My Favourite Runner Up – Crossroads

My Favourite Runner Up Online Promo shot

     Everything about Crossroads, the debut album from Welsh rockers My Favourite Runner Up is big; massive choruses and hooks matching an equally hefty energy, but most of all it provides big satisfaction with its superbly crafted songs. The band’s previous EP Thoughts, Feelings, Actions impressed and thrilled upon its appearance in 2012 but it was just a taster of things to come as shown by this resourceful stomp. The new album takes all the striking elements found on its predecessor and twists them into even catchier irrepressible temptations but equally it shows a greater maturity in the songwriting of the band. It is fair to say there is a sense of familiarity to the blend of pop punk and rock which breeds their songs but the quintet delivers it with such resourcefulness and adventure that they leave most others in the shade.

    My Favourite Runner Up began in 2006 and taking influences from the likes of New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, and Mayday Parade into their emerging sound were soon drawing attention and positive responses. They built a potent fanbase and reputation through their live performances, shows with the likes of Madina Lake, Mallory Knox, Kids In Glass Houses, Cerys Matthews, The Blitz Kids, Kids Can’t Fly, Bury Tomorrow, The Hype Theory, I Spy Strangers, and many more marking the past years. The band recorded their debut EP in 2010 with producer Romesh Dodangoda who has recorded all subsequent releases with the band. It and the following Thoughts, Feelings, Actions brought eager acclaim upon their presences, the second especially stirring up impressive critical responses and airplay. Now building on a busy 2013 for the band of touring and playing shows, My Favourite Runner Up’s first full-length is poised to push the band into an intense spotlight, an easy assumption such its rousing qualities.

     Crossroads flies from the blocks with the excellent opener Light A Fire, guitar strokes and pulsating drum beats from CDBO06.pdfThomas Carr waking up the ears before the band uncages a contagion of sharp hooks and storming riffs with the lead vocals of Christian Evans laying down another strong lure within the web of enterprise provided by the guitars of Andrew Towell and Tom Hawkes. The song strides confidently throughout, at times showing restraint in its overall lively charge but constantly leaning persuasively on the senses with exciting dynamics and melodic potency. It is a tremendous start to the release immediately backed up by the new video single from the album, Poison. The second song swings into view with a swagger to the guitar and smile to the voice of Evans. Like a middle weight boxer dancing on its feet, the track bounces and leaps around the imagination with virulent infectiousness, the flames of guitars shadowed by again thumping rhythms and the dark tones of bass of Lee Walker.

   Both Never Again and Love Comes First march with large strides into the emotions, the first an emotively carved blaze of melodies and harmonies, the songs continuing to be blessed with great group combinations vocally. The song is more of a reflective stroll musically than its predecessors but still embraces excitable energy and keenness building to a huge anthemic chorus, a constant trait the band leaves most other similar bands sounding quite pale against. The second of the two raises the pace again, its ridiculously addictive chorus with equally epidemic vocal coaxing from Evans irresistible. Guitars and beats romp with skill and mischief in the ears but also with an invention and imagination which reveals the depths of the band’s thoughtful songwriting. It is one of the major pinnacles on the album standing boldly aside the opener and the following No More Fight within a wholly elevated range of triumphs. The next song has a stronger punk intensity to its body but does not lack any of the melodic endeavours and infectiousness of others whilst providing a scintillating groove to further ignite the imagination.

     Through the sublimely magnetic title track, a song with another chorus impossible to resist contributing to, the passion drenched Your Own Worst Enemy, and the compelling Storytelling the album continues to burn and entice brightly, the trio of songs individual in sound and character but united in uncaging hooks and melodies which simply seduce the strongest hunger in an already enraptured appetite for the album’s might. It is easy to wax lyrical about Crossroads when songs like this leave no ardour kissed reaction and pleasure unused.

     With an album of such high standards maybe slips in appeal if not quality are inevitable and with Scars and Better Without You, the band does miss the high mark set previously. To be honest there is little to dismiss the pair over, their craft and presentation undeniably impressive but both lack the same spark and adventure of their companions, thus failing to linger in thoughts and emotions. Home though ensures the album ends powerfully, almost combative rhythms and melody bred flames framing and flaring around the ever strong vocals whilst Walker saves his best bassline for this closing treat. It concludes a towering triumph of an album which suggests My Favourite Runner Up has the potential to be the next big thing UK rock proposition. Crossroads is one of the most enjoyable and impressive pop punk/power pop albums heard in quite a long time, if not the best.

www.facebook.com/myfavouriterunnerup

9.5/10

 RingMaster 13/02/2014

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MY FAVOURITE RUNNER UP unveil debut album,’Crossroads’ 17th February‏

My Favourite Runner Up Online Promo shot
ENERGETIC PUNK ROCKERS RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM!
 
Explosive Brit rocksters ‘My Favourite Runner Up’ drop their eagerly awaited debut album ‘Crossroads’ on 17th February through all digital outlets.
Born in Northern Wales in 2006, My Favourite Runner Up were brought together by their common affection for New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, and Mayday Parade. Taking cues from their influences, the band have fashioned their own take, bringing together alluring hooks crossed with cut throat riffery; and the result is sure to win over any modern day rock fan.
Their debut EP, ‘Thoughts, Feelings, Actions’, received coverage from BBC Radio One, Scuzz TV and airplay on Kerrang! Radio, as well as securing widespread acclaim including impressive reviews from Rocksound and Dead Press and a feature interview with Big Cheese Magazine. Singles lifted from the record also gained airplay on all major UK radio stations, and the video for the single ‘Let It Ride’ was play-listed by Kerrang! TV.
In addition to their steady recording output, My Favourite Runner Up have always had a healthy appetite for live shows. To date, they have shared stages with the likes of Madina Lake, Mallory Knox, Kids In Glass Houses, Blitz Kids, Save Your Breath, Bury Tomorrow, The Hype Theory and Neck Deep, and toured with ‘I Spy Strangers’ and ‘Kids Can’t Fly’. Last year was also no different for the band as they relentlessly toured throughout the UK and Europe, further cementing their place as one of the new bands to see live. After a hectic touring schedule, the quartet bedded down in the recording studio with well-regarded producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Twin Atlantic) at the controls once again. MFRU now release their full length debut album ‘Crossroads’ which features eleven tracks stacked with thoughtful arrangements and concise and twisted riffs that entwine perfectly with contagious vocal lines. Look out for the anthemic ‘Poison’, which is set to be released as their first video single, and keep your ears to the ground for extensive tour dates as the MFRU boys plan to further stamp their name on the UK scene.
= MY FAVOURITE RUNNER UP RELEASE ‘CROSSROADS’ ON MONDAY 17th FEBRUARY
AND NEW SINGLE ‘POISON’ ON FRIDAY 17th JANUARY=
CDBO06.pdf
 

Life and Death Experiences: an interview with Corey Skowronski of American Standards

AS

Things are starting to happen for US hardcore band American Standards in awareness and stature, though the Arizona quartet have been brewing up a fine reputation ever since forming a few years back. Their Still Life EP pulled strong attention towards the band with its exciting blend of punk and noise rock within the hardcore intensity whilst their live performances have made the four piece one of the most talked about and thrilling proposition emerging from the US rock underground. Recently signed to Victory Records we thought we should learn more about the band, their music, and their promising to be explosive future. Thankfully bassist Corey Skowronski was more than happy to help our exploration of American Standards and let us in on a secret or two.

Hi Corey and thanks for sparing time to let us find out more about yourselves and the band.

First of all simply introduce the band for us and tell us about the origins of American Standards.

American standards started a few years back in 2010 and in the course of two and a half years we’ve really come along way.

How did you all meet?

With the new line-up we’ve all met through mutual friends and playing shows together.

Was punk and hardcore the music which you grew up to or did you have a wider ‘soundtrack’ to your informative years which your music does suggest?

Growing up punk was a genre of music I was heavily into and other than that just old metal but for the most part I listened to a little bit of everything. If it sounded good to me I’d listen to it.

What was the spark to actually decide to start the band?

For me personally it was always something I wanted to do, to play in a band. I had quit the job I was working at the time in 2010 and was ready for something new that’s when I decided that I would commit to the idea and the dream and begin looking for people to start a band with, and here we are now

You come from Phoenix, Arizonia, apart from the obvious names coming from the city like Jimmy Eat World, The Bled, and Job For A Cowboy, is there a vibrant bed of punk and rock talent in the more underground scene?

Everyone that I know of in bands from here has talent that needs to be heard. There’s all the band that we help with and are close to like Your Young, Sleepwalker, The Last March Of The Ents. Then there’s the old Column III dudes and Lariats of course.

Many bands say their home town/city has influenced or made a big impact on their music, is it the same for American Standards?AS2

Honestly I don’t feel that at all. We write music that we like to play and as far as actually playing here, yeah there are people that are in the scene and care but for the most part it ain’t what it used to be…

Last year you released your excellent Still Life EP how did you find the recording process and what did you learn from it which will impact on future recordings?

Me personally I like to write the song, record it, listen to it, then add or take things out that don’t fit. That’s the time to kind of experiment, in my eyes, with all the ideas you have for that song that you have accumulated over the whole process.

I feel that we did do that for the Still Life EP and with J & M they were totally cool with that. The one thing I think we will try now with the new stuff is to get everyone involved in the experimenting with ideas stage so every song has something from everyone and it shows.

Talking of recordings you are working on your debut album I believe?

Sort of…Geoff and Brennen our drummer and guitarist are stepping down but we are having Mike Cook of Your Young drum and Craig Burch of The Last March of the Ents play bass. I’ll be swinging over from bass to guitar and am very stoked. The songs we have recorded right now are going to be released as an EP titled The Death of Rhythm and Blues and after that we’ll then start on the all new full length.

You are known as a DIY band so how did the link up with Victory Records who will release your next release come about?

We were at a point where we felt ready to take the plunge into looking at possibly teaming up with a label and at the time we had many offers and we decided that Victory and the sub label We Are Triumphant was the most promising.

946270_660704840625239_2035397775_nCan you give us some ideas as what the EP will hold and does Still Life give a good indication of what to expect, more diversity and sonic/noise exploration?

The way I look at it, The Death of Rhythm and Blues is the second half of Still Life.

Have you approached the new songs and EP differently to how Still Life was created?

A little…We definitely worked together more in writing the songs and took our time with it. We didn’t want to pump a song out and call it a day.

When can we expect the EP?

The 14th of September is the date.

Tell us more about the it and what you have developed further in the new songs from those on Still Life.

New songs are great we have worked on a few things in them to give them that cherry on top and their own character and like I mention I feel this is the second half to Still Life. It feels that way at least to me.

How does the writing process within the band work?

We all come together with either a riff, half of a song, or just a little idea and we give it some structure. We jam it out and more ideas come to mind and we try and incorporate those as well.

So it is a democratic process within the band for songs and stuff?

Definitely democratic, we want to give everyone in the band their voice. Every one of us has ideas for songs and good or bad we want to hear them cause who knows what can come from them.

You have a great reputation for your live show, any particularly memorable moments or shows to date?as3

The show we just played in Tucson, InFest, that was a great show. We had a lot of fun. For me a long time ago we played a show in Tucson again, at the old Skrappys. We were getting down and playing and somehow I smashed the head of my bass into my own head and I just started pouring blood. I kept playing, can’t stop the good ole’ boys in American Standards. That story has never been shared with the outside world until now. You are all free now to make fun of me for hitting myself in the face.

Is the live aspect of the band the most thrilling for you or more the creation of new songs and records?

Writing, recording, and hearing the new songs matter. With all the songs we’ve done, once we finish them I’m stoked on them, and when I can play a song that I get stoked on, the energy I pull from it just kicks in and that’s when we can go crazy and let it all out.

Once released the energy from those songs just takes over and that’s what I love. When a song can take you from one point, one mind set and in the course of two and a half minutes it carries you to a completely different one.

Once more thank you to talking with us, anything else you would like to add?

September 14th get the new EP and let us know what you all think.

Lastly would you like to give us the five most influential records on you personally?

The Fall of Troy – Manipulator

Pantera – Reinventing the Steel

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Norma Jean – Oh God the Aftermath

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards

Read the Still Life review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/american-standards-still-life/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/07/2017

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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JET PACK unleash new video Back To Life

JetPack Promo picture

JET PACK RELEASE VIDEO FOR ‘BACK TO LIFE’

West Midland new guns, Jet Pack, are set to make a hefty impression on the currently buoyant Brit-rock scene with their heartfelt brand of melody-drenched rock. Merging a sincere alternative edge with probing guitar rhythms and alluring emotive vocal lines, fused with strong post-punk DIY ethics, the hard working foursome take from the hooky fluency of Blink 182, the sheer rock dynamism of Foo Fighters, and the song writing dexterity of Jimmy Eat World. In the culmination, Jet Pack have produced a captivating sound that will pound right out of your speakers.
Their new video  for ‘Back To Life’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DghnoZe4Nk  is the evidence of a band on a potent rise.
The rising rockers are currently touring the UK in support of their new EP ‘Chasing Sunset’, hit the band’s Facebook for updates -www.facebook.com/wearejetpack .

Jet Pack – Chasing Sunsets EP

Photo by Philipp Richter

Giving the ranks of alternative rock a rousing and vibrantly melodic addition in the shape of their Chasing Sunsets EP, UK band Jet Pack is an unexpected treat which ignored expectations to show themselves as an exciting, inventive, and impressively promising band. The excellent release undoubtedly suggests there is plenty of room within the imagination of the band still to emerge in their probable rise to the fore of melodic and emotive UK rock but also brings one satisfying and appealing appearances to fully enjoy right now.

Hailing from Cheltenham, Jet Pack was formed out of university in 2008 by a group of musicians linked by their mutual love for pop-punk as much as anything else. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Dennis Cook, lead guitarist Paul Roberts, bassist Richard Beattie, and Sam Haskins on drums, the quartet has exhaustingly travelled and played the lengths of Britain with their live performances which have included sharing stages with bands such as Hype Theory, General Fiasco, Attention Thieves, and Hildamay, as well as playing acoustic slots before Blink 182 at the LG Arena in Birmingham as well as similar appearances before Biffy Clyro and City and Colour. The band has earned at the same time strong plaudits for their sound and stage energy which they have brought into their new release.

The Matt O’Grady (You me at six, Deaf Havana) produced Chasing Sunsets EP starts with the excellent Back To Life, a track Jet Pack Cover Artworkdancing with the senses and passions from its first second and impacting on thoughts and emotions just as long and eagerly. Vocals, resonating rhythms, and fiery guitars open up the track with enterprise and hungry energy, their combined enthusiasm and qualities securing instant attention and keen commitment. Infectious without being blatantly obvious in its hook, the song is a sizzling burn of the melodic prowess of Jimmy Eat World and the more abrasive confrontation of No Trigger honed into a pleasing and incendiary result by the accomplished foursome.

The following Now I Know How John Locke Felt and Heat Of The Moment continue the impressive start, both with a less forceful but no less hungry enterprise and melodic intensity. The first of the pair brings some great coaxing from keys within and behind the melodic haze of passion and great vocal harmonies which compliments and tempers the grazing touch of the guitars. It is an inviting and ardour recruiting stroll of skilful persuasion whilst its successor steps into a more deliberate slower gait where emotive expression and sonic rain showers the ear for an appealing heated temptation. Not quite as magnetic as the first two songs, the track still leaves a happy and elevated appetite for more.

The title track is a real slow burner, a song which initially left doubts and dormant reactions but as it continued its narrative sparked intrigue and increasing mesmerism. The initial acoustic wrap with the vocals of Cook laying the plaintive lyrical statement is underwhelming and sparks insecurity over its presence in what so far has been an impressive release. Once the vocals of guest vocalist Lauren Pryke steps forward into the mix with the shadows of melancholic strings in tow, things take an elevated turn with the atmosphere and breath of the song darkening yet equally blazing with a bright and entrancing wash. It is a cloudy almost muggy mix which covers the song and it is that enveloping tempest as much as the beauty of Pryke’s contribution and the glorious emotive strings which makes the final and long term convincing.

The final pair of All I Need with its towering rhythms from Haskins and the closing potent  epic tasting instrumental This Is The End close out the release in strong and compelling style, both without reaching the heights of the start of the release but strongly complimenting its impact and the pleasure given. Chasing Sunsets certainly sets up Jet Pack as a band with the destiny of their success firmly in their own hands  and shows they have all the armoury and ability to make it a successful one.

www.facebook.com/wearejetpack

8/10

RingMaster 05/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Guardians: Self Titled

Guardians Promo Shot

With the release of their self-titled mini-album, North West rock band Guardians has staked a strong persuasion in looking at them as strong candidates as the next big thing in British alternative rock. The seven track release is an impressive and thrilling release which captivates from start to finish whilst offering infectious melodic flourishes over highly energetic engagements and powerfully striking rock n roll throughout. A treat for the ear, senses, and heart, Guardians is a deeply pleasing encounter to help set British rock music off in the new year in fine style.

From Wallasey in Merseyside, the band formed in 2006 when the members were still at school. Since then they have moved from playing biker clubs at the age of 14 to sharing stages with the likes of Status Quo, The Blackout, The Automatic, and Twenty Twenty, as well as headlining the HUB Festival and finding strong media exposure. The new album is the next step in their increasing rise to wider recognition and one suspect the key to a big year for the band ahead.

After an intro track which makes for a warm melodic welcome the release starts with earnest with An Enemy Of My Enemy. Guardians Cover ArtworkImmediately a heavy senses skirting bass grabs attention alongside firm beats and feisty riffs. As the great vocals of lead guitarist Brad Doné step into view, his and the rhythm guitar of Craig Henderson initially step back before joining up for a catchy and enjoyable chorus section. Into its stride the track is an accomplished and engaging song if slightly underwhelming after reading the comparisons to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and Lost Prophets for the band. It is an enjoyable start though and soon things take an elevated step with the following surge of tracks.

New World Order steps up next with beats bulging and slashing riffs before expanding into a full riot of sound and energy. The vocals of Doné find a coarser edge to their delivery which is fitting within the track and when the rest of the band add their vocals talents the reference to Lost Prophets is like a banner in the sky of the song. For these ears the Welsh band is the closest comparison throughout the release but without stealing from the originality of Guardians and their distinct sound. The bass of Sean McMinn-Davies and drums of Mike Priest again are exceptional within the storm of passionate and intense sound, and the song arguably the biggest of many highlights on the EP.

The rich heart and melodic wash of Follow Your Heart next makes for a captivating companion, a song which took its time to share all of its riches before emerging as an irresistible anthemic joy forged through contagious riffs and hooks alongside kisses of warm keys and emotive grandeur. At this point in the EP no more convincing of band and release is needed to ensure an enthused affection but just to make sure the deliciously grooved dance floor incitement offered by Make It Out Alive sparks further acclaim and ardour the way of the release.

After the short dramatic and emotive instrumental Interlude, the album closes with the mighty Red Eyes. Again heavily Lost Prophets tinged yet distinctively Guardians, the track is an immense slab of metallic sinew and expressive might which is as compelling as it is diverse and imaginative. Unpredictable but fluid in its passage, the song is the perfect parting for a fantastic release and the confirmed placing of the band as an emerging creative force.

Do yourself a big favour and check out Guardians now, though one suspects it will not be long before you will find their impressive sounds and presence everywhere you turn in the world of UK rock anyway.

www.facebook.com/guardiansuk

RingMaster 03/01/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Merseyside anthemic rockers ‘GUARDIANS’ release self-titled mini album on 7th January 2013,

North West quartet ‘Guardians’prepare to release their highly impressive self-titled mini-album and brace themselves for a hectic 2013!

With a keen affection for the Foos and Jimmy Eat World, aided by a mutual admiration for the anthemic flair of 30 Seconds to Mars and the Lost Prophets, Guardians offer a striking sound that pitches high voltage rock with edgy melodic blasts. The quartet’s latest offering of their self titled mini-album “Guardians” is a fully fledged rock beast that warrants your attention.

Busting out of Wallasey in Merseyside, and formed during their school days in 2006, the Guardians’ incline has been brisk. From playing biker clubs at the age of 14 to bagging support slots with everyone from legendary rockers Status Quo, through to The Blackout, The Automatic, and Twenty Twenty, and headlining the HUB Festival, the band have certainly cut their teeth on the live circuit. Aided by securing national media exposure from Classic Rock Magazine (where the band were featured on the Cover CD), Kerrang!, and BBC Radio 2, the rising four piece are swiftly making new friends and forging new pathways. Armed with an impressive work ethic and songmanship in abundance, the future is radiantly bright for the burgeoning alt-rocksters.

The record takes flight in fine style with the angsty and supremely catchy ‘An Enemy Of My Enemy’ before the pull of ‘New World Order’ spits out a stomping chorus loaded with fist-pummelling shout-outs. Consistently rich and engaging, the album marches on in the same vein with ‘Follow Your Heart’, a track surely destined for widespread radio play with its monumental refrain and infectious vibe, ‘Make It Out Alive’ showcases the budding foursome’s apt ability to pen a tune that has ample dance-floor groove and a monster hook, and ‘Red Eyes’ closes the mini-album with a diverse slab of atmospheric alt-rock backed with hard-hitting riffage that would fit right into an early Biffy album. Impressive and contagious, Guardians are poised for national recognition.

 www.facebook.com/guardiansuk

TRACKLISTING: 1. Intro; 2. An Enemy Of My Enemy; 3. New World Order; 4. Follow Your Heart; 5. Make It Out Alive; 6. Interlude; 7. Red Eyes.

BAND MEMBERS: Brad Doné: lead guitarist & lead vocalist; Craig Henderson: rhythm guitar, vocals; Sean McMinn-Davies: bass guitar, vocals; Mike Priest: drums, vocals.

FOR FANS OF: 30 Seconds To Mars, Foo Fighters, Lost Prophets.

Athel: Open Your Eyes To Society

Really striking pop punk bands seem to be on the wane these days, there are some great bands but with uniformity to their sound which is great at the time of listening but soon lost from the memory until the next visit. Chicago band Athel with their debut album Open Your Eyes To Society seems like a band that might buck that trend. The songs on the release are vibrant and contagious and offer a fresh breath which lingers far longer than the sounds from the majority of their contempories. It openly brings familiar spices and flavours well known to the genre but places them within an invention and contagion that most others struggle to define their creations with.

Consisting of trio vocalist and guitarist Justin King, bassist Comron Fouladi, and drummer Christian Navarro, Athel bring strong traits of classic rock and metal to their punk hearted music too which adds to the distinct variety and strength the album grips the ear firmly with. Comparisons of Foo Fighters, Rise Against, and of course Green Day have been placed upon their songs and these are not hard to miss though the band probably sits nearer to the rock fuelled likes of Sum 41 with melodic insertions of a Good Charlotte or All American Rejects veining the constantly engaging sounds.

Signed to Mortal Music after the band came to the attention of co-owner and SOiL bassist Tim King, the band seems destined to rile up more than passing attention with their first full length release. The follow up to their previous couple of EPs, Open Your Eyes To Society swaggers and saunters through the ear with a sure confidence and stylish ability to excite the ear. From the opening Radio the release has no intentions other than to offer a good and flavoursome party. Mildly aggressive, vaguely intrusive, and wholly infectious the album leaves one fulfilled and with a satisfied grin. The opener sums the album up immediately, the song an easy going and pleasing invitation for the limbs and any anthemic tendencies within. It cruises through the ear with robust and eager riffs, fine harmonious vocals, and inserted rock guitar spikes to further excite, all brought with a full energy and imaginative hand.

The following vibrant These Are The Times continues the release in similar fashion, easily appealing and undemanding but it is with the next trio of songs that the album shows its true depths and strengths. All That I Am starts it off and is a gem. With a hypnotic melodic hook the Buzzcocks or Undertones would be proud of, and a Jimmy Eat World like chorus infection it is irresistible and alone offers the promise mentioned at the start.

Kara’s Carousel and Paranormal Abstract Of Everyday Life complete the triple slice of consecutive magic. The first of the two a rock textured blend of stirring metallic riffs and strikingly melodic vocals. The song suggests it might venture into pop punk or hard rock throughout but remains firmly steered between the two and is deeply impressive for it despite the fade out suggesting a lack of an ending. The other song is a muscular contagion with great acidic classic rock guitars adding a slight progressive feel. More hard rock than punk music wise, the song exhilarates and leaves one with increased adrenaline and raised eagerness to hit replay before moving on. Along with These Are The Times the pair are the biggest highlights on the album and the undeniable evidence of a band on a sharp rise.

Though the album continues with peaks and slight lulls which are still more inventive and impressive than most other similar veined releases, the album never gives less than pleasure and reward. The likes of the energetic Their Shoes alongside the melodic excellence of Me, Myself, & I and the crystalline grace of Oceans leave smooth and invigorating caresses upon the senses whilst brewing up emotions with their insistent anthemic energy.

Ending on bonus track Keep Me Awake, a song so addictive it should come with medical assistance, Open Your Eyes To Society is an excellent release that achieves what it set out to do, to leave one thrilled, energised, and eager for more. Athel still feel like they have a way to go to make that step into totally unique territory within the genre but they are well on the way and bringing great pleasure as they go.

RingMaster 18/05/2012

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Interview with Adam McKee of Dead ‘Til Friday

The moment the video for The Longest Year from Belfast band Dead ‘Til Friday grabbed our attention with its unbridled fun and enthused aggression further investigation of the band was a no brainer. Their current EP Water further impressed and set the band as one to watch closely over the year ahead with their stirring blend of rap metal and inventive rock sounds igniting a strong anticipation for future sounds from the quintet. Wanting to know more about Dead ‘Til Friday we had the pleasure of getting vocalist Adam McKee to answer our questions about the band and their music.

Hello and welcome to The RingMaster Review

Firstly would you introduce the band and members?

I’m Adam I sing, we’ve also got Conhuir and Steve who play guitar, Jonny on bass and Colin on Drums.

How and when did the band begin?

The band began in around 2007/2008 but there’s been a few line-up changes since then and the band has only really been this formation for the past year or so.

Is Dead ‘Til Friday the first band for you all?

Not at all, we’ve all been in previous bands before, myself and Conhuir we’re in a band called Acidtone, Steve played alongside us in other local bands for a few years, also Colin and Jonny have been in a few local bands before too.

What was the influence for the band name?

The band name came from a random conversation on a night out between Colin and our previous vocalist/guitarist, they joked a bit about it and said it would make a great band name, and hey, it stuck!

Your sound is a feisty blend of rap metal, muscular riffs and infectious melodic choruses what are the influences that have added shape to your music?

Feisty? Haha, cool! Yea, I myself have been singing and rapping like this for years now. We listen to a VERY large spectrum of music between us all. The metal side of things isn’t normally what I would listen to myself in my free time. All in all it’s a great thing because when it comes to writing we’re never stuck for ideas, melodies or riffs.

You and another great metal band Gacy’s Thread come from Belfast so what is the metal and rock scene like there for bands and fans?

The metal scene at the moment is great! We’ve also recently proved it by heading a short distance outside of Belfast and the amount of bands looking to play Belfast is exciting. The bands and band members look out for each other, which is awesome; we definitely all help each other and do our best for the scene.

Is there a bond between the bands in Belfast that bands in other cities especially in the rest of the UK do not have with each other?

Yes and no, haha, we would definitely be more tight knit being on an island with other bands compared to the likes of America or Europe where everyone is so much further apart. We can also relate to the same struggles you go through trying to get touring and travelling overseas as much as possible. If we don’t all help each other out then we all kind of lose out at the end of the day.

As you mentioned you formed around 2008, how has the band evolved over the subsequent four years or so?

Our sound is one of the big things that has definitely evolved, especially through the line-up changes I mentioned earlier. A different vocalist and song writer definitely changed things up a lot, but this line-up and sound is very solid now, it takes any band a little time to find this and we’re excited! :)

The last two years appear to have been the biggest to date for the band, touring alongside bands Your Demise and Lower Than Atlantis, sharing the stage with the likes of Skindred, And So I Watch You From Afar and Forever Never, plus a prestigious slot at the Tennent’s Vital Festival to name a few notable moments. Has this time felt like a sudden intense elevation for you as a band in the same way that it appears to us on the outside?

Definitely, it’s a whole world of emotions all at once, fear, excitement, joy etc… but the key thing it has given us all is the hunger for it, every one of the opportunities and shows you mentioned gave great clarity to why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Tell us more about the Tennent’s Vital Festival; I believe you played to 50,000 with a slot between Jimmy Eat World and The Kaiser Chiefs?

Yea, we were nervous, but I think we certainly held our own. It was both surreal and exciting all at once, it’s a little hard to put into words almost! We got an amazing response to our heavier sound we have was great! We’d do it all again in heart beat! Haha!

Last year saw the release of your excellent EP Water, but I am led to believe there was an earlier release before that?

Thank you! Yeah there was a few EPs previous, but they were from a previous line-up or formation of the band, it certainly doesn’t represent us now.

Water grabs the attention with its great hard hitting insatiable sounds; did it exceed your expectations response wise?

Every time new ears hear it with touring we’re overwhelmed by the response! We love all our fans and it’s amazing to see it mean so much to people we don’t even know. Even simple things like people taking off work to come to one of our shows just blows our minds.

The Longest Year is the song from the EP which really grabs the listener by the throat and wonderfully demands attention; it must be a big crowd favourite at your live shows?

It definitely gets a sing along that’s for sure. We found the video release helped immensely for people to identify with it live.

Can you tell us about that video of the same song?

Sure. We shot the video with the very talented Darren Lee of Maverick Renegade Productions in an old abandoned warehouse in Downpatrick. We spent a day of filming close up, slow-motion and all the band shots, then to top it all off we even brought down some of our mates for the crowd shots and made them go mental.  We must have heard the same song 200 times, haha, but it was a lot of fun.

Turning back to the Water EP, you usually seem tagged as a rap metal band but the release shows a much more diversity to your sound. Do you feel frustrated at the more limiting tag you seem to be generally given?

Not at all, we find people need to give a name or tag to something these days so we just tend to go along, we’ve seen it called many different things, which is great cause it shows us people are taking an interest at least.

How does the songwriting process work within Dead ‘Til Friday?

Our guitarist Conhuir usually starts the ball rolling with a good riff and initial structure then ideas flow from there. We all then help out with structure, lyrics and other wee ideas usually.

With the band having a strong reputation and following across both sides of the border in Ireland it seems, is the UK the next centre of attention for you or are you looking further afield for 2012?

Definitely! We travelled to the UK last year and done a few days and met some new friends on the way, we could only hope we can keep going back and making strong connections and see some interest grow.

You are known for a firm DIY approach as with the EP release, is this something you always intended or simply the only option available to you right now?

A whole lot more of the first, we are lucky to have such a talented producer (Conhuir) in the band already we didn’t really feel the need to splash out on studio time etc.

I believe you are working on your debut album? How is that going and when are we likely to feel its pleasures?

We are indeed! It’s going great and we’re spending a lot of focused time on it at the moment. You can feel some of its pleasures now in our live show, but for the actual release we’ll be aiming for sometime mid to late 2012 after our over the top quality control gets a look at it, haha!

What is next for Dead ‘Til Friday as we move further into 2012 apart from the album?

The album is our main focus at the moment, but we have a few other things planned for around that time too.

Have you given yourselves any aims or objectives as a band for the coming year?

Haha, other than knuckling down and keeping doing what we’re doing not really. We’re going all out on the new album and focusing all our attention to it to try and make it the best it can possibly be!

Thanks so much for talking to us.

Would you like to finish by telling people who find you in a venue near them why they MUST come watch you?

It’s a no brainer! We’ll wreck the place and let them join in on the action! ;)

The Ringmaster Review 29/02/2012

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Johnny Get The Gun – Never Far From What We Know EP

Recently Essex rock/pop punk band Johnny Get The Gun released their new single containing two tracks that came from their Never Far From What We Know EP released earlier in the year. Because of the quality and overwhelming infectiousness of all songs concerned we are going to look at the EP to kill both birds with one review. In a year that has seen the glorious rise of rock lined pop punk infused with additive melodies, incessant riffs, mesmeric hooks, and sing-a-long choruses with the likes of Top Buzzer, Innercity Pirates and Max Raptor, the quartet of Johnny Get The Gun stand to the fore with music that gives something extra not only to the ear but the day, their sounds igniting impulses and the heart.

The band started in 2007 instantly gathering eager support and acclaim for their energetic and impressive live shows and even greater attention once their 2010 self-titled mini album and this EP unveiled their charms to a wider array of ears. With an album in the pipeline it is only a matter of time before the band explodes in to a bigger arena and further infatuation from a swelling mass of new fans.

The EP starts as it means to go on, revealing songs of anthemic ease, beckoning hooks, and compulsive melodies all wrapped in an eagerness and originality that cleverly is fresh and at the same time recognisable, like unknown friends turning up to brighten the day. Good As It Gets strolls in on a confident beat and throbbing bassline backing the instantly magnetic vocals of Wayne Lightowler  before exploding into a furnace of passionate riffs and emotive energy. As he proves throughout the release Lightowler is a stunning vocalist that employs and delivers all the emotion of the lyrics and energy of the music with stunning effect. The song is pop punk at its finest, a track that pulls one in eagerly to become part of and join in with the addictive chorus.

Hills & Knives takes over with a less instantaneous pull but as equal in quality and engagement. The guitar of Jack Lawson less crazed but more soulful and sensitively creative lies well amongst more great basslines from Joe Williams and the ever strong and powerful drums of Jamie Abela, the drummer able to play with unbridled aggression or a more delicate attack with equal skill and ability. The song is an impressively structured piece of songwriting with again Lightowler and his vocals taking a great track up a level, his voice finishing off a fine song with a glorious topping of emotive attachment.

Third track Lead Hearts follows on with more passion preferred over a direct punk attack though with driven riffs and enthusiastic energy it rumbles with a deliberate intent to excite the ear. The change of pace within it is smooth and as touching as the vocals, both switching seamlessly from stoked energy and back again to end on a stirring climax.

The final two tracks are the ones that make up their glorious recent single. In The Middle is a deceiving track, it reels the listener in with more infectious hooks and sweet sounding melodies that accumulate in another greedy siren like coaxing of the senses. What it does not make clear despite its delicious sound is how it will stay and linger long after it finishes, days in fact, the chorus and melodies repeatedly playing in the head to open the day and end its light. With a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Dommin sound wise the song is a triumph, a success similarly attained by closing song Take It.

Dynamic and consuming the track is not afraid to openly show its intentions to tease and entertain. With a voracious appetite the crashing and frenetic guitars uncork their pumped urgency as each member leaves nothing in their creative tank. The song is a non-stop burst of energy that leaves one spent by its end though the band do help out with a melodic respite for the listener to take a deep breath before the explosive ending.

Johnny Get The Gun makes music that flaunts its addictive melodic wares wantonly whilst inviting investigation of its deeper creative veins, the band melodic puppeteers of the finest nature. With their album planned for release early 2012 now is the time to sample their contagious pop punk sounds.

RingMaster 17/10/2011

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