Slow Riot – Cathedral


artwork_RingMaster Review

Eighties inspired post punk is seemingly on a surge right now, its seeds being blossomed into varied but distinctive incitements of sound and imagination echoing the genre’s origins. One such band making one of the most compelling persuasions is Irish band Slow Riot, a trio from Limerick who recently released an irresistible dark beauty in the shape of the Cathedral EP. The four track release is an evocation of shadows and solemn emotions cast in a creative calling on the imagination, but one equally bred with epic overtones and an emotive intimacy reflective of something found within its title’s landscape.

Formed in 2013, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Niall Clancy, drummer Paul Cosgrave, and guitarist Aaron Duff recorded Cathedral with producer Kevin Vanbergen (The Pixies, The Maccabees, Dinosaur Pile-Up, The La’s, Biffy Clyro) at the Manic Street Preachers’ Faster studio in Cardiff; additional assistance coming from in-house engineer Loz Williams and the Manics’ James Dean Bradfield through the offering of use of equipment and instruments. From the off the release stirs the senses and imagination but equally the physical body is also gripped by the forcibly rousing prowess and thick insistence of sound.

SR_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with the band’s new single Demons, the lone beats of Cosgrave luring in attention and appetite with an anthemic coaxing. The melancholic charm of Duff’s guitar is soon involving an emotive melody too, it laying evocatively over the persistent arousal of rhythms now also equipped with the solemn resonance of Clancy’s bass. His dour yet alluring vocals are close behind as the song brews more of a Joy Division meets Interpol like croon for a formidable captivation only enhanced by a more fiery nature emerging in the guitar and a flowing crystalline elegance spread by keys. Each element evolves new hues to the slim but varied layers as the track continues, it all building up into a strongly potent beginning to Cathedral.

It is a start for personal tastes quickly eclipsed by the next pair of songs though, City Of Culture the first up. A great scuzzy mix of guitar and bass aligned to boisterous beats sets song and ears off in eager union, a sparkling melody soon adding to the enticement as Clancy’s vocals’ twist around on the riveting web spun by all the already contagious elements. There is a touch of The Sound to the song but more so bands like Scars and Crispy Ambulance with the discordant clang of The Fire Engines in there for good measure. Ultimately though, these are spices only bolstering a virulent tempting unique to Slow Riot.

Just as stunning is the following Adele, a transfixing slice of dark balladry becoming increasingly infectious and addictive as sonic seduction merges with repetitious mastery around the thick potency of the vocals. A revolving incitement set somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, The Slow Readers Club, and Artery, the glorious track reveals not only more of the craft in songwriting and delivery of the band but also the depth of their sound’s imagination and diversity.

Cooper’s Dream brews a character more similar to the Joy Division-esque embrace of Demons, but again outshines the excellent start to the EP with its individual weave of sonic expression, haunting lingering hooks, and a just as enjoyably galvanic rhythmic recruitment of eager involvement. As the EP, the track worms under the skin, infects the psych leaving ingrained lures and rapture in its wake to ensure a perpetual return to its nest of climatic builds and roaring crescendos bound in melancholy entwined restraints is always a lively intent.

The track provides a superb end to a superb release, a full introduction to Slow Riot sowing the seeds to thick anticipation of their next move and lusty enjoyment in their first.

The Cathedral EP is out now via Straight Lines Are Fine @

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

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Nanaki – Dandelion Radio Session EP

Nanaki - Dandelion Radio Session _RingMaster Review

Though released a few weeks back, the Dandelion Radio Session EP from instrumental band Nanaki is one encounter which should not slip through the net especially if a fan of kaleidoscopic music. That is certainly what the tracks making up the encounter are; varied shimmers and reflections of post and alternative rock through to shoegaze and post-punk, and that is just scratching off the surface layer.

Isle of Man hailing Nanaki is the solo project of Postcode guitarist Mikie Daugherty and the EP, a recording of a session for Mark Whitby’s Dandelion Radio show this past June. The tracks within it re-visit songs from the early days of the band, a project formed in 2002 by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Daugherty and bassist Emma Ryan. The band’s only album Fashion Is The Enemy Of All Art was released back in 2003 but had a successful re-issue nine years later with Small Bear Records, who also released the Afterlight EP last year and are behind this new proposition. With the band officially splitting in 2008, despite the just mentioned releases, for many the Dandelion Radio Session EP will be an introduction to Nanaki, and a captivating invitation into the creative web of Daugherty.

cover_RingMaster Review     The EP’s first offering is January Overkill, a chilled and melancholic proposal which simultaneously manages to wrap warm melodies and rich suggestiveness around ears and imagination. Within seconds bass and guitar are on a wonderful ride of repetitious hooks and nagging riffs, an enticing running the whole of the track with crisp beats adding their own persistent bait. Thoughts are swiftly lured into the early days of The Cure but tempered by the caustic air and scuzzy textures which also become involved with the highly provocative narrative, their blackened almost tempestuous nature as compelling as the sultry shimmer and melodic niggling colouring the gripping start.

As irresistible as it is the first piece of pure temptation is soon outshone by the addictive alchemy of Disembryo. Imagine a Twilight Zone version of The Pixies and you have a sense of this superb incitement on body and soul. Again almost mundane yet virulent hooks and riffs coax the appetite whilst tangy sways of guitar bounce off of their dulled surface. It is a glorious seduction only increasing in contagion as more off kilter twists and haunting enterprise leads into a fiery roar of sound, discord, and intensity.

It was probably inevitable that whatever followed would be overshadowed by easily one of the best things heard this year, and certainly Let Me Close My Eyes lacks the same ingenuity and general allure. Nevertheless its mellow romance of melodies and gentle rhythms leading to an increasingly evocative and in turn volatile landscape, has attention and imagination fascinated and discovering new avenues of thought and emotion with every involvement. It is a slow burner against the almost immediate potency of the first two tracks as too is Luthiers (Of Heaven) which follows it. Quaint in sound and enterprise but seemingly carrying a portentous lining to its shadows which is never actually realised, the piece of music reminds of eighties bands like again The Cure as well as Modern English and to a lesser extent The Comsat Angels.

The EP is completed by another major highlight in Candyfloss Deathwish; eight minutes of wonderfully tempestuous emotion and creative majesty. As shown throughout all tracks, Daugherty masterfully creates an individual song in all instruments, from guitar to bass to drums etc., which unite in an ever evolving and involving tapestry of drama and sonic storytelling. Here he turns the burners up to full as the track almost revolts in gripping noise and physical persuasion for an exhausting finale to an outstanding encounter.

The final song also sums up the inspirations in sound and texture which spark the whole Nanaki invention. It is a maelstrom of the styles mentioned previously and more from an artist we can only hope will continue to be an active presence in this guise.

The Dandelion Radio Session EP is available via Small Bear Records and Nanaki’s Bandcamp profile as a name your price download.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

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The Creeping Ivies – The Witch House EP

creeping ivies_RingMaster Review

All those with dodgy hips turn away now as we have one slice of physical slavery for you courtesy of The Creeping Ivies. Revealing a new wash of ingenuity in their sound which borders on pop, the Scottish band again enthrals and seduces with their unique style of garage rock ‘n’ roll which quite simply is impossible not to get a little lustful over. Consisting of three exotically and flirtatiously sonic slices of dark rock ‘n’ roll, EP and band have ventured into a broader landscape of invention and tempting which might be best described as The Shangri-las meets The Cramps meets The Revillos at a bordello of ill-repute presided over by Johnny Thunders.

The Creeping Ivies since forming in 2011 has been no strangers to acclaim here and across media and fans thanks to two dynamically thrilling and fiercely dynamic albums and a clutch of EPs which have just lit the fires of devilry. It is fair to say that each subsequent encounter has shown a potent evolution of the band’s garage punk/rock bred sound from the last, with a matching strength in temptation. Between last year’s outstanding album Ghost World and The Witch House, the band has seen one half of the duo in drummer Duncan Destruction leave and vocalist/guitarist Becca “Bomb” Murray subsequently joined by bassist Christy Taylor and stick man Ian Duncan. With a big change to a band which has also drawn constant acclaim for a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Viv Albertine, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Bob Log III, and The Primevals amongst many acclaimed headlining shows of their own, there was a wonder of how things would move or indeed change ahead. The Witch House swiftly shows that as ever The Creeping Ivies are an irresistible creative lure revelling in their inspirations whilst breeding their own striking imagination as they go exploring new avenues. The hex that is their sound has developed an appetite for sixties inspired pop on the EP to go along with a passion for garage rock ‘n’ roll from across the decades. The result is an EP which is majestically glorious and ridiculously addictive.

witch house cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with its title track, The Witch House flirting through the voodoo rhythms the band has so masterfully transfixes with from day one. Where Mr Destruction’s beats used to transmit intent and resonance like a virus through ear and bone though, Duncan’s beats are more tempered to match the, dare we say mellower, tones of the music yet cast an equally lingering network of anthemic persuasion. Murray’s guitar is just as swift in its spicy coaxing as her recognisable and exhilarating vocal shrills and punkish tone. Completed by the dark rumble of Taylor’s bass, the song swings with attitude and a flirtatious swagger ripe with simple but deeply rooting Ramones seeded hooks and nostalgia bred chords. The track is scintillating revelry to start things off but just the beginning of great deeds.

The following Only the Moon opens with its own infectious shuffle, led in by more flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll guitar and blossoming into a tenacious and composed canter of sparkling riffs and grumbling rhythmic shadows. From that same moment a vibrant melodic and catchy smile also brews, erupting in a chorus complete with inciting handclaps and a vocal tempting which only the deaf could refuse full involvement with. Surf breezes and a sultry air only adds to the compelling dance of the song; sixties pop meets modern garage psychosis at its very best.

The release comes to an end through Bye Bye Babe, a track as much seventies melodic infection as it is sixties garage rock and original 21st century devilment. The guitars seem influenced by bands like The Ventures and Johnny & the Hurricanes, rhythms by bands like The Orson Family and The Bomboras, whilst Murray is like a sultry Fay Fife. Wrapped in an invention and imagination which holds whispers of possible inspirations like Josef K and The Pixies, the song is honey for ears, manna for the psyche and a third kiss of brilliance in The Witch House.

There is no denying we have had a soft spot for The Creeping Ivies since day one but equally there is no argument in the fact the band just gets bigger, better, and more essential with every proposition with The Witch House EP the finest moment for the band yet. We keep saying that over each encounter and suspect it will not be the last time either. Ahead of Your New Favourite Garage Band, a forthcoming compilation of previous singles as well as EP and album tracks from the band, this moment in time feels like The Creeping Ivies are starting a new exciting chapter with thrilling new sounds. Time to get spooked and infested guys and girls…

The Witch House EP is out now with Your New Favourite Garage Band available from October 31st, both though Flowers In The Dustbin.

RingMaster 18/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Maff – Self Titled EP

banda_piso_RingMaster Review

It is not too hard to guess some of the bigger influences upon Chilean band Maff whilst listening to their self-titled debut EP, the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine amongst them, yet fair to say the Santiago quartet weaves it all into songs which reveal their own distinct characters. Bred from an evolving fusion of shoegaze, alternative rock, noise pop, and indie to try and pin down the mix, sound and songs are a striking and tenacious shimmer on the senses which it easy to find yourself getting a touch greedy over. The release is a captivating introduction to a band with all the potential and imagination to evoke a worldwide appetite if not now surely ahead.

Maff began in 2012, formed by Richi Gómez (vocals/bass/guitar) and Nicolás Colombres (drums), two childhood friends who had previously played together in various punk rock bands. The line-up expanded with the addition of Nicolás’ brother Martín (guitar) in 2014 and was completed earlier this year by Talo Correa (guitar/bass /vocals/synth). Creating, recording, and producing their EP in their own studio, Maff has already sparked potent reactions to their music, dreampop duo Ummagma already amongst those enamoured, recognition which should now ignite through the EP’s release. Exploring themes such as innocence, mysticism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom, and timelessness within its songs, the Maff EP is a sultry romance for ears but one unafraid to ignite an unpredictable blaze or two in sound and energy.

The EP opens with Act 1, a spatially atmospheric instrumental evolved from post punk and eighties alternative rock which swiftly brings the imagination to the boil with its evocative soundscape which is best described as Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It is a dramatic and rousing start to the release, an incitement of dark rhythms and sonic exploration wrapped in vibrant freshness and familiarity.

Maff - Maff Cover Art_RingMaster Review     Its potent persuasion is followed by the just as invigorating Linger Around, a hearty stroll of riffs and beats which relaxes a touch but simultaneously increases its fiery atmosphere and dark shadows as the mellow effect lined vocals of Gómez step forward. That influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain is a spicy ingredient to the gripping incitement swiftly seducing ears, adding thick hues to a provocatively crafted blend of almost prowling dark tones and emotions aligned with melancholic beauty and shimmering resonance.

Walking On Fire slips in next on a slim and radiant melody, the simple coaxing soaked in childlike innocence and radiance. It is soon courted by pulsating beats and a darker celestial climate though as the song’s entrance increasingly captivates, the atmosphere and scenery becoming more inflamed and hazy respectively. Vocal harmonies are as much about texture as narrative here, more so in many ways as the song’s chorus revolves around bewitching singular repetition with the end result as all unite together, a magnetic piece of composing and enterprise which inspires body and mind from start to finish.

     A more indie toning comes with Million Year Picnic, the guitars exploring a richer creative clang against another enthralling lure of post punk seeded bass and crisp jabs of beats. Vocally and melodically the song still immerses in shoegaze imagination but its canvas has stronger clarity from clearer air for the craft and individual incitements of the band to weave their combined tapestries of temptation. The House of Love essence to the song just adds to its lure and sets up of ears nicely for the ethereal charm of Someday. Featuring guest vocals from Francisca Morandé alongside Gómez, the supernal seduction of the song’s warm balladry simply drifts over the senses, immersing ears in an electronically sizzling Lush like embrace.

A fuzzy courting of the senses with a deeply rooted growl comes next in the shape of You, its shapely and slightly scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll rumble toying with aggression and causticity whilst casting a sultry anthemic enticing. Its dirtier air is the perfect taster for the outstanding Planet Wave, an inventive maelstrom of garage and surf rock embroiled in a just as thrilling alignment of space and psychedelic revelry. It is the most exciting and exhilarating offering on the EP, standing out amidst a collection of tracks which are certainly not lacking in those resourceful traits either.

The release is finished off by the rhythmically forceful and sonically bracing Blue Seas. As all around it, varied strains of flavours combine to create an inviting web, though primarily the encounter is more indie rock with potent hues of rock, grunge, and electronic rock. Even if not whipping up the passions as much as other tracks, it is a highly satisfying ‘end’ to the EP, though the actual final track is a radio edit of Walking On Fire.

For a debut Maff makes a striking statement and as they and their sound evolve, it is probably safe to assume more and greater offerings and enjoyment are ahead.

The Maff EP is available now via

RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Little Lapin – Remember The Highs


It was only a couple of months ago when Little Lapin seduced and enthralled with the single Remember The Highs, its masterful coaxing of ears and imagination the wake-up call to the mesmeric sound and voice of the UK singer-songwriter for a great many. The acclaimed track also revealed inventive and bold songwriting, something her fans were already vocal about and now impressively confirmed by the artist’s debut album also called Remember The Highs. It is a fascinating and captivating collection of songs which with diversity and melodic resourcefulness simply leave thoughts and emotions spellbound.

Little Lapin is Lucy Hill, a Devon bred songstress now based in Bristol who has been entrancing audiences from the UK to New Zealand and New York since emerging round 2012. Musically her inspirations include the likes of Regina Spektor, The Cranberries, Florence & The Machine, Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, The Cure, and The Pixies, many providing creative whispers in what is a sound and songs which are openly distinctive to Hill. The swift proof comes with the last single, though before that she had bred a strong and loyal fan base through a tantalising live presence and releases such as earlier tracks Sound of Summer and Winning Is Losing, and more so a self-titled EP last year which sparked attention from the likes of Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 and regular online radio play. It is easy to assume though this was just the appetiser to more fevered responses and acclaim destined to be earned by Remember The Highs, the album a beacon of melodies and harmonies set to draw greedy appetites like moths to a flame.

a1696187169_16   The album opens with Magnet Eyes and an immediate inescapable tempting of warm guitar and keys taken to another enslaving level by the unique tones of Hill. Her voice has a quality of sounding familiar as well as freshly bewitching, but from person to person it seems we hear someone different as a reference, the likes of Laura Marling, Regina Spektor, Sinead O’Connor, and Chrissie Hynde just some references used, with the latter the closest for us as a descriptive hint. As the song stretches its melodic nature and evocative air, a shadow of darker resonance comes into play to catch the imagination all over again, whilst voice and keys especially almost flirt with rich expression and emotive radiance.

It is a captivating start, but also a potent teaser to the glories of the following Over The Draft and the album’s title track. The first of the two songs creases ears with an initial persuasion of guitar again quickly enhanced by the sultry tones of Hill. Eager rhythms then gently and enticingly march into the exotic landscape now being cast by keys, everything settling into a scenic lure of melodic mystique and catchy hooks with the voice of Hill one giant romance of a snare. Its successor remains as potent as the first time heard, and if there is an air of Chrisse Hynde in the second track, Remember The Highs wonderfully reeks of The Pretenders in its sonic groove and provocative melodic hooks. Vocally too Hill brings her spiciest tang to syllables and a slightly nasal croon reminiscent of the Ohio musician. The darker bred bass groove alongside the irresistible winy flames of guitar is equally as compelling, the song providing one delicious embrace of tenacious enterprise and beauty.

The acoustic opening to Go!Stop!Go! has ears lit and body swaying instantly but it is the brooding air of drama cast through keys and an orchestral breath which ebbs and flows across the track, that turns a potent encounter into a spellbinding one. It is a serenade with haunting shadows and dark aural reflections which offer a melancholic temper to the invigorating partnership and narrative of voice and melody. The song just blossoms with every listen, its slower initial smoulder, compared to the previous songs, soon as engrossing and seductive as anything upon the album.

Sound Of Summer rolls in next on a rumble of rhythms which quickly evolves into an embrace of seventies seeded Beatle-esque keys and the ever inviting vocals. Occasional crescendos of drums add to the expanding and again sultry canvas of the song, guitars and keys colouring its scenery with alluring and imagination inciting enterprise to which bass adds swarthy lines of juicy shadows. Once more there is no option but to sink into the depths of a song before being left face to face with the rockier acoustic persuasion of In My Mind. The song is barely a stroll across the senses but even in its low key gait reveals a tenacious and sturdier character in its absorbing balladry compared to its predecessor.

Both songs though get over shadowed by the outstanding Colour Blind, a track emerging as a definite favourite. It starts on a thoughtful and evocative persuasion of guitar, Hill in moments adding her reflective vocal spice for an engaging start. Soon though, everything erupts into a gently concussive belt of emotional and creative turmoil, agitated rhythms and clanging riffs consorting with fiery keys in a bedlamic expulsion. It is a striking and thrilling twist to an already highly persuasive proposition providing yet another major highlight in Remember The Highs.

The album finishes with firstly the melancholic but again vibrantly arresting Panic, a song which has an essence of the drama found within The Smiths songwriting to it, and finally the closing warm smile of A Nice Coincidence. Contrasting textures flirt from within the encounter, sombre strings find themselves courted by skittish rhythms and another seduction of voice and melodies. The lyrical side of songs, as once more shown here, is just as intriguing and enticing, Hill able to cast hope in dark experiences and show the shadows within the brightest adventures.

Remember The Highs is a musical love affair for the senses from an artist in Little Lapin, who has the potential to become one of Britain’s most exciting and innovative singer songwriters. Thinking about it as her album seduces once again, she already is.

Remember The Highs is released on May 15th @

RingMaster 14/05/2015

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False-Heads – Wear and Tear


Proving that their impressive introduction in outstanding debut EP Tunnel Vision last year was no fluke, UK alternative/psyche rockers False-Heads now unveil its successor the Wear and Tear EP. In fact such its magnetic manner and devilish invention, the new release makes its predecessor feel like just an opening teaser to its glory, a rather tasty one for sure, but the prelude to the outstanding and masterful adventure now igniting the passions. Consisting of four attitude cored incitements of noise and psyche rock unafraid to weave in just as warped essences of pop, alternative rock and more, Wear and Tear is a confirmation and wake-up call to the creative might and potential of another seriously exciting band within the British music scene.

Hailing from the East London area, False-Heads is a band which needs little time to grab attention with their imagination gripping sound, swift evidence provided by EP opener Wrap Up. Its first breath comes with a spicy and fuzzy wind of persuasion and energy, a raw guitar courting of the ears soon backed as potently by a heavy and predatory bassline and crisply delivered beats. The trio of Luke Griffiths, Jake Elliott, and Daniel Delgaty have within the first seconds of the track, coaxed eager attention which only strengthens as the song relaxes into a cleaner climate of sound still driven by that initial throaty bass temptation and just as magnetic vocals. Now firmly into its stride, the song unveils a confident swagger but also an appetite to explore heavy rock riffery, stoner-esque grooving, and noise rock imagination, all teased with post punk like infectiousness. It is a fluid and unpredictable adventure keeping ears and thoughts on their toes and emotions high.

False-Heads-Wear-Tear-artwork-450x444  The thick flavours and enterprise fuelling the song continue into the grungier Twentynothing, a proposition opening with a Nirvana like enticing but soon evolving into an intimate design of melodic expression and melancholy wrapped rhythms. Any moment is just that in the passage of the song, and it swiftly moves into an embrace of a more Melvins meets Asylums like tenacity and imagination, though still circling that early magnetic grunge bred hook. As all the tracks there is a glint in its creative eye, a devilment which relishes teasing familiar spices and twisting them into fresh and infectious uniqueness.

The following Snatch is the same, a proposition drawing from recognisable flavourings but disfiguring them with ingenious revelry for something new and distinct to False-Heads. Persistently the band seems to be compared to The Pixies, not as obvious a reference for us until you hear this one song. It strolls along with a virulent swing and addictiveness which could easily be Frank Black composed, serenading with minimalistic charm and just the right amount of causticity to the guitars and dour monotony to the rhythms. Around it though, sounds and textures seduce and flare up, creating a web of intrigue and volatile enterprise which swiftly and inescapably inflames ears and the passions.

It is another sensational offering upon Wear and Tear leaving closing track Nothing In There some work to do to end the release on a similar height. It is fair to say it fails, but only just as it mesmerises the senses with its dark drone of sonic incitement. Like a post punk/shoe gaze proposal held in a post rock atmospheric embrace, the song is simultaneously cold and sultry with noise seduction and psyche rock provocation as open and riveting as the other textures mentioned. It is a fascinating and compelling end to an irresistible provocation of body and mind.

False-Heads left a lingering and convincing impression with their first EP a year ago but have more than overshadowed it with Wear and Tear. There are a few bands which trigger the deepest, intensive excitement in the grand landscape of emerging bands right now and of those that do, False-Heads stand to the fore.

The Wear and Tear EP is released March 23rd on Hi4Head Records and available at

RingMaster 23/03/2015

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Louis Ramos – Under The Mortar


It is proudly raw, it is old school DIY, and similarly bullish in nature but most of all though Under The Mortar, the new EP from US musician Louis Ramos is an unapologetically enjoyable and abrasing, not forgetting bracing proposition. In many ways there is no surprise at the potency of the release, as Ramos has frequently lit our and numerous other’s ears and imaginations through his band The Amputees. The New York hailing band he created and drives, has persistently offered magnetic slices of inventive garage punk, whilst his songs more often than not have sculpted a tenacious mix of infectiousness and intrusive voracity, generally coloured by his own guitar enterprise. Now he has done it again, though in a primal offering which is his most intensive challenge on the listener yet but equally one of the most fascinating.

Consisting of eight songs which delve into various strains of punk and fierce rock, Under The Mortar opens with its title track and swiftly has electronic rhythms jabbing ears and attention into action before the sonic coaxing of the guitars catch melodically alight. There is a spiciness to the emerging acidic infectiousness and restrained but magnetic grooving which emerges within the song and vocally Ramos uses a warm texture in his delivery which tempers and works with the more abrasive textures well. Like a noise rock interpretation of The Pixies with an underlying pop punk catchiness, the song provides a strong and enjoyable start to the release.

The following Killing Spree is simply one minute and a handful of seconds of unbridled punk rock, a sound closer to Ramos’ exploits with The Amputees and virulently addictive. It is also a potent lyrical swipe which impacts as potently as the busy fury of sound. Its brief but pungent ferocity pushes the EP up another step which is backed by the outstanding Cruel Lip. Think Melvins and Sonic Youth in an industrial sonic blender and you get a sense of the excellent song. Melodically seductive at certain moments and psychotically warped in other times, the track hits the sweet spot whilst ‘punishing’ agreeable senses with its sonic rabidity.

It is fair to say that Get Off My Dick is not as romantic as it sounds, but is a hostile threat of defiance and guitar sculpted ravishment. The track though never goes for the jugular, its gait even paced yet confronting as the fingers of Ramos lure out some insidiously appealing and scarring hooks and sounds from his guitar. It is also another offering which has ears and thoughts absorbed before handing its hold over to the furious protagonist that is Trepanation Nation. Hardcore seeded in many ways, the song brawls with and bawls at the senses and thoughts, but again has a certain reign on its assault compared to the earlier Killing Spree.

The senses get a real testing with Gods And Devils, a song where Ramos vocally croons with impressive radiance but within a sonically tempestuous smog of sound. The guitar offers a raw misting which smothers ears and psyche yet within its caustic touch the vocals and a melodic expression simply blossom. It is an intriguing and compelling offering, like Frank Black engulfed in a harsh winter of sound. Its striking blend of textures is somewhat emulated in the more hard/classic rock balladry of Trophies. It does not have the same immediate potency as its predecessor but over time grows to become another enthralling part of Under The Mortar.

The closing Little Jimmy is an acoustic serenade with a Bolan-esque lure to the vocals and provocative lyrics looking at amongst things, the social apathy to war. The less intensive track musically on the release, it makes up for it emotionally and makes a great end to an attention grabbing encounter.

Certainly Under The Mortar will not make a comfortable playmate for some but for uncompromising and unashamedly imposing punk/rock ‘n’ roll which makes additional demands, it is easy to recommend checking out. The EP takes us back to the days of unpolished, bedroom recorded punk demos; just one more reason to take a punt on Louis Ramos.

Under The Mortar is available now @

RingMaster 04/03/2015

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