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 dancing 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.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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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. Immediately 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.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.