Wheatus – The Valentine LP

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    Wheatus is one of those bands which continually has the shadow of their greatest/memorable hit looming over their subsequent songs and releases in the gaze of those outside of their potent fanbase, and like many it is an unavoidable shame as they certainly have much more to them than the raging success of one song, as shown upon new album The Valentine LP. Teenage Dirtbag for a great many will always be the sign post for the band but the ten tracks making up the new release stand as a clear creative marker, as so many tracks across their previous releases, to the greater strength and adventurous depths of the potent songwriting of the band.

The first full length release since TooSoonMonsoon of 2005, though there have been the Pop, Songs & Death: Vol. 1 – The Lightning and the Pop, Songs & Death: Vol. 2 – The Jupiter EPs of 2009 and 10 respectively, The Valentine LP  takes thoughts and senses on a warm and evocative ride through melodic and expressive imagination. It takes mere moments for opener The Fall In Love to draw out full attention, the metronomic beats of Kevin Garcia a persistent lure behind the coarse touch of guitar and the provocative bass. The distinctive vocals of Brendan B Brown as expected lay down the narrative and heart of the song with expressive style whilst the backing vocals of Gabrielle Sterbenz and Karlie Bruce offer a wash of sunlit harmonies to warm up further the pleasing temptation of the song as the keys of Mark Palmer dance around and court the ear with additional enticing splendour.

It is a strong start soon surpassed by Fourteen and Holiday, the first immediately catching the ear with the raw scuzz lined call of the guitars of Brown and bass prowl of Matthew Milligan before once again the vocal combination spark up the emotions and pleasure, whilst its successor is a vibrant pop rock flame that ebbs and flows with restraint and unbridled fun linked as tightly together as the melodic shimmer and sinew bursting bass are whilst being egged on by the deeper voiced keys of on this track Ken Flagg. It is a tantalising song which casts essences of the band’s debut upon the awareness of the world into their now firm songwriting maturity.

    Break It Don’t Buy It keeps the brewed heights of the record washing eagerly over the ear, its sultry and exotic suggestiveness a magnificent companion to the lively and contented stroll of the song. Once again the whole vocal aspect is as infectious as the sound but undoubtedly it is the ehru provided by Jack Hsu from The Hsu-nami which steals the honours and elevates the song into another sphere.

The next up title track is a smouldering caress with the ever striking and provocative discordantly attitude guitar and bass sound providing a potently hued canvas for the vocals and the combined keys of Flagg and Michael Bellar to colour its heart. It enchants and absorbs thoughts throughout, even if it lacks the final temptress glaze of the previous songs, whilst the excellent Mary Mary Sea Serpent evokes emotions with a soulful and passionate embrace. Such the strength of song lyrically and in delivery you sense there is a rich and deep personal element to the composition which only increases its captivating persuasion.

     Marigold Girl is another highlight, its again smouldering seduction bringing the prime Wheatus sound into a flourish of melodic and slight post punk discordance across the guitars and keys. There is also an open Beatles breath, to the chorus especially, that works depending on your appetite for such things but to be fair only flavours further an already enchanting and thrilling suasion.

The bedlamic opening to Lady Adelaide wets the appetite for the song ahead, its teasing mesh of noise and unbalanced energy a scintillating hook into a song which continues to allow the ‘chaos’ to share its glory amongst the melodic haze of energy and imagination. It is the least accessible track on the album but the most thrilling and ingenious with distortion and discord the perfect playmates for track and passions.

The Valentine LP is completed by firstly That’s True, a tender ballad sculpted by acoustic guitar and stalked by the brilliant rhythmic insistent alchemy of Garcia. If the track had stayed this way throughout it would have been a pinnacle on the album but with the additional adventurous twists of bass and harmonies alone it rises to another level. It is followed by Love Is Too Expensive, a closing fire of a pop song with again enterprise in its construction and direction. It completes a strong and pleasing album though it also adds a little irony in that as great as the release is it fails to ignite enough fires inside the passions to be a major triumph which suggests maybe the band has been overtaken by others openly inspired by Wheatus, such as the excellent Late Cambrian whose vocalist/guitarist John N Wlaysewski provides a sizzling solo on the concluding song. The Valentine LP is without doubt though a richly satisfying release and one which inspires plenty of wishes to return again and again to its body.

http://www.wheatus.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 20/08/2013

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Josh Savage – Mountains In Hurricanes EP

Photography by Ben Bentley

Photography by Ben Bentley

The Mountains In Hurricanes EP is a delightful release which with craft and ease plucks at the emotions with infectious vibrancy and potent passion. From the skilled musicianship and imagination of Josh Savage, the emotive blend of acoustic pop with rich classical and folk whispers captivates the imagination and treats the ear with a welcoming and pleasing experience.

Spending his first twelve years of life in Paris, Savage was learning the piano from 4 years of age though his bio states it was initially with reluctance until the threat of losing them ignited his motivation for them as well as to subsequently learn the trumpet and guitar too. Equally adept at singing which saw him as a soloist with the Académie Vocale de Paris which then led him to be a the last minute as a soloist for the Choir of the American Cathedral in Paris, Savage after moving to Winchester in the UK in 2003, continued singing and playing classical music. This found him touring New Zealand and Australia with the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain the following summer. With his first introduction to pop as such through A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay, he stepped forward with his own songwriting and exploration with involvements in jazz bands, rock bands, and musicals along the way. Since then he has developed and ventured into varied experiences including playing his first gig coming at The Talking Heads in Southampton aged 17, fronting indie/rock band Taming The Savage, and playing trumpet for soul band Soultana. Writing, recording, and producing the album Une Migration d’Oiseaux Sauvages in ten weeks came next, the album inspired by the small novel Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry seeing the artist go back to his Parisian roots. Having toured since with the likes of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Feeder, Razorlight, Reverend & The Makers, Rizzle Kicks, and Roll Deep, his self-released debut Mountains In Hurricanes is the clear mark of an emerging very promising talent.

The title track opens things up, cradling the ear with gentle caresses of acoustic guitar which lay the canvas for the expressive vocalsJosh Savage Mountains In Hurricanes EP artwork of Savage to picture. It is a simple mix with the richest emotive hold, especially when a wonderful breath of strings adds their shade to the air. Once more the song settles back into the dual union of guitar and voice for an inviting hug on the ear but when the strings bring their melancholic shadows to bear on the equally dark tinged lyrics again the track is elevated to further pinnacles and depth. It is a masterful stroke of restraint and enterprise, the proof simplicity can be a pungent poetic persuasion equal to or beyond the mass confrontation of other styles.

The following Figure It Out is similarly clad but with a more energetic gait to its narrative and stroll across the emotions and thoughts. With a wonderful female accompaniment vocally within its contagious invitation and an equally delicious wind of brass temptation, the track enchants and dances with the senses. It is a summers stroll through reflective shadows and wholly magnetic like its predecessor.

Mountains In Hurricanes is completed by firstly the magnificent Take Off Your Shackles, the strings reacquainting their seduction with the ear whilst Savage again paints an alluring canvas with his fine vocals and guitar. The bulging beats bring further diversity to song and release, their resonating punch pressing welcomingly with darkened intent within the mesmeric air and heat of the song. The best track on the release it is followed by the least successful, a mix of the title track. Maybe it is reflected  by the fact the title is not listed on the sleeve of the CD sent through to us, but as inventive as it is and probably fans of re-mixes will love it, the version removes all the power and emotive depth of the impressive song.

Ignoring that final track, Mountains In Hurricanes is a wonderful release from in Josh Savage, an artist destined to provide and receive great things. A must have release for lovers of melodic and emotive beauty.

http://joshsavagemusic.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cambion: Virus

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    If like us you thought Cambion was the business with their Last Rites EP of 2011, then be prepared to be a whimpering fully bloated with pleasure wreck as their new EP Virus wreaks its havoc on the senses. The UK metallers have left the previous triumph looking almost pale against the new onslaught of technical and progressive metal found on the EP. The Devon quartet has not ventured far from their already established sound on Virus but honed it into an even more lethal and expressive beast which gnaws, chews, and teases the senses for a simply sensational confrontation.

Formed in 2009, the band pulls its influences from the likes of Meshuggah, Fear Factory, and Divine Heresy but has distilled them into their own aggressive and inventive tonic. It is aggressive and corrosive but equally is an incendiary engagement melodically and emotively. The past years have seen Cambion tour with US rockers Fozzy as well as share stages with the likes of The Defiled, Malefice, Blaze Bayley, Fury UK, Revoker, The Fearless Vampire Killers, and The Dead Lay Waiting, and light up festivals like Bloodstock with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Alderman-Broom, guitarist Liam Neary, bassist Colin Beale, and drummer Frank Dennis impressing continually. The band has reached into another level of depth in their already expansive and impressive creativity so that where the previous EP had like us many drooling Virus just ignites sheer rapture with its immense presence and sound.

The release opens on the atmospheric and stark corrosion of society through varied news sound bites and a serpentine presence; it 480282_10151163818991971_2129231106_nis a cinematic introduction fitting the theme of the release and pulls Virus Part 1 (Outbreak) into immediate focus. The emergence of the band is a step back, the brewing intensity seemingly another world as a guitar glows with sonic elegance in an open clear sky. Soon though towering rhythms add their sinews for an imposing stature elevated again once the band badger with debilitating riffs and a hungry abrasion. The storm is a building intensity with the great vocals sending warm shards through the tempestuous ambience and eventually erupts into a charged and overwhelming maelstrom of technical violence and enterprise. It is also unpredictable and beautifully surprising, the Latin blush of guitar mesmerism sensational as the riot subsides for brief moments. It is a compelling and stunning start which leaves all previous thoughts of the band as lacklustre praise in comparison to those generated from the first track alone.

Virus Part 2 (Infection) was first featured on the previous EP and was stunning then but within the encasement of the new release feels even more impressive. The song is a caustic ravaging spawn of the industrial metal craft of Fear Factory and the exhausting and ravenous intensity of Static X bled into an electrifying abrasion all Cambion. Like all the songs on the EP, it rewards as deeply as it gnaws away at the listener and their psyche, the melodic fires enflamed and aggressive violation unleashed, metal at its very compulsive best.

The brutal entrance of Virus Part 3 (Death) with sheer malevolence to the squalling vocals and heart stopping beats from the drums, brings the world to a juddering halt such its intimidation and power. It is a mere one minute of physical barbarity which leaves one shell shocked yet ready to face the next part of the Virus in (AfterLife). If you thought moving on from this plain would be all beauty and peace, the erosion of light and expulsion of civil tranquillity let free by the track soon corrects and sends one to their knees. Combining a contagion of acute grooves with crippling rhythms and further technical savagery, the track is a persuasive assailant and one which with its melodic flames hitting mesmeric heights and additional impressive clean vocals and harmonies, one which provokes and evocates the strongest passions and emotions.

Virus Part 5 (Resurrection) continues the sonic viciousness with sheer mastery of sadistic intensity, unforgiving sounds, and glowing melodic beauty. The track scores and depletes the senses until numb but at the same time energises and inflates the heart with a melodic enterprise and touch as magnificent as the quarrelsome ruin surrounding them.

Completed by a hidden track which is as stunning as all the others, Virus is just outstanding, a release which declares Cambion firmly as one of the most important bands in UK metal and a delicious violation all should allow to rampage inside.

http://www.cambionofficial.co.uk

RingMaster 25/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Embrional: Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors

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    Embrional is a Polish death metal band which has built a strong reputation for their corrosive sounds in their homeland and surrounding areas. Wider recognition has escaped them so far but with the release of their debut album Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors you can imagine the stirrings of a wider acknowledgement of their accomplished music. Whether it is an album to ignite fires of mass awareness worldwide is probably unlikely but it is not down to a lack of quality or strong sounds, just arguably the absence of anything startlingly new to set it apart.

The Silesia and Gliwice based quartet of vocalist/guitarist Marcin, guitarist Rychu, bassist Michał, and Camillvs on drums, has certainly made a mark within underground metal in Eastern Europe since forming in 2003. Across their early demos Cusp Of Evil and Annihilation of 2006 and 2007 respectively, and the split release album Spectrum of the Metal Madness with Empheris in 2009, as well as impressive live performances the band has drawn strong and positive acclaim from fans and underground media alike. Now with the release of Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors through Godz of War Productions, their old school death metal driven album should see some elevation to their status further afield and pave the way for future releases to grab more and more success for the band.

The album is immediate in attaching itself to the ear, taking no time to start chewing upon the senses as opening track Possessed 405618_291555634223700_1078159367_nBy Evil rampages from its first seconds. It does offer a tiny respite with a gently coaxing guitar soloing before unleashing a tempest of annilatory riffs, destructive rhythms, and a guttural heavy squall of malevolent vocals on the senses. It is a curse of corrosive intensity and brutal intent which ensnares and intimidates until submission and respectful praise is returned. It is a track which trains the passions, working on them until they become subservient to the skilled and thoughtful structures of the song, and of course the breath of venom it greedily offers.

The first track shows that the band do not offer open grooves and hooks to lure one in but entrap the ear and beyond through impressive technical invention and oppressive violent atmospheres. It is not always a straight forward agreement between song and reception with tracks like the Disgraceful Enslavement with its rabid penetrative assault, the continually twisting title track, and the bedlamic Maniacal Madness, all thrilling sonic compelling infestations, needing and demanding numerous confrontations before igniting a rewarding and lasting union between they and the passions.

Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors is an album which strangely becomes a favourite whilst within its insatiable sonic hunger and spite but not a release which has a massive pull to share its dark nasty corners as frequently as other and maybe often less impressive releases. It is an odd reaction when the likes of the pulsating yet insanity brewing Dismal Symbol with its excellent unrelenting senses branding groove and acidic melodic spears, and the final synapse blistering from Vermin Of The Earth give such pleasure in their painful company.

The album is one with good diversity across its heaving weight of intensity, the surface storm a blackened glaze over the open craft and unable to deny the inventive and imaginative creativity at work. Every aspect of the band leaves one determined to watch every move of the band, from the songwriting and its realisation to the individual talent and provocative flair they combine with to invigorate and scythe down the senses with. As mentioned the band does not break into new avenues but their album is a release which offers more with each play and leaves the feeling of promise given by Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors as a strong spark for anticipation for what they do next. All death metal fans should let Embrional make their persuasive case, you will be well rewarded.

https://www.facebook.com/Embrional

RingMaster 17/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Inner Sanctum 22

Persistently striving to find new heights and never settling on what is easy The Reputation Radio Show last week unleashed its first full episode of The Inner Sanctum. Never a show for the faint hearted but for all with a heart for the best new music this was an event which flew on full boosters and unbridled mischief.

Hosted by the unpredictable talent of Johnny Summers aided by the simply indecipherable Pete Ringmaster, The Inner Sanctum left scorch marks in its tracks with some of the finest new sounds and artists yet to be featured on Reputation Radio Show as a whole, which with their pedigree and impressive finds shows the quality of what was unveiled alongside favourite new and older independent classics.

The show also featured live a persistent offender musically and comically on the show in drummer extraordinaire Paul Holden and new victim rock guitarist Matthew Meadows. With two artists as unable to contain their enthused banter as the host of the show it was a car crash made in heaven and irresistible listening. What emerged from within the mayhem was an enthralling update firstly from Paul about where he was musically. With the demise of the band Nowhere Fast, the drummer unveiled the reasons for its end and where he was looking in regards to the direction of his musical career. He also talked about the cover band he plays in, The Djinn which knowing the thoughts and aversion to such things by half of the Reputation crew was a brave move, who said drummers had no sense of humour.

Matthew Meadows had no problems with bands though one feels he would in many ways like to at some point in a positive way. The show was let into the early life of Matthew as the man talked about his days as a ballet dancer, the move to being a guitarist, computer programming, and his sexual relations with R2D2 and his carnal knowledge of a dalek. Ok the last two might be more our imagination as due to mic problems his end he sounded occasionally like Robby the Robot on a washing machine so we are making assumptions of what he might have said. Seriously though it was enlightening to learn more about the man who perpetually confuses people before it dawns on them where he is coming from with his striking videos and eager to impress sounds.

On the music front the show was no less thrilling as it brought to its audience for the first time the simple mesmeric beauty and charm of the music of Holly Walker through her song Modern Life taken from her brand new EP Bedroom Bangers and the surging rock imaginations of The Secret City with a track from their new self titled album in the shape of A Call. Both went down a storm with requests to hear the tracks again on the same show which unfortunately time did not allow but Johnny and Pete had already decided such their own enjoyment and impressed responses to both songs there would be more airings on future shows.

The show also featured an exclusive play of the title track from the just released Eloquently Violent album  from electro/industrial band Illustrial whose Baz Badrock joined the show in the chatroom as did the band and tour manager of another band to be featured especially on the show Our Innocence Lost. Taken from their latest album Like A Complete Unknown, it was the first time the song End of Time was played on the Reputation Radio Show and it also went down a storm with the audience. The play was also enhanced by the fact the band who were playing a gig that night were listening in through the wireless set up of Manager Rog in their tour van outside the venue whilst the event was going on. Such their enthusiasm to hear they hid from the venue staff until the very last minute just so they did not miss the song and then proceeded to blow the venue, audience, and the other bands away with the powerful performance of which they are renowned.

With additional great music from the likes of Tim Bennett, The Escape,  Slam Cartel and The Shanklin Freak Show, to name just four of the multitude played, it all added up to a brilliant and enjoyable show. It was not as confrontational, dangerous, and in your face as before…no it was even more so and all the better for it. On every Friday from 9PM UK time, The Inner Sanctum looks like being one show which no one will want to miss and if they do they have the podcast of the show to greedily unleash their inner mischief with anyway.

Check out the podcast of the show @ http://www.spreaker.com/user/reputationmedia/innersanctum22 and tune in live each week @ http://www.reputationradioshow.com/

Find out more about the artists featured @…

https://www.facebook.com/hollywalkersongs

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-City/270623946291067

https://www.facebook.com/ourinnocencelost?ref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Illustrial/104161896358

https://www.facebook.com/matthew.meadows

https://www.facebook.com/paul.holden1

RingMaster 09/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Bone Orchard Show 34

The Reputation Radio Show has a well established recognition and notoriety for finding, championing and promoting the best of the independent artists and sounds around the globe. Unrelenting and tenacious the promotions company/radio show is acknowledged as the prime source for finding the best talent of all genres with the introduction of the same followed closely. The intense and heavier world of sound is discovered and unleashed through The Bone Orchard, a show where anything with muscle and a riotous tendency is eagerly presented. From all forms of metal and industrial/harsh electro through punk and psychobilly on to noise and psyche with all in between, The Bone Orchard bears their individual shadowed fruits eagerly.

This past week saw the latest episode bringing six of the most impressive and exciting bands around as well as bringing a debate on some aspects of music. Hosted by the blue hued Pete Ringmaster and Reputation Radio Show CEO and mastermind Johnny Summers, the show cleared the sinuses and lit up the ears of all those with urges to match and compliment the great sounds played.

Opening with the traditional opening intro provided by Mr Strange of The Shanklin Freak Show, a band the hosts would talk about at length within the show giving the audience the latest developments from their carnival, the show immediately treated the eager crowd to a track from the debut album Defaced from UK rock band The Self Titled to be released June 18th. Mr Nobody is a stunning track, a metal and rock fusion with stirring vocals from frontman Mark Campbell over a brew of inventive and powerful sounds. With an insatiable thirst for gigging and an equal demand wanting them for shows, The Self Titled are one of the best bands in the country right now, their sharing of stages with the likes of Forever Never and Sarah Jezebel Deva as well as acclaimed festival appearances, leaving nothing but devoted fans in their wake.

Next there was a burst of real punk rock from another band from the UK in the mischievous bruising shape of Dirt Box Disco. With self declared influences ranging from Kerbdog, The Damned  and the Ramones to The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and Showaddywaddy, the quintet from Burton on Trent make music which is honest, feisty, and insatiably infectious. The contagious track played, I Am Rock n Roll, was an exclusive from Legend another album to be released June 18th. The song played and the album the song comes from is one which revives the true 1977 spirit of punk meshing it with rock sounds as anthemic and voracious as you could wish for.

Before a lively debate about bands including cover songs in their live sets which saw the hosts at opposing lecterns but ultimately ended in the blue man being right, so he claims, things became intensified with the devastating aggressive sound of Amongst Carrion. From South Wales the five piece metallers woke up the airwaves with their track The Fear In Her Eyes taken from their latest EP We That Should Not Be. With a melodic groove recalling In Flames and the brutal riffage of an August Burns Red, the track easily declares the band as an emerging force in UK extreme metal. They have definitely moved on fully from their early days as a cover band, the point which inspired the following discussion.

Continuing the UK theme Leeds band Ourfamous Dead provided the next outstanding track with their forth coming single Claws At The Door. A rampant brew of hardcore, punk, and electro the song is the latest step in the vision of band founder and song writer AJ Reeves. Fresh off a UK tour with another Bone Orchard favourite The Sun Explodes, the quintet are a band on an accelerated rise pulling in acclaim and fans with each show and release persistently. Having supported the likes of The Blackout, Funeral For a Friend and Gallows, the band is fast approaching the point where others are eager to share stages with them.

As the final featured band of the night, US melodic metal band Vajra stunned and thrilled the listeners with their epic masterpiece Inside The Flame. Taken from their forthcoming album Pleroma, to be released in July, the song is a hypnotic and powerful example of the darkly melodic progressive rock fused with Eastern Indian influences which they inventively create. Led by the glorious voice of founder/producer/keyboardist/songwriter Annamaria Pinna, the band is one with a craft and imagination which is sure to find a feverish demand over the months ahead.

Closing out with Irish metallers iBURN, a band which is frequently requested since the debut of their song Where It Begins taken from their new EP of the same name, and another band which leaves you wanting more, The Bone Orchard dished up another formidable dose of new and impressive music. If anyone tells you there is nothing good or new coming out, place them in front of the podcast of the show, and they will soon be put right by this group of bands alone.

With the show primed to unveil more outstanding artists and sounds across the weeks ahead you can catch this, previous and future shows over at The Bone Orchard page at The Reputation Radio Show site as well as watching a selection of videos from a host of the bands featured on the show.

Get in touch with the show via  boneorchard@reputationintroduces.com

RingMaster 16/06/2012

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