Kabbalah – Spectral Ascent

For everyone there are certain encounters which forge an instinctive union with personal tastes; records which more than most tap into the creative imagination. We have come across a great many over recent years, having the privilege to listen to and assess a constant flood of offerings, but few have made the immediate lustful impact as Spectral Ascent, the new album from Spanish psych/doom trio Kabbalah. The release is a siren for the senses, an enchantress for the imagination, and one of the most desirable proposals heard in recent times.

Kabbalah is the creation of Carmen and Marga, former members of Pamplona rock band Las Culebras. 2013 saw the well-received release of their self-titled debut EP, its success followed and backed by the Primitive Stone EP fourteen months later. Both lured keen attention towards the band’s fusion of occult rock, 70s retro, and classic heavy-psychedelic sounds of the late 60s; a mix creating a cauldron of temptation and dark suggestion, a snarling trespass of predacious uniqueness nestling often irritably under the beauty of alluring vocals and swarming harmonies. With Alba completing the current line-up in 2015, Kabbalah sound has blossomed again for Spectral Ascent, hints of its fascinating evolution coming in the 2016 single Revelation and earlier this year its successor Phantasmal Planetoid, both prominent lures within nothing but across the album.

Spectral Ascent quickly coaxes attention with its opening title track; a short intro of melodic flirtation with a shadowy undercurrent which plays like a music box enticing entrance to an alluring dark realm. It’s elegant if sinister coaxing leads into the equally beguiling lure of Resurrected where from the heavy throb of bass and the magnetic pull of vocals the song has ears and appetite swiftly engaged. Guitars similarly draw the senses with their melodic sparkling, teases leading into the more formidable and imposing heart of the track. Never deviating from its seductive swagger though, the song twists and crawls through ears right into the psyche, moments of almost carnal intensity and calmer flows of romancing melodies igniting the imagination and body like few other encounters.

The sheer drama of the outstanding proposition continues through next up Phantasmal Planetoid. Its climate is instantly darker and more formidable as the bass snarls, never losing its heavy trespass as the song moves on to court a boisterous gait with turns of tetchier growls. It is masterful stuff, stoner and doom essences colluding with those earlier mentioned flavours as vocals and harmonies soar. No lightweight on addiction loaded hooks either, the song is manna for ears and instincts, a consuming persuasion also bred in the voracious antics of The Darkest End and immediately after within The Reverend. The first of the two aligns carnivorous riffs and bass irritability with spell spun grooves and the ever bewitching vocal union across the band. It resembles a fusion of Blood Ceremony and Jess and The Ancient Ones, yet is as individual to Kabbalah as you could wish for. Its successor is almost punk like at times, an underlying crabby edge flaring up across its psych and post punk spiced tapestry like a hybrid growth from a union of Au Pairs, Cradle, and Deep Purple.

Following their triumph, The Darkness of Time offers a funk fuelled swing of psychedelic rock, its body a web of heavy and classic rock honed enterprise which might miss the more predatory traits of its predecessors but has body and spirit wrapped up with ease. Its occultist lure only adds to its relentless charm; bait which is taken to more threatening places within the outstanding Dark Revelation. Its first breath has a garage punk taste, the subsequent canter more of that Au Pairs like post punk tempting before Kabbalah turns it all into a compelling and virulent, almost unruly, tango of creative flirtation.

The Shadow slinks up to ears in its own inauspicious way, tempting and warning with portentous charm before its fires break from an initial smoulder into a white hot rock ‘n’ roll stroll while the album closing Presence shares a calmer though no less heated weave of retro and modern nurtured adventure to further enthral. The dancing prowess of the drums, not for the first time, is almost consuming in its rousing and resourceful drive of the magnetic sounds bringing the album to a masterful conclusion.

The need to go again is controlling as Spectral Ascent drifts away, and the pleasure in doing so ever rewarding. The album is immense and rich food for a passion for psych/doom infused rock ‘n’ roll. Some bands feel destined for greatness from their first moments; Kabbalah is one and their new offering commandingly intensifies that belief.

Spectral Ascent is out now via Twin Earth Records and available @ https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-ascent


Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Los Chicos – Rockpile of Shit

Los Chicos_RingMasterReview

There are few rock ‘n’ roll parties as thrilling and irresistible as those provided by Spanish rockers Los Chicos, an experience they offer once again with new album Rockpile of Shit. Offering fourteen tracks which embrace everything from garage to pub rock, punk to funkily soulful shenanigans and plenty more, the release is a feast of boisterously rousing rock ‘n’ roll and a delicious echo of the Madrid quintets’ inimitable live show.

Formed in 2000, Los Chicos have released a quartet of increasing acclaim grabbing albums before Rockpile of Shit, the previous trio of Launching Rockets (2007), We Sound Amazing But We Look Like Shit (2009), and In the Age of Stupidity (2013) released, as the band’s new encounter this time in conjunction with Folc Records, on the always impressing Dirty Water Records. Live the band has ignited stages alongside the likes of Mudhoney, Southern Culture on the Skids, King Khan, The Sonics, Johnny Casino, Soundtrack of our Lives, Redd Kross, Cosmic Psychos, Spencer P Jones, The New Christs, The Young Fresh Fellows, The Meanies, Barrence Whitfield, Hi-Risers, Eddie And The Hot Rods, Roy Loney, and many others and toured across the globe, hitting Australian four times. Now they are ready to set a new stomp in motion across the world with Rockpile of Shit, a one hard to resist slab of fiercely flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll.

Feet and hips are soon as on board with band and album as ears when opener A Kingdom Of Coolness starts things off. Choppy beats and riffs soon tempt as grooves and vocals steer the course of the punk infused encounter. With its seeds seemingly in sixties garage rock and seventies punk, the track carries a great feel of old UK band The Cortinas to it as it emerges an undemanding yet seriously inescapable incitement to body and appetite as virulently infectious as it is commandingly rousing.

The same qualities fuel the following Rockanrolla, its own raw rock qualities making a potent temptation around the inviting tones of vocalist Rafa Suñén. Again the guitars of Gerardo Urchaga and Antonio Urchaga nag and jangle with remorseless enterprise and persuasion, bringing an Eddie And The Hot Rods hue to its boisterous catchiness before the even more virulent charms of I Don’t Wanna Learn Anymore steps forward. The swinging bassline of Guillermo Casanova makes for a powerful lure as the crisp beats of Ral García back up its invitation; they in turn matched in old school revelry by the guitars but with a modern spice which is inimitably Los Chicos.

FDW003_RingMasterReviewThe funky R&B of Older And Better has feet taking to the floor from its first rhythmic beckon, backed perfectly by the sizzling flames of sax which grace the outstanding encounter. With a hint of King Salami and the Cumberland Three to it, the song is mouth-watering devilry laying an early claim to best track on the album but soon rivalled by its Department S spiced title track. It too infests body and soul, bringing each alive and indeed eager vocal participation with its and the bands creative festivity.

Last Day Here offers a fiercer snarl while feasting on a fifties rockabilly inspiration. Equally though, it has a power pop vibrancy which lights up another impossible to escape chorus, voice and hips puppets to its manipulative magnetism. With discord flirting with the guitars and a Devo-esque quaintness emerging, the track epitomises the album; a seemingly simply flavoured proposition soon showing itself bursting with bold adventure and diversity.

The country/cow punk romp of Responsibility Ville hits the spot with ease next whilst More Beer is a melodic jangle sparking thoughts of countrymen The Pulsebeats as it too grips an already greedy appetite for release and sound. The wonderful relentless beats of García, as throughout the album, enslave ears and spirit alone, guitars and vocals playing with its conquest in an array of styles and devilish ways, Miami Beach soon employing its own surf hued punk ‘n’ roll web ensuring there is no respite for the listener’s  body and enjoyment.

Through The Ramones meets The Members like Mommy’s On MDMA and the country punk of Little Man, there is no lessening in bouncing songs and bodies while Night Ride adds its own individual twist on the country rock scent. All three leave a big smile on the face, though each is eclipsed by the scuzzier funk ‘n’ roll of I Know I Don’t Know and finally the hypnotic shuffle of closing track Toga Land. The pair ensures that physical and emotional involvement is at its most eager as the album comes to a mighty conclusion, an event leading only to a hard deny urge to press play and start all over again.

A great many already know of the rock ‘n’ roll majesty spun by Los Chicos, and with Rockpile Of Shit we can be safe in suggesting so will a great many more. This is one party everyone should gate crash.

Rockpile Of Shit is out now via Dirty Water Records/ Folc Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=2801529&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc and http://folcrecords.tictail.com/product/fdw003-los-chicos-rockpile-of-shit-preventa-disponible-en-mayo


Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Dirt Tracks Interview

Spanish indie band The Dirt Tracks have released their great new single ‘Never Been To Mars in the UK rather than in their homeland amid a tighter and even harsher environment for artists over there. We had the opportunity to talk with the band after they came off their UK tour about the situation back home, their love of the UK and more. 

Hello, welcome to The RingMaster Review and thanks for taking time to talk to us.

Would you please introduce the members of The Dirt Tracks and give a history of the band.

The Dirt Tracks has five members, we are: Karl (sampler), Masid (drums), Miquel (bass), Rafa (guitar) and Coma (guitar and vocals).

The band was initially formed in 2000 under the name of Oddshow. After many years of gigs and concerts, hard work, two albums and various line-up changes along the way, we created The Dirt Tracks… and here we are, with our brand new EP and back home from the UK-tour.

You have just released your new single ‘Never Been To Mars could you tell us about it?

The Single: “Never been to Mars” was composed while recording the other two. It is also the first song with the participation of all five members of The Dirt Tracks. We had played the riff during the rehearsals many times, and while recording, we decided to work it out. When we finished it, we felt it was the one to be released as a single as it describes us and our sound best.

You released your debut critically acclaimed album Puppets in 2006 how has the band’s sound changed between then and the new release?

We have some more years of experience, some better ideas, and our sound has grown up, so have we. With Miquel and Rafa, our new members, we have a new focus; they fit very good composing and have brought some good ideas with them. We have found our best sound, and the style may vary, but we already feel that we sound like ourselves.

There is a certain Muse and Placebo flavouring to your melodic rock sound what were your influences growing up and in the band’s sound?

Maybe, but indeed our music stretches across a few styles, most of our inspiration comes from British indie but every member of the band has his own influences, from nowadays pop-rock to seventies rock. Indeed, we have found out during the tour that people usually feel we sound like some band they like, rather than some specific band… this may be because of the great variety of influences The Dirt Tracks have.

You released ‘Never Been To Marsin the UK rather than your homeland Spain. Could you explain why?

We wanted the single to be released in the UK, because it’s from where all the music we like comes from. We love the music culture in the UK, the musicians and, of course, the people. We really think our style fits very good in the UK, and indeed it has been so.

In every country the new unmanufactured bands and artists are finding it hard certainly to make a living from their music if any at all from their releases. Spain is no different in fact in a worse state, why is this?

Spain is more concrete with regards music styles. In fact, the thing is, that music industry is changing, and this is an opportunity for new bands to work and “do things” in another way.

Opportunities for live shows there are also very limited I believe? Is it because no one gives new bands a chance or there are just not enough venues?

Yes, the Spanish music industry is not focused on live shows, if we compare with the UK, for example. Live shows are more for big bands, or big festivals, etc… For smaller bands trying to find our way, this makes it more difficult, but of course not impossible. We will have some live shows this winter around Spain.

Am I right in understanding that any backing given to Spanish artists is mainly for Spanish speaking ones only?

Yes, you are right, with some exceptions, of course.

Recently the president of Sony Music Spain, Carlos López was dismissed from his position with the label running their Spanish division from Miami. There is not a lot of sympathy coming towards label with the majority of new bands taking the DIY approach from the very start, but do you think that also is a symptom of the problem in Spain and will it have a big impact too on the country?

As we mentioned before, we know that the music industry is changing all along the world, so it does in Spain. You can think of it as a threat or as an opportunity, and we think it is an opportunity.  So we are working very hard on growing every day and trying to do our best through our own way.

Could you see yourselves making a move outside Spain to the UK or elsewhere permanently?

Well, we could see us living in the UK; we really enjoyed our tour in the UK, enjoyed the people and enjoyed the country. Nevertheless not all of us are happy with that idea… Spain is a really nice country and Valencia a good city for living, and some of us do not want to leave the family behind, but we all would do if it was required.

You have just finished a tour of the UK, how did that go and has that again made you wonder about moving your base?

The tour was great, an incredible experience… Some of us would have liked to stay more, or just don’t come back. . Although it is soon for talking about the possibility of moving, we are still working hard on tours in other European countries and want to come back to the UK in the late 2012.

What is the next for The Dirt Tracks and what do you hope the next year brings?

Germany, Poland, Sweden and coming back to the UK… that’s what we are working in right now… The Germany tour will be in the late winter or spring, the rest of countries will be shorter stays… Apart from that, there are some summer festivals in which we plan to participate.

Many thanks for talking to us about the band and the situation in your country. Makes us appreciate the situation here a bit more. Would you like to leave with a last thought or message to your fans and the readers?

We would tell them to listen to us and like us in Facebook, so they’ll be informed about us coming again. It would be great to see them next time we are in the UK!! Many thanks to the Ringmaster, and to everybody who came to our gigs in our first tour, it was awesome!

For more on The Dirt Tracks go to https://www.facebook.com/Thedirttracks or http://www.thedirttracks.com/

RingMaster 10/10/2011
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