Valentiine: Self Titled

valentiine pic

With the single Love Like having already teased and lit up our senses a few weeks back it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album of Australian band Valentiine had a real hunger to it, especially after the unveiling of the brilliant new single Chucky in the past few days. The self-titled release has now stepped forward to not only live up to the suggestiveness of the pair of aural temptresses posing as singles but elevated the trio to one of the most thrilling and still richly promising bands to emerge this year. It is a predator of an album that toys with and manipulates the passions for a riotous and magnetic flame of bruising seduction.

Hailing from Melbourne, the threesome of Vanessa V (guitar/vocals), Erica E (bass/vocals), and Shelly K (drums/vocals) have a sound which is to simplify things a blend of garage rock and punk. Direct and emotively intrusive it also has a grunge seeded melodic fire which sears senses and thoughts whilst rhythmic badgering deviously diverts the attention. It is a sound which has a strong familiarity but equally lays a distinct hand on the passions directly bred from the band. Since forming Valentiine has not only left their homeland enamoured but persuaded fans across Europe and the UK with their powerful and contagious sounds. A successful 22 date European tour last year was followed by the band signing with UK independent, Integrity Records (Million Dead, Reuben, Katastrophy Wife), the two singles and now album a following potent step towards world domination one suspects.

Imagine a mix of The Breeders, Spinnerette, and Veruca Salt with a healthy snarl of L7 as well as a strong pop imagination, and you artworks-000050495136-39ybnn-t500x500get a strong impression of what Valentiine ignite the passions with. As mentioned it is a sound which has a welcoming familiarity but infuses it into their singular potent invention musically and lyrically. The songs hold narratives of everyday life and situations, honestly and often starkly presented with a dark mischievousness, and all veined with addiction causing hooks and infection sparking enterprise which is impossible to resist.

     Love Like opens up the encounter, the track an even paced roam through the ear with intimidation and steel to its riveting presence. Rhythmic sinews cage the senses as the guitar unleashes sonic fire, the combination gripping attention as the excellent and varied vocals of Vanessa V coax further with a mix of riled attitude and melodic seduction. It is an outstanding introduction to the album, a caustic caress seeded in fire borne intensity and a song that secures instant attraction, though it is soon surpassed by new single Chucky. Recounting the ladies own ‘morning after’ hangover blues in graphic detail, the track first teases with guitar and vocals before stomping into a fascination of bubble gum pop and shadow clad punk ‘n’ roll. It is ridiculously addictive; its easy yet perfectly honed enticement a blend of Green Day and The Shangri-Las which leads the listener into an insatiable dance of rhythmic temptation and pop punk wantonness.

Now into the stride of the release it begins to stretch out its darker tones and imaginative ingenuity, both Birthday and Finch opening new diversity to songwriting and sound. The first is a slow burner with the grunge growl of a Nirvana or Hole, its lingering and building intensity a dramatic smack across the senses, whilst the second tenderises with a sonic niggle and drum battering within restrained emotive incitement and sirenesque cheerleader like sultry harmonies. Both are again rich and drama clad musical treats though they do have to surrender to the even greater triumphs of firstly the smouldering When You Want, a track with a more than loud Pixies whisper to its inventive crawl, and secondly the venomous Hates Me. This track is pure L7 meets Puddle Of Mudd filtered through a malevolently spiced vat of spiteful punk, its bite dangerous but alluring with epidemic charm.

As the musicianship and imagination of the band conjures more insatiable devilment and virulent enticements it is impossible not to fall for the call of the album, though when it continues to offer such glories as the scintillating Never Forget You and its twisting metallic tentacles of guitar and bass entrapment, and the rapacious and brilliant Animal, submission was always a done deal.

As the variation and thrills keep coming with further major highlights coming from the Pixiesque Better For Me and the gnarly Kick It, the album stakes its claim as on of the most impressive releases this year. Every song leaves a lingering branding on the passions and thoughts whilst satisfaction and entertainment are delivered aural manner by the twelve, it has to be said, brilliant triumphs. Valentiine will be a major band, no doubts, and their debut album destined for the classic shelf.


RingMaster 22/06/2013

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Friday Club – All I Wanna Do Is

friday club pic

One of those insatiable riots you know you have to climb on board with as it teases and taunts the ears, All I Wanna Do Is the new single from UK rockers Friday Club is an irresistible flame of invigorating unpolished fiery rock ‘n’ roll. It grabs you from the first second and exhausts your energy as it takes limbs and voice on a charge of sonic mischief and blues edged aural addiction. The Birmingham band has been earning some very potent reactions and support over recent months and with ease the single shows why.

Earning strong acclaim with their live shows which has seen them in their short time as a band playing This Feeling and supporting the likes of Chase & Status, Labrinth, and Black Tambourines, Friday Club added extra fuel to their seemingly instant rise when putting up the live demo of the track Fall Down Kids, the song breeding more ardour their way, as did the putting up online the lead track from this single (the ‘unclean’ version named All I Wanna Do Is Fuck) , its appearance grabbing over a thousand listens within its first week. Recorded live the new single is set to accelerate things again, it has all the weaponry and temptation required it just needs ears.

All I Wanna Do Is instantly sears the ear with a sonic lance of guitar coaxing soon backed by rhythmic hustling from drums and540877_432364740174910_15284868_n bass and an expansion to the acidic melodic guitar wash. Settling into a slightly less urgent gait as the strong vocals add their expressive touch, the song is a blaze of compelling and contagious persuasion with climactic infection soaked choruses which ensure that if the listener is not already stomping in league with the aural bait they cannot resist any longer. I have to be honest and say the omission of the word ‘Fuck’ in the chorus is a mistake or certainly should have been replaced by something as the sudden pause/pull up does feel like a blip in what is an outstanding song. Nevertheless it is a thrilling bad boy of a track which with its slight Jesus and Mary Chain jaunt and scuzzy House of Love like melodic drive makes for a riveting and passion inciting encounter.

The accompanying Tropical is a wonderfully raw and again fire emblazoned sonic  wash, its surf rock like sirenesque lure a delicious heat over the raucous dirt covered rock ‘n’ roll floor of the song. With undemanding but firmly gripping rhythms and sizzling guitar grazes, as well as a great caustic snarl to the vocals, the song is an aurally mischievous brawl which like its co-conspirator steals the passions.

For rock music with a devilish swagger to its attitude and impossibly virulent call to its raw honest body, All I Wanna Do Is has all the ingredients of a classic and the band all the imagination and passion to become a real inventive force.


RingMaster 22/06/2013


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Holocene – Flaws In Us All

holocene pic

With a fine line in jangly guitars and melodic persuasion Flaws In Us All, the new single from UK indie rock band Holocene makes a solid and appetising persuasion as to why we should keep a firm eye on this Birmingham quartet. The single does not leap at the ear and demand attention, preferring to seduce and smoulder on the senses and thoughts until the same intent is earned, but it is a captivating release that sparks a definite appetite for more of the appealing sound.

Formed in the September of 2011 and taking inspirations from the likes of Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon into their invention, Holocene took no time in securing a strong and eagerly growing fanbase through their constant gigging, their debut coming at the 02 Academy in Birmingham. Their sound has also brought support from not only local press and radio stations but people such as Carl Barat and Gary Powell of the Libertines. It is a strong base the quartet of Bishan Davies (vocals and rhythm guitar), Marcello Sanzari (lead guitarist), Aaron Barnett (bass), and Benedict Campbell (drums and backing vocals) look to build upon and certainly the two tracks, which were recorded with Gavin Monaghan (Editors/ The Twang), that make up the single will only add to their growing presence.

Flaws In Us All opens with a deep throaty bassline, its lone call instantly tempting as it opens up the ear for the following melodic course of guitars and vocals. Immediately there is a post punk feel to the track, essences of Joy Division and Flesh For Lulu whispering richly, though once into its stride and the melodic coaxing is at full sway the one reference which calls out is China Crisis. For all of that though the sound has a unique flavour to its voice which is bred solely from Holocene and offers a persistent temptation across the warm and discord skirting intrigue. The vocals of Davies are strong whilst blending perfectly into the caressing intent of the song and the backing vocals, though arguably lacking a needed bite, serve as a pleasing companion. It is a track which takes ear and thoughts in a tender but energetic embrace and stokes up the emotions to want to know and hear more from the band.

The accompanying song serves one of those needs right away and only adds to the lure of the release. Grab My Coat from the start lays down irresistible bait through the guitar before it is joined by the rest of the band in a mix of power pop/indie rock, a romp of infectious hooks and melodies veined by contagious rhythms. There is a familiar air to the track which again turns back time for thoughts and makes an easy to access climb on board its addictive dance. Like with the title song there is debatably a snarl to the sound needed to lift it above the heads of the pack, a nip or acidic shadow which brings an edge, but they feel on course to achieving a distinct stance going by these two songs alone.

Holocene is a band well worth keeping a close eye on and Flaws In Us All a single certainly worth adding to your playlists.!/HoloceneUK


RingMaster 22/06/2013

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Our Final Hour -The Moving House EP

Our Final Hour Online Promo Shot

When the only real ‘complaint’ about a release is the fact that its creators has yet to find their own distinct voice than you know you have something very promising and intriguing in your ears. Such is the case with The Moving House EP from UK band Our Final Hour, a release full of intense promise and great creativity which just falls short of standing truly alone from the rest though on the evidence of the six powerful and imaginative tracks on the release it is coming.

Hailing from the Douglas, Isle of Man, Our Final Hour is a quintet which since forming in 2008 has fought against the obstacles of line-up changes, of broken friendships, and musical differences as well as the usual financial restraints to forge a strong reputation and position within the country’s underground scene. Determined and continually evolving, the band has earned an impressive devoted fanbase through touring throughout the UK and Europe, and the release of two previous EPs, Like Oceans and From Heart And Home. A blistering exercise in sonic evocation, The Moving House EP looks to have all the ammunition and captivation to gain an even greater depth of awareness for the band, certainly it should put the five piece on the radar of a great many more in the minimum.

The EP opens with Four Years, a song which immediately unleashes its torrid passionate breath of plaintive vocals and searing Our Final Hour Cover Artworkguitar strains. To be honest initial thoughts at the start to the track were of being underwhelmed and instantly assuming that the opening suggestion meant this would be a formula melodic hardcore encounter, but as the riffs suddenly twisted into carnivorous gnaws and the vocals spilled more venomous aggression, attention sat straight up. A further shift into rapacious jagged riffing and an impressive rhythmic bombardment from Sam Knight, as the vocals of Jamie Carrington scowled with vengeance, meant earlier thoughts were cast aside by the stirring acclaim waking up to the emerging beast of a song. Continuing to surprise as it ventured into melodic invention and sonic intrigue bred from the guitars of Kriss Maguire and Daniel Stocks, the confrontation left a lingering impression and passion, especially once its finale unleashed is a pure chug fest of primal temptation.

From the outstanding start there is another tease on expectations as the following Autumn Breeze opens up straight into a pop punk lilted invitation. Clean vocals seduce impressively ably backed by the additional vocals of Maguire and bassist Ffin Colley, whose intimidating four string invention like in the opener does nothing but light pure enthusiasm for its throaty emotive tones. Caustic squalling vocals enter as things take on another course of metallic might to again raise the temperature of the air, its charge then calmed into a smouldering melodic embrace of guitar imagination and heart. Like its predecessor and all subsequent songs there is continual adventure bred across its length, inventive and enthralling turns that capture the imagination.

The coarse introduction of #LSBC singes the ear as rhythms and riffs flail the air before settling into another strong blend of clean and melodic endeavour with ravenous corrosive passion and aggressive intent. It is a weave of sounds arguably well-worn across the genre but admittedly in the clutches of Our Final Hour find something extra and magnetic to their inventive presence and use. Like all tracks it deserves plenty of listens before showing its full hand, the song seemingly holding things back from first contact to unveil with each tempting and brawling encounter.

Both Searcher and Evergreen, without lighting the same fires as earlier songs, lead the senses into further potent flames of excellent vocal diversity and rhythmic incitement within enticing sonic blazes. The pair fall into more expected hardcore guises but still offer a quality of musicianship and passionate temptation that is impossible to ignore or dismiss, especially the latter of the two as it stirs up a hornets nest of emotive stings and unrelenting discontent.

The title track closes up the EP with its atmospheric smog of evocative tension and emotional turmoil. It is a nicely textured and richly layered piece with a great climactic flourish to send thoughts and senses home in an enlivened state, and though again until its great climax it leaves no deep marks it pokes at an exciting depth of promise and invention yet to be explored within the band.

The Moving House is a fine release from a band that you feel has a destiny of success in their hands; it is just a matter of continued hard imaginative work.


RingMaster 22/06/2013

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