The Kneejerk Reactions – The Indestructible Sounds Of The…

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With a list of impossibly flavoursome bands and addictively thrilling releases on a CV longer than the list of excuses for Luis Suarez’s recent mid-match snack, the ubiquitous veteran rocker Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim) brings one of those stirring incitements out to play with a brand new album. The Indestructible Sounds Of The… is the new feverishly fleshed, raw breathed proposition from The Kneejerk Reactions, a release which casts out a rampant revelry of feet inducing garage bred rock ‘n’ roll aligned to a passion sparking sixties beat tempting. It is a flame of vintage sounds in the fresh distinctive framing of modern devilry amidst the unique creative juices of Sir Bald. Across its energetic and insatiably gleeful presence, essences of inspirations such as The Pretty Things, The Kinks, The Downliners Sect, Them, The Yardbirds, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, The Sonics, and many more tease and openly spice up the party but only to add additional rich colour to the magnetic tapestry flirting with the imagination and emotions. The album is a stirring and unapologetically contagious provocateur which leaves appetite and feet wanting only more.

The Dirty Water Records released The Indestructible Sounds Of The… is the successor to The Electrifying Sound Of … which came out in 2008, though between albums there was the band’s contribution on a 2013compilation of tracks and bands Sir Bald has treated ears with which went under Sir Bald’s Battle Of The Bands. The new album which has really been too long in the coming, also brings Bruce Brand on rhythmic enticement, the drummer as keen a collector of bands as Sir Bald with the likes of Billy Childish, Hipbone Slim And The Knee Tremblers, Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, and Thee Milkshakes in his ever increasing résumé. His presence ensures a healthy bait of beats are in store which the opening Houdini easily proves.

The song instantly lures in ears with a delicious bass groove within a sway of Farfisa organ bred expression and a rhythmic pull as potent as the dark tones of the first key protagonist. The heroic call of the bass persists across the whole body of the song, providing one of those irresistible lures which allows guitars and keys to dance with unbridled frivolity through locked in ears. The vocals equally revel in the knowledge that the listener is caught by that prime hook, their raw and keen expression adding to the evolving wash of sound and enterprise wrapping that irresistible spine. It is a thrilling start to the festivities, one which the following I Want You To Love Me makes a keen attempt to emulate, though without quite matching its success. A pungent Stones breath adds wantonness to the restrained stroll of the song, a controlled walk guided by commanding beats and coloured by sizzling flourishes of guitar invention and organ crafted sultry hues for a vibrantly pleasing encounter.

Both It’s a Jungle Out There and Mover and a Shaker keep the temperature and fun high if again without finding the same spark as the first incitement. The first of the two sways in with a mix of surf and psychedelic smouldering which soon incites another infectious rhythmic shuffle and vocal glee as the track expands its warm and energetic charms. Again the guitar solo ignites an extra spark of satisfaction, whilst the song itself has feet and emotions up on their toes ready for its successor, a track which entices with a blues rock fever to its prowling temptation. With a growl to the vocals and salaciousness to the keys, the song is an insatiable romance for the ears, though soon looking a little pale against the outstanding Batgirl, I Love You. A spice of The Troggs offers its suggestiveness as the song opens with jangly scythes of guitar and punchy beats lorded over by great vocal tempting from Sir Bald and the band. The song is a romp which does not lose its control but still exhausts with an unrelenting dramatic seducing of limbs and appetite.

If I Had My Way brings its own keen accepted stomp next, beats and guitars a net of enthralling beckoning which the keys paint with evocative expression as vocals croon with anthemic glee. It is a deliciously swinging provocateur swiftly equalled by Give in to Temptation, another song where initial beats and bass seduction set up thoughts and passions for a riveting ride. There is an earthiness to the song, especially on its rhythmic side, which grips attention, a shadowed moodiness which superbly tempers the heated glaze of organ and flames of guitar. Though taking longer than other songs to convince, given time the track makes a just undeniably convincing declaration.

The pair of Pounding and Out of Reach offer rigorously enjoyable propositions but neither find the hooks or teasing to make a lingering success. The first is an acidic shimmering of keys over a rugged terrain of beats and guitar stabs whilst the second is a coarsely surfaced and snarling slice of satisfying rock ‘n’ roll. It again is missing something but as its predecessor still brings a broad smile to the lips and pleasure to the emotions. Between them though the instrumental Volatile lies mischievously, a wicked blaze of surf seeded humid sonic seduction gifted to ears. The guitars glisten with creative and expressive sweat whilst the keys glow with tropical elegance, their union a sticky tempting to which the chilled prowling of the bass and the inescapable call of Brand’s beats add an anthemic virulence.

The two closing tracks keep it all flying high with maybe less steamy but just as potent energy and contagion. Out of Here comes first, an instantly firmly treading stomp with a keen and pleasing if not overwhelming entrance. It is nevertheless an easy offer to fully embrace, even more so with the persuasive vocals but it is when the song hits its chorus that it transforms into a major pinnacle of the album. It is not a demanding or particularly unique moment but boy its epidemic catchiness is pure aural addiction. The song is a trigger to ignite any bland party or tepid day, an unrelenting tempter to ignite any unrewarding emotion. It is followed by the spicy heat of Habenero, a caustically coloured fire of melodic taunting and rhythmic coaxing within another hard to resist anthem of intent and body provoking devilry, the perfect ending to a festival of fevered sound.

The Indestructible Sounds of . . . is without doubt a real treat, maybe not the most corruptive temptress Sir Bald has uncaged but with so many great and varied releases and endeavours around him favourites and personal tastes dictate which finds a bigger or lesser success. It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter for body and soul though and The Kneejerk Reactions a band no one should be slow in checking out.

The Indestructible Sounds of . . . is available now @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/store-2/#!/~/category/id=10017015&offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc on 12” vinyl and download.

8/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

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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Lesch-Nyhan – Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome

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The first album since their return, Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome makes a ravenous and richly satisfying confrontation from US death metallers Lesch-Nyhan. The successor to the band’s 1991 demo Indistinguished Remains, the seven track savagery is a rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of a proposition, a bestial encounter recalling the seeds and original toxicity of the Philadelphia quartet whilst equally holding an unhealthy dose of modern intrigue and fresh faced twists. It is not an album to blow extreme metal away but certainly a ravaging to make Lesch-Nyhan’s comeback a highly joyous and thrilling one.

Formed in 1989 by vocalist Gary Hadden with brothers, Mark (drums) and Anthony Delacandro (guitar), Lesch-Nyhan was soon completed by bassist Greg Oreski and guitarist Mike Carr. Quickly getting to play live shows with the likes of Suffacation, Incantation, Crucifier, and Ripping Corpse, the band released their demo in 1991 from which the band was invited to play a showcase in front of numerous label representatives. What followed though was the demise of the band; a slow falling apart which new members could not bring any halt to with the band stopping in 1994. Fast forward to 2012 and a discussion between Hadden and guitarist Rob Vanderveer (a member of the last line-up of the band), about reigniting things, to “Put our stamp on this shit”. A year later saw Lesch-Nyhan reform with a re-issue of Indistinguished Remains on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, just as the new album. With guitarist Jack Carmichael, bassist Chris Miller, and drummer Mark Stainthorpe alongside Hadden, Lesch-Nyhan has produced a riveting scourge of sound and intent with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, a furious hostility sure to excite those with an appetite of bands such as Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Gorguts, Immolation, and Napalm Death.

Recorded live in the studio helping to bring the raw brute creative force of Lesch-Nyhan to life, the album opens with World Destruction, a track as expected from its title with all the hostility and rancor to bring all before it to its frontcoverknees. It also comes with a passions binding groove which from its first breath grinds and worms deeply into the psyche as rhythms cascade voraciously down on the senses. Complete with the barbarous rancor of Hadden’s throat and the nagging contempt of the bass, it is an irresistible blast of insidious feuding which ignites appetite and passions just as forcibly as the album itself.

Its stunning start is not quite matched by the following Septic Hole and Flock Of The Misfortunate, though it is more to do with its might than their failings. The first of the two again is offering a scathing infection soaked groove around with rhythms bring a barbaric unpredictability and guitars a sonic smog of contagious endeavour. Vocally Hadden lurches syllable after syllable across the senses, his delivery breeding a pestilential persuasion which is as sinister and merciless as the predacious sounds scarring his way. It is another masterful proposition if without bringing too many surprises, similarly as its successor. The album’s third track prowls with purposeful weight and predation, every riff and rhythmic provocation concentrated in its oppressive incitement which an emerging fiery but respectful groove cannot defuse. With the vocals at their most demonically intimidating and caustic, the track sends primal shivers down the spite but fails to find the same spark to ignite the passions as the opener and subsequent tracks hold.

Bathed In Phlegm returns the senses to a tempestuous torrent of frenetic riffs and rhythms bred from the darkest despair. It is a storm which has a rein on its hunger though, switching intensities of gait and ferocity for a filth clad waltz of insurgent sounds and rabid animosity which ebbs and flows in its voracity and ultimately success. To be fair though it is a proposal which ears and emotions welcome with open submissive arms, but one again only stirring up the passions rather than igniting them. The following Regurgitation Through Decapitation has little problem in seizing imagination and those passions, such its corrosive beauty and invention. Marking the moment where the album reveals it’s most potent and addictive nature, the song thunders against ears with a wall of barbaric rhythms and an intensively fused swarm of riffs. It is tsunami of spite and malignancy turned into a sonic vendetta in turn driven by a great dual squall of vocal spite from Hadden feverishly backed by Miller. The song stomps and rages with little regard for the health of its recipients, bass and drums crafting a frame of tortuous entrapment which any dungeon would be proud of whilst the guitars and vocals lay waste with an emotion violation of hellacious enterprise.

The glorious rhythmic coaxing which brings the title track into view is one of those instinctive baits there is no resistance to, an insatiable coaxing which only increases its toxic potency when aligned to the serpentine bred vocal cancer brought by Hadden. It is not long before the enthralling leviathan tones of the bass stalk air and guitars spread their caustic waves, the emerging blend of ferocious rapaciousness only reaching deeper into the psyche and greedy hunger inspired by the album. Roving with pack like relentlessness, the track is a predator of sound and bestial appetite, its grinding incitement and gutturally shared narrative an evil suasion to unrelentingly and sublimely excite the whole body.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is brought to a powerful close by Internal War And Hate, a final purge of hope and security brought with an increasingly dangerous consumption of single minded grooves and scarring riffs within a network of bass rabidity and rhythmic enmity. It is an outstanding end to a thrilling encounter, not one as we said to turn extreme metal on its head but a release to easily place Lesch-Nyhan back in the heart and intensive spotlight of death metal.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/lesch-nyhan-syndrome

https://www.facebook.com/LeschNyhanMetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

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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Jacko Hooper – For You

Photo - Nicolas Primout

UK singer songwriter Jacko Hooper has come a long way since emerging in his school days with The Rylics, a trio of school friends. It has been interesting and enjoyable watching his progress as a songwriter and musician over the years, the different twists and turns in his evolution which whilst not always fed personal tastes always left attention and appetite for his endeavours intrigued. For You is the brand new EP from Hooper, his first official solo release and an impressively potent and appetising proposition.

As mentioned the journey for Hooper started in his schooldays and even then he and the band were drawing strong attention especially when from the ashes of the first band, IAM:YOURHERO emerged. The band drew a keen and attentive following of fans and underground media exposure like from our own Audioburger Radio whilst at the same time Hooper was working on his own solo acoustic material. IAM:YOURHERO subsequently became Kai with the threesome continuing to draw praise and a greater following but you could also sense interest in the solo work of Hooper was gaining impetus. Recent years has seen that side take centre stage with Hooper to continued success, his music gaining YouTube views of over half a million and self-released CDRs in 500 runs being sold out in just six days. Inspired by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver, Thomas Dybdahl, and Fink, his songwriting and folk teased sound has hit a plateau, with For You the clear evidence.

Funded through KickStarter and recorded with producer Paul Steel over the space of eight weeks, For You steals ears and thoughts within moments of its first song. Eggs Shells caresses ears from its first stroll of chords wrapped in a1353093189_2an elegant melody. It is an immediate enticing which only grows its call with the incoming smooth tones of Hooper’s vocals, their mellow first embrace growing with the song to show the greater texture and power of his voice already realised in the rockier premises of his previous bands. The acoustic stroking of the song is a quality tempting but once the song opens up arms of strolling rhythms and bass shadows within the ever expressive design of guitar, it truly blossoms into a flame of emotive beauty. As the release, the song looks at love and fear and shows that whilst there has always been an intimacy to the music of Hooper which was in advance of his years, there is a real genuine maturity to his songwriting now.

The following November 5th Song also moves from a gentle coaxing into a firmer revelry of beats and vocal adventure amidst vibrant melodic enticing and atmospherically sown emotion. Also as its predecessor, the track grows and swells with poetic expression and a bulging bewitchment of melodic energy and passion spawned energy for an almost rigorous and wholly absorbing stomp of infectious invention. The earlier solo material of Hooper impressed but felt like it was still too deep in its growth and evolution to make a real mark at the time but the first two songs alone on For You show that the Brighton hailing Hooper has not only come to the end of that cycle to fulfil the potential seen vividly within him but opened up another wave of potential to be explored and realised ahead.

Run Away With Me is a guitar and vocal croon which comes drenched in intimacy and shadows, the occasional growl and constant angst of Hooper’s vocals enough to expose the raw emotion of the song. It does not match the might of the first two songs but then it is a different proposition with its open lean canvas beneath an emotive colouring. The closing live cut of Roaming is the same, guitar and vocal reflection at one in an evocatively lighted spotlight within scenery of crowding shadows. It is a fine song but one which may not stand out as strongly in the hands of another, the bluesy scent which soaks Hopper’s delivery bringing it character and irresistible body.

Despite the success earned and found previously, this feels like the point where Jacko Hooper has arrived and is about to trigger the real ascent of his emerging career.

The For You EP is available now via One Inch Badge on Ltd Edition 7″ vinyl and digitally @ http://jackohooper.bandcamp.com/album/for-you

https://www.facebook.com/jackohoopermusic

9/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

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Decaying times and self-evidence: an interview with Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era

DE Ade Mulgrew

The recent release of their new album Severance showed that Northern Ireland metallers Darkest Era has not only evolved as a band with a new flush of blood to its line-up but also pushed their potent sound into new emotively fired and imaginatively compelling proposition. Providing another exploration of the band’s Celtic infused heavy metal in a greater voraciously flavoured and intensive proposition, band and album reinforces the stature and impact of the developing force whilst thrusting Darkest Era upon a new dramatic plateau. Taking the chance to find out more we took some of guitarist Ade Mulgrew’s precious time to talk about Severance, the difficult time around its creation, inspirations and much more…

Hi Ade and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

Please tell us about the beginnings of Darkest Era and the inspirations or spark to forming the band.

We formed the band while still in school, about 17 years old. Myself and Krum had played together in cover bands, but wanted to form a metal band. We started playing some covers by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest…but soon we were writing our own songs. The inspiration was, as ever, just to be in a metal band; to write songs and express ourselves. The same reason we do it now.

Was the Celtic influence in your songwriting and music an immediate flavour to your ideas?

It was, yes. The first song we ever wrote came about after I was noodling on a particular riff in ¾, not even thinking about it and Sarah added a guitar harmony. It happened to have a distinct Celtic vibe which we really liked and things just went from there. We didn’t really think about it so much…it just happened to transpire that way and the kind of Celtic atmosphere in our music isn’t contrived really, it’s just how we write.

Where did the Celtic inspiration come from, other metal/rock bands exploring that vein of sound or from a more traditional influence?

I guess you tend to take influence from things around you so growing up in Ireland obviously there is a rich heritage of folk music. We were already to an extent influenced by the folk rock band Horslips, and also the kind of sound on Thin Lizzy’s material. Something about this kind of vibe just came naturally to us. We’re a heavy metal band though at the end of the day and it’s those influences that were the most prevalent and the most important to us.

Initially called Nemesis, why the change to Darkest Era as a band name?

Things started to pick up for us and get quite serious rather early on, so we needed a name that wasn’t taken by 100 other bands. Our sound had started to take shape and we wanted something to reflect this. Candlemass were originally called Nemesis for example and changed their name for the same reasons.

It is fair to say that the second of two EPs opened up a new spotlight on the band and led to signing with Metal Blade Records. Is there something you can point to or say which specifically pulled the trigger to that recognition?

I don’t think so, apart from we are at the right place at the right time. You need a little luck to get noticed sometimes and the fact that we have the Thin Lizzy influence helped a lot as Brian Slagel is a massive Thin Lizzy fan. The band had a bit of buzz going from the demos which helped but I would say to be honest that we were a wild card signing for Metal Blade. We were the first of a few bands brought to their attention by Alan Averill of Primordial, but were an unknown entity by and large. I guess it was a testament to the quality of our demos that Slagel was impressed enough to offer us a deal.

With the label, The Last Caress Of Light, your debut album was unleashed in 2011 to great acclaim and reactions. How did that impact on the band and its emergence beyond having your first full-length out? DE

Joining a label like Metal Blade meant there was a lot of press surrounding the album; we were definitely exposed to a wider audience than we had been before. We had reviews in tons of printed magazines, websites and ads in the right places – so it was a big step up in terms of the amount of people paying attention to us. However the band was still quite pro-active in pushing itself using its own resources. But simply having an album out at last meant we could then go on tours, play festivals and so on so it was a big milestone, as it would be for any band.

Can we turn to new album Severance now; it feels like the band has found a new depth and potency to songwriting and sound, tapped into a stronger vein of invention…

Yes I would agree with you. A lot of it is simply down to maturing as people and as songwriters. The band is on a creative journey, we had no intention of writing the first album over again. We always want to push ourselves and move forward artistically, and on this record we had a much, much stronger idea of what we wanted to do and how to bring our own identity to the fore. It’s also a little darker and more aggressive, which is probably down to the circumstances surrounding the band at the time of writing. It was a fist clenched, teeth bared, back to the wall kind of scenario…

How do you see the evolution in your sound from not only early days but from the first album and Severance?

As I said it is a darker, heavier and generally a lot more focussed. We create a certain sweeping melancholy with our sound but we wanted to bring this into a much more focused heavy metal framework this time around. We cut the fat and went straight for the throats of the listener. We have a lot of different influences in the band, individually and collectively, and we fine-tuned this to bring more of our own identity to the mix and I really think we succeeded. People are having a hard time figuring out what to call us, but the reviews are very positive so that speaks volumes to us.

Did you take a determined or particular course with the new album or let it organically unfold in the writing and recording?

Myself, Sarah and Krum sat down after coming back from one of our tours and talked about what we wanted to do with the album, and we agreed on very general ideas which I said above, for example a general trimming of the fat in our sound. But at the same time things we written in such a short space of time that we didn’t really have time to stop along the way and think too much about things. There was definitely a significant element of letting things unfold naturally. You kind of just have to trust yourself that you have the songs somewhere inside you, and go with your instincts. Too much thinking can hinder creativity, I find.

So how long did the album take to make?

We wrote the album in about 10 weeks, during a very intense period of writing where the band was pretty much falling apart. We then entered the studio almost straight after, and recorded the album in 16 days. We were still writing quite a bit in the studio, although we had the songs more or less there. There was a lot of lyric writing, tweaking arrangements, vocal melodies and so on in the studio. It was intense also but a different kind of intense. Lisa went home after she recorded her drums but the rest of us knuckled down and worked together to push it over the line. The 10 weeks writing, in comparison, was quite bleak and isolated for me at times as I was shouldering the task of getting most of the ideas off the ground.

You were touring heavily leading up to Severance, it must have been less easy to sit down and write songs, certainly in comparison to the creation of its predecessor?

Yes absolutely, as the cliché goes you have your entire life to write your first album, and with album 2 suddenly there is pressure. Even more so when it’s difficult to put time aside to write. To be honest we gave ourselves a deadline because we knew that otherwise we would never get round to making the album. Things will always get in the way, especially when you aren’t playing music as your job, so we said ok this is the date, let’s just do it. We did not foresee the line-up instability however, which definitely made things a lot more difficult. We did two pretty big tours in 2012, and in the middle of it all we were trying to keep the band from falling apart…So yeah, very difficult circumstances to try and write an album in.

de coverYou mentioned there that the band had line-up issues before the album, how big an effect did that gave its making if at all?

As above really…We had no permanent bassist in place, and Lisa was in the process of leaving the band. Things were often at boiling point during some of the writing sessions, and as I mentioned Lisa went home when her drum parts were done so there was a serious atmosphere. Things could easily have fallen apart but we had far too much determination and belief in the band to let it crumble.

How does the writing process work within the band generally and specifically this time around with Severance?

Generally the songs start with myself or Sarah; we’ll have a guitar part, or perhaps a few riffs and ideas put together and we go from there. We’ll normally have a fair idea of where the song is going before bringing to the rest of the band and there it changes shape, gets arranged, pulled apart and the guys add their parts and ideas. Occasionally someone will noodle on a riff in rehearsal and we’ll jam it out over and over and work it into a song, but there was very little opportunity for this on Severance. Mostly it was stuff that I had come up with, and I would send it to Sarah and Krum and we would exchange thoughts and ideas. I did a lot of home demos on this album as I had to have the bones of songs ready quite quickly so the guys knew where I was coming form. Sarah probably had more material on this album than the debut as well; particularly Blood, Sand and Stone. We’ve always had kind of a songwriting partnership but it really came to fruition on this record.

There is a passion and freshness to the album which obviously was not affected by the stronger pressure of getting songs ready for its recording?

I think the passion that people pick up on with this record is a result of the stormy emotional climate that I mentioned earlier, and an unwavering iron will to make a really killer metal record regardless of the circumstances. Some people crack under pressure but it has always been something that I have thrived under, thankfully.

How about in the studio, how did that pan out and did you learn lessons with the first to help with the recording of Severance?

We had a fair bit of studio experience with our previous EP’s and demos, but I guess after doing our first album we knew exactly how the recording of an LP worked and prepared us somewhat. This time around we had a better idea of how to get the sounds we wanted for the album. Drum sound and guitar tone were something we wanted to shift around a little compared to the first album, and I think we’ve done that. We stripped the guitars back to just one rhythm track each for myself and Sarah, as opposed to the double tracking on the first record and I think that’s helped give the album a darker and grittier tone overall. You can really hear the bite of the guitars on this one.

Give the readers some idea of the themes behind the album and particular songs.

Decay of all things physical and metaphysical, Cormac McCarthy-esque post-apocalyptic dystopia, the unstoppable force of time hauling us further to the ground, and the philosophical concept of Solipsism.

Severance is released through Cruz del Sur Music, a label with a great pedigree and a striking array of releases especially over the past year or so. How did that link-up come about?

I’d been a fan of Cruz Del Sur for many years, since I first discovered Slough Feg and started trading CD’s with Matt from Pharaoh. Enrico was aware of our stuff and when it came to searching for a new label they were an obvious choice really. As you say they have an absolutely killer back catalogue so we’re in very good company.

It is a home more fitting for Darkest Era you feel?

Yes I think so, with Metal Blade we got totally lost in their roster and the sort of stuff we’re doing is never going to be a priority for them really unless it’s selling 30,000 copies or whatever. Maybe 25 years ago things would have been different but the days of a label nurturing artists and helping them grow into worldwide forces over the course of 2 or 3 albums are sadly gone. There just isn’t enough pie to go around anymore.

From the outside watching the intensive work you guys put in with shows and tours we wonder if there has been time to reflect on the journey of the band so far, if so thoughts at this point in time? DE2

Not really, we’re constantly looking forward and are a very ambitious band. We have many milestones we’ve yet to reach and don’t feel like stopping to smell the flowers until we’ve achieved a lot more. The band is entering a new phase now I guess; we’ve done our first album, did our first big tours and festivals and come through the line-up changes that often occur when a band starts to step up through the gears. Now we have our second album, a steady line-up and are looking to the next touring cycle and writing album 3 so I think the best we have to offer is still ahead of us.

Talking of shows, we can assume Darkest Era will be supporting Severance intensively around Europe and elsewhere in the months ahead?

Yes we have our first headlining tour of the UK starting this September, hopefully Europe in the spring and who knows after that. Touring and playing to as many people as possible is our number one priority right now.

Did you have any particular aims or hopes for the band starting out and if so have they been realised or replaced with new intentions?

We’ve always wanted to push the band as far as it can go from day one, but first and foremost we aim to write albums that satisfy our creative needs and that people will enjoy and get something out of. We’re on course so far I think.

Thanks again for chatting with us, is there anything you wish to add?

Metal or death!

And lastly give five of the most important releases in your record collection which you could never be without?

Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime

Judas Priest – Painkiller

AC/DC – High Voltage

Fields of the Nephilim – Elizium

 

I should point out though these 5 albums will change each time I am asked! :)

http://www.darkestera.net

Read the review of Severance @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/darkest-era-severance/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Speaking in Shadows – The Lies We Lead

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Already embraced by eager enthusiasm and acclaim from fans and media for their live performances and earlier releases, the new EP from UK alternative rock band Speaking in Shadows, is definitely not going to derail their already potent ascent. The Lies We Lead EP with six highly accomplished and magnetically appealing songs will certainly enhance the reputation and stature of the young Nuneaton quintet whilst providing further potent proof of the band’s potential. It is not an encounter to push the band outside of the pack though, or to define new boundaries or adventures in their genre, but for a refreshing and easily enjoyable proposition there is little to dismiss.

Formed in 2010, Speaking in Shadows has already awoken attention with their debut album Standing at the Edge of 2011 and the single Sweet Gemini of last year. Both put the band on the map with promising strength which the band’s new release continues with pleasing efficiency. The Lies We Lead also continues the maturity and refinement in the band’s sound as hinted at in the previous single, to provide songs which no matter their success in persuasion cannot be denied their polished and passionate potency.

The EP grips ears and imagination right away with its first pair of songs making a thoroughly persuasive and exciting start. Splinters kicks things off and from its first breath is winding a sultry tendril of melodic bait around the senses, Speaking in Shadows - The Lies We Lead - CD Artwork (Front)its lure swiftly accentuated by a broader stroke of sonic coaxing from guitarists Lewis Sketchley and Ali Carvell. Just as sprightly muscle bulging rhythms from drummer Grant Sketchley join the enticement aligned to the deliciously throaty and dark mannered bass sound of Sam Powell. It is a dramatic mix making a vigorous entrance from which springs a restrained plateau of gnarly jabbing riffs and the instantly impressive vocals of Adam Smith. This is just another short flirtation in the rampancy of the song, its burst into a rigorous blast of sonic toxicity and rhythmic barbarism as anthemic as it is imposing. The track continues to twist and show an inventive enterprise which grips the imagination and emotions forcibly; it’s bullish yet melodically seducing creative charge a spark to raise real appetite for the release.

Its successor Technicolour Trainwreck similarly has its sinews and energy on the front foot from the off, riffs and rhythms planting down a firm enticing whilst grooves and melodic potency wraps incitingly around the punchy spine of the song. There is a swagger to it and a pop rock attitude which only adds to the swinging gait and captivating infectious call of the song, its anthemic chorus equally as enticing. A break into a slow harmonious passage is not as successful though the rhythmic climb out reasserts the song’s potency whilst overall the track gives the first a run for its thrilling money if without matching its heights.

Misled Soldiers is the next provocative track, its politically charged wording matched by the passion and rich flame of the music but both sides pale against the opening standards set. To be fair the evocative melodic hues of the song are perfectly crafted and delivered whilst vocally again Smith excels, ably aided by the rest of the band against a good rhythmic framing. There is plenty to please thoughts, the trying of a raw disdainful delivery from the frontman intriguing whilst the more hard rock stroll at its core makes for a good lead, but the indefinable spark which ignited its predecessors is missing preventing a good song being a great one.

The same can be said about both Breaking Silence and Moths, two tracks which have all the depth and tenacity to make a lingering impression but fail to find the same rich invention to flirt with and then seduce the passions. The first of the two opens with a raucous and abrasive texture of guitar and intensity which reins in its grazing for the vocals of Smith to unveil their narrative. The bass of Powell again impresses greatly whilst the guitars design a web to capture and hold firmly the imagination, but with a predictable yet thoroughly anthemic mass voiced chorus with feverish energy and intent, the song slips into expectation feeding realms. It is still another rich showing of the band’s craft and growing expertise before making way for its initially acoustically driven successor. The elegant and evocative caress of guitar is a charmed beauty to which Smith again shows enthralling expression and quality. It is an absorbing encounter which should have been left fully acoustic as once the band around midway bring their full body of sound, the song loses its singular enticing to become another song to fit perfectly in the well of many other strong songs melodic rock encounters. It is a missed opportunity but still a highly appealing song to whet the appetite for future ventures, as is the closing title track. The song is pure rock pop, its passionate and emotive verses a colourful venture with great rhythmic emprise whilst its chorus is an instinctive anthem for voices and emotions to fully engage with. Not the strongest track on the EP but the most contagious and an obvious lead into the release, the song brings The Lies We Lead to an enthusiastic and highly pleasing close.

It is fair to say that Speaking in Shadows is still evolving its sound and presence whilst The Lies We Lead is arguably an encounter which promises more than its delivers, but with both providing an invigorating experience it is hard not to take a real shine to the band.

The Lies We Lead is available now @ http://speakinginshadows.bigcartel.com/

www.speakinginshadows.co.uk

8/10

RingMaster 15/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Zaleski / Ugly Zoo Split

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Fleeting Youth Records brings the year another striking and attention grabbing split uniting the debut releases of two potently emerging US bands. Combining the Void EP from Ohio grunge gaze band Zaleski with the self-titled EP of Pennsylvania post-hardcore quartet Ugly Zoo for one pleasingly unhealthy and compelling intrusion on the senses, the release is an exciting introduction to two potential drenched bands. Raw and uncompromising, both bands savage attention as they ignite a strong appetite for their caustic persuasions of sound and intent, their endeavours resulting in one bruising and intrigue soaked experience.

Athens trio Zaleski open up the furious engagement with five tracks of abrasing and predacious imagination. Their sound is enthralling and pleasingly unpredictable, the songs a corrosive blend of punk, grunge, and shoegaze which still only hints at their unruly and unpolished swarm of sound. Opening track Red Walls from its first breath lays a sonic hand on ears, a harsh coaxing soon joined by a further thickening of the guitar’s abrasive enticement within a belligerently antagonistic rhythmic assault and heavily throated bass lures. The song is a scourge of sound but with a melodic yet doom filtered mellow breath which tempers and invigorates the enterprise and senses equally. The rawness of production and sound adds to the seductive intensity squalling around ears for an enthralling and intriguing first and lingering impression.

The following Snake Eyes Baby flames with a brooding intensity and melodic caress with thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and Birdland brewing initially before it expels a riot of feverish energy and resourceful incitement for an incendiary climax. The impressive track fires up the passions which its predecessor in comparison just tickled for a brief but provocatively incisive proposition. Its more elegant seducing is contrasted by Where Are We?, a track with a ferociously shimmering surface to another sway of melodic coaxing melodically and vocally. That gentleness is soon swamped by a voracious tide of sonic rabidity and a more hardcore edged vocal delivery for an instantly appealing but intimidating incitement. Whereas some tracks like the previous one make an immediate success others like this take longer to build their suasion but in varying degrees achieve their welcome goal.

Zaleski complete their side of the spilt with the atmospherically haunting instrumental Silent Hills and the smouldering seduction of Ghosted, a track much like their second which slowly winds around senses and emotions with a searing yet soothing croon of melodic expression within a tempestuous sonic surface driven by an enjoyably varied vocal delivery and expression. It and Snake Eyes Baby take best track honours on this side of the release with ease, each fuelled by the promise which lights all Zaleski’s tracks whilst providing an extra inventive adventure which ignites a hungry appetite.

Ugly Zoo create a sound which is garage punk and noise rock spliced with psyche devilry, and within seconds steals a march on its co-contributors with an irresistible charge of carnivorously predacious riffs, rabidity drenched basslines, and a discord flushed wash of riotous vocals as Westboro Deepthroat erupts in the ear. As soon as its roars provocatively there is a similarity to UK band The St Pierre Snake Invasion which is never a bad likeness to have. The track swaggers and taunts with imaginative bait forged by the punk inspired guitars and crisply swiping rhythms, but it is the demonic snarl of the bass and the mass scythes of vocals which seal the impressive deal.

Jawbreaker takes the outstanding start up another level, its opening gnaw of that great bestial bass sound with matching rapacity from riffs alone a gripping enticement. Fusing a rawer blaze of rock crafted spiky grooves and again dual vocals, the song brawls with and inspires the senses for a potently flavoursome fury which sets up an already greedy attention for the exceptional Jesus Sneakers. Their third song slings a contagious net of pounding beats with another ridiculously riveting bass lure at the ear; that alone addiction sparking but once the guitars spew their sonic ingenuity lined ferocity and vocals squall with vivacious revelry, the song becomes an insatiable stomp with energetic wantonness. It does not end there though as imagination grips the song further with shards of crystalline sparks and crazed warped tempting which adds a truly unpredictable beauty to the encounter, a track which feels like it is inventing itself as it goes.

The final Ugly Zoo track If We Don’t Succeed We Run the Risk of Failure reinforces the striking first look at the band, its body driven by a garage punk stride with boisterous sinews and combative rhythms, The outcome is a protagonist which is unsure whether to party or create havoc but in the end plumps for the former with unrelenting enthusiasm and devilish creative intensity. It is a thrilling end to an exhausting and thoroughly enjoyable release.

Feeding the primal personal wants of our desires, Ugly Zoo provide the most thrilling and exhilarating slices on the release but both they and Zaleski lay down a quality foundation recruiting long term attention upon the pair whilst suggesting big things ahead for both their invigorating presences.

The Zaleski /Ugly Zoo Split is out now digitally and as limited edition cassette @ http://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/zaleski-ugly-zoo-split

http://zaleski.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/uglyzoo/

Zaleski 8/10

Ugly Zoo 9/10

RingMaster 15/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Thom Bowden – Searching The Brittle Light

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From the release of his striking and impressive The Damage EP of 2012 there has been a healthy dose of acclaim placed around UK musician Thom Bowden and keen anticipation bred for his debut album. This week sees the unveiling of Searching The Brittle Light and those hopes are sure to be satisfied with the ten track encounter. It is not a release which impacts as potently and consistently as Bowden’s previous proposition but certainly it brings another wash of the rich potential within his songwriting and highly agreeable sound.

Surrey based, Bowden takes inspirations from the likes of The White Stripes, Nick Drake, Dresden Dolls, Fugazi, and Neil Young into his imagination catching enterprise. As mentioned The Damage EP brought strong attention and responses from fans and media alike, something you can only see the album repeating and increasing. A collection of songs written when Bowden was ‘at a low point in his life’, the album was recorded with and mixed by Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers) and mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road. Inspired by some advice offered whilst the artists was in Chicago by Kim Deal, the album brings a raw honest intent and beauty to the ears. There is also a slightly more adventurous variation across the songs than on the last EP, a move you can only respect and embrace even with its slightly mixed success in comparison to the consistency of the previous release.

With guitarist Richard George and drummer Steve Matthews alongside Bowden, the album opens strongly with Click!, a song taking mere seconds to seduce ears and thoughts with its opening seduction of sultry blues kissed flames. a2137786508_2The slow swipes of guitar are soon joined by punchy beats and a darkly drawing bassline before the great expressively twanged and unpredictable voice of Bowden starts revealing the lyrical narrative. His voice and a rich essence of the music has a Frank Black like temptation which only adds to the smouldering enticement, an invitation which burns increasingly brighter as the song evolves and spreads its senses sizzling charms. The feisty stride of the track is an incessant call on the passions whilst the increasingly warped vocal delivery which by this point has a more My Red Cell essence, Bowden sounding similar to frontman Russell Toomey of the defunct Welsh band, only captivates with mischievous bait. It is a strong and gripping start to the album which without lighting fires sets up a keen appetite for its offering, a hunger soon spicily fed by the second song.

So So Long makes a controlled and infectious entrance, guitars and rhythms a simple but entrancing lure to which Bowden’s grazing tones lay angst spawned invention and caustic passion. The track never lifts its gait to anything more than a slow determined canter but with expulsions of sonic heat and expressive melodic energy, the song irresistibly wins over ears, again thoughts of the previously mentioned Welsh band coming to the fore. It is a masterful slice of sonic magnetism bringing a licking of lips. Its potent presence is followed by the ballad My Arms, the song a union of voice, guitar, and emotive textures which certainly stirs up thoughts and attention but brings an unexpected and underwhelming halt to the thrust of the album. Obviously a highly personal offering, it is hard and impossible to dismiss, or not enjoy, but the song is a wrongly positioned rein on the passions for personal preference.

The following Control brings the temperature and energy back with accomplished and thrilling enterprise. Rhythms roll invitingly through the ears as guitars swerve and let fly with melodic scythes of enticement and sonic tempting which reawakens a thirsty imagination. There is a definite eighties new wave feel to the track, another shade of familiarity which in different designs attractively flirts with most of certainly the rockier numbers on the release. As it continues to tease and impress, the glorious song casts a web of inventive guitar endeavour, melodic mischief, and sonic alchemy to treat and seduce the emotions; it all aided by an emerging Pixies sounding toxicity.

Next up How About It? slips into a gentler hug of emotive intimacy and melodic caressing around a spine of shadow involving rhythmic invention from drums and bass. It is a slowly burning temptation which takes longer than certainly the previous song to persuade but emerges as a deliciously riveting and evocative highlight of the release. Its broody success is followed by the forty five second instrumental , a piece which is just there before the outstanding With Pace unleashes its grunge spawned sinews and punkish desires. As its title suggests, the track romps with swift, heavily thumping feet and fiery riffs around which rapacious grooves and fuzz encased vocals flirt and rage respectively. There is no escaping a Nirvana comparison but as elsewhere it only spices up the brawling encounter. The album and Bowden seems to wear inspirations on their sleeve, definitely more than the EP, to predominantly bring stronger aural colours to embrace.

The raucous air and exhaustive pleasure of the triumph is swiftly tempered and brought back to the ground with the folk seeded reflection of The Water Is Cold, a decent and strikingly performed song but again an underwhelming shift in scenery and suasion. Its emerging emotional stringed flight and expressive vocal coaxing does light thoughts and feelings, but there is the thought that the track would be better served elsewhere in the order or set on a separate release to find the reaction it deserves.

The bluesy plaintive cry of In The Ground comes next to stir up a nest of satisfied thoughts and emotions with its persistent tendrils of sonic imposing and fiery enticement around another roar of vocal lament and expression. It is a track which you want more of before the final elegant balladry of Sweet And Tender brings the album to a musically and lyrically rueful close. Soaked in more folk seeded melancholy it is a captivating end to a fine if inconsistent album.

     Searching The Brittle Light is an impressive next step for Bowden but because of its intent and bravery in stretching its boundaries may be fails to match its predecessor. The songs are a clear step on in craft and maturity let alone invention but the album feels like two releases in one which defuses its impact whereas separating them into EPs of rock and ballad seeded tracks might have brought the showcase and clarity they deserve. Nevertheless Thom Bowden is an exciting talent which will be creating remarkable and keenly devoured statements ahead, we for one wait eagerly.

Searching The Brittle Light is available digitally, on vinyl, and CD now via Audio Candle Records and @ http://thombowden.bandcamp.com/

http://thombowden.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 15/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/