The Idol Dead reveal their ‘Dark Little Hearts’, on 5th May‏

The Idol Dead Online Promo shot

 

UK ROCKERS THE IDOL DEAD RE-RELEASE STUNNING NEW ALBUM!

 

Leeds rock crew ‘The Idol Dead’ spit out a heady amalgamation of infectious Rock ‘n’ Roll and spiky punk which tips its hat to the likes of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Foo Fighters and The Wildhearts. Pinning sledge hammer riffs against gargantuan choruses backed by thunderous drumming, The Idol Dead are poised to bring their sound to the masses in the shape of their blistering new album ‘Dark Little Hearts’, which is rebooted on 5th May, through the band’s own RAAA! Records label.

Born out of a mutual love for blistering riffs, The Idol Dead sport a varied collection of influences stemming from Rachael Stamp, Foo Fighters and Sex Pistols, to David Bowie and Queen. It’s no wonder that, given their eclectic tastes, the 5 piece offer something different – their own brand of big booted rock n roll!

Formed in 2008 and consisting of Polly Phluid (Vocals), Nish Gonsalkorale (Drums,) KC Duggan (Guitar), Tim Jeffs (Guitar) and Dan Sugden (Bass), the five-some soon became the best of friends. After honing their live set, the quintet began to play throughout the UK and swiftly earned a hearty reputation for delivering explosive live performances. The band have gone on to share stages with the likes of Killing Joke, Sebastian Bach, Buckcherry, Evil Scarecrow, Blackfoot, Warrior Soul, Molly Hatchet, Hatebreed, Pitchshifter, Laika Dog and Spear of Destiny, to name just a few.

The Idol Dead also have a strong DIY ethos which led them to form their own label, Raaa! Records. The label spawned the release of their debut album ‘Die on my Feet or Live on my Knees’, which was totally self-funded. However, the band decided to utilise the pledge platform for their sophomore album ‘Dark Little Hearts’, and within six weeks, they had what they needed in order to complete the album. Needless to say, The Idol Dead were simply blown away by the dedication and support of their fans.

Now with ‘Dark Little Hearts’ recorded and prepped for a national release, the sky is the limit. The band’s album certainly delivers on all fronts. From the urgency and cut throat riffery of ‘Blue Skies’, to the buoyant vigour of ‘Hey Girl’ and the radio friendly melodic brilliance of ‘I’m Drowning’, the five piece have everything in line and are set to battle it out for their place as one of the new breed of Brit Rock bands set to break in the UK!

 

Check out The Idol Dead live: 21st March – Sitwell Tavern, Derby; 30th April – The Duchess, York; 3rd & 4th May – Noize Level Critical, The Maze, Nottingham; 9th May – 360 Club, The Library, Leeds; 24th & 25th May – TBFM 5th Birthday Bash, The Snooty Fox, Wakefield; 31st May – The Riverside, Selby.

The Idol Dead Cover Artwork

www.facebook.com/theidoldead

Jargon Party – Self Titled

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The debut album from US band Jargon Party is an encounter which equally tests and tempts the senses, a proposition which concerns and spellbinds simultaneously. It is a release which maybe will not find a welcome with everybody though at its heart there is a seductive revelry and potency which refuses to relinquish its magnetic hold. The solo project and release of Zach Lewis, the album challenges and stimulates from start to finish, its sound heavily influenced by The Beatles and sixties pop whilst fusing plenty of invention and tasty flavours from indie to punk, surf to garage rock. Its biggest lure is the wonderful continuous drift of discord which soaks every aspect of the songs but its main and really only issue are the vocals of Lewis. Though successful at times his voice struggles with notes or vice versa, to defuse enough of the undoubted qualities of the songwriting and the generally thrilling sounds, something you can see putting many off before giving the release a chance. As it stands the album is an engaging and imagination feeding satisfaction but with a more accomplished singer it is easy to suggest the release would be stirring up passions and being talked about loudly.

Originally from Brooklyn and recently based on an Island off of Portland, Maine to record his new album, Lewis creates a lo-fi, garage feel to his sound which easily grabs ears and an healthy appetite. Jargon Party began around two years ago after Lewis moved to New York City aged 22 after years of playing in different live bands in Richmond, Virginia. The band was initially a six strong proposition before other projects and personal interests saw members leaving and the band dwindled down to a duo and subsequently just Lewis. A multi-instrumentalist, having learnt as many instruments as he could since a child, Lewis recorded his debut in his apartment and that of drummer Dave Charboneau who contributes to the album also. Released last year but still drawing in attention, as ours, the album parades openly the inspirations of the man, the likes of The Kinks, Arctic Monkeys, Of Montreal, Radiohead, Wolf Parade, and David Bowie adding to the loudest soak of the previously mentioned Liverpudlians.

Exploring ‘the ups and downs of life and love’, the album opens with Isabella a masterful romp of garage rock; sultry guitars entwining fab four like vocals whilst rhythms romp with a lively smile and mischievous suasion. The sixties lilt to the melodic stroll of the song and psyche teasing revelry to its touch makes an absorbing and exciting  start to the album, like a feisty mix of The Kingsmen, Thee Headcoats, and The Youth. Everything about the song is a contagious incitement bridging nostalgia and modern imagination to set the release and anticipation off in fine style. That heady expectation is soon well fed by the intriguing Internal Clock. The bass and guitar coax thoughts and emotions from the first second whilst delicious washes of discord providing unpredictable bait to devour eagerly. The effected wrapped vocals also add to the lure of the song, their touch shading the first signs that the vocals may be a weakness on the release. The wrong footing twang of the sonic designs continues to ignite a hunger towards the release, its confident and carefree provocation on ears and assumptions a very pleasing toxicity. With guest keys from Lydia Velichkovski adding to the mesmeric mayhem, Jargon Party keeps its initial grip firmly in place.

The following Lucy Melanie unveils a fifties rock ‘n’ roll swagger to its romp, vocals again cloaked in effects for the sixties pop bred dance though their hold on notes and harmonies begin to show signs of wear. Like the opener, the track slips easily through the ear musically offering garage rock seeded pop to breed very willing participation whilst the twists of discord and direction succeed with thoughts and satisfaction. The lo-fi, DIY touch of the production and recording also adds to the potency of this and all songs, its rawness hiding some of the sins and accentuating the nostalgia spawned voice of songs.

The smouldering croon of I Want to so Much embraces with appealing tempting, especially with the celestial twinkling of the keys though Lewis gives it too much to overcome with his delivery to match the previous tracks; it much the same with Surf Rock Anthem 7 though its opening provocation of dark moody basslines, crisp rhythms and punk guitar sets up an infectious incitement which persists across the whole of the undiluted garage punk dance.

The slow psychedelic pop of Giraffe fails to capture any real hold on the emotions, mainly because of those vocals again, though it takes corners and flavoursome turns which again shows the strong promise of Lewis and the project, whilst next up Under the Sun with its bluesy guitar flames and thick climactic melodic heat proves the enjoyable variety to the sounds bred in the album.

The release is completed by Will You Space Tonight and Sky Pilot, two tracks distinctly different to the others with further spatial investigation within psychedelically toned atmospheres and dream pop embraces. The first of the two is a decent enough flight whilst its successor thrills more with its evolving landscape which takes in scenery from progressive and psychedelic pop through to noise rock and eighties indie rock. It is a great end to a release which ultimately captivates with its excitable invention.

Vocally Lewis should reassess his options for greater success but musically Jargon Party, project and album, shows plenty to warrant being given proper attention.

https://www.facebook.com/JargonParty

http://jargonparty.bandcamp.com/album/jargon-party

7/10

RingMaster 04/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Machinista – Arizona Lights

Photo by Milla Randjelovic

Photo by Milla Randjelovic

    Laying out an irresistible invitation into their magnetic synth pop world, Swedish band Machinista provide the most mouthwatering pedigree temptation through their Arizona Lights EP. Consisting of four original tracks and an enterprising clutch of remixes, the release is a dramatically compelling persuasion leaving a rather healthy and greedy appetite for this new genre proposition.

    Machinista is the brain child of John Lindqwister (Cat Rapes Dog, Basswood Dollies) and Richard Flow (Vision Talk, Haze For Sale) who linked up together in the final weeks of 2012. Their first effort was a greedily accepted version of David Bowie´s Heroes followed to equal responses by Molecules And Carbon. Fresh from supporting Henric De La Cour and with a flurry of their own shows coming up this month, the duo seductively hits us right between the eyes in presence and sound with their EP, it one blinding incitement that simply wraps around the passions.

     The ten track limited edition EP through Juggernaut Music Group also makes a masterful teaser for the band’s forthcoming indexalbum. It flirts and plays like a sonic temptress, bringing the richest colourful hues of synth pop past and present into its smouldering depths. The title track swarms into view first with a celestial breath starting things off, a spoken vocal narrating the emerging ambience and golden electronic sun of vibrant sound. The song is soon into a warm and inviting stroll with synth caresses and similarly coaxing vocals embracing the imagination. There is an elegance to the melodies which accentuates the lure of the encounter and a dance in its heart which equally engages body and emotions. It is an undemanding but thoughtfully composed and easy to access electronic waltz, a mesmeric evocation which alone provides perfect bait for band and upcoming full length.

    The outstanding Wasted steps up next and features guest vocals from Toril Lindqvist of Alice In Videoland. Like the first, initial contact comes in an enveloping and this time a haunting almost sinister ambience which takes its time to enjoy its consumption of the imagination. As it explores and sparks those thoughts the song simultaneously breeds a contagion which erupts into the restrained but eager stomp which excites and enthrals. There is also a definite eighties essence to the song, thoughts of B-Movie and Paul Haig hinting along the way.

    The following Salvation ventures more to the scenery of Landscape meets A Flock Of Seagulls with its mischievous and refined croon, pulsating beats and electro throbs magnetising the passions as vocals and melodies wrap their expressive weaves around the riveting canvas of the song. Again there is an energy and appetite to the song which similarly invigorates the senses as the track entwines its bait around the ears. Comparisons as everywhere are mere spices in something uniquely Machinista, their recipe certainly here mouthwatering and hypnotic.

     Pushing The Angels Astray completes the quartet of original songs, continuing the concept of the release which hints at UFOs and Abductions. The song trots through the ears with a vivacious heart and gait to its body as well as a virulently infectious chorus to match the charm of the electronic sculpting. It is a glorious enchantment and exploit for limbs and emotions, the pair at their most virulently persuasive and scintillatingly creative on the release which is confirmed by the delicious acoustic version of the song which swiftly follows.

     The release is completed by a quintet of remixes of its tracks, four of the track Salvation firstly by FutureFrenetic who give it a dancefloor friendly injection of energy followed by an atmospherically immersed treatment from Not Lars, a more chilling rendition through Tactical Module, and a vein throbbing interpretation from 2PM. In the middle of the four IIOIOIOII unveils his wonderfully invasive remix of Pushing The Angels Astray, the artist luring out the deepest textures and emotions of the song.

     With their debut album on the near horizon, Machinista could not have given it a better lead in than the Arizona Lights EP, a release which thrills and intrigues at every turn even through its remixes. Modern synth pop has found itself another exciting protagonist as the genre continues its thrilling revival.

http://www.machinistamusic.com/

http://music.juggernautservices.com/album/arizona-lights

9/10

RingMaster 07/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tracings of time and reflections: an interview with Black Space Riders

Black Space Riders 1

German heavy rockers Black Space Riders is a band which has persistently drawn acclaim and attention with their unique and ravenously adventurous sounds but it is fair to say that new album D:REI is their finest moment. A journey of progressively sculpted metal and psychedelically forged rock through a dramatic narrative, the bands third full-length is a compelling incitement for the imaginations and passions. We grabbed the chance to find out more with JE and Seb from the band, touching on origins, albums, and much more…

Hello and thanks for talking with us.

Hello and thank YOU, here are JE (vocals, guitars) and SEB (vocals) from Black Space Riders

For newcomers to the band, please tell us about its beginnings.

JE: Black Space Riders were born in the deepest winter of 2008/09. C.RIP (drums) and I wanted to play Heavy Rock again after some years of making decent songwriter-stuff. I contacted SLI (guitar), an old friend from the schoolyard, we had been doing a NWOBHM-fanzine together when we were teens around 79/80. He brought in SAQ (bass) and we started jamming in an old mouldered bowling alley. It was great from the start. Fantastic musical and social chemistry! We created 4 songs in 2 rehearsals. We recorded our debut in 2010 and played shows while writing material for album No.2, “Light is the new black”, which was released in 2012.

SEB: In 2012 I came across and joined Black Space Riders first as an additional and background singer, then as the 5th member. But I already had known these guys years before.

JE: Now there are 5 Riders, 5 friends, just been releasing album No.3 called D:REI.

What are the musical histories of the band members before Black Space Riders?

JE: All of us have been playing in many bands or projects before. SLI played in Heavy-, Punk- and Indie-Bands since the Eighties. SAQ had a couple of Punk Rock bands before but also played in Indie-Rock-Bands, SEB used to sing in Metal bands but also has a great experience in playing accordion and singing weird, folkloristic Chanson-Stuff together with C.RIP who played and plays every imaginable musical style from Jazz over Metal to Ska. I also played in a lot of bands since 1980. Metal, Rock, Wave, Punk, Indie, Folk, Jazz … I played and sung for a long time in a Crossover band with C.RIP, which gained a decent regional/national awareness in the Nineties.

What was the spark or initial intent within the band when you started out?Black Space Riders 3

JE: As said, to create something loud and wild after years of “decent” music and to take up the Heavy stuff that we all are loving since our youth. The idea was to jam around and to create a hypnotic wall of sound … there were no ideas of releasing albums in the beginning

The band’s name stands out and suggests a space ranger like almost comic book appeal. What inspired the band name?

JE: Exactly what you have read in the name. 60ies and 70ies Sci-Fi had a very strong influence on me. I read a lot of those books when I was a child, my uncle had hundreds of them. We were looking for a name which can instantly create cartoonish, dark, hypnotic, psychedelic and cool images.

How would you say your sound has evolved since the early days and your self-titled debut album to what we thrillingly hear on new release D:REI?

JE: This time when we entered the recording studio we knew even better what we wanted and what we did NOT want. As for the sound of the recording itself: we wanted to retain the warmth, the organic live-feeling and the bottom of the first two albums but wanted to add additional freshness, transparency and openness to our existing drive. So – for example – we have been discussing a lot about the amount of “attack” in the drum sound or about guitar amps  and how to record the guitars with our friend and engineer Role (“die Tonmeisterei”) before entering the studio. Stylistically we allowed ourselves to integrate more elements and accepted the eclectic result of our songwriting without sorting out parts, grooves or ideas that sounded a little bit far out in the beginning.

As you said earlier D:REI is your third album; for us an exceptional progressively sculpted metal and rock adventure which can seduce and prey on the senses at any given moment. Did the album end up exactly how you envisaged it or did it have some surprises in store for even you guys as it evolved and emerged?

SEB: There are, in fact, some positive surprises for us. Partial tiny, audiophile little things – but also relevant structural changes we have made during the recordings.

JE: There are always surprises in the studio. The songs and arrangements are final before entering the studio, but then you begin experimenting with sounds or somebody within the band or let´s say our engineer Role has a charming “new” idea and – oooops –you find yourself changing the master plan. We are a live-recording band, old-school, five friends and all their instruments and amps in ONE room … but sometimes  we are adding some decent flavours later … experimenting with dozens of effect-pedals and creating some “space” can be so inspiring almost addictive! We are also experimenting with our vocal expression while recording, encouraging and coaching each other.

1545083_10151894936042963_1727001018_nThe album is split into ‘chapters’ exploring a…actually could you tell and expand on the theme behind the album for us please?

SEB: A new life in a new world? The depths and abysses of the human soul? Find out for yourself !

JE: On the first look a post-apocalyptic plot of destruction, escape, voyage and looking back. But maybe it´s all just in your head and it´s all about inner liberation and freedom?! The listener is defining the meaning of the story. My advice: Take a look at the story and the lyrics (you will find them here: www.blackspaceriders.com/d-rei), then put on your headphones, lights out, volume up and find it out!

Did the lyrical aspect or idea of the album come first or the music?

SEB: We had framework for about the half of the songs when JE delighted us with his concept of “Total destruction as the root of a new beginning and the Journey as a transformation”. From this point concept and music were evolved in parallel.

JE: Music first, basic concept next, lyrics last.

How does the writing process work within Black Space Riders?

SEB: On the way from our debut album Black Space Riders to D:REI we have expanded  the common songwriting.

JE: The process of songwriting has changed over the years. In the beginning I brought in almost finished songs and structures. Today it´s “just“ a riff or some harmonies, somebody picks it up, we start jamming and then we love it or we don´t. At one point SEB and me are starting to hum or sing. We are recording every rehearsal, every jam and are listening to it before the next rehearsal. We then discuss about it and try out different grooves, tempi, atmospheres, sounds. Our drummer C.RIP is playing a big part in arranging songs and developing structures…So the “song” as you know it from the album, is a common work of several band members.

Being a concept album did you approach the writing of D:REI any differently to say previous album Light Is The New Black?

JE: Not really. Light is the new black was considered by many to be a concept album as well. But D:REI seems to be so perfectly balanced and cohering, both musically and lyrically. To be honest: that is a happy ending and not a result of a worked out master plan. We have changed the sequence of the songs several times to find the perfect flow through the whole album … so we had to fiddle around with song titles and lyrics in the last moment during the recordings.

What did you take into the recording of D:REI in particular which you learnt on previous releases to enhance or ease its emergence in the studio?

JE: As said above … a clearer vision about the desired sound, recording techniques, approach and modus operandi. Additionally a greater open-mindedness, a grown faith, trust and friendship within the band and with our engineer/producer … relaxation and a strong belief that this album was going to become something special.

With a concept album is there a more demanding and intensive focus needed to link music and the expanding lyrical story of the narrative or does it pretty much come together as any other album?

SEB: I find it even a little easier because I had a specific movie in my head since the said date.

And is another concept album a possibility for future releases or maybe with the next will you return to individual standalone songs?

SEB: Anything can be, nothing must be.

JE: … all is possible. No plans, no expectations, no disappointments ;)

Have you shows/tour in the works to support D:REI, and if so will you be rampaging around Europe, the UK maybe?Black Space Riders 2

JE: Yes we have played some release-shows in some of the bigger German cities and are working on more shows and festival-slots in 2014. We are doing all this on our own. We have a distro and some professional help in the background, but in order to keep our independency and all rights… no label-contract! So most of the work, organization and booking is up to us. Additionally we all have families and jobs. It seems as though our new album, D:REI, will be received very well, so with that kind of “tailwind” we are starting now to book more shows for 2014 and will hopefully be able to play some festivals in the summer as well. Would love to play some shows in the UK, but we don´t have an “official” distro or label in the UK … so I guess we have to wait for some nice offers to play the UK.

Rightly or wrongly I have the assumption that you are a band which never stops writing or working on ideas, if correct how far are you into writing album 4? ;)

SEB: Honestly we have just a few ideas or fragments, because we were very busy with the preparation of our release-shows. But the prickling is already there and I’m looking forward to the upcoming rehearsals.

 Once again many thanks for sharing time with us, any last thoughts to leave us with?

JE: If you like what we are doing … tell the world about it! Spread the word! May the force be with you!

And lastly what are our biggest inspirations not so much for Black Space Riders but just as musicians?

JE: Of course each of us has different inspirations that is why we sound like we sound. On the other hand we have a lot of common preferences – and again – that is why we sound like we sound. Band-favourites are e.g. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, NWOBHM, The Chameleons, Motorhead, Monster Magnet, Alice in Chains, Massive Attack … many more. For me personally on top of those: Psychedelia like on the early Pink Floyd –Albums. 80ies Dark Wave like Bauhaus or Joy Division and the BIG three: David Bowie, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash.

Read the D:REI review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/black-space-riders-drei/

http://www.blackspaceriders.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/02/2014

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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Ed Zealous – Wired

    ed zealous pic

    Unveiled on the back of three singles which certainly raised an eager appetite for its appearance, Wired the debut album from electronic pop band Ed Zealous easily confirms and reinforces all the promise and radiant enterprise brought from those early releases. The February 3rd released ten track album is a feisty adventure of energetic electro/ dance enterprise and guitar crafted indie pop, a record soaked in a busy sound seemingly seeded in eighties electronic endeavour yet constantly taunting and careering thrillingly through the ear with a modern rock rapaciousness. Arguably the sound of the Belfast quartet is not breaking in new ground to explore but there are few others striding confidently down the same interpretative path of already discovered invention as this richly promising and powerfully enjoyable band.

     Consisting of vocalist Steve McAvoy, guitarist Andrew Wilson, bassist Pete Lloyd, and drummer Paul Irwin, Ed Zealous as mentioned has stirred up very potent attention and anticipation for their album through the trio of singles released in 2013. One by one Medicines, Thanks A Million, and Telepaths have washed creative juices around the passions to breed a hunger for Wired, an appetite the album feeds with ease and more. Forging emotively fuelled synths with fiery guitar temptation within a rhythmic punch which never relinquishes its addictive bait whilst drawing on influences which come from the likes of David Bowie, Talking Heads, Pulp, and TV On The Radio the band look set to make 2014, like the last, another year to mark a rapid ascent in their striking emergence. Predominantly recorded with engineer Rocky O’Reilly with additional production by Eliot James (Bloc Party, Noah and The Whale and Does It Offend You, Yeah?), Wired is an exhaustive magnetic party of creative rampancy and contagious adventure; not necessarily ripe with pure originality but undeniably bulging with excitement and riveting imagination.

     As soon as the opening suspenseful drama of 147 hits the ear you sense there is something special brewing. Synths lure in the 400573_10152084633124304_1585922415_nimagination right away before the song settles into a mellow yet intensive persuasion with thumping rhythms and moody dark tones puncturing the electronic wash. It is an instantly engaging and provocative encounter but one which goes more directly for the passions once the guitars and bass temptation strides and erupts across the song around the expressive enjoyable vocals of McAvoy. At times unashamedly anthemic and constantly stirring up the imagination with a melodic craft which helps fuel an already hungry appetite for the release, the track is an urgently persuasive introduction to the album setting a high bar for it to maintain.

     Something it definitely does with the following Thanks A Million, the one song on the album recorded with producer Rich Jackson. As soon as its initial melodic narrative wraps around the ear followed by a lush groove, there is a familiarity to the song which only pleases and takes thoughts to eighties electronic pop essences. A definite Thomas Dolby feel emerges with the senses wrapping synth imagination yet equally you are reminded of the current sounds of James Cook and Does It Offend You, Yeah? whilst the track sculpts its own identity to devour eagerly. A track which manages to impress immediately and also slow burn its way deeper into the emotions over time through its big bruising bass tones and gripping melodic coaxing, it is dark temptation immersing the ears in a sizzling evocative wash.

    The devilishly infectious Medicines steps up next to deepen the lure of the album, its Blancmange like electro pop excitement and bordering on wanton energy insatiably seductive whilst the infection clad chorus and vocal call only grips satisfaction tighter for a lingering and compulsively addictive encounter. Recent single Telepaths breathes the same contagion as its predecessor, guitar and synths driven by outstanding vocals luring senses and feet to a feverish submission for the raucous electro rock party. Both tracks continue the high range of peaks established by the album and light the fuse to even greater suspicions as to how good and successful Ed Zealous could become.

     I Will Destroy You is a perfectly placed track, its melodramatic and emotive textures aligned to a slower gaited temptation exploring new depths and enterprise within the band and their songwriting. Though not as immediate to persuade as those before, the song enslaves keen attention for its thoughtful shape and evocative hues and allows a breath to be taken whilst it’s subtle and inventive majesty works its way into the imagination. The following Talk With Your Hands also takes time but with its David Byrne like creative swagger and heavy rhythmic caging it also secures full satisfaction and hungry attention over numerous exploits.

     There is something infuriately familiar to the start of Diamonds For Eyes yet it evades definition even after plenty of adventures with the dancefloor hugging track whilst These Words reaps those eighties influences yet again as its magnetic body inspires thoughts of China Crisis. Both songs stretch and add to the fascination of Wired with skill and mischievous flair before making way for the outstanding Videohead, a track which emerges as the favourite here. Adding an electro punk element to its fuzzy electronic flaming, the song is like a mix of Calling All Astronauts, B-Movie, and at times the John Foxx led Ultravox, the band again bringing a touch of nostalgia into a more aggressive modern exertion and invention. It is an enthralling and addiction causing maelstrom of ideas and sonic sculpting brewed into a contagious provocation of epidemic proportions.

    Completed by the funk ripped It’s Only The End, a song which you feel would ignite the dancefloor of any era such its blend of irrepressible decade crossing melodies and electronic virulence, Wired is an exceptional first album from Ed Zealous, one which impresses right away and only increases its strengths and stature over time. This is a band you can see creating new boundaries for electronic pop ahead and becoming a well-worn name over time.

http://edzealous.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-Zealous/89457839303

9/10

RingMaster 06/01/2014

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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Follow the rabbit into the weird: an interview with Mr. Strange

Mr. Strange

Fans of UK musical mutants The Shanklin Freak Show have already been touched, inspired, and seduced by the creativity and psyche teasing craft of the band’s former frontman Mr. Strange whilst his solo work has equally gripped the imagination of a great many but now the songwriter/producer/vocalist/musician has taken it all to a new level with the release of this exceptional new album The Wonderful World Of Weird. A release walking the reams of insanity and artistic rapaciousness, it is a diverse and riveting exploration of sounds, invention, and dice into the weird persona that is Mr. Strange. Greedily wanting to find out more we had the joy and adventure to talk to the man himself with the adding pleasure of his artistic cohort Stench on top also sharing thoughts and time with us. Investigating The Wonderful World Of Weird, we talked origins, The Shanklin Freak Show, Marilyn Manson, the bright lights and much more…

Greetings Mr. Strange and thank you for taking time out to let us delve into your world of weird.

Mr. Strange: Greetings! Thank you, sir, I’m glad to be here. Smells funny though!

You are well known amongst fans for your founding and leading of The Shanklin Freak Show (TSFS) until recently but maybe less know about your solo exploits before and running alongside the band; could you give some background to those?

Mr. Strange: Before I started The Shanklin Freak Show in March 2003, I began learning my craft as a programmer / producer way back in 1998. I bought a basic music creation game for the original PlayStation simply called ‘Music’ and became completely obsessed with it! As laughable as it sounds, it was actually quite a competent music tool, and a great introduction to music programming. Before I made the upgrade to professional (real) music software, I made a whole album using just this game and my PlayStation. This album was completed in February 2003, although I did add some vocals and guitars to the final version of the album using my current studio set-up. The final version of the album was eventually released in late 2011 as Sounds From The Asylum, which is an apt title methinks! Anyway, back to 2003. As soon as Sounds From The Asylum was finished I went full-throttle into The Shanklin Freak Show project, greatly helped by the fact I could finally record guitars and vocals with my swanky new production software – which I could not do before 2003. The Shanklin Freak Show project pretty much had my full attention until late 2011. The only exceptions to this were my collaborations with Global Citizen acting as co-producer on two albums – those being Master Stroke and Nil By Mouth – as well as the Mr. Strange album The Fall which I made in late 2007.. But for the most part, my solo exploits only resumed once I stepped down from the forefront of The Shanklin Freak Show in November 2011. Now my Mr. Strange projects are my primary focus… and my cats.

From all the music and projects you have been involved with it is clear to see that your sounds and tastes are rather eclectic, what are some of the major inspirations which have spiced your own ideas over the years?

Mr. Strange: Well, being a rather flamboyant chap, nearly all of my musical influences fall in to the “theatrical” category. Bands and artists who present themselves in a very theatrical way tend to make more outlandish music, and that’s definitely what floats my boat, as it were! I’ll try to keep it snappy, so here’s a shortlist of some of my most influential artists: Danny Elfman, David Bowie, Mushroomhead, Dr. Steel, The Sisters Of Mercy,  Alice Cooper, Mortiis (only the ‘Smell Of Rain’ album), Krizz Kaliko, The Duke Of Stratosphere, Twiztid, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, ICP, Mr. Bungle (or almost anything from the mind of Mike Patton), Gary Numan, Tech N9ne, White Zombie / Rob Zombie, and Babylon Zoo. That last one’s not a joke by the way! Stop laughing.

Tell us about creating TSFS and its own unique and dark world?TSFS with Mr. Strange

Mr. Strange: I started The Shanklin Freak Show in early 2003, the first ever Freak Show song was written and recorded in March I believe, a little random fact for those who may be interested. The whole concept was meant as a home, a form of escapism, for those who felt rejected by the world. Basically the kind of outlandish, Tim Burton-esque world I wanted to escape to myself at that time. My failure at finding a place to belong in the world led me to try and make my own, both for myself and others who felt the same. The basic concept is articulated best in the song ‘Twisted Family,’ check it out if you want to get your noggin around what the whole Freak Show thang is about. Musically, it was born out of my love of some of the earlier Insane Clown Posse records and my disappointment with (the then newly released) Marilyn Manson album The Golden Age Of Grotesque – I was expecting a deeply engrossing, dark, twisted, circus-style cabaret show of an album, my dream record, but what arrived was an album of fairly standard industrial pop songs. I imagined it to sound far more intriguing and I found the idea behind the record a lot better than the end product, so I went about trying to create the album I imagined. That’s it really. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

Before we concentrate on your new album, you are still involved with TSFS but just not as the vocalist now? Why the decision to step down from that role?

Mr. Strange: Indeed, I’m still involved with the band, but just on the side-lines at the moment. I have to admit that my input has been very minimal since my departure, although that was not a conscious decision, that’s just how it’s played out up until this point. I may play a more active role in the band next year, songwriting and maybe doing the odd live shows here and there, but that’s all dependant on working it around what I’ll be doing with my own projects. There were many different factors contributing to me stepping down as the vocalist and retreating from the forefront of the Shanklin Freak Show, although the main factor was simply that I find performing live extremely nerve-wracking and didn’t want to do it anymore, at least not for a few years. I suppose the other main factor was that I was feeling burnt out with the project and my heart wasn’t really in it, at least not enough to knuckle down, overcome my nerves and keep playing live shows. I started the Freak Show in 2003, so I spent a full 8 years solely focused on that one project and to be honest, I think I just wanted to try new things, things that might not have worked within the context of The Shanklin Freak Show, if that makes sense?

You have just released the brilliant album The Wonderful World Of Weird, our favourite and one of the best if not THE best album this year, how long has it been in the making?

Mr. Strange: Firstly, thank you very much! Secondly, too damn long! I started the album in October 2011 and finished it in October 2013. The reason for this overly long development process was due to uncertainty as to where I wanted to go after the Shanklin Freak Show. I had loads of ideas, but for my first release after TSFS I wanted to make a record that would be fresh and also slightly familiar, that’s a very specific sound to try and go for, and one that was tricky to find balance for. I’d write a few songs, then over analyse them and come to the conclusion that I wasn’t heading in the right direction, so they’d gather dust for a few months while I procrastinate, then I’d become enthused with the Wonderful World of Weird project again and get a couple of more songs done, then doubt myself again. This process happened a few times, probably half of the two year development cycle was either spent doing nothing or writing material separate from the WWoW project! I’m currently working on developing and finishing those other ideas for my next record, needless to say it already sounds incredibly different to the Wonderful World of Weird and is even more of a departure from The Shanklin Freak Show sound.

StenchYou co-wrote many of the tracks and recorded it with TSFS’s guitarist Stench (Gary Mason to his mum); how easy was it to fit this in as I know the band is recording their own album too; are you to blame for the delay in the finishing of their album??? ;)

Mr. Strange: Having Stench work on the album with me has had no bearing on the speed of The Shanklin Freak Show’s musical output, don’t blame me! Haha.

STENCH:  I don’t think Mr Strange is to blame in the slightest. The delay has been down to a few factors. The Last Show mixing process has been troublesome and we were never completely happy with it and didn’t want to release something that would make us cringe, knowing that we could’ve done better. Obviously, we had the addition of Kronik on Bass, rehearsals, gigs, festivals and the continual cycle of writing and recording. Plus, we’ve had the steep learning curve of being responsible for our own production. We have lots of songs that we’re working on and which are at various states of creation/completion. Plus, very recently, Mr Foul became a Daddy again. All in all, I think we’ve done pretty well, considering.

Mr. Strange: Thanks for backing me up there, Master Stench! I’ll slip you a fiver later.

How did the song writing work for the album and at what point did Stench get to add his explorations to your ideas?

Mr. Strange: We began working together full-time in late 2012 (we’d done bits and bobs together for the album before then, but it was an intermittent thing) almost exactly a year after I began work on the record. At that time I probably had roughly half the album that you can hear today, albeit in a very rough state and with very little guitar work on it. I think ‘White Rabbit’ is the only song that I play all of the guitars on, the rest of the album is pure Stench! With regards to songwriting, it kind of varies as to the approach we took. A lot of the songs were already half written, so Stench worked his magic over what was already there, but a few songs were written in a much more free-form manner. The songs Psycho Surfing A Go-Go‘ and Metropolis 2984 were the result of me and Stench just jamming and coming up with crazy stuff, which I’d never done before, so that was a great experience! Sadly a lot of our random jam songs didn’t make the cut for the album, but they’ll appear eventually. A lot of the tracks we wrote were simply too damn off the wall for the Wonderful World of Weird!

How much did Stench evolve and twist your ideas into new sparks within songs or did you go all dictator on him in this area? ;) (We at The RR know he likes to be dominated…)

Mr. Strange: While there was indeed a fair bit of dictating going on, Stench’s guitar wizardry certainly evolved a lot of songs in many ways. Even songs which were mostly finished by my lonesome have changed in tone and texture considerably since Stench shot his load over them! Songs which may have been dead ends from my point of view (as in not worth finishing) were saved by Stench taking the tune in a new direction with his magical, distorted, electrically-powered stringed instrument. The addition of guitar solos to a few songs has also altered the structure of some of the arrangements, giving the whole album a more free-flowing and natural feel, a definite departure to the more rigid electro-industrial pounding of some of my earlier songs with TSFS.

The guitar work provides a bait of hooks and grooves across the release which seems to breed from the other exotic or should that be erotic melodies and lures at large; did these come after the heart of the songs were exposed or in their initial breeding?

Mr. Strange: Wow, that’s one very eloquently worded question! I want some of what you’re smoking, sir! Haha. Methinks I’ll pass this one over to Stench.

STENCH:  I have to say, Mr Strange is always a pleasure to work with and we seem to be able to communicate very easily musically. So, I suppose that both cases are true as regards to the creation of the tunes. Sometimes, Mr Strange will have an idea of what he wants beforehand and I’ll just add my guitar parts under his strict instruction. Thankfully, I no longer have to wear the gimp mask. Other times, we start completely from scratch. Either way, it’s always fun and inspiring.

The Wonderful World Of Weird is a roller coaster of styles and flavours including industrial, steampunk, surf rock, 555928_584429381594861_1695733989_npsychedelic and gothic rock and much more all merged into the narrative of the album. This is a true reflection of both your musical tastes and the way your creative imaginations works, or predominantly Mr S’s (Saul); the album truly a landscape of your ideas and musical psyche?

STENCH:  I think we both have very eclectic musical influences and appreciate each other’s tastes. This makes it much easier to work together and helps with communicating ideas. But, yes, the album is predominantly Saul’s genius and I add either the cherry on top or the fly in the ointment, whichever is required at the time.

It is fair Mr. Strange to say the album is very different from your earlier songs as on The Fall and those written across all your projects as collated in the Freakshow album, both of 2011. I will admit this was a little bit of a surprise considering your major input and dramatic style within TSFS, so has this been a natural progression or have you had to consciously veer away from anything sounding like the band?

Mr. Strange: Yes, it was definitely a conscious decision to try and move away from the sound of the Shanklin Freak Show. The more complex song arrangements, featuring less prominent/heavy guitars, changing the tone and pitch of my vocals somewhat, being more daring with mixing varying genres on one album, all of it was done with the sole intention of trying to not sound like a new Freak Show album. I’d done 8 years of the Freak Show; I wanted to see if I could create something a little different. With all that said, I also tried to not move too far away from the Freak Show sound as to completely alienate people who may be following me after hearing the Freak Show. You can hear echoes of TSFS on songs like ‘Fire’, ‘White Rabbit’ and on ‘Exile’.

As the album is lyrically and musically a journey through the mind of Mr. Strange did you have a definite step by step guide to the order of songs and their effect on the album in mind before everything was recorded etc.?

Mr. Strange: I did indeed! However, what I planned out and what ended up being the Wonderful World of Weird album are two very different things. The narrative you hear on the finished record was re-written to fit the finished songs only a few months before the album’s release. I originally planned something far grander and more complex, but it was sounding so overblown, silly and pretentious that the scope for the record was scaled back considerably. It’s far more personal now; I think that works in its favour.

We described the opening title track to The Wonderful World Of Weird as Dr. Jekyll meets ICP as early Marilyn Mansion helps Victor Frankenstein create aural life for them to toy with upon a set designed by Willy Wonka, a description which in varying ways applies to the whole album; how would you describe the album to newcomers?

Mr. Strange: Tim Burton and Danny Elfman taking an absinth-fuelled journey through a variety of pop and rock’s more outlandish genres.

I imagine this album might appeal to people who like quirky / alternative pop. I was inspired by lots of the 80′s goth bands and loads of steampunk artists while making this record, so perhaps folks with similar tastes would enjoy it, too.

Tell us about our favourite track out of a great many on the album, Psycho Surfing-A-Go-Go.

STENCH:  Now this song is an example of how suddenly things happen organically. I think this was the fastest tune that we’ve ever written together. The major bones came together in an evening and the riffs were written on an old 1960’s Burns bass. Suddenly, it began writing itself. It was great fun to play as it has a tongue in cheek feel to the guitar lines. Also, it was nice to get outside of the box and let rip on some retro sounds. Mr. Strange knew from the off what he wanted to do vocal-wise and before we knew it, job done.

Mr. Strange 4Can we get a brief glimpse of the man behind Mr. Strange, we get the impression he is a shy retiring type… a tea drinker ;)

Mr. Strange: Of course I like tea, and no, you can’t get a glimpse! Aha! Although your impression could be considered strangely accurate…

You both hail from The Isle Of Wight which seems like a small hotbed of talent right now, covering numerous styles?

STENCH:  Absolutely, the music scene here is great and vast. It would take up another couple of pages to name every great musician or band based here. Of course, we have our favourites and it would be rude not to give them a shout. *Deep breath* Pleasurade, Hentai Babies, When Prophecy Fails, Becoming The Leviathan, Born Ina Barn, Silencing The Voiceless, Puritan Slain, Kingz Of Vocals, Counsil Estate Supermodels, The Ohmz, Hollowdrone and Nately’s Whore to name but a few. So you have your Alt-Pop, Progressive Metal, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Grunge and Punk. But, as with any music scene, anywhere, it needs support.

You have not been tempted by the bright lights of the mainland for musical reasons?

Mr. Strange: Career wise? Yes, but many factors prevented that from happening. I haven’t thought about it for years. I’m happy where I am right now, so I have no plans to move closer to the action, there’s more than enough in my trousers to keep me entertained, although the career opportunities are limited.

What is next for Mr. Strange, you do not seem like an artist to sit back and take a rest.

Mr. Strange: Indeed, you know me too well, sir! Were we lovers at some point? I have two projects / albums planned for next year. The first album (which I’m writing at this very moment) is progressing extremely fast, possibly dropping in April 2014. I’d wager no one will see this one coming; it’s so completely different to anything I’ve done before. Once that album is out and people adjust to the new strangeness, I’ll begin work on the next album, the one that will usher in my return to live music and my inevitable conquest of planet Earth! I hope to have that second record ready by the end of 2014, possibly with live touring to follow in 2015. Don’t hold me to those dates though, I’m just speculating at this point. Both albums will have completely different musical styles and theatrical imagery to match, but I shall say no more.

Where can people treat themselves to all things Mr. Strange and especially The Wonderful World Of Weird?

Mr. Strange: I think it would be very spiritually rewarding for people to go to my website and gasp in ecstasy at pictures of my devilishly handsome face! Links to all of my music and whatnot are located there, but my sexy pictures are where it’s at.

www.mrstrangemedia.comMr. Strange 3

If folks are into the social media thang, I’m on most of the popular sites, too:

www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange

www.youtube.com/user/MrStrangeMedia

www.twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Once more thank you and of course to Stench for leaving your bedlam to talk with us, any thoughts to leave us with?

Mr. Strange: Expect the unexpected!

…and lastly please give us five records which shaped Mr. Strange.

1. Marilyn Manson – Portrait Of An American Family

2. Dukes Of Stratosphere – Chips From The Chocolate Fireball

3. Insane Clown Posse – The Great Milenko

4. Dr. Steel – Read-Along Album

5. Danny Elfman – Nightmare Before Christmas OST

Read The Wonderful World Of Weird review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/mr-strange-the-wonderful-world-of-weird/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/12/2013

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James Cook – Reverse Engineering (Vol. One)

JC

2013 is a busy year for singer/songwriter/producer /video artist James Cook, who follows up his impressive and successful debut album Arts & Sciences of 2012 with two full length releases this year. Towards the end of the year there is the release of his second solo album Ausland, but before that the ex-Nemo frontman and songwriter is treating us to Reverse Engineering (Vol. One), a seven track album of cover songs which is one big treat. Consisting of songs of artists from the late seventies and early eighties who ignited his passions and one suggests aspirations musically, the album is a delicious re-invention of classics ignited once again with James Cook imagination.

Reverse Engineering scientifically refers to finding advanced technology that is beyond understanding and taking it apart, then from the discovery of how it works creating a new version from the knowledge. This can certainly be applied to the songs upon the album, Cook, in the words of a room about the release, ‘creating an ‘alien twin’ of the original version by dissecting and redesigning the original.’ Bringing in expressive and skilled musicians (the Dollhouse band) to add their charm and passion to the songs, including once more violinist/string arranger Anne Marie Kirby who he worked with on not only Arts & Sciences but also the baroque pop curio The Dollhouse of 2009, Cook has given a new breath and energy to songs upon the release which emerge as a vibrant and thrilling companion to the originals.

The album opens with David Bowie classic Ashes To Ashes and instantly opens up a new expanse of thought towards the song, the a0326705245_2rich emotive tones of violin from Kirby and Ed Bruggeme, viola from Charlie Stock, and the seductive shadows from cellist Terezie Kovalova, wrapping the ear in a rapturous embrace which ignites open feelings. The string quartet is arranged by Kirby who consistently over previous releases with her imaginative arrangements has impressed and pushed songs into deeper impacting textures and evocative visions. As Cook begins the lyrical passage of the song, a new breath seduces the senses from within, the dramatic air and passional strength of the song enveloping with seductive and riveting grandeur but it is a majesty which has no sense of indulgence or self-importance. It is a wonderful version which stands boldly by the side of the original for these ears whilst as mentioned opening up a new shadow and life within the song.

The following track is The Teardrop Explodes song Treason and with its successor Making Plans For Nigel, steals the show on the album. With the guitar of Cook and a wonderfully resonating and throaty bass call from Smity immediately capturing full attention, the track strolls with a sure swagger through to the passions. As with the first and subsequent songs, Cook does not attempt in any way to emulate or cheat off of the delivery of the notable frontmen who bred the originals vocals, but infuses them with his own unique and compelling easy on the ear tones. As the strings of Kirby and Kovalova add their again irresistible presence, the track submerges the emotions in an understated but full wash of melodic beauty with the firm and punchy drums of Tom Marsh providing an equally addictive framework. With the elegance of the strings bringing their suasion through an air of dance and mischief, the track is a waltz come stomp which sparks only the purest adoration.

XTC is probably the first band to truly ignite a full lust of passion towards their sounds for us here but Making Plans For Nigel was the only song which wore out its welcome on the heart though from one of the greatest British bands. Cook has managed to bring the track back to its original glory and surpass it with passion and poetic musical imagination. The same line-up as on the previous track takes the Colin Moulding penned song and turns it into an emotive stroll along the banks of adventure and warm playfulness. They take the simple repetition across the song which helped lose the original version its appeal and treat it to an unpredictable yet familiar energy and sense of pride which itself steps forward to outweigh that of its seed.

Through Hiroshima Mon Amour, a track from the original John Foxx fronted Ultravox! and now given a mesmeric and melodic sunset of a passional sound, and The Go Between’s Bachelor Kisses where vocally and musically there is an incandescent to its invitation which inspires only further submission, the album continues to captivate and thrill. Admittedly as superbly crafted and interpreted as they are they do not match the opening trio of songs but that is just down to the beauty and ingenuity of those earlier gems. Our Lips Are Sealed though does reach up and pull itself up to those heady heights, the Go-Go’s song, also recorded by Fun Boy Three and written by Jane Wiedlin and Terry Hall from the two bands, carving out its own irrepressible niche upon the album with the cello and bass of Kovalova and Cook respectively, offering a deep captivating presence to the wonderfully refreshing and bracing encounter. There is a Walker Brothers feel to the song which only enhances the tonic it brings to ear and soul with each dance within its breath-taking arms.

Completed by an imaginative take on the Kraftwerk track Neon Lights, the song another with the full string quartet painting a unique and inspiring emotive canvas for Cook to lay his narrative, Reverse Engineering (Vol. One) is a passion capturing piece of colour drenched imagination and interpretation, and one hopes is the first of more such projects from the artists as suggested by the title. Though it could be looked at as an appetiser or piece of creativity to bide time before Cook’s next solo album, the masterful treat shows itself as a valid album in its own right even if its appearance comes as a staggered invitation. Released as a free download one song at a time a monthly leading up to Ausland, and with two songs already available, it is an album all should go to without hesitation.

To get the album go to http://jamescook.bandcamp.com/

http://www.jamescookmusic.com

9/10

RingMaster 15/05/2013

 

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Ed Zealous – Medicines

Ed_Zealous_Press_shot

    A feisty energetic explosion of electro rock and dance pop, Medicines the new single from indie electro band Ed Zealous is an irresistible dance for the senses. The glittering piece of melodic temptation is devilishly infectious and even if their chosen genre does not normally excite the passions, the wanton lure and mischievous sun of the song makes it impossible for anyone not to have a hunger to immerse within its compelling warmth.

The Northern Ireland quartet creates a dazzling and seductive persuasion from a magnetic blend of synths, punchy rhythms, and vibrant cassios; add vocals which swagger with harmonic relish and ridiculously addictive melodic hooks, and submission to their sound and especially the new single is a foregone conclusion. Their influences come from the likes of David Bowie, Talking Heads and Pulp, as well as A-Trak, Boys Noize and TV On The Radio, though the song itself just as easily brings essences of Blancmange and Does It Offend You, Yeah?  to the fore. Recorded with producer Eliot James (Bloc Party, Noah and The Whale, Does It Offend You, Yeah?), and taken from the Ed Zealous forthcoming debut album, the Label Fandango released Medicines is a thumping heart attack of eager urgent beats and greedily drooling melodic keys which simply ignites the dancer and playfulness in all. Having started the year supporting Two Door Cinema Club at their homecoming show in Belfast, and now the release of this stunning single, with of course the album to follow, 2013 is looking a radiant year for the band, and us.   Medicines_Cover_Art

The single immediately sizzles upon the ear with slightly acidic but fizzy synths teasing the senses whilst further electro pops explode with a smiling intent. A shadowed heavy pulse forges its presence at the core of entrancement, spreading its embrace further within the expansive heat of the chorus. As the vocals add their mutual quality and sultry blaze to the song, the heart of the track is a furnace of sweltering energy and electro passion. Simply it is electronic pop at its very irresistible best.

As the final humid note takes its leave and the foursome of Steve McAvoy, Andrew Wilson, Pete Lloyd, and Paul Irwin make their last potent persuasion, the only prevalent thought is that the album cannot come soon enough.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-Zealous/89457839303

8.5/10

RingMaster 06/04/2013

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Miniature Dinosaurs: Turn It On EP

Building on the success of earlier releases, Scottish indie tunesmiths Miniature Dinosaurs release their new EP, Turn It On, confirming all the early promise and why there is an impossible to ignore buzz around the band. The four track release still indicates there is much more to come and be explored within their creativity and songwriting, which only fires up a stronger eagerness to watch them develop ahead.

From Stirling, the quartet of Barry Maclean (vocals/guitar), Alban Dickson (bass), Craig Ferrie (guitar/synth) and Sam Waller (drums), has been igniting attention and keen responses from day one, the band receiving BBC airplay before they stepped onto a stage and pulling acclaim from all quarters. Once into their stride live, Miniature Dinosaurs has supported the likes of Fenech-Soler, Johnny Foreigner, and Young the Giant to again nothing less than strongly positive returns whilst at the same time releasing singles and EPs of quirky and imaginative infectious pop. TheTurn It On EP is arguably a little bit of a surprise, the tracks maybe less instant than previous tracks like Alligator and Fight And Flight, but they all show a fresh expanse to their songwriting in tandem with a more intricate and serious breath to their still contagious imagination. The quartet of almost psych drawn pop songs brings a heated experience to feast upon without restraint, whilst taking thoughts on a ride of unpredictable and fiery invention to wake them up and spark their own individual responses. Their sound again feels like a invigorating mix of David Bowie, Josef K, and Pulp but even more so on these new tracks, carries the feel and drama of the Associates, with even vocally Maclean having whispers of Billy Mackenzie in the gait of his delivery. They are spicy extras to the uniqueness of the band and music, something to ensure as mentioned it is impossible to ignore.

Released through Integrity Records, the EP opens with the download single which found strong success over the summer, Lemonade. The song is the most straight forward companion of the four, an easy to consume piece of pop with a mellow and warm presence. As its keys stroke the ear with gentle warmth, the beats of Waller divert the attention to a core of feistier intent within the song, soon joined by the muscular and slightly barbed basslines of Dickson. The crystalline yet discord barked guitar play lashes the ear within and around the shadowed rhythms to open up the senses further, the track never bursting into a riot of energy but capturing the passions with the emotive deliverance of keys and vocals alongside the moodier and more forceful elements elsewhere.

The great start is followed by best track on the release in Lip Synch. The song opens with a provocative questioning lyrically and musically, the guitar, bass, and drums prodding until they get a response and the synth slowly offering its own seductive persuasion. The simple but effective start is a slow build which is masked by the captivating sonic spotlights and melodic teases. Eventually one is face to face with a powerful and dramatic crescendo of passion and energy in the chorus, a dazzling and explosive joy to leave one breathless. Repeating the opening and climax again the track taunts and thrills with further expressive enterprise within the repetitive but irresistible structure of the song. It is glorious, maybe the best thing Miniature Dinosaurs has done.

Next of Kin is a sonic sun of sharp and pulsating guitars and epic keys driven atmospheres speared by the again excellent dark bass tones of Dickson. The track has a heart as big as its sounds and makes immersing within its emotive very easy and rewarding. Like its predecessor, the track has denseness to its gift which stretches and shows the evolution of the creativity of the band though it still has the ability to engage with impressive contagion.

The closing title track like the first is a song with a more instantaneous pop swagger, one you can jump on board with like an old friend and join its new but familiar mischief with ease. It brings a compulsive end to an equally addictive release that marks Miniature Dinosaurs as a band continuing to shout out look at us, something which with Turn It On EP alone would be rude to refuse.

http://miniaturedinosaurs.co.uk

RingMaster 21/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lizzie Nightingale – Tiny Teardrops

Lizzie Nightingale is a singer songwriter hailing from Glasgow who is beginning to stir up some real attention and enthusiasm to her inventive and delightful sounds. Her new EP Tiny Teardrops, is set to bring her to wider attention as it offers up something ripe with unexpected delights and joyful enterprise. It is a weave of harmonies and melodic grace brought with an air and ambience which ruffles the air around the sure elegance of the songwriting and its realisation. It is a surprising treat to be honest, one’s assumptions challenged and shown a uniqueness and imagination to be admired.

With her informative years soaked in the sounds of artists like Eurythmics, Kate Bush, David Bowie, and a healthy dose of Motown through her singer/performer Mother, Lizzie Nightingale released a collection of demo tracks which drew strong support from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and Galaxy FM and went on to sell thousands in the UK and Japan. Recently she has been working alongside Gary Powell of The Libertines. Tiny Teardrops sees her stepping out once more into a solo spotlight with her evolved and distinct sound.

The EP opens with the mesmeric Alone, its instant presence an ear spotting cloak of crystal melodies followed by warm orchestral arms. The song skips with an emotive heart which captivates throughout, the voice of Nightingale lighting the atmosphere with its classy tones and the strings behind her igniting deeper pleasures. There is a simplicity to the song within its expansive presence with further endears to make a track which leaves one tingling in delight.

The following Footsteps is a concentrated ballad, its expression and emotion dripping from every note and syllable. Vocally Nightingale has a wavering to her sound which flutters with power but also brings an extra emotive breath to an already touching song. The track shows clearly the lyrical and songwriting skill of the artist and her ability to light up the senses whilst evoking strong thoughts and affection.

The title track again has an uncomplicated essence which tantalises and at times hypnotises whilst its sweeping charm is undeniably infectious. As it progresses the song becomes even more addictive its reserved energy streaking into enthused breaths of melodic hooks and unbridled beauty. Best song on the release it fully shows the talent of Nightingale.

Sparkle and Lights both caress the ear with a sure and gentle touch brought with eruptions of increased energy and heart borne passion. Again as in all songs Nightingale employs unpredictable sounds and unique asides to explore the heart of the compositions to fire up stronger affection for her music. It is imaginative and skilfully brought together to make a release in Tiny Teardrops which startles and gratifies in equal measure.

Completed by a remix of Alone by Matty ‘Parka’ Thomson and Sparkle by Team Tartan, Tiny Teardrops is an impressive and pleasing EP to mark Lizzie Nightingale as an artist destined for great things. Check out the EP @ http://lizzienightingale.bandcamp.com/album/tiny-teardrops and enjoy.

RingMaster 07/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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