The Masonics – Obermann Rides Again

masonics_RingMasterReview

Giving an instinctive passion for rock ‘n’ roll as big a work out as hips and feet, UK rockers The Masonics recently uncaged their ninth album, Obermann Rides Again, offering fourteen slices of their feverishly distinctive and tenaciously addictive sound. The trio rock and rumble through their new proposal with more of the beat infected garage punk which has seen them become the leaders of the Medway Beat first instigated by Billy Childish. In saying that, it equally breathes and roars with freshness again bringing something new and inspiring to ears and the scene around them, and most of all raw zeal and excitement to the listener.

The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Mickey Hampshire who was in the Milkshakes in the early 80s with drummer Bruce Brand who had played alongside Childish a few years earlier in the Pop Rivets and bassist John Gibbs once of Scottish group, The Kaisers. As The Masonics, the threesome have persistently cemented their position as one of the heads of British garage rock/punk with a sound becoming one of the essential inspirations of the ever eager charge of the genre’s young pups.

Released by Dirty Water Records as a limited 500 copies editions ahead of a series of limited vinyl and download releases from The Masonics’ back catalogue, starting with Outside Looking In and a new singles compilation, Obermann Rides Again swiftly reveals why the stature of the band remains stately. It all starts with I Ain’t Hurting For You and a guitar twang which provides the spark for a strolling jangle and rhythmic incitement forcibly engaging ears. The magnetic vocals of Hampshire are soon adding their lure; the boisterous sounds around him echoing his honest unfussy delivery. Within a handful of seconds feet are physically involved, appetite and those instincts just as eagerly hooked before the excellent opener hands its pliable slave over to the even more energetically captivating and persuasive Don’t Torment Me. With a Bo Diddley like stomp at its heart, the track twists and turns in its relentlessly vigorous shuffle with rhythmic rowdiness and sonic vivacity its virulent fuel. Rock ‘n’ roll was never meant to be flamboyant or polished to clean-cut limpness and this superb roisterer and its dirty ways proves why.

art_RingMasterReviewYour Dangerous Mind has a less undisciplined bounce, its saunter more flirtation than aggression and just as irresistible as Hampshire with grainy texture croons, backed by his cohorts within tangy grooves and hip inciting rhythms. The r&b essences of the song are just as ripe as its brisk punk serenade, chaining a body and imagination which is soon firmly hooked again by the sultry rumba of I Don’t Understand Her Any More. As with most tracks, a collusion of decades is at masterful play, sixties garage pop and seventies surf rock hues potent spices as too the fuzzy buzz of organ in the gentle but keen canter of a song.

Rhythm ‘n’ blues dexterity becomes even wilder in next up You Don’t Have To Travel; the beat swinging, hook casting romp has a flush of King Salami and the Cumberland 3 to it,  a more mild-mannered but no less devilish cousin enjoying juicy melodies and the temptress vocal charms of Ludella Black alongside Hampshire. It also pushes the already keen diversity of sound within the album on again, as even more so does I’m The Unforgiver. The track is glorious, a dark rock ‘n’ roll saunter with Cajun spicing evocatively colouring attitude loaded vocals, the fiery shimmer of harmonica, and heavily loping rhythms. It infests ears and psyche like the mutant offspring from a dirty union between Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Ray Campi; quite simply it is garage punk to get truly lustful over.

The following and equally outstanding You’re A Stranger leaves body exhausted, senses punch drunk, and spirit ablaze next with its contagion loaded punk rock carrying a touch of The Mobbs to its rowdy exuberance while You Won’t See Me Again finds a predacious edge to its swinging, deviously catchy garage rock bred swagger.

Throughout the whole album, there is no escaping the physical manipulation of Brand’s nefarious beats or Gibbs infernal rhythms whilst Hampshire’s wiry melodies and jangling melodic hooks are trespasses more often than not breeding slavery. All are at bold play in the beat punctuated blues flamed I’m A Redacted Man and straight after in the smouldering fifties rock ‘n’ roll/sixties pop spun What Do You Do. A procrastinating stroll and anthem for lost love and its enslaving grief, the second’s raw seduction roars with soiled Walker Brothers like charm and salty melodic spicing reminding a little of The Birds.

Come On My Little Darlin’ bounces around like a dancehall ruffian after them, sonically tempting and rhythmically taunting as a mouth harp again seduces before You Gotta Tell Me shows its blues breeding with intoxicating hooks and intoxicated keys for a salacious slab of imposing but controlled rock ‘n roll. Both tracks continue the album’s appetite igniting prowess though both are quickly eclipsed by its closing pair.

The swinging country rock a-scented beat ‘n’ roll of The Unsignposted Road is sheer infectiousness with Black back courting ears alongside the band as one passion stoking hook persists and old school melodies flame. It is delicious to the ear but too is slightly shaded by the brilliance of the album’s title track bringing devilment to its exceptional close. Punk ‘n’ roll calling on the goodness of past decades, it stomps around and grips body and soul like The Pirates, both the Johnny Kidd and seventies eras, meeting Thee Headcoats as the likes of The Blue Cats spur them on; a glorious end to an equally stirring and enjoyable album.

As suggested earlier, The Masonics are the head boys of UK garage goodness and Obermann Rides Again is evidence they are in no mood to hand over that position.

Obermann Rides Again is out now on vinyl on the band’s own Grand Wazeau Records and digitally through Dirty Water Records and available @ https://themasonics.bandcamp.com/album/obermann-rides-again

https://www.facebook.com/themasonics/

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mickey & The Mutants: Touch The Madness

picture by Cathy Bloxham

picture by Cathy Bloxham

If anything from psychobilly to fifties rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly to rhythms & blues gets your feet and heart eagerly moving than we just might have the album of the year for you in the mighty shape of Touch The Madness, the debut release of UK rockers Mickey & The Mutants. Multi-flavoured and insatiably contagious, the album is a storming slab of mutated rock ‘n’ roll brought with all the craft and devilish guile you would expect from the experience and invention of its creators.

Mickey & The Mutants is made up of double bassist/vocalist Mick White (ex-Guana Batz and ex-Meteors from the Mutant Rock/Wrecking Crew and arguably best era of the band), guitarist/vocalist Norm Elliott, and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. It is a trio which on past history we admit we here had greedy expectations of but with Touch The Madness they surpassed everything wished for with a wonderful devilment borne from honest uncomplicated rock music. Formed in the summer of last year the band, on the evidence of their debut, only has the single intent and that is to provide an unforgettable, high quality, bruising party for the senses and passions, something they succeed in doing within the first three songs alone and reinforce time and time again across the twelve track release.

The title track opens up the excursion through the ‘bedlamic’ enterprise’ and imagination of the band, a lone guitar and distant WSRC072_300psychotic wails displaced by a barrage of rumbling beats from Hodge and sabre like riffs from Elliott. Amongst their instant persuasion the nimble fingers of White bring throaty bass slaps into the mix and slightly crazed vocals which within the devil bred brew being cast recalls The Orson Family in touch. The song is pure psychobilly and an evocation of primal urgency to join its hungry commanding mood. The track also gives portent of the album ahead, its body a twisting and varied temptation that has limbs and voice offering their well in our case, feeble blasphemous help.

The following Elvirista (Queen Of The Dead) teases with again a single coaxing of guitar before once more the rhythmic potency of the thumping drums and belligerent bass provoke and fill the song with such depth and menace you feel you are about to succumb to aural voodoo. The vocals of this time Elliott, the vocalist within songs being who penned them, have a dark demonic shadow to their narrative which like and with White before, brings great character to each slice of devilry and the release as a whole. The track smoulders with wanton seduction and enchanting intimidation which again receives no resistance as it takes passions into realms of rapture.

These Ol’ Bones explores a country rock seeded field of compulsion which sounds like a mix of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Screaming Blue Messiahs, whilst veining itself with some tantalising blues guitar licks and flames which ignites further the immense pleasure the impossibly addictive song has already sparked. It completes one of the strongest starts to any album in a long time, but it does not sit back on its laurels or take a rest as the excellent Jacob And The Well Of Love and its successor Something Bad’s Comin’ Outa The Ground soon show. The first also walks with a rhythm & blues swagger and lilt to its mesmeric stroll whilst the second of the pair is a slow canter around another blues narrative that leaves the lips of satisfaction licking feverishly.

Adrenaline soon opens its boosters again as the old school stroll of Blonde Haired Assassin takes the ears in its Gene Vincent/Blue Cats like palm of sound. Not for the first time on the album the guitar of Elliott is a delicious blaze across the sky of the song whilst White leaps over the senses with his upright skills and Hodge simply hypnotises from start to finish with instinctive rhythmic bait.

If the album stopped here it would be fair to say acclaim would still only ooze from these words but thankfully it is only midway into its rewards and soon raises the temperature further with firstly the contagious punk driven Rock n Roll Messed Up My Mind and even more so with Phantom Of The Opera. The second of the two is to all extent and purposes a cover of the Meteor gem on their Wreckin Crew album of 1983, though as it was written by White anyway maybe cover is the wrong word,  nevertheless he has just reowned it with the stunning version on Touch The Madness which we would suggest surpasses the previous version, it is that good and still one of the most riveting psychobilly songs of all time.

Burn You Sinners Burn just stomps over the already seduced heart with another dark toned piece of rockabilly majesty, White and Hodge creating a menacing wrap of rhythmic menace psychotically ridden by the vocals of Elliot and his sweet toned guitar caresses. It is pure aural manna which is sidled up to in quality by the sultry and dangerous mystique of Kiss Of The Spider Woman. Winds of surf rock wash over mariachi whispers to draw out a sweltering ambience which soaks every pore of the body and senses.

The album ends on the twin psychobilly enticement of Zombie where every aspect of band and sound stalks the passions with all the relentlessness of the risen dead, the song feeding off on the eagerly given submission to its virulently infectious jaws, and the insatiable Mind Control, the only time the band really reminded of The Meteors. It has to be said expectations to like Touch The Madness were strong but to the depth that we did was wholly unexpected and greedily taken. Mickey & The Mutants has opened its account with a killer album, one which is not quite up there with the major genre classic but easily one of the very best rock ‘n’ roll albums heard in a long time.

https://www.facebook.com/MickeyAndTheMutants

10/10

RingMaster 23/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Salami And The Cumberland 3: Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers

With an interview with the high octane bundle of energy that is King Salami in the offing it is only right we take a look at the recent album from King Salami And The Cumberland 3. To be honest it came out in the tail end of last year but having looked for an excuse to delve back a few months and share this simply brilliant explosion of irresistible and excitable sounds an interview seems a good enough reason. Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is music at its best and what it was invented for, to ignite the deepest pleasure and thrills possible within each and every one of us.

Formed in 2006 the quartet of one Japanese, one French, one Caribbean and one Spanish conjurors of fun, draw influences and flavours from the fifties and sixties and spice them up with their own contagious blend of insatiable ingenuity and energy. Consisting of former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons, The Cumberland 3 led by the irrepressible King Salami leave one breathless and over excited with their album. Released on Dirty Water Records Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is a wonderfully agitated swell of movement, its brief to unleash an unrelenting explosion of infection and hyperactive melodic pleasure.

King Salami And The Cumberland 3 has riled up hearts and emotions all across Europe with the sharing of stages with the likes of The Pretty Things, The Trashmen, The Standells, The Mummies, The Bellrays, and The Cynics to name a few. Renowned for their irresistible live performances and sweat drizzled excitement, the band have translated that energy and insistent mischief into their previous singles and now this album. It brings the essence of having the band there in front of you as it plays with your senses whilst firing up the need and urgency to catch them on stage.

The album explodes into the ear with Do The Wurst, an instantaneous assault of punk fuelled rhythm & blues/rockabilly. The beats and rhythms assume full control of limbs like a maniacal puppeteer instantly whilst the guitars fire up the aggression and attitude expected from a meeting of Screaming Jay Hawkins and The Meteors. The track has one joining in with movement and voice within mere seconds and even has the most composed and reserved of us flinging a few air guitar chords into the heated air. It is the perfect opening and sets the album up for greatness no matter what follows. To be honest the album only took a couple of songs to make a believer and adoring fan of us here so excuse the drool dripping from each and every word we place upon it.

The excellent I Smell A Rat with its raw and hungry breath searches for the ear next. With garage caked intensity to the guitars it leaves a big grin on the face though not as wide as from the following Mojo Workout. If you could have improper thoughts about a song this would be the one at the centre, a bristling irresistible slice of naughtiness. King is supreme leading the thoughts and emotions into trouble like a mischievous big brother ably assisted and egged on by the rest of the band.

Every song deserves close attention as not once does the manic party within the album lull or slip into a reserved moment, but those pleasures are for you to find out and feel. The more fiery highlights though include songs like the wanton sax pleasuring of They Don’t Know, the tribal contagion that is Pawnee Stomp, the Big Bopper/Screaming Lord Sutch glory of Watcha Gonna Do Tomorrow, and Sweet Love To You where Gene Vincent meets Ray Campi and The Blue Cats in a salacious love nest.

A twisting and energetic boiling brew of rockabilly, rhythm & blues, punk, and explosive rock n roll    Fourteen Blazin’ Bangers is simply magnificent and the surest fullest pleasure one can have within the ear. With spices and passion from the likes of James Brown, Sonny Burgress, The Sonics, and The Frantic Flintstones to name a mere few you can easily tell the vibrant and pulsating sounds within the album. King Salami And The Cumberland 3 are the match to fire up every day and heart; you just need to say hi.

https://www.facebook.com/KingSalamiandtheCumberland3

RingMaster 23/05/2012

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