Liar Liar: He Said She Said EP

With more bounce than Tigger in a trampoline factory and as endearing as Justin Bieber losing his voice, the debut EP from UK pop punks Liar Liar is one melody fest riding a wave of unbridled energy and impressive craft. The He Said She Said EP treats the ear to four bombs of power pop which easily please and ooze immense promise for the future. The release shows the band has still to find its own distinct voice but with a quartet of more than solid hungry companions within its cover, the EP is one contagious ball of energy and charm to fully engage with.

Sheffield based and formed at the very beginning of the year, Liar Liar with a clutch of well prepared songs in their armoury was soon thrilling audiences locally and across their county, successful shows which saw them gain a swiftly growing fan base and support slots with the likes of Paige and Summerlin. Taking the summer to work on and record their debut, Liar Liar unleash a vibrant and basically impressive release which will put the rest of the country on alert for their  promising and enjoyable sounds.

As soon as opener Heart Attack gets into its stride you know you are in for a ride which sounds like a blend of You Me At Six, New Found Glory, and The All-American Rejects, the latter a band you can quite easily see Liar Liar forging a creativity like in the future, not necessarily in sound but in style and imagination. The song saunters along at the beginning, the vocals of Joe Daniels strong and confident whilst his guitar play and that of Jake Lawton lays an energetic and eager breath to the track. The track soon explodes into surges of feisty and charged energy and pace with firm jabbing rhythms from drummer Jack Dudill (who has since left the band) and the gnarly bass of Liam Bates adding their weight to fire up the enthusiasm even more, the track becoming an anthemic and infectious treat.

It is a strong and compelling start easily matched by High N’ Low. The guitars immediately are gnawing at the ear with slightly abrasive yet inviting tenderizing riffs before the beats make their presence known. The track soon settles into another overall even paced attack though once more offering elevated moments of power. As melodies roam around the song with accomplish and eagerness alongside great harmonies between Daniels and Bates especially for the thumping chorus, the track hits all the right spots. Yes the song and release arguably does not stand a million miles from many other bands but whether those others have raised as great an impression and satisfaction from their first introduction as Liar Liar do, is to be doubted.

Lyrically the songs focus on relationships which have faltered or gone wrong and the aftermath, which makes for a release certainly easy to relate to for all though there is no moment where a track stands and feels sorry for itself, all a fast and keen confrontation of catchy hooks and melodies within a frame of pulse racing energy. People Never Change is a potent song driven by thumping beats and the great disgruntled bass sound of Bates, one of the biggest highlights on the release. Emotive and reflective, the track is a less explosive but still as intense affair bursting with group choruses and inventive hooks. Probably of all the songs, this is the one which more than hints at the imaginative and even more adventurous song writing one expects ahead, the song of all, the one which drew The All-American Rejects comparison.

    It Doesn’t Take A Hero closes up the fun with a flood of biting riffs and flowing harmonies shaped by pounding rhythms and again raging passion and energy. It is a fine end to a high quality and consistent release. It pumps its fist and ignites the heart from start to finish to leave one feeling energised, so ok sound wise the band has a little way to go stand alone but for pleasure giving they lack little. Liar Liar is a band you can only see rising to great heights and offering even greater moments in the future.

RingMaster 03/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stillman: On Bended Knee EP

Consisting of four varied and imaginative tracks, the On Bended Knee EP from Londoner Stillman is a more than solid piece of melodic rock. Following up the acclaimed Eton Mess EP, the new release is an arguably feistier and heavier collection of songs but just as thoughtful and well crafted to leave one wholly satisfied.

Stillman is the project of Chaz Craik whose roots are set in the post-Britpop years. This release though has a rock and blues breath to its shape, a mixture of rock n roll, progressive rock and blues jazz with essences of guitar and folk rock offering their sparks too. As well as the aforementioned EP, Craik has impressed with his self-released EP The Weightless and album Blood Dark Sea of 2007 and 2009 respectively, each garnering strong positive reviews and responses, and with the first awards too. On Bended Knee is possibly his best yet, certainly the one to light up harder rock tastes.

Lyrically the release looks at those who pay the price for others mistakes, whether in world or personal issues, with anger, sardonic bemusement, and an understanding of and sympathy for the victims. The music does not necessarily match the at times venom laced words with aggression but instead makes a strong melodic and hooked invitation which is hard to refuse to lead one into the heart of the songs.

The title track opens up with instantly engaging blues laced guitar strokes, their mesmeric swagger complimented by lovely sixties bred keys. The vocals of Craik are smooth with an easily digestible tone which lies upon the ear as engagingly as the accomplished technique and guitar teases. It is the hard rock groove which seals the deal and ensures the song is one which ignites the appetite and pleasure.

The snarling breath of Swollen Air follows, the pulsating fuzzy lilt of guitars and enveloping melodies instantly captivating thoughts and senses. The classic rock lacing to the sound and a quite sizzling solo immerses the ear in fine craft and textures which only thrill and though it does not quite have the infectious touch of the first the song is strong and absorbing.

Next up Small Deaths steals top honours with ease. It is a song which just captures the imagination, its eastern grooves and funk swerves quite delicious. It reminds a little of UAE band Absolace, the mix of enticing melodies and provocative teasing perfectly and fully contagious. It is not a demanding track but without doubt the most exhilarating and satisfying, the song alone showing why Stillman has pulled such strong acclaim its way.

The closing expressive stroll of The Debt finishes the strong release, the track initially a gentle companion before evolving into fiery progressive expanses. It is song which fully airs the skilful play and craft of Craik and makes for a rich ending to a more than pleasing release. One could argue if it had more bite On Bended Knee would have been even more striking but nevertheless only gives pleasure with its fully enjoyable and stylish songs.

RingMaster 03/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


Autoheart: Control

With their debut single Sailor Song, UK band Autoheart earned great and deserved acclaim for its impressive sound and presence, now the East London quartet return with Control, an indie pop song which just lights up the imagination. It is a track which captivates and evokes thoughts and emotions, its finely crafted and at times mesmeric charms fully engaging from start to finish.

The foursome of vocalist Jody Gadsden, guitarist Barney JC, drummer David Roman, and Simon Neilson on keys, since that first single have inspired interest from the likes of Radcliffe and Maconie, Shaun Keaveny, Bob Harris, and across  the media generally as well as gaining an ardent fan base with their successful monthly live night PUNCH around London venues. The new release will only energise this rise further, its presence sure to draw nothing less than impressed responses.

Released through O/R Records, Control opens with simply shuffling rhythms and piano, well when we say simply it is an immediately atmosphere and emotive entrance soon elevated by the quite stunning voice of Gadsen, his expressive and stirring tones impossible not to be drawn in by. From the attention grabbing potent start the song spreads its warm yet tense arms with flowing harmonies and inciteful melodic caresses. The track has an underlying energy and passion to it which just sweeps one up into the bordering on fiery atmosphere, the gently coaxing beauty soaked in immersive passion and soaring grandeur. Some songs are epic in massive overwhelming soundscapes, Control is epic from its heart and the wonderful vocals and rich sounds which combine for a towering wash of expression and feeling which just envelopes and soaks the senses.

Produced by Danton Supple, Control is quite magnificent; a song all should step into the heart of as we wait for their debut album with high anticipation.

RingMaster 03/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Joyce The Librarian: They May Put Land Between Us

They May Put Land Between Us the debut album from UK indie/folk Joyce The Librarian, is like a warm morning breeze on a hazy summer day, fresh on the ear waking up the senses as well as warm and mesmeric to send thoughts and emotions floating through distant and peaceful  places. It is a resourceful and gentle caress from start to finish of delightful melodies and emotive day dreams.

From their well received debut EP The Weight of the Line, the Bristol band has earned keen responses, a successful UK tour supporting Euros Child and recent single Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You only elevating the buzz around the band and eagerness for this their first album. Consisting of old and new material, the release which comes through Folkwit Records finds a fine and delicate balance between indie pop and folk music, constantly infusing both into their beautifully crafted songs. For personal tastes some stormier whispers within the enveloping aural sunrise would have ensured an even longer lasting passion for the release as a whole but it is impossible not to eagerly immerse oneself keenly within the album and particularly in certain songs.

The uncomplicated aural romance begins with Traps. The track opens with acoustic kisses and military paced beats which introduce the ear to the soothing vocals of Martin Callingham soon joined by the wonderful cello strokes of Will Simpson. Like the first steps within a breaking dawn, the song opens the album warmly making way for the previously mentioned single and best song on the album. Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You is quite wonderful, the pulsating bass and sparkling guitars tenderly pressing the ear whilst the excellent vocals of Callingham are beautifully complimented by the male and female backing, the mix leading one deep into the heart of the piece. It is the emotive beauty of the cello, this time provided by Anna Strudwick, which takes one into realms of rapture, its potency irresistible and greedily absorbed. The track is a gorgeous enchantment created by undemanding yet skilful musicianship, songwriting, and harmonies.

Tracks like Turn Yourself In with its enveloping shadows, the heart stirring Land, and the sleepy Maurice War, all in their individual ways offer something magical, the adventure of the second and brewing horns of the third particularly evocative. Though on the surface the songs with their barely energetic presences and soothing touches seem to offer a similarity, proper attention reveals wonderful textures to the sounds and startling craft to the smouldering imagination throughout.

Before its departure the album treats with the charms of Still Sleeping and Dolly Parton, the song that is, calm down chaps. The first of the pair is a captivating canvas of precise and hypnotic guitars and voices with extra flavouring whilst the latter is an irresistible feast of stroking strings and simmering beauty which wraps its loving arms around the ear with expertise and passion.

They May Put Land Between Us is a great album, a real delight to lie alongside. It may not incite raging fires inside but for warm and tenderly undemanding moments or nights it is the perfect companion.

RingMaster 03/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright