The Vintage Calvinos – An Invitation To Infamy

Being engulfed in fascination for something is one of life’s pleasures and stepping into the kaleidoscopic world of An Invitation To Infamy is certainly both. The debut album from The Vintage Calvinos is an absorbing tapestry of sound and suggestion loaded with observation, insight, and a creative devilment which just gets right under the skin.

The band is the creation of song writer/bassist/vocalist David Baird who lured in some of the finest Scottish musicians to the Aberdeen based project and indeed, in the case of backing singer Xavia, literally just passing by talent of drawn to the pied piper-esque sounds coming through the windows of The Anatomy Rooms where the band was rehearsing. Together they have created a web of temptation in skilfully conjured word and multi-flavoured music which has the body swaying and imagination swinging in joyful enterprise and contemplation. From pop to indie, rock to folk and a host of numerous other spices, An Invitation To Infamy is a beautiful collusion drawn from the hearts of a collective of musical adventurers.

The instantly compelling rub of drama soaked strings as Prelude leaps upon ears and imagination sets the scene and tone of things to come, its vocal compulsion subsequently slipping into a warm slow waltz with a flowing energy which soon has hips leaning to and fro as guitars and strings engage with the romancing keys in entwining dulled yet potent percussive beats. The forcibly engaging piece leads into the waiting arms of Last Tango which opens with melodic drama somewhat akin to War of The Worlds. Its rich strains soon twist into a rolling stroll with more infectiousness than a viral cold and a net of creative intrigue which has ears and thoughts enslaved. Baird’s great vocals are more than matched by the backing of Xavia, both wrapped in the melodic dexterity of Paul Davidson’s guitar. With a second never wasted on predictability, the track is superb, almost reason enough alone to accept An Invitation To Infamy.

So Many People follows, the buzz of life breeding a slow carnival march, one seemingly infusing the tiredness of perpetually imposing life with the joy of being. Brass blows with an enticing clamour as rhythms throb, a welcoming cacophony parting for the melancholic spicing of Baird’s vocals and the stirring scythes of strings and in turn uniting for a creative throng which just magnetises the senses. Like a sonic pagan scented Lowry composition with a broader outlook, the track utterly seduces before new single You Are Always on My Mind infests the psyche. The striking coaxing of Mitsuki Takayama’s violin instantly grips, a hold tightening as the song evolves into a sixties pop scented canter. There is no resistance to its teasing temptations and lively catchiness, the quickly involved antics of body and vocal chords swift evidence. Davidson’s wall of keys is just as irresistible along with the theatre of strings and the rhythmic saunter of Baird’s bass and Fraser Peterkin’s drum beats.

The indie seduction of This Handsome Boy absorbs attention next. It is a track with a touch of Lightning Seeds to it at certain moments and pure pop contagion throughout led by the golden tones of Iona Macdonald and warm surges of brass expelled by trumpeter Bill Thompson, trombonist Denis Webb, and saxophonist Dave Carter. Sometimes there is something about it which feels quite familiar yet for no obvious reason as it floods ears with instinctive pleasure.

The album’s first single, No Room at The Inn released a couple of weeks ago, steps in to captivate straight after with its gentle stroll. Its proposal is low key, compared to other songs, but rich invitation into the album’s broadening musical and lyrical craft while Clouds smoulders with elegance and undiluted captivation. At times it sounds like a blend of Steely Dan and Weekend, a wistful seduction with intensity in its heart and an energetic adventure in its nature.

Through the haunting entrance and golden incestuous intimacy of Alice and the minimalistic but rich stirring of Lost, band and album continue to bewitch with adventurous diversity and creative revelry. Both tracks simply enthral whilst manipulating the body before Teardrops in My Eyes swaggers in with sorrowful melodies and sinful energy to reinforce the submission of ears and appetite before The Vintage Calvinos.

The dusky rock ‘n’ roll of Rock Dreams Part 2 is like a soundtrack to many of our musical upbringings and warm homage to its kings and quite irresistible as too after a magnetic instrumental reprise of No Room at The Inn, is closing track The Beautiful and the Damned. A shadow draped ballad to the lost and the lonely with the darkest outcome, the song is simply sultry aural beauty epitomising the craft and debut of The Vintage Calvinos.

With a host of other striking individual contributions involved in the collective creation of An Invitation To Infamy, all deserving recognition, the album is one of the year’s most essential encounters. The first listen is gold but only an appetizer to the delights and unbridled pleasures which follow with every subsequent union between ear and sound.

An Invitation To Infamy is released October 27th on Stereogram Recordings with the single You Are Always On My Mind out October 20th.

The album’s launch is to be held at Under The Hammer, North Silver Street, Aberdeen on Saturday 28th October 2017 from 2pm.

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Digital Diktator: From The Edge Of The Universe

The War Of The Worlds template takes on a more salacious and vindictive depth with the debut release from Digital Diktator in the shape of the venomous From The Edge Of The Universe. The EP is a striking and destructive violation upon the senses and rational thought which is intrusive, challenging, and perpetually compulsive. Most of all it is very impressive and even though one feels like they are caught within and witnessing a digital car crash such the intense and impactful manipulation it makes on thought and emotions it is equally very satisfying and rewarding.

Consisting of Digital Diktator (Programming/Keyboards/Backing Vocals/Drums), Dynamic Statue (Vocals), and Rösti (Guitars/Keyboards/Programming), the band with From The Edge Of The Universe bring evil and destiny into our midst through seven tracks which strip all areas of metal, industrial, and music as a whole to re-invent and twist into their own vindictive sounds. The release brings forth a tale making it part of the plundering and provocative assimilation of the senses. Yes it is all steeped in sci-fi and distinct origins found in HG Wells, Star Trek, and many more things fiction and some would have us believe as fact, but it is all very enjoyable and some of the more striking and imaginative sounds heard for a while.

The opening Intro (The Arrival Of The Mother) marks the arrival and the central point for the tale to wrap around. The following first full track It Began On Mars soon adds to its weave of electronic sounds an intimidating muscular pulse to begin a scourge on the ear. The track is a flurry of samples, twisting sounds, and switching rhythms and pace to keep one constantly intrigued and involved. Within the song itself there is an open diversity which is soon apparent across the release itself, again to ensure nothing is ever expected or presumed.

The unravelling story within From The Edge Of The Universe we will leave for your investigation, it is a full journey that needs as much attention and focus as the great sounds surrounding it, and is as rewarding. Journey Within shows the diversity of the release, its pulsating flowing breath an enveloping blend of dark electro, ebm, and industrial manipulation. The vocals take on a harsh gait which takes a short time to find an attachment but also makes a contrasting entity adding depth to the vibrant energy driven sounds.

The Window and This is You continue the unpredictable and agreeable creativity. The first has a gothic tone to its tumultuous rhythms and darkened halls with excellent clean vocals showing as much thought goes into them as the music and their connection to the theme within. The second of the two took the longest to get thoughts and the ear around, its classic rock guitar stripping the senses alongside the harsh pit borne spite, and to be honest still has not found a seamless bond with the senses but within the journey and overall EP composition brings a definite important and striking element to the whole premise of the EP.

The excellent Time To Depart is easily the best track on From The Edge Of The Universe, an insistent and rampaging littering of splintered beats and shards of acidic melodies upon the senses. The song has a force and inventiveness reminding of the recent Cynical Existence album, wrapping around the heart with a mesmeric shower of melodic light whilst poking and puncturing it with violating evil stained fingers of intensity.

As the closing Outro (Of Ancients, Gods and Us) departs the release leaves behind a depleted and thoroughly satisfied… one almost wants to say victim. From The Edge Of The Universe is an excellent release which though it will not find a welcoming home every where will more than give all those into inventive and experimental industrial, harsh ebm, and dark electro, a pleasing and intriguing time.

Ringmaster 01/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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