Miss June – Bad Luck Party

Miss June demand attention”

These words leap out at the end of the band’s biography and the fact that the likes of The Foo Fighters, Shellac, Wolf Alice, Idles and Die! Die! Die! have all grabbed New Zealand hailing Miss June as support on stage is strong evidence. Even stronger confirmation of their declaration comes with debut album, Bad Luck Party, a collection of songs impossible to ignore which make no apology in their virulent contagion and rousing insistence.

Released on the eve of their world-wide Bad Luck Party Tour, the album is a persistently boisterous and often belligerent stomp of punk rock bred, pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll honed into eleven tracks which effortlessly captivated. To be honest the band’s sound is far richer and animated than that description suggests, each song additionally holding mischief, defiance, and energy in their hearts.

Twitch kicks the album off, a controlled squall of guitar its introduction before a swift addition of swinging beats adds to the immediate fuzz soaked temptation, the song quickly hitting its infectious stride. As the guitars of Annabel Liddell and Jun Cheul Park unite in their scuzz coated virulence, the former’s magnetic tones dance in ears, a smile accompanying every syllable shared. There is something akin to Blood Red Shoes meets Sonic Youth to the temptation exuding from the speakers though already there is no mistaking it is a proposition individual to its creators.

An attention grabbing start it is only eclipsed by the following Best Girl. From its first breath the song nags ears, its stroll more of a march on the imagination as hooks and rhythms toy with the listener. A great confrontational edge lines Liddell’s delivery, the same tone infesting the devilry of guitars and the irresistible persistent nagging of Tom Leggett’s beats courted by the similarly compelling and brooding bassline cast by Chris Marshall.

Then from one major highlight of the album to another with Two Hits which instantly dived under the skin as the rapid fire vocal exuberance of Liddell rides the boisterous roll of Leggett’s rhythms. It is the trigger to an irresistible surge of garage infested pop punk, every element an insatiable incitement finding no defence to its irreverent virulence before Anomaly calms things down with its melodic swing and seductive charm. It is a mellow breeze of sound yet carrying volatility in its breath which erupts in squalls of sonic flame and rhythmic rapacity.

Similarly Orchid shares tranquillity prone to incendiary eruptions, vocals and melodies respectful caresses on senses subsequently scorched by the track while Double Negative from its Young Marble Giants-esque post punk elegance erupts in a fire of rapacious shadows and dark moods. Though unique in their character and bodies, there is a matching beauty to both which beguiles and in the second haunts for a fascinating crepuscular seduction.

Each track within Bad Luck Party brings an individual experience amidst a web of intrigue, the predacious Enemies with its compulsive noise punk voracity and the sonically discord soaked Aquarium further rousing evidence. The latter is as psychotic as it is hungrily catchy, the guitars and vocals alone gluttonous temptation while its successor, Scorpio, with its pop loaded canter and hook ridden antics had swift subservience in its hands like a devious temptress.

The final pair of the punk rock spawned, truculence fuelled Please Waste My Time and Polio with its initial leaden crawl leading to an irritable post punk tempest simply brought further magnetic faces to the kaleidoscopic personality of Bad Luck Party. The first was an immediate infestation of ears and appetite the second a longer persuasion but both wholly compelling and thrilling proposals just as the album itself; another of the year’s true highlights.

Bad Luck Party is out now via Frenchkiss Records.

Bad Luck Party Tour Dates:

September 18th – Maze – Berlin

September 19th – Blue Shel – Cologne

September 20th – Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg

September 23rd – Cinetol – Amsterdam

September 24th – Trix – Antwerp

September 28th – The Flapper – Birmingham

September 29th – Yes – Manchester

September 30th – Headrow House – Leeds

October 1st – Poetry Club – Glasgow

October 2nd – Sneaky Pete’s – Edinburgh

October 5th – Tiny Rebel – Cardiff

October 6th – Port Mahon – Oxford

October 7th – Rough Trade – Bristol

October 9th – Latest Music – Brighton

October 10th – The Lexington – London

October 14th – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY

October 15th – Once – Boston, MA

October 16th – DC9 – Washington, DC

October 17th – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA

October 19th – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON

October 21st – Subterranean – Chicago, IL

October 23rd – The Basement – Nashville, TN

October 24th – The Earl – Atlanta, GA

October 27th – Bronze Peacock – Houston, TX

October 28th – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX

November 1st – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ

November 2nd – Morrocan – Los Angeles, CA

November 4th – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA

http://ihatemissjune.com/   https://www.facebook.com/missjunenz/

Pete RingMaster 07/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bastard Disco – China Shipping

Maybe more recognised for its metal diversity and prowess, over the years we have found that the Polish independent music scene breeds some rather fine propositions within other musical flavours. The latest to come to our attention is the noise rock fuelled alternative rock of Bastard Disco and particularly their new album, China Shipping. Across nine ear grabbing tracks, the Warsaw quartet’s sophomore full-length is a magnetic affair as raw and hungry as it is melodically seductive; one of those encounters you cannot help taking real notice of.

Formed in 2015, Bastard Disco finds inspiration in the likes of Fugazi, Quicksand, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and The Pixies for their own individual sound. 2017 saw the well-received release of debut album Warsaw Wasted Youth via Poland’s oldest independent label, Antena Krzyku. The band has united with the label once again for China Shipping, a release swiftly engaging ears with opener Sophia. The coaxing grooves of guitarist Kamil Fejfer lay down a potent lure, the accompanying grumble of Paweł Cholewa’s bass and the swinging beats of Marek Kamiński soon eagerly accentuating the early temptation. As vocalist Yuri Kasianenko’s melodic tones join the captivation, the track almost haunts the imagination, its hooks and quickly established enterprise proving very easy to devour.

Future Crimes follows, opening with the great dirty growl of Cholewa’s bass before contrasting its grumble with the melodic jangle of guitar. As with its predecessor, familiar essences collude with bold fresh endeavour to create an individual character and presence; its melodic and harmonic boisterousness adding to that distinctiveness. There is a sonic mugginess to song and sound too which similarly just lured ears in and though maybe missing the striking hooks of the opener, the track effortlessly held court before Time Traveller offered up its own humid noise cultured breath. Something akin to Dinosaur Jr meets Big Black the song proved increasingly compelling and contagious as it nagged an already eagerly involved appetite.

Next up is Clear!, a slice of scuzzy indie rock with punk voracity to its infectious holler. Its highly potent persuasion soon matched by that crafted by the outstanding Shining Confidence. The track was pure fascination, its melodic seduction and sultry climate a mesmeric setting for the track’s devilish groove spun chorus. It is another with familiar elements but never proved anything but unique to Bastard Disco while Ministry of Self-Defence emulated that originality straight after with its own sonically dissonant bounce and confrontation. Ferocious yet melodically seductive, feral but craftily conjured, the track provides another particularly compelling highlight before Game of Patriots stole the show. Its first breaths bring the hypnotic coaxing of Kamiński’s beats, every subsequent one exposing his manipulative dexterity as the equally nefariously antics of bass and guitar just enforce the track’s virulence. Kasianenko is just as magnetic alongside their tenacious enterprise, providing further impassioned flaming to the song’s fiery eruptions.

The closing pair of Sink or Swim and B-side Son ensure China Shipping leaves as potently as it arrives, the first enjoying the union of a grumble dark rhythmic incitement and scuzz lined melodic intimation around the perpetually tempting vocals of Kasianenko. The final track is all spirited bounce and creative contagion beneath vocal and emotive energy; a rousing memorable finale to an equally stirring release rather easy to highly recommend.

China Shipping is out now via Antena Krzyku; available digitally @ https://bastarddisco.bandcamp.com/album/china-shipping and on CD/LP through http://www.antenakrzyku.pl/en/shop/bastard-disco-china-shipping-lpdownload-preorder-release-date-030519-kopia/

https://www.facebook.com/bastarddisco/

 Pete RingMaster 21/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Punching Swans – Faces

If you have allowed the boisterous noise and feral enterprise of Punching Swans to trespass ears before you will not be surprised to read that as maturity and a new bold touch embraces their latest release, their cacophony of sonic devilment is just as insatiable. Faces is a collection of tracks which stalk the imagination, manipulate the senses, and send the body into blissful spasms whilst courting a whole new level of adventure with the British trio.

Bred in the ever fertile round of the Medway region of Kent, Punching Swans is the creative union of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster (Houdini), bassist/vocalist Joseph Wise(Frau Pouch), and drummer/vocalist Pablo Paganotto (The Explorer’s Collective). Formed in 2012, apparently “as a dare”, alongside their other projects, the band has simply grown in a sound, taking on inspirations from the likes of from The Fall, Sonic Youth, Bogshed and Mclusky as well as the dark realms of John Carpenter, The League of Gentlemen and The Evil Dead films, their imagination ensnaring releases perpetually earning bigger and keener acclaim. A self-titled debut that first year was a kind of warm up for the greater exploits inside Mollusc two years later. The album reinforced the band’s inimitable sound and creative mischief but flourished as the threesome in many ways ’took things more seriously’ with the project. Its qualities and success was only eclipsed by its successor Nesting in 2016 just as its seriously impressive character and adventure has been put in the shade by Faces.

The new album’s theme is a dark and compelling proposition; the release made up of eleven faces (tracks), each referring to the faces of serial killers. As Webster explains, “They each have a stupid feature for a face which is related to their story… so people who look kinda stupid and are unlikely killers. But then again, who is a likely killer? Can you really tell by appearance? As we wrote each new song they seemed to fit into a particular image of a face and from there we wrote what their particular background story was. We were picturing a kind of Dick Tracy rogues gallery of villains. “

The album opens up with Blood Face, gradually looming up on the senses in a sonic shimmer before a raw wash of voice and sound explodes on ears. The scything beats of Paganotto pounce and swing as a sonic swash of guitar colludes with the rapaciously dark mumblings of bass, a fiercely magnetic union completed by eager vocals. Slipping melodic teasing amongst its ravenous discord, the track is a magnificent and quickly addictive start to an album which only escalated every lure heard with imagination thereon in.

The following Areola Face instantly had hips swaying and appetite’s tongue licking lustful lips as Wise’s throaty bass strolls with dark but infectious intent, a catchiness only accentuated by the more ‘violent’ animation of guitar and beats. Ebbing and flowing in its volatility, vocals following suit, the track provides a caustic flirtation before Strobe Face licks at the senses with a rapid flicker of beats and a sonic sunspot which in turn sparks a slightly corrosive but fully captivating trespass; a captivation only boosted by the singular dance of vocals and beats which escapes before things become more psychotic yet tenderly seductive.

Through the calm but predacious post punk militance of Batter Face and the reserved siren-esque psychosis of Coral Face, animated temptation richly soaked ears; Paganotto’s kinetic swings as conniving and irresistible as the intimation shredding exploits of Webster and Wise’s skilful rhythmic dark saunters, traits fuelling the whole album from start to finish. The latter of the pair has a definite Houdini meets The Fall feel before making way for the simply glorious murderous drama and inharmonious beauty of Cliff Face. Featuring Dan Toms of Bear vs Manero and the biggest treat out of nothing but, the track is simply manna for ears and spirit, unscrupulous rascality at its best.

The following pair of Grater Face and Lady Cheese Face refers to each other, the songs “Romeo and Juliet-style lovers who simply could not be.” The first is a wild slice of post punk ‘n’ roll with a personality something akin to Mclusky meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion while its companion of sorts shows a devious side to its more tamed incursion on the senses. Discordant yet with a sonic elegance which is as threatening as it is alluring, the track is a true predator of a song, getting under the skin with subtlety and flirtation before gnawing away with bloodthirsty relish.

Raw and wolfish, Carpenter Face infiltrates ears next with an almost industrial like hue to its expanding tapestry of lawless noise. A low key serenade with a portentous breeze of sonic duplicity inserts itself in the breaths between it and Face Face straight after, the piece brief and never quite breaking the surface of its limbo before the penultimate track careers in on a rhythmic canter with a sonic mane spraying in its trenchant winds.

God Face completes the release, the song a lure of shadow bound celestial scheming simultaneously  tenebrific and radiant round another simply rousing rhythmic incitement from Paganotto and Wise alongside the melodic dissonance of Webster.

It is an enthralling end to a quite superb and increasingly addictive release. Punching Swans has never been as so damn manipulative or devilishly rousing as they are within Faces. It is not only a band at its momentously best but noise rock/post punk too.

Faces is released October 26th via Skingasm Records; available now for pre-order @ https://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/album/faces

Upcoming live shows:

OCT 26th LEEDS, Chunk

OCT 27th LIVERPOOL, Invisible Wind Factory

NOV 9th LONDON, Aces & Eights

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

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frauds – With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

It cannot be just coincidence that year on year December brings some of the relevant year’s best and often most dramatic releases. Maybe it is just that they generally come within a concentrated two week burst with the year’s final pair of weeks more likely to be party time for all so that it is more noticeable than in other equally productive months but there does seem to be a real gathering of striking encounters  as the year makes its departure. The debut album from UK duo Frauds simply adds to the evidence, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice a glorious cacophony of noise bred rock ‘n’ roll infested with post punk and post hardcore rapacity.

Formed in late 2012, Croydon hailing Frauds consists of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals), a musical partnership which seems to hail from well before their latest venture burst into life. Inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, Hot Snakes, and Drive Like Jehu, the pair initially began jamming together again with the intent of only playing covers. Soon though their own imagination and creativity took over and new songs emerged. Since then the band has become a potent presence on the capital’s live scene sharing stages with the likes of Idles, Life, HMLTD, Tigercub, Demob Happy, Kagoule, USA Nails, Slaves, Blacklisters, Queen Kwong and site favs The St. Pierre Snake Invasion along the way. Fresh from tour dates alongside ex-Reuben front man Jamie Lenman, Frauds are poised to nag national attention with Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, a niggling hard to see failing such its raw majesty.

Let’s Find Out kicks things off, a riveting tendril of guitar winding around ears and soon joined by the thump of Francombe’s beats. Second by second the web expands, Alvarez’s guitar creating a clamorous jangle with post punk hues to its sharp spice. Vocals equally have a caustic edge, courting the repetitious magnetism of the encounter with punk attitude and ferocity. Sonic shimmers and distortions only add to the virulent nagging, the track as much an intro as a complete offering luring ears and instinctive attention into the waiting depths of the album.

Next up, Smooth instantly twists and turns around the senses, its post punk/alternative rock antics as invasive as they are seductive. Like the spawn of a union between The Three Johns, The Droppers Neck, and Mclusky, the song swings along drawing the listener deeper into its feral majesty before The Feeding Frenzy envelops ears with its noir clad atmospheric drama. Sonic smog devours as vocals provoke, the underlying volatility brewing a ravenous toxic drone as flirtatious as it is debilitating.

From its virulent inhospitality, the mischievous exploits of Sandwiches emerge, the song a rash of hooks and rhythms around brash vocals; all carrying a liquor of humour and captivating causticity. Again there is an eighties post punk discordance in allegiance with modern creative antipathy and again everything uniting in a corrosion of punk irritability which simply sparks ears and an instinctive appetite for noise rock. As it evolves with increasing imagination, the track feeds ears with a delicious groan of bassoon-esque guitar; its barracuda tone pure manna for these senses and matched in addictiveness by the duo’s vocal lures. There are numerous major moments within the album but this is the pinnacle with ease.

The psychotic rock ‘n’ roll of Just Come Of Age comes next to be a strong rival though, beats a kinetic psychosis matched by the wandering tendrils of guitar and vocal theatre. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster easily comes to mind as the song plays with the imagination, crawling over the senses with predacious glee and tenacity.

Suck Jobs keeps the thrills high with its senses scathing sonic enticements and vocal abrasions, the song mercurial in air and relentless in infectious dynamics while Doom prowls and seeps through the body with grievous intent. Its suffocating tones devour mood and thoughts, dragging attention by the throat into a finale which is pure punk ferocity. The track is one of the least easily accessible trespasses provided by the album but joining all in leaving pleasure brimming.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice concludes with firstly Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve, another carnally tart and compelling stroll with an Engerica hue to its visceral contagion, and finally through the transfixing saunter of Give In. Rhythmically hypnotic and melodically haunting with a just as appetising acrid edge, the song slowly entangles the senses, its own individual drone like bait viral persuasion becoming more chafing and disturbing second by second.

With a hidden scar of punk as its actual final breath, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice leaves pleasure high and anticipation for their next move lustful. As earlier mentioned there have been numerous really stirring propositions this year yet it is hard to remember many as glorious as the debut from Frauds.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice is available now through Till Deaf Do Us Party Records and available @ https://fraudsfraudsfrauds.bandcamp.com/album/with-morning-toast-jam-juice

https://www.facebook.com/fraudsfraudsfrauds/

Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Growls and grooves: talking with The Devil In California

The Devil In California_RingMasterReview

“Hailing from the broad, cracked streets of West Oakland, California,” The Devil In California is a band uncaging rock ‘n’ roll which rumbles with attitude and adventurous enterprise. Since forming they have swiftly forged their own identity with a rousing hard/heavy rock sound which devours as it masterfully involves the senses and imagination. Currently working on their second album, we grabbed the opportunity to talk with the heavy rockers to explore The Devil In California past, present, and ahead.

Hi and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Tony Malson – We are The Devil In California; formed in 2013. Our drummer Eddie had an ad out that attracted Jamie (guitar), who brought in Matt (bass) to jam and see what was up. Eddie gave me a call and asked if I wanted to check out the project. I loved the tunes and The Devil was born. Snake was added to the project after mixing our first tunes. The line-up was then complete. We all share a passion for heavy hitting hard rock with influences galore.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before?

Tony – I moved to the bay area in 94 and have been singing in Bay Area bands ever since. Bands like AngryInch, Fiksate, The Servants, Mavalour and played drums/sang in Insecto and Monte Casino to name a few; all an artistic pathway leading to The Devil In California.

Jamie Cronander – Most of us have played in quite a few bands. Some you’ve probably heard of. Some of us have side bands. Some rock bands, metal bands, industrial bands, tribute bands, even trumpet in a brass band. We prefer that the Devil be thought of in its own light.

Has past experiences had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Tony – Every musical experience I’ve had in other acts has contributed to how I approach writing/singing in The Devil. And I’m still exploring different avenues and genres to broaden my musical horizons; so much to learn.

Jamie – TDIC is its own inspiration thing. We draw influence from a lot of things, and most importantly from each other. You’d probably find that all of our other music, be it present or past, does not sound like the Devil.

What inspired the band name?

Eddie Colmenares – I came up with it when doing the initial planning.

Tony – Eddie came up with the name and I liked it right away; perfect for this band.

DIC_RingMasterReviewWas there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Eddie – There was. I really wanted to put together a heavy, hard rock band that had that southern, slide guitar vibe to it.

Jamie – Matt and I were working on a project that kept getting put on hold by the other members. We wanted to do something that was more heavy, old school, and southern influenced. Alice In Chains, Corrosion Of Conformity, Skynyrd, Pantera, Clutch, STP, Allmans, etc. We had plenty of time, so we started a couple ideas and were directed to Eddie’s ad almost immediately.

Tony – I think the idea of a swampy, heavy, melodic, hard rocking 5 piece was the idea from the beginning. I came in after Jamie, Eddie and Matt had jammed a bit so it changed a bit from there but we all have a similar vision.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Eddie – It’s a mix. First, we aren’t that old of a band, so nothing is ‘too much of the same’ yet. And we are moving up pretty fast – it’s a lot coming at us at once, which in turn drives us more.

Tony – I’ve always been very musically driven personally. My passion to play music and get that music out to the world hasn’t really swayed in the last twenty plus years. I’ve always got the same vibe from the band in that regard. But you can’t grow without change and we tend to evolve in a very natural upward spiral. Has our music changed? Yes. Does it still encapsulate TDIC? Absolutely!

Since those first days, how would you say your sound has equally evolved?

Jamie – Definitely an evolution, but a young one; we have some prettier stuff coming, and some harder stuff coming. We’ve only got the one record out. But if you dig it, fear not. The next record will be just as hard hitting and sing-alongy, but will not be a repeat of the first.

Tony – I’ve always enjoyed the band “process” of learning to play with new musicians and finding that absolute sweet spot where everyone’s talents, technical abilities, and musical emotions come together as one. This process takes years and is a constant evolution. And in my opinion it’s really coming together with The Devil.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Jamie – A lot of it is that Snake joined later in the process of the first record. He still had a heavy hand in the songs on the record, but the structure was mostly in place. Snake and I work VERY well together, so now that we’re able to do the whole process of guitars together, I think the band is really blooming into something better as we become one.

Tony – Definitely more of an organic flow towards our sound and what feels good.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Tony – Everything from Prince to Pantera inspires me. I’m a huge fan of the Seattle sound that was so instrumental in the 90’s. Alice in Chains have always struck a deep chord with me; Soundgarden as well for that matter. Chris and Layne were and are my top vocal heroes.

Jamie – Alice In Chains is a big common thing for all of us. Their ability to be as pretty and acoustic as they get or ugly and heavy as they get, is intense and the vocal harmonies…so important. For me personally; Corrosion Of Conformity, Pantera, Stevie Ray, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, STP, Allman Bros., CCR. They’ve all changed the way I think about the guitar.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?TDIC_RingMasterReview

Tony – In this band the riffs usually come first. We formulate the tune based on that then I begin to add lyrics and melodies. I prefer to wait until I hear a song and digest the riff before I start to head in a lyrical direction. You never know where inspiration will come from so you can’t fall in love with a preconceived idea.

Jamie – Usually it stems from me and Snake bringing in riffs we’re having fun with. We’ll hash them out at home a bit, record the ideas, send it to the guys on line, and then bang on it all together in the studio.

How about the lyrical side of your songs, where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations from?

Tony – My lyrics are largely derived from the life experiences of myself and those that surround me. Inspiration can take many forms. I’m always open to a new vibe or sound or riff. It’s kept me coming back for years on end. I love writing and recording new material.

Can you give us some background to your current release, Longer Ride Down?

Eddie – We only have the debut release out, so really, the background is “we formed, and wrote a record in a year”. We go back into the studio this winter for the follow-up.

Tony – It’s a hands down, kick ass, hard rockin’, heavy grooved, melodic, ear bender. If you dig heavy riffs with harmony and soul all wrapped up in emotion then you’re in!

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Tony – I’ve always gravitated towards the darker side of musical tastes. The beauty in expressing that space is undeniable. It can be very moving and haunting at the same time. That being said, positivity needs to reign supreme in your approach to life as well as music. You usually have to traverse the darkness to see the light.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Eddie – Oh lord, hahaha… they are final final final, and then we still change things. All songs are prepped long before we are in the studio.

Tony – We always do a pre-production round of recording before we do the final tracking. 99% of our changes to our songs happen in prepro. Then we are super close to the final product when doing the final version in the studio.

Jamie – We usually end up pre-producing songs in full three times at least. The first takes are to nail tempos, and see if we feel like they need anything, like additional breaks, leads, backups, etc. As for the finals, we record them just guitar, bass, and vox, lay drums over them, then redo the instruments over the drums.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Tony – We want you to walk away from our live show saying, “That was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen”. So our approach is filled with intensity and vigor. We all have a professional approach to our live show but realize that without a little danger and spontaneity it’s hard to take it to the next level.

TDIC_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Tony – We have made a good splash in the Bay Area. It’s not an easy place to play music as the people and crowds are so diverse. This diversity is what we love but it also lends to many different kinds of music being played out live. There is no “one scene” in the bay so you have to fight a little harder for your rock and roll piece of the pie; which only makes you a better act in the end.

Eddie – The San Francisco / Bay Area is a fickle place. If you want to do well locally, you better be really good out of the gate, and then keep it coming. Fortunately we have some great, loyal fans. We’re at that stage where when we are playing and I look out at the audience, I don’t even know 70% of the people. That’s awesome.

Are there still the opportunities to make a mark there if the drive is there for new bands?

Tony – Absolutely! There are always opportunities to take advantage of. No excuses. Get out there and attack the scene. Write good tunes, play a great live show, and leave it all on the stage. You will see results.

Eddie – Yes, but it’s a whole new paradigm now. Be ready to work your ass off if you want to do anything other than play your local bar. Nobody is going to come along and hold your hand these days. No label is going to show up at your local show and whip a contract out of their suitcase to hand you. That is absolutely over – doubly so if you are not in an “urban” act, or are a rapper. We do pretty much everything in house, and it’s a just as much a job as it is a band.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Tony – The music industry is an ever changing beast due to the internet and social media today. You have to get on board and ride that bitch to your benefit or it will leave you behind in an instant. There is always more to be done but we are benefiting from it for sure.

Eddie – I think social media was far bigger of a deal just a few years ago than it is now. The stream of having said that, at least 80% of our exposure is through some sort of social media interaction.

Jamie – The internet is basically the only way to discover music these days. If you’re not on FB, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else, you’re not putting in the work. People do still buy physical CDs, but usually they’ve been watching your video before that.

Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Tony – It’s a positive in the end. It has to be. You need to make it so and will it to be. Even a bad situation offers lessons towards a positive outcome. Ask questions. Investigate all the solutions. If you’re not failing in some arena then you’re not trying hard enough.

Once again guys, big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Tony – Thank you! And yes, our new album is in the works and due out this winter. We have some more touring this summer going down as well. Keep an eye out for some new videos and some surprises from The Devil. Let’s Rock!

Eddie – Thanks! And please stay tuned – more is coming!

All – Please follow us on your favorite social media site!

https://www.facebook.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://twitter.com/eldiabloencali

https://www.instagram.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://www.youtube.com/thedevilincalifornia

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Creative espionage and inventive intimation: an interview with Aiming For Enrike

 

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Without doubt, one of the year’s most exhilarating and inventive propositions has been Segway Nation, the new album from Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike. The encounter is a fascinating instrumental adventure in sound and captivating aural suggestiveness; a multi-flavoured infectiousness created by drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen. Offered the chance to learn more with the duo, we set about discovering the creative heart of band and album.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

First of all can you tell us about yourselves as individuals?

We are two quite calm persons; a guitar player and drummer. We love making and playing music, so we spend a lot of time in the rehearsal space, practicing, jamming, and composing.

When did you first meet and what sparked the idea to form the band?

We met in 2010, when we attended a music school in Oslo. We were both into experimental noise rock music. After seeing some mind-blowing bands like Monolithic and Zu, we wanted to do something like that as a duo. By using loops we managed to get a huge sound even though we were only two. In the beginning we had more of a noise/prog sound but over the years the songs developed into more conventional song structures where we have incorporated a lot of influences from electronica, funk etc.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

Yes, but not worth sharing 😉

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

It is wonderfully difficult to pin down the Aiming For Enrike sound for us, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

It’s an adventurous band with good melodies, cool grooves, and lots of energy. It has a very distinct sound, but still the music can go in many different directions.

What and who have most inspired your musical ideas and subsequently sound would you say?

Our sound is kind of schizophrenic and has a lot of layers because of a wide range of influences. Of course we can be inspired by other things in life, but I think it is only music and music gear that have a direct influence to our sound. Aiming for Enrike is the result of two people and sounds like something none of us would have made by ourselves.

Here are some names: Miles Davis, Josh Homme, James Brown, Nels Cline, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Greg Saunier, Hot Snakes, Glen Branca, Mike Patton, Moha…

I am no expert on the broad expanse of the Norwegian music scene right now, generally coming across the diversity of metal and rock bands from there, but I get the feeling that your music is a one of a kind there; something unusual to the Norwegian landscape of sound. Is that the reality and if so how have they taken to it?

In Norway it is very common to have musical collaborations across genres. If you look at the jazz and improvisational music scene, you have lots of artist who play music that have more in common with pop, rock/metal, electronic music than traditional jazz. In jazz festivals you can go and see pop acts, and in commercial festivals there are jazz bands playing. So I think in general people are very open to new stuff.  Most artists are not so focused on sounding like the other one. It is a good thing to be original, and have your own thing going. We don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds like us but way more people than we would have guessed have been positive and open to it.

You have just released new album, Segway Nation; a release which had our imagination as busy and enthralled as ears and feet. Where does a ‘typical’ Aiming For Enrike song start composing wise?

We always start by just playing. We spend a lot of time just improvising, or trying out different kind of ideas. It is important that we are inspired when we play, and that there is a fun factor. We try to follow our intuition, and not doubt our choices too much. Then we record our ideas and make tunes out of them.

Throughout the album, there is an organic freedom, almost as things were created, played, and improvised in the moment. Tell us about the recording of Segway Nation; were songs already AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400written before recording them or was there an element of conjuring twists and turns there and then?

Everything is played live in the studio, without any click track. That might create a more «free» or improvised feel. On Segway Nation we composed all the songs before we recorded them, but there are some parts in the songs where we improvise. It can be open sections, or written parts played in different ways. That keeps it interesting for us, and hopefully for the listeners. Some of the more «free form» songs like Minitrue and Phone Phobia are the result of some improvised recording sessions.

Another great aspect to the album is the way it inspires the listener’s imagination to create its own adventures. Can you tell us about some of the actual themes and inspirations to the tracks and their suggestive dramas?

We didn’t have any specific plans for this. But it is a good thing if the listeners make up their own adventure in the music. I don’t think there are any specific themes to the songs, but there are specific inspirations to some of the songs. It can be a groove, melody, riff etc.

The past few years has seen some impressive and ear striking duos emerge with varying styles and dynamics within their union. Often it seems that the slimness of personnel allows a band to bring its live presence much more easily to recordings. It is the same with you guys; there is a feeling that listening to Segway Nation would be like standing in front of you on stage. Do you think there is some validity in that thought from your perspective; less bodies and minds leads to less of a leaning on technology and tricks when recording music?

There is more space in the music when you are a duo, and that makes it easier to follow your intuition and play in the moment. Since we record our music live in a room, the recording becomes very representative for us as a band. There are very few options sound wise with only a guitar and a drum kit, so I think it is hard to lose the live feeling in the recording.

Marius Mada Dale

Marius Mada Dale

Tell us about your live side; how you translate the dynamics of songs to the stage?

It works really great! We played the songs live many times before we recorded them. So the recording is not much different from a live performance. With the live performance you will also get the visual aspect and a bit more playful approach to the material.

What is next for Aiming For Enrike now that the album is out and earning acclaim and new hearts?

We are working on new material, which is turning out really good! And we have some festivals coming up this summer; first there´s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, then Øya festival in Oslo. We are planning a European tour in the fall! So lots of cool stuff coming up!

Once again many thanks for giving your time to us. Anything you would like to add?

Check out our album Segway Nation, and also the live in Rohdos garage videos on YouTube.

Read the review for Segway Nation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/aiming-for-enrike-segway-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike    http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/06/2016

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.

http://www.healthyjunkies.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/healthyjunkiesband/   https://twitter.com/HealthyJunkies

9/10

Pete RingMaster 01/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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