Fight Like Apes – Self Titled

Fight Like Apes Cover _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It has been as good as five years since the release of their second album, though there was a rather satisfying EP in between, so it is fair to say that anticipation for Fight Like Apes’ new encounter across the board has been bursting with hungry excitement. It is a wait now relentlessly rewarded by each of the twelve songs making up the self-titled proposition, offerings taking ears and imagination on a unique and rebellious exploit of indie pop devilry. It really only takes one listen to establish the album as a favourite and barely a couple more to suggest it is going to cast as one of the major triumphs of 2015.

Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2006, Fight Like Apes and their synth pop/alternative rock sound has been luring in keen and potent attention ever since the release of the EPs How Am I Supposed to Kill You When You Have All the Guns? and David Carradine Is a Bounty Hunter Whose Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch in 2007. The following year saw them nominated for two awards at the 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards, and it has only been a continuing torrent of support and acclaim since, though equally there have been moments to challenge as with any band. Debut album Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion that same year poked a keener, broader spotlight, attention emulated and pushed to new heights by second full-length The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner in 2010. Their sound and songwriting had already found uniqueness in presence and character which has consistently evolved from release to release, song to song at times, and it is again prevalent upon the new offering. The time between albums two and three saw the band dropped by their record label but they decided to go down the crowd funding route with quick success. This meant that it has been a length wait for their new epic of fun but as hinted at by the Whigfield Sextape EP last year; the band’s return has only brought new seductive and vivaciously eccentric pleasures.

Unleashed through Alcopop! Records, the album quickly has ears and imagination immersed in its pop alchemy through I Am Not a Merry Man. A quaint electronic coaxing jabbed by firm beats initially the song is soon sauntering along with a melodic swagger and lusty bassline, and lit up further by the ever bewitching vocals of Mary-Kate “MayKay” Geraghty. Moments of feistier endeavour also clad the constantly alluring stroll, the song an inescapable flirtation for ears and thoughts with the flowing keys and backing vocals of Jamie “Pockets” Fox just as magnetic as the pulsating rhythms and prime melodic roar of MayKay.

The following Crouching Bees from a single crisp rhythmic rap is soon engulfing ears in an elegant weave of melodies carrying a slight Altered Images air and once more badgered by thickly tempting rhythms. Vocally MayKay again is as potent in casting a mellow seduction or an impassioned raucousness, her heightened delivery a fiery incitement to the calmer waters of the keys, though they too at times provide an off kilter element of their own. The infection of sound and imagination of the album is already enslaving the psyche two songs in and only increases its bait through Pop Itch and The Schillaci Sequence. The first of the pair is a more ‘regular’ canter of indie pop design, though as it is Fight Like Apes there is plenty of sparkling vocal adventure and sonic twists whilst the second sways over the senses with melodic eloquence. It too initially seems a more reserved example of the band’s invention and creative exploration but with an agitated rhythmic shuffle and Devo-esque electro psychosis it soon puts expectations straight.

Fight Like Apes _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review Both songs keep enjoyment keen and appetite greedy, though everything is soon eclipsed by the brilliant Didya. Easily our favourite proposition on the album, maybe from the band full stop, the song ambles in on a melodic hook which is Weezer like. That alone has lips licked but it is once Pockets takes the vocal lead with a punkish anxiety to his tone that things erupt into genius. The throaty bass and wilder tempered beats are belligerent whilst the voice of MayKay similarly has a challenging edge to it, the blend a spellbinding incitement though it is the vocal bedlam which follows that has these ears and passions are enslaved. It is like a warped mix of The Dancing Did and The Ting Tings, pure creative mania and manna, setting up the listener for a blaze of a finale.

Numbnuts calms things down a touch next, its persuasive croon persistently littered with stirring vocal snaps and musical twists on the way to creating an increasingly fiery climax whilst its successor Pretty Keen on Centrefolds has ears captivated with an eighties synth pop bubbling that nudges thoughts of Blancmange and Soft Cell. Of course things are never that simple, punchy and at times bedlamic beats adding a drama to match that of the vocals whilst keys whip up a contagious tempting for the dance-floor.

Like a mix of Morningwood and Yeah Yeah Yeahs but all Fight Like Apes, The Hunk and The Funplace sculpts another major pinnacle for the album. Rhythmically anthemic and imposing, melodically spicy and slightly nostalgic, the song easily has ears engrossed but it is the roaring chorus which takes a great song to the plateau of brilliance. It is pop at its most dynamic, provocative, and irresistible.

There is no let-up of the thrills and creative spills as firstly I Don’t Want to Have to Mate with You swirls around ears and leads expectations on a merry dance. It is a lively breeze of fascinating textures and rousing calm providing a spellbinding theatre of sound and voice, emulated in its own way by Baywatch Nights with its even slower smoulder, though again there is a snarl to vocal moments, spicy intrigue to keys, and dark shadows to surrounding scenery. Both tracks make riveting listening, a norm across the album to be fair and continued in the excellent Maevis Beacon: Annihilation, a song with more than a whisper of Young Marble Giants to it especially in its opening minute or so. All tracks make a quick and thick first impression but some reveal even more to their depths and beauty over time with this a prime example.

The mesmeric seducing of Carousel brings the release to an emotive and reflective close, and a dramatic one as epic rhythms and brooding melodies rise as the song progresses. Folkish theatre and heavy tribal rhythms break free too in the scintillating end to a sensational encounter. It may have been a while in the making and coming but Fight Like Apes has spent that time crafting their most vigorously inventive and exciting sound yet. This is a must have for all experimental and rousing pop enthusiasts, actually just every pop fan out there.

Fight Like Apes is available via Alcopop! Records from 18th May @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fight-like-apes/id981566460

https://www.facebook.com/fightlikeapes

RingMaster 08/05/2015

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

Horse Party – Out Of Sight/Receiver

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The exciting thing about UK band Horse Party is as much as they have openly grown in songwriting and sound, they have lost none of the instinctively raw and organic essences which made them strikingly leap out with debut single Back To Mono almost two years ago. Their new single is bound in majestic raunchy charms as both Out Of Sight and Receiver show new striking steps in craft, sound, and sheer creative adventure, but each still seduces with that primal spice which brought the trio to life.

Hailing from Bury St Edmunds, the threesome of vocalist/guitarists Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley, alongside drummer Shannon Hope, have persistently garnered acclaim and an increasingly growing and devoted fan base with their gripping and at times sinisterly devilish sounds. From the Scarlet & Blue EP to last year’s debut album Cover Your Eyes, released through Integrity Records, Horse Party has gripped attention and increasingly greedier appetites, including those of 6music’s Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq, Shell Zenner at Absolute Radio and XFM’s John Kennedy. Live too the band is no stranger to eager responses, last year seeing the band successfully playing Latitude Festival’s Lake Stage at the invitation of Radio One’s Huw Stephens and BBC Suffolk Introducing. Now Out Of Sight/Receiver is poised to push the band on again, and as it is without doubt their finest hour to date, it is hard to see it failing to tempt the broadest spotlights upon the band.

Out Of Sight starts things off and is instantly prowling ears with thoughtful yet predatory riffs from the guitars matched by crisp beats. The darkly seducing tones of Langley queens over the 10847766_768484469911623_4136520996259037093_nentrance, her delivery sure and intense yet wholly seductive from the first breath. Widening its expression without leaving its shadowed scenery, the track proceeds to tease with small burst of melodic light and anthemic vocal unity whilst steely hooks only add to the addictive bait of the song. Fizzing up further into its presence with psychedelic lit sultriness and smouldering emotion, the adventure continues to be unpredictable and inescapably addictive with a chorus which similarly becomes more virulent and entrancing over the length of the outstanding song.

It is a glorious temptation but even with its might cannot help being surpassed by the delicious alchemy of Receiver. More energetic from the first second, the track is also an even darker and more sinister provocation, riding in on an irresistible post punk rhythmic baiting of ears and imagination. It is wonderfully repetitive from hereon in, riffs and hooks recycled with compelling effect as the dual tones of Langley and Quigley croon with sobering yet magnetic persuasion. That post punk essence is a constant treat within the song too, essences of bands like Au Pairs and Joy Division merging with the darker side of a Morningwood or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but coming out as something ingeniously unique to Horse Party.

The song as the single is outstanding, both songs easily the best things to emerge from the imagination of the trio and they have some treats already under their creative belts. Horse Party is a band ready to join the frontline of the UK garage rock/rock scene and with releases like this drive it to new heights.

Out Of Sight/Receiver is available from February 23rd on limited edition 7” black vinyl as a co-release by R*E*P*E*A*T Records and the band’s own Pure Deadly imprint @ https://horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com/album/out-of-sight-receiver-7-single

Horse Party are also on tour right now with upcoming dates at…

Friday 27th February – Ipswich Steamboat Tavern

Friday 27th March – London The Garage

Saturday 2nd May – Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival

Friday 15th May – Cambridge Junction

Saturday 13th June – Norwich Open

https://www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

RingMaster 22/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Witching Waves – Fear Of Falling Down

Witching Waves press small

Having been hooked by the band with their limited edition cassette single Concrete/Chain Of Command earlier this year, there was a fair few tingles running through anticipation with the announcement of the debut album from Witching Waves. Those urges have grown to lustful proportions now that Fear Of Falling Down has infested ears and psyche, the release confirming all the promise and thrills experienced before whilst showing a broader adventure and creative resourcefulness in songwriting and sound.

Hailing from London and formed in 2013 as the brainchild of duo Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper (Sound Savers Recording Studio), Witching Waves through their unrelenting appetite for performing live and songs swiftly drew keen attention their way. Fusing as many essences of punk as you can imagine in a noise and discord sculpted garage pop incitement, the band bridges the DIY essence of the late seventies and the voracious causticity of modern invention; kind of like Swell Maps meets The White Stripes but for a truly unique and tenaciously addictive proposition.

Released via Soft Power Records, Fear Of Falling Down sees the duo now a threesome with the addition of a bassist, though we cannot tell you the name. The band’s fourth release, after Witching Waves LP Cover Artthree cassette singles, is a master class in raw sonic temptation and primal rhythmic slavery; each song united by a certain anthemic swing and creative tenacity yet alone in warped character and discordant agitation. Recorded on to 8 track tape, the album is a minimalistic yet inventively involved incitement, a cavernously toned but intimately delivered protagonist to excite ears and imagination with ease.

The album’s title track is the first to get the juices flowing, the opening jangle of guitar just the prelude to a rhythmically driven slice of agitated pop. The excellent vocals of Wigham soon join the rampancy of drums and the scrub of guitar before Jasper takes over with his equally captivating tones. Virulently catchy with a bounce to match, the track dances with ears and emotions from start to finish; every note, beat, and vocal enterprise simple but expertly creative seduction.

The post punk kissed Cold Out comes next, the contrast of the harmonic elegance and rawer expression of Wigham and Jasper respectively, alone a gripping enticement. In some ways there is an early Siouxsie and the Banshees feel to the song but also the flowing melodic quaintness of a Morningwood, the combination an addictive proposition, though soon surpassed by the poppy endeavour of Better Run. A slight spring of surf rock runs through the garage rock bred song whilst again vocals are as broadly bewitching as the slim but pungent sounds around them. As most tracks on the album, it is hard for feet taps and vocal participation to restrain from joining the band during the progress of its gently cacophonous croon before it makes way for the post punk infused stroll of Counterpoint. With repetitious riffs and infectious rhythmic bait, the song is a more challenging persuasion with its soaking of acidic discord and off key dynamics, but another to leave ears and passions basking.

The raw charm of Concrete comes next, its opening Buzzcocks spiced hook an instant attention grabber whilst a courting stride of rhythms draw their own submissive response. The plain almost disillusioned monotone vocals of Jasper contrast perfectly with the fluid melodies of Wigham, whilst the throaty melancholic bass prowl simply adds an addictive icing to the enthralling coaxing of body and mind. Like an unhinged blend of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Cramps, the song is an aurally dishevelled but controlled temptress, and the perfect appetiser for the brilliance of the following Creeping. Stalking ears with rhythmic eagerness, the song stomps with muscular and concussive beats as riffs and basslines flirt with their own rowdy enterprise. There is for not the first or last time, a similarity to Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies about the band’s sound across the album, here being a potent comparison though again Witching Waves emerge as individual and original in every sonic aspect.

Both the outstanding News, with its hypnotic rhythmic baiting and spicy garage rock keys around a creative drama, and the intrigue drenched Wait Around keeps the adventure of Fear Of Falling Down on its highest plateau. The first of the two is a web of colour rich discordance and imaginative confrontation honed into a ridiculously infectious trap which simply leaves ears, thoughts, and emotions grinning whilst its successor juggles sonic abrasion with warm pop harmonies for another song which takes longer to reach the peaks of others, but only adds to the unpredictable and captivating climate of the release.

Fear Of Falling Down closes with the excellent Barber where garage punk and eighties post punk meet for a contagion filled stamp of punchy beats and wiry hooks aligned to velvety heavy bass lures. It all of course infused with the wonderfully clashing and superbly united vocal attack of Wigham and Jasper.

If Witching Waves have impressed before with their early appetisers then the album offers a fuller and more flavoursome meal of dissonant and melody bred noise. For those new to one of the UK’s most thrilling propositions, Fear Of Falling Down is a sonic lust in the making.

Fear Of Falling Down is available via Soft Power Records as a Limited Edition Vinyl LP (250 Copies) and digital download @ http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-falling-down

http://witchingwaves.tumblr.com/

RingMaster 08/12/2014

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Horse Party – Back To Mono

HP

Stomping with mischief and anthemic invitation whilst holding hands with melodic enterprise and expelling a fiery breath, Back To Mono the debut single from UK band Horse Party is an intriguing and thrilling introduction. A mild riot with reservation to its still vibrant energy and potent temptation, the song immediately marks the band as an exciting new tease for the passions with a matching confident swagger.

The Bury St Edmunds trio ventured forth in September of last year after guitarist and vocalist Eleanor Lou (Ellie) was ‘badgered’ into joining the band set up by drummer/vocalist Shannon Hope and guitarist/vocalist Seymour Quigley, which according to the band bio happened having got drunk together in a church and sending ‘abusive messages’ to Ellie ‘ordering her to join a band whose primary goal would be to make or lose a million pounds.’ With a mutual passion and inspiration from the likes of Bjork, Fugazi, Cat Power and terrible films fuelling their creativity the threesome released the song Clarion Call at the beginning of the year as a free download, a track which drew the attention of BBC Suffolk Introducing and support slot offers, including one with Dingus Khan.

Release through Sturm Und Drang Recordings, their first official single instantly lures the listener in with an opening Beatlesque hook1317436922-1 of fuzzy guitar strokes and mutually resonating bass entrapment and once the great vocals of Ellie add their warm beckoning, Back To The Mono has a firm grip on the ear and emotions. The almost lo-fi touch of the song, its breath raw yet perfectly defined as a persuasion, brings a delicious organic feel whilst the blues soaked guitar hook and magnetic chorus only furthers its claim to the passions. A track which has no desires to create a tempest of evolving textures but instead offers a continual and solid prowl of the ear, it still manages to bring a heat and absorbing adventure which rivals and more often outshines the majority of similarly gaited and clothed indie tracks erupting out this year.

Standing somewhere between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morningwood, and Cradle, band and single inspire such promise that the wait for more from Horse Party is going to have a taste of impatience about it.

www.horsepartyparty.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/horsepartyparty

8.5/10

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

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RingMaster 15/04/2013

 

The Creeping Ivies: Ghost Train EP

Having just been introduced to the glorious schizophrenic garage punk sounds of UK band Frau Pouch we now have the distinct pleasure by kind invitation of the band itself to meet Scottish duo The Creeping Ivies through their new EP Ghost Train. The follow up to their debut EP Rock N Roll Party, the new EP is quite simply immense, a pure unbridled splattering of the senses from sonic expulsions squeezed from psychotic blisters. Spearing the ear with all the right sounds and searing flesh to just the right depth The Creeping Ivies are one of the most exciting bands to emerge in the UK, and the beginning of a salacious love affair with their creative manipulative sounds here.

Comprising of just vocalist and guitarist Becca Bomb and drum molester Duncan Destruction, the duo rile up more noise and reaction than most multi-personnel bands as they work their way deeper and hook with the sharpest of bone splicing musical barbs. Their music can be best described as The Cramps meets The Pixies amongst an orgy of The Orson Family, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, The 5,6,7,8’s, and The Stooges. The result is a glorious strained melodic bedlam which brings all the decades of garage rock and punk from the 50’s through to today with infectious and unique ingenuity. It is rare to be truly excited by a band but there is no avoiding it with The Creeping Ivies.

The track Ghost Train opens up the EP and immediately one is captivated by the irresistible simplicity yet fully intrusive beats and guitar. As Becca unleashes her deep and strong vocals the first thought is that this is what The Cramps would sound like if fronted by Wanda Jackson. No note is wasted on frills and no space unfilled by stirring primal beats and energy. The addictive chorus assumes control of ones voice within seconds of its first appearance and the electrified discords of pleasure from the guitar leave one spinning. The track is an unrelenting stomp with a contagion power to make any virus enviable. The song is easily our favourite of the year so far and kept the other two tracks on the EP waiting for their chance as it invited multiple plays before moving on.

    Don’t Cry strolls in next with equal flair and instinctive charm. There is nothing as hypnotic as a song primitively basic yet stunningly crafted as The Ramones who offer more than a spice here have proven. The Creeping Ivies have tapped that same vein of invention to equal effect and success. The track is spawn from shadows within shadows to offer a disturbance found in the likes of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and The Birthday Party with uncomplicated sounds found in early Yeah Yeah Yeahs. All these though merely add spicery to the sound with the duo consistently sounding like The Creeping Ivies predominantly.

Completed by the scuzz ball of noise Chicken Voodoo Blues the EP released on Jet Black Records, is easily one of the best heard in a long time. The track ruptures blood vessels and ear drums with its assault of festering melodic swipes and a mighty destructive rhythmic rampage leading to climaxes as distressed and chaotic as one could pray for. It is a bedlamic end to an enormously fun release and the instigator of deep frustration that there was only a triplet of psychotic mayhem offered.

The Creeping Ivies may not be to the taste of everyone but if any of the references mentioned grab your ear than this duo will be your new musical infatuation.

Grab the EP for free at http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-train-ep

RingMaster 07/06/2012

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