Czar – Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal

cover-front_RingMasterReview

Finding something which stands out from the crowd let alone presents something truly unique gets harder and harder but Czar and their new album Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal easily tick both boxes. Creating a compelling experimental, bordering on psychotic, brew of sound bred in the raw essences of anything from progressive metal, hardcore, and grind to mathcore, post punk and more, all woven with avant-garde tendencies, the Tacoma, Washington based Czar infest ears and infect the psyche with relish. Certainly it is a challenge not all will take to, yet every intrusive assault, off-kilter trespass found within their album has an instinctive infectiousness which rewards as it devours. Like a mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr. Bungle, and Psyopus, yet as suggested creating its own individual character, sound and indeed Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is one of those times when you really feel something special is in the making.

The album makes a subdued entrance with the beginning of Owls, etc; electronic throbs and melodic coaxing a minimalistic but potent lure. Soon the enjoyably strained and captivating tones of vocalist Dr. Landon Jared Wonser join in with lively beats and a brooding bassline alongside. The track is still restrained but smouldering greater volatility in its belly. With the funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the progressive lilt of The Fall of Troy laced into its Every Time I Die like swing, the song never does explode and only benefits from that teasing of expectations for a thrilling start to the release.

Too Many Yetis quickly follows; its agitated heart and enterprise a caustic invasion as the guitar of Nicholas J. McManus drizzles sonic psychosis upon the rhythmic battering of drummer David Joseph Dorran Jr. and Peter Joseph Ruff’s throbbing bass meandering. Its brief but potent escapade further whets an already awoken appetite before Arachnochondriac casts its unhinged waltz on the senses, guitars a web of irrational melody and bass a roaming grumble as the keys of Christopher Duenas intensely sizzle. It is a frenzied ear twisting affair as magnetic as those before it with its unstable yet skilfully nurtured trespass.

Antelope Mask steps to the fore next, it’s extremely short hunt the perfect appetiser for Beware the Flies, Orestes and its unleashing of a post punk woven landscape littered with cold stabbing riffs, steely grooves, and vocal predation. The eye of its tempest sees keys sharing a classical beauty as harmonies float behind the corrosive squalls of Wonser, the combination as riveting as it is enjoyably testing as it leads ears into the Latin kissed melodic festivity of Vultures Never Eat In Peace. This is a hot bed of unpredictability and cracked emotional turbulence hugged by the toxic sonic craft of guitar and the perpetual imposing enticement of rhythms; drama soaking every twist, sinister deceit each throat spewed syllable.

With a psychedelic lining, The Worm Enters the Moon prowls the listener next, its theatre of sound and imagination sharing attributes found in UK band Japanese Fighting Fish and indeed Dillinger Escape Plan. The open variety of the flavours making up the band’s sound and individual songs is already clear and only reinforced by Canine, No Eyes Just Teeth, spoken word nestling in raw lo-fi sound and straight after the ferocious punk and metal bedlam of Shark Cancer, a track suffocating and igniting the senses simultaneously. Its mordant assault is then matched by that of The Golden Calf, its breath scathing and touch scalding yet equally captivating as it fluidly shifts from venomous pattern to corrosive irritability; and even when the movement is more of a clunky sidestep it works perfectly.

Through the creative surf hued snare of Mister Reindeer and the melodic calm of Domesticated Wolves, ears and imagination are effortlessly reeled in with the rest of the body disturbed into compliance by the predatory jazz infested mania of the exceptional first and the poetic serenade of the second. That track is an oasis in the certifiable invention and nature of the album, a gripping dementia fuelling the crumbling climate and emotional erosion of You Were a Comatose Lion and in turn the jazzily bipolar Wine Hog, both revealing an array of crazed facets to their attention demanding personalities.

So often a nineteen track release is sharing a filler or four along the way but there is no such moment within Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal, the celestially bent x̌ʷiqʷadiʔ provoking grateful reactions while Blind Mice provides a bewitching espionage of twisted enterprise and haunted frenzy with interruptions of dark repose with their successors in Prawn and after that RxABBITS invasively exploring and stretching the psyche respectively. The later of the songs is especially striking with its incendiary fusion of raw and composed sonic belligerence.

Concluded by the minimalistic lure of Taking Roadkill to the Vet, a track warming up to the task of seducing the listener with sonic malignancy through every second of its low key but haunting  electronically spun three minutes,  Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is a rare gem as creatively murderous as it is formidably tempting. Czar themselves are a fresh breath which you will not have to go searching for; their music and talent will do the hunting.

Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is out now @ https://czar.bandcamp.com/album/life-is-no-way-to-treat-an-animal

http://czarband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/czartheband

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bear Makes Ninja – Shenanagrams

BMN_RingMasterReview

We all like a bit of teasing before being seduced, a touch of flirting before getting fully involved in a lustful union and that is exactly what the songs within Shenanagrams do. The debut album from British math/alternative rock trio Bear Makes Ninja, it is a collection of tracks which offer a variety of off-kilter and imaginative bait which lures and entices before leading ears and imagination into feisty sonic revelry.

The Sleaford in Lincolnshire hailing, 2010 formed, threesome of James Palmer, Ben Kutzner, and Karina Lawrence are no strangers to attention and lusty praise thanks to a previous pair of EPs in If We Were Cats of 2010 and Shouting at Bridges two years later, as well as a compelling and dynamic live presence which has taken in the sharing of stages with the likes of Mutiny On The Bounty, Cleft, Axis Of, Alpha Male Tea Party, The Wyches, Axes, and Alright The Captain amongst many over time. The band has also made very well-received appearances at festivals such as Arc Tan Gent, BBC Introducing, So Festival, Hockey Hustle and Airfield Anarchy. Fair to say they have welcomed plenty of praise over time but now they are ready to create their biggest stir yet with Shenanagrams, an encounter which has body and imagination on board from its first tenacious moments.

The contagious instrumental Double Twice gets things off and rocking first, guitar and bass riffs colluding from its first breath to nag and entwines the senses as bolder rhythms brew behind them. Once into its full stride, irresistible hooks spear and vein a muggy but no less vibrant climate of sonic enterprise and captivating temptation. There is a Buzzcocks-esque hue to those hooks and the wandering melodic spicery whilst the heart of the track becomes increasingly volatile and feistier over time to complete the inimitable tempting of body and spirit.

art_RingMasterReviewA virulently gripping start to the album, it is magnetically backed up by Aches and Veins. A less agitated encounter to its predecessor but no lightweight on math rock ingenuity as skittish rhythms link up with jazzier flirtations of guitar and bass, the song also brews its own slightly tempestuous crescendos of energy and drama. Like The Fall of Troy meets Young Knives, ears and feet are gripped in no time then passed over to the similarly explosive and virulent Bob’s Logs. Again the just mentioned Leicestershire trio come to mind, they the most regular hint we can use to the creative tapestry spun by Bear Makes Ninja across Shenanagrams. The three pronged vocal persuasion is especially alluring in the third track, radiating with character and harmonic charm from within the at times thickly busy climate of the track.

B.F.C (Banned from Chicken) bounces around with stabbing hooks and eccentric rhythms next, every second of the track creative drama which, as the album, only intrigues, reveals, and impresses more with every listen. The same of course applies to the funk loaded shuffle of I Ditch Girls Who Believe in Ghosts, another hip manipulating, enjoyment installing instrumental, whilst 12345, from a celestial ambience smothered entrance, evolves into a vivacious swirl of sinew sculpted grooves and sonic intensity which storm over the senses whilst treating them to acidic hooks and racy melodic flames. Ebbing and flowing in energy, the song alone triggers another urge of greed to an already eager appetite for the album.

These Little Snakes is a more even mannered proposal, though just as frisky with its robust pop rock conjuring of rapacious invention. The burst of kinetic sound and intensity which blesses all tracks has, as here, a certain Reuben like quality, if without the predacious snarl of the still missed UK band. It is a quality which only adds to the experience and enjoyment though, as echoed in the closing roar of the album’s title track. Shenanagrams song and full-length is a bracingly animated incitement of body and spirit, its snaky grooves like wandering hands fondling the imagination as rhythms swing hips and vocals spark another host of eager involvement.

Exploring fresh post/noise rock hues too, the track is a masterful end to a thoroughly fascinating and rousing release. Shenanagrams is the announcement of a fresh creative devil in the British rock scene; the realisation of the hints and promise laid in Bear Makes Ninja’s previous encounters but more so the opening of a new depth of imagination and inventive fun within the band.

Shenanagrams is out now on CD, Vinyl, and digitally via Mountains Of Records @ http://bearmakesninja.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Bear Makes Ninja Shows:

UK:

Sat 23rd April- Stag and Hounds, BRISTOL.

Fri 6th May- CHAOS THEORY, The Black Heart, Camden, London.

Sat 7th May- SMALL POND RECORDINGS, Brighton.

Sat 21st May- SHANTI FEST, Horncastle, Lincolnshire.

Fri 17th June- Cobbles Bar, Louth, Lincolnshire.

Sat 18th June- BAD OWL, Leeds.

European Tour With Alright The Captain:

Fri 25th March- Music City, Antwerp.

Sat 26th March- Cologne, Germany.

Fri 1st April- Mistni Borci, Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Sat 2nd April- Prague, Czech Republic.

Weds 6th April- The Wild Rover, Aachen, Germany.

Thurs 7th April- Luxembourg

Fri 8th April-Brussels, Belgium.

Sat 9th April- Borgloon, Belgium.

https://www.facebook.com/bearmakesninja

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

They Say Fall – Deadlights

They Say Fall Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Their fans will state that it is not rare for UK rockers They Say Fall to provide a track that rouses the senses and gets the blood surging through veins with energy and drama, but they also might just agree that the North Lincolnshire quintet has outdone themselves with new video/single Deadlights. Energetically bold and creatively tenacious, the track is a maelstrom of flavours and styles honed into one attention grabbing, imagination firing proposal.

They Say Fall Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review    Since emerging in 2010,They Say Fall has been luring in loyal fans and acclaim, though arguably it was when the line-up of band founders, guitarist/vocalist Kyle Leeman, drummer Joseph Sleight, and bassist/vocalist Tom Manning were joined by lead vocalist Kehn Gembalczyk, and guitarist/vocalist/programmer Brad Bishell in 2012, that band and sound creatively ignited. Since then a trio of EPs and a slew of singles and songs have sparked enthused spotlights whilst seeing an evolution in their original pop punk sound. Live too the band has been a growing force with a reputation to match, shows with the likes of with Madina Lake, While She Sleeps, InMe, Fearless Vampire Killers, and Elliot Minor, as well as playing last year’s Download Festival on their growing CV. Seemingly ahead of a new EP, Deadlights is the new They Say Fall assault and a thrilling incitement to boot.

From its first breath muscular riffs and antagonistic beats gnaw on and swipe at ears, a metal/post hardcore fusion colluding with contagious punk and pop rock imagination. As much as the raw intensity and drama of the song excites so does the array of potent vocals and virulent infectiousness fuelling the calmer elements. Every second of the song is a new theatre of persuasion and unpredictability, synths helping the chorus brew a My Chemical Romance like symphonic/gothic air whilst the flirtation of choppy riffs and sparkling hooks brings a tempting which has seeds in bands like Every Time I Die, The Fall Of Troy, and Atreyu.

To be honest that still only grazes the wealth of enterprise within the single, and the promise of greater things to come. So go treat yourself to Deadlights free availability and its thrilling video.

RingMaster 17/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Rott Childs – Alleluia: A Brit Milah In G Melodic Minor

Masks / pic by Fia Cielen

Masks / pic by Fia Cielen

Undoubtedly a musical union from the loins of the Devil, Belgian noise manipulators The Rott Childs are poised to take over the world’s psyche with the unleashing of their second album Alleluia: A Brit Milah In G Melodic Minor. Consisting of ten tracks sculpted with schizophrenic invention and bedlamic imagination, the sonic alchemy uncaged is a breath-taking, fertile tempest of post hardcore and mathcore ingenuity aligned to an aggressive progressive intent which warns not to confirm those best of year album choices just yet.

The Rott Childs made their entrance with the well-received debut album Riches Will Come Thy Way, A Musical in 2009. It was a release which like for a great many outside of their homeland we suspect, evaded our attention but soon received a retrospective investigation once its successor had dug in its staggering sonic claws. Alleluia: A Brit Milah In G Melodic Minor follows on from the endeavour forged on the band’s first release taking it to a maturer and greater incendiary plateau of inspiring confrontation. The quartet of guitarists Christophe Dexters and Jethro Volders, drummer Wim Coppers, and bassist Florent Peevee who also fronts the brilliant Kabul Golf Club, are not content in just engaging the senses and imagination, they want and do take them on a journey through ravenous creative ‘mayhem’ which just enflames the passions.

The opening Prelude offers an intrigue but no real hint of what is to come, its melodic caress and rhythmic shuffling a lure soon 51-QuGgW9vL._SL500_AA280_left behind by the intensive fire of Caloric. Guitars are soon searing the air and teasing the ears whilst the excellent vocals offer a distinct acidic inventiveness too. A scorching sonic bedlam sounding like the deviant cousin to a merger between Blood Brothers and At The Drive In, the track whips up a frenzy of exhausting beauty and predacious energy courted by a crazed craft and mouth-watering invention. Bass and drums sculpt a web upon it which just seduces the passions whilst the guitars weave a ridiculously easy to be addicted to expanse of aural narrative which the excellent vocals and harmonies dance impressively along.

The following Pass Out the Charm parades an even darker psychotic swagger to its adventure, bass lures and sonically hued hooks as with its predecessor virulent tempters spearing the acidically spiced melodic net which just twists and evolves with every passing second. It is a riveting explosion of genius, a feisty torrent of inventiveness which moves its boundaries as it seamlessly flows into a noir clad shadow soaked finale. The song is another masterful pinnacle on an album which gets better song by song, as proven by the fire bred Pretty Diamond. Noise and radiance are easy bedfellows within the rhythmically challenging snarl of a track, a caustic essence of The Fall Of Troy and maniacal breath of The Mae Shi offering their references to the wonderful turmoil being played out.

The next up sinew veined Suitcase Full of Stupid has a Kabul Golf Club toxicity and antagonism to it but within another transfixing melodic meshugah which persists and niggles thoughts and emotions into submission whilst Stumble bursts in straight after with a certifiable rhythmic stomp and sonic rapaciousness, the track virtually stalking and teasing the synapses and emotions into lustful engagement. It is startling and incredibly impressive stuff from song and album, The Rott Childs bringing provocations and spices from all those bands mentioned, to which you have to add Mars Volta at times too, into something loudly distinct and dramatically innovative.

The triumph does not slow down or stop there though as the exceptional sonic storm that is Stutter, the track finding a carnivorous depth which the bass especially feeds off of, and the dark haunting Children’s Life Size Gorgeous Luxury Play House shows. The second of the two is haunting as in an Insidious way, sounds and emotively drenched sonic incitements leaping from the walls and heart of the song to seduce and disturb before ending on a sonic lancing of the ear which leads into another glorious mind challenging provocation. Marching Band is a warped festival of imagination and ingenuity, a technically exceptional, as the album, riot of loose limbed rhythms which simply leave the senses punch drunk and a sonic flaming that corrodes and ignites thoughts.

The closing Gold Crumbs leaves the release on the same persistently consistent high it started upon and maintained. A bewitching and disorientating brawl of never able to settle sound and creativity, the track is a romping puppeteer for lustful passions, a violent and merciless one but one with a wanton seduction it has to share. Not for the first time on the album the bass has a Gang Of Four growl to it presence as the guitars flay ears and air like sonic dervishes, It is a presence which is sheer contagious devilry proving again that quite simply Alleluia: A Brit Milah In G Melodic Minor is unhinged sonic poetry and The Rott Childs the authors of one of the very best albums this year.

http://www.therottchilds.com/

10/10

RingMaster 19/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bear – Noumenon

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Just when you think maybe you have heard the best the year has to offer, along comes a band like Bear to grip the imagination and passions by the throat, shake them rigorously until sense shows its teeth and then seduce to an even greater degree with sonic alchemy which leaves exhaustion and lust bred satisfaction raging rewards. Noumenon is the second album from the Belgium quartet, a release which ignites and fuses synapses with its bordering on psychotic mathcore and technical devilry. It has been a highly anticipated release but goes far beyond hopes and expectations those appetites will have had lying in wait, quite simply Noumenon is demonic genius.

Formed in 2010, the Antwerp-based foursome of vocalist Maarten Albrechts, guitarist Leander Verheyen Tsjakalov, bassist Dries Verhaert, and drummer Serch Carriere carve out new potent levels and mind altering creative temptations with their new album. Taking all the essences which have been spawned through previous releases starting with their self-released 5 track MCD Abstractions in their formative year, the band lends it to a greater corrosive and intensively invigorating scorching of the senses. Debut album Doradus of 2011 was the major seed which led to such a hunger for the new release along with its first single Wreckthings which preceded it. Both ignited the appetite and acclaim of media and fans worldwide and were followed by Bear stepping into bigger sized venues and recognition with shows alongside the likes of Periphery and within festivals such as Euroblast, Eierfest, and Groezrock. Released by Basick Records, Noumenon stalks and torments a new plateau of adventure and caustic brilliance to potentially steal end of year honours with insidious accomplishment and sinister ingenuity.

Opening track Boxer lurks in a reserved mist only allowing a singular guitar coaxing to wrap its tendril around the ear. It is soon Packshot 1500x1500welcoming a second strand of melodic acidity, again restrained and gentle in its touch though behind it there is a brewing presence and sinister electronic breath. Suddenly the song explodes into a tsunami of energy, rhythms cracking viciously on the ear whilst the guitars score and sear flesh though spirals of sonic fire and senses splicing corrosive predation. The vocals equally cut and scar though at times offering great melodic and harmonic mercury which makes for a mesmeric mellow union. The track is best described as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Kabul Golf Club meets Converge and The Fall Of Troy, though that only gives a whisper of the unique tempest of sound and invention working voraciously away and the psyche.

The brilliant start is soon matched by Mirrors, the track going straight for the jugular with crippling rhythms and bass rapaciousness coring another furnace of sonic irreverence and imagination soiling enterprise. Once again the vocals ignore predictability to squall and brawl within the song with the same passion and menacing invention as the sounds. Whether raging with antagonism or soothing the wound with harmonic craft, the vocals like the music are an evolving never settling torrent of flavours and energy. Across the track a punk scourge seems to tone the attack though it is just a spice to the unbridled twists of stance, technical conjuring, and time shifts. Like the album the song brings mathcore into a noise, djent, progressive metal maelstrom and emerges as something simply Bear.

Both Rain and The Falling Line snarl and spit out carnivorous toxicity which only seduces to greater depths, the first crafting an anthemic call to its venom and aggression whilst the second tunnels its way into the brain and stakes its territory with sonic weaves of twisted guitar animosity from within a wall of donkey punch raps upon the senses from the drums drawing unavoidable submission. Both are outstanding instigators of the passions and though debatably many of the tracks need a concentrated focus to discover all their nuances against each other, it is a rewarding endeavour which only increases the thrill of being the prey to the album’s hunt.

Mantiis unleashes a groove which is pure addiction, a hard rock teasing tightening its grip whilst vocally and through its contagion there is a familiarity which defines realisation as to the source. A major pinnacle of the album, the track is a storm of crescendos and climactic sonic insults which steals the breath and ardour with ease whilst laying down bait which lingers long after its passing of the fire to Aconite, a track starting with a somber invitation to emerge cobra like, swaying and growing its height into a hypnotic influence with a lethal acidic toxin and danger clad persuasion. The Fat Dukes of Fuck like in its diablerie, the track keeps Noumenon at its lofty height with grandeur and accomplished ease.

Through Centrefold and The Human Thing, the release and Bear strike with new ridiculously compelling and virulent suasion, the first of the two a mugging of the senses through a swarming attack which rather than picking certain targets just consumes and pressures in a blanket of intensity and creative sonic pestilence. There is a delicious blackened breath to the encroachment too whilst a Meshuggah like carnality of guitars and rhythms simply induces total slavery for its intensive landscape. Its successor is bred from the same beast and admittedly without attention the two can merge into each other but again the track is a bestial rabidity which leaves only exhausted pleasure in its tow.

Completed by the waspish swarming of L.A. Layer which chews and stings across its sultry atmosphere and inferno like landscape, and the wonderfully rabid and dramatically metallic Postbreaks where the chorus reminds of Sepultura though it’s a passing growl in one more fire-pit of an inventive scourge of sound, Noumenon is a riveting and senses frazzling treat which will demand contention in the awards giving come December and from a great many take titles.

https://www.facebook.com/bearpropaganda

10/10

RingMaster 08/10/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Escape The Ocean – Internal Landscapes

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UK band Escape The Ocean may not at this moment in time have a sound to break down boundaries or set new fires of individuality, but as it pleases and entices within debut EP Internal Landscapes you cannot stop feeling that there is something extra within the craft and imagination of the Kent based quartet which will see them finding their distinct personal voice at some point. The release is an enterprising and accomplished piece of progressive and math rock fusing which leaves a strong depth of satisfaction in its vibrant wake.

Formed in the beginning of 2011, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Lee Morrison, bassist Glen Savage, guitarist Lewis Monks, and drummer Liam Foy have taken inspirations from the likes of Coheed and Cambria, The Fall of Troy, At the Drive-In, Glassjaw, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, and Primus and created a sound which maybe has a familiarity at times but is undeniably inventive and skilfully crafted. As mentioned Internal Landscapes has something which catches the ear and thoughts and that ignites a definite promise for the band ahead and pleasure now.

From the brief Entry To An Interior, a melodic intro so short it is merely an appetiser for and leading into the following All 942970_469733693114439_161646567_nSigns Point To Yes, the first full track immediately soaks the ear in strong vocals and fiery melodic enterprise from the guitars, their touch acidic around the great vocal delivery of Morrison a strong appealing blaze veined by the rhythmic sinews of Foy who in turn is aided by the throaty prowl of Savage. As the song proceeds and the progressive flames of Morrison and Monks explore the air you feel loud whispers of Mars Volta amidst the impressive venture being craved out. Not the most instant and infectious of the tracks making up the EP but it is nevertheless a strong and inviting start.

One Sided Dice gently enters in next, the elegant caress of guitar a simple yet full persuasion before the emerging twists of invention increases the lure with a less dramatic but still an At The Drive In like similarity. Once again the vocals are a strong factor, the expressive tones of Morrison and the overall emotive narrative finding mutual understanding in the restrained yet potent sounds and energy surrounding its call.  The temperature of the song undulates and increases the nearer to its climax you go but at no point is the sweltering breath and touch of the track less than tempting.

Mesculine Vigil and Exit Wound complete the release, the first like its predecessor a more reserved but passionate encounter. The guitars again cast a colourful sonic painting over the rhythmic canvas, their invention sparking surges of emotional flaming and descriptive evocations whilst the closer from again a Mars Volta like mesmeric start, builds an intriguing weave of arousing textures and potent endeavour. It is a fine end to an equally enjoyable debut. Escape the Ocean may have a way to go to develop their unique voice but for craft and imagination no one is left wanting by Internal Landscapes. This is a band and release which definitely should be checked out.

www.escapetheocean.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 02/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Halfling’s Leaf – High Time

Halfling's Leaf

All those of an addictive personality look away now for we are about to expose the newest curse set to consume and manipulate the youth of today, Halfling’s Leaf. A band from Stockport in the UK, this is a four man noise conjuring machine which can be best described as having a sound which teases like a mix of Melvins, Rage Against The Machine, The Fall Of Troy, At The Drive In, and Primus. To be honest they are impossible to pin down, their unique toxin of punk n funk an irresistible and irrepressible contagion released under the mask of latest EP, High Time.  Their second release following the equally impressive Ain’t No Candy EP of last year, the six track tempest is sonic and rhythmic devilment which will ignite the deepest passions for all who have a reticence to entertain normality, regular time signatures, and passionless monotony.

Formed in 2011 and consisting of vocalist Matt Franklin, guitarist/vocalist Mayo, bassist/vocalist Chid Seisay, and drummer/vocalist Andy Preece, Halfling’s Leaf teases, torments, and virulently dances with the senses through a hybrid of flavours soaked in instinctive mischief and skilled sonic anarchy. High Times is made up of a sextet of noise sculpted miscreants which simply call out to like-minded hearts and thoughts like an insidious siren, their lure and temptation insatiable but carrying an epidemic of rewards to thrill and excite let alone ignite the passions. Produced by the band alongside Dan Buxton, who also mixed and mastered the tempestuous taunt, the EP has everything and more that you could wish for in soul corruption.

Opening track Your Welcome… immediately riots on the ear with squalling vocals from Franklin and band alongside energetic High Time Coverand infectious riffs. It is an instantaneous temptress which continues its wantonness through the evolving bass croon of Seisay and fiery grooves of Mayo and equally salacious hooks. Unbridled in attitude and breath sapping enterprise the song lifts the emotions into a mutual stomp but just as you are flinging limbs in tandem it slips easily into a sultry stroll of provocative sonic sex. The rhythms of Preece chip away at the ear whilst the bass plays within with devious craft to its persuasion, the song brewing up another rampage though this time driven by persistently shifting stances and sonic slights of hand before unleashing one final punk spitting climax.

The outstanding start is continued through the following Goon Hammer, the track opening up its throat with again compelling bass bait to lure in the appetite and the excellent vocal exploits of Franklin. His jagged delivery at the beginning of the song picks and pokes at the listener with an almost Marilyn Manson like irreverence whilst the guitar matches his plotting with similarly spiky melodic incitement. With a gait which crawls and explores every inch of the psyche, the track stomps with predatory and maniacal intent unleashing a RATM grooved like entrapment before scooting and scrambling rhythmically and sonically with avant-garde bedlam. It is another enthralling and stunning rummage through one’s mind for the purest pleasure.

Scopplers waltzes through a funk spiced stroll of near discordant majesty aligned to a sonic palette of vibrant and searing colours whilst another expertly bred groove entrances the ear, this time with a stoner like breath, latched onto agitated rhythms and a raw expressive energy. As well as the quality of the release the song pushes the diversity out further as does the following pair of Hej and Hit It and Quit It. The first of the twin strikes of aural mania leaps at and quicksteps across and through the ear with a funk clad romp which comes with the swagger of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the irresistible heat of Pigbag before evolving into a punk speared roister of intensive rhythmic disorientation, guitar and bass snarling, and vocal scathing. It is another infection which would be outlawed in any other recreational past time, a tempestuous virus which could be described as System Of A Down meets Pere Ubu in the arms of the Cardiacs, and quite ingenious.

The second of this pair is different in voice but similar in unhinged construction, and arguably the one which without losing its creative psychotic charm offers a more straightforward canvas for less adventurous people to feast upon. To be fair though with a drift into a warm yet deranged ambience whilst St. Vitus dance rhythms frame the detour, it is never offering anything merely to satisfy expectations and stay at home appetites.

S.N.C. closes up the psycho party with one final torrent of rhythmic destruction, sonic scorching, and vocal scathing, a punk/noise rock exploitation which has the incendiary insistence of a pissed off hornet and the creative corrosive might of a tsunami. It is a brilliant certifiable conclusion for a magnificent release which easily sits amongst the best of 2013.

High Time is a release everyone should at least dip their sanity into before losing their mental strength to the delicious toxicity that is Halfling’s Leaf.

https://www.facebook.com/halflingsleaf

10/10

RingMaster 06/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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