The Beauty of Noise: The Gaa Gaas Interview

As a fresh decade takes its first breath there was only one place to start a new series of interviews with some of the most exciting independent bands and artists and that was with one of our major faves here at The RR. So with big thanks to band founder Gavin Tate welcome to The Gaa Gaas…

Hi Gavin and thanks for sharing your time with us once more.

It has been a long while in the planning but you have just unveiled the band’s debut album. What have been the prime emotions in its build up and now final and highly anticipated release?

GT: Bonjour, mettez-vous à l’aise. The honest truth is that as well as the unfortunate circumstances of label battles, finance was a huge factor for the reason it took so long to release a full album. I was abused as a child at a detention centre in my home island of Jersey where I was illegally locked up in solitary confinement for sometimes months at a time and was beaten. I received a big compensation from the Government that I’ve put into the physical side of the album release out on our own label Movement-2 Records. It’s a fantastic feeling to know the album is finally out there, the response has been amazing! 

 For those new to The Gaa Gaas could you reveal how the band began and its history since?

GT: I attended a tour in 2002 that consisted of 3 pinnacle groups of the time which were Ikara Colt, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and The Parkinsons. That show in Brighton inspired me to form The Gaa Gaas made up of members that I had met at a club night called Bomp! (a weekly event that was held in our birth town of St Helier). The band relocated to Brighton in the mid 2000’s and we’re now mainly based in London. Prior to the album we had released two 5 track EP’s, a few singles, a couple of split singles and have been featured on many compilations since! We have also been given the opportunity to play some big name festivals alongside bands such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Primal Scream, The Stranglers, Happy Mondays, and Richard Ashcroft.

What were the inspirations which most sparked your own musical adventure and also the band’s sound?

GT: I think a lot of it was to do with attending gigs and festivals. I always wanted to be on stage and behind the scenes because that side of it felt more appealing to me when I was just a young lad. The sound of the group has been developed and matured through observation and experimentation. We love lots of different styles and even though this band has had many members over the years, we’ve still managed to maintain the same sound throughout. It’s post-punk more than punk, but can still be classed as rock. We’ve stayed true to our name by making it a bit nutty as well.

 Turning back to the album; a powerful collection of songs to tempt newcomers it also in a way works as a round-up and compilation of the creative adventures existing fans have devoured over the years. How did you approach it to make it strikingly fresh, which it is, to all?

GT: There was the option to record the album with completely new songs and leave what we had already done behind, but our fan base would have been completely thrown off as songs like ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.’ and ‘Close Your Eyes’ are strong enough album tracks. It was decided to have our previous singles included on the release along with the best tracks of both EP’s and a studio outtake that we well and truly underestimated titled ‘The Type of Mood’, which has had the most radio interest, something we never expected at all. ‘Indian Giver’ album version was kept behind as we knew we wanted it for the release and it works being the only instrumental on the menu. No one counted on it and that’s what we wanted. We’ve now created more anticipation as the next album will follow up in 2020 with songs no one has yet heard and I tell you hand on heart, the new stuff wipes the floor with anything we’ve done before.

 It does feel like the closing of a chapter before The Gaa Gaas unveil a new adventure ahead, is that how you see it in some ways?

GT: We’re not the most organised band in the world, but we make up for that with enigma. No one ever knows who’s actually in the band as every time we play live there’re always new members. We are like today’s equivalent of The Fall. Not by choice either. Maybe I’m a difficult person to work with, maybe they are. Also we’ve had some almost fatal hardships within the group that has led to cancellations of planned shows and tours. Every band goes through bad experiences, but you just have to soldier on. The new decade will see us actually jumping in vans and doing the circuit again, something our fans have been really gunning for, and plus with the new material it will be like a complete reincarnation

 Obviously some of the songs within the album were written way back, are you someone who has had the self-will to leave them alone or over the years have found yourself nagging away at them in some ways?

GT: I just think those songs really deserved to make an album. I’d love to see our first record stacked alongside stuff like Damned Damned Damned and Never Mind The Bollocks in the bargain shelf at Wax Factor Record Shop in Brighton one day. That to me would feel like more of an achievement than seeing it in the racks at Rough Trade. Everything’s too polished these days. We are as true to punk rock as the innovators and that attitude in music needs to come back hard ‘cause the industry is mostly made up of rich geeks and there’s no flare like there used to be. I believe those songs carry some of that old skool sensibility!

 As you mentioned the band has been based between Jersey, Brighton and London over those same years, putting aside now with the album’s release, which has been the most potent moment for you in The Gaa Gaas emergence?

GT: I think the release of ‘V.O.L.T.A.I.R.E.‘ was monumental to the band. As soon as that came out we were getting booked to play everywhere…The coolest club nights throughout the UK and Europe, being played on Radio 1 on MTV 2. At that point I thought we were going to explode as Island Records were interested and we were playing shows every week. But it’s like anything. People inside and outside of the group had misconceptions and doubts about where it was all going, but I’m still on that boat of the best is yet to come.

Have you found that it has become easier for a DIY fuelled independent band to find opportunities to play and find a release for their art or harder?

GT: Groups such as The Cramps did everything themselves. Pressed their own records, designed their own fanzines, organised their own shows and tours. In the end the best thing about that is you’re not owing an advance to any labels. DIY and the independent side of the business is where most of the bands and labels we all know and love first began, but inevitably everything gets snapped up by the majors because people need money for bigger projects, for security, and a lot of the time for their own Cocaine fuelled ego’s. Not needing to be under anyone’s wing or supervision is no chore to us. We would quite happily carry on independently until our livers pack in, our lungs collapse, and our nostrils fall off. Even then we would probably still keep going!

 And how hard has it been to keep the passion and determination going in making music across the long life of the band?

GT: The great thing is people never know what to expect from us. Maybe that forms some sort of excitement in itself. Music is always being written and recorded. There’s so much that has never seen the light of day and now that we have a functional record label of our own we can look at more frequent releases. We are going into the new decade with a much more experienced head on our shoulders. As well as for our own passion and our own urges, we would really love to put Jersey on the musical map of producing great bands in the same way The Parkinsons did for Portugal.

 I know there are new songs poised to bring bold new Gaa Gaas adventure to UK music; can you give us some idea of what they will reveal?

GT: If you enjoyed the political vision of ‘Close Your Eyes‘, let’s just say the 2nd album will hold more of that fire. We are going more electronic the next time around massively influenced by Ultravox, but also taking inspiration from greats such as U.K. Subs and The Damned, also stuff like Tool which I’ve only really just adapted to thanks to our new guitarist Simon. The next wave of songs will be a massive step up from what anyone has previously heard. That’s all I can give you!

So what is on the horizon for The Gaa Gaas live and recording wise?

GT: Our first show of 2020 will be a headline slot at 93 Feet East in London’s Brick Lane as a release party for the first album with support from some of our current faves. Robert King of legendary Scottish post-punk band Scars will also be DJing. From then on we’ll be playing constantly the same way we were this time 10 years ago. The live shows are where it’s at with this band. As soon as we came off at Weekender Festival last year, we just wanted to do it again and again. We were tempted to over step Stereo MC’s slot, that’s how much we enjoyed it. As for recording the next venture will be album number 2.

The Gaa Gaas have been a band which has perpetually excited us at The RR, is there a particular moment which has given you the biggest satisfaction and pleasure in its time to date?

GT: I think it would have to be performing at Drop Dead Festival cause it was the furthest we’ve ever travelled to play. Right on the outskirts of Russia and we got billed alongside bands such as Zounds, Specimen, Sex Gang Children, Noisy Pig, and Stereo Total. It was an honour to be invited to play at that event. We still can’t believe we made it there in one piece.

 Again big thanks for chatting with us, anything else you would like to add?

Please donate anything you can to Crisis UK and get behind the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign organised by Emma Rule. Let’s try and get Britain back to a much better state by forming unity and becoming a more humane place to live.

Check out The Gaa Gaas further @ http://www.thegaagaas.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheGaaGaas   https://twitter.com/The_Gaa_Gaas and read our recent review of their excellent self-titled debut album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/the-gaa-gaas-self-titled/

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Embracing the discord: the Matt Finucane Interview

Hi Matt and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Glad to. Thanks for asking.

Could you first introduce yourself and tell us how your musical presence came to be?

It’s the old, old story: this never-ending mission to be heard and understood, in other words I’m obsessed and not many people get it, but so what. It was time to move on from making lo-fi electronic-based stuff on my own, playing acoustic guitar in nice clean coffee shops and being called “quirky”…Time to get back on a real stage in unhygienic surroundings and yell at people, so I found a bass player (Stephen Parker) and a drummer (Barney Guy) on the circuit here in Brighton. Luckily, I was able to drag them into my world.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

The sound’s just pure emotional disorder: I can’t make feel-good music. The band’s focused on delivering the songs as tightly and urgently as possible, just keeping it sharp, but there’s a lot of room for personal expression…Which is how it should be… It rocks, but there’s something in there that isn’t… quite… right.

Are there any previous musical experiences for yourself or band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

Stephen’s a solo artist himself, used to be in a thrash metal band, can play pop covers; he’s at home anywhere on the music spectrum. This means he comes up with these fantastic basslines, the kind it’s great to listen to just on their own, but really rock in a very direct way. Barney does a lot of session gigs in about 500 bands, as with most drummers, so he’s likewise slick and versatile. This cuts out a lot of flab, we can zero in quick on what works. They bring pop smarts, enhance the actual tunes, but without sacrificing the more out-there elements – it feels quite spontaneous, which is always good. We’re all very into keeping the energy levels high.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

I put myself into some kind of self-hypnotic state and rough out the songs, and then write down the chords for Stephen, and away we go – just smash through them until they take a fixed shape. It’s open to any changes the others want to suggest; I’m not sentimental about my own ideas, because I’ve been doing this long enough now to know that you can always create more; I just wait a while for my subconscious to throw something out. It helps to think of song structure in story terms – prologue, opening paragraph, cliff-hanger, that kind of thing.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

“The Seizure” EP is three tracks recorded pretty much as-live by the band, at Church Road Studios with Julian Tardo… plus a final DIY track, featuring Mik Hanscomb of Junkboy on 12-string acoustic. He played drums before Barney then had to drop out and concentrate on making his own album, but we’d also done a few gigs as a duo playing acoustic arrangements of some of my older material. We had one new number, the first thing I wrote after getting out of rehab, which it seemed like a nice idea to include, for contrast to the other songs. They were done loud and raw with the express purpose of showcasing the band. It’s a rock record, brash and nasty, rather than the sort of introverted DIY head music I’d been putting together at home. Also, it was nice to let someone else think about the technical side for once. I’m not exactly hung up on audio quality – I recorded an EP using a mobile phone and some freeware a few years ago – but it was refreshing to work in a good studio with an expert.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

I keep coming back to addiction, because it directly affects me, and also it seems like practically everyone’s dependent on something, physically or emotionally, to help them through this life. So that’s an underlying thread, even if it’s not spelled out – there’s no preaching or Important Social Message – and it tied in to the idea that it’s hard nowadays to be honest, when there’s so much pressure to present yourself as a viable product for everyone else to consume, while you’re picking them apart in turn. I’m no longer a youth, so it’s also about expressing this discontent in a way that’s age-appropriate and concentrated. That sounds like an ordeal to listen to, but the idea was to put this into really driving, powerful music and make it a cathartic experience, rather than a gloomy slog through My Big Thoughts. So it leads up to a sonic outburst – a seizure, obviously – then ends on a calmer note.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

It varies with each project – the last album had a theme, the stuff before that was more of a patchwork, but in each case I try to have a consistent tone or atmosphere running through the whole thing. As mentioned above, the idea was to vent all this stuff and then torch it. So by the third track, we go abstract, just obliterate it all in a glowing cloud of plasma (I also play with various free improvisation wizards in Brighton, and wanted to apply that method to a rock song)… Then after the seizure, all the discords and harsh sounds, you get the spaced-out calm, which calls for acoustic guitars and deep trenches of weird reverb. It’s meant to be an interesting virtual space to visit, as opposed to just a collection of songs.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

For context – I used to find getting wasted and stumbling around the stage the most enjoyable part, it’s embarrassing to admit. At first I suspected I couldn’t perform without chemical help then found I could, but chemicals made it so much more fun… then it wasn’t fun anymore, just a flimsy cloak for my own dysfunction. But nowadays, I make a point of enjoying all of it. The whole process – the satisfaction of creating something, shaping it then blasting it out live: the expression of a whole complex of thoughts and emotions. Notice audience approval doesn’t really figure – communication’s the important thing. Also, it’s a way to spend your existence that doesn’t involve chasing around after money or power and then dropping dead in a premature heart explosion of bile and regret – not the way I do it, anyway.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

Sarcasm and sudden loud noises… Something that’s unsettling but in a good way, stimulating, like watching a horror movie – but without horror-type lyrics or anything like that.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

Hate to burst this bubble, but on the whole it’s difficult to remember, or at least describe, those kinds of peak moments. It’s not like I’m up there sacrificing a live deer with my teeth every night – that, we can agree, would be memorable. It’s easy to describe the fuck-ups and disasters, but very hard to express how it feels when everything really flows and time stands still. Besides, it’s better to think even more thrilling stuff’s yet to come.

Do you have live dates coming up?

Wed 16 Oct, Eight Miles High @ Brunswick Cellar Bar (Brighton) – w/ Seadog & Fane

Wed 6 Nov, Rossi Bar (Brighton) – solo – w/ Junkboy & Jako

Sat 16 Nov, Biddle Bros (London E5)

Sun 24 Nov, Gladstone (London SE1) – solo

Sat 30 Nov, Grub Club @ Global Cafe (Reading) – w/ The Mirror Pictures + Adam & Elvis

Tue 3 Dec, Bloc (Glasgow)

Wed 11 Dec, Green Door Store (Brighton) – w/ Adam & Elvis + tbc

What else can we expect in the near future?

There’s an album’s worth of new songs I’m working through with the band, hopefully to record next year for release in late 2020, with a few guest musicians and a broader palette. More gigs (was hoping to expand into Europe, but now it’s a question of waiting to see how the Brexit fallout’s going to settle). A 24-hour magic ritual in an underground car park…(Not really, but that would be cool.) A fucking nervous breakdown trying to keep all those DIY plates spinning, probably; most of the time, I barely know what to expect myself.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

I was ruined by listening to Lou Reed and The Fall at an early age. Whatever it is in me that’s distressed, that’s not at rest, responded instinctively to stuff like that… found a way of making sense out of the world in it… and soon enough I was compelled to try and pass that on. I like the sound of raw electricity, loud guitars or acid synths, whatever – doesn’t matter how it’s conveyed.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

It probably started with some silly pop song that injured my brain in childhood, but it’s not clear. Most musicians, deep down, are started off by the most random, silly stuff that they probably can’t recall or wouldn’t acknowledge (so even if I knew, I’m not sure I’d tell you).

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for listening – it’s good when somebody makes the effort. I guess people just have to be willing to meet me halfway.

Check Matt out further @ https://mattfinucane.net/ and  https://www.facebook.com/Matt.x.Finucane/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Idles – Brutalism

Photo by Stephanie Elizabeth Third

An infestation of the senses, a raw roar on all our responsibilities, and a contagious noise fuelled trespass on everything in between, Brutalism is one of the essential incitements of not only 2017 but we would suggest the decade as a whole. The debut album from British quintet Idles rips into personal and social issues with the insatiable attitude and defiance unleashed in the late seventies, its irritable sound as much punk rock rage as it is a post punk/noise rock  enslaving of the imagination and psyche.

Each song from the Bristol five-piece of Joe Talbot, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Adam Devonshire, and Jon Beavis is a creative growl, a visceral antagonism with an infectious edge and mischief just as bruising and incisive. Dedicated in part to the loss of Talbot’s mother, who adorns the record’s cover, Brutalism is stretched with such invasive treats, from start to finish a mordant adventure, challenge, and accusation as witty as it is vicious, as devilish as it is ferocious. With Idles in the early days of an UK tour, their first album is sure to see it’s already eagerly devoured and anticipated 25 dates embraced by even greater fevered support.

Straight away band and album show uniqueness within a proposition which also swiftly inspires thoughts of bands such as The Fall, Swell Maps, and early The Horrors. There is so much more to it though as that originality shows, opener Heel_Heal cantankerously striding from an initial dispute with an intrusively nagging riff and rhythmic tenacity which alone lures keen attention as Talbot’s equally confrontational vocals snarl. Punk rock infested with crabbily textured noise, the track rumbles and grumbles; band vocals as anthemically rousing and spiteful as the general character of the outstanding starter.

Fellow Bristolians, The St Pierre Snake Invasion also come to mind with the song and successor Well Done, the second a sonically twisted and lyrically spiky shuffle making use of body and imagination like a peeved puppeteer. Its persistent jabs tenderise the senses for the scourges of sound which erupt to further scorch, Idles pressing all the right buttons for lusty reactions before uncaging the equally enslaving Mother. An irresistible bassline cores the next track, its dark tempting soon surrounded by swinging beats and scuzzy riffs, all uniting with Artery meets Gang Of Four scented tempestuousness. Again no punches in sound and word are pulled, one of numerous traits within the Idles sound which leaves there little to be taken lightly but plenty to find a seriously keen appetite for.

Date Night reveals a tango loaded with a rhythmic incitement which barely stays in the same place more than a second or two, its beats on hot coals but with a composure which aligns perfectly with the monotone growl of the bass. As guitars saunter and blaze, Talbot magnetically assaults with word and character, the volatile squall of the track then emulated in its own way by Faith In the City and its post punk ‘n’ roll causticity. A rousing irritant exposing essences hinting at bands such as again Artery and The Nightingales, submission to its lively acerbic inducement is quick and just as rapid as next up 1049 Gotho waltzes with irritated intent and pounding beats into ears and psyche. For all it and the other song’s choleric probing and inventive dexterity, sonic squeals a delight, there is a melodic lining which as subtle as it might be at times just inflames the catchiness and adventure of all escapades.

Wiry tendrils have ears encroached and alive as Divide & Conquer rises with its own particular grumble of sound, the guitars creating a web of raw enticement as bass and beats prowl with a testy air, Talbot stalking it all with his increasingly compelling tones. The increase in energy and ferociousness only adds to the captivation before Rachel Khoo and Stendahl Syndrome irascibly serenade and fractiously critiques respectively; both unloading their sonic and lyrical venom with snappy and quarrelsome devilry.

Next up Exeter has a slightly lazier gait but still imposes its punk ‘n’ roll canter with addiction forging rhythmic cunning as guitars and vocals get under the skin with their respective exploits like a Fatima Mansions/ Big Black collusion exploring creatively fresh impositions. Both tracks leave an already greedy appetite hungry for more, a lust more than fed by the kinetic stomp and sonic psychosis of Benzocaine and equally by the punk grumble and waspish word prowess of White Privilege.

Idles leave their arguably greatest moment for its final track, though each listen only elevates another moment to drool over. Slow Savage is a haunting dyspeptically lined embrace living up to its title as keys and voice fill the low-key and stark atmospheric mist hugging the imagination as a heartbeat of rhythm throbs. It is a dark, melancholic rapture violating as much as seducing the senses and a thrilling end to one exceptional release.

Being truly excited by something new or unique is a treat rarely found these days, Idles though have cracked that desire in fine style with Brutalism.

Brutalism is out now on Balley Records through iTunes and other stores.

Upcoming Dates on the Brutalism Tour…

March 2017

Thursday 16th – Brighton – The Prince Albert

Friday 17th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum

Saturday 18th – Bedford – Esquires

Monday 20th – Oxford – The Bullingdon

Tuesday 21st – Sheffield – The Plug

Wednesday 22nd – Newcastle Upon Tyne – Think Tank

Thursday 23rd – Aberdeen – Tunnels

Friday 24th – Dundee – Buskers

Saturday 25th – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s

Monday 27th – York – The Crescent

Tuesday 28th – Hull – The Adelphi

Wednesday 29th – Nottingham – The Bodega

Thursday 30th – Liverpool – O2 Academy 2

Friday 31st – Wakefield – Unity Hall

April 2017

Monday 3rd – Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill

Tuesday 4th – Preston – Guildhall

Wednesday 5th – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach

http://www.idlesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlesband    https://twitter.com/idlesband

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bernaccia – Awake

Bernaccia_RingMasterReview

British neo-psych rockers Bernaccia has perpetually caught ears and expectations by surprise with their insistently magnetic fusion of psychedelic mystery and desert blues atmospherics driven by tribalistic rhythms. Indeed across EPs and singles, the Newcastle band has grown into one of the UK’s most compelling propositions, beguiling and seducing with their dark and often cinematic rock ‘n’ roll. New single Awake though has arguably provided the biggest and admittedly most flavoursome twist yet with the ear catching addition of vocalist Ellen Chetcuti to the band’s ranks.

From their 2014 released Cinema EP, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Jonny Noble, synthist Stew Falkous, bassist Kieran Healy, and drummer Chris Cox has persistently and increasingly lured attention and acclaim with their fascinating darkly lit psych/melodic rock explorations. Equally their live presence has only reinforced the potency of their emergence as shows with the likes of Royal Blood, Lola Colt, Alabama 3, The Fall, Twisted Wheel, CUD, and Wolf People have come and successfully passed alongside the release of impressive proposals like the heftily acclaimed Light//-//Dark EP and last single Power To The Hills. The well-received track was the band’s most intense and dark tapestry of sound and imagination yet and now more than matched by the brighter lit but just as rousing and immersive Awake.

Keys caress ears initially as a percussive shuffle dances with the imagination. Swiftly the unexpected and quickly embraced voice of Chetcuti slips in. Listening to a release before doing research, especially in regard to a band already well known, can often catch expectations out, and here the presence of the band’s newest member certainly provided a rewarding surprise. In no time, Noble’s familiar dark tones step forwards alongside Chetcuti’s, synths rising with suggestive and exotic flames around their alternating and merging persuasions as ears and thoughts are quickly entangled in the song’s thick and shadowed drama. Drenched in similarly immersive atmospheric smog, the track reveals great blues and at times eighties new wave enterprise, playing like a mix of My Baby, Jingo, and King Trigger whilst emerging as another unique Bernaccia adventure.

Increasingly anthemic and spirit rousing with each one of its inciting minutes, Awake is a new step in the gripping rise of Bernaccia. Why the band’s dark and often sinister romances of body and imagination have not made then a name on the lips of multitudes it is hard to understand but maybe Awake will be the spark to tempt the broadest spotlights that the band deserves.

Awake is released April 8th via iTunes and other stores.

Upcoming Live Shows:

April 8th Club Fandango Presents – The Old Blue Last – London

April 28th TS ONE – Middlesbrough

April 30th Sawmill Sessions – Darlington

May 7th The Polar Bear – Hull

May 21st The Mining Institute – Newcastle

https://www.facebook.com/BernacciaMusic    http://twitter.com/bernaccia

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Punching Swans – Nesting

artwork_RingMaster Review

How to describe UK trio Punching Swans?

You could say they are a carnivorous groove machine, a sonically schizophrenic rumble, or a rabidly twisted siren; all applying to the creative psyche and adventure that breeds the band’s irresistible sound and now their new fiercely virulent album Nesting. Maybe the best way to describe Punching Swans is a twisted union between The Fall, McLusky, The Fire Engines, and Maths and the Moon. It is a band which despite a clutch of similarly distinct releases has remained in the shadows of the UK music scene like the black sheep of a family which gets locked away in the attic away from prying ears. Now though, the door is unlocked and the band is about to infest British rock ‘n’ roll with their tempestuously deranged math punk, courtesy of the inimitably thrilling Nesting.

Punching Swans is the ravenous creation of producer (Sunlight Studios) Greg Webster, formerly of Medway greats Houdini, the equally impressive Frau Pouch’s Joe Wise, and Pablo Paganotto from The Explorers Collective. Formed in 2011 or 2012, depending where you read, by Greg and Joe from a one-off band called Laura Palmer and the One-Eyed Jacks they got together for a Twin Peaks night, Punching Swans quickly sparked ears with a self-titled debut album in 2012, and even more so with its successor Mollusc two years later via Skingasm Records. Each has inspired potent attention and praise across fans, media, and radio shows but it is easy to feel it has all only been the taster to reactions about to be triggered by Nesting.

Telling the “story of one man’s journey from self-imposed isolation to the skies”, Nesting takes little time in gripping attention and appetite as its opener, Cuckoo Cuckold K-killed, dangles sonic bait in front of ears before the robustly contagious beats of Paganotto get to rebellious work. His swings tempt and seduce with a tenacious grin, coaxing bodily involvement as vocals walk the rhythmic web into the imagination as tangy guitar and devilish bass lures begin to stir and add to the increasingly enthralling and incendiary stroll. Unsurprisingly there is a touch of Houdini and Frau Pouch to the delicious incitement but equally thoughts of Swell Maps and inescapably The Fall also flavour the first treat.

Seriously dynamic and gripping, the album’s superb start continues with Man Nest, an even more psychotic and caustically enterprising proposition that needs mere seconds to seduce and inflame the senses too. Wise’s bass shows it has probably the grouchiest textures in British rock ‘n’ roll at its disposal whilst Webster’s guitar trespasses show no qualms about infesting the senses and psyche, acidic grooves and fiery tempting a perpetual forte.

Pigeon Street toys with more restrained energies and urgencies for its enthralling exploits next, though it is all relative to what came before as the song, with the scything beats of Paganotto an inescapable trigger to get physically involved, blossoming into an insatiable almost predatory shuffle of searing grooves, thumping rhythms, and zealous revelry. Even its calm climax has an element of off-kilter ingenuity before the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of Ovulations rumbles along with the fervent vocals of Wise and Webster holding the reins. Again hooks and grooves steal the passions as rhythms jab deeply, the song entwining post and garage punk texturing into its fearsomely alluring landscape.

That great bass tone is at its crabbiest again in the following Beak Throat and its peevish stalking of the senses within a net of guitar spun wiry hooks and sonic delights around vocal dexterity. It is hard to imagine anybody able to resist the choleric grooves of the song or possible to see the track alone avoid sending rapturous waves across post punk/noise rock pastures with its gloriously savaging and exhilarating tempest.

The brief but again irresistible invasive seduction of Ostrituals comes next to forcibly arouse the passions. If Public Image Ltd had been The Wonderstuff or Wire been McLusky, you wonder if they would have sounded like this mouth-watering predacious stomp whilst its clamorous successor Headless Chickens suggests The Dancing Did or Stomp doing salacious things with Pere Ubu or Marc Riley & The Creepers. The outcome of both and all songs though, despite suggested spices, is always something unique to Punching Swans as proven by Pecked to Death which cantankerously sits between them. Snarky in tone and unhinged in character, the track meanders and twists into unpredictable and manic detours but returning all the time to its rapacious and concussively catchy directness.

The bulging rhythms of Egg Rock is an immediate and successful infestation of the passions, its sonic tendrils and testy Mark E. Smith laced vocal strains only adding to another senses searing, lust inducing incitement before Flight brings the invasive alchemy of the album to an end. The clamant finale to Nesting is a raw soar into noise pop infectiousness and magnetic sonic caterwauling which just lights the touch paper to rapture before retiring to leave ringing in the ears and euphoria in the heart.

Nesting is the first essential album of the year and Punching Swans one of the bands set to step out of the shadows in 2016 and become seriously shouted about.

Nesting is released via Skingasm Records on 22nd January digitally and on CD with a hand numbered limited edition of 30 with a 16-page book featuring drawings and notes from the story behind the album @ http://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/

 

— Punching Swans Tour 2016 —

JAN 28 CANTERBURY w/Mass lines, Death Pedals, Negative Space

JAN 29 CHATHAM Poco Loco – MEDWAY ALBUM LAUNCH w/Girlpower & Bear vs Manero

FEB 11 CAMDEN Unicorn w/Mayors of Miyazaki + Screen wives

FEB 16 BRIGHTON TBC

FEB 21 OXFORD The Library Pub

FEB 24 BRISTOL Stag & Hounds

FEB 27 LIVERPOOL Maguire’s w/ Robocobra Quartet, Jazzhands and Cal Banda

 

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

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Tuesday Club – Boo Hoo EP

 

_RingMaster ReviewTTC

With the release of the Boo Hoo EP, The Tuesday Club has completed the release of their new album in fine style. The last in the quadrilogy combining to create the band’s 4 x EP Box Set second album, the ‘Heart’ section of the release presents three tracks as ever soaked in the UK band’s unique creative devilry. It is arguably the most diverse of the four EPs and in many ways the most low key yet it easily incites another greedy reaction in an ever keen appetite for the mischievous punk ‘n’ roll devilment of the Walmington-on-Sea hailing ‘concert party’.

With the trio of My Consciousness, Forbidden Kiss, and the freshly released Lady Gargar EPs having already stirred up attention and imagination for the fully body of the album, their releases backed by the band’s ever ravenous live presence around the country, the final piece of the captivating jigsaw gets the job done with its title track alone. Boo Hoo walks in with the recognisable Tuesday Club swagger and bullish mischief that has always fuelled their songs and releases since emerging back in 2011 wrapped in the echoes of the infamous home guard of their town and the in your face zeal of seventies punk. Over time the band’s sound has only evolved, taking on vaudevillian hues to go with its imagination as evidenced potently within that first song on the EP. Guitars and beats make the first temptation, bass a quick second, all leading to the distinct vocal tones of Andreas Vanderbraindrain whose entrance only inspires more revelry in hooks, riffs, and the warm mist of keys. As ever there is a whiff of bands like early Adam and The Ants and Albertos Y Los Paranoias to the romp, though to be honest body and soul are physically and quickly locked in to the swing and antics of the track to spend too much time contemplating comparisons.

BooHooEP4_RingMaster Review    The track is typical Tuesday Club, a glorious enticement to get bold with before Beat Oven takes over. Handclaps line the way for a subsequent sultry guitar which in turn wraps the vocals of Vanderbraindrain and presumably The Minx who sadly left the band recently but we are assuming was in the thick of the recording of the new EP first. With a catchy but subdued sway, the song strolls along sharing its infectious chorus and gait, a tempting again hard to resist getting involved in. There is also an initially undefined familiarity to the lure of the song, especially in its chorus, which is revealed somewhat when the band breaks into a sample of Tainted Love to wink at and tease the listener. It is an alluring encounter if without the spark of its predecessor.

The release is completed by the wonderfully dour but magnetic prowl of Greyer Shades, its melancholic air and melodic post punk like imagination at first captivating and over time simply compelling. It has a stark design reminiscent of Wire, a melodic sparkle and psych rock resonance similar to XTC, and a rhythmic and vocal seduction carrying the healthy scent of The Fall or Young Marble Giants to it and though it takes its time to fully convince, by the end of the first listen and definitely the second or third, Greyer Shades gets right under the skin to ultimately stealing the passions.

The album is done and all out there igniting and corrupting ears and hearts with relish; Boo Hoo completing and summing things up nicely. If The Tuesday Club is already your cup of earl grey then the new EP is another must have along with its counterparts but if new to the band’s notorious off-kilter punk ‘n’ roll temptation it is time to enlist with the Boo Hoo EP the call up card.

Boo Hoo, as all the other EP’s, is available now @ http://thetuesdayclub.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=27053

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

Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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