The Hot Soul Psychos – Everfunk Junior EP

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The Everfunk Junior EP is one of those releases which yes you have probably heard it all before but coming with such energy and passionate appetite to draw the funk out of its listeners it is one you cannot help liking, and liking a lot. The release comes from Irish funk rock band The Hot Soul Psychos, and consists of three tracks which stomp through and romp around the ear as well as the senses. It is not without flaws but overrides them with an infectiousness which is hard to dismiss or turn down.

Hailing from Newbridge , Co Kildare, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Dan O’Shaughnessy, bassist Ciaran Goulding, and drummer Domhnall Hurley have lit up their local scene and further afield with their energetic and sweat spraying live performances since forming just over a year ago. Their reputation continues to increase and with festival appearances at the likes of Fleadh Beag, The Galway Fringe Festival, Ballinamore Fringe Festival, Biker Rallys, and the Prosperous Music Festival filling the weeks ahead they are building up an intensive presence. Recorded with bass player Tom Cosgrave of Irish rock n roll trio The Minutes and mastered by Aidan Foley (U2, The Coronas, and Sinead O’Connor), Everfunk Junior EP is equally primed to take the band’s name and sound further afield.

Opening track Keep It That Way teases the ear with guitar caresses and rising percussive enticements, soon joined by the lurkingcover throaty menace of the bass, all restrained in their stride but eager in their temptation. Taking a breath’s pause the song then bursts into a strolling swagger of blues funk endeavour and vocal mischief, the clean vocals filled with party borne expression. The bass of Goulding snarls and carves a slightly carnivorous voice to its inventive provocation whilst the guitar paints a sonic narrative which is captivating. Admittedly the drop into an almost indulgent pass of instrumentation does not quite work but once into its swift footed stomp of again blues lit rock the track is a richly pleasing and contagious lure.

The following Connie instantly lays a web of growling guitar and bass calls upon the ear, their funk dance soon aided by a jumping rhythmic enticement and the again keen vocals. With equally a feisty rock core to its leaping invention the song gives open evidence to the band’s inspirations which include the likes of The Black Keys , Wolfmother , CCR , Rory Gallagher , Kings of Leon , and Jack White. Many will argue it is too close to some of these influences and it would be hard to argue but for a debut from a band obviously finding its feet still and the enjoyment it offers, laying the lack of true originality as a reason not to investigate Everfunk Junior would be a mistake.

From the again potent second song the EP is closed by One Es Dancer, another track which leaves its irresistible mark. Its start is outstanding, the guitars raising a fifties rockabilly like temptation which explores its imagination to create another flaming mix of blues, classic rock, and sixties inspired enterprise, whilst not forgetting its funk rock intent. It is a bouncing  and invigorating tease which leads feet and passions into its appealing aural escapade with ease and stands as the best track on the release.

There is a rawness to the release which at times brings the songs live to the senses but at other moments stifles the vibrancy of elements, as in the approaching climax of the final song but it never depletes the satisfaction gained, just suggests the band has things to work on as they evolve their sound one suspects into a more distinct and unique proposition. Available as a free download at www.thehotsoulpsychos.bandcamp.com/album/everfunk-junior the EP is well worth more than a minute of your time.

www.Facebook.com/TheHotSoulPsychos

7.5/10

RingMaster 02/07/2013

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Escape The Ocean – Internal Landscapes

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UK band Escape The Ocean may not at this moment in time have a sound to break down boundaries or set new fires of individuality, but as it pleases and entices within debut EP Internal Landscapes you cannot stop feeling that there is something extra within the craft and imagination of the Kent based quartet which will see them finding their distinct personal voice at some point. The release is an enterprising and accomplished piece of progressive and math rock fusing which leaves a strong depth of satisfaction in its vibrant wake.

Formed in the beginning of 2011, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Lee Morrison, bassist Glen Savage, guitarist Lewis Monks, and drummer Liam Foy have taken inspirations from the likes of Coheed and Cambria, The Fall of Troy, At the Drive-In, Glassjaw, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, and Primus and created a sound which maybe has a familiarity at times but is undeniably inventive and skilfully crafted. As mentioned Internal Landscapes has something which catches the ear and thoughts and that ignites a definite promise for the band ahead and pleasure now.

From the brief Entry To An Interior, a melodic intro so short it is merely an appetiser for and leading into the following All 942970_469733693114439_161646567_nSigns Point To Yes, the first full track immediately soaks the ear in strong vocals and fiery melodic enterprise from the guitars, their touch acidic around the great vocal delivery of Morrison a strong appealing blaze veined by the rhythmic sinews of Foy who in turn is aided by the throaty prowl of Savage. As the song proceeds and the progressive flames of Morrison and Monks explore the air you feel loud whispers of Mars Volta amidst the impressive venture being craved out. Not the most instant and infectious of the tracks making up the EP but it is nevertheless a strong and inviting start.

One Sided Dice gently enters in next, the elegant caress of guitar a simple yet full persuasion before the emerging twists of invention increases the lure with a less dramatic but still an At The Drive In like similarity. Once again the vocals are a strong factor, the expressive tones of Morrison and the overall emotive narrative finding mutual understanding in the restrained yet potent sounds and energy surrounding its call.  The temperature of the song undulates and increases the nearer to its climax you go but at no point is the sweltering breath and touch of the track less than tempting.

Mesculine Vigil and Exit Wound complete the release, the first like its predecessor a more reserved but passionate encounter. The guitars again cast a colourful sonic painting over the rhythmic canvas, their invention sparking surges of emotional flaming and descriptive evocations whilst the closer from again a Mars Volta like mesmeric start, builds an intriguing weave of arousing textures and potent endeavour. It is a fine end to an equally enjoyable debut. Escape the Ocean may have a way to go to develop their unique voice but for craft and imagination no one is left wanting by Internal Landscapes. This is a band and release which definitely should be checked out.

www.escapetheocean.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 02/07/2013

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Bishop – Inside The Whale We Saw Ourselves EP

Bishop

A band which lets their music do all the talking, UK noise manipulators Bishop have made a startling introduction with their debut EP Inside The Whale We Saw Ourselves. They are a quintet from Birmingham featuring ex- members of Ghostmaker, Kafka, Pariah, Red Eye Militia, and How The Dead Live! and that is about all we can reveal about the band, oh and the fact that their first release is a carnivorous treat which leaves thoughts ignited and hungry. It is a masterful corrosive confrontation, a release and sound which in the words of their invitational email to check out their release is ‘Born from the same cow as our Brum buddies Bovine….only with schizophrenic dirge thrown in to every part of the mix’. The EP is very much from the sonic disruption as the recent Bovine album, but with a distinct imagination and rapaciousness stands apart whilst simultaneously suggesting that Bishop have the invention to make an equally inspiring impact as their fellow noise alchemists.

Opening track Lessons Learned On Re-Entry instantly winds itself around the ear with sonic lassos of sound, rhythms making covera schizophrenic dance within their tantalising searing. Immediately senses and thoughts are plastered with intense imagination and caustic provocation with an acidic groove coring it all to ensure it is an overwhelming enticement. The instantaneous persuasion is impossible to resist and once securing submission allows a brawling abrasiveness from the harsh squalling vocals of John Baker and antagonistic maelstrom of riffs and rhythms to have their turn. It is a brief assault though soon joined by a great melodic turn to the vocals from Baker and assisted by those of guitarist Charlie Smith. Though still intensive the song has a calmer embrace to its tempest but again and as proven throughout song and EP, there is never more than a breaths worth of time that things stand still and the track explores further multiple textures and avenues, all predatory and all ingeniously fused together.

It is a tremendous start soon equalled by the following Manaconda!. The rabidity of the sonic abuse carving out the song’s narrative to start things off is delicious, the guitars of Smith and Steve Styles sculpting an aggressive and gripping net. As the drums of Matt Reay cast their own resonating frame over things within which the bass of Sam Trinder prowls and snarls with pure venom, the guitars leave sabres swipes of metallic heat across the emerging doomy atmosphere and primal torrents of sound and enterprise. At times it is like a lumbering beast but one  equipped with moments of savage eruptions, sinews sending sonic waves caustically across the senses and the rhythms taking disorientating swipes to conjure towering heights to the persistently debilitation encounter.

Attention Evil Henchman completes the line-up of sonic gorging, guttural serpentine vocals scathing in breath and intent riding a blaze of synapse fusing and senses bewitching inventiveness. Like its predecessors the song twists and flares from start to finish with swiftly moving ideas and exhausting intensity, the fatiguing experience and inventive craft simply irresistible and inciting for emotions and appetite.

Sadly the release is a mere trio of tracks to leave hunger irritable but eager to press play once again. Such the strength and creative potency of the tracks there is nothing less than full satisfaction and pleasure gained, the skill and invention of each band member forging a sound which is as experimental and vital as it is pestiferous and mind twisting. Bishop is a band set to make a deep and rich impression on extreme music and aural sculpting. Grab the free download of Inside The Whale We Saw Ourselves EP and be there at the start.

http://bishopsmash.bandcamp.com/album/inside-the-whale-we-saw-ourselves

https://www.facebook.com/bishopsmashuk

9/10

RingMaster 02/07/2013

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