Those Dirty Words: Sitting Pretty

Last year saw the promising Sitting Pretty EP from UK rock band Those Dirty Words get more than a few people excited with its quartet of eagerly driven rock n roll. It marked the band as one to not only watch but enjoy immediately with their straight forward and honest rock music. If you missed it do not panic as the band has released their debut album under the same name. It consists of the four songs which made up the EP as well as four new songs to further enrich the standing of the band. It is a release which leaves one enthused with its almost live feel and as a band with a great reputation for their shows and hardworking ethic that is a sure plus.

The quintet from Clitheroe, Lancashire since forming in 2010 have unmistakably honed their craft and style to become one of the most accomplished musicians and bands in the UK even if acclaim as yet is still more reserved than they deserve. The sharing of stages alongside the likes of The Quireboys, Waltari, and Jettblack as well as their own gigs and tours has as mentioned given them a great stock throughout the UK and Europe so with this great album and luck now could be the moment they make the next step forward.

The album opens with Devil’s Disguise, an eager and rippling feast of carefully carved grooves and melodic enterprise cruising along strong muscular riffs. The song whilst not lighting the same fierce fires as later tracks is a more than powerful start and showcases the impressive talents of guitarists Ricky Blenk and Mark Duckworth, their play expressive and at times startling. Vocalist Paul Tierney too stands out but then he does on all songs, his vocals and delivery an impressive weapon to further drive home the excellent songwriting and sounds.

The following Overdrive was the standout songs on the original EP and has lost none of its might though is challenged for top honours more consistently on the album. With an openly wanton groove to tease and test ones resistance the song enflames the senses with a dirty anthemic rock n roll energy driven by the excellent drums of Tom Rice. A track to rile up any barroom or stage the song is a classic, maybe not overly original but as honest and deeply pleasing as the day is long.

The slow burning Shadows brings forward a more reserved and impassioned side of the song writing to great effect, the song slowly warming the ear with passionate strokes from guitar and vocals whilst the bass of Jimmy Swan add a moodiness to enhance the emotive atmosphere brewing within the song. As the track slowly evolves it mesmerises the ear to then wake it up with a fiery blaze of incendiary melodic interplay and blistered intensity before intermittently immersing within its subdued breath again. It is a great song and something different to expand not only the release but the craft and prowess of the band.

The brilliant Stranglehold is a rampaging mix of Motorhead and Thin Lizzy, a track which fires up the pulse rate and heart to leave one wanting more of the same which the following Crash & Burn is more than happy to provide. With a bluesy swagger the track stomps with a reserved yet heavy presence to again ignite only the most heated of responses. These two songs alone show that though the band may not be too intent on creating new pastures for the genre they use existing tools and ideas to inspire the strongest and most compulsive rock sounds.

    Darling…You MUST Behave? and Hate Me continue the great ride. The first has a catchy heart and infectious hook which is impossible to resist whilst the second with Swan bringing an extra predatory presence is an agreeably dirtier weave of darker shadows and intent. Once more the guitar play is outstanding without being indulgent and adds a sure richness to the track.

The closer What You Do like the opener did not exactly leave the strongest impression compared to the other songs first time around and nothing has changed here. The song is strong and easily digestible but pales against what are now even more great tunes to grace its side.

Downloadable for a name your own price from Sitting Pretty is a must have for all hard rock/rock fans and Those Dirty Words a band poised to hit new heights.

RingMaster 25/07/2012

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Music Review Unsigned presents: Various Artists – PURE Vol.1

A few decades ago as punk and indie music rose to their heights you could not turn around without coming face to face with a compilation album showcasing new and unsigned bands certainly around the UK. Every city from Brighton to Sheffield and Liverpool to Belfast had an album or series of them to bring underground bands forward into a spotlight. That trend diminished over the years but there hopefully seems to be a new brewing resurgence in the concept if the growing number of albums already this year introducing emerging independent talent from around the world is to go by.

    Pure Vol. 1 from the music website Music Review Unsigned is the latest and a tasty morsel of new indie flavoured sounds and artists to treat and inform our ears it is indeed. Bringing forth twelve rising bands and artists the release is a nicely varied and eclectic mix which offer plenty of new vibrant sounds for most individual tastes and a consistency of quality which inspires enthusiasm for the direction of indie music.

The album is top and tailed by the two best songs on the album but the tracks in between are no fillers either. The album opens with the stunning When the Sun Sets from London based band The Mouth of Ghosts. The quintet ignites the air with balmy electronic caresses and a heated ambience to leave the senses enthralled and in rapture especially with the striking and gorgeous vocals of Alla Seydalieva. Taken from their latest EP of the same name the song is an emotive kiss brought with a strength and power to leave knees weakened. Fusing the moodiness of Portishead and the subtle pop of The Sundays to the dark shadows of Deftones the track is immense and leaves a tall order for the other contributors to match.

The final track on the album from Israeli band 3/33 are certainly up to the challenge and set the senses and thoughts racing with their song Rainy Day. Starting with a strong yet not immediately grabbing mix of slow dawning crystalline melodies and a gentle yet shadowed breath the song relentlessly envelopes and permeates with secretive intent. As muscular arms spread their welcome the track starts rippling with a passionate intensity and discord tinged cascades of guitars and vocals to raise the pulse rate. It is a mighty song reminding of Echo and The Bunnymen and The Cure around their A Forest and Pornography days. As with so many of the artists on the album the band and song ensure that eyes and ears will be closely paying attention to their sounds ahead.

The songs in between these two are just as impressively strong which is generally rare for a compilation just through personal taste alone but it has to be said not one song left a feeling of being underwhelmed or drew less interest, all instigating the urge to investigate. Without going into each song individually though and to leave some mystery for you to find out we will give a quick mention for some other personal favourites which excited with a little more passion.  These moments came with the excellent Reverie from UK alternative rock quartet The Dusk, This City by London duo Kissimmee, and the Bamboo Party song Warning Signs. The first of the trio again brings an air of eighties with its post punk/electro mesh filtered through a feisty rock energy and easily marked the Cheshire quartet as another band destined to make a big impact at some point whilst the pair of Leigh Alexandra and Drew Wale which make up Kissimmee powerfully offer up a big sound drawn from rock and pop punk which is openly impressive. Starting out with a flavouring of The Pretenders the song evolves into a full and flowing melodic charge which easily sits beside the best Paramore song. The latter of the trio Bamboo Zoo is an Irish quartet which lights up the air with an irresistible manipulation of teasing and magnetic guitar jangles, outstanding vocals, and blood pumping contagion.

As said though all songs are remarkably strong and easy to return to from the likes of the folk toned songs from Paul Brennan and Parallel, the rock punch of The Wall Street Thieves and Rosetta Fire, to the stirring sounds of Robb Murphy, A41, plus the sensitive strokes of Junah.

Available from Pure Vol. 1 is an album which leaves one in no doubt the healthy state of new music worldwide.

RingMaster 25/07/2012

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