Melvins – Tres Cabrones

melvins tres cabrones

Since day one there has been a magnetic charm, flair, genius, whatever you wish to call it about Melvins and their unique releases. It is a potency or schizophrenic mastery which has seduced and fulfilled an ever growing legion throughout their thirty year inventive assault. Whatever the success and heights individual releases have found the band has never left anyone wanting for quality and the distinctive essence which is pure Melvins, and new persuasion Tres Cabrones is no exception. Whether it is one of their finest moments to date can and will be discussed no doubt but certainly this mischievous temptation is prime Melvins, a riveting, and exceedingly satisfying provocation which feeds expectations whilst stretching areas of their sound just that little bit more.

The twelve track Ipecac Recordings released album sees two thirds of the first band line-up in place, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover linking up with original drummer Mike Dillard who left the band in 1984, and with diversity and unpredictability set in the familiar Melvins cast style Tres Cabrones makes for an irresistible rampage through the imagination. It is an instant instigator for the passions from the very start with opener Dr. Mule with its addictive blaze of crisply laid rhythms and fiery grooves within a sonic web of enterprise, making a compelling introduction to the release. The song unleashes an almost sirenesque lure through its seductive sonic tempting, an element of Pere Ubu spicing its presence with the vocals especially recalling the bedlamic delivery of David Thomas. It is an outstanding entrance into the album immediately backed up by the just as impressive City Dump.

The second track is a dirty growl of rock ‘n’ roll, carnivorous riffs snarling persistently whilst sonic flames scorch the air with an equally needy rabidity which leaves a hunger rife within the emotions, this fired up appetite soon given plenty to chew upon with American Cow and Dogs and Cattle Prods. The first of the pair is a stalking intimidation, its predacious riffery a deliciously worrisome confrontation skirted by dark throated basslines and sonic manipulations of guitar. There is a grizzled contempt to the vocals throughout too though nicely tempered by the cleaner delivery both adding impressive bait within the cantankerous prowl. The second of the two is a festering of grimy hard rock and sonic teasing which makes a straightforward bruising narrative for its first stretch before exuding the band’s finest stoner imagination and fire as it evolves its striking presence with a sultry breath, acoustic caresses, and crawling, searing dynamics.

The song is followed by the second of three fun filled interludes; Tie My Pecker to a Tree, 99 Bottles of Beer, and You’re In The Army Now all delivered in the inimitable Melvins style to leave grins wide and providing a respite from an intensity built in other tracks, such as the synapse tantalising Psychodelic Haze, a song which sizzles whilst leering greedily at and putting pressure upon the senses through a sonic infused concussive smog. If that enthralling mental trip was not enough the threesome take it further with the excellent I Told You I Was Crazy. The discord fuelled, brain addling treat is swamp gas seeping sonic devilry at its best, a presence which soaks and tempts the imagination into a shadow drenched slice of asylum courted majesty, its sinister cradling of the ears a cross between Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers and  Buzzov•en, but all Melvins.

Both Stump Farmer and Walter’s Lips provide riff sculpted temptation which is impossible to resist, the first a brief and forceful acquaintance which though reined for the main still has a ferocity which is commanding and insatiable whilst the other track is a gnarly mix of punk and heavy rock which abrases with its raw causticity and seduces with wanton melodic flames.

The closing of the album is left to Stick em’ Up Bitch, a glam rock inspired riot which opens with a lure straight out of Ballroom Blitz and continues to rattle nostalgia cages with its lascivious offering. It concludes Tres Cabrones in fine style, completing what is a deeply satisfying and thrilling release. The album is pure Melvins, an encounter which arguably does not challenge expectations too rigorously but definitely gives them food for thought and exciting adventures to find unpredictability within, without question another must investigate album from a continually inspiring band.


RingMaster 05/11/2013

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Helldorado – Bones In The Closet

Helldorado pic

Basking in the sultry heat and sweltering ambience of Bones In The Closet, the new album from Norwegian narrators of scintillating murder stories and rapacious shadows Helldorado, the overriding thought whilst within its seductive devil spawn arms is that you are being cradled by one of the major contenders for album of the year. The twelve track release is sensational, evocative beauty and dark intent saddling the senses for a Tarantino/ Morricone sculpted ride of the purest pleasure and imagination.

Bones In The Closet is the fifth album from Helldorado and again draws on a startling and provocative mix of blues, country folk, rock, and shadowed misdemeanours with a stroll through Mexican deserts and tequila soaked climes for this release. As across their previous releases the cinematic lures of their music is as potent as its sensory incitement and here leaves the listener perpetually wiping the dust from their eyes and pulling their mental stetson/sombrero down whilst chewing on a cigar Eastwood style. There is strong diversity running through the release too though, from walking through the smokey hauntings of a hanging man scenario down in the south you can find yourself breaking into a garage rock soundtrack to a Russ Meyer film or a blues bar atmosphere with whiskey in hand. It is a thrilling and evolving encounter which with essences of the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Stan Ridgeway joining those of Mariachi El Bronx, Guano Padano, or Dennis Hopper Choppers, never gives the passions a moment to grab their breath.

The trio of Dag S. Vagle (lead vocal, guitar, organ, piano, autoharp, mellotron), Hans A. Wassvik (bass, backing vocal) and Morten Bones in the ClosetJackman (drums, saw, percussion), immediately cast the long arms of the sun onto the neck with opener Gallow´s Bird whilst sizzling the surrounding air with a blaze of brass persuasion from the trumpet of Ole Ellingsen which springs from an instantly inviting drum burst. The guitars gather in the senses with devilish temptation whilst the bass of Wassvik adds its individual prowl to the dawning scene soon narrated by the excellent tones of Vagle. Passionate and soulful he bellows out with emotive glory whilst the guest backing vocals of Pål Jackman play co-conspirator in drawing thoughts deeper in to the compelling song. Virtually dripping sweat from the humid embrace driven by vocal and musical fire, there is an instantaneous ardour bred with the track such its intensive might and rasping charm.

As the following Misery And Woe boldly steps forward with melodramatic keys framing the door into its expressive heart and Vagle cast his spellbinding delivery upon the ear again, it still is hard after many listens to the album and previous tracks that the band is Norwegian. They make the likes of Chris Issak sound less American than Helldorado and it just enriches the imagery and adds the deepest depth to the transportation of thoughts into their aural paintings. The second song is a slowly burning reflection of despair and regret, the tale of an unavoidable destiny with thick emotion swamping every syllable and melodic beauty from the cursed soul.

Dead World with its garage rock stomp switches the scenery for a sonic kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours and mutually vibrant emotions, the keys dazzling the ear whilst the guitar twists and turns with melodic enticement. With harmonic squalls thrilling with rich textures of The Stones to their crowd and The Doors like bait of the keys, it is a raucous and vital storm of blistering joy and an exciting temper between the surrounding songs. Its successor John McMiller like the second song on the release is a powerful and demandingly evocative piece of songwriting and staggering realisation. Another dark hearted soul laying open his past and looking for an end to his life’s previous purpose, the track carries his declaration forward on a gait which is a shadowed romp, its lively surges breaking out from more restrained and arguably redemption searching melodic caresses though the centre of the tale is not asking for such. It is another varied and staggering discharge of invention and imagination which is rewarding with further rapture from the heart.

Only four songs in and no more convincing is needed to the triumph before the ear but the release just continues to exhaust the passions, the likes of the feisty and magnetic Please Come Back which again features Pål Jackman on support vocals, the brilliant and irresistible Times of Trial a true authentic  mariachi classic, and the title track with its muggy noir corners and western sparks, continuing the impossible addictive influence of the album whilst Two Headed Horseman with its garage punk tipped crescendos within more sun-baked glamour and the sixties lilted road trip of ´69 Camaro just rip further furnace hot lust from the heart in their and the album’s direction.

Completed by a final trio of brilliance in the haunting Lost Highway Motel a place home to lost souls of all inclinations, the black tale of love and violence Johnny´s Song, and a delicious version of the Morricone piece Sixty Seconds To What?, there is little left to say but sigh like an overfed diner and declare Bones In The Closet one of the major highlights of the year so far and will certainly be acclaimed so by the closing of its eyes too. With a mention also for the slide guitar contribution on the album from Ry Krüger required, this is a release everyone should dive into without reservation, and Helldorado a cemented lustful passion for this site.


RingMaster 25/04/2013

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Creepy Band: The Curse Of The Cloak

Creepy Band

    Uncanny in name and sound, Creepy Band is one of those encounters you never forget or drive out of your mind no matter your reaction to their unique and evocative sounds, though it is hard to imagine anyone not being enthralled and wrapped up in the sinister creativity going on especially within their debut album. The Curse Of The Cloak is a delicious eerie encounter which paints and evokes colourful haunting emotions and imagery through its collection of aural ‘horror movies’ and makes for the most compelling playmate each and every time its long spooky fingers are allowed to tease the senses.

The Chicago quintet of Dave Henderson (vocals), Sam Huff (keys/organ), Jake Gold (guitar), Ray Knipe (drums), and Benji Jacobs (bass), came together to play one show on All Hallow’s Eve 2010, but they and the devils raised had such fun that the Creepy Band emerged from the carnage to go forth and overrun the souls of their home city ever since. Influences for the musicians and thus the band come from the likes of Black Sabbath and The Doors, the latter an open rich and mesmeric flavour with their first album. To the influences which seemingly spice what is a truly distinct sound on The Curse Of The Cloak, you can also add potent flavours of bands such as Th’ Legendary Shack Shackers, Danzig, and with the dark vaudeville tones which wash over the ear throughout the release, The Shanklin Freak Show. Their sound is a masterful conjuration of delicious discord, slashing guitars, predatory rhythms, and enveloping church organ, a combination that leaves its mysterious prints on every thought, emotion, and atom.

As the opening caress of church organ within the opening Intro wraps the ear with blistered prayer inside its touch, the album 3631042872-1immediately is one of intrigue further enforced by the emergence of Doomsday Device, a song with heavy resonance, snapping rhythms, and pagan like psychedelic breath. The song is a weave of lush melodic strokes within the continuing to re-sound presence and heart of the song created by the deep dwelling bass stalking and punchy drums. The vocals of Henderson sway over the emerging tale coating the musical canvas with an expressive story telling as compelling as the sounds coaxing them forth. It is a hypnotic start carried right through the album starting with the following Ray’s Riff, another song like all which offers a fascination impossible to pull away from. Dark and shadowed the track entwines vocal and energy squalls with questioning melodic intrusions and sultry enticement for a wholly engaging evocation of the passions.

As Shipsong floats upon the shores of the senses with its bewitching xylophone spawn probing and stomping beats, the album takes a riveting detour into different but equally compulsive waters, the track with vocals from Huff leading the romp aural addiction. The song has received strong airplay with The Bone Orchard radio show, the lush soak of delta blues and psychobilly with a polka to its stance adding its own distinct character to the fiery touch of the song one of the most potent invitations into the album. The breeze of steam punk also within its passage is another thrilling kiss upon the heart and helps breed a full and overwhelming persuasion for the passions, not that it or the album finds any resistance.

The garage rock gnarl of Live Amongst Horror takes the listener to another portentous port of call, its occasional teasing and pick-pocketing of the senses adding extra mischief to the overall unrestrained eagerness whilst songs like the dramatic, emotive Ballad and Damn The Old Man with its theatrical gait unveil further evocative aural paintings for thoughts and emotions to immerse within.

The contagious swagger and beckoning of Shipsong pt. II incites full rapture and anthemic indulgence from the listener before the addictive sonic drizzling of Red Fish, Dead Fish frees its own irresistible wanton temptation from which there is no escape. The unrelenting insistence of the latter is insatiable and once winning its cause leads one into the conflagrant depths of the magnificent Chromatic Descent; a seventies psychedelic sonic blaze from which there is no escaping the Doors comparison. It is a sensational track which in turn passes its triumph to the similarly layered closer Let There Be Light with its more caustic and rasping voice.

It is a final fanfare of excellence from The Curse Of The Cloak, an album which deserves every ounce of acclaim it receives and more. Need an engrossing companion for the beckoning shadows or a bedtime chill for those dark nights than Creepy Band is the perfect instigator to those welcoming nightmares.


RingMaster 08/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright