If I Die Today – Cursed

If I Die Today_RingMaster Review

There is a torment in the heart of the new album from Italian post-hardcore band If I Die Today, and a tempestuous air which lives up to any ideas inspired by the name Cursed. There is also an invasive and at times punishing darkness and emotional trespass coursing through the veins of the encounter but equally an imagination loaded, gripping enterprise which ensures it easily stands out against any other similarly sculpted and bred offerings. Cursed is destined not to be for everyone, and will frighten many off with its searing intensity and emotion  but there is no escaping that it announces If I Die Today as one of the more fascinating incitements in the post and hardcore scene.

If I Die Today emerged in Mondovì in 2007 and by the early months of the following year had released their self-titled debut album through Wynona Records. The release enabled the quintet to tour their homeland and share stages with numerous bands, that success reinforced by the You Are Alone EP in 2009, again unveiled to strong and positive reactions. It was the same with second album Liars the following year, its potent presence luring greater attention and acclaim cross Europe, the band following it with shows across Italy, Hungary, France, and the UK as well as playing alongside artists such as Sum 41, Offspring, No Use For A Name, Simple Plan, Face To Face, Taking Back Sunday at Bologna’s Independent Days Festival. The band’s workload and reputation continued to grow as 2012 saw the release of the Postcards From The Abyss EP and If I Die Today playing with bands like Every Time I Die, Good Riddance, and H2O as well as going on a tour taking in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and venues back home. Since then more venues and countries have been scorched by the band’s sound, before and after the recording of Cursed last year, which with its worldwide release through Sliptrick Records sets a new chapter in the rise of If I Die Today.

image1_RingMaster Review     It’s opening handful of seconds are an inviting temptation but in no time Jesus becomes a searing sonic wind blowing over thickly jabbing rhythms and coming loaded with spicy hook lined enterprise from the guitars. Vocalist Marco Fresia roars just as swiftly and intensely in the tempest whilst the caustic breath and heart of the track is perfectly tempered by the magnetic lure of the throaty bassline from Morgan Ferrua and the controlled rhythmic dance cast by drummer Davide Gallo. There is no escape from the sheer energy and emotional turmoil of the song though or its flesh scarring sound with its virulent onslaught as gripping as it is intimidating.

In the sheer wind tunnel like delivery of the song there are essences of bands like Kabul Golf Club, KEN mode, and Statues in its creative adventure and tenacity, a potent mix continuing in Adams which is another instant arousal of attention and appetite with thumping bold beats and bracing vocals. Settling down a touch once established, though still a bruising confrontation, the guitars of Antonio Aresu and Michele Testa spin a web of raw aggression and intricate sonic seducing whilst the bass creates another deliciously alluring and individual line of bait. As its predecessor, the song is an epidemic of punishing and invigorating incitement, pure abrasive adventure to get your teeth into and drool over before it fluidly flows into Lucifer and its own exhausting tempest of scarring emotion and increasingly volatile and creative ferocity.

Through Patrick and Elisabeth, band and album continues to wither flesh and create emotional tension but again with plenty of fresh twists and adventure to their canvases. The first of the enthralling pair comes in a hostility lit slow shuffle with numerous expulsions of energy and vocal angst but also tendrils of flirtatious grooves and addiction breeding rhythms. There is no compromising with an If I Die Today proposal and no chance of being subjected to anything mundane or predictable as shown by this and its successor. Elisabeth maybe offers less uniqueness within the album than other tracks but it too is ripe with seriously enticing slithers and caresses of sonic ingenuity and melodic seducing, all resulting in less than two minutes of exciting violation.

Faustus borders on barbarous with its bestial weight of sound and energy but counters it with a tapestry of punkish hooks and twisted sonic imagination that simply whips the passions into a maelstrom of lust whilst The Ancient Mariner prowls the psyche and taunts ears with its fusion of noise rock and punk in stormy hardcore antagonism. Both tracks are glorious, adding their full thrilling and inventive weight to the unrelenting persuasion of the album.

An even fiercer punk venom courses through Vincent, the song openly revealing the inspirations of the band with its Every Time I Die meets Converge like onslaught. There is plenty more in the depths and brutish body of the song of course, lots to get greedy over before the album’s title track gives Cursed a whole new climate to explore. The band is tagged as post-hardcore but the closer is the one song which perfectly fits that billing, the rest a wonderful bedlam of styles and flavours. With a blackened and frosty air to its invasive ambience over hauntingly cold scenery, the track is an inhospitable drift through a dark and emotionally tortuous landscape compellingly bringing the album to a highly provocative and startling end.

Instantly gripping, Cursed only gets more powerful, persuasive, and emotionally penetrating with very listen. It certainly lingers and leaves scars in its wake too, but only to please and make demanding reasons to go back into its merciless majesty. If I Die Today is one of the truly exciting bands in the post and neat hardcore scene, Cursed shows exactly why.

Cursed is out now through Sliptrick Records.

RingMaster 12/08/2015

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Statues – Together We’re Alone


Blistering is the best way to describe Together We’re Alone, the debut album from Australian hardcore band Statues, that and thoroughly enjoyable. Hailing from Perth, the band uncages a “chaotic” style of the genre which has a just as keen penchant for acidic noise and caustic punk. Like a voracious merger of Ghost of a Thousand and Shevils with Coilguns and Kabul Golf Club, band and sound is a corrosive and exhilarating proposition, not forgetting one of the most unique.

Formed in 2009, Statues became swiftly recognised and renowned for their high intensity stage performances, shows which has seen them play alongside the likes of Every Time I Die, Northlane, Stray from the Path, Stick to Your Guns, Structures, and La Dispute. Their reputation has gone before them but Together We’re Alone is the band’s first real foray into global attention and it is hard to see the release missing out on awakening an intensive spotlight on the quintet’s presence.

As unafraid to make a searing commentary on social and personal issues as it is in scorching the senses, band and album instantly stirs up attention and imagination with the brief and seriously potent All Fears Are Learned, All Victories Are Earned. The opening song almost swaggers as it casts percussive bait straight away but is soon turning its enticing entrance into a brewing maelstrom of raw grooves and caustic riffs. There is still a teasing lure to the track though, a lighter almost mischievous wink which subsequently turns to a scowl and roars along with the imposing and striking vocals of Jayme Van Keulen. As swiftly realised across the album, how a song starts and tempts is never a consistent narrative, just a moment in a fury of invention shown here by the guitars of Scott Kay and John Overthrow mixing stabbing riffs and hook spilling noise to further colour and ignite the already incendiary proposition.

The following Always Building, Always Breaking similarly opens with an engaging temptation before venting its rage, a bluesy flame of guitar a spicy offering initially. It is soon battling c7e74127-c689-4e43-ad49-1d7a5e203f3cwith and aligning to, a fierce bluster of noise and the rapid fire skills of drummer Daniel Harper as the track explodes with fierce enterprise and magnetic intensity. As its predecessor, there is as much irresistible contagiousness to the encounter as passionate fury, especially through the masterful infectious lures laid down by Matthew Templeman’s bass skills which seem to creatively revel in the tempest. The track is a brawl of an incitement, a torrential outpouring of angst and hostility within a weave of sonic ingenuity. Only two songs in and Together We’re Alone is already announcing that it is one of the most startling and exciting hardcore releases of current times.

Oh Precious Commodity does nothing to defuse that thought and declaration, its hoarse vocal and anthemic barracking accompanied by throaty bass groans and tangy grooves which feverishly scorch and light the senses. There is hailstorm of piercing beats throughout the knee buckling ferocity too which collude with a cascade of just as hellacious vocals and dramatically imaginative inhospitality. Together they make an antagonistic treat matched in its individual way by the mouth-watering sonic hysteria of Forseeing the Cloud and Not the Rain and the hellacious rampage of Affliction Prescription. With a great many hardcore bands similarity seems to creep into any clutch of songs but there is no sign of that across Together We’re Alone, this pair alone steeped in abrasing individuality and unpredictable invention.

The band throws a curve ball from left field next, the simple and bewitching soulful blues croon of I Want Peace stepping forward with just voice against handclaps as its body, before the impassioned hostile delirium of Abide consumes ears and senses. As now expected, the track is a shifting landscape of imposing ideation and eventful sound, ruggedly caressing and forcibly pounding the psyche from start to finish. The thrilling turbulence makes way for Burning the Truth At Both Ends with its spiralling acrid grooves of and the concussive might of The Wanderer; both a crippling net of rhythms and scalding vat of sonic exploration bound in emotional ferocity.

Between the slower melodic almost post hardcore tinged Hard Words, Softly Spoken and the closing Within Arm’s Reach, another unexpected twist comes with the blues instrumental twang of Hope Is. Its minute plus lure is an intriguing and pleasing respite ready for the final creative furor of the album, Within Arm’s Reach arguably the most intensive and painfully invigorating track on the album, though all songs truthfully leave senses sore and emotions elated.

Statues have set down a benchmark not only for themselves but hardcore with Together We’re Alone, the first of many you imagine if this release is anything to go by.

Together We’re Alone is available now via https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/together-were-alone/id944791123


RingMaster 14/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Gavin Tate of The Gaa Gaas

The Gaa Gaas Brighton Aug 2011 by Katherine Missouri

The Ringmaster Review ever since being seduced by The Gaa Gaas debut single Voltaire has eagerly and persistently tried to convert all and sundry to their psyche punk/post punk beauty through word, voice and with the kind help of The Reputation Radio Show. Neglectfully we have not actually got the band to sit down for an interview so we remedied that by grabbing the time of singer/guitarist Gavin Tate from the band to catch up on all things The Gaa Gaas as well as look back on their early days.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

Please introduce the members of the band.

Huurah! We’re the artists formerly (known) as Gavin, Chris and Mark.

How did The Gaa Gaas begin?

It all started in my Mum’s garage, got some amps and a drum kit in there and put loads of posters over the walls and ceiling (a couple of nude lady ones as well, I’m not going to lie much). We began just jamming as an instrumental trio and then soon found a poor excuse of a P.A system for the vocals and that’s when the Police started showing up every night!

What inspired the band name?

We were a bit off the rails in our younger days, so when deciding on naming the group, The Gaa Gaas seemed like the ideal title and it still has relevance even now.

Was and is there a vibrant music scene over in Jersey? 

Yes but it’s long gone now, an amazing garage punk night called BOMP kicked off around 2002 held at the best venue in Jersey which was called The Q Bar now The Live Lounge. It was a 7 night a week place and BOMP was on Thursday nights; they would bring some really good bands over and have local support. There were a few other great nights there as well, an indie night called Moroccan’roll and some great Drum&Bass/Motown/Reggae nights.

There seems to be a more frequent emergence of strong and very diverse rock bands from Jersey in recent years, besides yourselves we have come across Top Buzzer and Hold Your Fire to name a couple. Is there less distractions to take youngsters away from music there than elsewhere in the UK for example do you think?

I think most towns with not a lot produce the best bands and I’ll be honest in saying Jersey didn’t offer a lot to musicians aged 17 – 25 apart from a long fight to play your own material in clubs, most club owners always wanted bands to play covers which was rubbish if you wanted to play your own songs to people. In a way it made us want to escape!

You moved away from the island, relocating to Brighton. Was this a necessity for you and is for all bands really hoping to make progress?

You can’t do anything more than play the big local festivals in the island. You’ll get promises but they never happen. The only way you can do it properly is to move somewhere else, not just the UK. I know bands from Jersey who have started up in Europe and are doing really well; it just takes a lot of ammunition and a few massive guns!

As distinct as your sound is anyone who hears it can name some of the influences, for the record though what are the major influences musically which have shaped or flavoured your creativity?

There are so many. I’d say The Fall has really shaped us, I love every era and they’re still producing great records to this day!

Many I have introduced your music to fail to notice the ‘Almost Red’ era Killing Joke sounds whereas it seems obvious to me, is it them or me? Haha

We’re always getting compared to either Killing Joke or Bauhaus and when I told my Dad about it he said (in a scouse accent) “Think of it as a massive compliment Son” so I think you might be right on that one! 😉

There seems a definite revisiting back to the post punk era with bands recalling inspirations from the likes of Joy Division, Wire, Pil, Gang of Four etc, do you think you may have instigated that a little yourselves?

I hope so, when groups like Neils Children split up I was really gutted because there wasn’t many bands trying to maintain their own sound by using those types of influences. There were lots of bands just trying to sound exactly like Gang Of Four because it was in at the time. I thought the Neils boys were really on to something and had produced a great sound that was their own. There are some other really good bands instigating it at the moment like… Wild Palms, O.Children and Disconcerts.

Do you still see yourselves as part of an underground movement with this new emergence of bands?

We’ve never really felt part of any movement. We originally started because of bands like The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and the whole garage revival so if we’re part of anything I think it would have to be that. It’s been slow for us being from Jersey and having to relocate but I’m happy with everything we’ve done so far and the debut album is going to be a reward to everyone who has helped us along the way!

Your debut single Voltaire was unleashed in 2010 on The Playground Records, how was that initially received?

People couldn’t believe the transformation of the band. We were always trying to look like a band and always ranting about being in a band but after the single was released we actually had it written in stone. There were 8/10 reviews, some reviewers hated my voice and some loved it but I think the statement was made and I always wanted the first release to make a strong impact!

The single was produced by James Aparicio (Nick Cave, Mogwai) and mastered by Robert Harder (Brian Eno, The Slits) , how did those link ups come about?

We were put in touch with James Aparicio through our former record label and when we signed to The Playground team we were introduced to Robert who we plan to continue working with, the man is a genius!

I mentioned Voltaire as your debut but there was the Repulsion Seminar EP before that. Tell us about that and are the tracks are still available in some form?

The only hard copy releases we have are the Voltaire 7″ vinyls that we had to get pressed up ourselves as we were messed about by the label. There were 200 copies of each of the EP’s but they sold out pretty fast!

You took a long time to release anything officially was this down to the band striving for the exact sound you wanted or merely lack of opportunity and finance?

I think a lot of it was to do with relocating. Brighton isn’t the easiest place to get known. When we first arrived there you couldn’t get a gig, demos would be put to the bottom of the pile and we were looking at a 3 month wait just to play The Prince Albert but soon we managed to gig quite vastly and the name was getting more popular in London, it was a case of waiting for the press to take notice and then soon label interest started. We didn’t have the funding to be D.I.Y; I was stealing food every day to exist and putting my equipment in Cash Generator to fund touring. I don’t regret any of it though we’ve had some amazing times!

You have also had tracks featured on various compilations, with a new one out right now I believe?

Our first ever release was a psyche-garage cover of Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi” released by Filthy Little Angels Records. It was for a compilation titled ‘1978’ with lots of bands covering songs from that year. Our cover got the best reviews and is a signature to our early sound. The Peter Out Wave compilation CD was released last week on Swedish label Peter Out Records, a 17 track album by bands from all over the world. They asked us if they could include Hypnoti(z)ed (Alt Version) on the album and we gave them the nod!

How does the song writing work within the band?

It’s made up of jams mostly. We got heavily in to The Stranglers ‘The Raven’ album and loved the improvisation they had so we started working on songs with the same analogy and it’s really worked out. I think bands that just go in to a room with a song wrote 2 hours before at home are really missing out on the musicianship that can be worked. Listen to (The Stranglers) and throw your Arctic Monkeys albums in the bin.

You are almost veterans of festivals not only in the UK but in Europe, which has been the most rewarding and pleasing to return to?

Drop Dead Festival was an amazing experience. Great bands and great ideologies! We’re due to play Fave Rave in Berlin again, that was one of my favorite European ventures, such a great city!

Do you get a distinct audience for your hypnotic and intrusive sounds or is it generally varied at shows?

A lot of the people that come to our shows are dark wave kids. They like the darker element of our sound and the groove that goes with it but we’re trying to mix it up a bit. The album is going to have a dance feel to it! The dance element in bands needs to come back and we’re hoping to revive that!

What have you lined up for the rest of the year gig and festival wise?

We’re relocating to London and starting to write and record the album in full, having a bit of time off over the summer but will begin playing shows again in August starting with a festival appearance at Vale Earth Fair in Guernsey with bands such as Roots Manuva and then we’re due to play some come back shows for a certain band later on in the year. We’ll announce a 12 date UK tour at some point as well, really looking forward to getting back out there!

Is performing live the most rewarding aspect of the band for you?

It’s definitely the most fun part of being in the band but I’d say the most rewarding aspect is when we have written a track, recorded it and hear the response from the fans. It’s all about the fans, they’re what keeps us doing it as well as our own passion to write, record and play. If they don’t like it then we give them a massive slap! 😉

Going back to compilations, I think you will correct me I am sure, it seems that your songs have been on more compilations than your own releases. Is that right and was it planned or just how things worked out?

Yeah I’d say that is true but I think it’s a good thing, I don’t know many other bands who get asked to be on a 2000 pressed compilation CD released in Europe without an album out. We’ve been quite lucky in that respect, completely fluked it!

What is next song wise in regard to releasing something?

Our next single is called ‘(SYS)’ and it sounds like the second chapter of Voltaire which is what we were striving for. It’s a faster pace and it’s a bit Twisty, people are gonna think of bands like Joy Division on this next release. The B-side will be Statues, a song we made available as a free demo download but has recently been mastered by Robert Harder who has made it sound FAT.

Any chance of an album or multi track EP sometime soon?

We may release another EP but we’re concentrating more on writing the full album, we want to get it out there next year for our 10 year anniversary, god we sound old!

Many thanks for talking with us, much appreciated.

Have you any words for you’re the readers?

Learn about cooking, baking, meal planning, cuisines, entertaining, holidays and more with Allrecipes’ informative articles and step-by-step photo tutorials – allrecipes.com

And finally tell us the song or tracks which made the deepest impact on you as people leading to the choice of music as your life.

Gavin: The Count Five – Psychotic Reaction

Chris: Black Flag – TV Party

Mark: Led Zeppelin – Ramble On


Listen out for an upcoming special Bone Orchard show from The Reputation Radio Show featuring the new remastered by Robert Harder version of Statues.


The Ringmaster Review 22/06/2012

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