The Victorian English Gentlemens Club – Double A-sided single

‘As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)’/ ‘Richer Than My Tribe’

The RingMaster Review has been enamoured with Cardiff discord indie pop maestros The Victorian English Gentlemens Club since purchasing their double A-sided single ‘Amateur Man / ‘Ban the Gin’ in 2006 on the back of the band name alone. From then through their debut self titled album, its follow up Love On An Oil Rig and numerous singles the trio has never failed to get the pulse racing and satisfied the eager anticipation that builds before each release. Such was the case with the bands recently released third album Bag Of Meat from which the new double A-side   ‘As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)’/ ‘Richer Than My Tribe‘ has been taken.

The double A-side release due to drop on September 5th via This Is Fake DIY Records, brings more of the bands distinctive and unique frenzied rock sounds coated in incisive and addictive melodies and undeniable incessant hooks and lures. Their sound is uncomplicated though under the surface not as simple as it often seems their intelligent if crazed creations are inspired and determined, and most of all irrepressible.

As Jungle Drums Rang Across The Amazon (We Held Our Heads And Screamed)‘ strolls through the ear with chunky guitars and vibrant insurgent sounds and hooks. Lean and mean it strikes deep inside with an 80’s post punk feel something that is a little different to their earlier songs. In small degrees one is reminded of bands like Wire, The Fire Engines, and Cardiacs, the flavour seemingly interpreted and infused into the bands very solitary and special sound. Adam Taylor with guitar and especially his voice are as always expressive with a manic tinge that compliments the music’s agitated edge. Backed by the more stable tones of bassist Louise Mason and the hypnotic beats of James Griffiths, once more The Victorian English Gentlemens Club create a musical flourish of insane beauty. 

Lyrically the songs are as ever diverse and fascinating as ever and the words of the band themselves gives the best descriptions, the first of the two songs is “a pop song that’s been through one of those old-fashioned shaky exercise machines leaving a thinner, sweatier, jerking, catchy racket. It’s about feeling sick and abandoned after someone you trusted and relied on lets you down. It’s set in the Amazon to add some 70s-style surreal escapism; it’s grey, British problems in a jungle. It started life as an ESG bassline, went through a million incarnations and arguments, and ended up being stripped-down and straight-up” and ‘Richer Than My Tribe’ is “a bass and drum boom: a racket with enough audio space to swing an African puma in. It’s about those guilty feelings of pleasure from taking a sick day off an inane job, being bored but not bored to insanity – a small victory song for freedom. It’s the first song that was written for the album; it defined the bass sound for the album, and is the first TVEGC song with rhyming in it”.

‘Richer Than My Tribe’ is a discordant groove that inflames the senses, its throbbing swing grabbing the listener and take them on a frenzied electrified ride in sound and feel. The song’s mesmerising hook plays in the head as the vocals and band confront and play with the senses as only this band know how. The blend of melodies, harmonies and all things safe intertwined with daring and challenging thoughts and sounds catching the listener off guard wonderfully.

The Victorian English Gentlemens Club makes cryptic music of the most glorious kind and this double A-sided single is the perfect introduction to the band and their unique musical minds and sound. Once hooked by them there is no escape, not that you will want to. The Victorian English Gentlemens Club is one of the most important reasons and examples of why music fuels so many souls.

RingMaster 29/08/2011 Registered & Protected


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Beyond Dreams Of Grandeur – Self Titled EP

Birmingham emo rockers Beyond Dreams Of Grandeur release their debut EP September 12th with the acclaim of ‘their captivating blend of melodic hardcore’ on the press release. Now this is not strictly true, yes the band certainly have some intelligent and delightful melodies and at times they do captivate with some impressive musical creativity and play, but despite the occasional nod to the sub genre with growls and the occasional raising of intense metallic surges the quintet are definitely nowhere near attaining a hardcore or post hardcore sound. This is said just as to not confuse people but if good strong melody driven guitar sounds with emotive vocals and lyrics are to your flavour then Beyond Dreams Of Grandeur and their self titled release should without doubt be checked out.

Since forming in late 2009 the band has worked tirelessly to write and develop their sound whilst gigging as often as possible. A few changes as people were tried led to a settled line-up in 2010 of founding members vocalist Joe Morton, and guitarists Chris Green and Will Sanderson plus Chris Daccus on bass and Green’s brother Jack on drums, though since recording the EP he has left the band. Throughout that year the band worked hard with intense rehearsals and a string of impressive live shows, all part of the preparation for this their debut release.

Each song on the EP bristles with strong riffs, upbeat cutting guitars, and melody-drenched choruses combining to make satisfying tracks that even without exploring new avenues are still pleasing and an indication Beyond Dreams Of Grandeur are a band that are going in the right direction. For a debut it is a definite positive for the band even if not a flawless release.  

Dust Bring Shells’ opens up the EP bringing an abundance of crashing riffs, direct harmonies, and pounding riffs behind the smart melodic flows. Subsequent tracks keep the level up confidently though the closing two tracks ‘The World Loves An Underdog’ and ‘Sobriquet’ do stand head and shoulders over the others. Both have a mellower controlled feel to them and show the band when taking a calmer approach has a more distinct sound than shown on the other tracks which at times sound like many other bands supplying similar sounds. The tracks also show vocalist Morton in his strongest light. The opening three songs which are strong and skilled do lose some of their appeal with his variable vocals though it seems more down to the production on his sound rather than himself. On the closing duo of tracks this is proven as he and the band blend well and everything falls into place and gives definite proof that the band has a bright future.

Beyond Dreams Of Grandeur with their bold and solid sounds will appeal to all who like a taste of 30 Seconds To Mars, Exit Ten, and Fightstar, the excursions into emo drenched expressive and melody soaked songs that fills the band’s EP will bring delight and excitement to their ears.

RingMaster 29/08/2011 Registered & Protected


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Feud – Waterdog

If you thought grunge was whimpering in its grave then think again as High Wycombe, UK based rockers Feud show with their debut album Waterdog it is still healthy and full of instinctive energy. The twelve tracks on the album ripple with essential grunge flavours and sentiment recalling the height of and infusing new breath into the genre as well as adding extra edges and rock essences.

Seeds of the band started in South Africa when brothers Greg (vocals/guitar) and Guy (drums/vocals) Combrinck worked on songs that would eventually be the base for the band that emerged after their relocation to the UK and an extensive search leading to the eventual addition of Ian Harper (guitars/vocals) and Tom Syrett (bass/vocals) to the line-up. The past four years with formidable work and numerous shows with the likes of Cancer Bats, Young Guns, Jettblack and Days In December, has seen the band earn acclaim and critical praise  especially with the release of their debut EP Out From The Inside.

With Waterdog released 19th September, the quartet have now announced their arrival as a strong expressively engaging and entertaining band with heart and style and with a sound though heavily influenced that is fresh and inviting. ‘Dying To Meat You’ opens up the album, direct in sound and lyrically its punk edged grunge recalls bands like Foo Fighters and Gruntruck. The track marks an inviting and vibrant start to a release that continues in the same pulsating vein and with varied spices.

Consistent across the whole length of Waterdog some tracks throb with extra radiance and style over others. The simmering and expressive Nirvana flavoured ‘Breathe’, the Bush like ‘Through Your Eyes’ with a tasty incessant flow, ‘Blame Me’ with its Stone Temple Pilots rock riffs and lighter pop addictive melodies, and the punk grunge glory of ‘Don’t Care’ riding in on an obvious Nirvana riff/hook homage and laced with touches of Green Day and Weezer are all irrepressible invitations to be totally absorbed into the album. 

The best two tracks on the album though are ‘Alkaline’ and ‘Get Out’. The first has a dark moody bassline with siren like qualities giving with the drums, a resonating empathy to the Gavin Rossdale like emotive vocals and aggressive guitars. All the tracks on the album suggest the band’s live shows are an exciting and robust event but this track is a firm confirmation with its intense energy. The second of the songs entering again on another blatant Nirvana riff carries good punk edginess with attitude soaked vocals which as the song progresses brings a great Rancid like quality to them parallel to the great melodic grunge pop vibe that flows throughout.

For some Waterdog will have too many very close and similar sounds and moments that have been forged in the fires of works from classic grunge bands of the 90’s but they miss the fact that Feud from those influences and personal loves have created an album that excites and thrills the ear as well as engages the heart with its honest and catchy openness and addictive sounds. The band definitely walks the right side of the line that is plagiarism, using homage to their influences alongside their own fun and fresh vibrancy to give songs that are alive with pulsating riffs and addiction causing melodies. Feud once they do find their very own distinctive spark will be the new leaders of a genre that still has a definite impressive pulse.

RingMaster 29/08/2011 Registered & Protected


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