The Jackals – People

band_RingMaster Review

Warm hearted and tenaciously welcoming, the sound of Scottish band The Jackals just leaves you with a smile on the face and across the emotions. Its potency is richly apparent in the band’s new album People, eleven tracks of melodic and soulful sunshine which may not ignite a riot in the passions but lingers with captivating tempting for the same kind of success. At times it serenades with smouldering radiance and in other moments has feet and hips in festive mood; in the words of the band, it is cosmic rock ‘n’ roll.

Edinburgh bred, The Jackals quickly earned a reputation for blistering live performances and songs combining “cryptic lyrics with expansive guitars, underpinned with the solid grooves of the bass and drums.” Their double A-sided single Holding All The Roses/L.E.A.R.N of last year was the spark which really began luring greater and broader attention the way of the band. Recorded with legendary producer Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve), who returns for the new album too, the release was a highly appetising forerunner to People, which in turn provides a full meal of pleasure.

cover_RingMaster Review     From opening track Eyes Awaken, the album is awash with a fusion of psych and surf rock soaked in sixties pop essences. That is of course simplifying their sound as at times it is as much folk toned as it is indie rock as it is all the flavours mentioned combined. It is an engaging mix which can catch fire in a boisterous revelry or just caress the senses with warm temptation and as the first song shows is highly persuasive. Eyes Awaken gently strokes ears initially, crystalline melodies from keys aligning with a similarly glowing kiss of guitar as they await the mellow vocal tones of Scott Watson. His and Gary Quilietti’s guitars continue to entice as darker rhythms begin flirting with thoughts and strings cast slithers of melancholy. Eventually a livelier energy escapes as the catchy chorus looms from where, like waves lapping on ears, all the ingredients of sound and invention entwine to fascinate and seduce. As a few songs on the album, it was not a swift persuasion but grows with every listen into a rich tonic of feel good enterprise within a sweltering psych rock ambience.

The following Raspberry Moon similarly makes its entrance with a slow kiss on ears, those emotive strings returning to compelling effect as skittish beats from Paddy McMaster begin to find their and the listener’s feet. In no time the song is cantering along with a country twang and folkish air reminiscent of Irish band Raglans. We cannot say the inspirations sparking The Jackals’ musical endeavours but it is easy to suspect from the second track alone that possibly The Beatles are amongst them and maybe Scottish bands like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera too.

United band vocals open up Call Out Mellobird next as ears are entangled in melodic enticement from the guitars and flirted with by the darker tones cast by bassist David Panton. It is a magnetic affair equipped with a soulful smile and web of alluring melodies that along with boisterous beats set up ears for the outstanding Ghost Soul Traffic. Straight away the tangy sixties groove escaping the guitar has lips licked, its surf rock breeding and early sixties tone reminding of bands like The Ventures is bewitching and just as alluringly backed by a matching nostalgic climate of harmonies and acoustic riffs. Hips and feet are quickly under the song’s spell whilst an early contented appetite gets hungrier for more which it gets in the equally seducing Can’t Leave the City and its gentle sway within another instinctively melancholic but refreshing atmosphere. Once more a vintage melodic wine runs through the host o spicy grooves and hooks slipping easily from the guitar and again ears and imagination are engrossed.

Just To Pass The Pleasant Time strolls along with a mix of folk and sixties psych pop after whilst Dancin’ Round The Nails explores a thick emotionally textured landscape, its croon reflective and a touch sombre but with a liveliness which gives it an edge and potency. Both songs satisfy without matching those before them, each joining the list of tracks which just grow and become more tempting over time, something definitely not applying to Two Heads. The track instantly has ears alive with its opening bait of hooks and harmonic vocals, they leading to an alluring jangle and rhythmic shuffle which just lights the passions. Bass and guitars continue to weave their infectious and almost teasing enterprise as beats and voice dance with feet and imagination respectively as the emotions are taken on a feistily feel-good ride from start to finish by almost four minutes of joy.

The more humid air and emotive croon of Where the Face of Angels Lay takes over from the best track on the album next, its smooth balladry emulated but then taken into more intimate and cosmopolitan scenery by Gold Gift from Paris straight after, it’s Hammond seeded kisses additionally pleasing hues in its exotically toned flight of sound. Both songs join those taking time to reveal their full character and persuasion but only impressing with every listen and always setting up the rousing merger of country rock, folk, and indie pop that is Waiting On The Man With the Sun perfectly. The track brings those rich essences into a spicy and addictively boisterous dance with the masterful rhythms of McMaster stealing the show in a glorious anthemic tirade of incitement midway.

Closing song Dust is drenched in psychedelic mystique and low key but open funk grooving for a pulsating smog like rhapsody of sonic and melodic imagination laying on the senses as its title might suggests. It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release, an encounter which seems to get more absorbing and headier with every passing listen. It is easy to see why there is a fuss brewing around The Jackals, a band which will be surely only creating bigger and bolder things ahead.

People is available from September 14th digitally and on vinyl with an additional cassette release through Burger Records.

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Creeping Ivies – The Witch House EP

creeping ivies_RingMaster Review

All those with dodgy hips turn away now as we have one slice of physical slavery for you courtesy of The Creeping Ivies. Revealing a new wash of ingenuity in their sound which borders on pop, the Scottish band again enthrals and seduces with their unique style of garage rock ‘n’ roll which quite simply is impossible not to get a little lustful over. Consisting of three exotically and flirtatiously sonic slices of dark rock ‘n’ roll, EP and band have ventured into a broader landscape of invention and tempting which might be best described as The Shangri-las meets The Cramps meets The Revillos at a bordello of ill-repute presided over by Johnny Thunders.

The Creeping Ivies since forming in 2011 has been no strangers to acclaim here and across media and fans thanks to two dynamically thrilling and fiercely dynamic albums and a clutch of EPs which have just lit the fires of devilry. It is fair to say that each subsequent encounter has shown a potent evolution of the band’s garage punk/rock bred sound from the last, with a matching strength in temptation. Between last year’s outstanding album Ghost World and The Witch House, the band has seen one half of the duo in drummer Duncan Destruction leave and vocalist/guitarist Becca “Bomb” Murray subsequently joined by bassist Christy Taylor and stick man Ian Duncan. With a big change to a band which has also drawn constant acclaim for a live presence taking in shows with the likes of Viv Albertine, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Bob Log III, and The Primevals amongst many acclaimed headlining shows of their own, there was a wonder of how things would move or indeed change ahead. The Witch House swiftly shows that as ever The Creeping Ivies are an irresistible creative lure revelling in their inspirations whilst breeding their own striking imagination as they go exploring new avenues. The hex that is their sound has developed an appetite for sixties inspired pop on the EP to go along with a passion for garage rock ‘n’ roll from across the decades. The result is an EP which is majestically glorious and ridiculously addictive.

witch house cover_RingMaster Review   It opens up with its title track, The Witch House flirting through the voodoo rhythms the band has so masterfully transfixes with from day one. Where Mr Destruction’s beats used to transmit intent and resonance like a virus through ear and bone though, Duncan’s beats are more tempered to match the, dare we say mellower, tones of the music yet cast an equally lingering network of anthemic persuasion. Murray’s guitar is just as swift in its spicy coaxing as her recognisable and exhilarating vocal shrills and punkish tone. Completed by the dark rumble of Taylor’s bass, the song swings with attitude and a flirtatious swagger ripe with simple but deeply rooting Ramones seeded hooks and nostalgia bred chords. The track is scintillating revelry to start things off but just the beginning of great deeds.

The following Only the Moon opens with its own infectious shuffle, led in by more flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll guitar and blossoming into a tenacious and composed canter of sparkling riffs and grumbling rhythmic shadows. From that same moment a vibrant melodic and catchy smile also brews, erupting in a chorus complete with inciting handclaps and a vocal tempting which only the deaf could refuse full involvement with. Surf breezes and a sultry air only adds to the compelling dance of the song; sixties pop meets modern garage psychosis at its very best.

The release comes to an end through Bye Bye Babe, a track as much seventies melodic infection as it is sixties garage rock and original 21st century devilment. The guitars seem influenced by bands like The Ventures and Johnny & the Hurricanes, rhythms by bands like The Orson Family and The Bomboras, whilst Murray is like a sultry Fay Fife. Wrapped in an invention and imagination which holds whispers of possible inspirations like Josef K and The Pixies, the song is honey for ears, manna for the psyche and a third kiss of brilliance in The Witch House.

There is no denying we have had a soft spot for The Creeping Ivies since day one but equally there is no argument in the fact the band just gets bigger, better, and more essential with every proposition with The Witch House EP the finest moment for the band yet. We keep saying that over each encounter and suspect it will not be the last time either. Ahead of Your New Favourite Garage Band, a forthcoming compilation of previous singles as well as EP and album tracks from the band, this moment in time feels like The Creeping Ivies are starting a new exciting chapter with thrilling new sounds. Time to get spooked and infested guys and girls…

The Witch House EP is out now with Your New Favourite Garage Band available from October 31st, both though Flowers In The Dustbin.

RingMaster 18/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Barnyard Stompers – Outlaws With Chainsaws

BS

After their impressive debut The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockin’ Sounds of…, anything from the Barnyard Stompers is sure to raise an eager appetite and so it was with follow-up full length Outlaws With Chainsaws. Whereas the previous album stalked the essences of rockabilly, cowpunk, and country blues stone predominantly within its mischievous sound, the Denver based duo of Casey Miller and Megan Wise have taken a deeper dip in the country side of their passion on the new release, though all essences and more have a tasty place in the mix. It is twelve songs if diverse and distinctive dark devilry brought with a fifties rawness and twenty first century devilment.

Miller and Wise have collectively played in many legendary roots music outfits including The Hillbilly Hellcats and The Bop Kings but teaming together has arguably been their finest move and certainly as evidenced by the two albums since, meant the creation of a sound which whilst merging numerous styles has evolved into something distinct and unique to them. Soon to take their Backwoods Twang across Europe and the UK this autumn, Outlaws With Chainsaws is a mighty introduction for those yet to be infected with their ‘red-neck’ power.

As with its predecessor, Outlaws With Chainsaws is rife with the band’s black and open humour as well as vintage sounds turned into 942079_603596589651616_325395941_nsomething eccentric and compelling yet true to their inspirations be that the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Carl Perkins and Hank Williams musically and also vocally. The opening title track instantly proves the point, the opening blood soaked sample replaced by a resonating rich twang from the guitar of Miller soon joined by the provocative beats of Wise. Ripe with a slow compulsive groove and throaty ambience to the sound the track lays a mix of psychobilly and cowpunk sculpting on the senses and visual evocation to the imagination. The drums of wise persistently frame the emerging red hued thoughts with accomplished incitement allowing Miller to tease discord and melodies with his guitars distinctive flavour. Though it never explodes beyond its impending dangerous breath it is an excellent start to the album and indication that we are about to have a real ride.

The following Stinkin’ Drunken S.O.B. Blues provides what its title suggests, a booze fuelled narrative wrapped in equally potent blues ‘misery’ and country bred swagger, but there are also elements of the more rockabilly aspects of say a Hasil Adkins to its engaging company. It continues the strong beginning and is soon joined in that cause by both the Cash like delivered tale of White Trash Family and Falling Down. For the first of the pair, though containing great backing vocals from Wise, it is the lyrical tale which steals the show, its story a humoured stereotypical outsider’s view of country folk whilst its successor is a slowly heated piece of emotive persuasion with hot chords and southern melodies veining a rising intensive rock embrace. It is a slow burner of a song which sounds better with each taking of its evocative breath.

For all the potency up to this point it is the tarmac rumbling Truck Drivin’ Son-Of-A-Bitch which steals the show on the album, its thumping attitude and passion guzzling energy a heavy slab of rock ‘n’ roll playing like a sixteen wheeled semi driven by The Reverend Horton Heat navigated by Carl Perkins aided by the whispers of Lux Interior. It is an excellent brute of a song finding its sinew glory in the simplicity of the drive of the duo and the dark throated tones of Miller. Its triumph is equalled immediately by the excellent Choctaw Outlaw, the flavoursome instrumental a mix of fifties craft and surf rock fire which sounds like a dessert created  by a recipe created by Johnny and the Hurricanes and The Shadows with extra spice from The Ventures and The Ghastly Ones.

The likes of the country stomping Topless Tuesday and the dark hillbilly croon Corn Liquor which features just Miller’s vocals and his old timer harmonica feed the appetite further whilst the diverse Cajun reaping pair of Snake Eyed Baby and the wonderfully sinister Shallow Grave take thoughts into more openly black-hearted adventure and mischief.

The album is completed by Seein’ Double and When Death Comes Knocking; two more appealing pieces of sultry rock ‘n’ roll borne of various aural nutrients. It has to be said before hearing the release that finding out the band had gone into their country seeded imagination more on the album left a small fear inside, that genre one we have never been able to embrace, but Barnyard Stompers employ it in their ingenious way to be another, though strong at times for sure, agreeable flavour. Outlaws With Chainsaws is a great album, one which personally just misses out on matching their outstanding debut but impressively sure gives it a good run for its money.

www.barnyardstompers.com

8/10

RingMaster 26/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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