Punching Swans – Faces

If you have allowed the boisterous noise and feral enterprise of Punching Swans to trespass ears before you will not be surprised to read that as maturity and a new bold touch embraces their latest release, their cacophony of sonic devilment is just as insatiable. Faces is a collection of tracks which stalk the imagination, manipulate the senses, and send the body into blissful spasms whilst courting a whole new level of adventure with the British trio.

Bred in the ever fertile round of the Medway region of Kent, Punching Swans is the creative union of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster (Houdini), bassist/vocalist Joseph Wise(Frau Pouch), and drummer/vocalist Pablo Paganotto (The Explorer’s Collective). Formed in 2012, apparently “as a dare”, alongside their other projects, the band has simply grown in a sound, taking on inspirations from the likes of from The Fall, Sonic Youth, Bogshed and Mclusky as well as the dark realms of John Carpenter, The League of Gentlemen and The Evil Dead films, their imagination ensnaring releases perpetually earning bigger and keener acclaim. A self-titled debut that first year was a kind of warm up for the greater exploits inside Mollusc two years later. The album reinforced the band’s inimitable sound and creative mischief but flourished as the threesome in many ways ’took things more seriously’ with the project. Its qualities and success was only eclipsed by its successor Nesting in 2016 just as its seriously impressive character and adventure has been put in the shade by Faces.

The new album’s theme is a dark and compelling proposition; the release made up of eleven faces (tracks), each referring to the faces of serial killers. As Webster explains, “They each have a stupid feature for a face which is related to their story… so people who look kinda stupid and are unlikely killers. But then again, who is a likely killer? Can you really tell by appearance? As we wrote each new song they seemed to fit into a particular image of a face and from there we wrote what their particular background story was. We were picturing a kind of Dick Tracy rogues gallery of villains. “

The album opens up with Blood Face, gradually looming up on the senses in a sonic shimmer before a raw wash of voice and sound explodes on ears. The scything beats of Paganotto pounce and swing as a sonic swash of guitar colludes with the rapaciously dark mumblings of bass, a fiercely magnetic union completed by eager vocals. Slipping melodic teasing amongst its ravenous discord, the track is a magnificent and quickly addictive start to an album which only escalated every lure heard with imagination thereon in.

The following Areola Face instantly had hips swaying and appetite’s tongue licking lustful lips as Wise’s throaty bass strolls with dark but infectious intent, a catchiness only accentuated by the more ‘violent’ animation of guitar and beats. Ebbing and flowing in its volatility, vocals following suit, the track provides a caustic flirtation before Strobe Face licks at the senses with a rapid flicker of beats and a sonic sunspot which in turn sparks a slightly corrosive but fully captivating trespass; a captivation only boosted by the singular dance of vocals and beats which escapes before things become more psychotic yet tenderly seductive.

Through the calm but predacious post punk militance of Batter Face and the reserved siren-esque psychosis of Coral Face, animated temptation richly soaked ears; Paganotto’s kinetic swings as conniving and irresistible as the intimation shredding exploits of Webster and Wise’s skilful rhythmic dark saunters, traits fuelling the whole album from start to finish. The latter of the pair has a definite Houdini meets The Fall feel before making way for the simply glorious murderous drama and inharmonious beauty of Cliff Face. Featuring Dan Toms of Bear vs Manero and the biggest treat out of nothing but, the track is simply manna for ears and spirit, unscrupulous rascality at its best.

The following pair of Grater Face and Lady Cheese Face refers to each other, the songs “Romeo and Juliet-style lovers who simply could not be.” The first is a wild slice of post punk ‘n’ roll with a personality something akin to Mclusky meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion while its companion of sorts shows a devious side to its more tamed incursion on the senses. Discordant yet with a sonic elegance which is as threatening as it is alluring, the track is a true predator of a song, getting under the skin with subtlety and flirtation before gnawing away with bloodthirsty relish.

Raw and wolfish, Carpenter Face infiltrates ears next with an almost industrial like hue to its expanding tapestry of lawless noise. A low key serenade with a portentous breeze of sonic duplicity inserts itself in the breaths between it and Face Face straight after, the piece brief and never quite breaking the surface of its limbo before the penultimate track careers in on a rhythmic canter with a sonic mane spraying in its trenchant winds.

God Face completes the release, the song a lure of shadow bound celestial scheming simultaneously  tenebrific and radiant round another simply rousing rhythmic incitement from Paganotto and Wise alongside the melodic dissonance of Webster.

It is an enthralling end to a quite superb and increasingly addictive release. Punching Swans has never been as so damn manipulative or devilishly rousing as they are within Faces. It is not only a band at its momentously best but noise rock/post punk too.

Faces is released October 26th via Skingasm Records; available now for pre-order @ https://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/album/faces

Upcoming live shows:

OCT 26th LEEDS, Chunk

OCT 27th LIVERPOOL, Invisible Wind Factory

NOV 9th LONDON, Aces & Eights

https://www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans   https://twitter.com/punchingswans

Pete RingMaster 23/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Interview with Michel Regueiro of The Evil Dead

Earlier this year an exceptional album burst out of Argentina in the shape of Pronounced The Evil Dead.  Bursting with old style rock ’n’ roll blended with some thrash metal aggression and skilful classic rock guitar the release from The Evil Dead was simply a kick ass rumble of insatiable rock and harsh metallic power to fire up all metal hearts. Totally taken with the nonstop celebration of rampant riffs, irresistible grooves and aggressive intent the album unleashed we jumped at the opportunity when offered to find out more about the band behind t one of the most enjoyable albums this year so far. We asked the questions to guitarist Michel Regueiro and he revealed all about the band and album.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, many thanks for taking time to chat with us.

Firstly would you like to introduce the members of The Evil Dead?

Hi! We are Alejandro Regueiro on vocals, Ian Regueiro on guitar, Federico Franco on guitar, Santiago Giusti on bass, Santiago Botalla on drums and last but not least myself Michel Regueiro on guitar.

How and when did the band form?

The band formed around the middle of 2006 mostly to play cover songs for fun. At the beginning we used to play old Metallica, Megadeth and Dissection songs and slowly we started making some songs of our own  while we recruited more people for the band. Shortly after that we took the decision of having a 3 guitar line-up  and went to record our “Old n0 7” demo .

Is the band the first for you all?

Federico and myself have played in other bands but for the rest of them it is their first and (hopefully their last) band.

What was the intention behind the music when you first started?

Since day 1 it was to break all rules and boundaries and make it as over the top as possible. We wanted a band and sound that would turn heads from the first chord to the last. It’s supposed to infect you and don’t let go until you are absolutely converted into our devilish cause!

Do you feel you have kept to that idea or has your approach to your music evolved in some way?

Well  sure, the sound has evolved from the demo days to now and it keeps evolving  but always maintaining that same feel. Sometimes it is more technical or faster but it will always rock. The new material we are writing now is in a darker vein.

What are the influences which have inspired you the most as people and in sound?

Personally for myself as people go my biggest influence must have been Lars Ulrich when it comes to determination and been driven to achieve my goals. Getting signed to a label from Europe and getting our album distributed worldwide when you come from South America is pretty much an impossible task but through blood and sweat we made it happen. When it comes to sound we are not narrow minded at all we listen to so many bands …from AC/DC and stuff like Blackfoot or Skynyrd to Watain or Beherit  or even the blues as well! I think one can find traces of everything in our music and that’s what makes it so interesting. While we were recording and mixing the album I was listening a lot to Airbourne, Enforcer and the first 3 Metallica albums.

Earlier this year you released your excellent and mighty album Pronounced (The Evil Dead), what has the response been towards it so far and has it surprised you?

The response has been exactly what we expected. We are a love or hate type of band but we don’t give a flying fuck about what the haters say….let them eat shit. Some reviews have been surprising indeed a German website gave us a 9/10 that was very nice to read haha! We were also very surprised by the very broad distribution of it. It’s almost everywhere!

So you have found a good audience beyond your homeland, Argentina?

Considering the excellent distribution as I stated above and the good reviews I would think so, although we haven’t yet played outside Argentina but we will soon be setting the road on fire.

What is the metal scene like in Argentina, are there plenty more heavy secrets to discover besides yourselves?

The metal scene in here is big and pretty shitty. It ‘s completely divided and everybody backstabs each other. There is a lot of talent but few labels or promoters willing to give the bands a chance except to the old legendary bands so the scene doesn’t grow as it should. Check out bands like Dragonauta, Tungsteno, Falcon: they are all very talented and play different kinds of music.

 Going back to the album, your songs are themed in a world of horror and mystery, truth and fictional. This is a major part of your music as much as the sound?

Yes definitely the theme of the songs is very important for us and it influences the music if it’s defined beforehand. We draw inspiration from movies, literature and stories or things we may have heard ourselves as well as own experiences. We think it’s very important to have good lyrics and interesting song titles to go with the music.

The interest in the subjects goes far beyond the band too for you all?

Well sure. We all love watching documentaries on such subjects or getting together over a few good bottles and discussing these things until dawn (who doesn’t love a good ghost story?). Personally I’m very interested in the Occult also.

Have you personally experienced anything which could inspire songs?

Haha, yes. Lots of drunken shenanigans come to mind… like for example the song Piratefest! Comes from a drunken festivity we celebrate or another tune from our EP Ex Nun on the Run (2008) called “Double Trouble” that told of our drunken activities and getting kicked out of  many bars over here.  Another one that comes to mind is “Electric Evil Revival” which was done in response to what passes as “Rock” nowadays.

Tell us about the recording of the album.

Recording the album was a fucking bitch! We had no budget really so we had to do it in parts and we lost 3 members during the process which didn’t help at all…Fortunately we had a great sound engineer named Pablo Fontán that helped us a shitload. We knew him from the rehearsal room and got along great so there was chemistry there already, but the recording was plagued (or shall we say haunted?) with misfortunes from the get go. We had to re record the entire guitar parts, sometimes the computers would shut down  deleting all the progress, or changing from studios all the time due to money and many other annoying things that probably only fuelled us more to complete the fucking thing in time. But overall we pulled through and I think we achieved an album with a great sound and live feel.

Did Pronounced (The Evil Dead) turn out exactly as you intended or did it hold some surprises for you in how it evolved during recording?

I don’t think any album ever turns out as its intended. One always hears things a way that cannot be replicated perfectly. While we recorded some harmonies or counterparts came to our minds and we improvised those little things here and there, same with the vocals and group choruses. There was a particular problem with a drum part that ended up being better than the original arrangement. A definitive surprise was when our engineer Pablo decided to master in Analog the entire album as a gift to us cause he had enjoyed the recording process so much.

We gave an overall description of your album and its storm of diverse sounds as a blend of ‘Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Municipal Waste, and Alestorm mixed up with tinges of Murderdolls and black metal vocals’, a fair description?

Maiden, Sabbath and Mötörhead are definitely correct but the others I would change for something more like Blue Öyster Cult, Dissection and early Metallica!!! Also change Alestorm for Running Wild: Alex and Federico are huge fans.

How does the songwriting work within the band?

Usually it falls mostly on me although the others contribute riffs and ideas too. I will write the majority of the music and arrange the structure of the song while everyone else puts their own touches on their parts and solos. Of course it differs if we already have a title for the song cause one tries to make the music expand on that idea. Alex does the lyrics by himself but sometimes we all brainstorm together song titles. We spend a lot of time jamming on ideas at the rehearsal room until we are sure they are perfect. Only the best riffs survive. We want The Evil Dead to be a synonym of Excellence.

Tell us about Bootleggers, our favourite track on the album. What is its inspiration?

Well we had to re write it cause we had a song called Bootleggers that we were jamming and we forgot it while drunk….haha so we wrote a new one .This new one we rehearsed for month but could never make any progress. After the middle section, writers block so to speak but one time at the end of that our drummer Santiago started playing the drum “solo” after the break just for fun and we all picked up from that and finished it up pretty quickly. We are very proud of that song and it works great live it’s the perfect end for the live set. The inspiration for the song came from the whiskey smugglers in the American era of booze prohibition bringing hooch from Canada. Criminals to some and heroes to others .

Bottoms up!

Your bio description says your music is “to drink with the dead, and toast with the living”. Does this mean the beers are on you? 🙂

Haha you got me there 🙂 well if we ever meet be sure that the first couple of rounds are on us!

Tell us about your live shows, which have a great reputation for their energy and power.

We put all of our blood and sweat into our shows and come out all guns blazing. The energy has to be sky high! We feed on the audience and they feed on us. We want people to party and headbang til they are exhausted. One thing we always strive for is to win the crowd no matter what and to make them our followers. The band on a live setting sounds so powerful (especially with the 3 guitars) and electrifying, makes for an awesome live show. We always come offstage pouring sweat and emanating very nice smells…

Is it easy to find venues and to get on line-ups in Argentina for you and metal bands?

It’s easy if you pay to play and are willing to be given shit, since we don’t do that we don’t play live that much nowadays. Things are slowly starting to change so let’s hope things turn out for the better.

What comes next for The Evil Dead?

Right now we are in the process of writing a follow up album. The material sounds a bit heavier and darker but it’s still the same The Evil Dead. It’s even more over the top. It will crush for sure!!! We still don’t know with what label we will release it or when, but it will come out eventually. Next come more gigs to play and interviews to respond and we are planning a European tour for next year to kick motherfuckin´ ass in the old continent! Also we are thinking of doing a vinyl version of “Pronounced”, so if any label is interested give us a shout.

Thanks so much for sharing your time would you like to end with a shout out to those less livelier than ourselves?

Thanks for the interview Pete!!! Get our album and let yourselves be fucked in the head by our “Electric Evil Revival”!!! We now have patches in stock and will soon get t-shirts as well.

Read the  Pronounced The Evil Dead review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/the-evil-dead-pronounced-the-evil-dead/

The Ringmaster Review 25/06/2012

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The Evil Dead – Pronounced The Evil Dead

If some good old style rock ’n’ roll blended with some thrash metal aggression and skilful classic rock guitar play is a flavour that has you licking your lips then make a swift line towards Argentinean metalers The Evil Dead and their new album Pronounced The Evil Dead. The release is a kick ass rumble of insatiable rock and harsh metallic power that will intrigue and fire up the urge to raise horns very high. The band claims their music is “to drink with the dead, and toast with the living” and that does just about sum it up. With songs about death, horror and drinking that emerges as a nonstop celebration with rampant riffs, irresistible grooves and straight forward aggressive intent it is hard not to be swept up in its surprising and often confusing flow but thorough great fun.

First notable thing about the release is that there is so much going on within songs and the band’s music. Imagine Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Municipal Waste, Alestorm mixed up with tinges of Murderdolls and a black metal vocal throughout and you are nearing the surprising sound of The Evil Dead. To be honest it takes a little getting used to especially the rasping black tones of vocalist Alejandro Regueiro which seem at odds to the vibrant and creative sounds beneath him but it works, given time and a few concentrated listens. Musically the band is impressive, their ability and creativity easily commendable and you cannot accuse The Evil Dead of being predictable either. The triple guitar attack of Federico Franco, Michel Regueiro, and Ian Regueiro who also adds further vocals to the band, brings a high quality, varied and engaging meld of sounds whether in straight forward pulse racing riffs, incessant and mesmeric melodies or unexpected diversions that makes each track a satisfying spending of time.

Released via Rising Records February 6th Pronounced The Evil Dead entertains unapologetically from the opening riff fest of ‘Graverobbin’’. The track charges like a runaway train throwing explosive melodies and wanton riffs at the ear from first note to the last. The bass of Lucía Velarde and drums from Santiago Botalla rattle the senses with contagious rhythms allowing the guitars to weave and treat the ear with diversity and eager melodies. The music is so absorbing the songs would work just as well as instrumentals, the energetic and well written sounds stirring and very pleasing.

Backing up the impressive opener the album gives the excellent songs ‘Perfect Day (In Planet Hell)’ another mesmeric track that unleashes wonderful hooks, melodies and teasing riffs to fire up the pulse rate, the bone rattling ‘Electric Evil Revival’ that is so hypnotic it could raise the dead, and the album’s best track the brilliant ‘Bootleggers’ to feast upon. All three continue offering up guitar play and instinctive sounds to make the heart race, at every twist and turn there is something different happening and always of the most appealing effect. ‘Bootleggers’ swaggers in with a southern rock type lilt and at first runs like a straight forward rock song. Strong sounds and harsh vocals strolling at an undemanding pace. Soon the song cannot hold back the distinct red hot guitars and burning riffs though, or the vein of black humour that lurks throughout the album. The track offers unexpected elements, turns, and more riffs that would grace any theme tune to a super hero cartoon or show. As always there is so much going on and it would need a page to tell of all the wonderful avenues and diversions the song offers up. It is worth a listen to Pronounced The Evil Dead for ‘Bootleggers’ alone.

      The Evil Dead has made an entrance with an album that is very worthy of your time. For many the vocals will be a struggle as even after numerous plays they still at times do not fit perfectly to the sounds alongside them. Regueiro is a great vocalist but one feels needs to temper the gut wrenching style. His approach is bold and adventurous against the defined and intricate creative melodies made musically but they distract too often as they are and will put as many off as those who connect.

The album for all that is great fun and truly worth a listen, it is of great quality and will leave riffs and melodies with you long after it departs they are that impressive. Try it and see.

RingMaster 03/02/2012

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