Tarnish: 1995 single

UK band Tarnish is the newest recruit to Satellite Records and mark their debut with the excellent single 1995. With a punk feel to its infectious rock driven energy the track is sure to mark the band as ones to watch now and in the future.

The band was founded by Dan Barry (vocals, guitar, and harmonica) and Mark Thompson (vocals, guitar) and completed by 1999 with Paul Fallon (drums) and Chris McReynolds (backing vocals). Early releases came in the shape of the 1998 EP Betray You and three track release Ashes the following year, both under the name Communication Breakdown. Their music brings many varied comparisons from different sources, the likes of Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Led Zeppelin being mentioned in trying to describe their music with some calling them a cross between Soul Asylum and Faith No More.  With only the single to go on it is hard as yet to hear some of the suggestions within the track but there is certainly a strong sound bursting out from the song that bring other bands to thought.

1995 swoops with agreeable riffs and a prowling pulsating bassline that leads one eagerly into the depths of the song. The track carries a sense of familiarity like a returning buddy though one cannot remember the face. It is infectious and anthemic, an easy going song that one soon becomes part of vocally. There is a sense of Eddie & The Hotrods about it and even more so of seventies band The Motors, their essences brought with a vibrant and striding energy from current times. The song makes no demands and only gives enjoyment as its honest and uncomplicated intent thrills and incites strong anticipation for more from the band.

To be slightly critical 1995 lacks a strong and distinct uniqueness but also suggests that their full repertoire of songs would remedy that. For an introduction to Tarnish the single is a fine and satisfying slice of rock n roll with the promise of great things ahead.

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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FireFallDown: These Wounds

Excitable and bursting with a plethora of things to share and as many sounds to pleasure with, the debut album from UK funk punk band FireFallDown is an infectious and thrilling treat. These Wounds has an insatiable hunger to leave everyone partying and broadly grinning, taking them into an elevated emotional state and fulfilled in heart and thoughts. With a passion and an impressively crafted collection of songs the album is a refreshing and vibrant dynamo of great imaginative sounds and unbridled boisterous energy.

London based Filipino-British trio FireFallDown began in 2006and took no time in inciting attention with a relentless and persistent touring of the UK, Philippines, Poland, and the U.S., building on the immediate attraction and lure their expressive and tightly melodic fusion of pop punk, high energy rock  and jazzy funk has upon the ear. Two singles garnered them further concentrated acclaim whilst support slots for Coheed and Cambria only raised their profile further. Now with the release of These Wounds as well as the band headlining the 150 Fest UK-wide tour next spring there is a sense they are about to explode and draw in a great many more to their sonic mission.

Released through the newly formed Small Town Records sub-label Love Music Movement on May 21st, These Wounds immediately introduces itself to the ear with the roisterous energy of Mr. Rockstar. A pop punk song with irresistible funk tendencies it riles up the senses with open and honest addictive melodies and stirring riffs.  It is a song that refuses to be ignored, exhilarating with persuasive and impossible to deny energy veined with fun warm melodic hooks and passion driven lyrical and musical intent. The band openly state their influences as the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink 182 and at times throughout the album that is easy to hear but another predominate flavour that comes through here is Alien Ant Farm, though FireFallDown have a tighter and more defined infection than the Americans ever cultivated.

The album from a strong start just gets better and better as each track teases and pleases. From the following Jimmy Eats World meets NOFX like punk sounds of Commissioned, through the excellent rampaging single and title track from the album, to the mesmeric Dear Mom And Dad with its Green Day spicery, the album ignites and sparks welcomed emotions. The trio know how to captivate their audience through a combined intelligence of songwriting and thoroughly intriguing and surprising array of sounds. No song is alike but always distinctly FireFallDown and though it carries many tastes that one can find as seeds from other bands all is twisted into their own recipe of impressive and expressive funkcore.

These Wounds is exceptional and an album which works itself deeper into the heart the more it is allowed to wrap its enthusiastic creativity and incessant charms around the senses. Without a weak track or an ounce of predictability the release is a consistent gift to the senses. Strong and giving throughout there is a trio of consecutive tracks where it reaches its fullest height and satisfaction. I Am The Way races in on mischievous rhythms from Andrew to lead one straight into the incendiary guitar of Jon who lights things up further into the song with an explosive solo. His vocals as throughout the album are excellent and welcoming with a bite and edge ensuring one pays attention to his words. The bass of Joel is a prowling brooding creature which again as with the other two enhances each song with well crafted lines and play. Another Alien Ant Farm like song with traces of Sugar Ray it is immediately followed by the equally immense Stand Tall. This is an aggressive rock track recalling the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they were at their best with a punk intensity that kicks open the way for the song to release its raucous muscular energy.

Logic and Fallacy completes the three exceptional peaks with another heavier rock driven power and sturdy spine. It further shows the diversity within the band and their creativity offering a fuller Incubus/ Bad Religion lined slice of punk rock. It is triumphant and as with every song on These Wounds sets FireFallDown out as a band that inspires and lights up all who welcome it into their individual worlds.

These Wounds is excellent; a release that the more you allow it to entertain incites thrills that go deeper and deeper. Simply FireFallDown are the future of UK pop punk with their inspiring multifaceted sound.

FireFallDown have donated all the proceeds from the album launch, Heal These Wounds towards the medical expenses of their close friend Brittany Kamruddin in her fight against Lyme disease, for more info go to their website www.firefalldown.com    

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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Darkside Of Innocence: Xenogenesis

As the album dawns on dramatic brief intro Lux there is an immediate feeling that something striking is going to emerge within Xenogenesis the latest release from Portuguese progressive black metallers Darkside Of Innocence. Striking and perpetually intriguing it is intrusive and at times a formidable challenge but with strong rewards and an unexpected mesmeric appeal. Xenogenesis is an album that will find many casualties in its wake but will inspire many with its imagination and skilled maelstrom of ideas and sounds.

Formed in 2005 the description within their bio states that “Darkside of Innocence can be known as a solemn voyage through the universal consciousness; an introspection that reaches the higher levels of reasoning. It is enlightenment that bestows hence, the self with some awareness regarding its own core – it’s the path eternal of one, seeking to express its inner essence within art.” They bring an intense and to us lesser intellects a confusing path with their ideology, something their music matches. It also adds a depth and adventure to their creativity as it inspires individual thoughts and interpretations through their provocative sounds. Their debut album Infernum Liberus EST was released in 2010 following a previous demo Bloody Mistress which was an internet stream only in 2007. Now down to a one man project in the shape of Pedro Remiz, Darkside Of Innocence moved on to signing with Infektion Records for the release of Xenogenesis earlier this year.

After the intro Airian collapses upon the ear with a familiar black metal vehemence and invasive swarm of intensity. The vocals of Remiz scraping flesh with his rasping delivery as the melodies of the guitar brand and scorch the ear. Midway the song veers into chaotic and perpetually unpredictable avenues with female vocals soaring within the blackened spiralling energy and the track absorbing sounds and ideas from afar to twist them into a vindictive and provocative blistering of the senses. It is harsh and hard to break free from but within the attack there are some quite unique and striking elements unleashed.

It is from the following Dulcifer Tragoedia that unpredictability becomes the life force of the album and wonderfully enterprising it is even if almost impossible to keep up with and at times endure. Many bands venture into avant garde metal to widely diverse results but few are as deeply impactful as here, the track rupturing synapses and swiping away any safety net you might have in place. Challenging and emotively exhilarating it is a glorious flurry of unconnected yet suitably akin sounds and ideas.

If the previous track was a flurry of sound Nox Omega offers a dehabilitating bedlam of creativity, from its haunting nasally sax sounds to the streaming flood of venomous spite it splinters and thrashes feelings impressively and is the best track on the album. Multiple plays do not lessen the surprises and unexpected storm of musical contortions, just thrust them forth with more impact and malice, something applying to the whole album.

The excellent female vocals return in Eros to add a symphonic metal breath though the song cannot be labelled as such. It is hard to describe exactly the genre Darkside Of Innocence and Xenogenesis most represent such the striking sounds and craft and very good to see too. The more straightforward metallic thrust of Thanatos adds another turn with its direct and less complicated journey though it still crafts a disturbed atmosphere and corruptive intensity.

Completed by the equally absorbing and testing Ego and closing disturbed ambient instrumental piece D’eus , the album leaves one struggling to gain a firm footing but having enjoyed the startling experience even if the ear and senses claim different. Xenogenesis is an impressive album which will appeal to far fewer than it deserves but all should at least give it a try. With a new single in the works from Darkside Of Innocence it will be interesting to see now with a single mind behind the project how things develop but more of the same would not be unwelcome.

RingMaster 10/05/2012

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