Autopsy Boys – Return of the acid casualty auto humans

AB_RingMasterReview

After tenaciously grabbing ears and imagination last year with their mischievous invention and punk bred sound through the singles No Ambition and Song For Debbera, electro punk miscreants Autopsy Boys are poised to release their eagerly awaited new album this month. We call the band electro punk but as their fans know and the upcoming Return of the acid casualty auto humans shows, the British quartet’s sound has more distinct styles and textures than a high street boutique. New wave, punk, horror punk, industrial rock, metal…the list goes on to the flavours making up an album which has the creative devilry and mischief of a Saw movie and the relentless hungry adventure of a computer game.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist/keyboardist Lee Brunskjill and bassist Gary Hargreaves, who had already been making music together from 2006, the Leeds hailing Autopsy Boys stepped into the light when the founding pair were asked to open local hard-core punk and heavy metal all day event Beefstock IV. Recruiting friends for the supposedly one off moment, the band simply continued to play and create, with guitarist Alan Laird and drummer Sam Shelton (who recently left to be replaced by Billy James Mitchell) subsequently linking up with Brunskjill and Hargreaves. The following time also saw the earlier post punk inspired sounds of writers and band move into a hardcore punk arena of sound whilst still infusing the healthy revelry of synthesizers and samples into their horror movie/gaming inspired themes.

Singles like Rich Kids Playground/ Negative 8 and Crushing On Cynthia sparked increasing attention the band’s way as too debut album Def Elements in 2012. For all their successes though and that found by both No Ambition and Song For Debbera, the twenty one hefty Return of the acid casualty auto humans is looking like being a whole new ball game for attention and reputation. From start to finish, the album is a maelstrom of diversely flavoured and feverishly explosive tracks sure to ignite the buds of anyone with a taste for electronic, punkish, and bruising confrontational incitements.

Artwork by White Dolemite

Artwork by White Dolemite

Curated by Canadian actress/film director Debbie Rochon, Return of the acid casualty auto humans has attention quickly gripped; The acid test featuring Johnny Violent providing a brief intro with dark threatening shadows to its portentous coaxing on the way to turning into the rousing exploits of 27.8.89. With Blag Dahlia, who we are assuming is indeed the front-man of mighty punk band the Dwarves, the second song opens with an infectious electro rock tempting around steely riffs and firmly landed beats. Becoming more imposing as atmospheric keys collude with dark rhythms but never breaking its catchy intent, the Hadouken! scented song has appetite keen and ready for the fiercer proposition that is Just dance with me. Punkishly irritable and atmospherically sinister, the track quickly badgers and stirs up the senses with a hardcore seeded stomp carrying just a whiff of The Dickies to it.

As strong and heftily pleasing as the album is so far, I’m gonna kill myself lays down a certain pinnacle next. From Hargreaves‘ grievously throaty bassline to the intimidating fusion of vocals and belligerent riffs, it has body and emotions thickly involved in its punk rock challenge and lyrical adventure. Psych rock keys simply add to the raw and vibrant fun as the track reveals just some of the array of flavours fuelling the album.

The band’s early post punk style is still an element which has its say at times and Summers over makes riveting use of those textures with its nagging bassline and steely presence before erupting in a senses scorching crescendo. Like Artery on acid, the song is increasingly captivating just as the old school punk blessed Breakfast at retro Betty’s boutique which gets even more antagonistically incendiary as guest Al Skull adds to the contrasting vocal and sonic trespasses.

Through the power pop/grunge rock coloured STRAWBS! and Song for Debbera, the album demands attention, the first of the two uncaging virulent rock ‘n’ roll with the pugnacious nature of a street brawl. Its successor, with Rochon providing another great entrance to a song, is a contagious electro pop canter with an eighties new wave spattering of noise and bait hinting at bands like The Normal and Inca Babies. Both tracks keep pleasure full, though they soon get eclipsed by the muggy intensity and predacious character of  the excellent Lotti will conduct the same experiment on several different humans and in turn the similarly raucous and bracing Denton ward honey trap. Both tracks are simply shots of punk adrenaline giving the appetite more to be greedy over.

The chase scene provides a dance-punk /r&b infused distraction next; featuring Junior Bear and Debbie Rochon, the song is a lively eighties toned stroll which again enjoyably takes album and sound in another pleasing direction if without quite stirring up the instincts as powerfully as We’re gonna need more bodybags. Visceral in tone and punk ‘n’ roll predation, the song’s blending of metal, hardcore, and electro punk voracity has the body bouncing and energies exhausted by its close leaving Agoraphobia to exploit all with its own frantically bruising and anthemically inflamed incitement. There are numerous pinnacles to the heady landscape of the album, this an unmissable one immediately followed by another in the glorious Level 7: Compulsive. Basking in the involvement of Leeds duo Petrol Bastard, the track goes for the jugular from its first breath; weaving every strain of punk into its own hellacious addiction for ears as its punk irritability and addictiveness provides the canvas for the grin inducing vocal prowess and devilment of band and guest.

The album is at its fullest height now, the past trio of treats matched by the psychotic drama of Every good sitcom gets cancelled after the pilot where Brunskjill seems to have been stuffed down a drain pipe to present his narrative whilst around him a tempest of rock ‘n’ roll boils over as an even more deranged than normal Cardiacs like kaleidoscope of insanity flirts with the imagination.

Lusty reactions continue to be stirred by the Rochon introduced Bubblegum where the guest vocals of Rebecca Lindley especially light up ears within more robustly tenacious endeavour. There is equally no relaxing of appetite and eagerness for Cigarette burns which follows with Al Skull again on board. Though carrying a feel of Peter and The Test Tube Babies and The Adicts to its raw punk storm, keys and the Autopsy Boys ingenuity only twists it inside out to forge another fresh infestation of the senses before the electro punk pop stroll of Every little thing has hips and emotions swinging.

The gentler but no less attitude loaded electronic proposal of Disco for psychopaths steps up next, its creative wares leading to nothing less than unbridled satisfaction. It is a success quickly matched by Town full of microdots and its hungry torrent of hardcore belligerence and rhythmic animosity with Al Skull back again to add to its ravenous snarl, and indeed the melodically acoustic and rabidly frenetic stalker that is Totally obsessed with you which brings the album to a devilishly magnetic close.

With so many tracks there was the fear even as a long-time fan and player of the band’s songs on our podcasts, that Return of the acid casualty auto humans would be a collection of undoubted triumphs but also a few fine but inescapable fillers. From start to finish though, there is no weak link or a song seemingly thrown in to make up the numbers. The album’s strong start just gets bigger, bolder, and more irresistible song by song with, of course particular moments which really ignite personal tastes along the way.

So come the end of the month, we suggest you go treat yourself to an album certain to ride high on many end of year best of lists. Did we mention that the album is to be released by the band as a free download too, with a CD and vinyl release at a later date; as their music might suggest, the band must be mad!

Return of the acid casualty auto humans is released 30th April as a free download via  https://autopsyboys.bandcamp.com/

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

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Naked Lunch – Beyond Planets

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    The return of Naked Lunch, one of the UK’s first electronic rock bands, has been an increasingly impressive and thrilling proposition with a clutch of single showing that this is not just an aesthetic return of an eighties band as with so many others. Reinventing their sound and early songs with a craft and invention which sees them an easy fit in the modern premise of electronic world as well as casting new and invigoratingly inciting encounters to bask in, the band has made a striking statement with their debut album Beyond Planets. Anticipation was high because of the previous singles but the album exceeded all assumptions and hopes with its refreshing and magnetic slices of electro rock/pop.

    Originally formed in 1979 by vocalist Tony Mayo and guitarist Gary Shepherd, under the name Sons of Perdition at first with Naked Lunch becoming the moniker after their debut gig, the band built a strong and feverishly followed presence through shows with the likes of DAF, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, B Movie, and Clock DVA, as well as their own gigs and tours, and first single Rabies. The band also made a major contribution in helping Stevo find bands for the ground-breaking Some Bizarre compilation album which was released via the Daniel Miller (The Normal) owned Mute Records and to which the band itself contributed the track La Femme. That first single followed to acclaim and good support though was banned from day-time radio play because of its title; but subsequently line-up changes and differences led to the band ending in 1981, though there was a short lived live presence through Mayo until 1985.

   2010 saw Mayo reunite with early member Paul Davies with the pair writing new material before original line-up members Mick Clark and Cliff Chapman joined a year later. The band was expanded by Mark Irvine in 2012 and Jet Noir last year. First single Alone sparked the attention and bred an appetite in a great many for the band’s return, which the following Slipping Again, Again and Glow only reinforced and accelerated. Now with their excellent debut album, Naked Lunch position themselves back to the fore of British electronic music with a mature craft and imaginative invention which time has obviously bred in their creativity.

     Opening track We Are, the new video single from the band, opens on an electronic dazzling of sound and sonic light, a space bred beckoning enticing the imagination into play. From the celestial ambience magnetic beats soon register an eager coaxing before stretching the bait with firmer rhythmic temptation. The song soon settles into a restrained stroll with vibrant electro colour courting the somber and pressing dark vocals. It is an enthralling mix with a subdued funk swagger, the track playing like a mix of Fad Gadget and Yello as the narrative sets the scene and premise of the release, humanity in all its oppressive shadows. The song takes longer to fully convince than subsequent tracks it is fair to say but ultimately succeeds to set the album off on a potent and engaging start.

    Slipping Again, Again comes next, the song a reworking of the B-side Slipping Again of that very first single. The song has a dark bordering on sinister essence to vocals and ambience which adds a delicious noir breath to the tantalising mix of melodic enterprise and rhythmic revelry. The dust clad tones of Mayo only accentuate the heavy intrigue and shadow of the song whilst the synth teasing and guitar sculpted flames provide riveting adventure and mystery to the contagious and menacing croon of the song. It is an enthralling new chapter to the original song and easily ignites the senses before being straight away matched by next up Rabies. A new album version of the band’s first success, the track emerges on a skittish shuffle of percussive bait soon joined by pumping electro vibrancy and caustic guitar scratching. The band has taken the heart and essential power of the original but polished up its sides and intent to sculpt an even greater contemporary synth pop dance. It is a mouthwatering piece of enterprise which alone shows how the band has evolved and grown its sound without losing the  striking glory of its first entrance.

     The album continues to raise its plateau as the next trio of songs starting with Emotional Turmoil, toy with, entrance, and manipulate the passions. The track is a bouncy infection drenched romp of electro pop with scuzz kissed guitar and seductive sonic beckoning all framed by a rhythmic toxicity which is equally irresistible. A tonic for any down trodden day, the track is an energy fuelling, emotion regenerating dance of creative endeavour and irrepressible mischief. It is immediately followed by a new version of Le Femme, the song receiving its originally intended spelling but one changed by Miller for the Some Bizarre release. Like Rabies, the track is bursting with fresh updated invention but without losing any of its original strengths, and like the other thoroughly enjoyable. Alone steps in next with its shadowed brew of evocative elegance within an almost oppressive web of emotional drama, its premise that of individuals in a disconnection to the world the voice within an immersive atmosphere. It is a gentler embrace than the previous tracks but no less resourceful and thrilling.

The album’s best track, Weekend Behaviour struts in next with an instantly addictive electro seduction, a tempting soon aided by less intensive vocals and a wash of melodic radiance. It is slightly deceitful though as from within the warm stomp returning intimidation coated vocals join the affray alongside a snarling graze of guitar aligned to raucous energy. The song is a scintillating brew of electro rock with old school punk rock essences taunting and firing up the passions.

     A new version for the album of that previously mentioned single B-side, Slipping Again treats the ear next with similar success to the other re-workings on Beyond Planets whilst its successor Glow, a song which like all the recent singles gets an album make-over, provides a Landscape like expanse of exploratory imagination from the keys and guitar within a smouldering and pulsating electronic soundscape. With a delicious groove around and spicy twang to its central narrative, the track is a lofty pinnacle in a climate of peaks.

     Completed by the excellent Fade Away with its absorbing oscillating radiance and electro majesty, Beyond Planets is an outstanding exploit in a vibrantly expressive journey. Rich in nostalgia but only to the extent of re-kindling old flames to unite with greater new and potent excitements, the album easily declares Naked Lunch the real deal to give all the young electro bucks a run for their creative money.

www.nakedlunch.org.uk

9/10

RingMaster 11/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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RKC (Roses Kings Castles) – British Plastic

British Plastic the new album from RKC ripples with the lo-fi DIY feel inspired by the late 70’s punk rise and the electronic pop sensibilities that followed. Ex- Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek has created an adventurous and vibrant release that brings two eras into an undeniably engaging and unique union to bring some welcome nostalgia alongside thrilling new adventures.

Originally named as Roses Kings Castles, the name having been abbreviated recently, the band was first conceived in 2007 for songs that were too ‘odd pop’ for Babyshambles, the project to be an underground base for their emergence. A debut self titled album released via his own label, The Sycamore Club in 2008 received strong acclaim, as did the subsequent 2009 Apples & Engines EP and 2010 album Suburban Time Bomb. With British Plastic also via The Sycamore Club, there is an evolution not only in the reduction from being a six piece unit on its predecessor to all instrumentation coming from Ficek apart from lead guitar from former band mate in Babyshambles Patrick Walden, but also in a bigger and bolder adventurous sound.  

The album was recorded solely in Ficek’s makeshift home studio and I guess critics could claim a naivety and at times an undefined sound on the production but one would argue this adds to the instinctive and personal feel that a polished big studio treatment would have lost. The accompanying bio to the album comments that British Plastic is an ‘aural scuffle between The Buzzcocks and The Beta Band’s resurgent hero Steve Mason’ which is a very apt declaration especially on songs like ‘I Can’t Say’ which has a distinct Pete Shelley flavour to the melodies against the mesmeric electronics and pulses. There is much more to the music here though, many classic bands and sounds fused into modern touches and additives. This song epitomises everything that is British Plastic, its electronic pop recalling bands like early Depeche Mode, The Normal and especially The The, blending with the DIY of bands like The Television Personalities and the disquiet from the likes of The Strokes.

The tracks within British Plastic are varied with the only inconsistency coming from the best songs on the album being so good they show up the slightly ‘weaker’ ones. Opener ‘These Are The Days’ is a perfect start to the release, its pop tendencies and open sounds the perfect invitation into the album’s unique qualities. The song reminded of 80’s band King Trigger with its electronic flowing sounds surrounding natural melodies and rhythms; the bass is pretty tasty too.

The song ‘Here Comes The Summer’ has already garnered attention and airplay with its fuzzed up sounds, urgency and The Cure like pop laced with a grittier approach and completes a strong ‘awkward’ pop beginning to the album. The first single from the album ‘Kittens Become Cats’ follows next. A more subdued and soulful song but no less intriguing and satisfying though maybe a surprising choice as lead track to draw people in as good as it is.

Many highlights follow, the punk vibe of ‘People And Places’, the scuzzy air of ‘Seeds Of Moscow’, and the pulsating discordant experimental delights of ‘Tapping’ all play easily and with enterprise upon the ear. It is the quick fire incessant post punk drive of ‘Cockroach’ that takes the top dog award on the album. With essences of 80’s bands The Three Johns, Swell Maps and Wire mixed in with some The Mae Shi and The Pixies, the track is a wonderful hypnotic inflamed blast at life.

Fuelled by a feeling of anger and distrust the album is a thrilling and expressive release that shows real music does not need to be polished beyond recognition to be very satisfying and stunningly effective. The more one listens the deeper the attraction and love affair with British Plastic and RKC.

Check out the British Plastic @rkcmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

RingMaster 01/11/2011

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