Plug – Back On The Skull

plug

With more hip grinding grooves than a dozen pole dancing establishments, and certainly heavier boned treats, Back On The Skull the debut album from Texan noise rockers Plug enslaves and dances with the passions in exhausting and riveting style. With jackhammer rhythms powering ridiculously addictive grooves and equally seductive riffs, the eleven track juggernaut creates a loud and virulently compelling storm which is far too easy to greedily devour to surely be safe for any of us.

Formed in 2010 and consisting of ex and current members of Mammoth Grinder, Iron Age, Bitter End, FEED, and The Mites, Plug merges a voracious mix of noise and hard rock with metallic sinews and punk antagonism whilst stoner and psychedelic enticements add their  seduction. It is an exhaustive and breath-taking brew which simply ignites the imagination and passion. Imagine a tonic being made up from the essences of Unsane, Melvins, Torche, Red Fang, and Helmet whilst Dead Kennedys pees in the pot and you get a reasonably close dose to what Plug has to offer. It is a sound which is not exactly unique but neither is it without a distinctive flavour and intrigue of its very own, Back On The Skull working and playing hard from the moment it touches the ears and rewarding with a torrent of mouth-watering intensity and noisy drama clad adventure.

The San Antonio quintet of vocalist Tyler Lutz, guitarists Scott Corbin and Zach Brin, drummer Raul Vela IV, and Chris Ulsh of Mammoth Grinder, Power Trip, Hatred Surge, and The Impalers who provides the bass guitar for the album (Reed Deangelis the band’s current bassist), immediately chomp on the ears with opener Babysmile. Riffs and rhythms are almost grinning as they launch their muscular persuasion; a mischief soaking their thumping lure which evolves into a full swagger as the track extends its temptation with a rousing stroll through infection soaked grooving aligned to rhythmic taunting. The vocals of Lutz match the call of the music and with all aspects making an anthemic union, there is an irresistible recruitment of total attention and submission from its recipient.

     Meanwhile… is more than eager to back-up the immense start, its own wanton romp swinging brazenly between rhythmic coverlegs as grooves and riffs again cast a spell of noise bred contagion for a minute and a half before evolving into the title track. Bringing a heavier weighted energy and intent, the third song stalks its victim with a leaden prowl wrapped in scuzz lilted melodies and harmonically scorched vocals. There is an element of The Pixies and more so Melvins to the smouldering intensive bait on show but again it only flavours a magnetic sonic causticity distinct to Plug.

A potent bass coaxing opens up next track Rainbow To Hell, the song continuing the arguably subtle shifts in character through the early tracks on the album but equally increasing that variety with its sludge coated predation of the imagination. A slower burner than its predecessors, the immersive encounter employs further detailed yet restrained twists and turns in its invention within a patient consumption. It does not quite match those early heights either but easily reinforces the appetite ready for the likes of the following cover of Discharge’s State Violence, State Control. Bringing a greater carnivorous breath through the guitars to the song to replace the more violent aggression of the original, it is a satisfying provocation though it pales against the bands own tempting.

     Pigbomb and Cadence steal their hefty portion of the acclaim next, the first rife with intensive rabidity and discord lined scuzziness as well as another groove and collection of hooks to drool over whilst the second is a sultry psychedelic/stoner flight through a heated climate of melodic exploration. Though another not to make a quick suasion, it is an absorbing drift through evocative textures and new intrigue from the release. Their allurement is soon pushed aside by the outstanding Hideous Rex, a ravenous track which does not rush its attack but unrelentingly nags with dark rapacious riffs and a hefty atmosphere which feels like it is licking its bulging lips as it smothers the senses.

A great cover of the Fang track The Money Will Roll Right In steps up next, its sonic grazing speared by another addiction forging groove and great squalling vocals, before the rampancy of Mexican Death Hammer unleashes its claim for best track with a torrent of bruising riffs and crippling rhythms spiced with a sonic web of discord leaning crafted invention. It is a glorious incitement for the passions and does indeed steal top honours from a flood of exceptional encounters.

The release is completed by the epic Sphere 3, a nine minute dronathon of menacing intensity and invasive sonic toxicity washed over by spellbinding vocal harmonies. It is a meditative danger which seduces from first doom seeping note to its last corrosive breath, and though for personal tastes probably a couple of minutes too long to hold attention tightly nearing its end, the track is a dark beauty of an evocation to end a scintillating release.

Available as a buy now name your price release at their Bandcamp profile, Back On The Skull is an epidemically riveting and thrilling encounter which thrusts Plug right up there with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Buzzov*en, Orange Goblin and the like. This is an album all riff hankerers must add to their sonic landscapes.

http://plug.bandcamp.com/album/back-on-the-skull

https://www.facebook.com/PLUGLIVES

9/10

RingMaster 13/12/2013

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Allusondrugs – MyCat/Fruit

Allusondrugs

Providing a sultry tease which toys with and triggers the passions, UK alternative rock band Allusondrugs confirm and build upon the promise set by their debut release with the thrilling new double A-side single MyCat/Fruit. Two tracks of riveting fuzz lined vibrancy with a sinewy bass to hang it all upon the release is a further impressive step in the emergence of one refreshingly exciting band.

Hailing from Castleford in West Yorkshire, Allusondrugs formed in the autumn of 2012 and took little time in honing a sound which drew potent attention and acclaim through the quintet’s live performances locally.  Constantly spreading their presence especially through debut single Plasters, the band now stands poised to work upon the rest of the country with the new release and a tour across the north of the UK. Released as its predecessor via Clue Records, MyCat/Fruit is a magnetic feast of mischievous sound, one with a seductive embrace and a steely temptation.

    MyCat opens with a scuzz coated hand on the shoulder of the senses, an almost industrial caress rubbing attention into action a0975362780_2before thumping beats and electronic strikes punctuate its lure. It is a powerful invitation taken into irresistible climes when the track explodes with a stoneresque acidic groove and a heated intense vibrant energy. The harmonic vocals soon after instantly complete the virulent bait of the song as does the brief caustic explosions which equally grip the arisen appetite for the sounds offered; it is a riveting persuasion which has feet and emotions dancing and the imagination soaring. Across its impressive body the song sparks thoughts of Queen Of The Stone Age, The Pixies, and Hot Hot Heat, though there is something wholly distinct to Allusondrugs, a core which sets the song and them enjoyably apart.

The song also holds a shoegaze quality, if one with a want to devilishly bruise simultaneously and that essence makes a stronger tempting on Fruit. The song from a discord kissed single guitar beckoning stretches its arms with a grunge spiced stomp, riffs and rhythms a hungry recruiter of the passions. Settling into a compelling stride the track then taunts assumptions by smoothly slipping into a gentle melodic flight, a candescent passage bringing a mix of My Bloody Valentine and Felt into view before switching back and forth with the previous Foo Fighters like charge. It is a glorious slice of imagination, its persistently twisting and engaging adventure addiction sparking beauty and contagious feistiness united for a thoroughly scintillating encounter.

As the brilliant combination of MyCat and Fruit massages and riles up the passions it is hard not to anticipate Allusondrugs growing into and creating one of the more exciting and spellbinding presences within British rock over the upcoming horizons. We for one cannot wait…

MyCat/Fruit is released as a 100 strong limited edition CD and download

https://www.facebook.com/Allusondrugs

10/10

RingMaster 14/11/2013

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TeribalAnamal – Anamala

pic Taylor Trash

pic Taylor Trash

Steeped in and seeded from the early minimalistic days of post punk and new wave adventure, Anamala the debut EP from US band TeribalAnamal, is a rather tasty introduction to a band well worth keeping a close eye upon. Containing six uncluttered but resourcefully sculpted songs, the release is a tantalising provocateur which is simultaneously nostalgic and fresh to the ear, and one you find yourself drawn back to time and time again.

Formed around a year ago from the meeting of Stephanie ( guitar/vocals), Chalky (drums), and Ryan (bass/vocals), the Brooklyn band has swiftly built a fine reputation around NYC finding potent success and responses across the likes of the Trash Bar, Delancey, and Fontana’s Bar with their intensive gigging regime. Their sound is influenced by bands such as Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Cure, The Pixies, Joy Division, New Order, Sonic Youth, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, The Cramps and more, which gives you a good hint of what to expect with Anamala, though it does not reveal all of its potency.

The deliciously throaty sound of the bass welcomes the ear first as Ice starts things off to soon be pierced by the howling vocal call of 74262-AnamalaStephanie. With the bass continuing to seduce the senses and thoughts whilst the guitar lays down a slightly caustic web, a Joy Division like haze invitingly wraps the ear whilst the vocals of Ryan add to the sinister embrace with his reservedly expressive tones. Not for what will be not the first time on the EP, the bass suggests Gang Of Four inspirations whilst the melodically hinting guitar makes loud suggestions of The Pixies. It is a richly persuasive opener sparking real appetite for what is to follow.

Mourning Dove also makes an irresistible entrance, a Bauhaus suggestiveness inciting the air before a rhythmic prowl which incessantly probes the senses seizes control of song and thoughts. Rhythmically and sonically the track reminds of Alien Sex Fiend also, though the vocals and guitar enterprise takes it to another unique persuasion. Though the guitar ‘solo’ is too sparse to flow fluidly it still adds extra incitement and pleasure to what is already an easy to devour slice of punk infested magnetism.

The next up Turkey is a fuller song with arguably more colours within its walls compared to its predecessors. It is an indie fuelled piece of songwriting and sound which shows the band can stretch their post punk into stronger diversity whilst still permeating it with hypnotic beats and virulent hooks, though it does seem a little pale in comparison to the previous track and its successor Garuda. The EP is one of those releases which could turn you into a rhythms whore, this track returning the release to another engagement rife with epidemically addictive drum bait and solicitously persistent bass bewitchment, though the two here are split by a wonderful almost elegant kiss of guitar. The Cure come to mind as the song settles into stride though again TeribalAnamal create something distinctive to their invigorating imagination. The song as much as it reminds of the band mentioned and whispers at others also has a sound bred of today; though as post punk seems to be a rich enticement to numerous emerging bands the whole release to be fair finds a current flavour. The only niggle with the track is that it seems to finish before being ready, not a sudden stop but feeling like it has had enough and wants to move on to its next invention.

That also applies with Ravenous though neither song suffers in the slightest. The track is a more concentrated almost predatory prowl of the ear, drums more restrained in its allurement but bass bringing a closet predation to its stalk. The dual vocals is beguiling in their still drone seeded delivery whilst the guitar skirts their call with exciting sonic flames, again with a rein on their full heat. It is another high even if it decides to go before we are ready to let it.

Flamingos closes off Anamala in fine style, a garage punk intensity and intent scrubbing across the ear as the song builds an anthemic lure which is impossible to refuse. It concludes an impressive introduction to a band with a wealth of promise which makes it hard to see them not forging a noticeable mark in sound and presence ahead. Already suggesting they alone have their creative sights on grander things post punk just might be making an even more dramatic comeback, fingers crossed.

www.facebook.com/teribalanamal

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/09/2013

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Bête Noire – Shut Your Mouth

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Of course everyone has spent a moment to wonder what a merger between Joy Division, The Pixies, and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster would sound like right? But ponder no longer as UK band Bête Noire brings you the answer with their debut release Shut Your Mouth. Unveiling much more than that trio of essences suggests, the two track single is a thrilling and potent introduction to a band which is almost as new itself as the release is to the world.

Hailing from London and consisting of vocalist David M Hargreaves, guitarists Danny Defalco and Billy Bloom, bassist Andrew G, and drummer James Whitfield, Bête Noire has been existence for around six months though listening to the songs you hear a maturity which leads one to believe their musical exploits could stretch back further. Taking influences from the likes of Chameleons, Magazine, Pixies, Stereo Lab, and Serge Gainsbourg, the quintet create a post punk stemmed sound soaked in dark shadows and chilled ambience but equally littered with hooks and deceptive melodies which only captivate in their worst moments and seduce at their heights. The single is a stirring marker for the band which though you could suggest right now their sound lacks a little originality you feel time and evolution will solve that minor ‘issue’.

Shut Your Mouth is the lead track and needs only the brief moment that it takes for the opening beats to be joined by the wonderful coversnarl bitten bass to secure full attention and draw a lick across the lips of the passions. As the steely jangle of the guitars coax in the excellent expressive vocals of Hargreaves the Joy Division vibe is instantaneous but only a strong flavour in a vibrant mix. Whilst the song wraps its cold engaging charms around the senses with flushes of warmth contradicting and elevating the core of the song through the hooks and sonic caresses, there is a feel of early Devoto led Buzzcocks peeping through and a noise rock shimmer bringing remote comparisons to bands like The Gaa Gaas and Engerica. It is an outstanding brew that issues distrust and persuasion with open hands whilst rising the temperature of the psyche and hunger into a greedy recipient.

Its companion Out and Proud is a similarly bred song but with more restraint in its deliberate prowl of the ear, the guitars crafting a sonic narrative to spark upon ear and thoughts whilst the bass kindly stalks their colour within a firm rhythmic frame. Once more the vocals tantalise with the great expressive delivery of Hargreaves coated in a hollow effect and pointing to Ian Curtis in likeness. With the bass offering throatier bait as the song progresses and the chorus providing the road to addictiveness, the song is like its predecessor a potently appealing and compelling encounter.

The single simply impresses from start to finish. It flows with such promise and enterprise that expectations of major things ahead from Bête Noire are already flourishing. Possibly it is too early to make such assumptions but as Shut Your Mouth holds the ear in its creative palms again, there is no betting against it.

http://betenoiremusic.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/betenoiremusic

9/10

RingMaster 22/08/2013

 

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Psychic Teens – Come

Heads 2013 by John Berry

There can be a beauty bred when caustic noise and sonic abrasion walk hand in hand but when in the hands of a band like Psychic Teens, where gothic shadows, post punk invention, and shoegaze seduction are also employed, it is a mesmeric tempest that just steals the passions. Hailing from Philadelphia, the three piece band took no time in drawing hungry responses and  support after forming in 2010, their debut album Teens of the following year garnering widespread critical acclaim. Following it with a split CD-R of cover songs with Hulk Smash and a digital EP of Misfits cover songs, as well as impressive live performances, including shows with bands such as The Dead Milkmen, Zola Jesus, Titus Andronicus, Ceremony, True Widow, METZ and many more, Psychic Teens has earned a strong reputation and fanbase but one suggests it is only a scratch which once new album Come lays down its irresistible lures and traps, will open up to full lustful wounds.

The new release takes the qualities of that first album into a new realm of imagination and niggling enterprise, its body a contagious caustic wash spawned from the post punk evocation of Joy Division with the noise rock essences of Part Chimp and the gothic dark passions of Birthday Party. There is much more to it than that though as opener NO soon confirms. The track instantly captures the imagination with a rhythmic dealing that shuffles the senses into a compelling cage. Joined by the prowling bass and sabre flashes of guitar, the song only grips tighter drawing a willing submission as the excellent vocals of guitarist Larry Ragone join the sonic affray. Sounding like Nick Cave meets Ian Curtis is tones add depth and expression to an already riveting stretch of imagination, with the bass grooved romp and sizzling guitar flames delicious enticement within a song that teases like a mix of The Pixies and Pere Ubu. It is a passion stealer of a song and start giving the rest of the album a lofty bar to emulate.

Not that the rest of the album struggles for the main, the following tantalising heat of RIP with its striding rhythms, scurrying riffs, and a1920627547_10intensive fire of sonic intrigue and mystique, another virulent call on thoughts and emotion. Throughout the strings of Ragone tease and tempt within the heady hooks and lures of bassist Joe DeCarolisa and drummer Dave Cherasaro, all combining to infect the senses and passions with a thrilling toxicity, soon matched by the potent sweltering charms of H#TE and LUST. The first of the two worries melodic intervention and harmonic persuasion into breeding an acidic haze of bristling energy and punkish provocation whilst its successor emerges from a striking suggestion of intimidation through fine guitar rubs to enslave with sinister vocals and resonating noir clad mystery crafted by the combined inventive shadows of the band’s imagination.

The abrasive LORD lays down a softening expanse of reserved yet sure cold rabidity next before making way for the best song on the release, its title track. The song again makes its entrance on a shuffle of firm and addiction causing rhythms before opening its arms to a fire of surf rock heat and emotive enticement. A song Joy Division would have wished they had composed in their time, it is a sensational sultry suasion on the soul, a fascination fuelled sunset on the world and more. The beats of Cherasaro are pure hypnotism making a platform for the vocals and guitar caresses to singe and burn the senses and mind whilst the bass of DeCarolisa is a watcher egging everything on to its fiery climax.

LESS allows a breath to be taken with its reserved introduction before it too unveils bait that is impossible to resist, the bass conjuring a Cure like toxin that works on every synapse and emotion. With the vocals courting thoughts in their continuing to impress dark and grainy delivery, the song brings a garage rock lilt to its chorus before sitting back into that impossibly beckoning stance which set it deep into the passions initially.

The rapacious furnace BUG and the slowly crawling VEIL thrillingly finish off the outstanding release, setting a further charge of distinct and individual ingenuity to work on the passions. They simply confirm the thought and feeling throughout that Psychic Teens are quite possibly the best alchemists of sonic noise and post punk devilry today and definitely that the SRA Records released Come is one of the major treats of the year.

https://www.facebook.com/PsychicTeensNetwork

9.5/10

RingMaster 13/08/2013

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That Massive Bereavement – Eat The Rich

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Ever wondered what the dirtiest grunge mixed with old school punk, filth clad rock, and scuzz littered post punk sounds like than UK garage rockers That Massive Bereavement have the answer for you with their debut EP Eat The Rich. Six tracks of noise your mother warned you about and your father wished he could play, the release snarls and works on the senses like a punch bag whilst delivering uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which gives raw satisfaction as potent as the future promise also on offer.

From the Medway part of the UK, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Aidan, bassist Elliott, guitarist Quintus, and drummer The C, erupted as That Massive Bereavement at the rise of 2012, taking inspirations from the likes of The Fall, Therapy?, The Replacements, Wire, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Joy Division and more. One of the other influences is Swell Maps, and as the release plays that band often calls out the most if not always in sound but in attitude and unpolished invention. Recorded and mastered at Sunlight Studios by Greg Webster of fellow Medway band Houdini, Eat The Rich equally grates on and lights up the ear from its first second before going on to work the same devilry on the senses, thoughts, and passions.

The title track kicks things off, a singular guitar brewing up the air with reserved sonic heat for the gravel littered vocals of Aidan to8689_557003027674960_116295249_n start the striking narrative. A stalking gait drives the song on as rhythms make their firm slaps on the ear with energetic expulsions around the chorus singing the hairs around the senses. The breath of the song is Spizz Oil like whilst the belligerent provocation recalls seventies punk Crisis, and from start to finish it drags down apathy into a bruising dirt clad confrontation.

From the strong start the EP hits its biggest highlights with firstly Benetton Models to be followed by the excellent Waste it Now. The first track sabre chops the ear with caustic riffs soon joined by thumping rhythmic incitement from The C and Elliott. Like Nirvana meeting The Lurkers at a fire-pit held by Mark E. Smith, the song is a delicious discord fired slice of noise punk which ignites the passions with garage rock enterprise and post punk sonic obstinacy. Its successor also holds many flavours within its core grasp, the track a garage rock crawl with the snarling undiluted essences of The Stooges and Richard Hell raising their contagious claws. Both tracks stand out as pinnacles whilst still pushing the suggestion that the creative envelope of the band has only just been opened.

Sity comes next with a blues flame to the guitar and punk intensity to the energy of the track, drums and bass an intimidating yet fair intrusion through the distinctive almost Tom Waits like scowls of Aidan and those sonic fires expelled by his and the guitar of Quintus. Direct and uncluttered by complexities it is a raucous storm of prime punk merging its different flavours into one scorching encounter and though it does not make the same deep impact as the previous trio of songs it easily recruits the appetite to know more about the band. The same applies to the final two songs on the release. Both live in the shade of certainly the previous triumphs on Eat The Rich, but stand tall and appealing in their mischievous stances starting with the primate romance Gorilla. With lyrics you can interpret either literally for fun or for man’s version of the great ape, the track stomps with teasing riffs which chop like a chef on a carrot alongside the growling presence of the other guitar and bass. Drums and vocals also accost with enterprise and irresistible mischief and though the song as mentioned does not quite live up to the heights set before it does grip tighter the more you take its company and lingers longer than most in the head.

The closing Snatch, yawns with great whale like sonic calls before barracking with another unbridled slab of impossible to resist punk. Eat The Rich is a great debut from a band you sense has so much more still to discover and offer; that thought as exciting as listening to their EP. That Massive Bereavement will not be for everyone but if punk of any shape and aggressiveness has your juices rising than check out this great emerging protagonist.

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveBereavement

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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Valentiine: Self Titled

valentiine pic

With the single Love Like having already teased and lit up our senses a few weeks back it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album of Australian band Valentiine had a real hunger to it, especially after the unveiling of the brilliant new single Chucky in the past few days. The self-titled release has now stepped forward to not only live up to the suggestiveness of the pair of aural temptresses posing as singles but elevated the trio to one of the most thrilling and still richly promising bands to emerge this year. It is a predator of an album that toys with and manipulates the passions for a riotous and magnetic flame of bruising seduction.

Hailing from Melbourne, the threesome of Vanessa V (guitar/vocals), Erica E (bass/vocals), and Shelly K (drums/vocals) have a sound which is to simplify things a blend of garage rock and punk. Direct and emotively intrusive it also has a grunge seeded melodic fire which sears senses and thoughts whilst rhythmic badgering deviously diverts the attention. It is a sound which has a strong familiarity but equally lays a distinct hand on the passions directly bred from the band. Since forming Valentiine has not only left their homeland enamoured but persuaded fans across Europe and the UK with their powerful and contagious sounds. A successful 22 date European tour last year was followed by the band signing with UK independent, Integrity Records (Million Dead, Reuben, Katastrophy Wife), the two singles and now album a following potent step towards world domination one suspects.

Imagine a mix of The Breeders, Spinnerette, and Veruca Salt with a healthy snarl of L7 as well as a strong pop imagination, and you artworks-000050495136-39ybnn-t500x500get a strong impression of what Valentiine ignite the passions with. As mentioned it is a sound which has a welcoming familiarity but infuses it into their singular potent invention musically and lyrically. The songs hold narratives of everyday life and situations, honestly and often starkly presented with a dark mischievousness, and all veined with addiction causing hooks and infection sparking enterprise which is impossible to resist.

     Love Like opens up the encounter, the track an even paced roam through the ear with intimidation and steel to its riveting presence. Rhythmic sinews cage the senses as the guitar unleashes sonic fire, the combination gripping attention as the excellent and varied vocals of Vanessa V coax further with a mix of riled attitude and melodic seduction. It is an outstanding introduction to the album, a caustic caress seeded in fire borne intensity and a song that secures instant attraction, though it is soon surpassed by new single Chucky. Recounting the ladies own ‘morning after’ hangover blues in graphic detail, the track first teases with guitar and vocals before stomping into a fascination of bubble gum pop and shadow clad punk ‘n’ roll. It is ridiculously addictive; its easy yet perfectly honed enticement a blend of Green Day and The Shangri-Las which leads the listener into an insatiable dance of rhythmic temptation and pop punk wantonness.

Now into the stride of the release it begins to stretch out its darker tones and imaginative ingenuity, both Birthday and Finch opening new diversity to songwriting and sound. The first is a slow burner with the grunge growl of a Nirvana or Hole, its lingering and building intensity a dramatic smack across the senses, whilst the second tenderises with a sonic niggle and drum battering within restrained emotive incitement and sirenesque cheerleader like sultry harmonies. Both are again rich and drama clad musical treats though they do have to surrender to the even greater triumphs of firstly the smouldering When You Want, a track with a more than loud Pixies whisper to its inventive crawl, and secondly the venomous Hates Me. This track is pure L7 meets Puddle Of Mudd filtered through a malevolently spiced vat of spiteful punk, its bite dangerous but alluring with epidemic charm.

As the musicianship and imagination of the band conjures more insatiable devilment and virulent enticements it is impossible not to fall for the call of the album, though when it continues to offer such glories as the scintillating Never Forget You and its twisting metallic tentacles of guitar and bass entrapment, and the rapacious and brilliant Animal, submission was always a done deal.

As the variation and thrills keep coming with further major highlights coming from the Pixiesque Better For Me and the gnarly Kick It, the album stakes its claim as on of the most impressive releases this year. Every song leaves a lingering branding on the passions and thoughts whilst satisfaction and entertainment are delivered aural manner by the twelve, it has to be said, brilliant triumphs. Valentiine will be a major band, no doubts, and their debut album destined for the classic shelf.

http://www.valentiine.com/

10/10

RingMaster 22/06/2013

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Sneeze – I’m Going To Kill Myself

Sneeze

    I’m Going To Kill Myself is a record which engrains itself into the psyche, a collection of raw and undemanding yet attention grabbing songs which rile up the ears before seducing them with a striking merger of garage punk and grunge. In the same way the likes of Weezer and The Pixies create a contagion which follows the senses until total submission, this album’s creators, Sneeze conjure up a fluid and hungry temptation. Though arguably an album which initially does not make the easiest of engagements, given time it emerges as one of the more enterprising and riveting releases to provoke the senses.

Consisting of Derek Desharnais, Julian Moore, and Danny Boyd, Sneeze come from Boston, MA and include former members of L’antietam and Ape Up. Following on from first release Grandma in the Trenches of 2011, I’m Going To Kill Myself was first released as a limited cassette last year but now has its deserved wide release on both sides of the pond on download and limited vinyl with Midnight Werewolf Records in the US (a pressing limited to 300 on Cloudy Clear coloured vinyl), and in the UK via Essex based independent label Close To Home Records (limited to 200 on Transparent Blue coloured vinyl). It is a release you can only suspect will make the band a name on a tide of active lips once its raucous charms lay their roughened dance upon the wider world.

Starting with Intro, a track which slowly emerges from a sonic haze coated stark ambience into a full blown tirade of aural covercorrosiveness and equally scorching energy still within a crawling gait and oppressive breath, the album flows seamlessly from one track to another, a sonic link hooking the listener immediately leaving no chance to take a breath. The following Canker takes up the attack with striding rhythms and scarring riffs whilst the vocals of Desharnais tease and taunt words with raw and direct brashness to match the sounds.

Through both the scuzz loaded Park Her Road with its throaty bass lures and acidically melodic temptation and the potent resonating rhythmic call of Bad Head, a reference to another band teases thoughts especially with the smart and infectious hooks which vein the fried surface of sound. It is as the title track next tempts the ear with further melodic barbs that the name of the band opens its recognition. Throughout many of the songs there is a definite essence of Everclear which whispers in the ear in the contagious melodies that run through the tracks. Smothered in the distinct energy and character of Sneeze it is a spice adding to the intrigue and appetite sparked already by the album.

From the strong start another plateau is grasped with Vaticant and Dark Elf, two sure pinnacles of the release. The first is a punk rock bruising with a carnivorous grilling from the riffs and predatory snarl from the bass whilst vocals growl and snap at the ear. Barely 50 seconds in spiteful attack, it is an outstanding blast soon matched by its successor.  Dark Elf unleashes thumping rhythms and rapacious shadows which remind of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster whilst the caustic voice of its tense caress has a Melvins/Gruntruck like mischievous menace. Again brief the track is a burning flame of sonic antagonism and seductive grit that only leaves rich pleasure.

From the following persistently compelling Quit Shitting, the likes of Brainage Pipe, Crumb, and Under the Fridge leave further satisfaction, though this particular part of the album does dip from the impressive start. They do make for a pleasing if slightly underwhelming passage of the album which still ensures there is never a moment when attention flirts with other things and can easily enjoy the offerings before once more being sparked into stronger passion with the mighty Blank Man. It is another track with extra growl to its inventive exploits and a raging vitality cast over a mesh of chewing riffs and again the great grisly bass sound.

Completed by the more than decent Scabass and Outro and its final plaintive invitation, I’m Going To Kill Myself is an album set to recruit a wealth of eager hearts. Fifteen tracks of punk fuelled, melodically sculpted, grunge distortion it is a treat not to be missed. Go on have a Sneeze.

http://facebook.com/sneezeband

http://closetohomerecords.com

8/10

RingMaster 05/06/2013

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Sparrow & The Workshop – Murderopolis

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Sparrow and the Workshop is one of those bands that music always needs, a temptation which is as beautiful as it is shadowed and as expansive as it is intimate. Previous albums, the debut Crystals Fall of 2010 and Spitting Daggers the following year, marked the Scottish band as melodic entrepreneurs of imaginative weaves fusing indie folk and rock pop, songwriters creating rich and emotive escapades soaked in aural colour and resourceful enterprise. The Glasgow trio return with third album Murderopolis, a release which explores their invention for greater and deeper adventure whilst sculpting a kaleidoscope of passion tingling elegance. It is a seduction of evocative textures and mesmeric caresses which quite simply is rather special!

The band consists of Jill O’Sullivan (vocals, guitar, violin), Gregor Donaldson (drums, vocals), and Nick Packer (bass guitar, electric slide guitar, basstard), a threesome which have not been strangers to acclaim certainly since their debut album. The name of Sparrow & The Workshop has equally been wrapped in hungry responses for their live performances which across the time has seen them play alongside the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, British Sea Power, Idlewild, Broken Records, Sivert Hoyem, The Lemonhead, Thee Oh Sees and more, as well as numerous festivals to great success. Released via independent label Song, by Toad Records, Murderopolis strolls through another potent plateau which matches the virulent seduction of previous album Spitting Daggers, whilst walking further diverse adventures.

The band arguably unleashes their greatest shadows at the start of the album, though those dark tints are always teasing the senses MurderopolisHiResand thoughts throughout the album musically and lyrically. Opener Valley of Death is a smouldering triumph, a track which instantly sets the release into the strongest wash of acclaim. Bold yet reserved beats and moody melodic provocation pokes the ear first, opening up attention for the as ever sirenesque tones of O’Sullivan. Her voice is one which seduces and caresses the senses but has a nip in its caress which allows darkness to play with the enchanted emotions already inspired. Like a sun in the skies of the dramatic she guides the listener into a warm soak of colour fuelled melodies and harmonies for the chorus, the track then returning to that provocative hypnotic enticement which started things off for the verses. Those dark and expressive leads have the same kind of wanton visual and emotive sway that marked the opening credits to eighties UK TV show Tales Of The Unexpected, a tempting yet menacing seduction. It is a powerful and riveting track, a song with a sixties call to its breath and vocals, which alone seem like a mix of Helen Shapiro, Kristin Hersh, Chantal Clare, and Debbie Harry.

From such a potent start the album retains its compelling grip with the following Darkness, another shadowed call for the passions which sows the seeds with an opening throaty bass beckoning and reined in male vocal chants. It is a slowly prowling encounter, the song walking with intent around thoughts with lone strands of melodic taunts riling up the appetite further. With a touch of The Passions to it the song widens its lure with the again excellent vocals of O’Sullivan before sealing the lustful deal with heated flames of soaring vocals and acidic mastery, crescendos which ignite the fullest appetite. Like the first, the track explores the depths of light and dark with breath-taking craft and imagination leaving an already awoken hunger for more seized by rabid urgency.

The album continues to show it is as diverse as it is absorbing, starting with the stunning Odessa, a song as different to the opening pair as it is a continuation of flawed light and emotional incitement. A melancholic mesh of vocal, keys, and dark strings gently wash through the ear at first before a strong pause makes way for an equally rich narrative of guitar and rhythms which turn up the heat a touch more. It is a vibrant passion sculpted song which haunts thoughts with classy enterprise and emotional exploration, its latent energy brewing up and exploring the limits of the impressive songwriting, its realisation becoming more intense and magnetic the further towards its fiery climax the band drive.

Through the likes of the first single from the album Shock Shock, a meeting of The Pixies and The Shangri-Las in a folk rock atmospheric haunting wrapped in a sonic senses courting ambience, and the tantalising Water Won’t Fall with its scenic paint and crystalline touch, the band raise new emotive adventures whilst the title track is a noir tinted flame of seventies spiced melodic rock and Wicker Man laced folk which transforms the landscape of the album into a new distinct dance of mystique.

Released the same day as the album, May 27th, new single The Faster You Spin sets another pinnacle for the album. Another song rippling with an almost predatory intent through heavier melodic rock feistiness, it conjures the strongest contagion with searing flames of sonic and melodic… well eroticism seems the best word to describe it, complete with an ardour inducing addictiveness to its suasion.

Further songs in the scintillating Avalanche of Lust with its wonderful bass itch and the deliciously incendiary Flower Bombs, a song with an array of bewitching infectious climaxes around slow post punk taunting ingenuity, push the boundaries of the album and listener’s greed yet again whilst the closing pair of The Glue That Binds Us and Autumn to Winter leave an irresistibly effective temptation to start the whole emotive course of triumph again.

Murderopolis is a scintillating release from a band which walks beauty and darkness like no other. If Sparrow and the Workshop have yet to guide you through your and their invigorating passions than this album is the perfect introduction.

www.sparrowandtheworkshop.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 26/05/2013

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Argonaut: Self Titled

Argonaut

    From its first gentle kiss the self-titled album from UK indie band Argonaut never relinquishes its spell on thoughts and emotions not to forget holding an unbreakable grip on the ear. A shimmering sun of evocative ambiences and provocative warmth, the album immerses the listener in ethereal elegance and persuasive imagination whilst quietly enslaving the passions.

The quintet from London state influences as the likes of Sonic Youth, Garbage, Hole, The Pixies and many more, essences which whisper loudly from within the ten track release. To those you can also add the likes of Propaganda and The Sundays as a strong eighties wind blows from within their invention, as well as from the now The Mouth Of Ghosts. Argonaut holds their own distinct stance though despite the rich spices and over recent months has begun to truly catch the imagination of a widening awareness awaking to their creative sound. The band were signed up by Criminal Records for the release of their recent single and album, the band gaining interest on the London ‘toilet circuit’ whatever that means but surely nothing as seedy as imagination dares think up.

The album begins with the single Monet, a song which invites the listener into its arms with a brewing resonance with glowing bass 3517_483921028334663_2008247918_ncaresses drawing in fiery guitar sonics and the golden voice of Lorna Lyons, her voice a temptation impossible to refuse. Guitar spires light the magnetic ambience of the song whilst the infectious chorus seductively nuzzles the senses, the track itself working under the skin and submerging the emotions in a sunset of aural colour to reap the fullest ardour from its recipient.

The following Touch Electric opens up its sinews, the bass a grumbling prowl around the ear whilst electro cascades light the way for the guitars to flash and graze across the heart of the song. Occasionally a B-52s flicker winks in the pop tease of the song whilst within its scintillating coarse surface and almost childlike vocal tones the likes of Daisy Chainsaw mischievously peer out. With a grunge feistiness to its encounter the song instantly shows a depth to the songwriting and invention of the band and a continuation of their skill to enchant and enthral.

More Life and 2 Lights continue to show a variety and skilled invention from the band, the first a smouldering stroll through a weave of sonic beauty and melodic grace steered with raw energy and blistered intensity whilst the second works on the passions with a persistent bass lure and niggling guitar barbs. The vocals scorch the heart with their lush allure and all combined with creeping shadows skirting the finesse of the song, there is a Breeders/Belly enticement.

The latter part of the album immerses into an even deeper dreaminess with enveloping sounds which arguably elude reaching earlier set heights on the album or sparking raging fires inside but the likes of the delicious They Can Bury You, the haunting Spectres where Lyons is at her most Clare Grogan-esque, and the alluring Chemistry never fail to leave an eager thirst for more quenched.

Amongst these songs there awaits the further triumphs of Vintage Dress and the closing track Sleep Tight. The first is an entrancing sway which takes no time in offering influences of The Cure through the bassline which has cheekily been cloned from A Forest but is just irresistible so all is forgiven. The song itself saunters with beacons of melodic grandeur pervaded by encroaching shadows, the result a pulsating bewitching that holds the listener lovingly whilst gently passing over dark emotive tinges. The final song is also a darker companion but one which fuses shaded emotions with a compelling luminance. Like the most rewarding enchanting dusk that any day could offer the song allows the album to leave on a warm breeze which beckons an immediate return.

Argonaut with their album confirms that the buzz around them is more than justified whilst suggesting the band will reach greater more impressive heights over the near horizon. This is simply an album not to be missed.

https://www.facebook.com/argonautband

http://argonaut.info/

8/20

RingMaster 14/03/2013

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