The Permanent Smilers – One Real Big Identity Crisis

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One Real Big Identity Crisis, the new album from UK band The Permanent Smilers, is a release with no apparent direction or framework to its intent and enterprise; a release which basically lives up to its title but boy is it a slab of irresistible fun. Through thirteen songs, band and album take on a torrent of different styles and nostalgic flavours which really should not work alongside each other as coherently as they do, and all come with a humour and mischief which adds to rather than overrides the adventure of the individual characters. It is slightly deranged but not chaotic and thoroughly unpredictable yet not messy considering the vast sounds employed from song to song. Most of all though it is simply a compelling proposition which comes from left-field, keeps its heart there, and leaves the most enjoyable experience in its wake.

There is little we can tell you about the band itself, though The Permanent Smilers is fronted by Richard Lemongrower who was the songwriter behind Norwich band The Lemongrowers, a band releasing two albums on Noisebox at some point in time. Produced with Jonny Cole and mixed by David Pye, One Real Big Identity Crisis takes little time in lighting ears and imagination, though it opens with maybe its weakest song. That is a little misleading as it takes a song to get a handle, or try to, on the release anyway but certainly Identity Crisis did not really grip attention as much as elsewhere and left thoughts with a slight wondering of what have we got ourselves into. Strongly swung rhythms and similarly intensive riffs clasp ears within the first breath of the song, their bait a jabbing lure against the unpolished yet engaging tones of Richard. It is an easily flowing and energetic slice of rock ‘n’ roll with the bass of Jonny Cole pungent bait at the centre of the stomp. Truthfully there is little wrong with the song but it lacks a spark in its presence which evades the reaction it probably deserves and is easy to imagine being found with others.

The good if unsure start is soon a thing of the past as Uh-Oh takes over with its festive folk swagger and emerging carnival like devilment. Sporting a splash of Tankus The Henge to its relaxed but vibrant stroll, the song is a constant swing of melodic hips as it moves towards an unexpected and mouth-watering slip into a Dukes of Stratosphear like ethereal psychedelic charm and climate, returning back into festive mood soon after as if it had just emerged from a dip in the sea. The song is fascinating and bewitching, and just the first of numerous adventures into different landscapes, as shown next by the punk pop devilry of You Know Where To Go. Bred from seventies power pop and carrying a mix of The Flys and The Lurkers to its hookery, the song just hits the sweet spot with its insatiable energy and mischief, before making way for the more relaxed melodic embrace of Elastic. The keys and guitars of Richard weave another enthralling web of sound here, this time with a sniff of sixties pop to it which is punctuated by the crisp beats of drummer Pete Fraser and dark bass lures of Cole. By its close, the song somehow becomes a thumping anthem without losing any of its melodic and gentle elegance, a potent feat for any song to offer.

Both Just No Good and It Doesn’t Work Anymore keep album and ears bouncing with energy and pleasure, the first using a garage rock spicing again teased by a sixties almost Doors like toxicity, whilst the second again spawning from the same kind of seeding brings a rawer punk grouchiness with its presence. Each has feet and emotions joining their rigorous coaxing before Ghosts allows a breather for the body if not the imagination with its Simon and Garfunkel meets Burt Bacharach like embrace. The brass persuasion of Dave Land seductively flames over similarly captivating keys and vocal caresses through the song but as always there is a scent of devilment to the song with thoughts wondering at times if they should be enjoying this as much as they are. There is no escaping its thick charm though.

The next pair of songs brings a rich sense of XTC to their enterprise and persuasion, Rebel broadening that over time with a seventies kissed soar of progressive fuelled psyche rock whilst its successor, Voodoo has the stamp of Andy Partridge to its flirtatious pop and virulent enterprise. The pair leaves nostalgia glazed lips licked and, through the latter especially, ears basking in psyche pop of the most delicious kind complete with jazzy brass and funk spirited unpredictability.

You Know When To Go dives straight back into punk infused rock ‘n’ roll for its brief but sparkling instrumental before Unforseen manages to conjure an encounter which recalls the quirky indie pop of The Monochrome Set and the plainer but no less tasty essence of Tom Robinson. The song alternatively stomps and swirls around ears, every passing hook and melody it conjures an intriguing and quaint yet voracious tease before it moves off into the distance allowing the outstanding See Through You to make its lingering mark. Acoustically shaped with an avalanche of panzer gun delivered rhythms, the song initially is a smouldering and majestic sway of sound. It subsequently explodes though into a tempest of energy and revelry which only lifts a great song to a heady plateau. Imagine the volatile energy of De Staat at their most devilish with the epidemic hunger of eighties punk/power pop and you get a sense of the glorious treat.

One Real Big Identity Crisis closes with the acoustic lullaby of Sleepyhead, the album ending as it started with a track which does not catch the ardour triggered elsewhere but certainly graces ears with tantalising propositions. This album is one unexpected and seriously enjoyable adventure; not breaking down boundaries or venturing into the unknown but never providing a moment when you are not surprised or wrapped up in its refreshing simplicity woven by skill and invention. There is only time left to lick lips all over again as we close off and dive straight back into The Permanent Smilers’ irresistible arms, something we suggest you do too upon release.

One Real Big Identity Crisis is released in April via IRL Records with new single Identity Crisis out in March.

http://www.thepermanentsmilers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Permanent-Smilers/1539697962929725

RingMaster 23/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Top Buzzer – The Sprollie EP

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It has been two years since pop punksters Top Buzzer paraded their irresistible talents and mischievous sounds on debut album Outside Is a World, twenty four months or so full of impatience certainly in the past half a year waiting for more of their devilish goodness. Finally the London based quartet has returned to tease and rummage in our ears with a new energetic slice of punk rock devilment in The Sprollie EP. Consisting of four songs which in many ways continues where the album left off whilst bringing another fresh sail to their contagious flights of creative fancy, the release does not exactly surprise in any shape or form but as an encounter which leads the passions and body into a compelling dance of pleasure, it is one thrilling riot of enterprising infectiousness.

Hailing originally from Jersey and formed in 2011, the band has driven their own path from day one, creating their own label Back2Forward Records as they made their debut with The Hands Up EP and forging an impressive reputation for their live performances especially once they relocated to London. First single Remission and the aforementioned album took the band into the media awareness of everyone home and in the US from Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese in the written press, Kerrang, Q Radio, BBC Introducing, KROQ, and Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg show on the radio, and internet forging shows like Audioburger.com and The Bone Orchard. The new EP follows their stunning contribution to the 2012 Rebel On The Underground – A Tribute To X-Ray Spex compilation, a release in aid of the US charity Sweet Relief, and sees original members vocalist/bassist Dukey, guitarist/vocalist Becksi, and drummer/vocalist Welshy joined by newest member on guitar and vocals Soni.  Alongside the release of The Sprollie EP, Top Buzzer are currently playing European shows with Californian legends Face To Face and CH3 leading to their appearance at the Rebellion Festival. They have never been away really despite our opening line, with a wealth of gigs but something tangible in hands and ears for everyday use is what was yearned for and now satisfied by this delicious treat.

First to accost and light up the ears on the release is Mannish Girl, an irrepressible piece of pop punk with the distinctive Top Buzzer a0483369368_2stamp of irritatingly addictive hooks and tongue in cheek intent, though that part of the song’s anatomy does wander to lick at and incite everything from ear and senses to thoughts and passions. From the opening flurry of riffs and rhythmic beckoning the song launches straight into its tempting chorus which lays its lures in two parts before Dukey begins the simple and irreverently appealing narrative. Flames of grooves and melodic barbs swing out from within the hungry drive of the song, the guitar sculpted persuasion reminding of The Vibrators whilst the vocal mix and melodic suasion offers a mix of Baddies and seventies band The Flys from within something wholly Top Buzzer.

The following Look At You initially gallops into view with hooks and riffs open before finding a canter of fiery imagination ridden by the ever boisterous delivery of Dukey vocally and on bass matched in eagerness by the rhythms of Welshy and the great group backing vocals. There feels something different to those to be honest, whether that is the presence of Soni adding his tones we will find out in due course , but there is a great variety behind the lead delivery which captures the imagination as much as the heated guitar play around them.

We Are Merely Filters has the sense of early Buzzcocks to its initial impression, the again virulently infectious call of the song leading energies on a rampant swagger of invention and rascality. Midway the song slips into a blues/ska smelling stroll which for personal tastes pulls the charge of the song up into a near stall though its creation and craft is excellent, but back into the romping pace and energy which set off the track it leaves only the strongest taste and pleasure in its feisty wake.

Final track Wet Pets is one minute of Dickies like shenanigans, a burst of punk roasting with the anthemic heights of a bunny girl. It is pure bliss and completes another scintillating release from one of Britain’s best punk rock bands. The Sprollie EP is a real joy and rock ‘n’ roll at its infectious best, and as the release plays in greedy ears whilst writing another thought comes to life…maybe in all the best senses of the description Top Buzzer is the twenty first century reincarnation of The Leyton Buzzards…just a thought.

http://www.topbuzzer.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 29/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The DeRellas : Stick It To The Man Single

If you ever had the misguided belief that the heart and spirit of classic 1977 punk rock had dissipated and been lost over the years than stand by to be reminded and shown by the eager and mischievous new single from  UK rockers The DeRellas that it is alive and bristling to kick your butt. London based with members coming in from Brighton and Portland, The DeRellas do not take you back to the time when attitude and music raised its middle finger and stirred up more than just dust but bring it forth as if it had never laid dormant.

The two tracks that make up the Stick It To the Man single released through Dirty Water Records/Crushworld Records, badgers the heart and inspires urges of mischief with two varied songs reaped from and oozing UK and New York punk, dirty, belligerent and out for a good time any way they can. There is no pretence or attempts to be anything more than they are, just honest, irrepressible rock n roll. With a fine live reputation from playing with the likes of Hanoi Rocks and The Germs the band translate it into a rampant energy that fuels their recorded sound.

First song Stick It To The Man hijacks the ear with boisterous beats and gang chants before opening up the pace with stirring guitars and the baiting vocals of rhythms guitarist Robbie DeRella, who alongside lead guitarist Luca DeRella tease and taunt the essences with uncomplicated and sleazy melodies. It is the incessant bold rhythms of Alex Skinny DeRella alongside the moody bass of Timmy DeRella which capture and ignite the imagination with their glam rock open wantonness. Imagine Sweet or The Glitter Band in a booze addled union with The Dead Boys or The Flys and you have Stick It To The Man. The gang chants and rock n roll spine recalls the height of the great sounds heard at CBGB’s as it brings New York punk and 70’s sleaze/glam elements together to great effect.

Coupling the lead song is the excellent Go Go DeRellas, a scuzzy electrified Ramones homage/garage punk infection. A tongue in cheek instantaneous pleasure the track is simplicity at its best, easily accessible and an irresistible invitation to join in. The sound is equally powered with unrestrained rhythms and inciteful riffs that brings the original New York punks into a party blitzkrieg with Johnny Thunders, The Vibrators, and Suburban Studs.

The DeRellas wear their influences on their sleeve without an ounce of predictability or venturing into dullsville. Yes you can pick recognisable parts out and know their inspiration but it is brought with a flair and energy that sets the band as one of the most refreshing punk bands around and a band which is not only keeping the original sounds and intent alive but living and breathing it.

RingMaster 08/05/2012

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