The Mystery Plan – Zsa Zsa

photo by Daniel Coston

Presenting a host of vibrantly tempting and almost ridiculously infectious escapades, Zsa Zsa is the new album from US outfit, The Mystery Plan. It is a record which flirted with feet, teased ears, and courted the imagination; seducing all with sublime almost mischievous enterprise from start to finish.

The Charlotte, NC hailing band sees Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes and Patty McLaughlin once more give an escape from everyday dramas with its own captivating theatre of sound and invention. Zsa Zsa is their fifth album since emerging in 2010 and in many ways their most striking. It features numerous guests including producer John Fryer, Micah Gaugh (The Veldt / Apollo Heights), and Ian Masters, former bassist-vocalist of British shoegazers Pale Saints; all bringing fresh ingredients to a recipe of imagination which revitalised the soul in these spirit subduing times.

The bewitching Those Stars breaks the silence as the album takes its first breath, the track immediately seducing our attention as the simmer of cymbals align to the leisurely swing of the bass. Its alluring moodiness is soon sharing the air with the jazzy flames of an equally steady and evocative sax; it all combined with the tantalising words and wistful tone of swiftly enslaving vocals, a picturesque captivation.

It is a delicious start to the release which is immediately matched in craft and enslavement by the pair of We All Get Down and Al Gore Rhythms. The first simmers in to view through keys, a just as minimally touching guitar laying its gentle melody alongside as the harmonic grace of Amy and Patty’s vocals caress song and ears alike. A weave of dream and folk pop with much more in its texturing, the song has a touch of XTC to its beauty while its successor is a body manipulating, feet leading slice of trip hop flirtation. It too soon reveals plenty more to its design and a character with magnetically soulful vocals at its heart.

And the addictive persuasions continue as recent single, Ballad of JC Quinn, steps up next to get under the skin. The harmonic lure of the band’s ladies leads ears into the tantalising rhythmic shuffle of Otis and Jeff, their animated temptation echoed in the lively keys and melodies of Jason’s guitar while entangled in the steel guitar intimation of Peter McCranie. Mesmeric and dreamy yet with a rich physical tempting which feet and hips cannot deny, the song had us under its spell in no time before Lolaphone gave its own instructions to the willing sway of the body. Its electronic nurturing reminded of Paul Haig, eighties flavoured hue and catchiness working limbs as the innocence of a child’s creative voice toyed with thoughts. Though maybe not breeding the same lust as those before it, the song just as skilfully took the day away before passing it on to its following companion.

Bonny is another which instantly had feet and hips lending their participation; its indie wired, nova seeded stroll a fusion of moodiness and flirtation refusing to be ignored while Long Way To Heaven escalated the temptations of it and all before to steal the show for our ears. From the virulent charm of the vocals to its rhythmic saunter and through the arousing twang of guitar to the evocative mood of keys, the track seduced every aspect of our listening bodies.

Through the folkish charisma and indie rock revelry of Sweet Tart and the crepuscular dream pop of Electric Love, a track loaded with mystique and a touch of darker intimidation, band and release only reinforced their hold; both demanding a share of favourite song limelight with every listen.

We All Get Down returns within Zsa Zsa with the Rob Tavaglione mix of its provocative fascination before Distant Sirens brings the album to an imagination provoking close through piano, keys and flute; each fuel to suggestion within the instrumental evocation and its fusion of ethereal beauty and street dirty reality.

As the world continues to be held down by nature and our reaction to it, escape and release is a longing we all share and one which the gorgeous Zsa Zsa offers in its unique and enthralling way.

Zsa Zsa is out now via Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings; available @ https://themysteryplan.bandcamp.com/album/zsa-zsa

https://www.facebook.com/themysteryplannc/   https://twitter.com/mystery_plan

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Roars within shadows

Courtesy of the similarly talented Shauna McLarnon (Ummagma/Shameless PR), we have a collection of tracks which not only deserve attention, they simply demand it.

NYC-based, The 1865 has already left an ear gripping mark on 2019 with the release of their debut album, Don’t Tread On We!, and are ensuring it is leaving with a just as potent  slice of their inimitable sound through new single, John Brown’s Gat.

Formed in 2017, The 1865 embrace influences from the likes of Bad Brains, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, and Minor Threat to their sound and listening to the new single it is easy to imagine that X-Ray Spex are another to inspire their creative instincts. Taken from their first full-length, the track was written in honour of John Brown, “a white man who believed that African Americans should not be enslaved and eventually he lost his life on behalf of his Nubian brothers and sisters.”

Instantly the guitar of band founder Sacha Jenkins (The White Mandingos, The Wilding Incident) teases ears, its sonic nagging swiftly joined by the bold rhythms of drummer Chuck Treece. It is a compelling start only more irresistible once the tones of vocalist Carolyn “Honeychild” Coleman (Apollo Heights / The Veldt, Badawi) stirs up even greater enterprise and animation in the song. Constantly twisting and turning in unpredictability and contagious imagination, the song swept us up in its creative theatre and punk rock rapacity; emerging  as one of the best singles to pleasure our ears this year.

Just as captivating in its own unique way is the debut single from dark electronic collective Dispel. Rising in a senses embracing fusion of darkwave, synthpop, and gothic rock, Modal Consequence is an atmospherically caliginous hug of sound and intimation providing an enthralling teaser to the band’s first album due early next year.

Dispel is the creation of Scott Dispel, a founding member of hardcore band Face Value and also currently the drummer for TEXTBEAK. Within the band, he is joined by vocalist Ravensea and Sean Gallows, the trio reaping inspirations from artists such as Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Clan of Xymox, Depeche Mode, VNV Nation, Delerium, The Misfits and The Cramps for a sound within the single which openly aligns familiar hues to bold new imagination.

Taken from their debut full-length, Lore, and “the moment where the Hero/Heroin takes that first step into that dangerous realm of the unknown” in their journey, Modal Consequence quickly envelops the listener in its dark hues, suggestive textures which prove as instinctively catchy as they are hauntingly sunless. Within that rich allure, the siren-esque tones of Ravensea captivate as she shares the drama and unknown horizons of the song’s protagonist.

With an Evanescence meets Nightwish breath to its electronic adventure, Modal Consequence quickly and firmly had us absorbed and keenly anticipating the arrival of Lore.

Another artist with a new album due early 2020 is Atlanta songstress K Michelle DuBois and she presents a magnetic appetiser in the shape of new single Feast or Famine. She admits she is not sure yet if the latest track will be part of the album’s collection of offerings yet such its inescapable captivation and another example of its creator’s instinct for exploring new and eclectic adventures, the song only provides a thick lure for its larger successor.

With guitarist Dan Dixon and drummer Chandler Rentz alongside on the song, DuBois weaves a sound enfolding eighties pop and electro inspirations in indie rock and darker textured flavours. There is a Stevie Nicks hue to her presence and the seduction of the music itself and equally echoes of the Blondie and Divinyls influence she welcomes though here too something individual arises from a rich blend and, within Feast or Famine, effortlessly enthrals.

The track harmonically shimmers into view, quickly catching its infectious stride as synth and rhythms unite in a catchy stroll over which DuBois’ vocals easily captivate. The electro pop heart within the rock bred body of the song pulsates, its charm a beacon for the bolder rock ‘n’ roll traits of the track to latch on to like a moth and from start to finish, it all together provides one riveting contagion.

Whether the track makes the final line-up of that upcoming album we will find out soon but it only sparks keen anticipation of that impending release as too does its predecessor, Waves Break, it similarly a virulent like of electro pop ‘n’ roll, with both available at https://kmichelledubois.bandcamp.com/track/feast-or-famine

Finally we eagerly suggest checking out the new EP from US shoegazers, The Veldt. The arresting Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose bears another collection of tracks soaked in the band’s distinct and soulful sound and infectiously takes ears and imagination on atmospheric adventures.

Consisting of identical twins Daniel (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass), Marvin Levi (drums) and Alex Cox (guitar), The Veldt has consistently sparked our imaginations since their releases first emerged in the late eighties/early nineties. Some have fired us up more than others but each flight of their mood thick sound has been a source of fascination and reward with Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose one of the most potent.

The band’s sound is bred on the essences of shoegaze, dream pop, and soul and woven into soundscapes which seduce as they envelop, almost devour the senses. They are emotive affairs as proven by the new EP which come thick in intimation, rich in intimacy, and drenched in catchiness. EP opener, The Color Of Love Is Blue immediately proves the suggestion, its initial melodic invitation an echo of eighties indie pop but wrapped in the atmospheric density and emotion which marks The Veldt sound and an individuality which we can only slightly compare to the little known and now demised Japanese band, Tokyo Chaos City.

From its great start, the EP only pulled us in with richer potency, the bewitching Black and Blue and its fuzz infested climate and Fit to be Tied through its virulent romance of ears wrapping greater seduction and pleasure on the senses. From Daniel’s compelling tones to every aspect of the band’s invasively spellbinding endeavours, the tracks tantalised and ensnared; traits which persist across one of the band’s most absorbing releases yet, both Camus and Dakini smothering infatuated ears with their own imagination consuming charm and drama as emotional intensity comes in equally hypnotic waves.

Completed by the A.R.Kane Mix of I Like The Way You Talk and a Carlos Bess / Jason Furlow Mix of Dakini, the relentlessly absorbing Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is the epitome of captivation and indeed pleasure.

And that is a roundup of some striking offerings which to ignore will only mean missing out on some real pleasure.

 

Both John Brown’s Gat and Don’t Tread On We! from The 1865 are out now, available digitally via Apple Music, Spotify and directly from the band via Bandcamp, as well as numerous other online stores.

Upcoming live dates for The 1865:

Dec. 07, 2019 New York – The Kingsland (with H.R. and Human Rights, MAAFA, The Screws, Rebelmatic, Universe Ignore Her, Foxtails) – 18+ event

Jan. 09, 2020 New York – Max Fish (with Rebelmatic)

Jan. 18, 2010 New York – Brooklyn Academy of Music BAM Cafe ||| Black Rock Coalition Celebrates MLK (with Major Taylor) – All Ages / Free and Open To The Public

https://www.facebook.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band   https://twitter.com/the1865band

Dispel’s Modal Consequence is available now @ https://dispelmusic.bandcamp.com/releases  as a free download with Lore set for release on January 10th, available on vinyl and CD, as well as digital download with pre-orders taken now @ https://www.dispelmusic.com/Album/

https://www.facebook.com/DispelMusicdotcom/

https://www.kmichelledubois.com/   https://www.facebook.com/KMichelleDuBoisMusic   https://twitter.com/kmichelledubois

Thanks to the Moth and Areanna Rose is available now @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.theveldtmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/VeldtThe/   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

The Veldt – The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP

photo credit Ed Marshall

photo credit Ed Marshall

The Veldt is one of those projects which really does offer something a little different and for a fair while now. It is no different in regard to new encounter, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP either. Consisting of five immersive tracks bred in the band’s fusion of indie, dream-gaze, soul, and immersive ambiences, the release simply grabs the imagination in a creative adventure pretty much unlike any other.

Formed by North Carolina hailing twins, Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt has had success capturing ears and attention since the eighties with their individual atmospheric sound. Already performing as children and taking inspirations across the likes of gospel, Motown, and Pink Floyd into their personal pleasures and thoughts, the pair emerged then as The Veldt, a name taken from a Ray Bradbury story. To simplify the following years, the duo has worked with the likes of Robin Guthrie, A.R. Kane, Mos Def, and Lady Miss Kier and shared stages with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Oasis, Living Colour, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and TV on the Radio as well as released a host of acclaimed offerings. A name change to Apollo Heights occurred around the mid-nineties followed by a permanent link up with bassist Hayato Nakao in 1999; that a move which brought a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Eventually a return to the name of The Veldt ensued and its re-emergence is now marked by the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur, it the forerunner to new album Resurrection Hymns to be released later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

With its title borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem, the EP opens with new single Sanctified. Emerging on a gentle but sonically misty air soon welcoming the bass throb of Nakao, the song quickly blossoms into a warm yet atmospherically muggy embrace. It is an evocative hug of ears and the impressive vocal expression and prowess of Daniel, in turn a fiery but controlled trespass of the imagination built on an array of melancholic textures, transfixing melodic drones, and sonic layers shaped by the imaginative suggestiveness of Danny’s guitar. With additional vocals from Marie Cochrane to accentuate the emotive harmonies, the track is an inescapably engaging proposal to start things off.

The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur (cover)_RingMasterReviewIn a Quiet Room follows and quickly provides a less intensive and crowded proposition but one still as rich with emotional flames amidst guitar and keys shared drama. The vocals alone ensure attention is a given but add the thick tapestry of sound and trance seeded imagination, and the song as EP almost traps the listener in soulful beauty.

Both Token and One Day Out of Life take ears and thoughts on sultry flights through distortion lined sonically soupy climates; the first swaying and floating with ethereal elegance around more tenebrific rhythms. Its successor is a slower fall into provocative seas of sound becoming a senses smothering and engaging immersion around hypnotic rhythms. What grips the imagination most though, is the theatre of shadows which prowls alongside or courts the radiance of these and all songs; a shade perpetually reflecting and accentuating matching hues within their lyrical and emotional depths.

The EP is closed by the classically soulful and slightly familiar yet rigorously fresh And It’s You. It also has single written all over it; hooks and melodies as tantalising as the vocal and atmospheric shimmer which soaks the song as bolder rhythms pulsate with evocative temptation.

It is a fine end to a compelling release; an encounter which offers fresh intrigue and new enterprise with every listen. As suggested at the start, The Veldt creates music which stands alone; the evidence being The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.

The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP is released March 18th via Skully Records @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/The-Veldt-154526351270221   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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