Rat Fancy – Suck A Lemon EP

There is nothing artificial about the saccharine sound of Californian trio Rat Fancy or indeed excessively sweet yet a particular tooth is still a requirement for their sugary melodies and the intimate affability of their music. An instinctive almost sour look at life and its fake lures, often found in the Los Angeles climate the band springs from, ensures things never get too sickly and a similar underlying discordance to their music which ensures intrigue and unpredictability is a potent essence.  It all comes nicely together within Suck A Lemon; the band’s new captivating EP.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Diana Barraza (ex-Sweater Girls), guitarist/keyboardist Gregory Johnson, and drummer Gavin Glidewell and formed last year, Rat Fancy has already blessed 2017 with a trio of tracks via their Bandcamp. Each has been a fresh breeze of their shoegaze glazed indie pop now blowing even more eventfully within Suck A Lemon. Across the EP, the threesome resemble a fusion of eighties band Weekend and The Pixies with a light Belly-esque scent to it all; a mix emerging as something deceptively familiar yet distinct to Rat Fancy.

The release opens with I Can’t Dance To The Smiths Anymore and swiftly has ears drawn to its guitar jangle and the sweet tones of Barraza. Keys equally cast an amiable lure as the guitar weaves a magnetic twee toned melody; it all uniting in an infectiously lively serenade at times reminding of another British band from times past, The Freshies.

It is a bright and tempting start which is built upon by the more boisterous exploits of Five Fingers. Rhythms are a tenacious guide into the raw melody woven web of the song, everything from voice and sharp words to a wandering keys bred warble offering enticing hooks taking the EP to another level in no time.

It is a height backed up by the title track, the first of two versions found within Suck A Lemon. This first take has an energetic swing to its melodic carousel and bare sonic dance; a rawness which exposes all of their alluring attributes with honesty as Barraza’s vocals again captivate.

Beyond Belief is a gentle frank caress in sound and emotion with a smouldering melancholy in its charm while About You seduces with a Young Marble Giants like minimalism and beauty which with an emerging darker snarl to the guitars, takes best track honours. Both songs leave intrigue with a greedier focus; the second especially memorable even in its brief tenure of ears.

The EP closes with an equally impressive offering in a slower version of Suck A Lemon and boy does the already strong song blossom in this alternative guise. It is a siren of ears and imagination, so much more than simply a tempering of its earlier energy with Rat Fancy finding a richer presence and allure in its slimmer but more radiant variation.

Rat Fancy make a proper introduction to themselves with the Suck A Lemon EP, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter offering the promise of adventurously bright times ahead with the band.

The Suck A Lemon EP is out now through HHBTM Records and available @ https://ratfancy.bandcamp.com/album/suck-a-lemon and http://hhbtm.com/item.php?item_id=639

http://www.ratfancyla.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ratfancyla    https://twitter.com/ratfancyla

Pete RingMaster 12/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Capsules – Northern Lights & Southern Skies

The Capsules

If you are looking for a soundtrack for those sultry summer nights where you lay on the grass staring up at the stars contemplating then Northern Lights & Southern Skies from US electro pop band The Capsules is a more than suitable applicant for the position. It is not an album to ignite any hungry fires in the passions but as an emotive colour for your thoughts and feelings at that moment in time it certainly provides a satisfying backdrop.

Hailing from Kansas originally, now Dallas based, The Capsules emerged out of the band Shallow formed by Julie and Jason Shields, the pair a couple in high school who went on to marry and unite musically. Drummer Kevin Trevino was brought in for the new incarnation of their musical creativity and the trio soon drew strong attention and acclaim through their sounds, recordings, and shows, including fans such as SpongeBob SquarePants creator Steven Hillenburg who asked them to write a song for the show. Northern Lights & Southern Skies comes after three previously successful and well received albums, and shows alongside the likes of The Flaming Lips, Garbage, Mercury Rev, and Low. It sees a different emphasis rather than direction to their music with the band moving away more from guitar sculpted songs to electronic and keys bred persuasions. At times the album is mesmeric company, with the distinct vocals of Julie a warm and eager embrace on the ear, but also it can drift over the senses without any lingering impact, though those moments still wrap a pleasing warm evocative arm around the reflective shoulder.

Opening track Across The Sky instantly brings an eager but restrained stroll of electro pop energy and warm atmospherics 579064_10151282738766346_27646499_naround the ear, the whispering almost stark air of the song a background to the throaty bass enticement and electronic shimmering around the vocals of Julie. Suggested here and reinforced across the album, there is a bewitching lure to her voice which seduces like a mix of Alison Statton (Young Marble Giants/Weekend) and Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), and musically at times the release also offers glimpses of their bands. It is an enchanting sound which glides through the songs with a sultry narrative to unite with thoughts and emotions whilst musically, especially on this first song, the band envelope her potent delivery with equally persuasive sounds.

     From The Start steps forward next with the bass of Jason a singular lure alongside the voice of Julie before things open up slightly. As heated guitar sculpting lights the smouldering croon of the song and electro snatches tease the gentile ambience it is a pleasing sway of invention which is soon left in its place by the fiery Our Apocalypse. This track sizzles with electro electricity whilst rhythmic provocation is firm if not forceful, but once more the vocals weave their charms around the evocative suggestiveness to offer sirenesque bait from within the song. As with all it is not a song which lays the deepest hooks into the passions but still easily commands attention and full keen focus whilst in its vibrant company.

Through the likes of the cantering With Signs Repeating with its fluidity in creating graceful melodic flames around rhythmic protests, the excellent and tantalising Time Will Only Tell with again the bass and drums framing the melodic temptation with understanding and punchy appetite reminiscent of The Cure, and the post punk tasting Test Drive The Other Side, the album continues to engage the emotions with a sure and confident temptation, the last two of the three highlights of the release.

Where It All Begins is another excellent venture through sky bound exploration, melodic and vocal harmonies an angelic kiss across the irresistibility of the contagious swing and swagger of what is the best song on Northern Lights & Southern Skies. It leaves the senses and passions ignited for arguably the only real time, though consistently the album does leave nothing but energised reactions and pleasure in its wake, the engaging All At Once a definite creator of strong responses to confirm that claim.

Closing on the emotive sophistication of Magnetic Fields, the album provides a more than enriching experience which is easy to return to and pass on to others. The Capsules have not produced a release to leave you burning with fevered desire but for those warm teasing steamy evenings it makes for a very rewarding encounter.

http://www.thecapsules.com/

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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