Reporters – Trouble Last Morning EP

Reporters

A raw capturing of the imagination with honest lo-fi sounds Trouble Last Morning is the debut EP from a band which provokes the thought that this could be an early introduction of a presence with the potential to evolve into something rather important. The EP comes from UK band Reporters, a duo from Milton Keynes consisting of teenagers Dan Stock (lead vocalist / guitarist) and Josh Ringsell (drums/backing vocals) which is kicking up a bit of a stir with their honest unafraid sound. Having already built a potent following in their home town through their live performances which has seen them play with the likes of Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Weeks, and Dead Sons, Reporters turn their attention to the rest of the country with the release of this quite compelling EP.

Released on the band’s own Phret Records, Trouble Last Morning is soon making the strongest persuasion with Meet Me In The Morning, a track which has a caustic touch to its melodic persuasion and instantly contagious lure to its presence and fluid temptation. The song takes little time in sparking thoughts of The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys but also offers a breath which leaks classic and garage rock invention, a feel of Television meets Tom Petty bringing a further magnetic tease. It makes for a sound which is not strikingly original but wholly inventive and tantalising, the riffs and melodic acidity an exciting wrap around the sinew stretched rhythms.

It is a gripping start soon backed by the equally enticing Last Of The Lonely, its chorus an addiction forging bait which enslaves feet and Art work finalthe appetite for an infection bleeding anthem. As with its predecessor there is no room for excess fat in the songwriting or the delivery, every note and chord a stripped down persuasive wash of unfiltered rock ‘n’ roll with the vocals of Stock feverishly backed by Ringsell, a matching riveting rub of ears and imagination.

The closing Trouble In Paradise is an emotive ballad with a smell of Babyshambles to its discord kissed melodic scent. A track which brews up deeper pungent attraction the more you share its evocative strains, the song shows the richness of promise and enterprise the band has already and can only develop to stronger toxicity ahead.

The Trouble Last Morning EP is a fine doorway into as suggested a band with very bright and potentially important horizons ahead for them and British rock music. Whether it comes to pass we will see but certainly Reporters shows signs of having the creative weaponry to take on that challenge.

www.facebook.com/reportersband

www.phret.net

8/10

RingMaster 25/10/2013

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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Mike Tyler – Money Grows on Your Knees

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    Money Grows On Your Knees the new single from poet and musician Mike Tyler is a deceptive little tease, a song which left indecision during certainly its first and even second excursion through the ear  but all the while was working away and laying a hook which emerged again and again well away from its source. It is an addictive little creature which though still coated in a less than stable opinion is like a tic which is almost impossible to remove from thoughts and imagination.

Taken from his well-received album Erection of last year, the first thing to note and praise about the release is its packaging. Coming in a 7” green vinyl/CD bundle with a sleeve design complete with jigsaw front and lyric sheet back, the single takes one right back to the late seventies/early eighties when sleeve design and imagination was as rife and vibrant as the sounds they enclosed. It is an instant clutch of strong points on the board for The Art Can Not Be Damaged released single. It is also very apt for the artist from New York. Mentored in a bar by the poet Delmore Schwartz, Patti Smith, and Tom Verlaine of Television, Tyler has sculpted interest, respect, and inspiration with his words within others. World famous graffiti-smith Banksy stencilled his words “only the ridiculous survive” outside Paddington Station in London whilst Beck also was inspired by his charismatic pull when honing his song writing craft. Tyler became known as The Most Dangerous Poet in America after breaking his arm during a reading, and his poem The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language has found its place on the blogs, MySpace pages, and Facebook walls of a great many, not to mention fridge doors. He is a puzzle in many ways, an intricate confusion which the packaging of the single perfectly hints to and to further give relevance of the artwork the artist talks about his single by saying “My new single is such a lopsided seductive beast. Deep deep bass with a pop frosting and a growling lead yawp. It can be kind of sweet in places and then a dungeon-door-slamming-echoed-thud takes over; a contradiction in tones. It’s the boiled pot of the gumbo stew of black and white that is America; greed and innocence, joy and exhausted hustle. Might explain why we decided the packaging of the single would include an actual puzzle.

Money Grows on Your Knees instantly punches the air with heavy pressing beats soon joined by great expressive keys and the straight face vocals of Tyler. He is not a natural vocalist, his spoken word delivery a dulled edge to the vibrancy of the music but it soon persuades the longer the track plays with the ear. The persistence of the rhythmic seduction and equally tempting bass is near irresistible whilst the keys craft a warm engagement which holds the hand as the songs opens up its summer framed by additional vocals from a sirenesque female voice and singing from Tyler both standing behind his core gait of delivery. As one would expect the lyrics make you think without needing to spend over time evaluating their coaxing narrative whilst the brassy bellows of the synths are like small fanfares in the sultriness of the song’s skies. An encounter easily described as Jonathan Richman meets Jona Lewie whilst John Otway and Mike Doughty add their support, it has proved its dangerous contagiousness as whilst writing the review up to this point and listening to its throughout,  Money Grows on Your Knees has provided  a conclusive argument and won its case…or maybe just worn down the defences, whichever it is a devious little treat.

Accompanying the song on the single is Corny Song, a new track from Tyler. Energetic and mischievous the song was inspired by a show in the UK where he was promoting the Erection album. It like the first is not an instant draw and has yet to convince but again it lingers and teases long past its expiry time.

For quirky, unpolished, and honest indie/pop devilment the single is well worth a fun filled amble with, but be warned it will not be leaving you alone from that point on.

http://www.cutepoet.com/

7/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

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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Velcro Hooks: Gymnophoria

Photo by Nat Bevinshttp://natbevins.com/

Photo by Nat Bevins
http://natbevins.com/

With a history almost as intriguing as the tempest of innovative and startling sounds they create, UK indie noise manipulators Velcro Hooks have released one of the best and thrilling albums this year in their debut Gymnophoria. It is a seven track sensation, a release embroiled in sonic teasing yet seductive with its unpredictable and mesmeric ingenuity, and one which offers something distinctly different with each mischievous slice of imaginative enterprise.

The Bristol based band finds its first seeds with the chance meeting between Vancouver musician Jenner Blank and Bristol offspring Thomas Mason in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. A fortnight of ‘escapades’ ended with each gent returning to their respective countries and a year doing their own thing, which according to the promo sheet for the release consisted of beans and plants. Then Blank turned up in Bristol and the pair began experimenting with aural creativity soon aided by the addition of local talents in Dominic Mitchison and George Garratt. Since then it seems to have been a constant rise for the band, a year of playing free shows where ever they could led them to the attention of Howling Owl Records. That took the band to supporting local bands such as Towns, Weird Dreams, and La Sera, and the release of their first single The Surfing Song and an accompanying video, both finding a strong and eager reception. Now with the release of the magnificent Gymnophoria, it is hard with its outstanding content not to expect the band to wake up the UK as a whole to their immense inventive presence.

Musically the band offers a riotous mix of post punk, noise pop, garage punk, and fuzz rock not to mention plenty more hungry spices. There is admittedly a strong Pixies feel to their sounds but wrapped in flavours which provoke thoughts of many more bands whilst still standing strong as something unique to Velcro Hooks. The release opens with A Love Song For T.S. Eliot and instantly the scythes of guitars has the senses simmering with content. As the vocals enter and the song spreads around the expressive tones that Pixies comparison is rife, especially when discord soaked melodic scarring ensues. There is much more to the song though, the guitars at times bringing a breath which recalls the sharp melodic play of Television and the energetic surges spills essences of Buzzcocks in to the mix.

It is a striking start easily matched and elevated by the following Wasabi Colonel, a song which crawls over the ear with a wicked glint in its eye and the hunger to light up the passions in its heart. From the slight Frank Black like vocals and fiery hooks the song weaves a blend of feisty punk rock and smouldering melodic caressing to bring thoughts of Max Raptor and The Fratellis into the equation though again it must be emphasized the results is something wholly unique to the band.

The album has a variation which can only be admired, a diversity which links every track to another all the same whilst standing clearly and inventively apart. The excellent Wildman with its pulsating bass line and clashing guitars bursts through the ear with the outstanding potent simplicity of The Fall and swagger of the Arctic Monkeys whilst The Prerogative Of Daniel Potter is simply a dark vaudeville delight, both showing the impressive expanse of ideas and sound to the band. The first of the pair is a wonderfully blistering rub of punk with the psyche vocals as unbridled as the maniacally carved sounds, its charge irresistible and imagination a twisted and compulsive contagion, whilst the second collects all the shadows possible to entertain them with unbalanced keys and slight sonic squalls behind the spoken narrative and bedlam dragged screams. Imagine The Shanklin Freak Show meets the Cardiacs and you have a clue to its majesty.

The best track on the album comes in Girlfren, a song which spills its psychotic breath on to relationships for a storm of noise rock which just lights the strongest adoration its way. It is brief, too short to be honest as you feel so disappointed at its conclusion, but in its exhilarating crusade it lays a maelstrom of The Gaa Gaas, Devo, and Innercity Pirates to spark an orgasmic ardour.

Gymnophoria is completed by the just as impressive Yesterday’s Man, a song which is arguably the most straight forward on the release with its postpunk/Joy Divison pop croon, and the mighty Grandpa, No. The closer returns to the more open Pixies soaked sounds which were at large in at the beginning of the album and leaves one wanting so much more as its final sonic wave disappears into the smouldering sunset of the album. It is a staggering release which just leaves thoughts and senses drooling. Velcro Hooks are destined for great things and the album their first great triumph.

https://www.facebook.com/velcrohooks

RingMaster 16/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kingsize: All These Machines

The multi flavoured debut album from LA rock band Kingsize is a mischievous and intriguing little creature. Consisting of ten vibrant and thoroughly engaging tunes, All These Machines made this review one of the longest written time wise. The lengthy time was taken up spending ages trying to work out what and whom parts of the diverse songs sounded like. Surely the same with 99% of the releases I hear you say and agreed but with Kingsize they do not really sound like anybody, their compositions and sounds unique and distinct but like a seductive perfumes on other beautiful women fragrances of other artists would impose themselves before swiftly passing in a breath. This admittedly added to a deeply enjoyable and satisfying date with a long awaited and thrilling album.

L.A. based Kingsize first came to notice with their 2008 EP’s The Good Fight and The Bad Night. Between them they brought twelve captivating tracks which instantly made one stand up and take notice with a smile on the inside. Before then the band almost did not come to be as guitarist Cary Beare was planning to leave town disillusioned with things in search of his musical dream. Right before he was to leave old friend drummer Jason Thomas Gordon called him up to see if he wanted to jam. Thankfully this led to the duo impressed with what they created, to talk about forming a band. Agreement was reached but only on the promise that Thomas Gordon provided the band with the lead vocals, Beare loving what the drummer brought to their music and knowing no one else would do. Eventual agreement was the beginning of Kingsize, an initial duo added to when they heard bassist Matt DelVecchio in another band and told them “We’re stealing your bass player.”

Since their two EP’s the band has evolved into an important force on the Southern California music scene, as well as having three songs in popular videogame Rockband 3, writing the theme song for the CBS sitcom Gary Unmarried, and having a trio of songs included on the soundtrack of Philip G. Flores’ award-winning film The Wheeler Boys, not to forget their track Sweetheart, I’m Only Stopping to Start being placed the new Robert DeNiro movie Freelancers co-starring Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent. Now with finally the release of their excellent debut album, 2012 looks like being the year Kingsize steps out boldly into the wider world.

All These Machines opens with the high tempo enthused rock of Switch, an invigorating follow up to earlier songs like Miss America and Elevator, all insatiable rock music fused with the energy and thrust of garage punk and dirty rock n roll. The band has always been strong songwriters with an instinctive grasp on how to captivate their audience but within the first song there is already an apparent maturity and tighter feel to their music something the remaining tracks more then back up. With guitars that seek and rile up the heart and rhythms from bass and drums to get the pulse racing the song is rock at its easy best.

Following track Dead Broke continues in the same vein with air punching riffs and eagerly stomping rhythms. The garage feel continues to permeate and the flitting thoughts of other bands are in full swing. Essences of the likes of MC5 and Eddie and The Hot Rods come though then tastes of The Cars and Television, eclectic and quickly dissipating the spices are all there.

The variety of the album spreads from this point, with the pop orientated hypnotic Overdone, the soulful grace of The Technocratic, as well as the emotive ballads of the title track and the closing We’re All alcohol with its wonderful choir parts, all leading one by the hand down bright and distinctly different avenues.

The opening duo of songs excites deeply but the highlight of the release is Heart Surgery a song that brings Tom Petty, Tom Verlaine and We Are Scientists into an infectious twisting of the senses. With guitar melodies that burst like sunspots and a murmuring bass behind the great emotive vocals of Thomas Gordon, the song is a gem and glows brighter still with the classic rock fuelled solo Beare unveils. It is given a run for its money though by the Bowiesque Ambien with its Jean Genie driven stomp through the ear to make a quartet of songs the album is a must have for alone.

All These Machines is a party for the senses brought with thoughtful and well crafted sounds and invention. Kingsize are here and waiting your attention, it would be rude to make them wait surely. http://thisiskingsize.com

RingMaster 30/03/2012

 Kingsize are also involved with the wonderful Music Gives to St. Jude Kids campaign, a project created by Jason Thomas Gordon with the sole purpose of raising money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (which Jason’s grandfather Danny Thomas, founded in 1962) through music-based initiatives.

Music Gives to St. Jude Kids has already forged partnerships with artists like Sheryl Crow, Kings of Leon, and Stone Temple Pilots and has garnered the sponsorship of both Live Nation and Ticketmaster to name a few.

For more information on this great project go to stjude.org/musicgives, thank you.

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