Band Of Holy Joy – When a Gift is a Curse

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The first in a series of ‘libationary’ singles dedicated to the glorious and dark aspects of ‘the older person’s habitual alcohol consumption’, When a Gift is a Curse is another riveting evocative encounter from the UK’s premier folk punks Band Of Holy Joy. Paying tribute to the genius George Best and the wayward life emerging from his world enlightening talent, the single is released on the band’s own Radio Joy to coincide with their second stage headline appearance at the NME C86 festival at London’s 229 Club on June 14th. Taken from their latest and acclaimed album Easy Listening, the release is another slice of unique incitement from a band entering its fourth decade.

When a Gift is a Curse opens with a sultry swipe of guitar swiftly joined by an additional emotive caress of melodic melancholy and the Band of holyjoy When-A-Gift-Is-A-Curseever distinctly expressive vocals of Johny Brown. Opening up its heart and evocative textures, the song spreads like mist over ears and the imagination, keys accentuating the sultry breath and radiance of the song whilst the shadowed tones of bass provides a tempering air which subsequently only highlights the rich hues wrapping the lyrical and vocal potency.

To be honest the song does not make a startling impact or impression initially though there is plenty to intrigue and entice the senses and imagination. This maybe makes not the most incisive temptation for newcomers to their album and its might but given time the song permeates and seduces for another provocative hymn from Band Of Holy Joy which is impossible to ignore or resist…pretty much like the band itself since those early days in the mid-eighties.

When a Gift is a Curse is released digitally on June 16th through Radio Joy.

http://www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk/

7/10

RingMaster 15/06/2014

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The Watchmakers – Illumination

The Watchmakers pic

A captivatingly immersive sonic embrace, the single Illumination from UK based The Watchmakers reveals why the glowing praising over the band over recent times. A mesmeric haze of seductively swirling psychedelic evocation tempered by a cooler post punk rhythmic stability, the song is a fascination magnetism inviting full use of imagination and emotions upon its unique canvas.

Hailing from Manchester, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Rich Maitland, guitarist Adam Lewis, bassist Andy Lewis, and drummer Ian Maitland were soon drawing attention and acclaim with their demos Before Questions Became and Waves, and a neo-psychedelia sound wrapped in the inspirations of bands such as Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, The Beatles from the sixties and the more modern explorations of others such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream and The Verve. As evidenced by the single there is a dual pronged persuasion at work within the band’s music, creativity seemingly unafraid to push theirs and the listener’s boundaries.

The band has played with the likes of The Pretty Things, Jacco Gardner, Dark Bells and Exit Calm over time as well as selling out two The Watchmakers sleeveheadline appearances at Psychedelic Happenings in Manchester, whilst earlier this year they were invited to a Showcase for BBC 6. This June now sees the release of a pair of songs Carpe Diem and Illumination, their first releases for Loaded Soul Records.

Illumination opens upon a wistful humid breeze, soulful warmth colluding with a melancholic breath courted by an Indian mystique. It is an intriguing coaxing which explodes with riveting potency as guitars unveil a web of intoxicating sonic endeavour and sweltering melodic hooks within an expanding synth bred ambience. It is immediately climatic and provocative, especially with the expressive vocals which add to the emerging narrative. Into its full temptation, the song is a bracing adventure painting with emotional melodies and descriptive sonic hues but it is the spine of rigid bass luring and hypnotic rhythmic bait which brings the depth and weight of the track alive, its dulled post punk persistence the catalyst to the tempestuous alchemy above it.

Intense in sound and atmosphere, the song is equally oppressive and feverishly seductive, a striking declaration of a new exciting presence in the potent shape of The Watchmakers. From the song alone it is easy to feel great things lie in wait for us and the band ahead, breeding a healthy anticipation as we go off hungrily to find Carpe Diem which was not included in our promo.

Illumination is available via Loaded Soul Records now and available as limited edition vinyl and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Watchmakers/191134494286879

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/06/2014

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Villiers – The Dancer

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    The Dancer is the new single from UK rock band Villiers, a song which embraces sounds of the eighties in modern evocative textures. It is a striking if not startling introduction to the Lancashire trio, one which strengthens its magnetism and fascination over each play whilst parading a rich potential and potent craft which only engages thoughts and an early appetite for the band’s horizons.

Villiers came to be in 2011, taking influences from the likes of New Order and Echo and the Bunnymen into their ideation with lyrical inspirations come from dystopian writers such as J.G Ballard and George Orwell. A trio of EPs, Light the Fuse, Into the Haze, and VLRS have drawn acclaim and attention the way of the band whilst live Villiers has equally enhanced their statue and reputation in support and headlining shows as well as a successful appearance at BeatHerder alongside Clean Bandit, TOY, Temples, Chic ft Nile Rodgers and Groove Armada last year. The Dancer makes the next intriguing step in the ascent of Dan Earnshaw (vocals/bass/synths), Ben Earnshaw (vocals/guitar/synths), and Daniel Buckle (drums/percussion), one sure to draw new fans and voices their way.

Shadows and moody textures wrap around ears from the first breath of the song, their dark caress instantly reminding of John Foxx and in villiers covermany ways OMD. It is a strongly emotive electronic mist which envelops the imagination, sparking emotions as it persists in charming and provoking the senses through the heart of the song. Vocally the band is expressive singularly and with choice harmonies but it is the slowly swirling electronic wash and tender guitar temptation which steals the passions most potently.

The track does not ignite at times as you expect or delve into the darkest melancholic depths as also assumed occasionally, but glides gracefully on an even keel across its poetic landscape. To be honest a twist into one of the more extreme premises would have stirred up a welcome fire but with a wonderful resonance to the rhythms and drama to the track as a whole it is hard to be critical or any more demanding

Also holding essences of Editors and The Cure in its provocative body, The Dancer is another promising and appealing step in the emergence of Villiers, one of many more to come we are sure.

The Dancer is out 16th June on Jack to Phono Records

https://www.facebook.com/VILLIERSBAND

7.5/10

RingMaster 12/06/2014

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Limozine – Party On The Bus/Tequila Shots

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Ahead of their fifth album, UK punk ‘n’ rockers Limozine ignites anticipation and appetite for their forthcoming release with new double A-sided single Party On The Bus/Tequila Shots. Two stabs of garage punk in its dirtiest wanton form, the single finds the Londoners at their most irreverently and creatively impressive yet. There is also a fire to the songs which declares that they know they are good and come loaded with a devilry to seduce, which they both do with ease.

The single is the quartet’s tenth and follows the previous acclaimed Johnny Got Shot by a UFO in the March of last year and before it the 2012, Tokyo 1970. The impending album is the band’s fifth, their list of full-lengths starting with Car Crash Casino 2007, which brought the band an eager attention. Through Evil Love two years later and Full Service two years on again, Limozine continued to impress and grow, hitting a pinnacle with last year’s You’ve Been Limozined. If the new single is to be believed though that plateau is going to be pushed to new heights with the upcoming album and we for one cannot wait.

Party on the Bus gets things loose and excited first, hollow sounding beats and antagonistic riffs waking up ears ready for the vocal swagger which infests the senses soon after. Revealing touring debauchery with its narrative, the track brawls and incites the imagination in a fusion which at times is like The Stooges meets Rocket From The Crypt with healthy essences of Turbonegro and early The Damned bounding the devilment. Hooks and riffs captivate across the scorching riot whilst the rhythmic enterprise of Timmy enthrals and enslaves the senses. Vocalist Limo Dean as ever is a raw and compelling lead whilst his guitar and that of Johnny Zero impress and tantalise with consummate ease to help create a monster of an addiction forging song.

As excellent as the song is though, it is just the appetiser to the brilliant Tequila Shots where old school punk and raw rock ‘n’ roll make a pact to seduce and enslave. From its first second the bass of Karl Atlas is a rapacious bait and shadow to the more fiery guitars, cock sure vocals, and gang harmonies. Of a liquor fuelled seduction and commitment, the song parades its lyrical suasion on bulging rhythms and sonically varied endeavour, flaming riffs and deep lying hooks insatiable temptation matched by the web of vocals and emerging melodic toxicity permeating the climax of the outstanding protagonist. It is a glorious track which alone leaves lips licked for the new album but alongside Party On The Bus makes for an inescapable trap before it’s unleashing.

If Limozine has not pulled up outside your attention and emotions before now then Party On The Bus/Tequila Shots is the perfect way to open up an exploration of one of UK’s still relatively hidden best secrets; though you will soon suspect like us that once the new album is there inciting, Limozine may be a much louder name in the country’s ears.

Party On The Bus/Tequila Shots is available via Beat Atlas Records

http://www.facebook.com/limozineband

9/10

RingMaster 09/06/2014

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The Sons – Relic

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Relic is the new melancholically embraced single from UK band The Sons, a song which caresses ears in reflective words and melodies aligned to a subtlety of drama which captivates across the track’s ebbing and flowing breath. Taken from their March released third album Heading Into Land, the band’s new single is an encounter which from being simply pleasing evolves into a quite mesmeric and persistently lingering proposition.

Hailing from Derby, the quintet of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass) has made a strong continually growing impression with their highly flavoursome and vibrantly designed sound since forming in 2002. Taking inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac, the band also enhanced their reputation through debut album Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Having extensively toured the UK and Europe across their years, The Sons set about funding their third album with a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Though over £11,500 was pledged by fans the band failed to reach their target, to which the band tried again with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. Raising even more money this time around, thanks to innovative rewards, the band hit the studio last year, emerging with the eagerly received Heading Into Land.

Relic follows the first single from the album, Death Love Money, reinforcing its lure and temptation into the arms of the album. The new release opens on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and swiftly after the great expressive voice of Paul Herron. From its first evocative seizure of ears and imagination, the song is a captivating caress, an essence of Elton John playing with senses as the potent vocals and keys reflect. It is a very decent opening, if a little underwhelming initially, but as the song explores its emotions and narratives it evolves into a riveting smouldering of creative enterprise and mouthwatering imagination. Intrigue and invention sculpted crescendos erupt within the song whilst a melodic mystique similarly seduces with its irresistible design. It is a glorious twist in the evocative stroll of the song, one accentuated by the slower passages of just voice, keys, and emotion.

The song is a vibrant and enthralling brew of indie, folk, and alternative rock honed into an infectious web of incitement distinct to The Sons. Once it has unveiled its poetic bait it is hard to not imagine a wealth of new attentive focus finding the band, as with us; keenly exploring band and album. Sometimes it needs just one song to open up a new greedy appetite and Relic certainly is thrilling proof.

Relic is released on Monday 9th June 2014 as a digital download.

http://www.the-sons.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/06/2014

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Morbid Slaughter – Wicca

MORBID SLAUGHTER BAND

On the evidence of their new 7” vinyl release, there is something definitely compelling about being examined by the exacting thrash fuelled black metal malevolence of Peruvian metallers Morbid Slaughter. They have a sound which is vociferously raw and rigorously invasive and taking the two tracks within new release Wicca as an introduction, magnetically riveting.

Formed in 2009, Morbid Slaughter explores themes of horror, witchcraft, and murder in their encounters, earning a potent reputation in South American metal and apparently in Atlanta. The Lima quartet of vocalist/guitarist AER, bassist TERRA, guitarist IGNIS, and drummer AQVA unleashed their first demo release, Ensayo in 2010 followed two years later by the Torment in the Crypt Demo and last year The Summoning of the Graveyard Ghouls Demo. 2014 has seen already the …Rancid Death Awaits 2014… album released, a compilation of the previous two EPs on Putrid Cult but it is the new Boris Records released Wicca which excites as the band has their first release to be offered to the world.

The title track starts things off and within a breath has ears up against an eager and vibrant scrub of riffs. Crisp punchy rhythms add to the MS_Wicca_7inch_cover_artbrawl which is already squaring up to the senses, their union with the bass a relentless rapacious antagonism. It is unfussy thrash metal roaring in the ears but one seeping blackened malevolence especially in atmosphere and through the serpentine vocal rasps. It is not a perfect proposition, the vocals of AER across both songs simultaneously agreeable yet a little off-putting but to all extent and purposes do convince after numerous forays into the pit of the release, though personal taste still has a little reservation. Also the production is not the best, suffocating the spark of the songs in many ways stopping them from flaring as you feel they should, but to be fair the first song is a festering storm of metal sculpted rock ‘n’ roll which recruits a hungry appetite for its highly satisfying incitement.

The insidious contagion and malicious intent of Wicca is followed by The Nightly Breath of God, another track which reaches from the dank blood sodden earth with a thrash spawned pestilential voice and heart. Riffs and grooves coax the passions with further impressive bait whilst rhythms splinter bone and air with swinging spite as the psyche grasping vocals crawl over thoughts and emotions with toxic syllables and raging rabidity. It is a great track which as its predecessor, survives the obstacle of the production to impress and inflame a real appetite for the band and its sound.

Morbid Slaughter is a thrilling and enthralling encounter, the perfect protagonists and soundtrack providers for a truly vicious adult version of Tales From the Crypt or Night of The living Dead in our view, and a sonic plague easy to recommend extreme metallers and fans of bands such as Sabbat, Carpathian Forest, and Sarcofago allowing to venomously finger their attention.

Wicca is available via Boris Records @ http://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wicca-7

https://www.facebook.com/MorbidSlaughterOfficial

8/10

RingMaster 31/05/2014

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Hellgoat – End of Man

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If Satan needs a doorway into the soul of the world, US black metallers Hellgoat might just be the perfect vehicle for his malevolence and their new 7” vinyl release End of Man, the pestilential voice to start things off. Consisting of two raw, merciless slices of destructive voracity, the release is the jaws of hell in sonic form.

Hailing from Atlanta, the 2004 formed Hellgoat has been feasting on ears and fears with their satanic brutality from first release, the self-titled demo of that first year. Their uncompromising sound and blasphemous toxicity made a more potent statement in attention with debut album Blasphemy From Serpent Tongues in 2005 and its Graveless Slumber Records released successor, Death Conquers All six years later. End of Man is the band’s seventh release following the Anointed in Blood and Ash EP of 2012, the first on Boris Records and comes ahead of a new album planned for later in the year.

First track Demonic Worship of the Horned Beast emerges from a low key sonic mist, a slow evocative breeze which takes its time to envelop the senses whilst being punctured by resonating rhythms. A chant of holy portentous communion breaks into the brewing design before hell unleashes its venom in an expulsion of annihilation, history erupting in torment as scenic ravaging from the crusades through to the streets of modern civilisation seemingly falling on ears. Riffs descend with heavily weighted design next as the track finally expands its presence, a funereal doom soaked voracity swamping ears and senses before the uncaging of hellish intensity and rapacious urgency, the release of a scourge in sound and intent. It is a demanding and intensely abrasing torrent of causticity, slight grooves as hostile and scarring as the spiteful blaze of sonic brutality and rhythmic bludgeoning. It is not an easy listen but a track with a drama and skilful temptation which is thoroughly compelling and providing more understanding and bait for the imagination to feast upon with each listen.

The release’s narrative is continued and concluded with its title track, a blistering savagery of sonic abuse which is primitively wild and masterfully malicious, and a far more crippling proposition than its predecessor. There is plenty going on within its belly and cavernous depths but beneath the tempestuous tsunami of sonic rabidity it is a hidden adventure which needs the fullness of time to reap its rewards. The track still captivates though, the rasping vocal blaze and scarring animosity a gripping vicious predation though it does not come near to matching the rigorous appeal of its predecessor.

Hellgoat is an incitement which is not for everyone, black metal from the richest infernal fire clad in its rawest barbarity with End of Man the death knell for us all before the anticipated decimating ferocity of the band’s next full-length demonian.

End of Man is available on Boris Records now @ http://borisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/end-of-man-7

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hellgoat/359498710801448

7.5/10

RingMaster 31/05/2014

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