Cavaverman – Tales From Cavafistool

Cavaverman _RingMaster Review

It was Johnny Rose, the band behind Birmingham rock ‘n’ rollers Thirteen Shots and the independent label Undead Artists, that pushed our gaze the way of Italian horror punks Cavaverman, and boy are we grateful that he did. The trio released their new album Tales From Cavafistool this past Halloween, a thirteen track proposal that rocks with the bloodlust horror punk should always do but equally with an imagination unafraid to involve other bold flavours and twists of invention. The result is a fascinating and seriously rousing stomp fuelled with a potential that says even bigger and bolder adventures are ahead, so time the world woke up to the sonic zombie hunters.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Sal Champion, bassist Apocalypse Giò, and drummer Doktor Hell, it is fair to say that Cavaverman wear many of their inspirations on their sleeve the likes of The Ramones, Misfits, Alkaline Trio, and Entombed included, weaving them into their own contagious and visceral romances of sound and horror. As previous releases like Dead Brains For Brain Dead and James Dead showed, at times there is no escaping the familiarity to those influences but more often than not they merely spice fresh pools of bloodied Cavaverman imagination.

Tales From Cavafistool quickly stirs the blood and passions with opener Vampiro; a pull back on a shotgun the spark to a charge of spicy riffs and thumping beats driven by the potent tones of Champion. With a snatch of psychobilly to its character and straight forward rock ‘n’ roll in its instincts, the song rumbles and swaggers with expectations feeding horror punk tenacity and zeal, but with a wealth of enterprise it only thickly excites before Dead In Berlin offers its own breed of lusty punk ‘n’ roll. As in the opener and many more, Misfits is an obvious spicing but one, as suggested earlier, honed into the ways of Cavaverman with fresh and imaginative resourcefulness. The rhythms of Giò and Hell stalk and grumble magnetically throughout its scavenging whilst Champion shows himself as alluring with fingers on strings as voice on lyrics.

Cfront_RingMaster Review     The more restrained Yellow King shows a fuzzier melodic string to the band’s creative bow whilst still creating a virulent offering hard for body and voice to resist whilst the mighty Green Goblin is a two and a half minute addiction that you will be crooning long after leaving its and the album’s side. Familiarity is once more a potent hue but entangled in a pungent pop punk weave, the track is like all your best friends partying in the ears.

Such its contagion and slavery upon the passions, the following Don’t Cross The Streams has a harder task to shine alongside but its efforts are strong and enjoyable, especially with its excellent sinister entrance on intimidatingly anthemic rhythms. Into its stride, the song loses some of its potency in energy and impact but it still has feet romping and pleasure aflame by the time it makes way for Inside You and straight after Hero. The first of the pair also embraces the punk pop side of the band, breaking into an easy going and vibrant rocker before its successor grows from a scuzz kissed croon under atmospheric cold into an impassioned serenade with rising crescendos. The track might be another not quite matching some of those around it, but what it lacks in a persuasive spark it more than makes up with in bold and fiery blends of varied rock styles to show the strength of the band’s songwriting and imagination.

Lora Ashley is a delicious straight forward incitement of hooks and united vocals, an inevitable horror punk sing-a-long raising the spirits and greed ready for the drama laded rock ‘n’ roll of Dead Boys Of Summer. Resistance is futile here too as the track prowls ears with its sturdy rhythms and grinning hooks, vocals the final lure in a lustful anthem. Irresistibility continues in the old school punk joins fifties spawned rock ‘n’ roll of Don’t Worry About Me next, the song something you could imagine a collusion between The Damned, Flogging Molly, and Calabrese producing whilst the irresistible Teenwolf is less than two minutes of boisterous incitement with anthemic effect on body and emotions.

     Tales From Cavafistool is finished off by fiery rocker Just Another Day where blues spicing adds to rich flames of melodic and heavy rock aligning to a rockabilly swing, and finally the short sepia toned instrumental epilogue of Dawn Of The Cavaverman. The final piece is like the closing of the theatre curtain at the close of a creative triumph, and that is just what Tales From Cavafistool is, a triumph from a band previously in the shadows but now bounding forward with a real punch. As uniqueness and imagination continues to grow within the craft of Cavaverman, there is no reason to dismiss the thought that something special for horror punk is brewing in Italy.

Tales From Cavafistool Cavaverman is out now via Undead Artists and @

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2015

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Archie and the Bunkers – Self Titled

Promo'15B_RingMaster Review

Dubbed as ‘Hi-Fi Organ Punk’, the Archie and the Bunkers sound, to simplify things, is a compelling mix of garage punk and masterfully stripped back rock ‘n’ roll infused with a contagious revelry which has ears and imagination spinning. Created on drums, organ, and vocals alone, it is an enticing which has feet and emotions fully involved in scant minutes whilst in regard to its creators, to use the phrase Paul from Dirty Water Records, who are releasing the US duo’s self-titled debut album, used when introducing them to us, “There is no one like them.

Formed in 2013 with a name inspired by a character in the classic US television sitcom All in the Family and its spin-off Archie Bunker’s Place, Archie And The Bunkers is the creative union of brothers Emmett (drums/vocals) and Cullen (organ/vocals). Weaving in inspirations from the likes of Dead Boys, The Animals, The Stooges, The Screamers, The Damned, Jimmy Smith, and Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes into their strikingly unique romps of attitude loaded sound, the teenagers began recording in their basement with the subsequent self-produced EPs Comrade X. and Trade Winds being released in 2013 and ‘14 respectively. Sculpted from the inventive and often skilfully agitated rhythms of Emmett and Cullen’s whirling vintage organ sound, the bands songs are a diverse fusion of blues, acid jazz, and psych rock melded into a core old school punk and garage rock devilment. As the band’s debut album shows, it is a tapestry that is wonderfully raw and intrusive whilst being simultaneously a lingering and bewitching tempting. Its flavours are often recognisable, and influences open but with the instinctive unfussy yet intricate invention of the brothers, it is a proposition like no other.

Standard 3mm Spine Album_RingMaster Review   Recorded with legendary producer/engineer Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, the Archie and the Bunkers album opens with the dark seducing of Sally Lou. Opening with percussive coaxing and almost as quickly the heavy haunting of organ, the song subsequently slips into gear and a gentle but purposeful stroll. As Cullen’s fingers dance over the keys of his nostalgia oozing instrument with at times, as in many songs, a potent hue of The Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield to its melodic weave, vocals twist and turn in emotion and intensity as slower croons evolve into brawling squalls and vice versa. It is a thick persuasion to start things off but one soon outshone by the energetic stomp of Lady in RKO. The dark psych ‘n’ roll of the starter is replaced by a coarser post punk swagger with more than a tone of The Fall to it, especially in the rhythmic shuffle and vocal incitement offered. The keys again hone a Doors bred melodic adventure into something distinct to the imagination of Archie and the Bunkers, but fair to say if you have ever imagined what music an illegitimate offspring of Jim Morrison and Mark E. Smith might conjure, this song is your answer.

   I’m Not Really Sure What I’m Gonna Do takes over with a ska infused entrance, the organ twisting into the opposite direction every time ears expect the track to bounce along on that kind of saunter. The chosen path is just as vibrantly magnetic and infectious though, its punk/psych catchiness an irresistible recruitment of body and appetite with a healthy dose of creative and vocal ire to its character. It is a blend not so thick in the following Knifuli Knifula, though its flirtatious weave of melodic spicery has darker hues hinting and suggesting too as feet get wrapped up in its addictive dance. Moving into slower more sonically sultry scenery only adds to the inventive theatre working away on the imagination whilst vocally the duo keep the garage and punk heart of their music potently lit for an already very keen appetite for the album by this point.

Roaming organ enticing over voraciously rolling beats brings You’re the Victim into ears next, its infectious bait unrelenting as the song expands its breath of vocal confrontation and enthralling melodic colour. The track is sheer captivation, the craft of both brothers as eclectic as it is impressively resourceful allowing the song itself to nudge individual thoughts of The Animals, Into The Whale and once or twice The Ramones across its fiery seducing.

Each passing song seems to increase the strength and impressiveness of the album, Different Track vigorously prowling ears with its belligerent voice and creative psychosis, emerging like a mix of The Dropper’s Neck and Asylums sent back to the sixties/seventies and dragged back to now kicking and screaming. It, as those before it, just whips up swift intrigue and hunger for more, which is just what the outstanding Miss Taylor with its rhythmic tenacity courted by the flowing temptation of the organ provides in riveting style. There is just time to catch a breath as the exceptional warped waltz relinquishes its grip, a moment for a quick gasp before Austria brings its cosmopolitan intrigue and great repetitive enticement to tease and excite ears and imagination. Once more, a scent of The Stranglers lines and spices up the excellent encroachment of sound and suggestion to leave satisfaction full and that urge for more rampant.

I Wish I Could ensures the thrills keep coming; its jerky energy and mischievous nature inciting an infection loaded slice of power pop built on the mischief of The Dickies and the plain stirring roar of Dead Boys whilst Trade Winds stomps around with even more seventies punk fuel to its raucous brawl of dirty addictiveness. The two songs steal the show upon the album, certainly emerging as the biggest favourites amongst nothing but, though they are quickly rivalled by the post punk/new wave/psych rock amalgam that is The Last Stooge. Again a thick grin is drawn by its brief but bracing ingenuity of sound and craft, a smile which started on track one and only ever ebbs and flows in its broadness across the rest of the album.

Completed by the tantalising instrumental serenade of Joanie, it is almost impossible to escape the lure of Archie and the Bunkers, band and album, without at least one more thick listen of at least a song or two, or more, not that there are any complaints of course. Your favourite album of the year it just might be, something unique to others it certainly is.

Archie and the Bunkers is out now via Dirty Water Records @!/Archie-and-the-Bunkers/c/13761039/offset=0&sort=normal

Pete RingMaster 27/10/2015

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Hell Puppets – Theatre of Sin

Hell Puppets_RingMaster Review

Picture the scene, after one flawed but certain success Victor Frankenstein’s ambitions go full out to feed his appetite for rabid music. So with bodies embalmed with the raw irreverence of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, the ravenous metallic animus of Morgue Orgy, the virulent contagion of Dope, and the punk mischief of Dirt Box Disco, he created EviL-P, BeLiaL, GRavES, BeeLzEBeN, and SaTurNiST to spread the red and devour the soul. Or it might simply have been the Devil which dragged Hell Puppets from their English graves to conjure and release the lustful addiction that is Theatre of Sin.

The debut album from the Sussex bred quintet is a carnivorous vaudeville of horror and creative drama cast across a dozen songs which just thrust a knife of contagion through the heart and continually twist it with a bounty of punk ferocity, metal predation, and rock ‘n’ roll devilry. It drew a big grin on the first listen and a lustful stalking from the second, and fair to say since its release a couple of weeks or so back, we are not alone in adding the release to our cellar of favourites.

With members hailing from London, Brighton, Chichester and Lucifer’s right hand, Hell Puppets emerged in 2011 infusing inspirations from the likes of White Zombie, Pantera, Sex Pistols, Slayer, and Misfits into their swift attention grabbing fusion of punk and metal draped in horror, the occult, and Demonism. The first year saw the band solely concentrate on creating and honing their sonic infestation before setting out on their live scourge of the UK. A live session for a local radio station marked the growing emergence of the band during the next year before in 2013 they began recording debut EP No Strings Attached which was released in the following January. An increasing number of acclaim garnering shows surrounding its well-received introduction to the band and since with a support slot with The Hell later in 2014 another highlight. It was a successful year certainly eclipsed by this, as fresh from playing Bloodstock and touring with Meta-Stasis in support of their debut album, we simply have Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin_RingMaster Review   From the opening carnage of Bow Bells, band and album has ears and imagination gripped. The brief track is a visceral scene setter for the following …From Hell, a blood dripping, flesh ripping introduction to the murderous streets of Victorian Whitechapel and the lust of Jack The Ripper which its successor impressively runs with. The second track to a concussive ring of bells rolls out an epidemic of inciting rhythms and growling vocals within a horde of punk riffs and tenacious hooks. All those bands initially mentioned come to thoughts as the track throws its sinew loaded attitude and mischievous insanity across the senses, yet as good as a hint that they are, the track is something demonically distinct to Hell Puppets, as too it emerges, the album. The band certainly cuts straight to the chase with the best track on Theatre Of Sin but there is no downward slope to follow, even if tracks can only closely sniff at the brilliance of the full opener.

Hung, Drawn and Slaughtered is one which runs it close, its blackened soul and horror punk fury colluding in another quick slavery of infectious hooks, grooves, and unpredictability. As many songs within the album there is a familiarity to it which seduces with the charm classic evil always has, a broad smile which captivates as djent kissed riffs and death instilled voracity works away at the senses and psyche narrated by the varied squalls of vocal animus.

From that metallic tempest another in the caustic shape of Born To Die steps forward, its body a maelstrom of glam and hard rock with punk ‘n’ roll tendencies aligned to metal ferocity. It is a stomp which seizes neck muscles and vocal chords to do its bidding before Project Mayhem uncages its primal anthemic roar laying somewhere between Black Dahlia Murder and Therapy?, and Political Diarrhoea taps into the punk beds of The Damned, The Vibrators, and Misfits for its rapacious stroll and lyrical agenda which gets the job done without fuss or wastage.

From an imposing shadow cast by the classic shark attack sound, complete with nasal secretions, the deranged hardcore fuelled roar of Drugged Up Shark excites and disorientates leaving ears prey to the clutches of Halloween, the band’s Christmas song. Only kidding, but it is a track which just keeps giving from its Carpenter inspired theme and melodic coaxing through to its grungy death infused sonic rancor. The track is glorious, another revealing new nuances and defiling attributes with very listen, much as We Are The Enemy and its whirlpool of insidious death metal, bracing rock ‘n’ roll, and juicy grooving. Imagine The Sex Pistols, Turbonegro, and Venom severely shaken until their juices merge and you get a glimpse of another big highlight amongst many within Theatre of Sin.

Morbid Mirror twists and turns like a clawed seductress next, its lithe grooves and rasping vocals bringing a mix of Grumpynators and Murderdolls whilst slipping into richer blackened spite throughout, especially vocally. Once more ears and emotions are lost to Hell Puppets and kept by firstly the bestial, mordant sound of The Decunted and finally the mouth-watering discord and sonic antipathy of Face the Reaper. The track is a bad-blooded smog of noise and sonic pollution which just brings the bedlamic acts of Theatre of Sin to a fitting ravenous climax.

The album is a wonderful desecration of body and soul and if any of those bands we mentioned as hints appeal, as well as something new and dirty to the touch, and the fact the Hell Puppets is our new favourite trespass, then hopefully we have incited you to be brave and enter the Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin is available now via Hell Puppets’ Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 15/09/2015

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Lupen Tooth – Strawberries & Cream


Whether escaping a dank graveyard or bred within the toxic touch of a silvery full moon, Lupen Tooth is a proposition which once bitten by their horrorpunk ferocity, swiftly becomes a ravenous and lingering incitement. Certainly that is the case with the UK trio’s new EP Strawberries & Cream, five tales of corrupted flesh and demonic seductions making up a devilish and magnetic assault of punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing from Bristol, Lupen Tooth consists of bassist/vocalist Tommy Creep (also owner of indie label Graveyard Calling), guitarist Klum, and drummer Nick Naylor. Their sound seemingly draws on inspirations from the likes of Misfits, Crimson Ghosts, and Blitzkid but also recalls essences of older schooled punk rock which is in many ways where the band stands out from the horrorpunk crowd. Essences of bands like The Ramones and The Damned hint throughout their songs, never an over powering suggestiveness but colluding with the band’s own raw sound and horror fuelled invention to create something organically compelling. It starts from the opening track of Strawberries & Cream, increasing in potency and enticement with each passing song until ears, imagination, and psyche are infested and consumed.

a0506917967_2    Opener Coffin Pallor instantly leaps at ears with a muscular bassline, concussive beats, and abrasing riffs. It is an imposing entrance only given greater force by the dual vocal assault of Creep. Their tones are vibrant yet solemnly monotone, a great mix as cold as the air circulating the track’s narrative and as addictive as the anthemic drive of the song. The bestial bassline from Creep prowls and flirts deliciously with the sonic flames coming out of the strings of Klum’s guitar, whilst everything combined brings small thoughts of US punks The Panic Beats.

The harsher heavy metal breeding of Moonlight Fury erupts next. Driven by the wolf inside, the song is soon a volatile punk stomp creating a dirty and magnetic stalking of ears. It does not quite have the spark of its predecessor for personal tastes, but still tears through the senses with a pleasing abrasiveness which triggers greater passion once it dips into a primal passage of bass sculpted and sonically infused preying of the senses. The track keeps the earlier installed appetite for the release fully engaged before Zombie Doll crowds and preys on the listener with its earthy riffs and brooding rhythms. It also just misses the final factor compared to the first and following songs in majorly igniting emotions but with a great caustic lure of vocals amidst stabbing beats it has satisfaction full.

The EP kicks up another gear with Bury You Deep, a psychotic romance engaging the imagination with a torrent of ear scrubbing riffery and an intimidatingly predatory bassline. Its chorus is simplicity but inescapably addictive, Misfits again coming to mind, whilst the rhythmic and sonic threat of the encounter worries and bruises the senses with horrorpunk rabidity.

The release ends as it started with another gripping peak and a track centred round a death inviting casket. The Coffin Is My Home which from its initial minimalistic vocal and guitar coaxing becomes a snarling and fiercely simmering rage of hostility and creative predation. It is a thoroughly thrilling enticement, with a prime hook within the verses which reminds of a well known classic punk offering but so far has irritatingly defied recognition. Maybe it is our imagination but nevertheless it only adds to the bewitching bait on offer from the best track on the EP.

There is no sweetness with Strawberries & Cream it is fair to say but plenty of mouth-watering and highly enjoyable horrorpunk bloodlust. Lupen Tooth is not a band to provide seducing flights of melodic beauty or thought involving technical intrigues, but for raw and honest, not forgetting instinctively exciting hell bred rock ‘n’ roll, they are a great soundtrack to your nightmares and horrific deeds.

The Strawberries & Cream EP is available now digitally and in various CD packs @

RingMaster 23/03/2015

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dragSTER – Dead Punk

Photo by Uglypunk —

Photo by Uglypunk


Not sure about you but the quality of British punk rock right now is inspiring tingles not that far removed from those felt when its first generation of sounds and bands were in their heyday. This is all down to bands like Coventry quintet dragSTER and ridiculously exhilarating releases like Dead Punk. Rampaging with thirteen riots of hostile punk ‘n’ roll, the band’s third album is a tempest of feet inflaming, passions rousing ferocity with a strength of invention and virulence to match. There has been some extraordinary rock ‘n’ roll storms in recent times but few can be said to have come close to the fire and flare of Dead Punk.

Formed in 2006, the Coventry hailing dragSTER built, on a love of 50’s iconography, sci-fi and B movie horror, and ‘dirty, fast and energetic music’, their own punk turbulence which was soon stirring up a nest of attention with its voracious energy and aggressively forceful sounds as pungently evidenced on the Rat Scabies produced Trailer Trash EP. Extremely well and greedily received by fans and media alike, the band reinforced their emergence with first album Step Into The Deathray in 2007. It was swiftly devoured upon release whilst subsequent shows with the likes of The Damned, The Buzzcocks, Sham 69, Eighties Matchbox and Electric Frankenstein only enhanced and increased their reputation before second album Here Come The Meat Robots in 2010 had its impressive say. Released as Dead Punk on STP Records, the release marked out the band as one of the most exciting prospects in UK and European rock ‘n’ roll. Featuring ex and current members of bands like UK Subs, Texas Terri Bomb, Criminal Class, and Pigface, dragSTER has pushed on again in both songwriting and sound to now uncage one of the modern punk classics.

A slither of an intro leads ears into the opening fury of Gatecrasher Hostage as Dead Punk begins consuming ears. The song is an instant roar, expelling abrasing riffs and thumping rhythms around the fiery confrontational tones of vocalist Fi Dragster. Ears and appetite are immediately seduced by the onslaught, especially as potent hooks and spicy grooves add their bait to the straight forward but already juicy sound. The machine gun bursts of beats from drummer Ryan Murphy only inflame the intensity and addictiveness of the encounter, leading the listener into a predacious web of dark temptation from guitarists Diesel and Ben Kelly, the latter following up with a short toxic solo of magnetic enterprise. It is a delicious bellow of a song and entrance by the album, a triumph straight away surpassed by its title track.

Dead Punk is, as all tracks to be honest, an addiction forging anthem of belligerence and cantankerous endeavour bound in grooves and hooks to lose inhibitions over. With nostrils flared and dragdradramuscles giving ears a thorough going over, the track compounds its might with a chorus even the deaf and deceased would be drawn to engage in. There is no escaping the slavery of the song, a potency grabbed by Drink You Pretty next and twisted into a new furnace of tangy grooves and chorus placed vocal roars. The song growls and rages with a raw infectiousness and diversely flavoured enterprise, squalling like a mix of X-Ray Spex and Midnight Mob with a healthy dose of  Distillers added. Also repeating and increasing its prowess and bait is the bass of Tom AK, the throaty and at times grizzled tones conjured bringing a perpetual primal lure to this and surrounding tracks, bait again is impossible to resist.

Through the broader dirt clad hard rock spicing of Cattle Prod, band and album keep the variety and thick attraction of the album blazing before Evil Craze provides another massive thrill with its balls to the wall punk rock savagery quipped with another seriously habitual roar of a chorus. The protagonist bursts from the speakers with an almost physical and certainly visceral presence, Fi raging over it like a Queen of attitude and defiance whilst vocally and musically the band beside her unleashes their individual and creative furies to equal intensity and glory.

Such its magnificence, there is an instant fear or feeling that maybe the next track has a mountain to climb to impress but that is soon dismissed by the rampant fifties seeded rock ‘n’ roll of The Dead Are Out In Droves. Garage and old school punk meets horror punk with metal bred venom for company; the track casts its own unique anthem of quarrelsome and addict making sounds, passing on the same challenge to compete to Terminal Loser. Opening with a Generation X like lure of guitar courted by a demonic bass temptation, the song is soon rumbling and grumbled with every note and swiping beat. That antagonistic intent is matched by the fearsome and ever captivating Fi as she opens up the pop tainted heart of the song. A Spinnerette whisper adds to the rigorously seduction at work whilst the guitars scowl and tempt with a canvas of vicious and riveting endeavour which ensures that the track easily matches the potency of the previous storms.

The furiously caustic sounds of Just Wanna Fuck provides one minute of unbridled punk lust next before Liar Like That stamps its raucous authority on ears and emotions with a volatile union of vocals for the chorus the final key in the corrosive passions chaining encounter. Both leaves ears exhausted and spark a serious greed for more, a want and need fed copiously by firstly the Misfits stroked raging of Death By A Thousand Cuts and straight after by the stalking temperament of Indonesian Buzz Cut. The first of the two seizes ears with a raw wind of riffs and bass grievances splintered by the crippling swings of Murphy whilst the second, from a prowling gait of an entrance is soon a viper’s nest of incendiary rhythms, stabbing riffs, and vocal incitement. The pair also come with their own breed of contagion posing as choruses and a lack of thought of using their toxic hooks and inflammatory grooves sparingly.

The refreshing melodic and mellower tones of Fight Fire With Gasoline infuse more new spicery to the album, though that is not to suggest it lacks the same unforgiving attitude in sound and voice as any other proposition with Dead Punk. Thoughts of Penetration come to the fore as the fascinating encounter croons and blazes within its inventive presence before leaving final track Skull Ring to bring it all to a highly satisfying end. The closer is a dark protagonist openly sculpted from the gene pool of seventies punk, The Adverts a suggested spicing, and a bracing and ravenous bruising of unfriendly and irresistible rock ‘n’ roll impressively completing an outstanding provocateur of a release.

Dead Punk is not only one of the finest if not best punk release of recent times but stands on the front line of any emotionally and energetically charged slab of rock ‘n’ roll heard over the past twelve months or so.

Dead Punk is available via STP Records now on CD @ and digitally @

RingMaster 16/01/2015

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Convent Guilt – Guns for Hire


Described as ‘Heavy Metal Warriors’ yet with a sound at times as punkish as it is metal, Australian band Convent Guilt unleash their debut album on Shadow Kingdom Records this month. Consisting of eight tracks of highly agreeable persuasion, Guns For Hire is a potent introduction to the Sydney quartet; not an encounter to cause major ripples but a promise ridden proposition providing an enjoyable stomp to get the teeth into.

   Guns for Hire makes a solid start though the first two tracks only warm the appetite and emotions with their decent if underwhelming presence. Opener Angels in Black Leather initially lures attention through a great dark bassline within a strain of juicy riffs. The track is soon expanding its persuasion with heavy metal enterprise and a punchy rhythmic enticement but it also lacks the spark its start hints at, especially when the vocals of bassist Iron Belshaw enter the mix. Technically the track is potent and a solo impressively flavours the offering, but from voice to sound it avoids truly exciting ears and thoughts. The following Don’t Close Your Eyes is similar, the healthy web of enterprise cast by guitarists Dario Lastro and Matty making an accomplished and colourful temptation against the firm swings of drummer Brent. Yet there is an unsurprising and unadventurous feel to the Maiden-esque song which prevents it finding the power you sense is lying at its heart. Both songs we know are favourites amongst a great many so it is more a personal taste thing but it is when third track Perverse Altar steps forward that for us band and album comes alive.

The track opens on a firm ridge of alluring riffs which makes an edgy canvas for the swiftly joining and fiery solo. It is a captivating start which finds another edge and intensity once the much a0046099024_2more impressing vocals of Belshaw stamp their authority on the song. He is never a threatening presence, but with the punk tone which lends its temptation to his delivery and the music itself coming through, the track whilst still firmly seeded in a classic metal spawning, reveals a compelling punk ‘n’ roll character.

That new adventurous tenacity continues its appearance across the rest of Guns For Hire, Convent Guilt aligning a Celtic folk whisper to the intrigue soaked They Took Her Away. Its initial balladry is soon encased in a muscular cage of heavy rhythmic jabs and a similarly forceful bassline whilst the guitars snarl with riffs and seduce through spicy melodic expression almost simultaneously. The song is outstanding, a strong glimpse at the variety in songwriting and sound certainly within the band and an imagination not as forceful on other tracks.

Both the aggressive roars of the album’s title track and Desert Brat keep ears and appetite eagerly keen, the first another punk urged slice of raw heavy metal blessed with a tasty bass tone from Belshaw. His vocals also find a punk breeding, excelling within the causticity of the sounds around him. By now the album’s songs are as much punk as heavy metal and certainly the better for it; the latter style providing strong and tempting colour to the rawer attitude of the songs as evidenced by its excellent successor. That bass of Belshaw persistently prowls with compelling tempting, his riff again irresistible and the spring board for antagonistic riffs and magnetic enterprise from the guitars. Like The Damned meets Motorhead, and Judas Priest, the track provides a strong and resourceful mark in the persuasion of the album.

Convict at Arms does not quite match up to the strength of the previous pair of songs but is soon an anthemic slab of pleasing metal catching feet and neck muscles up in its enticement before making way for the closing sonic carnage of Stockade. Once more metal and punk collide in a bust up of sonic dust and rhythmic confrontation, and again a thoroughly enjoyable encounter is bred. It is a riotous and infectious end to an album deserving keen attention.

As suggested Guns For Hire will not send shockwaves across the metal world but it will breed, as for us, a strong interest and anticipation for the band’s next move. Something coming with a rich dose of punk to its metal we hope.

Guns for Hire is available now via Shadow Kingdom Records @

RingMaster 13/01/2015

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Thirteen Shots – White Noise EP


Ever since the release of the single Danzig in 2011, UK rockers Thirteen Shots have been evolving a sound which seemingly chooses its own direction through each release. It is an organic journey which constantly surprises fans and at times maybe even the band itself. The predecessor to the band’s new EP hinted at one potent and striking shift which the White Noise EP now confirms whilst also suggesting more and that it too is just a sign post towards a yet to be reached destination. Early tracks and debut album Vaudeville offered rock ‘n’ roll with a voracious psychobilly/ punk ‘n’ roll devilment but the unleashing of last year’s Tales That Start With A Whisper seven-track brawl explored rich strains of horror and garage punk in its varied adventures. Now White Noise has stepped forward to push those essences further, the result a diversely flavoured slab of rock which is as at ease employing blues and classic rock as it is garage punk and rock, the result a mouth-watering blaze of raw and dirty rock ‘n roll.

Formed in 2011, the Johnny Rose led Thirteen Shots was swiftly firing up attention, especially after the release of the acclaimed Danzig which was backed up by a live presence which had also garnered equally potent recognition, the band sharing stages with bands such as Demented are Go, The Peacocks, Rezurex, Howling Wolfmen, Graveyard Johnnys and many more these past few years. Their following releases only reinforced their emerging presence whilst relishing the movement in the band’s sound, a journey continued with captivating ferocity through White Noise. The beginnings of the Birmingham quartet when Rose linked up with co-founder guitarist Joe Public, saw the pair move away from a hard rock breeding but with the new release it almost feels as if Rose is drawing on the best essences of that earlier time and flavour to add another flame and spice to the next twist in the ascent of Thirteen Shots.

The new release also sees the introduction of drummer Tom Fenn, who replaced the departing and also band original Chelsea McCammon, and opens with the imposing turbulence and attitude Thirteen Shots- White Noise- Coverof Doom. From its first breath, intense and corrosive riffs graze the senses whilst a bulky bassline joins crisp rhythmic punches in accosting ears. It is a formidable wall of sound, almost Sabbath-esque in tone and predation as fiery grooves wind around the distinctive tones of vocalist Rose. Lyrically the band is still spinning great tales from b-movie and horror inspirations but in sound the track instantly reveals a fiercer and more intimidating air, though it is just one aspect in the varied character of the release.

Next up is the first of two recorded tracks taken from last encounter Tales That Start With A Whisper, and in some ways reveals the most about the shift in sound as you compare versions. Nekrosexual whips up an immediate rich garage blues fuelling to the southern kissed garage punk encounter. There is admittedly not a major change in the song’s textures and sonic winery but everything has a new flood of intensity and incendiary colour to it, a rawer rock ‘n’ roll clarity which just gets the juices dribbling.

The following Blue Lagoon features Silpha, the vocalist from German horror punks Silpha & The Corpseboners and label mates on Rose’s own label Undead artists. The track roars from its first second, a bracing horror punk causticity scarring the air around the expressive and magnetic tones of Rose and Silpha. The track is a contagious stomp, the guitar of Lewis Manchip an uncompromising squall and the pulsating throaty bass lures uncaged by George Chick inescapable bait as they collude with the wicked swings of Fenn. The track is punk rock at its finest at its core and a lingering treat even after making way Psycho Jukebox, the other song re-recorded from the EP’s predecessor. A firm favourite of ours from Tales That Start With A Whisper, the new version is a little less convincing yet with its new roar and bluster turning the swagger loaded rocker into a ferociously compelling provocation, the track only adds bruising drama and incendiary enterprise to the release.

Inspired by the romance of the silent film star and film icon Mary Pickford, First American Sweetheart is the EP’s pinnacle, its infectious gait and rockabilly temptation wrapped in hard rock grooves and garage punk contagion. The song is outstanding; another in a line of underground classics sculpted by the band and the deserving of a wider spotlight. It plays with a Turbonegro and The Damned meets Rezurex type stomp and alone does enough to confirm that the new generation of their sound’s evolution is a step in the right and thrilling direction for the band.

Final song Padded Cell Blues is exactly as it says on the tin, a feisty blues drenched slice of deranged rock ‘n’ roll which shuffles and rampages across its sultry confinement with captivating tenacity and invention. Adding another open colour to the canvas of the EP, the song is a thickly satisfying close to another fascinating and exciting release from Thirteen Shots. Playing as a taster of the band’s continuing journey and an anticipation triggering teaser to a new album out next year, White Noise is a treat for all Thirteen Shots’ fans but also a rigorously enticing invitation for all appetites of unpolished, unclean, and masterfully invigorating rock ‘n’ roll.

The White Noise EP is available now via Undead Artists digitally and as a limited CD @

RingMaster 03/12/2014

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