Venus de Vilo – Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition

It seems impossible that it was five years ago that we, as so many others, were seduced by the shadowed clad, blood strewn creative world of dark seductiveness of Venus de Vilo through the Edgar Allan Ho EP. It is in some ways still a relatively undiscovered but certainly a revered and acclaimed gem by those in the know, and was the prelude to equally compelling tales of dark deeds, shadowed carnivals, blood drenched burlesques, and dead borne vaudevilles  in songs, literature, and art by the Irish songstress ever since. This October on Friday 13th, its release is celebrated by the artist in union with the great independent label, Undead Artists, with the unveiling of the 5th Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho.

Hailing from Dublin, Venus has frequently lit up rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, open mic nights, and other numerous venues around her home city and further afield with her Goth-Shock anthems since emerging around 2011. The release of Edgar Allan Ho in 2012 saw fan and online radio attention gather with plaudits to the fore, our own podcasts eagerly among them with all persistently enthralled by subsequent encounters with singles, EPs, words, and comic books alike.

Venus is like a sultry vampiric temptress bred from artistic alchemy raised from the fire of Imelda May, the snarl of Wanda Jackson, and the energy of Fay Fife with a pinch of the rock ‘n’ roll infection Horrorpops for good measure. Edgar Allan Ho soon revealed though she is as unique as they come, all those essences rich hues in her own kaleidoscopic imagination and sound.

The Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho as well as regaling in the original tracks also features remixes and covers of its songs by notorious Gothic-Industrial, Cabaret Noir and Alternative musicians, unique artwork by some of the best underground horror artists inspired by its songs, some steampunk stories also based on the EP’s anthems, and a full Behind the Screams book by Venus discussing the entire processing of writing, recording and out-ing the EP.

The EP opens up with Heartless Horseman and immediately the riveting tones of Venus grab ears and attention. As her acoustic guitar stabs, a rockabilly feel reminding of The Creepshow swiftly joins the song, a flavouring in turn bringing even more potent bite to the voice and delivery of Venus, her soaring compelling vocal imagination and drama holding an Agnete Kjølsrud of Djerv meets Lene Lovich like agility. A sweeping lure into night terrors and dark romantic suasion, the irresistible track is still soon outshone by the brilliant Ringmaster. It is a mesmeric waltz of colourful enchantment and dark carnival cast by voice, harmonies, and guitar. As one of its protagonists, it swings like an aerial gymnast, swaying elegantly in ears like a glorious aural siren. It is also a spectacular with one delicious chorus sharing a riveting likeness to The Dickies’ Killer Klowns From Outer Space. It was our undeniable favourite back in 2012 and remains so but every track within the EP is a mighty challenge.

Miss Frankenstein is next, an aural incitement which is as cinematic as it is sonically suggestive. Its rhythms are a bold enslavement matched in temptation by the electronic strings and Venus’ ever inimitable and irresistible tones. It is an epidemic of sound, an almost toxic and certainly addictive contagion which leaves you no option but to dive voice and feet first into its twisted majesty.

The more understated but no less seductive Penny Dreadful Love is next, its shadowed climate and Victorian draped air a creeping tempting out on a funereal stroll.  As lady and song lace the senses and thoughts with their visceral love poisoned evocation, the track simply and sublimely absorbs the listener in dark hearted romantic serenade.

Crooning from within a gothic Bauhaus-esque mist, Carmilla’s Return atmospherically swarms around ear and imagination with keys and guitar caressing the continually powerful and virulently enticing tones of Venus, behind whom the chants of the ‘dead’ hauntingly harmonise. It is a pungent kiss on the senses but one wrought with threat and danger; the best kind of seduction there is.

Apocalips completes the EP, its rockabilly swagger and virulent swing pure manna to the soul. Again voice and guitar transfix like a celebratory incantation, rhythms scything across its dark beauty with relish and similarly teasing venom. The track flirts with the wantonness of a fifties siren and the intimidating composure of instinctive psychobilly, rich traits colluding with everything else for one wholly contagious shard of mesmeric delight.

Apart from a couple of live track and remixes by Elvis Einstein, all sheer passion fuelling theatre, we have yet to taste the whole package of the EP’s re-release but its core tracks alone make Edgar Allan Ho an essential must. It is time to feel the Venus de Vilo embrace world.

The Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition is released October 13th through Undead Artists @ https://www.facebook.com/events/100369350679694/

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloTheVoiceOfHorror/    https://twitter.com/VenusDeVilo

https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cowtown – Paranormal Romance

Cowtown_RingMasterReview

If there has been anything more invasively infectious than Paranormal Romance this year so far we have yet to be blessed by it. The new and fourth album from the warped creative adventure of British indie popsters Cowtown is a delicious and riveting carnival of mischievously inventive pop ‘n’ roll amid seriously catchy endeavour which spark and inflame the imagination, only growing more tempting and irresistible with every listen.

Formed twelve years ago, the Leeds based Cowtown has earned a potent reputation and support for their rousing proposal of sound. Merging raw seventies power pop with punk and its post neighbour as well as their own modern imagination, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Nash, keybassist/vocalist Hilary Knott, and drummer David Michael Shields have caught more and more attention through their previous trio of albums; Pine-Cone Express (2007), Excellent Domestic Short Hair (2010), and especially Dudes vs. Bad Dudes (2013). New proposition Paranormal Romance is a whole new ball game though with the band’s most rounded and boldly captivating songs yet without losing the raw magnetism which made its predecessor such a greedily welcomed encounter.

Recorded with Matthew Johnson (Hookworms/Suburban Home) and mastered by Tom Woodhead (Forward Russia), album and band first tease with the brief introduction of Paranormal Romance Theme. As if inspired by Devo’s first couple of albums, the track awakens ears and imagination ready for the boisterous exploits of Clock In. Again rhythms and its off kilter melodic invention has the scent of the Mothersbaughs and Casales brothers; the Ohio band seemingly an open member of inspirations to Cowtown. A rampant romp of sound and energy, the song surges through ears with a melodic grin on its creative face and sonic deviancy in its compelling character which hooks and rhythms repeat with their own masterful persuasion.

cover_RingMasterReviewCastleman is similarly cast, exploring a more cosmic climate as it twists and turns through sonic rich imagination. Knott brings beguiling shadows to the mix whilst Shields’ beats subtly nag and drive the song into the warm arms of Nash’s vocals and his enjoyable toxic melodies. Submission to its raucous festivity is swift and just as easily given to the following Tweak. The track is a ridiculously persuasive treat; an invasion of niggling riffs and rapier like beats which is in top gear from its first to last breath like a power pop fuelled Dickies, an urgency which drives the whole of Paranormal Romance.

Living up to its name Motivational Speaker soon has ears and spirit lively recipients of its enticing pop poetry; simplicity and invention colluding in a web of infectious sonic arousal before the thirty odd seconds of Captain Planet entangles an already hungry appetite in its insurgent punk catchiness. There is no moment to catch a breath either as its short blaze is quickly surpassed by Not Sure, the track engaging in a senses blurring dance of enterprise and flirtation further lit up by the vocal unity of Nash and Knott as Shields beats seem to dig deeper into the psyche.

The bewitching grace and revelry of Castle Greyscale and indeed its inescapable rhythmic trespass has the passions hooked and lined in within moments of its opening melodic lure, only tightening the grip as enticing vocals unite with sonic stabs with bass and drums breathless in their insistence. Aural manna for an already heady party to the album, the song is matched by the delicious whirlpool of sound and creative revelry making up Let Go. It provides a theatre of imagination which burrows deeper under the skin with every one of its short minutes and subsequent listens, lust the ultimate winner and just as eagerly offered for the Devo-esque escapade of Closed Circuit where every second is sheer magnetism entangling ears in flirtatious drama and its pulsating canvas of fun.

Buggin’ Out strolls in straight after with its own authoritative escapade of senses trespassing hooks and catchy twists before the album comes to a just as thrilling close with Emojicore. The longest track on the album at three minutes, it uses all of its extensive time to weave a rich and thickly satisfying tapestry of melodic mischief with the right amount of discord and dark hues to enthral and seduce body and soul.

It is a fine end to an album which as mentioned just grows and flourishes with every listen into one of the year’s highlights. Cowtown has been approached with attention and praise before but not to the level it is easy to assume Paranormal Romance will incite.

Paranormal Romance is out now through HHBTM Records in the US and Hot Salvation and Audacious Art Experiment in the UK as well as @ https://cowtown.bandcamp.com/album/paranormal-romance

https://www.facebook.com/pages/COWTOWN/7567080935

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shit The Cow – The one with the devil

STC_RingMasterReview

The one with the devil is the fifth EP from “scrapyard rockers” Shit The Cow but our introduction to the Swedish quartet and boy are we kicking ourselves for that. The six track incitement is a furore of creative theatre and raw energy treating ears and imagination to an often ferocious and always compelling mix of alternative and hard rock with as forceful punk, stoner, and garage rock infusions.  Hindsight shows that it is a mix which has primarily fuelled the band’s previous exciting releases in their various characters of sound but is at a new pinnacle within this latest encounter.

From 2012 EP volume/cow, Stockholm based Shit The Cow has uncaged a sound which infests the imagination but as shown by our recent discovery of them, thanks to the band themselves, maybe not always awareness. Certainly subsequent EPs, Salt of the earth (2013), Rissna (2014), and 67p have drawn plaudits and a host of new fans but it might just be, with deserved luck, that it is The one with the devil which ignites real attention.

Produced by Ron Haven, The one with the devil swiftly grips ears and induces raw hunger with opener Warcow. At a few breaths over a minute in length, the song is a rampaging surge of infectious caustic punk pop; like a lustfully dirty blend of The Dickies and The Super Happy Fun Club, all fuzzy guitar and irresistible hooks driven by thumping rhythms. Vocalist/guitarist Peter Söderberg sits astride the surging drive of the track, his great vocals backed and surrounded by the guitar/bass enterprise of Daniel Kjellberg and Erik Rosenberg, the pair apparently sharing instruments across the EP. Short but ridiculously infectious, the song has ears and psyche enslaved in little time before the EP’s title track lays down its potent bait.

art_RingMasterReviewOne With The Devil has a slightly slower stride to its gait but a more imposing weight and tone as it as good as prowls the senses. A glorious hook within a superhero essence captures the imagination as swiftly as the magnetically firm beats of Robin Lindqvist court the instincts to rock ‘n’ roll. Like Eagles Of Death Metal meets Helldorado yet not, the song is pure rock alchemy, a primal solicitation of the passions snarling away with increasing potency

The following El Chupacabra has a similar template to its character, stalking ears as engaging vocals and imagination entangling grooves collude with nagging riffs and rapacious rhythms. Featuring the backing female vocal charm and beauty of someone apparently called Alex, the song is a tempestuous, almost volcanic fire of raw intensity and melodic seduction which tempts and insists on attention as repetitious beats and niggly riffs core the whole bewitching affair.

There is something familiar about next up The Villain, an essence we have not yet pinned down but only adds to the intrigue and enjoyment of the exciting encounter. Again a wealth of flavours and textures are woven into a song by Shit the Cow, those female vocals alongside Söderberg icing on another irresistible slice of multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll.

The band whips up another punk infested gen with IGGY next, the track a stomping beast of insistent beats and antagonistic riffs aligned to a bass growl to drool over with band vocals which ignite the spirit and indeed the vocal chords. There is a Jello Biafra air to the song, more Lard than Dead Kennedys maybe but very tasty all the same though ultimately song and sound is little like anyone else’s.

The EP is closed by an alternative version of Warcow; a quite delicious and haunting seducing with Alex on vocals courted by a host of portentous sounds and melancholically enthralling keys. The song is quite wonderful, a stunning end to a riveting and exhilarating first listen, for us, to Shit The Cow, the source of a new musical lust we are sure we will not be alone in having.

The one with the devil is out now across most online stores and @ https://shitthecow.bandcamp.com/album/the-one-with-the-devil

http://www.shitthecow.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shitthecow/325694852733   https://twitter.com/shit_cow

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nomad Stones – Self Titled

ns good band pic_RingMasterReview

The press release from Brutal Panda Records for the debut album from US trio Nomad Stones suggests that their “punk-infused blast of rock n’ roll sounds like Dinosaur Jr. meets Black Flag.” It is a description which it is hard to dismiss though throughout the eight-track encounter with the New England band we could not help thinking this is what The Dickies might have sounded like if they had slowed down, got grungy, and embraced the raw rock ‘n’ roll of Johnny Thunders. Numerous times the punk pop mischief of the LA punksters is encroached within the Nomad Stones album but always infused into their bubblegumless and fiercely rousing punk ‘n’ roll.

Formed in 2015, Nomad Stones consists of guitarist/vocalist Adam McGrath (Cave In, Zozobra, Clouds), drummer JR Conners (Cave In, Doomriders, ex-Goatsnake, etc.), and bassist Erik Szyska. With already shows under their belts alongside Mutoid Man, United Nations and numerous others, the threesome has certainly stirred intrigue and attention, and easy to hear why now their first release is spreading its ferocious yet contagious temptation.

Wrapped in the art work of Converge’s Jacob Bannon, the album opens up with Dead Batteries. Firmly punching beats set things off, grumbling riffs soon in tow as McGrath shares his vocal prowess in a virulent stroll mixing the punk of The Damned with the dirtier scent of Dinosaur JR and the dark growl of Misfits. It is a rousing and compelling start, a spirit and appetite sparking beginning reinforced by the following stomp of Dirty Boots and A Friend Named Goo. With swinging rhythms and mischievous hooks entangled in another scuzzy antagonistic snarl of a sound, the song brings seventies punk into the visceral infectiousness of modern punk ‘n’ roll, hitting the sweet spot within seconds and only reinforcing its persuasion as distorted guitar enterprise plays.

mininomadstones_RingMasterReviewDrain Brain comes next bringing a monotone nagging of the senses as riffs groan and shimmer while vocals add their singular but magnetic coaxing. Grungy and again old school punk seeded, the song grumbles and transfixes before The Frugal Yankee strides in and inspires that Dickies reference. Previous songs hinted but the fourth track especially recalls a sterner and heavier take on the Leonard Graves Phillips, Stan Lee, and Chuck Wagon led band, whether by coincidence or just in our ears.

A slower prowl comes with Glory Days next, its slow but eager crawl thick with emotive and rhythmic shadows adding another creative shade to the EP and an intriguing proposition for ears and imagination to embrace. Carrying a bit of Fugazi in its character, the excellent encounter steps aside for a rousing version of the Buddy Holly classic, Heartbeat. Just beefing it up gives the track a fresh lure but Nomad Stones also add fiery melodies and even more aggressive nagging to its riffery to leave ears greedy and pleasure rife.

The rowdy air and intent of In Too Deep ensures satisfaction is full next too, the song without the same spark as its predecessors for personal tastes still only leaving a want for more which closing track, The Sandwich Police provides as again, much like the last song, Nomad Stones venture into the epidemic strains of pop punk united with the threat of Black Flag/Converge scented confrontation.

The track is an outstanding end to an excellent introduction to Nomad Stones. There is buzz rising around the band and we can only add to it as raw and punk infused rock ‘n’ roll does not come much more enjoyable than this.

The Nomad Stones EP is out now via Brutal Panda Records @ http://nomadstones.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Nomad-Stones-564184443733217/

Pete RingMaster 02/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Asylums – Killer Brain Waves

Photo by the Cool Thing Records sparkplug Kana Waiwaiku

Photo by the Cool Thing Records sparkplug Kana Waiwaiku

Amongst the most highly anticipated releases this year here in the office, maybe the most eagerly awaited was the debut album from UK sonic punksters Asylums. Having been hooked on the Southend-on-Sea hailing quartet’s frenetic and devilish jangle since being infested by Wet Dream Fanzine EP within the first throes of 2015, a more than keen and impatient appetite has been brewing and now we can say it has been well worth the hours pacing the floor waiting for Killer Brain Waves.

Taking a snap at any and everything with a mischievous smile on their creative faces, band and release is the kind of sonic devilment ears and music were evolved for. Offering twelve tracks which flirt and bite, tease and seduce, with an imagination and eccentricity found in Bedlam, Killer Brain Waves announces Asylums as one of music’s most essential and even more so irresistibly thrilling propositions. It is a collection of songs within which sarcasm and discontent are frequent visitors as too a virulent dose of humour and fun driven imagination. Musically, Asylums recall in heart and enterprise the likes of Swell Maps, The Dickies, and Supergrass. At times essences also remind of bands such as Weezer and We Are The Physics but as shown a dozen times over, all are hues in a devilry uniquely Asylums.

art_RingMasterReviewMixing a handful of treats from their previous EPs/singles with new slices of angular revelry, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Luke Branch, guitarist Jazz Miell, drummer Henry Tyler, and bassist Michael Webster open up Killer Brain Waves with the mighty Second Class Sex. Its first breath brings a senses swamping tide of meaty rhythms and nagging riffs engaged in a toxicity of sound which simply infests the psyche. Though its spreads its body into a more expansive tempting, that energy never diminishes. Webster’s bass groans and growls in ears; a great lure matched by the swinging intent of Tyler as the swirling sonic seduction of the guitars lay their trap. With vocals just as potent and a touch of White Noise era XTC to the mix, it is a stunning start to the release, and one not losing a beat as I’ve Seen Your Face In a Music Magazine steps up next.

The second track is just as eager to invade body and thoughts, using a lower gear energy wise as a spicy wiry groove entangles ears and rhythms cast in another rousing and pulsating enticement. Melody and discord court the outstanding tone and delivery of Branch, each adding to the glorious trespass with a tangy hook just icing on the cake. New wave meets pop punk to give some clue to its ingenuity, the song departs so Joy In a Small Wage can share its ‘mellower’ charms. The track almost floats over the listener, keys washing its path though equally there is a darker edge in tone and another beguiling bassline to keep song and ears on their toes. That Weezer reference is arguably at its most potent here but again the result is, within a near perfect pop song, something belonging only to one band.

Bad Influence rumbles as it croons next, plaintive vocals and dirty riffs aligning with a heavy bass enticing to create another epidemic of swinging enterprise before the even more magnificent Wet Dream Fanzine leaps in. It is impossible not to join in with every Asylums song, and especially with this gem. Hips and instincts are grabbed straight away by the opening hook and swinging rhythms, vocal chords soon after as Branch leads a jangle of rhythmic agitation and funk infested bouncing clad in another fiercely tantalising weave of Miell’s sonic invention. A favourite since its appearance on that same named EP last year, the song continues to ignite tingles; as too the following The Death of Television. A nest of sonic vipers and stabbing beats, all with rebellious intent in their hearts, the song is one minute and twenty six seconds of creative agitation demanding similarly off kilter movement and involvement in return for its rare incitement.

The heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Monosyllabic Saliva comes next, its body a prowling beast tempered perfectly by the harmonic quality of Branch’s voice. Fuzzy with a thick feel to its atmosphere, the track is a brooding slice of pop rock veined by the ever insistent grooves and sonic tendrils escaping the guitars. Its dark tone is contrasted by the pop punk saunter of Born To Not Belong, a song which feels like it’s an already known friend as it makes its first proposal but simultaneously adds another string to the albums creative harp.

Necessary Appliances soon has ears greedy, the song twisting and turning with a more conservative sound compared to its companions but still unveiling a tapestry of imagination fuelled endeavour before Sunday Commuters and Missing Persons keep the thrills going. The first of the pair is another more controlled slice of pop rock with great sixties inspired harmonies taking the listener on a stroll of excitable rhythms and fuzz lined tempting while the second seduces with its Weezer/Supergrass hued canter around another commanding bassline and crisply landed beats.

The album closes with the outstanding punk raw challenge of Slacker Shopper, a grouchy and thickly aired proposal which as so many just hits the spot. The band’s most aggressive and irritable offering yet, it is a brilliant end to Killer Brain Waves providing a final new shade to their sound and invention, one we hope to hear more of. There is also a hidden track which we will call Butterfly just because the word is repeated most often. It too shows a fresh side to the Asylums sound; imagine the Beach Boys or Walker Brothers doing shoegaze and you get a hint of the great extra gift within the album.

We expected good things from Asylums with Killer Brain Waves but the album simply out does any expectations with ease. For fans and newcomers, Asylums and their first full-length are simply a must.

Killer Brain Waves is our now via Cool Thing Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/killer-brain-waves/id1105949093 and other stores.

http://www.asylumsband.com   https://www.facebook.com/asylumsuk   https://twitter.com/Asylumsband

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Virgin Kids – Greasewheel

VK_RingMasterReview

Having more than teased with their self-titled EP in the November 2014, UK garage rockers Virgin Kids have unleashed their full sonic flirtation with debut album Greasewheel. Breeding their off kilter rock ‘n’ roll from an entangling of garage and post punk with psych and fiery pop rock, the London based trio cast an intoxicating enticement posing as an album which swiftly arouses the spirit and colludes with the imagination.

Formed as a bedroom project by Asher Preston, Virgin Kids fully emerged as a band late 2014 with childhood friend Paul Rosser and ex-Fawn Spots drummer Sean Hughes alongside the band’s frontman. Since then and the release of the aforementioned EP, the threesome has gained a potent live reputation, an adventure which has seen them share stages with the likes of whilst Jacuzzi Boys, The Coathangers, Kim and The Created, and Dirty Fences amongst others to date. Numerous comments about the band on stage talks of a “fevered intensity”, an element Virgin Kids has seemingly tried and for the main succeeded in now representing across Greasewheel.

The album opens with Bruised Knees, a kinetic jangle of guitar and contagious vocal urging from the first second. In no time, the song climbs over the senses, dark rhythms mixing with a fuzzy entrapment of ears in something which provokes thoughts of The Sonics, early Horrors, and The Hives in devilish union. A lively spark for the spirit, the track provides a great start to the revelry of the album, quickly backed by the more reserved but no less magnetic Cracks In A Colour. The band’s new single, it immediately swings with a graceful gait infused with appealing bass cast shadows. Soon that sixties seeded enterprise becomes a busier eruption of sound and energy, returning to the song’s initial melodic and controlled romancing before alternating between the two from thereon in.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom one pinnacle to another as My Alone stands tall from the off with its own individual sonic flirtation and seduction of ears. Like The Dickies meets Love Buzzard meets Asylums with a touch of Buzzcocks to its hooks and melodic grooves, the song is a glorious blaze of garage rock/pop, with a virulent harmonic invitation as inescapable as the anthemic rhythmic tenacity the track rolls along on before Never Nude slips in with a healthy whiff of seventies punk to its Thee Exciters/The Fleshtones like scent.

Both tracks on their own make Greasewheel an epic must listen, and are powerfully backed by the chaotic punk ‘n’ roll of Crook and the acidic Horrors-esque smooching of Shrink. The first of the two is another high point, its scuzzy heart and raw crescendos delicious tempering and companion to addictive grooves and melody sculpted hooks. Its successor proceeds to writhe with sonic temptation from its first breath, mellowing out into a psych pop seducing seemingly brewed from a blending of shoegaze and psychedelic pop. Equally there is a darker lining to the track which emerges more as it develops and spins a tangy web of guitar crafted suggestiveness littered with heavier rhythmic trespasses.

After the melodic lure of Shrink Wrap, a very brief epilogue like follow-up to its predecessor carrying a Teardrop Explodes air to it, the album concludes with the feisty pop jangle of Be Your Friend. Whipping up energy in body and voice to unite with its own, the song is an irresistible close to a similarly thrilling release. Greasewheel builds on the dramatic introduction of Virgin Kids’ first EP whilst creating its own unique character of sound and potential for bigger and creatively rowdier things to come. We for one cannot wait for their fruition over future releases whilst being a perpetual companion for this treat of a proposition.

Greasewheel is out now on cd, vinyl, and digitally through Fluffer Records in the UK and Burger Records in the US.

https://www.facebook.com/virginkidsband   https://twitter.com/virginkids

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

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 @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/Archie-and-the-Bunkers/c/13761039/offset=0&sort=normal

http://www.archieandthebunkers.com https://www.facebook.com/archieandthebunkersofficial   https://twitter.com/hifiorganpunk

Pete RingMaster 27/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/