Loom – Self Titled

Photo by Kurt Fairbairn

With quite simply raw rock ‘n’ roll nurturing its heart, the debut album from UK band Loom takes ears through every shade of punk rock you can imagine within its ten track confines. It is an adventure which has the imagination fired up, ears burning with ardour, and aggressive tendencies bubbling to the surface in a striking and rousing incitement of a self-titled proposal. Each song as suggested reveals a new aspect in its furious landscape yet brews a united character distinct to a band and release which just commands attention.

Leamington Spa hailing, the trio of Tarik Badwan, Matt Marsh, and Joshua Fitzgerald took little time in attracting ears and praise with their early releases including a pair of well-received EPs within their first year. The second of 2013 featured six covers of songs from the strongest inspirations for the band in its early days, The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Pixies, GG Allin, Misfits, and Warsaw. Alongside the other encounters, it sparked support from the likes of Zane Lowe and Daniel P Carter at BBC Radio 1as well as laying the first steps in a springboard for Loom live to support The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park and tour the UK and Germany with artists such as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Queen Kwong, and Turbowolf.

The band’s first album is not slow in suggesting those influences in its multi-flavoured roar, as mentioned each song distinct from the next but there is a vein of unique Loom-ness running through all which we would suggest goes beyond the cohesion of aggression suggested by its press release. It opens up with Lice, a sonic itch you just cannot scratch enough to escape from. Its initial glaze to an instantly robust sound has a gothic/indie rock spicing, coming over like a blend of Leitmotiv and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club before its grouchy rock ‘n’ roll instincts burst free. It is a glorious nagging of the senses and imagination taking magnetic twists along its contagious enmity of sound and attitude.

The great start continues as firstly Hate imposingly shimmers with electronic radiance upon grunge bred antipathy to be followed by the rousing exploits of Get A Taste. There is a whiff of Pere Ubu for these ears to the first song but a thicker Nirvana like causticity to its nature and again niggling potency. Embracing garage punk confrontation too, the track stirs ears and appetite with ease, a triumph matched by its successor with its old school punk meets seventies garage rock growl as demandingly catchy as it is openly crotchety.

Grunge colludes with post punk for the feistily prowling Leopard, guitars winding spicy tendrils lined with delicious discord around ears as rhythms reveal a rapacious nature to their drive before Salt entangles the imagination in a fusion of Joy Division post punk and the irritable punk rock of The Stooges with just a tang of psych rock bewitchment. It is an enthralling mix opening new aspects with each passing flick of a chord and sonic detour yet throughout a fluid tart snarl never deviating from its quarrel.

Seasick bawls as its stalks ears with predacious intent straight after; indie rock merging with raw hardcore ill-temper in a track which steals the passions within seconds. Vocals are as unpredictable and instinctively volatile as the sonic flames cast by the guitar and indeed the rhythmic jabbing around them. With the bass a brooding threat within the tempestuous joy crowding and seducing ears, the track makes a big play for best track glory but is quickly challenged by the muggy grunge venting of Bleed On Me and eclipsed by the glorious dark deeds of the band’s latest single, Nailbender. The latter is a compelling caliginous seduction of gothic and punk metal; like Type O Negative fused with Descendents and 1919 yet still emerging as something unique and gripping to Loom.

The punk grouse of Barbed Wire grabs something from all decades of punk since the sixties whilst in finishing up the album Slowly Freezing Heart crawls across the senses in a kaleidoscope of sonic toxicity and shadow loaded rhythms united with vocal psychosis. Both tracks are treats greed gets the better of composure over while bringing one superb album to a memorable and rousing end. Listening to Loom you get the feeling that the band creates on instinct, not searching for a sound but letting it find them and infusing their music with its own unique character. The album reminds of numerous artists across its riveting body but never comes over as anything other than the offspring of Loom, the first of many more belligerently sculpted and physically visceral gems we hope and suspect.

The Loom album is released May 19th via Silent Cult across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Loomband/    https://twitter.com/loomband

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hellrad – Things Never Change

FRONT COVER_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

The sound of US sludge metallers Hellrad is like toxic lava. It crawls over and consumes ears, blisters the senses, and devours all before it in an atmosphere of unbridled hostility. It also, with weighty persuasion and hellacious intensity, leaves the listener basking in a network of scorching, seductive grooves and intimidating rhythmic slavery, it all colluding for one fierce volcanic treat.

Hellrad began in the August of 2014; the Philadelphia quartet formed by guitarist Mike Hook (Eat The Turnbuckle, Bad Luck 13) and drummer Robert Lepor (Brian Candle). The pair swiftly enlisted bassist Herb Jowett (Javelina, Lick Golden Sky), and with an album’s worth of tracks emerging from their songwriting, completed the line-up with vocalist Dirty Dave Repenning (Off Duty Death, Warsaw). Their sound is as dirty as it is ugly, as angry as it is uncompromising, but aspects aligned to a violent creativity which emerges as wholly contagious. Recording Things Never Change at Permanent Hearing Damage Studios with Steve Roche, Hellrad have unleashed a proposal which is not quite a game changer but it is certainly an uncomfortable and uncompromising fresh breath to the sludge/stoner scene.

From the uncaging of its opener Street Zombies, the album reveals depths of sound and a cast of textures which are as much ravenously doomy as they are voraciously noise rock inspired, a blend perpetually brewing in a cauldron of sludge predation. The first track comes in as a warning siren, its portentous air sparking ears and imagination though their expectancy is soon engulfed in a lumbering and slowly brewing tempest of binding grooves and scything rhythms. It is a stalking rather than an onslaught, yet it has the intensity of a sonic tsunami smothering and stirring up everything in its path. The vocals of Repenning are just as rapaciously delivered, a squall of ire and emotion and as addictive as the roar growing around him. Lyrically little is given away by his raw delivery across the release but his psyche ripping presence is all about texture and emotion, and in that he, as the webbing of enterprise around him, is primal magnetism.

The following My Jihad’s Against My Mind keeps the impressive and intrusive start going, its rage and intent a much more urgent and volatile persecution of body and thoughts. Riffs and rhythms again create an unforgivingly caustic canvas for grooves and vocals to spread their almost rancorous bait, and once more the victim is blissfully immersed in echoes of a cancerous world and destruction. The closing tonic of stoner bred lures of guitar, rather than a respite to the torturous adventure seeding them, is the flowing link into another merciless ravaging. Dope Fiend Jesus manages to be even more raw and filth clad than its predecessor but also more seductive with its flirtatious melodic enticing and passages of mellow aggression. It is deliciously fearsome stuff carrying the whiffs of classic stoner and sludge bands but quickly corrupting and twisting them into something rabidly distinct to Hellrad.

Homegrown Terrorist is one of those sonic and social statements you do not ignore. Everything from its opening sample to the insidious sprawl of Repenning’s tones and the barbarous presence of the bass to the violent swings of Lepor, create an unshakeable trespass physically and emotionally. Its brutish incitement is only enhanced by the venomous sonic vines unleashed by Hook, their virulent enticement, rather than a temper to the existing savagery, an incitement to more threat. It is a template just as addictive in the hard-line predatory saunter of Fucked Up, another unrushed violation which waits until it is ready before unleashing a scourge of sizzling sonic enterprise and poisonous intent bred in an exacting embrace of intense rock ‘n’ roll.

The rhythmic nature of 15 Years and Counting is at times almost meditative, certainly hypnotic though there is no peace or calm to be found in the ruinous landscape of the song. The infectious and anthemic bait of Lepor is only reinforced by the carnivorous tones of Jowett’s strings, both forging the irresistible dark spine within the tightly entwined mix of melodic enticing and inhospitable noise pollution. The track enthrals and thrills before making way for the groove fest of Smoke More Crack. The salacious slab of rabid, dirt spawned rock ‘n’ roll is the final confirmation of the immense and addiction forging properties of band, album, and their severe concoction of sound.

Things Never Change is a punishing treat and Hellrad the nastiest, most vicious exponents of aural castigation, and we for one cannot get enough.

Things Never Change is available now digitally and on CD @ http://hellrad1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Hellradphiladelphia666 

RingMaster 24/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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