The Creeping Ivies – Ghost World

The  Creeping Ivies

Taking senses and imagination on another psyche ripping helter skelter of raw and sonically sculpted rock ‘n’ roll, Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies unveil their second album Ghost World and prove themselves yet again to be one of the most exciting provocateurs of primal incitement. The new full-length from the band is a riotous seduction of garage punk and naked rock ‘n’ roll with plenty of spices from psychobilly to punk rock. It also sees the band at its most potent and insatiably virulent yet, the release loaded with deliciously caustic and masterfully magnetic, to steal from the title of one of their earlier songs, buzzbombs.

The Creeping Ivies consists of Becca Bomb providing piercing, coarsely sirenesque vocals and raw sonic guitar vivacity and Duncan Destruction who brings heavy thumping, rapaciously intruding beats to the thrilling equation. Their union is a simultaneously primitive and precisely sculpted enslaving of the senses, one which from day one intrigued and wildly enthralled. First release the Rock N Roll Party EP in 2011 stirred up attention and emotions with its synapse searing acidity and voracious rioting, that an ever present trait expanding with greater potency on the following Ghost Train EP and debut album Stay Wild, both in 2012. Inciting audiences just as dramatically with their live performances, which has seen them share a stage with the likes of  Viv Albertine of The Slits and Vic Godard & Subway Sect, the stature of The Creeping Ivies has increased constantly within the underground scene, their sound recalling many influences but undeniably unique to them. Last November the release of the double A-sided single What Would Joey Ramone Do? / Ramona Wolf teased and tempted as the band showed a continuing to evolve invention to their sonic exploits and imagination. It certainly led to the anticipation and expectations of their next album to intensify. The two tracks hinted at the possible magnificence of Ghost World but it is fair to say that its haunting intrusive delights have emerged as a far greater and dangerous triumph than hoped.

The Dundee pair open up the adventure with the album’s title track. Instantly a haunted caress of guitar glances over ears with a caustic kiss coverin tow as well as a rub of riffs and the joining tub thumping beats of Duncan. Immediately enticing in its noir lit breath and grazing ambience, the track pulsates as it worms its way under the skin laying irresistible bait for the entrance of Becca’s vocals. As ever her voice holds a definite Wanda Jackson meets Siouxsie Sioux texture and magnetism to it, intensity in her delivery searing flesh and air as she and the song hit their stride. With an addiction spawning groove and the delicious occasional blaze of harmonica from guest Homesick Aldo, the track takes little time to secure full submission for its tempting whilst showing the evolution in sound and songwriting maturity poised to consume the senses  in hand with the expected sonic feverishness of the band.

The following entangling chords of The Bridge provide an instant variation to the toxicity of the album; its opening fifties bred melodic teasing charming the listener before thrusting sinew packed beats and the wonderfully torrid vocal tones of Bomb into the appealing recipe. The hook which drew the first spark of ardour as the song started continues to vein the stomp whilst a resonating shimmer to the sound engulfs and exhilarates the senses. As with all their songs, the premise is uncomplicated and minimalistic but always thick in presence and invention leading to fully textured and imposing encounters.

The intimidating shadows of The Creeps consumes attention next, their threat and imposing provocation sizeable but defused by an excellent revelry of keys, vocal wails, and the urgent dance of hooks and harmonies. Short, sweet, and irresistible, the song is then put in its appealing place by Love Kills, a brilliant blend of sixties pop, garage punk, and rockabilly energy. Imagine The Shangri-Las and The Cramps in a saucy romantic triangle with Australian band Valentiine and you have the brilliant Love Kills. The track sways and romps with revelry and mischievousness to cast a perfect raw pop song on the passions.

Ramona Wolf just sounds better with each encounter since its single release last November. It’s almost spatial opening ambience paves the way for the vocal seduction of Becca to spread a temptress like devilry, a sonic medusa with a delivery writhing with searing harmonies and enslaving qualities. Musically the song is a repetitive narrative, punchy beats and scalding guitar probing and grazing respectively with singular intent beneath the harsh atmosphere of the tale. It is also quite glorious as is the next up Dream Baby Dream. Providing irrepressible flirting from the sax of Andrew Pattie within its scintillating fifties pop ravaging and punk seeded ravishing, the song stomps over and challenges the senses for another unruly treat, Bo Diddley meets Helen Shapiro at the home of The Trashmen.

Both Trippin’ Out and Haunted High School finger the passions in their individual ways next, the first a heart rapping rampage of jabbing beats and scarring riffs skirting the sinister drama. It is a tale of ghostly enterprise and inescapable rapacious shadows with a heartbeat which resonates through the bone and core of the evocative tale whilst melodic acidity and vocal colouring courts its intent. The excellent fierce smouldering is soon exceeded by What Would Joey Ramone Do?, a song which sculpts a raising of the spirits of Gene Vincent and Lux Interior with that of the song’s namesake. The track provides all you expect and much more, the Cochran/ Poison Ivy Rorschach like mix of guitar sound with the impossible contagious punk stomp of the song an epidemic for the passions.

Arguably the band saves the best till last, though every listen offers a different favourite. Forever Leather fuses sixties girl pop with a raw voracity, the song like the punk infected offspring of The Crystals and The Stooges with a heady dose of Siouxsie menace. It is a scintillating end to an outstanding album. The Creeping Ivies continue to impress as they evolve and push their boundaries, doing so without losing any of the elements which made them an unbridled addiction certainly for us since their early days. Whether their sound will ever find the major spotlight it deserves is impossible to say, such its uniqueness and undiluted rawness, but it will definitely recruit the most passionate and feverish passions from an increasingly growing legion of fans we suggest, it just needs the opportunity to make that infectious strike.

http://thecreepingivies.com/

http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/

10/10

RingMaster 24/03/2014

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The Duel – Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story)

Last year London punk band The Duel set the pulse rate racing with their impressive feast of nostalgic yet completely fresh sounds on the album All Aboard The Crazy Train. Now they return with an adventurous and intriguing release Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story), an album no less impressive or captivating. Admittedly it does not have the more instant engagement which marked the previous release, its songs like old friends with a modern outlook, but the new album is arguably a deeper and more expansive creature. It takes its time to seduce and charm the senses, its sounds at times surprising and ideas refreshingly inventive, but the end result is the same, the captivation of the heart with the fullest pleasure given along the way.

Since its beginning in 2001 when vocalist Tara Rez and keyboardist / bassist Andy Theirum linked up, The Duel has gone from strength to strength. From its debut gig supporting the Dead Kennedys, through the supporting of the likes of Buzzcocks, The Vibrators, Vice Squad, Peter Hook, UK Subs, The Slits, Sham 69, and Angelic Upstarts, festival appearances and across its albums Let’s Finish What We Started and Childish Behavior, 2007 and 2009 respectively,plus of course All Aboard The Crazy Train, the band has reaped and incited enthused acclaim and a growing loyal fan base. The new release arguably will have many stepping back a little as its sounds sink in fully but it is imaginable that many will not be fully enamoured by it.

The track simply called Intro immediately lights up the senses, a fiery instrumental with a sharp melodic enterprise and steely attitude which is a delicious treat for the ear. Sounding like a cross between the instrumentals Rondo (The Midgets Revenge) by The Dickies and the Buzzcocks track Late For The Train, the piece is an absorbing and infectious companion and sets one up eagerly for the following song Invincible.

With guitars flashing their sonic sparks and a heavy bass swaying in between, the song lifts off with the vocals of Rez, her tones as pleasing and compelling as ever. The production means the strokes of guitarist Thanos Oscar Pap dominate the sound of the track though not to any real detriment. The vocals and bass of Chris McDougall, as well as the keys of Thierum and drums of Pumpy, are meshed together to create a grazing intensity yet still hold their clarity. It takes a second play to understand how it works but it does, the slightly bruising energy of the song leading the ultimately electric charge.

Less Everyday is the first song to venture away from expectations in sound, whereas its predecessor was a punk cored gem this song has a more teasing new wave caress to its still bristling breath. There is a resonance which appears throughout the album to the vocal sound of Rez offering a warm and mesmeric flavouring. To be honest one did not expect to say this but there is a definite Altered Images feel to this song and other moments later on in the album. It is a great aspect to the sound though, the glowing pop charms aligning easily and skillfully with the bristling attitude driven heart of the band.

The magnetic Fake Like You has the same gait to its swagger whilst sitting between the two, You Can Do It is a rock n roll stroll which flares with tight melodies and belligerence. As these and subsequent songs light up the senses, and the slight surprise at the evolution of sound from the band ebbs away, the pleasure only goes deeper. Songs like the excellent Love Me Do, bringing a brew of Penetration and Animal Alpha to its midst, and the slightly abrasive and raw Splash On You featuring Max Splodge (Splodgenessabounds), ensure the treats keep coming, whilst the closing gem of When The Fire Goes Out is sonic radiance. It burns but soothes the wounds with crafted rays of melodic warmth musically and vocally. Infectious and vibrant with coaxing whispers upon the ear, the track is a delicious smile of post punk invention and pop punk grace.

Going back to the beginning of the album and it is not the track Intro; it opens with Zak Splash Story. A forty minute tale of the fictitious Zak Splash narrated by Max Splodge, the track merges all the songs on the album into the narrative proving the songs work as part of dare one say a ‘punk opera’ or individually, though one suspects the latter is how the majority of eager listens will be made.

Soundtrack To The End Of The World is a credible piece of imagination with its tracks nothing less than satisfying and enthralling. The Duel has been to the fore of UK punk for the past few years and shows no signs of leaving their position to anyone else as the album proves.

https://www.facebook.com/thedueluk

RingMaster 28/09/2012

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Interview with Gavin Tate of The Gaa Gaas

The Gaa Gaas Brighton Aug 2011 by Katherine Missouri

The Ringmaster Review ever since being seduced by The Gaa Gaas debut single Voltaire has eagerly and persistently tried to convert all and sundry to their psyche punk/post punk beauty through word, voice and with the kind help of The Reputation Radio Show. Neglectfully we have not actually got the band to sit down for an interview so we remedied that by grabbing the time of singer/guitarist Gavin Tate from the band to catch up on all things The Gaa Gaas as well as look back on their early days.

Hello and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

Please introduce the members of the band.

Huurah! We’re the artists formerly (known) as Gavin, Chris and Mark.

How did The Gaa Gaas begin?

It all started in my Mum’s garage, got some amps and a drum kit in there and put loads of posters over the walls and ceiling (a couple of nude lady ones as well, I’m not going to lie much). We began just jamming as an instrumental trio and then soon found a poor excuse of a P.A system for the vocals and that’s when the Police started showing up every night!

What inspired the band name?

A psychedelic prog group from Germany called Gäa. We started off as a messy garage band and I thought (that) The Gaa Gaas really suited what we were doing and still does.

Was and is there a vibrant music scene over in Jersey? 

Yes but it’s long gone now, an amazing garage punk night called BOMP kicked off around 2002 held at the best venue in Jersey which was called The Q Bar now The Live Lounge. It was a 7 night a week place and BOMP was on Thursday nights; they would bring some really good bands over and have local support. There were a few other great nights there as well, an indie night called Moroccan’roll and some great Drum&Bass/Motown/Reggae nights.

There seems to be a more frequent emergence of strong and very diverse rock bands from Jersey in recent years, besides yourselves we have come across Top Buzzer and Hold Your Fire to name a couple. Is there less distractions to take youngsters away from music there than elsewhere in the UK for example do you think?

I think most towns with not a lot produce the best bands and I’ll be honest in saying Jersey didn’t offer a lot to musicians aged 17 – 25 apart from a long fight to play your own material in clubs, most club owners always wanted bands to play covers which was rubbish if you wanted to play your own songs to people. In a way it made us want to escape!

You moved away from the island, relocating to Brighton. Was this a necessity for you and is for all bands really hoping to make progress?

You can’t do anything more than play the big local festivals in the island. You’ll get promises but they never happen. The only way you can do it properly is to move somewhere else, not just the UK. I know bands from Jersey who have started up in Europe and are doing really well; it just takes a lot of ammunition and a few massive guns!

As distinct as your sound is anyone who hears it can name some of the influences, for the record though what are the major influences musically which have shaped or flavoured your creativity?

There are so many. I’d say The Fall has really shaped us, I love every era and they’re still producing great records to this day!

Many I have introduced your music to fail to notice the ‘Almost Red’ era Killing Joke sounds whereas it seems obvious to me, is it them or me? Haha

We’re always getting compared to either Killing Joke or Bauhaus and when I told my Dad about it he said (in a scouse accent) “Think of it as a massive compliment Son” so I think you might be right on that one! ;)

There seems a definite revisiting back to the post punk era with bands recalling inspirations from the likes of Joy Division, Wire, Pil, Gang of Four etc, do you think you may have instigated that a little yourselves?

I hope so, when groups like Neils Children split up I was really gutted because there wasn’t many bands trying to maintain their own sound by using those types of influences. There were lots of bands just trying to sound exactly like Gang Of Four because it was in at the time. I thought the Neils boys were really on to something and had produced a great sound that was their own. There are some other really good bands instigating it at the moment like… Wild Palms, O.Children and Disconcerts.

Do you still see yourselves as part of an underground movement with this new emergence of bands?

We’ve never really felt part of any movement. We originally started because of bands like The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and the whole garage revival so if we’re part of anything I think it would have to be that. It’s been slow for us being from Jersey and having to relocate but I’m happy with everything we’ve done so far and the debut album is going to be a reward to everyone who has helped us along the way!

Your debut single Voltaire was unleashed in 2010 on The Playground Records, how was that initially received?

People couldn’t believe the transformation of the band. We were always trying to look like a band and always ranting about being in a band but after the single was released we actually had it written in stone. There were 8/10 reviews, some reviewers hated my voice and some loved it but I think the statement was made and I always wanted the first release to make a strong impact!

The single was produced by James Aparicio (Nick Cave, Mogwai) and mastered by Robert Harder (Brian Eno, The Slits) , how did those link ups come about?

We were put in touch with James Aparicio through our former record label and when we signed to The Playground team we were introduced to Robert who we plan to continue working with, the man is a genius!

I mentioned Voltaire as your debut but there was the Repulsion Seminar EP before that. Tell us about that and are the tracks are still available in some form?

The only hard copy releases we have are the Voltaire 7″ vinyls that we had to get pressed up ourselves as we were messed about by the label. There were 200 copies of each of the EP’s but they sold out pretty fast!

You took a long time to release anything officially was this down to the band striving for the exact sound you wanted or merely lack of opportunity and finance?

I think a lot of it was to do with relocating. Brighton isn’t the easiest place to get known. When we first arrived there you couldn’t get a gig, demos would be put to the bottom of the pile and we were looking at a 3 month wait just to play The Prince Albert but soon we managed to gig quite vastly and the name was getting more popular in London, it was a case of waiting for the press to take notice and then soon label interest started. We didn’t have the funding to be D.I.Y; I was stealing food every day to exist and putting my equipment in Cash Generator to fund touring. I don’t regret any of it though we’ve had some amazing times!

You have also had tracks featured on various compilations, with a new one out right now I believe?

Our first ever release was a psyche-garage cover of Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi” released by Filthy Little Angels Records. It was for a compilation titled ’1978′ with lots of bands covering songs from that year. Our cover got the best reviews and is a signature to our early sound. The Peter Out Wave compilation CD was released last week on Swedish label Peter Out Records, a 17 track album by bands from all over the world. They asked us if they could include Hypnoti(z)ed (Alt Version) on the album and we gave them the nod!

How does the song writing work within the band?

It’s made up of jams mostly. We got heavily in to The Stranglers ‘The Raven’ album and loved the improvisation they had so we started working on songs with the same analogy and it’s really worked out. I think bands that just go in to a room with a song wrote 2 hours before at home are really missing out on the musicianship that can be worked. Listen to (The Stranglers) and throw your Libertines albums in the bin.

You are almost veterans of festivals not only in the UK but in Europe, which has been the most rewarding and pleasing to return to?

Drop Dead Festival was an amazing experience. Great bands and great ideologies! We’re due to play Fave Rave in Berlin again, that was one of my favorite European ventures, such a great city!

Do you get a distinct audience for your hypnotic and intrusive sounds or is it generally varied at shows?

A lot of the people that come to our shows are dark wave kids. They like the darker element of our sound and the groove that goes with it but we’re trying to mix it up a bit. The album is going to have a dance feel to it! The dance element in bands needs to come back and we’re hoping to revive that!

What have you lined up for the rest of the year gig and festival wise?

We’re relocating to London and starting to write and record the album in full, having a bit of time off over the summer but will begin playing shows again in August starting with a festival appearance at Vale Earth Fair in Guernsey with bands such as Roots Manuva and then we’re due to play some come back shows for a certain band later on in the year. We’ll announce a 12 date UK tour at some point as well, really looking forward to getting back out there!

Is performing live the most rewarding aspect of the band for you?

It’s definitely the most fun part of being in the band but I’d say the most rewarding aspect is when we have written a track, recorded it and hear the response from the fans. It’s all about the fans, they’re what keeps us doing it as well as our own passion to write, record and play. If they don’t like it then we give them a massive slap! ;)

Going back to compilations, I think you will correct me I am sure, it seems that your songs have been on more compilations than your own releases. Is that right and was it planned or just how things worked out?

Yeah I’d say that is true but I think it’s a good thing, I don’t know many other bands who get asked to be on a 2000 pressed compilation CD released in Europe without an album out. We’ve been quite lucky in that respect, completely fluked it!

What is next song wise in regard to releasing something?

Our next single is called ‘(SYS)’ and it sounds like the second chapter of Voltaire which is what we were striving for. It’s a faster pace and it’s a bit Twisty, people are gonna think of bands like Joy Division on this next release. The B-side will be Statues, a song we made available as a free demo download but has recently been mastered by Robert Harder who has made it sound FAT.

Any chance of an album or multi track EP sometime soon?

We may release another EP but we’re concentrating more on writing the full album, we want to get it out there next year for our 10 year anniversary, god we sound old!

Many thanks for talking with us, much appreciated.

Have you any words for you’re the readers?

Learn about cooking, baking, meal planning, cuisines, entertaining, holidays and more with Allrecipes’ informative articles and step-by-step photo tutorials - allrecipes.com

And finally tell us the song or tracks which made the deepest impact on you as people leading to the choice of music as your life.

Gavin: The Count Five – Psychotic Reaction

Chris: Black Flag – TV Party

Mark: Led Zeppelin – Ramble On

www.thegaagaas.co.uk

Listen out for an upcoming special Bone Orchard show from The Reputation Radio Show featuring the new remastered by Robert Harder version of Statues.

www.reputationradioshow.com

The Ringmaster Review 22/06/2012

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