Farley: A Good Problem To Have


Sometimes a real juicy pleasure comes out of the blue and such is the case with A Good Problem To Have the debut EP from Pennsylvanian alternative rock band Farley. Arguably it should not have been an unexpected joy as the band is the creation of singer/songwriter Tim Farley who was a member of the acclaimed hard rock band Pan.a.ce.a, but this is a completely different beast and sound to his former band. Farley combines rock and pop teased sounds to create songs which simply light up the ear and excite the heart with creative and intelligent and irresistible craft.

Tim Farley began writing songs for a solo album last year whilst Pan.a.ce.a was still seemingly going strong with plans ahead. It was a shock to him when the band disbanded but it spurred him on to dive into recording his first solo release. For the release which was written and produced by Bret Alexander and Tim Farley, guitarists Pat Flynn (Underground Saints) and Dustin Drevitch (Lemongelli), drummer Zhach Kelsch (Dive, Ajar), bassist Matt Jaffin (Pan.a.ce.a), and keyboardist Adam Tarin (Royal Benson), were brought in for the recording of the Kickstarter funded project. The result is a release in A Good Problem To Have, which just hits the sweet spot.

The rock pop contagion Hindsight starts things off and takes the heart and senses immediately into a soak of satisfying energetic FARLEYenthusiasm. It is impossibly catchy which just gets more infectious the further into its heart you get so that by its end you have nothing less than addiction for its melodic caresses and boisterous enterprise. It is an undemanding but fully giving song littered with hooks and sonic guitar kisses which leave excited rapture in its wake, especially with its anthemic climax.

The EP shows variety and distinct flavours across its songs with the following Today the first example. Moving from the danceable enthusiasm of the first track the band turns to mellow textures and warm whispers for the second song. It is a gentle yet feisty sun which wraps tender hot arms around the senses whilst offering passionate caresses and hearty energies to ignite the pulse rate. Like the first it is not an over complicated song but one which meshes layers of emotion and sound with consummate skill. It does not quite reach the heights of its predecessor but such the quality of the opener it was on a losing wicket and easily leaves a real joy behind nevertheless.

Unforgettable pulls greater emotive powers out of its heart to be one of the biggest highlights on the superb release. Sounding like a hybrid of 3 Days Grace, Kingsize, and Sick Puppies, the song is a masterful fusion of sizzling melodies, addictive hooks, and delicious grace. The vocals of Tim Farley continue to shine and draw one deeper in to the songs and it is fair to say the EP shows him at his best and is his finest moment to date.

The best track on the EP comes with Fuel The Fire, a stomping rock n roll beast with a snarl to the vocals and intensity as well as an incendiary breath to the impressive guitar work and solo. With essences of Starving for Gravity and Volbeat with a splash of Calabrese, the track grabs the passions by the hand and takes them on a captivating cruise down heated rock roads lined with flaming melodic scenery. It is a song which you feel you know right away but only offers fresh and new magnetic pleasures to enjoy.

The release is completed by the country rock flavoured Waiting On Me, and the delightful Tiger Lily. The last is a sensational ballad which bewitches from first note to last musically and vocally and echoes the early songwriting triumphs of Elvis Costello. It is a brilliant end to an equally immense EP.

We may have lost Pan.a.ce.a, but the world has gained Farley, a completely different and on the evidence of A Good Problem To Have, greater proposition now and for the future. The band is working on their debut album and it just cannot come soon enough.


RingMaster 13/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


ElevenEleven: Life EP

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The Life EP is a delicious emotive storm of post hardcore from a band which has already garnered strong acclaim and support since forming in 2009. From the North East of Scotland, ElevenEleven has taken a major step forward from already impressive earlier releases with their new EP to give the genre in the UK a new tempest of creativity. It is an expansive mass of passion which without inventing new tools uses existing genre weaponry to fresh and adventurous heights.

Since their first days the quintet has shared stages with the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Flood of Red, Heights, The Elijah and Don Broco, made their own successful national tours, and released to acclaimed reactions the Memoirs (Part One) EP in 2010 and a two track release The Light/Dark Sessions in 2011. Last year though was one which brought a few obstacles the way of the Aberdeen band in the shape of serious illness, a line-up change and the subsequent collapse of their intended second EP. The band has on the evidence of Life though emerged a greater and even more imaginative force and by marking their return with the EP as a free download, has opened one expects the doors to greater recognition.

Life is seemingly inspired by the previous months for the band, its themes of love, loss and life trials maybe not directly reflective but coverit feels as if it is charged and emotionally sculpted by events. It is an atmospheric wrap with is intrusive and weighty whilst offering a captivating shadowed beauty. As the release agreeably scores the senses the obvious comparison is Deftones but to that you can add essences of Funeral For A Friend, Thrice and Devil Sold His Soul, with dark whispers of muse and Incubus for extra spice. It is a dense engagement lit by melodic invention and sonic skill, and an encounter which as soon as Lost unleashes its passionate heart finds a fulfilling connection to the listener. The opener stages a dramatic initial contact with bruising rhythms from the drums of Ross Senkbeil and the intimidating bassline of Stuart Ritchie within caustic flames of guitar from Eliot Leonard and Euan Wilson. It is a striking start which with the entrance of the fine vocals of Chris Spencer entwines and exchanges its intense gait with another of smouldering mellow ambience, the ‘respite’ itself also carrying a charge of passion which ignites thoughts.

The following Iscariot offers a similar stance though is still distinct in presence, soaking one in further intensity and thick melancholy to challenge and reward equally. As with the first, it is a song with a haunting shout to its voice and a coarse defiance which erupts in scowls of vocal rage at times alongside the increasing impressiveness of Spencer. At this point as one wonders if the whole release would offer a similar breath to is passion, the band shifts into a harsher aggressive tact with The Other Side. The song is an energetic badgering of the ear with an irresistible groove and questioning air. It is an excellent provocation which shows another side to the band whilst stretching their invention and skills in a new direction. Probably the most accessible of all the tracks it leaves one glowing in satisfaction to the same depths of the previous songs but with an openly different aspect.

The release is completed by the expressive rich sonics of Chemical Dreams and the slowly emerging passion of The Ocean. Both songs again venture down new soundscapes and songwriting craft whilst making seamless connections to the other tracks. The latter is a rising torrent of emotion which like the subject of the title ebbs and flows, rises and sweeps over the senses in powerful waves. It is an exceptional end to an excellent release which at times makes you work with it to discover all its wonders but ensures only a wealth of pleasure in return.

ElevenEleven provide something fresh and inventive to a genre which has seen many new bands step forward this year, but this quintet is the one you feel will go the furthest.

Grab the Life EP for free @ http://officialeleveneleven.bandcamp.com/album/life-ep


RingMaster 13/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Euclidean: Self Titled EP


Swiss Post-Black Metal band Euclidean has ended the year by stepping forward with the release of their debut recording and making through it a loud suggestion that it is a band to watch very closely. Their self-titled EP is a two track demo which offers an expansive progressive soundscape soaked in black metal atmospheres and shadows. It is a provocative release which makes you think and assess the dark wrapping around the senses not only in its company but long after its blackened sonic fingers have released the ear  and conclude something special maybe be brewing. The EP does suggests that the band has yet to reach its inventive destination to take the band away from other like fuelled entities, but equally it declares Euclidean as an emerging force one will make high expectations of in the future, and a band which on the showing of the two songs here will match with accomplished ease.

Formed in 2010, the Neuchâtel trio of vocalist/guitarist Naser, guitarist Joachim, and bassist/drummer Valentin has worked long and deliberately on their sound, that work apparent on both tracks. The songs were recorded between 2011 and 2012 at Artefact Sound and mastered by Bornyhake (Borgne). The bio to the release states that the ‘demo’s aesthetics refers to the duality between being and non-being in the 5th century BC context.’ Something beyond our mere simple minds but all that matters really is how it all lies upon thoughts and satisfaction, and there are no negatives in that aspect, the release a compelling invasion which pleases throughout. Arguably it does not light major fires within but incites enough brightly burning flames to place the band in the centre of our radar.

First track Word of Democritus opens with an ominous air, its weighty breath and charged riffs a contrasting and enjoyable mix within a predominately prowling presence. The drums provide an energetic stroll within the thickening atmosphere of the song whilst the dark vocals squalls graze the senses with venomous rasps. It is a slowly corroding encounter with death and doom traits to its blackened metal body and a track which is successfully adventurous and teasingly intriguing without being firmly ground breaking.

Sphere of Elea is a ten minute epic doubling the length of its companion and one which is bred of the same intent though with an openly different guise. Vocally the track is a more insidious intruder and musically a coarser sonic scarring around a near mesmeric tight melodic weave. The air of the track is a fiery wind, the flames of sonic enterprise and thought carefully placed and layered to bring bruising and darkly seductive textures side by side. The journey of the song is evolving without removing itself from an essential sound but manages to fill its whole length with enterprise and intelligent turns to ensure it does not outstay its welcome.

The guitars are impressive throughout both songs ably and equally matched by the drums and to a slightly lesser extent the bass. The vocals like the intensity brewed make the release a testing pleasure which lights plenty of anticipation and hope for what comes next from the band. Listening to Euclidean you cannot help but think it could be something very notable and thrilling.


RingMaster 13/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright