Lucy And The Rats – Self Titled

There are some things which are simply bred for temptation, propositions instinctively natured to lure like sirens. Among their numbers is the debut album from Lucy And The Rats. Deceptively unassuming but one virulent contagion, the release is an irresistible slice of pop punk with a snarl in its heart and the most disarming melodies and harmonies on its breath like a winning blend of The Shirelles, Honey Bane, and Spinnerette.

Lucy And The Rats is the new band from now UK based singer/guitarist Lucy Spazzy, formerly one third of Australian punksters The Spazzys. Once settled in London in 2015, she set about assembling a new band being “bored of playing at home by herself”, subsequently linking up with guitarist Joe To Lose (Los Perros, Johnny Throttle), bassist Mike Cannibal (Animal Cannibal), and drummer Manu (Thee Tumbitas). A pair of ear grabbing singles followed as the band made a stir on the live scene in the Capitol, in turn nationally and all over the world sharing stages with the likes of Buzzcocks and Paul Collins along the way. Produced by Johnny Casino and Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs), their first album is an inescapable tap on the shoulder of the broadest attention and recognition, a sweet sounding proposition so so easy to run off with.

Opening up with Pills, the album instantly had ears attentive and the body rocking. Soon the song strolls along with a summery glaze over eager catchiness as hooks collude with flirtatious riffs and rhythms. There is a whiff of The Shirts to the track as its heart embraces the instincts of pop and rock ‘n’ roll around the magnetic presence and tone of Spazzy.

The following Make You Mine wears a similar hue of sound but quickly reveals its own personality and The Waitresses meets The Crystals like temptation. Again feet were keenly shuffling and hips swinging as melodies seduced hand in hand with golden harmonies but all the while a punk edge stirs accentuated by the wiry enterprise of the guitars, they repeating that taunting prowess in next up Lose My Mind. Imposingly infectious, the song suggested involvement within seconds, manipulating it a few breaths later much to the lusty pleasure returned.

The likes of the surf kissed seduction that is So Simple, a mellow kiss on ears with the melodic smooch of The Dollyrots and rapacious touch of Valentiine, and the pop bouncing Melody just devour attention while the viral shadows of the bass grumbling Night simply danced with the imagination as the song took hold of the waist. It is truly hard to pick a favourite song within the album, all three among the options but the third makes an especially compelling statement.

Through Fall our passions pretty much echo their ardour as it swings with flirtatious grace and mischief, next up Hold On Me emphasising similar manipulation with rolling rhythms and deceptively controlled yet rousing energy with Spazzy tempting like a pop punk conjuring Pauline Murray. All three just leave a greed for much more, the latter laying on the temptation with some great hooks out of the Only Ones songbook, before Girl saunters along without a care in the world sharing the kind of creative snare addiction was invented for.

The album closes with Can’t Surf; a fifties inspired pop ’n’ roll romp which may have lost the heart for hitting the waves but had us riding its enterprising currents with zeal. The track is a thrilling end to one glorious encounter. Lately we have found pop punk to be a touch vacant on real uniqueness and though Lucy And The Rats have a sound which is much more flavoursome than that tagging, their album is the  fresh and inspiring breath within both pop and punk, indeed rock ’n’ roll we have been yearning for.

The Lucy And The Rats debut album is out May 25th digitally with Dirty Water Records and on vinyl through Surfin’ Ki Records, Monster Zero Records, and Stardumb Records.

https://lucyandtherats.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/Lucy-and-the-Rats-817424101645809/

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ex Norwegian – Pure Gold

Pure-Gold-cover_RingMaster Review

There is always a sense of anticipation and indeed excitement when faced with a new release from US band Ex Norwegian, but in approaching their new album Pure Gold, there was a heavier sense of intrigue involved too. It was the first encounter since the serious illness which band founder Roger Houdaille suffered, the proceeds from the album going towards the emergency hospital bills incurred, and brings a collection of re-interpretations of tracks by other artists alongside original compositions from a new line-up to that which created the acclaimed and outstanding Wasted Lines album of 2014. So there was a wondering if the release was merely a filler in the future of the band but fair to say and straight away ears and imagination were alive whilst being immersed in the recognisable but ever unpredictable Ex Norwegian pop/indie rock sound, and the diversity of flavour that breeds to show it was anything but.

The creative union of Houdaille (vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion), Giuseppe Rodriguez (vocals, bass, moog), Lucas Queiroz (vocals, guitars), Fernando Perdomo (drums, slide guitar), and Michelle Grand (vocals), with occasional guest organ prowess from Chris Price, tempt and grip ears straight away with album opener It’s A Game. A String Driven Thing song arguably made more famous by The Bay City Rollers, it quickly has feet in an eager shuffle and appetite licking lips with its catchy pop rock stroll. Ex Norwegian cast a vibrant energy to the song without losing its folkish charm whilst the great blend of vocals between Houdaille and Grand is almost flirtatious in its persuasion. There is also an Abba-esque hue to the great start to the release, though the fade-out is a touch annoying just to be picky.

Asking Too Much steps forward next and just as easily has attention enthralled with its melodic caresses and infectious persuasion as a healthy scent of Kirsty MacColl like folk pop flavours it. As the first, the song has a simplicity which is as inviting and enjoyable as the nuances and melodic enterprise the band inject into its design, the result another lively excuse to romp; a similar invitation given again by the feisty rock infused Beeside, a Tintern Abbey song. Sultry air and fuzzy breath soaks the song to great effect, whilst its psych rock character becomes increasingly compelling with each passing second and smouldering melody.

Already it is fair to say highlights are the order of the day so far, another provided straight away by the band’s impressive cover of the Melanie song Cyclone. Providing an inflamed melodic roar led by the superb tones of Grand, her harmonic expressive serenading ears as potently as the fiery side to her great voice, the track swiftly gets under the skin. It’s successor, the boisterous and show stealer On The Sidelines, is a match in such invasive potency, it playing like a feisty Martha and the Muffins but creating its own unique personality with every swinging rhythms, melodic temptation, and gripping hook. For us every Ex Norwegian album seems to have one song which especially hits the sweet spot, On The Sidelines that irresistible offering within Pure Gold.

A new wave essence fuels the following Other Half, a touch of Graham Parker to the song lighting up ears with a nostalgic bluesy air whilst the Paul McCartney track Keep Under Cover is given a virulent tonic of adventurous infectiousness and quite simply a tenacious fresh breath. Both tracks again leave body and emotions smiling and greedy for more, the album’s title track eager to satisfy with its mix of dark funky basslines, surf harmonies, and romancing melodic seduction. There is a less dramatic feel to the song compared to other tracks but with keys an emotive haze around the contagious lure of the bass and the lacing of spicy blues guitar, it is a robustly catchy proposal very easy to get fully involved with.

A fine take on the Jimmy Campbell song Close My Case And Move On comes next, Ex Norwegian accentuating its emotive heart and intimacy with a sturdier frame and tangy country rock colouring. A fascinating canter of a song with an element of pleasing discord to its nature too, it is maybe not as immediately impacting in comparison to the more boisterous approaches of other tracks within the album, but it matches all in persuasion before Shadow Ships and a version of Tell Me Your Plans by The Shirts brings things to an enjoyable close. The first of the pair merges Americana with sixties pop vibrancy, creating a richly satisfying if not fevered incitement; Tell Me Your Plans providing that with its again sixties hued interpretation of a great power pop offering.

From start to finish Pure Gold is a thoroughly engaging and highly enjoyable romp. It might not quite match the triumphant majesty of the band’s last album yet it is a different kind of proposition. For pleasure though, it is a rivalling success and reason enough to suggest Ex Norwegian is one of our brightest pop rock bands.

Pure Gold is released December 11th via Dippy Records @ http://shop.exnorwegian.com/album/pure-gold

http://www.exnorwegian.com     https://www.facebook.com/exnorwegian/     http://twitter.com/exnorwegian

Pete RingMaster 02/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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