Skinny Girl Diet – Ideal Woman

Ever since the release of their striking and plaudit grabbing debut album of 2016, there has been an instinctive anticipation for a great many for the Skinny Girl Diet follow-up and not just for their sound but the rage, irritability, and bold attacks on life and values it is fuelled by. They are verbal trespasses feeling increasingly rare in modern music surrounded in a sound just as full of dissonance and unapologetic displeasure but it all giving the opposite. It is a combination easily ensuring Ideal Woman as suggested was eagerly awaited and now here destined to be declared one of the truly stirring encounters of this year.

Since the release of the acclaimed Heavy Flow, London hailing Skinny Girl Diet has reduced from three down to the founding duo of Delilah and Ursula Holiday, vocals/guitar and drums respectively. It is a move which has done nothing to quench the hunger and anger in their music; a proposition bred from the voracious attitude drenched essences of punk, grunge and dirty rock ‘n’ roll but not truly settling into any particular bed of sound. Ideal Woman is a richer palette of that mix; bolder in imagination, songwriting and flavouring as it impressively builds on the potent potential of its predecessor.

If noise annoys, then Skinny Girl Diet will be winding up a great many but it is a creative clamour nurtured on invention, passion, and honesty. As much as it pours scorn on the parade of ills inflicted upon modern society Ideal Woman is just as harsh and abrasive on the apathy around them while musically it just sung on the senses and appetite with matching imagination, instantly making a strong and alluring start with opener La Sirena. From its initial doomy prowl of guitar and slowly rolling beats, the track crawled over the senses, Delilah’s swiftly joining vocals harmonic but carrying an instinctive and never far from the surface snarl.  A slice of untamed rock ‘n’ roll, it is primal flirtation and an irresistible introduction to the organic tension and enterprise of Ideal Woman.

Witch Of The Waste follows bringing a bluesy sigh and subsequent swing to bear on ears and a quickly embracing appetite. As with the first, there is a predacious hue to the track even as it dances with grooves and toxic melodies, fully captivating before making way for the similarly voracious if more controlled Shed Your Skin. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of a mix of The Slits and The Raincoats to the song aligning with its own individual and devilish lo-fi grooving and devious hookery.

There is no denying that the opening trio had us hooked but a snare ensuring full slavery with the album’s title track. It is a delicious slice of soulful temptation and melodic indie pop intimation boiling up to a fuzz pool of rock ‘n’ roll as unpredictable as it is enthralling. The best track within Ideal Woman, the song was pure captivation though quickly rivalled by the capricious drama and exploits of Human Zoo. Seduction and trespass collude across its equally absorbing trespass, the new adventure in the Skinny Girl Diet composing and sound in full blossom within both tracks and indeed next up, Starfucker. It too makes a calm yet slightly unnerving entrance; a tinge of portentousness lining the melody of guitar and Ursula’s mercurially edged rhythms. Delilah’s voice similarly has a volatile lining which breaks ranks rather than erupts across another rich highlight of the release.

Through the vacillating scuzz soaked saunter of Western Civilisation and the post punk teasing antics of the outstanding Outsider, satisfaction and pleasure continued to draw lusty returns while Timing and Golden with their respective Au Pairs-esque seducing turning rowing with the senses and instinctive volatility pretty much left a want for nothing.

The closing stretch of the album ensures it bows out as potently as it burst in; Warrior Queens leading off in confrontational style with defiance soaking word and the soiled causticity of its ear rapping sound. Its full cacophony is followed by the just as sonically and emotionally dissenting White Man where a Distillers like vehemence adds to its inherent pull.

Clickbait concludes the pleasure, preying on the listener with carnivorous beats and wolfish chords then breaking into a rabid punk grunge assault enhanced by Delilah’s ever alluring blend of harmonic coaxing and snarling tetchiness.

It is a rousing end to a release which just grows more stirring and impressive by the listen. Ideal Woman is prickly and fractious rock ‘n’ roll wrapped in a weave of imagination which has no interest in being anything other than honest and unique incitement all should risk infection by.

Ideal Woman is available now digitally and on vinyl through HHBTM Records.

https://www.facebook.com/skinnygirldiet/     https://twitter.com/skinnygirldiett/

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rip and Roll; exploring the snarl of Tarah Who?

tw_-tarah_RingMasterReview

Tarah Who? you may ask; and the answer is a band which takes a bite of the senses while igniting the imagination with their punk infused and inventively hungry rock ‘n’ roll. The project of French born and LA based vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Tarah G. Carpenter, Tarah Who? is a band really beginning to entice wide spread awareness with a sound which simply demands attention. We had the pleasure to chat with Tarah (TGC), bassist Matt Peltcher (MP), and drummer Paul Costanza (PC) about the band, its beginnings, inspirations, their latest release and more…

Hello guys and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hi! Thank YOU for your interest in Tarah Who?

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you all came together?

TGC: I started writing songs when I was 15. It was not something I thought of doing seriously, I enjoyed playing the drums or bass in different bands better. As I moved to the States, it became more personal, I started writing more and more and taught myself the guitar.

Over the years, the writings became songs. I recorded a few demo songs, playing the drums, bass and guitar. Met people that were interested in the project and helped record my first album more professionally. Then I looked for musicians to play those songs with, and it became Tarah Who?

I have played with a lot of people, in France and in the US. I met Paul through a friend, and Matt through an ad.

MP: Well I met the band after answering an ad. I loved the music and we hit it off.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

TGC: Yes I am always playing drums or bass on different projects. I also like to write other styles than for Tarah Who?

Playing for other people or in different bands is like taking a little break. I don’t like to play in bands that sound similar to Tarah Who?. It stays in the genre of Rock but it’s usually a different type of Rock.

PC: Nope, this is my first band.

MP: I have been in other bands and I guess the continued love of playing music inspires what I do now.

tw2_RingMasterReviewWhat inspired the band name?

TGC: The band name is an accident. It was the subject of an email I had sent to my band mates at the time.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

TGC: I am very picky with my musicians. I didn’t mean to be a three piece band. It just happened. I am looking for a guitar player, but it is not a priority. I think we sound good as we are, and until we find someone who fits to our sound and personalities, we don’t have to rush things.

I like our sound to be simple, raw, and full of energy. Plug in and play.

Play with our emotions, more than a bunch of different sounds and effects. It is important that the musicians i play/work with, understand the emotions/story behind each song.

Do the same core essences still drive the band?

TGC: I have grown as a writer; I have been inspired by different events and people, so I think our music has changed a little. We are “angrier” in sounds.

When I started recording, I was influenced a lot by “producers” or other people I have worked with. I didn’t dare to say or talk about ideas I did not like or directions I didn’t want to take. Today, I do it all on my own, which makes everything easier and more satisfying. 🙂

PC: The sound has gotten a lot more angry.

TGC: True…

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

TGC: I don’t think this far. I write the songs and arrange them until I like them. I do it for myself and because it makes sense TO ME! I don’t follow structures or anything like that.

I write a song. If I like it, I keep it, if I don’t I move on to something else. It is as simple as that.

If I try new things, it is an accident because I am not into effects and new technologies.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

TGC: Yes. I don’t remember if it was an interview that I have seen or read about The Distillers, but Brody has mentioned once that The Distillers wrote albums in two weeks. (I hope I am not distorting her words) Anyhow, that is what I remember.

We all have different ways of expressing ourselves through art, some people take months to write or paint others just do it.

I don’t think there is ONE way to do things, and I don’t think there is a formula either. When Brody said that about the Distillers, it resonated in me because I have never experienced the whole “writing for ever” thing. If anything it supported my way of writing or making art. I have noticed that a lot of people don’t know when to stop while creating. Most of the time, the simplest songs are the best songs.

Is there a particular method to your songwriting?tw-art_RingMasterReview

TGC: When I write, I feel inspired. It is really hard to describe but it is almost like I am somewhere else. (I don’t get high!) This feeling usually lasts a few minutes (maybe 10-15 min) when it is gone, I am done. I can’t go back to it. This is where my writing (or painting) is done. I don’t read back or I don’t paint back on it ever again. I don’t push my writing either. I believe in emotions, not perfection.

PC: I don’t write anything. Tarah writes it and I play it.

MP: Tarah writes the songs and we just basically hammer them out in the studio until they sound just right.

Where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations for your lyrics?

TGC: Events, people, my perception of situations, imagination.

I often look at a situation and just reflect on it on a piece of paper and that is the song!

My lyrics are just ideas and or emotions I need to let out.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

TGC: Let’s see… Our latest EP is called Federal Circle of Shame. It is available on ITunes.

What I love about this EP is that it is as RAW as it can get!

The drummer Jo Ko, is just a beast behind the drums, Nicolas Bazin played the Bass VI which is an instrument I own that I literally just put in his hands and said “Figure it out!”, Ash played the bass and did some backing vocals, my really good friend Angie (Under The Skin) improvised some backing vocals and I played the guitar and sang. The sound engineer (Titi) and I got along really well, which made everything go really smooth. We recorded five songs in one day, live.

It was my best recording experience so far. Everyone was really into it, focused and just very talented!

We improvised a lot and had a great time!

Please give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

TGC: There isn’t one theme. Due to the lack of time and finances, we couldn’t record the full album. I picked 5 songs out of the 13 that I wanted to record. We practiced them for a couple weeks until we were ready to go in the studio and record them. I could only afford one day of studio. so we HAD to make it happen!

Cough Drop is the realization that we take everything (including our health) for granted.

Someone Else Will is about letting go of the feelings you have for someone who doesn’t see you the way you see them.

Kids of Ireland: on my last trip to Ireland, I ran into a lot of young adults that were either really high or begging for money to get high. It made me really sad.

Bitchcraft: talks about obsessing over someone you don’t want to!

14 Months is about the media, and a specific headline about a mother drowning her 14 months old baby.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

TGC: I pre-record the album a couple times before I go in the studio, to make sure I know what to play and what I like.

I have never been in the studio for more than a week, so I usually don’t have time or money to develop or try anything new!

I like to come prepared.

In a different project, I wouldn’t mind, developing or exploring. I don’t think Tarah Who? is that kind of project. There is always a little bit of improvisation in a way, with drum fills, or for instance Nicolas that I just let free to play whatever he wanted with the Bass VI or Ash and Angie who didn’t even know that they were going to sing that day! I gave them the lyrics and told them to go out there and sing! So in a way we developed that on the spot, but the songs were structured and already recorded.

tw3_RingMasterReviewTell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

MP: Playing live is the best high energy fun you can have. Our fans get really excited about our live performances.

TGC: Live shows are always really fun…especially if our fans know the songs and lyrics. I love to see people let go and dance! We like to entertain, so when we see that people are having a good time, we are really happy.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

MP: Absolutely nothing is easy but there is nothing I’d rather be doing. Hard work and tenacity is the road to success, don’t sweat the small stuff. There are always opportunities especially in “our neck of the woods”.

TGC: Playing live is easy. Anyone could play live if they wanted to. What isn’t easy is getting the attention for bigger, better and more.

There are a lot of opportunities. You’ll find in time which ones fit your project and desires. We don’t all want the same things for our music careers. The opportunities are there, look where it fits you.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

MP: Consistency is the key to making social media work for you. It’s definitely an advantage to reach out to your fans with a click.

TGC: Social media is great to make new contacts, keep updating our fans, meet more and new fans etc… I think it is definitely increasing our success as we can book shows in different cities and expect people to show up, because they follow our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

Thank you!

Yes, check out our new music video and stay tuned for the upcoming album!

https://youtu.be/tEijrptM2aU

https://www.facebook.com/Tarahwho    http://www.tarahwho.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skinny Girl Diet – Heavy Flow

SGD_RingMasterReview

Raw and defiant, unashamedly honest and forthright, British trio Skinny Girl Diet have a sound and heart bred attitude which refuses to pull its punches or tow the party line lyrically or musically. It is a combination which roars with anger and informs with uncompromising zeal and now fuels a debut album which just demands attention. Heavy Flow is a punk infused slab of grunge confrontation as lo-fi and rapacious as it is often melodically engaging and masterfully seductive; an incitement for ear and thought which perpetually hits the spot.

Consisting of sisters Delilah and Ursula Holliday, vocals/guitar and drums respectively, and their bassist cousin Amelia Cutler, London hailing Skinny Girl Diet has increasingly been talked about and covered over past years with Heavy Flow according to the band “a body of 6 years of work”, adding “it’s basically us as a band in its entirety.”

From it’s in the face cover featuring the ladies clad in white dresses inflamed by the natural showing of periods, Heavy Flow invades the senses with assertive pride and confrontation. Its songs are emotionally intensive flying in the face of suppressive attitudes towards women and numerous other injustices shaping the world.  It is a roar of frustration and uncaged ire which stirs up air and emotions from its first breath.

Opener Comedown Intro is a sonic entanglement of solemn nicely caustic guitar alongside an alignment of a pulsating bassline and crisp beats courted by enticing harmonies. Its relatively brief coaxing leads the ears towards the awaiting antagonism of Yeti, the band’s recent single. With a tinge of The Distillers meets Babes In Toyland to it, the track rumbles and grumbles on the ear while encasing it in sonic toxicity and vocal dispute as feverish twists add to the rousing melee.

cover_RingMasterReviewIt is an outstanding full start matched by the musically more even tempered Okay. Instantly catchy with its low key but virulent stroll, the song soon brews up a tempestuous climate around the increasingly engaging tones of Delilah, further switching and embracing the contrasts across its forceful endeavour. As its predecessor and those to come, the track is a lyrical poke which makes you stand back and think even as the imagination is eagerly accosted and beguiled by its twists and turns.

The scuzzy touch of next up Lazy Eye is impressively tempered by vocal harmonies which manage to snarl and seduce simultaneously while Eyes That Paralyse is an invasive rock ‘n’ roll grievance deceptively and cantankerously anthemic. The first of the two unites the rasping prowess and causticity of guitar with a kinder caress of vocal and melodic provocation, the second the raw emotion of voice and sound to an abrasive smoulder, both further igniting ears and an already lively appetite for the release.

Already noticeable is the imaginative structure and enterprise of the band’s songs within their ever scathing provocations, next up Bored the most bold yet with its wandering bass twang and sonic espionage around the primal beats of Ursula and Delilah’s standoffish vocal trespass. The song is a riveting tapestry of multi-flavoured adventure, as punk as it is grunge and noise rock seeded as it taps into another exciting aspect to the band’s songwriting and imagination before the corrosive punk ‘n’ roll of Wolf Pack just preys on the senses.

Another pinnacle within the loft heights of Heavy Flow is forged by the acerbically grooved and voiced Silver Spoons, the track a fuzz ball of emotionally trenchant, sonically bracing discord which just sparks within ears. Its unpolished beauty is contrasted by the warm clarity bringing successor Fix Me into view, its mellow calm breeding a Breeders toned predation subsequently bringing stronger turbulence to the song’s captivating atmosphere.

Through the venomously contumacious Pretty Song and the punk familiarity of DMT, Skinny Girl Diet reinforce their command of ears and a hunger for more, the second of the two arguably the album’s least unique track with its Hole/L7 like swing but as addictive as anything involved in the success of Heavy Flow.

The biting shimmer and growl of Forget equally stirs the passions with a far more inventive design soon taken further within the stormy majesty of Wasted Smile, a track which baits the senses with melodic and emotive elegance and within the flicker of a twist unleashes a blaze of sonic and rhythmic raging upon them.  It is a superb end to the album with Comedown Outro providing a melodically raw epilogue which only urges a need to press play all over again.

Heavy Flow impresses on first listen but truly grows and inspires with further investigations. It might not be declared the best album of 2016, though it just might too with a great many, but Skinny Girl Diet has provided one of the more important propositions to be embraced.

Heavy Flow is released November 4th; self-released in the UK and through HHBTM Records in the US.

https://www.facebook.com/skinnygirldiet/   http://skinnygirldietband.tumblr.com/   https://twitter.com/skinnygirldiett/

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – One Eyed Girl

Hands off Gretel pic_RingMasterReview

With a sound that will just as eagerly spit in the face while enticing rock ‘n’ roll instincts, Hands Off Gretel recently unveiled a prime slice of their punk driven, nineties grunge clad rock in the shape of One Eyed Girl. The lead single from the band’s debut album Burn The Beauty Queen, the song bristles with attitude and prowls with creative imagination like the bad blooded, seductive niece of The Distillers and Die So Fluid.

Hands off Gretel art_RingMasterReviewEmerging from the musical partnership between singer/songwriter Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue, the South Yorkshire hailing Hands Off Gretel formed in the February of 2015; the current line-up with bassist Joe Scotcher and drummer Sam Hobbins making up the foursome stepping forward earlier this year. With the likes of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love inspiring the creative attitude of Tate, the band swiftly lured attention though firstly their first DIY video for Be Mine and a free downloadable EP. An invitation to play Camden Rocks Festival soon followed as too a slot at Devolution Magazines 10th year Anniversary event. As shows across the Capital alone increased the band’ reputation, Hands Off Gretel have drawn the praise and support of an international fan base including Kate Nash. Ahead of their first album, One Eyed Girl is already setting about stirring the ears and blood of a great many whilst sparking keen anticipation for the upcoming Burn The Beauty Queen.

The single immediately grumbles as the bass of Scotcher offers an earthy growl. It quickly leads into the waiting trap of Tate’s inviting yet confrontational tones and the addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs. With Hobbins’ beats intensively jabbing throughout, the song is soon swinging along spreading ill-tempered seduction. It is easy to pick out Tate’s influences but just as quickly she reveals her own character in voice and delivery whilst McAvinue continues to spin a web of inescapable bait and temptation.

One Eyed Girl stomps through ears as determined to tear up the place as it is to create unbridled fun and arouses the cry “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”.

One Eyed Girl is out now.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

6th August – Rebellion Festival Blackpool

7th August – Kaya Festival South Wales

13th August – Krazyhouse Liverpool

3rd Sept – Corporation Sheffield

16th Sept –Album Launch (North) – Barnsley Rock & Blues Club

17th Sept – Album Launch (South) – LONDON (venue tbc)

22nd Sept – Lady Luck Canterbury

30th Sept – Bad Apples Leeds

13th Oct – Trillians Newcastle

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel   https://twitter.com/handsoffgretel   http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk   https://www.instagram.com/handsoffgretel/

Pete RingMaster 04/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Grooves and zombies: getting close and personal with Novacrow

novacrow_RingMasterReview

According to the band, Novacrow is “a four-piece of zombie-punching, hard-rock sleazeballs.” What they certainly are is a hard rock seeded roar which is earning a mighty reputation for their eclectic sound and EP Black Syrup has only backed and reinforced their striking emergence on the British rock scene. With the supporting of bands such as Skarlett Riot, Heonias and Green Jellÿ also under their belts, the EP feels like the spark to bigger things and attention upon Novacrow so we seized the opportunity to get to know the band and its hungry heart with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Kitty Synthetica and bassist/backing vocalist/producer Federico Spera.

Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk with us

No worries, thanks for the interview!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you together?

Federico: The band consists of the following sex gods: Kitty Synthetica on vocals/guitar/kazoo, Jonyx on lead guitars, Freddy on bass/backing vocals, and Torben Schmidt Hansen on the drums. We all got together when Kitty and John wanted to form a band; they met Torben and I through mutual friends and cosmic forces.

Have you been/are involved in other bands?

Federico: The others have all been in bands before and I studied music in university, so I’ve always been part of different bands in some form…The so called “Mistress Bands”.

Kitty

Kitty

How have previous experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Federico: It’s kind of hard to say, obviously with us all having been in bands before you’d think we’d be super pros, but the truth is that there’s no set way to work together. It depends entirely on the bands and the people in them. But being in other bands definitively taught us how to promote ourselves and our releases, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

Kitty: I’ve been playing gigs since I was 16 and it really helps giving you ‘live experience’. Shows can be tough and crowds can be unforgiving, but you need that to make you a better performer. In terms of the impact on my music, in previous projects, I was solely focussed on writing metal, which tended to limit my creativity. I listen back to demos I had scrapped for ‘not being heavy enough’ and think “Oh nice, I want to use that now!”

What inspired the band name?

Federico: The legend says that John one day just picked a word out of a dictionary and fused it with an animal. The idea of a bird on fire must have appealed to him I guess, so he stuck with it.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band in what you wanted your sound to offer?

Federico: Kitty had a few songs already written when she originally formed the band, but that’s about it. I think ultimately we just wanted to rock out with our cocks out, and that was the main premise behind the band.

Kitty: I had a very different project in mind! I wanted an all-girl band, but these guys were the closest thing to women that I could find. Haha. No, I love this band and how well we all work together. One big creepy happy family!

Do the same things still drive the band from its first days or have they evolved over time?

Federico: The drive of the band is still rooted in the desire to be outrageous and we’re very much a success driven band. However, the way we focus that drive has definitely matured throughout our time together.

Since those early days, how would you say your sound has evolved for you?

Federico: I’d say it has evolved for the better. If you listen to our old demos there were some nice ideas, but they weren’t particularly well mediated and executed. I’d like to think that as time goes on, we manage to find the right balance between being ridiculous and writing good songs as opposed to doing one or the other, which is a significant sign of evolution for our sound.

Would you say that change has been more of an organic movement of sound or have you gone out with new things you wanted to specifically try?  

Frederico

Frederico

Federico: It has always felt quite organic. I don’t think there’s a single song which we’ve had to force into existence.

Kitty: Because Novacrow is so unrestricted when it comes to genre, there’s no ‘wrong sound.’ I have a few juicy riffs in the pipeline though.  I am also a big fan of vocal harmonies, (Alice in Chains get this SO right) so I’ll be looking for opportunities to use some interesting melodies.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Federico: With the exception of Black Syrup (which was inspired by the burlesque goodness of Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie), I wouldn’t say there’s been a conscious influence on any of our songs or approach. We mainly base our inspiration for songs on vibes and energies as opposed to songs or artists. Instead of saying “We should write a Machine Head-esque riff in C phrygian”, we’ll say “We should write an angry and crushing powerhouse of a song”.

Kitty: There are some awesome female musicians that have inspired me massively. Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Tairrie B of My Ruin, Joan Jett, Grog of Die So Fluid, Otep, Alissa White-Gluz- to name a few. From the earliest days of getting into rock and metal, I would seek out bands with powerful female figures and I always wanted to emulate the same sort of commanding presence they had onstage.

Musically, I only ever learnt guitar as a means to write songs. I’ve never had an interest in replicating tracks; if I love a song, I have no urge to reproduce it identically. But, I do love deconstructing a track that I adore and putting together a new cover, something I have been doing on YouTube since 2009. It’s a fun challenge and a way of paying homage to songs I love.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally seems to emerge?

Federico: Generally, one of us (usually Kitty) will have a whole song idea in their head, which they’d bring to a rehearsal room and we bounce ideas off each other. Each song is then mediated in a different way. I’d say the biggest exception to this is The Mantra, which was almost a completely different song when Kitty first showed it to me for pre-production.

Kitty: For a lot of songs, I think that the melody is the most important part- and by this I mean the vocal tune combined with the central guitar riff. That will always be the starting framework of any song I write. In my opinion, if you strip back everything else, but still retain that central vocal/guitar, it needs to be strong enough to make an impact on its own.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Kitty: It completely depends on the song. In a lot of cases I fixate on a phrase and use it for a title first (Black Syrup and Fat Frog for example), or the lyrics drive the rest of the track entirely (I think this is particularly the case in The Mantra).

Fight The Horde!!! was very much video game inspired. The lyrics loosely follow the storyline of The Last of Us, whilst the title is a reference to Left 4 Dead. I wanted something fast and heavy, with epic soaring choruses, perfect for kicking ass.

I wrote the lyrics to Set in Stone and Colourless whilst reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels. I love how he creates such fantastic vast images and creates these prophetic journeys of self-fulfilment for average characters.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewGive us some background to your new release and some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Federico: Our latest release is the panty-dropping powerhouse of an EP called Black Syrup. It really captures the vibe of the band effectively, opening with the kazoo filled drunk anthem Fat Frog to get them booties shakin’ (which is about getting shitfaced and party-hardying). That’s followed by Fight The Horde!!!, which is a zombie-apocalypse based thumper of a song inspired by the game Last of Us. Then comes the title track Black Syrup, which is inspired by sticky black goo. Set in Stone is next, which gives the listener a peak into our more melodic side. The whole EP is brought to an end by Colourless, an easy listening instrumental piece.

Kitty: I love focussing on big over-the-top themes. Most of the time, I write the majority of a song in my head before picking up an instrument, so it’s very much a ‘visual’ experience. I deliberately wanted a set of very different songs for the EP, each with a completely different vibe and based on very different vivid scenarios.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or use that scenario to bring songs to their final character?

Federico: For all of our releases so far, we’ve gone through intensive pre-production, so when it comes to recording we know exactly what we’re doing. The pre-production usually consists of recording high quality demos, so if we want to develop an element of the song we can use that as a reference point.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Federico: Ooh, there’s so much to talk about here, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. We don’t believe in “over-the-top”, so we pretty much do what we want on stage, which usually means somebody is gonna make an ass out of themselves. We’ve brought inflatable crows on stage, did a kazoo cover of My Heart Will Go On, chugged pints mid songs, and done all sorts of stupid shit when performing. It’s the biggest form of release for some of us, so we’re not gonna hold anything back on stage.

Kitty: Performing is everything. I love to make people laugh, I love writing songs and I love goading a crowd. Word of our onstage stupidity is definitely our biggest pull to shows and makes us appeal to promoters. Basically, we’re just a bunch of attention seekers, that aren’t talented enough to earn praise for doing great deeds, so have to resort to being a bunch of performing chimps. AND WE LOVE IT.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally or further afield. How have you found it?

Federico: Like you said, it’s not easy. We’ve definitely not even scratched the surface. It’s hard because you want to celebrate every little insignificant bit of success that you achieve, but as soon as you do then it sort of means you’re satisfied, and then your efforts diminish. This is an EXTREMELY tough industry, and unless you’re giving it you 10000% then there’s virtually no chance of getting anywhere in it. We’ve found it extremely tiring at times, especially whilst trying to balance the band with our “normal” life, but at the end of the day we can’t show any signs of stopping otherwise we won’t get anywhere.

Kitty: The music industry today is highly saturated with competing artists, in a field where very few people are willing to spend money on music. Every small victory is important to me, as I wouldn’t be making music if I didn’t enjoy it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not under any false impressions of earning world notoriety, but I am grateful for every show, every sale and every person who takes the time to let us know how much they love the music. Hard work is everything though.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?Novacrow_RingMasterReview

Federico: Absolutely. You gotta play to win. It’s gonna be extremely hard, and even if you put your 20000% into it then there’s still no definitive chance to “make it”, but it’s the best chance you’ve got. As soon as you stop trying then you lose any opportunity you might have. It’s just a matter of persistence and not letting the odds get you down and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place.

Kitty: There’s no guarantees, at all, but if you’re going to go for it, there’s no point half-assing it. You have to treat a band like Walter White treats meth; you need to believe in your ‘product,’ market it intelligently and push it like CRAZY.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Federico: We’ve started the band at a point in which internet and social media became crucial to a band’s success. We’ve started using Kitty’s YouTube “fame” to fuel traffic to our various pages and so far it has worked very well, people who like Kitty’s covers tend to like Novacrow as well. So far, it has had a great impact!

Kitty: Social media is such a fantastic platform for bands, but I don’t think everybody appreciates just how hard you have to work to harness it. It is survival of the fittest. You can’t just moan about how small your post’s ‘reach’ on Facebook might be, you need to fight to get people’s attention.

The internet is incredible for musicians. I love looking at the insight statistics on YouTube and our website and seeing how people all over the world are listening to us. I had to send out all of our EP pre-orders this week, and there’s Novacrow CDs flying out all over the globe!  To an extent, social media gives you a chance to reach an audience without borders or limit. As a listener, you have an endless supply of incredible music at your fingertips.

Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Federico: Probably the former. People don’t realise exactly how much work needs to go in just to have the tiniest chance of success, and so they don’t work for it. And then they get annoyed when they can’t draw a crowd to their gigs, or get any decent support slots, until they eventually give up. How hard do you think you need to work to get anywhere with your band? Welp, that’s wrong, you have to work EVEN harder than that.

And that’s when we whip out the kazoos and zombies. We know how to work hard yet still entertain ourselves.

Kitty: You have to MAKE people want to see you. Give people a reason to want your music and look forward to your gigs!

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Federico: Hell yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out our EP Black Syrup, I guarantee you will be more aroused than you’ll have ever been in your life! And keep an eye out on our various pages for more music, pictures, videos, and tips on world domination!

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/    https://www.novacrowofficial.com/

https://twitter.com/novacrowband   https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Amputees – Scream EP

The Amputees pic

It has been over a year since US punks The Amputees released their excellent Commence The Slaughter EP, a release which certainly put the New York City based band on the radar whilst expelling a wealth of promise for their future endeavours. The Scream EP is the next encounter to be unleashed and it not only builds on that strong base but sees the band leaping up big levels in maturity, craft, and just plain quality. Released November 23rd via Money Fire Records, the five track release is an eclectic mix of numerous vibrant hues of punk rock for one very contagious slab of bustling rock ‘n’ roll.

The seven strong unit immediately has feet and emotions leaping with opener Beanie. A raucous riot of pop punk with a vein of a1402476998_2Ramones like addictiveness to its charge, the track is one of those anthems which lingers and hides in the psyche to appear at its own will at any time. Described as “a theme song dedicated to their bass player”, the song stomps with energy and craft, guitars carving up the air with infectious lures whilst bass and drums add a hungry texture which only adds to the contagious body, the snarling four string presence of Geena Spigarelli especially irresistible. The vocals of guitarist Louis Ramos backed by the appealing tones of Carrie Ramos reinforce the catchy and magnetic call of the song and against the strong driven rhythms of drummer Kaleen Reading make a tempering persuasion.

The outstanding start is soon matched by the darker colder charms of Holden. With riffs striding purposefully alongside again rigidly uncompromising rhythms, the song offers an intimidation missing in its predecessor and a heavier rapacious breath. Irresistible and resourcefully sculpted grooves vein the compelling track, their ridiculously addictive and almost insolent prowess mouth-watering assistance to the great vocals of guitarist Nova Luz, her voice and delivery helping send the track into comparisons to the likes of The Distillers and L7. The song continues the grip of the EP with ease, the first two songs already igniting a real passion for the release and giving a real task for the other songs to stand up to.

Both King Jubs and the title track go for it with relish, the first a thirty second stab of punk ferocity, prime old school hardcore punk spewing exhausting exciting venom whilst the second merges hardcore and pop punk into a fiery scuzz lined blaze of sinister garage punk, guitars and vocals a great caustic combination speared by those ever brisk and urgent rhythms. Though neither quite manages to rise to the heights of the opening pair of tracks, both leave hunger and emotions wanting much more for the diversity and matured strength The Amputees have bred.

The release closes with the contagion expelling 88, a song which has limbs and energy recruited with its Ramones meets Late Cambrian like blend. It is simple, raucous, and irresistibly incendiary to the passions and limbs. A final anthemic bait to send the EP off in fine style, the song equally ensures there is no option but to go back to the start of Scream and bask once again in its punk rock triumph.

The EP is the perfect invitation to newcomers into one of the US’s best emerging punk bands. A quick mention also goes to guitarist Gary Young, he another contributing strong craft to songs though it is hard to know which guitarist appeared on which song, and to Screaming Females’ frontwoman Marissa Paternoster who provided the great cover art to the release. If you are looking for punk which maybe is not yet ground-breaking but certainly refreshing and most importantly thrilling than The Amputees and the Scream EP is a must.

http://www.theamputees.org

9/10

RingMaster 20/11/2013

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inSeverance – Veritas

cover

It may be raw and at times spiteful but Veritas, the debut EP from inSeverance is like its creators, an unpolished gem which ignites real enthusiasm and hunger for the band’s future. Creating an evocative brawl from a mix of punk, rock, and metal, the Canadian quartet makes a convincing introduction with their six track release. It is as said green in presence and comes with a production which casts a sink or swim touch over the songs to deal with, but ultimately they and the EP do overcome that to leave a rather satisfying and very promising confrontation from this confidently emerging band.

Formed in 2009 and hailing from Toronto, inSeverance has a stature and sound which is honest and unafraid to wear its passion on its sleeve musically and lyrically. Consisting of vocalist Leigh Oxide, guitarist Kyle Layton Thomas, bassist Mike Dynamite, and drummer Dickey, the band instantly wakes up attention through the opening track upon Veritas. A lone guitar strokes the ears initially as Gaslight comes into view; it a teasing bait soon aided by sinew cloaked rhythms and feisty riff rubs. Settling into a purposeful gait with the vocals of Oxide a magnetic lure to add a sultry tension to the encounter, the track prowls and tempts the ear like a mix of The Distillers, The Objek, and early No Doubt. The song has a fiery breath and rapacious snarl which constantly provokes the passions whilst its imagination and invention persistently inflames further the already greedy appetite devouring the song. Production wise the song is unable to ignite its fullest fire, the sadly bland coating preventing  the track’s pilot light from sparking, but despite that it still emerges as a riveting and impressive start which secures a full hunger towards the rest of the release.

Seething follows with a more reserved and considered attack, it’s haunting start drawing in thoughts before the band opens up another 4039766embrace of crisp rhythms and fine guitar craft all prowled by the menace of the bass. That evocative threat emerges in the fine vocals too, Oxide like in the first treating the song to gentle and raucous variations which all comes with passion and a ready snarl. Not as exploratory as its predecessor the track still offers plenty to get excited over, the great choppy guitar and vocal blend across the band especially potent.

Next up Erosion shows the band has the ability to dig deep into their emotive depths and wardrobe of intensive evocative persuasion, the song a blaze of impacting and raging emotion. It suffers from the production again and fails to grip as intently as earlier tracks anyway but as it smoulders and gets stronger with each encounter, it still leaves a very palatable impression. An impress soon reinforced by the punk riot of Contusion, a song which leaps at the jugular whilst soothing the wounds with seductive vocal harmonies and contagion soaked hooks. A muscular storm of punk ‘n’ roll which takes no prisoners but treats them with a modicum of respect as it entices out their passions, the song is an outstanding slice of adventure rivalling the opening tempest for top honours upon Veritas.

The EP is concluded by firstly Skylines and lastly Admired. The first of the pair is an intensive scorching of the senses and thoughts without igniting real fire in the passions, but again it shows plenty to sculpt suggestions and promise of greater things to come from the band whilst the final song is a sultry piece of pop rock with fine temptation and melodic endeavour, as well as some blues kissed guitar play going towards creating  a strong engaging finale.

Ripe with imagination and inventive intent, inSeverance is a band in the early stages of forging a big presence and imprint with their punk fused rock ‘n’ roll. Veritas shows that there is a great deal to be excited by whilst breeding strong expectations that given the opportunity the band has something major waiting to emerge inside. Time will tell but it would be foolish to bet against it.

http://www.inseverance.com

8/10

RingMaster 23/10/2013

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