Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Royal Podencos – Broken Bones

Released earlier this year, Broken Bones is an album well worth taking a close listen too especially if you have an appetite for boisterous garage rock. The second album from Spanish quartet Royal Podencos, it offers much more than that garage rock tag, the Santander outfit creating their sound with a  just as rich flavouring of punk, blues rock, and power pop for a proposition as fresh as it is enjoyably nostalgic.

The successor to 2014 debut What´s your plan, the eleven song strong Broken Bones needs little time to get the body bouncing and an appetite for the band’s rock ‘n’ roll brewing with opener Sexuality. The foursome of Jonny, Jota, Toni, and Hans instantly tease with a rockabilly riff, its lure aligned to a rousing hook and melodic devilry as rhythms dance invitingly in the ears. With great distinctive vocals riding its mischievous almost salacious antics, the song swiftly springs its inescapable trap to inspire the body and imagination to be as lively as its own escapade.

It is a rousing start to proceedings which is never outshone within Broken Bones but certainly rivalled like by its successor Break us down. Its own swinging flirtation and gait brings a more sixties flavoured adventure but one quickly revealing its seventies punk instincts as vocals and hooks unveil their infectious intent. As the first song it is a highly catchy and addictive proposal, a slice of pop infused punk ‘n’ roll to get the hips and spirit dancing; their energies given no respite by the following more bluesy rock ‘n’ roll of The dog you found. With a Tom Petty-esque scent and drawl to its stroll it too casts a contagious sixties power pop jangle with a truly virulent hook to grab ears and attention alike.

Though not quite finding the heights of its predecessors, Anything you want is no lightweight in persuasive rock ‘n’ roll either, its tenacious swing and sharp hooks leading the listener into eager involvement while Noone´s giving up in here, whilst keeping enjoyment full, allows a breath to be taken with its Americana kissed blues croon and suggestive guitar woven melodic web. Both tracks spread the rich flavours in the Royal Podencos sound further, each song so far revealing a different angle in the garage rock ‘n’ roll heart of the band.

A little creep has the inner bounce leaping again as it shares its pop rock contagion next, eager rhythms injecting its already enticing bait with moments of anthemic tenacity as riffs scythe across their swings before What´s wrong with you has thoughts going back to bands like Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Motors, and Tonight with its hepped up and highly enjoyable antics.

The discord lined canter of On and on hits the spot within seconds next, its punk nature and off-kilter harmony inescapable temptation against which Let me shake puts up its own blues laced raw pop ‘n’ roll to matching persuasive success. As with most tracks within the album, each has an instinctive knack in setting traps and hooks which are impossible to evade or ignore resulting in another very agreeable rock ‘n’ roll workout.

The closing pair of You got a home and Tell me why are no different even without quite hooking up with the passions as naturally as others within Broken Bones. Nevertheless, their respective individual moments of garage pop punk and classic blues rock leave pleasure high and the album impressing right up to its last breath.

While sensing something even more unique is lurking, just waiting to break out in the Royal Podencos sound, Broken Bones consistently hits the spot with moments of lustful pleasure on top. If you are looking for some new varied rock ‘n’ roll to get dancing too then Broken Bones is well worth tangling with.

Broken Bones is available now @ https://royalpodencos.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/royalpodencos/

Pete RingMaster 21/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Empty Lungs – Don’t Get It

Becoming the first European artist to sign with Canadian based label Hidden Pony Records, Northern Ireland hailing outfit Empty Lungs celebrate with the release of their new EP Don’t Get It. Consisting of three punk/indie/power pop blended roars, the release is a fiercely engaging and rousing proposition more than suggesting reasons why the band is so highly regarded by a great many.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Kev Jones, the Belfast hailing Empty Lungs has proceeded to become a potent force in their country’s live scene and make potent inroads across the UK, Europe, and the US. Along the way they have shared stages with the likes of Japandroids, Alkaline Trio, and The Subways among many and released a host of singles and EPs. In regard to Don’t Get It, Jones has described it as “by far the best 3 songs we’ve ever written”; a suggestion hard to disagree with as its songs romp through ears and capture the imagination.

The EPs title track bursts through ears first, riffs and rhythms making a commanding and forceful invitation quickly followed by vocal unity from bassist Conor Langan and drummer Mykie Rowan led by Jones. As things settle without losing that initial energy and contagious aggression, the instinctive infectiousness of the song infests its hooks and tenacious rhythms, recalling essences of bands like The Motors and The Starjets within its own fresh proposal.  With a title repeating chorus a trap impossible to resist getting involved in, the track makes a rousing start to Don’t Get It.

Next up Losing It. Finding It. ventures into more pop punk seeded territory compared to the ballsy rock ‘n’ roll of its predecessor but equally has a muscular touch and attitude to its hook lined incitement. Rhythms jab and pound as riffs growl and vocals warmly unite, tender melodies emerging from within the lively engagement of ears as the track unveils a varied and magnetic nature.

Completing the release is Fragile, a song instantly attracting an appetite for grumbling basslines with Langan’s cantankerous lure before growing into a hearty and cleverly varied blaze of sound and attitude. It mixes fiery emotion and earthy riffs with smouldering harmonies and earnest melodies, a contrasting blend creating a fluidly adventurous enticement.

It is a fine end to a richly enjoyable release, one impressing as much with the potential in its sound as the rousing prowess pleasing ears.

The Don’t Get It EP is out now through Hidden Pony Records on 7 inch vinyl and digital download through all usual retailers.

Upcoming Live Dates:

01/04 – Belfast, The Barge

07/04 – Limerick, The Loft

08/04 – Ballina, Emmets

Don’t Get It video directed by Ross Johnston at Caught In The Headlights.

https://www.facebook.com/emptylungsni/   https://twitter.com/emptylungsni

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ginger Wildheart – The Year Of The Fanclub

 

Photo taken by Paul Harries

Photo taken by Paul Harries

Starting out as his latest and the most interactive fan-funded project, new album The Year Of The Fanclub is the outstanding ‘highlights show’ of another highly successful Ginger Wildheart offering for fans and modern rock ‘n’ roll. Always looking to increase and extend “fan connectivity”, Wildheart created G*A*S*S (Ginger Associated Secret Society) in 2014, a digital subscription based fan club platform that saw a new 3 track single released every month for a year, along with demos and previously unreleased material direct from his personal vaults for members to immerse in. Beyond the music it also gave subscribers full access into the world of Ginger Wildheart through podcasts, Q&A’s, personal diary entries, film reviews and exclusive merchandise options. Now for all, comes the irresistible tempting of The Year Of The Fanclub, a collection of Wildheart’s personally favourite tracks from the 36 song session.

The proudly diverse and rousing treat starts off with Down The Dip, a boisterous maelstrom of energy and varied eagerly entangling flavours. Like The Damned meets The Beatles with understandably The Wildhearts in on the act, the song throws its muscles and hooks around with imaginative zeal and virulence. Body and appetite are an easy submission for the track, a success just as powerfully found by Honour straight after. Featuring Courtney Love, the punk ‘n’ roll stroll instantly carries a defiant swagger whilst sharing a passions enslaving hook to get aggressively greedy over, quickly matching then eclipsing its impressive predecessor.

El Mundo (Slow Fatigue) is a carnival in the ears next, swinging into view with thick resonance and a mischievous character as company to a flowing contagion of sound and resourcefulness. There is also a dark side to its lures, an intimidating smog that erupts as the track’s volatility gets a head of steam on in certain moments before relaxing back into warm revelry.

art _RingMaster ReviewThe country rock spiced The Last Day Of Summer has feet and hips swaying with eagerness straight after, the pop rock catchiness already glimpsed in earlier songs now in full vibrancy with matching melodies and backing vocals before the outstanding Only Henry Rollins Can Save Us Now hits even greater heights. Feverish dirty rock ‘n’ roll to have you grinning whilst punching the air in defiance, the track twists and turns from start to finish. It is a roller coaster of snarling riffs and juicy hooks embracing everything from punk metal to ravenous hard rock through to jazz induced festivity and much more.

The Green Day/Flogging Molly like canter of The Pendine Incident has body and soul bouncing next, its Celtic air aural manna whilst Do You? whips up closely matching reactions with its eighties scented pop rock saunter equipped with engaging melodies and harmonic caresses. Each proposition leaves ears busily keen with the feet and imagination tightly involved, though they soon get overshadowed a touch by the inviting yet melancholic romance of If You Find Yourself In London Town where fizzing keys and vocal prowess respectively surround and fill the embrace of acoustic and electric enterprise as evocative as the words from Wildheart’s lips.

The magnetic saunter of Toxins & Tea is an increasingly galvanic slice of folkish pop rock which perpetually surprises with every passing second and turn. Imagine XTC going heavy rock without losing their melodic beauty and imagination and you have a close idea of one glorious encounter.

That eighties air returns openly again in No One Smiled At Me Today, the song bringing bands like The Cars and The Motors to thoughts before Ostracide uncages its punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll which ears are destined to devour with relish. Both tracks in their individual ways ensnare body and emotions though each has to pass the limelight over to the irrepressible majesty of closer Don’t Lose Your Tail, Girl. That unpredictability is in full force in a song which fluidly evolves from melodic rock to electro pop mania and on to industrial rabidity, alternative rock with techno infestation, and punk ‘n’ roll confrontation, and that is just the first half of its nine minutes. Like a lifetime of musical styles tenaciously rolled up into one skilfully bedlamic and ingeniously sculpted emprise of sound, the track is a kaleidoscope of flavours which could easily have been the soundtrack to one’s personal musical journey over the past five decades.

As musically enjoyable and impressive as The Year Of The Fanclub is, so lyrically Wildheart delivers a potent and lingering punch to eagerly embrace too. The album is simply a gem and Ginger Wildheart showing why for so many, the man is rock ‘n’ roll.

Year Of The Fanclub is available now through most online stores via Round Records.

The G*A*S*S club is still available to join at http://g-a-s-s.co

https://www.facebook.com/officialginger

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Welcome Matt – POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE

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Without one of our favourite albums of last year was The Panhandle Years from The Welcome Matt, an album which compiled a wealth of tracks taken from the project’s previous seven albums to introduce a very talented sound and presence to the wider world. It was a refreshing and exciting introduction for us to the band and San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois who is The Welcome Matt. Following up its impressive persuasion, comes new album POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE, a release which quite simply carries on where its predecessor left off, inflaming the passions and creating some quite irresistible and enterprising rock pop.

Finding success and acclaim with his work with Members Of Sound from 2009 through to 2011, a musical project which released a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from this work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers, Langlois in many ways brought his solo project into its strongest limelight, certainly in respect of an emerging world awareness with The Panhandle Years. It was a kind of summing up of his adventure and creative journey to that point which POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE now extends with its own delicious stomp of imaginative infection.

The Welcome Back opens up the ‘return’, lightly jagged guitars coaxing attention as the distinctive expressive vocals of Langlois wait for a moment before beginning their narrative. Into its full stride the song unveils a bluesy melodic embrace aligned to sixties tinted harmonies and melodic temptation. Lifting its knees the track eventually moves from an inviting walk into a feisty stomp, one weaving tendrils of contagious seventies pop rock and sixties charm into a gait which never truly explodes into riotousness but leaves the senses energised as the sounds toy with them. It is a mesmeric start which awakens a healthy appetite for the release and immediately feeds the anticipation bred by the album’s predecessor.

The following Key of G opens with Bolanesque strumming and vocal harmonies, the influence unmistakable and a pleasing lure into a song which evolves the inspiration into a compelling striding of inventive persuasion, guitars and keys almost wanton in their temptation whilst a throaty bass sounds has their back, it bringing shadows into the equation. It is impossible to resist its enticement; it like many of the songs breeding a familiarity within a fresh and magnetic wash of imagination. Its successor Let It Lead You, the new single from the album, is very much the same, its presence and teasing that of a recognisable friend but in a brand new enterprising suit. The rhythmic beckoning at the start instantly has feet and hunger on alert whilst the keys and vocals alongside, not for the first time upon the album, a virulently addictive groove littered with potent hooks seduces with every note and touch. It is a deviously effective pop song and catchy doorway into the album and The Welcome Matt for newcomers.

Pop Junk Fluff and Hype steps up next, a funk fed introduction taking little time in recruiting thoughts and emotions as it romps eagerly around the ears. Fiery rock guitars flame over the pop canvas whilst vocals and keys leap with energetic rigour and enterprise. It is a spellbinding mix of styles and flavours, electro and alternative rock adding to the insatiable and outstanding toxicity. Just as epidemically enthralling is Mode Of Transportation, a fusion of power pop and indie/electro rock which plays like a mix of The Motors meets Cockney Rebel with a splash of Cheap Trick. The song almost prowls around the senses and imagination even in its radiantly hued stance leading the listener into yet another impossible to ignore or resist piece of excellent rock ‘n’ roll.

A Hail Mary mischievously teases from the outset with a discord bleeding caress of chords and electronic nagging, its suasion early XTC like with a little Hot Hot Heat festivity to its riveting coaxing whilst Get Shameless is a foot stomping dance of hypnotic rhythms and frisky melodies. Keys and bass add their individual textures to the electric dance as Langlois immerses the listener in a skilled and adventurous addiction.

Both Mind Control and Lets Really Go continue the impressive exploits within the album, the first with a seemingly Sparks bred form of pop punk with hooks and a bass pulse which stick welcome barbs in deeply and the second through a devilishly compelling transfixing slice of country rock sing-a-long with slithers of punk and rock ‘n‘ roll adding their teasing.

Cast A Line brings POPJUNKFLUFF&HYPE to a Bolan/Kinks tasting and enjoyable end to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and incredible contagious encounter. It is a storming blaze of pop rock which feeds every want and need with accomplished infectious ease, and an album all should pay attention to.

http://www.welcomemattsf.com

9/10

RingMaster 18/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Smash Fashion: Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette

Whatever the shade or flavour which sparks up our individual fires, we all love a bit of music nostalgia. Arguably a major chunk of current music harkens back to earlier times in some way, whether a band inspired by the first days of death metal, another by the psychedelic sounds of the sixties or one investigating the post punk discord of the eighties. There are others Like US rockers Smash Fashion who openly and eagerly attempt to re-ignite and re-energise a style which gave breath to their love of music.

LA based quartet Smash Fashion is, in their description, a power pop rock n roll band, in our description the band is quite simply rock music at its best, honest, enthused, and here to aurally molest with the wink of a devil. The band show with a passion their distinctive dandy rock in their current single Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette, two songs which pull you back to the seventies with a fine mix of power pop, hard rock, and a spattering of glam. The tracks play like a fusion of The Motors, Sweet, Cheap Trick and most of all Thin Lizzy brought up to date and given a fresh heart. The single follows two acclaimed albums, A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery of 2006 and Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things which came out three years later, all through Electricpudding Recordings.

The band is fronted by the iconic Roger Deering, a man with a swagger in attitude and songwriting not to mention vocally. With him the band has a line-up which could almost be called a super group. The guitars are brought by ex glam/punk band Rock City Angels member Lloyd Stuart Casson, whilst on bass there is Nigel Mogg, ex member of British hard rock band The Quireboys, known in the US as London Quireboys. Completing the line-up is drummer Repo (Reijo Kauppila), once of Finnish glam rock legends, Smack. The four come together to create sounds which resurrect feelings and thoughts from earlier times whilst turning them into a thrilling proposition with its place firmly in the now, the result a evocative feast for the senses.

Blame It On The Brandy is first up and immediately has the senses at attention with the thumping and anthemic rhythms of Repo pounding at their door. The track then settles in a keen yet reserved brew of infectious hooks, stirring riffs and pulsating rhythms. The vocals too have a welcoming draw which invites one to unify in voice with the chorus whilst group harmonies further light the air. The track is pure rock n roll tinged with contagious seventies glam flourishes especially mid way in, and a closing crescendo of burning guitar play which is hard rock at its best. The song is an evolving pleasure starting with an American rock introduction moving through that a glam rock teasing and ending with a guitar climax which would fit smoothly into any Thin Lizzy set. It is a seamless flow which takes the infectiousness of the song deeper until it is a raging presence in the head long after the last note has drifted away.

Marionette is a dirtier and feistier track, the band adding a punk rub to their sound. Though the song ruffles the ear more than its companion it again is instantly engaging with immense satisfaction left in its wake. The rawer air to the song brings a heavier and more mischievous adventure to the ear, its attitude combative yet respectful. The song, a reworking of a track on Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things, has glances of The Damned and Dead Boys to it and having checked out the original for comparison, the band definitely bring a strength and roundness maybe lacking in the original to the song for a fuller impact. From the rhythms and hypnotic basslines to the expressive vocals and searing guitar invention, the song hits the spot dead centre and arguably is the better of the two tracks.

If Smash Fashion is a band which has eluded your ears then there is a no better entrance into their naughty, hungry, and exciting world than through Blame It On The Brandy/Marionette. They are a long overdue treat no one should be denied.

http://www.smashfashionmusic.com/

RingMaster 18/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tarnish: 1995 single

UK band Tarnish is the newest recruit to Satellite Records and mark their debut with the excellent single 1995. With a punk feel to its infectious rock driven energy the track is sure to mark the band as ones to watch now and in the future.

The band was founded by Dan Barry (vocals, guitar, and harmonica) and Mark Thompson (vocals, guitar) and completed by 1999 with Paul Fallon (drums) and Chris McReynolds (backing vocals). Early releases came in the shape of the 1998 EP Betray You and three track release Ashes the following year, both under the name Communication Breakdown. Their music brings many varied comparisons from different sources, the likes of Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Led Zeppelin being mentioned in trying to describe their music with some calling them a cross between Soul Asylum and Faith No More.  With only the single to go on it is hard as yet to hear some of the suggestions within the track but there is certainly a strong sound bursting out from the song that bring other bands to thought.

1995 swoops with agreeable riffs and a prowling pulsating bassline that leads one eagerly into the depths of the song. The track carries a sense of familiarity like a returning buddy though one cannot remember the face. It is infectious and anthemic, an easy going song that one soon becomes part of vocally. There is a sense of Eddie & The Hotrods about it and even more so of seventies band The Motors, their essences brought with a vibrant and striding energy from current times. The song makes no demands and only gives enjoyment as its honest and uncomplicated intent thrills and incites strong anticipation for more from the band.

To be slightly critical 1995 lacks a strong and distinct uniqueness but also suggests that their full repertoire of songs would remedy that. For an introduction to Tarnish the single is a fine and satisfying slice of rock n roll with the promise of great things ahead.

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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