. The Cardiacs comes to mind within the thrilling encounter, Mark E. Smith and co even more so in successor Cat Curfew though once more as Wise lords over his own weave of sonic wiring and the rhythmic union of Crook and Freeman, Frau Pouch imprint only their own uniqueness.

Sleepstalker completes the line-up of treats, its sombre yet vibrantly magnetic fingering of the senses the stuff of nightmares; Crooks’ grievous bassline the stalker, Freeman’s beats the trap, and Wise in voice and sonic intrusion the swamp impossible to escape from. They are all delicious ingredients in a thrilling end to not only the best thing to come from Frau Pouch but potentially 2017 as a whole.

Fairymares is released 27th January via Skingasm Records.

https://www.facebook.com/FrauPouch/    https://fraupouch.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frau Pouch – Biscuit Beard

fp_RingMasterReview

Having meant to do this a couple of weeks ago, we apologise to the band and to you all for the late lusty shouting out of one of the year’s most irresistible singles. The track is Biscuit Beard and comes from irrepressible noise post punks Frau Pouch. Since their outing with another of Medway’s essential bands Houdini in a split release, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Joe Wise, bassist Ollie Crook, and drummer Suzanne Freeman has invaded the psyche with the All Hail Space Chicken EP and invaded the senses with their lo-fi punk sound live. Their finest moment though comes now with Biscuit Beard, the kind of song and addiction we for one were born for.

From the first second of its insane grooving and rhythmic baiting, the track is in command of ears and imagination. It is a throwback to the late seventies/early eighties in some ways and a new unique beast of invention in others. Rhythmically the track is a cross between Gang of Four and The Mekons, Crook’s bass a deliciously grouchy growl infesting the psyche with its grooves whilst Freeman’s beats are a hypnotic tapping of the senses far too easy to succumb to. Alongside them the guitar of Wise teases and taunts with almost cancerous grooves and spiky cuts before spreading melodic discord over it all from time to time. With his vocals as distinct and wonderfully slim as the textures uniting for one rich incitement, Biscuit Beard is pure manna for ears and any punk heart.

To it all there are moments when eighties band The Dancing Did is parked in thoughts too, just one more rather enjoyable essence in easily a single of the year contender.

Biscuit Beard is out now via Skingasm Records on iTunes etc.

https://www.facebook.com/FrauPouch/   https://fraupouch.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 14/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Punching Swans – Nesting

artwork_RingMaster Review

How to describe UK trio Punching Swans?

You could say they are a carnivorous groove machine, a sonically schizophrenic rumble, or a rabidly twisted siren; all applying to the creative psyche and adventure that breeds the band’s irresistible sound and now their new fiercely virulent album Nesting. Maybe the best way to describe Punching Swans is a twisted union between The Fall, McLusky, The Fire Engines, and Maths and the Moon. It is a band which despite a clutch of similarly distinct releases has remained in the shadows of the UK music scene like the black sheep of a family which gets locked away in the attic away from prying ears. Now though, the door is unlocked and the band is about to infest British rock ‘n’ roll with their tempestuously deranged math punk, courtesy of the inimitably thrilling Nesting.

Punching Swans is the ravenous creation of producer (Sunlight Studios) Greg Webster, formerly of Medway greats Houdini, the equally impressive Frau Pouch’s Joe Wise, and Pablo Paganotto from The Explorers Collective. Formed in 2011 or 2012, depending where you read, by Greg and Joe from a one-off band called Laura Palmer and the One-Eyed Jacks they got together for a Twin Peaks night, Punching Swans quickly sparked ears with a self-titled debut album in 2012, and even more so with its successor Mollusc two years later via Skingasm Records. Each has inspired potent attention and praise across fans, media, and radio shows but it is easy to feel it has all only been the taster to reactions about to be triggered by Nesting.

Telling the “story of one man’s journey from self-imposed isolation to the skies”, Nesting takes little time in gripping attention and appetite as its opener, Cuckoo Cuckold K-killed, dangles sonic bait in front of ears before the robustly contagious beats of Paganotto get to rebellious work. His swings tempt and seduce with a tenacious grin, coaxing bodily involvement as vocals walk the rhythmic web into the imagination as tangy guitar and devilish bass lures begin to stir and add to the increasingly enthralling and incendiary stroll. Unsurprisingly there is a touch of Houdini and Frau Pouch to the delicious incitement but equally thoughts of Swell Maps and inescapably The Fall also flavour the first treat.

Seriously dynamic and gripping, the album’s superb start continues with Man Nest, an even more psychotic and caustically enterprising proposition that needs mere seconds to seduce and inflame the senses too. Wise’s bass shows it has probably the grouchiest textures in British rock ‘n’ roll at its disposal whilst Webster’s guitar trespasses show no qualms about infesting the senses and psyche, acidic grooves and fiery tempting a perpetual forte.

Pigeon Street toys with more restrained energies and urgencies for its enthralling exploits next, though it is all relative to what came before as the song, with the scything beats of Paganotto an inescapable trigger to get physically involved, blossoming into an insatiable almost predatory shuffle of searing grooves, thumping rhythms, and zealous revelry. Even its calm climax has an element of off-kilter ingenuity before the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of Ovulations rumbles along with the fervent vocals of Wise and Webster holding the reins. Again hooks and grooves steal the passions as rhythms jab deeply, the song entwining post and garage punk texturing into its fearsomely alluring landscape.

That great bass tone is at its crabbiest again in the following Beak Throat and its peevish stalking of the senses within a net of guitar spun wiry hooks and sonic delights around vocal dexterity. It is hard to imagine anybody able to resist the choleric grooves of the song or possible to see the track alone avoid sending rapturous waves across post punk/noise rock pastures with its gloriously savaging and exhilarating tempest.

The brief but again irresistible invasive seduction of Ostrituals comes next to forcibly arouse the passions. If Public Image Ltd had been The Wonderstuff or Wire been McLusky, you wonder if they would have sounded like this mouth-watering predacious stomp whilst its clamorous successor Headless Chickens suggests The Dancing Did or Stomp doing salacious things with Pere Ubu or Marc Riley & The Creepers. The outcome of both and all songs though, despite suggested spices, is always something unique to Punching Swans as proven by Pecked to Death which cantankerously sits between them. Snarky in tone and unhinged in character, the track meanders and twists into unpredictable and manic detours but returning all the time to its rapacious and concussively catchy directness.

The bulging rhythms of Egg Rock is an immediate and successful infestation of the passions, its sonic tendrils and testy Mark E. Smith laced vocal strains only adding to another senses searing, lust inducing incitement before Flight brings the invasive alchemy of the album to an end. The clamant finale to Nesting is a raw soar into noise pop infectiousness and magnetic sonic caterwauling which just lights the touch paper to rapture before retiring to leave ringing in the ears and euphoria in the heart.

Nesting is the first essential album of the year and Punching Swans one of the bands set to step out of the shadows in 2016 and become seriously shouted about.

Nesting is released via Skingasm Records on 22nd January digitally and on CD with a hand numbered limited edition of 30 with a 16-page book featuring drawings and notes from the story behind the album @ http://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/

 

— Punching Swans Tour 2016 —

JAN 28 CANTERBURY w/Mass lines, Death Pedals, Negative Space

JAN 29 CHATHAM Poco Loco – MEDWAY ALBUM LAUNCH w/Girlpower & Bear vs Manero

FEB 11 CAMDEN Unicorn w/Mayors of Miyazaki + Screen wives

FEB 16 BRIGHTON TBC

FEB 21 OXFORD The Library Pub

FEB 24 BRISTOL Stag & Hounds

FEB 27 LIVERPOOL Maguire’s w/ Robocobra Quartet, Jazzhands and Cal Banda

 

http://punchingswans.tumblr.com   https://www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans   https://twitter.com/punchingswans

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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