Rooster Cole – Swan Song EP

First the sad news…Swan Song is most likely the last outing from Rooster Cole and the good news? It is one seriously irresistible collection of tracks which epitomises the instinctive talent in songwriting and craft of its creator.

It is not the last we will be hearing of Mark S. Aaron either, the man behind the project and frontman for British outfit Black Black Hills which are still sorely missed, as he is moving on to new adventures with his next project, Mount Sinai. The Swan Song EP is a farewell which is much more than a goodbye as it is sure to awaken new ears to the history of Rooster Cole and previous triumphs like the More Than You and Bird Don’t Sing EPs as well as hopefully into the waiting arms of Black Black Hills before.

Aaron is one of Britain’s most individual and unique songwriters and artists, every note and syllable created and delivered with a dramatic flourish and imagination fuelled enterprise.  Within Swan Song alone, you can hear and feel the time taken and heart fuelling every aspect and moment of songs. It is aural theatre which invades the listener’s ears and imagination within a sound which resembles in its unique way the likes of Scott Walker, Roy Orbison, Nick Cave, and The Doors. To its particular grandeur though is an intimacy which takes you right into the blues bred soul of artist and song. Rooster Cole is a magnetic affair which has been no more seductive than with Swan Song.

The EP opens with 3102, a vibrant stroll with instantly catchy rhythms and a flirtatious hook. Guitar and bass share their magnetism around the distinctive tones of Aaron, all almost dancing with each other and indeed the listener as they head to a chorus no one could resist getting involved in. Every syllable dropping from Aaron’s lips is wrapped in emotion and suggestion, each note draped in melodic poetry as rhythms continue to guide hips and shoulders with their percussive swing. A warm stroll for the lover in us all, the song is pure manna for ears and emotions.

Animal Kingdom follows with its own instinctive sway and devilry. A fifties doo wop like lure instantly beckons aside Aaron’s rich emotive tones, that nostalgic scenting continuing to colour the appetite as harmonies and low key but magnetic melodies gather.  It too makes it simply impossible not to get caught and fully drawn into the song’s embrace, infesting body and spirit with energy rich melancholic beauty.

A post punk tinge comes with next up In Line, sonic twinges springing across a rhythmic shuffle as vocals croon with eager tenacity. With every word and expression, an intimate desperation flows from the throat of Aaron, its outbreak fire on the repetitive lure of the music. It is a heat which in turn fuels the magnetic flames of guitar which erupt as the superb song sizzles to its climax leaving ears and lust hungry almost desperate for more.

The release concludes with the emotive drama of It Is You, a serenade which gathers its thoughts and emotive heat line by line, chord by chord to flame with candescent majesty. It is a song which maybe does not strike as forcibly as its companions on the first listen but blossoms into an essential richly emotive hug which sums up the exciting adventure with Rooster Cole these past years perfectly.

Though it is not the last we will be blessed with the imagination of Mark S. Aaron, it is hard not to have a sense of sadness that this is most probably the end of Rooster Cole. As with all great relationships, good memories will prevail and great songs continue to linger in the passions, Swan Song offering a heady dose of both.

The Swan Song EP is out now on iTunes and @ https://roostercole.bandcamp.com/album/swan-song-ep

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Witterquick – Fire & Ice

With a sound which sits rather nicely yet individually among the likes of Brand New, Young Guns, and Mallory Knox, UK outfit Witterquick has been stirring up plenty of praise carrying attention their way over the past year or so which new EP Fire & Ice can only re-energise. Offering four slices of their melody rich, emotion thick, forceful rock ‘n’ roll, the release confirms the band’s rising presence in the British music rock scene.

With success and acclaim already stoked by their debut EP, Beneath the Spinning Lights, and a sold-out UK tour with Nothing But Thieves among their own shows, Witterquick linked up with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me the Horizon, Lower Than Atlantis, Twin Atlantic) for Fire & Ice. Straight away it hints at the reasons for the increased attention upon the band, opener Shattered Suns skipping in on a summery breeze before rhythms pounce and the voice of Will Alford impressively grabs ears. The simmer of keys flirt among the tide of riffs and rhythms, guitarists Ben Chanter and Sean Davey creating a web of melody and hooks which tempt infectiously within the invitingly imposing strikes of Andy Lewis’ drums and the brooding tones of Ollie Chanter’s bass. Swiftly infectious and increasingly so as Alford impressively leads the way with his potent voice, the song grips attention and appetite.

A single which has already earned the band eager radio play, Lie To Me follows with its gentle but catchy swing and warm melodic embrace. There is a more caustic edge to the song which swarms its shadows to add further depth to its presence, but it is the emotive tide and melodic dexterity of the band and songwriting which fuels its character to great effect. Though for these ears its predecessor is a mightier lure into the EP, there is no denying the track gets under the skin and into the hips with its accomplished heat and tenacious catchiness.

Hiding Place brings a rockier swagger with its robust presence next, rhythms almost assaulting the senses with their forceful nature. It is a pleasure emulated in the fiery textures erupting from the guitars as the harmonic strengths of Alford are matched by his enterprise on keys. Emotionally and musically anthemic, the track really hits the spot in swift time, it too a perfect lure into the creative heart of Witterquick.

The release is closed up by the gentle fires of I Need A Friend Tonight, a melancholic reflection with crescendos of intensity and emotion which really blossoms over listen. It epitomises the band’s intelligent songwriting and layered sounds, over time breeding the same kind of infectiousness its rowdier companions generate more quickly.

It would be wrong to say that Fire & Ice blew us off out feet yet every moment with it has brought thick pleasure and an intrigue flooded hunger for more and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Fire & Ice is out now and available @ http://witterquick.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Katalina Kicks – We Don’t Care

Pic credit Andrew Cotterill

Having embraced a big year with the release of new album Vices in May, undertaking a supporting 20 date UK and European tour, receiving featured airplay across the likes of Kerrang!, BBC Introducing, Planet Rock and a horde of regional and online stations, plus the addition of a new bass player, Katalina Kicks cap it off with the release new single We Don’t Care. A slice of pure punk rock twisted and manipulated into the alternative rock infused sound which has already brought attention and acclaim the way of the UK band, We Don’t Care is a snarling ‘fuck you’ declaration bringing the spirit of ’77 to the modern generation.

As mentioned, the single sees bassist Conor Cotterill alongside remaining band original in vocalist/guitarist Ian George and drummer Jase Wilkinson for the first time. Whether it is the new line-up or simple evolution but Katalina Kicks have managed to find a new antagonistic growl in their sound, a raw but virulently infectious and belligerent ferocity within We Don’t Care which as suggested recalls the late seventies when music found its defiant originality and attitude if for only a brief moment.

Its electro punk opening sweeps temptingly through ears, its sonic teasing the lure into a rapacious web of riffs and rhythms within which George raises his vocal middle finger. Bellowing against those trying to put the band down over the years and all wronging the world, it stomps and spews antagonism across the senses like a fusion of The Damned and Calling All Astronauts. The song’s nagging prowess and sounds are manna to the ears, words and hooks flirtation for the imagination and combined a spark to those feelings once rife numerous decades ago.

Katalina Kicks just seem to get better and better with every irritable expulsion and if We Don’t Care is the sign of things to come, set to have an even bigger, bolder year in 2018.

We Don’t Care is available now

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jupiter in Velvet – I’m So Ready

 

A single which came out last month but one we cannot let pass by, I’m So Ready is a slice of eighties flamboyant rock ‘n’ roll dosed up with modern punk attitude for a fresh and bold declaration which commands attention.

It is the latest release from Jupiter in Velvet, an artist creating raw and infectious electro dance rock certainly on the evidence of his new offering, our introduction to his sound. Emerging in 2012, Jupiter In Velvet is an American bred, UK transplanted musician who had previously played in a host of bands. That same year brought debut album Screaming the Love Behind the Scars, its well-received release and qualities subsequently built upon and eclipsed by its successor Glitter On The Sun two years later. It soon showed, as now I’m So Ready, that his sound is far broader than that electro dance rock tag, the new track pure rock ‘n’ roll with a multi-flavoured, decades courting revelry.

From an initial lure of guitar, the track strolls in with fiery melodies and a flirtatious bass lure, both soon welcoming the individual tones of Jupiter in Velvet. Like a fusion of Prince and The Hives, the track flirts and smoulders until its heat sizzles up in a flame of sonic intensity and vocal tenacity. Throughout a core hook tempts, its electronic taunting instinctive catchiness matched in the rowdier sounds and energy around it.

The song continues to simmer and ignite across its infectious three minutes plus, each second an invitation to explore more and suggestion that closer investigation of Jupiter In Velvet, especially for eighties rock appetites, might be a wise next move.

I’m So Ready is out now.

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

John Stamp – Blowing Me Kisses

Giving a potent lure to the just released Franklin54, the new album from singer songwriter John Stamp, Blowing Me Kisses is the kind of lead single which only charms further investigation. Featuring the captivating tones of Leigh Nash from Sixpence None The Richer, the song is a relatively short but golden kiss on ears and imagination sure to draw attention to its larger companion.

Returning to music after eighteen years developing his business and career as a residential childcare specialist including training as a Music and Arts Therapist in 2012, Stamp quickly found his creative side flowing again. The evidence is upon Franklin54 and very openly in Blowing Me Kisses.

Its country/Americana bred stroll instantly and easily slips through ears, a sultry twang courting the vocals of Stamp and the strum of guitar. As rhythms dance, Nash steps forward with her distinctive and ever magnetic voice, the flirtation of harmonic backing vocals an extra seduction within the increasingly infectious canter.

As the duet forms and unites, the song increases its magnetism; a lure over too soon but making a memorable and lingering impression impossible not to embrace and suggest many others grab a slice of.

Blowing Me Kisses is out now on iTunes as too the album Franklin54.

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Pete RingMaster 17/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mason – Impervious

We are not going to kid you by saying that it is the most unique album you will embrace this year, though bold adventure it certainly does not lack, but you will have to go a long way to find something as seriously rousing and simply enjoyable as Impervious. The new album from Australian thrashers Mason, it surges through ears with rabid energy and unbridled aggression and proceeds to raise the ante groove by searing groove and hook by virulent hook.

Bursting from the Melbourne music scene in 2007, Mason openly embraces the Bay Area thrash scene and the obvious protagonists in the genre’s general eighties borne assault and consumption of world metal. A self-titled debut EP of 2011 was followed by the band’s first album two years later, Warhead which included guest guitarist Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) sparking far wider attention the way of the quartet. Its success was matched by that of second EP, Unmerciful last year and a live presence which over time has seen Mason share stages with the likes of Harlott, Havok, Accept, Revocation, Toxic Holocaust, Accept, Mutank, and Annihilator and play across Asia, Europe into Canada. Impervious looks and sounds like the key to the locks of the biggest spotlights and awareness, a tempest taking little time to get down to persuasive business.

The portentous lead of intro Eligos lures the listener straight into the waiting clutches of Burn. Within seconds it is careering through ears with predatory riffs and rhythms as vocalist/guitarist Jimmy Benson stirs things further with his eager snarls. Swiftly you can hear the touches of bands like Testament and Kreator in the song’s assault but only to enhance its oncoming and subsequently relentless irresistibility. Creative twists and turns come with a definite Mason identity to further entice and excite whilst the chorus amidst it all is manna for rock ‘n’ roll instincts. The track is superb, a rebel rousing, bone shaking treat setting the tone and adventure of things to come.

Tears of Tragedy is just as rapacious in energy and aggression next, the spiky tones of Benson as inspiring and tempting as his and fellow guitarist Grant Burns’ exploits. The rapier like swings of drummer Nonda T. and surly tones of Steve Montalto’s bass similarly stir spirit and appetite, their at times almost primal presence hungrily driving the sonic enterprise and assault of the song.  With fiery melodies and descriptive sonic weaves webbing the encounter, it is another stirring slice of full throttle thrash to match its predecessor.

Both tracks hint at an even bolder adventurousness and individuality in the Mason writing and imagination which is more pronounced within next up song, The Afterlife. It too has top gear in full use but wraps it in a melodic and technical prowess which is almost overwhelmed at times by the song’s ferocity but a constant impressive pleasure throughout. It too has a chorus which gets under the skin within one round of its anthemic call while pushing the album’s already lofty heights on again.

The album’s title track follows; its tone almost barbarous as it sizes up its victim before consuming the senses with ravenous riffs, biting rhythms, and sonic animosity, this all bound in a virulent contagion which infests the psyche with ease. Individual flair again is as open as the animosity within the song’s irresistible presence before Cross This Path descends like a pestilential horde upon the senses. Saliva and venom drips from Benson’s tones, violence from Nonda T swings as the track carnivorously chews on ears. It is a predation superbly tempered by the sonic dexterity of Burns and Benson, though every tendril spun and melody uncaged certainly sears the senses.

Sacrificed has plenty to live up to as successor to its mighty predecessor and with its sonic webbing and thunderous air gives it a potent shot if without quite making the last few steps. Nevertheless, the track captivates as it pushes evidence of an even bolder appetite unafraid to experiment imagination within the Mason sound and potential before Hellbent on Chaos savages and entices in equal measure. It too might lack the final sparks of earlier companions, such their heights and not its shortcomings, yet has body and spirit inescapably hooked on its creative scourge.

The album concludes with the apocalyptic mayhem of Created To Kill. With words unleashed in rapid fire to match the concentrated trespass of riffs and rhythms, the song devours the senses. The bass of Montalto is a murderous ingredient in the suggestive patterns of the guitar, its predacious intent as darkly inviting as the flying beats and rabid riffs are insatiable.

It is a stunning end to one outstanding encounter which will surely put Mason on the metal map with a forceful bang. The future of thrash metal is in good, old school inspired, but increasingly bolder and imaginative hands.

Impervious is available now

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Pete RingMaster 10/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lumes – Envy

The creative world of Dutch outfit The Lumes has just got corrosive, become dark and raw, and boy is it one exciting place to be caught in. The trio has emerged from their previous captivating shoegaze inspired atmospheric explorations bare skinned in sound, stark and skeletal in emotion and through new mini album Envy unleashed a whole new compelling realm.

Somewhat like a fusion of Joy Division, The Gaa Gaas, and The Horrors on day one, The Lumes create a pulsating drone of post punk and noise rock immersed in the already established magnetic attributes of the band’s imagination and sound. It is a nagging affair still unafraid to embrace more melodically sonic suggestion and exploration; a proposition sucking on the psyche as it closes claustrophobically in on the senses and quite irresistible.

The release opens up with Anguish and instantly presses in on the senses with its imposing cloud of invigorating discord. A nagging hook emerges from the midst, guitarist Maxime Prins casting inescapable bait as his vocals vent. The bass of Lennard van der Voort groans with similar striking temptation, its riff a transfixing drone across which the swings of drummer Mitchell Quitz dance and bite. It is an outstanding track, the kind of invitation which ensures unbridled attention and in turn lust is established before moving on to the next equally hypnotic proposal coming in to nag and play.

Slow has an even more invasive air; a less defined climate maybe but with a perfectly woven suffocating breath which lingers even as the initial wash of sound parts for vocal and melodic disharmony before crowding back in on ears and emotions.  The rhythmic union of van der Voort and Quitz has a less venomous feel this time but shows no mercy in getting as much under the skin as Prins’ vocal dissension and the sonic description of his strings.

The following Discharge throbs with a dulled yet kinetic clang as Gang of Four-esque rhythms pounce. Sonically, an Artery meets The Gaa Gaas clamour seduces and enslaves as the bass and drums probe and transfix with almost carnal persistence, all finally consumed by a swamp of searing noise before Feign brings its own chilled manna to ears. The guitar is a resonating cauldron of tone and causticity, the rhythms a web of deceitful temptation and all webbed in off-kilter melodic friction which equally infests Prins’ as ever riveting vocals. With a chorus which haunts the senses as much as vocal chords, the track is the most gorgeous noise bred ugly discordancy.

The invasive muggy swamp of Compulsion is next, an avalanche of tonal discord which relaxes its controlled but unrestrained sonic howl a touch around vocals to then re-ignite its winds in between the ‘calm’.  The track is almost shamanic in its repetitious lures and senses twisting canter, constantly impressing on and drawing subservience to its noise tunnel.

The Lumes complete Envy with a cover of the Space Siren track Who makes me try? A punk infused tempest ebbing and flowing with ferocity as corroded melodies collude round another simply hypnotic bassline, it is a fine end, if not quite matching what comes before, to an outstanding release.

Across the landscape of Envy, with all the inhospitable yet seductive discord, you never feel like The Lumes are out to spoil and wither but rather laying down an impossible to resist invitation into their emotional anarchy and new so much more irresistible realm.

Envy is out now through Crazysane Records digitally, on CD, and 12” vinyl, limited to 200 hand-numbered black and 100 mint-green vinyl copies on @ https://crazysanerecords.bandcamp.com/album/envy

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Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright