Bad Mary – Killing Dinosaurs EP

Photo by Nick P Jiannaras of Nicolai Patrick Photography_

Photo by Nick P Jiannaras of Nicolai Patrick Photography_

When presented with a band name like Bad Mary mischievous thoughts of course spring up as well as hopes that they have a sound to back up the devilish allure of their name. The Long Island quartet has that and more on the evidence of new EP Killing Dinosaurs. It is six highly flavoursome and raucous slices of punk ‘n’ roll unafraid to be as pop catchy as they are belligerently irritable. It is steeped in seventies punk and power pop with the attitude and tenacity of modern rock ‘n’ roll, and quite irresistible.

Bad Mary’s beginnings sprung in 2010 from the regular happening of Hofstra University’s professor of drama and guitarist David Henderson putting a band together with students each semester to play a bunch of covers. At this moment in time vocalist Amanda Mac and bassist/vocalist Mike Staub were the students who became involved, with a time of turnover in drummers ending with Amanda’s dad and veteran drummer Bill Mac joining the band. Playing songs from favourite new wave and punk artists from several eras, initially as Madame X, Bad Mary was officially launched in 2012, and through each member’s individual love of punk and rock from different decades, the band’s own sound grew and blossomed. Debut album Better Days was the first offering, a 2014 release going on to garner three first-round ballot Grammy nominations, success matched by their live presence and their songs luring media and radio attention on both sides of the pond.

cover_RingMaster Review     With inspirations ranging from The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and Motorhead to The Tom Robinson Band, The Police, Blondie, and Green Day amongst many, the band’s new EP is a non-stop stomp that growls as it invites, bullies as it sets ears and imagination alight. Recorded with producer/engineer Matt Storm and assistant engineer Francisco Botero at Studio G in Brooklyn, Killing Dinosaurs gets straight to the point with opener Soapbox. Amanda leads the confrontation from the off, her potent tones the first touch and fiery guitars around rampant rhythms the next. It is an infectious and grouchy start with the growl of bass alone a brooding impossible to resist temptation as the guitars release their similarly enticing caustic flames. The backing roars of Mike brings a fiercer texture to compliment the intimidatingly tantalising tones of Amanda whilst more metal bred hues add to the overall brawl of the excellent start to the EP.

Whereas the first track has a presence crossing years, the following Want What I Want carries a great old school punk character, strolling with a swagger which is part Vice Squad and part The Objex. The bass of Mike again captivates with its heavy swagger whilst David weaves a hook lined web of enterprise part venom part flirtation as Bill slaps the listeners’ proverbial cheeks around. Eclipsing its predecessor, it too is shaded a touch by next up Hanging Around, a boisterous canter carrying the glam rock of Sweet, the mischievous pop punk of the Rezillos, and the rapacious virulence of dragSTER. The track steals the show, leaving an already strong appetite greedier and already by this time an exhausted body more wasted but energised.

A cover of The Police song Next to You swings in next with a similar swagger and nature whilst delving into more classic heavy rock enterprise whilst adding a tasty scent of early No Doubt punk pop to it . Again physical involvement is a given as it spins its lures, a success emulated by the X-Ray Spex meets The Avengers like Sucks to Be You, another rousing middle finger of word and energy

Killing Dinosaurs is completed by One More Song, a compelling mix of fifties rock ‘n’ roll and sixties pop embroiled in power pop/punk rock imagination and dexterity. It is an infectious end to an increasingly enjoyable encounter; a collusion of old school and twenty first century punk ‘n’ roll to lift emotions from the doldrums and bodies into feverish participation.

The Killing Dinosaurs EP is out now @ https://badmary.bandcamp.com/album/killing-dinosaurs-ep

http://badmary.com/  https://twitter.com/BadMaryBand   https://www.facebook.com/badmaryband

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2105

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Invoke : Edge Of Virtue EP

Let us start with the closing line of the review. The Edge Of Virtue EP from UK band Invoke is brilliant and you must go and get it and then bask in its glory.

The three track release really is something rather special, a refreshing and vibrant piece of songwriting, musical craft, and sound. Unaware of the band until now and having missed their previous two singles when they were unveiled which surely many others did too, the time is now to leap upon their exciting and inspiring sounds and feel the magic of what surely  will become one of the more important indie bands over the months maybe years ahead.

Formed in October 2010 the trio from Gateshead have been drawing increasing attention their way and now having heard the EP it is no surprise and that focus upon them is sure to increase over the time ahead. Consisting of Aidan Beck (vocals/guitar/ keys), Derrian Everett (bass/backing vocals/keys), and Wil Davies (drums/percussion), Invoke follow up their debut single Second Time Lucky and its successor Nothing’s Changed released January of this year and featuring on the EP, with an EP that easily sets them apart from a growing wave of new and exciting emerging bands.

What do Invoke do that makes them different? Well there is their definite skill at creating melodic and infectious music that also has a depth and feel which captures and inspires emotions and thoughts. Aligned with an invigorating enthusiasm to their sound and an energy that treats one like a long time friend and boisterous companion, the combination makes for songs that have immediacy and an eager infectious heart that captivates and seduces those of all who open the windows to their souls. Their sound has been compared to that of Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Police and even Depeche Mode and one can see that somewhat but there are three eighties founded bands which ripple out from within the music of the band. Firstly there is the emotive and caressing sounds of Modern English that weave within Invoke and which are readily backed by the expert minimal craft and addiction melodic prowess of Comsat Angels. Thirdly there is the incisive and infectious hooks and melodic grip of The Cure from their first album time, Edge Of Virtue easily carrying the insatiable yet perfectly tailored mesmeric simplicity that formed the first release of the legends to be. I am sure this young band have only heard of the latter but whether coincidence or not the trio of flavours are perfect spicery to their sounds.

From the moment the brief addictive intro of the EP took to the ear submission was inevitable. It has a hook that acts like one of those excellent themes tunes to say The Avengers or The Persuaders, unforgettable and very addictive. This leads straight into Misfortune, the song continuing the captivation. With a great bass presence that almost croons the ear behind the incisive and sparkling guitar melodies; the song is instantaneous and delightful. The drums of Davies are pithy and persistently jabbing at the senses without laying out the surrounding graceful and appealing sounds. The song is perfectly constructed and with an ending that sets the pulse racing it is a glorious start.

The aforementioned previous single comes next. Nothing’s Changed sounds like another band from the past The Tea Set, with its picky hooks and instinctive rhythms before it emerges as a wonderfully emotive and easy flowing piece of songwriting, warm keys, invigorating rhythms and sharp yet restrained guitar play making the perfect mix.

It is impossible to pick a best song the release that impressive and consistent, but Restart with its razor sharp red hot melodies and insistent bass lines is as big a contender as the rest. The song is The Cure like, listen to the first album of that trio and see if you disagree, but always note that Invoke turn all these flavours intentionally or by luck into distinct and irresistible creativity of their very own. The song is mischievous but innocent and a joy to share time and the heart with.

Edge Of Virtue is sheer inspirational pleasure and already the anticipation of more from the band is impatient and irritable. If you only check out one band this month make it Invoke, they really are that good. Now you need simply go to www.invoke.bandcamp.com and go treat yourselves.  Go on…shoo!

Ringmaster 11/04/2012

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