The Mystery Plan – Zsa Zsa

photo by Daniel Coston

Presenting a host of vibrantly tempting and almost ridiculously infectious escapades, Zsa Zsa is the new album from US outfit, The Mystery Plan. It is a record which flirted with feet, teased ears, and courted the imagination; seducing all with sublime almost mischievous enterprise from start to finish.

The Charlotte, NC hailing band sees Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes and Patty McLaughlin once more give an escape from everyday dramas with its own captivating theatre of sound and invention. Zsa Zsa is their fifth album since emerging in 2010 and in many ways their most striking. It features numerous guests including producer John Fryer, Micah Gaugh (The Veldt / Apollo Heights), and Ian Masters, former bassist-vocalist of British shoegazers Pale Saints; all bringing fresh ingredients to a recipe of imagination which revitalised the soul in these spirit subduing times.

The bewitching Those Stars breaks the silence as the album takes its first breath, the track immediately seducing our attention as the simmer of cymbals align to the leisurely swing of the bass. Its alluring moodiness is soon sharing the air with the jazzy flames of an equally steady and evocative sax; it all combined with the tantalising words and wistful tone of swiftly enslaving vocals, a picturesque captivation.

It is a delicious start to the release which is immediately matched in craft and enslavement by the pair of We All Get Down and Al Gore Rhythms. The first simmers in to view through keys, a just as minimally touching guitar laying its gentle melody alongside as the harmonic grace of Amy and Patty’s vocals caress song and ears alike. A weave of dream and folk pop with much more in its texturing, the song has a touch of XTC to its beauty while its successor is a body manipulating, feet leading slice of trip hop flirtation. It too soon reveals plenty more to its design and a character with magnetically soulful vocals at its heart.

And the addictive persuasions continue as recent single, Ballad of JC Quinn, steps up next to get under the skin. The harmonic lure of the band’s ladies leads ears into the tantalising rhythmic shuffle of Otis and Jeff, their animated temptation echoed in the lively keys and melodies of Jason’s guitar while entangled in the steel guitar intimation of Peter McCranie. Mesmeric and dreamy yet with a rich physical tempting which feet and hips cannot deny, the song had us under its spell in no time before Lolaphone gave its own instructions to the willing sway of the body. Its electronic nurturing reminded of Paul Haig, eighties flavoured hue and catchiness working limbs as the innocence of a child’s creative voice toyed with thoughts. Though maybe not breeding the same lust as those before it, the song just as skilfully took the day away before passing it on to its following companion.

Bonny is another which instantly had feet and hips lending their participation; its indie wired, nova seeded stroll a fusion of moodiness and flirtation refusing to be ignored while Long Way To Heaven escalated the temptations of it and all before to steal the show for our ears. From the virulent charm of the vocals to its rhythmic saunter and through the arousing twang of guitar to the evocative mood of keys, the track seduced every aspect of our listening bodies.

Through the folkish charisma and indie rock revelry of Sweet Tart and the crepuscular dream pop of Electric Love, a track loaded with mystique and a touch of darker intimidation, band and release only reinforced their hold; both demanding a share of favourite song limelight with every listen.

We All Get Down returns within Zsa Zsa with the Rob Tavaglione mix of its provocative fascination before Distant Sirens brings the album to an imagination provoking close through piano, keys and flute; each fuel to suggestion within the instrumental evocation and its fusion of ethereal beauty and street dirty reality.

As the world continues to be held down by nature and our reaction to it, escape and release is a longing we all share and one which the gorgeous Zsa Zsa offers in its unique and enthralling way.

Zsa Zsa is out now via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings; available @ https://themysteryplan.bandcamp.com/album/zsa-zsa

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The romance of light and shadows: a singles round-up

With the ever welcome keen insight of Shauna McLarnon of Shameless PR and the outstanding band Ummagma, we offer up another quartet of singles deserving of your explorations.

First up is the new solo track from Harry Stafford of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies and a rather potent taste of the Manchester hailing musician’s forthcoming album, Gothic Urban Blues.

Painted Ocean is a song which casts a web of intrigue and intimation within a jazz and blues wired dark rock landscape. It is a dark echo of the world we live in yet equally intimates on a personal level as its morose yet spirit rousing stroll works away on body and rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

Within its drama bold body, Stafford’s narrative is just as magnetic and enticing; word and sound entangling in a shadow nurtured sea of dark imagination and devilish enterprise further lit by jazz flamed brass across soulful blues enterprise.

Something akin to a blend of The Filthy Tongues and Tom waits, Painted Ocean proved quickly and thickly irresistible and an invitation to Gothic Urban Blues impossible to turn down.

In contrast to the darken skies cast by Mr Stafford, Ukraine’s 6th Crowd weaves an electronic enticement in new single, The Day is Over, which boldly almost viscerally shimmers with electronic luminescence though this is underlined by its own suggestive shadows.

6th Crowd is the solo project of Kyiv based Dari Maksymova who is better known as the front-woman, synth and bass player of post-punk band On The Wane. Her own musical exploration is bred in the heart of synth pop and rave dance floored electro rock adventure and has already offered up a debut single in Самозванцы which was keenly received, together both tracks a taster of her debut EP, Avoid The Void, expected in late spring.

A purposeful rhythmic lure aligns to a similarly dark and immediately firm electronic murmur as The Day is Over stirs, crystalline sparks lighting its temptation. As Maksymova’s radiant tones join the emerging proposal, further light and enterprise is cast by synths yet still that balance of dark and light offers an intimation and tempestuousness which firmly enthrals attention. With Maksymova sharing the song’s heart in her own national tongue it is left to the music to inform the imagination and that it does with almost teasing effortlessness, The Day is Over a source of infection and enterprise sure to lure a greater wealth of ears to its creator and her forthcoming EP.

With a double EP in Fishbowl/ Terrestrial due March 20th, Alienbaby Collective is another fine proposition offering up some potent teasers in the shape of singles of which Degenerate Moon is an infestation of sound, a noise rock bred trespass of ears and imagination as captivating in its melodic craft as it is in fuzz induced irreverence.

Almost menacingly infectious and with a melodic enterprise verging on the toxic, the track is a moment of raw beauty further escalated by the entrancing tones of Liú Mottes, the former guitarist in Blue Crime and New YX and currently part of SOON, Slow Worries, and OBOL LE. Her solo project, Alienbaby Collective creates a sound which holds no fear in going where the listener may fear yet as proven by the bewitching Degenerate Moon it is the source of haunting pleasure, something also epitomised within double A-sided single Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up released even more recently, an incitement which fascinates as it courts emotive responses to its post punk endowed noise rock nurtured predominantly instrumental haunting.

Together both singles suggest, no insist, that Fishbowl/ Terrestrial is a challenge ears and imaginations should take on.

Lastly we have for your intrigue, the new single from The Mystery Plan. With their fifth album, Zsa Zsa, scheduled for an April release through Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings, the US outfit drop the enticing offering of Ballad of JC Quinn as a lead and warm up for intrigue and attention on March 6th.

The song is a vibrant and infectious slice of the band’s dream pop meets melodic alternative rock adventure. With lively “folk nova” rhythms adding to the swinging instinctive funk stroll of the song, it needed little time to reveal a richness of ingredients and flavours as equally swift captivation.

Having already ignited the senses and appetite with previous uniquely sounding and equally contagious single, the Massive Attack-esque Al Gore Rhythms, the North Carolina hailing quintet repeat the captivating deed again with Ballad of JC Quinn; The Mystery Plan laying down grounds for a definite exploration of the sure to be unique charms of Zsa Zsa.

Painted Ocean from Harry Stafford is digitally available now with Gothic Urban Blues released March 27th, both via Black Lagoon Records with album pre-ordering available now @ https://harrystafford.bandcamp.com/album/gothic-urban-blues

https://www.facebook.com/harrystaffordUK/    https://twitter.com/harrystaf62

The Day is Over from 6th Crowd is available now @ https://6thcrowd.bandcamp.com/track/the-day-is-over

https://www.facebook.com/6thcrowd

Alienbaby Collective’s Degenerate Moon and Fruit/I Don’t Recall Waking Up are out now through Humm Recordings with pre-ordering for Fishbowl/ Terrestrial available @ https://hummrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/alienbaby-collective-fishbowl-terrestrial-lp-humm10

https://www.facebook.com/alienbabycollective/

The Mystery Plan drop Ballad of JC Quinn on March 6th via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings with Zsa Zsa due for release April 3rd.

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan,

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright