Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ruts DC – Music Must Destroy

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Back in the day, The Ruts stood to the fore of the punk scene in sound, presence, and lyrical insight, an attack which evolved but never diminished as Ruts DC emerged from the sad death of still missed frontman Malcolm Owen. Two albums before and two after his passing provided an innovative and snarling voice for a generation and more before the band disbanded. Reforming for a benefit show for their guitarist Paul Fox, following his diagnosis of lung cancer and who died not long after, remaining members John ‘Segs’ Jennings (bass and vocals) and Dave Ruffy (drums) carried on and released the mighty Rhythm Collision Vol. 2, another glorious dub fuelled vat of diversity to echo the success of Vol.1. Now the band are poised to uncage a new tour-de-force in the shape of Music Must Destroy, a release, to get straight to the bottom line, which is quite possibly the finest rock ‘n’ roll album you are likely to be aroused by this year, maybe this decade.

Music Must Destroy is one glorious anthem made up of ten ear and imagination sparking proposals. Segs and Duffy with Leigh Heggarty have taken their time to write, hone, and step forward with their latest collection of songs but, aided by a host of guests such as Henry Rollins, Captain Sensible, Boz Boorer, Marco Pirroni, Jake Burns, Kirk Brandon, Tara Rez, and Paul Laventhol, have created another landmark in punk fuelled rock ‘n roll. The album’s variety of incitements sit somewhere between the raw challenge of The Ruts and the experimental exploits of Ruts DC, the band calling themselves The Ruts DC for the new offering suggesting the band came at the album from the same angle. The trio has explored their past and inspirations across the fan funded Music Must Destroy to create some of their most inspiring and fiercely addictive songs yet.

It all starts with recent single Psychic Attack, it alone a highly charged and intoxicating incitement to get greedy over. With a Damned like scent to its riffs, the song strides from its initial shimmer with imposing rhythms and one mouth-watering bassline. Within seconds the nagging riffs and Segs’ potent tones grip ears further, his words and expression getting as much under the skin as the twisting and turning character of the song itself.

Starting off a release with such a momentous moment would put a strain on many offerings from other bands, but The Ruts DC simply follow it up with matching peaks of imagination starting with the band’s upcoming new single and album’s title track. Featuring Henry Rollins, Music Must Destroy also makes its initial coaxing with rhythmic and repetitive guitar shared bait which needs mere seconds to get under the skin. Melodies and drama spread as the song expands its theatre of intent, group harmonies pure infection around Rollin’s call to arms before a chorus to stir armies pulls thoughts and spirit into the song’s galvanic prowl.

The Ruts DCart_RingMasterReviewSurprise steps forward next carrying a broader rock air to invasive seduction. Like a blend of Ruts single West One (Shine on Me) and the sound of 999 at certain times, the track crawls over the senses, sweeping them up into another virulent chorus and nature before the highly emotive and haunting Second Hand Child takes over. This too infests body and emotions with ease, its poetic melodies and evocative vocals as magnetic as its sound with the dusty lure of The Duel’s Tara Rez’s voice extra temptation to be tempted by.

Soft City Lights is another recalling the early days of the band, its reflective melodies and shimmer infused in a smouldering embrace of evocative adventure and harmony. With rhythms casting darker shadows and intimidation, the track is aural alchemy and like those before it and indeed to come quite irresistible, a success emulated by the anthemic and predacious roar of Kill The Pain. A track which stalks the listener with a challenge in its voice as potent as the virulence in its infectious character, it too has bodies bouncing and attitude aflame.

The mellow seducing and evocative pleads of Peace Bomb follows, the song a Bolan-esque engagement showing more of the album’s diversity, variety continuing  across the psychedelic shimmer and melodic jangle of Tears On Fire and the hard rock soaked exploits of The Vox Teardrop. It is impossible to pick a best track within Music Must Destroy but the first of the pair always features in first thoughts while its successor simply stirs blood and spirit each and every time.

The album concludes with Golden Boy, a poignant ballad seemingly inspired by the death of previous band mates and a captivation as powerful as anything before it with its heart offered vocals, emotionally charged melodies, and provocative strings.

The track is a breath-taking end to a simply electrifying rip roar of an album. Music Must Destroy has all the qualities and boldness expected of The Ruts/Ruts DC past and present. The guys might be a touch older than those early inspiring days but they still have the energy, snarl, and invention to provide something seriously special which can also spark a new generation.

Music Must Destroy is released September 16th via Westworld/Sosumi Recordings with the single/title track released September 9th.

Album pre-order links: CD digi: http://bit.ly/MusicMustDestroyCD and Vinyl double album: http://bit.ly/MusicMustDestroyVinyl

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/ruts-dc-psychic-attack

https://www.facebook.com/theruts   http://www.theruts.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Foreign Legion/The Shame – Split 7”

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Courtesy of a co-release between Aggrobeat and Rebel Sound Music, punk from both sides of the pond links up in a 7” split which just ignites the appetite. On one side stands Welsh oi/punks Foreign Legion and on the other Tulsa Street punks The Shame, both offering two tracks of highly satisfying incitements. There have been a few potent punk splits over recent times and this stands right up there as one of the best.

Foreign Legion_RingMaster Review     Emerging from the ashes of Dead On Arrival, Foreign Legion began in 1984 infusing an oi seeding with varied essences of punk rock. The years have come and gone, line-up changed but the band has never slowed down or taken the heat out of their creative and lyrical rage as shown by the new release. Recent years has seen Foreign Legion share stages with the likes of Cockney Rejects, Guitar Gangsters, Control, The Warriors, GBH, The Ruts, and Stiff Little Fingers and play festivals such as Back On The Streets, Punk & Disorderly and Rebellion, whilst over time they have played in 15 different countries and remained the only Welsh band to ever play at the legendary CBGB’s in New York. With four albums under their belt, including the Mick Jones produced What Goes Around Comes Around, as well as a split full-length with Major Accident and numerous other splits and compilation appearances, the band instantly show they are as stirringly confrontational as ever with their first contribution to this new encounter.

Nowhere Left To Hide strides in straight away with commanding rhythms and attention seizing riffs, their mix a potent lure which the grizzly tones of Marcus stand astride. An air of Angelic Upstarts lines the attitude and presence of the track whilst backing vocals are as anthemic as the core hook repetitiously fuelling the infectious challenge. With guitarist Simon and bassist Dave colluding to grip ears and appetite with their creative bait as the rhythmic swings of Sid thumps them, the track stirs up air and emotions with its old school tones and a modern attitude driven on by the lyrical attack on the state of the world, a premise continued in its successor.

Our World Today is even more addictive with its central hook incessant in nagging repetition and inescapable virulence. Around this the guitar flames with sonic enterprise whilst the throaty bass belligerence snarls with antipathy to match the thick accusation of the lyrics, again anthemically and intimidatingly delivered by Marcus. As its predecessor, the track is not trying to stretch boundaries and venture into unique landscapes but for a thrilling and provocative slab of honest punk rock it is prime incitement.

The other side of the release belongs to Tulsa’s The Shame, another band breeding their attacks from old school punk this time with maybe more US heritage though there are undoubtedly The Shame_RingMaster Reviewsome essences of British punk found within their sound. Their potent history has seen the band play with bands such as Queers, Downtown Struts, Noi!se, Bishops Green, The Templars, Fatskins, Concrete, and Those Unknown whilst their discography includes an album and a 7”. With a new EP scheduled for later this year, the band launch their part with Crossing the Line first of all and quickly gets down to being musically and vocally grouchy and thrilling ears straight away.

Riffs and rhythms rise as one and are soon taking the listener on a feisty attitude driven ride. A thick bass lure easily grips the appetite as does the group calls around the chorus, but from start to finish with a whisper of bands like NOFX to it as well as a UK influence of bands like The Business, the song is a rousing stomp led by pungent hooks and beats around the stirring influence of the lead vocals.

Its successor is just as contagiously imposing and bullish, Faded Glory emerging as a thick anthem of nostalgia and rebel rousing inspired by beer and sonic rioting. A little more reserved in energy compared to their first, song and band still raise the passions and spark the defiance in us all with accomplished and galvanic posture.

The four tracks on the release all hit the spot with ease in a reminder that punk on both sides of the big water is still roaring as strongly as ever. ‘

The Foreign Legion/The Shame 7″ Split EP is available now on exclusive US red vinyl version (250 copies) via Rebel Sound Music and European blue vinyl version (250 copies) via Aggrobeat http://rebelsoundmusic.limitedrun.com/products/541545-foreign-legion-the-shame-split-7-ep

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Foreign-Legion/149893361856696    https://www.facebook.com/oitheshame

RingMaster 04/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Duel – Waging War

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On the back of their previous impressive album alone, the new full-length from UK now wave punks The Duel has been one of the most highly anticipated releases in the genre this year and the last to be honest. Its impending arrival has sparked an almost feverish excitement and on the ‘eve ‘ of its unleashing it can be revealed that all your hopes and wishes for the band’s fifth album will have fallen short of what it magnificently uncages on the ears and passions. Consisting of nineteen mentally and physically impacting and inspiring tracks, Waging War is a glorious new and inventive adventure from a band which is no stranger to pushing itself, the listener, and punk into new potent grounds. The London quintet on the evidence of their album has quite simply found a new maturity and mouthwatering enterprise to songwriting and sound which only makes the future even more exciting.

The Duel has come a long way from that first meeting between vocalist Tara Rez and keyboardist Andy Thierum, after Tara applied to an ad in Melody Maker. From the joining up creatively and the founding of the band, The Duel has unleashed a quartet of albums which have one by one increased its stature and reputation whilst forging a status as one of the most inventive, passionate, and socially vocal emerging bands in UK punk. Debut album Let’s Finish What We Started in 2007 instantly drew strong attention which Childish Behavior two years later pushed to another level, but it was the 2011 All Aboard The Crazy Train which brought a more intensive spotlight upon the band. A year later the boldly experimental but still rigorously enthralling Soundtrack To The End Of The World (Story Of Zak Splash) revealed the eagerness to really push themselves and expectations. The acclaimed release set a new benchmark for the band whilst challenging fans to evolve with their sound, which they did with rapturous passion for the main. Waging War takes those seeds planted in its predecessor to a far loftier template for band and modern punk whilst simultaneously also embracing decades of punk and its origins. The result is an album which is as addictive and infectious as anything from the seventies with barbed hooks a plenty and as melodically seductive as any pop punk /new wave triumph release from the following decade. It also simultaneously provides a scintillatingly new and experimental adventure bred in the now. It is a richly stimulating encounter which puts The Duel on the frontline of punk rock.

The first striking impact from the album is the use of poetry and prose in between many of the songs. It is a potent and highly provocative ideation which wakes and stirs up thoughts and emotions time and time again. It is not just words though as each piece is wrapped in an embrace of diverse music which colours the dramatic and enthralling canvas set by the voices. Provided by Tara and guests Angie Bowie, Segs Jennings (The Ruts/Ruts DC), Ginger Coyote, and Dennis Just Dennis, those particular tracks slip easily and perfectly between songs which add depth to the spoken narratives and vice versa. The pieces share the same titles as the songs they precede, with Breakaway starting off the album. Keys elegantly court the poetry of Tara as a portentous atmosphere spills its breath around them. As with them all it is a proposition in itself, not an intro but a companion to the song itself which emerges from a great scuzzy electro mist from Andy with rigid rhythms from Pumpy and guitar grazes from Thanos Oscar Pap. It is a less than forceful start but one soaked in dark oppressive drama caressed by the croon of Tara which captures the imagination and an immediate appetite. As the song settles in thoughts a switch is flicked and urgency and energy accelerates to an eager stride which only reinforces the exciting start to the album.

From another piano led skirting this time to an Angie Bowie brewed narrative, Feel The Same dances with raw sonic flames and agitated the duelrhythms around the throaty tones of Chris McDougall’s bass and Tara’s potent vocals. It is an absorbing slice of anthemic rock pop, keys teasing and kissing throughout as energies romp with feisty appetites. An essence of old school punk breathes across the encounter but not as loudly as in the following Gotta Hold To Love. There is a sterner rough edge to riffs and rhythms from the start which the vocals and subsequent quaint twang of keys soothe though at times certainly Tara roars as potently as the guitars. The song is in many ways epitomises The Duel, the band able to produce the most virulently addictive and contagious propositions without the blatant and obvious use of candied hooks and predictable lures.

Things continue to grow in strength and pleasure as Under The Thumb next swaggers into ears. Once more the grouchy sound of seventies punk spices up the exceptional track, a X-Ray Spex toxicity igniting imagination and passions whilst guitars sculpt a web of virulently persuasive textures and simply irresistible bait. Its glory is swiftly matched by Brotherhood which comes after another deeply registering piece of word and sound. Opening on a rich earthy bassline, the song soon wraps the senses in an epidemically alluring groove which is then itself coated in the vibrant vocals of Tara. Atmosphere and sound intensifies as the song spreads its intent, riffs and hooks as an enthralling trap within a blazing web of creative suasion which equally nets everything from ears to emotions.

The first part of Light At The End is an instrumental with gloriously orchestrated structures which proves music itself can be as poetic as words. There is drama, mischief, and expressive endeavour to the piece which in some ways makes the song itself slightly underwhelming initially but with punchy beats and bass prods, the coaxing vocals of Tara and Andy, and the latter’s glassy keys invention the song is soon riding thoughts with relish and mesmeric enterprise. As with most tracks, its body is impressive and gripping but it is the small twists and slithers of ingenious imagination which means things evolve into something truly special, the unpredictable breaks and turns in the direction of the song and the unexpected vocal detours adding delicious extra spice as the song reaches its peak.

Colours next explores with keys which are almost Stranglers like at times as a rosy psychedelic glaze soaking the senses. With a gritty persistence from vocals and rhythms aligned to scorching sonic flames, the song is a riveting protagonist if not quite at the heights of certainly the previous pair of tracks. Both Salesman and Gimmi Your Thing are similar, the pair insatiable with strains of vintage punk simplicity courted by raw hunger of dirty rock ‘n’ roll but lacking the spark to light a major fire in the belly, though each still leaves a vigorously satisfying and compelling presence lingering in memory and emotions.

The album is back on its highest pinnacle with Urgency, an incredible anthem which lures total allegiance through a smouldering coaxing rather than all out lines of hooks and riotous bait but still achieves the same highly successful results. It is a masterful recruitment emulated to the same degree by Love Me Or You Don’t. Merging a reggae swagger with electronic discord and dub teasing, the track is a constantly twisting weave which never relaxes or lets the listener’s senses rest into one inviting premise, instead offering a magnetic and thrilling off kilter waltz which adds another inventive exciting turn in the call of the album.

Closing on the challenging incitement of War, it coming in two equally imposing and vigorously pleasing parts, Waging War is a dynamic fusion of passion induced imagination and bold invention scaling new inspirational heights for the band. The production of the release comes as its predecessor with a hollow essence which ensures everything resonates in touch as well as premise, meaning intensive cloudy essences thicken and flames find a chilled starkness and it works a treat. The Duel has been to the fore of European punk for many a year but with Waging War they are taking on the world and we for one would not bet against them after this triumph.

http://theduel.co.uk

http://www.ffruk.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 21/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Foreign Legion – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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    As shown by their new album Light At The End Of The Tunnel, Welsh punks Foreign Legion has never strayed too far away from their roots but continue to invigorate and push their core sound with a passion and energy which never becomes tiresome. The band’s latest riot bridges their old school punk/oi background with a modern punk ‘n’ roll confrontation resulting in twelve songs which make swift anthemic stabs with contagious endeavour aligned to antagonistic intent.

     Formed in 1984, Foreign Legion has built an attention grabbing presence which has endured and widened over the years. A trio of full-length releases continued to set the band apart from the pack, especially the acclaimed Mick Jones produced What Goes Around Comes Around of 2002, whilst split releases with Major Accident in 2000 and Sledgeback in 2010 amidst their own EPs and compilation gracing songs, have proved the band a potent encounter within the modern era of punk rock. On stage again the quartet has forged a formidable reputation, the band playing across over 15 countries and sharing stages with bands such as Cockney Rejects, Guitar Gangsters, Control, The Warriors, GBH, The Ruts, Stiff Little Fingers and many more. They are also the only Welsh band to play the legendary CBGB’s in New York which makes an additional potent mark on their career’s CV alongside their numerous festival appearances including the likes of Back On The Streets, Punk & Disorderly and the Rebellion Festival, where the band is set to ignite the crowd again in 2014. Released via Aggro Beat in Europe as a Green With Red Splatter vinyl and Rebel Sound in the US as an equivalent in Mint Green with both issues limited to 250, Light At The End Of The Tunnel provides another feisty and tasty morsel from Foreign Legion to enthuse over.

     Light At The End Of The Tunnel makes a strong and appealing start with opener Jenny and its successor What A Place To Be, if neither really inspires a greedy appetite in the emotions. Both tracks still grab attention easily to set things off promisingly, the opening song entangling ears with welcoming guitar strands of melody from Simon Bendon punctured by the firm beats of drummer Glyn Bendon. Soon into its stride with the track’s narrative unveiled by founding band member and vocalist Marcus Howells, the restrained and easy to access stroll makes a simple and catchy romp before the second song on the album similarly has feet and voice in tandem with its infectious if undemanding beckoning, the bass of Steve Zuki the most irresistible lure.

    The album catches fire from here on in with firstly the excellent Regenerations (Council list. Riffs and rhythms bring an instant entrapment of the imagination before soon being reinforced by the swiping vocals as the song looks g at local governments and the decline of British towns and all that inspires. The track is a contagious two minutes plus of uncomplicated but thoroughly inciting social commentary in the renowned Foreign Legion style, though again maybe there is a spark missing in comparison to the following tracks. There is an undeniable greater potency to the song which the band and album expands further through songs like My Radio. A great bass intro from Zuki sets the track off in compelling style, its swagger and groove matched by the hooks of the guitars and the effect rubbed vocals. Infection again wraps the song, its virulence at new heights for the release with riffs and rhythms an additional thrilling toxic bait.

   Both Hey Girl and George Best continue and elevate the new plateau of the album, the first a Peter and the Test Tube Babies meets The Clash like provocation which takes mere seconds to seduce senses and passions whilst the similarly bred second creates a terraces like anthemic quality for an Serious Drinking mixed with Angelic Upstarts eyeballing, both songs enlisting full physical and emotional participation to its recruitment drive. As probably recognised, Light At The End Of The Tunnel just gets stronger and more impressive the further into its body you delve, the likes of Stalker with its deviously addictive bass hook, another striking offering from Zuki who adds something extra to the album arguably lacking on earlier releases, and the excellent Market Trader adding to the weight and bait of the release. The second of the pair again deals with the decline of towns, this through the intervention of supermarket chains and the likes, whilst raging and infecting with resourceful invention. #

     The uncompromising Three Years, and its unbridled assault on child abuse and feeble punishments, scars and provokes with greater venom and passion within the album before Miners and Drunken Heroes uncages a raw, caustic sonic grazing and belligerent defiance respectively. All three songs stalk and coax with spite and energy before the closing song covers them with its shadow. Phoenix from the Flame is a pure punk rock anthem, a band banner which alone places Foreign Legion band amongst the highest echelons of British punk, its body holding all the cards and bait to ignite crowds and recruit new hearts.

   Closing on its finest moment Light At The End Of The Tunnel is an outstanding punk quarrel and maybe the best thing Foreign Legion has set loose to date, certainly the rival to past glories. Punk right now feels like it is moving to a new heyday and records like this only reinforce that notion.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Foreign-Legion/149893361856696

8.5/10

RingMaster 03/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Ruts DC – Rhythm Collision Volume 2

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For a great many of us the best punk band in the history of the genre was The Ruts, a band which fused raw street life and sound with addictive bass heavy dub and reggae. From day one they were a formidable and inciting presence cut short by the passing of frontman Malcolm Owen in 1980 aged 26. The history of the band up to that point is well documented within punk and rock, the music still igniting fires and lingering with relish and provocation year after year in many ways, and the same can be said of the band since, though the release of the new Ruts DC album Rhythm Collision Volume 2 equally highlights the large gap in music left by their absence for the last three decades.

Absence is a little misleading though as drummer Dave Ruffy and bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings have certainly continued to inspire and leave a strong imprint on music, both playing live in numerous bands and with their impressive production skills which has led the pair to be tagged as Europe’s Sly and Robbie. It has been a long period for time to bare since the remaining members of The Ruts after the tragic death of Owen, released the albums Animal Now and Rhythm Collision as Ruts DC in 1981 and ’82 respectively, and an even bigger miss for music once Jennings, Ruffy, and guitarist Paul Fox called it a day a year after their last album. Their reunion in 2007 to play a benefit gig for Fox who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and sadly died later the same year, ignited all the dormant passions with the show, an event which saw the likes of The Damned, Misty In Roots, UK Subs, Tom Robinson, and John Otway supporting and Henry Rollins taking over the vocal presence for the band, being declared as “the best punk gig of all time” by the Times.

This led to the band to reuniting with Neil Fraser aka Mad Professor who worked with the band on Rhythm Collision in the studio for an impromptu session which then led to another day of guest vocalists and musicians bringing their talent to the now vibrant project. Ruffy has said about the recording, “The album really came together by a series of fortunate events, before we knew it we were back in the studio for The Great Day of Vocals – Segs, Ngoni (aka Delbert McKay, Misty’s guitarist/vocalist), gifted lyricist Aynzli Jones, Brixton lyrics man Tenor Fly and Rob Love, frontman with Alabama 3 all turned up, tuned in and came up with the goods. Nothing was pre-conceived or planned.

Due to hectic schedules the proposed plan to get Mad Professor to do the final mix was an unavailable option the pair turned to Brighton producer Prince Fatty aka Mark Pelanconi. With everything in place and as it emerges beautifully finished, Rhythm Collision Vol.2 stepped forward and without any hesitation can be announced as one of the finest most exhilarating albums to grace and ignite the passions in a long time. The rhythmic heart of the album shows Ruffy and Jennings have lost none of their majestic power and provocative resonance whilst creatively they lay bench mark after benchmark for bands and artists to be inspired by within reggae, dub, punk, music.

As soon as the brilliant Mighty Soldier idles up to the ear with a warm ambience and joyful tease there is a fire smouldering within the ear, the throaty bass lure vibrant yet shadowed whilst the vocals of Tenor Fly shape thoughts with style and slight mischief within the seductive harmonies. It is a mild paced romp, a pulsating evocative persistence which leaves feet, voice, and passion eager to add their collaboration to the sultry dance, the brass flames bringing further irresistible temptation. Throughout the space synths of Steve Jones tease and add sweet devilry to the encounter whilst the keys of Seamus Beaghen provide a caress and firm push which leads to greater ardour for the stunning start whilst the guitar niggle is incendiary within the whole impressive blaze.

Through the likes of the sky travelling soundscape of Mix Up featuring Molara Awen on vocals, the white hot persuasion of One Step and Smiling Culture, the release grips tighter on the senses and emotions. The second of the trio resonates through thought and synapse whilst its touch is like a seductive walk over hot coals, a track to be taken gently, devoured thoughtfully, and enjoyed addictively, whilst the third, a song based on the death of Smiley Culture, is a deeply evocative and beautifully sweltering fascination of intent and sound with the vocals of Aynzli Jones and Rob Love riveting. At this point the album has already left a full rapture for its presence at play and goes on to only reinforce its potency with each track.

The oscillating atmosphere of Technology with its impossibly contagious brass call and the bone trembling sirenesque bass inducement of Jennings, which pushes the boundaries of Sun & The Stars to their delicious limits, evoke further imagination and hunger whilst the mesmeric caress of London Dub featuring Smokes (William Simon) is instant captivation, a welcome submergence in a soak of roasting ambience and equally fervid breath.

For personal tastes the first half of the album steals the show with its insatiable energy and invention but as the songs just mentioned and the likes of the thrilling dub heaven Heavyweight Style and The Road unveil their imperious charms there is no loss of lustful hunger and pleasure across the whole album. Featuring the blissful voice of Jessica Mcintyre, The Road is another glorious torrid slice of beauty veined by pulsating shadows from that irresistible bass lure of Jennings, a final triumph on the album though the two dub-core mixes of Technology and Soldier which do finally close the album are no fillers either.

With further contributions from guitarist Leigh Heggarty and vocals from Ngoni Mukai and Aurora Dawn in the mixing pot, the Sosumi Recording released Rhythm Collision Volume 2 is an unbridled treat, a collaboration extraordinaire which leaves the body, soul, and world a better place.

www.theruts.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 13/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Fuckshovel: This Is What We Are

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    This Is What We Are is an album you cannot fail to become wrapped up in and find yourself recruited to its defiant brawl of irresistible noise and energy. Unleashed by UK rockers Fuckshovel, the release is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing and for us it is everything such the compelling and inciting muscular pleasure on offer.

Formed in the back street of London in 2005, Fuckshovel has a striking sound which is so easy to joyfully describe. The quartet stare the listener straight in the eyes with a confrontation brewed from the metallic imagination and might of Therapy?, the defiant pose and infectious punk abrasion of The Ruts, and the raw dirty rock n roll of The Wildhearts. To that you can add essences of early Anthrax and The Adicts but primarily throughout the album the first trio come to mind with the punk quartet the major spice to the music which is undeniably from the distinct ownership of Fuckshovel. The pedigree of the band members included experiences gained through playing with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Decimator, Basement Jaxx, Plan B, and remnants of Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam, the foursome infusing those elements into their new venture. The years since has seen the band share stages with bands such as The Germs, Fucked Up, Jaguar Love, Glen Matlock, and Innerpartysystem, receive an invitation to showcase material at SXSW in Texas to great success and response, as well as receiving acclaim and strong radio play upon the release of debut single Long Time Dead, something equalled by the accompanying video too.

Released on February 18th, This Is What We Are is primed to thrust the band to the widest national recognition well if Fuckshovel cover artworkirrepressible and skilfully contagious sounds are any degree of persuasion and the album has those in thrilling abundance. Recorded with producer Rohan Onraet, the album just barges through the ear from its first note to the last middle finger vocal scowl of the release. It is a merciless tempest of antagonistic rhythms, crippling riffs, and caustic emotive vocal. Opener Germs Of Empire bursts free with drums and guitars fighting each other for attention though both receive the fullest from the first bruising touch they deliver. Once settled into its stride the track brings in the Malcom Owen like vocals of Jon Stone to further inspire The Ruts flavouring already washing over the senses whilst the music spreads into a sinewy rock adventure with attitude and melodic teasing to the fore. It is a fiery encounter which starts the album off at a great height and alone makes the release and band one you want to know much more about.

The Antidote scrapes over the ear next, the scarring riffs of Ian Fisher and enslaving drums of Dave Hirschheimer demanding whilst the glorious throaty bass tones of John Faulkner bring instant submission to their predatory mastery. The track is less distinctive than the first but with ease lays a contagion and beckoning which is impossible to refuse. It takes no time in grabbing the enthused enlistment of feet and emotions whilst unveiling compelling enterprise to keep things unpredictable and inciting, the same claim which can be said of Black, another song which arguably does not venture to far into new territories but is just a thrilling assault of ravenous riffs and sonic teasing. It has a towering presence nonetheless to leave one exhausted at its departure and enamoured in its company.

The first Fuckshovel single and their newest stand side by side and both spark the richest of rapture. Long Time Dead chews synapses with its gnarly bass attack and niggling sonic riffing before unleashing a punk rock furnace of imagination and greedy raptorial addiction. Anthemic and as infectious as lustful thoughts, the track is a near demonic addiction brought through insatiable energy, rampaging sounds, and aggression veined by a bass sound you just drool over. New single Schizophonic is the same viral violation in a different guise. Once again the bass of Faulkner ensnares the heart whilst the sonic manipulations of Fisher leaves the senses twisted in ardour within the numbing result of the barbed beats from Hirschheimer. The punk and rock tempest evolves with the vocals into a presence which consumes and riles willing emotions. It is a riot which can only be devoured again and again.

This Is What We Are is an outstanding debut from a band we can only see becoming a real force in UK rock. Tracks such as the melodically snarling Vegas Nerve, the towering All You Got with its Dead Kennedys like hooks and One Minute Silence aggressive gait, and the violently cajoling Skull and Bones all continue to ignite more unbridled fire and euphoria for the release whilst the closing pair of tracks, the insistent juggernaut 2500 Days and the unruly Portia’s Box without arguably reaching the heights of the rest of the album, impressively close off an impressive and exciting debut. The release is rock n roll at its very best and Fuckshovel the worse antagonistic nightmare for all who like a quiet life.

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RingMaster 17/01/2013

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