Sugarmen – Plastic Ocean

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2015 will be marked by many things for different people in regard to music, and most likely amongst them will be not only the introduction to UK indie rockers Sugarmen through debut single Dirt in April but equally its successor, the rousing infection that is Plastic Ocean. The band’s new song is a tenacious dance of jangly guitars and eighties spiced melodies with captivating energy and joyful enterprise to match, it all making up confirmation of the promise and qualities shown in its predecessor.

The year has been a potent adventure for the Liverpool quartet. Between the singles, the foursome of songwriters/guitarists Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney, bassist Tom Sheilds, and drummer Sam McVann have played two Hyde Park shows with The Who and Blur, whilst amongst their own shows they have shared stages with the likes of Sleaford Mods, The Bohicas, Hooton Tennis Club, Deer Hunter, Metronomy, and British Sea Power. The release of the Mick Jones (The Clash) produced Dirt was a attention grabbing spark in the year too and now matched by the voracious adventure of Plastic Ocean.

The single instantly hugs ears with a spicy melody from within the jaws of a groaning bass and crisp rhythmic jabs. As quickly that eighties flavouring springs its welcoming lure, the song like a mix of King Trigger and through its spicy guitar flirtation, Haircut One Hundred. The voice of Fenlon is just as warmly inspiring as the sounds, feet and hips fully involved by rhythms and the catchy swing of the song as the listener’s vocal chords and a greedy appetite are recruited by the vocal and melodic prowess seducing ears.

Within it’s less than three minutes of length, further magnetic infusions of fresh flavouring emerge to line the excellent dips and leaps in energy, it all adding to the undiluted festivity of the song. Quite simply, the track is an adventurous pop rock party which has the listener in the palms of its boisterous hands.

If you missed Sugarmen the first time, be sure not to miss this second slice of their sound, indeed add it to your playlist for this festive period and spread the goodness.

Plastic Ocean is out now via Rooftop Records.

https://www.facebook.com/sugarmenuk    https://twitter.com/Sugarmenuk

RingMaster 08/12/2015

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Sugarmen – Dirt

sugarmen video still 2

With a sound which has a healthy eighties feel to it as well as a modern tenacity and enterprise, UK indie band Sugarmen unveil a rather enjoyable and infectious introduction to themselves via debut single Dirt. It is a rousing and feisty slice of pop rock but equally has a calming melodic tempting to create a nicely rounded and memorable first meeting between ears and the Liverpool quartet.

Sugarmen was formed by songwriters/guitarist Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney, soon concluding their openly creative line-up with bassist Tom Sheilds and drummer Sam McVann. Their inspirations are reflected in their record collections according to their bio and includes flavouring from the likes of Hooton Tennis Club to Peace, Parquet Courts to Alvvays, The Velvet Underground to Wild Beasts, and The Clash to Orange Juice, and it is this latter band which sprung to mind listening to Dirt, they and others like Josef K, The Farmers Boys, and The Bluebells. They were all bands capable of writing and creating the most contagious and blemish free pop songs and though it is only one song, Sugarmen suggest they have that quality too.

DIRT pink   Since forming, the band has played with the likes of Sleaford Mods and Paul Weller whilst this coming June will see them supporting both Blur and The Who in Hyde Park as well as playing the Dot To Dot Festival in May. The Sugarmen sound has also caught the ears and attention of Mick Jones (The Clash / BAD) who after hearing the band’s demo tracks, produced ten songs including the single with them; it all occurring in Paul Weller’s studio which he donated for the recordings. It is fair to say that the band is standing at the point of real attention and potent spotlights, a door Dirt makes the ideal key for.

The song opens on a strum and the vocal prowess of Fenlon, a gentle but potent coaxing which teases for a short while before a stab of sonic tenacity sparks the band into a lively and magnetic stroll. The bass of Sheilds is instant flavoursome bait with its throaty lure matching the striking appeal of the guitars in its own individual way. Hooks and chords, sonic colours and rhythmic jabs all converge on ears with captivating enterprise and contagious endeavour, ridden by the harmonic roar of Fenlon’s vocals and the backing of the band. A sniff of Arctic Monkeys makes a hint to join essences of those mentioned previously but the truth is that Dirt has a voice and character which is primarily Sugarmen and, as their live presence, increasingly persuasive.

Expect to hear more of and from the band ahead, and we suspect in increasingly potent doses.

Dirt is available now via Poor Old Soul Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-single/id978569563

https://www.facebook.com/sugarmenuk   https://twitter.com/Sugarmenuk

RingMaster 19/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up +

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

Photo by Sergio Albert Fish

If you have yet to make acquaintance with the acerbic and snarling charm of UK duo Sleaford Mods, then Chubbed Up + is a must. Released originally in February this year as a digital release, the album is now receiving its physical unleashing via Ipecac Recordings, and makes an inescapable and irresistible doorway into the antagonistic world of the band. As the earlier unveiling, the album is a collection of tracks making up the bands recent clutch of singles but this time with an additional trio of unreleased songs. Following the acclaimed seventh album Divide and Exit which hit the senses this past April, Chubbed Up + reminds that there has been a long-time impressive assault and presence to the Nottingham provocateurs which may have slipped many by until this year.

Sleaford Mods is unique, a proposition which can be best described as Swell Maps and The Fall meets Pop Will Eat Itself driven by the observation and caustic lyrical ire of Mark E Smith; yet it is different and individual again. This is probably a band which seduces or alienates, it’s strikingly individual and fury fuelled provocation manna or poison for ears and emotions, but it is a challenge which has to be met face on to know your fate. If they hit the spot it is a long term allegiance which as their albums keep showing, just gets more potent and tightly gripping.

The emergence of Sleaford Mods came in 2006 when Jason Williamson drew on his frustrations with life and society to breed a verbal and lyrical causticity which he honed over the next months. A couple of years in London saw him hit the live scene before in 2009 returning to his home of Nottingham and subsequently meeting and uniting with Andrew Fearn in the band. By this point Sleaford Mods already had four albums under its belt but the fifth, Wank, was the first drawing on the lyrical and vocal fire of Williamson aligned to the musical and sample imagination of Fearn. Its success only led to greater invention and acclaim as Austerity Dogs in 2013 and then Divide and Exit has shown. Now like a stock take and reminder of the bands smaller but no less incendiary minimalistic brawls, Chubbed Up + is a call to new and extra treat for existing fans.

Sleaford Mods’ sound is a two prong attack, the lyrical scathing and vocal belligerence of Williamson in league with the predatory rhythmic seduction of Fearn. There is more to the band’s proposals but that is the dual prime bait as shown by opening song The Committee. One of the brand new songs, it snares ears straight away with a gnarly bassline which alone steals the imagination. With vocal sways inviting equally intimidating beats, the song soon embraces the stirring and raw tones of Williamson. A mix of speaking and rapping, his delivery has a great John Cooper Clarke monotony which swiftly binds attention so that every syllable and word is tightly gripped, yet it does not defuse the equally pungent Sleaford Mods ipc-162lure of Fearn’s sounds.

Though each track has seeds in a similar template, minimal flirtations of hypnotic and repetitive rhythms stalking the corrosive wordage of Williamson, all grow individual characters such as the electro pumped Jobseeker with its post punk bass tempting, the funkily incessant 14 Day court, and the punk heroics of Black Monday. The third of the three strolls with a Caped Crusader enticing, bass and percussion a nagging persistence wrapped in just as small but flavoursome keys. Old school punk with a kiss of early Cure and Television Personalities to it, the song stomps with insatiable appetite and irresistible revelry.

If like us you are seduced by addictive and unremitting basslines than Sleaford Mods and tracks like Jolly Fucker in the bands arsenal trigger instinctive hunger. The song pounds and intimidates physically and mentally, challenging thoughts and passions with sublime ease whilst lighting up body and imagination with terrier like persistence and ferocity. Tweet Tweet Tweet is another ridiculously compelling example, though its tone comes with a more restrained but similarly contagious swagger, musically and vocally a feisty striding unafraid to drape slithers of melodies and harmonies over its robust flanks.

   Chubbed Up + is an unrelenting string of addictions, the unique throaty sonic colouring of Bambi sparking immediate lust with a bassline and scything guitar repetition which lies somewhere between Gang Of Four and Morkobot. Lorded by the riveting antagonism of Williamson, the song is one of the band’s loftiest pinnacles, though the majority of their tracks stalk the same plateau as proved by the earthy menace and anthemic prowl of Routine Dean and the sultry shuffle of Scenery, the latter holding a repetitious spine but a cloudy haze to its slim line landscape of sound around lyrical spikiness.

The bestial tone of the bass returns for the outstanding Pubic Hair Ltd; a rhythmically punchy and vocally anthemic scowl loaded with more contagion than found in the world of banker’s greed. Its enthralling and glorious baiting leads into the final two songs of the album, the other pair of brand new tracks. Bring Out the Canons explores a predatory intent and sound, bass and beats almost leering over ears as vocals and choice lyrics grip the imagination. It is an engrossing and intrusive pulsing of lyrical grudge, which along with the opener and last song Fear of Anarchy, hints that the band is worrying even greater invention ahead. The album’s last track seductively sways with bulky rhythmic hips and melodic intrigue, blasts of brass like teasing adding to the incendiary mix grasping the broody vocal incitement.

It is a scintillating finale to an outstanding release. To be fair any way into the creative anger of Sleaford Mods is a choice invitation but if they have yet to infest the psyche then Chubbed Up + is a must. Be warned though, once tainted it is impossible to give them up.

Chubbed Up + is available now, digitally @ http://sleafordmods.bandcamp.com/album/chubbed-up-the-singles-collection and physically with the extra songs through Ipecac Recordings @

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chubbed-Up-Sleaford-Mods/dp/B00NQZLIS4/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1414432923&sr=1-3

http://www.sleafordmods.com

RingMaster 27/10/2014

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