Stoor – Fleam

Though addictions are triggered early on they seem to put on truly inescapable nagging shackles over time but there is one for us which was immediate, thickly gripping and has just squeezed the life out of free will ever since and that is the new album from Scottish outfit Stoor. Admittedly the seeds had been sown and blossomed already for the Dundee quartet’s unique sound through their 2015 uncaged self-titled debut album but a craving Fleam has now escalated to all devouring heights. Like the last and first thought around sleep will be of a true if maybe unattainable love, right now our every musical urge starts and ends with Stoor.

It is hard to believe that Stoor is still not a band eagerly on the lips of thick waves of indie, rock, and post punk fans after their striking first full-length but surely a puzzle going to be solved through the aberrantly extraordinary Fleam. Again bred in a sound which has echoes and inspirations of seventies/eighties post punk and rawer new wave antics, Fleam has discovered a whole new level of virulence in the hooks, melodies, and imagination which made up its predecessor. It is a mischievously multi-flavoured experience though which leaves predictability and expectations barren on the kerbside of its compelling adventure.

Released through Stereogram Recordings who are ever reliable to bring fascinating proposals to the ears, Fleam opens with the appetite securing instrumental simply called Stoor Theme. As the album’s title represents, the band’s fresh sound strikes at the heart and cuts through the thick, wasteful but deceptive excesses which fatten the success and manipulate the common ear into providing undeserved attention and through the simple but incisive groove ‘n’ roll of its initial offering makes the first hook loaded score.

It is an imagination sparking, body twisting coaxing quickly matched in craft and temptation by successor, Pain. Instantly there is an air of sonic vexation from which a bold and boisterous stroll swings forth wrapped in the wiry enterprise of guitarists Ross Matheson and Davie Young whilst driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Scott McKinlay and bassist Stef Murray. The track was soon scooping up lusty attention and even more so as it twisted through a great and devilish pop infested post punk escapades within its undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. With Murray’s lead vocals just as magnetic and persuasive to participation, the track easily stole the passions.

It is a success soon shared across Fleam starting with the pair of Lovebombing and Dig. The first comes equipped with danger and threat as well as another dose of pure musical contagion that infests ears and instincts. Nurtured in punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and armed with a lyrical prowess which grips as effortlessly as the feral sounds surrounding it, the track simply enslaved before the second of the two sauntered in and exploded in a flame of melodic discord and eccentric invention. With a breath akin to The Nightingales in league with Television Personalities to it, the track burrowed under the skin laying bait and temptation which for just over two minutes feasted on any possible resistance to its esurient endeavour.

Ark follows, its opening lure loaded croon posted in a dusty mono background before eventually leaping through ears with Murray’s tones riding its undisturbed stride. Within, the primal edge to his bass is just as appetising but equally so are the strands of sonic thread igniting the senses courtesy of the rapaciously enterprising guitars; it all seemingly imposing greater temptation as the track’s volatility ignites and erupts in a predatory trespass.

Dancing around as the world crumbles, new single Atrocities is next and immediately has the body bouncing and imagination flirting with its XTC/ Orange Juice-esque celebration bred in a Fire Engines tuned jangle cast amidst the howl of windy discordance and apocalyptic corruptions. Haunting and rousing from its first sonic rattle, its uninhibited dust finally settles as the adventurous exploits of Agags Groove steps forth. As ever the persistently captivating and manipulative beats of McKinlay steer an inescapable quest for band and listener, the instrumental simply a web of intimation and temptation spanning past decades of flavouring woven into its own unique espionage.

McKinlay is even more a puppeteer within Founding Father, straight away directing body movement with provocative craft which soon invites guitars and bass to add their own similarly devious ideation and touch. Celestial melodies subsequently escape to expand the fascination and draw of another sublimely delicious moment within Fleam, the track as seductive as it is a cauldron of disquiet and dark suggestion before the following Unlike Them brings a declaration of defiance, anarchy and musical insurrection to bear on an apathetic landscape.

The album concludes with the incendiary magnificence of Chivers; a tapestry of rhythmic stalking, carnivorous basslines, and melodic friction united in irresistible incitement further loaded by thought grabbing vocals. Lure and challenge, a term which can be applied to the whole of the release, the song is unapologetic slavery and a glorious close to the album, its mercurial but always agitational and rousing body pure inspirational pleasure.

If Stoor had been there helping drive the Scottish post punk/postcard scene way back they would be cited as an inspiration for so many just as Orange Juice, The Fire Engines, and Josef K but do not confuse that suggestion with thoughts that the band is not one of music’s most fresh and exciting propositions right now and with releases like Fleam you can be sure they will be inspiring the creativity in numerous propositions to come.

Fleam is released on white and black vinyl, CD, and download via Stereogram Recordings March 30th across numerous online stores including https://stoor1.bandcamp.com/ with a special album launch show at Dundee’s Beat Generator Live! the release night.

https://www.facebook.com/stoormusic/   https://twitter.com/STOOR44   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/artists/stoor/

Pete RingMaster 26/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Idles – Brutalism

Photo by Stephanie Elizabeth Third

An infestation of the senses, a raw roar on all our responsibilities, and a contagious noise fuelled trespass on everything in between, Brutalism is one of the essential incitements of not only 2017 but we would suggest the decade as a whole. The debut album from British quintet Idles rips into personal and social issues with the insatiable attitude and defiance unleashed in the late seventies, its irritable sound as much punk rock rage as it is a post punk/noise rock  enslaving of the imagination and psyche.

Each song from the Bristol five-piece of Joe Talbot, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Adam Devonshire, and Jon Beavis is a creative growl, a visceral antagonism with an infectious edge and mischief just as bruising and incisive. Dedicated in part to the loss of Talbot’s mother, who adorns the record’s cover, Brutalism is stretched with such invasive treats, from start to finish a mordant adventure, challenge, and accusation as witty as it is vicious, as devilish as it is ferocious. With Idles in the early days of an UK tour, their first album is sure to see it’s already eagerly devoured and anticipated 25 dates embraced by even greater fevered support.

Straight away band and album show uniqueness within a proposition which also swiftly inspires thoughts of bands such as The Fall, Swell Maps, and early The Horrors. There is so much more to it though as that originality shows, opener Heel_Heal cantankerously striding from an initial dispute with an intrusively nagging riff and rhythmic tenacity which alone lures keen attention as Talbot’s equally confrontational vocals snarl. Punk rock infested with crabbily textured noise, the track rumbles and grumbles; band vocals as anthemically rousing and spiteful as the general character of the outstanding starter.

Fellow Bristolians, The St Pierre Snake Invasion also come to mind with the song and successor Well Done, the second a sonically twisted and lyrically spiky shuffle making use of body and imagination like a peeved puppeteer. Its persistent jabs tenderise the senses for the scourges of sound which erupt to further scorch, Idles pressing all the right buttons for lusty reactions before uncaging the equally enslaving Mother. An irresistible bassline cores the next track, its dark tempting soon surrounded by swinging beats and scuzzy riffs, all uniting with Artery meets Gang Of Four scented tempestuousness. Again no punches in sound and word are pulled, one of numerous traits within the Idles sound which leaves there little to be taken lightly but plenty to find a seriously keen appetite for.

Date Night reveals a tango loaded with a rhythmic incitement which barely stays in the same place more than a second or two, its beats on hot coals but with a composure which aligns perfectly with the monotone growl of the bass. As guitars saunter and blaze, Talbot magnetically assaults with word and character, the volatile squall of the track then emulated in its own way by Faith In the City and its post punk ‘n’ roll causticity. A rousing irritant exposing essences hinting at bands such as again Artery and The Nightingales, submission to its lively acerbic inducement is quick and just as rapid as next up 1049 Gotho waltzes with irritated intent and pounding beats into ears and psyche. For all it and the other song’s choleric probing and inventive dexterity, sonic squeals a delight, there is a melodic lining which as subtle as it might be at times just inflames the catchiness and adventure of all escapades.

Wiry tendrils have ears encroached and alive as Divide & Conquer rises with its own particular grumble of sound, the guitars creating a web of raw enticement as bass and beats prowl with a testy air, Talbot stalking it all with his increasingly compelling tones. The increase in energy and ferociousness only adds to the captivation before Rachel Khoo and Stendahl Syndrome irascibly serenade and fractiously critiques respectively; both unloading their sonic and lyrical venom with snappy and quarrelsome devilry.

Next up Exeter has a slightly lazier gait but still imposes its punk ‘n’ roll canter with addiction forging rhythmic cunning as guitars and vocals get under the skin with their respective exploits like a Fatima Mansions/ Big Black collusion exploring creatively fresh impositions. Both tracks leave an already greedy appetite hungry for more, a lust more than fed by the kinetic stomp and sonic psychosis of Benzocaine and equally by the punk grumble and waspish word prowess of White Privilege.

Idles leave their arguably greatest moment for its final track, though each listen only elevates another moment to drool over. Slow Savage is a haunting dyspeptically lined embrace living up to its title as keys and voice fill the low-key and stark atmospheric mist hugging the imagination as a heartbeat of rhythm throbs. It is a dark, melancholic rapture violating as much as seducing the senses and a thrilling end to one exceptional release.

Being truly excited by something new or unique is a treat rarely found these days, Idles though have cracked that desire in fine style with Brutalism.

Brutalism is out now on Balley Records through iTunes and other stores.

Upcoming Dates on the Brutalism Tour…

March 2017

Thursday 16th – Brighton – The Prince Albert

Friday 17th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum

Saturday 18th – Bedford – Esquires

Monday 20th – Oxford – The Bullingdon

Tuesday 21st – Sheffield – The Plug

Wednesday 22nd – Newcastle Upon Tyne – Think Tank

Thursday 23rd – Aberdeen – Tunnels

Friday 24th – Dundee – Buskers

Saturday 25th – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s

Monday 27th – York – The Crescent

Tuesday 28th – Hull – The Adelphi

Wednesday 29th – Nottingham – The Bodega

Thursday 30th – Liverpool – O2 Academy 2

Friday 31st – Wakefield – Unity Hall

April 2017

Monday 3rd – Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill

Tuesday 4th – Preston – Guildhall

Wednesday 5th – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach

http://www.idlesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlesband    https://twitter.com/idlesband

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Horse Party – Paydirt EP

photo by Kate Wood  White-Robot Photography

photo by Kate Wood White-Robot Photography

Often there comes an underlying fear with something that is so good it makes you drool but still seems to go unrecognised by the masses, that success always managing to evade the deserved. So it is with the music of Horse Party which continue to release fiercely exhilarating songs bred on a sound which is furiously fresh but with an old friend like invitation. The British alternative rock ‘n’ rollers have done so yet again with new EP Paydirt, a captivation of three fiery tracks breathing open diversity within the band’s superb fusion of emotive aggression and bewitching charm. It is an incitement which manages to be raw, mellow, and incendiary simultaneously, basically manna for ears and imagination. There is a line in the EP’s second song which declares “We are the eye of the storm”, and that sums up Horse Party and their gripping sound as a whole perfectly.

Since emerging in 2012, Bury St Edmunds based trio of guitarist/ vocalist Ellie Langley, guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, and drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope have explored and developed their music through a host of songs, starting with the track Clarion Call which was even more impressively followed by their first official single Back To Mono in 2013. Grabbing ears and appetites of an increasing fan base and the underground media, the band pooled that early success, in turn sparking greater spotlight on them and acclaim, with their debut album Cover Your Eyes a year later. Equally the band’s live and hungry presence has also lured only praise and a potent reputation, Horse Party sharing stages with bands such as Tunng, Pinkunoizu, Shonen Knife, Heartless Bastards, Ghostpoet, Slaves, Levellers, Basement Jaxx, The Nightingales, Dingus Khan, We Are The Physics, and Vuvuvultures over the past years.

cover_RingMaster Review     This year has already seen a pair of striking propositions from the band with a new chapter in the movement and evolution of their sound. The double A-side single Out Of Sight/Receiver was first, its two songs revealing new growth and smoother textures to their still raunchily organic sound, an exciting turn taken forward again by What I’d Do just a few weeks back. The single was a rousing mix of bracing roars and intimate caresses, of light and dark emotions with again that now keener surface to an instinctively unpredictable and riveting enterprise. Paydirt continues the captivating adventure in sound but also as most of its predecessors comes with its own stock of individual surprises and addictive invention.

The EP’s title track is first, pumped beats and spicy riffs the first bait offered with the former just managing to hold a rein on urgency and the latter sizzling on flesh with their inviting tang. Within a few more breaths additional slithers of groove and nags of magnetism join in through the second guitar as Langley just as potently entices with her recognisable, melancholy lined tones. Alone the song has the appetite chained, lips only more ravenously licked as the track burst into scuzzy roars within an ever addictive stroll. Dark emotions and predatory shadows equally lurk throughout, as too a hint of bedlam in the song’s exciting tempestuous moments; it all uniting for another breath-taking Horse Party incitement.

Second track Animal similarly makes a rousingly compelling start with choppy rhythms and riffs which almost stalk the rich voice of Langley. It swiftly forges its own identity though as teasing melodies and caustic tempting spring from Quigley’s fingers on string, licking the senses like flames whilst Hope badgers with her flirtatious beats. A sublime breeze of psych rock brews within the track too, finding its moment to croon in an oasis of mellowness within the stormy textures of the song. A whiff of post punk only adds to the alchemy, with Au Pairs coming to mind as the track leads the listener on a merry escapade of drama and imagination.

The closing acoustic based seduction of October has ears enchanted as the EP completes its rich temptation. In every second of the song, melancholy smoulders through word and emotion whilst melodies and the vocal union of Langley and Quigley simply mesmerises. As in every release to date, increasing depths to the songwriting and invention of the band are revealed, sublimely in this third song and though it does at first take a touch longer to whip up the lustful reactions as earned by its companions within Paydirt, it has emotions and thoughts chained with increasing potency over every eager listen.

Paydirt is another irresistible gem from Horse Party, a band which it is impossible to tire of saying ‘ just gets better and better’. It is time for the UK to wake up, indeed Europe and the world, to the Horse Party; if you do not you are truly missing out.

The Paydirt EP is available via R*E*P*E*A*T Records/Pure Deadly digitally and on 7” vinyl from 4th September.

Pete RingMaster 31/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Horse Party – Cover Your Eyes

Horse Party by Kate Wood

Horse Party by Kate Wood

Their previous singles teased and seduced but now UK indie band Horse Party go straight for the heart with their debut album Cover Your Eyes. Its eight varied and shapely tracks provide a raw and flavoursome adventure which simply captures the imagination with no respite whilst simultaneously asserting the Bury St Edmunds trio as one of the brightest emergences in recent times.

The birth of the band goes back to a drunken night in a church where drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley badgered guitarist/ vocalist Ellie Langley through ‘abusive messages’ to join up with them. Fuelled by a mutual passion for the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films, Horse Party came in existence and soon pulled in strong acclaim with debut track Clarion Call, a free release which took the band to the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing whilst sparking numerous support slot offers including one with Dingus Khan. A second single and a live EP called Scarlet & Blue followed to increase the weight of their emergence whilst last year saw the trio playing over fifty shows which including sharing stages with bands such as Tunng, Pinkunoizu, Shonen Knife, Heartless Bastards, Ghostpoet, The Nightingales, and Vuvuvultures, perform a live broadcast via BBC Introducing from the new John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, and release their third single through new label Integrity. It was certainly a fruitful and busy year for the band, one set to continue in this with already the album release and a tour currently being undertaken proving a striking success.

The album opens with Back To Mono, a track which instantly jabs at the ears with fuzz lined guitar strokes with a more than  Horse-Party-CD-case-web-versionBeatle-esque tempting to their dramatic coaxing. The jagged tease is soon aligned to an equally compelling melodic exploration and feisty rhythms whilst Ellie’s vocals cast a stirring lure over the lot. It is not an explosive track but one which is unrelenting in its repetitive incitement and insatiable in its want to charge up the imagination. The firm almost imposing beats continue to drive on the track, never relinquishing their potent bait even in the more open and blustery chorus. The song is merciless with its enticements, band vocals a glorious web to lay their narrative and the sonic designs veining the song irresistible colour, but it is that blinkered core of the song which steals the biggest rapture.

Clarion Call makes a less striking entrance but with its minimalistic guitar bait equally draws a keen tempting which flourishes further with the addition of the distinct vocal of Ellie and against lively beats. Before they bring their rich hues there is a feel of Young Marble Giants to the song which then develops into a broader deeper catch of sixties garage rock and chilled indie persuasion. The further it extends its body the stronger and fuller the track evolves, guitars again painting evocative textures which the vocals and chilled harmonies wrap themselves around. Already the album has attention and appetite seduced which Scarlet & Blue reinforces with its smouldering caress and sultry air. Though it is a simmering melody crafted temptation there is fire in the belly of the temptress, incendiary raw clashes of percussion and riff providing imposing crescendos within the graceful and mesmeric immersion of the senses. Live the track is masterful but now having heard in from a studio breeding, it shouts with the emotive beauty and innovative invention of Horse Party.

The following Inbetween with a skittish percussive invitation brings a Fleetwood Mac elegance and flight to its equally vivacious energy. It is a tremendous mix, soaring melodies and mellow vocals tempering but egging on a racy energy and brisk rhythmic provocation. It is another infectious and inciting pleasure easily matched and surpassed by What Do You Need. From a great first impression when released at the tail of last year, the single has grown in weight and potency over time for us and sitting within the album seems in its element as it boldly opens with drama and intensive seducing which outrivals even the first track. A restrained strum is punctuated with deliciously heavily weighted drum thumps, their dynamic pokes spearing the maze of melodic intrigue spiralling across the canvas of the song. Their forceful intent is tempered once the vocals unveil their expression within the weave of the song, though within that restraint they wait to pounce again, which they do with a slow but certain relish as the song stretches and explores its boiling textures and imaginative corners. The busy chorus brings thoughts of Alanis Morissette but only to flavour another original and frisky encounter from the band.

The next up Six returns to a sweltering climate, its thick heat and evocative atmosphere enveloping ears and thoughts with emotive tenderness whilst guitars and bass carve absorbing shadows. Passion flows as animatedly as the sonic sculpting which fires up the jazzy expulsions of the song whilst that sixties feel permeates yet again with a garage rock blaze to the sweltering air lying invitingly over the enthralling creative landscape.

     Let The Man Die catches expectations by surprise not only, as the songs, with its immensely tasty sounds and invention but also by Quigley taking the lead, his tones a potent variation to the album. The song is pure rock pop, the most accessible track for newcomers proving that the strings to their creative bow are as wide as they are diverse. The track is unafraid to add a little post punk beauty especially in its climax either, just to tease and reassure that intrigue is never too far away from the heart of the songwriting.

Closing with the acoustic To Know You Less, a very decent gentle caress to end the show, Cover Your Eyes is pure aural majesty. Singles alone have suggested that Horse Party is a very special proposition but together with their new companions they declare the band as one of the UK’s most exciting and original prospects. Remember it is still early days for the band too so horizons look very rosy for them and us.

Cover Your Eyes is available digitally now via Integrity Records with a gatefold CD version with 16-page booklet released on Monday 12th May 2014.

http://www.horsepartyparty.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 23/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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