Cauls: EP2

If you are looking for a band to offer something different, music which is equally challenging and rewarding than look no further than British post hardcore band Cauls. They are a band which has ignited the North East of England and beyond with their inciteful and imaginative sounds, now with the release of their new collection of stunning sounds named EP2, the band is ready to intrude on and ignite the nation.

The bio sheet for the release from the Newcastle quartet states that their sound has evoked comparisons to the likes of At The Drive–In, mewithoutYou, Deftones, and Mars Volta. It really is hard to disagree though you can add essences from others such as Fall of Troy, Sunna, and to a lesser extent The Blood Brothers, such their expansive and impactful sound. The EP is stunning, a thrilling and chilling in the respect of tingles it ignites, release which inspires mental and physical reaction throughout and beyond its leaving of the ear.

Formed in 2009, the line-up of guitarist Graham Morris, bassist Andrew McCaffery, and Chris McManus on drums, impressed and fired up hearts with their impressive live shows and muscular progressive instrumental sounds. The trio though felt something was missing and after a lengthy searched for, found and recruited vocalist Michael Marwood and the rest is glorious if still young history. Their two twin track releases in If Bored, Pull Tab Marked Tab and Crave Divan of last year set ears burning with hungry satisfaction but with the new release the band has emerges as something even more immense and mightier, the music leaping from great songs on the previous releases to extreme quality on EP2.

Released on September 24th through Blank Records, the release is astonishing and thoroughly refreshing; the band creating sounds which leaves one breathless and glowing in its uniqueness and skilled soundscapes. The release opens with Whistler, its atmospheric start emerging from a resonating primal bass twang and plunging rhythms. As the guitars singe the air with their sonic caresses the bass finds a snarl to its watchful brief, holding back its intent as the melodic mini suns and expressive heated vocals light up the haunted ambience. All the time the track is slowly evolving into a storm of blistering energy and passion for a burning climax, and an excellent start.

No Motion is an At The Drive-In/Radiohead flavoured piece of joy equipped with acidic melodies and Joy Division like discord. Maybe less dramatic than the first track it still fires up the imagination and appetite which the following Iris Brickfield eagerly and very successfully feeds. With intimidating whispers and soaring vocals the track is a hypnotic and darkened ambient clasp on the passions, ethereal and raw, warm and shadowed, and quite majestic.

After the brief melancholic instrumental The Durande, the release ends on the towering Ahsonnutli, an eight minute triumph encapsulating the magnificent musicianship, inventive songwriting, and emotional impact of the music in one perpetually evolving slab of sonic grandeur. Its starts as a riot before settling into a reflective soul, though soon it is crusading through an array of seamlessly connected and fiery sounds, the band seeding elements of doom, stoner, ambient, and aggressive rock to their progressive weave. It is startling, glorious, testing and fully rewarding.

EP2 is a masterpiece, a release which marks the band as one of the most talented and inspirational emerging bands in the UK and beyond. Cauls will burn your ears whilst treating them to the best original and gratifying sounds heard in recent years.

www.facebook.com/caulsband

RingMaster 18/09/2012

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Native Roses: Out Of The Water

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

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

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

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

RingMaster 27/06/2012

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Baddies: Build

After being completely infected and charmed by their debut album Do The Job, the review of the Baddies follow up Build was never going to be anything less than enthusiastic in their direction though there was still a part ready to chomp down on any deficiencies found.  The first single from the new album Bronto indicated at the beginning of the year that things had moved forward with their sound but now we have Build to prove if it was so. The answer is that the instigators of kinky hooks, beautifully erratic rhythms, and melodies that play hop scotch on the ear have not only returned with another stunning release but taken their sound into depths and risen to heights that exceed already enthused hopes and expectations.

After the deserved and almost crazed response to their 2009 debut form a great many, and the UK band embarking on a schedule that took in an arduous tour schedule of 180 shows in 365 days across the world which included taking in 32 major European festivals, the quartet not so much took a break but slowed things considerably as they went into thinking about and creating the successor to their successful debut. Using Pledge Music to help raise finances for the release whilst remaining strongly independent and reaching closer to their eager fans, Baddies release Build on March 5th and surely destined to ignite an even bigger response, acclaim and adoration.

Do The Job was marked for the direct and spiky hooks and addictive prickly melodies within its songs with the likes of Battleships, Open One Eye, and We Beat Our Chests uncompromising in their intent to infiltrate and control limbs and senses, turning them into thirsty marionettes. Build continues this incisive attack, bringing more additive voracious lures and instinctive harmonic essences but now with a more refined and rounded shape that  is as effective but even longer lingering and insatiable. Basically the Baddies creativity, songwriting and sound has grown, spread and dare one say matured into an even more vibrant and impressive creature.

Whereas their previous album was riotous, Build consumes in waves of gentler expressive sounds but to no less effect or impressive wonder. Do The Job threw  grating quirky crunchy guitar jabs and punchy rhythmic kicks to the ear but Build whilst taking the best of those elements fuses them into soaring electronics and graceful harmonies with a flair that is musically poetic and steamy. The album bursts into life with the slightly familiar sound and territory of the excellent Rewire. A sweeping synth cradles one in the songs arms before the guitars leap upon and bounce incessantly around the ear. Vocalist Michael Webster and fellow guitarist Simon Bellamy litter the senses with kinetic and contagious stabs whilst the futuristic inspired electronic sounds dazzle and sparkle around them.

The stunning start continues with the Frankenstein Man Made Man, another song that simply whips one into a frenetic ball of enthused hunger for more and more. The track weaves between excited agitation and a laid back melodic sensual symphony to create something glorious yet an unbridled aural solicitation. The first two songs bring older Baddies into a new expansive version that is irresistible, the man and science theme of these and the album intriguing and pleasing.

Every song within the album is without exception pure quality, from the sparkling yet provocative Mind Machines with a Thomas Dolby like flavour, to the big pulsating rhythm punch of The Lightmen. The latter of the two with its tingling electrified flow driven by the roaming throaty bass of Danny Rowton, who is imperious throughout Build, and the inspired mountainous rhythms of drummer Jim Webster, has a Colin Moulding written feel of XTC as well as of Young Knives. The swell of great vocal harmonies, expressive lyrics and their delivery an expansive gorgeous journey.

The XTC sound appears again in Excess Energy to great effect, but despite these references Baddies are undeniably and wonderfully unique. They also are distinct in the diversity within their music, something openly obvious in the likes of the album’s forthcoming single Talk To Me Germany, the stunning Centurion, and the stirring These Animals. The first is a stoked burst of punk pop joy whilst Centurion is a pulsating electronic mesmeric light brought with a slight John Foxx/ Bill Nelson touch in its scintillating sparkle.

Bronto like the opener is the perfect connection between the older sound and the new hypnotic direction the band has spread in to. The song is as virulent as any song you are likely to hear anywhere, its electronic punked venom impossible to deny as it firmly grips with its hot thirsty urgency. It has a chest beating defiance that can only inspire one to join its intent and chorus in emotion and voice. Do not be surprised that once having heard the song it reappears in your head at numerous and any time, it is an infection with no known cure.

Closing on the captivating Star Surfing and its celestial majesty, Build is simply magnificent. Baddies have once more revitalised and given a new rousing energy to not only alternative indie music but music in general. If craft, originality, and inventive music which inflames your every day with warmth and rampant fun is the juice for your thirst, than Baddies is your first and essential option.

RingMaster 26/02/2012

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