The Jacques – Pretty DJ EP

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Like a hybrid infestation spawned from a mix of Babyshambles, Arctic Monkeys, and The Sugarcubes, The Jacques in one scintillating swoop has announced themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting newcomers. That potent introduction comes in the sensational shape of the Pretty DJ EP, a four track stomp of Britpop and pop punk infused with garage rock devilry, which from first to last breath inflames the imagination and incites the body.

Formed only in January of this year and consisting of two sets of brothers aged 16 to 21, The Jacques inspired by the sounds they were raised upon which included the likes of The Strokes, The Ramones, The Jam, The Lemonheads, and Elvis Costello, swiftly made their mark on the live scene. In a few brief months the Bristol hailing quartet of vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Jacques, guitarist Jake Edwards, bassist/vocalist Oli Edwards, and drummer Elliot O’Brien found themselves playing numerous festivals across the summer including Guilfest and at Hyde Park where they supported The Libertines and caught the attention of their drummer Gary Powell, the co-founder of 25 Hour Convenience Store, who signed them on the spot to the label which now uncages the band’s first irresistible offering.

Recorded at Rockfield Studios with Dan Swift, Pretty DJ opens with its title track and instantly ignites the imagination and appetite with an initial jangle of spicy guitar. With rhythms soon in tow, the song relaxes into a warm yet unpredictable stroll littered with quirky hooks, a rhythmic shuffle, and a richly persuasive bassline. It is potent bait especially when the distinct and unbroken vocals of Bonnie flirt with ears, his tones refreshingly unique and individually expressive even at a young age. The song proceeds to weave its salacious sonic curves and healthy rhythmic persuasion with raw and compelling seduction, every syllable and note brought with a dose of eclectic enterprise. It is a sensational first taste of the band and release which only inflames hunger the_jacques-pretty_dj-ep-2014-artwork-e1414933180481and passion for more with every twist in its armoury

The following Foreign Films has a more relaxed gait than the great agitated endeavour of its predecessor, but is no less virulent bait with its sultry melodies and a great vocal duelling between Bonnie and Oli. It is hard to look further than The Libertines as a spicy influence here, though equally there as whiffs of bands like Supergrass and Pulp at play too. The song also carries garage rock tenacity to its sonic and lively cosmopolitan temptation as it reveals a little more of the rich potential and imagination of the young band.

Scum In A Bottle also visits that garage rock breeding as well as a punk causticity which adds further tasty shades of endeavour to the release. Guitars spark and flame with raw charm whilst again the vocals tantalise with their seamless union and magnetic uniqueness. Littered with mouth-watering craft and creative revelry from the guitars and a pungent baiting from the intrepid rhythms, the track steals its own thick wedge of the rich praise building up inside waiting to shower the release, a portion matched by that garnered by the closing Weekends.

The final track swiftly has its temptation ingrained through an opening bass lure. Always a sucker for throaty enticing like this, the track had us gripped from its first second and only proceeded to increase its hold with tangy grooves and similarly tasty hooks across bracing swipes of sonic causticity. As with all the tracks, it is impossible for feet and vocal chords not to join its call, with pleasure in close quarters to their eagerness.

It is fair to say that The Jacques wear their influences on their sleeve but only as homage to those inspirations and as an invigorating hue to their own invention. The Pretty DJ EP is easily one of the highlights of the year and easy reasoning as to why Mr Powell leapt upon them within a breath of discovering their existence.

The Pretty DJ EP is available now via 25 Hour Convenience Store @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pretty-dj-ep/id930507850

https://www.facebook.com/TheJacquesBand

RingMaster 12/11/2014

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Desert Ships – Skyliner

Desert Ships press image 2014

Four mesmeric flights flooded with celestial hauntings and shoegaze fascination, the Skyliner EP from UK band Desert Ships is as both band and release names suggest, an expansive and sultrily aired adventure. A release which is cinematic in its touch on the imagination and warmly sensuous in its lure on the senses, Skyliner shimmers and radiates like a mix of The Horrors, House Of Love, and Brian Jonestown Massacre with just a tinge of Inspiral Carpets for spicy measure. To be honest that is still a loose description of the psychedelic fuelled exploration found within the release but a good starting point for something distinct to Desert Ships.

Formed in 2012, the London trio of Mikey (vocals/guitar), Daniel (bass/vocals), and Claude (drums/vocals) swiftly sparked attention and acclaim with the release of their debut album that same year. The Mark Gardener (ex- Ride) produced Doll Skin Flag soon drew regular comparisons to the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, and occasionally the film scores of John Barry. Its success was backed by the band’s equally praised live presence which saw them tour with bands such as The Prodigy, Band of Skulls, The Rifles, and Babyshambles as well as play numerous festivals over the past couple of years. Reuniting with Gardener again in the studio, Desert Ships now unveil their new EP, a release taking its predecessor as a launch pad for broader and more expressive aurally visual experiences.

The release opens with its epic title track, a seven minute plus excursion into magnetic harmonies, sonic exploration, and fuzzy show gaze seducing. From its first breath there is a fresh and smouldering temptation at work, guitar coaxing Desert Ships-Skyliner-artwork -Final-HRthe lead into a weave of vocal harmonies and expression from across the band. That in turn is cradled by a tapestry of keys bred elegance and enterprise. The song emerges as a gentle maelstrom of gripping ideation and aural fascination, the vocals as varied and riveting as the spatial grooves and rhythmic shuffle courting their narrative whilst every immersive note is an exotic kiss upon the senses. Like soaring through a refreshingly muggy landscape, the track is enthralling leaving body and emotions submerged in blissful exploration.

The slightly slimmer length of Shell Shock is no less eventful next, embracing ears with a synth pop spiced temptation straight away. Laying down an eighties flavoured yet modern canvas of melodic hues, bands like China Crisis, Modern English, and The Flaming Lips coming to mind, the track croons with cosmic lustre and psychedelic colour. Again the imagination is sparked by and emotions immersed in an ethereal tapestry of sound and voice, the song the perfect pop proposition. It is a description which almost applies to the following Heart Beats and it’s more grounded but no less transfixing splendour too, though the magnetic offering does not quite have the infectious glow and compelling grandeur of its predecessor. All the same the feistier track is a masterfully and enticingly grooved invitation which is hard to resist as it reveals further shades and turns in the band’s creativity.

Skyliner is concluded by another epic holding of ears with its longest and relentlessly suggestive track, Ausgang. Somewhere between cheerfully funereal and livelily meditative, the persistent breeze of sonic and melodic enticing is a vibrantly repetitive affair which probably outstays its welcome but still provides an instrumental soundscape to create imaginative tales within. Though the EP is not one of two halves, like the previous track the closer lacks something of the first pair of songs but has plenty to entice and feed an already keen appetite for release and band.

Desert Ships has provided a treat of an encounter which is at its stunning best at the start and whilst slipping a level of persuasion or two in its latter part, perpetually leaves expectations and anticipation of big things from and for the band ahead rife. Ultimately Skyliner is a gorgeous flight which more than deserves a full investigation.

The Skyliner EP is available now @ http://desertships.bandcamp.com/

http://www.desertships.com

RingMaster 11/11/2014

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Lazytalk – Just A Ride

 

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    When the body is turned into an eager puppet you know you are in the hands of something special and that is exactly what the new single from UK rockers Lazytalk is. Just A Ride is an insatiable stomp fusing the richest essences of indie, ska, and punk with plenty of other variously seeded excitement like drum ‘n’ bass. It draws in ears and imagination from its opening note, never relinquishing its contagious grip until the final vivacious second.

      Lazytalk was formed in 2011 and it seems was soon raising up the passions from a loyal following with their resourcefully inventive sound. Exhilarating venues and audiences across London and the UK ever since their debut day, which has included supporting Babyshambles on their UK tour, the band drew strong responses with their debut EP, the Gordon Raphael produced Luzaville. The new single follows the release of the excellent track Memories which came out as a free download a couple of months ago, and treats ears and imagination to their finest irrepressible slice of revelry yet.

Just A Ride opens with jangling guitar strokes which immediately suggests an Arctic Monkeys like bred adventure ahead. The joining rhythmic bait of Tag Ara soon accelerates the already brewing appetite for the song, impressively aided by the vocal beckoning of Piers Robinson. It is a tremendous temptation which explodes to another plateau once the bass darkens its tone whilst the guitar of Jack Wilson aligned to the keys of Joshua Culter, scythe across and thicken respectively. the riveting dance of the encounter. There is a definite eighties new wave swagger to the more angular aspects of the adventure, one which slips seamlessly beside the gently stabbing ska enticement and the fiery and infectious weave of melodies. The rhythmic cage of Sam Woodward keeps the vivacious energy and irresistible mischief of the song encased in a controlling body but one which allows devilry like the pleasing sax croons from Culter and the raw vocal harmonies to play and add their engaging hues to the scintillating and wonderfully exhausting romp.

      Lazytalk is one of those bands you just sell your soul to, well we did as once Just A Ride placed its hand on ears and passions there was just no escape. If is safe to say that we will not be alone in offering up our submission and doing it time and time again as the band realises the rest of their potential and rises to the loftiest heights of attention and ardour in the UK music scene.

http://lazytalk.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 23/03/2014

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Reporters – Trouble Last Morning EP

Reporters

A raw capturing of the imagination with honest lo-fi sounds Trouble Last Morning is the debut EP from a band which provokes the thought that this could be an early introduction of a presence with the potential to evolve into something rather important. The EP comes from UK band Reporters, a duo from Milton Keynes consisting of teenagers Dan Stock (lead vocalist / guitarist) and Josh Ringsell (drums/backing vocals) which is kicking up a bit of a stir with their honest unafraid sound. Having already built a potent following in their home town through their live performances which has seen them play with the likes of Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Weeks, and Dead Sons, Reporters turn their attention to the rest of the country with the release of this quite compelling EP.

Released on the band’s own Phret Records, Trouble Last Morning is soon making the strongest persuasion with Meet Me In The Morning, a track which has a caustic touch to its melodic persuasion and instantly contagious lure to its presence and fluid temptation. The song takes little time in sparking thoughts of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys but also offers a breath which leaks classic and garage rock invention, a feel of Television meets Tom Petty bringing a further magnetic tease. It makes for a sound which is not strikingly original but wholly inventive and tantalising, the riffs and melodic acidity an exciting wrap around the sinew stretched rhythms.

It is a gripping start soon backed by the equally enticing Last Of The Lonely, its chorus an addiction forging bait which enslaves feet and Art work finalthe appetite for an infection bleeding anthem. As with its predecessor there is no room for excess fat in the songwriting or the delivery, every note and chord a stripped down persuasive wash of unfiltered rock ‘n’ roll with the vocals of Stock feverishly backed by Ringsell, a matching riveting rub of ears and imagination.

The closing Trouble In Paradise is an emotive ballad with a smell of Babyshambles to its discord kissed melodic scent. A track which brews up deeper pungent attraction the more you share its evocative strains, the song shows the richness of promise and enterprise the band has already and can only develop to stronger toxicity ahead.

The Trouble Last Morning EP is a fine doorway into as suggested a band with very bright and potentially important horizons ahead for them and British rock music. Whether it comes to pass we will see but certainly Reporters shows signs of having the creative weaponry to take on that challenge.

www.facebook.com/reportersband

www.phret.net

8/10

RingMaster 25/10/2013

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The Savage Nomads: Tension In The Middle EP

After the acclaim that soaked their debut album Coloured Clutter, UK rock band The Savage Nomads return with the Tension In The Middle EP to justify previous opinions and inspire even more fervour and attention. Before the release the London quintet had set themselves up as one of the most exciting and promising emerging UK bands, the new EP takes that promise and turns it into a full reality. The sounds are unique, staggeringly imaginative, and wholly exhilarating, The Savage Nomads a band to fire up the heart.

With the likes of Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Matt Johnson (The The), and Robyn Hitchcock adding their support and praise to the ever growing wealth of fans and media attention, the band has not looked back since their debut single The Magic Eye of last year. Consisting of vocalist and guitarist Cole Salewicz, guitarist Joe Gillick, bassist Josh Miles, drummer Billy Boone, and Aviram Barath on trumpet and synths, with all adding backing vocals, The Savage Nomads made a big impression when supporting Big Audio Dynamite, the band added to their Justice Tonight tour by the request of Jones.

Tension In The Middle brings the punk infused originality which ignited their album but with a more restrained and mellower intent, well if a subtler and more smoothly intrusive manipulation can be called mellow.  The energy within the EP may not be as boisterous and excitable as on Coloured Clutter but it is just as eager and deeply infectious, the band bringing an evolution which is thoughtful and openly adventurous whilst retaining the core and irrepressible heart of their sound.

The title track opens up the release with a shadowed atmospheric grace and emotive wash. The spoken vocals of Salewicz reflect and unveil their thoughts over the fine piano pulses of Barath. The song littered with the excellent beats of Boone floats with a riled smoothness over the ear, bringing group harmonies and incisive guitar charms alongside the throatier basslines of Miles. The song equally caresses and scrapes the ear like a mix of The Three Johns and Babyshambles with Salewicz adding a Mark E Smith lilt to his vocals.

The excellent Four Personalities steps up next to bring a variation and slightly livelier breath to that of the opener. Tall velvety bass notes at the start announce the arrival of the guitars, their slicing of the air accompanied by blistered trumpet melodies and artillery driven rhythms. After a riled crescendo it drops into a hypnotic vein of bass riffs and sonic guitar manipulations. The track offers to explode at various times but never quite does take that final step and the result is compulsive. With the distinctness of Jazz Butcher and the manic energy of The Higsons the track is a growing infection which leaves one breathless. It is not an instant engagement but give a deserved attention it emerges as a magnificent piece of songwriting and inventiveness.

An Empty Seat from Coloured Clutter is included on the album and again is pure magic. Full of feisty energy and eager attention seeking guitars it riles emotions and thoughts up into a bedlam of excitement and rattled nerve ends. The song is part Baddies, and part Wire with Andy Partridge seemingly at the helm, a track bringing a post punk intensity with modern unbridled creativity. It was a true highlight of the album and is so again though its companions more than match it in adventure and imagination.

Completed by the radio edit of Tension In The Middle and a clean radio version of An Empty Seat, the EP is as impressive as one hoped and truthfully expected from the band. It offers up an even greater promise with its stylish change in presence and a reassurance that UK post punk and ingenuity are in safe and instinctive hands with The Savage Nomads.

https://www.facebook.com/thesavagenomads

RingMaster 22/05/2012

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Toy Horses – Toy Horses

There has been a lot of fuss over and feverish acclaim sent the way of Welsh duo Toy Horses ever since their early demos hit the internet in 2010. Those early songs took no time in becoming a constantly growing success that led to national and international radio play. The insightful melody lined and expressive uncluttered tunes the pair created rode a word of mouth wave that without any real self promotion from the band itself, took them to the ears and close attention of fans and media both sides of the pond. As things led to other things and more opportunities the stepfather-stepson duo Adam D Franklin and Tom Williams found themselves the attention of US radio guru Nic Harcourt who invited the band to perform at his SXSW showcase. Proclaiming them his highlight of the festival Harcourt then had the pair perform his KCRW radio show in LA. This led to Ken Coomer (Wilco) becoming aware of them and to be another to fall to their impressive indie charm. He contacted the band personally offering to produce their debut album which was subsequently recorded in Nashville and released in the summer of 2011.

The self titled collection of ten assured and vibrant tunes is re-released as a luxury edition on February 27th and will surely sweep up many more eager followers which it missed the first time around with its captivating melodies alongside expressive lyrics and emotions. From the opening Play What You Want it is easy to see why so many have taken the release and band to their hearts. There is an openness to the songs in word and sound that simply endears itself far beyond the ear. The first song alone is an infectious tease with an air of mischief about it. It is a little romp across the senses tempered by the lyrics personal plea.

Every song within the album is crafted with love and attention, each obviously thought over and though some do not quite grab with the depth of others it is something relative to the individual which is which. The use of piano and strings in And It Was You and in the wonderful closing track Interrupt offer a depth and extra emotive touch that most bands either neglect or do not imagine showing the intelligent ideas Toy Horses give to their sound.

It is when the pair lift up the tempo and pulse rate that they really excel with an extra flair that marks them for big things. The brilliant Damage Done has a siren like appeal and within moments one is mesmerised by the pulsating keys and minimal rhythms behind the vocals. If ever the term less is more was more proven it is on this song. Matching its flair are the equally impressive Loyal To The Cause and No Ones Gonna Leave You. The first of the two reminds of eighties band The Bluebells with its incisive and irresistible melody whilst the other and best song on the album, has a feisty nip to it reminding a little of the likes of Babyshambles. It comes with a little more attitude and offers an energetic rockabilly like vein throughout that sparks. Across the release the songs generally have a sixties feel at times bringing a kind of Kinks/Beatles like essence which works nicely but it is with the sounds and tunes that have this bite or raising of intensity that the album is at its best.

Toy Horses the band and album is refreshing. The duo write songs that are instinctive and heart warming but with an eager wicked glint in the eye. It is clear why the band garnered such a response to their sounds so far and though this album does not quite blow us away it indicates it is merely a question of time.

RingMaster 21/02/2012

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RKC (Roses Kings Castles) – British Plastic

British Plastic the new album from RKC ripples with the lo-fi DIY feel inspired by the late 70’s punk rise and the electronic pop sensibilities that followed. Ex- Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek has created an adventurous and vibrant release that brings two eras into an undeniably engaging and unique union to bring some welcome nostalgia alongside thrilling new adventures.

Originally named as Roses Kings Castles, the name having been abbreviated recently, the band was first conceived in 2007 for songs that were too ‘odd pop’ for Babyshambles, the project to be an underground base for their emergence. A debut self titled album released via his own label, The Sycamore Club in 2008 received strong acclaim, as did the subsequent 2009 Apples & Engines EP and 2010 album Suburban Time Bomb. With British Plastic also via The Sycamore Club, there is an evolution not only in the reduction from being a six piece unit on its predecessor to all instrumentation coming from Ficek apart from lead guitar from former band mate in Babyshambles Patrick Walden, but also in a bigger and bolder adventurous sound.  

The album was recorded solely in Ficek’s makeshift home studio and I guess critics could claim a naivety and at times an undefined sound on the production but one would argue this adds to the instinctive and personal feel that a polished big studio treatment would have lost. The accompanying bio to the album comments that British Plastic is an ‘aural scuffle between The Buzzcocks and The Beta Band’s resurgent hero Steve Mason’ which is a very apt declaration especially on songs like ‘I Can’t Say’ which has a distinct Pete Shelley flavour to the melodies against the mesmeric electronics and pulses. There is much more to the music here though, many classic bands and sounds fused into modern touches and additives. This song epitomises everything that is British Plastic, its electronic pop recalling bands like early Depeche Mode, The Normal and especially The The, blending with the DIY of bands like The Television Personalities and the disquiet from the likes of The Strokes.

The tracks within British Plastic are varied with the only inconsistency coming from the best songs on the album being so good they show up the slightly ‘weaker’ ones. Opener ‘These Are The Days’ is a perfect start to the release, its pop tendencies and open sounds the perfect invitation into the album’s unique qualities. The song reminded of 80’s band King Trigger with its electronic flowing sounds surrounding natural melodies and rhythms; the bass is pretty tasty too.

The song ‘Here Comes The Summer’ has already garnered attention and airplay with its fuzzed up sounds, urgency and The Cure like pop laced with a grittier approach and completes a strong ‘awkward’ pop beginning to the album. The first single from the album ‘Kittens Become Cats’ follows next. A more subdued and soulful song but no less intriguing and satisfying though maybe a surprising choice as lead track to draw people in as good as it is.

Many highlights follow, the punk vibe of ‘People And Places’, the scuzzy air of ‘Seeds Of Moscow’, and the pulsating discordant experimental delights of ‘Tapping’ all play easily and with enterprise upon the ear. It is the quick fire incessant post punk drive of ‘Cockroach’ that takes the top dog award on the album. With essences of 80’s bands The Three Johns, Swell Maps and Wire mixed in with some The Mae Shi and The Pixies, the track is a wonderful hypnotic inflamed blast at life.

Fuelled by a feeling of anger and distrust the album is a thrilling and expressive release that shows real music does not need to be polished beyond recognition to be very satisfying and stunningly effective. The more one listens the deeper the attraction and love affair with British Plastic and RKC.

Check out the British Plastic @rkcmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

RingMaster 01/11/2011

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