Drop Down Smiling – Sign Here EP

dds

In recent months one band especially has stepped into its own light within the UK indie rock scene and that is Drop Down Smiling, a quartet from Coventry which has shown an ability to create irresistible infections through intelligently crafted and passionate songs. Their new EP Sign Here is a four song declaration of that fact and confirmation of the growing acclaim and expectations being placed on the horizon of the band.

The members of the band met whilst in school and performed together under different guises whilst earning a stature and sculpting a presence which led the band to being recognised as one of the UK’s finest live unsigned acts by Kerrang radio and receiving a nomination for a Kerrang award, as well as signing to an independent label and seeing themselves supporting some major artists onstage.  This was followed by a three year hiatus as life took its part in the course of things before the band returned in 2011 as Drop Down Smiling and with a new sound, soon reigniting their creativity to again firmly grab attention, the band since finding themselves played and enthused heavily about on the radio shows at www.audioburger.com  as well as numerous other eager sites.

Sign Here follows the two track Jason Wilcock produced release Down From Your Skies which was well-received upon release CD front largish for webin 2011, its songs now making up half of the new EP which leaves no one in any doubt as to the craft and impressive invention of the band. Put On A Show opens up the record and passions, its initial engagement a tender caress of guitar within a hazy atmosphere which drifts down upon the ear and thoughts. Picking up its feet the song entertains crisp beckoning rhythms from drummer James Porter whilst the guitars of Mike Brown and Chris West drizzles some sonic enticement into the air, before expelling a big breath of vocal harmonies and the instantly compelling bass lures of Martin Dale. Once into its stride the outstanding vocals of West narrate an emotively textured embrace within the song with those harmonies again expanding moments with all wrapped in the fizzing electro sounds and accompanied by the excellent roaming presence of the bass. Across its length the track moves through gentle reflective persuasions and contagious energetic recruitment of the senses with a seamless formidable ease to leave a feeling of joy and breathlessness.

The impressive start is then surpassed by the outstanding Down From Your Skies, a song which primes the ear with again an ambient electronic wash before allowing its rhythmic sinews from drums and bass to sculpt an instantaneously caging ardour before the once more strikingly impressive vocals of West and group harmonies enflame the song and emotions fully. The track lures participation within its first chorus tease ensuring in no time there is a full involvement between listener and band which is never relinquished even when the track is exploring its borders with imaginative guitar enterprise and note bending invention. As with its predecessor, the song is the perfect alignment of snarling energy and almost raptorial riffs with pure melodic grace and unquenchable four part seductive harmonies, the combination a sound and encounter which is impossibly fresh and contagious whilst sounding like no other.

Time Slow Down reflects its title, its emotive breath a gentle weave with vocals bringing their own tender embrace to bear within the initially guitar carved restrained grandeur. Within a moment of its warm mesmeric opening the song shows another side to the band, one of many they are capable of conjuring within their magnetic songwriting and sound you would suspect, and leaves a potent fascination and invitation to fester keenly within thoughts and emotions. As it releases more of its heart the electronic dazzle of the song spreads its melancholic charms before the guitars expel an abrasive sign and get to work with an incendiary persistence side by side with the shadow offering impact of again the bass and drums. Without the virulence of the previous songs it instead attaches its hooks though emotional beauty and honed descriptive sonic imagination to breed just as potent a reaction.

Closing track Why Should We Change also opens with an electro brewed ambience and if there is any niggle about the release it is only that all the songs begin in relatively the same manner, not that they hold any real similarity from then on. The final song stands face to face with the listener, its sounds tall and boisterous whilst the vocals range from snapping at the ear with a nu-metal like attack to a smouldering melodic enticement. The song shifts and twists with unpredictability yet is a fluid and assessable treat, another sign of the band creating what is essentially pop rock far beyond the majority of other bands. Occasionally as here the tracks with their catchy insatiable temptation belie the creativity breeding their lure but only a few returning ventures are needed to unveil all the quality and depths of the band and sound.

Drop Down Smiling will be on the lips of the masses one can only surmise on the evidence of their Sign Here EP but why wait when that excellent feast is waiting to be devoured.

http://www.dropdownsmiling.co.uk/

http://dropdownsmiling.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 08/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Swampstomper – Dirty Black Boots

swampstomper pic

The beginnings of Swampstomper according to the bio came about as vocalist and guitarist Paul ‘Wildheart’ Brightmann submitted and had his song Subtract and Divide placed last October on the excellent compilation album ME4, a release made up of the best artists bursting out from the Medway area of the UK. Building on that with the intent of taking his songs live, he next recruited guitarist Jason Spencer and bassist Kevin Hutchins to be followed by drummer Drew Gilby. The next six weeks brought the same number of songs in tow and the band immediately grabbing attention as they unleashed their unique rock and punk fusion to a rapidly growing fan base, from which point they have not looked back. Dirty Black Boots is their latest song, a demo track which alone makes all the persuasion needed to keep the band on tight radar.

The Chatham quartet also bring a strong whisper of psychobilly and garage punk to their almost intimidating sound, its menacing breath and hunger inescapable within the uncomplicated yet defined individuality. Dirty Black Boots is the perfect introduction to their shadowed invention, a song seeded in old school UK punk but with The Cramps like rawness which leaves thoughts and emotions on full and eager alert.

Footsteps lead the ear into the song, their tone or appeal nothing out of the ordinary but a temptation too strong to resist. Their lure lands the ear in the arms of thumping beats and coarse riffs, their embrace familiar yet new and seeded in a flavour you could imagine from a band such as Vibrators or 999. It is with the delicious irresistible hooked bass stroll of Hutchins though that the song truly comes alight, the guitars raising their presence to join in league with its dark voice and also that of Brightmann’s dark, gruff compelling style, the elevated intent shaping the track into an even more addictive beast. Now into its stride, the song is a blaze of wanton temptation and irrepressible hooks, as well as offering a groove through the verses which winds the passions around its feisty spine.

A song impossible to resist the infection of and very easy to add your own personal vocal assistance to, Dirty Black Boots leaves only one option in its tow, well two, firstly to play it again…and again, and secondly to place Swampstomper in full line of vision from here on in. Great song from a band who you can only suspect will have the fullest and brightest horizon.

http://www.swampstomper.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/SwampStomping

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/05/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Sidious – Ascension to the Throne ov Self

SidiousPic

Consisting of four bestial violations of the senses shaped with purposeful and creative craft leading to total enthrallment, Ascension to the Throne ov Self is a striking and wholly satisfying debut from UK band Sidious. Consisting of members of Eye Of Solitude, the London based band has risen from the demise of Seed Of Detest to emerge as one of the more inventive and captivating confrontations of blackened death metal and this, their first release one scintillating and bruising slab of impressive ravaging.

Consisting of vocalist Tom “Void” Allen, guitarists Steffan Gough and Mark Antoniades, bassist Chris Davies, and Fahim Ahmed on drums, Sidious use its member’s experience to strong effect, their fusion of extreme metals from symphonic to black, death to deathcore an accomplished and inventive ferocity upon the ear and senses. Released via Kaotoxin Records and produced by Russ Russell (Dimmu Borgir, Lock Up, Napalm Death), Ascension to the Throne ov Self is a furnace which leaves exhaustion and pleasure in its tidal strong wake and instantly marks the band with a formidable introduction.

From a brewing ambience with an air of epic like proportions opener Insurmountable emerges upon a symphonic call heralding 760137002222_TOX022_Sidious_Artwork_600x600-300an impending sense of grandeur, that epic voice growing louder by the second. Bone shuddering rhythms next step forward alongside intensive riffs and beckoning shielded vocals to open up the sinews of the track, their spreading arms bringing savage riffing and the caustic squalling venom of vocalist Allen forward to accost and sear the ear. Throughout the malevolence the keys strike a balance with their beauty, a warm seductive temper to the raptorial hunger crawling all over the rest of the sounds which across the shuffling gait and evolving premise of the song  continually makes the warmest persuasion to contrast but stand akin of the corrosive elements bred elsewhere.

     Sentient Race takes over where the destructive climax of its predecessor left off, riffs and drums colliding with the ear whilst the bass prowls and lurches over the wounds with the grinning rabidity of a ravenous beast. A torrent of intense unbridled energy and spiteful aggression careers over the senses with only the keys offering any form of respite from the imaginative and impassioned annihilation. The symphonic call of the song is never far from a sirenesque temptation but hardly gets a clean shot at the passions, rapture being seized by the tempestuous fury at work and then elevated by the expressive keys.

The opening beguiling atmosphere of next up Nihilistic Regeneration unveils a vision full of emotion and brewing elegance even with the venomous erosive vocals and intimidating rhythms beginning their fiery build. The visual narrative cannot hold back the heavy shadows for long though as the band explodes into another inferno of inventive maliciousness and imaginative sonic sculpting disguised as violence. It is an enthralling track, the continual twist of attack and the reflective melodic keys designed embrace a beguiling lure of ingenuity veining and pushing the vociferous oppressive intensity further into the soul and heart.

As the title track casts out its own individual creative decimation, fragmented air turned into sonic shards of blistering and far reaching animosity whilst the keys and melodies dance upon the wounds within the turbulent maelstrom of black hearted excellence, it is fair to say Ascension to the Throne ov Self secures any lingering doubts and turning them into the final seal of ignited passion for its insidious and engrossing might. As beautiful as it is nasty, and as emotive as it is ruinous, the release instantly places Sidious to the fore of extreme metal and raises expectations and anticipation for their next release to testing levels for the band, though one doubts they will do anything less but exceed them as they look destined to be one of the bands shaping the next era of UK metal.

https://www.facebook.com/sidiousofficial

9/10

RingMaster 08/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Agrimonia – Rites Of Separation

300dpiRGB

Exhausting, mesmeric, destructive, and provocative are just four potent declarations to place upon the impressive and riveting new album from Swedish metallers Agrimonia. Rites Of Separation is an angry aural magnet for the senses, a rapacious tempest of ear twisting, passion brewing, and psyche sculpting atmospheric malevolence. It is a consumption which feeds and fractures thoughts and emotions whilst exploring the soul, the bands and listeners, with startling enterprise. Not always an easy listen it is perpetually a compelling and impacting confrontation with rewards far outweighing its caustic touch.

The Gothenburg-based quintet featuring members of Martyrdöd, Skitsystem, At the Gates and others formed in 2005 and from the very first days has employed a constant regime of live shows and tours. Their self-titled album of 2008 brought the band to the attention of post-rock and crust devotees with its caustic imaginative textures which their follow-up Host Of The Winged two years later built upon, taking the band to wider recognition. It led to the band hitting on the US and Mexico for a successful West Coast North American tour. Having signed with Southern Lord in mid-2012 the band return with their third full length in the mighty shape of Rites Of Separation, the record another hour long expanse of corrosive yet invigorating intensity alongside inspiring imagination and an inventive diversity which offers new horizons and twists with each intriguing and fully committed encounter.

The album again fuses crust, progressive, and sludge rich metal provocation of one full landscape through five individual intensive emotively exploitive endeavours, all a startling and evolving, perpetually shifting aural travelogue of ingenuity and sonic revelation. Opening track Talion immediately sets the scene, the song emerging from a bristling breath speared with highly acidic and irresistible sonic scorching which comes and go within a full and almost suffocating atmosphere. Into its stride the track offers sinews in rhythms and riffs which drive the passions to the surface and flames of brass or keys which try to break free in the background behind the scowling and serpentine rasping vocals of Christina Blom. The air of the track is hazy, its touch scuzzy refusing definition to some elements yet enhancing and elevating the intensity and already sweltering touch of the song. It is a thrilling start, those hidden treats a seductive tease within the changing fascination of gait and expression cross the eleven minute sensation. There is little to dislike or not find an ardour for in the song leaving the appetite for the rest of the release dripped in hunger.

The following Hunted opens on emotive keys, their slight melancholic voice a sheltered beckoning light which lures in thoughts and emotive responses before the equally potent bass narrative adds its presence. Once the scene is set the band smother it to unleash a towering blitz of thumping rhythms and gnawing riffs, the arrived fury bruising and incendiary as its effect is sculpted further by the again great malicious vocals of Blom. The song like its predecessor is an ever evolving fire of imagination and irresistible invention with a seamless fluidity and descriptive majesty.

Through the outstanding While Life Lies, a track with a deliciously haunting but welcoming keys led opening embrace being subsequently forced into the blackened grasp of a doom laded fluctuating inferno rife with sonic captivation for a sweet and sour taste, and the equally impacting The Battle Fought, the release offers an enthrallment which carves up and sears the senses whilst leaving them basking greedily in a creativity which is pure sonic alchemy. The second of the pair and shortest track on Rites Of Separation at just short of seven minutes, is a black metal intensity with a predatory storm of energy and psyche twisting invention pervading its spiteful atmosphere, and another dramatic treat.

Closing on one final and the most extensive exploratory experiment upon thoughts and senses in the scintillating emotive violation Awaiting, the album leaves one lost in fully awoken thought, Rites Of Separation offering a canvas which colours the imagination yet leaves a wealth of visual contemplation to be completed by the listener. At times tracks do stretch limits with their length, though not always in time used but the amount of rich invention at work making moments occasionally hard to absorb, though as mentioned each return unveils more depths to devour so not really a long term issue. Agrimonia have provided an album which employs every responsive atom of the listener for a wholly stimulating and engrossing experience, a release all metal fans should get involved with.

http://agrimonia.info/

8/10

RingMaster 08/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com