öOoOoOoOoOo – Samen


Every year seems to have one month where riveting surprises and essential releases come at ears in a keen flood. This year it is maybe two as October follows September in unleashing records which simply inflame the imagination, an increasing list now added to by the irresistible and rather deranged offering from öOoOoOoOoOo (“Chenille” in French, “Caterpillar” in English).

A new collaboration between former Pin-Up Went Down vocalist/lyricist Asphodel and multi-instrumentalist Baptiste Bertrand, öOoOoOoOoOo creates a theatre of sound and imagination within debut album Samen. “Visually built as an art exhibition”, the release is a kaleidoscope of styles and invention cast in an avant-garde/experimental metal/rock adventure. Helped by the rhythmic prowess of session drummer Aymeric Thomas who is no stranger to creating off-kilter and seriously unpredictable exploits with Pryapisme, the duo ignite and enslave ears and psyche from the very first seconds of Samen, never relinquishing their magnetic grip of mercurial enterprise driven alchemy.

Rules Of The Show opens things up, the track initially enticing with a tender melody as a darker groan lurks before quickly welcoming the instantly impressing tones of Asphodel. Her voice is as magnetic as the sounds brewing around her with a growing blend of bewitching harmonies courting as the song slips into a catchy stroll with a poppy air. Soon it unleashes its hellish heart in a ravenous metallic outpouring as honed in gothic and epic metal as it is through orchestral and melodic rock. It is a virulently infectious affair, its tempestuousness icing on the compelling cake with Asphodel’s unexpected and masterful barbarous death bred growls extra engaging bait.

Its increasingly deranged presence is followed by that of Fucking Freaking Futile Freddy a track wearing Pryapisme like scent at times but equally sparking thoughts of bands like The Creatures and Stolen Babies. Thomas is a blur of rhythmic tenacity, Asphodel vocally captivating, while Bertrand creates a tapestry of sonic and melodic bedlam shaped into one fluid skittishly versatile weave.

cover_RingMasterReviewFrom one pinnacle within Samen to another and the creative devilry of Meow Meow Frrru, a track teasing with melodic intrigue while taunting with bolder energies, the first shaped by electronic fingering with a slight medieval essence and the latter through climatic crescendos which become more irritable and prolonged with each expulsion. The deeper into its insanity the song goes the more it evolves, an espionage loaded hook and System Of A Down flavoured revelry especially tempting.

Straight away the suggestive lures of cello from guest and Psygnosis member Raphaël Verguin charm ears and imagination as the following No Guts = No Masters launches its bruising and increasingly dramatic rock ‘n’ roll upon ears. A blackened air grabs the senses at times, its occasional trespass imposing on the glorious melodic seducing surrounding the shining vocal prowess and class of Asphodel and a psychotic majesty which would be almost sinister if it was not so glorious and irresistible.

Verguin also features on next up Bark City (A Glimpse Of Something), his bow on strings the poetic shadow to a track which merges the melodic beauty of a Nemesea with the dark secrets of creative dementia, all on show in a track which kisses the senses as it corrupts the psyche. Again understandably there is a touch of Pryapisme to the song but equally Russkaja, Siouxsie and The Banshees, and Die So Fluid are pointers to the uniqueness of the band’s sound.

There is a Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks feel to the bewitching Purple Tastes Like White, the track yet another brazenly diverse aspect to the landscape of Samen with the brooding bass a particular treat alongside the melodic might of Asphodel while I Hope You Sleep Well is a cracked and bedlamic web of ideas and imagination stirring sounds hard to describe in words but so easy to physically indulge in with its sinister nursery room childlike innocence and crazed invasive genius.

With Adrien Cailleteau guesting as on its predecessor, Well-oiled Machine draws ears next with its soulful R&B infused balminess. With a flaming sax igniting the jazzy noir atmosphere of the brief song, all courting the somewhat pub-singer like fun of the male vocals, the song only leaves a smile in the imagination before the outstanding Chairleg Thesis dances with the listener in an eighties spiced affair which is at times as ruggedly boisterous as it is erotically seductive and ravenously stormy.

Across the screwy pop/hip hop soaked metal of Fumigène, a song revelling in a Lady Dynamite meets The Sugarcubes meshuga, and the gothic rock drama of LVI where band and album explore even more enjoyable expectations defeating adventures, the latter with Germain Aubert and Verguin bringing their individual craft, the inescapable lure of Samen just strengthens.

Completed by the fierce death metal toned blaze of Hemn Be Rho Die Samen, a song soon showing an array of contrasting yet perfectly uniting strands to its inventive disorder and predacious appetite, Samen leaves an exhausted and blissful pleasure in its wake. Even in the most off-kilter sounds and releases there is an order, an underlying texture which links all. Within Samen it is only the members of öOoOoOoOoOo themselves as unpredictability and unbridled imagination locked into one glorious ride.

Samen is released October 21st via Apathia Records, available @ https://apathiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/samen


Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vienna Ditto – Ticks EP

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Pic Wildblanket Photography

Bringing their most eclectic sound and irresistible hex yet to follow up an eagerly acclaimed debut album, British duo Vienna Ditto are about to unveil new EP, Ticks. It is seven tracks of fiercely diverse and mesmeric aural imagination; a collection of encounters embracing voodoo rhythms, electrified blues temptation, and beguiling vocal dexterity honed into a septet of unique psyche twisting proposals.

From being child student and guitar teacher in 2000, creatively reuniting a decade later, vocalist/synthist Hatty Taylor and guitarist Nigel Firth have become one of the most intriguing and imaginatively unpredictable encounters within the British underground rock scene. The Oxford hailing band through EPs and singles since their first, a self-titled EP in 2011, has explored, nurtured, and uniquely spun a sound which has always fascinated but become increasingly more fascinating and spellbinding release by release. That growth and exploration accumulated in the release of their feverishly praised debut album, Circles, last year. With the release of Ticks and some hindsight though, the impressive album now feels like it was the end of the band’s first chapter, a rounding up of early ideas and successes providing a springboard into even darker and boldly adventurous escapades to experiment with, such as those making up the sensational Ticks.

The EP opens with its title track, a slice of quirky pop with wonky melodies and smouldering rhythmic grooves around the immediately siren-esque tones of Taylor. Beats play as a settling lure until the song opens up with an even darker tang to its grooves and new wave like hues to its hooks and excitable energy. Slipping back into that initial seductive coaxing, things down settle again though a lingering volatility is there waiting to fuel another round of the addictive chorus and the subsequent sinister emotive waltz and mischievous musical tango which begin entangling each other. The track is glorious and, as the EP, simply more infectious and imposingly addictive with every listen.

art_RingMasterReviewTiny Tambourines follows up the thrilling start with a gentler melodic kiss on ears, though tantalising electronic incitement and an off-kilter rhythmic shuffle are also there courting the warmer hues of sound and Taylor’s ever evocative voice. The track is a fuzzy romancing of ears and imagination, again with a great tempestuousness which means unpredictability lurks at every twist and turn before the brilliant warped bossanova of Frank Account takes over. From the first strains of guitar, ears sense a festival is waiting to pounce, a few seconds more brings confirmation as strolling beats and swinging harmonies surround Taylor and the flirtatiously jazzy grooves and devilish hooks of Firth. Like a slightly deranged hybrid of The BeauBowBelles and Molotov Jukebox, the song bewitches and enslaves; taking body and imagination on a lively and provocative adventure.

The mesmeric blues croon of Motherless Child comes next, the song a melancholic serenade lined with sultry yet unsettling shadows within a brewing portrait of loneliness and loss cast by voice and melodic discordance. It is spellbinding stuff, becoming more potent with every listen; a quality admittedly every song holds including the haunting cinematic drama of My Way of Missing You. Maybe best described as Portishead meets Morcheeba whilst lost in a dark world shaped by Lydia Lunch or The Sugarcubes, or not, the song has thoughts drifting off into shadowy exploits as ears fall for its invasive and hypnotic beauty.

The band’s sound switches to a spirit sparking gospel character for next up Go Down Moses, an incitement with loco guitar revelry and twisted gothic blues ingenuity to create a sure fire passion igniting protagonist. Its dark rock ‘n’ roll joins the long list of momentously rousing songs and moments within Ticks quickly joined by closing track Come Back and its busy and sinuous landscape of textures and craft within a cosmopolitan theatre of sound. Alone leaving ears and appetite greedy for more, the song brings Ticks to a sensational end while revealing yet another aspect to the creative sorcery breeding the release.

Vienna Ditto is a band which keeps on impressing and providing adventures which continually surprise and excite as they themselves become bolder and more dramatically imaginative.

The Ticks EP is released 13th May 2016 via Ubiquity Project Recordings @ https://viennaditto.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Jacques – Pretty DJ EP


Like a hybrid infestation spawned from a mix of Babyshambles, Arctic Monkeys, and The Sugarcubes, The Jacques in one scintillating swoop has announced themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting newcomers. That potent introduction comes in the sensational shape of the Pretty DJ EP, a four track stomp of Britpop and pop punk infused with garage rock devilry, which from first to last breath inflames the imagination and incites the body.

Formed only in January of this year and consisting of two sets of brothers aged 16 to 21, The Jacques inspired by the sounds they were raised upon which included the likes of The Strokes, The Ramones, The Jam, The Lemonheads, and Elvis Costello, swiftly made their mark on the live scene. In a few brief months the Bristol hailing quartet of vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Jacques, guitarist Jake Edwards, bassist/vocalist Oli Edwards, and drummer Elliot O’Brien found themselves playing numerous festivals across the summer including Guilfest and at Hyde Park where they supported The Libertines and caught the attention of their drummer Gary Powell, the co-founder of 25 Hour Convenience Store, who signed them on the spot to the label which now uncages the band’s first irresistible offering.

Recorded at Rockfield Studios with Dan Swift, Pretty DJ opens with its title track and instantly ignites the imagination and appetite with an initial jangle of spicy guitar. With rhythms soon in tow, the song relaxes into a warm yet unpredictable stroll littered with quirky hooks, a rhythmic shuffle, and a richly persuasive bassline. It is potent bait especially when the distinct and unbroken vocals of Bonnie flirt with ears, his tones refreshingly unique and individually expressive even at a young age. The song proceeds to weave its salacious sonic curves and healthy rhythmic persuasion with raw and compelling seduction, every syllable and note brought with a dose of eclectic enterprise. It is a sensational first taste of the band and release which only inflames hunger the_jacques-pretty_dj-ep-2014-artwork-e1414933180481and passion for more with every twist in its armoury

The following Foreign Films has a more relaxed gait than the great agitated endeavour of its predecessor, but is no less virulent bait with its sultry melodies and a great vocal duelling between Bonnie and Oli. It is hard to look further than The Libertines as a spicy influence here, though equally there as whiffs of bands like Supergrass and Pulp at play too. The song also carries garage rock tenacity to its sonic and lively cosmopolitan temptation as it reveals a little more of the rich potential and imagination of the young band.

Scum In A Bottle also visits that garage rock breeding as well as a punk causticity which adds further tasty shades of endeavour to the release. Guitars spark and flame with raw charm whilst again the vocals tantalise with their seamless union and magnetic uniqueness. Littered with mouth-watering craft and creative revelry from the guitars and a pungent baiting from the intrepid rhythms, the track steals its own thick wedge of the rich praise building up inside waiting to shower the release, a portion matched by that garnered by the closing Weekends.

The final track swiftly has its temptation ingrained through an opening bass lure. Always a sucker for throaty enticing like this, the track had us gripped from its first second and only proceeded to increase its hold with tangy grooves and similarly tasty hooks across bracing swipes of sonic causticity. As with all the tracks, it is impossible for feet and vocal chords not to join its call, with pleasure in close quarters to their eagerness.

It is fair to say that The Jacques wear their influences on their sleeve but only as homage to those inspirations and as an invigorating hue to their own invention. The Pretty DJ EP is easily one of the highlights of the year and easy reasoning as to why Mr Powell leapt upon them within a breath of discovering their existence.

The Pretty DJ EP is available now via 25 Hour Convenience Store @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pretty-dj-ep/id930507850


RingMaster 12/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bad Powers: Self Titled

Some bands upon their introduction just make you sigh with pleasure as the flames to a permanent attachment are lit and such is the case with Bad Powers and their self-titled debut album. It is a glorious and deeply stimulating piece of creative invention, its imagination as stirring and impressive as the raging provocative sounds brewed from the distinctly unique musical minds of the band. Arguably the quality of the release is not a surprise given that three quarters of the band were in the acclaimed Made Out Of Babies which called it a day earlier in the year, but guitarist Brendan Tobin, bassist Eric Cooper, and drummer Matthew Egan, have returned with something quite different and greedily enthralling.

The Brooklyn band headed by the stunning vocals of Megan Tweed (also of The Family Curse), has unleashed a hybrid of post punk and noise rock blended into a steaming maelstrom of innovation and ingenious enterprise. It is not the easiest to describe such the unique invention at play, for example at times the album teases the ear like a dysfunctional offspring of The Creatures, with Tweed sounding like a emotionally beleaguered Siouxie Sioux, The Pixies, and Throwing Muses lined by the corrosive breath of Joy Division, and in other moments the senses are swamped with a ravenous erosion brought by a cacophonous smothering from a mix of The Raincoats, The Sugarcubes, Stinking Lizaveta, and Essential Logic veined by the chilled whispers of a Xmal Deutschland. For all those inciting comparisons though the songs are in a realm of their own, a staggering amalgam of ideas and their inventive realisation brought through craft and energy to leave one drooling within a full and eager passion.

Released through The End Records, the album sets to work on the heart with opener New Bruises, the song immediately turning the key to adoration with dramatic sonic slices across rapping beats and firm riffs whilst Tweed begins her magnetic squalls of immense vocal enchantment. Like the music she offers a warm sizzling caress which alternates with a scorched and tenacious bite, her passionate wind shifts from deliciously scarring thoughts and emotions to coaxing them with a heated elegance. Whichever the source guiding her delivery it is a continual irresistible temptation. The track pulls one into an enveloping sonic wantonness, guitars and bass manipulating the synapses with brewing melodic gasses which consume all resistance whilst the rhythms cage and ensnare with an inescapable captivation.

The following likes of the tempestuous Hit Sniffing Dog and the brilliant Eves And Eyes cast their own distinct spells, the first a mix of intimidating intensity and taunting hypnotic grooves like a blistered union of elements from Dead Kennedys and Belly and the second an expansive crawl of emotive majesty and sinister shadows which delves within the psyche like the darkened fallout from The Birthday Party meeting Breeder overlooked by Morningwood. With its dark strings the track is immense amongst nothing but titanic pieces of dare one say genius?

Throughout its ten stunning tracks the album just offers the richest of rewards from its stylish and brilliantly crafted magnificence. The erosion Black Alf with its rolling plundering rhythms of Egan and abrasive vehemence from Tweedy just sparks higher flames of desire for the staggering creativity, the bass of Cooper snarling with venom within the caustic guitar assault whilst Blueberry transports the ear into an outstanding storm of air pilfering sonic rubs and incessant incendiary grooves. It is not the fiercest of the songs on the album but burns with a melodic heat to leave one breathless and smarting from its precise intensity.

With further heightened pinnacles in Electricity Should Be Free with its Bond like teasing intricacies and evocative swagger, and the quite wonderful and astounding closing track Bread And Butter, the album is without doubt one of the real triumphs of the year. From beginning to end it just wraps the senses and heart in a textured wash of brilliance. From its moments of crunching encounters through to the enchanting yet barbed beauty it seduces with ease through, the release is a sensation and Bad Powers in one stroke has taken sonically gifted music to a new and titanic height.


RingMaster 12/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Sonnymoon: Self Titled

Photo credit- Patti Miller.

Unclassifiable, almost indescribable, and thoroughly enthralling, the new self titled album from US experimentalists Sonnymoon is a bedazzling jewel of this musical year. It is a release which magnificently stretches the sounds conjured within as much as the listener, an album which at times is pure rapture and celestial manna for the senses and in the moments where individual taste means a less cohesive connection only ever leaves one smoking in grateful  thought and imagination.

Sonnymoon consists of Dane Orr and Anna Wise, who met whilst studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. The Boston duo already have found acclaim through debut EP Golden Age of 2009, two track release Blast Off at the tail of last year, and the 2012 EP earlier this year. The new album is the band at its most magnetic yet, a journey of intangible and mesmeric soundscapes which almost defy logic but fluidly bring everything into a seamless and ingenious union. It is near impossible to describe their sound but calling it a fiery blend of The Sugarcubes, Rip Rig & Panic, De Staat, Propaganda, and Peaking Lights, is kind of in the ball park. The release is provocative and evocative, something to fire up the mind whilst igniting the heart.

Released through Plug Research, the album is in the mind twisting the psyche immediately with opener Wild Rumpus. Released as a single earlier this year, the song is a kaleidoscope of invention and its sonic offspring. It enters on a disorientating wind of electronics expulsions sending thoughts scattering in all directions before settling into a lively trip of eager jumbled rhythms, disharmonious whispers, and celestial dazzles. The enchantment which is the voice of Wise permeates the assembled entourage of sounds like a siren, her wonderful tones pulling everything round her like a melodic magnet. It is a stunning start soon accompanied by further outstanding pieces off composition and its realisation.

The warm perpetually evolving Greatness holds the heart in a seductive embrace with again Wise shining like a sun amongst the ever shifting infectious sounds of Orr. Completely different from its predecessor but still as innovative and compulsive, the track sparks the remaining fires the first left merely smouldering.

The album is kind of in two halves though it is preference to the sounds which makes the distinction. The first part is an energetic nonstop escalator of imaginative and air juggling invention whilst the second is a more relaxed and unassuming collection of songs though no less visionary. The likes of the wonderful sultry jazz coated Kali and the simmering Watersboiled accompanied by the irresistible temptations of Flit, Fleet, Float, and Nothing Thought, has every thought and emotion lifted and immersed into the beauteous contagion the songs offer. Kali is aural sex, its seduction through harmonies and shadowed caresses addiction forming whilst the following Watersboiled is a simmering orgasmic treat with sizzling harmonic kisses and splintered melodics upon dark pulses. It is again an infection of the deepest form and along with its sister in delicious wantonness just before, they are not only the best moments on the album but arguably in indie music this year.

As mentioned the latter part of the album has a more reserved and settled presence though there is no lack of unpredictable and thrilling invention, just an overall smoother flow of whispers and stroking warmth. Songs like the slightly corrosive Others By with its squeezed ambience forming bulges of disturbed energy and scorched melodies and the woozy Every Summer Night leave one lost in wraps of feverish sound and vision whilst the closing Just Before Dawn just sends chills through the body. Its first half is a wonder borne of Young Marble Giants, that same simple elegance pouring from every note and syllable into the ear. Nearing its fourth minute and halfway in, the song dons an orchestral lined cloak and transports the listener into a world of courtliness driven by natural peace and grandeur.

To be honest this only gives you a glancing blow at representing the majesty which is called Sonnymoon, band and album. It is a release which inspires and incites with every second whilst offering the time of your life in fractured excellence and discordant blinding beauty.


RingMaster 16/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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