H. Grimace – I Am Material EP

H. Grimace Promo Photo 2.

Having a rather greedy appetite for discord in our musical preferences ensured that the I Am Material EP from UK band H. Grimace made an immediate good impression with its healthy dosage of that flavoursome ingredient. The added bonus of psyche bred melodies, vocals delivered with a low key energy, and a mosaic of sonic colour and spices only increased the impressive lure of the six-track thrill. It is not without lulls, rather than flaws, in its striking persuasion but ultimately the Londoners newest proposition is one seriously exciting and refreshing proposition.

A band strongly on the lips of the capital’s emergent punk/ DIY since forming in 2011, H. Grimace is the brainchild of Hannah Gledhill and Asher Preston who met whilst working at an East end bakery. Taking a mutual love for 70’s surf / post punk and 90’s dissonant guitar bands into their own ideas, the pair brought the band to life, subsequently increasing its line-up last year with the addition of Syed Shan Pasha and Marcus P. Browne. May 2014 saw the acclaimed release of the band’s self-titled vinyl EP which followed a split release with Joey Fourr the previous year on Bad Paintings. Now the band increase their presence and reputation with I Am Material, a release refusing to be pinned down with tags and revelling in offering something new.

Ears are pricked and lips licked as soon as the opening Caped Crusader like bassline in Imogen nestles provocatively in the imagination. The first track swiftly backs its initial tempting with a reserved jangle of guitar and similarly fuelled vocals. It is a vibrantly dour start which simply captivates body and emotions with sublime ease. Small crescendos of energy and passion erupt throughout the otherwise single minded gait of the song, raising the temperature and adventure of the mouth-watering encounter as potently as the flames of surf rock enterprise which spices up a3483519742_2the infectious incitement. As mentioned earlier, H. Grimace’s sound is hard to pin down but certainly a seventies/eighties post punk/ melodic punk feel is a loud whisper as the track reminds of The Passions and at times The Mo-Dettes.

The outstanding start is surpassed straight away by the following Royal Hush. As its predecessor, the riveting song puts down the groundwork to seducing the passions instantly, this time with rolling almost tribal rhythms courting a melodic coaxing of guitar. The laid back bass mumble adds to the drama whilst the bewitching vocals of Gledhill bring only greater bait for ears and appetite to devour greedily. The Au-Pairs is a comparison the song brings yet as the first, it is spinning a web of ingenious originality and sonic persuasion which flirts with various decades of indie/punk exploration. There is also a melancholic restraint to its energy and emotion but the outstanding song still revels in a tempest of expression and intensity, going through the gears as it brings its brooding rock ‘n’ roll to a fiery climax.

To The Shaggerston cannot quite match its predecessor but still sends a stomp of raw energy and punk seeded devilry through ears. That ever present scent of discord is brighter and louder in the third song, teasing and spicing up the sultry surf rock melodies which whisper and eventually croon evocatively over the senses. More a smoulder than a blaze in comparison to the first two tracks, it immerses the listener in an intoxicating climate of sound and enterprise which is emulated again by the more pop spawned shuffle of Immaterial Girl. A Gang of Four like bass coaxing and post punk guitar endeavour embrace the again gripping vocals, the song breezing along with an inescapable magnetism which simply lights up body and emotions.

I Am Material is brought to a close by firstly the sobering charm of Great Divide and lastly by the thick humidity of Wasted Sun. The first of the two, as the previous track, is a slower persuasion but with a volatile atmosphere and nature which perpetually intrigues and has the imagination bound from its first sonic flame. Like a desert sun, the song is slightly oppressive in its heady climate but simultaneously is a contagious seduction which like earlier tracks makes a lingering conquest. The closing encounter is a boldly simmering slice of discord sculpted balladry with great raw harmonies and melodic jangles. The least successful of the six but still a mesmeric persuasion it beings the EP to a potent conclusion.

There are not many bands emerging these days which truly have bred a new and unique proposal for ears and thoughts to contemplate let alone bask in, but H. Grimace is to the fore of those successful applicants. I Am Material EP is a must for discord embraced sounds and something really rather fresh.

The I Am Material EP is available now via Soft Power Records as a Ltd Ed Cassette (100 Standard Pale Grey / 50 Yellow—tour exclusive) @ http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-material and digitally on iTunes etc.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/HGrimace/247309995353932

RingMaster 27/01/2015

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Witching Waves – Fear Of Falling Down

Witching Waves press small

Having been hooked by the band with their limited edition cassette single Concrete/Chain Of Command earlier this year, there was a fair few tingles running through anticipation with the announcement of the debut album from Witching Waves. Those urges have grown to lustful proportions now that Fear Of Falling Down has infested ears and psyche, the release confirming all the promise and thrills experienced before whilst showing a broader adventure and creative resourcefulness in songwriting and sound.

Hailing from London and formed in 2013 as the brainchild of duo Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), Witching Waves through their unrelenting appetite for performing live and songs swiftly drew keen attention their way. Fusing as many essences of punk as you can imagine in a noise and discord sculpted garage pop incitement, the band bridges the DIY essence of the late seventies and the voracious causticity of modern invention; kind of like Swell Maps meets The White Stripes but for a truly unique and tenaciously addictive proposition.

Released via Soft Power Records, Fear Of Falling Down sees the duo now a threesome with the addition of a bassist, though we cannot tell you the name. The band’s fourth release, after Witching Waves LP Cover Artthree cassette singles, is a master class in raw sonic temptation and primal rhythmic slavery; each song united by a certain anthemic swing and creative tenacity yet alone in warped character and discordant agitation. Recorded on to 8 track tape, the album is a minimalistic yet inventively involved incitement, a cavernously toned but intimately delivered protagonist to excite ears and imagination with ease.

The album’s title track is the first to get the juices flowing, the opening jangle of guitar just the prelude to a rhythmically driven slice of agitated pop. The excellent vocals of Wigham soon join the rampancy of drums and the scrub of guitar before Jasper takes over with his equally captivating tones. Virulently catchy with a bounce to match, the track dances with ears and emotions from start to finish; every note, beat, and vocal enterprise simple but expertly creative seduction.

The post punk kissed Cold Out comes next, the contrast of the harmonic elegance and rawer expression of Wigham and Jasper respectively, alone a gripping enticement. In some ways there is an early Siouxsie and the Banshees feel to the song but also the flowing melodic quaintness of a Morningwood, the combination an addictive proposition, though soon surpassed by the poppy endeavour of Better Run. A slight spring of surf rock runs through the garage rock bred song whilst again vocals are as broadly bewitching as the slim but pungent sounds around them. As most tracks on the album, it is hard for feet taps and vocal participation to restrain from joining the band during the progress of its gently cacophonous croon before it makes way for the post punk infused stroll of Counterpoint. With repetitious riffs and infectious rhythmic bait, the song is a more challenging persuasion with its soaking of acidic discord and off key dynamics, but another to leave ears and passions basking.

The raw charm of Concrete comes next, its opening Buzzcocks spiced hook an instant attention grabber whilst a courting stride of rhythms draw their own submissive response. The plain almost disillusioned monotone vocals of Jasper contrast perfectly with the fluid melodies of Wigham, whilst the throaty melancholic bass prowl simply adds an addictive icing to the enthralling coaxing of body and mind. Like an unhinged blend of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Cramps, the song is an aurally dishevelled but controlled temptress, and the perfect appetiser for the brilliance of the following Creeping. Stalking ears with rhythmic eagerness, the song stomps with muscular and concussive beats as riffs and basslines flirt with their own rowdy enterprise. There is for not the first or last time, a similarity to Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies about the band’s sound across the album, here being a potent comparison though again Witching Waves emerge as individual and original in every sonic aspect.

Both the outstanding News, with its hypnotic rhythmic baiting and spicy garage rock keys around a creative drama, and the intrigue drenched Wait Around keeps the adventure of Fear Of Falling Down on its highest plateau. The first of the two is a web of colour rich discordance and imaginative confrontation honed into a ridiculously infectious trap which simply leaves ears, thoughts, and emotions grinning whilst its successor juggles sonic abrasion with warm pop harmonies for another song which takes longer to reach the peaks of others, but only adds to the unpredictable and captivating climate of the release.

Fear Of Falling Down closes with the excellent Barber where garage punk and eighties post punk meet for a contagion filled stamp of punchy beats and wiry hooks aligned to velvety heavy bass lures. It all of course infused with the wonderfully clashing and superbly united vocal attack of Wigham and Jasper.

If Witching Waves have impressed before with their early appetisers then the album offers a fuller and more flavoursome meal of dissonant and melody bred noise. For those new to one of the UK’s most thrilling propositions, Fear Of Falling Down is a sonic lust in the making.

Fear Of Falling Down is available via Soft Power Records as a Limited Edition Vinyl LP (250 Copies) and digital download @ http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-falling-down

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RingMaster 08/12/2014

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Witching Waves – Concrete/Chain Of Command

WW Concrete Cover Art

Duos especially within the ranks of garage rock and punk are becoming a real source of imaginatively flavoured treats this year, the likes of the garage punk blessed album Ghost World from The Creeping Ivies and the sixties garage pop punk glory of the self-titled Kristy And The Kraks EP just two examples currently igniting the passions. Now we have a further mesmeric abrasing triumph from UK band Witching Waves to enthusiastically drool over.

Hailing from London, the band is the creation of Emma Wigham (Weird Menace) and Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), two musicians bringing the maybe now expected union of guitar and drums for a fevered grip of noise. What does not feed expectations is the imaginative caustic beauty of the two songs making up the limited cassette single, Concrete and Chain Of Command simultaneously seductive and rapacious as well as strikingly dramatic. Sound wise the band brew up a raucous and evocative mix of garage punk and post punk, but also a healthy melodic acidity which teases and captures the imagination even further. It is an abrasive encounter but one with incendiary tempting to fire up ears, thoughts, and passions.

Witching Waves began in the April of 2013 and since forming has bred a strong reputation for themselves through their stripped down attention grabbing sound and their appetite to share it across as many shows as they are able. There is a definite ’77 independent feel to the sound and presence of the band, in their approach to music and a DIY attitude. The new Soft Power Records release follows the band’s self-titled release on Suplex Cassettes last year and threatens to cast Witching Waves into a whole new intensive spotlight.

First track Concrete wraps itself around the ears with a scuzz kissed lure of guitars and belting rhythmic incitement, the track teasing whilst demanding attention. The opening hook has a definite Buzzcocks lilt to its grazing potency, an enticing call coaxing in the similarly pleasingly honest vocals of Jasper. The song manages to be melancholic and vibrant at the same time, never favouring either trait but giving both a healthy voice to intrigue and involve thoughts. The entrance of Wigham’s equally unfussy voice sparks a small urgency in the beats though the song never breaks a sweat across its enthralling body. For just a two piece there is plenty of variation and adventure within the encounter, the outcome bringing the idea that if the Yeah Yeah Yeahs became The Cramps it would sound like this.

The song is a masterful persuasion and skilled provocation of emotions but only an appetiser for the outstanding Chain Of Command. The song is glorious and outshines its companion with ease. An opening croon of guitar with its slight surf rock twang steals full attention first before an additional citric groove weaves its way around the senses. Both provide a sultry suggestiveness to cling tightly too, rhythms only caging their potency until the song erupts into a thumping stomp of flaming dishevelled sonics, coarse melodic toxicity, and anthemic rhythmic and vocal seducing. The track scorches the senses with its sonic fire, at times meandering and exploring barely connected pastures before reeling it all in for ridiculously infectious and insatiably addictive choruses, maybe better described as orgies of seductive brawls. The song alone will make you develop a stalker like appetite for Witching Waves and in companionship with Concrete provides evidence that this is potentially a boundary pushing band of the future.

The single is a very limited proposition so it is suggested to act fast, its 25 blue cassette option already sold out leaving 75 baby pink versions to be snapped up, though there is a 12” vinyl EP planned for the summer also on Soft Power.

Concrete/ Chain of Command is out on April 21 via Soft Power Records.

http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/concrete-cassette-single

http://witchingwaves.tumblr.com/

9/10

RingMaster 20/04/2014

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