Two Wounded Birds: To Be Young

Completely mesmerised and thrilled by their Midnight Wave single of last year which included the outstanding song All We Wanna Do, a permanent soft spot for UK rock band Two Wounded Birds was created. Now with the release of their self titled debut album the Margate quartet bring the perfect invitation to it with the free download release of new single from the album To Be Young.

     Two Wounded Birds is one of those bands which once heard are indelibly etched into the heart from thereafter. Even if the band does not ignite an enflamed passion within for their sounds there is a knowing understanding and mutual respect for their pop flavoured rock n roll. Comprising of Johnny Danger, Ally Blackgrove, Joe Stevens, and James Shand, Two Wounded Birds have a hypnotic elegance and infectious grace to their music which recalls the simplistic pop of the past with a rock passion and eagerness of today. As the new single To Be Young cradles itself within the ear with its shadowed melodic charm there is the thought that if those renowned teen angst rock n roll compilations like Lemon Popsicle were born today this quartet would be the perfect lead.

From the moment the deep resonating twang of the guitar opens the track with its stirring siren melody submission is instant before the lure of the song. The track breathes with an emotive sigh and deep passion elevated by the fine expressive vocals of Danger and quite delicious pulsating dark bass lines. As it caresses the ear with its sonic and firm touch To Be Young simply leaves one in full captivation which the more the vocals and guitars croon the senses whilst the rhythms inspire a growing haunting air, the more one is pulled under its rich and lush surface.

Like a merger of The Beach Boys, Wah, The Smiths and tones of Chris Isaak on an excursion through the mind of Tarantino, the single is outstanding and an irresistible invitation to enter their album, the next point of call on our itinerary here. Two Wounded Birds are a band which will win and hold your hearts with care and imagination; they just need you to make the first move.

https://www.facebook.com/twowoundedbirds

RingMaster 27/06/2012

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Native Roses: Out Of The Water

July 2nd sees the rather teasing and convincing invitation to their forthcoming new EP Colours from UK alternative band Native Roses in the shape of initial track Out Of The Water. Released as a free download the song is a delicious and hypnotic welcome into the distinct sound of the band, a quite outstanding and compulsive slice of haunting Americana brought with a disquieting yet mesmeric atmosphere.

Brighton based Native Roses was formed by members of Modern Fighting Vehicles, James Knaggs, Jacob Stevens, and Moses Bogarde. The band soon swelled its ranks with Jessica Illsley and for a short time also contained Jasmine who subsequently left when her solo career as Birdy accelerated. Their forthcoming second EP Colours is released on Creek Records and has been created alongside not only former Roxy Music member Guy Fletcher but also multi-platinum songwriter and Dire Straits founding member, John Illsley. If Out Of The Water is an indicator of what is ahead the EP will be at the very least a definite must do investigation.

The song is a heated hybrid of Chris Isaak, Dennis Hopper Choppers, Mariachi El Bronx, and Arcade Fire. It has a dusty western air to its irresistible sound and mesmeric breath. It opens with expressive male vocals and a discreet guitar strum before opening its weave of warm melodic embraces and eager stirring beats. It is with the addition of simply wonderful female vocals though that the song ignites the biggest flames of passion and impressiveness, the combination of dual vocals perfectly and inventively crafted. Out Of The Water is a sultry stroll across the senses which stirs up the passions and leads one by the hand into an emotive garden of irresistible and heart feeding sounds. It truly is a magnificent song which if the tracks on the EP are half as good will be a sure pleasure too.

Out of the Water will be available for free from the official Native Roses website from July 2nd @ http://nativeroses.com/

RingMaster 27/06/2012

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Glass Cloud: The Royal Thousand

A sonic explosion to exhilarate and enrapture every sense and thought the debut album from US band Glass Cloud is quite simply stunning. It is an enveloping maelstrom of persuasive emotive atmospheres and a storm of dehabilitating aggression brought with an imagination and technical ingenuity to leave one in awe. When you have a band consisting of a great vocalist like former Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice & Men frontman Jerry Roush, inventive and expressive guitarist Joshua Travis of The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, and the supreme rhythmic prowess of bassist Travis Sykes and drummer Chad Hasty, you expect something good to come out of their union. Whether you could have imagined something as staggering as The Royal Thousand is debatable but their collective creativity has certainly given birth to something simply immense, a true colossus of a release.

Released through Equal Vision Records in the US and Basick Records in Europe, The Royal Thousand stretches then manipulates the ear and beyond from the first breath of opener White Flag. As guitars conjure heated weaves within the ear and Roush brings his usual impressive mix of strong vocals, the song spirals with majestic craft and incendiary energy to greater heights. The intensity it brews twists and grips tighter to evolve into a disarming rage of disrupted rhythms and blistering riffs within a warm sonic soaked ambience. It is majestic yet only an understated sample of what is ahead.

The following If He Dies, He Dies from an emotive caressing of the ear stalked by an intimidating air erupts into a thoroughly intrusive provocation of metallic fingerings from the guitars alongside rhythms leaving knees like jelly. The fusion of sonic and heated beauty with safety destroying corruptive intensity is beyond acclaim; the track is pure poetic violence and alone makes claims for Glass Cloud as the true masters of your senses.

Track after track the quality and invention is unrelenting, the likes of the quite brilliant Ivy & Wine an example of the continual ingenious dark enterprise leaving only numbed devastation in its melodic scathing wake. Even the melodic beauty of instrumental Prelude For A Ghost is brought with an eerie ambience to leave one looking over their shoulder.  Midway through The Royal Thousand and the opening song seems long in the past and against what impressively followed it seems almost ordinary in comparison though that is not a word one can truly use in any real context in regard to the release.

The mesmeric creative chaos of She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill takes the senses on a controlled yet perpetually evolving disrupting journey whilst the following Counting Sheep rampages in corners of the heart and emotions you never knew existed with phenomenal technical guitar intrusions within an atmosphere which colours thoughts and feelings with every hue of bruising.

Closing on firstly the dark hearted Memorandum whose opening passion and play is as hypnotic a piece as you can find anywhere and finally the outstanding From May To Now, the album is pure excellence veined with brilliance. Heavily and skilfully textured The Royal Thousand brings a new and deeper experience with each immersion into its pulsating fresh magnificence and malevolent aggression. Glass Cloud leaves you on your knees but also in total bliss.

RingMaster 27/06/2012

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Silent Empathy: A Broken Vision

A Broken Vision the new album from UK metallers Silent Empathy is such a frustrating album though overall it is also an enjoyable one. Within its punishing walls there is a real gem trying to get out and the promise of something major from the band ahead more than apparent. The trouble is one feels A Broken Vision could have been that important release as its eleven tracks of imaginative and adventurous sounds pummel and stroke the senses but somewhere along the line the album loss or never found a clear definition and direction. The production is no aid to their creativity either and one feels with a top producer, no disrespect to whoever took the duties, the album could have been a remarkable release.

Formed in 2009, Silent Empathy have been through their share of line-up changes but the band has stayed strong and continued to pick up fans and strong interest along the way to this their debut album. With influences ranging across all genres of metal brought into their melodic metal/hardcore assault the band is one brutal and formidable beast with strong invention to their songwriting and ideas. They have an obvious creative quality and craft in their ability to blend their melodic prowess and aggressive nature which is clear to see across the album showing that any fault in the album does not lie in that area .

Released July 2nd via Rising Records the album features the great drumming skills of Alex Micklewright (ex Martyr Defiled) and it has to be said is the drums throughout the whole release which are the one impressive constant on an variable album, powerful and unpredictable they leave one breathless. The release opens with the crushing Si Vis Pacum, Para Bellum, a track which disrupts the senses from the off with its insatiable drums and surging riffs. Like a waking leviathan it consumes with its immense weight and oppressive atmosphere with the vocals firing up the intensity. The dark growls spew malice and spittle with every syllable and with occasional slips into a malicious clean delivery leave tingles in their wake. The full clean vocals though just feel like an intruder. They are strong and well delivered but the mix is off putting and at odds with the mountainous effect of the rest of the song, unfortunately this becomes a frequent event throughout A Broken Vision. It is confusing with things so good elsewhere and the voice itself more than decent and leaves one again going back to the production and mixing side of the album being at fault.

The likes of Into The Mouth Of The Harlot, the excellent For the The Guest Artist, and A Saga Beyond The Silence, keep the attention firmly gripped as the guitars weave and scorch quality melodic aural patterns before the ear and the rhythms drive with impressive intimidating power. The songs are unpredictable and surprising in the best way, leaving one engaged consistently despite the growing feeling of a lost opportunity as the album progresses in its destructive and expansive adventurous mix.

Biggest album highlights come in the shape of the imaginative Hourglass Memoirs with its emotive beginning the catalyst for a storming ravenous consumption of the ear and a mighty melodic/violent blend and the marrow sucking Human Weakness. This song is pure nastiness brought with manipulative ingenuity only strong songwriters and musicians can conjure. It leaves one in a numbed state whilst contemplating what just happened and wading through a flood of triggered thoughts and emotions.

As mentioned at the start the album as a whole is actually pretty satisfying but it could have been much better. It is though worth your time and attention and offers more than a few moments and strong qualities to suggest the case for Silent Empathy having the potential to be a big noise in the future.

Ringmaster 27/06/2012

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