Millie Manders And The Shut Up – Shutup EP

It rapaciously rattles as it tenaciously rolls, aggressively snarls as it leaps around with viral infectiousness. No this is not a riddle but the sound of Millie Manders And The Shut Up on their new EP, Shutup; a proposition which had us instinctively drooling even before the first track of the inescapably mouth-watering release reached its finale.

London based, Millie Manders And The Shut Up stepped out in 2015, the band emerging from Millie’s solo career sharing ear grabbing acoustic enterprise which itself sprung from varied previous projects including Second Sense. With The Shutup around her vocal dexterity and prowess on the ukulele and alto saxophone, the band creates a punk rock bred incitement eagerly embracing varied flavours from pop punk to ska to aggression loaded alternative rock.  Similarly though, there are moments certainly within the Shutup EP, our introduction to the band, when essences of styles such as swing, new wave and R&B more than tease. It is truly an appetite rousing crossover flavour which with hindsight shows just why the first two EPs from the band, The Free-P and Obsession Transgression, were so warmly welcomed and praised by fans and media alike and now why, finding its fullest most adventurous character yet, it is a sound which seeds one of the year’s most exciting offerings.

The EP opens up with Right To Life, a shimmer of guitar caressing the immediately striking presence and voice of Millie as the song rises slowly but purposively to its feet. Its sepia jazz kissed sound is alluring enough, Lewis Slater’s guitar winding up the temptation, but it is just a smouldering kiss before the boisterous carnival of its stomp to come. A flick of its hips and the spontaneous burst of dancing flames from the trumpet of George Alan and the tenor sax of Dom Walker spring the track into contagious urgency; ska punk instincts entangling its more spiky rock endeavour as the track bounds along like a mix of Sonic Boom Six, No Doubt, and The Selector. Yet even with those easy to offer references, song and sound swiftly proves its own uniqueness with Millie herself vocally as individual as they come but with a  great whiff of Brody Dalle in league with Imelda May and Pauline Black.

The track is superb but instantly rivalled by its successors for favourite track honours here starting with Brave. The imposing ticking of a clock incites the muscular swings of drummer Alessandro Vitiello and as quickly the magnetic tones of Millie. Slipping into a slightly more restrained canter compared to its predecessor initially, the song carries a portentous air; an inviting threat which erupts with fiery blasts of brass searing its chorus placed expulsion. As with all tracks, the body was quickly manipulated by the captivating antics of the song, the imagination and appetite as quickly seduced and enslaved before the equally irresistible Lollipops launched its own compelling escapade. Again Vitiello’s beats thump away with relish and poise as the even grumpier bass of Matt Munford twangs with tenacity, the guitar adding its attitude lined riffery to the virulent slice of punk rock.

New single, One That Got Away, completes the creative scheming and magnificence. The coaxing of the fuzz lined guitar alone offers intoxicating hooks but every aspect of the song from rhythms, brass, and vocals breed their own distinctive barbs to be hooked and aroused by. It might be punk in its heart but as all tracks, it is pure rock ‘n’ roll; manna to the ear and instincts.

Millie Manders has been sharing the goodness for many years now but the Shutup EP is surely the moment attention explodes around the band; so just do what it says and get down to some serious inhibition free rocking.

The Shutup EP is out now @ https://milliemanders.bandcamp.com/album/shutup

Upcoming live shows:

October

25th – The Waterloo, Blackpool

November

9th – Pie Race, Warf Chambers, Leeds

10th – Breaking Barriers, Leuven, Belgium

December

1st – Fighting Cocks, Kingston

7th – The Harp Restrung, Folkestone

8th – Blueberry, Norwich

13th – Portland Arms, Cambridge

14th – Smokehouse, Ipswich

15th – Voodoo Lounge, Stanford

21st – Alma Inn, Bolton

22nd – The Bobbin, Lancaster

23rd – The Ainsty, York

https://www.facebook.com/milliemandersmusic/   https://twitter.com/milliemanders   https://www.instagram.com/milliemanders/

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

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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The Talks – Radio

the talks pic

It is never hard to get feet and passions up for a healthy infectious dose of ska punk and it does not come in any finer form of potency than Radio the new single from UK quartet The Talks. An irresistible toe tapping escapade with the vitality of The Selector, the addictive prowess of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and the irrepressible invention of The Specials, the single ignites the imagination and passions with sublime efficiency whilst breeding a boisterous hunger for not only itself but the band’s highly anticipated forthcoming album Commoners, Piers, Drunks and Thieves. One song does not make an album but if the rest of the exploits are half as enslaving and potent as Radio than a heady ride is coming our way.

Since forming Hull’s The Talks has built and earned a strong reputation for sound and presence across not only the UK but Europe. Their sharing of stages with the likes of The Specials, Rancid, Madness, The Beat, King Blues, and The Toasters has only put the quartet of Jody Moore, Pat Pretorius, Iain Allen, and Richard “Titch” Lovelock into increasingly intensive spotlights. It has been a recognition reinforced and enhanced by their releases; the 2012 single Can Stand The Rain which featured the legendary Neville Staple easily marking the cards of a great many whilst last year’s West Sinister EP took things to greater levels of attention and support. The band’s last single Don’t look behind you pushed it all on again, its success leading to slots at festivals such as Boomtown and Camden Rocks at home and the Sapi Festival in France and the Fusion Festival in Germany.

The new album is the source of the next great hunger sure to be inspired by the band, greed set to be intensified with the rampant appearance of Radio. The single instantly casts a rhythmic coaxing and melodic bait to be pounced upon with feverish energy, an entrance swiftly exploding into a magnetic canter of irrepressible enticement through keys and guitar stabs under the great anthemic singular and group lure of vocals. As all good ska fuelled emprises, the track holds a riveting swagger which is as anthemic to feet and passions as the punchy rhythms framing the whole dance. Complete with flames of brass and constantly seducing keys, the track is an epidemic stride of sound and melodic magnetism with just that edge of punk belligerence.

Radio is a song for steamy climates and floor quaking dancehalls, a celebration to indulge in time and time again alone or in a crowd as we wait the next rigorously intriguing and sure to be majestic exploit from The Talks.

Radio is available on All Our Own Records now digitally and on LTD Edition 7″ Vinyl.

http://www.thetalks.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 30/06/2014

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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TALISMAN RELEASE BRAND NEW ALBUM!!‏

Talisman
TALISMAN – ‘I-Surrection’
 
HIGHLY RATED REGGAE HEROES RELEASE BRAND NEW ALBUM!
 
Thirty years after they recorded their debut long player, 1984’s ‘Takin The Strain’, Bristol’s roots reggae pioneers Talisman have found enough space in their busy live schedule to record their third studio album, ‘I-Surrection’, to be released via Sugar Shack Records on 30th September.
 
     Having reformed in 2011, Talisman have spent the last two years honing their skills and playing live shows at every opportunity, including the support slot on The Selectors’ recent UK tour. Original core members Dehvan and Dennison have also found the time to write the six new songs that, along with their dub counterparts, form this latest twelve track set. It’s hard to escape the economic and political similarities between today and the bands early eighties heyday, so it’s no surprise that all of the songs deal with political or roots themes and resonate with the classic sound of British reggae from the golden age. The way the music sounds is no modern pastiche; Dehvan and Dennison have been playing together for 35 years and the classic roots sound comes naturally. Likewise, the social conscience they display in their song writing has always been part of the Talisman sound. They are the real deal and this is a reggae album with genuine heritage.
 
       When it comes to getting the right sound, the choice of producer is everything. For this release Talisman have collaborated with Rootikal Productions David Hill, a man who fully understands reggae’s rich history as well as how to get the right sound from modern recordings. Collectively they have achieved one of the best roots reggae albums since its seventies heyday.
 
       From the opening lines of “Greetings and Salutations”, it’s clear that you are in for a treat as the timeless sound of roots reggae bursts forth from the speakers and envelops the listener. Conscious lyrics underpinned by great music, is a winning combination. With its call to arms, “Stand up and help yourself, stop hoping for things to change, stand up and help yourself”, “Help Yourself” is a call to arms in the anthemic tradition. Talisman haven’t given up the fight, they’ve just been regrouping and with this album they return to the struggle with a full frontal attack.  “Hey Yout” is dedicated to the next generation, those who need to take up the struggle, reminding them that previous generations have trodden the same path, but with patience and a positive attitude they can overcome “Babylon Pressure” and achieve a better future for their world. “Season For Freeman” propelled along by the addition of some great playing from Matic Horns could almost be a lost gem from the seventies, if its catalogue of black martyrs didn’t include the recent losses of Stephen Lawrence, Trayvon Martin and Smiley Culture. The point that whatever progress society has made some things haven’t changed is subtle but well made.  The album takes an almost Nyahbinghi direction as we “Praise Jah”, an upbeat and joyous track that’s almost hymn like and makes one want to sing along. “Things a Get Tough” has an almost sixties feel, reinforced by the repetition of the lines “rougher than rough, tougher than tough” lyrics that strongly recall the classic tunes of the rude boy era. Even if they’ve cleverly given a nod to the past the lyrics themselves are just as relevant to today where it’s more about the tough economic situation than which rude boy or singer is the toughest. Every track comes with its corresponding dub version, skilfully mixed by David Hill for Rootikal Productions and dub in the best sense, where each version stands on its own musical merits as a fully thought out track rather than being a mere afterthought. The sole exception is ‘Hey Yout’ which rather than a full dub workout gets reimagined as a classic sounding melodica version.
 
        This album takes the best aspects of reggae’s musical heritage and fashions them into an album that deals with the realities of 2013. Roots reggae is back and the revival starts here! ‘I-Surrection’ is released on CD, Vinyl and Digital platforms on the 30th September 2013.
Talisman I-Surrection Cover Artwork
 

TALISMAN LIVE: October: 4th – The Cellar, Oxford; 11th – Barrelhouse, Totnes, Devon; 13th – Thekla, Bristol; 18th – Reading Rooms, Dundee; 19th – Citrus Club, Edinburgh. November: 9th – Sin City, Swansea; 10th – Bogiez, Cardiff.

 
 

CodeJAK: Times Of Conflict

 

It is hard to not get a little over passionate about Times Of Conflict, the debut album from UK rockers CodeJAK. It is an album which just captivates the imagination and sparks an unbridled enthusiasm to throw off inhibitions and get dirty. Musically the band wonderfully is not that easy to pin down, at its core their sound is hard rock but rifling through its ranks there are vibrant veins of punk, metal, and a flurry of many more flavours. The album carries them all in to a thrilling and raucous explosion of invention; arguably the album does not stretch any existing barriers but it is hard to think of any one creating the same or an equally potent brew as this quartet.

Formed in 2009, CodeJAK is a renowned hard working energy inspiring band who through their first EP Hell Yeah, and impressive live shows which has seen them explode stages alongside the likes of The Buzzcocks, The Selector, Sham 69, light up numerous festivals, and most recently supporting Fozzy across the UK and into Europe, has drawn a robust and strongly growing fan base.

Early 2012 saw the band in the studio to create an album in Times Of Conflict which is as content in bruising the senses as it is triggering the inner devilment in us all with its unpredictable and imaginative mischief. The release is a riot of intrigue and insatiable teasing which leaves the heart as overjoyed as the ears. Right from the opening track The Ballad Of Jenny G one of the great things about the album is immediately to the fore, the unique tones of vocalist and guitarist Dan Turner. His voice drips expression and individualism to add a fiery and rasping depth to the already adventurous sounds. The first song is a thumping exchange of muscular rhythms and strident riffs which engage as firmly as a mantrap, their infectious lures irresistible. The sounds encroach like a union of Therapy?, The Heartbreakers, and The Wildhearts locked into a groove from Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and leave nothing but a vat of satisfaction in their wake.

The stirring ingenuity is continued through the following Hell Yeah and When I Fall, both rampant slabs of riotous diversity. The first has a stoner vibe to its sinewy charge, the band assaulting with a delicious mix of Kyuss, XII Boar, and Triggermen. The spoken delivery spikes the scorched sounds excellently whilst the furious chorus and further growling outpourings flare with caustic might to fire up the passions which have already been set on full alert by the fine manipulative play from lead guitarist Dan Clark. The second of the two is no less a titan in offering a rampant contagion, the guitars again holding sway over the heart whilst the beats of Dave Turner treat the ear like a punch ball beneath his skilful intent. The song has a seductive swagger to its melodic grooved taunting which makes it in many ways recognisable from the start but distinctly unique too. The ever impressive bass of Dave Fisher groans and pulsates with a shadowed hunger throughout the sensational punk groove confrontation.

Though the album is never less than enthralling and fully pleasing, it does undulate a little with the likes of the grunge gaited Sail Away, the emotive melodic rock coated Pull Out Your Knife, and the blues funk heat that is Serpentine, failing to match the earlier heights or further pinnacles set by songs such as Broken Man, a track which in its uncomplicated yet compulsive hooks and restrained presence just ticks all the right boxes, and the magnificent Sell My Soul. This track unleashes a punk and rock storm which easily shows why the band appeals and captures the passions of the fans of both genres. The track coats the ear in tight angular sonic enterprise and attitude driven riffs whist the vocals and rhythms ignite thought and emotion with their plaintive and firm handling of the senses.

Times Of Conflict is outstanding, an album which just improves with each and every contact. CodeJAK are a breath of fresh air, a band already lighting up British rock with their spicy sounds and set to drive it to new heady heights in the future.

http://codejakmusic.com

RingMaster 15/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright