Austerity – Anarcho Punk Dance Party

There is something wrong with the year if the creative landscape of Brighton has not provided one major moment for us to greedily devour and 2019 has not let us down. Not only is the long awaited debut album from The Gaa Gaas finally here there is the introduction of Austerity to lustfully feast upon courtesy of their first album, Anarcho Punk Dance Party.

Bred from the discourteous instincts of post punk and anarcho-punk, the Austerity sound is a virulent fusion of numerous flavours honed into confrontations which bite as they manipulate as they infest with viral precision. It is a proposition which would easily have made a major impact back in the time when many of the band’s inspirations were in full roar but firmly is an incitement of the now as fresh and compelling as anything around. Those influences include the likes of Gang Of Four, Swell Maps, The Fall and early Devo, all flavours which appear as strong spicing within Anarcho Punk Dance Party to enhance its very own inimitable antics.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Vincent, bassist/vocalist Stu Chaney, and drummer Sam Luck, Austerity have no qualms about attacking the political and social injustices and bigotry bred issues infesting the UK and world right now. Every track is a blatant attack and snarl but each also a puppeteer on jerking bodies and instincts to defy.

The album opens up with the increasingly clamorous Aaaaaaaaarrrrrghhh, the vocal pairing of Vincent and Chaney painting the stark background of the people betraying political landscape with increasing venom matched in sonic dissonance. It is a sonic trespass which demands and received full attention but a start from which band, album, and listener really get down to business.

We’re Not Evolved follows, bounding in on a rhythmic enticement and swiftly uncaging irregular and urgent dynamics spawned by the threesome. That Gang Of Four reference is a quick thought within the track, The Redskins arising through its punk challenge and The Three Johns in its sonic contortions. Even so the track stands bold as something individual to Austerity, a bruising and seductive blend which drags limbs and thoughts to life before Occupation unveils its own unique shuffle. Like a mix of Shockheaded Peters, Essential Logic, The Slits and Frauds, the track twists and turns snapping at ears and the country.

Fiddling with and infesting appetite and imagination from its first breath, Nice Guy needs mere seconds to get under the skin, bass and guitar hungrily picking through defences with their rapacious enterprise as Luck’s beats tenaciously nag. Vincent’s tones and words only add to the captivation and provocation, words stalking sexual predators and their delusion on their exploits. A song you can guide to specific protagonists and broad misogyny equally, it unleashes an infernally addictive swing easily devoured before White Men courts similar devotion with its corruptive dance. As in Occupation previously, the sax of Vicky Tremain is compelling additional incitement and pleasure to the song and its Artery/Fire Engines lined ingenuity.

As Rinse And Repeat flirts with and engages Gang Of Four hued instincts in its dextrous moves and The City Is Dead revels in punk causticity for its raucous holler it is fair to say we only found greedier appetite for the album which was only further intensified as Glass House had us twisting like a pretzel in the making with its rhythmic manoeuvres whilst roaring with its vocal and angular sonic tension lined turbulence. All three tracks explore a fresh aspect to the Austerity sound within a distinct character increasingly individual to the band though the trio are soon eclipsed by the outstanding One Man Terror Dance. If we suggest there is a bit of The Mekons, a slither of Delta 5, and a pinch of World Domination Enterprises in its creative theatre you may get a sense of its glory.

Herded provides a slightly calmer moment to only get further hooked up on Anarcho Punk Dance Party though it too is an animated rhythmic shuffle from the off with increasing volatility in its breath and busy agitation while Capital springs a virulent dance of fertile manipulation again reminding of The Fire Engines as well as the likes of Tones On Tails, Big Black, and Cabaret Voltaire whilst setting its own uniqueness.

Lambrini Anarchist concludes the release, a track to turn any dance floor into a feral playground whilst provoking disorder and mutiny; a description applying to the whole of Anarcho Punk Dance Party, one of the year’s major highlights.

Anarcho Punk Dance Party is out now via Every Man His Own Football Records digitally and physically through Quiet Backwater Records: available @ https://austeritypunk.bandcamp.com/album/anarcho-punk-dance-party

https://www.facebook.com/austeritypunk   https://twitter.com/austeritypunk

Pete RingMaster 26/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Machismo’s – Good Things About To Happen

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Earlier this year we were treated to the re-releases of the first EP and album from the mighty under acclaimed early 90s alt-rockers Jacob’s Mouse and now if that was not enough to feast upon, also via Sturm Und Drang Recordings we are being blessed by Good Things About To Happen, the solo album of Bury St Edmunds-based songwriter/producer Sam Marsh, and the vocalist/drummer of said previous band. Under the name The Machismo’s, Marsh started writing and recording around the time of the demise of Jacob’s Mouse in 1995. He recorded two full albums in his home cassette portastudio subsequently whilst assembling a live band to take the music to the masses. It was seemingly not a ‘serious’ intent as Marsh moved onto other projects and the songs and albums were put aside unreleased. Thankfully twenty years on the man re-looked at this work and realising their quality and worth has brought 1996 debut album Good Things About To Happen to the world, a gift to us all with its exceptional songs and invention, the release easily one of the most enjoyable encounters this year.

The Machismo’s is very different to the almost psychotically arranged sounds of Jacob’s Mouse, but like that band the album has a seed of discord brilliance and startling yet thoughtfully composed simplicity that is just riveting and the spring board for thoughts and passions, from him and in us. Also like his previous band, the presence of The Machismo’s is impossible to place just in one box, or at times even find a pigeonhole for. A blend of acoustic and folk caresses placed in an experiment of noise pop and synapse teasing enterprise, the best we can do in description, Good Things About To Happen instantly tells you all you need to know about album and artist with its opening title track, and it has to be said that its seductive sting is instant and lingering.

The first song almost lumbers into view as heavy acoustic riffs and equally weighty rhythms introduce themselves but there is a vibrancya0731346688_10 and energy to it that draws limbs and emotions to their eager feet. Composed and performed by Marsh alone, as is the mixing and production, the song takes a mere breath to impress, the range of guitar tones and vocal invention side by side each other irresistible whilst the dark twang of chords and the almost sinister throaty bass stalking of the senses just delicious. As mentioned discord adds its fingertips to the surface of all aspects too, adding a richer tang to the aural spice that tempts reactions into aural lust. Infectious and hypnotic, the track is a thrilling introduction to something which expectations and hopes came nowhere near in assumption.

The following Macho Theme and Jilt compliment the start potently, even if they miss gripping the opening plateau set by a whisker. The first is a sonic wash of caustic garage rock with punk shadows, guitars slashing across the ear with fire bred intensity and sinew clad rhythms caging senses in an enslaving web of beats and intimidation. Its successor then comes in to slowly swarm over the body with slightly acidic melodic hugs aided by a rhythmic shuffle. As with most songs, Marsh offers a twin vocal attack that is quite riveting and here mesmeric in its charm and persuasion, matching the mix of beauty and cutting invention veining the sounds. With a barbed groove that is rich in familiarity and a melodic toxin, the track is a slow burner that creeps up on and steals the passions over numerous plays. The great thing about the album and emphasised by this track alone, is that the seeming familiarity is so often from songs and bands coming after the writing of the never released album two decades ago, coincidence can be a tease at times.

From the immense start there is another elevation in excellence starting with Down The Drain, the track a sauntering slice of sonically sculpted R&B with the individuality, in not so much sound but unique composition and fusing of discordant fuel and melodic fire, that marks the solo work of Frank Black, and also the contagiousness. There is dark blues sultriness to the track too which brings Black Keys/Jack White essences to bear. After next up Ickworth Park Song, another track which took time to persuade with its noir elegance, Loosen Up strolls down the senses into the heart with its rhythmic trot. Across its stroll the guitar forges a repetitive coaxing that is irresistible whilst the UB40 like prowl of the song carved by the excellent bass lure and dark almost carnivorous second guitar is a blissful counter to the again excellent dreamgaze like vocals of Marsh, though they too have a steel and raw edge.

A pinnacle though it is, Good Things About To Happen only moves on to greater things as surrounding the supremacy of the tautly harmonious New Start and the intriguing Rogue Males, there are the show stealers When You Know It’s Real and The Storm. The first of the two struts with an opening reggae seeded lope of guitar cuts and roaming heavy bass drawl, both ridden by the drifting vocals of Marsh. Teasing upon dubstep, the song evolves into an imagination capturing leisurely drift that has thoughts climbing all over the idea that the song is like World Domination Enterprises and Shriekback playing together under a summer haze with Dalek I Love You and The Gist. It is a glorious amble for the passions easily matched by the final song. The Storm is sheer brilliance, a track which again suggests others though damned if they come to mind within its familiar presence.  Crafted with a virulently addictive heart stroking mesh of repetition, vocal evocation, and rhythmic conjuring, it is a stunning end to an equally majesty release.

We may have unknowingly had to wait a long time to devour creativity of this quality but Good Things About To Happen is now here to make our hearts and the world a better place. Roll on album two.

www.facebook.com/themachismos

9.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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Keys – Innocuous Beats EP

keys pic

The Innocuous Beats EP from UK band Keys is certainly not going to be for everyone, the distinctive and unrefined treats within destined to leave many confused and scared to take on the teasing unpredictable challenge on offer, but for those it does make a connection with there is the strong possibility of it being a long-term union. The three track release is a psyche sculpted mesh of indie, punk, noise, and colour soaked melodic enterprise bled into pastoral shades without losing vitality. It is not easy to truly describe in word but if any of the references it offers through the rest of the review up strike your ardour than Keys is an awaiting joy.

Formed in 2009, the Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk quartet of William Burns (vocals/synth), Jon Titcombe (guitar), Ed Pipe (bass), and Ben Ward (drums), according to the promo sheet accompanying the release started Keys ‘from a mutual sense of not fitting in.’ A term which describes the sounds on Innocuous Beats perfectly, their ability to not fall in with any established or dare one say accepted style but stride forward with their own unique DIY intent and flavouring refreshing.  The band has built up a good and devoted fanbase through their live performances which have flourished from a policy of showing up at as many gigs as possible in within a 60-mile radius and persuading promoters to put them on and their release can only bring further recruits to their aural cause.

The Sturm Und Drang released EP opens up its presence with the title track, a song which immediately encroaches on the senses with4063121115-1 a grouchy yet beckoning bass call. As beats muster their wares jangling guitars add a bright funk high stepping breath to proceedings, their vibrant and keen presence bringing an early Orange Juice flavour to the heavier tones of the enthralling bass persuasion. The vocals of Burns are expressive without blowing the cobwebs from the passions but fit perfectly in the teasing overall sound which suggests a major explosion but never does take the full leap though its riotous climax with a funk infused boisterousness which brings thoughts of eighties band Mouth, certainly energises and triggers a livelier escapade.

It is an infectious and compelling start easily matched by the following Hiding In Our Smirks, another song opening with the throaty call of the bass making the strongest beckoning. As vocals and guitars strut their hypnotic stuff with again understated intensity but enthused energy the track is a scuzzy trigger to an even stronger hunger for sound and release. The track seemingly has seeds found in the likes of World Domination Enterprises  as well as a tinge of early Gang Of Four to its gait and like its predecessor simply fires up the senses and emotions with its post punk and punk invention.

Communications Tower is the last contribution to Innocuous Beats and lives up to what came before with ease. It is a prowling blend of again the likes of Mouth and World Domination Enterprises with loud whispers of Swell Maps and The Fall which stomps and swaggers with uninhibited confidence and in the face disobedience. The melodic swell of the synths are also eighties borne with a Martha and The Muffins touch to their warm caress  and with its brief but potent offering the song completes an impressive and deeply persuasive encounter.

Recorded by Cambridge DIY supremo Richard Rose (of R*E*P*E*A*T Records fame), the Innocuous Beats EP marks the arrival of an exciting and hopefully boundary stretching if not breaking band of the future. Right now they simply offer an extremely pleasing and inciting encounter which if their quirkily inventive and unapologetically stand-alone sound ignites a connection will leave a big grin on the passions.

https://www.facebook.com/RustyKeysBand

8/10

RingMaster 05/05/2013

 

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Jacob’s Mouse: The Dot EP / No Fish Shop Parking

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    Jacob’s Mouse was a band in the early nineties which stretched creative limits and ventured into unexplored sonic shadows but also escaped the deserved success and recognition less worthy ear friendly bands received. The trio brewed an instinctive and intrusive blend of indie rock, post punk, and various incisions of inciting noise and aural storms, a sound which explored the listener as much as its own corners and boundaries. Now for the first time two of their releases have a digital release, their debut EP The Dot and first album No Fish Shop Parking, and a long overdue treat for noise fans they truly are.

From Bury St Edmunds, the 1988 formed Jacob’s Mouse consisted of identical twin brothers Hugo and Jebb Boothby on guitar and bass respectively, and vocalist/ drummer Sam Marsh. Taking reported influences from the likes of Fugazi, Minor Threat, Big Black, Pixies, and Hüsker Dü, the band released by the vinyl-only The Dot EP through Liverish Records in 1990. The release grabbed critical acclaim and led the way to support slots with the likes of Nirvana, Suede, Th’ Faith Healers, and Manic Street Preachers, as well as enthused support from John Peel and Kurt Cobain. The following year saw the release of No Fish Shop Parking on Blithering Idiot, an imprint label of the band and continued the strong responses and acclamation surrounding the trio. As the nineties bred and flocked to the Brit-pop phenomenon, Jacob’s Mouse was found itself left out of the focus of an indie scene which was drooling over Oasis, Blur, and similar flavoured presences with a seeming tunnel vision. The threesome reacted in their own way by becoming even more experimental and creatively wilful, their following albums I’m Scared in 1993 and Rubber Room of 1995, released via Wiiija Records (home to Cornershop, Therapy? and BiS), testing and pushing their invention and craft to continually unappreciated responses. The year of their third and last album also saw the band call it a day to leave behind a legacy of unique and inspiring releases and songs which now finally have the chance to cast their magnetic sonic incitement once again.

Both releases come through Sturm Und Drang Recordings and make just as impressive an impact as they did first time around. TheJacobs Mouse Dot EP sleeve Dot EP musically is easy to describe though what you consequently imagine barely glances the reality of the sounds created. Like a searing fire of World Domination Enterprises, The Fire Engines, and Hüsker Dü, the five track release teases and taunts whilst creating its own eclectic character and originality. Opening track Signs initially plays with the ear with an inviting sonic groove before vocal squalls assault with abrasive passion. Unveiling up a web of mischievous delicious hooks and addictive discord driven melodies, the song is the strongest persuasion possible ably coaxed deeper into ardour by the wantonness of the basslines.

The following garage punk caustic brawl of Enterprise leads into the mesmeric Hey Dip Sugar with its dub infused charms and exhausting sonic adventure. Both tracks leave passions ablaze whilst Ho-Hum ignites the senses with insidious repetition lyrically and sonically for a full capture of the imagination and a grazing of their sensibilities. Closing on Microflesh with its blistered atmospheric radiance and gloriously acidic melodies, The Dot was and is an irresistible and deeply compelling introduction to the band and it is no surprise that the releases garnered such plaudits.

Jacobs Mouse - No Fish Shop Parking - front cover      No Fish Shop Parking shows the evolution in the ideas and sound of the band at the time. It still has the essences which made the EP so refreshing but expands to explore and extend the innovative design of the imagination reaped. Opening track Tumbleswan envelopes the ear in a sonic blaze veined with evocative spoken vocals, provocative bass taunts, and more defined melodies than found on the EP. There is a Gang Of Four breath to the track which opens up the attraction further whilst immediately standing as a step forward from their debut release. The following tracks Twist, She Is Dead, and A Place to Go to, entrap the passions further with their distinct stances, the first another Gang Of Four like provocation whilst the other pair search through garage rock seeds to breed their own senses confronting glories.

From the dub blossomed Carfish, a track which has a touch of Ruts about it, the best track not only on the album but arguably one of the best from the band ever sends one into orbit. Caphony is simply sensational, a psychobilly rhythm and simmering tease loaded into a hungry and devilish groove and energy. Though the song predates Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers they are a fair reference with slithers of Screaming Blue Messiahs adding extra spice. Justice and The Vase complete the exceedingly magnificent album with further unique enterprise, the whole release an inspiring sculpted maelstrom of invention and noise.

As more and more noise rock bands emerge you can hear the sounds and inspirations of Jacob’s Mouse within much of their creativity, whether they realise it or not and with this twin release maybe the band will now get the full recognition and awareness it so surely deserves.

www.facebook.com/jacobsmouse

The Dot 9/10 No Fish Shop Parking 9/10

RingMaster 12/03/2013

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Shrikes: The Ruiner Of All Things Good EP

Shrikes is a band which quite simply defies labelling or any straightforward comparisons, their sound and creativity from a world and mindset of its very own. Their exciting debut release The Ruiner Of All Things Good EP is borne of this uncharted land, an unrelenting maelstrom of ideas, sounds, and distinctly different flavours which in most hands just would have no right or ease being alongside each other. Shrikes though is a band with invention and imagination found in so few and their EP one of the most exhilarating and inspiring releases heard in a long time.

With the demise earlier in the year of the outstanding Great Imitation there was a heaviness left in many hearts. The return of frontman James Scott-Howes though has not only filled the gap with something completely new and unexpected but with something which is even more impressive. The additional great thing about the undisputedly excellent release is it offers an equal and immense promise of even more orgasmic musical moments ahead.

Each track on The Ruiner Of All Things Good fuses an electronic/hip hop core into unpredictable and perpetually evolving aural breaths and directions brought by their own mouth watering uniqueness to ensure nothing merely matches expectations instead leaving those limitations to others to exploit. At times the sounds and ideas are as lethal and destructive as the inspiration for the band name whilst in others they enflame with a grace and disrupting discordance to leave safety nets redundant. For those who need a sure footing in their music Shrikes may be a challenge too far but life is nothing without adventure and intrigue and this release has it all in abundance.

The biggest highlight in a release of nothing but heights to give vertigo sufferers nightmares comes in the mighty form of Applauding With A Handful Of Snapped Fingers. From a glittering caress surrounding the forceful tones and aggression of Scott-Howes the track spreads its arms with a warm discordance coated sound and vocals. Scott-Howes is as unique as the music, his tones challenging notes wonderfully finding and stretching their limits to bring weaves of textures and energy around his spoken and more regular hip hop delivery. The song itself as on the release as a whole, envelopes the senses through shadowed atmospheres and ambiences, its course choosing sinister and insecure avenues to flourish within which most other bands do not see let alone venture. As the track surges with the added weight of punk attitude and metallic muscle to the sonic experiment the sense and awareness of something truly new emerging grows and strengthens.

The dark and disturbed Mare Aux Sange sets senses and synapses on full alert at the beginning of the EP, its disorientating ambience and corruptive intent intrusively provocative and suggestive whilst Third Eye Pinioned teases and envelopes the ear with an initial slightly industrial macabre before taking a breath to step in a acoustic melodic presence which has a distinct inviting hook. The song then explores and ripples with multi flavoured majesty again combining diversity and expressive ingenuity. As mentioned it is hard to truly represent with comparisons the sound the band create but imagine a brew of hip hop, eighties melodic prowess as of The Jam with slithers of Senser, World Domination Enterprises, and Great Imitation and you get a slight whisper of what Shrikes conjure.

Completed by the brief and arguably least successful track Milk With Knives, well in comparison to the other songs, and the tantalising I SAMSA, the EP is pure excellence and quite possibly the start of something special for UK music. The latter of the two tracks is one where a more direct comparison or influence can be offered up with a sound which reminds of Pop Will Eat Itself whilst with all the others songs combines to make the EP something all should pay attention to.

As much as Great Imitation will be missed by many Shrikes will and possibly already does transcend their promise with The Ruiner Of All Things Good. It is a release so remarkable that surely only the shallow and mundane will fail to response to its stunning and explosive glory. Lyrically and musically it leaves one open mouthed and wanting more and more and with its release as a free download from http://shrikes.tumblr.com/ makes a play for most original and striking EP of the year so far.

RingMaster 24/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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