Mammal Hum: What’s Behind Us Is Not Important

For all the excellent and impressive releases which have captured the imagination this year those that are truly unique make up a small percentage. With its release on September 17th What’s Behind Us Is Not Important from UK psychedelic pop band Mammal Hum, will add to that limited number of mouth watering original sounding releases. The album is simply wonderful, a surprising and glorious piece of imagination full of melodic enterprise and passionate ingenuity. It is also one of the most mischievous albums to appear, its songs teasing and coaxing the heart into reaction with a wicked glint to its sonic eye.

From Kingston Upon Hull, the quartet of Nick Cammack, Simon Andrew, Sarah Mole, and Leon Welburn, create music which has multiple hearts and breaths to its songs, the flavouring and influences a widespread realm of inventiveness turned into distinct Mammal Hum conjurations. Formed in 2008 as a trio, the band expanded with the addition of drummer Andrew the following year as they realised the sound was missing something. Fully armed with the vision and musical prowess of four aural troubadours, the band began writing songs across the following three years, the best going to make what is one wonderful release in What’s Behind Us Is Not Important. Multi-instrumentalists and a group vocal contribution throughout, the band has given the album a textured and layered majestic beauty, its sound a sprawling mesmeric soundscape of eighties power pop, seventies punk, and sixties psychedelia with whispers of indie folk and garage rock. Quite simply the release is big, bold, and boisterously magnificent.

Released through Mollusc Records, the album grabs the ear and flings it into an irresistible feisty maelstrom of explosive imagination from the very start with Disco Drumbo. With a gentle hi-hat and guitar welcome the song soon erupts into a flurry of garage riffs and eager inciteful rhythms alongside group vocals. With a raw energy and offering an incessant tease, the song is brilliant, a combined mix of Kontrust, De Staat, and The Knack filtered through Eddie & The Hot Rods for music at its primal and ingenious best.

The following Man On Fire and Shallow Beep swiftly venture into different golden fields, the first a pulsating glassy melodic sun with spices of XTC to its rays. The harmonies drawn vocally and musically burn with their withering heat whilst mesmerising with sixties pop caresses. The second song starts with the magic of The Monkees to its wings, the beginning a close cousin to songs like Last Train To Clarksville. A more relaxed and tender song than the first pair it still has emotions and thoughts tumbling with total pleasure.

Already to be honest the album has drawn passionate submission before its mighty craft and sounds but as the likes of the bristling pop gem I Am A Car, the rhythmic thumping that is The Bingo Wing, and the eagerly agitated Buzz Buzz, Kill Kill!!! smother the senses with further wanton aural mischief one is in deeper raptures. Each song is unique to each other and to anything elsewhere, the first of this trio a discord drifting pop classic whilst the second sounds like a big boned hook loaded Marilyn Manson song translated through a psychedelic maelstrom of sixties progressive and folk pop warmth. The third of these is simply a blistering scuzz spiced mix of The Flaming Groovies, Magic Numbers, and Ok Go, and stunning.

Alongside the opener, easily the fiercest burning highlight on the album is Sunday Express, a song of sheer musical beauty. It starts with just voice and acoustic guitar and captivates from the first breath, note, and word. It slowly evolves as the band adds its perfect touches without rushing until it has grown in to maybe one of most infectious pieces of sunshine heard in a long time. Whilst in its company it is impossible to refrain from joining in and after its departure, it is locked inside the head for hours, days after.

A fifteen track bumper pleasure the album is a consistent ride of immense joy with further outstanding songs like Bad Anita Barden and Little Hands just opening the gates to wider adoration. What’s Behind Us Is Not Important is the truest statement but one suspects what came before was as impressive and what lies ahead will leave hearts bursting at the seams. Mammal Hum and their album are one of the best things to emerge this year, maybe the very best.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mammal-Hum/11380710291

RingMaster 13/09/2012

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Late Cambrian: Social Season EP

The Social Season EP from US indie pop band Late Cambrian, is one of those releases you cannot help becoming enamoured with, its vibrant and excitable pop heart a smiling and infectious tease. The EP offers up five songs which ooze eighties new wave and melodic pop flavourings within the mischievous personality of a Weezer. It makes for in Late Cambrian, a band which you feel you already know as a friend before even the end of the first song and a companion to bring out the inner smile.

The Brooklyn band were formed by ex- Flying Machines and The Attorneys, John N. Wlaysewski (guitar, vocals, songwriter) who alongside drummer Colin Schiller began recording their debut album The Last Concert in early 2011. During working on the songs the band saw the addition of O (synth, backing vocals), her glowing voice enhancing some of the later songs recorded. By late March the same year, the band made their live debut with bassist Nunzio Moudatsos (A Crimson Affair) also on board. Social Season is the first release with the full line-up and probably the first enterprising introduction for many to the fun sounds of Late Cambrian, but better late than never.

The opening track Ryan Gosling has already garnered good acclaim and responses as the first single from the release across the US and beyond. The song drives a thumping beat through the ear guided by contagious riffs and jangling melodies which only ensure eager attention. Once the shining harmonies and warm vocals play within the sounds the pull is irresistible and openly anthemic, defying all not to join in with the simple chants and chorus. To be honest like all the songs, it does not try to bend boundaries or break out into new inventive realms for indie pop, but certainly makes finding many rivals in the deep contagion stakes difficult.

The following Trash Show has a slight punk swagger to its boisterous presence to bring a mix of Arctic Monkeys, King Prawn, and Presidents of The USA. As the guitars twist and flash across the ear and the vocals coax the senses into further addiction, the song is like an old friend returning home. The sounds and energy of the track is instantly recognisable but equally and immediately fresh and rewarding, indie pop punk at its best.

Already on a high the EP gets even better with Song 11, an enthused stomp which ignites all the primal rhythms and melodic passions within. The Monkees meets Blink 182 with Maximo Park for company, the song is a pulsating and riotous thrill which has an insatiable hunger to exhaust the senses and bring the heart to a climax. As before the song has one accompanying its voice and limbs thrashing to the wonderful discord which spices the guitars and boisterous energy. The combination of Wlaysewski and O when they come together is stunning and in general the harmonies are delicious. The song also features a solo from Brendan Brown of the band Wheatus which only ignites further enjoyment.

Hand Stamp reins in the energies a touch but still is a feast of melodic joy, the bass pulsating besides the air heating slices of guitar and vocal harmonic elegance. The track does not quite have the pulse rate soaring as previous songs but its warmth and sweet taste is a rewarding dessert to what came before.

Social Season ends with the instrumental Saint James, a track which probably means a lot to the band but is a little lost on others. It is a great piece of music skilfully presented but does not fit with what went before so feels ultimately like a filler. It does have a departure of sound which opens some different anticipation to things in the future from the band though to be honest.

Late Cambrian is one of those bands we all need, fun, excitable, and able to put a smile on the face with  richly pleasing and open infectious sounds.

http://www.latecambrian.com/

Ringmaster 22/08/2012

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Damn Damn Patriots: Duke It Out with Damn Damn Patriots

Damn Damn Patriots play buzz-saw pop or to give it an image, it is like having an aural visit to the dentist with an insistent and perpetual drill resonating within the senses. It is something quite simply sensational as proven by their new album Duke It Out with Damn Damn Patriots. Consisting of ten tracks spanning a mere twenty two odd minutes in true punk fashion, the album is an unapologetic brew of pop punk, garage punk, and roughened pop, basically a feisty feast of rock n pop and punk n roll. It is irresistibly infectious, a sonic contagion as virulent as any air borne germ with open mischief at its insatiable heart.

Damn Damn Patriots are a quartet from Reading, UK who originally formed as a three piece warm up band for a local venue, the Know Your History Club. The band evolved to a quartet of vocalist and guitarist Jason Applin (also of Union Starr), guitarist Kev Wells, drummer Patrick Bingley, and bassist Mark Smith, though he has recently left the band, and with a back to basics air recorded and mixed the album in just seven days. This instant and uncluttered premise gives a wonderful raw energy and excited breath to each and every song on the release as well as a nostalgic prompt back to the days of do what you want punk.

The teasing opening chords of Keep Swimming, instantly grabs the ear as it bursts into the first of the parade of reverb and discordant soaked songs. With a garage punk sound of scuzz and impetuous energy the track is a far too brief slice of trashy excellence and the perfect opener to what emerges as one of the most exhilarating releases this year so far.

The high quality is continued and raised by the following A Bible And A Bottle of Pills. A hook as infectious as any Pete Shelley has ever conjured entices the ear initially and is a frequent tease throughout another electrified burst of scantily clad melodic wantonness. With a bruising bass line and scathing guitar tones the song is a feverish rascal of distorted sixties garage sounds.

      Bam Bam lets the peddle lift a touch as the reverb knob on the vocals of Applin is taken to its fullest resonating level, its fall out a niggling added pleasure alongside highly pitched additional vocals. A thumping rock n roll stomp it makes a great appetiser for current single Family Unit. It also is the first to exceed two minutes; in fact it goes the whole hog as it wickedly extends its electric swarm of noise to beyond 3 minutes.

Family Unit is an outstanding song and makes one wonder if The Monkees had found their origins in this decade whether this is where they would have been musically, the song having that same pop contagion. The song has a statically charged breath which sparks only the strongest pull towards its riled pop air.

Tracks like the emotively charged This Is The Song That You’d Expect Me To Write, the summery over heated melodic first single Do The Sell Out, and The Fall meets The Pixies blistered pop gem State Of NY with wonderful additional female vocals, well we think they are it could be just a band member squeezing tightly, all leave one excited and immersed in a cloud of satisfaction.

A couple of the biggest highlights come in the songs Blood On Satan’s Claw and In The End. The first with an underlying riff which shouts The Clash anthem White Riot is again a far too short, you evil people, track of brilliance. The song scratches and pleasures in equally majesty and despite its short existence is an adrenaline fuelled ignition switch for the overload of the senses.  The second of the two is a mesmeric blend for the first time of full smoothly toned vocals against a back drop of hazardous scuzzy bred caustic melodies. Both tracks are outstanding in what is an album of continual uncompromising magnificence.

Closing on a maelstrom of discord and acidic fingering called Supermoronic, a corruptive sing-a-long though all the songs on the album can be tagged as such, Duke It Out with Damn Damn Patriots is simply a dynamic and delicious pleasure. A punk driven senses sizzling, lo-fi, hi quality supercharger of pop sound. The must have album of the summer.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DDP-Musical-Endeavours/176959165682794

RingMaster 19/06/2012

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Dirt Box Disco: Legends

The debut album from UK punks Dirt Box Disco only has simple and direct intentions, to stomp on your testicles, kick you in the guts, and to rummage in any parts remaining whilst ensuring you have the greatest fun whilst they do it. Legends is an unbridled blast of excitable and infectious rock n roll, it makes no demands musically and has no deep intellectual musings to share, well it has no time to when it is so busy rampaging and gate crashing the lowest and most primal instincts within us all.

Released via STP Records June 18th, Legends is what all the best punk albums are, crazed, uncontrollably infectious, and a continual spasm of attitude and belligerence within the ear. The bio accompanying the release states it possibly sounds like KISS vs. Rancid vs. Showaddywaddy, we would have said The Wildhearts meets early Green Day in a salacious filth coated union with Mud and The Adicts, but you get the idea. Written by guitarist SPUNK VOLCANO and ably brought to boisterous fruition alongside him by his eager cohorts in vocalist WEAB.I.AM, lead guitarist DANNY FINGERS, bassist DEADBEATZ CHRIS, and drummer MAFF FAZZO, the album is a frenzied and irresistible ball of feistiness.

Since forming in 2009 Dirt Box Disco has riled up and incited their ever growing legion of fans to rupture joints and lose body fluids persistently with songs that are slightly tribal and always slices of agitated rock n roll. Previous EP Are You Ready? of last year marked the Derbyshire quintet as a band to embrace or hide your sons and daughters from but Legends has elevated the band into one of the best emerging punk/rock bands in the UK. Alongside the likes of Supercharger and The Duel, Dirt Box Disco bring a fresh and re-energised heart back to true UK punk whilst making it as compulsive and additive as any pop punk band.

The aggravated garage punk of The Other Side Of The Street pounces on the ear to set the album off on its belting energised mayhem. It screams and pesters with scorched guitars, intimidating riffs, and group yells. It has no intention on charming or seducing the senses just to rile them up and have them clinging on for sweet life. It is a devastating start continued by the following explosive Peepshow. The track taunts and bruises with an arrogance and proud declaration that reminds of a mix between NOFX and the Vibrators.

Already the album has convinced it is going to be one memorable and riotous fun barring a collapse in flight as dramatic as in an innings from an England cricket team. There is no chance though with songs like the Ramones fuelled Rock n’ Rolla a song that could be the nostalgic playlist of all punks and the blood pumping sing-a-long I Just Want To Be A Girl, this one as sirenesque as a pole dancer in overdrive and an easy manipulator of limbs and voice.

Every song on Legend captures the imagination and triggers the instinctive urge to join in, every slab of punk rock making it easy with anthemic hooks and contagious energy. Without a weak moment to be found on there are still certain songs which ignite the deepest uncomplicated allegiance to their high energy accosting most of all.  Smackhead is a minute and a half corruption of the ear, just how punk used and should always be, no niceties and no element left for the imagination to explore. The outstanding pop punk flourish of I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You, the UK Subs/Top Buzzer like Let’s Get Wasted!, and the scuzzed garage blistering of We All Fall Down, all leave one with a big grin inside and out but the two moments that leave the sharpest and most lingering intrusion are the brilliant I Am Rock n’ Roll and Dirtbox Days.

Both are beautifully simple and deviously infectious. Before you know it they have turned heart and voice into their puppets with joining in and littering the air with flailing limbs is a must. I Am Rock n’ Roll imply declares that I, you, we and this is all rock n roll and it is impossible to argue otherwise, the song simply  a impassioned musical call to arms. Dirtbox Days closes the album in similar fashion, anthemic generosity dripping from every note and syllable. The track sweeps over the senses with an easy pop punk enthusiasm, think The Monkees as Hagfish and a song which is fun, undemanding and again fully contagious. It builds to a triumphant climax of simplistic “This is Dirtbox Day” chanting and if you cannot resist you need to check for a pulse.

Legends is awesome, simple as. You can take all your reflective and provocative songs to bring thought and ideas to consider and be inspired by for nothing is as thoroughly rewarding, uplifting and enjoyable as punk at its best and Dirt Box Disco certainly create that. Go enjoy!

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

RingMaster 12/05/2012

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