Michael Franti and Spearhead – All People

MF

This week sees the UK release of All People from Michael Franti and Spearhead, an album of feel good hymns which brings fun filled light and adventure to any day. Consisting of sixteen tracks which flirt with and incite feet through to the imagination to romp with refreshed energy and appetite against any ills clouding personal climates, the album is a mouthwatering sunspot of diverse pop flavoured enterprise. It is pop though bred from the richest essences of everything from rock to funk, ska to Hip-Hop, soul to folk with plenty more in between. It results in a release which brings a persuasive familiarity to new adventures, an encounter which ultimately shines like a beacon in the shadows of life.

     All People is the tenth album from Michael Franti, a very different proposition from where the San Francisco based singer/songwriter/guitarist began. Starting his journey with post-punk band The Beatings and then acclaimed hip-hop group Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Franti has always fought and supported the ‘underdog’, something which has never lessened as his music found its course into a more varied and pop accessible destination. It is just as full and vocal on All People, songs looking at an array of issues and flaws, worldly and intimate, but all realised in anthems for summer days and sultry nights. The follow-up to the acclaimed 2010 release The Sound of Sunshine, the new album, which sees Franti collaborating with the likes of Adrian Newman, Sam Hollander, and Canadian production team The Matrix on many of the songs, may have taken its time hitting British shores after its US release last year but it is hard to imagine it not taking over the impending summer’s soundtrack over coming weeks.

The title track starts off the party with a gentle seduction initially; acoustic guitar and the instantly evocative keys of Raliegh Neal caressing F4A96317-E24D-4C83-833F-CBCA94257239ears before Franti and guest vocalist Gina René add their tender touches to the opening coaxing. Soon pulsating heavy beats from Manas Itiene join the enticement but it is when a switch is flicked and the piano slaps its keys down on the senses that the song takes off in climatic style. Drama suddenly soaks the dancefloor incitement; the throaty bass of Carl Young bringing richer textures to the excited stomp as both vocalists again court thoughts and emotions with ease. It is the first song and first anthem of the release, setting things off explosively.

Things hit a new pinnacle right away with the following Earth From Outer Space with features K’Naan. Again as the first song, its entrance is a soothing beckoning rather than anything gripping but once the song slips into its reggae bred stroll, melodies and vocals streaming warmth and aural smiles from their notes and syllables, slavery of feet and emotions is a done deal. Lyrical repetition and easy going hooks ensure as in most tracks you can join in within one chorus and a single stride of a verse, the sheer revelry dancing resourcefully with ears. The great vocal mix and seductive colour of the song leaves that feel good factor in full flow which new single I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) embraces ravenously. The guitars of Franti and Dave Shul from the first breath are lending a creative warmth and mischief to the imagination, contagion subsequently pouring from theirs and every rhythmic and vocal design. Again the catchy heart of the pop rock track is irresistible, body and soul joining its swagger and a festivity so potent that even the downright miserable will be swept up in its scintillating arms smiling broadly outside and within.

Things take a breather with next up Long Ride Home, the song a gliding evocative croon of expressive keys and moody basslines over which Franti lays his engagingly textured tones. There is still a pulse beat to the tempered balladry of the song which eggs feet and emotions in to a keen stride of movement and reflection respectively. It is constantly brewing up a passion across its offering which ends in a potent crescendo before making way for the folkish charm of Life Is Better With You, a song with a definite Simon & Garfunkel spicing, and the pungently emotive hip-hop seeded 11.59, a track inspired by the Trayvon Martin shooting. Though the three songs cannot match the fire of their predecessors, each brings an invigorating variation and impacting enthrallment to the album.

That diversity continues with the darker light of Closer To You, a track finding its origins seemingly in the post punk formative years of Franti, its opening especially reminiscent of the chilled climates of a New Order or early Cure before expanding into an electro sculpted slice of indie rock, and the brilliant Gangsta Girl. Flaming with a delicious ska/pop stomp and sultry swerve of melodic spicery, the track is infectiousness uncaged. Its feisty canter is just like The Beat in their heyday, a broadly grinning flirtation which has feet and passions swerving like a puppeteer.

Through the again uniquely shaped pleasures of emotive rocker Show Me A Sign, the richer ska seeded I Don’t Wanna Go, and the funk infested Do It For The Love, the album continues to diversely excite and thrill whilst musically it continues to hit the sweet spot in skill and invention. The trio of songs also slip below the irrepressible temptation of the songs right before them, though each leaves body and heart alight and greedy for more which the warm and breezy Let It Go featuring Ethan Tucker, and the Lennon-esque On And On feed fully with their own unique characters in the suasion of the album.

The evocative pop enchantment of Wherever You Are followed by the emotionally fuelled ballad Say Goodbye, lead the album to its enjoyable conclusion though they do lack the kick of the rest of the album. Nevertheless they do leave a lingering breath and tempting to dive back into the album once an acoustic mix of Life Is Better With You finally brings things to a fine close.

All People is an excellent proposition to inflame the day and heart, rock pop in its most potent and impressively flavoursome forms. It is fair to say that Michael Franti and Spearhead with All People has just ignited the British summer.

All People is available now!

https://www.michaelfranti.com/

9/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

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Hard Riot – The Blackened Heart

Hard-Riot_Bandpic_web

Having impressed and thrilled with their debut album Living on a Fast Lane, German rockers Hard Riot return with its successor The Blackened Heart, a release which immediately shows how much the band has grown in songwriting, craft, and sound. It is fair to say that like its predecessor the new album is not worrying the inventive boundaries of heavy and voracious rock ‘n’ roll, but like the debut it is a thoroughly captivating and mouthwatering blaze of sinewed riffs, feverish adrenaline, and ferocious passion.

Hailing from Heilbronn, Hard Riot began in 2006 and was soon casting a potent web of rock and metal, its spices first showing on The Hidden Truth EP of 2009. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Michael Gildner, guitarist Andreas Rockrohr, bassist Mario Kleindienst, and drummer Carmine Jaucci, the band showed their emerging strength and sound, with its essences of AC/DC, Def, Aerosmith, and Staind, three years later on Living on a Fast Lane which they recorded with producer Vagelis Maranis before unleashing it as the new one through Pitch Black Records. The Blackened Heart, also created with Maranis and with Heiko Härle the newest member of the band on bass and backing vocals replacing Kleindienst, is the next big step in the ascent of the band, a release easy to expect bringing fresh eager attention upon the band.

The album starts as it means to go on with a fiery storm in the shape of Blackout. Riffs and rhythms instantly assault and excite ears as it PBR030takes its first breath before welcoming the excellent vocals of Gildner, who right away seems as the music to have even greater power and confidence in his delivery. The guitars and bass almost stalk the senses as the feisty narrative, musically and lyrically, of the track entrenches its infectiousness into the imagination. There is a real anthemic feel to the song without pandering to easy hooks and though it is not the most inventive track around, the thought and precise alignment of sounds is open to see and devour greedily.

It is a great start matched by the following Suicide Blues, its entrance less forceful but just as dynamic after the first caress of chords. Holding stronger old school metal seeds in its belly and a groove metal hunger in its breath, the track swaggers and surges with a contagiousness which is irresistible. Scorched riffs and pungent rhythms persist on the senses as the track romps with relish for three minutes plus of irrepressible rock ‘n’ roll. It is song made for feet and neck muscles, which get a sort of breather with the next up Devils BBQ, a riveting roar of southern rock based enterprise with a great country/Cajun twang in its veining. Like its predecessors, there is nothing spectacularly new to it but it plays like an old friend with a fresh colour to its creative clothing which simply captivates for a tantalising treat which leaves a smile on face and emotions.

The End strides purposefully into view next, swipes of riffs and tempered rhythms courting expressive vocals before combining for a rich flame of melodic hard rock up to and around a potently catchy chorus. It is not as immediate as certainly the first two songs on the album but once bodies are bouncing around rooms and bums on chairs you realise it has hit the sweet spot just as accurately as any other track on the album. From that Nickelback like canter, the emotive ballad Count On Me croons in the ear with melodic seduction and vocal angst, again recalling spices of the Canadian band. The song is soon under the skin and teasing thoughts and emotions, it’s perfectly crafted body not surprising in any way but certainly lingering with German persuasion.

The pair of Not Alone and The Enemy Within leaves imagination and appetite busy though not matching the strength of the album up to this point. The first builds an evocative flame of melodies and emotive vocals around choppy riffs and crisp beats which binds attention whilst the second teases with another countrified twang before its bluesy heart wraps imaginatively around the ears. Both songs reveal more of the improved skill and adventurous exploits within the thinking of the band whilst pleasing ears with immensely accomplished designs.

Dirty Games steps up next to growl provocatively, its riffs and rhythms a predatory lure over which Gildner again deeply impresses. Crowding around ears with incendiary hues and patterns, the guitars cast a potent enticement which dares to flourish but never exceed the core boundaries of the vivaciously driven track. It is a strong asset of the album, the restraint to the individual’s skill which other bands might fail to rein in, but Hard Riot know when enough is enough to impress and enhance but not overload a song.

Second ballad Last Goodbye with its great violin call is an enjoyably decent companion before the bold wanton sounds of High Society Bitch ignite in ears and imagination. It is a tremendous snarl of dirty rock ‘n roll with a raucous edge to its infection which is surpassed by the closing brawl of Hit The Ground, a thumping stomp of a song which again has nothing truly new to show but all the virulent contagiousness and quality you could wish for in a heavy rock song.

The CD version of The Blackened Heart comes with an additional track, a reworked version of The End featuring Richard Sjunnesson of The Unguided which to be honest we preferred to the original just because of the great union of the two vocalists. The album itself is another impressive and exciting encounter from Hard Riot, a release showing the band yet to find its distinctive voice is certainly on the way to being a potent force and attraction; already they have a thrilling and appealing presence sorted.

The Blackened Heart is available via Pitch Black Records now in Europe and North America from July 8th.

http://www.hard-riot.com/

8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Great Sabatini – Dog Years

Sabatini-promo-pic

It was with their album Matterhorn that Canadian noise metallers The Great Sabatini infected and infested our psyche, the release an introduction to the virulently destructive and invasive sonic devilry which exudes from the distorted imagination of the band. It was ‘a crippling, desensitising, and cruel intrusion’ which was exhilarating and riveting. Now the band returns with third album Dog Years, an evolution of its predecessor whilst thrusting the band into a new warped field of diverse sonic hostility and intensive imagination. The new ten track release is not as cruel and destructive as its predecessor in many ways but instead a more concentrated examination and manipulation of the senses and psyche casting a diversity in its venomous acts which is absolutely enthralling. It is a masterful tempest from a band which just gets more dangerous and impressive.

Formed in 2007, The Great Sabatini consisting of Steve, Sean, Rob, and Joey has been an uncompromising and creatively destructive force from day one, debut EP Burning Wilderness in their first year an attention grabbing notice of intent. Finding the darkest toxic seeds within doom metal, progressive rock, grindcore and much more to infuse into their unique sound, the Montreal quartet were soon recruiting feverish responses live too whilst first album Sad Parade of Yesterdays in 2009 put a wider focus on guard to the band. Live The Great Sabatini has left audience gasping alongside bands such as KEN Mode, Coliseum, Today is the Day, Fuck the Facts, Threat Signal, Psyopus, and Bionic. The No List Records released Matterhorn in 2012 drew even more eager souls towards their maelstrom of sound but even its success should pale once the Solar Flare Records unleashed Dog Years begins savaging the world.

Recorded with and mixed/ mastered by Sean Pearson (Cursed, Shallow North Dakota), the album is as raw and caustic as anything the the_great_sabatini_dog_yearsband has done, though as mentioned earlier it is not as grievously nasty as its predecessor. That might be simply because there is an element of knowing what is going to corrode the senses this time around if not in the design it will come in. Dog Years certainly leaps out with starter The Royal We, its insidiously addictive rhythmic coaxing and snarling riffs at the start primal bait before which defences have their hands up within seconds. It is a spiteful virulence which even as it is expands its intensity and weight never relinquishes its grip. Eventually the lure has a more merciful intent though the heated vocal squalls more than make up for any drop in antagonism. It is a vindictive number which just as hungrily relishes charging with nostrils flaring or crawling over nerve ends with a predation glee, and a stunning start to the album.

The following Guest Of Honor is just as voracious and twisted in its sixty seven second long web of sonic enterprise and vitriol. Bestial in its rampage and serpentine in its enslaving grooves, the track is a blistering assault of noise and hardcore intensity which makes way for the mischievous swagger and pungent sonic binding of Nursing Home. The track whips around ears and senses with a dervish like energy but takes sludge bred breaks in between each outburst to further impose and encroach on the psyche. With disorientating rhythms, nagging riffs, and abrasing venom to its veins, the track is a bewitching protagonist which seduces as its lashes the imagination, a structure employed again in its own unique way by Periwinkle War Hammer. The new song is initially sinister in its breath and stalking but the sheltered intimidation is soon open as rhythms launch a thumping upon ears and vocals a grazing squall upon senses. There is a slight stoner-esque twang to the stride of the song which with a portentous dark breath to its climate makes for another distinct and appetite igniting foraging of the mind.

Next Reach comes with a rapacious sludge metal suasion to its lumbering, riffs a primal animalistic bait along with rhythms whilst grooves and vocals bring a lighter yet no less ruinous colour to the sonic swamp. It is a heavy handed consumption but one with a magnetic radiance which tempers some of the pressure conjured by the band and its intensity, something certainly not an issue with the following Akela. To completely wrong foot thoughts and emotions the track is a countrified croon, a bluegrass like caress which tantalises as much as it, in a good way bemuses. Whether a respite, a smile inducer, or a slice of madness, the song is an absorbing twist to the album which is soon back in full rabidity with the excellent Munera. It is another track where the heat of its passion and fury burns with every sonic note and searing groove, whilst hostility is represented by animosity fuelled rhythms and vocal friction. Contagion though seeps from its every pore and feuding note to create a fury you just want to be savaged persistently by.

Pitchfork Pete is much the same, though again it is an individual in the schizophrenic beauty of the album. Almost satanic in its vocal narrative and pestilential in it’s even paced and tempered gait, the track growls and prowls with a doom clad hunger which once more is part seduction and part malignancy. Transfixing from start to finish, it sinks down to a crawl and subsequently a sonic piercing before the wonderfully deranged intricacies of Ditch Diggers Unlimited jumble up ears and imagination. It is only the appetiser though to a darker manipulative sonic toxicant which worms under skin and psyche to chain the passions before infusing a crushing weight of riffs and intensity into its slow seducing.

The album is completed by the unforgettable Life During Wartime, a track with the quaintness of forties melodies and the predatory ferocity of a thousand conflicts. Its initial presence is raw and uncomfortable but respectful in its evocative presence yet as the track grows its narrative and descriptive resentment, it fuels a fierce and compelling landscape. It is an immense end to an outstanding release, without doubt the finest ravaging from The Great Sabatini yet and you still feel there is more to come from the band, scary!

Dog Years is available digitally and on vinyl via Solar Flare Records @ http://solarflarerds.bigcartel.com now!

http://www.thegreatsabatini.com

9/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

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Silhouettes – Ever Moving Happiness Machines

   Silhouettes pic

    Silhouettes last single Gold Tag offered a sizeable hint and thrilling teaser for the UK indie/electro band’s debut album, a taster which itself has continued to grow and impress since our coverage of its charms. Now that Ever Moving Happiness Machines has arrived all anticipations and expectations of the release have been fed and fully satisfied. The ten track encounter is an intriguing and inspiring slice of creative diversity and poetic imagination, a proposition which ignites the senses and thoughts in a richly varied and at times challenging way for an enthralling incitement which never leaves a moment devoid of emotive provocation or absent from riveting drama.

Hailing from Wolverhampton and formed in 2008, Silhouettes has earned themselves a sizeable reputation for their sound and live performances, a presence more than complemented by a couple of EPs. It was Gold Tag though which has arguably been the spark to a greater spotlight, its more electronic seeded presence a fascinating and tantalising evolution in the band’s sound. Created by Nathan Till (vocals, guitars), Jay Cuthill (guitars, keyboards, drums), and Ben Blewitt (keyboards), Ever Moving Happiness Machines has the potential and certainly the invention to push the band to the next level, and with a line-up completed by Xander Roberts (bass, vocals) and Ben Dargue (drums) live, Silhouettes is poised to take intensely emotive electronic music by storm.

Ever Moving Happiness Machines does not come without the occasional less impacting twist or turn but from the opening Gold Silhouettes coverTag it is an unrelenting feast of striking enterprise and emotional exploration which has ears and imagination hungry for the album’s impressive offerings. The first track immediately unveils an eighties influence, a flavouring which occurs throughout the album, as small but vivacious guitar crafted melodies entice the ears. As they find themselves joined by a magnificent and robustly throaty bassline there is a strong essence of The Farmers Boys at play, a spice which takes on a definite Orange Juice tang as keys and the great vocals of Till add to the exotically vibrant picture. The song strolls with a masterful confidence which in turn recruits a bold reaction from feet and emotions, its crystalline key sculpted melodies and expressive harmonies a seductive glaze to the contagious waltz. It is a glorious entrance which in its fullest form has appetite and imagination aflame especially through its ridiculously addictive rhythmic closing stretch.

From the lively enticement the album glides into the glistening evocative embrace of Creaking Universe. Its initial lure sparkles like sonic crystal, the keys erupting like dust in a shaft of light before a melancholic shadow and croon clouds over ears to tempt them with its darker touch vocally and musically. Slipping into a seductive breeze which soothes the ears and intrigues emotions, the song from a decent beginning becomes a potent magnet, its ever increasing pull through string orchestrated melodies and brooding textures masterful. Imagine The National meets the Walker Brothers and you have an idea of the voice and might of the track.

The next up Sacrifice is another track which needs time to grow but does so with immense success. It opens with a celestial blaze of electronic persuasion, an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark like wind hugging the senses before the falsetto charm of the vocals lie romantically upon the ears. First impressions are strong and rewarding but as with quite a few tracks on the album, it is one which deviously works away leaving a haunting toxin which repeats time and time again, to return at any moment unannounced. The exciting track is instantly emulated by Cold Water/Grey Flesh, its chillier climate and singular expression a bewitching temptation which again is strong at first but masterful over time. With the keys casting an almost intrusive web which the guitars and vocals unveil colourful and poignant hues over, the song dances elegantly seeping a stark breath of lost hope and scenery. It is a highly evocative narrative which could be described as Joy Division meets Sigur Ros.

The intensive melancholy of I Miss You, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You carries a rich Radiohead vein to its despondent emotion and cold breath. It is an impressively crafted and presented piece of music and emotion but for personal demands fails to strike the flame other songs on the release do so easily, though the flume of strings create a resonating tempting for the imagination to immerse within. It is not a low point but one personal taste cannot connect with, something the brilliant Prufrock’s Dream has no trouble achieving. The new single from band and album is an enthralling adventure of sound and imagination. Written as the sequel to the TS Eliot poem The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, the song teases ears with a sultry guitar weave at first before expanding into an exotically rhythmic and mystique soaked flame of sonic and melodic seduction. The guitars continue to bind the senses in a psychedelic glaze of Eastern promise and thought inciting majesty whilst the voice of Till croons with potent expression and absorbing texture. As it persistently flirts with ears and emotions entwining radiance and shadows, whispers of the likes of Teardrop Explodes, The Verve, and Nick Cave make their presence known in a song which is scintillatingly original and unique to Silhouettes.

Both Scuff Marks and Ferry Me Away slip in the wake of their glorious predecessor, though again it is primarily down to preferences. The first has a pulsating core and evocative ambience which increases potently over the length of the song for an enveloping climax, but again with a Radiohead similar breath it fails to spark any real reaction, though Silhouettes is a much more exciting proposition to be fair. Its successor also carries that Thom Yorke and co breeding but evolves into an emotionally infectious play with melodic toxins which seduce with wanton ease and a folk bred gentleness which elevates it to a stronger footing. Neither are songs to pass over swiftly but possibly suffer being stuck between the triumphs of Prufrock’s Dream and the outstanding Black Within The Black, a track unafraid to show its roots in the early days of The Cure. With the bass rapturous bait and rhythms pure anthemic lure, the track is an unbridled temptress to which Till brings his own style of haunted tones and expression for exceptional success. The song invades and seduces every pore and thought to provide another heady pinnacle.

Closing with the climactic Boys, a track from small melodic and expressive seeds grows into an epically shaped tower of intense emotion and powerfully evocative colour, Ever Moving Happiness Machines is a gripping adventure which provides a kaleidoscope of invention and imagination, not forgetting creative passion. It is not an album which quite succeeds with every chapter, but is a radiant success across its whole body as Silhouettes more than delivers on their original promise.

Ever Moving Happiness Machines is available via Integrity Records now!

http://silhouettesmusic.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Towns – Get By

Towns promo

When the opening track Get Me There from Towns’ debut album Get By hit the ear it must be admitted that the defences rose up just a touch as a mesh seemingly bred from the world of Madchester consumed the ears. It was not an abhorrent proposition but seemingly recalling a scene happily left lonely in our thoughts many years ago. It has to be said though that through time, even within the first encounter with the release, the Bristol based band’s first album has seduced doubts and resistance to emerge as a rather riveting proposition. It has not defused all reservations but standing as a unique proposition in sound even with its heavy essences of The Stone Roses, the Charlatans, and a Shaun Ryder-esque swoon, the album is a magnetic call within which certainly extra additives of The House Of Love and My Bloody Valentine help the persuasion.

Formed by childhood friends, Towns has had a shed load of experiences since forming to test any band’s perseverance and confidence. From being declared as the best new band of 2011 by NME after just a pair of demos and no live shows, the band endured a former booking agent running off with over £1000 of the their money to almost bring the band to a stop and after having the high of working with Owen Morris (Oasis, Verve), seeing the label paying the costs being swallowed up by a major to their detriment. It seems to have made Towns only stronger though as they continue to draw acclaim and attention. Live their performances, which have seen them alongside the likes of Paul Weller, Spiritualized, The Twang, Toy, and Eagulls, has only enhanced their presence and emergence something expectations assume Get By will accelerate.

The first impressive thing about the Towns sound and release, is the wall of scuzz seeded sound which glazes every note and imaginative Towns_-_Get_By_-_Artworkswell within their songs. It makes for an almost mesmeric wash which the smooth smouldering vocals accentuate and blossoms within, something which definitely shines from within opener Get Me There. Emerging from a sonic mist with a grinning bassline and fiery guitars, there is an immediate swagger to the song, its rhythmic shoulders swinging and confidence almost arrogant within distorted melodies. It is an appealing lure but sounding so close to earlier bands mentioned and holding a Happy Monday’s like irreverence that it lies dormant against personal appetites even if winning over attention easily. To be honest the song does become more potent and enticing over time but always there is something stopping a full recruitment to its charms as subsequently achieved by other tracks. Nevertheless with its eager gait and thick breath of sound it makes a welcoming lead into the following Marbles.

The second song springs from a scythe of feedback with a percussive shake and acidic guitar flames before settling into a tender coaxing. It is smouldering lure which erupts into climactic expulsions of intensity and raw guitar enterprise as vocals simmer and glide with mellow countenance. The bass as with the first song stands out, this time with a rapacious edge whilst the guitars scorch air and senses with impressive endeavour which a cavernous production cannot deflate. It is an intriguing and gripping track which flows seamlessly into the throaty prowl of Trip Over. Like a blend of its predecessors, the song strides with sureness in attitude and sound which worms away under the skin, the album already at this point causing a reassessment of earlier thoughts. There is causticity to the song as in the previous one, which brings thoughts of Birdland to the surface.

Both Gone Are The Days and Just Everything add new raucous invention to the album, the first unveiling a blues toxicity which permeates every riff and flaring of guitar sculpting to great effect, whilst the second brings a sultry twang to its melodic bait again to carve an engagingly infectious persuasion. The surface feel and touch of Town’s songs do carry a too familiar edge amongst themselves and to other bands previously mentioned, but in their belly a cauldron of enterprise and instinctive invention is diversely at work, you just have to look closer.

Too Tired emerges from a crystalline resonance soaked sky to sway and swirl over the senses, its body a temptress and voice a spellbinding waltz which caresses with elegant expression and warm invasive melodies before making way for the thrilling Young At Heart. Its opening tasty groove is irresistible and again has that Birdland like lilt to captivate from its first intensive note. From there the song discovers a harmonious sixties beauty to its enticing which in turn coaxes a greater richness in vocals and sonic colour from within the song. The album is at its pinnacle in its middle as evidenced by this pair and Heads Off with its delicious gnarly riffs aligned to floating melodies and vocal harmonies. In full stroll the song is a raw and abrasing treat which its soothing twists revitalise for another hungry devouring of the caustic rub of the excellent track.

The emotive call of Mirror Ghost slowly envelopes ears and thoughts next, its loud provocative whisper casting a melancholic smile which tantalises the imagination and to a lesser degree emotions. It is a slow burner which convinces in proportion to its creative growth especially the further it drifts into a sonic antagonism, and though it lacks the spark of previous songs it is impossible to not find a good appetite for it.

The final two tracks just do not have the same reach and success, Everyone’s Out which features Robin Stewart (The Naturals), Dom Mitchison (Velcro Hooks), and Richard Clarke (Scarlett Rascal) feeding rather than exciting expectations and the reflective part acoustic, part sonically messy title track, a disappointing end to what turned out to be a rather thrilling and enjoyable encounter. The last two songs will easily please other appetites though whilst Get By as a whole is a release it is fair to say brings a slice of fiery sun to anyone’s day.

Get By is available on limited 12” vinyl (100) and cd from Howling Owl Records as well as digitally from online retailers now!

https://www.facebook.com/townsband

8/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Surviving The Charade – We’re Never Coming Home

Surviving The Charade Online Promo Shot

First impressions of We’re Never Coming Home, the debut album from Swedish melodic metallers Surviving The Charade, went from being slightly underwhelmed to inexcusably captivated as it revealed more about the qualities and imagination of the band with each and every track. Given numerous excursions through the ears, the ten track encounter has become a rigorously impressive and exciting proposition for imagination and emotions. Certainly it still has thoughts questioning and succumbing to occasional reservations, but with the voracious inventiveness and surging potential which soaks the band both Surviving The Charade and We’re Never Coming Home have emerged as incitements to get increasingly excited about.

Formed in 2008, the Stockholm sextet took little time in awakening a potent fanbase and attention with first EP Your Breath Smells Like Ben & Jerry’s. Its strong presence was more than matched by the band’s live performances which continued to draw eager followers towards their striking emergence. The following We Refuse To Stand In EP continued their rising success as did the band’s appearances at prominent festivals and supporting metalcore greats Adept. 2013 saw Surviving The Charade drop in on England to record We’re Never Coming Home with producer John Mitchell at Outhouse Studios (Architects, Enter Shikari, You Me At Six, etc.). Infusing inspirations from the likes of Asking Alexandria and Architects into their sound, Surviving The Charade provide an intriguing weave of textures and flavours within their first album, a web which as mentioned impresses and at times has you wondering but persistently leaves ears and attention captivated.

The title track starts things off and this is where that initial felling of being underwhelmed initiated. Certainly the opening of crystalline DVDAXXX2XX.pdfkey cast melodies set before vocals squalls from a distant ledge is an enticing lead into the accomplished and skilfully crafted song but subsequently it is a formulaic encounter which barely hints at the real adventure to come. Nevertheless with punchy rhythms from drummer Sebastian Brydniak framing the evocative narrative impressively led by the clean vocals of Simon Brantklev, the track is an imposing introduction which with its brief length is the right way to look at it even though it kind of gives the wrong impression of the album ahead.

Classically bred keys grasp the ears first as Shout, Walls, Shout! erupts, a startling unexpected grab of the imagination which soars over the hostile raw squalls of the band’s other vocalist Daniel Rotstam. It is a pungently dramatic and creative entrance to the song though some of that potency is lost as it then relaxes into a more straight forward melodic metal stride. To temper that though the bass of Fredric Fji Johansson gnaws at the senses whilst the guitars of Fredrik Brollin and Viktor Lundberg grind, whine, and croon with acute devilry. It is a formidable suasion which leaves its predecessor quite pale in comparison, though as skilled and commanding as the music is, it is the vocals which steal the show, the clean tones of Brantklev a transfixing caress and the roars in great variety from Rotstam carnivorously appealing if not always fully successful.

The following Above The Skyline stomps and seduces with a blend of classically bred elegance and ferocious antagonism vocally and musically, hooks and melodies in as much abundance and strength as heavily swiping rhythms and savage riffs. It is a riveting encounter which lurches at and romps with the senses in an evolving gait but lacks the spark which lit up its predecessor. It does give another flavoursome taste to an already established appetite for the release though which is soon enriched by the outstanding Shotgun Wedding Bride. From its first breath the song is ripping at the jugular with sinewed sculpted riffs and rhythms courted by caustic vocals whilst a haunting melody teases above the ravenous persuasion. The body of the track has a post hardcore hostility to its rabidity which takes on another depth of angst and ferociousness behind the clean seducing of Brantklev which in also seems to inspire a creative rapaciousness from the stabs of Brydniak and the varied snarls from Rotstam. It is a tremendous brawl which reveals the rich promise of the band ahead and their quality now.

The initial voracious intensity and Meshuggah like blaze The Diary Of Frosty Jack keeps ears and passions feverish with its truculent sonic and rhythmic intent, though the cleaner passages whilst adding further poetic toxicity defuse the breath-taking intimidation a tad. It is another immensely satisfying onslaught though, which as across the album, for every moment where things lack certain potency or success in their twists there is a horde of highly inventive, captivating sounds and ideation to enthral thoughts and emotions.

The vivaciously anthemic Here We Stand where emotive melodies and fiery harmonies stake their lingering claim on the imagination within a maelstrom of predacious intensity leaves imagination and attention exhausted next. Of. It is a tremendous fire enticing creative thought with a dramatic presence which leaves the next up Broken Glass a real test to emulate, which it almost does with its robust and blistering contagion within a continually shifting storm of emotive melodic grace and adversarial spite.

The predatory metalcore spawned sound of Dance For Messiah brings another inventive tempest to explore though it fails to enslave the passions with either the lingering vitriol or infectiousness of other songs. It is full of great and skilfully executed twists and turns but feels too familiar in its overall body of sound ultimately, thus feeding expectations somewhat. It also suffers lying between the previous pair of songs and Like Animals. Virulently infectious and strikingly inventive, the track is a relentlessly evolving dervish of argumentative seduction and amicable ingenuity, a song which if human would be classed as schizophrenic for many thrilling reasons. It is an outstanding slab of captivation, everything about it sensational and the best thing on the album.

The closing The Night We All Forgot is a song which may be should not work but does. Its opening chorus of vocals and throaty basslines is so obvious that you feel the band is just going for an easy exit, but then things turn into a threatening stretch of savagery vocally and musically that you swiftly reassess. The song continues to change and bewilder, its melodic almost pop infused moments an unsure success and its vicious inhospitable pillaging irresistible, whilst combined they ebb and flow in persuasion. It is whole though the song is a fixture in mind and emotions long after its departure so that like the album no matter any doubts it is an undeniable triumph.

It is hard not to get excited about the future of Surviving The Charade and to cast a keen anticipation for their next releases on the back of We’re Never Coming Home, a reaction we expect a great many to find through this gripping encounter.

We’re Never Coming Home is available from Monday 2nd June through all digital stores.

http://survivingthecharade.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 01/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com

Tom James Parmiter – Imperfect Symmetry

ImperfectSymmetry

Virulently mesmeric and grippingly enthralling, Imperfect Symmetry is simultaneously a flight through expansive poetic scenery, an exploration of intimate emotions, and a fly on the wall reflection of evocative life. Certainly as the new album from Tom James Parmiter seduced senses and thoughts that is the emotive web which compellingly caught our imagination. Consisting of ten instrumental insights crafted by the undeniably impressive piano and keys skills of UK based composer Parmiter, the album is an emotional and cinematic adventure for a similarly exploratory vision of the listener. It is experimental without being inaccessible and soaked in a perpetual ambience which evolves and caresses with a poignant breath to which the colour rich melodies and descriptive hues of Parmiter’s craft, paints compelling narratives.

The follow up to the well-received 2011 album Providence, the Zube Records released Imperfect Symmetry has been two years in the making with everything from writing to performance Parmiter alone. It is an absorbing brew of classical and orchestral elegance entwined in a modern electronic and melodically twisted voice ensuring each track is an individual premise and provocative tale. It is a big step on from the more electronically sculpted Providence, revealing much more of the artist and emotional invention of the man.

The Paul Barton and Shaun Milton produced release opens with Remembrances, its full height of sound emerging from a sonic mist which instantly engulfs thoughts with dark shadows and haunting intrigue. The synths wrap ears like thick emotional smog clad in sonic insecurities, a bewitching blanket which parts and swirls in appealing squalls as tender reflective keys cast the heart of the song and its evocative pallor. From its start the track transfixes ears to emotions but brings an even deeper enticement with its melancholic beauty which seduces for a long term engagement. With guitars adding additional texture and resonance to its climax, the piece departs for the following title track to sweep majestically into view. Like a fleet footed yet confidently graceful dancer, the piano skills of Parmiter glide poetically over the senses and imagination; every key touch and flight of fingers adding layers of melodic colour to the immersive picture of the track. Percussive scatterings ignite the sky of the piece from its mid-point, the music igniting thoughts of a city skyline under explosive artistic skies with a wave of bodies beneath courting ground and emotions with radiant motion. It is a glorious proposition which leaves the listener basking.

Both Shifting Sands and Aftermath explore unique soundscapes next. The first ventures through sultry yet seemingly stark scenery, drifting with sonic abrasing and a caustic caress within the expressive breath of the impacting incitement whilst the second brings a crystalline elegancy with spatial seducing into an emotionally imposing but smiling reflection dealing with what feels like emotional conflict. Though neither track matches the heights and deep enveloping of the first pair, each provides a thought provoking, attention stealing exploration which the following Cerulean with its clear magnetic air and hand takes back to the earlier plateau. A warm seduction of arresting ambience soaks ears which from within a slow spellbinding casting of piano from Parmiter creates a beauty and resonating melodic rapture. It is the most dramatic and beguiling piece of music, sirenesque in its enchanted and emotive richness, and along with the title track, the pinnacle of the album.

Piano Interlude is as it says, a piece of music which allows atmospheres to rest whilst simply conversing one to one with the ears. The track does not light the imagination as others but certainly has thoughts enthused and engrossed before the sophisticated worldly embrace of The Serpent and the epic evocative structures and emotional grandeur of Angkor Wat lie compellingly within ears. Both tracks take the listener into further rich expanses of scenic beauty and provocative creative enlightenment, and both thrill with a simple and honest breath.

The album is completed by the breath-taking Reawaken where from a slow coming to life, a dulled opening of eyes, you can hear and feel awe struck expression in the sound and breath of the song as it expands with orchestral radiance, and finally the arcadian grace of Serenity, a piece wrapped in pastoral hues and idyllic ideation. The pair makes a restful yet also shadowed conclusion to a quite riveting slice of instrumental alchemy.

There is a one really minute issue with the album which is that the tracks do not seem to have a linking essence or theme to them so that they can also combine for one vast landscape as well as alone pieces. Maybe they do and we just miss it but they feel like a collection rather than a collective but as said it is a tiny shade on a vivaciously fascinating encounter which as an emotional travelogue and imaginative composing brought with transfixing realisation is quite sensational.

Imperfect Symmetry is availably digitally and on CD via Zube Records now.

http://tomjamesparmiter.com/

9/10

RingMaster 01/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com