Pink Muscles -The Signal

There is no denying that 2017 has to date been a truly potent and exciting ignition of personal tastes and that success has just been given another lusty boost through the debut album from US noise punks Pink Muscles. Devouring the senses and imagination with raw hunger, The Signal is a psychosis of sound, an irritant of noise wrapped up in just as lustfully weird tales and quite irresistible.

Hailing from Seattle, Pink Muscles began as a solo project for guitarist/vocalist Marshall McLaughlin. Exploring his unique vision of sound and songwriting, he recorded the Upper Body Strength demo in 2014 before exploring the bringing together of a full line-up which saw the addition of guitarist Eric Elliott, bassist Lee Newman, recently replaced by Stuart Dahlquist (Goatsnake, Sunn O))), Asva), and drummer Janet Trares (Hell’s Belles) in 2016. Their uncompromising fusion of punk and noise rock with a cauldron of other fiercely rapacious flavours from hardcore to thrash and death metal soon found a powerful presence on the local live scene, the quartet having played alongside the likes of The Dwarves, Author and Punisher, Dayglo Abortions, and Nasalrod over the past year. Now they are setting out on trespassing and infesting broader landscapes with The Signal, bringing something unique and fresh to a punk scene which in so many ways no longer boasts those attributes.

Artwork by Cindy Hepler

A concept album in spirit with its 14 “mini-horror films” springing stories of inter-dimensional monsters invading earth to end humanity, The Signal opens with Resumption and a one minute attack of psychotic punk with exotic spatial tendrils and mass vocal causticity, all splintered with warped bursts of sax amidst sonic turmoil. It is beautiful chaos, as addictive as it is disconcerting and the spark for even greater cacophonic alchemy within Teenage Rainbows. With McLaughlin as good as bullying ears with his great vocal presence, the song swings and mentally comes apart within seconds, its creative turbulence bred on caustic guitar riffs and crazed hooks as strings are violently twanged and beats antagonistically swung in another swift off-kilter assault akin to Botch making out with The Locust.

Infestopus invades next, its earthy groove and bestial riffs making a barbarous invitation to a web of sonic loco and scuzzy goodness again as fleeting as a deep breath and just as rewarding before Star Grove unleashes it’s animalistic instincts; guitars and bass going on a murderous rampage as beats damage and bullish vocals arouse. There is a touch of Lightning Bolt to the song, a little bit Melvins too but a savaging individual to Pink Muscles as it corrupts and incites on its uninterrupted way to the waiting humans into insects pharmacy of The Man at the End of My Street. In many ways, the album becomes even more deranged and imagination gripping from this track on. Its thumping beats certainly leave the same scars as its predecessors, but there is a more abstract structure to the weave of colluding and contrasting textures making up the outstanding bughouse. The swarm of guitar trespassing ears is a toxic delight whilst vocals, as the nastily brooding tones of the bass, are a mix of predation and animosity, it all pure addiction sparking.

Black Market Tampons is next, a cosmic horrorshow of “demonic male pregnancy and magic tampons” seducing and corroding the senses. Imagine the dementia of Pere Ubu, the inspiring discord of The Fire Engines, and the punk ferocity of Today Is The Day, and you have a treat of a song if still not quite accurate of its ingenuity.

The haywire webbing of Battery Acid is even more exhilarating; guitars spinning a trap of sonic violation as rhythms tenaciously grumble and impose while vocals paint a giant arachnophobia fear fest. As all tracks, within the carnal exploits there is an infectious air which quickly steals the passions though offering its most virulent strain in this one of the album’s major highlights; a peak quickly rivalled by the visceral climate and drama of Party at Murder Beach. The track is a gripping slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a voracious swing and swagger which alone is a submission giving temptation while The Egg Lady infests and infects ears and imagination with its own certifiable bedlam and theatre of sound and invention.

I Wrote This Song With My Father’s Guitar stems from the instrument McLaughlin inherited from his late father, the inspiration to his exploration of music, and provides fifty odd seconds of insatiable punk rock which simply hits the spot before aurally venomous The Master and Officers of the Universe with its feral dynamics and textures hungrily ravage, savage, and ignite all over again. All three bring a new lust for the album to rise, Heaven is for Real backing them up with its cantankerous wall of sound and vocal ruthlessness; the track a real beast of a proposal.

Bringing the album to a close, Mouth House grabs favourite song honours though with its nefarious air and intoxication of flavours. Playing with the imagination like an aberrantly unhinged merger of Essential Logic, Boris, and Shellac, the track is intrusive bliss building up to a scorching cacophony leaving a lasting imprint on ears and pleasure.

The Signal is the announcement of a new noise punk treat in town and quickly showing that Pink Muscles have much more than that slim tag to their imagination and beef. Another must for 2017 we say.

The Signal is out now @

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frau Pouch – Fairymares


I am sure we were not alone in eagerly anticipating a first album from British no wave post-punks  Frau Pouch. They are a band which captured and ignited our imagination on our introduction to them in a split release with fellow Kent outfit Houdini back in 2012. Their sound is a sonically and creatively gurning fusion of post and garage punk with other feverish forms of wonderfully irritable and imaginatively twisted rock ‘n’ roll. Each release, since that first meeting, has seen the Medway trio stretch, twist, and inject their imagination with new creative psychoses, nurturing their most irresistible outcome yet in debut album Fairymares.

Released via Skingasm Records and recorded with Greg Webster of Houdini/ Punching Swans, Fairymares is warped manna for the ears especially if they have been nurtured on a diet of post punk seeded bands such as The Fall, Pere Ubu, and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club. The album swiftly enforces the fact that Frau Pouch has its own sound though, even with essences reminding of others, it stands boldly unique and creatively salacious to the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Joe Wise(also of Punching Swans), bassist Ollie Crook, and drummer Suzanne Freeman.

As previous tracks and the All Hail Space Chicken EP before it, Fairymares swiftly entangles ears in a web of sound and invention, opening up with the band’s lust breeding single of last year Biscuit Beard. From the glorious carnivorously natured, bestial toned growl of Crook’s bassline setting things off, the track infests body and soul. Wise’s riffs are just as carnal in touch and sound, his flowing grooves equally rapacious as Freeman’s controlled swings punch further subservience to the song’s call on an instantly lustful appetite. The track is pure addiction, its Gang Of Four soiled rhythmic tempting alone irresistible and the wiry web of sonic endeavour and vocal nagging Mekons like.

It is just the start of the album’s insane grooving and rhythmic baiting with the following Dracula Pukes revealing its own nest of creative vipers as cutting scythes of guitar and punch happy rhythms challenge and enthral for a mere fifty seven seconds; a gripping minute of cantankerous confrontation leading to the virulently infectious stroll of Ham Planet. Like Pere Ubu on steroids as Turbogeist writhes under the punk influence of The Fall, the track dances with pop infused boisterousness though every swinging movement of its creative hips comes with seductive venomous intent as Wise declares his vocal desires.

The exceptional Burn Baby keeps the lust hungrily burning next, its lo-fi canvas a tangle of steely petulant grooves, intimately flirtatious beats, and crabby bass groans as vocals install their own brand of psyche trespassing persuasion. It is aural corruption leaving a lingering touch though Witch Fingers straight after soon steals all attention. With we assume Freeman taking vocal lead, the track is like a demented fusion of Daisy Chainsaw and The Fire Engines, off kilter toxic melody and dancing vocals uniting in an adult nursery rhyme like trespass of sanity.

Ghost Fire offers its own cranky invention, stabbing riffs and sonic vining shadowing Wise’s compelling stabbing vocals as another gloriously testy and intrusive bassline sparks feverish submission across its single minute before the repetitive prowess of Erotic Clocks has ears tempted hook, line, and sinker. With a slight whiff of Spizzenergi to it, the track is another sure fire infestation of body and psyche with its rhythmic nag and caustic expulsions.

With seductive danger to its cartoonish and creative loco, Gotham Piper lures the listener in next, continuing to lay a certifiable creative hand on the senses before intermittently uncaging its inner meshuga in ferocious style. The Cardiacs comes to mind within the thrilling encounter, Mark E. Smith and co even more so in successor Cat Curfew though once more as Wise lords over his own weave of sonic wiring and the rhythmic union of Crook and Freeman, Frau Pouch imprint only their own uniqueness.

Sleepstalker completes the line-up of treats, its sombre yet vibrantly magnetic fingering of the senses the stuff of nightmares; Crooks’ grievous bassline the stalker, Freeman’s beats the trap, and Wise in voice and sonic intrusion the swamp impossible to escape from. They are all delicious ingredients in a thrilling end to not only the best thing to come from Frau Pouch but potentially 2017 as a whole.

Fairymares is released 27th January via Skingasm Records.

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stoor – Self Titled

stoorJosef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines

No idea what is in the water over at Stereogram Recordings but this past twelve months has seen the label release a clutch of albums that simply ignite ears and connect with the imagination like no others. Amongst them have been encounters with bands such as St. Christopher Medal, The Filthy Tongues, and The Eastern Swell. Now adding to that adventurous collection of treats is the self-titled debut album from Dundee based outfit Stoor, a release which just might be the most impressive and ridiculously addictive of the lot.

The Stereogram Recordings offering is actually a full re-release of the band’s first album which was self-released on vinyl last year but sure to be the first real engagement for a great many with a quartet which rose up back in the first breaths of the nineties. Musically Stoor seem to embrace post punk/new wave sounds found in the couple of decades before their emergence, and though it is bordering on impossible to pin down their sound imagine Josef K meeting Wall Of Voodoo at the behest of Dead Kennedys with the rhythmic virulence and discord of The Fire Engines and the warped imagination of Pere Ubu in close attendance.

Centred around the off kilter invention of bassist/vocalist Stef Murray, drummer Scott McKinlay, and guitarist Ross Matheson with guitarist Davie Youngblood completing the current line-up, Stoor get straight into ears and psyche with album opener Secret World Of Cement. It is an instrumental which gets right into our already existing passion for post punk devilry, sparking the imagination with its cinematic urban soundscape. Hips and feet are swiftly indulging in its virulent Fire Engines hued strains as hooks and melodies tease and tantalise within something wonderfully akin to the most addictive sixties TV theme tunes.

It is a wonderful start quickly matched up by Liberator, a track just as rapid in its persuasion as spicy lures of guitar link up with the tenacious rhythmic bait laid down by McKinlay. The vocal tones of Murray attract like a mix of Jello Biafra and Pere Ubu’s Dave Thomas, expelling their earnest cries from within another seriously catchy stretch of invention before the brilliant Aye, No raises the ante. A fiercely seductive bass line invades first, strolling from the initial clash of sound to be quickly joined by equally salacious guitar hooks following the same route as Murray’s grooving. Like a pied piper the union draws the listener into an explosive crescendo, riffs and rhythms colliding before the temptation begins all over again with even greater strands of delicious discord involved. All the time Murray places a potent vocal grip on an already eager appetite, backed by the band within what is one gloriously repetitive and enthralling swagger of a song.

art_RingMasterReviewInfect Me steps forward next to keep the enslaving of ears tight, its Gang Of Four like rhythmic escapade chaining attention alone, the brooding basslines and stabs of guitar extra chains to trap attention and ardour. Bursts of raw rock ‘n’ roll only adds to the magnetism as too the distinctive and increasingly flavoursome vocals of Murray, here finding a Stan Ridgway flavour to his excellent theatre of voice. Between them Murray and McKinlay rhythmically have the passions chained up like Houdini, though no escape is possible especially as Matheson and Youngblood create a web of melodic intrigue and deranged drama.

Through the heavier almost muggy escape of Devil Rides Out, a song with a touch of Scars meets again Pere Ubu to it, and the pulsating psych rock infested instrumental of March Of The Molluscs, the album adds further diversity and creative theatre to escalate an already established habituation to its additive prowess, backing their success up with the punk rock of Frack where thoughts of bands like Swell Maps and television Personalities are sparked, though, as constantly across the release, Stoor conjure up proposals unique to their own senses entangling invention.

The calmer saunter of Open The Box comes next, its character a more stable affair but prone to Devo-esque twists and turns before making way to allow the psychedelically spiced Hold That Thought to serenade ears. To its warmer and gentler nature though, there is an underlying tempestuousness which channels its energy into a swinging post punk canter a la The Three Johns.

The bands new single Witchfinder General has ears and lust over excited next, its rhythmic romp alone an unshakeable grip with Murray’s bass swing a predacious seduction reinforced by the tangy weave of guitar and the eager dance of the vocals. Dark and mischievous, compelling and shadowy, the track is superb, a certain doorway into the album come its release though fair to say any track is a suitable invitation.

Going out as it came in with a mouth-watering, imagination stoking instrumental going by the name of Sure Beats Me, a piece which plays like B-52s engaged in carnal knowledge with The Shadows, the album leaves only an urgent urge to dive right back into its body of fun.

Stoor may have been around for a fair few years now but this is the moment they should be enveloped by the biggest spotlights, courtesy of an encounter which has to be considered as an album of the year contender.

Stoor the album is released October 28th on Stereogram Recordings digitally and on CD with the single Witchfinder General out on October 21st.

STOOR are supporting Brix Smith & The Extricated on Sunday 30th October 2016 and The Membranes on Friday 27th January 2017, both nights at Beat Generator in Dundee.

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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 @


— 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 21 OXFORD The Library Pub

FEB 24 BRISTOL Stag & Hounds

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

Pete RingMaster 20/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Slow Riot – Cathedral


artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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We’ll Go Machete – Smile Club

We'll Go Machete_RingMaster Review

Though knowing the name and reputation earned through their earlier releases, we had yet to get to grips with a We’ll Go Machete encounter. So it is with thanks to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Paul Warner, who introduced band and new album Smile Club to us just recently. All that can be said is boy have we been missing out, as the band’s second album is a glorious tempest of sound, striking imagination, and creative intensity. Smile Club simply infests ears and psyche with a hex of noise rock, post punk, and math rock plus any other caustic spicing you can think of, and certainly left us not hungry but desperate for more.

With a line-up completed by bassist Chris May and drummer Rachel Fuhrer, the Austin hailing We’ll Go Machete first sparked interest with their 2009 self-titled EP though it was debut album Strong Drunk Hands two years later which was the catalyst to richer attention and acclaim. Live too the band has garnered a healthy name and stature, shows alongside the likes of Future of the Left, Melvins, Hammerhead, and Fatal Flying Guillotines, as well as their own headlining events over time marking We’ll Go Machete out as one of the more exciting emerging propositions. Late to the party, as said Smile Club is our first real taster of the band and fair to say the, as its predecessors, Cedar Fever Records released album just whipped up a frenzy in sound and lustful reactions.

cover_RingMaster Review   Absence is the first welcome stirring of the senses, tangy grooves and thumping beats enriching an instant sonic swamp of noise swiftly loaded up further with the distinctive, angst hued tones of Warner. It is a striking and invigorating mix which has body and thoughts fully involved from the first trespass. Like something springing from a blend of Melvins, Quicksand, and Sofy Major, the track continues to growl and flex its confrontational muscles yet breeds an inescapable contagion. Adventure is already bold in the album, the song for example slipping through mellower evocative scenery across its potently unpredictable landscape for a mighty start to the inventive emprise of Smile Club.

The following and as outstanding Drawstring is just as quickly captivating, its entrance of tenaciously prowling rhythms and rapaciously alluring riffs gripping attention and appetite immediately. Spicy grooves and sharp hooks only add to the emerging theatre of sound and melodic drama with the again pungent voice of Warner only seeming to inflame the sounds around him into greater enthusiasm of craft and energy. Like a web, the track has fresh inescapable treats at every turn, the rhythms of May and Fuhrer cage like in their union around the acidic tapestry cast by the guitar.

A post punk tone and imagination comes with The Bardo though it is soon overwhelmed by a noise rock tsunami of emotional intensity veined by creeping sonic tendrils of guitar. The song does not have the same immediate impact as the pair before, but blossoms into a bordering on sinister persuasion of clanging dissonant chords amidst suggestive and volatile textures to only enslave over time.

Strasberg Air is a far swifter raw seducing with again hooks and rhythmic tenacity key bait in the evolving ingenuity of sound. Like a more restrained Fat Dukes of Fuck and mellower Shevils, the track bounces off the walls of ears and senses with Fuhrer alone creating an inescapable trap with his addictively imaginative beats. Carrying a grungier colour to vocals and melodies, the song leaves a lingering thrill before making way for the melancholic tempest of Scratch Built. The early solemn come doomy premise and air is eventually set ablaze by the corruptive quickstep of toxic riffs and earthy basslines splintered by viciously swung beats. With its own emotional ecoclimate, the track shifts from heavily dark through torrentially volatile to infectiously energetic before heading back into imposing shadows in a final exhilarating outburst.

The major pinnacle of the album is Positive People which comes next. It is another delving into post punk terrain, an eighties genre spicing lining choppy riffs and a wonderfully brooding bass tempting from May. Elements remind of bands such as Artery and The Fire Engines, whilst the cold air certainly has a Joy Division-esque feel to it, but again We’ll Go Machete only sculpt a startling and addictive exploration of their very own. Discord is always a friend of the musician and here perfectly woven into the torment soaked anatomy of one glorious incitement, its majesty continuing into Break the Kettles which evolves out of its predecessor’s tail wind. A slower corrosively elegant proposal, the track binds ears and imagination with sonic lacing whilst simultaneously sending splinters of guitar invention and rhythmic animosity into its angst thick drama.

Both Shot Giant and Cigarettes and Face Masks keep the compelling power and industry of Smile Club ablaze, the first an intensive shuffle pressuring ears with spiteful beat spilling agitation and ravaging riffery but unafraid to slip into something more melodically provocative and hauntingly intimidating. Its successor brews its own ridiculously addictive and threatening maze of fierce imagination and bitchy rhythms infested with swarms of toxic grooves and citric melodic endeavour. Each only ignites greedier pleasure but the second is especially virulently disorientating and thrilling.

The album is brought to an end by firstly the warped harmonious beauty of Molten Tiny Cell, a song nagging in sound and repetitious mastery until satisfaction is drooling and lastly Dust Storms May Exist. The final song is just superb, a hellacious storm of flavour and imagination which at times has a spicing reminiscent of KEN mode, in others moments a raw tone and feel which is similar to In Love Your Mother, and continually leads the listener on a spiral of exhaustive and perpetually resonating adventure in craft, energy, and again relentlessly twisting swirls of rabid sound and invention.

There is plenty more to say in praise of Smile Club but bottom-line is we simply adore it and feverishly recommend it to all fans of noise, psych, punk…well any lover of fierce rock ‘n’ roll.

Smile Club is available now via Cedar Fever Records.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fawn Spots – From Safer Place

Pic Ben Bentley

Pic Ben Bentley

Though it will not be the fiercest most hostile offering you will come up against this year, there is definitely a visceral rawness to the debut album from UK trio Fawn Spots which has the senses curling up like paint on a wall under extreme heat. From Safer Place is a furious yet creatively magnetic seduction which rages with a belligerent hardcore and punk voracity whilst smouldering with a noise rock and post punk invention. It is also a massive grower, from a strong and captivating first impression becoming one inescapable proposition drawing ears back again and again with growing eagerness.

Hailing from York, Fawn Spots emerged in 2011, originally as a duo with the intent to “push how much noise two people could make.” One or two line-up changes has led to vocalists/guitarist Jonathan Meager and Oliver Grabowski alongside newest member, drummer Paddy Carley, now standing before the world with From Safer Place in their creative hands. Written and recorded in sheds located in an abandoned Georgian garden and lyrically inspired by T. S. Eliot and Jean Paul Sartre amongst others, the album is a stirring foraging of the senses and sparking of the imagination. It retains the intensity which has already fuelled the band’s sounds and sonic assaults but explores even greater twists of invention and twisted enterprise, its songs barbarous but also ingeniously unpredictable.

New Sense stirs the blood first, its opening sonic yawn the prelude to a maelstrom of aggravated rhythms and caustic riffs raged over by bracing and instantly appealing vocals. Hooks are just as swift a lure too, almost taunting from within the smoggy air of the track. It has to be said that initially the closed in, claustrophobic air to songs took a while to acclimatise to. It did not defuse the success and weight of the persuasions but certainly distracted for the first couple of tracks before slipping into place and becoming part of the inventive furniture of From Safer Place.

The strong start is matched by I’m Not a Man; I Never Will Be, its more controlled entrance just a deceit as it too is soon a tempestuous storm of riff and rhythmic confrontation. Barely safer_place_layout_ideapassing a minute in length, the track throws in the irresistible hook or two also, successful bait courted by a great heavy bassline as the temperature and temptation of the album continues to rise through it and find new heights via the spicy causticity of A Certain Pleasure. The band has understandably been compared to the likes of Rites of Spring, Husker Du, and Mission of Burma, but the third track, and not alone in this, sparks thoughts of older bands like The Fire Engines and Wire, if lost in the blistering causticity of At the Drive In. The track sparks new greed in an already contented appetite for the album, its potency emulated and surpassed again by the outstanding Black Water. Sinister in its melodies and vocal harmonies, toxic in its sonic enterprise, the track is post punk at its most addictively inventive and predatory.

Natural Vision returns to the smoky and oppressive texture of the beginning for its persuasion but turns in on itself with minimalist hooks and melodies which vein the intensive rhythmic and abrasing examination of the senses. Though the track leaves a satisfied smile in its wake it lacks the striking spark of the songs around it, as emphasized by the album’s title track. There is a feel of Josef K in some ways to the next song, as well as a brawling punk ferocity which vocally and rhythmically pulls no punches. It is an exciting peach of a bruising on ears and psyche, and almost poppy in its infectiousness.

The heavy rhythmic entrance of Remains sets the scene for an agitated dance of psychotic beats and brawling vocals bound in a tapestry of toxic melodies and piercing hooks next. It is a glorious violation and imagination sparking incitement which has to bow a little to the superb In Front of the Chesnut Tree which follows. Its start is ripe with choppy dark bass pokes whilst the soon joining melodic winery is pure XTC, though it all evolves swiftly into an even more apparent Joy Division blossomed tempting. The instrumental is bewitching, seriously addictive, and given the clarity which the vocals are not across the album, becomes a lusty seduction on ears and the passions.

The album is completed by firstly the hellacious tempest of Recurring Face, a hardcore spawned furnace of vocal and sonic spite infused with cold post punk ingenuity. At its conclusion it is impossible not to draw a deep breath in recovery before the closing Basque Knife consumes ears with its psychotic and predacious, but controlled swamp of sound and enterprise. It is a fine end to a great release if not living up to the previous peaks on the album though to be fair the strength of all songs seems to grow with every single dive into their corrosive beauty, this no exception.

     From Safer Place is a treat of primal and instinctive noise delivered with a similar inbred passion and animosity. It tests, stretches, and excites in equal measure and makes for a very easy recommendation.

From Safer Place is available now via Critical Heights @

RingMaster 10/03/2015

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