Ambassadors of Shalom – Abdicate Self

Ambassadors of Shalom

     Thirteen tracks of mouthwatering old school punk with a crate load of hooks and barbed riffs to entice any appetite, Abdicate Self the new album from UK Christian punks Ambassadors of Shalom is a thrilling introduction to the band and its blaze of Evangelistic punk rock. Hailing from the North West of England, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Neil Roddy, bassist/vocalist Pete Field, and drummer Joe Wilson challenge and evoke thoughts with a hungry punk invention which just as easily ignites the imagination and emotions. The songs on the album are well seeded and versed in the ways of original punk rock, each providing a thoroughly satisfying anthemic bait, but also each comes with an individual adventure to bring an identity singular to the band.

    Ambassadors of Shalom was formed in the January of 2012 after an acoustic gig in Stoke community centre and from there took little time in grabbing the attention and passions of local fans. In August the same year, the band signed with Californian label Thumper Punk Records with Abdicate Self the new impressive offering. The album is one of those enjoyable encounters which seems familiar but just as potently finds a new intriguing presence. From the opening track Astray, the Tim Davies (Brohnis Music) recorded and produced release picks on the ears and imagination with a flurry of incisive and virulently effective hooks and riffs. The first song makes for an energetic antagonist from its first breath, guitars stirring up the air whilst the bass lays down a shadowed prowl which only recruits an immediate appetite. Crisp rhythms around the lead and backing calls of Roddy and Field respectively next engage before the song pulls all into an enthused riot of invention and contagion. It is a masterful and irresistible lure into the release, an invitation forcibly backed by the remaining vivacious body of the album.

     This Ain’t Home stokes up the hunger next with a starting anthemic bait of rhythms which the guitar subsequently crafts a 1908240_671390592925450_835805858_ncaustic sonic wash with bluesy flames onto. It is a sultry raw sound complemented by the charge of clean riffery and rhythmic enticement which splits the blaze of sonic heat. Though not as potent as its predecessor the song keeps the album rigidly in focus with ease before both Jesus Said and United We Stand offer their scuzz kissed storms of punk evocation. The first is a scowling yet warm mesh of stirring noise which crosses the senses like a mix of Angelic Upstarts and The Adicts whilst the second is an equally pleasing street punk brawl of anthemic vocals and coarse alluring riffs. Both songs have an intensity which draws attention and thoughts even if slightly lacking the richness of barbs and grooves found elsewhere upon Abdicate Self.

    Both the UK Subs/Crisis like Break ‘Em Out and the groove veined Opposite The Enemy keeps things boiling nicely, the pair forceful yet respectful slices of resourceful punk urgency and invention, before the release flicks up a gear starting with the ridiculously catchy We Don’t Need It. One of those songs you only need to hear the first line of the chorus once to be bitten and soon joining in with its declaration, it is a brief but meaty slab of punk beckoning setting up the emotions for the likes of the excellent Death By Love and equally impressive Blamethrower. The first of this pair scowls and stomps with a raw causticity to the vocals and a Sex Pistols like draw to its sound, and though arguably the song is the least unique on the album it is one of the most potent and eventful, not forgetting thrilling. Its successor loaded with the strongest imagination of the whole release is just as compelling, a Melvins like texture grazing the senses whilst hooks and seductive temptation teases like a mix of The Vibrators and Suburban Studs.

    A punk version of the hymn Nothing But The Blood follows and is an exceptional and unexpected treat before the album’s finest moments arrive, starting with the outstanding Julia. Hooks and a rhythmic dance of sinew soaked in ripe energy kicks things off before the song settles into an inciting and persistently shifting venture. Its groove and riotous hooks easily reminds of the Ruts whilst the surrounding less intensive but eager rock brew around accentuates the pull of those other incisive elements.

    The album is concluded by the exciting and rousing Victory before finally the combative and antagonist glory of the album’s best track, It Is Finished brings one impressively enjoyable encounter to a close. Abdicate Self is not only Christian punk at its best, but for anyone wary of that tag, it is punk rock at its best. Ambassadors of Shalom have unleashed a debut which sees the band closely tailing most other frontline punk provocateurs.

https://www.facebook.com/AmbassadorsOfShalom

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Goldblade- The Terror Of Modern Life

photo by Wullie Marr

photo by Wullie Marr

This year has already treated us to some exceptional and passionate punk adventure through the outstanding new releases from UK Subs and Dirt Box Disco; the legends bringing not only their sound but equally the genre into a startling and exhilarating new peak and the ‘new kids on the block’ showing punk n roll can be a masterful contagion bringing riot and fun into an irresistible union. Now we have the thrilling new Goldblade album which stands somewhere in between the two, the release an exceptional thirteen track brawl which snarls and provokes thoughts and senses whilst unleashing prime punk rock irresistibility. The Manchester band has always challenged and stood tall before injustices and social destructions but The Terror Of Modern Life, their sixth album, just might be the quintet at their most potent and venomous yet, quite possibly their finest hour.

The Overground Records released album is a titan of hooks, riffs, and attitude, a combative riot of energy and passion which leaves aGoldblade-the-terror-of-modern-life-296x300 deep mark whilst showing others how to be a potent inciting weapon against complacency and apathy, musically and socially. It opens with the mighty This Is War!, and instantly casts a web of belligerent and carnivorous bass corrosion over the ear. Bassist Keith Curtis immediately owns the senses, the barracuda throaty tone of his bass glaring eye to eye with the listener whilst aggressively seducing and intimidating. As the guitars of Peter Gorgeous and Andy Taylor sculpt out their share of the air with sonic precision and infectious flaming, the compelling canvass is set for vocalist John Robb to prowl and make his, as ever, enjoyably imposing and striking declaration. Complete with grooves and hooks which reap seeds in the same well of virulence as those conjured up by the likes of Buzzcocks and Dead Kennedys, and enslaving rhythmic excellence from Rob Haynes, the track ignites a fierce fire and hunger for the album with ease and makes a shout as one of the best punk songs in a long time.

It also sets a high bar for the rest of the release to emulate yet seemingly it is a simple test as the following Psycho Takes A Holiday and the staggering The Shamen Are Coming show. The first of the pair is a scorch of rock n roll with anthemic enthusiasm and undiluted melodic enterprise, its uncomplicated punk fuelled dance upon the ear as mischievous as it is energetic for two minutes of easy to ride and devour enticement. The second song is another startling highlight, a track which whips the passions up into a frenzy of rabid excitement. As soon as the opening scrub of acidic riffs, soon accompanied by the ever primal bass growl, lay their acerbic touch upon the ear greedy anticipation is sparked and sated impressively by a breath-taking mix of post punk and pure punk alchemy. Like a mix of The Adicts and The Diagram Brothers, the track twists and taunts the ear with scintillating flesh flailing sonic and rhythmic invention. As impacting as it is the scarring is subsequently soothed by the adjoining expression of group vocal harmonies and discord swept melodic caresses. Earlier it was said the opener was the best punk song in a long time, the fusion of all mentioned within The Shamen Are Coming ensures it stands as its equal.

The dub infested Serious Business swaggers in next with a loud whisper of Ruts to its courting, though as with all references they are mere colours to the distinct Goldblade flavour, whilst both We’re All In It Together and Someone Stole My Brain get the job done with straight forward accomplished craft, the first an uncomplicated old school punk bruise and the latter with another predatory tempting with again that delicious carnally bred bass spine making pure persuasion within sinister grooved riffs. With a maniacal hunger to its chorus and a compelling lure to the continual aural bulldozing offered, it is another immense treat which makes its predecessor, sandwiched between two such great songs, seem a little underwhelming despite its open strengths and appeal.

Through the likes of the all impressive Sick / Tired, They Kiss Like Humans, Act Like Machines, and the raw abrasion Guilty the album slips a little but only because of the excellence of the mountainous pinnacles it unearths. These and every song on the release are undeniably stirring and deeply pleasing assaults on the senses and thoughts but a few when placed beside a track like the immense and epidemically hooked The World Is Fucked Up Nowadays just have to take second place on the glory podium. This last song has a breath which leaves distrust and sonic malevolence on the tongue, but spiced up by impossibly tasty grooves which again would have made Shelley and Diggle drool back in the day, it leaves the strongest rapture making play with the emotions.

Completed by another furnace of ardour inducing punk majesty in the brilliant Hey You! Elastic Face, the ever caustic tones of Robb grazing up emotions whilst the barbed discord laced hooks fire up every other aspect of the listener, and the oppressive and threatening title track, a song which is dark, heavy, and intrusive like the world spawning its intent and ripples with essences of The Pack within its merciless consumption, The Terror Of Modern Life is quite brilliant. Simply it is an album which takes band and genre onto an explosive new anarchic plateau whilst fusing vintage punk and new uncompromising creativity into one frighteningly scintillating fury.

www.goldblade.com

10/10

RingMaster 19/05/2013

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The Bambi Killers: The Invisible EP

Want to meet the best punk rock band in the UK? A big claim to be laid at the feet of a band for sure but using their debut EP The Invisible as evidence, that is what Welsh band The Bambi Killers is at this point in time. With the wicked wantonness of Karn8, the sexy attitude of The Objex, the mischief of Dirt Box Disco, and the snarl of The Duel and L7, the quartet from Swansea have it all to go down in punk history. Big swinging riffs, raw energy, and vocals to send tingles where tingles have no right to be, The Bambi Killers is a riot in every sense and pleasure.

The band consists of Cluffy on vocals and rhythm guitar, guitarist Pumba and bassist Muppet with both providing backing vocals, and Bom on drums. Together they are a vibrant and action packed unit which leave nothing in the locker in their songs and we are reliably informed neither in their riotous live shows. They have the heart and essence which made the likes of Vice Squad, X-Ray Spex, Ruts, and The Adicts so important back in the day but fire it up with rock n roll which is instinctive and driven by the energy of today. Combined it makes for, certainly in the case of The Invisible EP, sounds which ignite all the passions and feed all the insatiable needs of any rock heart.

The release opens with the song of the year, Don’t Be Invisible. A confrontational taunt to the apathy of gig attendees and the no risk lone easy life attitude of people as a whole, the song is simply glorious. The song immediately erupts in suggestive riffs and growling bass lines whilst Cluffy challenges with word and intent.  Persistent and combative without delving into violence the track is a prowling devil which leaves nothing in doubt and provokes a reaction in all. The voice of Cluffy is a sultry mix of Dominique Lenore Persi (Stolen Babies) and Agnete Kjølsrud (Animal Alpha, Djerv) and sits alongside Kirst of Karn8 as the sexiest voice in UK rock. The ironic thing about the track is that those it is poking a finger at will be caught up in and aiding its anthemic might, safely from their bedrooms no doubt.

The following Get Up Get Out Get Off slams into the ear with immediate energy and enthusiasm. A more directly driven track it is a storm of feisty riffs and jabbing rhythms speared by a catchy addictive chorus and scorched guitar strikes. Like many punk classics it is simple and to the point whilst igniting the deepest satisfaction. Less intricate and varied as its predecessor, the song shows that The Bambi Killers can deliver rock n roll in any form with accomplishment and passion.

The Weight Of The Morning swaggers up next with attitude to the fore and forceful sounds to back it up. Like Spinnerette meeting Bikini Kill, the song crawls all over the senses like a lustful teenager though with more restraint than they can ever find. With an almost hypnotic lure the track is a feast of thumping beats and ear stripping riffs but when it drifts into a slow seductive aside it triggers ferocious fires and it has to be said the soaring sounds of Cluffy at this point brings a sign not only to the lips.

Hmmm moving on….. the release is completed by the outstanding Lights Out to complete a four point slab of excellence. With the urgency and melodic flavouring of early Clash or Vibrators, the song is another sing-a-long treat of style and skilled energy, and like its partners in crime another which one cannot resist desecrating with their own voice.

The Invisible EP is stunning and its creators a band set to turn UK punk rock, if not further afield, on its head. Watch out world The Bambi Killers are coming to get you.

http://thebambikillers.com/

RingMaster 04/09/2012

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Anti-Macassar – Empty

From the unmentioned depths of darker Devon there is something begin to stir and setting greedy eyes on the rest of the UK. This predatory beast of attitude, beer, and aggravation comes in the undiscovered shape of punk rock band Anti-Macassar. Their apparent secrecy is now though becoming under threat as more and more find out about their album Empty, a festering pleasure of rock, punk, and blues brought with an urgency and original punk heart.

Empty is a joy, and though slightly inconsistent and at times seemingly unsure which fuel to load individual songs up with, it is persistently compulsive and consistently very satisfying. Consisting of Mike Hill (vocals, rhythm guitar), Benny Joy (lead guitar, backing vocals), Garry Dewis (bass), and Andy Higgins (drums, backing vocals), the quartet create music which has no need for or desire to charm and comes with an insatiable appetite to rile up all and sundry in emotion and heart. It is honest fun music, a blend of punk, rock, and garage punk, with an occasional splash of psychedelic blues flavouring to spice things up. It is also perfectly nostalgic revisiting seventies punk and rock with an instinctive surety.

The album bulges with thirteen tracks all hungry to rile up the senses and cause maximum mischief with varying levels of spite. Coarse and caustic, the slices of rock badger and assault with no barrier to their purpose and lyrical intentions and each is primed to grab the fullest reaction it can instigate from its recipient. As mentioned the album has a small inconsistency across its length but with more peaks than dips, and these lesser moments still a riotous pleasure for the ear, it is hard to be too critical on a release treating one to a beer soaked and aggression veined party as good as Empty.

The title track opens things up and feels an odd choice to strike the first blow with. The song is a hypnotic prowling crawl through the ear with sharp melodic guitars and a blues tinged tone coating every note. It is seemingly nothing more than enjoyable but before one knows it the track has craftily captivated the senses, its psychedelic wash as mesmeric as a scorched sunset. It is slightly overlong but never loses its grip on the ear and by its end shows the band is not prone to the obvious and predictable in any aspect of their music.

     Anti-Macassar throw up a storm of addictive riffs and greedy hooks next with the angry punk driven Kill Ya. Vengeance driven and expressing the thoughts and heart of more than a few, the track is an infectious stomp with hungry riffs soaked in a southern drawl. It plays like UK Subs meets The Meteors and is an immediate pull with its infectious chorus and unbridled vehemence.

Tracks like the taunting nasty Man Friday offering a mix of Crisis and Art Attacks with a blistering rock solo piercing its heart and Come With Me, a Leyton Buzzards/The Outcasts slab of wanton dirty anthemic joy keeps things continually combative and energised. Further along songs such as Falling Down and Black Is Back keep the attack and punk call loud and forceful too. The first a bare and distressed scuzzed feast of simplistic power recalling Spizz Oil and Dangerous Girls whilst the second swaggers with a grooved garage rock surety complete with sing-a-long chorus and sharp guitars.

These mentioned tracks alone make the album much more than a release to smile at and move on from but with the addition of its two best tracks it easily becomes a must check out. Ignorance Is Bliss saunters in with alcohol swigging riffs and near frenzied energy. Complete with an addictive riff for the chorus which would not look out of place on a Dead Kennedys track the song leads the ear on a boisterous and ravenous crawl whilst fiery melodic guitars and solo spark rapture within the senses.

This impressive track is soon swept aside by the mighty presence of 6ft Locust. The track is proving to be the fan favourite and it is not hard to see why, it is perfect punk rock. With a provocative vocal delivery over teasing riffs and scarred melodies the song is as infectious as they come. Throughout it punches and coaxes the senses in equal measure and once it throws in a Buzzcocks proud melodic hook as contagious as they come the song elevates to classic. With elements of The Adicts and Angelic Upstarts to its blood the song makes the album worth a punt all on its own but backed by an array of other feisty treats Anti-Macassar shows that Empty is no hollow pleasure.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anti-Macassar/204777576222328

RingMaster 05/06/2012

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Dirt Box Disco: Legends

The debut album from UK punks Dirt Box Disco only has simple and direct intentions, to stomp on your testicles, kick you in the guts, and to rummage in any parts remaining whilst ensuring you have the greatest fun whilst they do it. Legends is an unbridled blast of excitable and infectious rock n roll, it makes no demands musically and has no deep intellectual musings to share, well it has no time to when it is so busy rampaging and gate crashing the lowest and most primal instincts within us all.

Released via STP Records June 18th, Legends is what all the best punk albums are, crazed, uncontrollably infectious, and a continual spasm of attitude and belligerence within the ear. The bio accompanying the release states it possibly sounds like KISS vs. Rancid vs. Showaddywaddy, we would have said The Wildhearts meets early Green Day in a salacious filth coated union with Mud and The Adicts, but you get the idea. Written by guitarist SPUNK VOLCANO and ably brought to boisterous fruition alongside him by his eager cohorts in vocalist WEAB.I.AM, lead guitarist DANNY FINGERS, bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS, and drummer MAFF FAZZO, the album is a frenzied and irresistible ball of feistiness.

Since forming in 2009 Dirt Box Disco has riled up and incited their ever growing legion of fans to rupture joints and lose body fluids persistently with songs that are slightly tribal and always slices of agitated rock n roll. Previous EP Are You Ready? of last year marked the Derbyshire quintet as a band to embrace or hide your sons and daughters from but Legends has elevated the band into one of the best emerging punk/rock bands in the UK. Alongside the likes of Supercharger and The Duel, Dirt Box Disco bring a fresh and re-energised heart back to true UK punk whilst making it as compulsive and additive as any pop punk band.

The aggravated garage punk of The Other Side Of The Street pounces on the ear to set the album off on its belting energised mayhem. It screams and pesters with scorched guitars, intimidating riffs, and group yells. It has no intention on charming or seducing the senses just to rile them up and have them clinging on for sweet life. It is a devastating start continued by the following explosive Peepshow. The track taunts and bruises with an arrogance and proud declaration that reminds of a mix between NOFX and the Vibrators.

Already the album has convinced it is going to be one memorable and riotous fun barring a collapse in flight as dramatic as in an innings from an England cricket team. There is no chance though with songs like the Ramones fuelled Rock n’ Rolla a song that could be the nostalgic playlist of all punks and the blood pumping sing-a-long I Just Want To Be A Girl, this one as sirenesque as a pole dancer in overdrive and an easy manipulator of limbs and voice.

Every song on Legend captures the imagination and triggers the instinctive urge to join in, every slab of punk rock making it easy with anthemic hooks and contagious energy. Without a weak moment to be found on there are still certain songs which ignite the deepest uncomplicated allegiance to their high energy accosting most of all.  Smackhead is a minute and a half corruption of the ear, just how punk used and should always be, no niceties and no element left for the imagination to explore. The outstanding pop punk flourish of I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You, the UK Subs/Top Buzzer like Let’s Get Wasted!, and the scuzzed garage blistering of We All Fall Down, all leave one with a big grin inside and out but the two moments that leave the sharpest and most lingering intrusion are the brilliant I Am Rock n’ Roll and Dirtbox Days.

Both are beautifully simple and deviously infectious. Before you know it they have turned heart and voice into their puppets with joining in and littering the air with flailing limbs is a must. I Am Rock n’ Roll imply declares that I, you, we and this is all rock n roll and it is impossible to argue otherwise, the song simply  a impassioned musical call to arms. Dirtbox Days closes the album in similar fashion, anthemic generosity dripping from every note and syllable. The track sweeps over the senses with an easy pop punk enthusiasm, think The Monkees as Hagfish and a song which is fun, undemanding and again fully contagious. It builds to a triumphant climax of simplistic “This is Dirtbox Day” chanting and if you cannot resist you need to check for a pulse.

Legends is awesome, simple as. You can take all your reflective and provocative songs to bring thought and ideas to consider and be inspired by for nothing is as thoroughly rewarding, uplifting and enjoyable as punk at its best and Dirt Box Disco certainly create that. Go enjoy!

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

RingMaster 12/05/2012

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