Sunshine Riot – A Fresh Bottle A Brand New Day

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It has to be said that initially A Fresh Bottle A Brand New Day, the latest album from US rock band Sunshine Riot, was an underwhelming proposition though it certainly kept attention rigidly in its grasp. The band brings a mix of country, rock, blues, and punk to their sound but across the album it is more a case of individual tracks investigating one of those flavours rather than merging them into one rich brew. In hindsight it was that which possibly restrained satisfaction the most for the album at first but given deserved time and focus it has to be said that the Americana glazed release has emerged as a rather pleasing proposition. It does not light any fires in the belly of passions but without doubt it is an easy to frequent and keenly digest companion.

The quartet from Boston began in 2007 at the creative hands of vocalist and rhythms guitarist Jonny Orton and bassist Jeff Sullivan. Completed by the more recent additions of lead guitarist Mark Tetreault and drummer Shakes Tvelia, the band has had their sound described as “Johnny Cash meets Kurt Cobain”. It is a description you can see in the band even if it does not really paint the inventive textures which ripple throughout their varied songs, certainly those upon A Fresh Bottle A Brand New Day. Renowned for their live performances and work ethic, Sunshine Riot’s bio say that things really clicked into place with not only the current line-up coming together but just before that the band linking up with 16 time Grammy nominated producer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and composer George Dussault. New to the band we cannot say if that was the key but certainly there is a craft and inventive heart to their music which suggests something has come to ripe fruition.

The slamming of a heavy door awakens the album and opening track Norfolk County Jail, its intensive provocation the starter for a wistful melodic caress before defiance and urgency bursts with striding guitar and rhythmic incitement. The vocals of Orton ably backed by those of Sullivan, unfurl the narrative of the song with the track lyrically and musically a steely and expressive encounter which sparks the imagination. Of all the tracks this is one which fits that earlier description of the band’s music, its melodic rock drama fuelled by a flush of punk and grunge like tenacity. It is a very pleasing start to the album setting up a ready appetite for things to follow though that hunger is given a bit of a false start by the following Natural Causes. Immediately soaked in a country blues twang and atmosphere, the song steadily strolls into view and provides an accomplished and emotive venture to contemplate. There is something openly familiar to the track which makes it accessible but does defuse any originality and thus the spark to excite ears and emotions. Nevertheless it is enjoyable and memorable.

Both the more than decent rock canters of Cotton Fevour and Old Soul Blues like their predecessor keep the album alive in pleasure if not excessive excitement. The first is a blues washed slice of Americana complete with a throaty twang and the second a sultry slice of reflective melodic rock. Again the pair pleases but fails to emulate the success of the opening track or the livelier gaited and magnetic Quicksand Love which follows them. There is a simple honesty to the song’s first persuasion which coaxes before the vocal blend and plainly attractive hooks make their bait known. The song in turn is then left looking a little pale by firstly the impressively catchy and deliciously soulful Elizabeth Stone which features the richly textured vocals of R&B singer Carl Smitty Smooth around a core of virulent temptation and then even more so by the outstanding Senorita Punk, which as its title suggests is a riotous temptress bred in prime punk rock. Both songs provide the pinnacle of the album, taking it to new heights, especially the second with its voracious attack and scuzz smothered energy.

The next up Margaret Mae with its deep bass growl and jagged guitar bait continues to keep album and pleasure high, the song a vivacious stroll with eighties new wave vibrancy and mischievous alternative rock enterprise. The track saunters with a gentle but bold swagger, teasing ears and thoughts with persistent relish before bursting with eager will in its chorus.

The climatic Boxcar Cowboy brings a spaghetti western landscape into a union with an Americana rigour to capture the imagination again with its individual drama before the fiery and more intensive rocker Sweet Kerosene spills its sonic energy and melodic flames over the senses. Both tracks reinforce the fact that the second half of the album is a more compelling and thrilling venture to explore with the band than across the first few songs. Whether by coincidence or by intent Sunshine Riot save their strongest explorations and dramatic creations to the rear of the album and it works a treat though you wonder if a different order of songs would have made the release more consistent in its suasion.

Closing with the acoustically guided and okay Home, Sunshine Riot and A Fresh Bottle A Brand New Day provide an entertaining proposition which took its time to fully convince. This it does though, even with a few moments still lacking the kindling to light the passions, and invites a definite interest in the band’s new full-length marked for later this year.

The self-released A Fresh Bottle A Brand New Day is available now!

http://sunshineriot.com

7/10

RingMaster 21/04/2014

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Pink Tatami – Chapter and Verse

Pink Tatami

It is with great thanks to the vocalist of Pink Tatami, Mike Marques that we can bask in one of the most invigorating and downright thrilling releases of the year so far. The frontman of the French band introduced himself and colleagues with the hope that a review of their debut album Chapter & Verse might be possible. One blast of just its opening song and a review was not only possible but essential. Consisting of twelve exhaustingly imaginative fusions of alternative rock and metal, with plenty more besides lurking and seducing from within, the album is a breath-taking tantalisation. Bulging with virulent hooks, deceptive shadows, and an irresistible invention which hooks its claws in from the first second to the magnetic last, this is a debut of not only an outstanding band but of a potentially major force.

More than merely flirting with experimental tendencies, the sound of Pink Tatami feeds off the richest essences within metal and rock, every song a distinctive individual combining for an enthralling and mouthwatering proposition. Toying with and igniting the imagination and passions like a mix of Faith No More meets Kontrust with the devilry of Dog Fashion Disco and Destrage adding to the constantly evolving recipe with an extra spice of 6:33, sound and album roars and teases with all the charm of a bestial predator, the seduction of a sultry temptress, and the psychotic lures of a deranged puppeteer, though not always in that order or combination.

Recorded over a two year period, Chapter & Verse leap at ears and imagination right away, the Paris quartet simultaneously stroking coverand threatening the senses with dark riffs and rhythms with the entrance of opener Twisted Lip. The track soon settles into a feisty keen stride, the bass of Alex Ghilardi growling imposingly whilst the guitar of Florent Beaucousin coaxes and fires up thoughts in league with the richly impressive tones of Marques. It is an immediately flaming temptation which elevates its psyche metal seeded bait with the pop rock twist of the chorus. That Faith No More comparison is a swift suggestion though song and Pink Tatami only use it as flavouring to their ripe feast of sound. Across its saunter the song fuses in some funk twists with a Red Hot Chili Peppers lilt and a strong melodic rock grunge like enticement, an ingenuity which only adds to the potency.

The very strong start is soon shaded by the following Sinistra, which opens up its lure with an electro resonance, its stimulating wash surrounding the welcoming vocals and subsequent blaze of guitar steered by the punchy beats of drummer Bamby Alfonço. Again there is a definite Patton-esque flavour to the teasing which only accentuates the rich tones of the song. Flowing into slower romancing avenues and rapaciously toned energetic ventures, the track keeps thoughts and appetite on their toes and greedy for more which False Rebounds is more than happy to offer. Sinister whispers lurk as a singular guitar brings the song into view, the dark ambience standing over the emergence of the song until pushed aside by funky enterprise and bouncy vocals which step in to steal attention. It is a constant balance though, the shadows never far from making their narrative heard alongside evocative melodies and the livelier urgency of the track ever eager to have its say. It results in a riveting and thrilling proposition though in many ways just the appetiser to its quite magnificent successor.

The title track to the album is simply glorious, from its opening scrub of riffs and pulsating hypnotic beats a ridiculously virulent and anthemic suasion. The start has a Buzzcocks feel to its tempting and is soon courted by surf rock like croons and floating harmonies. Capture of heart and soul is done within those opening seconds, leaving the rest of the track to wrap tighter bonds around their submission. Into its stride the track enlists the contagion of rap metal with hip hop seeded vocals chopping across the ears whilst a sonic mystique dances provocatively in the background before erupting into a blazing sun of impressive vocal soars and searing melodies. It is easily the best song on the album, and the others are mighty, and one of the best to grace the year to date, much like the album.

Fears that there might be an anti-climax in store after such a triumph are soon chased off by both The Employee and “A” is for…, the first stalking ears at through dark vocals upon a stirring ridge of riffs before expanding into an intrigue noir kissed adventure with a sultry melodic breath. A track which manages to smooch with and haunt the senses at the same time it is another striking slice of invention; corrosive floods of aggression and predacious riffs having as much of a say in the painting of the song’s mysterious canvas as the mesmeric vocals and entrancing melodies, not forgetting the arcane tempting watching on. Its successor brings a ska toned walk to its delicious pop rock dance, crooning and embracing the listener in another RHCP spiced escapade which entrances and mischievously plays.

   The caustic touch of Dumas & Dos Santos brings another flood of ardour upon the album, the carnivorous bass tones and rapier like aggression of the guitars and rhythms irresistible as they thrust a violent furnace of intensity through the ears. It is tempered though by an infectious side to its provocation which increases the epidemic invasiveness of the explosive treat. It is a pleasure taken on further by the dark suggestiveness of We Can Help You, a track veined by exploratory sonic adventure and intrusively appealing twists, and the intensively shadowed Dorothea Tanning, its tale and invasive sounds an enveloping cloak of danger and creative spite. The song roars and thrashes about as its theme unveils every black twist and intimidating turn whilst merging passages of intimidating seduction into the turmoil.

Adhesive spits and romances with its diverse wares next, the song a gentle caress in certain moments and a voracious assault in others reminding of Russian punk rock band Biting Elbows at times. The song is surpassed by the following Evokes, a spiral of sonic addiction from its first seconds before careering into the passions on a torrent of punk/metal rabidity. Grooves and riffs squall irresistibly across the bow of the rhythmically challenging song, vocals adding irrepressibly to the raucous tempest. It is a stunning and quite brutal peak to the mountainous range of the album, a Breed 77 toxicity only adding to the inescapable trap.

Closing on the mild in comparison Eye Bank, a song where thoughts of Poets Of The Fall come to mind but just another tone in something unique to Pink Tatami, Chapter & Verse is one of those gifts you cannot turn away from without assistance, an enslaving incitement with far reaching snares. Though long in the making, the album is only the debut of Pink Tatami, a quite magnificent and accomplished one admittedly, but just the start of their journey. It is scary to think how good they have the potential to become and extremely exciting.

The self-released Chapter & Verse is available now!

https://www.facebook.com/pinktatami

http://pinktatamiband.bandcamp.com/album/chapter-verse

10/10

RingMaster 17/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Idol Dead Online Promo shot

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Idol Dead Cover Artwork

www.facebook.com/theidoldead

Jackson Firebird – Cock Rockin’

Jackson Firebird 3 - Credit Cybele Malinowski

Credit Cybele Malinowski

With no demands and intentions other than to rock its balls from start to finish, Cock Rockin’ the debut album from Australian rockers Jackson Firebird, is one of those slabs of straight forward honest rock ‘n’ roll which you always have a hunger for before realising. Consisting of ten passion rifling slices of blues bred rock, the album is a riotous party come brawl with something for every type of rock fan. It is a flavoursome morsel for anybody with a taste of the Kings Of Leon to The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin to Eagles Of Death Metal, Seasick Steve to Rage Against The Machine. The Victoria hailing band and their album has already seduced the homeland and now with its worldwide release via Napalm Records, Jackson Firebird is about to enflame the rest of us.

The band consists of guitarist/vocalist Brendan Harvey and drummer/vocalist Dale Hudak; the two meeting when Harvey and the band he was in, was in Adelaide to record some demos minus their drummer. The band ended up calling up Hudak who learned the songs in the car on the way to the studio. The pair continued to play together, jamming out the back of a family owned bakery. It was 2006 though when Jackson Firebird was officially born, new songs and gigs soon thrusting the band’s sound and increasing reputation across local venues, Adelaide, and subsequently the east coast. The duo went on to share stages with the likes of You Am I, King Cannons, the Snowdroppers, Little Birdy, and the Fumes before settling down to record their first release, a five-track EP. Jump forward and as mentioned earlier Cock Rockin’ has already been uncaged and recruited the fullest acclaim and new passions down under with its release in 2012, and now is the time for the rest of us to stomp with its insatiable bait.

The two pronged stripped down attack immediately hits the spot and appetite with the opening title track, its raw energy and full-on 524_JacksonFirebird_CMYKmischievous passion of the song reminds of another duo, The Black Frame Spectacle from Canada, though sound wise they are more rockabilly seeded. The song rampages with riffs and rhythms flailing in the hungry energy, from the very first second never relinquishing its feverish persuasion until the last heated note, even in the incendiary slow blues prowl midway. The vocals are as vibrant and slightly grizzled as the sound, a nice causticity stalking their surface fitting in perfectly with the fire bred hues of blues guitar in solo and rampant riffery.

The impressive start is potently backed by both She Said and Rock Solid, the first moving in on a virulent roll of drum enticement soon smothered in the acidic flames of guitar, that blues twang again enticing appetite and emotions over the unrelenting rhythmic incitement. As in all the songs simplicity rides the passions as eagerly as the more involved craft of Harvey’s solos; that repetitive bait especially tempting across the second song as it leads into its greedily agreeable climax. Its successor opens on a recognisable groove, and it is fair to say that there is plenty on Cock Rockin’ that is familiar as well as original but nothing comes in any shade other than that unique to Jackson Firebird. The track simmers and strolls with melodic lips kissing the senses and a sonic fingering stroking all the naughty bits of satisfaction, their potency matched by the almost Graham Parker like vocals and a constant southern bred entanglement.

Quan Dang forces it’s might through the ears next, an instant RATM inspired attack breeding vocals and the opening groove before entwining itself with a bolder hard/glam rock swagger. It is, like so many on the album, an irresistible encounter which has feet and voice willing cohorts to its infectious revelry, just as the following Red Light and the irrepressible Little Missy. The first of this pair restrains its intensity a little more than others though darkens its shadows for a thicker encounter with choppy riffs and meandering melodic scorches. There is certain sultriness to the song too, a salacious element matching the title as it raises the temperature before the second song opens up a sinewed temptation of rock ‘n’ roll bruising which is as much Chuck Berry like as it is Black Crowes suggesting.

Can Roll bares its swagger and heart next, rhythms a magnetic incitement welcoming in imagination and the rich sonic enterprise of Harvey, both he and Hudak laying out anthemic bait which takes no prisoners or accepts no for an answer. Its virulence is not quite matched by Goin Out West, at first at least, it’s opening country rock walk with a bluesy climate a simple engagement initially but something which suddenly explodes into an unbridled stomp of forcibly kicking beats and entrancing sonic tendrils of suasion. The track brews its toxin along the way so by its departure thoughts and passions are infected for a long term ardour.

The album finishes with an equally potent flourish, Sweet Eloise a song soaked in blues venom and rhythmic enslavement whilst offering another Zack de la Rocha like vocal tempting, and the raw Red Hair Honey which simply sears and ignites ears and passions like a wanton temptress. It is a scintillating end to a wholly thrilling introduction to one of Australia’s previously best kept secrets. That secrecy is no longer now as Jackson Firebird struts across the globe with, as their album says, its Cock Rockin’.

http://www.jacksonfirebird.com/

9/10

RingMaster 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bask in Feathers: Introducing Rooster Cole

Rooster Cole pic

If like us you have been impressed and excited by Brighton band Black Black Hills, you might just get a tingle, again just like us, at the thought of a solo project from the band’s frontman Mark S. Aaron. When the man in question got in touch telling us about his new solo project Rooster Cole, there was an immediate intrigue and excited eagerness to find out more and once we had embraced the first two songs from this new adventure, there was little option then to share. As expected from previous exploits there is an elegance and grandeur to the sound of Rooster Cole but equally it has an intimate presence skirted by wonderfully invasive shadows. Nick Cave springs to mind as a comparison in many ways but truly the project has a uniqueness which seduces from the first note and syllable.

As mentioned Mark S. Aaron was /is the frontman to Black Black Hills, not too sure on their state of being right now to be honest, a band which has supported the likes of Twin Shadow, Maps & Atlases, and The Vaccines. Their sound also found good acclaim from the likes of Edith Bowman, Nick Grimshaw, and Huw Stephens, with their single Far From My Arms chosen by Lauren Laverne as one of her show’s MPFrees of the Day and placed on the Radio 1 playlist. Rooster Cole sees Aaron step out alone with a pair of captivating tracks as his first temptation. Still to play live as he works on further songs with a single and video planned for later this year, Aaron is already brewing up some hungry attention and it is easy to see why with the magnetic charm of his first offerings.

The two songs marking Rooster Cole’s emergence are More Than You and The Waiting Place, two sultry evocative persuasions which simply entrance the imagination as potently as the ears. More Than You moves into view on a breeze of jangling guitars and a broody bass tone, all gentle and restrained in their gait but rich in their expressive hues. Once the distinctive tones of Aaron open up the narrative’s croon a thicker emotive embrace cradles thoughts immersing the listener into a smouldering climate of heat and incitingly suggestive seduction. The song is still tempered in its urgency yet has a sway and swing which makes feet submissive but once the epic voice of sound and vocals in their varied delivery clasp the chorus, new incendiary heights and tempting depths are opened up. The song is simply glorious, its broad shoulder of sound expansive yet intimately caressing with lyrical and vocal enterprise. With keys bringing further colour rich flavour to the song it alone sparks a hunger to keep Rooster Cole under close attention.

The Waiting Place is a slower bewitchment, a piano led walk through resourceful scenery of discord kissed melodies, percussive kisses, and the noble come sombre yet emotionally incendiary vocals of Aaron. The song is covered by a red skied emotive climate, its potent vivacity a tempering lure to the shadows unfolding within the irresistible tale. There is an essence of Helldorado and Saint Agnes to the track at times and of the Dennis Hopper Choppers too, but all mere comparative spices in the ingenious design of Rooster Cole.

Though not official releases the two songs are available from Rooster Cole as free downloads from https://soundcloud.com/roostercole, an offering it is easy to loudly recommend all treat themselves to. Using the pair as inspiration, the suggestion that Rooster Cole will be a name on the lips of the country and in the ears of a legion of feather enthusiasts on a future horizon is unavoidable. https://www.facebook.com/roostercolemusic

RingMaster 26/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Able Archer – Ghostmaker

able archer

    Bowled over by their debut EP Bullets last year which led to us actively playing the band on our podcasts, Able Archer has returned to give the emotions and passions another shot of adrenaline with new single Ghostmaker. Continuing where their outstanding debut left off but infusing a stronger rapacious energy and rawer breath to the song, the Irish band once again proves themselves to be one of the most exciting and promising, not forgetting accomplished, emerging alternative rock bands around.

     Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2011, the quintet has been extensively gigging and building a fevered fanbase from almost day one, certainly once a settled line-up was in place. Bullets was an exceptional bow into a welcoming spotlight, igniting thoughts and emotions across the underground media and fans alike, its exposure of the band sure to increase in intensity with the release of Ghostmaker. The new track has a fire in its belly and greater causticity in its touch compared to the tracks on the previous release but still does not neglect or lessen the contagious hooks and rhythmic enticement which made them become a rather irresistible proposition.

    A bellowed countdown makes way for an initial tease of guitar from Rob McDonnell; that punctuated by the pumping beats of drummer Seán O’Connor. It is a short but incendiary trigger to the explosive heart of the song, its expulsion bursting as a fiery blaze before settling into an earthy stroll with the ever impressive vocals of Emmet McCaughey and the throaty bass prowl provided Diarmuid Breathnach adding their bait to the already tempting premise. Virulently infectious from start to finish, choppy guitars, predatory basslines, and the immersive if often submerged keys of Neil Buckley combine to infect the imagination with an ingeniously addictive and potently suggestive design of sound and sonic incitement.

   Released ahead of their new EP scheduled for an unveiling this summer, Ghostmaker leaves you exhausted and basking in another irrepressible slice of Able Archer excellence. This is a band unafraid to intrude on and toy with the senses whilst providing a riot of sound and adventure which simply leaves a greedy hunger for more.

www.ablearcher.eu

9/10

RingMaster 17/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Bill Parton Trio – Self Titled EP

BPT

     It is always a treat and thrill when a release comes from out of nowhere to play with and inspire the imagination and passions. Every year has a few of those moments when a band which has never even been a scent in the nostrils of attentions suddenly steps forward to light up the ears and the Bill Parton Trio is certainly an early one for 2014. With their debut self-titled EP, the trio from Adelaide, South Australia dance with and entice the senses with piano led pop and a passionate endeavour which is virulently catchy and unashamedly tempting. The accompanying press sheet for the release suggests the band is like a merger of The Beatles, Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, and Radio Head to which we would suggest a slice of Michael Bublé, none particularly inspiring if we are honest for our personal tastes meaning the encounter struggled to spark any eagerness towards it before a note was heard. It is a false description, though you can understand why comparisons are made, one not to be taken too accurately as the Bill Parton Trio have something quite distinct and memorable to them, a sound irrepressibly engaging.

     Consisting of William Parton (vocals, piano), Jeremy Martin (bass) and Andrew Partington (drums), the band has garnered a fine and increasingly potent name for themselves in their homeland through their insatiable appetite to gig and the successful release of the singles Going Away and Falling For You Again. Numerous festival appearances have also increased the stature of the band with the release of their EP in Australia last August accelerating their presence and success. Recorded with producer Darren Mullan (The Angels, The Beards, John Swan, Russell Morris), the release now gets its UK unveiling and it is hard not to assume it will find the same attention and success again.

     It does not take long for the EP’s opening track to bring appetite and attention to the boil. The initial piano beckoning of Falling for You Again builds to a mini crescendo before relaxing as it embraces the vocals of Parton for the parading of the song’s narrative. Even in its gentle stroll there is an open infectiousness which intensifies as the track swings its hips into a lively chorus clad in a harmonious embrace. A song you can join in easily with by the second return of its irresistible catchy main call, the encounter makes for an absorbing and masterful invitation to band and release.

   The following So Unfair brings a slower sultry glaze to its persuasion which smoulders and entices another flame of pleasure. As with a few of the songs there is something indefinably recognisable to the track, an admittedly appealing but definitely familiar bait which could be a take it or leave it issue for some. As Parton and song croons with expertise and emotive elegance it is something which certainly brought another tasty morsel to the table of the EP for us, a pleasing flavour soon matched and exceeded by Going Away. There is no disguising the Lennon and McCartney aspect to the song here but again it works rather than derails the suasion of the song, its contagion the primary lure to be enslaved and excited by though matched again by the keys and vocal prowess of Parton aligned to the rhythmic call of the rest of the band.

     If You’re Here With Me slows things down just a little next, though still there is a swerve to the body of the evocative tale. The bass of Martin adds its own captivating bait whilst the beats of Partington cast a crisp frame to the melodic resources of Parton, the trio once again leading thoughts into a sultry emotional encounter. That sense of familiarity once more only adds to the lure of the track, helping the EP play more like an old friend rather than an undiscovered new acquaintance, but a returning companion you always hold a full welcome for.

   The closing Stalker Man is more of the same, a familiar but refreshing breeze of melodic piano pop with vivacious harmonies and lyrical poignancy. It brings the release to a fine and enjoyable conclusion if without quite lighting the same depth of reactions as the previous songs. The EP is a thoroughly pleasing and attentive proposition with really only a lack of something mouth-wateringly original to its wares is a slight disappointment. Nevertheless with the quality and sheer infectiousness of its songs there is little to hold back making a full recommendation to check out the release and the Bill Parton Trio.

http://www.billpartontrio.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 17/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Monsterworks – Universe

 

Universe Band

   It feels like just a mere breath ago that New Zealand metallers Monsterworks released the outstanding Earth, an album which took the listener on an enthralling journey through time and a continually expanding sound, in flavour and textures. Now the London, UK based quartet push the adventure and theme found on the last release to further absorbing depths with Universe, a seven track epic which assaults, seduces, and envelops the imagination.   

  Whereas previous album Earth took on the concept of our planet and its flight from birth to death, Monsterworks takes the next epic step and explores the lifecycle of the Universe in their new incitement. Vocalist/guitarist Jon gave a richer explanation about the release recently, “This is our follow up to Monsterworks :: Earth from last year.  We wanted to top ourselves conceptually, so how to surpass an album about the life cycle of Earth from birth to death?  It could only be an album about the life cycle of the Universe from birth to death.  At least it started out that way with lyrics exploring big bang to heat death, but it gets a little philosophical along the way considering the path mankind might take in its evolution.  It is a bloody long time until the last black hole evaporates.”  Like its predecessor the album provides a thick and complex presence and with each trip unveils more levels and corners to immerse within. Equally like Earth, the new release reaps the essences of a wealth of metal and heavy rock styles to create a tapestry of unpredictability and intrigue around a similarly creative narrative. Whether Universe rivals Earth’s triumph can be debated but as a sister companion in an epic adventure it leaves the imagination alive and passions engaged.

    The Eat Lead and Die released album opens up the journey with its title track, its emergence from a distant realm gentle and Universe Starchildinviting as the guitars unwind sonic tendrils and beats provide a forming heart for the piece. The vocals also come in a mellow and harmonic breeze which washes over and wraps around the ears until an explosion of passionate energy and rhythmic penetration brings everything into intensive focus. The vocals subsequently veer with almost wild abandon from clean to a Rob Halford like wail and then into a bestial predation, twisting and evolving from there on in like the music around them. As mentioned each song reveals more of its depths as numerous encounters are embraced, the first track seemingly having patience in its declaration to offer a fresh aspect to every immersion into its impressive flight. With the wealth of styles employed in its maze of invention and sound, song and album fluctuates in success depending on personal tastes, but never relinquishes the strength and potency of its initial temptation across the vast landscape.

    The following Grandiose is a tempestuous storm from its first seconds, guitars and rhythms a bruising enticement driven by equally rapacious vocals. As the first, it also flares up and twists with demonic efficiency to leave expectations a wasted exercise and imagination enflamed. The progressive core of the track provides a magnetic canvas but it is the almost carnivorous fire and heat of the cosmic hues which thrill as they lure the emotions on a provocative and satisfying plunge into celestial turbulence, even if the fade-out at the end is less pleasing though it does help suggest the unlimited expanse of the scenery.

     The touch of man brings a more intimate aspect to Voyager, its gorgeous entrance with beauty clad guitar and vocal harmonies mesmeric in its tempting. The imaginative hooks and twists of guitar invention add to the mystery and exploratory intent of the song as it soars through peaceful and more intensive realms. It is a scintillating ride bringing the album to a towering pinnacle which is never surpassed though The Bridge gives it a formidable go with its raw and fiery venture into the unknown. With a blackened air to its voracious malevolence, the track threatens and entices as it treads into new spatial waters. At times it is an uncomfortable but always a thoroughly riveting investigation which is as thrilling as it is intimidating.

     The collision of thrash and heavy metal at the first bluster of Extropy makes an instantly contagious ride, a rhythmic recruitment irresistible as guitars and bass carve a sinew driven torrent of enterprise and intensive endeavour. It is a song which at first pleased without much more, but given the time and companionship it turns into another major highlight which simply exhausts and scintillates. Its successor Heat Death is similar in that it too was not as instant in its persuasion compared to the earlier tracks but equally worked away to convince and excite, though not to the same potency and depth as the previous song. At ten minutes it is a slightly demanding coaxing but with elegant keys and melodic flames which lick at the senses with tenderness and hope reaped caresses, the song seizes keen attention and emotional companionship which never wavers especially as it expels acidic sonic scythes across a caustic energy in its latter half.

   The excellent Outside Time brings the album to a mighty close, its multi-flavoured ever turning body of sound and adventure pure captivation. With a skilled manipulation of thoughts and emotions, it is a towering incitement concluding another outstanding exploit from Monsterworks. Though personally the album misses igniting the depth of passion as Earth achieved, Universe is undeniably a piece of sonic alchemy which leaves the listener involved and excited on numerous levels; another journey from Monsterworks impossible to enthuse loudly over.

http://www.supermetal.net

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Alexis Kings – Keep It Sexy EP

 

Alexis Kings Online Promo shot

      Merging the sounds of classic and modern rock into a very solid and appetising debut EP, UK band Alexis Kings have marked themselves as a very promising and engaging proposition. The Keep It Sexy EP consists of two tracks which spark strong interest and over time greater enthusiasm for their offerings and whilst neither sets a fire burning in the belly of passions, they both confirm that this is one exciting band on the ascent.

   Formed in 2010 and hailing from St Albans, Alexis Kings is made up by vocalist/guitarist Brendan Aherne and lead guitarist Sam Privett, two musicians coming together through a love for rock and especially that of the classic kind. Playing extensively across the London area the duo has built a strong and keen following, selling out the likes of The Camden Barfly, St Albans The Horn, Camden Enterprise, and Nambucca along the way and supporting bands such as The Happy Monday’s and Futureproof. Inspiration from artists such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin through to modern bands like Kings Of Leon and Arctic Monkeys have spiced their sound, a resourceful flavour which brews a pleasing and enterprising persuasion within their new release and shows why they have already drawn positive attention.

   1972 starts things off; it’s opening wail around portentous beats a sinister beckoning eventually tempered by a warm and Alexis Kings Cover Artworkenticing guitar hook alongside the distinctive vocals of Aherne. The song is soon walking through the ear guided by the continuing to allure groove and firm rhythms. The song does not exactly plod along but certainly it has no appetite to raise any frantic energy in its bluesy almost melancholic gait. Despite that the song still makes a compelling if not striking engagement with the guitar craft of the pair especially magnetic bait in a strong and satisfying song.

    Its companion is a much lively and more impressive encounter; Brothers exceeding the more than decent start as and the band throws off some of their previous restraint. As the first, the track almost ambles into view but soon targets the imagination with another tempting groove in tandem with agitated rhythms and expressive vocals. The song leaps and dances around the ears with a rabidity which transfers to the earnest vocals and the melodic endeavour. It reveals that Arctic Monkeys influence mentioned previously quite pungently but with more than enough imagination and a distinct Alexis Kings twist to easily please even those not real fans of the Alex Turner led band. With also a potent classic rock breath and melodic rock punch, the song easily outweighs its predecessor in sound and presence, confirming and stretching further the promise of the band.

    Keep It Sexy is not a release to open major doors for the band just yet but easily one to recruit a new wealth of attention and hunger for their presence whilst providing a strong base for Alexis Kings to push on from. It is safe to say that we will be hearing much more from this potential drenched band and sooner rather than later hopefully.

www.facebook.com/AlexisKingsMusic

7.5/10

RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PhYmg3Jp6o

Johnny Foreigner – You Can Do Better

 

johnny foreigner pic

     After the ridiculously appetising and resourceful persuasion of previous album Vs Everything in 2011, it is fair to say that the anticipation and excited intrigue for the new release from Johnny Foreigner was making intensive demands before a note was heard. You Can Do Better, the fourth full-length from the English quartet does not disappoint. It is another teasing and tantalising bewitchment of the already distinctive sound of the Birmingham band but one which delves deeper into their unique landscape of songwriting and imagination. As much as the previous album enraptured and enthralled, in hindsight it was maybe too ambitious in its bulk of seventeen tracks to avoid being a mix of the brilliant with simply the satisfying, which was a triumph all the same. Consisting of a mere ten songs plus a hidden treat, You Can Do Better stalks the sun side of unpredictable and magnificence from start to finish with offerings which maybe do not always master the same pinnacles of the last release but stands alongside it and with a richer impressive consistency across its adventurous narrative and sound.

    Recorded with long-time friend Dominique James (Sunset Cinema Club) once again and the first release with new guitarist Lewes Herriot alongside vocalist Alexei Berrow, bassist Kelly Southern, and drummer Junior Elvis Washington Laidley, the Alcopop! Records released You Can Do Better has been eighteen months in the making. Berrow recently gave an ‘introduction’ to the album by saying “For the last year we’ve been messing around behind yr backs. It started with robbing drum intros from Blink 182 and ended with horns stolen from Screaming Maldini and in the middle we had these 10 (11) little encounters with a louder noise than you’d possibly be happy about. And if that sentence wasn’t enough of a secret map, we created an entirely probably fictional city for the whole mess to live in. Bands are supposed to mellow as they get older, idk quite what’s gone wrong“. As the release leaps upon and engagingly taunts the senses we can certainly confirm that Johnny Foreigner has not mellowed in presence or exploratory adventure.

    Band and album rampage through ears from the first punk bred breath of opener Shipping, a tsunami of noise and rhythms coverengulfing the senses like the jaw of a sandworm in Dune. The entrance smothers and takes the listener into its cavern of shadows before expelling a loud graze of sonic endeavour and richly gripping hooks. The distinctive voice of Berrow is soon taking over centre stage as the song’s narrative entwines the imagination, extra suasion from the equally individual tones of Southern adding extra bait to the temptation. With a throaty bass coaxing from the lady only adding to the spice alongside the rattling rhythms of Laidley and the wonderful emerging consumptive discord, the track is a maelstrom of enterprise and unpredictability engaging and provoking thoughts and emotions.

   The impressive start is exceeded by the brilliant Le Sigh, a track which slowly and mischievously walks into view before unveiling a glint in its eye as its persistently raises its energy and pace, easily drawing a greedy appetite for its thickening brew of synapse seduction through its indie dance of sonic bluster and twisted guitar twang. With the devilry of say Baddies and the almost belligerent ingenuity of The Sugarcubes mixed with the sultry temptation of Morningwood all laid in a bed of eighties discord, the track is a masterful temptress of rapacious rock revelry. The repetitive chant of the chorus with its minimal cladding also brings thoughts of Japanese band The Plastics, not so much in direct sound but simply the aural addictiveness.

    The following In Capitals also takes a reserved gait to its invitation and equally builds a feisty compelling wall of bruising garage punk like enticement through raw guitars and magnetic vocals within a shuddering rhythmic frame. The bass of Southern pulls on a bordering on carnivorous growl for its prowl whilst the sonic confrontation of the guitars comes as a weave of acidic senses scorching enterprise. The power and imagination of sound here and for most tracks steals the spotlight initially with the rewards of the lyrical adventure and imagery coming in stronger potency through further encounters, this making the album a constant treasure trove to plunder.

    Both the subdued caress of mystery from Riff Glitchard and the almost disorientating sonic brawl of The Last Queens of Scotland ignite the passions with their individual premises and inventive traps. The first is a slow smoulder of self-tempering textures and emotion hues; bass snarls contrasting guitar and vocal melodies with mesmeric emotive dependencies, whilst its successor is another fire of rabid rhythmic twists and guitar sculpted toxicity tempted and encouraged to push its limited by the equally vivacious and voracious dual vocal waltz. Being a sucker for discord in any form, it has to be said that by this point Johnny Foreigner has a tight grip with their one of a kind seduction.

    Stop Talking About Ghosts flirts and romps with ears next, its entwining of bracing and disharmonious eagerness with reserved elegant shadows eventually merging into a greater transfixing anthemic riot of exhaustive rock ‘n’ roll before the more pronounced stalking enticement of Wifi Beach next takes over. It is a song which took longer to convince than others, its reflective and enjoyably messy soaking of the ears a deceptive slice of noise sculpting which without lighting fires proves to be one more highly pleasing provocation to immerse in. The same can be said about To The Death and Le Schwing in many ways, neither pulling out with ears that instantaneous connection of earlier songs but evolving over time into thrilling incitements, the first of the two especially persuasive with its riveting surface explosions of discord aligned to a rhythmic tango contrasting and provoking the song’s heavily shadowed emotional presence. The second of the pair sways and swaggers with a vague similarity to that elsewhere on the album, its body familiar but dressed in new hooks and mischief which ultimately leaves satisfaction and pleasure full.

    The closing antagonist, DEVASTATOR is a strong enough conclusion to a great album but arguably a little underwhelming against previous songs, though the ‘hidden’ song To The Deaf which emerges from the silence after, is a compelling epilogue which has the album leaving on a greater high. With You Can Do Better, whilst retaining all the qualities and invention which made Johnny Foreigner an irresistible proposition, the band has evolved their presence into an even more unique and rather thrilling encounter through a quite outstanding album.

http://www.johnnyforeignertheband.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 09/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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