The Cathode Ray – Heightened Senses

Four years and a few months on from being wholly captivated by our introduction to The Cathode Ray through the release of their second album, Infinite Variety, the Scottish outfit has done it all over again with its successor, Heightened Senses. It offers a collection of songs which revel in the band’s evolving sound and imagination, a proposition more unique by the release and as proven by their new release, more compelling.

The history of the members of The Cathode Ray, a project emerging from an initial writing collaboration between songwriter/vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Thoms and former Josef K frontman Paul Haig, reveals a landscape of enterprise and influential bands. Numerous essences of those earlier exploits could be heard as a rich spicing across the last album which only added to its temptation but its successor has truly found its own unique presence and character, building on the majesty of the last album whilst exploring new individual adventure. Heightened Senses is a sublime set of indie pop songs, though that barely covers the wealth of flavouring they embrace, which so many bands new and existing could learn much from and be inspired by.

Released on ever exciting Scottish label, Stereogram Recordings, Heightened Senses sets out its tone and inescapable persuasion with Memories Of The Future. The first track swiftly gripped attention as an opening thoughtful sonic sigh welcomes the skilled swipe of steel strings amidst the melodic intrigue of guitars. As quickly the darker throb of Neil Baldwin’s bass joins the already magnetic affair, riffs and melodic enticement closely following to fully grip ears and appetite. Thoms’ tones soon stroll the song’s tempting wiring, infectiousness coating every note and syllable as a T-Rex meets Television hue spreads further goodness. The track is superb and if there is such a thing as the perfect pop rock song it has to be a contender.

The following Love and Death soon shows it is just as able to ignite body and imagination, its opening Orange Juice-esque jangle and Bluebells like swing across pungent dance-floor natured rhythms just the beginning of a contagiousness which advances through ears effortlessly as guitarists Phil Biggs and Steve Fraser match Thoms’ creative dexterity and join the synth prowess of guest Alex Thoms. With the beats of David Mack a perpetually welcome hounding of movement, the song simply had us bouncing before Another World seduced with its swaying croon of melodic temptation. With a chorus which almost mischievously had vocal chords in participation in between times of haunting radiance with its own instinctive catchiness, the song beguiled with ease.

 A Difference Of Opinion brings funk scented boisterousness to its melodic shuffle next, a whiff of Talking Heads spicing its flirtatious body. There are so many aspects to The Cathode Ray’s sound which draws you in, here guitars and harmonies leading the way with their tender touches amidst contagious enterprise. As those before it, there is only a compulsion on body and instinct to join the fun while Days Away with a similar effect on hips seduces with a gentler but no less virulent slice of pop imagination. Both tracks had us keenly involved and greedy for more yet are still slightly eclipsed by the album’s Arctic Monkeys/ Scritti Politti tinted title track. The band’s new single teases as it tempts, arouses as it dances in ears with Thom’s vocals as ever across the release a coaxing very easy to line up with.

Though it is hard to pick a favourite track within Heightened Senses, the Pixies meets Weezer antics of Make Believe and the ska ‘n’ pop of Before The Rot Sets In each set a firm grip on such choice. The first featuring the backing vocals of Robin Thoms is cast within post punk shadows but is as bountiful in melodic light and dextrous contagion as anything heard this year whilst its successor with a Police like shimmer courts and enslaves pleasure and imagination from start to finish as guitars spread their new wave/ rock ‘n’ roll hooked webbing around a chorus, graced by the additional tones of Laura Oliver-Thoms , refusing to take no to its consuming catchiness.

The Past Is A Foreign Land completes the line-up of temptation with its heartfelt balladry nurtured on melancholy and hope. It is a song with sixties breeding to its breath and melodic seduction in its voice. A song maybe without the invasive agility of many of its companions but seduced to similar heights nonetheless.

To be honest there was a thought at the time that The Cathode Ray would struggle to match let alone outdo previous Infinite Variety ahead but a thought very quickly thrown aside by the exceptional Heightened Senses.

Heightened Senses is out now Stereogram Recordings; available at https://stereogramrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/heightened-senses

Upcoming Live Shows:

Friday 1st November 2019. The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

Thursday 28th November 2019. Audio, Glasgow, supporting B Movie

Friday 28th February 2020. Mono, Glasgow, supporting The Monochrome Set

Saturday 29th February 2020. Beat Generator Live! Dundee, supporting The Monochrome Set

https://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/cathode-ray/   https://www.facebook.com/thecathoderay/

Pete RingMaster 11/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eureka California – Roadrunners

With their 2016 album Versus one of our favourite encounters in recent times, there is always certain anticipation here when the name Eureka California crops up. What that album maybe lacked in uniqueness it more than made up in imagination and individual enterprise. Now its successor Roadrunners has arrived to explore real originality in sound whilst accentuating the band’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll clamour and rumble amidst fresh intricacy of invention.

Consisting of the vocal and jangling sonic rapacity of Jake Ward and the rhythmic manipulation of Marie A. Uhler, Eureka California has become one of rock’s keenly embraced propositions over the decade and a year since first emerging from Athens, Georgia. Across their three previous albums, the duo’s garage rock/pop has evolved with their craft and experiences. Last year saw the release of the Wigwam EP, a proposal which blended a new rawness with the punk like aggression of Versus. It also suggested a greater subtlety and technicality to their writing and sound which has now been given its head within Roadrunners. That raw edge of the EP is less pronounced but still an ear grabbing texture in the band’s new release. It all makes for a proposition which maybe took longer to take to, compared to its predecessor, as its layers were explored but emerged as Eureka California’s finest moment yet.

Fourteen songs rich, Roadrunners begins with MKUltra and instantly a cloud of inviting jangle surrounds ears as rhythms build their own potent tempting. Once hitting its calm but clamorous stride, the vocals of Ward erupt with matching appetite and dexterity to the sounds around them. Like a garage bred dissonance fuelled Beach Boys, the track dances in ears to give the release an immediate high point.

The following Perfect Grammar is similarly bred and woven but with a raw angst and air which sears the senses as it seduces them. Uhler’s beats inspire a simultaneous swing to the track which has feet dancing to its mix of the wild and composed before Threads steps forward to forge a new high within Roadrunners. From its opening hook to its swiftly advancing rhythmic flirtation, the track had us licking lips and keenly bouncing. There is a great seventies DIY indie punk lining to the track recalling the likes of Television Personalities and ‘O’ Level, which surrounds an indie pop holler forged with hooks and beats which with its portentous heart just infested instincts and imagination.

It is followed by the calmer melodic seducing of Time After Time After Time After Time. It too has an immediate and organic infectiousness which worms into the psyche before its more feral side rises up in tenacious rock ‘n roll. There is a hint of The Monochrome Set to the song at times as it matches its predecessor’s triumph, both in turn equalled by the rousing antics and rhythmic dynamics of Over It. The trio all vie for best track honours, together providing the album’s pinnacle point.

I Can’t Look In Yr Direction is next, its sonic angst matched in lyrical reflection as its mellower contemplative complaints flare up amidst searing aural flames while Howard Hughes at the Sands is an acoustic saunter with caustic eruptions. Both tracks intrigued as they captivated, neither quite emulating the glory of those before but only adding to the album’s thick lure; bait only accentuated by the short but rich rock ‘n’ roll of following instrumental Buffalo Bills 1990 – 1993.

Through the excellent post punk wired JJT and the unpredictable poppier escapade of SWDs, Eureka California continue to unfold the new invention in their writing and music. The latter is a glorious slice of hook woven pop ‘n’ roll with a Pixies tint while next up Gila Monster just seduces attention second by second from its initial guitar scratching to its summery discord. Its swing and jangle is like hay fever, persistently nagging away but in contrast only pleasurable before in turn Telephone Tone shares its own infectious warm canter with zeal lined calm.

Concluding with the masterfully flirtatious and simultaneously fiery How Long Has This Been Going On? and the Frank Black meets Pere Ubu flavoured Mexican Coke, the continuously appetising Roadrunners swarms ears with its sound and imagination. It is easily the band’s most inventive and individual proposition to date and in turn their most compelling and enjoyable; simply one of the must check out highlights of 2018.

Roadrunners is out now digitally and on CD and Ltd Edition vinyl via Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records (HHBTM); available @https://eurekacalifornia.bandcamp.com/album/roadrunners and @ http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=652

http://eurekacaliforniaband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/eurekacalifornia     https://twitter.com/eurekacalifone

Pete RingMaster 26/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Tuesday Club – Art Is Magic

Trials and turbulences are no strangers to most bands but few as acute as that which impacted on British outfit The Tuesday Club and almost brought it to an end. Now though they are poised to release “unlikely album 3” in the shape of Art Is Magic, a slab of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which certainly gets under the skin in no time but an itch which just gets more delicious and addictive by the listen. It is their finest moment built across ten bold devilish tracks embracing old and new sounds with a unique imagination and their inimitable touch.

Formed in 2011 in Walmington-on-Sea, the renowned setting for British legendary comedy Dad’s Army, The Tuesday Club was an eight piece extravaganza of sound and creative revelry embracing the sights and mischief of their home town’s TV heritage. Their sound blossomed with the punk nurtured DIY attitude and inspiring sounds of the late seventies yet from day one cast its own aural image as proven by debut album See You Next Tuesday in 2013. It was a proposition though which was evolving from that first release and in open exploration by the band’s second album which was released as a quadrilogy of four EPs.

Devastation hit after the release of the first EP when drummer Terry Super Cockell tragically died. Though the band completed the album’s unveiling it was obviously without zeal; as they say the following EPs released in a ‘daze’, with the band falling to its knees and closing in on demise as members subsequently left. It was a challenging, life questioning and changing time which was not so obvious to the outside world at the time such the quality of those releases but maybe now best understood by checking out Reverse Family’s current project 365 days of songwriting, the band the solo project of TTC’s founding member Andreas Vanderbraindrain though he goes by Dermot Illogical for it. It is a still on-going colossal collection of tracks written across those times released as an EP a week for a year, many of its songs spawned from the darkness he personally fell into through those times.

TTC did survive though, its remaining members regrouping and finding a new breath and energy, stripping away “much of the old ‘glamour’ replacing it with a new urgency and directness.” Alongside vocalist Vanderbraindrain, the band now consists of guitarist Dave Worm, bassist/keyboardist Rogerio Marauder, and drummer Blairdrick Sharpely. As they suggested, the quartet has stripped back the TTC sound and brought forward its raw breath and instinctive imagination whilst broadening yet honing its creative flavourings and adventure.

Art is Magic opens with its title track, slipping in on a rhythmic coaxing until a lash of sound sparks a post punk lined stroll led by Vanderbraindrain’s distinctive tones. The song prowls the senses, keys simultaneously providing a melancholic yet mystique lined caress; it all uniting in an infectious swing and call to join its arcane devilry. Captivation was swift and only escalated as the track tempted and teased with its seventies lent enterprise.

It is a thickly potent start to the album keenly backed by the poppier rock exploits of Always taking things too far. It bounces around like a mix of Athletico Spizz 80 and Mammal Hum, a fusion of new wave and art rock which poked the appetite initially, whetted its lips further before thereon in fully teasing eager greed by the listen. It is a trait of the album as a whole, making an attention grabbing first impression but spawning lustier reactions by the play though some songs like Soulless City Syndrome had us instantly drooling. Its opening noir tinted intimation simply nurtured intrigue, the following electronic and tenacious punk ‘n’ roll of the song sparking the passions as it cantered lustfully through ears. The best track on Art is Magic, it twists and lures like an Adicts meets Zanti Misfits inspired dervish wearing a cape woven with threads of The Monochrome Set for one unique and gorgeous encounter.

It is a hard task to follow such a pinnacle yet Fruit Salad Girl with its spiky pop rock makes relatively light work of it, the infection loaded romp a nagging rock ‘n’ roll roar which had the body bouncing and vocal chords blaring in no time before Drowning My Sorrows allowed a breath to be taken with its folk pop saunter. Not that it is a dormant on the catchiness, its easy going but boisterous swing leading feet and hips away like a collusion of The Farmer Boys and Swell Maps.

Put your Faith in what you can control similarly has a laid back but tenaciously catchy gait and demeanour, again the band’s lo-fi instincts breeding a richly appetising temptation as rhythmically persuasive as it is melodically and lyrically sharp. Thus eager involvement was swift and as forcibly recruited by the bolder rousing punk ‘n’ roll of We are the Team, a song which is the band announcing they are undefeated and returning with new vigour and invention whilst creating a personal declaration for all to embrace.

It would be a shock not to have the scent of early Adam and The Ants somewhere within a TTC encounter, Let the kids run the country the irresistible moment within Art Is Magic as the band source their own earlier traits and another influences’ for a greed brewing slice of aural virulence before the darker tone and shadows of Rock and Roll’s not a science infests ears and psyche like a viral infection you cannot shake off, or in this case want to. The song reminded of short lived Welsh punks The Table at times but again TTC spin a web of sound and addiction all their own.

The album concludes with Who and youz army, a rhythmically tenacious and infectiously barbed slice of punk rock which would have aroused air punching crowds back in the day just as now. Its hooks are familiar yet inescapable and its character old school with the irritability of today; ingredients ensuring Art Is Magic goes out on a major high.

Listening to their album just hits home what we would be missing without The Tuesday Club and how lucky newcomers will be now discovering them through such a glorious romp.

Art Is Magic is released May 6th with its launch party the same night @ The Lower Red Lion in St. Albans pre-ordering available now @ https://theperfectpopco-op.bandcamp.com/album/art-is-magic

http://thisisthetuesdayclub.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thisisthetuesdayclub/   https://twitter.com/thetuesdayclub1    https://twitter.com/Vnderbraindrain

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fortunato – Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For)

Fortunato_RingMasterReview

Proving that Bury St Edmunds is a hot bed of imaginative and enjoyably individual musical invention, the This is the sound of Sugar Town compilation recently introduced and highlighted a host of the Suffolk market town’s new breed of fine and adventurous bands. Without exception all stood out in varying ways, with among them alternative rock band Fortunato who especially caught the appetite with their melodically and emotively transfixing track Utopia. To more than confirm all the good things heard and felt in their successful moment to shine upon the album, the quartet very recently released new single, Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For).

art fortunato_RingMasterReviewThe song quickly shows itself to be a compelling proposal whilst just as rapidly suggesting why Fortunato has earned strong local success and sparked an ever broadening national attention for their sound and live presence. It is a success backed by a trio of EPs, of which it is fair to say, the third Under Your Teeth has had the biggest impact to date soon reinforced by the band’s contribution to the aforementioned album, As Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For?) captivates again and again though, it is hard not to expect greater spotlights and interest coming the way of the band inspired by it and future encounters.

Released as the last EP on their own Pale Records, the song instantly cups ears with a melodic caress of guitar with the expressive tones of vocalist/guitarist Kim swiftly drawing even closer attention on the track. The subsequent bass rumble provided by Catherine and flirtatious beats of Harry soon court the initial coaxing and in turn the more emotively inflamed aspects of the song which emerge as Barny and Kim’s guitars poetically dance with the captivating vocal weave spun by the band around the feisty rhythms.

From there the track just increases its captivation through every increasingly climactic minute whilst managing to be as intimately seductive as it is boisterously anthemic.  Utopia impressed as too a hindsight visit of the Under Your Teeth EP from which it came but Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For) outshines both and inescapably sets the seeds for eager anticipation for what comes next from Fortunato.

Black Laces (What Are You Waiting For) is out now as a free download @ http://www.fortunato.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fortunatoband   https://twitter.com/fortunato_band

Upcoming Live Dates:

9th April – w/Ghosts Of Men – The Waiting Room, Colchester

16th April – Bury Fringe w/Cathedrals & Cars – The Hunter Club, BSE

11th May – Sounds Like the Live Sessions w/CLAWS – The Hunter Club, BSE

20th May – NMG Sessions – Portland Arms, Cambridge

4th June – The Workshop – Hoxton, London

18th June – w/The Monochrome Set – John Peel Centre, Stowmarket

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

deardarkhead – Strange Weather

DDH_RingMasterReview

Rousingly fascinating is probably the best way to describe Strange Weather, the new EP from New Jersey trio deardarkhead, that and gloriously suggestive. Across six tracks as cinematic as they are emotionally intimate upon the imagination, band and release immerses the listener in its and their own sculpted exploits. The release is an anthem to the conjuring of bold imaginative adventures and a tapestry of creative virulence for ears to bask in.

The beginnings of deardarkhead go way back to 1988 since when the band has released five recordings on their own Fertile Crescent Records label with a retrospective of their early work additionally released in 2012 by Captured Tracks. Their distinctive fusion of post punk, indie rock, shoe gaze, and dream pop has been greedily devoured by an increasing many whilst their live presence has seen the band play with the likes of Supergrass, The Psychedelic Furs, Everclear and The Lilys amongst numerous other. Despite numerous compilation appearances, and that 2011 retrospective  Oceanside: 1991-1993 since last album Unlock the Valves of Feeling was released in 1998, you might say that deardarkhead have been a ‘forgotten’ treat by many; if so that is set to inescapably change with the release of Strange Weather.

Always luring inquiring interest with each release, the band has probably ignited the strongest intrigue with the new EP as it is their first without long time singer/bassist Michael Amper who left the band in 2009. His departure only seemed to ignite a hunger to explore their instrumental side as remaining members, guitarist Kevin Harrington and drummer Robert Weiss proceeded to move in that direction and perform instrumental shows after linking up with bassist Kevin McCauley the following year. The suggestion is that the band is looking for the right vocalist to bring in but on the evidence of Strange Weather, and its empowering potency, you wonder if it will be any loss not finding the right man.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom its first track Strange Weather has ears and emotions enthralled, the imagination just as swiftly ignited as Falling Upward emerges from chilling winds within a dank atmosphere. It is pulled from the wasteland by a nagging guitar, its sonic lure soon colluding with the resonating bait of the bass and crispy textured beats. With them comes a tenacious catchy resourcefulness which infectiously lines the post punk hook and bass groove which subsequently entwine and enslave ears. All the tracks to the EP spark ideas and mental imagery, ones sure to differ person to person, but a cold war like landscape is ours adventure for the opener no doubt helped by having recently watched Deutschland 83. There feels a cinematic kinship between the band’s sound and those visuals with every leap into the sonic tapestry of the song pushing the story along.

With a touch of Leitmotiv to it, the track is a riveting start, leaving ears and pleasure lively and ready to embrace the warmer jangle of Sunshine Through The Rain which follows. There is a calmer air altogether to the song, a melodic radiance which wears the scent of eighties indie pop yet contrasts it with a steely proposal from bass and hypnotic beats. Again captivation is a given to its My Bloody Valentine aired persuasion though it is soon outshone by the thrills and dramas of both Juxta Mare and March Hares. The first of the pair unveils a sultry atmosphere around a delicious melodic hook and bassline which would not feel out of play of a sixties/seventies TV spy thriller. Its lean but thick lure is the spring for an evocative weave of sonic enterprise and suggestive melodies, all courted by the dark shadows of bass and the persistently jabbing swings of Weiss.

As outstanding as it is, it too gets eclipsed by its successor, March Hares stealing the whole show. From the pulsating rhythms of Weiss to the snarling tone of McCauley’s bass, the track has ears and an already lustful appetite enslaved. Their irresistible bait is then entangled in bewitching tendrils of sonic imagination from Harrington; the song subsequently swinging along in the web of their united craft and invention to entice body and spirit further. In full stride, the track has a great feel of The Monochrome Set to it, indeed Harrington’s stringed adventure carries a touch of the English band’s guitarist Lester Square to it as a House of Love shimmer and Birdland like rowdiness add to the slavery.

Ice Age immerses the listener into chillier post punk climes next; its nippy atmosphere and almost bleak ambience tempered by the sonic elegance seeping from the guitar within the anthemic tenacity of the drums. Again it is fair to say that the song lures physical and emotional involvement with ease before Thinking Back explores a maze of reflective melodies and evocative grooves within another addictive rhythmic frame. There is an essence of Echo & The Bunnymen and Bauhaus to the track as post punk and gothic lit shadows and depths spread through sound and thoughts.

The track is an imposingly mesmeric end to a spellbinding release. Strange Weather will have you breathless, excited, reflective, and going on a myriad of imagination bred adventures with its suggestive incitement. We are no experts on deardarkhead and their releases to date but the EP has to be up there as possibly their greatest moment yet.

The Strange Weather EP is released March 25th via Saint Marie Records on Ltd Edition vinyl (100 Black / 150 White with Red Blue and Black splatter) and as a download @ http://saintmarierecords.limitedrun.com/products/567260-deardarkhead-strange-weather and http://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/strange-weather

http://www.deardarkhead.com/   https://www.facebook.com/darkheads   http://twitter.com/deardarkhead

Pete RingMaster 23/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Filthy Tongues – Jacob’s Ladder

FilthyTongues Press Pic Jan2016_RingMasterReview

Seriously beguiling and theatrically suggestive, Jacob’s Ladder is the highly anticipated debut album from Scottish trio The Filthy Tongues, and a glorious adventure into the dark and magnetic underbelly of the band’s home and imagination. Consisting of eight slices of dark rock ‘n’ roll woven from an evocative tapestry of caliginous flavours and textures, tracks further infused with poetic lyrical drama, the album is an immersion into gothic cloaked and intimately alluring portraits of, in the words of the band, “a dark neo-feudal Edinburgh.”

The Filthy Tongues consists of vocalist/guitarist Martin Metcalfe, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly, a threesome who were the core-members of eighties/nineties band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. The band, which also featured Shirley Manson as keyboardist and backing singer, evolved into Angelfish and recorded a well-received album with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, whose manager Gary Kurfirst gave a helping hand to the Scottish band. Subsequently Manson was lured to front a new project called Garbage whilst Metcalfe, Wilson, and Kelly became Isa & the Filthy Tongues and released a pair of albums with American-born Stacey Chavis as vocalist. Now the trio have stepped forward as The Filthy Tongues and uncaged a creative incitement which must rank up there with the finest offering to come from their creative minds and talent.

The album opens with its title track and a melancholic caress of strings which soon part for a vibrant stroll of dark bass and nagging riffs around distinctive vocals. A ripple of keys adds to the instant expressive character of the track, backing vocal lures just as potent as the track strolls along with a sinister yet mesmeric swagger. Like a mix of The Monochrome Set and Milton Star with a healthy scent of Nick Cave to it, the opener alone gives Jacob’s Ladder all the bait needed to tempt ears and appetite, whilst setting up an already eager imagination with the lust to delve into what is to come and enslave.

album_RingMasterReviewThe brilliant start continues with the rhythmically tenacious High. As the bass aligns it’s ominous yet invitingly throaty suggestiveness to the anthemic pull of beats, Metcalfe’s tones bring the narrative to pungent life like a lyrical Pied Piper within the post punk seeded and dramatic ambience of the sounds around him. It is gripping, irresistible stuff that demands increasing attention with consummate ease, much as the album and songs surrounding it, including the following Holy Brothers. Rhythms again create a bold canvas for keys and strings to share their provocative and melodic suggestiveness which in turn creates an aural sketch for vocals and words to captivate within. There is a slight feel of Fatima Mansions to that lyrical and indeed emotional prowess cast, a sharing of the descriptive and virulently compelling art of offering the imagination a fully equipped landscape to play with.

Long Time Dead brings a steely edge and attitude to its guitar crafted opening and subsequent body next, providing a dark country spiced proposal bred in the dirty back streets of life whilst Bowhead Saint swings and seduces with a delta blues kissed romancing of the imagination. Both tracks enthral and tantalise from within their individual creative skins and darkly lit hearts before Violent Sorrow shares its intimate and, as throughout the album, lyrically raw croon. Each of the trio leaves a lingering mark in their varied ways, all offering a long term flirtation with the psyche and passions.

A more physically agitated piece of rock ‘n’ roll, Children Of The Filthy keeps enjoyment and excitement as high as ever. Once more rhythms provide the irritable yet anthemic side of the song, vocals the dark scenic persuasion, and melodic and sonic imagination a bewitching poetic majesty which here is surf rock infused. The track is glorious, with Metcalfe vocally continuing to be like a Vaudevillian Poe sharing a dark tale to embrace and be inspired by. Its success is swiftly matched by the sultry exploration of Kingdom Of Ice, a song as enchanting as it is emotionally intimidating. Carrying a sound brewed with volatility, the closer is a firmly arresting proposal with as much suggestive depth and persuasion as the words it merges with, and a superb end to a similarly impressive release.

Jacob’s Ladder is destined to be one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2016, if it can truly be called a first release or simply another proposal in a long term evolution of three artists. More than that though, the record is a blend of fantasy and reality which ignites ears and emotions like a sonic poet; so being destined to emerge as one of the most acclaimed albums of the year might be the better suggestion.

Jacob’s Ladder is out now via Blokshok and available in varied formats and packages @ http://www.filthytongues.com

https://www.facebook.com/Isa-the-Filthy-Tongues-144934250476   https://twitter.com/filthytongues

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Permanent Smilers – One Real Big Identity Crisis

identity-web

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

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