The Spitfires – Year Zero

Through their first two albums, it is fair to say that The Spitfires have established themselves as one of the UK’s most enticing emerging bands. Both variously acclaimed releases lured potent attention to the band’s weave of punk, dub, and ska spiced rock, a sound growing by the record to embrace plenty more flavouring and now a fresh captivation within new encounter Year Zero. Their third full-length is the Watford quartet at their most imaginative, bold, and accomplished yet; a release which fuses energetic revelry and melodic enticement with lyrical sharpness.

From our first encounter with debut album Response in 2015, we like most have been unable to avoid offering up comparisons to the early exploits of The Jam, that continuing with its successor A Thousand Times the following year. Again there are times Year Zero embraces that open inspiration as well as essences for us which remind of bands such as Purple Hearts and The Cortinas. They are hues though which add colour to The Spitfires’ increasing individuality which is in rich bloom across the latest inescapable lure of an album.

Remains The Same opens up the release, its initial keyboard tempting thick intimation leading to the track’s spirited heart and web of hooks and lures. Punk and ska entangle as the song bounces along with varying urgency, the lead vocal prowess of guitarist Billy Sullivan for company with his potent tones as ably and infectiously backed by those of bassist Sam Long. The fresh addition of trombone adds to the adventure, its flames adding to the rousing roar inciting ears and attention in swift order.

The outstanding start continues with Front Line, bass and guitars immediately casting their contagious enterprise over ears as the crisp beats of Matt Johnson land and the keys of George Moorhouse flirt. Long’s bass pulsates with an earthy lilt within the virulence as Sullivan’s vocals once again easily entice. As with its predecessor, there is familiarity and catchiness to the song which grabs body and appetite but coming with an individuality which in turn switches on the imagination.

Next up Over And Over Again just as quickly and skilfully has the body bouncing and listener participation enrolled, its indie meets a Madness-esque scent joyous incitement becoming bigger, bolder, and more involving by the second. Contagion comes in various designs and strengths, the track pretty much one unstoppable infestation of energy and creative invention as too in its own unique style is Something Worth Fighting For. Swinging along on with a reggae nurtured gait as currents of dub bred enticement shimmer, the track effortlessly got under the skin in moments only increasing its hold as vocal, melodic virulence, and the band’s united craft colluded.

Further into the album you go greater adventure rewards, the following By My Side an enthralling piano led ballad with the guest vocals of Emily Capell pure radiance within the song’s own creative glow while Move On is a compelling dub lined brew of magnetism akin to Ruts and The Redskins meets Dub Pistols.

There is no avoiding giving a strong hint of next up Sick Of Hanging Around by comparing it to Paul Weller and co but again though it is a track which foremost is The Spitfires alone; the spicy blasts of trombone and the suggestive caress of keys a big part in ensuring its individual character in sound and imagination is forefront. As strong as its presence and the enjoyment felt is, the track is quickly and firmly eclipsed by The New Age. A boisterous punk and indie pop bred stroll with a power pop lining and dub ska underbelly, the outstanding track is glorious a call to feet, energy, and to arms.

The final pair of the album’s title track and Dreamland completes the release; the first unveiling a Ruts DC like saunter enveloping the senses like a celestial sunspot and its successor with the same infectious seduction in many ways echoing its title, a luminous melodic trespass on the state of society today.

More impressive and addictive by the listen, Year Zero is the coming of age of The Spitfires’ song writing and sound but with still plenty more to offer and explore in its evolution ahead. The world might be spiralling out of control but it is inspiring some striking reactions as this.

Year Zero is out now through Hatch Records; available @ https://thespitfires.tmstor.es/and most online stores.

Upcoming Live Dates:

Fri 05 Oct – Southend, Chinnerys

Sat 06 Oct – Norwich, Arts Centre

Fri 02 Nov – Dover, Booking Hall

Sat 03 Nov – Brighton, Patterns

Fri 09 Nov – Leamington Spa, Zephyr Lounge

Sat 10 Nov – London, Islington Assembly Hall

Thu 15 Nov – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds

Fri 16 Nov – Glasgow, Broadcast

Sat 17 Nov – Edinburgh, Mash House

Fri 23 Nov – Bristol, Fiddlers

Sat 24 Nov – Exeter, Cavern

Thu 29 Nov – Newcastle, Cluny

Fri 30 Nov – Carlisle, Old Fire Station

Fri 07 Dec – Leeds, Hi Fi Club

Sat 08 Dec – Northampton, Roadmender

http://www.thespitfires.org/   https://www.facebook.com/TheSpitfiresUk/   https://twitter.com/thespitfiresuk

Pete RingMaster 02/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nosebleed – Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor

The last four years has seen British trio, Nosebleed establish and declare their voracious presence on the UK live scene; time which equally has seen their sound honed and reputation built, it all leading up to the moment they launch themselves at nationwide recognition. That time is now with the release of their debut album, Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor. It is a brief but relentless stomp of garage punk nurtured devilry allowing no time for a breath but giving a wealth of insatiable moments to breed instinctive lust for.

Thirteen virulent songs over twenty and a small handful of minutes, Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor flies from the speakers flinging song to song hooks like confetti and springing inventive twists like a mad professor. It is a rock ‘n’ roll dervish but with a devious control and scheme which sees feet, hips, and the imagination merciless to its manipulation.

Recorded live across one weekend alongside producer Andy Hawkins (Hawk Eyes, The Pigeon Detectives), Scratching Circles on the Dancefloor sets its intent with its first lungful of breaths. The initial guitar lure of opener I’m Okay wags an inviting finger before being quickly joined by hungry rhythms and the vocal mischief of guitarist Eliott Verity and bassist Ben Hannah. For fifty odd seconds the song rigorously hops around, Dicky Riddims’ beats setting the tone for the punk infested romp.

As the excellent start lays its last jab, its successor I’m Shaking is in the starting blocks, loco grooves teasing away as the track bursts into manic life. As rhythms pounce and hooks infest, the song sinks its mania into the imagination like a fusion of King salami and The Mobbs; teasing and fingering the psyche with its viral appetite and character. Superb does not quite cut its magnificence; a height of bliss eagerly backed by the addictive antics of Time And Time Again which quickly entangles the listener in its swinging grooves and excitable rhythms.

The voracious design of the album simply continues with the next pair of Wrong and Start Again. Not for the first or last time across the album, there is a whiff of seventies punk band The Cortinas especially in the first of these two with its sharp almost spiky hooks and instinctive catchiness while the second uncages a riot of bullish rock ‘n’ roll as punk as it is fifties scented honed into another irresistible and individual Nosebleed infestation.

As soon as the rhythmic rumble of Everybody breaks the momentary silence between songs, body and greed was sparked here; the track trapping an easy submission with its web of grooves and hooks let alone vocal incitement while Slow Down does the complete opposite as it had hips swinging and limbs flying with its dirt stained rock ‘n’ roll. Both tracks not only get under the skin but deep into the blood taking over spirit and soul simultaneously yet still get outshone by Scratching Circles. Like a puppeteer, the song dictated movement and energy; its Stones kissed heat and tenacious enterprise delicious spice in its creative irritancy and riveting manipulation.

Can’t Stay Here harasses like a child which will not take no for an answer to what it wants, the song bouncing around with its eyes firmly on the prize before Psycho grabs best track honours with its psychobilly hued rascality. Like the bad kid your mother warned you to stay away from, the track leads to wicked habits and salacious antics and boy does it reward for going astray.

A sixties garage rock hue lines the attitude soaked Kick Me When I’m Down next; swinging grooves and agitated rhythms gripping attention from its first touch, flames of melodic seduction from the guitar adding to its rich lure while I Can’t Tell You Anything creates a maze of hooks and grooves impossible to escape from, not that you will want to; an intent which is seeded in the album’s first note and only intensified thereon in.

It all comes to a close with What You Have Done, a ravenous collusion of grumbling filth lined bass, intrusive beats, and predacious riffs all linked by the band’s persistently anthemic vocals. It too has rockabilly/psychobilly infested fuel to its roar as well as a mouth-watering Misfits seeded glaze bringing the album to a close in majestic but certainly rampantly salacious style.

There are encounters which just inflame the individual instincts of us all, Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor is one for us, a release leading us to drooling ardour. We will not be alone as quite simply the album is a garage punk classic, indeed a rock ‘n’ roll masterclass from a band surely about to take national attention by the scruff of its neck.

Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor is out now through TNS Records and available @ https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/scratching-circles-on-the-dancefloor

https://www.facebook.com/nosebleedband/

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Los Chicos – Rockpile of Shit

Los Chicos_RingMasterReview

There are few rock ‘n’ roll parties as thrilling and irresistible as those provided by Spanish rockers Los Chicos, an experience they offer once again with new album Rockpile of Shit. Offering fourteen tracks which embrace everything from garage to pub rock, punk to funkily soulful shenanigans and plenty more, the release is a feast of boisterously rousing rock ‘n’ roll and a delicious echo of the Madrid quintets’ inimitable live show.

Formed in 2000, Los Chicos have released a quartet of increasing acclaim grabbing albums before Rockpile of Shit, the previous trio of Launching Rockets (2007), We Sound Amazing But We Look Like Shit (2009), and In the Age of Stupidity (2013) released, as the band’s new encounter this time in conjunction with Folc Records, on the always impressing Dirty Water Records. Live the band has ignited stages alongside the likes of Mudhoney, Southern Culture on the Skids, King Khan, The Sonics, Johnny Casino, Soundtrack of our Lives, Redd Kross, Cosmic Psychos, Spencer P Jones, The New Christs, The Young Fresh Fellows, The Meanies, Barrence Whitfield, Hi-Risers, Eddie And The Hot Rods, Roy Loney, and many others and toured across the globe, hitting Australian four times. Now they are ready to set a new stomp in motion across the world with Rockpile of Shit, a one hard to resist slab of fiercely flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll.

Feet and hips are soon as on board with band and album as ears when opener A Kingdom Of Coolness starts things off. Choppy beats and riffs soon tempt as grooves and vocals steer the course of the punk infused encounter. With its seeds seemingly in sixties garage rock and seventies punk, the track carries a great feel of old UK band The Cortinas to it as it emerges an undemanding yet seriously inescapable incitement to body and appetite as virulently infectious as it is commandingly rousing.

The same qualities fuel the following Rockanrolla, its own raw rock qualities making a potent temptation around the inviting tones of vocalist Rafa Suñén. Again the guitars of Gerardo Urchaga and Antonio Urchaga nag and jangle with remorseless enterprise and persuasion, bringing an Eddie And The Hot Rods hue to its boisterous catchiness before the even more virulent charms of I Don’t Wanna Learn Anymore steps forward. The swinging bassline of Guillermo Casanova makes for a powerful lure as the crisp beats of Ral García back up its invitation; they in turn matched in old school revelry by the guitars but with a modern spice which is inimitably Los Chicos.

FDW003_RingMasterReviewThe funky R&B of Older And Better has feet taking to the floor from its first rhythmic beckon, backed perfectly by the sizzling flames of sax which grace the outstanding encounter. With a hint of King Salami and the Cumberland Three to it, the song is mouth-watering devilry laying an early claim to best track on the album but soon rivalled by its Department S spiced title track. It too infests body and soul, bringing each alive and indeed eager vocal participation with its and the bands creative festivity.

Last Day Here offers a fiercer snarl while feasting on a fifties rockabilly inspiration. Equally though, it has a power pop vibrancy which lights up another impossible to escape chorus, voice and hips puppets to its manipulative magnetism. With discord flirting with the guitars and a Devo-esque quaintness emerging, the track epitomises the album; a seemingly simply flavoured proposition soon showing itself bursting with bold adventure and diversity.

The country/cow punk romp of Responsibility Ville hits the spot with ease next whilst More Beer is a melodic jangle sparking thoughts of countrymen The Pulsebeats as it too grips an already greedy appetite for release and sound. The wonderful relentless beats of García, as throughout the album, enslave ears and spirit alone, guitars and vocals playing with its conquest in an array of styles and devilish ways, Miami Beach soon employing its own surf hued punk ‘n’ roll web ensuring there is no respite for the listener’s  body and enjoyment.

Through The Ramones meets The Members like Mommy’s On MDMA and the country punk of Little Man, there is no lessening in bouncing songs and bodies while Night Ride adds its own individual twist on the country rock scent. All three leave a big smile on the face, though each is eclipsed by the scuzzier funk ‘n’ roll of I Know I Don’t Know and finally the hypnotic shuffle of closing track Toga Land. The pair ensures that physical and emotional involvement is at its most eager as the album comes to a mighty conclusion, an event leading only to a hard deny urge to press play and start all over again.

A great many already know of the rock ‘n’ roll majesty spun by Los Chicos, and with Rockpile Of Shit we can be safe in suggesting so will a great many more. This is one party everyone should gate crash.

Rockpile Of Shit is out now via Dirty Water Records/ Folc Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=2801529&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc and http://folcrecords.tictail.com/product/fdw003-los-chicos-rockpile-of-shit-preventa-disponible-en-mayo

https://www.facebook.com/LOS-CHICOS-42339317978

Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Johnny Throttle: Johnny Throttle

Infectiously nostalgic, energetically unbridled, and irrepressibly excitable the self titled album from UK punks Johnny Throttle is the perfect album. Yes if you analysed it there are edges and elements that could be ‘improved’ but the point of music is to exhilarate, inspire, and give a good time and Johnny Throttle do this in abundance. There are plenty of good punk bands out there right now but there is nothing finer than real 70s punk and with this influencing the heart and attitude oozing vein of Johnny Throttle, there is no finer a bunch of punk reprobates than Johnny Quid and his cohorts.

Released on Dirty Water Records the album is a flurry of immediate and eager stabs of punk that light up the senses and revitalise old hearts and ambitions. Formed by ex-Parkinsons front-man Afonso Pinto (Johnny Quid), and aided by guitarist Hermano J, bassist Rory Seminal, and drummer Ricky C, their pedigree as ex-members of the likes of Menace, The Shakin Nasties, the Jackoffs, the Chinese Lungs, the Stains and Urban Shocks undeniable, Johnny Throttle go straight for the throat with blistering ill tempered sarcastic diamonds of sound and attitude. The band and each track offers up twin fingered salutes to whoever is in their aim and intent, it is garage punk without complications but bursting with vibrant riffs and catchy hook laden venom.

From the opening Heartbreakers/Ramones like Lost Sputnik the album lights up the senses and heart.  Song after song high energy and brief concussive blasts rolls through the ear with contempt and belligerence. The first track though spiky and forceful is probably the least rampant on offer but shows pop punks of today more than a thing or two on how to do it. Throughout the album Johnny Throttle or songs remind of or hint at other bands but the overriding similarity they have is to The Cortinas, a sadly overlooked band from the 70s.  The vocals of Quid have a definite Jeremy Valentine sound and both bands have a defined handle on creating irresistible hooks and melodies within their barbed tunes.

This review could go on for pages there is so much that could be said about and praised upon Johnny Throttle. It has been a long time since an album has thrilled as thoroughly from first track to last and there are fourteen classics here. If you want a taster before falling into the tempestuous arms of the album than first head to songs like the incessant longing of Ann or The Vibrators like Love Me Till I Come a spattered lust fuelled two minutes and a touch. There is also the cheerful sing-a-long casting aside of I Wanna Be Your Ex or the very early Blondie/Buzzcocks/Cute Lepers eager simple melodies of Heart Of Stone available and as sure to entice. Let us be honest here, every track will grab and pull you into their siren like well of essential punk and garage rock.

Johnny Throttle as one anticipates does not shy away from the controversial either saving that for the best song on the album in the brilliant Spazztastic. It defies anyone not to join in with its addictive chorus and heart tingling riffs. With a bass from Seminal to lose fluids over the song is immense and its brevity the only complaint, but leave them wanting more right?

Johnny Throttle is an album that revives the heart of true punk music and punks, its heart a reminder of days when things had an intensity and breath that has since dissipated, well until this band arrived came along. They have not only reminded of but ignited the heyday of punk and taken it forward with an album so impressive and enjoyable that one does not need to dig out those old vinyls, the new breed is here and its name is Johnny Throttle.

RingMaster 20/02/2012

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