Arcade Messiah – II

John Bassett _RingMaster Review

Though time wise it has been around a year between releases, it feels like a mere breath in sound and relationship between the self-titled debut Arcade Messiah album and its successor II. Continuing in adventure where its acclaimed progressive rock predecessor left off, the new encounter is an emprise of instrumental majesty and incitement reconfirming John Bassett as one of Europe’s finest songwriters, composers, and musicians.

An artist no stranger to garnering thick attention and praise through his band KingBathmat and acoustic offerings under own his name, Bassett’s solo instrumental project Arcade Messiah is another unique proposition from him. Weaving strands of highly varied styles from metal to math rock, stoner to post rock with further diverse and progressive flavours soaked in stirring ambience, the first Arcade Messiah album was a riveting exploration of sound and emotion through individual incitements. Each song worked on the listener’s senses and imagination and as mentioned, II carries on in the same vein but further experiments with textures whilst stretching the fusion of styles and essences to richer and deeper extent. Basset himself neatly sums up II, saying “after the surprise success of last year’s original Arcade Messiah album and after receiving feedback from fans of that album I decided to make a sequel, a continuation of that album, that is hopefully bigger, better, more refined and more dramatic, but which didn’t lose the vibe and atmosphere that was created on the original album“.

Arcade-Messiah-II-Cover_RingMaster Review   II opens with Moon Signal and straight away thoughts drift on the breeze of melodic and atmospheric coaxing. Keys whisper suggestively with their calm caress whilst a guitar emotively entices before sparking a broadening into a thicker and more volatile landscape. The celestial air which painted the start continues to ebb and flow within the spatial yet tightly woven invitation of the track, its journey hinting at vastness and intimacy simultaneously whilst twisting through varied realms as the song explores new avenues of calm, tempestuousness, and imagination.

As expected, Bassett bewitches and provokes ears and emotions with his writing and craft, each piece of music a tapestry of clues and persuasion for the imagination to run with greedily, Red Widow another swift example and success. The second track has a more sinister air to its tone and presence which starting from a sonic mist is soon opening up layers of equally intimidating and seductive expression. The arousal of ear and thought also evolves through many guises within the full umbrella of sonic temptation, a creative travelogue shaping all tracks with the compelling Black Dice Maze a prime example as it glides through sonic intrigue and emotive calm as well as tenacious rock ‘n’ roll and ravenous volatility within its gripping theatre of sound and invention.

The next up Gallows Way seduces from its first touch. Initially it is a surf rock infused ambient hug on the senses, soon spreading out with evocative melodies and reflective sonic shimmers as guitars and keys align with shadowy but restrained rhythms. The skills and invention of Bassett across the instrumentation is a perpetual doorway into the heart of the music, guitars especially descriptive and suggestive across the album but just as potent are the rhythmic contrasts and darker hues that can either ripple or erupt in more forceful intent to temper or enhance the adventure around them. In the fourth song beauty dominates though whereas Fourth Quarter involves rugged scenery of riffs and dynamics within a sonic radiance which immerses the listener with a climate of invitational sultriness and tempting danger. The track is a gripping fascination and rich aural temptation matched in might by the sultry mystique of Via Occulta. The short piece is a maze of shadows, a lure into secrets and hidden depths, and a spellbinding flight even with its brevity.

Across both Read The Sky and Start Missing Everybody, artist and album continue to be a kaleidoscope of aural ingenuity and temptation; each of them evocations which transfix and incite the senses and imagination into unique interpretation of the sonic palette on offer. The closing pair of the two is a melancholic kiss but just as potently fuelled by hope and energy to create something emotionally anthemic.

The CD version also includes the bonus track The Four Horsemen, a striking cover of the Aphrodite’s Child song which was also Arcade Messiah’s contribution to the recently vinyl released compilation album by Fruit De Mer Records called Side Effects. Alone it is worth the purchase of a CD, Bassett giving the track fresh life and suggestiveness, though the cream of II is undoubtedly his original and thrilling tracks.

John Bassett as mentioned is for us one of the UK’s most potent and stirring songwriters, let alone musicians, and II another thick slice of pleasure.

Arcade Messiah II is out now digitally as a name your price download @ via Stereohead Records and on CD from November 27th.

Pete RingMaster 23/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Slumlord Radio – Too Pretty For Tijuana

SR_RingMaster Review

After releasing the excellent $3 Dollars, A Half Pack of Smokes and Some Other Jive S​*​*​t album earlier this year, it a compilation of tracks from their earlier EPs with a couple of fresh treats for good measure, Slumlord Radio now uncage some brand new punk ‘n’ roll incitements to contemplate in the fiery shape of Too Pretty For Tijuana. It is an encounter which seems to have looked back at previous releases and taken the prime and prize elements from them, reseeded and honed them with new imagination, and then immersed the results in a new maturity and enterprise. Slumlord Radio is still as violently funky as before and as aggressively dirty, but now its sound is wrapped in a contagiously imaginative swagger and unpredictable adventure that has produced with ease the band’s finest moment yet.

Apparently bred in the slums of Grand Rapids and emerging in 2010, Slumlord Radio was soon stoking a reputation for the live shows and fusion of punk, sludge, metal, and unbridled power. Release wise, The Cats Pajamas in 2012 nudged attention though it was more the infectious raw rock ‘n roll of Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle the following year that found a new and wide range of appetites focusing in on the band; us included at this point. The potential fuelling the encounter was confirmed and stretched by the excellent No Trick Pony in 2014, a raw and grouchily aggressive offering which was as irritable as it was magnetic. As suggested earlier, with Too Pretty For Tijuana, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Erickson, bassist Mike Todd, and drummer Matt Claucherty seem to have reassessed past triumphs, taken all the richness from them and aligned all with new invention for a whole new escapade creatively fresh yet still distinctly Slumlord Radio.

album_Cover_1_RingMaster ReviewCarrying a Tarantino like southern theme in air and word, Slumlord Radio the good, the bad, and the ugly; Too Pretty For Tijuana leaps from its cinematic spoken Intro into Bullwhip and a bar-room good time for all. With heavy beats stirring up caustic riffs as the recognisable growling roars of Erickson prowl the emerging cage of confrontation, the track is soon swinging its infectious sinews with belligerent and addictive prowess. The bass growl brewed is as gripping and predatory as the chunky riffs and tendrils of inflamed toxicity, a mix alone which ignites ears and imagination but once given an almost glam rock like host of hooks and grooves it becomes slavery in a speaker.

The following Debonair Dolomite strolls in on a magnetic rumble of beats from Claucherty, his thick bait wrapped in stoner sown lures of guitar aligning with seductive attitude soaked bass. From its perpetual rhythmic incitement, the song bounds along with hook driven infection and ripe grooving until mid-way when it suddenly drift into a slow smoulder of evocative melodies and vocal reflection. In no time at all though, things are brewing up again, intensity and energy rising until band and song are once more preying on the listener with their addictive and thrilling fierce shuffle.

A tangy resourcefulness soaks Southpaw next, its entrance laying a sultry and exotic Latin hued soundscape which simply lures the imagination in deep before the guitars begin to weave their scorched temptation and rhythms start showing their muscle. In the flow of a hanging man’s breath, rapaciously heavy grooves are stalking ears, their descriptive winy texture southern rock toned and thick as tar but equally adventurous as alongside flames of hard and classic rock escape with agreeably raw tones and textures in chase.

Intermission adds more of the underlying narrative before Tycoon gets dirty with the listener, again grooves, hooks, and beats colluding to infest ears with infectious endeavours and addiction forging enterprise. Anthemic roars from across the band only add to the insatiable persuasion of the song whilst backing up Erickson punk aggression perfectly. One of the shorter moments on the EP, the outstanding incitement sees blood rushing through veins and neck muscles stretched, leaving the listener exhausted yet energised ready for another almost insidious horde of grooves and intoxicating hooks to be enslaved by. Managing to unite old school punk, seventies hard rock, and garage spawned rock ‘n’ roll, Choke 66 spews imagination and inescapable bait across its incendiary trap, only losing a little steam when it too dips for a relatively brief moment of emotive calm.

With just an Outro piece to follow, the album is closed up by a new or certainly updated version of Fort Knox, a fan favourite which first appeared on the Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle EP. With greater definition to its grooves, clarity to its busy body and simply new energy in its heart, the track seems to relish its make-over, growing in its skin and emerging even more impressive than first time around. Simply the ‘teenager has become a man’, something which kind of applies to the Slumlord Radio sound generally, as Too Pretty For Tijuana ends on a lofty high.

Uncompromising, bruising, and incessantly dynamic, that is Slumlord Radio rock ‘n’ roll and fair to say we have become even more enamoured with through their new incitement.

Too Pretty For Tijuana is out now via Honyock/Silver Maple Kill Records @ the Slumlord Radio Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 01/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers – #3

Archie Deep_RingMaster Review

With two releases under their belts, French rockers Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers might still be lurking in the shadows of recognition with a great many but that could be changing with the release of their new mini album which is simply called #3. Bursting with attitude loaded, fiery rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s third offering is a blaze of impassioned sound and inventive tenacity which makes a very good impression first time around but just gets more creatively impressive and boldly persuasive with every taking of its rousing stomp.

Hailing from Oléron, an island off the Atlantic coast of France and due west of Rochefort, Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers consists of Archi Deep, Camille Sullet, and Martin Leroy. Formed around two years ago, the band quickly sparked attention with debut EP #1 in the November of 2013. Shows and tours around France followed with hunger, the band more recently spreading their sounds in French tours and into the UK after the successful release last year of their second EP, #2. Now their energy fuelled blues spiced, and slightly warped rock ‘n’ roll has an increasingly thrilling outing with the latest proposal from the band. With this also our introduction to Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers, we cannot say how it compares to their previous encounters, or describe the growth of their sound, but looking ahead with #3 as evidence, this is a band going places and more than worthy of a hefty moment of your time.

cover_RingMaster Review   Their sound is a kind of a mix between two UK bands past and present, a kind of coincidental hybrid of My Red Cell and Medusa, and as suggested more irresistibly tempting with every excursion. The EP starts with Nowhere Man and a great scraping of guitar which in turn triggers a groaning bass groove aligned to equally cantankerous and thickly enticing scythes of melodic tonic. The voice of Archi carries similar attitude and expression, his tones also crawling seductively through ears but with an intimidating glint of devilish intent in tow. The song continues to prowl until the blues rock enterprise within the strings and fingers on the guitar cannot restrain their resourceful and smiling endeavour any longer, throwing off any wrap to further light ears and imagination. The band’s current single, it is stirring stuff with the heavy swiping beats only ensuring further that its impact just gets bigger and more tempestuous over time.

The excellent start continues with I’m On The Run, a song opening with a far mellower and gentle coaxing for ears. The enjoyable and already slightly off-kilter vocal delivery is an immediate tempting which is hugged by a hazy melodic web of guitar. Attention is tempted instantly and firmly hooked once a mighty rally of beats sparks the track to burst out with an infectious swing to its body and gait. A wonderful gnarly tone from the bass quickly adds to the theatre and addictiveness of the song, its raw snarl matched in fuzzy kind by riffs, the intensity of the beats, and the salacious glamour lining the enthralling tendrils of blues skinned craft spinning from guitars. It also carries a great stoner-esque feel to its almost bruising rock ‘n roll, another additive to leave thoughts and appetite grinning greedily.

High Minds engages ears next, its acoustic kaleidoscope a tapestry of flavours and seemingly inspirations, merging everything from rock to rap to indie to Lennon and McCartney with imagination. The song is an instant friend which again, as is the theme of the release, just gets more compelling and involving with every escapade with it, a quality once more reflected in the southern kissed, desert rock of I Can See. Whether, moving on a relaxed and spicy canter or uncaging a bracing tempest of energy, veined by molten guitar and spiky rhythmic adventure, the song is aural virulence and quite irresistible.

Taking a little longer than others to tap into the same kind of reactions found elsewhere, Real is a smouldering incitement which just seems to get more determined to have its way with every play, that an inevitable success with its great emotive and melodic turbulence, though with personal tastes it still has to settle for the shade of its companions, especially against the closing mercurial roar of If Only It Was Sunny. The song is glorious, an unpredictable and explosive blues croon of dirty and heart felt rock ‘n’ roll, and the perfect way to conclude one riveting release.

If you like your rock ‘n’ roll on fire than take it from us, Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers and #3 is a must check out. Simple as that!

#3 is released October 2nd and available digitally at the band’s Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 01/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Sloth – Slow As Shit

sloth-desert_RingMaster Review

Lounge music for the aftermath of the apocalypse; the sound crawling, seeping through Slow As Shit certainly lives up to its title, and indeed the name of its creator Sloth. The predominantly instrumental album is half predation, half raw hypnotic temptation; a mix breed of doom and sludgy invention at times entwined with electronic and stoner mischief, and a very solid and alluring introduction to the solo project of Blake Caverly.

With inspirations probably safe to assume coming from the likes of Pallbearer, Bongripper, and Boris, Sloth and Slow As Shit swiftly entice and intrigue with opener Meditate. Instantly dark and cavernous with a portentous air to its emergence, the brief piece is the sonic yawn of a beast about to arise and slowly lumber across the senses. Its successor Green Sunrise similarly begins on a provocative sonic touch, its radioactive texture soon breeding thick, slowly stretching tendrils of guitar and creeping rhythms. As the atmosphere becomes more caustically blustery, the grooves find a ‘warmer’ voice to their enterprise whilst beats explore even more intrusive intent in contrast, all elements uniting in a predatory crawl as suitable to the ascent of a beast like Mothra as it would be to the demise of life as we know it. The imposingly alluring encounter continues to brew malcontent in its nature and extensive presence though like a couple of the other tracks, it stays a minute or two too long for personal tastes but with strong hooks and smart repetition aligning with the craft and imagination of the song, it ensures a captivating start to the album.

sloth-cover-art_RingMaster Review     Waking Up follows and shares a heavier, more malevolently hued landscape and surrounding air with ears. As in its predecessors, and indeed those to come, electronic essences and temptations bubble and simmer within the dark doomscape of the song, their shards of unpredictability and spatial light increasing the intoxicating melodic endeavour veining the creative mass of shadows and suggestiveness. A post rock breeze similarly brings to light new aspects and depths to the music, each glimpse adding more colour to the sound and the temptation working away on the imagination.

The following Call Of The Sloth is another intensive crawl over the listener; its smog of invasive energy bred in the sonic craft of Caverly, itself a keen persuasion to body and thoughts. Every moment in its nine plus minutes, brings fresh tones and rich slithers of imagination but also, certainly on the surface, a few close similarities to the tracks around it, that element emphasized in the repetitious air which coats the song’s extensive length. Nevertheless, it is little less than compelling as it sets ears and thoughts up for the ravenous experience of Nothing But Leaves. Featuring vocals from Mikey Gascoyne of Valravn, the track is a tantalising mix of melodic melancholy, doom bred suffocation, and scarred blackened textures which twist and evolve whilst luring in other flavours around the raw tones of Gascoyne. It perpetually crackles and burns on the senses, leaving scarred flesh in its corrosive wake whilst equally inciting an eager appetite for more with its melodic enterprise.

Awaken That Which Lies Amongst The Trees cakes the senses in a thick atmospheric trespass and sonic acidity next, the guitar craft of Caverly especially persuasive in tempering more savage vocal squalls whilst Smoke ‘N’ Sleep brings the album to a fine close with its unexpected, electronic stoner-esque waltz. Keys simply entice and dance in ears and imagination, the music’s air drifting as fluidly as the song title suggests as EBM seeded hooks add to the creative revelry. In many ways the track does not fit with what came before it but there is no escaping that it still provides a thoroughly enjoyable and relevant end to the release.

   Slow As Shit is a great first glimpse at the craft and invention of Blake Caverly. It might not be the release to get you over excited but as we have found, it is likely to ignite potent intrigue in the exploits of Sloth ahead.

Slow As Shit is available from September 28th via the Sloth Bandcamp

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out

Luna Sol – Blood Moon

Pic_Colin Farrell

Pic_Colin Farrell

Vocalist/guitarist David Angstrom has been part of and behind a few potent propositions, Hermano, Supafuzz, and Asylum On The Hill included, but he might have just outdone them all with Luna Sol, certainly if their debut album is a taste of things to come. Blood Moon is a glorious roar of backwoods bred stoner rock, bulging with voracious riffs and intoxicating grooves as well as a blues spicing to have you woozy. It is also one of the most contagiously virulent slabs of dark rock ‘n’ roll to hit the senses in recent months, nay years.

It was 2012 when Angstrom moved to the mountains just north of Denver and began being inspired by the local news and folklore, and you might suggest the “we don’t like strangers” mind-set that small out of the way communities can develop. With songs in his creative pocket, Angstrom formed Luna Sol with local musicians in the creative shape of guitarist/ vocalist Shanda Kolberg (The Swanks), bassist /vocalist Shannon Fahnestock (The Swindlers), and drummer Pat Gill (The Feds, ’76 Pinto). Recorded at Sierra Estates in Colorado, Blood Moon is the first aural moonshine from the band, a collection of songs easy to get a greedy taste for alongside a rabid addiction too.

Musically there is no escaping offering references to the likes of Kyuss and early Queens Of The Stone Age, but they are colours to a tapestry hard to suggest is anything but Luna Sol like. Quick evidence comes with album opener Bridges. Percussion and guitar make an immediate lure which soon expands in a haze of sonic electricity and spicy enterprise as the vocal roar of Angstrom hits ears and appetite as forcibly as the sounds around him. It is soon evident that vocals are shared in varying ways across the band which only adds to the diversity and theatre of song and creative release. The album also features several guests, here Dean Smith (Supafuzz) adding bass growls within the fiery web of guitars.

Lunasol_Blood Moon_Cover_RingMaster Review   The excellent enslaving start continues with Death Mountain, the skills of bassist Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquestra del Desierto) and slide guitarist Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters) adding to the crawling seduction on offer. Almost from its first breath, ‘drunken’ grooves are winding their meandering charm around the imagination whilst the bass is a grouchy but compelling protagonist against the potent twin vocal delivery. Like a primal seductress the track entices and crawls over the listener, intimidating as it lures until the infection flooded chorus warms the soul as the prowess of Martin bewitches.

The pair of December and Leadville keep ears and appetite just as engrossed next, the first of the two with its dirtier air and more predatory attitude backed by the additional magnetic tones of John Garcia (Vista Chino, Hermano, Kyuss). The track has the weight and muscle of a beast and the sonic toxicity of neat liquor as well as the melodic beauty of a mountain vista, whilst its successor unleashes an addiction forging swing any rock band would salaciously solicit for. Its swagger is irresistible and sonic air bracing with the peak of pleasure arriving with the slips into the relative calm of banjo plucks and vocal repetition courted by a juicy dark bass tempting.

Pretty Rotten keeps that slightly bestial tone going in its compelling stroll lined with the barracuda like tones of the bass provided by Nick Oliveri (Vista Chino, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age). As with the previous pair of tracks there is also an essence of what is basically rock pop catchiness which plays like a mix of 12 Stone Toddler and Eagle of Death Metal and has ears and emotions fired up as greedily as the tonic of blues flames scorches the whole thrilling affair.

Thicker classic rock hues join stoner instincts for Operator, a song which took longer to warm to in the same way the others inspired but almost creeps up on the passions as by half way realisation sets in that body sways and vocal participation have joined the call before thoughts. The track is hypnotic, another hazily crawling tempting which eventually and fully has its way before passing over ears to Standley Lake for an infestation of the imagination and psyche with its rhythmic spell and scorching winey grooves. It too is a slow burn on the passions in a way but a highly resourceful and successful one easily involving hips and throat by the time Your Way steps forward with its rich blues and psych rock smoulder aided by the Hammond prowess of Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses). Immersive and atmospherically ablaze, the track leaves lips licked in satisfaction before leaving the darkly haunted In the Shadows to being the album comes to a close. Jason Groves (Supafuzz, Asylum on the Hill) offers the bass bait in this mouth-watering caliginous proposal, musically and narratively the song aural drama of noir soaked hidden deeds and dark souls, and thoroughly riveting.

It is a mighty end to one thoroughly exhilarating release; the last card in a deck of spellbinding persuasion which from start to finish enrols the listener in an adventure of strange melancholy and curious endeavours. It is also a swamp of rock ‘n’ roll which just rouses the spirit impossibly the best heavy rock album this year, certainly the favourite.

Blood Moon is available from September 11th across UK/Europe via Cargo Records.

Pete Ringmaster 11/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out

Sewer Rats – Money Maker EP

_RingMaster Review

Dirty, energetically angry, and sonically visceral; that is Money Maker, the debut EP from British psych rockers Sewer Rats. The band has a sound which more than lives up to its name and a release which is bred from the filthiest recesses of their grungy psychedelic lit minds. The five track encounter, unleashed by London based label Fluffer Records, intimidates and tempts in equal insatiable fashion whilst providing the potent seeds for a very healthy and musically carnal future for the band.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Luke Morris, bassist Iain Morrison, and drummer Dean Robbins, the Immingham in Lincolnshire hailing Sewer Rats has been brewing up plenty of keen attention through their fiery live presence and abrasive sound. Money Maker is sure to inflame matching success, its recent release already luring rich acclaim and hungry new appetites their way.

cover_RingMaster Review   It all begins with Skint and a swift caustic wind of guitar which in no time is part of a sonic lacerating of the senses as gnarly bass, scything beats, and raw intensity joins the mix. It is a blend weaving a sludgy swamp of stoner bred grooves and heavy, almost animalistic, riffs led by the scowling, Lemmy-esque tones of Morris. As thick and aggressive as that is, the scuzzy roar accompanying the sounds expelled ensures there is viciousness to the swing of the song and an irked belligerence to its bracing air. It is a superb start to the release, addictive hooks and grooves vocal throughout the tempest before it all makes way for Devil Blues.

The second track has a slightly more laid back approach to its bluesy filtered cauldron but still stirs up a blaze of scarring sonic trespass and anthemic hostility bound in more scorching grooves. Again this is a title which perfectly sums up its content; rock ‘n’ roll to open up hell and enslave salacious souls, and indeed leave the listener exhaustingly wanting more.

The psychedelic instincts of the band take centre stage with the instrumental Black Label Serotonin. It is a sweltering climate of sultry melodies and surf rock twisted enterprise, providing rich evidence that Sewer Rats can be as emotionally and sonically gentle as they are aurally ferocious. It is a bewitching hex which is swiftly a memory as the EP’s corrosive title track surges with toxic radiance and caustic energy straight after. Once more grooves collude with searing hooks and ever grouchy vocals to create a swagger to the sonic blizzard, and again feet and senses are treated to a rebelliously contagious and enjoyably punishing stomp.

Money Maker is concluded by So Far Away, the brutish Motorhead meets Black Tusk corruption of its predecessor replaced by a wash of psych rock acidity aligned to a southern kissed morass of aggressive invasiveness and inhospitable noise. It is a mighty end to a gripping release, though you can easily sense that Sewer Rats is only at the start of its evolution and there will be plenty more attention grabbing and mightier proposals forged ahead, certainly just as uncompromising ones.

If the likes of Bad For Lazarus, Converge, Mastodon, Unsane…well you get the idea, are your temptation check Money Maker out for sure.

The Money Maker EP is out digitally and on vinyl now through Fluffer Records.

RingMaster 14/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Helligators – Road Roller Machine

Hell_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that Road Roller Machine lives up to its name, the new album from Italian heavy rockers Helligators an unrelenting juggernaut of ravenous riff driven rock ‘n’ roll. Immersing strains of blues and stoner bred colour into a raw and uncompromising tempest of power and intensity, the release is a thumping treat of bruising and invigorating sound; not the most unique you are likely to come across this year but without doubt one of the most exhaustingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Rome, the 2009 formed Helligators self-released their debut album Against All Odds two years later, it and a video for the track Tattooed Killer, enticing keen attention the way of the band. The varied flavouring in their imposing sound sparked increasingly eager appetites from that point on, with the release of 2012 single Snake Oil Jesus only reinforcing their emerging presence and potent musical persuasion. The song was a strong teaser to things to come too, pleasures to be found and grown further in the 2014 recorded and recently released Road Roller Machine. Alongside all of this the band’s live presence has equally drawn acclaim, the sharing of stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Nashville Pussy, Doomraiser, Strana Officina, Bad Bones and many more persistently impressing over time. Now it is with their second album released on Sliptrick Records, to whom the band signed this past spring, that Helligators are looking to stir up rock ‘n’ roll ‘trouble’, and such its rigorously persuasion it is hard to see them not becoming a loud household name.

copertina_road_roller_machine_RingMaster Review     Recorded with Luciano Chessa, Road Roller Machine bursts into rugged life with Nomad, a lone invigorating groove straight away gripping ears and appetite before rhythms and heavily robust riffs join the deliciously intensive early bait of the song. Thoughts of Motorhead quickly take hold, hints joining just as pungent ones of Danish band Grumpynators spicing up the deluge of spiky rhythms and ravenous riffery. It is a thrilling onslaught only accentuated by the growling tones of vocalist Hellvis, his bear like delivery a thick incitement within the increasingly tenacious enterprise surrounding him. Guitarists El Santo and Kamo bring stoner and blues lined hues to entwine with insatiable charge of riffs, both also providing good vocal backing to Hellvis, with everything involved adding up to the most hellacious and thrilling start to the album; maybe to any heavy rock album this year.

The Doomstroyer holds court next, its opening sonic coaxing over swiftly addictive enticing from drummer Alex, again an immediate grab of the listener. Heftily anthemic from the first instant, the track continues to incite imagination and body with the descriptive expression of Hellvis against slightly restrained rhythms and riffs but lures still pulling at the leash of intimidation. There is a Desert Storm like air to the track, a dirty and tempestuous climate which is as volatile as it is infectious, especially as guitar cast melodic tendrils wrap around rhythmic pistons and the song’s raw ferocity.

A ‘lighter’ air springs forth with Scream next; its blues rock breeding spicy veining to a landscape as rugged as that of its predecessor. The bass of Goblin stalks the song from its first second, a dark and predacious spine the guitars entwine with their constantly evolving and enthralling ideation. The individual craft and passion of each member is an equally roaring essence in each album track, and here uniting in a furnace of virulent adventure and instinctive tempting for a success more or less matched by both She Laughs and Snake Oil Jesus. The first of the two tempers its rabid aggressiveness with mellower melodic rock resourcefulness, both guitars and even the vocals infusing a relative calm to proceedings though the gripping snarl of the bass and the ever wickedly jabbing beats of Alex ensures there is no lack of the bands intimidating edge. Its successor is a groove machine all on its own, an incessant scorcher which spills adrenaline fuelled intensity and rebellious attitude with every caustic syllable and acidic chord. Once more the band twists in strong variety to the design and persuasion of the song; never going into the unknown but only leaving ears and appetite urgently wanting more.

More is what you get with Truckdriver, a track with little in the way of major surprises but a tank load of inventive enterprise in its southern honed rumble. There is no escape from the pure contagion of the song or that of the sultry and sinister dark majesty of Swamp Man Voodoo. Every groove and predatory hook oozes menace, backed by the rapacious nature of rhythms and the ever hungry riffs though each element also leaks rich seduction that never lets go. The outstanding song is pure theatre, a satanic dance and fiercely vociferous trespass for the soul.

No surprises for guessing the character of a song called Bad Ass from Helligators, its air instant belligerence and sound swift confrontation with of course plenty which just invites full involvement before Stone Crusher takes over with its Metallica meets AC/DC like blaze. There is no denying that the song did not find the same depth of appetite as those before it, or to be fairer as consistently as those as there are moments when the band again shows they can rival any one in unleashing a torrent of rock ‘n’ roll brilliance with thick rigorous invention.

Road Roller Machine is brought to an end by the acoustically crafted Black Sun and its blues kissed melodic smoulder. The song fuses stoner and southern rock hues with classic rock ingredients to sculpt another song which maybe does not quite match those earlier within the album but is impossible to tear one away from whilst providing a fine end to one mighty slab of heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll. Helligators have no interest in re-inventing rock music but certainly they want to give everyone a riotously good time and that they do big style with Road Roller Machine.

Road Roller Machine is out on Sliptrick Records now!

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright