The Masonics – Obermann Rides Again

masonics_RingMasterReview

Giving an instinctive passion for rock ‘n’ roll as big a work out as hips and feet, UK rockers The Masonics recently uncaged their ninth album, Obermann Rides Again, offering fourteen slices of their feverishly distinctive and tenaciously addictive sound. The trio rock and rumble through their new proposal with more of the beat infected garage punk which has seen them become the leaders of the Medway Beat first instigated by Billy Childish. In saying that, it equally breathes and roars with freshness again bringing something new and inspiring to ears and the scene around them, and most of all raw zeal and excitement to the listener.

The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Mickey Hampshire who was in the Milkshakes in the early 80s with drummer Bruce Brand who had played alongside Childish a few years earlier in the Pop Rivets and bassist John Gibbs once of Scottish group, The Kaisers. As The Masonics, the threesome have persistently cemented their position as one of the heads of British garage rock/punk with a sound becoming one of the essential inspirations of the ever eager charge of the genre’s young pups.

Released by Dirty Water Records as a limited 500 copies editions ahead of a series of limited vinyl and download releases from The Masonics’ back catalogue, starting with Outside Looking In and a new singles compilation, Obermann Rides Again swiftly reveals why the stature of the band remains stately. It all starts with I Ain’t Hurting For You and a guitar twang which provides the spark for a strolling jangle and rhythmic incitement forcibly engaging ears. The magnetic vocals of Hampshire are soon adding their lure; the boisterous sounds around him echoing his honest unfussy delivery. Within a handful of seconds feet are physically involved, appetite and those instincts just as eagerly hooked before the excellent opener hands its pliable slave over to the even more energetically captivating and persuasive Don’t Torment Me. With a Bo Diddley like stomp at its heart, the track twists and turns in its relentlessly vigorous shuffle with rhythmic rowdiness and sonic vivacity its virulent fuel. Rock ‘n’ roll was never meant to be flamboyant or polished to clean-cut limpness and this superb roisterer and its dirty ways proves why.

art_RingMasterReviewYour Dangerous Mind has a less undisciplined bounce, its saunter more flirtation than aggression and just as irresistible as Hampshire with grainy texture croons, backed by his cohorts within tangy grooves and hip inciting rhythms. The r&b essences of the song are just as ripe as its brisk punk serenade, chaining a body and imagination which is soon firmly hooked again by the sultry rumba of I Don’t Understand Her Any More. As with most tracks, a collusion of decades is at masterful play, sixties garage pop and seventies surf rock hues potent spices as too the fuzzy buzz of organ in the gentle but keen canter of a song.

Rhythm ‘n’ blues dexterity becomes even wilder in next up You Don’t Have To Travel; the beat swinging, hook casting romp has a flush of King Salami and the Cumberland 3 to it,  a more mild-mannered but no less devilish cousin enjoying juicy melodies and the temptress vocal charms of Ludella Black alongside Hampshire. It also pushes the already keen diversity of sound within the album on again, as even more so does I’m The Unforgiver. The track is glorious, a dark rock ‘n’ roll saunter with Cajun spicing evocatively colouring attitude loaded vocals, the fiery shimmer of harmonica, and heavily loping rhythms. It infests ears and psyche like the mutant offspring from a dirty union between Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Ray Campi; quite simply it is garage punk to get truly lustful over.

The following and equally outstanding You’re A Stranger leaves body exhausted, senses punch drunk, and spirit ablaze next with its contagion loaded punk rock carrying a touch of The Mobbs to its rowdy exuberance while You Won’t See Me Again finds a predacious edge to its swinging, deviously catchy garage rock bred swagger.

Throughout the whole album, there is no escaping the physical manipulation of Brand’s nefarious beats or Gibbs infernal rhythms whilst Hampshire’s wiry melodies and jangling melodic hooks are trespasses more often than not breeding slavery. All are at bold play in the beat punctuated blues flamed I’m A Redacted Man and straight after in the smouldering fifties rock ‘n’ roll/sixties pop spun What Do You Do. A procrastinating stroll and anthem for lost love and its enslaving grief, the second’s raw seduction roars with soiled Walker Brothers like charm and salty melodic spicing reminding a little of The Birds.

Come On My Little Darlin’ bounces around like a dancehall ruffian after them, sonically tempting and rhythmically taunting as a mouth harp again seduces before You Gotta Tell Me shows its blues breeding with intoxicating hooks and intoxicated keys for a salacious slab of imposing but controlled rock ‘n roll. Both tracks continue the album’s appetite igniting prowess though both are quickly eclipsed by its closing pair.

The swinging country rock a-scented beat ‘n’ roll of The Unsignposted Road is sheer infectiousness with Black back courting ears alongside the band as one passion stoking hook persists and old school melodies flame. It is delicious to the ear but too is slightly shaded by the brilliance of the album’s title track bringing devilment to its exceptional close. Punk ‘n’ roll calling on the goodness of past decades, it stomps around and grips body and soul like The Pirates, both the Johnny Kidd and seventies eras, meeting Thee Headcoats as the likes of The Blue Cats spur them on; a glorious end to an equally stirring and enjoyable album.

As suggested earlier, The Masonics are the head boys of UK garage goodness and Obermann Rides Again is evidence they are in no mood to hand over that position.

Obermann Rides Again is out now on vinyl on the band’s own Grand Wazeau Records and digitally through Dirty Water Records and available @ https://themasonics.bandcamp.com/album/obermann-rides-again

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Pete RingMaster 05/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers – Ugly Mobile

Hipbone Slim_RingMasterReview

With some artists, the news of a new release sparks a twitch in the hips and itch in the feet. Such it is with Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers after enjoying four slabs of the band’s individual rock ‘n’ roll, and such it was coming into new album Ugly Mobile. Containing fourteen slices of multi-flavoured incitements bred on the seeds of original rhythm ’n’ blues, the album is manna for the ears and a puppeteer to the body. Released via the ever treat giving Dirty Water Records, the press release for Ugly Mobile stated that the album is the band’s “finest offering so far!” After the umpteenth romp with the irresistible release, we can find no reasons to disagree.

It is hard to be surprised at the sound and infectious mischief that Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers create when you look at its members. The band is led by vocalist/guitarist Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim), the man seemingly involved in more bands than a wedding courting jeweller. Among the list is the inimitable likes of Louie & The Louies, The Kneejerk Reactions, Sir Bald Diddley And His Right Honourable Big Wigs, and The Magnificent Escapades; that just ‘scratching the surface’ of his tenacious presence and work. Alongside him is drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, a veteran of bands such as the Milkshakes, Headcoats, the Masonics and more who has also worked with Holly Golightly, the Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, Wreckless Eric, Mungo Jerry, and Link Wray. The line-up is completed by bassist/harmonica player Gastus Receedus who has played in the likes of Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys, and worked with legends such as Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, and Dale Hawkins amongst many. It is a trio which let rips from the first note of Ugly Mobile and relentlessly continues to incite and thrill until its flirtatious last.

The album opens with Bald Head, Hairy Guitar, a track opening like a Hank Mizell scented rumble as bass and drums grumble with a wink in their creative eye. In no time Sir Bald is spilling guitar and vocal bait into the virulent mix, the song mixing prowling devilment and infectious stomping to grip ears and body with relish. The same applies to the album’s title track which follows. You can almost see the grin on its creative face and eager energy as it flirts with a Bo Diddley spiced shuffle very easy and very quick to get physically and vocally involved in.

art_RingMasterReviewOrangutan steps up next, it’s beguiling coaxing carrying a great Johnny Kidd & the Pirates feel to its sultry persuasion and sound. The beats of Gastus alone create an anthemic trap reinforced by the great throaty roam of Bash’s bass. Further bound in the spicy string picking prowess of Sir Bald, the song as its predecessors, needs little time to seduce and enslave before One Armed Bandit brings its own quick persuasion, this time the band slipping in a seductive Del Shannon reminding melody amongst strands of surf rock tempting. A spark for ears and imagination, the instrumental also shows the variety already flowing through the album’s first quartet of songs.

The garage rock boisterousness of Sally Mae continues that flavoursome spread, keys and nagging riffs riveting textures in its rawer rock ‘n’ roll before Voodoo Love puts its late fifties/early sixties hex on ears and appetite. The fun uncaged simply continues as the exotic mystique of Hieroglyphic dances and flirts with the listener, its instrumental seduction nostalgia and fresh revelry combined whilst Hey Ramona! simply has the body bouncing with its lively contagion.

A steely texture lines the guitar bait as Hammond-esque enticement adds further tasty hues to next up Indestructible Love; the track part garage punk and part blues in its old school seeded rock ‘n roll that warms ears up nicely for the throbbing suggestiveness of Why Can’t I Find What I’m Lookin’ For. From its opening bass swing, the track has lust offered in return and only increasing its hold as a Meteors meets Billy Lee Riley like croon blossoms thereon in. The track simply hits the spot as too the excellent Don’t Know Where To Start, an irresistible and ridiculously catchy call for voice and body participation swiftly answered as the Johnny Cash tinted track ignites the passions.

The smouldering flirtation of Meanwhile, Back In The Jungle keeps things inflamed with its tribal rhythms and imagination stroking hooks  before Number One Son brings limbs into even keener action with its blues hued rockabilly and Joe Poovey like tenacity.

Closing with the bracing rocker, There’s Only One Louie, band and album provide a feel good stomp that simply leaves ears, spirit, and emotions high. If real rock ‘n’ roll is to your fancy, Hipbone Slim and the Kneetremblers and Ugly Mobile are a must.

Ugly Mobile is out April 22nd via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/~/category/id=10017028&offset=0&sort=normal

http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/hipboneslim

Pete RingMaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Mobbs – Garage Punk For Boys

Photo 2

Ever wondered what would happen when you mixed ’77 bred punk rock with garage rock? UK rockers The Mobbs obviously did and with additional doses of sixties beat and R&B have crafted a sound which insatiably infests body and soul. In the mischievous shape of their third album Garage Punk For Boys, this adventure it is fair to say also provides one of the releases of the year. The accompanying promo sheet for the album suggests that “The Mobbs play a Wilko Johnson infused Billy Childish explosion”, an accurately pungent description of their sound but to that we would add the unreserved devilry of Radio Stars, the raw charm of Television Personalities, and the bracing fever of Thee Exciters in its armoury. The concoction is a riveting and exhilarating stomp with a hunger as shown by Garage Punk For Boys, which infects the listener from head to toe.

Formed in 2008, the trio from Northampton has persistently lit up stages, earning a rich reputation for energy strewn live performances, a stirring presence backed up and spread further by their greedily received full-length It’s… The Mobbs of 2011 and its acclaimed successor Stiff Upper Lip & Trousers To Match last year. With a couple of singles equally stirring the passions, the band has been a live spark in the European garage rock scene, though it is easy to expect Garage Punk For Boys being the trigger to a far more ferocious spotlight upon the inimitable uniqueness of The Mobbs.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Joe B. Humbled, drummer Cheadle, and bassist The Bishop, who is making his recording debut with the band on the album, unleash an instantly grabbing eighteen second punk brawl through Gpfb to set GPFB-FRONT-COVERthings off, following it with the magnetic grooving of Get Your Hair Cut. Bass and guitar cast the first spicy lure on the second track, before snipping scissors unlock a feisty stomp littered with a wholly seductive bassline and similarly alluring hooks. Matching the devilment of the sounds, Humbled incites ears and imagination with his raw and unfussy delivery, a boisterous and infectious enticing to misbehave or conform depending how you want to take the exceptional track.

Its bewitching bounce is followed by the tangy presence of I Am the Anticlimax, clanging riffs an easy enslavement from the first breath. With The Bishop adding another delicious velvety tempting on the bass within the crisp rhythms of Cheadle, the track entwines beat and vintage punk rock, kind of like The Rockin’ Vickers meets Leyton Buzzards. Striding with attitude and sonic enterprise, the song is an instant anthem, as so much of the album, an almost concussive and certainly inescapable treat whipped up by scything guitar and punchy rhythmic enterprise, everything lorded over by the compelling tones of Humbled.

Do the Bishop! comes next and is just the wickedest instrumental baiting possible. The skills of The Bishop seduce and rumble throughout whilst Humbled’s guitar launches its own virulent seducing as Cheadle smashes anything in arms-length resourcefully. With a tang of blues sweetness to its epidemic waltz, the song sets up further hunger in the appetite for the album before making way for the melodic causticity and intriguing narrative of Demobbed. The track is primarily garage rock but at times you can almost swear there is an element of The Undertones in its slim but impossibly potent sonic endeavour.

The hungrily vivacious ride of the album is taken to another level with We Don’t Need a God, a brilliant furnace of searing grooves and greedy hooks ridden by the punk honesty of the vocals. It is pure addictiveness, every twist and tenacious slither of bait soaked in infectiousness and anthemic irreverence, leaving feet, body, and soul blissfully exhausted and thoughts rebellious. Imagine The Masonics flirting voraciously with The Adicts and you get not only the heart of the song but arguably of the whole release.

The title track is next, romping with ears and nostalgia through jabbing beats and jangly hooks, its title summing up song, sound, and the whole garage premise which fuelled punk and garage rock at their outsets. It also has thrilling melodic warmth to its gentle uprising, everything aligning for an irresistible rousing of pleasure, taken on again by the blink and you miss shortness of second instrumental Chicken Run. Its enticing strut is swiftly pushed aside by the exceptional sonic commentary of Where’s the Punk Rock!?, angst and fury as much a part of its gripping clang and garage punk fever as creative relish.

Photo 1   It is not exaggerating to say that every song on Garage Punk for Boys is devious rascality, all instinctively and simultaneously appealing to the styles it weaves its propositions from, One Erotic Thought another fine example with its sixties spawned beat infused garage rock tromp. As here, they all keep feet and limbs as busy as ears and imagination, and whilst thoughts may not be erotic as the song reveals of itself, they are nevertheless keen to indulge in knavish practices after each encounter.

Put It in Your Pipe clunks and swings in next, riffs bulky lures courted by compelling bass craft and vocal devilment, everything framed by precise and eagerly wicked beats. Stepping out with a punk seeded swagger, the track also wears the mischief breeding charm and adventure of King Salami and the Cumberland 3 and the aforementioned Billy Childish, drawing out more lust for the album from the passions.

The final stretch sees the blues rock induced R&B stamp of Just as Bad as You light up air and ears first before the exotic swing of Mk II immerses senses and imagination in a sultry dance of the seven salacious temptresses, well in my dreams anyway. Both songs leave appetite as greedy as ever whilst closing riot of Mad! is an aggressively spirited and ferociously contagious garage punk assault, and oh so scintillating.

It is impossible not to drool from start to finish over Garage Punk for Boys, a release which if anything from punk to garage rock, beat to flirty rock ‘n’ roll gets the juices flowing, is a must. The thing with The Mobbs is they not only create sensational stomps but do it with a presence and flavour like no other, this simply makes them one of the UKs seriously exciting and innovative bands.

Garage Punk for Boys is available digitally and on CD now via Cravat Records @ http://themobbsuk.bandcamp.com/album/garage-punk-for-boys

http://www.themobbs.co.uk/

RingMaster 21/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald

Playing like a schizophrenic battle of the bands within the insatiable creativity of one man ably aided by his equally skilled and hungry cohorts, Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is simply one thrilling treat to let loose all those inhibitions to. The album is a forty track double CD release bursting with unadulterated goodness and mastery from the King of UK rock n roll, Sir Bald Diddley. A man with more musical alter-egos than hairs on his head, Sir Bald has created some of the most essential sounds in modern rock n roll, songs which could easily have graced and driven forward the times of their influences whilst standing as fresh and vibrant leaders of today.

The album brings together a union and faceoff between the distinctly different sides to his inspirational imagination. Disc one features twenty slices of delicious treats from Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, all songs never before released in a CD format. Standing eye to eye on the other disc there are a mischievous and hungry selection of tracks from Louie & the Louies, Kneejerk Reactions, and The Legs, all with that magnetic common denominator, Sir Baldy. Released through Dirty Water Records, it is a package which just ignites the passions, a release which, if the varied riches of rock n roll send your saucy bits a tingling, will have you squealing like Meg Ryan on a washing machine. The album in many ways only scratches at the surface of the creativity of the man but easily shows why his skill and diversity across surf, rock n roll, garage, blues, R&B and rockabilly is so adored and devoured without a pause for manners.

Sir Bald has been called “Britain’s string king” because of his striking guitar style which has been influenced by the likes of Bo Diddley, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and more. It is a style once heard never forgotten and one which lights up any genre he chooses to thrill with. As mentioned disc one features Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers, a band plays with its inspirations and passions on its sleeve and openly heard within tracks which range from instantly contagious to sensationally irresistible. Alongside Sir Bald the band has the massive talents of drummer Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand (the Milkshakes and Headcoats), and bassist Gastus Receedus (Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys) bringing great songs to an even greater life. From the opener King Tut Strut the disc is an incessant feast of pleasure, every track in their different ways turning the tap to greed full on for more of their joys. The first song saunters along with a swagger which has the passions whimpering in delight, it is a sultry tease which attacks from many angles, from the Eastern promising guitars, and seductive sax caresses to the inciteful beats and uncomplicated vocals of Sir Bald, the song just makes love to the ear.

Across the tracks there is a great expanse of flavours offered such as in the following Crawl Back To Me which moves in Gene Vincent circles, Time To Kill with its Buddy Holly mesmeric and warm whisper, and the wonderful instrumental Bury The Hatchet which harks back to the likes of The Fireballs and The Ventures. Biggest highlights come from the wonderful rockabilly romp of Ooga Booga Rock, the Johnny Cash toned High On Hog, and the sweet wickedness that is Food Man Chew, a song which has to be the new soundtrack to TV show Man V. Food as well as any night of unbridled filthy passion between consenting adults. It is hard to pick best or favourite songs though this trio are always to the fore and are equally rivalled by the brilliant I Hear An Echo with its caped crusaderesque groove and  the anthemic rampage of Set You On Fire.

The first disc alone is one you would sell your soul to the devil for but there is so much more to shoot your personal mercury beyond boiling point. The second CD begins with tracks from Louie & the Louies, songs which are born from the seeds of surf and frat rock. With bassist Matt “Sleepy Louie” Radford and drummer Brian “Ramblin’” Louie Nevill alongside Sir Bald, the trio spark the flames with the sizzling instrumental Louieville and then stoke the fires with the predatory prowling of There Ain’t No End In Sight, its breath sinister and bordering manic. The track is a classic and makes an irresistible filling between Louieville and the equally tasty instrumental Marrakech. With an atmosphere as distant and wanton as the beckoning sounds, this piece just leaves one drooling. The fiery Backfire and the Stones garage blues swagger of Birdman send the senses and passions to overload and if you are listening to the whole release in one go by this point you are looking for an oasis of respite from the sonic majesty to date, though equally not wanting it to end…

… which it does not as The Kneejerk Reactions unleash their unique brand of rock n roll, their R&B brought with feistiness as deliberate as the antagonistic driving sounds. Songs like You Don’t Know Right From Wrong and Wastin’ My Time rile up attitude and passions with the sonic scorching from the guitar of Sir Bald and the hypnotic bass of Les Lerrard, not to forget the crisp jabs of drummer Ronnie Drand. The songs arguably do not flow quite as easily through the ear as elsewhere, their passage combative and fuelled by garage rock energy, but are equal when it comes to providing full pleasure. Top honours here goes to Where’s McComb?, a track which is as excitable as a dog in a lamp post factory and just as incessant.

The final onslaught of satisfaction comes from The Legs which sees the main man alongside Spaniards Jorge Explosion and Mr Pibli from garage-punk band Doctor Explosion. The songs are a thrilling mix of beat, garage, and blues infused with plenty of sixties and modern essences. The thumping stomp of instrumental Legless sets up a treat of impossible to resist pleasure, whilst the Meteors like stroll of Gotta Eat and the raw guitar smouldering of Ain’t The End of the World fan those flames even more for unbridled joy.

Hipbone Slim vs. Sir Bald is a release which brings the inimitable imagination, skills, and sounds of Sir Baldy and just some of his work into a deserved focus. He has caused a long review for a long album but what a pleasure the bands and songs give, if you want to hear ‘real’ rock n roll in some of its guises than this album is a must.

RingMaster 02/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright