Envy The Fallen – Hoist The Colour EP

Whether you wish to call them hardcore, melodic hardcore, or metalcore, three of the descriptions they have been tagged with, the only thing you need to know is that UK Metalers Envy The Fallen are one mightily formidable outfit, a band who brings intensity, aggression and harsh melodies together and uses them like a belligerent and angry chef. The result an intimidating and explosive debut EP called Hoist The Colours, and a recipe for all metalers to feast upon.

We will be open from the start and say the EP does not offer anything groundbreaking or stunningly new but it does contain songs and music that thrills, exhilarates, and basically bludgeons one into submission to much greater satisfaction and pleasure than the majority of similar veined brutes over recent months. The EP is inventive and powerful, and even though the originality is confined within existing genre parameters it is impossible to really criticise what is a very impressive and more importantly enjoyable release.

Hoist The Colour begins its assault on March 19th with the quintet from Newquay ready to build on the acclaim already received through shared stages with the likes of Evergreen Terrace, Feed The Rhino, Brotherhood Of The Lake, and Lower Than Atlantis, and their appearance on a cover CD on an issue of Big Cheese Magazine. With a full UK tour about to kick off alongside the release it feels like now is the time of Envy The Fallen, something the EP alone should trigger if there is any justice.

Hoist The Colour opens with The Brave One, a track which enters on a slightly subdued and chained scorched melodic riff which draws closer to explode into a thunderous full on assault. Vocalist Anthony O’Reilly crawls all over the lyrics with a delivery that is venomous and spiteful whilst the heavy artillery riffs take pot shots at the ear with shotgun like effect. The drums of Jon Redd are staggering, an unrelenting but well structured bombardment which he repeats on every song within the release. The guitars of Quiche Smith and Ryan Drew plunder the senses with a mix of vindictive malice and inventive melodic craft, whilst the bass of James Killackey stalks the track with a brutish strength and if there is one complaint of the release it is that his play is often hidden, over powered by the sounds elsewhere.

The release is off to a great start but soon lifted higher by the title and best track on the EP. Hoist The Colour tramples through the ear and all over the body without a thought for mercy, though the punishment comes with a delicious groove which picks up the floored senses as often as they are knocked down by the immense power generated. The song is combative and refractory, the band as a whole coming together in stance and might that is impossible not to become part of as the track stomps all over the ear and beyond.

The great thing about Envy The Fallen is it is not entirely all about destructive intent, the band skilfully interweaving stirring melodic avenues into their smothering and violently wilful intensity. The likes of the brawling and equally rebellious I Will Prevail and the crippling This Is Not Goodbye, a song that takes one to their knees within seconds with its heavy bombardment of aural quarrelsome truculence, meshing both elements in to a keen and formidable event. As with most tracks though the band stay firmly on the side of combat rather than seduction through inviting cleaner persuasion though the closing song reveals the band can go that route Just as ably too. The Ending leaves one with provocative sounds and acute melodic play from the guitars to suggest more variety and ingenuity ahead from the band, the piano that graces the track in its latter part an emotive contrast to the distorted harshness beneath it.  The song is an excellent counter and follow-on to the tremendous Until Lambs Become Lions before it and another unreserved violation on the senses.

Hoist The Colour is a potent debut from what already is an impressive band, yes there needs to be more innovation from the band maybe but that as these the songs suggest will come. UK hardcore /metalcore has never been fresher and now Envy The Fallen have added their dynamic breath too.

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RingMaster 16/03/2012

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Caan – Every Little Thing

A song which on the first listen has one swept up in its flow and joining in like it had been heard multiple times before is not exactly rare but when the deeply infectious pull is triggered by a track dripping dark friendship and not resorting to obvious ploys, it is a special and impressive moment not often come across. The new single from Caan falls into this category, the song a soaring electronic atmospheric piece of composing which wraps itself around the ear with a caring tenderness and almost disturbed passion that cannot fail to engage.

Caan Capan, formerly of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool is back with his second single Every Little Thing, a vibrant piece of work that lays down strong anticipation for his forth coming debut album which is nearing completion. Following up his acclaimed first single Now Hear This My Friends, and his version of the Japan classic song Ghosts which has also been instrumental in raising the praise laid upon him from not only fans but the likes of John Lloyd from Tribes, Eddy Temple Morris and original Japan member Richard Barbieri as well, the new release out March 19th via Camouflage Recordings is sure to increase the attention going the way of Caan.

Every Little Thing pulsates throughout with a subdued yet mesmeric light behind a weighty dark atmosphere. The synths resonate with a distilled vitality which slowly spreads over and through the ear, a slowly dawning shadow that is fulfilling and infectious. The piano that veins the track is wonderfully dramatic and emotive giving a depth and passion to the song in tandem with the bright and expressive vocals of Caan. As mentioned the song is irresistible and impossible not to add a voice to, an impressive quality when the emotion throughout is shadowy and heady. It has a charm and simple flow that ensures full engagement and a familiarity of friendship that is hard to deny.

The track comes with two remixes, the first the classic synth pop Stockholm radio edit and the other a remix from Swedish dub step talent Dynamikk. Both take the track down different paths though not too far from the core of the song, the first is a popular mix which complements the original with the latter giving it a sturdier and more robust feel which works rather well.

If electronic music with thought and variation is the key for your senses than definitely take a listen to Every Little Thing, and join the eager queue for the imminent album from Caan.

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RingMaster 16/03/2012

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The Wedding Present: Valentina

Every time there is a new release from The Wedding Present it is like meeting up with an old mate, the reunion of a long standing friendship with new thrills and excitable tales to tell. They may not be accounts of joy or successful passions but each time they leave a warmth and smile in the heart as well as a happy glow within the senses. Their new album Valentina is no exception, with declarations and expressive reflective looks and reports of love plus all that comes with relationships, the release is a wonderful mesmeric album with a heart that connects deeply.

Since day one The Wedding Present and remaining founder David Gedge has forged their own distinctive path, presented their own category of sound and style to invite and thrill devoted ears. Many bands have stayed a similar distance to the band but it is hard to recall many with the high consistency and continual pushing of their own limits to match Gedge and co. The only one to spring to mind is The Fall and maybe it is no coincidence that both bands and their heartbeats of Mark E. Smith and Gedge write and produce music which has an open honesty and directness to the emotions. The thought out simplicity and clarity in lyrical form and compulsive sounds possibly have kept both bands essential and constantly fresh, constantly important companions for the ear. Whatever the reason The Wedding Present never fails in creating and treating one to special releases, and in Valentina they have one of their finest albums yet.

The follow up to 2008 album El Rey, the new release is the eighth album from the band, with Gedge alongside bassist Pepe Le Moko who also brings some enchanting backing vocals, drummer Charles Layton, and Graeme Ramsay who provides guitars, piano and harmonium as well as co-writing all the songs bar one with Gedge on Valentina. The songs on the album are an eclectic array of sounds, energy and sentiments, each avoiding the gloss of relationships and love to bring forth the reality and black and whiteness that is really involved. The album is the everyday world of love in aural form, but a revealing of things y feelings already knew but maybe was avoiding.

As the opening You’re Dead announces itself on big ear catching beats there is an instant tingle and the feeling there could be something special on the cards. Then the drama less voice of Gedge unveils truths as the guitars coax the senses from around the continuing bulky rhythms. Sensitive yet defiant in word and sound the song is an engaging start though as the album progresses turns out to be quite a subdued beginning from the band. Not in energy or emotion but in giving the ear something unpredictable as the following songs like the excellent Meet Cute and The Girl From The DDR to name two subsequently do. The first is a provoking combination of minimal touches alongside climactic crescendos. Not for the first time on the album the track shows what a fine bassist le Moko is, her touch strong, inventive and pulsating with emotive tones. The second of these two is a mesmeric duet between Gedge and le Moko, her parts sung in German. The song epitomizes the band and its wealth of work, a song that touches the heart and imagination with emotive strength whilst keeping things surprising and intoxicating. The end to the song is stunning, one of the best heard to any song in a long time, the track teasing and playing with the ear as it builds to its wonderful sharp sublime end.

There is not one single negative that can be laid at the feet of Valentina. When you have songs like the energetic and veracious Back A Bit….Stop with its deep infectious pull and urgency that has limbs taking on a life of their own, and the impressive End Credits, a wonderful caustic melodic pop song that is hard to rival with extra meaty joy from the dark and grave bass that prowls throughout, there is only one result, a staggeringly great album.

With rhythms that invoke the essences of primal attraction, guitars that suggest and expose the passions within each song, as well as the ever intelligent and open verity of words and delivery of Gedge, Valentina is pure bliss, with the songs not mentioned like 524 Fidelio with more bass glory to drool over, are just as equal in quality and pleasure as those highlighted. The Wedding Present has returned with easily a contender for album of the year if not of the past few.

RingMaster 16/03/2012

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