The Machismo’s – Good Things About To Happen

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Earlier this year we were treated to the re-releases of the first EP and album from the mighty under acclaimed early 90s alt-rockers Jacob’s Mouse and now if that was not enough to feast upon, also via Sturm Und Drang Recordings we are being blessed by Good Things About To Happen, the solo album of Bury St Edmunds-based songwriter/producer Sam Marsh, and the vocalist/drummer of said previous band. Under the name The Machismo’s, Marsh started writing and recording around the time of the demise of Jacob’s Mouse in 1995. He recorded two full albums in his home cassette portastudio subsequently whilst assembling a live band to take the music to the masses. It was seemingly not a ‘serious’ intent as Marsh moved onto other projects and the songs and albums were put aside unreleased. Thankfully twenty years on the man re-looked at this work and realising their quality and worth has brought 1996 debut album Good Things About To Happen to the world, a gift to us all with its exceptional songs and invention, the release easily one of the most enjoyable encounters this year.

The Machismo’s is very different to the almost psychotically arranged sounds of Jacob’s Mouse, but like that band the album has a seed of discord brilliance and startling yet thoughtfully composed simplicity that is just riveting and the spring board for thoughts and passions, from him and in us. Also like his previous band, the presence of The Machismo’s is impossible to place just in one box, or at times even find a pigeonhole for. A blend of acoustic and folk caresses placed in an experiment of noise pop and synapse teasing enterprise, the best we can do in description, Good Things About To Happen instantly tells you all you need to know about album and artist with its opening title track, and it has to be said that its seductive sting is instant and lingering.

The first song almost lumbers into view as heavy acoustic riffs and equally weighty rhythms introduce themselves but there is a vibrancya0731346688_10 and energy to it that draws limbs and emotions to their eager feet. Composed and performed by Marsh alone, as is the mixing and production, the song takes a mere breath to impress, the range of guitar tones and vocal invention side by side each other irresistible whilst the dark twang of chords and the almost sinister throaty bass stalking of the senses just delicious. As mentioned discord adds its fingertips to the surface of all aspects too, adding a richer tang to the aural spice that tempts reactions into aural lust. Infectious and hypnotic, the track is a thrilling introduction to something which expectations and hopes came nowhere near in assumption.

The following Macho Theme and Jilt compliment the start potently, even if they miss gripping the opening plateau set by a whisker. The first is a sonic wash of caustic garage rock with punk shadows, guitars slashing across the ear with fire bred intensity and sinew clad rhythms caging senses in an enslaving web of beats and intimidation. Its successor then comes in to slowly swarm over the body with slightly acidic melodic hugs aided by a rhythmic shuffle. As with most songs, Marsh offers a twin vocal attack that is quite riveting and here mesmeric in its charm and persuasion, matching the mix of beauty and cutting invention veining the sounds. With a barbed groove that is rich in familiarity and a melodic toxin, the track is a slow burner that creeps up on and steals the passions over numerous plays. The great thing about the album and emphasised by this track alone, is that the seeming familiarity is so often from songs and bands coming after the writing of the never released album two decades ago, coincidence can be a tease at times.

From the immense start there is another elevation in excellence starting with Down The Drain, the track a sauntering slice of sonically sculpted R&B with the individuality, in not so much sound but unique composition and fusing of discordant fuel and melodic fire, that marks the solo work of Frank Black, and also the contagiousness. There is dark blues sultriness to the track too which brings Black Keys/Jack White essences to bear. After next up Ickworth Park Song, another track which took time to persuade with its noir elegance, Loosen Up strolls down the senses into the heart with its rhythmic trot. Across its stroll the guitar forges a repetitive coaxing that is irresistible whilst the UB40 like prowl of the song carved by the excellent bass lure and dark almost carnivorous second guitar is a blissful counter to the again excellent dreamgaze like vocals of Marsh, though they too have a steel and raw edge.

A pinnacle though it is, Good Things About To Happen only moves on to greater things as surrounding the supremacy of the tautly harmonious New Start and the intriguing Rogue Males, there are the show stealers When You Know It’s Real and The Storm. The first of the two struts with an opening reggae seeded lope of guitar cuts and roaming heavy bass drawl, both ridden by the drifting vocals of Marsh. Teasing upon dubstep, the song evolves into an imagination capturing leisurely drift that has thoughts climbing all over the idea that the song is like World Domination Enterprises and Shriekback playing together under a summer haze with Dalek I Love You and The Gist. It is a glorious amble for the passions easily matched by the final song. The Storm is sheer brilliance, a track which again suggests others though damned if they come to mind within its familiar presence.  Crafted with a virulently addictive heart stroking mesh of repetition, vocal evocation, and rhythmic conjuring, it is a stunning end to an equally majesty release.

We may have unknowingly had to wait a long time to devour creativity of this quality but Good Things About To Happen is now here to make our hearts and the world a better place. Roll on album two.

www.facebook.com/themachismos

9.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Horse Party – Scarlet & Blue EP

HP

Following up the success of previous singles Clarion Call and Back To Mono earlier this year, UK trio Horse Party now treat our senses with the Scarlet & Blue EP, a three track release recorded live at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, UK, on Saturday 4th May 2013. It is a release which easily shows why the band is so warmly talked and enthused about for their live presence as much as their recorded material. It is a mesmeric encounter which wraps around the ear as if you were there and sweet talks the passions into being seduced by the magnetic garage rock lures of the band.

Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, Horse Party came together in the latter part of last year with drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley recruiting vocalist/guitarist Eleanor Lou (Ellie Langley) to join their project. Taking inspirations from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films into their unique vision, the three piece immediately drew attention with that debut single Clarion Call in January soon joined and exceeded in success by April release Back To Mono.

As the singles, the new EP is released through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and starts off with Back To Mono, its opening guitar a0259051376_2strikes seemingly steeped in the Beatles track Get Back. It is an immediately luring start backed eagerly by the punchy rhythms of Shannon Hope. Simple but as potent as you could wish for the band hold their audience and listener in their musical palms especially when the fine vocals of Eleanor Lou offer a further melodic smouldering ably assisted by the strong tones of Seymour Quigley. It is one of those songs which calls the heart with instinctive understanding of what it needs to find its flame and live its potency is arguably even more powerful.

The following Scarlet & Blue smoulders tenderly in the ear as the vocals and guitar place melodic arms around the shoulders of thoughts and senses. This warm suasion is a constant temptress but has to give way to an equally satisfying raw clash of percussion and riff blaze offering enticing crescendos. Again you can almost feel the mesmerised audience drifting away on the evolving winds of the song such its dominant but reserved temptation.

Final track Six with its sultry air and evocatively heated melodic caresses completes a hat-trick of thoroughly absorbing treats with guitars and vocals, drums and warmth all pouring from the stage through the speakers with creative passion and energy. Alongside its fellow instigators of the passions, the song leaves a lingering impressiveness in its wake to confirm Horse Party as one of the really exciting bands to emerge in the UK in recent months. Available as a free download from http://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/ the Scarlet & Blue EP is an invitation you really should not pass up.

Catch Horse Party Live 2013 @ Sat 13th July – Bury St Edmunds Hunter Club w/The Vitamins • Sat 31st Aug – Bury St Edmunds Homegrown Festival • Sat 7th Sept – Stowmarket John Peel Centre w/Shonen Knife

https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

9/10

RingMaster 10/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Horse Party – Back To Mono

HP

Stomping with mischief and anthemic invitation whilst holding hands with melodic enterprise and expelling a fiery breath, Back To Mono the debut single from UK band Horse Party is an intriguing and thrilling introduction. A mild riot with reservation to its still vibrant energy and potent temptation, the song immediately marks the band as an exciting new tease for the passions with a matching confident swagger.

The Bury St Edmunds trio ventured forth in September of last year after guitarist and vocalist Eleanor Lou (Ellie) was ‘badgered’ into joining the band set up by drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, which according to the band bio happened having got drunk together in a church and sending ‘abusive messages’ to Ellie ‘ordering her to join a band whose primary goal would be to make or lose a million pounds.’ With a mutual passion and inspiration from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films fuelling their creativity the threesome released the song Clarion Call at the beginning of the year as a free download, a track which drew the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing and support slot offers, including one with Dingus Khan.

Release through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, their first official single instantly lures the listener in with an opening Beatlesque hook1317436922-1 of fuzzy guitar strokes and mutually resonating bass entrapment and once the great vocals of Ellie add their warm beckoning, Back To The Mono has a firm grip on the ear and emotions. The almost lo-fi touch of the song, its breath raw yet perfectly defined as a persuasion, brings a delicious organic feel whilst the blues soaked guitar hook and magnetic chorus only furthers its claim to the passions. A track which has no desires to create a tempest of evolving textures but instead offers a continual and solid prowl of the ear, it still manages to bring a heat and absorbing adventure which rivals and more often outshines the majority of similarly gaited and clothed indie tracks erupting out this year.

Standing somewhere between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morningwood, and Cradle, band and single inspire such promise that the wait for more from Horse Party is going to have a taste of impatience about it.

www.horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

8.5/10

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

RingMaster 15/04/2013

 

Shannon Hope: Self Titled EP

Shannon Hope by White Robot Photography

Shannon Hope by White Robot Photography

Consisting of six undiluted and naked brief snap shots of reflective emotion and musical sincerity, the self-titled debut EP from UK singer songwriter Shannon Hope is an enchantment which is impossible to pull away from. The release is a piece of honesty which is straight from the heart and as such is not ashamed in presenting its warts and all creative passions. It is not perfect but still a release which enchants and connects with thoughts and experiences with a knowing veracity.

Bury St Edmunds-based Hope first came to note at the closing period of the last decade as one half of boy-girl riot-punks Glory Glory, providing vocals and drums as well sharing the songwriting. The band drew strong plaudits for its DIY enterprise but upon its demise Hope moved back to her hometown and immersed in the local scene, as the vocalist/drummer for Rats As Big As Dogs and Horse. Richly inspired by the likes of Cat Power and Bjork she also began writing for herself, with the EP her first bewitching persuasion.

Released through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, the EP offers loud whispers of contemplative personal truth, smouldering voices of Shannon Hope EP coverrelationships and personal feelings wrapped in uncluttered and equally pensive sounds. Opening track A Part Of Me gently approaches the ear with shuffling percussion, a melancholic guitar, and the expressive elegant voice of Hope. From a slowly strolling melodic musing the song rises to its feet from time to time to tease the senses but never releases its emotive restraint or compelling lure. As with all the tracks there are shadows never far away to cast shade over the suggested and sometimes strong flickers of hope inspiring light, their union crafted with passion and intelligence.

The following I Could Do Without This again entwines varied eagerness of gait though never lifts a foot far from the dejected floor of the song.  Whilst rhythms scuff their way through the downcast mood of lyrics and breath, Hope once more holds sway over the listener with her mesmeric tones. The song is barely two minutes though seemingly passes much quicker within its presence, but ignites the passions with the strongest temptation on the release only matched by the opener.

Life’s Memorabilia and Any Road both lay bare their wounds in full gaze of ear and thoughts with the guitar of Hope at its most potent on the release, especially in the second of the two. There is no pretence or fussiness about the songs or EP overall either which immediately connect the emotions and thoughts of the artist to those of the listener, the simplicity of sound and honesty allowing one to feel part of Hope and her life. As to how personal the songs are the weeks ahead will reveal no doubt but within the embrace of the songs you only feel every note and word has been dramatically lived.

Closing songs Block You Out and Time Goes Too Fast bring a fine end to the encounter, the first with energy and drive which for the first time on the release does breaks sweat whilst the final song, without finding the same depth of engagement elsewhere, makes for a pleasing last caress. The production on the EP is minimal which perfectly complements the verity of the songwriting and sound. It maybe is not a release to ignite raging fires inside but nevertheless is an inviting and strongly satisfying pleasure.

www.shannonhope.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-Hope/190665394412245

7/10

RingMaster 18/03/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

www.audioburger.com

 

Jacob’s Mouse: The Dot EP / No Fish Shop Parking

408402_280126002088154_415134500_n

    Jacob’s Mouse was a band in the early nineties which stretched creative limits and ventured into unexplored sonic shadows but also escaped the deserved success and recognition less worthy ear friendly bands received. The trio brewed an instinctive and intrusive blend of indie rock, post punk, and various incisions of inciting noise and aural storms, a sound which explored the listener as much as its own corners and boundaries. Now for the first time two of their releases have a digital release, their debut EP The Dot and first album No Fish Shop Parking, and a long overdue treat for noise fans they truly are.

From Bury St Edmunds, the 1988 formed Jacob’s Mouse consisted of identical twin brothers Hugo and Jebb Boothby on guitar and bass respectively, and vocalist/ drummer Sam Marsh. Taking reported influences from the likes of Fugazi, Minor Threat, Big Black, Pixies, and Hüsker Dü, the band released by the vinyl-only The Dot EP through Liverish Records in 1990. The release grabbed critical acclaim and led the way to support slots with the likes of Nirvana, Suede, Th’ Faith Healers, and Manic Street Preachers, as well as enthused support from John Peel and Kurt Cobain. The following year saw the release of No Fish Shop Parking on Blithering Idiot, an imprint label of the band and continued the strong responses and acclamation surrounding the trio. As the nineties bred and flocked to the Brit-pop phenomenon, Jacob’s Mouse was found itself left out of the focus of an indie scene which was drooling over Oasis, Blur, and similar flavoured presences with a seeming tunnel vision. The threesome reacted in their own way by becoming even more experimental and creatively wilful, their following albums I’m Scared in 1993 and Rubber Room of 1995, released via Wiiija Records (home to Cornershop, Therapy? and BiS), testing and pushing their invention and craft to continually unappreciated responses. The year of their third and last album also saw the band call it a day to leave behind a legacy of unique and inspiring releases and songs which now finally have the chance to cast their magnetic sonic incitement once again.

Both releases come through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and make just as impressive an impact as they did first time around. TheJacobs Mouse Dot EP sleeve Dot EP musically is easy to describe though what you consequently imagine barely glances the reality of the sounds created. Like a searing fire of World Domination Enterprises, The Fire Engines, and Hüsker Dü, the five track release teases and taunts whilst creating its own eclectic character and originality. Opening track Signs initially plays with the ear with an inviting sonic groove before vocal squalls assault with abrasive passion. Unveiling up a web of mischievous delicious hooks and addictive discord driven melodies, the song is the strongest persuasion possible ably coaxed deeper into ardour by the wantonness of the basslines.

The following garage punk caustic brawl of Enterprise leads into the mesmeric Hey Dip Sugar with its dub infused charms and exhausting sonic adventure. Both tracks leave passions ablaze whilst Ho-Hum ignites the senses with insidious repetition lyrically and sonically for a full capture of the imagination and a grazing of their sensibilities. Closing on Microflesh with its blistered atmospheric radiance and gloriously acidic melodies, The Dot was and is an irresistible and deeply compelling introduction to the band and it is no surprise that the releases garnered such plaudits.

Jacobs Mouse - No Fish Shop Parking - front cover      No Fish Shop Parking shows the evolution in the ideas and sound of the band at the time. It still has the essences which made the EP so refreshing but expands to explore and extend the innovative design of the imagination reaped. Opening track Tumbleswan envelopes the ear in a sonic blaze veined with evocative spoken vocals, provocative bass taunts, and more defined melodies than found on the EP. There is a Gang Of Four breath to the track which opens up the attraction further whilst immediately standing as a step forward from their debut release. The following tracks Twist, She Is Dead, and A Place to Go to, entrap the passions further with their distinct stances, the first another Gang Of Four like provocation whilst the other pair search through garage rock seeds to breed their own senses confronting glories.

From the dub blossomed Carfish, a track which has a touch of Ruts about it, the best track not only on the album but arguably one of the best from the band ever sends one into orbit. Caphony is simply sensational, a psychobilly rhythm and simmering tease loaded into a hungry and devilish groove and energy. Though the song predates Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers they are a fair reference with slithers of Screaming Blue Messiahs adding extra spice. Justice and The Vase complete the exceedingly magnificent album with further unique enterprise, the whole release an inspiring sculpted maelstrom of invention and noise.

As more and more noise rock bands emerge you can hear the sounds and inspirations of Jacob’s Mouse within much of their creativity, whether they realise it or not and with this twin release maybe the band will now get the full recognition and awareness it so surely deserves.

www.facebook.com/jacobsmouse

The Dot 9/10 No Fish Shop Parking 9/10

RingMaster 12/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

www.audioburger.com