Flesh Tetris – Insert Coin EP

Pic Chris Clark

We have all come across and been excited by the prospects of Super Groups; adventures bred from the union of various members of renowned and occasionally legendary bands. Sometimes it leads to new pleasure sometimes disappointment. In the far busier landscape of the musical ‘underground’ such fusions of talent are as prevalent and very often much more thrilling as in the mouth-watering case of UK outfit, Flesh Tetris.

The London quintet makes their introduction to the world with debut EP Insert Coin in May; a collection of songs which with the ease of the summer sun has the spirit rising, body dancing, and juices flowing. To be honest our imagination and excitement had their running shoes on even before a note of their first release was heard; racing away just from the names behind this new proposal. Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of members from four of our indelibly favourite bands and, to us, new musicians just as easily grabbing ears and appetite. First there is long-time friend of The RR, guitarist/bassist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer, Cauldronated, The Duel and a clutch of other projects fame. Then there is the inimitable presence and vocal prowess of vocalist Eva Menon also from Cauldronated as well as the distinct creative mischief and character of vocalist Andy Heintz from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing who has already released one of the year’s essential gems in the shape of the album Double Negative. Alongside the three is Karen Bell who quickly reveals herself as one mighty ear lure with keys, voice, and theremin on the EP and drummer Jez Miller, who lays down inescapable bait with his manipulative swings.

pic by Neil Anderson

It is a line-up which quickly turned an instinctive interest because of their other adventures into lusty attention and an eager appetite for their sound. Described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash”, Flesh Tetris weave a kaleidoscope of styles and flavours in their music, embracing everything from punk and its electro form, to pop and rock, techno, industrial and much more. It makes for something fresh, virulently infectious and imaginatively gripping eager to throw the body and imagination around like a puppet through its animated antics.

Insert Coin opens up with Rabbits, keys initially hugging, inciting, and worming under the skin with lively rhythms for company before Heintz and Menon add their vocal character. The pair have two of the most distinctive voices and unique deliveries in music which alone just stir the passions but together…well it is as if they were born to be alongside each other at some point such their magnetic union. Swiftly the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords employed, its electro dance a viral infection to feet and hips as the cosmic enterprise of Bell and the hypnotic escapades of Duke and Miller romp. With more chance of there being parity across society than escaping the creative fingering of the song, Insert Coin is off to a flyer and only builds from there.

Next up Partners in Crime instantly looms up with intrigue and adventure, like an adult electro bred Scooby Doo adventure with defiant threat and noir kissed romance at its heart. The great grizzled tones of Heintz and the equally alluring European lilted suggestion of Menon take ears and thoughts on the run, sound providing scenic temptation before the seriously magnetic tones of Bell serenade from the midst of the caper. Few bands have one great vocalist, to have three feels greedy and just another reason to explore Flesh Tetris. The track is superb, managing to even eclipse its outstanding predecessor before The Hardest Part swings in with its dub nurtured electronics and rhythmic intimation. Duke has hips swerving with a gentle but keen hunger whilst the controlled skittishness of Miller’s beats is an additional glorious itch to movement. Within this magnetic landscape vocals prowl and roar stirring up even greater greed and lust for a track which simmers before it boils compared to the more instant explosions of those before it but sizzles to the same heights all the same.

The EP closes up with Glass Bottom Boat, a seaside ode starting with a poetic casting regaling the romantic days of old Brighton. As waves lap a delicious hook springs its bait, a potent lure which you would surmise could only come from the imagination of Duke such its individuality. With Bell’s keys flirting alongside, the slice of smiling rock ‘n’ roll quickly has body and participation rocking; nostalgic pop nurtured harmonics adding to the song’s grin. Imagine a fusion of The Revillos, Chicks On Speed, and The Dreadnoughts and you get a whiff though nothing more of the great EP finale.

Flesh Tetris describe their music as “pop music for unpopular people” and if this is what ‘hate’ inspires we for one quite content to be among the disliked at the kind of thrilling party where you Insert Coin and salaciously enjoy.

The Insert Coin EP is released 26th May across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ruts DC – Music Must Destroy

RUTS_newphoto_RingMasterReview

Back in the day, The Ruts stood to the fore of the punk scene in sound, presence, and lyrical insight, an attack which evolved but never diminished as Ruts DC emerged from the sad death of still missed frontman Malcolm Owen. Two albums before and two after his passing provided an innovative and snarling voice for a generation and more before the band disbanded. Reforming for a benefit show for their guitarist Paul Fox, following his diagnosis of lung cancer and who died not long after, remaining members John ‘Segs’ Jennings (bass and vocals) and Dave Ruffy (drums) carried on and released the mighty Rhythm Collision Vol. 2, another glorious dub fuelled vat of diversity to echo the success of Vol.1. Now the band are poised to uncage a new tour-de-force in the shape of Music Must Destroy, a release, to get straight to the bottom line, which is quite possibly the finest rock ‘n’ roll album you are likely to be aroused by this year, maybe this decade.

Music Must Destroy is one glorious anthem made up of ten ear and imagination sparking proposals. Segs and Duffy with Leigh Heggarty have taken their time to write, hone, and step forward with their latest collection of songs but, aided by a host of guests such as Henry Rollins, Captain Sensible, Boz Boorer, Marco Pirroni, Jake Burns, Kirk Brandon, Tara Rez, and Paul Laventhol, have created another landmark in punk fuelled rock ‘n roll. The album’s variety of incitements sit somewhere between the raw challenge of The Ruts and the experimental exploits of Ruts DC, the band calling themselves The Ruts DC for the new offering suggesting the band came at the album from the same angle. The trio has explored their past and inspirations across the fan funded Music Must Destroy to create some of their most inspiring and fiercely addictive songs yet.

It all starts with recent single Psychic Attack, it alone a highly charged and intoxicating incitement to get greedy over. With a Damned like scent to its riffs, the song strides from its initial shimmer with imposing rhythms and one mouth-watering bassline. Within seconds the nagging riffs and Segs’ potent tones grip ears further, his words and expression getting as much under the skin as the twisting and turning character of the song itself.

Starting off a release with such a momentous moment would put a strain on many offerings from other bands, but The Ruts DC simply follow it up with matching peaks of imagination starting with the band’s upcoming new single and album’s title track. Featuring Henry Rollins, Music Must Destroy also makes its initial coaxing with rhythmic and repetitive guitar shared bait which needs mere seconds to get under the skin. Melodies and drama spread as the song expands its theatre of intent, group harmonies pure infection around Rollin’s call to arms before a chorus to stir armies pulls thoughts and spirit into the song’s galvanic prowl.

The Ruts DCart_RingMasterReviewSurprise steps forward next carrying a broader rock air to invasive seduction. Like a blend of Ruts single West One (Shine on Me) and the sound of 999 at certain times, the track crawls over the senses, sweeping them up into another virulent chorus and nature before the highly emotive and haunting Second Hand Child takes over. This too infests body and emotions with ease, its poetic melodies and evocative vocals as magnetic as its sound with the dusty lure of The Duel’s Tara Rez’s voice extra temptation to be tempted by.

Soft City Lights is another recalling the early days of the band, its reflective melodies and shimmer infused in a smouldering embrace of evocative adventure and harmony. With rhythms casting darker shadows and intimidation, the track is aural alchemy and like those before it and indeed to come quite irresistible, a success emulated by the anthemic and predacious roar of Kill The Pain. A track which stalks the listener with a challenge in its voice as potent as the virulence in its infectious character, it too has bodies bouncing and attitude aflame.

The mellow seducing and evocative pleads of Peace Bomb follows, the song a Bolan-esque engagement showing more of the album’s diversity, variety continuing  across the psychedelic shimmer and melodic jangle of Tears On Fire and the hard rock soaked exploits of The Vox Teardrop. It is impossible to pick a best track within Music Must Destroy but the first of the pair always features in first thoughts while its successor simply stirs blood and spirit each and every time.

The album concludes with Golden Boy, a poignant ballad seemingly inspired by the death of previous band mates and a captivation as powerful as anything before it with its heart offered vocals, emotionally charged melodies, and provocative strings.

The track is a breath-taking end to a simply electrifying rip roar of an album. Music Must Destroy has all the qualities and boldness expected of The Ruts/Ruts DC past and present. The guys might be a touch older than those early inspiring days but they still have the energy, snarl, and invention to provide something seriously special which can also spark a new generation.

Music Must Destroy is released September 16th via Westworld/Sosumi Recordings with the single/title track released September 9th.

Album pre-order links: CD digi: http://bit.ly/MusicMustDestroyCD and Vinyl double album: http://bit.ly/MusicMustDestroyVinyl

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/ruts-dc-psychic-attack

https://www.facebook.com/theruts   http://www.theruts.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Healthy Junkies – Box of Chaos

HJ_RingMaster Review

It was September 2013 when we last had Healthy Junkies igniting ears with a release; that being their impressive second album The Lost Refuge. One of our parting lines then was that the UK had “come of age and you only sense they will get better.” It was partly right as the London quartet has only gone from strength to strength on the live scene and now with third album Box of Chaos. Their coming of age back then though might have been a touch premature for the riveting and dynamic fourteen track punk ‘n’ roll stomp from the band firmly outshines its acclaimed predecessor.

Emerging from a meeting between founders, guitarist Phil Honey-Jones and Paris hailing vocalist Nina Courson at the venue Punk in Soho in 2009 and their creative bonding over mutual loves and influences, melodic punks Healthy Junkies took little time to start leaving their stamp on the UK punk and rock scene. Making their live debut at an all-day punk festival in Brighton in 2010, the band has become a rousing roar around the UK moving into Europe and one of London’s most exciting and prominent live attractions with their self-hosted monthly night at The Unicorn in Camden a regular treat. Debut album Sick Note awoke a broader attention on the band when released, a success forcibly backed up by The Lost Refuge. Throughout the time line-up changes have only seemed to refuel the band at various times too, the latest coming since the recording of Box of Chaos with bassist Ivan Baragone replacing the departed Dave Renegade alongside Courson, Honey Jones, and drummer Tony Alda.

HJ(1)_RingMaster ReviewWhilst The Lost Refuge was a rousing tempest in ears from the first roar, Box of Chaos takes its time to build and entice even greater greedier reactions. Certainly its first play and touch is a potent lure but each listen reveals greater depths and imagination at the heart of the release which only adds to its strength and drama. There is also seemingly richer old school punk and rock ‘n’ roll hues this time around, essences no doubt bred from inspirations to Honey-Jones and Courson such as Sonic Youth, Hole, Sex Pistols, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Iggy and the Stooges, and David Bowie. One band which our thoughts most leaned to as a reference across the new album though is Penetration; a similarly evocative nature and tone to the great County Durham band spicing the band’s adventurous sound from the off with both Nice n Sleazy and its successor Never Want It Again. The opener emerges on a sonic shimmer with waiting riffs quickly stirring into predatory life as ears continue to be enveloped in that initial mist. Rhythms are soon just as pressing as Coulson’s magnetic voice seduces, her tones a smouldering caress within the rising fiery heat of the song. It is an increasingly virulent protagonist grabbing swift involvement of the listener, setting them up for more riotous stroll of Never Want It Again. It is a tenacious canter though superbly twisted with ska/like asides as rhythms and vocals flirtatiously swing with mischievous intent within the otherwise busy attitude loaded rock ‘n’ roll of the song.

Danny Trash keeps the potent start to the album in top gear, its catchy canter and haunted atmosphere soon enslaving hips and imagination respectively. As expected and already shown, Health Junkies produce choruses and anthemic moments which are inescapable; voice and body soon on board with a track which is a maze of evocative sounds, pungent emotion, and creatively boisterous exploits.

The following Hypocrite is the opposite but just as glorious, its punk rock fury offering one minute fifteen seconds of cantankerous rock ‘n’ roll with raw riffs and repetitious brawling spawned from delicious old school incitement before I Don’t Give a Damn springs with a similar aggressive heart into ears. It is soon casting another prowling proposal with addictive hooks and gripping rhythms; both swift slavery as the guitars weave a melodically provocative narrative for thoughts to get wound up in as successfully as the body is lost to the anthemic prowess of the encounter.

The more hard rock meets punk ‘n’ roll tempting of Je Suis Free is an inviting and again contagious defiance next whilst Watch Out has a blues rock lining to its infection loaded, roister fuelled smoulder. Both tracks lead the listener into energetic and galvanic ways before Rebellion, with presumably Honey-Jones standing toe to toe with Courson in duet, stirring up another urge to take a stand and lose inhibitions in voice and deed. The track is Healthy Junkies at their rock ‘n’ roll best, direct, lyrically potent, yet igniting the want to fling the body around.

The confrontational rock pop enticement of Just a Fool steps up next, it too quickly sparking total involvement before the outstanding creative theatre of Runaway Devil infests ears and psyche. There is no escaping a Siouxsie and the Banshees air to the song, keys running their melodic fingers over the senses as Courson’s ethereal tones enchant seductively around the darker touch of rhythms. In short time the track is soon a fiercely bubbling and intimidating tempting, reminding of fellow Londoners The Duel, but still with that early coaxing a rich lure.

There are numerous peaks in the landscape of the album, that one pinnacle almost matched by the dirtier rock ‘n’ roll of Hustle Street straight after and indeed the twin tempting of the melodically mesmeric Captive with its dub shimmer and the robust swagger of Don’t Give Up where scything beats, bass rumbling, and scuzzy riffery crowd around the ever alluring tones of Courson. Reggae seeded turns and again dub spiced inventiveness only increases its grip on ears and appetite, Ruts DC like imagination leaving satisfaction bulging.

Closing with D7, another spellbinding mix of evocative calms, atmospheric haunting, and vocal seducing in a case of antagonistically anthemic rebel-rousing, Box of Chaos is a thrilling blaze for the ears and manna for the spirit from a band looking at their most successful and surely acclaimed loaded year yet.

Box of Chaos is released February via STP Records.

http://www.healthyjunkies.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/healthyjunkiesband/   https://twitter.com/HealthyJunkies

9/10

Pete RingMaster 01/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Brassick – Self Titled

Brassick band_RingMaster Review

Building on a reputation earned from their first release and a live presence which has venues aggressively rocking, UK punks Brassick have released their self-titled debut album and fair to say whatever acclaim already garnered should be outshone by all offered this anthemic snarl. Raw and uncompromising yet loaded with a hardcore roar and fierce inescapable hooks to drool over, the release is poised to put the Birmingham quartet of the broadest punk maps.

Formed in 2012, Brassick quickly sparked local attention and support with their fusion of punk, ska, and metal essences. That presence soon gripped wider recognition through the band’s unrelenting live presence which has seen them play with the likes of GBH, Cock Sparrer, UK Subs, and Subhumans amongst many, and the release of the Broke And Restless EP in 2013. Last year saw the foursome continue to ignite the UK live scene, venues and festivals coming under their fiery growl and culminating in a highly successful spot at Rebellion alongside bands such as NOFX, Street Dogs, Stiff Little Fingers, Killing Joke, and The Duel. Already charging through Britain and Europe again this year with festivals and another Rebellion appearance on the schedule, Brassick have made 2015 their biggest year yet with the release of their rousing album.

Produced by bassist Jake Cunningham and guitarist Peter Macbeth, the album opens with Hollow Cries and sirens infusing cold portentous air. Punchy rhythms splinter the scenery next, all embroiled in a sonic mist before the song strides clear with anthemic riffs and rhythms sparked further by the instantly gripping vocals of Nicola Hardy. There is a great essence of attitude and snarl to her tones to match and incite the sounds around her, a pulsating bassline and inflammatory guitar enterprise colluding with the healthy swipes of drummer Jay Jay Khaos open evidence in two riveting and highly persuasive opening minutes.

Brassick cover_RingMaster Review     The punchy exploits of Same Sound bound in next, riffs and beats a feisty lure reinforced by the vocal defiance of Hardy. The metallic edge and texture of the track reminds of US punk metallers Mongrel, whilst the scything expulsions breaking up the song midway are the trigger to adventurous twists before the assault returns to its initial confrontation and sets ears up perfectly for the outstanding tempting of Media Faces. Like early The Duel with a Ruts like reggae predation, the track prowls and roars, forcibly stirring up appetite and imagination through the magnetic guitar craft of Macbeth and the irritable infection of sound and vocals.

Fall Because They’re Blind backs up the potent start to the album though it does not have that extra spark to match its predecessors. Nevertheless with Cunningham’s alluring bass enterprise and an old school punk leaning around Hardy’s ever inciting delivery, the track hits the spot before Drown takes over to stalk the senses. Bass and riffs are a deviously intimidating nudge whilst the beats of Khaos refuse to hold back on their provocation but it is the inventive atmospheric twists and varied vocal persuasion that gives the track an extra impressing potency.

The lyrical and emotional charge of the band pulls no punches on political and social commentary, and breeds a strong and impacting landscape in Sirens where authority wails and anarchic ambience wash over ears as bass and guitar spin their evocative and dramatic web around Hardy’s spoken and accusing narrative. It is a powerful proposal which stands alone or works as the turbulent lead in to the brawling antagonism of Free For All and its UK Subs/Angelic Upstarts like old school growl. The song in turn allows no breath to be taken as it seeds the beginnings of the outstanding Cynical Ties and another stock of gripping irritancy, sharp hooks, and anthemic defiance. There is a great street punk dirtiness to the album and especially accentuates the power and addictiveness of this track and in turn its successor Let Us Go. There is a touch of The Objex to the heart and fire of the second of the two but equally a seventies breeding and modern fury come together to ensure another stirring up on the body and passions.

The grouchy tone and belligerence of Leeches nags and grumbles next, its angry belly bound in more of the unpredictable and striking imagination shaping songwriting and sound which to be honest the band does not use quite enough across the album. When they do it turns great songs into venomous enslavements as here, richly emphasizing the potential coursing through the whole of the album.

The fun and enjoyment comes to a close with the mighty Vagabond Smile. Instantly its rhythmic shuffle traps ears, the song is in control, tightening its grip and lure as vocals across the band come together in a middle finger raised defiance complete with virulent grooves, sharp hooks, and incendiary attitude. It is a riotous end to an invigorating and refreshing album. Brassick use their inspirations and the seeds of punk rock to create their own, not majorly unique, but seriously enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll. Already anticipation of bigger and bolder things from the band is ripe and right now thick pleasure full thanks to their first album.

Brassick is available now @ http://www.brassick.bigcartel.com/ and through STP Records @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htm with CD version out September 18th.

https://www.facebook.com/brassickmusic

RingMaster 09/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Loaded 44 – Come On!

photo by Dave Brown

photo by Dave Brown

If there is a fiercer more contagious slab of rock ‘n’ roll around right now than Come On! it is sure to be a major triumph as the second album from UK punks Loaded 44 is one mighty stomp. From a strong but arguably unremarkable start it turns into a ridiculously addictive and riotous brawl. It does not take long for the transition to happen either, just a couple of songs, but when the release kicks up a gear bliss and exhaustion is its legacy.

Hailing from the North East, Loaded 44 began in 1996 stirring up the local scene before working on a broader attention and wave of eager appetites for their “ass-shakin’ punk rock”. The band’s live reputation is second to none whilst first album Wasted On You, released in 2011 on STP Records like its successor, established the band as one of the UK’s finest musically voracious punk bands. Now the quartet of vocalist Beki (Steve Ignorant, Chaos 8), guitarist Dave, bassist Steve and drummer Nelly (both Hi-Fi Spitfires and The Lurkers), have upped the ante and created a new tempest of attitude and aggressive infectiousness in Come On!, an album to rage at the world with and lose your inhibitions to.

As mentioned the album did not bowl as over initially though it had attention and appetite gripped and eager through the first pair of songs. Breakdown hits first and from a single riff erupts in a blaze of jabbing beats and aggressive chords. Once Beki unveils her distinctive tones, the track is a richly satisfying slice of rock ‘n’ roll for thoughts to swiftly align to. What it does not have is the spark to ignite anything more than calm but thorough enjoyment. Nevertheless it is a potent start straight away matched by the rhythmically agitated Something For Nothing. A throaty bassline instantly grips whilst the vocals of Beki have a great Poly Styrene edge to them as the rumbling beats of Nelly add richer anthemic bait. Again though, it strongly pleases without sparking big excitement, though that all changes from hereon in.

STP033     Paper Heart steps up next with a heavy tempest of beats and riffs on its first breath, a stormy presence soon veined by group harmonies and the combative tones of Beki. They in turn seem to inspire greater attitude and menace in the other parts of the song, the result a forceful romp with a volatile air veined by incendiary flames of rock guitar. Finishing on an inescapable anthemic roar the song makes way for Generation Idiot and yet another gear and plateau is found. Vocals lure from the first second, swiftly backed by addictive hooks and dirty riffs. The song is soon ablaze with pop punk devilry and energy, but this is no lightweight Green Day like tempting, but a fiery and predatory incitement of power punk.

The class ‘A’ addiction of Give It Up strides in next, a track with a chorus taking barely seconds to be seduced by, roared along with, and deeply wormed in the psyche. The repetitive spine of the song through bass and riffs, has all the hallmarks of an understandable influence of The Lurkers and works like a magnet as melodies and hooks flare up with virulent catchiness around it. The track screams single but then again most of the songs from the album have that declaration as proved by Over And Out next. A bigger bruising encounter than its predecessor, the track equally has that infectious temptation and enterprise to it. Vocally Beki reveals a touch of the Fay Fifes whilst the guitars and bass collude to create a straight forward yet perpetually spicy confrontation punctuated by the scything swings of Nelly’s sticks.

Aggression and intensity only gets harder and more imposing in Step Back In Time but so does the band’s ability to create catchy provocations. Hooks simply seduce as rhythms and riffs badger rigorously, whilst vocally the band and Beki singularly, whip up an anthemic storm from which escape is impossible, a success emulated in Only Ones within seconds. Like a dirtier punk version of The Rezillos, the track is a rampant persuasion of rock temptation. Both tracks have you thinking rock ‘n’ roll does not get much better than this but oh it does as shown by the outstanding Shake It Up. Opening with a classic rock spicing within its punk coaxing, and with a great whiff of The Duel to its early melodic and harmonic resonance, the song twists around to unleash a chorus which simply sends a tingle down the spine as body and emotions succumb to its epidemic lures. It is one of those moments you know music is primarily there to breed, an all-consuming treat which only grows stronger and hungrier as the band get even more adventurous within the brilliant encounter.

The album is brought to a thrilling close by It`s Not About You first of all, a raucous punk ‘n’ roll exploit with drama to its riffs and delicious bassline. Voices and beats cast a riveting and bracing proposal as ears and the passions are set ablaze once again, then left on a high at the song’s departure, subsequently and fed further intensive pleasure by the closing Love Myself To Death. A more standard rock punk bellow but giving the album one final exciting moment, the track just puts the final layer of icing on a modern punk classic.

You may come up against many albums which might rival Come On! as a bulging package of rock ‘n’ roll anthems but there will be few to surpass it, if any. Loaded 44 produce punk rock at its best and an example of why the genre and state of mind will never die.

Come On! is available now on CD via S.T.P. Records @ http://www.stprecords.co.uk/page4.htm and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/come-on!/id982345664

http://loaded44.weebly.com/   https://www.facebook.com/loaded44

RingMaster 16/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

The Top Twenty Noise/alternative releases which had The RingMaster Review lustful in 2014

2014 saw a torrent of creatively inspiring and dramatically thrilling encounters from the inventive realms of noise and alternative incitement, a host of triumphs from which The RingMaster Review picks out twenty releases covered by the site which ignited the greatest hunger in our ears and imagination.

 

GPFB-FRONT-COVER

01. The Mobbs – Garage Punks For Boys

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/the-mobbs-garage-punk-for-boys/

02. Solar Halos – Self Titled

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/solar-halos-self-titled/

03. Slug Comparison – Self Titled

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/slug-comparison-self-titled/

04. Heavy Hand – Nothwoods Knives

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/heavy-hand-northwoods-knives/

Juggling Wolves Album Cover

05. Juggling Wolves – Self Titled

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/juggling-wolves-self-titled/

06. Damn Vandals – Rocket Out Of London

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/damn-vandals-rocket-out-of-london/

07. Pink Tatami – Chapter and Verse

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/pink-tatami-chapter-verse/

08. Denim Snakes – Self Titled

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/denim-snakes-self-titled/

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09. Snack Family – Pokie Eye EP

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/snack-family-pokie-eye-ep/

10. The Black Black – Boogie Nights

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/the-black-black-boogie-nights/

11. Norm & The Nightmarez – Psychobilly Infection

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/norm-and-the-nightmarez-psychobilly-infection/

12. In Love Your Mother – The Great Ape Project

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/in-love-your-mother-the-great-ape-project/

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13. Wild Throne – Blood Maker

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/wild-throne-blood-maker/

14. John Bassett – Unearth

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/john-bassett-unearth/

15. Fossils – Flesh Hammer

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/fossils-flesh-hammer/

16. In The Whale – Nate & Eric

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/in-the-whale-nate-eric/

Artwork by Katie Buckett

Artwork by Katie Buckett

17. Jingo – The Art Of loving

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/jingo-the-art-of-loving/

18. Body Futures – Brand New Silhouettes

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/body-futures-brand-new-silhouettes/

19. Death and the Penguin – Accidents Happen

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/death-and-the-penguin-accidents-happen/

20. The Duel – Waging War

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/the-duel-waging-war/

Slice Of Life – Love And A Lamp-Post

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Since co-founding and being the raging roar of punk band Crass in 1977, Steve Ignorant has challenged and examined life and society with voracious intent. It is a constant part of his art whether music or in other mediums, a skilled confrontation which never loses its potency it seems, certainly taking his new band and release, Love And A Lamp-Post ,as the freshest example. Slice Of Life is an acoustic project employing poetry and spoken pieces within a maybe best described as folk street punk embrace. It is a fascinating window upon life, a snarl at prejudices and wrongs with gentle personal contemplation. The album ebbs and flows in potency at times but at no point are ears and thoughts less than thoroughly involved and wanting more.

Slice of Life sees Ignorant linking up with pianist/vocalist Carol Hodge who also worked with Ignorant on the Last Supper project, guitarist Pete Wilson who again was part of Last Supper, and upright bassist Lucas Martin. The result is a release which swiftly sparks the imagination as it makes its reflections and incisive commentary on a life we are all part of in some form or other.

The album’s title track starts things off, a caress of acoustic guitar soon lying with a pungent expression of keys and dark bass shadows as vocals provide the crooning narrative. It is a tantalising proposition, melodies a tangy hue to the plainer but no less magnetic and eventful tones of Ignorant. There is a drama to the lyrical and musical character of the song which is more black and white TV play like than cinematic but certainly a visually sparking essence soaking the whole album and is reinforced as the opening of next up Killing Time lures with a smiling street bred skit. It reminds of the Johnny Wore Black album Walking Underwater from earlier this year which employs samples taken from a documentary based on the streets and real everyday life. As the opening to the second song leads into its captivating heart, the track also reminds and confirms something Ignorant said about Love And A Lamp-Post recently; “Years ago I read a book called Brighton Rock, for days the atmosphere of that story stayed with me and I’ve always wanted to create an album that would have the same effect on people.” Blessed with siren-esque harmonies from Hodge which seduce as this time Ignorant’s expression of piano keys colour his potent words, the song makes it easy for thoughts to slip into the small and imposing creative theatre and inescapable honesty of its incitement. The track mesmerises the imagination much as its successor Happy Hour with its initial sixties like melodic temptation leading to a more sultrily exotic 86701stroll of radiant keys and smouldering chords. The piano of Hodge is a lingering tempting providing rosy colour to the rawer reality of vocals and seductive bass.

Next up is You, a short spoken prose piece pointing an uncompromising finger at portions of society and those who govern it. Thoughts bring forth references to the recently released Waging War album from UK punks The Duel, which used a similar ingenuity to matching success between and to open songs. It is a potent piece benefitting from its brief presence, a short sharp poke before Here I Stand steps forward with its guitar and vocal questioning. It is richly effective bait for thoughts but spreads further into the passions with the delicious flames of trumpet provided by Dave Land.

Eleven Chimneys is like its predecessor a song which opens with strong appeal but finds greater compelling persuasion as other elements join the spine of provocative vocals, this time it being the temptress like harmonic breeze of Hodge, her voice as virulent a lure for ears as her rigorous piano charm and Ignorant’s lyrical prowess. The song serenades as it opens its personal angst, bass and guitar adding varied shades to the elegant yet unfussy nature of the excellent encounter.

From the wonderfully anthemic The Way Things Are where everything resourcefully colludes to raise an emotional call to arms, the album moves into the riveting spoken tale of The Home Coming. It is a sublimely descriptive portrait of a lonely soul, memories and bleak hues of life the persistent scenery for the heart of the track’s protagonist. With slim but complimentary hints of piano, the piece is a powerful moment on the album, though not one personally to explore with every listen of Love And A Lamp-Post, more a moment to use sparingly to keep its potency at full strength.

Final track Slice of Life leaves imagination and ears basking in another masterfully crafted embrace of low key but vivacious melodies with passion fuelled and uncompromising words. The song is an irresistible finale to an enthralling and thoroughly enjoyable release. There has been no diminishing of Steve Ignorant’s discontent and ability to challenge society’s ills over the past three decades and more, it just comes with broader invention and absorbing adventure as proven by the excellent Love And A Lamp-Post, which as the band name says is just a warts and all Slice Of Life.

Love And A Lamp-Post is available now via Overground Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/love-and-a-lamp-post/id925320410

https://www.facebook.com/SteveIgnorantSliceoflife

RingMaster 02/2/2014

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