The Amputees – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees

band photo_RingMaster Review

It has been just over two years since US garage punks The Amputees stirred up strong attention for themselves with the Scream EP, its body and success building on the similarly appealing beginnings founded in its predecessor Commence The Slaughter a year earlier. Always a busy live proposition, now the seven strong collective of musicians return from the studio with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees, a four track roar proving their promise drenched sound has now come of age.

To be fair, the new 7” EP is also rich in further potential too, it more the beginning of a new chapter of exploration than a final destination in sound. From day one, The Amputees have never been predictable, in the style of songs, the direction an EP might go, or the line-up at shows but always the septet makes a potent and stirring impact and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is no different; in fact it is the band’s finest moment to date.

front cover_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Louis Ramos, the band consists of Gary Young (guitar), Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar), Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals), Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals), Soledad Alvarado (bass), and Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass); musicians uniting in New York City from various US states. Inspirations range from The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac to The Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath to Nirvana amongst many; influences which no doubt go some way to the diversity of the band‘s sound and songs over their trio of EPs.

The new encounter opens with Al Hammer, the song hugging ears with a controlled but dirty guitar before launching into a fiercely rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll. Louis Ramos immediately stirs things up vocally as riffs and rhythms unite in a combative yet infectious stroll whilst hooks come with a mischievous tempting. In no time a thick anthemic quality entices and grip ears and appetite, infesting its potency into the vocals too as fiery grooves and sonic enterprise add their tenacity to the inescapable contagion driven by confrontational rhythms.

The song is superb, alone sure to wake up broader spotlights upon the band, though the following Dogrose will pull its fair share of keen appetites too. A boisterous riff steps forward first with a lure which is almost Rocky like in its challenge and invitation, though the biggest bait is the female vocals which lay tempting tones across the emerging song almost as instantly. We cannot say which of the ladies provides the lead, but her tones only seduce as the song bristles and rumbles in something akin to Breeders meets The Passions with a touch of The Raincoats to it.

Ego dives straight in next, riffs and beats inspiring a feisty stomp as vocals and guitars spread their raucous attitude and tangy resourcefulness respectively. A minute and a half of punk ferocity, the song as its predecessors, also uncages the keenest hooks and spiciest melodic twists to grab attention and ignite the passions before Dogmother grumbles into view to bring the EP to a cantankerous close. Grouchy and compelling, band and song merges grunge and garage punk to infest body and psyche with a proposal which swiftly has you heading back to the play button once it departs.

As suggested The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is the band’s finest moment so far, and clearly so, such its step forward from those previously impressive encounters. The Amputees should be stirring up crowds and ears far from home and after their new EP escapes that might just begin to happen.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is released on February 13th on Money Fire Records.

http://www.theamputees.org   https://www.facebook.com/theamputees

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Louis Ramos – Under The Mortar

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It is proudly raw, it is old school DIY, and similarly bullish in nature but most of all though Under The Mortar, the new EP from US musician Louis Ramos is an unapologetically enjoyable and abrasing, not forgetting bracing proposition. In many ways there is no surprise at the potency of the release, as Ramos has frequently lit our and numerous other’s ears and imaginations through his band The Amputees. The New York hailing band he created and drives, has persistently offered magnetic slices of inventive garage punk, whilst his songs more often than not have sculpted a tenacious mix of infectiousness and intrusive voracity, generally coloured by his own guitar enterprise. Now he has done it again, though in a primal offering which is his most intensive challenge on the listener yet but equally one of the most fascinating.

Consisting of eight songs which delve into various strains of punk and fierce rock, Under The Mortar opens with its title track and swiftly has electronic rhythms jabbing ears and attention into action before the sonic coaxing of the guitars catch melodically alight. There is a spiciness to the emerging acidic infectiousness and restrained but magnetic grooving which emerges within the song and vocally Ramos uses a warm texture in his delivery which tempers and works with the more abrasive textures well. Like a noise rock interpretation of The Pixies with an underlying pop punk catchiness, the song provides a strong and enjoyable start to the release.

The following Killing Spree is simply one minute and a handful of seconds of unbridled punk rock, a sound closer to Ramos’ exploits with The Amputees and virulently addictive. It is also a potent lyrical swipe which impacts as potently as the busy fury of sound. Its brief but pungent ferocity pushes the EP up another step which is backed by the outstanding Cruel Lip. Think Melvins and Sonic Youth in an industrial sonic blender and you get a sense of the excellent song. Melodically seductive at certain moments and psychotically warped in other times, the track hits the sweet spot whilst ‘punishing’ agreeable senses with its sonic rabidity.

It is fair to say that Get Off My Dick is not as romantic as it sounds, but is a hostile threat of defiance and guitar sculpted ravishment. The track though never goes for the jugular, its gait even paced yet confronting as the fingers of Ramos lure out some insidiously appealing and scarring hooks and sounds from his guitar. It is also another offering which has ears and thoughts absorbed before handing its hold over to the furious protagonist that is Trepanation Nation. Hardcore seeded in many ways, the song brawls with and bawls at the senses and thoughts, but again has a certain reign on its assault compared to the earlier Killing Spree.

The senses get a real testing with Gods And Devils, a song where Ramos vocally croons with impressive radiance but within a sonically tempestuous smog of sound. The guitar offers a raw misting which smothers ears and psyche yet within its caustic touch the vocals and a melodic expression simply blossom. It is an intriguing and compelling offering, like Frank Black engulfed in a harsh winter of sound. Its striking blend of textures is somewhat emulated in the more hard/classic rock balladry of Trophies. It does not have the same immediate potency as its predecessor but over time grows to become another enthralling part of Under The Mortar.

The closing Little Jimmy is an acoustic serenade with a Bolan-esque lure to the vocals and provocative lyrics looking at amongst things, the social apathy to war. The less intensive track musically on the release, it makes up for it emotionally and makes a great end to an attention grabbing encounter.

Certainly Under The Mortar will not make a comfortable playmate for some but for uncompromising and unashamedly imposing punk/rock ‘n’ roll which makes additional demands, it is easy to recommend checking out. The EP takes us back to the days of unpolished, bedroom recorded punk demos; just one more reason to take a punt on Louis Ramos.

Under The Mortar is available now @ http://louisramos.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-mortar

https://www.facebook.com/louis.ramos.1804   https://www.facebook.com/theamputees

RingMaster 04/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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The Amputees – Scream EP

The Amputees pic

It has been over a year since US punks The Amputees released their excellent Commence The Slaughter EP, a release which certainly put the New York City based band on the radar whilst expelling a wealth of promise for their future endeavours. The Scream EP is the next encounter to be unleashed and it not only builds on that strong base but sees the band leaping up big levels in maturity, craft, and just plain quality. Released November 23rd via Money Fire Records, the five track release is an eclectic mix of numerous vibrant hues of punk rock for one very contagious slab of bustling rock ‘n’ roll.

The seven strong unit immediately has feet and emotions leaping with opener Beanie. A raucous riot of pop punk with a vein of a1402476998_2Ramones like addictiveness to its charge, the track is one of those anthems which lingers and hides in the psyche to appear at its own will at any time. Described as “a theme song dedicated to their bass player”, the song stomps with energy and craft, guitars carving up the air with infectious lures whilst bass and drums add a hungry texture which only adds to the contagious body, the snarling four string presence of Geena Spigarelli especially irresistible. The vocals of guitarist Louis Ramos backed by the appealing tones of Carrie Ramos reinforce the catchy and magnetic call of the song and against the strong driven rhythms of drummer Kaleen Reading make a tempering persuasion.

The outstanding start is soon matched by the darker colder charms of Holden. With riffs striding purposefully alongside again rigidly uncompromising rhythms, the song offers an intimidation missing in its predecessor and a heavier rapacious breath. Irresistible and resourcefully sculpted grooves vein the compelling track, their ridiculously addictive and almost insolent prowess mouth-watering assistance to the great vocals of guitarist Nova Luz, her voice and delivery helping send the track into comparisons to the likes of The Distillers and L7. The song continues the grip of the EP with ease, the first two songs already igniting a real passion for the release and giving a real task for the other songs to stand up to.

Both King Jubs and the title track go for it with relish, the first a thirty second stab of punk ferocity, prime old school hardcore punk spewing exhausting exciting venom whilst the second merges hardcore and pop punk into a fiery scuzz lined blaze of sinister garage punk, guitars and vocals a great caustic combination speared by those ever brisk and urgent rhythms. Though neither quite manages to rise to the heights of the opening pair of tracks, both leave hunger and emotions wanting much more for the diversity and matured strength The Amputees have bred.

The release closes with the contagion expelling 88, a song which has limbs and energy recruited with its Ramones meets Late Cambrian like blend. It is simple, raucous, and irresistibly incendiary to the passions and limbs. A final anthemic bait to send the EP off in fine style, the song equally ensures there is no option but to go back to the start of Scream and bask once again in its punk rock triumph.

The EP is the perfect invitation to newcomers into one of the US’s best emerging punk bands. A quick mention also goes to guitarist Gary Young, he another contributing strong craft to songs though it is hard to know which guitarist appeared on which song, and to Screaming Females’ frontwoman Marissa Paternoster who provided the great cover art to the release. If you are looking for punk which maybe is not yet ground-breaking but certainly refreshing and most importantly thrilling than The Amputees and the Scream EP is a must.

http://www.theamputees.org

9/10

RingMaster 20/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Amputees – Commence The Slaughter

US punk n roll band The Amputees first came to our notice with their excellent contribution to the We Love Trash compilation album from Garage Punk Hideout, with their growling middle finger up slice of feistiness Ted. September 1st sees the release of the debut EP from the band Commence The Slaughter, an EP which sees more of the same eagerly given as well as other unexpected pleasures. Raw and mischievous, it teases and antagonises with equal relish to leave one quite spoilt.

The band has members from several states and consists of Louis Ramos (vocalist/guitarist) who is based in Harlem, Gary Young (guitar) from the Bronx, Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar) from New Jersey, Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals) from Long Island, and Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals) out of Texas. Also in the band there is half Brit half Ecuadorian Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass) and Juliet Eldred (guitar/bass) to make for a multi flavoured energised unit.

The EP consists of four songs which offer a diverse canvas of ideas and sounds to enjoy. The title track is a dirty garage rock n roll scowl upon the ear, its combative punk rock breath lined with a melodic discord which makes it as infectious as it is belligerent. Far too brief to give a slightly moan, the song is a grizzled joy to rile up the senses.

Beater is a similar attitude loaded track with an in your face stance within a storm of electrified energy. Ramos growls with perfect spite whilst the female vocals behind liven up the air with an added wickedness. A punk song of the highest order it makes a strong claim as best song on the release.

It is closely challenged though by the excellent fiery rock crawl of Devil With The Red Dress. The song swaggers with lust and wanton urges whilst its melodies lick their lips with insatiable eagerness. The song shows the full diversity in the band and their rock based sound, its scorched energy incendiary and a completely different variant to the punk which infused other songs. It is impossible to tell you who actually contributes what on each song apart from Ramos, but simply the band is a collective of musicians able to equally bring quality to songs, and this song yet another example of invention and raw rock music at its best.

The fourth song to complete the release is Lunch, a strange and to be honest still hard to get a handle on song in relation to the other tracks. It is a subdued almost folk shadowed dark song with just female vocals and a hollow sound, slightly Pixies like if a comparison is sought. Though it does not really fit with the other tracks it is intriguing and offers again a variety to the music of The Amputees which only ignites interest.

Commence The Slaughter is an excellent debut from an exciting emerging band. If garage rock, punk, and unwashed rock is your type of joy than The Amputees could just be your new best friends.

http://www.theamputees.org

RingMaster 28/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Various: We Love Trash The Best Of The Garage Punk Hideout Vol.7

Seemingly compilation albums and certainly a series of them is a rare thing these days. In the seventies/eighties they were a common occurrence as independent labels helped new bands find a platform to be heard. Possibly with the internet the need is not as strong as it was but there is nothing more thrilling than a compilation of unknown bands to trawl within and feast upon. One of the few and best series of compilations are the Hideout Comp Series. Released on GRGPNK Records, a label created by the GaragePunk Hideout trashy rock n roll social networking site to feature its members and bands, the series of releases to date have brought some of the best, exciting and openly distinct new artists around which fall within the spheres of punk, garage rock and punk, trash, psych and psycho edged sounds in their various outfits, basically anything that is wild and rock n roll.

We Love Trash is the seventh in the series and follows in aim and quality the previous sextet of releases. Each has brought an array of diverse bands and sounds to thrill and incite further investigation of to varying degrees and the latest is no different. What is good about the releases is even if a track does not ignite any burning eagerness to hear more you still recognise and respect the promise and unique breath of each band, undoubtedly the result of the good selection process at the label.

Consisting of twenty two tracks from bands around the globe the album is a full and rewarding chunk of schizo sounds and energy in their many shades. With a random selection we will mention a few of the treats to find on the release but each and every track is an eager and perfect irrepressible bedlam of ear blistering inciting sounds.

The album opens with Blackout from German band Trash Emperors, the track setting the release off with a fine brew of scuzzed garage punk and agitated energy. Leaving the senses in an awakened state of pleasure the song makes way for the excellent Ted from Brooklyn band The Amputees. Raw punk n roll at its best the song is a catchy middle finger piece of growling contempt to stir up the heart.

Swizz garage punks The Monofones and lo-fi fuzz duo The Happy Kids keep things brewing with pleasing variation and a persistent manic air with their respective tracks Alright and Seven Are The Horns of Satan. The first is an urgent psych punk grazing of hypnotic pulses and scraping discord with a sixties air of Cradle whilst the latter is a simpering electrified surge which treats every brain cell to an electrified sonic scratch, both songs further showing the diverse and enterprising talent within the ranks of the album and the series of releases as a whole.

With such a spread of styles and levels of production different parts of the album will thrill some more than others and vice versa but We Love Trash is never less than pleasing and insistently mischievous with songs like the irrepressible Cigarette from the Austrian garage punks The Shirley MacLaines and the sonic hip swaggering My Groupie from Thee Martian Boyfriends leading the ear and heart into a welcome wicked dance.

Favourite tracks from the release for us here come in the shape of the outstanding psychotically snaring Good Night, Sleep Tight from San Diego based The Bloody Hollies, the pissed blues punk Black Garage Door from The Chrome Cranks, and the Ramones infected contagion that is Turn That TV Off from Boris The Sprinkler. The trio of songs tick all the right boxes and ignite the fiercest sparks of satisfaction but there is something for everyone on what is an excellent album you just have to go and enjoy

We Love Trash and previous releases come at a real steal of a price and can be checked out at http://garagepunk.ning.com/page/we-love-trash. Join the site, make an active contribution and the treats come at an even more impressive value.

RingMaster 14/06/2012

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Track line-up:

1. Trash Emperors -Blackout (Hamburg, Germany)
2. The Amputees- Ted(Brooklyn, NY USA)
3. The Evil Eyes – Honey Please (Toronto, ON CAN)
4. The Del Lames – Feel So Lame (Albany, CA USA)
5  The Bloody Hollies – Good Night, Sleep Tight (San Diego, CA USA)
6. The Monofones – Alright(Bern, Switzerland)
7.  The Happy Kids – Seven Are the Horns of Satan(Vienna, Austria)
8.  Die Zorros – Baby Goodbye (Bern, Switzerland)
9.  Kicks – The Defeatist Beat(Toronto, ON CAN)
10. The Gooeys – Lay Down and Die (Calgary, AL CAN)
11. The Get Wets – Beat Beat (Columbia, SC USA)
12. The Shirley MacLaines – Cigarette (Innsbruck, Austria)
13. The Chrome Cranks – Black Garage Door (Hudson, NY USA)
14.  Wild Evel & The Thrashbones – Why Can’t We Be (Vienna, Austria)
15.  Thee Martian Boyfriends – My Groupie (Brussels, Belgium)
16.  The Pulsebeats – Cynical Ride (Santander, Spain)
17.  Uzis – I Wanna Go (Kansas City, MO USA)
18.  Boris The Sprinkler – Turn That TV Off (Green Bay, WI USA)
19.  Haywire – Gone for Good (Sheboygan, WI USA)
20.  The Branded – Drive Me Outta My Mind (Malmö, Sweden)
21.  Thee Witch Hazel Martinis – What You Deserve (Fontana, CA USA)
22.  Light Bulb Alley – Pepper Spray (Montreal, QC CAN)

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