Smash Fashion – Junkie Luck

smash fashion live_RingMaster Review

Ahead of their eagerly anticipated new album, US rockers Smash Fashion have uncaged a feistily flavoursome teaser in the shape of new single Junkie Luck. It has all the trademarks of the band’s decades bridging rock ‘n’ roll and the rousing mischief fans have come accustomed to and greedy for. It also hints at new flavours in the band’s power fuelled melodic roar ensuring intrigue for their upcoming release is all the more ripe.

Los Angeles bred, Smash Fashion has spent the past decade or so brewing up a sound merged from the raw energy of fifties rock ‘n’ roll, the hungry adventure of sixties psych and garage rock, and essences of punk ‘n’ roll forged ever since. With the salacious scent of glam and the anthemic energy of hard rock amongst other flavours also involved, the quartet create something that defies being pinned down yet has a broad familiarity which swiftly seduces ears and imagination. The creation of and driven by vocalist/guitarist Roger Deering, Smash Fashion has increasingly lured acclaim and eager attention across a trio of albums starting with A Gentlemens Guide to Sophisticated Savagery in 2006. Three years later Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things stirred things up further for the band though it was Big Cat Love in 2014 which sparked the most eager and broadest spotlights yet on both sides of the Atlantic. With a clutch of ear teasing singles and a praise garnering live presence which has seen the band share stages again on both sides of the pond with the likes of Ian Hunter, Arthur Lee and Love, The Zombies, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, Missing Person, Silversun Pickups, Orson, JET, and The 88 over the years backing up the success of their albums, Smash Fashion has become a greedily devoured band with songs that just make tongues lick lips; the new single Junkie Luck no exception.

smash fashion art_RingMaster ReviewFrom its firs breath Junkie Luck is a rich enticement of guitar, the strings of Deering flirting alongside the sonic lead of Lloyd Stuart Casson (ex- Rock City Angels) before the former’s recognisable and always persuasive vocals potently leads the emergence of the song’s infectious heart. The swinging beats of drummer Repo (ex-Smack) manage to cage and incite further devilment in the song, assisted in kind by the prowling lure of Scarlet Rowe’s bass, both aiding the track’s grip on the listener’s hips and involvement. Musically Junkie Love is like a fiery blend of The Cars, Cheap Trick, Turbonegro, and Sweet with a healthy punk rock attitude but it emerges with a character and uniqueness which roars Smash Fashion.

On the B-side of the single is the boisterous punk ‘n’ roll cover of Golden Earring’s Long Blond Animal, Deering and co giving it fresh attitude for a rousing impact which for personal tastes actually puts the original in the shade just a touch. A song which will not be on the forthcoming album, it alone makes the single more than worthy of being checked out; Junkie Luck itself the thicker temptation urging all to add it to their music collection.

It is probably fair to say that you know what you are going to get with Smash Fashion, a blistering good time with sounds that easily incite body and soul, yet each release to date has only surprised and impressed with its own fresh revelry. There is no reason to expect anything different from the new album, just much more of the fun offered by Junkie Luck.

Junkie Luck is out now via Electric Pudding Recordings on download and on Ltd Ed 7”red vinyl.

https://www.facebook.com/smashfashion   http://www.smashfashionmusic.com

Pete RingMaster 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lucifer Star Machine – Eat Dust

Pic by Dirk Behlau

Pic by Dirk Behlau

It is easy to note many musical highlights for 2015, some individual to taste and some generally acclaimed. One was certainly the way the year went out with a bang with some of its most impressive and exciting encounters coming in its final weeks, indeed days. Amongst them was Eat Dust, the new single from heavy rockers Lucifer Star Machine, the long awaited next roar from the band following the release of the acclaimed album Rock’n’Roll Martyrs back in 2013. The two track incitement shows the band is just as sonically dirty, creatively belligerent, and voraciously uncompromising as ever, and still one of the most appetising punk ‘n’ roll rumbles to come out of the UK in recent years.

Formed in London in 2002, Lucifer Star Machine quickly and has continually made their mark with releases and as a live incitement. 2004 saw the release of debut single Death Baby, a roar produced by Rat Scabies of The Damned, followed by a pair of albums in Fire In Your Hole of 2005 and Street Value Zero four years later which only increased the band’s reputation. On stage too, the quintet has consistently earned acclaim and support, touring and playing in over ten countries along the way. It was with the release of Rock’n’Roll Martyrs on I Sold My Soul Media, after band founder leader/vocalist Tor Abyss had returned back to his homeland of Germany, that broader and stronger spotlights caught on to the bruising and rousing sounds of the band. Recorded with producer Andy Brook, the album drew strong acclaim and keen attention; success the Hamburg based Lucifer Star Machine, with a new line-up, is ready to ignite again, starting with Eat Dust.

artwork_RingMaster Review     Eat Dust quickly grumbles with bass and riffs; simultaneously stirring with attitude as an aggressive intent is accentuated by the brewing anthemic antisocial heart of the song. The bass of Alex Low End continues to growl, its rumble pierced by the scything beats of drummer TJ Riot as Abyss shares his cantankerous confrontation. In no time the guitars of Doc Loocke and Fritzkrieg are entwining and searing things with spicy grooves and sonic flames respectively, the pair casting a bluesy punk ‘n’ roll web around raw riffs and thumping rhythms. Like Turbonegro meets Dead Kennedys meets Grumpynators, the track brawls with the senses to addictive effect.

Accompanying the track is B-side Stabbing Romance, a track cut from the same aggravated cloth with its own intrusion of contagious hooks and abrasive enterprise building to another irresistible chorus to get quickly involved in. There is a lighter Generation X/ early Misfits essence to the thumping devilry working away on ears and emotions in a no holds barred rocker to rigorously scowl and punch air to.

Lucifer Star Machine has a sound which is unafraid to openly use its inspirations whilst creating its own character and the two songs making up Eat Dust are no exception. That character though has an individuality which steps out and grabs attention by the throat. The result might not be something major in originality but in pleasure and incitement it irrepressibly earns big plaudits.

Eat Dust is out now as Ltd Ed 7″ vinyl and digital download via Wolverine Records.

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Pete RingMaster 04/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Steel Flowers – Kleptocracy

Steel Flowers_RingMaster Review

According to the press release, concept album “Kleptocracy is looking around and suddenly understanding what Orwell meant. Kleptocracy is mind control told by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World. Kleptocracy is the distaste ensuing and the attempt to destroy all, but it is also the final realization, just like an oxymoron, to be who you want to destroy.” What the words omit to mention is that the new album from Italian band Steel Flowers is also one fascinating and increasingly compelling proposition. Sculpted on a fusion of hard rock and alternative metal, to simplify things, the ten track incitement entices the imagination with an unpredictable bedlam of flavours and styles woven into a theatrical canvas. Initially it challenges ears and thoughts with that same off-kilter tapestry but over time builds into a lingering persuasion which draws keen attention time and time again. Kleptocracy will not be for everyone but if the thought of System Of A Down meets Turbonegro meets Dog Fashion Disco appeals then this just might be a thrilling way to end the year on.

Formed in 2002 by vocalist Riz, the Milan band quickly hit the live scene before releasing a series of EPs over time. Line-up changes ensued before Steel Flowers settled down to record and release debut album 12 Tales From The Life Of Mr Someone in 2009. Described as a mix of hard and street rock, its well-received uncaging led to the band appearing at Faenza’s MEI, an event for independent labels that same year. 2011 saw the band begin work on Kleptocracy and the emergence of a new direction and invention in the band’s sound as alternative metal influences, and more, began ripening within their imagination. Fair to say the fiercely diverse album had a troubled creation but finally it gets its unveiling via Red Cat Records to ultimately captivate and impress.

cover_RingMaster Review     It opens with Oxymoron 4991 and an initial tempting of electronic mist conjured by Uzzo punctured by a moment of distorted vocals. There is a portentous edge to that first coaxing, one which ripens as guitars and rhythms bring forth their own dark hues, though within a few more haunting moments a warmer light and energy erupts to change the shade of the song again. The guitars of Alex and Adriano are soon dancing and flirting with ears whilst still providing darker drama to the broadening sonic narrative of the track. Once fully into its infectious stride, attention and appetite are enslaved by the song, thoughts similarly bewitched as it proceeds to slip from spicy grooves and niggly hooks into mellow harmonies and avant-garde twists. The vocals of Riz provide variety to match the sounds too, clean croons and gnarly roars offered in numerous ways and backed well from elsewhere within the band. It is fair to say, as the album, the track took time and a few plays to really click in ears and emotions, but straight away had them fully enticed and wanting to delve deeper into its warped adventure.

The dirtier rock ‘n’ roll of Pauper comes next, the feisty beats of drummer Kiry potent bait alongside the throaty tone of Yano’s bass. The latter soon reveals its swinging moves though, a funk infused revelry flushing through the song with a touch of Red Hot Chili Peppers to its colouring, though the earlier heavier elements still court these tangy exploits. It all helps fuel a quickly contagious proposition with a virulence matched in kind by that bred in the punk ‘n’ roll stomp of its successor I’ll Kick Your Ass. Straight away the song’s tenacious and tempestuous roar teases with a B-52s-esque groove which reappears throughout alongside Sex Pistol like hooks, both inflaming the raw and brawling heart of the excellent track.

Hallways Of Illusions serenades ears with its melodic flames and emotive textures next, it a gentle croon but with a fiery nature as, like all songs, it involves an array of creative spices and evolves with perpetual regularity, though not as dramatically as other proposals within Kleptocracy, such as Break My Blues with its intoxicating sonic liquor around prowling rhythms. Living up to its name in tone, the track is an enticing engagement though also not quite escaping the shadow of others like the following Tired And Bored. A great grizzled bassline sets the song up; a web of voices and guitar spun endeavour then wrapping ears as another funk inspired intent infests the rhythms and the hard/classic rock enterprise of the song. Again it is a track which needs time to blossom in thoughts but only heads to the providing of rich pleasure for the listener to embrace.

Through the psychotic character and vaudevillian heart of the outstanding Ruled By Evil Men and the infectious dystopian predation of Workin’ Monkey, the album hits a new plateau of persuasion, both tracks casting their own unique and engrossing theatres of sound and suggestion with the first of the pair the show stopper on the album.

Variety continues as an electronic enticing welcomes R.I.P. next, that brewing into a seventies seeded progressive metal narrative swinging from big thrills to smaller pleasures but always wrapping ears in thick tempting before making way for closing track Tank Man. The song ends the album on a more classic hard rock offering with a touch of Extreme meets Ugly Kid Joe to it; a last slice of rock ‘n’ roll maybe undulating in its riches but undoubtedly leaving satisfaction strong.

Kleptocracy is not without flaws, at times its invention taking songs away from their best assets, but Steel Flowers has certainly conjured a release that excites with the potential of bigger and bolder things ahead for good measure.

Kleptocracy is out now via Red Cat Records.

https://www.facebook.com/steelflowersband   http://www.steelflowers.net    http://twitter.com/steel_flowers

Pete RingMaster 10/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dick Venom & the Terrortones – SnakeOil for Snakes

Dick Venom_RingMaster Review

Eagerly awaited and as rascally salacious and creatively lecherous as hoped, SnakeOil for Snakes shows exactly why for a great many, Dick Venom & the Terrortones is THE essential British rock ‘n’ roll band. The band’s debut album is a web of flirtation and riot of rhythmic agitation bound up in vats of garage punk contagion posing as songs. It is manna for the insane and inspiration for the lascivious, but most of all, the album is punk ‘n’ roll to get a nation and continent romping.

Formed in 2010 by the inimitable Dick Venom, the Nottingham hailing band has left a fevered trail and reputation behind their live presence, an acclaim infected assault matched in plaudits by their increasingly impressive releases. Aside their own sweaty live stomps, the band has shared stages with the likes of The Meteors, The Rezillos, Bad For Lazarus, Demented Are Go, Lawnmower Deth, The Radiacs, Vince Ray & The Boneshakers, and Savage Messiah amongst a great many whilst first EP RockinRollin VampireMan set the trend for luring strong reactions and praise. Invasion Of The Spider Queen in 2013 only increased awareness and the band’s fan base, with last year’s EP The MonsterPussy Sessions nudging broader spotlights to match the band’s new step forward in sound. Yet another plateau of trash punk invention and pleasure has been breached by SnakeOil for Snakes, its crowd of dirty rock ‘n’ roll bred tracks the kind of thing addiction was invented for.

cover_RingMaster Review     With Wrex St.Clair, Dusty Vegas, and Stevie Vee alongside, Dick Venom is soon infesting ears with his distinctive and zealous tones, leaping forward from the choppy riff toothed entrance of Gun of a Tongue. The opener is soon into an eager stride, interrupting its jagged scenery with glam rock enterprise and sonic mischief. The Rezillos were mentioned earlier and there is an air of the Scottish band as the song bounds into the passions with its garage punk/rockabilly revelry.

I Can’t Find my BrainCell swiftly keeps attention and appetite engrossed and increasingly wanton for more straight after. As a thickly enticing bassline from St.Clair leads the virulence of the song, guitars spring tendrils of sonic temptation whilst beats roll along with a promiscuous tenacity. Venom as ever is a schizophrenic bundle of vocal imagination and rebelliousness, lauding over but only adding to the theatre of the track with his rousing energy, a success only repeated time and time again across SnakeOil for Snakes as shown quickly by TightPants (DoubleHeaded). Surf kissed strands of guitar spin their own irresistible weave as female vocals add a great snarl alongside Venom’s. The song despite its edge is more restrained than the previous pair of songs but just as fiercely catchy and impressive in its fifties rock hooks and tangy melodic imagination.

Three tracks in and it is fair to say that building from the potent inventive base of The MonsterPussy Sessions, the band has honed hooks to be more barbed and gripping with roars even more anthemic and rousing as ideas…well they are shaped by even greater ferocious imagination. Taken from that last EP, Dead Deadbeat Delinquent first time around was proof of a greater adventure being forged and even now, as an old well known friend, it holds the same rich enticement amongst just as devilishly imperious tracks. With bass and guitar bouncing around with slim yet inescapable addictive post/garage punk lures as the beats of Vegas rumble with the senses, the song is primal seduction; everything from toes to emotions quickly recruited and eagerly involved in its fresh psychosis of sound and maniacal enterprise.

Shimmering grooves from Vee welcome ears in next up FFFunny Kinda Luvin, the song’s winy nectar of temptation framed by more inciting rhythms and the measured vocal rowdiness of Venom. Bass and drums subsequently create a tribal enticing as sonic hues smoulder and grow into bedlamic invention around them, it all strung together by a prime hook which even in its absence within the proposal seems to weave rich magic on lustful emotions.

Dirty rock ‘n’ roll colours the walls of Last DumbDregs of Dragsvile after that, essences of The Stooges merging with something akin to The Spits feistily pleasing ears, whilst Go Fuck on the Sidewalk gets garage punk funky with its Cramps meets The Ghastly Ones tango. Both tracks thrill and lead to forceful hip swinging, especially the second of the pair before things get scuzzy with Do The Mash. Though not quite living up to its predecessors, certainly in swift convincing, the track soon boils with its fire of spicy guitar and robust rhythms courted by Venom at his most grouchy and gruff yet.

Taunting with an initial coaxing which surely is a distant relation to something the Knack might have conjured, No Good to get Up To thrills as it spills its intoxicating devilment next. Bluesy to the air, punk rock to the growl, the track prowls and stomps around with attitude and intimidation, igniting another wave of greed from the appetite along the way. It is success emulated by the gloriously lustful seduction of Planet of the HoneyFuzz. Imagine Sweet as Turbonegro and then bound in The Phenomenauts contagion and you have a hint of this unique Dick Venom & The Terrortones treat of an infestation.

   MyWay or the DryWay saunters in next, rhythmic taps a lead into a gorgeous creeping of noir woven creative theatre, whereas Crypt Tonight is a throbbing of garage rock ‘n’ roll which throughout its surf embraced rhythmic meander and melodic shimmering, is like a tongue led insatiable kiss on the senses and passions.

A final trespass of deeply biting and lingering hooks amidst compelling vocal and sonic imagination brings the album to a riveting close, Get Fucked Up Good a brilliant libidinal enticing and entrapment of ears and equally lusty reactions and a sensational end to an album exciting in all departments. Hopes were high and demanding because of The MonsterPussy Sessions, but now left looking lightweight by SnakeOil for Snakes. Dick Venom & the Terrortones are ready to be spoken in the same breath of the garage punk greats yet it is still easy to feel we have still only tapped into the first layer or two of their devious majesty.

SnakeOil for Snakes is out now via Jailhouse Morgue digitally and on 12” vinyl @ http://terrortones.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DickVenomandtheTerrortones  

http://www.dickvenom.com

Pete RingMaster 09/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hell Puppets – Theatre of Sin

Hell Puppets_RingMaster Review

Picture the scene, after one flawed but certain success Victor Frankenstein’s ambitions go full out to feed his appetite for rabid music. So with bodies embalmed with the raw irreverence of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, the ravenous metallic animus of Morgue Orgy, the virulent contagion of Dope, and the punk mischief of Dirt Box Disco, he created EviL-P, BeLiaL, GRavES, BeeLzEBeN, and SaTurNiST to spread the red and devour the soul. Or it might simply have been the Devil which dragged Hell Puppets from their English graves to conjure and release the lustful addiction that is Theatre of Sin.

The debut album from the Sussex bred quintet is a carnivorous vaudeville of horror and creative drama cast across a dozen songs which just thrust a knife of contagion through the heart and continually twist it with a bounty of punk ferocity, metal predation, and rock ‘n’ roll devilry. It drew a big grin on the first listen and a lustful stalking from the second, and fair to say since its release a couple of weeks or so back, we are not alone in adding the release to our cellar of favourites.

With members hailing from London, Brighton, Chichester and Lucifer’s right hand, Hell Puppets emerged in 2011 infusing inspirations from the likes of White Zombie, Pantera, Sex Pistols, Slayer, and Misfits into their swift attention grabbing fusion of punk and metal draped in horror, the occult, and Demonism. The first year saw the band solely concentrate on creating and honing their sonic infestation before setting out on their live scourge of the UK. A live session for a local radio station marked the growing emergence of the band during the next year before in 2013 they began recording debut EP No Strings Attached which was released in the following January. An increasing number of acclaim garnering shows surrounding its well-received introduction to the band and since with a support slot with The Hell later in 2014 another highlight. It was a successful year certainly eclipsed by this, as fresh from playing Bloodstock and touring with Meta-Stasis in support of their debut album, we simply have Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin_RingMaster Review   From the opening carnage of Bow Bells, band and album has ears and imagination gripped. The brief track is a visceral scene setter for the following …From Hell, a blood dripping, flesh ripping introduction to the murderous streets of Victorian Whitechapel and the lust of Jack The Ripper which its successor impressively runs with. The second track to a concussive ring of bells rolls out an epidemic of inciting rhythms and growling vocals within a horde of punk riffs and tenacious hooks. All those bands initially mentioned come to thoughts as the track throws its sinew loaded attitude and mischievous insanity across the senses, yet as good as a hint that they are, the track is something demonically distinct to Hell Puppets, as too it emerges, the album. The band certainly cuts straight to the chase with the best track on Theatre Of Sin but there is no downward slope to follow, even if tracks can only closely sniff at the brilliance of the full opener.

Hung, Drawn and Slaughtered is one which runs it close, its blackened soul and horror punk fury colluding in another quick slavery of infectious hooks, grooves, and unpredictability. As many songs within the album there is a familiarity to it which seduces with the charm classic evil always has, a broad smile which captivates as djent kissed riffs and death instilled voracity works away at the senses and psyche narrated by the varied squalls of vocal animus.

From that metallic tempest another in the caustic shape of Born To Die steps forward, its body a maelstrom of glam and hard rock with punk ‘n’ roll tendencies aligned to metal ferocity. It is a stomp which seizes neck muscles and vocal chords to do its bidding before Project Mayhem uncages its primal anthemic roar laying somewhere between Black Dahlia Murder and Therapy?, and Political Diarrhoea taps into the punk beds of The Damned, The Vibrators, and Misfits for its rapacious stroll and lyrical agenda which gets the job done without fuss or wastage.

From an imposing shadow cast by the classic shark attack sound, complete with nasal secretions, the deranged hardcore fuelled roar of Drugged Up Shark excites and disorientates leaving ears prey to the clutches of Halloween, the band’s Christmas song. Only kidding, but it is a track which just keeps giving from its Carpenter inspired theme and melodic coaxing through to its grungy death infused sonic rancor. The track is glorious, another revealing new nuances and defiling attributes with very listen, much as We Are The Enemy and its whirlpool of insidious death metal, bracing rock ‘n’ roll, and juicy grooving. Imagine The Sex Pistols, Turbonegro, and Venom severely shaken until their juices merge and you get a glimpse of another big highlight amongst many within Theatre of Sin.

Morbid Mirror twists and turns like a clawed seductress next, its lithe grooves and rasping vocals bringing a mix of Grumpynators and Murderdolls whilst slipping into richer blackened spite throughout, especially vocally. Once more ears and emotions are lost to Hell Puppets and kept by firstly the bestial, mordant sound of The Decunted and finally the mouth-watering discord and sonic antipathy of Face the Reaper. The track is a bad-blooded smog of noise and sonic pollution which just brings the bedlamic acts of Theatre of Sin to a fitting ravenous climax.

The album is a wonderful desecration of body and soul and if any of those bands we mentioned as hints appeal, as well as something new and dirty to the touch, and the fact the Hell Puppets is our new favourite trespass, then hopefully we have incited you to be brave and enter the Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin is available now via Hell Puppets’ Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 15/09/2015

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Jackson Firebird – Shake The Breakdown

JF_ringmasterreview

Last year saw the global release via Napalm Records of Cock Rockin’, the debut album from Australian rockers Jackson Firebird. Already stirring up eager appetites in their homeland, its riotous expanse of multi-flavoured and feistily raw rock ‘n’ roll quickly went to work on a new expanse of ears and appetites with great success. Now the duo of guitarist/vocalist Brendan Harvey and drummer/vocalist Dale Hudak unleash its successor Shake The Breakdown, another riotous explosion of blistering heavy rock that incites the instincts to have a ball.

Things get swiftly hot and heavy with opener Mohawk Bang!, the track spewing tangy grooves and firm handed rhythms from its first breath. Vocals similarly leave nothing in the locker as they shuffle with zeal on the riotous stride increasingly brewing within the rousing encounter. Southern rock with a splatter of Rage Against The Machine spicing, the track is a storming start to the release, revealing new maturity and prowess in the band’s sound without losing any of the raw tenacity and incendiary texture which gripped throughout the band’s first album.

Get Away twists and grumbles next with a dirtier air and coating to its grouchy presence. Growling somewhere between Motorhead and Nirvana, the track is a web of insatiable grooves and rapier like beats luring a just as hungry appetite from the listener before New Wave parades its heavy hard rock revelry to again anthemic effect. Its skin also has an earthy tone whilst the fingers of Harvey create blues tinged squalls of sonic enterprise to lick lips over within the adrenaline driven charge of the song.

cover_ringmasterreviewFunk inspired grooves writhe throughout the blues spawned High Love next, its rockabilly seeded shuffle alone inescapable addiction but just as mightily matched by the searing contagion spawned by the guitar and speared by the scything rhythms of Hudak. Musically and vocally the track agreeably reminds of US duo, In The Whale, leaving slavery in its tail wind for the thick delta blues bred tempting of Sin For Your Lovin to reinforce, which it does with in fine swamp style before the first of two covers on the album teases ears. The first is a version of Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls, Jackson Firebird turning it into a distortion soaked rock ‘n’ roll bellow which leaves a smile and potent satisfaction behind, if not the option to add it to the favourites within Shake The Breakdown.

Devil’s Door soon has ears and hips swinging next with a The Black Crowes meets Turbonegro swaggering within a sonic witchery, whilst Voodoo pushes those tones into even more eventful and resourceful endeavours through a creative maelstrom flirting with the recognisable essences of bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, and Pearl Jam. The song equally creates its own character and essence to powerfully entice with before stepping back for the punk ‘n’ roll devilry of Headache Mantra to have its moment of glory lined with a compelling glam metal, rap metal, and noise rock lunacy.

The slow sultry shimmer and stroll of Sick ´n Tired soaks ears next but is soon providing expulsions of heavy boned riffs and commanding rhythms which free themselves from the bluesy climate from time to time. It is an incitement loaded with ‘deceit’ too, the song expressing being “sick ´n tired of playing the blues” and confirming it with Zack de la Rocha and co inspired eruptions.

The album’s second cover is its penultimate track too, Jackson Firebird just stirring up the passion with its rousing take on the Shirley Ellis classic The Clapping Song. Grooves are as virulent and addictively flavoursome as the organic anthemic instincts of the song and verse itself are overwhelming, the union ensuring there is no escaping the breathlessness grasping lungs and body by its close, not that the spidery sonic web of the album’s title track cares as it wraps the listener in a mouth-watering fuzz ball of blues temptation and rhythmic incitement which just gets more furious, tenacious, and compelling across its fiery body.

As its predecessor, Shake the Breakdown leaves a lustful want of more whilst pushing the band’s instinctive diversity of sound and heart fuelled hunger to rock ‘n’ roll to new heights. The bottom-line is that this is another encounter which demands it should be added to that must have list of 2015.

Shake The Breakdown is available now via Napalm Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Scanner – Splat

scanner_RingMaster Review

Seeding their own devilish riots in old school punk bred both sides of the Atlantic, Pennsylvanian rockers Scanner unleash their third album to keep the aggressive roar of nostalgic and organic punk rock snarling. There is plenty more essences to the thirteen tracks making up Splat, variety as keen as the attitude fuelling the release, but ultimately album and band is raw rock ‘n’ roll in heart and temptation.

Scanner was formed in 1979 by vocalist/bassist Joe Brady and guitarist/vocalist Junnie Fortney, the band name inspired by the David Cronenberg film Scanners after Brady read about it in a monster magazine. Pretty soon the band was stirring up attention and a loyal following throughout the Central Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington D.C. areas. Their sound embraces inspirations from 50’s rock and roll, 60’s hard rock and surf, and 70’s glam and punk, honing it into the band’s own horror/ punk rock, surf and garage punk exploits. 2012 saw the current line-up come together with the addition of drummer/vocalist Troy Alwine, with a year later the trio releasing debut album One Foot In The Grave, And More Pissed Than Ever. It was an acclaimed introduction to the band for a great many and confirmation of the qualities Scanner fans had been enthusing about for the previous pair of decades. Last year was marked by the release of Exploding Heads in Harrisburg – Live Recordings From 1982, a live album of old material as well as the Monsters Axes & Choppers EP from Brady’s other project, horror rockers Losers After Midnight.

With the Brady conceived and produced 45 band strong critically acclaimed benefit compilation album Assault & BATtery, which raised funds for Bat World Sanctuary, also on the CV for 2014, Scanner now set sights on the broadest attention yet with Splat, and as soon as opener Fist in the Air has ears gripped and emotions elevated the thought is that punk fans of all ages and eras need this encounter in their lives. The track quickly ensures the listener is following its title, its opening throaty bassline the lure into familiar yet refreshing punk riffs and sonic spicery. Attitude is ablaze as the plain but inviting tones of Brady incite lyrically and in expression, his bait an easy involvement within the more calm but forceful blend of crisp rhythms and raw riffs.

_0_SPLAT_Cover_RingMaster Review   The strong start is soon overshadowed by Just Like Bela, the band’s horror punk invention lining the predatory gait and design of the song. There is a healthy whiff of Misfits/Wednesday 13 to the encounter but its own character shines through, especially with the inventive mix of vocals and hard rock enterprise which frees itself. As it eclipsed its predecessor, so the track is outdone by the outstanding Living Life to the Emptiest. The third track has the edge and air of Dead Kennedys to its belligerent and anthemic confrontation, entwining it with great slithers of melodic acidity from Fortney’s guitar and punching it through with the raunchy bass and whipping beats of Brady and Alwine respectively.

A rapaciously commanding cover of The Angels’ Straight Jacket comes next, the song given a no frills make-over and emerging with a feel of The Saints to its richly satisfying punk ‘n’ roll, before Biker provides its own seventies inspired enticement. The song takes ears and thoughts right back into the breaking storm of punk rock, its DIY feel a bracing two minutes of raw endeavour and tenacity.

   Letter to the Government spills seventies glam and southern dirt rock revelry in its political attack within a bluesy entanglement of sound and enterprise whilst Running Riot sees Scanner take on the Cock Sparrer’s street punk classic to captivating success before haunting the psyche with Ghost Song. All three tracks have ears and emotions fully enlisted but it is the last of the trio which seduces the imagination and passions most. Its surf/psychobilly climate has echoes of The Meteors and Tiger Army to it but, as with all songs, variety is a vocal part, here punk and seventies garage rock bring extra juicy hues.

The Turbonegro meets Jello Biafra smelling Queen of the Stage has the body bouncing around next whilst a broad smile and further burst of pleasure is sparked by the band’s reworking of Bowie’s Suffragette City. The song has everything which you will have enjoyed in the original but roughed up and twisted around a bit, resulting in a great version to rival any other you may have come across.

Mischief and humour is as much a healthy asset as the flavours and invention of the Scanner sound and all give a fun time in Yeah We Suck, a round-up of ‘advice’ they and most bands will have gained at one time or another. That urge to have a ball continues in the album’s title track, an infectious brawl of virulence which is for the most instrumental but does have a lyrical bounty consisting of just its title being repeated with increasing relish. It, as most before it, has a claim for best song within Splat but the favourite spot gets grasped at the last moment by closing song Kaw-Liga. A country music song written by Hank Williams and Fred Rose, and covered by the likes of Johnny and the Hurricanes, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison, and The Residents over the years, Scanner turn it into a dark rock ‘n’ roll predator. Riffs and rhythms almost stalk the senses as the outstanding blaze of vocals ebb and flow across its sinister surf spiced landscape. It is only half the adventure though, the band breaking out into cow punk devilry too, switching between both provocative contagions throughout for one riveting and thrilling romp.

The US hailing Scanner might be an unknown secret right now but they hopefully and should not be for much longer as Splat trespasses on increasing numbers of ears for an increasing awareness. Go get some is our suggestion.

Splat is out now.

RingMaster 26/08/2015

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