In The Whale – Nate & Eric

InTheWhale R! 2

This week sees the release of the Nate & Eric, a fireball of rock ‘n’ roll from US duo In The Whale. The album is actually the putting together of the band’s last two EPs and if they have escaped your attention this is an encounter you should urgently add to your collection of crucial sounds. As eclectic as they are ferociously contagious, the songs making up the release are encounters bred in everything from old school rock ‘n’ roll and punk through to blues, garage rock, and plenty more. It is uncompromising, honest, balls out rock ‘n’ roll, and quite simply irresistible.

Formed in 2011, the Denver band consists of Nate Valdez (vocals and guitar) and Eric Riley (drums and backing vocals), a pair which much like Canadians The Black Frame Spectacle, turn two sources of roaring instrumentation into a full-on rapacious beast of sound and energy. In 2012 In The Whale unleashed debut EP Cake, a well-received proposition which was followed by a just as impressive live presence, which has seen the band play with the likes of Murder by Death, Local H, Reverend Horton Heat, and Electric Six as well as The Airborne Toxic Event, Agent Orange, Bob Log III, The Pack A.D. and Slash. Second EP Eric hit ears in the latter stages of 2013 with its successor Nate being unveiled earlier this year. Now the last EPs come together to create one of the most inspiring and mouthwatering propositions of 2014.

Nate & Eric opens up with the Nate tracks, and specifically Robert Johnson. From its first breath a flame of energy and intensity hits image10-5the ears through intermittent strikes of raw riffs and punching beats beneath the equally imposing vocal call of Valdez. Bluesy air oozes from all aspects too before the track settles into a predatory dance of raucous riffs and anthemic rhythms to which the vocals burn and roar passionately. The track is like a mix of the previously mentioned Canadians, Reverend Horton Heat, and Eagles of Death Metal, and just as devilish as that mixture suggests. It is Devil music and unapologetically irreverent in its infectiousness and psyche twisting charm.

If the starter was mercilessly tempting than the following Wedding Bells should be labelled as dangerous, its initial southern psychobilly twang toxic bait to which the band erupts into a garage punk enslavement with impossibly addictive pop punk relish. For less than a minute and a half, the track stomps with nagging rhythms and agitated riffs, leading into a ridiculously commanding chorus; this all under the again gripping vocals of Valdez. It is a fiery mix that Valdez and Riley conjure; alchemy of sound sculpted with an adrenaline fuelled inventive voracity through simply one predacious guitar, an antagonism lit drum kit, and flaming vocals.

Both the hard rocking Lake of Fire with its again blues kissed rabidity and the feverish brawl of Grandpa Pete keep passions and ears greedy, the first a frenetic blaze of stoner-esque heavy rock with punk urges. Acidic melodies and darkly shadowed chords equally add their potency to the fire dance, hooks and grooves just as prevalent and mischievously compelling too. There is a little tint of Wall of Voodoo to the song, though admittedly for indefinable reasons whilst its successor is pure punk revelry with metallic appetite. Holding a touch of I Am Duckeye and Melvins in its barging garage punk tenacity and devilment, the track is pure aural addiction.

The Eric half of the album begins with On A Roll and immediately a scrub of blues guitar swiftly joined by muscular rhythms and honky-tonk piano covers the senses. As Valdez opens up the narrative everything settles into an ordered yet disruptive canvas of unpredictable rhythms and searing melodies beneath those dramatically expressive vocals. There is a rich feel of Queens Of The Stone Age to the riot but only as a potent spice in a loudly individual proposition. Its triumph is followed by the best track on the release, The Clash seeded Girlfriend. Beats set out a plain but gripping frame for both men to lay down their anthemic vocal call before the track explodes into a blistering punk temptation. The Vibrators meets Rocket From The Crypt with that Strummer and co blooding, the song is an incendiary trap to dive into head first for the greatest pleasure and lustful satisfaction.

The release closes with Sunbeam where again the pair step into a stoner landscape but this time with coarse rock ‘n’ roll and seventies garage rock scenery. It is a smouldering abrasing of sound and sonic tempting, keys again adding richer colour to the riveting and shifting terrain of the magnetic provocation. It is a glorious end to a sensational release, as mentioned one which if the EPs individually have evaded your sweaty hands, is a must have, do not dawdle purchase. In The Whale expels rock ‘n’ roll in its purest yet adventurous form, a furnace to get persistently and brilliantly burnt by; the proof is all there on Nate & Eric.

The self-released Nate & Eric is available now!

www.inthewhalesucks.com

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gaz Patterson – Dodging Bullets

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Following up his impressive and thoroughly enjoyable debut album King Of You, UK one man pop punk/power pop protagonist Gaz Patterson returns with Dodging Bullets, an eleven track romp to light up ears. Bred from the same stock as its successor but showing a new strength of maturity amongst the riot of hooks and cast of melodic temptation, the new release pushes the already strong emergence of the man up numerous notches.

Hailing from Bedlington in Northumberland, Patterson again keeps within existing boundaries with Dodging Bullets. As with the last album, songs hold a familiarity which ensures they make friends long before their hearts are fully spilled. Once more it is hard to avoid making comparisons to modern Green Day and Blink 182, but at times there is a strong Ramones seeding to songs which offers a vibrant and anthemic lure. As the first album, Dodging Bullets is not without a few things which need honing, but for richly pleasing, feet grabbing pop infused punk songs, it fills all needs.

The release opens with Into The Sun and a sparkling of keys swiftly joined by hefty swipes of guitar and rhythms. It is a potent start which takes little time before settling into a wide gaited stride of thumping beats and enticing riffs speared by a similarly alluring tidy hook. The track is an anthemic beast, guitars and bass sculpting a frame for imagination and emotions to latch onto whilst the punctuation of drum swipes just intensifies the bait on offer. It is not a majorly dramatic start or song but one which hits the sweet spot persistently, especially with the tempting melodic enterprise streaming with variation from Patterson’s guitar. With the man providing every aspect of the album, it is easy to see and eagerly appreciate his skills and talent, as well as his ability to write ridiculously catchy songs.

The first track does offer the first hint of the only element which off and on just misses the mark though, the vocals. It is not Patterson’s lead attack, that only recruiting ears and attention with ease but the production around his voice which leads to questions, it bringing a hollow resonance to the delivery which does not fit easily in the arms of the sounds. It is a niggle more than an issue but something may be worth thinking about as is the additional backing vocals and harmonies behind the man which are a little hit and miss across the album and often do not need to be there such the power of his lead. Nevertheless it does not stop the opener from lighting an appetite for the album into which the following Devil Girl sparks a wave of greed. The track is a gem, vocals and riffs immediately rubbing invitingly on ears before the song bursts into a boisterous rampage. Guitars and drums lead the way with an irresistible revelry whilst the bass adds a throaty depth to the mix but it is when keys suddenly rein things in for a brief melodic breath that the songwriting of Patterson shows its growing confidence and potency.

Both Bitter Sweet and Hold On keep things rocking, the first pulling on the reins of urgency compared to the last song but still cantering with keen endeavour and tempting riffs aligned to infectious hooks whilst the second adds a caress of acoustic guitar to a key sculpted melodic swagger with appealing touches of discord. Neither matches the strength and pull of the first pair of songs but easily bind ears in an appealing and imaginative hold before the might of the title track takes over. Thrusting a flame of hard core inspired rock ‘n’ roll into power pop contagion, the track makes a gripping start with a strong coaxing which only increases as guitars slip into intriguing grooves and melodic twists whilst rhythms emerge with an unpredictable nature to make the song an enthralling and fascinating charge.

The acoustic balladry at the core of the next up Barely Believe is a decent proposition but lacks the spark of other songs, though the strings bring a great evocative croon to the song, whilst Nothing Sacred from a blaze of riffs and sonic suasion shapes another anthem of searing melodies and barbed hooks to snare thoughts and emotions. The drums roam around with agitated enterprise whilst the bass for arguably the first time finds the growl and potency which graced the first album. The vocal production does the song no favours it has to be said but cannot prevent it igniting passions with its storm of stirring sounds and impressive musicianship. As so many of the songs it is like meeting an old buddy, familiar and unsurprising but very, very welcome.

Our Movie is another which just misses heights set, but again it is that production element which defuses its sinewed driven stroll of addictive hooks and enticing riffs aligned to exhausting incendiary rhythms; a mix in a different less intensive guise which marks out the next in line, Too Far From The Truth. Featuring excellent guest backing vocals from Sam Gibson and a great sultry twang to the melodic persuasion of the guitar, the song is a striking and increasingly virulent slice of potent pop rock. Of all the songs on the album, it is the one which from a strong start just seems to get better and linger longer; simply a vivacious song to heat up the summer.

The album closes with firstly the senses cradling Promises Into Yesterday with its emotive weave of acoustic guitar and shadowed basslines within a heated web of guitar passion and synth expression, and lastly We Are We Are. The closer is the anthem of the album, vocals immediately filling ears and imagination before a gentle but energetic shuffle of devilish rhythms, roving basslines, and melodic toxicity combine for a richly pleasing conclusion.

     Dodging Bullets probably does not realise all of the potential found in Patterson’s first album but certainly it brings a potent evolution of plenty that was offered there whilst adding further exciting twists and promise to the mix. For imaginative but enjoyably undemanding pop punk, Patterson and his album is a recommended romp.

Dodging Bullets is out on the 1st July.

http://gazpatterson.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/GazPattersonMusic

8/10

RingMaster 27/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite

pic byMatthewZinke

pic byMatthewZinke

You always hope and sort of expect bands to get better and more adventurous with each release, expectations becoming greedier and more demanding for the next offering after each success. Often wants are met and as often disappointed but few seem to make the size of a leap forward with each album as US melodic death metallers Allegaeon has. What is most impressive about the band is not so much the fact that they continue to evolve and push their sound to new plateaus with each release but the size of the steps between what have been quite stunning releases anyway. Releasing third album Elements of the Infinite, the Colorado quintet has again taken the seeds of a thoroughly impressive and highly acclaimed predecessor to another dramatically compelling and boundary stretching level. It is a glorious storm of technical voracity and virulent invention within an extreme metal tenacity which just ignites the imagination whilst feeding an appetite and hunger until now undiscovered. Last album Formshifter was a major incitement declaring Allegaeon as a prime protagonist but hindsight and Elements of the Infinite shows it was just the another step in a brewing game changer which has begun to redesign the landscape and future of melodic death metal.

The gap between the two albums has also seen the departure of band founder guitarist Ryan Glisan, who brought the project to life in Allegaeon - Elements of the Infinite2008, and drummer Jordon Belfast. Whether coincidence or giving a previously unavailable opportunity to the band to explore new depths and adventures within its still distinct to Allegaeon sound, the departures seem to have opened up a startling new soundscape for the band to colour. The skilled presence of newcomers Brandon Park and Michael Stancel on drums and guitar respectively, alongside guitarist Greg Burgess, vocalist Ezra Haynes, and bassist Corey Archuleta has found a new depth to the ideation of the band. 2010 debut album Fragments of Form and Function put Allegaeon on the map and Formshifter brought a potent colour to the emerging scenery but the Dave Otero recorded Elements of the Infinite has not only reinforced the weight of the band’s presence but redefined the borders around its inventive terrain.

What immediately strikes as opener Threshold Of Perception engulfs ears and thoughts is not only the fluid and even stronger technical craft and impacting maturity to the songwriting and sound but the new ferociousness of aggression also challenging and seducing the senses. The track opens with a startling evocative web of expressive guitar within a dramatic and portentous yet welcoming atmosphere. It is a simultaneously intimidating and seducing coaxing which grows with epic breath as orchestrated hues and adventure soak the imagination, godly vocal harmonies and string manipulation a mesmeric charm and lure as the walls and heart of the track establish their demanding presence. The fearsome guttural growls of Haynes impress from the first spiteful syllable whilst Park cages the listener in a cauldron of rhythms and beats which without breaking sweat, break the back of emotional security. It is a tremendous entrance which expands into a masterful narrative of delicious sonic and melodic enterprise within an uncompromising intensity driven by Park and Archuleta. The song is a portent of things to come, swiftly confirmed by its successor.

   Tyrants Of Terrestrial Exodus entangles senses in a predacious stride of punishing rhythms and sonic enticement, crushing and seducing ears and emotions with equal vivacity. The track is hypnotic, bewitching the imagination from every angle. From the aggressive pungency of the drums and bass malice aligned to pleasingly diverse vocal causticity to the sonically bred melodic ingenuity which either sings loudly or with subtle kisses soaks every note, the encounter is a twisting tempting. It is a glorious wind in the new ‘dawning’ of Allegaeon within Elements of the Infinite, one complemented by the just as captivating Dyson Sphere. There is a core swing and groove to the song which infects emotions instantly and to which Burgess and Stancel layer imposing magnetic textures and mesmeric imagination. Spatial in its climate and tenacious in its invention, not forgetting hostile in its primal expulsions, the track ignites another wave of greed in the hunger and satisfaction already bred by the album.

Next The Phylogenesis Stretch takes thoughts into another fascinating realm of technical alchemy and sonic ingenuity within an exhausting and thrilling musical and lyrical narrative. As with all the tracks, the song has layers and corners which cannot be fully explored or often discovered on initial visits, ensuring that from an instantly stunning and mouthwatering premise, there is a constantly rewarding and impressive investigation perpetually unveiled with each taking of its body. This only makes a brilliant album on first embracing a growing leviathan of quality and scintillating inventive alchemy with ever emerging pinnacles like 1.618 which comes next. The track lovingly flirts and viciously riles the imagination from start to finish, a sonic and rhythmic provocateur which allows the listener to make assumptions before whipping away the floor for another inspiring fall into the rich enthralling depths of the encounter.

There is a darker rapacious feel to the album aligned with the aggression and inventive exploration, openly shown by that song and the next up Gravimetric Time Dilation, a carnivorous beauty and elegant vitriol soaking the careering rabidity and sonic endeavour enslaving ears. It beguiles and savages with irresistible resourcefulness and malicious enmity cored by a guitar enticement which binds it all together whilst reassuring the senses that the rancor is for their own good.

The pair of Our Cosmic Casket and Biomech II set new fires within the passions, the first a slowly unveiling intrusion of mystique washed melodics and insatiable predation courted by celestial temptation and virulent loathing whilst the second is sheer vindictive brilliance. An uncompromising, merciless stomp of addictive hostility and psyche twisting grooves with a melodic toxicity which again reassures in the face of the corrosive tempest, the track is a riveting sonically plumaged predator.

Through Ages Of Ice – Otzi’s Curse and Genocide For Praise – Vals For The Vintruvian Man, the album comes to a powerfully absorbing conclusion, each in their distinct ways singular journeys through bracing and frightening lands. The first is an energetic mouthwatering stomp of melodic enchantment and sonic tenaciousness within noxious malevolence and rhythmic testing whilst the final song near on thirteen minutes of just enthralling exploration. Peaceful searches and vigorously aggressive examinations are offered in varying creative degrees and colours across the gripping premise of the breath-taking flight. It is a mighty end to a sensational album, one showing you can take nothing for granted with Allegaeon and that expectations are redundant when it comes to their skills and imagination, though Elements of the Infinite does show that you can expect a proposition which will leave senses and emotions truly alive.

Elements of the Infinite is available via Metal Blade Records now!

http://www.facebook.com/allegaeon

10/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Channel Zero – Kill All Kings

Channel Zero - Band Photo 2014 #3 - Photo Credit Tim Tronckoe

The first release since the untimely death of drummer Phil Baheux, Kill All Kings from Belgian thrashers Channel Zero is a worthy tribute to their friend and one of metal’s rigorously stylish stickmen. The loss of one of the Brussels quartet’s founders understandably almost brought the band to an end but honouring him by not giving in to the obvious temptation to call it a day for the second time, Channel Zero has unleashed an album which simply sees the band draw on all its undoubted craft and invention to create a captivating and thrilling encounter. It is not an album to set new templates or plateaus for thrash metal but like a safe and rewarding friend hits the sweet spot of wants and satisfaction for a thoroughly enterprising engagement.

Formed in 1990, Channel Zero pushed themselves into world recognition across the next seven years through their potent groove infested thrash sound. The period saw four well-received albums with Unsafe of 1994 and Black Fuel two years later especially acclaimed, whilst in between those particular releases and amidst a clutch of successful EPs, the band played around the world, touring with the likes of with Megadeth, Danzig, and Biohazard as well as playing numerous major European festivals. 1997 though saw the band call it a day but fevered support for the band from fans continued, eventually going some way to persuading the band to get together and return with a one off live performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. That was the plan but with the show sold out in a minute, the further five added devoured in less than two hours, and the shows all a major success, the band in many ways had no choice but to unite for a full return. Fellow founders, bassist Tino Olivier de Martino and vocalist Franky De Smet Van Damme alongside Baheux and newcomer guitarist Mikey Doling (ex-Soulfly), who replaced original Xavier Carion, after a series of singles created and unleashed their fifth album. The 2011 Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head, Soulfly, Devildriver) produced Feed ‘Em with a Brick was wrapped in praise by fans and media alike, putting the band back on the front foot though the sad passing of Baheux from a rupture of an artery in 2010, made the band contemplate stopping again.

Thankfully Channel Zero decided to carry on in honour of their brother and last year set about working on Kill All Kings with again Channel Zero - Kill All KingsMader. With Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly) providing the drums for the recording, the album is a fitting tribute to the memory of Baheux and a new chapter in the sound and future of the band. From the opening Dark Passenger, band and release ignite ears and imagination, with feet and neck muscles in close order. Guitars rustle up a sonic mist and a portentous atmosphere before erupting in tandem with crisp punchy beats and jagged riffs, into a transfixing heavy stride. Bass and guitars carve out a magnetic lure, the first especially gripping with its throaty predation, whilst the rhythms swing with sinewed urgency as the excellent voice and delivery of Van Damme roars with an appealing growl and melodic enticement. There is nothing dramatically new about the song in respect to its seeding genre but still makes a compelling and anthemic introduction to light ears and emotions easily.

There is also an immediate and understandable emotive passion to the track, especially vocally, which just as potently spices up the following Electronic Cocaine. The initial winding embrace of acidic grooves and meandering basslines leads a ready appetite into a slower but no less captivating stroll of rapacious riffs and vocal coaxing. It is riveting bait which lays down the perfect terrain for the contagious and gloriously alluring chorus to break out from. The exceptional song continues to stomp and sway, entwining both within its inventive melodic casting and rhythmic incitement to prove an imaginative and imagination sparking treat which is swiftly matched by the more voracious Burn The Nation. Beats and riffs are antagonistically besieging ears from the start, vocals soon employing their own animosity lined encouragement to thoughts and emotions. As its predecessor, the track embraces a melodic toxicity which is as drawing and gripping as the insistent rhythms alongside a great bass sculpted lure.

Both Digital Warfare and Ego keep the album in the heart of eager attention and greedy hunger, the first fuelled by an old school thrash rapaciousness bringing thoughts of Exodus to the fore whilst its flirtation of grooves and drama clad invention creates a rich incendiary hue for the core of the song to charge masterfully through to seduce the passions. It is another scintillating proposition which is matched by the emotive prowl of its successor with its Metallica like gait and fiery resourcefulness in melodies and rhythmic agitation. As with all of the major peaks across the album, it is the impossibly contagious and invigorating anthemic potency of the track which turns excited embers into flaming ardour, a vibrant bed stoked further by the strong guitar craft and imagination aligned to intriguing inventive adventure.

Across Crimson Collider and the title track, the album seems to settle into a more emotionally driven but less openly exploratory premise. The pair of tracks certainly retaining the album’s grip on thoughts and emotions with ease whilst treating ears to powerful and creatively magnetic propositions but the spark of adventure is lessened by a more expectations feeding aspect to the songs, that safe feeling mentioned previously washing over keen hopes. To be fair both tracks do have body and mind caged within their infectious designs ensuring pleasure and involvement is still leading reactions, though even that meanders a little with the imaginative but ineffective balladry of Brother’s Keeper.

Things move in the right direction again with the predatory stalking of Army Of Bugs if without sparking a riotous hunger, the bass and scything riffs especially alluring alongside the great malevolent growl crawl of Van Damme’s delivery. It is a compelling and enticing track which triggers an expulsion of and return to the gripping unpredictability and instinctive adventure which started the album off. Mind Over Mechanics bristles with muscular confrontation and rhythmic demands to enslave ears and thoughts whilst a sonic web from the guitars courted by melodic flames, colour song and emotions with a rich fascination and enjoyment. It is a formidable provocateur with addiction forging properties just as the following tempest Duisternis. Sung in his own dialect, Van Damme seduces and cages ears in a blistering weave of vocal temptation wrapped in a similarly enslaving bass taunting and riff nagging. With rhythms a concentrated swing of primal rabidity, the track is raw voracious metal at its.

The closing Heart Stop brings the album to an ear capturing conclusion if again not quite matching some of its fellow storms on the album. Like Kill All Kings as a whole though, there is an underlying potency which refuses to let attention and rich satisfaction waiver and look elsewhere, its emotive drama as pungent as the creative skills at work. It is a fine end to an excellent album, not a release to set new standards but an encounter to place Channel Zero back to the fore of European thrash and more importantly to provide one of the most enjoyable metal albums this year so far.

Kill All Kings is available via Metal Blade Records now!

www.channel-zero.be

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Perfect Beings – Self Titled

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Though from an irresistible start the album found a lull in convincing personal tastes in its middle before returning to enslave the imagination for its closing stretch, the self-titled debut album from US progressive rockers Perfect Beings is one of those compelling propositions which just will not leave thoughts alone. It is a constant lure drawing attention back to relive its greatest moments and to earn the offering of more time for initially less persuasive parts to stake their cause. Though the album never does avoid being an encounter which ebbs and flows in success, it undoubtedly offers perpetual fun and enjoyment whilst announcing Perfect Beings as a band destined to excite time and time again over potent and successful horizons.

The beginnings of the Los Angeles based band came with guitarist Johannes Luley who approached vocalist/pianist Ryan Hurtgen about collaborating on a progressive rock project. From there the pair began setting out the framework and body for a concept album loosely based on the Suhail Rafidi novel TJ & Tosc, a release dealing with themes of ‘transformation, self-identity, technology, and love in a post-apocalyptic world.’ Next drummer Dicki Fliszar (Bruce Dickinson) joined as the last writing stages of the album were reached followed by keyboardist Jesse Nason and Chris Tristram whom Luley came across through a video of the bassist playing along with Roundabout by Yes posted on YouTube. With personal in place, the album was recorded live at My Sonic Temple studio in Los Angeles with engineer Julian David over three weeks, and a certain treat overall it is too.

As mentioned, imagination and passions were swiftly ablaze through the opening pair of songs alone. First to seduce the ears is The Solar_eclipseCanyon Hill, its gentle subdued stroll of keys and cloaked vocals an instant lure to bring a smile and appetite. As it emerges further percussive teasing toys pleasingly with the senses whilst a stronger character to the vocals simply bewitches as the track grows in presence and temptation. Once in its full height with guitars and bass adding their flirtation to that of the keys and vocals, thoughts of Skylarking era XTC are vocal in their similarity and even louder within the following Helicopter. It is a delicious irresistible spice which adds rich flavour to the mischievous swagger and melodic hued drenched second song. Keys and guitars once more seduce with an inventive devilry whilst bass and drums cast a web of intriguing shadow kissed rhythms to temper but equally incite the summer bred heat of the sonic imagination. The song proceeds to stomp and croon with infectious and virulent persuasion ensuring whatever comes next from Perfect Beings gets plenty of eager attention.

Both Bees and Wasps and Walkabout intrigue and infest the imagination next with tantalising success, the first of the two moving in on the buzz of its namesakes amidst piano crafted drama and percussive unpredictability. That dramatic air also soaks heavier strikes of riffs and rhythms before settling into an enthralling stroll of excellent vocal harmonies and distinctively quirky melodies. There is a Steely Dan like breath to the heart of the song and an experimental revelry at its ideation which cages the imagination in a riveting web of adventure. The song never erupts or pushes its progressive hunger too far to offer a wonderfully composed and restrained yet highly imaginative proposition before passing the ears and emotions over to its similarly warm and resourcefully enterprising successor. The blend of acoustic guitar and vocals makes for a warm embrace leading into a summery waltz of hook sparkling piano bred melodies and darker evocative bass incitement. As its predecessor, the song is a breeze which permeates but does not envelop the listener, instead offering a potent canvas and colourful scenery for the imagination to explore and run with rather than thrusting forth a demanding landscape. It is over long at nine minutes plus, losing some of the keenness of attention given earlier in its presence, but an engrossing and highly rewarding journey all the same to again increase the power of album and acclaim towards it.

The pair of Removal of the Identity Chip and Program Kid mark the moment for admittedly indefinable reasons the album slips from its previous unreserved success. The first of the two has another great element of XTC to it as well as thick essences of Pink Floyd but despite the increasingly impressive craft of the band and the poetic interplay of their contributions, the song drags and feels too weighty in its invention and desire to explore. It is more personal tastes at play than an issue with the track but certainly something is lacking or over indulged in to please the same appetite ignited by earlier songs. The second of these two also falls flat in comparison though again you can only recommend the track to progressive rock fans who want all the pomp and grandeur of the ground-breaking giants of the genre.

The Beatle-esque Remnants of Shields gets things back on course, its enthralling melodic haze of keys and strummed elegance a potent suasion behind the ever impressive vocals of Hurtgen. Encasing ears and thoughts in a balmy enchantment it simmers and impresses before the outstanding Fictions casts another addictive and emotionally arousing captivation. Keys and melodies wrap the listener in beguiling endeavour from start to finish but allow plenty of room for feisty rhythms and fiery sonics to add their fascination to the seduction.

The album is completed by firstly the melodically lively, atmospherically smouldering Primary Colors and finally the compelling One of your Kind, the first a strong but another encounter wary of rousing passions and the last a thrilling evocation which makes a slow and decent enough impression for its initial third before erupting into a slightly bewildering but wholly riveting and exciting imagination igniting emprise. It makes for a striking end to a similarly impacting album, a release it is easy to use to suggest that Perfect Beings has all the skills and imagination to create masterpieces ahead, triumphs to even convince the more demanding and resistant obstacles some of us unintentionally offer up.

Perfect Beings is released June 30th via My Sonic Temple.

http://www.perfectbeingsband.com

8/10

RingMaster 23/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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

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Expain – Just The Tip

EXPAIN - Promo Photo

With rich flavour to every unpredictable twist and imaginative exploit within feverishly inventive designs, Just The Tip, the debut album from Canadian band Expain, is one ruggedly captivating proposition. As evidenced by the release, Expain cast a sound which is a mouthwatering web of thrash cultured melodic death metal infused with everything from jazz to progressive metal. It makes for a gripping and compelling capture of the imagination though for the moment the band falls slightly short of igniting a lustful blaze of passion for its persuasion, especially when placed against recent releases from the likes of Destrage, Hardcore Anal Hydrogen, and Toumaï. Nevertheless band and album are fuelled by a potential and technical craft which simply bewitches and ensures Expain is smack bang in the middle of attention’s radar.

Hailing from Vancouver, the band has earned a strong reputation back home for their melodic ingenuity within that virulently aggressive thrash bred voracity, a blend bursting across every second of Expain’s first merciless onslaught. Their full-length actually follows an EP released under the name The Almighty Excruciating Pain in 2012, the seeds to the impressive incitement of Just The Tip. Produced by Matthew Roach, the release is a potent starting block for a suspected highly promising and fruitful horizon for the five-piece.

The instrumental Bacchus opens up the creative adventure, its melodic colour and enticing within a subdued but evident snarl a hint of EXPAIN - Just The Tip - Album Coverwhat is to come, a suggestion swiftly unleashed with the following Aggressions Progression. From its opening firm rhythmic framing around progressive hues and sonic enterprise, the song has ears and thoughts fascinated. The coarse vocal squalls of Daniel Brand entwine their venomous yet welcoming hues amongst the spellbinding weave of guitar play from Pat Peeve and Eric Morrison, a captivating emprise matched by the throaty string craft of bassist Nikko Whitworth. The track is a mighty full opening, showing everything you need and wish to know about the band’s intent and ingenuity of songwriting and performance. It is a constant evolution of ideation and at times mischievous unpredictability which is emulated almost as scintillatingly in the next up Phoenix Writhing. The core charge of thrash inspire riffery and rhythmic antagonism is a powerful bait around which guitar imagination steals the show, though its shares the honours ultimately as a jazzy breather allows the bass to be just as spellbinding.

Both tracks irresistibly impress as does The King which comes in straight after upon an elegant cast of melodies before the irrepressible rhythms of drummer Ryan Idris lead the senses into a sinewed sculpted blaze of acidic short grooves and barbed persuasion. The song slips from its exciting opening into a more expectations feeding thrust but still provides a network of inventive twists and melodic metal flaming to stir up attention and appetite. It is a strong and extremely pleasing track yet lacks the spark of its predecessors as does Don’t Worry The Worst Is Yet To Come. Again the individual invention and skill is breath-taking whilst the small turns and imagination foraging tenacity of guitars and bass are enslaving but it is the thrash spine which offers little new to chew over and lessens the impact of the songs.

The singular attack of the vocals is another element in which more variation is wished, to join the diverse creativity colouring songs, though admittedly Brand is excellent in his delivery and passionate provocation. It does mean though that at times he loses out to the sparkling and potent endeavour elsewhere, as shown with the excellent Idol Worship where guitars seize attention resourcefully supported by great bass and drum incitement. The track and its successor Allegiance To Pain also avoid providing something which is equally never offered by songs and album, and that is to really explore an avant-garde territory which certainly the second of this pair does pleasingly hints at. Song and release does flirt with that bold diversity and adventure across its impressive body but never quite goes into the heart of inventive ‘mania’ which those bands previously mentioned embrace. It is still one of the pinnacles of the album though and gives another reason to suspect that the band is going to become a big force.

Both the seductively prowling Manatee and the predacious Headbang Your Head Off keep ears and emotions employed, the first a blackened waltz of melodic revelry and rhythmic barracking whilst the second is a torrent of disorientating beats and dazzling sonic lures which never standstill or allow a breath to be taken. Vocally too the song sees Brand at his strongest and most gripping, if again diversity is scare whilst the bass of Whitworth shows its presence to be potently inspiring within the thicker mesh of beats and grooved invention.

Completed by A.T.M. with its spicy acidic veining and the contagiously rapacious Eating A Beating Heart, the album leaves a lingering and contented hunger entrenched in thoughts and emotions. Some of the songs certainly need close attention to separate them within the context of the album but singularly all present a magnetic and riveting evocation of sound and craft. Just The Tip is an easy recommendation with plenty for fans of everyone from Megadeth to Municipal Waste, Revoker to Death, as well as those more experimental propositions previously talked of to be excited by. Expain will be a major thrill in our ears and using the reasoning of their great debut, it is expected to be sooner rather than later.

The self-released Just The Tip is available now @ https://expainband.bandcamp.com/album/just-the-tip

https://www.facebook.com/Expainmetal

8/10

RingMaster 24/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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DRAG unveil their ‘Neurotica’, on 28th July‏

Drag Online Promo Shot

SLEAZY PUNK ROCKERS ‘DRAG’ DROP THEIR EXPLOSIVE DEBUT ALBUM ‘NEUROTICA’ ON MONDAY 28th JULY THROUGH ALL NATIONAL STORES.

“If being different is the key to success then surely DRAG are destined for greatness” – BBC Music

“A sleazy punk band with grown-up songs, great image and a live show to match? Yeah, we couldn’t resist either’ – Skin Deep Magazine

 

If Courtney Love and Sid Vicious had a baby and it was raised on The Dresden Dolls, L7 and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, what would it sound like? DRAG are the answer. The brazen four-piece have been reared in Birmingham and were conceived over three years ago. Spewing out raucous riffery and killer hooks, the rising Midlanders spit out a sound that’s loaded with attitude and unbridled energy. Their stage show is always mesmerising and hard-hitting; their performances ooze sexual prowess and are as compelling as they are defiant.

 

Composed of Heather (Vocals), Velma (Guitar), Matt (Bass), and Andy (Drums), DRAG have toured throughout the UK and have shared the stage with the likes of Toyah Wilcox, SPiT LiKE THiS, Eureka Machines, Fuzzbox, Mister Joe Black, The Sex Pistols Experience, The Ramonas, and Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls). The High-flying foursome have also made numerous appearances throughout the tattoo festival circuit. As well as building a formidable live reputation, the unstoppable noiseniks have received glowing accolades from everyone from Skin Deep to BBC; the sleazy punks have also racked up critical acclaim throughout the underground.

 

DRAG’s music was born out of a love for the 90’s riot grrrl era, and their DIY ethic has been one of the defining features of the band since their inception. It is therefore a natural progression that their forthcoming debut album, “Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind” has been funded completely independently through Kickstarter. As the title suggests, “Neurotica: A Compendium of Tales Regarding Body and Mind”, deals with some deep and dark topics; with lyrical themes that address issues that most other bands wouldn’t touch, such as self-harm, mental health, and sexuality, DRAG do this without sacrifice or apology—their music is their art and the band pour everything into their craft. From the tragically poignant ‘Dandy Boy’ to the explosively aggressive ‘Dead Zebra’, DRAG take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions and have produced an electrifying album that will command your attention.

 DRAG - Neurotica Cover Artwork

-DRAG ‘NEUROTICA – A COMPENDIUM OF TALES REGARDING BODY AND MIND’ IS OUT ON MONDAY 28th JULY THROUGH ALL STORES-

www.sleazypunk.com