James Cook – Adventures In Ausland

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There has always been an inescapable magnetism to the creativity and songs of UK singer/songwriter/producer James Cook, and the release of second solo album Adventures In Ausland certainly does not lose any of that imagination sparking prowess. In fact it takes it to new levels with tracks which are bred from even greater maturity and inventive expression in sound and lyrical enterprise. The new release reaps the masterful essences of its predecessor Arts & Sciences, evolving them into richer and more intricate textures and arrangements. The expected pop heart of Cook’s songs is still as infectious as ever but with no disrespect to what came before, it has grown up to offer even more compelling and invigorating explorations of his distinct English chamber rock.

First drawing attention with the band Nemo, which released a trio of well-received albums between 2004 and 2008, Cook has made a bigger impression matched by equally potent acclaim through his solo work. Between Nemo and Arts & Sciences, he also appeared in and wrote songs for numerous Mighty Boosh episodes, collaborated with Imogen Heap, and released the baroque pop album The Dollhouse with violinist/string arranger Anne Marie Kirby, who once again links up with Cook for the new release. The time between his outstanding 2012 solo debut and Adventures In Ausland, saw Reverse Engineering, Vol. One unveiled, a covers release revealing rich inspirations to the life and music of the musician with classic tracks interpreted and regenerated in his own inventive image. It was a thrilling insight into the man as well as simply an exciting encounter but it is his own work which gets the fires flaming brightly as proven again by the new album.

Two years in the making, with songs written in the likes of Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Genova whilst its recordings took place in Vienna, Prague, Berlin and London, Adventures In Ausland (Ausland the German word for abroad or elsewhere) brings in many ways an international breath to its still distinctly English sound. Certainly lyrically the album sizes up the world and its light and dark aspects whilst wrapped in an evolving invention which you feel can only come from the imagination of an Englishman. The release opens with the delicious Bees In November; its opening sigh of strings arranged by Cook and Kirby, an immediately evocative caress. They soon make way for a warm electronic and guitar enticing subsequently followed by a soft blaze of vibrant brass, all infesting ears and imagination with a sultry glow and vivacious temptation. The beats conjured by Tom Marsh add potent bait to the mix but it is the distinct voice of Cook and the continuing masterful call of the strings which steals the passions most forcibly. Both bring emotive intrigue and unpredictability to their invitations, lures sparking excitingly in thoughts and emotions, as well as the captivating body of the pop fuelled song.

The opener is swiftly matched by the following Lilly (A Lover’s Dream), a song which glides resourcefully through ears with melodic elegance and passionate reflection coloured by the mouth-watering weave of strings. There is an a3495452677_2element of The Divine Comedy and The Bluebells to the song, a spicing which flavours the light footed melodic waltz of the song. As mesmeric in charm and sound as it is sultry in ambience, the song is a glorious embrace with an air which transports thoughts into unique scenery as does the next up Financial Tango. There is a Morricone flame to the opening climate of the track, though soon making way for the punchy stride of the song and its thought jabbing narrative. That scorched flame of brass does reoccur across the pungent premise and body of the track frequently, stirring up senses and imagination as potently as the striking enterprise around it.

Both Dog Arms & Dilemmas and Art Deco, keep the flight of the album boldly varied and gripping, the first with its gentle wash of vocals and melodic enterprise soaked in a provocative heat of brass. Vocals layers lie slightly misaligned to each other at times for a pleasing ingenious and addictive tempting whilst the entanglement of strings and brass powerfully ignites air and ears with voracious passion. It is a smouldering treat of a proposition but one admittedly soon left looking a little pale by its successor. The fifth track feels the closest to the last album, its dance of sawing strings and quirky synth adventure within agitated rhythms and another great vocal call from Cook, a bridge between the two albums whilst pushing its smart pop sound to new levels. Broad hints of Thomas Dolby and XTC tease at thoughts as well as essences of David Bowie as the song flirts and seduces the imagination and emotions. It is a riveting and scintillating encounter which leaves an already greedy appetite hungrier.

   Bring Back The Boom offers a keys led stroll with a landscape of brass and lyrical incitement next, its atmospherically musty tone and shadowed premise an enthralling encounter, if lacking the spark of earlier songs slightly. It still leaves album and pleasure high as does the absorbing melancholic presence of The Blackout and the mischievous romp of Jamie with its swipe at misguided dreams and modern pop attitudes. The pair of songs again easily pushes thoughts into action whilst leaving ears basking in weaves of strings, brass, and melodies bred with a grandeur that only pure adult pop can conjure.

The wonderful call of Tideland with Cook at his most vocally potent on the album within a suggestive net of coaxing hooks and emotionally shadowed keys, comes next to bewitch senses and feelings. The rhythmic allurement of Marsh and the commanding strumming of Cook only accentuate the power of the majestic and increasingly towering track but it is the strings and vocals which drives the lingering tapestry of sound and imagination most potently. The impressive lure of the song is continued through closing track Ausland/Outside, a piece of beauty which envelopes and seduces ears with a thrilling maze of strings and vocals. It borders on disorientating at times but only to ignite the encounter and emotions to greater potency.

Adventures In Ausland is a very different album to its predecessor creating an even more striking and masterful proposition of pop fuelled, imagination driven drama. If James Cook is still a secret to be discovered for you, than this release is an introduction which can only lead to lustful pleasure.

Adventures In Ausland is available now @ http://jamescook.bandcamp.com/album/adventures-in-ausland

jamescookmusic.com

9/10

RingMaster 30/07/2014

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MFC Chicken – Solid Gravy

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If their debut album Music for Chicken had feet and emotions exhausted from its unrelenting revelry and thrilling sounds then have paramedics on speed dial as its successor Solid Gravy is a much more voraciously devilish and creatively incendiary stomp. Created by UK band MFC Chicken, their new album just rampages through ears and passions like an insatiable cyclone of mischief and feverishly flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

The seeds of the band began with Canadian Spencer Evoy who moved to London on what he called a pilgrimage to the recording studio of Joe Meek. The vocalist/saxophonist found himself on Holloway Road and seduced by the aroma of a fried chicken shop began busking to raise funds to feed his grumbling stomach. His sounds caught the attention of bassist Bret Bolton living above said shop who called out to the musician below. Their meeting and mutual interests led to the formation of MFC Chicken days later, its name coming from the now closed down establishment at the heart of their meeting. Enlisting guitarist/vocalist Alberto Zioli, keyboardist/vocalist Reverend Parsley, and drummer Ravi Low-Beer, the quintet and their blend of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm ‘n’ blues, surf, and garage rock found an eager and voracious appetite around the city and further afield. Music for Chicken helped push that spotlight into a world-wide attention with the band constantly touring and feeding the globe their vivacious sounds. Now with bassist Fernando Terror recruited MFC Chicken has struck again not only in their unrelenting touring but with another exhilarating new album.

The Dirty Water Records released Solid Gravy sets off as it means to go on with Chicken ‘Bout You, teasing percussive coaxing playing around a devilish riff to instantly seduce attention and appetite. A spoken suggestiveness equally plays with ears and thoughts to help widen an already breaking smile, the band swiftly enticing the ladies with a winking narrative and the fiery flame of sax from Evoy matched by the delicious sonic lure of guitar. It is ‘merely’ the lead in to the album but already firing up the passions which the riveting Pocahontas enslaves further. The track roars as you would expect from the off, roguish chants setting the scene as a tribal stomp of forceful rhythms alongside acidic guitar enterprise crowd and dance around a spinal lure provided by the pulsating bass. The track does not arguably surprise with its rampant sound and resourcefulness but certainly sets a powerful wave of greed and satisfaction in motion.

(Get Outta The) DJ Booth blazes in ears next, its initial flame of guitar offering a Johnny Kidd and the Pirates like bait which the song relaxes into and strolls purposefully within from there on in. The song strides with a fifties gait DWC1072_highresunder a pungent web of sonic invention and punchy keys which catches the breath, a Little Richard and Jay Hawkins texture and spicing adding to the pleasure. Its potent presence is instantly matched by the outstanding Voodoo Chicken, its sixties garage rock rascality aflame with the ever scorching sax invention of Evoy, irresistible hooks, and a quite infectious air to its overall endeavour.

From one pinnacle on the album to another, one of the very best tracks on Solid Gravy comes in the thrilling shape of I’m Her Pet. Grinning with an open swagger and flirty attitude, the track bounces along with keen restraint whilst rhythms jab tauntingly and gruff vocals aligned to a spicy guitar roam and show their wares with skilled temptation. As with many of the songs there is a familiarity to it though as with most, it is undefined for the main as evidenced in the following flurry of Hot Friend. With melodic impishness thrusting its hips around like a girl gracing the dance floor of The Cavern Club back in the sixties, the instrumental flings its recognisable yet unique bait at the passions with little thought of subtlety or restraint.

Both the perky (Show Me The) Gravy, Baby with its animated sax and guitar sculpted culinary plea, and the virulently contagious Don’t Wanna Talk About Chicken with its juicy ribs of choice hooks and bass seducing, keep the album sizzling in thoughts and emotions, the second of the two especially tasty with its intermittent raucous flight of caustic rock ‘n’ roll around an irritatingly addictive chorus. Their inescapable tempting is soon backed up by the refreshing romp of Well Now, its Eddie Cochran/ Johnny Burnette touch another healthy variation to the voice of the album. It is as catchy as new velcro and a party for body and passions, one more song in the batch of fourteen impossible to avoid joining in with.

The surf fuelled premise of M.F. Sea Chicken washes spiritedly over senses next, its shimmering air and smouldering beauty within a fiery net of sonic persuasion and heavily suited rhythms pure toxic beauty merging the warmth of Jan & Dean with the warped causticity of The Ghastly Ones, and the twisted pop of The B52s. Its lingering instrumental prowess is soon lost though in the swing of Chicken Shack and the blues rapacity of Horseshit. The first is another incitement of rhythmic hips and flowing melodic frivolity led by a mischievous intent whilst the second of the two explores ears with a raw mix of Ray Charles and Fats Domino and a strong whisper of King Salami and the Cumberland 3.

The album comes to a close with firstly with the sultry rockabilly majesty of White Leather Boots and lastly the ridiculously captivating creative and lyrical devilment of Dirty Little Bitch, both tracks exceptional teases of fire bred sax invention and uncompromising hooks aligned to similarly unrelenting rhythmic enticement. Both also show the depth and expanse of the invention and sound of the band to leave lips licked and passions full.

As impressive as their debut was MFC Chicken have turned their charm, diablerie, and colourful sound into a much stronger and irresistible proposition with Solid Gravy, and still they leave you feeling hungry afterwards and not only for them.

Solid Gravy is available now via Dirty Water Records @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/store-2/#!/~/product/category=2749876&id=36716523

https://www.facebook.com/MFCChicken

9/10

RingMaster 30/07/2014

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Norm And The Nightmarez – Psychobilly Infection

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     “From within the thighs of hell’s most wanton temptress, a tempest of psychobilly grooves and rockabilly hooks will converge upon mankind to turn its existence into one incessant stomp of devilish predation and virulent demonic revelry.”

Obviously that is not one of the more well-known pestilences deemed suitable to be included in religious teachings but if it was, it would go under the name of Norm & The Nightmarez and debut album Psychobilly Infection. Thirteen tracks of wickedly contagious and warped rock ‘n’ roll cultured with rockabilly seeded guitar and psychotic imagination, the release is a storming slab of rapacious psychobilly which sets a new provocative and sinisterly sculpted template for emerging genre bands.

Hailing from Birmingham, Norm And The Nightmarez is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Norm Elliot. From first band The Phantom Zone in the eighties, the musician has played in a few bands, last year most notably Mickey & The Mutants where he linked up with ex-Meteors/ex-Guana Batz bassist Mick White and Sharks drummer Paul ‘Hodge’ Leigh. The trio released the outstanding album Touch The Madness, a release it was hard to see anything bettering in UK psychobilly for a long-time to come but then we did not foresee Norm & The Nightmarez preying on the passions. Completed by drummer Frank Creamer (ex- Colbert Hamilton & the Hellrazors) and double bassist Mark Bending (ex-Sgt Bilko’s Krazy Combo) for the Western Star released album, the band embraces the decades of rockabilly infusing their ripest essences into the insatiable jaws of old school bred psychobilly irreverence and invention. It is a varied and riveting incitement which steals the will of everything from feet through to emotions, taking all on a skilful and hungry romp of mischievous enterprise.

Produced by Alan Wilson, the album is straight away gnawing on the senses with opener Stompin in My Grave, its initial earth encrusted riffs immediate potent bait to which the wrist flicking rhythms of Creamer and the dark hearted slaps of Bending add even juicier lures. Unfurling around a repetitive hook led by Elliot’s guitar, his potent vocals colour the imagination with their lyrical enticement. A flame of melodic scorching also adds a rich hue before the song takes a breather, allowing the listener’s body one too before it revs up its hypnotic suasion all over again.

The addictive start is swiftly matched by The Mischief Maker, a dark hearted slice of intimidation with robust basslines and sultry grooves which enslave attentions whilst beats slowly bruise the senses. Whether unleashing a keen gait normandthenightmarezpsychobillyinfectioncdor stalking ears, the track is an incendiary protagonist to give a blissful appetite further hungry urges which are rapidly fed by the acidic twang of The Lights Went Out. There is a scorched country-esque lilt to the invigorating prowl, the guitar of Elliot entwining ears with citric melodies and pungent hooks whilst vocally he snarls with a grizzled tone which sparks perfectly off of the heated climate of the song. The track has whispers of Tiger Army and The Quakes to its rich imposing breath but as with all songs no matter the hints it stands alone as something distinct to album and Norm And The Nightmarez.

The title track, though living up to its title, is rockabilly spawned even with its slight punkish nature. The bass and guitars sculpt a weave of riff and lures which play with body and soul like a sly puppeteer, twisting and turning imagination and passions inside out for a fevered submission. Its contagion lingers far beyond its stay though both Nightmare and Ton Up ensure in their company it is a distant memory at least. The first of the two right away triggers thoughts of The Reverend Horton Heat and Matchbox with flavourings of Johnny Burnette and Hasil Adkins also spicing the fiery encounter. Rhythmically and sonically the song entrances before the adrenaline rampage of its successor rumbles across the senses. Beats descend on ears with an unrelenting coaxing whilst the bass call of Bending brings delicious dark textures to the irresistible road trip. Elliot as ever commands the scenery with his vocals and guitar exploits whilst the trio unite for another ridiculously compelling and magnetic parade of roguish rockabilly incitement.

The flirtatious Sex Kitten teases senses with a salacious sexuality next, its smouldering grooves and sensual melodic curves as infectious as they are seductive. There is no denying a certain Stray Cats swagger to the song but also a danger to its stroll which could be compared to something with the edge of Guana Batz and addictiveness of Gene Vincent. It is an inescapable persuasion though one soon left in the shadow of the wonderful instrumental Devil Girl From Mars. There is something poetic to an intensively crafted piece of psychobilly music with its primal predation and sonic toxicity, and certainly it comes with no finer shape and beauty than here. Imagine a blend of The Tornadoes and The Frantic Flintstones and you get a whiff of its virulent might.

Both Pardon Me and The Past is a Place that I Just Can’t Go have energies and passions in a raw riot of pleasure, the first with its caustic sonic grazing and thumping rhythmic enticement whilst the following track stretches a menacing bait over ears again with jagged riffs, pulsating throaty slaps, and ear crowding beats. As impressive as its predecessor was, the second of the pair is another merciless encroaching on freedom with its rhythmic slavery, melodic venom, and vocal rapacity. It is impossible to choose a track which stands out over the rest on the album but this is always a forceful contender.

The fun filled Elvis Was a Zombie keeps things stomping along nicely and though it lacks the spark of other tracks for personal tastes it is impossible to dismiss because of that mischief and its rhythmic badgering. Its paler presence is soon swamped by the brilliant closing of the album. Massacre at Devils Plain with its Native American croon and howls over a gritty stride of sonic stabs and heavy footed rhythms, sets the imagination alight next whilst final song The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, leaves Psychobilly Infection on arguably its highest pinnacle. Bursting from a sample from the film of the same name, the track is a psychobilly irritant at its most potent and brilliant. It is a predator of a track, rhythms climbing all over the senses whilst guitar and vocals stir up the imagination with rich imposing hues. It is fair to say the song has elements of The Meteors all over it; The Hills Have Eyes springing to mind, but again Norm And The Nightmarez defuse any comparisons with their distinct invention and adventure.

From start to finish there is no escaping the might and sheer glory of Psychobilly Infection and the emergence of a brand new creative devil in our midst, though whether the UK, come to that the world is ready for Norm And The Nightmarez and their hellacious tempting only time will tell.

Psychobilly Infection is available now via Western Star Recordings @ http://www.western-star.co.uk/western-star-releases—cds_36/psychobilly-infection—norm-and-the-nightmarez_146.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/Normandthenightmarez

10/10

RingMaster 29/07/2014

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DRAG – Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind

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With greater potential in its body than maybe actually exposed in its fiery riot, Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind the new album from UK punks DRAG, is nevertheless a rather compelling and increasingly enjoyable provocation to get teeth and thoughts into. Nine tracks of old school seeded punk with as much of a nineties twist to its predation as modern inventions, the release is an attention grabbing and imagination stirring entrance by the Midlands quartet.

Since forming, the Birmingham four-piece has earned a strong reputation through their live presence which has seen them play alongside the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer, as well as a couple of earlier EPs. Their sound as evidenced on the crowd funded Neurotica, is like a raw and antagonistic merger of Au-Pairs and L7 with just as healthy essences of In Evil Hour and Penetration. It is a mix which you expect to be explosive and for the main is within the potent album, though it does miss that key spark to set the promise openly surging through its creativity and sound truly ablaze.

With songs which look at uncompromising themes ranging from self-harm, mental health, to sexuality, Neurotica takes little time in awakening attention and appetite with the opening title track. From the initial scrub of acidic guitar punctuated by thumping beats, the song takes a swift hold and even more so when the band expel a raw and flame of attitude and sonic causticity led by vocalist Heather. The track snarls and rumbles enticingly with the bass of Matt and abrasing guitar craft of Velma crafting an infectious web framed by the punchy rhythms of drummer Andy. Littered with resourcefully catchy hooks around the appealing vocals, it is a formidable and convincing start to entwine thoughts and emotions easily.

The following Fine with its opening moody bass tempting also needs little effort to engage ears and imagination, its strong initial lure expanding into a more reserved but no less potent expanse of rapacious enterprise and contagious DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artworkprovocation. It is not a song to startle but certainly keeps the initial impact of the album high before the mighty Axewound preys on the senses. Lyrically and musically it takes no prisoners, with that earlier Au Pairs reference at its most open on both aspects, the raw and honest approach very similar to that offered a few decades ago by those fellow Brummie protagonists. The track is alive with agitated rhythms, intrigue spiced hooks, and a ferocious breath which all combines for one of the major highlights of the album pushing forward the exciting potential of the band.

Next up The Ugly romps with rhythmic bait which inspires another wash of greed to an already hungry appetite whilst the grizzled bass tone found by Matt grumbles potently within the weave of sonic and defiant endeavour. The song keeps things roaring nicely but does lack the stature and persuasion of its predecessors as does in some ways Dandy Boy, though in other aspects it stands out pleasingly. A union of acoustic guitar and the melodic tones of Heather, her voice revealing more of its strength here than at any other point of the release, the song gently caresses and provokes, keeping its poise and lure as the rest of the band bring their evocative touches to the increasingly intensive track. Keys add good expression to the song too though it also feels like there is a spark missing to really exploit its creative strength, something which applies to Neurotica as a whole.

Shock & Bad Taste with its more defined L7 lures comes next to set feet and reactions on eager edge, its riling riffs and jabbing rolling beats as inviting as the vocal belligerence and sonic entrapment colouring the richly satisfying track. It is soon left sounding a little pale though by Hell 7 (American Mary), the track a ferocious scorching of corrosive riffs and merciless rhythms from the first second which settles into a less threatening gait for a few breaths before unleashing a chorus which gnaws at the senses with anthemic mastery. Again it is fair to say that there is not much to challenge the boundaries of punk rock but plenty to give it an invigorating incitement.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the pleasing Wet with its scowling sound and challenging premise, and lastly through the predatory stalking of Dead Zebra. Both tracks ignite another wave of satisfaction if again failing to match previous heights upon the album; the forced vocal growls offered by Heather in the last of the two an element which defuses the potency of the song and leaves thoughts feeling unconvinced for the only time. Each song still leaves Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind on a high with that rich promise flooding both, as it does the album, to leave pleasure high and excited anticipation over DRAG ahead.

Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind is available now on the band’s own Sleazy Punk Records @ http://dragbirmingham.bandcamp.com/album/neurotica-a-compendium-of-tales-regarding-body-mind-2

http://www.sleazypunk.com/

8/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

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This Burning Age – Supplication and Devotion EPs

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This month sees the release of the Devotion EP from UK rock band This Burning Age, the second of a quartet of EPs to be released over the year every three months which will culminate in a full 12 track album with extras. Following the Supplication EP which came out in April, the new encounter continues the impressive incitement bred by its predecessor. Bringing things up to date in this already impressive series of releases we look at both EPs as the Birmingham quartet continues to craft a potent presence with their alternative electro rock endeavour.

This Burning Age was initially a solo project created by vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Friday around five years ago. Debut album A Muzzle for the Masses subsequently appeared before the musician in wanting to take the project into the live arena expanded its line-up with the addition of guitarist Jon Farrington-Smith, bassist Dave Bennett, and drummer Christian Jerromes. Still driven in all aspects from songwriting to artwork by Friday, the band infuses a wide expanse of styles and flavours into its electronic/industrial bred canvas which makes certainly each track on the EPs an imaginative and attention gripping proposition. Each release is an exploration of sound and enterprise musically and lyrically where the themes of broken and twisted love are investigated and embraced.

The Supplication EP opens with Disappeared, a song lyrically inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem Do not go gentle into that good night. An initial flirtation of electronic enticing is soon reinforced by a teasing guitar and EP01 - Supplication - 7016x7016pxdarker bass coaxing, the web immediately awakening the imagination and keen anticipation for what the song is to offer. It is not long it is gripping ears with fiery grooves and atmospheric intrigue whilst its electronic bait continues to embrace and tempt the senses. There is an instant Nine Inch Nails air to the track and as its potent chorus expels its fiery breath, of Gravity Kills. Equally there is a heavier rock and metal infusion to the invasive and compelling intensity which fuels the strenuous atmosphere, even in the track’s more restrained moments. It is a powerful and potently captivating start soon back by Your Will Is MY Kill, whose entrance with its industrial stalking also fires up an eager appetite within seconds. A track about “sado-masochistic and destructive love from the perspective of a disturbed dominant male character”, it strengthens its first wave of coaxing with a post punk-esque predation and antagonistic urgency which rages and seduces in equal measure as the song reveals its heart and inventive rabidity. Though not a brutal encounter, there is a bruising weight and exhaustive fury to the track in presence and invention which steals the breath and lights the imagination even more voraciously than the previous track.

The Tom Gittins produced release is completed by Want, a song slowly caressing ears from its start with piano and vocals, both offering a Bowie like whisper. The track is all the time brewing up a vivacious climate though which brings courteous synth rock suasion to its evocative narrative. That gentle tempting eventually expels a fiery and raucous sigh for a climatic finale to the song and though it is the least gripping of the trio of songs it leaves the EP engaging senses and thoughts with a lingering strength.

EP02 - Devotion - 7016x7016px - 300dpi - 11-06-14     The tracks on second EP Devotion continue from the first in premise with “eulogies to hope and redemption, from despair and disconnection, to mutually destructive passion. “ It makes its first move with the explosive There Is No Hope Except For That Which You Give Me. From a vocal enticement the track ebbs and flows in its intensity but sears ears and imagination with a blaze of ingenious temptation and feverish passion. Vocally it is the best track of the two releases yet, a resonance to their expression working intently with the sonic endeavour and melodic seducing within the volatile rhythmic and energetic rapacity of the track. There is a Pitchshifter like edge to the track too which prowls riffs and syllables throughout the riveting tempest.

The following Hollow suggests a mellower experience with its first wash of melancholic piano and though the song builds a crescendo of energy and melodic drama it does not veer away from that reserved elegance for the main of its evocative narrative. Though the song is another to miss the benchmark of for example its successor, it offers intrigue and a spatial elegance which is undoubtedly captivating, drawing thoughts and emotions to immerse in its emotive prowess with an unerringly successful creativity and adventure.

The EP is concluded by Nothing, the best track of the sextet released in the series so far. Its incendiary bait of riffs and hooks from virtually its first move is insatiably contagious, guitars and bass showing they are in no mood to let ears and imagination slip from their grip at any point in the track as beats frame and cage their exploit just as infectiously. Society 1 comes to mind whilst as Friday vocally prowls ears a returning essence of Bowie comes to his expression. The track itself is a feisty almost hostile taunting which enslaves and provokes body through to thoughts relentlessly for the most thrilling engagement across the two encounters.

Though not every track lights a fire in the belly as the opener for Supplication and the brilliant closer of Devotion, both EPs leave the craft and invention, not forgetting enthralling sound of This Burning Age a gripping proposition to devour greedily. Roll on EP three…

The Supplication and Devotion EPs are available now on CD via 5th Day Records @ http://thisburningage.bigcartel.com/ and digitally at most online stores.

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Supplication EP 8.5

Devotion EP 9

RingMaster 28/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Tigers Of Junction Street – Self Titled

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The self-titled debut EP from UK band Tigers Of Junction Street is a release which does not realise its potential as successfully as it should but still leaves an impressive and lingering presence in the imagination and appetite. Consisting of five tracks which blend and at times merely flirt with essences from technical, melodic, and alternative rock, the band’s EP is a striking entrance by the London Town quintet. It has flaws and sometimes is unconvincing yet breeds an enjoyment and anticipation for the band ahead which cannot be dismissed as coincidence.

Formed in 2010, Tigers Of Junction Street saw the union of five friends with the want to challenge themselves musically, which their debut more than hints at as it equally tests the listener, in the right way. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Coheed And Cambria, Protest The Hero, TesseracT, Yes, and King Crimson, the band set about recording their first release last year with George Lever at G1 Productions, Somerset. What emerged is an encounter which makes an intriguing introduction to the band and sets thoughts in motion that UK rock might have a rather potent prospect on its hands.

The High Wycombe five-piece sets EP and senses off in fine style with Incarnation, the strong and enticing vocals of Josh Elliott beckoning instant attention before being surrounded by heavily striding rhythms and fiery riffs. It is a Ep coverdramatic and gripping mix which is soon veined by a rich and skilled enterprise as guitarists James Wrigley and Ash Whitelock set to work raging over and seducing the imagination. Their craft is openly potent yet unimposing within the drive of the song, though their invention certainly breaks up its urgency whilst enriching its evocative hues. The driving beats of drummer James Burton flow between intimidating and coaxing as the song evolves its narrative. At times things do not always smoothly fit, the vocals left stranded by a sudden twist within the sounds but it only adds to the unpredictability and intrigue which endears the song to thoughts.

In full flow the song is a treat matched by The Deception, though its opening Nintendo-esque tease feels wrong. The track is soon alight with the melody seeping from that intro and vocals uniting around the thick stride of rhythms as the throaty tones of Tom Newey’s bass providing enthralling shadows. That first electro sound appears occasionally and now to great effect within the tempestuous body of the song whilst the unexpected detours and switches in the track which at times even seems to catch the band out, only add to the compelling nature of its lure and adventure.

There is a darker texture and expression to third track Cold Winter, its heavier lyrical presence matched by the more intensive if still melodically fuelled sounds. As its predecessors, band and song is unafraid to turn on its heels and venture into contrasting and melodramatic scenes, most flowing purposefully and easily yet a few moments provide a stumble in the flight of the song. Vocally there are a few issues, suggesting Elliott is more at home giving full rein to his fiery attack than slowing down his expression whilst arguably at times the band pushes things in their bold imagination too far on the song which does not help the vocals either. Nevertheless the track still hits the right note with emotions for the main, those issues something you can only see being ironed out with experience and maturity.

Next comes a short instrumental, called simply Interlude which is more an extended intro into closing track Closed Doors which reminds of the band Dead Til Friday initially. This is a track which seems to have got more criticism than most on the EP yet it is the most captivating slice of invention upon it too. Certainly at times the twists are over drawn and its striking textures clash against each other but in the case of the latter it only adds to the great turbulent enticement as the track offers the most promising and potentially loaded moment on the encounter.

The EP from Tigers Of Junction Street is undeniably flawed but even more so brings an engrossing creative emprise which courts the imagination whilst suggesting this band has a very healthily and for us exciting future ahead.

The Tigers Of Junction Street EP is available in CD and Digital formats through Hoffen Records and @ http://tigersofjunctionstreet.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tigersofjunctionstreet

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

The Slow Readers Club – Start Again

Slow Readers Club

Ahead of their new single this coming September, UK band The Slow Readers Club have re-released their track Start Again, a colourful and potent little number to seductively tease ears and emotions ready for the impending encounter. The song is one of those propositions which refuse to leave even after its last note is a distant haze in the ear; a persistent temptress who lays down insatiable infectious bait to which submission is full and anticipation for another slice of aural suggestiveness impatient.

Hailing from Manchester and featuring three former members of Omerta, The Slow Readers Club has been garnering rich support from fans and media alike since forming. Comparisons to the likes of Interpol, The Killers, and Arcade Fire have fallen upon them whilst their self-titled debut album of 2012 drew critical acclaim with certain tracks finding a potent stretch of airplay across radio and TV. 2014 alone has seen the quartet continue to excite and inspire, Peter Hook describing them as his new favourite band in a recent NME New Music Special. Start Again is the perfect song to thrill and induce new ears alongside those already enamoured with the band, its second thrust the perfect reason to check out that upcoming release alone.

The song’s first breath soaks ears in a heavy electronic suggestiveness, the keys of Aaron Starkie suggesting an eighties synth pop essence which is reinforced by the involvement of the great heavily toned bass of James Ryan alongside the Picture 47crisply enticing beats of drummer David Whitworth. The guitar of Kurtis Starkie holds its tongue for the moment, expelling shafts of sonic enticing once in a while as the song establishes its premise. Soon jagged riffs and hooks are also bringing their distinctive bait to the party whilst the vocals from one of the Starkie pair, hard to know which of the two vocalists leads the song, gloriously glides over the whole riveting adventure. As it croons and blossoms with evocative beauty and melodic richness, the song brings thoughts of seventies/eighties bands like B-Movie and A Flock Of Seagulls as well as the modern flavours of Interpol and Silhouettes, yet still sculpts its own openly unique presence with those spices.

Grown up pop music also does not come any more maturely infectious than Start Again, every aspect and tempting as poised and resourcefully layers as they are ridiculously contagious. The single is our introduction to The Slow Readers Club as we are sure it will be for many others, and the first seed to a long term lust for a band set to ignite the British indie pop scene.

Start Again is available now

For info where to get it and more http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 28/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/