Apherium – Neoteric

Apherium Online Promo Picture

Spinning a web of varied and flavoursome enticements within their alternative metal bred imagination, UK band Apherium continue their potent emergence with the national reboot of latest EP Neoteric. Containing five tracks which not only reinforces the already established weight and creative invention of their sound but pushes it into an even more exploratory and expansive landscape, the release is a fascinating proposition which maybe does not light raging fires in the passions but certainly sets a lingering and brightly smouldering captivation.

Founded in 2011 whilst members were at college, the Yeovil quartet took little time to hone their intent and sound as shown by debut album The Cycle the following year, which itself followed a self-titled EP. Initially taking inspiration from early thrash and heavy metal, the band’s sound was swiftly evolving by their well-received full-length and even more so with the single Shadows which came out in 2013. It set a teaser for things to come and now explored fully through the Neoteric EP. There is an aggression and power to the release which has its seeds in the bands early days but also a melodic enterprise which revitalises influences found in the likes of Biffy Clyro, InMe, and more so we would suggest Funeral for a Friend. It is a tight and compelling mix which takes little time to thrill and persuade as the EP opens with New Light.

The first track shimmers with a crystalline stroke of a guitar crafted melody to awaken attention before a throaty bass lure aligned to thumping beats sets down its own imposing bait. To that there is an unexpected growl of electro tempting, PromoImagethough it is soon immersed in the full weight of the song’s intensity. A slip into a restrained stroll follows with the vocals of Larry Turner stepping forward, well backed by the supporting calls of the band, to join a pulsating funk kissed bassline from Callum Shortland. It is just another twist in the song though as it ignites again with a raw glaze of riffs from Turner and Ross Derby against imposing strikes from drummer Ashley Jones before a folk stomp of strings joins the raucous revelry, these provided by guest musician Joe Labanowski. It is a riveting proposition, as unpredictable as it is magnetic with the short bursts of returning electro deviltry and the progressive ambience that wraps around its climax more striking invention to the exciting opener.

Silver Tongues comes next with a forceful wall of caustic riffs hitting ears first, though they are entwined with rich sonic lacing and slow jabbing beats. A melodic relaxation emerges soon after with emotive expression from Turner’s vocals and narrative. The progressive endeavour of Derby infuses further rich colour to the song whilst backing vocal scowls and antagonistic rhythms leave an intimidation which nicely tempers the surrounding warmth. Though strings make an enthralling and potent addition to the skilfully sculpted song, it lacks the spark of its predecessor mainly because the bold invention and unpredictability of the first is missing here. Nevertheless it is a deeply pleasing encounter matched by Angels Of Our Nature. The third song merges choppy riffs and crisp rhythms into a weave of glowing harmonies and poetic melodies which engulf imagination and emotions with ease. There is also a drama to the sound of the song which again without quite finding the heights of the opener leaves a hunger in the appetite already woken by the EP.

That early single Shadows is next, a track which is a ball of fiery energy and aggressive intent yet unafraid to venture into reflective vocals and emotive melodic ideation. Cored by a tempest of outstanding rhythms from Jones and Shortland, there is a robust yet seductive intensity to the song and it is easy to see why it raised strong anticipation in so many for Neoteric as it makes a stirring addition to the increasingly impressing EP.

The release is closed by the emotionally intensive and melodically fired Rise Again, another track which is missing something compared to other songs on the release, yet with the skilled musicianship of the band casting a tapestry of sonic adventure over a cauldron of melodic passion, it is impossible not to immerse eagerly into its thoroughly satisfying embrace. That pretty much sums up the EP too, a truly enjoyable proposition which has moments of outstanding ingenuity within a perpetually rewarding canvas.

The Neoteric EP is available digitally from September 22nd through all stores and on CD @ http://apheriumofficial.bandcamp.com/


RingMaster 22/09/2014

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Mind Museum – One Blood


The potent ascent of UK alternative rock band Mind Museum continues unabated as they release their riveting new encounter, the One Blood EP. Since unleashing their attention grabbing debut EP Rat Race in 2011, the Bristol trio has continued to impress and outweigh other emerging bands with their weave of heart bred passion, riveting sounds, and gripping enterprise. Each release the band unveils takes their presence and reputation up another level and One Blood is no exception, the maturity in songwriting, sound, and simply presence mouthwatering.

Formed in 2010 from the ashes of several bands including most notably I AM THE DOOR and Full Scream Ahead, Mind Museum has persistently presented a proposition impossible to ignore or not find a deep rooted attraction for. Since forming the band has made as big an impact live as they have with their releases, sharing stages with the likes of Young Guns, Twin Atlantic, The King Blues, and The Royal Republic as well as lighting up their own headlining shows. Taking inspiration from bands such as Biffy Clyro, Coheed and Cambria, The Cure, and Placebo, the trio of vocalist/bassist Justin E Percival, guitarist Will Slater, and drummer Chas Bacon have honed a sound which holds a vague familiarity which makes it instantly accessible before taking the imagination and emotions on an incendiary ride of raw angst dripping vocals, rich sonic colour, and melodic passion. Their 2011 Rat Race EP made a potent entrance for the band, one just as powerfully backed up by The Power Of Three EP the following year but the George Lever produced new exploit immediately shows a big leap the band has taken from those earlier releases, confirming and expanding the promise and adventure hinted at by the 2012 single Lie To Me.

The release opens with The Get Go and immediately has a resonating bass note and a tart guitar wash soaking the ears whilst the already OneBlood-EP_ScreenResemotion drenched squalls of Percival wail in the back ground. As expected from the band on past experiences, it is a dramatic entrance but one which regroups into a restrained and melody kissed persuasion which still retains its raw edge but seduces rather than demands attention. It is a riveting enticement, the dark throat of the bass almost prowling the senses, though without menace, whilst guitars and rhythms keep imagination and appetite busy. Intensity and energy all the time are building their intent though, biding their time until the fiery chorus where everything is ablaze with passion and emotive colour. It is a thrilling encounter which finds a band never short on invention anyway, exploring and interlocking stronger varied textures and washes of sound than ever before. The song is thoroughly infectious and evocatively poetical, Percival’s vocals providing potent and at times emotionally desperate feeling hues to further light up the whole narrative.

The title track strides in next, bass and drums again casting a sinew built frame for the guitar and vocals to drape their emotive designs upon. The punchy touch of Bacon transfixes throughout, commanding the course of song and thoughts whilst the heavier rock bred veining from Percival sparks another level of greed for the extensive tapestry of the song. With its predecessor the song shows the full scope of the band, the first a more heads down rock attack and the second a pungent and intense emotional incitement; both soaked in a provocative passion and dramatic intimacy which inflames the thoughts and emotions of the listener.

   Wake Up steps up next, throwing a towering heavy rock weight upon the senses before again flirting with reining in its assault. This is short lived though as the song erupts into an exhausting and scintillating fire of energy and sonic provocation, rhythms and riffs sculpting a tempest of blistering voracity and aggressive entanglement within, whilst all is flushed with the passion and emotive flames which marks out Mind Museum from the pack as much as their sound. It is an exhilarating song setting senses on edge for the next up Lie To Me to sooth and then inflame further. The song smoulders and nestles closely whilst digging in masterful sonic claws from Slater and rhythmic barbs from Bacon, and once entrenched exploding in a climactic fire. The song is one of those which lingers and returns long after it has made its last sear on the ears, a masterful puppeteer of memory and passions, much like most of songs to be fair.

Both Answers and All The Kings Men keep the temptations and impressiveness of the release foaming at the mouth, the first an initially mellow song but one which soon has its nostrils flaring as it aggressively croons and uncages another furnace of emotional and impacting sonic flames aligned to inciting vocals, and its successor a bewitching weave of choppy riffs and anxiety soaked vocals honed and fused to a virulently contagious blaze of imaginative and skilfully explored melodic causticity. It is a sensational conclusion to what is easily the most emotionally imposing and creatively explosive thing from Mind Museum, and the finest.

Actually it is not quite the finish of the EP as the band treat us to very engaging acoustic versions of Wake Up and Lie To Me, and a couple of remixes of The Get Go and One Blood by Icon Roller which are decent enough. Whether the four tracks are something you would return to time and again like the main body of the release commands is debatable but they make an enjoyable extra all the same.

As declared One Blood is Mind Museum at its most powerful and inventive yet plus their most insatiably imaginative, and you still feel there is so much more to come.

The One Blood EP is available via Secret Chord Records now!



RingMaster 17/04/2014

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Exploring the eye of the lens: an interview with Carl Arnfield of Chalkman Video

Chalkman guitar

We first came across Chalkman Video through videos and a film they made with UK punk band The Vox Dolomites. It has been impossible not to be increasingly impressed at the discovery of more of their work and videos uncovered in our investigation. Wanting to learn more ourselves we thought we would bring you an insight into one of the emerging protagonists in music video by stealing time of and talking with the creator of those potent visuals.

Hello, welcome to the site and thanks for sharing time with us.

First question has to be just who is Chalkman?

Carl Arnfield, at first I didn’t want to be seen as a single person filming/editing, so I used a name to work behind, which means if other people are involved it’s still the name they see and not individuals.

What were your early inspirations growing up which you think led you into your love of and work with film?

It’s more to do with cameras and seeing the world via them in macro / wide angle / fish eye. I’m a nerd when it comes to cameras I love using them.

If I had to say what inspired me to see what is possible via film/cameras it was when a video company called “Sitcom Soldiers Ltd” filmed a band I was in and watching how they worked changed everything about how I work and create my videos…I owe them a massive thanks. They still help me with problems with lighting and understanding the process…Which proved to me that knowledge should be passed on and not kept jealously to ourselves. Everyone uses a camera in a different way so knowledge isn’t going to make people copy your work if you pass it on; it gives them a tool to create their own work.

When did you make the decision to try and make this art form your career?

It’s six years ago now when I couldn’t find anyone to make videos for my bands … so I started making my own videos, and then it was a logical step to create our bands videos.

You mentioned you were in a band, are you as able and talented with other art forms, music for example as behind the camera?

I play several instruments and a few people will be aware of the bands I’ve been in, but I guess most will not, so from punk to metal and all the way to electronica to folk, it’s all music to me and when you on stage you are performing no matter if it’s a guitar or mandolin.

We know you for your music videos, especially the excellent Vox Dolomites film which we will talk about later. Is there another angle to your portfolio, short films for example for us to discover?

Yes, I’ve done a few shorts, which is great fun and rewarding, and I’ve been talking to a few writers/actors about doing more to improve that area of film making.

The shorts are on my site.

You have filmed and directed music videos for bands such as Yo el ReyEpic Problem, Juno, and of course as we mentioned The Vox Dolomites. How have these generally come about? Is word of mouth and recommendations still as potent as simply being noticed say online?

Yes it’s completely word of mouth. I think you are more likely to work with people that you have either seen work of and have someone say, “try this guy…. he did our video”

How do you approach music videos, do you have a general strategy?

Keep as simple really, talk to the band, see what the song is about, see if there is any chance of creating a look on an almost zero budget. Then see what’s left and work with that.

I imagine story/narrative wise around the song itself it is collaboration between band and you?

Yes, I always try and create a video the band will like, they are paying for it so it should be what they want otherwise they will not promote it.

Once you have found a person in the band with vision and find a way of telling them how filming works and what’s possible, you do come up with ideas of how you’re going to approach the shoot.

Some bands know just what they want from the get go … some do but you have to find out by knowing what they don’t want and narrowing it down that way.

Some bands (Vox Dolomites) just say do what you do…. and are happy with me creating something, they are very trusting.

How long does it take to prepare for a shoot from the crossing Ts and dotting Is to film day?

Well, months really, from the point the band contacts me, up until I start the shoot, making sure you write down all the shots you need as the main frame work, and then the little shots / angles to fill in the video

Let’s just say there are so many emails/Facebook messages regarding every detail of the idea

…And generally for the shoot itself?Chalkman juno shoot1

If you have prepped well you know what the band want and if they are good like Juno and send me pics of the room they wanted to film in you know what to expect and it’s so much easier. Having a pro-active band is a massive help since I work alone and Juno were awesome to work with.

What we loved about your videos and style is that there is honesty to the camera work; you manage to get right into the heart and climate of the performance or story, in position and in colour/lighting. Is this something you deliberately aim for or simply a welcome by-product of other things?

I can honestly say, it’s just how I film, I love “depth of field” and when using a lens to blur out everything other than a face or a say an eye or a guitar part … you drag the viewer in as that’s all you can focus on.

I see things in “depth of field” and so I film that way, meaning I look at objects and blur out the rest of the world, so that’s how I film. I love strong colours and I’ve never been a big fan of that washed out film look like you’re seeing the world via a net curtain.

Do you have a core intent which spines every piece you work on?

I make notes of what I want to create or how I’m going to create the video and if you read them back months after I have finished the video it’s what I wrote down, so yes I think I do.

Chalkman TokyoWe earlier mentioned the brilliant Vox Dolomites, a band we love and you have made a few videos for. You made the riveting thirty minute film with the band of their Dirty Work Tour in Japan. How did that gig come about?

That all happened because Will, the guitar player said “you should come film it” as an off the cuff remark, and that was it, simple as that. Will is an enabler and he knows it, he also knows me and my love of travel, so it doesn’t take much for me to say yes to something like filming in Japan.

That was the biggest project to date for you?

Japan was one of the biggest things I’ve done, but last year 2013 I was in California filming a band called The Started-Its where I had to film their support slot to Barbwire Dolls and produce 3 promo videos as well in a matter of days

….and to make things worse/better I had to learn a couple of the songs and join them on stage for the last song on guitar and they refused to rehearse the songs with me… no pressure then!

How difficult were the logistics of the project alone to work out?

If you’re walking into a situation with a band you know, you are able to get things set up a lot quicker

But flying to a country like Japan and filming in venues in cities you don’t know and also record the audio for mixing later to be synced to your video …. I think it’s a logistical nightmare and I have to say I had sleepless nights for months before I got there.

But being pragmatic to say the least you try and work out everything that COULD go wrong and have a plan b (c, d & e) just in case.

Not just saying it to make you our friend ;) but it is for us one of the best tour videos in recent times, a film which not just shows the band but the atmosphere and passion created by the fans during and outside of the gigs themselves. I know the band is very popular in Japan but were you expecting to see such fervour personally?

Thank you, I’m very flattered that people like the work I do, being completely self-taught I self-doubt to whether I can achieve the goals I set for myself.

I was warned about Japan and how bands are accepted there and loved, but also it was overwhelming how some of the fans that travelled to a few of the gigs gave me gifts because I was with the band… just so welcoming, amazing people (stunning food as well)

There must be plenty of difficult moments and funny stories coming from not only that project but overall jobs, anything you would like to share with us? Any secrets?

What’s the old saying ….”what happens on tour stays on tour”

Is there any particular video or piece of film outside of the Vox Dolomites movie which you are most proud of?Chalkman juno shoot

Yes I’m really proud of the Randolph Swain & The Red LightsLittle House Video that I shot last summer in Manchester at 4.30am in an empty city centre.

I had to convince then that it’s all about the light and feel of an empty city … and being in the north of the UK its light very early in the morning in summer.

What is your latest project and what is up-coming in the world of Chalkman Video?

I’m going to be in San Francisco filming several bands including The Started-Its and a few I meet last time I was there.

Where is the best place to see your work for the readers?

My web site has most of the work www.chalkmanVideo.com

…and contact details for bands interested in discussing video possibilities?

info@chalkmanvideo.comor via my Facebook page www.facebook.com/ChalkManVideo

Thanks once again Carl for letting us steal some of your time.

No thank you for letting me crap on about what I do.

Lastly please leave us with the sounds and bands which ignite your passions outside of your video work?

That’s so easy The Dickies to Pegboy to Decendents to Biffy Clyro to Godspeed You! Black Emperor to Leftfield … depends really on my mood.

We will be looking in on Carl during his upcoming work in San Francisco so watch this space but before that go check out his work at the above links.

The Vox Dolomites – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 20/03/2014

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UK rockers Circle Of Reason announce new UK tour

circle of reason

CIRCLE OF REASON – Announce ‘Whatever’s Clever’ March UK Tour

Having stormed into 2014 with the release of their video single Themes Amongst Thieves, Southampton’s alternative rock sculpters Circle Of Reason announce live dates for their forthcoming Whatever’s Clever Tour.

With further UK tours and festival appearances still to be announced for this summer, Circle Of Reason will be bringing their rock show to northern England and Scotland this March. Frequently compared to musical giants such as QOTSA, Biffy Clyro, The Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria and Deftones, Circle Of Reason’s prog-tinged hard rock riffs, intricate song dynamics and melodic vocals are gaining the band loyal followers world-wide. Building upon their reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting emerging new rock acts, Circle Of Reason have garnered early support from the likes of Kerrang! TV, Scuzz TV, Power Play & Big Cheese Magazine. With numerous UK Festivals and tours already under their belt, the South West UK quartet have previously earned their place on stage supporting the likes of InMe, Feed The Rhino, Landscapes, Neck Deep and many more

Catch them live at … Mon March 17th – Mink Rocks, Middlesbrough Tues March 18th – South Sea Live, Sheffield Thurs 20th March – Grand Central, Manchester Fri 21st March – The Black Bull, Castleford Sat 22nd March – Vintage Rock Bar, Doncaster Sun 23rd March – The Towler, Bury Wed 26th March – Bannerman’s, Edinburgh Fri 28th March – Monty’s Bar, Dunfermline Sat 29th March – The Box, Glasgow

Taken from the 2013 EP release ‘These Hands & This Mind’- check out their video single for ‘Themes Amongst Thieves’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX82tM24wDE

Connect with Circle Of Reason at www.facebook.com/circleofreason and www.twitter.com/circleofreason

These Hands & This Mind EP available to buy at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/these-hands-and-this-mind-ep/id669577645


Jet Pack – Heat Of The Moment


Reinforcing the success and presence of their recently released Chasing Sunsets EP, UK alternative rock band Jet Pack have added to its impressive persuasion with new single Heat Of The Moment. The second to be taken from their acclaimed EP, the track even away from the wrapping of its initial very potent appearance, leaves appetite and expectations for the band’s presence and future high and eager.

The Cheltenham quartet of vocalist/guitarist Dennis Cook, lead guitarist Paul Roberts, bassist Richard Beattie, and drummer Sam Haskins, came together in university and took little time but plenty of energy in sharing their melodic rock invention, shows alongside bands such as Hype Theory, General Fiasco, Attention Thieves, and Hildamay marking the way as well as acoustic slots supporting Blink 182, City and Colour, and Biffy Clyro. Chasing Sunsets has certainly taken awareness of the band to another level countrywide which you can only assume the single will give another dose of adrenaline to.

Heat Of The Moment makes a restrained yet fiery entrance, guitars coaxing out evocative melodies whilst the beats of Haskins punctuate their narrative with firm punches. The vocals of Cook make a smooth and expressive narrator for the lyrical emotion and with the great throaty tone of Beattie’s bass tempering the elegance and flaming invention of Roberts, it all combines for a smouldering slice of emotive pop which impresses and grows stronger with each impacting caress. Soaked in hungry but respectful intensity and melodic enterprise, the Matt O’Grady [You Me At Six, Deaf Havana] produced song is an appealing simmering temptation.

Accompanied by a directed Ant Thornton video and followed by a string of dates with Conduit, The Heat of the Moment confirms Jet Pack as one of the more promising and exciting melodic rock/pop bands to have emerged in recent times. We await the next unveiling from the band with keen anticipation.



RingMaster 28/11/2013

Jet Pack Gig dates in December 2013

Thurs 5th – The Grapes, Stafford

Fri 6th – The Abbey Inn, Oldham

Sat 7th – The Derby, Barrow-in-Furness

Sun 8th – The Asylum 2, Birmingham

Mon 9th – The Golden Cross, Coventry

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All She Wrote – Riven

All She Wrote Online Promo Shot

Hailing from London, melodic rock band All She Wrote release their debut EP Riven hoping to build upon and accelerate the buzz going around the city for the band from their live performances and across the UK after their previous single Weathered. The earlier song certainly made attention stand up and thoughts take the promise offered into a suspicion that the quartet was a band to keep an eye on. The new release is still promoting that same reaction and thought even though it manages to disappoint and please in equal strength.

Formed in the closing weeks of 2011, the foursome of Connor Crooks (vocals/guitar), Marc Smith (drums), Jonny Page (guitar) and Tommy Shillibeer (bass), took little time in building a potent fanbase across London on into the south of England through their shows. Weathered only increased their reputation and the awareness around them, the song a pleasing evocative persuasion which marked out the band. Riven continues in the same vein and approach even though it falls short of the same impressive and captivating levels of the single. Across its body there is a spark and almost a passion missing. Certainly the songs are accomplished and crafted with style whilst presentation and the skill of the band is impossible to doubt but something is missing to ignites songs, though the promise of the band is still more than a latent whisper.

The opening Prinicipio is an atmospheric instrumental which is beautifully composed and realised, its evocative narrative and soaring All She Wrote Cover Artworkbeauty the perfect lead into the EP and one to send tingles of excitement through to an eager appetite. It leads anticipation straight into the following Unjust which fires up its engines with fiery riffs and thumping rhythms, all designed and succeeding in igniting the senses. Once the vocals enter though something flat happens to the song and it is not just because of Crooks. The pilot light of the song just seems to go out and despite the alluring sounds there is a sense of anti-climax to the moment.

The following title track equally fails to hit the spot though the evocative tones of Crooks and the brewing drama of the song musically sparks stronger involvement for the passions and hopes. The track never exploits its most potent elements though to really punch through the heart and intensity of the narrative. It is a magnetic song which keeps that promise and suggestion of big things from the band ahead going and given closer attention and time reveals some impressive and imaginative ideas within the structure and its body.

Weathered makes its appearance on the EP next and stands as strong and persuasive as ever, combining a post hardcore muscularity to a melodic rock invention for a pleasing evocative adventure. From enticing guitar caresses to sinew clad riffs and firm imposing rhythms ridden by emotive vocals, the track is a deeply appetising encounter which shows you why there is a strength of excitement around the band, something next up Persona also promotes with its fire bred guitar snarl and rhythmic badgering wrapped in melodic flames and equally heated vocals. Combined with its predecessor the song makes All She Wrote a healthy prospect and reignites the thoughts which earlier tracks doubted.

The closing elegant Finis Principio completes a release which from not doing itself and the band justice in its earlier suasion manages to reassert All She Wrote as a band well worth keeping on the radar. Riven is a little hit and miss and maybe should have been stronger but it ultimately only cements earlier thoughts and appetite for the band, though the next release will need to have that fire in the belly or spark to continue the appetite one suspects. Reminding of bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, The Blackout, and Biffy Clyro in varying degrees, All She Wrote have some way to go to reach their potential but Riven makes you think they are still on course.



RingMaster 05/10/2013


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Borderline:FIRE – This Trojan State

Borderline Fire

     Borderline:Fire is a young rock band which is beginning to stir up quite a bit of a buzz around themselves which they obviously hope their new EP This Trojan State will add fuel to the fire of. Consisting of six songs which merge alternative rock to a heavier breath and rock substance, the release is an engaging and often fiery temptation which arguably offers more promise for the band than actual realised contagion but from start to finish leaves an appetite and positive thought towards the Reading quintet and their emerging presence.

Formed in 2010 and consisting of vocalist Jamie Boshier, bassist/backing vocalist Jonny Slevin, guitarist Ben Forsey, drummer Chaz Mayhew, and James Marshall-Stack on synths, Borderline:FIRE has drawn strong attention with their melodically fired rock creativity, inspirations from the likes of Enter Shikari, Biffy Clyro, You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses, 30 Seconds To Mars, Foo Fighters, and Muse amongst many adding essences to their invention. The single I Wanna Go made their first lingering mark on the UK rock scene but now with This Trojan State accompanied by the video for Chains, the first single from the release, the band is poised to make that first strike a mere opening tease to its greater persuasion.

The release immediately has the ear awoken through Mark Up and its initial electro beckoning, a call soon joined by strong riffs and aBWy3dIbvVrCSeHAGfNMFGQyGSgrhythms around the equally engaging vocals of Boshier. The song soon has some of those mentioned influences searching thoughts as the mix of feisty guitars and crisp beats are flanked by the reserved but open synth temptation from Marshall-Stack. There is arguably not a lot to push boundaries at play within the song but for adventure and ideas presented with accomplished and imaginative enterprise the track cannot be dismissed or ignored. It is a stirring and pleasingly rowdy start to the EP soon matched by Chains. Similar in many ways to its predecessor in structure and energy, the song is soon revelling in the melodic exploits of the songwriting with the keys holding a stronger impacting voice this time around. The shifts in gait are seamlessly achieved with passion from the atmosphere and vocals soaking every note and syllable to again show the strength of the band in all departments. Like the first it is an easily accessible and bordering anthemic encounter which puts a wide marker of promise upon the band.

Both Nicki and Trojan next explore the slower creative depths of the band, the first a richly hued melodic blaze with an alternating mix of gentle temptation and rigorous energy to its presentation and its successor a slower emotive endeavour with good use of effects and tantalising teases. Neither song match the heights of the previous pair though the first of these two has high enjoyable levels of enticement which the second comes close to matching with its evocative musical narrative and brief vocal harmonies.

Speak For Me also has a more reserved approach to the ear but with an intriguing synth weave at the start to spark the imagination and a healthy sinew clad body to its Biffy Clyro like presence, the song is another which holds firm attention and satisfaction if without sparking any little fires in the passions. That is left for the closing Brainwash, a fiery electro rock track which merges Enter Shikari pungency with the melodic synth crafted rock of a My Extraordinary. The best track on the release, the song has a snarl and darker shadow to its challenge which is missing elsewhere on the EP and certainly gives a strong and distinct edge to the band compared to earlier songs and other bands.

It is a potent end to a very appetising and promising release in This Trojan State which stakes a claim for Borderline:FIRE as a band to keep a close eye on. You sense there is something bigger, more unique, and possibly impacting within the band’s future; time will tell.



RingMaster 20/09/2013

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