Tunabunny – PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is the new and fifth album from US Transcendental Dance Poppers Tunabunny, a huge adventure which sees the Athens, Georgia hailing quartet at their most poppy, darkest, experimental, and compelling. A double album breaching 28 imagination stoking tracks, it is a kaleidoscope of sound; no track like any other or pretty much any offering from the band to date, and a carousel of creative drama which pushes the listener into places they might not know exist let alone have contemplated.

Apparently PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland Jr is “structured as a song-by-song response to The Beatles’ White Album” and through its songs explores themes such as surveillance, futility, alchemy and winter, metamorphosis and anger whilst its fourth side features a twisting song cycle about motherhood; from pregnancy to birth, through postpartum emotional desolation, to the rebirth of self. Whatever their inspiration, the album’s songs challenge and arouse physically, mentally, and emotionally ensuring you get a full and thrilling workout with the foursome of Mary Jane Hassell, Scott Creney, Brigette Adair Herron, and Jesse Stinnard.

Rather than do our usual track by track look, such its bulging size, we are going to pluck the moments which ignited the imagination most forcibly but be assured barely a moment passes within the whole release without making a potent and appealing impact. From the opening atmospherically sinister Cartesian Theater, a track which appears like an intro but is so much more, Tunabunny set the speakers and passions on fire with Incinerate. A recent single, the track is glorious; a slice of indie pop which has the head bobbing, feet shuffling, and ardour brewing within its first round of seduction. Adding one’s own breath is inevitable to a sublime chorus, the vocals a flirtatious beauty matched in temptation by the gentle swing of the sounds cradling their charm.

There is no better moment within the album but plenty of times rival the height of the superb encounter, the following Noise Problems a swift example with its post punk/new wave canter carrying a definite resemblance to eighties UK band The Passions. The stroll of the bass is as deeply appealing as the wiry jangle of the guitars, vocals again an inescapable magnetism in diversity and harmony whilst the song’s emerging discord is simply delicious.

The indie/psych pop of Seek Consequence is another major magnet; the swaying vocals siren-esque as darker hues brew and evolve behind their lyrical wiles until heatedly bubbling up with a drone like fever while Blackwater Homes rises up from a gentle melodic murmur into another virulently infectious and shadowed canter playing like a mix of Stevie Nicks and Pylon. Worryingly easy to be seduced by its haunting lures, and not for the first or last time fiercely tempting post punk bass bait, the track swiftly worms into the psyche.

The bass again grips the instincts within Oracle, its Psycho Killer like coaxing backed by shiny tendrils of guitar as vocals procrastinate; its success followed by the matching triumph of Start It where PiL meets The Breeders is a good hint to the track’s melodic post punk clamour. These tracks alone show the diversity within PCPPAIWJR, The Raincoats tinged pop clang of Nevermind The Cobblestones and the Slits scented monotone shuffle of Yellow Heart Is My Sky Sign further evidence, both tracks bringing fresh greed in a healthy appetite for the release.

A healthy addictiveness is spawned by the raw swing and charm of the boldly infectious The Way The World Works, the song a dulled yet sparkling gem in the album’s jewellery box of sound and another collusion of band and listener rarely matched outside of the album though within, the minimalistic pop of Me And Nancy, a track with an echo of The Cure on their very first outing, and the dark scuzz fuelled post punk of Pretending To Bend as well as the similarly styled but oh so different Count To Ten rise to the challenge.

There are tracks on the album which explore noise and its depths of suggestion, each inciting the imagination even when they barely grasp a handful of seconds in length; times which really test  but reward the listener’s ability to compose and interpret. With further moments of never less than thoroughly enjoyable and provocative adventure across the album, songs like It Could Be Something, the absorbing and inexplicable Shiftchanger featuring Jason Jackson Wellz, and Magic January all tantalising and enthralling, things are brought to a lengthy imposingly and enjoyable close with the fuzz pop clamour of I Thought I Caught It (With You).

As suggested, every track is a fresh and rewarding twist in the landscape of PCPPAIWJR, not one of them merely filling space and all firing up ears and imagination. Not for the first time Tunabunny has provided not only a real treat to mull over and enjoy, but another new plateau in their invention and imagination.

PCP Presents Alice In Wonderland JR is out now via HHBTM Records @ http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=640 and https://tunabunny.bandcamp.com/album/pcp-presents-alice-in-wonderland-jr

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Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

HOG_RingMasterReview

Checking out the ear exciting single One Eyed Girl a few short weeks back, our closing line was “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”. That is the title of the debut album from UK grrl punksters Hands Off Gretel, and just a handful of days ago it was unveiled to quench hopes and anticipation for its potential riding on the back of its lead single. Burn the Beauty Queen is glorious, a feast of grunge fuelled punk ‘n’ roll snarling and barracking like a fusion of Die So Fluid, Spinnerette, and The Raincoats. It is an infestation of ears and psyche skilfully weaving recognisable flavours into its own distinctively imaginative exploits and more than fulfilling the promise offered by its first single.

Emerging from an early musical partnership between vocalist/guitarist Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue and following the demise of the former’s Lauren Tate Band, Hands Off Gretel quickly started to draw attention with Tate’s ‘frustration songs’ as creative fuel. Late 2015 saw Sam Hobbins invited to play bass and drums on the South Yorkshire band’s album, subsequently become the permanent Hands Off Gretel drummer to join Tate and McAvinue, newest member bassist Joe Scotcher completing the current line-up.

In a year already seeing Hands Off Gretel release the single My Size as well as One Eyed Girl and play Whitby Goth Weekend, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion, Kaya Festival, and Isle of Wight Festival, Burn the Beauty Queen is the pinnacle and needs barely two minutes of opener Queen Universe to confirm the fact. Teasing, almost taunting with a lone riff initially, bait swiftly accompanied by the potent tones of Tate, the song is soon a cauldron of imposing rhythms, cantankerous riffs, and spiky hooks with bitchy harmonies adding their great snarl. It is a stunning start quickly reminding of those earlier references yet just as powerfully showing its own character of sound and invention as it stomps over senses and into the passions.

There is no chance of such a powerful bordering on psychotic beginning being followed by an antic-climax either as One Eyed Girl follows to confirm its position of one of the best songs heard this year. Grumbling in ears from its opening bassline, the track is soon aggressively challenging and seducing as Tate’s catchy yet confrontational tones align to the nagging and addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs as rhythms swing with venom. Again there is no escaping a Brody Dalle essence to vocals and indeed the sound but the song bounces around on its own unique terms to feed an already keen appetite for what is on offer.

art_RingMasterReviewBad Egg is next, coaxing ears with a singular hook wearing an early Adam and The Ants scent before things open up with wiry melodies and predacious beats as McAvinue’s guitar spins a web of tangy melodic intrigue. Less ferocious and imposing than its predecessors, the track is dangerously bewitching, leaving a lingering imprint before Teethin’ strolls in like a gunslinger, one hiding its bite behind catchy endeavours but perpetually gnawing away with post and old school punk invention. Its exceptional persuasion is followed by that of Little Man, a haunting ballad-esque canter seemingly as much inspired by the darker explorations of Siouxsie and The Banshees as bands like Hole and 4 Non Blondes, and quite irresistible.

From its dark shadows, Hands Off Gretel go for the jugular with the punk infested and simply brilliant Always Right. It is a rousingly irritable assault, like Bikini Kill meets Au Pairs and also fiercely addictive as its virulent enterprise and piecing hooks take hold before Under The Bed bares its cranky attitude and nature with creative zeal.

Through the barbarous Oh Shit with its predatory bassline and scything riffs and the raging fire of World Against She, Hands Off Gretel prove that even their least unique offerings simply ring true with ears and emotions and set the band well apart from the field whilst tracks like Eating Simon with its Three Imaginary Boys like Cure hooks and enslaving rhythmic rumbling offer evidence that the quartet just might be one of the bands helping steer British rock to new glories ahead.

Then we have Plasters, a superb and slightly deranged piece of imagination which drawls discord, musically and emotionally, whilst casting another highly addictive web of beats and sonic hooks. The song brings seventies punk, eighties new wave, and nineties grunge into the raw and twenty first century invention of Hands Off Gretel for something quite striking.

The dark amble and warning of Push The Girl and the climactic theatre of Awfully Miserable bring Burn the Beauty Queen to a powerful close; the first sublime creative drama in the ear and its successor, from an engrossing low key unleashing, a tempest of scything beats and grumpy basslines littered with electric grooves and spiky hooks as crescendos rise and fall.

It is a great end to one of the year’s most impressive and seriously pleasurable releases of 2016. Hands Off Gretel bring a fresh excitement to music, Burn the Beauty Queen the biggest thrill.

Burn the Beauty Queen is out now and available @ http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/_p/prd15/4533789831/product/burn-the-beauty-queen-album

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Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Franklys – Comedown/Long Way

The Franklys_RingMasterReview

The Franklys create a sound as enjoyably nostalgic as it is fresh and individual to modern garage rock ‘n’ roll. They also uncage releases, like new single Comedown, which demand attention whilst sharing the suggestion that its creators has the potential to be one of the provocateurs that the future direction of modern rock ‘n’ roll might just hinge upon.

The band consists of Swedish born vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jen Ahlkvist and lead guitarist Fanny Broberg, America hailing Nicole Pinto, and British bassist Zoe Biggs. London is where the quartet met and the band is based though fair to say since emerging, The Franklys has been a blur on the live scene, persistently playing shows in and touring the UK, Europe, America, and Scandinavia as well as making prise luring appearances at festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival, Strawberry Fields, and Camden Rocks. Their rousing and raw garage rock sound brings a mix of psych and punk rock from across the decades with plenty more to spice things up whilst inspirations range from The Hives, The Strokes, and Queens Of The Stone Age to Led Zeppelin, Mando Diao, Blondie, and The Who. Their self-titled debut EP whipped up intrigue and strong interest back in 2013 which the Bad News EP stirred up to greater success last year. Now it is Comedown making the potent nudge on broader spotlights and attention, and making an easy job of it so far since being recently unveiled.

Comedown instantly has ears under welcome siege with a blaze of fiery riffs soon joined by thumping beats and a raw wind of hungry energy to its invitation. The bassline of Biggs almost groans with relish as its stalks the web of bracing sonic and melodic flames escaping the guitars with Ahlkvist’s ear catching vocals adding further bite to the snarling temptation. It is a great blend which helps the song weaves something akin to The Raincoats and The Priscillas around a character which equally refuses to be majorly compared to another. Never taking a breath within its contagious confrontation, the track has body and spirit aroused and swiftly joining its rousing tempest of incitement.

Accompanying the outstanding track is Long Way; a far more subdued encounter with just as potent and seductive lures. Its climate is surf rock bred, its sultry shimmer sixties garage rock/pop coloured, and its scuzzy touch punk seeded. It simply enthrals from the off; beguiling ears and appetite whilst revealing another flavour and twist to the songwriting and sound of The Franklys. If The Shangri-Las were Spinnerette, or The Luv’d Ones were The Breeders, the results just might sound like Long Way.

Acclaim and The Franklys have already been more friends than strangers but it feels like things are going to get hotter and more flirtatious from hereon in as first Comedown and then the band take 2016 by the scruff of the neck.

Comedown is out now via Electric Wood Records and available @ http://www.thefranklys.com/product/pre-order-single-comedown-limited-edition-7-vinyl/ and through iTunes.

http://www.thefranklys.com   http://www.facebook.com/thefranklys   http://www.twitter.com/thefranklysuk

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Witching Waves – Crystal Café

Photo by David Garcia

Photo by David Garcia

Of the albums most anticipated by our particular ears was one from UK duo Witching Waves. They had us on line with their ltd edition cassette Concrete/Chain Of Command in 2014 and inescapably hooked with debut album Fear Of Falling Down later that same year but things have just got contagiously fiercer and even more sonically fascinating courtesy of their second full-length Crystal Café. It is a stunning roar of sonic and emotional dissonance fuelled by cutting hooks and feverish melodies, and that is not to forget the ever darkly mesmeric and often challenging lure of the vocals.

A mix of corrupted psych and surf rock fever with punk and post punk attitude, the Witching Waves’ sound mighty be better suggested by casting it as a union of the punk antagonism of The Raincoats and the garage punk ‘n’ roll devilry of The Creeping Ivies in collusion with the raw and virulent off-kilter pop of The Adult Net , Morningwood, and Delta 5. To be truthful, the London band has a sound which has always been its own individual but now forcibly so on Crystal Café. Intrigue for what the band will reveal next is always company to eager anticipation and indeed expectations, and it was no exception this time around, especially with the duo of founding members, vocalist/guitarist Mark Jaspar and vocalist Emma Wigham, having grown by one with the addition of bassist Ed Shellard since that previous impressive album.

Crystal Café opens up with Twister, a song shedding drama with its first surge of guitar. As it hits a heady stride with scything beats lining the brooding bassline of Shellard, the track has ears and imagination onside with ease, even more so as the siren like tones of Wigham collude with Jaspar’s sonic tendrils, all hot spice and raw flirtation. Not for the last time, a scent of The Cure certainly hits the rhythmic side of a song, adding appealing hues which engagingly merge with the fiery enterprise of guitar and voice.

art_RingMaster ReviewThe outstanding start continues in the concussively seductive Seeing Double, a roar of scuzzy guitar and alluring vocals with a sniff of almost Xmal Deutschland like post punk coldness. It is a grouchy encounter, epitomised by Jaspar’s aggressive vocal outbursts, but simultaneously also a raw melodic enticement which simply grips the imagination.

The following Pitiless uncages an anthemic rumble of rhythms as Wigham’s captivating vocals get entangled in the citric lines of just as compelling guitar spawned imagination. Juicy hooks are as frequent as searing sonic endeavour, being caught up in a bracing infectiousness which has the body jerking and senses wilting, though they do get respite from the alluring repetition sculpted instrumental Red Light Loop that follows. It is the first of a few imagination sparking interludes, a break before the raw trespass of contagion continues, in this case with Make It Up. There is a Wire like quality to the song which only adds to the pop catchy theatre that evolves to seriously excite and involve the listener. The track is as irresistible as a fondle in the shadows; offering a warm moment of pop slavery in the senses whilst they get intruded upon by the dissonance soaked soundscape of the album.

Anemone spreads a portentously melancholic instrumental breeze next, its starkly lit prowl a rising smog of discord as invasive as it is intimidatingly bewitching. The track sets up ears and imagination for The Threat, it a melodically cultured temper to the previous trespass with its boisterous surges of muscular beats and flowing vocal warmth over less kind but as riveting grooves. It too brews into a swarming sonic assault but without losing any of the pungent temptation it began coaxing ears with before the brazen temptress that is the excellent Red Light wraps its raw hunger and salacious beauty all over the listener.

The scathing sonic air and vocal angst of Receiver then takes over, its Jaspar voiced tempest bold exploration of the senses with underlying seduction added by the harmonies of Wigham, whilst after its pleasing encroachment and the evocative caress of instrumental Inoa, the album comes to a mighty close with new single Flowers. Wrapping around a glorious bassline echoing early Cure as crisp beats descend with resonating effect, strings of melodies and atmospheric suggestiveness come together, in turn swiftly joined by a dual smooch of vocals to captivate and entrance to which Wigham further adds her spellbinding lures. As seductive and inviting as it is, the track equally offers a host of descriptive shadows and sonic discordance that fester in thoughts and emotions to fine effect.

The track is an enthralling end to a simply superb release; another from Witching Waves and easily their finest moment yet. Hopefully this time around, the band gets the attention and surge of fresh appetites for their unique sound which previous releases warranted but Crystal Café demands and deserves.

Crystal Café is available on vinyl, cassette, and digital download from released February 26th via Soft Power in the UK and HHBTM Records in the USA.

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Pete RingMaster 26/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Petrol Girls – Some Thing EP

PG_RingMaster Review

Originally formed for an international women’s day gig in 2013, feminist post-hardcore band, Petrol Girls have proved to be one fiery roar within British punk ‘n’ roll. Their attitude loaded, defiance fuelled sound has ignited many a venue across the UK and Europe as well as an ever increasing horde of eager ears, a success bound to be accelerated by the release of the Some Thing EP.

Inspired by the likes of Refused, White Lung, Bikini Kill, Fugazi, RVIVR, Propagandhi, At The Drive-In, and War On Woman, Petrol Girls create a ferocious brew of punk rock unafraid to embrace other spices. Certainly the six tracks making up Some Thing have varying echoes of those influences but equally there is a coincidental eighties punk/post punk essence which lures thoughts of bands like Au-Pairs, The Molesters, and Vice Squad. Lyrically too, the South East London hailing quartet pulls no punches in exploring and challenging sexism and other themes such as politics, alienation, the migrant crisis, and mental health. It all unites for one stirring and invigorating incitement and an EP which attacks, inspires, and rouses body and thoughts from start to finish.

PetrolGirls_SomeThing_Cover_RingMaster ReviewProduced by the band and Marta Salogni at Strongroom Studios, London, Some Thing embraces ears with fiery directness straight away through Slug. The guitars of Ren Aldridge and Joe York dance as they sizzle on the senses whilst the jabbing pokes of drummer Zock reveal a swing and relish which only sparks stronger involvement in the swiftly contagious and dramatic encounter. The darker prowling tone of Liepa Kuraite’s bass adds weight to the thick lure of the song too, a tempting enhanced further by the potent vocals and expression of Aldridge backed as potently by York and Kuraite.

The strong start kicks up another gear with Protagonist where short spicy grooves aligned to piercing sonic and rhythmic hooks instantly prey on ears and imagination. As in the first, a contagious energy and flirtation is a persistent beckoning, this time within a hardcore ire that has a Red Tape meets Billy Talent feel to it before an X-Ray Spex meets The Raincoats like confrontation shows through to stir up song and enjoyment even more.

Separated strolls in next, its mellower melodic landscape courting a catchiness which combined hints at the earlier mentioned band Au-Pairs. Expectantly, it too has a raw snarl and antagonistic nature which perfectly tempers and works with the calmer but no less imposing punk ‘n’ roll revelry, but as great as it is, the track is totally eclipsed by the outstanding Restless. The best track on the EP, it is a scathing sonic tempest which seduces as it wrong foots, sudden slips into warm caresses and virulent old school punk devilment complete with addictive hooks and abrasive intensity an inescapable enslavement. At certain points, the song has thoughts wondering if this is what The Slits would sound like if starting out now, but ultimately and once more the striking provocateur is distinctly Petrol Girls.

The predatory enticement and belligerent roar of System comes next, band and song creating infectious and intimidating emotive contumacy before Disgrace brings the EP to a close with its even more cantankerous proposal. Again as wilful and rebellious as both are, there is an underlying catchiness which has the body as hooked as ears and mind.

Petrol Girls is maybe a band on the outskirts of recognition, or was as that is surely going to change if the Some Thing EP gets its persuasive way.

The Some Thing EP is available on CD, Digital Download, and three-track 7” Vinyl featuring the first trio of songs above now via Bomber Music @ http://www.petrolgirls.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 20/02/2016

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Flowers – Everybody’s Dying To Meet You

Flowers_RingMaster Review

Though debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do pleased, for personal tastes, it lacked a certain spark to fulfil its obvious potential. It was an encounter though, which certainly ensured its creators Flowers lured strong and lingering attention. Now the UK trio return with successor Everybody’s Dying To Meet You, a rousing slice of noise infused indie pop that enchants as it enthrals; a release rattling the cage of expectations and all overworked pop offerings around it.

Flowers began in 2012 after vocalist Rachel Kenedy met guitarist Sam Ayres through an advert wanting band mates to help create pop songs which were like “early Madonna through a broken tape machine”. From there a romantic and creative union ensued between them, with drummer Jordan Hockley coming in to complete the band’s line-up. With their first batch of tracks refined by Bernard Butler, debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do emerged in 2013 to potent responses and support. It drew keen interest which is surely now set to ignite louder acclaim with Everybody’s Dying To Meet You. Everything about the release, from songwriting and sound to inventive tone has blossomed from its predecessor, emerging an eighties seeded but uniquely current kiss of tenacious indie pop.

Recorded with producer Brian O’Shaughnessey (The Clientele, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine), the album opens with Pull My Arm. A slim jangle of guitar with glimpses of ska revelry makes the first contact, strolling beefy rhythms soon joining it before the lively ethereal tone of Kenedy lays evocatively over the dynamically catchy sounds now in full flow. Thoughts are sparked of bands like Mo-dettes and Girls At Their Best by the track, ripe spices adding to its boisterous charm and rousing adventure.

art_RingMaster ReviewThe great start is followed by the mellower caress of Bitter Pill, though its body is all drama and the vocals awash with warm crystalline harmonies that seem to incite an infectious swing to grab the energy of the song. From lapping ears like gentle but eager waves to a fiery expulsion of sizzling sonic rowdiness and back again in a repeating cycle, ears are richly satisfied before Ego Loss takes over with its similarly low key but vibrant dance. The dark hues of bass make a healthy temper to the celestial strains of Kenedy and the imaginative jangle of Ayres’ guitar, the jabbing beats of Hockley bridging the two with their metronomic yet inventive canter. Like The Darling Buds meets The Raincoats, the track is a persistent captivation.

A Weekend like air drifts across next up All at Once; the song as those before it thick seduction, though all have to bow to the outstanding prowess of Intrusive Thoughts. Again a gentler entrance is the lead to richer and heavier deeds. The song never loses its gentile character though, moving with a Young Marble Giants scented saunter through noisy melodic scenery accompanied by hypnotic rhythms. Kenedy once more is as alluring as the sun in the sultry temptation as the album offers its undoubted pinnacle, though the song is challenged for that stature throughout.

How Do You Do smiles at and grumbles in ears next, its scuzzy proposal an irresistibly magnetic affair matched by the fiercer rock ‘n’ roll of Tammy. Ayres’ guitar is a scorching blaze of resourceful endeavour whilst Hockley again lays anthemic bait down around the, at times, slightly overwhelmed voice of Kenedy. Even with that slight issue, the track is a punk lined pop treat to get a healthy appetite for; a hunger quickly satisfied by another Young Marble Giants like seducing under the name Russian Doll. Its true rock ‘n’ roll colours are soon pushed to the fore of its initial minimalistic presence, the initial thick enjoyment only becoming most lusty as the entwining of both textures from thereon in creates another mighty triumph for the album.

The final pair of songs ensures Everybody’s Dying To Meet You ends on the high it started with and for the main maintained up to their appearance. The balmy yet sonically volatile My Only Friend is first with endearing melodic caresses evolving into bordering on cacophonous jangles for a hearty lure whilst closer Bathroom Sink is a provocative romance with a tempestuous air and intrusive flames to its harmonic elegance. Both tracks spellbind with their individual characters; a success brought to broader fruition by the album as a whole.

The Flowers has come of age with Everybody’s Dying to Meet You, though major uniqueness is still a little down the line. All the same with this thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly magnetic album their current bloom, the threesome has shown themselves to be one of Britain’s brightest and most stimulating indie/pop bands.

Everybody’s Dying To Meet You is released February 12th via Fortuna POP! on CD, vinyl and download.

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2016

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The Amputees – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees

band photo_RingMaster Review

It has been just over two years since US garage punks The Amputees stirred up strong attention for themselves with the Scream EP, its body and success building on the similarly appealing beginnings founded in its predecessor Commence The Slaughter a year earlier. Always a busy live proposition, now the seven strong collective of musicians return from the studio with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees, a four track roar proving their promise drenched sound has now come of age.

To be fair, the new 7” EP is also rich in further potential too, it more the beginning of a new chapter of exploration than a final destination in sound. From day one, The Amputees have never been predictable, in the style of songs, the direction an EP might go, or the line-up at shows but always the septet makes a potent and stirring impact and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is no different; in fact it is the band’s finest moment to date.

front cover_RingMaster ReviewFormed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Louis Ramos, the band consists of Gary Young (guitar), Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar), Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals), Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals), Soledad Alvarado (bass), and Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass); musicians uniting in New York City from various US states. Inspirations range from The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac to The Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath to Nirvana amongst many; influences which no doubt go some way to the diversity of the band‘s sound and songs over their trio of EPs.

The new encounter opens with Al Hammer, the song hugging ears with a controlled but dirty guitar before launching into a fiercely rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll. Louis Ramos immediately stirs things up vocally as riffs and rhythms unite in a combative yet infectious stroll whilst hooks come with a mischievous tempting. In no time a thick anthemic quality entices and grip ears and appetite, infesting its potency into the vocals too as fiery grooves and sonic enterprise add their tenacity to the inescapable contagion driven by confrontational rhythms.

The song is superb, alone sure to wake up broader spotlights upon the band, though the following Dogrose will pull its fair share of keen appetites too. A boisterous riff steps forward first with a lure which is almost Rocky like in its challenge and invitation, though the biggest bait is the female vocals which lay tempting tones across the emerging song almost as instantly. We cannot say which of the ladies provides the lead, but her tones only seduce as the song bristles and rumbles in something akin to Breeders meets The Passions with a touch of The Raincoats to it.

Ego dives straight in next, riffs and beats inspiring a feisty stomp as vocals and guitars spread their raucous attitude and tangy resourcefulness respectively. A minute and a half of punk ferocity, the song as its predecessors, also uncages the keenest hooks and spiciest melodic twists to grab attention and ignite the passions before Dogmother grumbles into view to bring the EP to a cantankerous close. Grouchy and compelling, band and song merges grunge and garage punk to infest body and psyche with a proposal which swiftly has you heading back to the play button once it departs.

As suggested The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is the band’s finest moment so far, and clearly so, such its step forward from those previously impressive encounters. The Amputees should be stirring up crowds and ears far from home and after their new EP escapes that might just begin to happen.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is released on February 13th on Money Fire Records.

http://www.theamputees.org   https://www.facebook.com/theamputees

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016

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