Murder Shoes – Self-Titled EP

Murder Shoes_Credit Photo to Aaron Fenster_01

Photo -Aaron Fenster

 

A slice of dark seduction always goes down a treat especially when brought with an imaginative smile and psyche haunting radiance. A healthy dose of rhythmic drama and melodic revelry similarly has ears and imagination more often than not seriously enthused within that kind of sultry landscape. It is a delicious mix which leaves us generally hosting a keen appreciation for its source, and in the shape of the self-titled EP from US band Murder Shoes, an especially lustful one. The five track encounter from the Minneapolis quintet is an intoxicating temptation of surf, alternative, and indie rock ‘n’ roll, a sound basking in the smouldering essences of each whilst creating its own individual inescapable seducing.

The seeds of Murder Shoes begin with the meeting of guitarists Chris White and Derek Van Gieson, seemingly at a bar where one worked and the other frequented. Conversations about music led to the pair uniting as songwriters, with a torrent of songs emerging from their complimenting ideations. A new potent factor emerged when vocalist/keyboardist Tess Weinberg was brought into the mix, followed by another spark of dynamics when drummer Elliot Manthey and bassist Tim Heinlein completed the line-up. With everything in place Murder Shoes stepped into the light and released the low key three-track Cash On Fire EP last December. It was just an appetiser for major things, a more than decent toe tester in creative waters, but in hindsight now blown totally aside by the might of the band’s new offering on Land Ski Records.

cover Derek Van Gieson

cover Derek Van Gieson

The adventure begins with Charlotte Manning and an opening temptation of sultrily toned guitar strokes aligned to smaller nibbles of their strings on ears. Van Gieson and White swiftly grip the imagination before the siren-esque lure of Weinberg begins her vocal caresses to intensify its involvement. It is a magnetic entrance but soon finding new levels of persuasion with the darker spicing brought by the throaty bass and more fiery hues to the guitar enterprise. A surf rock seducing by this time is just as fruitfully lighting body and thoughts, it all driven by the respectful and increasingly anthemic endeavour of Manthey. Like that packet of your favourite candy where good intentions in having just one becomes two, then another and subsequently the whole thing, such is the power of the song, every minute left alone listen, leaving an insatiable want for more.

And so it is with the following Maybe You Can, and the whole EP to admit the truth. It is another song rampantly persuasive and in control of the senses from its first singular guitar baiting of ears. That lone lure is soon bulging with a feisty march of beats and wrapped in fresh swarthy kisses of guitar as Weinberg produces more of her warm vocal enticing. There is a feel of The Capsules to the melodic and smouldering aspects of Murder Shoes songs whilst the unpredictable twists and invention within the encounter is like a blend of Chick Quest and Two Wounded Birds. The track continues to masterfully impose and enthral before making way for the fiery Under the Sea. You can almost feel the hot tingle of sand between toes as the surf pop persuasion dances with ears and emotions. Its sixties breath adds to the compelling character and sound of the song whilst mini crescendos even in their brief moments just breed a catchy drama to the glorious pop flirtation.

The following Sea a Little Louder brings another embrace of mellower energy but again without losing any of the gripping invention and melodic poetry of its predecessors. It is too bubbly to be classed as a piece of balladry but similarly with its alluring restraint far from being an incitement of intensive activity, a mesmeric croon the apt description for the song’s atmospheric and creative hug. It is easy to drift away with the breezy temptation, even its muscular rhythm saunter and the little bursts of climatic endeavour only empowering its immersive qualities.

Final track In Your Bed Or On a Train has limbs back in a frenzy and emotions fired up with its fusion of old school rock ‘n’ roll, sweltering surf ambience, and indie rock unpredictability. Think a modern day Wanda Jackson fronting a Morningwood type proposition and you sense why the EP’s closing offering is so irresistible. Rolling beats from Manthey again provide the resourceful and unrelenting wave of rhythmic enslavement which cores most songs whilst guitars and bass spin sticky darkly hued webs of adventure. Shrouded in the almost celestial tones of Weinberg, it is an exhilarating proposition, as the whole EP, and if the flavours we most mentioned, surf, indie etc. bring a lick of the lips, you are looking at potentially your favourite release of the year.

The Murder Shoes EP is available now digitally and on CD via Land Ski Records @ http://murdershoes.bandcamp.com/

http://www.murdershoesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-Shoes/331873790352913

RingMaster 05/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

The Cabana Kids – The Birds & The Bees

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Picture yourself lying on a sun kissed golden beach, a warm caressing breeze and similar thoughts coaxing the body whilst a tall glass of your favourite cold liquid manna satisfies the heat inside. The only thing left once the shades are applied is to find something to seduce the ears. That is where The Cabana Kids and their tantalising EP, The Birds & The Bees, is a forceful suggestion. The five song release is an indie pop /surf rock moulded captivation, a gentle yet imposing persuasion which swiftly suggests that this is a band with the potential to excite and thrill on a global scale.

The Cabana Kids is a New York based sextet which has been stirring up a buzz locally and further afield with their aural charm offensive enthrallingly masquerading as songs. This has led to an eager anticipation for the band’s first EP, no doubt egged on by the band’s recent acclaimed debut single Just Let Me Know. The song gave all the hints and temptation needed to spark an excited wait for The Birds & The Bees, something the Small Plates Records released EP rewards with its riveting and bewitching presence. Unveiling songs seeded in all matters of the heart, the release is a lingering evocative flight of melodies and harmonies aligned to pungent rhythms, not an instant raging fire for the passions but a smouldering proposition which hangs around tempting away far longer than most intensive blazes.

Before we start note that we are going by the song order on the promo sent through to us but it has been hinted that might have changed since. Anyway here the EP opens with Mexico, a song which initially wrong foots with its vintage croon 29yh84pof keys. Like the organ music which used to open up theatre and cinema shows back in the old days, so my Dad told me, the song’s entrance has a nostalgic breath which is swiftly intriguing whilst stopping thoughts in their tracks. It is a clever introduction which is only enhanced as the voice of Hannah Morris adds her emotive, again old school effected tones to the increasingly potent tempting. Acoustic guitars and gentle beats link up soon after, as well as a sultry melodic electrified twang and the strong voice of Joseph Lee for a country-esque, sixties surf balladry brought on a swaying gait. There is no escaping the delicious retro feel of the song, with the dual vocals, as proven time and again in the subsequent tracks, a striking and pleasing texture but only one in many provocative layers within each individual recipe.

The more energetic and equally magnetic You and Me steps in next, its stroll still relaxed and reserved but with a small swagger to the rhythms and dual vocals so it bounces along with a virulent catchiness. Keys and guitars radiate sparking designs of inventive and colourful enterprise whilst the slightly darker tones of the song bubble nicely through the pulsating bass and accompanying beats. It is the vocals though which steal the show, the vivacity and smile from both sides a hug to bask in whilst dipping imaginations feet into the melodic waters around them.

The bands single Just Let Me Know lifts its rhythmic and energetic feet a little higher again, its inviting canter wrapped in expressive hues of guitar whilst Lee adds a fifties tone and resonance to the emerging treat. Taking a breath the song breaks into a hot wind of surf and indie rock contagion, thoughts of Morningwood and Two Wounded Birds creeping forward as the song further blossoms into an enthralling flame of rock pop. It is very easy to see why the song alone sparked the attention and interest in the band and The Birds & The Bees, the glorious incitement just rock ‘n’ roll in its purest melodic form.

New single Oh Lorelei is set to be received in the same feverish manner as its predecessor you can only suspect, just as the EP ultimately one assumes. The song is a gripping weave of fifties and modern ingenuity. At some points it enchants with a Bobby Rydell like tempting, in others with a Surf City spiced revelry and all aligned to a whiff of The Strokes through the song. It mounts up though to something unique and fascinating and another gripping highlight.

The EP ends with the dreamier presence of Sortida, a tender glaze of sound which takes on a new persona and addictiveness through an infectious thumping and the siren-esque harmonies of Morris which embrace the senses with beguiling radiance. The darkest song on the release but also a beacon of sonic and vocal beauty, it is a scintillating close to a mesmeric encounter.

Though still early steps, The Birds & The Bees easily suggests that The Cabana Kids has the potential and invention to make a big statement in surf and melodic rock over coming horizons, a thought hard to contain the excitement over thanks to their excellent EP.

The Birds & The Bees EP is available now via Small Plates Records @ http://smallplates.bigcartel.com/product/the-cabana-kids-the-birds-the-bees

https://www.facebook.com/thecabanakids

RingMaster 08/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Mr. Strange – The Wonderful World Of Weird

Mr. Strange promo

Just to prove that insanity can be the sweetest potent seduction The Wonderful World Of Weird is here to exploit and uncover the darkest secrets of your mind whilst travelling the exotic and dangerous mental halls of its creator Mr. Strange. The former frontman of the UK’s greatest still to be truly discovered musical mutants The Shanklin Freak Show, though he is still healthily involved in the band, Mr. Strange voraciously stalks the senses and emotions with his fourth album. It is a release which soundtracks a bedlam of sound and adventure from a quite maniacal imagination.

The Isle Of Wight hailing songwriter/producer/vocalist/musician began his musical exploration as ‘The Mad DJ’ in 1998 before emerging as Mr. Strange in 2006. He founded circus rock/steampunk band The Shanklin Freak Show in 2003, guiding the band as songwriter and vocalist up until starting an extended break from performing live at the end of 2011. Alongside The Shanklin Freak Show albums including Act II – The Light Fantastic of 2009 and Welcome To The Show of 2011, a few other projects, and producing a couple of albums by Global Citizen, Mr. Strange unleashed his solo musical rapaciousness. Sounds From The Asylum came first to be followed in 2011 by the releases of The Fall and Freakshow, the last a 38 track retrospective album chronicling the songs that he wrote under the Shanklin Freak Show name  which included new, unreleased, and re-recorded or re-mixed tracks. Now the sanity puppeteer steps forward again with the magnificent temptation of The Wonderful World Of Weird, the finest Mr. Strange musical and mental examination yet.

With more flavours than a giant box of Jelly Bellies, the album is a dramatic and exhilarating flight through the darkest yet 555928_584429381594861_1695733989_nmagnetically and vibrantly compelling mind of the fictional character of its creator, employing everything and anything from industrial and steampunk to gothic rock and progressive metal, and that is just scratching the surface. With many of the tracks co-written with Gary ‘Stench’ Mason, The Shanklin Freak Show guitarist and provider of the majority of the guitar invention across the release, the album immediately lures in senses and imagination with the opening spoken narrative leading in the title track. It instantly intrigues as the scene setting premise strolls into the irresistible stomp of the song. Rhythms bounce around with a heavy mischievous gait matched by the electro and bass taunting whilst the guitar casts lines of sonic and melodic bait which is pure infectious toxicity. Best described as Dr. Jekyll meets ICP as early Marilyn Mansion helps Victor Frankenstein create aural life for them to toy with upon a set designed by Willy Wonka, the track is a delicious fascination and the first irresistible hint of the lunacy to come.

Creating the World is an expansion to the landscape previously crafted with a gentle psychedelic ambience washing the dawning scenery. It is a mesmeric, almost meditative soaring of harmonies and guitar elegance with rubs of dub and scratching teasing the riveting flight. The seducing continues right up to the doorway into the Psycho Surfing-A-Go-Go, one of the major pinnacles upon the album. Again as between numerous songs, the narrator lays down an invitation before the surf rock contagion drops its shoulders and swerves through the ear with irrepressible virulence. The grooves enslave the passions within seconds whilst the rhythmic dance only builds a cage for rapture to breed within as fire kissed keys add smouldering lures to the hot and epidemically addictive romp of sonic lava. The song is one of the best heard anywhere this year; a beach party in the mind of Hunter S. Thompson hosted by The Cramps and The Bomboras with Two Wounded Birds, B52s, and The Revillos adding extra entertainment.

From the dark sinister realm of The World’s Dark Heart, Mr. Strange lurks in the steampunk/industrial graced world of Metropolis 2984, a track which equally extends some classic metal and psyche sculpted imagination to its captivating persuasion. There is a swing and energy to the track which infects feet and emotions but equally an underlying dark tone beneath the celestially soaring harmonies which suggest more 1984 than Fritz Lang. Again the album and artist has the listener in a tight grip of pleasure and suasion, though it never slipped from the first breath of the album to be fair, which tightens with firstly Clockwork Man and explodes through Fire. The first of the two stalks the ears with the drama and theatre of a Tim Burton vision sculpted by the melodic ingenuity of Danny Elfman, though it has to be noted that every song despite the references sound like no one but Mr. Strange. This masterful manipulation of the senses and passions is soon left in the shade by its successor, the track another major peak in nothing but highs. The song is the closest to a Shanklin Freak Show tune that the album gets, its sexy tango pulsating mouth-watering foreplay for the beats and funk bred keys to add intoxicating spice to. There is something familiar to the hooks and stomp of the song aside from the earlier comparison, but it is indefinable and wholly galvanic.

Through the noir shadows of Don’t Stay (Where the Dead Ones Lay) with its jazz smooching funk lined temptation and the excellent gothic majesty of White Rabbit, the song reminding of The Damned at times, The Wonderful World Of Weird intensifies its resistance free toxin whilst the electro swing heart of Exile and the psychedelia soaked gothic tempting of Anti-Christ only spark further flames of lustful submission to the call of the release and its psychotic beauty. Every song is a wanton temptress in whatever guise and sonic clothing they frequent, and though admittedly hopes and expectations were of big things from Mr. Strange on past successes, the album left those assumptions insultingly short of the brilliant reality.

Completed by the classically crafted Journeys End, an enchanting epilogue if not to the levels of what came before, The Wonderful World Of Weird is pure certifiable aural manna. The CD version also has a track exclusive to its version, a very enjoyable cover of the Dr. Steel track We Decide. The able shows that there is only one Mr. Strange and his form of weird, one you can charter a sensational cruise through via our favourite album of the year, The Wonderful World Of Weird, that is if you are brave or eccentric enough.

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com/

10/10

RingMaster 28/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Two Wounded Birds: To Be Young

Completely mesmerised and thrilled by their Midnight Wave single of last year which included the outstanding song All We Wanna Do, a permanent soft spot for UK rock band Two Wounded Birds was created. Now with the release of their self titled debut album the Margate quartet bring the perfect invitation to it with the free download release of new single from the album To Be Young.

     Two Wounded Birds is one of those bands which once heard are indelibly etched into the heart from thereafter. Even if the band does not ignite an enflamed passion within for their sounds there is a knowing understanding and mutual respect for their pop flavoured rock n roll. Comprising of Johnny Danger, Ally Blackgrove, Joe Stevens, and James Shand, Two Wounded Birds have a hypnotic elegance and infectious grace to their music which recalls the simplistic pop of the past with a rock passion and eagerness of today. As the new single To Be Young cradles itself within the ear with its shadowed melodic charm there is the thought that if those renowned teen angst rock n roll compilations like Lemon Popsicle were born today this quartet would be the perfect lead.

From the moment the deep resonating twang of the guitar opens the track with its stirring siren melody submission is instant before the lure of the song. The track breathes with an emotive sigh and deep passion elevated by the fine expressive vocals of Danger and quite delicious pulsating dark bass lines. As it caresses the ear with its sonic and firm touch To Be Young simply leaves one in full captivation which the more the vocals and guitars croon the senses whilst the rhythms inspire a growing haunting air, the more one is pulled under its rich and lush surface.

Like a merger of The Beach Boys, Wah, The Smiths and tones of Chris Isaak on an excursion through the mind of Tarantino, the single is outstanding and an irresistible invitation to enter their album, the next point of call on our itinerary here. Two Wounded Birds are a band which will win and hold your hearts with care and imagination; they just need you to make the first move.

https://www.facebook.com/twowoundedbirds

RingMaster 27/06/2012

copyright RingMaster: Myfreecopyright

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