Punching Swans – Faces

If you have allowed the boisterous noise and feral enterprise of Punching Swans to trespass ears before you will not be surprised to read that as maturity and a new bold touch embraces their latest release, their cacophony of sonic devilment is just as insatiable. Faces is a collection of tracks which stalk the imagination, manipulate the senses, and send the body into blissful spasms whilst courting a whole new level of adventure with the British trio.

Bred in the ever fertile round of the Medway region of Kent, Punching Swans is the creative union of vocalist/guitarist Greg Webster (Houdini), bassist/vocalist Joseph Wise(Frau Pouch), and drummer/vocalist Pablo Paganotto (The Explorer’s Collective). Formed in 2012, apparently “as a dare”, alongside their other projects, the band has simply grown in a sound, taking on inspirations from the likes of from The Fall, Sonic Youth, Bogshed and Mclusky as well as the dark realms of John Carpenter, The League of Gentlemen and The Evil Dead films, their imagination ensnaring releases perpetually earning bigger and keener acclaim. A self-titled debut that first year was a kind of warm up for the greater exploits inside Mollusc two years later. The album reinforced the band’s inimitable sound and creative mischief but flourished as the threesome in many ways ’took things more seriously’ with the project. Its qualities and success was only eclipsed by its successor Nesting in 2016 just as its seriously impressive character and adventure has been put in the shade by Faces.

The new album’s theme is a dark and compelling proposition; the release made up of eleven faces (tracks), each referring to the faces of serial killers. As Webster explains, “They each have a stupid feature for a face which is related to their story… so people who look kinda stupid and are unlikely killers. But then again, who is a likely killer? Can you really tell by appearance? As we wrote each new song they seemed to fit into a particular image of a face and from there we wrote what their particular background story was. We were picturing a kind of Dick Tracy rogues gallery of villains. “

The album opens up with Blood Face, gradually looming up on the senses in a sonic shimmer before a raw wash of voice and sound explodes on ears. The scything beats of Paganotto pounce and swing as a sonic swash of guitar colludes with the rapaciously dark mumblings of bass, a fiercely magnetic union completed by eager vocals. Slipping melodic teasing amongst its ravenous discord, the track is a magnificent and quickly addictive start to an album which only escalated every lure heard with imagination thereon in.

The following Areola Face instantly had hips swaying and appetite’s tongue licking lustful lips as Wise’s throaty bass strolls with dark but infectious intent, a catchiness only accentuated by the more ‘violent’ animation of guitar and beats. Ebbing and flowing in its volatility, vocals following suit, the track provides a caustic flirtation before Strobe Face licks at the senses with a rapid flicker of beats and a sonic sunspot which in turn sparks a slightly corrosive but fully captivating trespass; a captivation only boosted by the singular dance of vocals and beats which escapes before things become more psychotic yet tenderly seductive.

Through the calm but predacious post punk militance of Batter Face and the reserved siren-esque psychosis of Coral Face, animated temptation richly soaked ears; Paganotto’s kinetic swings as conniving and irresistible as the intimation shredding exploits of Webster and Wise’s skilful rhythmic dark saunters, traits fuelling the whole album from start to finish. The latter of the pair has a definite Houdini meets The Fall feel before making way for the simply glorious murderous drama and inharmonious beauty of Cliff Face. Featuring Dan Toms of Bear vs Manero and the biggest treat out of nothing but, the track is simply manna for ears and spirit, unscrupulous rascality at its best.

The following pair of Grater Face and Lady Cheese Face refers to each other, the songs “Romeo and Juliet-style lovers who simply could not be.” The first is a wild slice of post punk ‘n’ roll with a personality something akin to Mclusky meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion while its companion of sorts shows a devious side to its more tamed incursion on the senses. Discordant yet with a sonic elegance which is as threatening as it is alluring, the track is a true predator of a song, getting under the skin with subtlety and flirtation before gnawing away with bloodthirsty relish.

Raw and wolfish, Carpenter Face infiltrates ears next with an almost industrial like hue to its expanding tapestry of lawless noise. A low key serenade with a portentous breeze of sonic duplicity inserts itself in the breaths between it and Face Face straight after, the piece brief and never quite breaking the surface of its limbo before the penultimate track careers in on a rhythmic canter with a sonic mane spraying in its trenchant winds.

God Face completes the release, the song a lure of shadow bound celestial scheming simultaneously  tenebrific and radiant round another simply rousing rhythmic incitement from Paganotto and Wise alongside the melodic dissonance of Webster.

It is an enthralling end to a quite superb and increasingly addictive release. Punching Swans has never been as so damn manipulative or devilishly rousing as they are within Faces. It is not only a band at its momentously best but noise rock/post punk too.

Faces is released October 26th via Skingasm Records; available now for pre-order @ https://punchingswans.bandcamp.com/album/faces

Upcoming live shows:

OCT 26th LEEDS, Chunk

OCT 27th LIVERPOOL, Invisible Wind Factory

NOV 9th LONDON, Aces & Eights

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Pete RingMaster 23/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Breathing Holes

For some reason we always feel we need a hot intensive shower after listening to UK outfit Ragweed and their greedily rapacious sound. It is possible because from the release of their debut album Parerga in 2014 it has increasingly proved itself to be a raw and dirty infestation of punk fuelled noise which trespasses every pore. Last year’s single Silver Spoons revealed a fresh essence and new evolution to their music which the ear bending, senses exhausting Breathing Holes EP, now voraciously continues.

The new encounter is not so much a mixed bag of temptation but definitely one which has numerous angles and hues to its character of which some needed little time to ignite an already in place appetite for the band’s sound while others hankered after much more attention to pretty much just as successfully persuade. Silver Spoons hit the spot right away and with increasing rigour play by play, Breathing Holes across five rousing hollers emulates its success at times but also offers up other moments which take their to work towards the same persuasion.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Tom Adamson, bassist Callum Regelous-Cooke, and drummer Josh Pingram have linked up again with Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, and Screaming Females) for the mastering of the new EP, its release coming once more through Milky Bomb Records. Straight away it imposes its presence on ears, the opening heavy almost sludgy touch of first track Cansema infesting the senses before it relaxes for a grungier cry which in turns leads to an eruption to noise rock intensity. It is a cycle which repeats, magnetic in its evolution and intriguing in where it will subsequently lead which turns out to be a groove woven stroll of heavy rock ‘n’ roll.

It is an opening enticement which nags away with increasing temptation play by play and is followed by the more immediately persuasive Backbite. A tenacious mix of punk and noise rock, the track is a magnetic clamour with catchiness in its foundations and a rousing holler in its breath. Reminding of Bristol band, The St Pierre Snake Invasion at times, the song had us stomping and bawling in no time, responses just as eager for next up Thought This Through. Almost corrosively raw yet with an infectious quality which lines every twist and turn, the track grabs appetite and participation with quick ease, its punk ‘n’ roll bellow and body trespassing swagger inescapable.

Down the Drain is Ragweed at their punk best and unashamedly devious as hooks and riffs niggle and invade like a filth coated virus as the song brawls with the senses before Up ‘n’ Under brings the release to a close with its groove clad grumble. Again there is a coincidental hue of the previously mentioned Bristolians to the song which adds to the track’s organic magnetism, grooves colluding with hooks and imagination for a voracious blaze of sound and intent.

There is no doubt that Breathing Holes really grows in presence and temptation across every play but has plenty to inspire such attention from the off. We personally have found it very easy to nurture an appetite for Ragweed and their sound through their previous records and with a growing greed which the new EP has only encouraged again.

Breathing Holes is available now via Milky Bomb Records @ https://ragweed-milkybomb.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Frauds – With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice

It cannot be just coincidence that year on year December brings some of the relevant year’s best and often most dramatic releases. Maybe it is just that they generally come within a concentrated two week burst with the year’s final pair of weeks more likely to be party time for all so that it is more noticeable than in other equally productive months but there does seem to be a real gathering of striking encounters  as the year makes its departure. The debut album from UK duo Frauds simply adds to the evidence, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice a glorious cacophony of noise bred rock ‘n’ roll infested with post punk and post hardcore rapacity.

Formed in late 2012, Croydon hailing Frauds consists of Chris Francombe (drum/vocals) and Mikey Alvarez (guitar/vocals), a musical partnership which seems to hail from well before their latest venture burst into life. Inspired by the likes of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mclusky, Hot Snakes, and Drive Like Jehu, the pair initially began jamming together again with the intent of only playing covers. Soon though their own imagination and creativity took over and new songs emerged. Since then the band has become a potent presence on the capital’s live scene sharing stages with the likes of Idles, Life, HMLTD, Tigercub, Demob Happy, Kagoule, USA Nails, Slaves, Blacklisters, Queen Kwong and site favs The St. Pierre Snake Invasion along the way. Fresh from tour dates alongside ex-Reuben front man Jamie Lenman, Frauds are poised to nag national attention with Morning Toast & Jam & Juice, a niggling hard to see failing such its raw majesty.

Let’s Find Out kicks things off, a riveting tendril of guitar winding around ears and soon joined by the thump of Francombe’s beats. Second by second the web expands, Alvarez’s guitar creating a clamorous jangle with post punk hues to its sharp spice. Vocals equally have a caustic edge, courting the repetitious magnetism of the encounter with punk attitude and ferocity. Sonic shimmers and distortions only add to the virulent nagging, the track as much an intro as a complete offering luring ears and instinctive attention into the waiting depths of the album.

Next up, Smooth instantly twists and turns around the senses, its post punk/alternative rock antics as invasive as they are seductive. Like the spawn of a union between The Three Johns, The Droppers Neck, and Mclusky, the song swings along drawing the listener deeper into its feral majesty before The Feeding Frenzy envelops ears with its noir clad atmospheric drama. Sonic smog devours as vocals provoke, the underlying volatility brewing a ravenous toxic drone as flirtatious as it is debilitating.

From its virulent inhospitality, the mischievous exploits of Sandwiches emerge, the song a rash of hooks and rhythms around brash vocals; all carrying a liquor of humour and captivating causticity. Again there is an eighties post punk discordance in allegiance with modern creative antipathy and again everything uniting in a corrosion of punk irritability which simply sparks ears and an instinctive appetite for noise rock. As it evolves with increasing imagination, the track feeds ears with a delicious groan of bassoon-esque guitar; its barracuda tone pure manna for these senses and matched in addictiveness by the duo’s vocal lures. There are numerous major moments within the album but this is the pinnacle with ease.

The psychotic rock ‘n’ roll of Just Come Of Age comes next to be a strong rival though, beats a kinetic psychosis matched by the wandering tendrils of guitar and vocal theatre. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster easily comes to mind as the song plays with the imagination, crawling over the senses with predacious glee and tenacity.

Suck Jobs keeps the thrills high with its senses scathing sonic enticements and vocal abrasions, the song mercurial in air and relentless in infectious dynamics while Doom prowls and seeps through the body with grievous intent. Its suffocating tones devour mood and thoughts, dragging attention by the throat into a finale which is pure punk ferocity. The track is one of the least easily accessible trespasses provided by the album but joining all in leaving pleasure brimming.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice concludes with firstly Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve, another carnally tart and compelling stroll with an Engerica hue to its visceral contagion, and finally through the transfixing saunter of Give In. Rhythmically hypnotic and melodically haunting with a just as appetising acrid edge, the song slowly entangles the senses, its own individual drone like bait viral persuasion becoming more chafing and disturbing second by second.

With a hidden scar of punk as its actual final breath, With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice leaves pleasure high and anticipation for their next move lustful. As earlier mentioned there have been numerous really stirring propositions this year yet it is hard to remember many as glorious as the debut from Frauds.

With Morning Toast & Jam & Juice is available now through Till Deaf Do Us Party Records and available @ https://fraudsfraudsfrauds.bandcamp.com/album/with-morning-toast-jam-juice

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Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Silver Spoon

Having caught the attention and passions with debut album Parerga three years ago, British rockers Ragweed has in their words, “gone through a rebirth”. They have come out of that moment of reassessment or evolution with a sound which is darker, dirtier, and flush with more salacious grooves and rousing antics than offered by an exuberant pole dancer. The evidence is all there in latest single Silver Spoon, a three- track extravaganza of devilish rock ‘n’ roll.

Just coming off of another self booked UK tour, the latest on a long line of successful ventures, this one in support of their latest release, the Brighton hailing trio forcibly build on and reinforce the fresh sense of contagious adventure and imagination their sound first introduced within last year’s AA-sided single Rust Box. As its predecessor, Silver Spoon is released through Milky Bomb Records and has been mastered by Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, Screaming Females) of West Side Music, New York, he getting involved having been taken with the band’s previous outings.

The single across its three parts is a tenacious and flirtatious blend of rock, punk, noise, and raw pop; tracks still embracing the heavy almost imposing essences of the band’s earlier releases but with a virulence and catchiness which really and lustily gets under the skin and into the limbs. Lead song, Silver Spoon instantly thrusts its muscular fingers upon the senses, predacious scythes of guitar drenched in sonic filth and so inviting especially once springing a groove woven swagger with rapaciously coaxing rhythms. The song’s swing is matched in the vocals, their boisterous energy as anthemic as the sound around them and just as mischievous.  Holding essences something akin to Foo Fighters meets The St Pierre Snake Invasion within its unique character the track is immense, only escalating its instinctive catchiness and creative devilment twist by turn, note by note.

The track is just as impressively backed up by its companions, Grey Matter being first up and swiftly sending a punk infested noise pop ‘n’ roll tide of riffs and rhythms through ears. Teasing keys add to its early temptation, their melodic mania lingering and erupting across the highly infectious proposal. Though dirtier and more psychotic than its predecessor, the track also has a more controlled hand on its caustic yet melodic stroll and heavy intent. It is a mix just as bold and manipulative though in another outstanding slice of Ragweed rock ‘n’ roll.

The single is completed by West Coast Pop, a Ramones meets Melvins escapade with a grunge lining to its irritable weight and nature. Fusing noise and alternative rock to its punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and dexterity, the song epitomises Ragweed’s new thrust of enterprise in their sound and writing; mixing old and new textures for one invasively alluring and irresistible trespass.

As last year’s single suggested Ragweed has grown into a striking proposition, an unpredictable and aggressively inventive one which going by Silver Spoon is heading to becoming one of the most essential adventures within the UK rock scene.

Silver Spoon is out now via Milky Bomb Records and available @ https://ragweed-milkybomb.bandcamp.com/album/silver-spoon

https://www.facebook.com/ragweedragweed    https://www.instagram.com/_ragweed/   https://twitter.com/ragweedrock

Pete RingMaster 13/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Idles – Brutalism

Photo by Stephanie Elizabeth Third

An infestation of the senses, a raw roar on all our responsibilities, and a contagious noise fuelled trespass on everything in between, Brutalism is one of the essential incitements of not only 2017 but we would suggest the decade as a whole. The debut album from British quintet Idles rips into personal and social issues with the insatiable attitude and defiance unleashed in the late seventies, its irritable sound as much punk rock rage as it is a post punk/noise rock  enslaving of the imagination and psyche.

Each song from the Bristol five-piece of Joe Talbot, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Adam Devonshire, and Jon Beavis is a creative growl, a visceral antagonism with an infectious edge and mischief just as bruising and incisive. Dedicated in part to the loss of Talbot’s mother, who adorns the record’s cover, Brutalism is stretched with such invasive treats, from start to finish a mordant adventure, challenge, and accusation as witty as it is vicious, as devilish as it is ferocious. With Idles in the early days of an UK tour, their first album is sure to see it’s already eagerly devoured and anticipated 25 dates embraced by even greater fevered support.

Straight away band and album show uniqueness within a proposition which also swiftly inspires thoughts of bands such as The Fall, Swell Maps, and early The Horrors. There is so much more to it though as that originality shows, opener Heel_Heal cantankerously striding from an initial dispute with an intrusively nagging riff and rhythmic tenacity which alone lures keen attention as Talbot’s equally confrontational vocals snarl. Punk rock infested with crabbily textured noise, the track rumbles and grumbles; band vocals as anthemically rousing and spiteful as the general character of the outstanding starter.

Fellow Bristolians, The St Pierre Snake Invasion also come to mind with the song and successor Well Done, the second a sonically twisted and lyrically spiky shuffle making use of body and imagination like a peeved puppeteer. Its persistent jabs tenderise the senses for the scourges of sound which erupt to further scorch, Idles pressing all the right buttons for lusty reactions before uncaging the equally enslaving Mother. An irresistible bassline cores the next track, its dark tempting soon surrounded by swinging beats and scuzzy riffs, all uniting with Artery meets Gang Of Four scented tempestuousness. Again no punches in sound and word are pulled, one of numerous traits within the Idles sound which leaves there little to be taken lightly but plenty to find a seriously keen appetite for.

Date Night reveals a tango loaded with a rhythmic incitement which barely stays in the same place more than a second or two, its beats on hot coals but with a composure which aligns perfectly with the monotone growl of the bass. As guitars saunter and blaze, Talbot magnetically assaults with word and character, the volatile squall of the track then emulated in its own way by Faith In the City and its post punk ‘n’ roll causticity. A rousing irritant exposing essences hinting at bands such as again Artery and The Nightingales, submission to its lively acerbic inducement is quick and just as rapid as next up 1049 Gotho waltzes with irritated intent and pounding beats into ears and psyche. For all it and the other song’s choleric probing and inventive dexterity, sonic squeals a delight, there is a melodic lining which as subtle as it might be at times just inflames the catchiness and adventure of all escapades.

Wiry tendrils have ears encroached and alive as Divide & Conquer rises with its own particular grumble of sound, the guitars creating a web of raw enticement as bass and beats prowl with a testy air, Talbot stalking it all with his increasingly compelling tones. The increase in energy and ferociousness only adds to the captivation before Rachel Khoo and Stendahl Syndrome irascibly serenade and fractiously critiques respectively; both unloading their sonic and lyrical venom with snappy and quarrelsome devilry.

Next up Exeter has a slightly lazier gait but still imposes its punk ‘n’ roll canter with addiction forging rhythmic cunning as guitars and vocals get under the skin with their respective exploits like a Fatima Mansions/ Big Black collusion exploring creatively fresh impositions. Both tracks leave an already greedy appetite hungry for more, a lust more than fed by the kinetic stomp and sonic psychosis of Benzocaine and equally by the punk grumble and waspish word prowess of White Privilege.

Idles leave their arguably greatest moment for its final track, though each listen only elevates another moment to drool over. Slow Savage is a haunting dyspeptically lined embrace living up to its title as keys and voice fill the low-key and stark atmospheric mist hugging the imagination as a heartbeat of rhythm throbs. It is a dark, melancholic rapture violating as much as seducing the senses and a thrilling end to one exceptional release.

Being truly excited by something new or unique is a treat rarely found these days, Idles though have cracked that desire in fine style with Brutalism.

Brutalism is out now on Balley Records through iTunes and other stores.

Upcoming Dates on the Brutalism Tour…

March 2017

Thursday 16th – Brighton – The Prince Albert

Friday 17th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum

Saturday 18th – Bedford – Esquires

Monday 20th – Oxford – The Bullingdon

Tuesday 21st – Sheffield – The Plug

Wednesday 22nd – Newcastle Upon Tyne – Think Tank

Thursday 23rd – Aberdeen – Tunnels

Friday 24th – Dundee – Buskers

Saturday 25th – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s

Monday 27th – York – The Crescent

Tuesday 28th – Hull – The Adelphi

Wednesday 29th – Nottingham – The Bodega

Thursday 30th – Liverpool – O2 Academy 2

Friday 31st – Wakefield – Unity Hall

April 2017

Monday 3rd – Stoke-On-Trent – The Sugarmill

Tuesday 4th – Preston – Guildhall

Wednesday 5th – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach

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

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gravves – Rattle

gravves-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

There is no foreplay involved with Rattle the debut EP of British noise inciters Gravves. It is a release which, certainly for us, careered straight to lustful instincts from its very first roar of breath and sound, thereon in proceeding to entwine us around its little creative finger. Having an already well-established love for The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, an open inspiration to the North West hailing trio, certainly helped its persuasion but the four tracks making up Rattle soon established the band and its sound as something individual, unique, and quite irresistible.

Since forming, the threesome of bassist/vocalist Adam Hughes, guitarist/vocalist Dave Thomas, and drummer Tom Williams have persistently lured attention and a fine reputation with a stage show seeing Gravves play with bands such as Slaves, Nothing But Thieves, DZ Deathrays, God Damn, Heck, and Misty Miller, as well as impress with festival appearances at the likes of Focus Wales, Tramlines, and Threshold Festival. Radio has also eagerly embraced the band and its striking sound, a success easy to see expanding as Rattle takes the band towards a new broad tide of ears and fans.

gravves-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewRecorded with Michael Whalley (Mums, Kong, Bipolar Sunshine), Rattle simply explodes on the senses as opener My Pet Rihanna unleashes its sonic tirade. Within the clamour though, a virulent groove is forming, escaping and driving the song from thereon in as vocals clash and collude in noisy emotion while guitars and bass flare up and seductively groan respectively alongside each other. There is an inner calm in the turbulence too, a magnetic lure which breeds monotone vocals alongside the established outcry in a reflection of the dark touch of bass. There is no escaping the air of the previously mention Brighton band and at times there is a touch of fellow Brit up ‘n’ comers like The Droppers Neck and The St Pierre Snake Invasion too, but the track swiftly breeds its own identity.

Heartbeats is just as impressive as it reveals another aspect to the Gravves character. It has a controlled hand on its tempest of noise; still offering a fuzzy infestation of ears but with a dark composed gait echoed in the vocals and rhythms. Thomas’ guitar certainly sears air and flesh, its scorching touch infused with sharp hooks and abrasive grooves which trap the passions with their intrusive infection. There is a slight scent of The Birthday Party to the song and of Mclusky too in some ways while Future of the Left also comes to mind but again as its predecessor what emerges is all Gravves.

From its opening rhythmic enticement aligned to melodic acidity which has a bit of early U2 to it, Tribes storms the barricades next; subsequently sonically and vocally raging around that persistently infectious first hook and another great blend of vocal persuasion. It is a virulent blaze as catchy and imposing as anything around right now, manna for hungry senses and appetites as too the following Hollow Bones.

The closing track also has a more stable energy and storm to its heart, its body prowling almost stalking the listener as melodic vocals and keys entwine with harsher textures. Though it hints at fiercer eruptions, the song retains its control to fine effect, providing a thrilling end to a stunning release.

Rattle is an introduction to stir things up and Gravves one of those propositions which quite simply re-ignites a lust for music.

Rattle is out now across most stores through Loner Noise Records.

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Pete RingMaster 21/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Acid Brains – Thirty Three

ACID-BRAINS_COVER2_RingMaster Review

Rampant with a torrent of diverse flavours all uniting in one mighty slab of punk ‘n’ roll, Thirty Three is one of those proposals which out of the blue sets energies racing and thick pleasure flowing. The rousing success of the new encounter will probably be no surprise for fans of and those in the know about Italian band Acid Brains, a quartet previous full-lengths having earned the band a potent reputation in their homeland’s rock scene, but for the rest of us the album is an impressive introduction to a thrill we have all been missing out on.

Hailing from Lucca and formed in 1997, Acid Brains create a sound which merges alternative and punk rock with grunge and new wave, amongst many flavours, a mix brewed with devilish invention and thick imagination. 2004 saw debut album The End Of The Show released after a trio of demos before it; its well-received outing more than matched by its successor Far Away two years later and Do It Better in 2009. As the new proposition, fourth album Maybe was unveiled via Red Cat Records in 2012 to show more of the evolving enterprise and boldness in a sound now inflaming ears in Thirty Three.

Produced by Gherardo Monti and Acid Brains, Thirty Three comes in two parts; the first consisting of five tracks sung in English and the second with four songs sung in the band’s native tongue. Why the segregation of languages we cannot say but the parts are a CD equivalent to the side A and side B on a vinyl release or like on a double EP.

Band and album have attention and ears in the palms of their creative hands from the off, opener Make Up Your Mind laying down an initial lure of confrontational yet controlled bass and guitar before bursting into a fiery punk rock escapade with, whether intentional or not, a more than familiar relationship to The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. The track proceeds to stop and flow with magnetic invention and aggressive ferocity throughout, creating a compelling proposal easy to get greedy over long the way, just like the following Halloween. The second track strolls in with its own slightly belligerent character, the bass of Antonio Amatulli devilishly prowling amongst the sonic tempting of guitarists Alfredo Bechelli and Stefano Giambastiani. The latter’s vocals equally engage with grouchy persuasion as the song explores a post punk/new wave fuelled slice of raw power pop, it already showing the strong variety within the album as it has the imagination bound and ears again aroused.

Sometimes steps up next, tantalising initially with a dirty flame of riffs before hitting a grunge/punk canter playing like a feisty mix of Nirvana, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, and Feud. Antagonistic but with an anthemic welcome rather than a nasty intent, the track stomps along recruiting body and appetite before On The Borderline takes over with its post punk laced, rhythmically gripping prowl. The resourceful beats of drummer Luca Bambini masterfully shape the track and entice instincts to which guitar and vocals offer their inventively bracing assets. With a spice of Gang Of Four meets Gruntruck to it, the track continues the impressive and increasingly gripping persuasion of the album, and the enjoyable wealth of diversity.

Adding a touch of glam rock swagger is Answers next, but equally a healthy scent of old school punk is the order of the day within the slimline and enjoyable canter before Tu throws some rhythmically tenacious garage rock into the album’s mix. A bracing stomp bouncing aggressively around with sonic colouring maybe best described as NOFX and The Pulsebeats in league with the punkier side of Les Négresses Vertes, it sets the second part of Thirty Three off in fine style to be quickly backed and surpassed by the outstanding nagging tempting of Mi Sorprendi. Riffs and rhythms provide a great worrisome yet addictive beckoning for the vocals of Giambastiani to stir things up in potent style within. Once more that post punk spicing add to the varied punk ‘n’ roll adventure of the track whilst hooks and the throaty tones from Amatulli’s strings only add to the inescapable captivation.

The final pair of songs ensures the album ends with as much variation and resourcefulness as it has perpetually offered already. All’infinito is first, a heavily enticing slice of drama with sinister electronics courting a grunge punk aggravation whilst closing song Solido has its own dark theatre through haunting keys within a rawer coaxing of guitar. Soon it raises its temperature and contagion with a glorious roar of a chorus that has listener participation involved with ease. Subsequently leading into another hungrily virulent blaze of rich grooves and deeply embedding hooks; that in turn the passage into an attitude loaded punk bellow of a blistering finale, it and its predecessor provides a thumping close to an increasingly persuasive and impressive album.

Acid Brains is rock ‘n’ roll to get excited and greedy over; something fresh to get lusty with through an album that flicks all the right switches.

Thirty Three is out now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Acid-Brains/50227931347   http://twitter.com/AcidBrains

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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