Fuzzy Logic Baby – Glow In The Dark EP

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We suspect that like us Fuzzy Logic Baby is an undiscovered thrill for a great many but with the release of their simply brilliant new EP Glow In The Dark, that surely will change and very soon. The five track thought and passion provoking dance of invention and imagination is with ease one of the most vibrant and exciting releases this year, one that challenges and deviously ignites mind and soul whilst leaving the body exhausted from an impossible to resist temptation to participate in its mighty call.

Combining more flavours than a Michelin starred chef, the London quartet conjure sounds that work on every level leaving an intense temptation which seduces and does naughty things to primal urges. Formed in 2007 from according to their bio, a chance meeting, Fuzzy Logic Baby have developed and honed an innovative brew which is best described as hip hop and grime meets ska and reggae before flirting with punk and rock, or an easier way to imagine is they are like the insatiable hybrid of The Specials and Misty In Roots meeting Dizraeli & The Small Gods and Lazy Habits with The Karma Party whispering in their ears. It is a unique and compelling union of ideas and sounds that sets the band as one of the best emerging talents in the UK, if not anywhere.

Consisting of vocalist Darwood Grace (former member of Poetry collective 3+1 and film maker with the movie It’s A Lot released in cinemas in July), guitarist Jack Hearne, bassist Nicodemus Leo, and drummer James Thackery, the Hackney hailing Fuzzy Logic Baby have left a trail of fired up loyalty through their live performances which has seen them ignite venues around the capital and across the UK as well as sharing stages with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Katy B, Random Impulse, Mikill Pane, Wretch 32, and Professor Green. 2011 saw their impressive debut release, the GoodTimesDotCometh EP an acclaimed and well devoured by the media introduction.  Glow In The Dark is another animal, taking all their promise to new levels of hungry imagination and intrigue and presented with a fluency and skill that makes it all look so very easy.

The release opens with its biggest triumph, though every song and minute of the release walks the heights vertigo sufferers would sweat over. Howling Wolves is pure lyrical and musical alchemy, rhythms, notes, and syllables cast into a spellbinding romp that persuades feet, voice, and emotions to rush to its call with rabid lust, just like a fourteen year old boy to an abandoned copy of Knave (I think that is the name of one of those types of books…). From its first second tempting rhythms are coaxing out total attention as the vocals with a narrative that is impossibly absorbing feed their awakening. The vocals of Grace are outstanding in all forms of delivery and just as impressively backed up by others in the band, though no clarity to whom is found in info accompanying the release. A mischievous stroll that switches gait with every energetic swaggering step, the song is as delicious and richly flavoursome as Cornish ice cream, the mix of funk pressed ska and indie sculpted rock just one glorious aspect.

The following Gangsta In Da AM sidles in with a blaze of trumpet from Gary Annells and guitar teasing before expelling a flame of melodic energy to spark another canter of rhythmic suasion and seductive vitality. There is a Bang Data like sultriness to the reggae tinted amble whilst the vocals again unveil a lyrical tale that captures the imagination as unerringly as the colour soaked sounds. It is like its predecessor a track which has little trouble in leaving thoughts and emotions ablaze but when it kicks out with a punk bred confrontation evolving into a smouldering melodic hue of vocals and stinging guitar play nearing its end, the track is a beacon of excellence and invention. It is a stunning song that with its previous companion alone makes the release an impossibly important addition to the musical year.

There is no let-up though as firstly the current single March On brings another distinct and absorbing landscape to traverse closely followed by the outstanding title track. The first of the pair almost floats across the senses with a moody bass and shimmering melodic haze holding hands with the fine vocals of Grace. There is a firm and commanding lure to the track brought by rhythms and led by voice and bass, its dark charm wrapping a provocative almost intimidating caress around the ear. With the blaze of guitar and the subsequent carnivalesque swing adding extra sustenance to the climax, it all combines to create another unforgettable and thrilling moment in time. Its successor is a stirring mix of gentle melodies and punchy rhythms kissed by vocal harmonies and dazzling imagination that like all tracks on the EP teases and tempts further with a perpetual twist of changing ingenuity and imagination. A slow burning furnace of majesty, the song is arguably the most creative slice of scintillating composing and realisation on the release, standing high amongst nothing but startling invention and craft.

The closing No Problems is a dull and uninspiring track…oh do not be stupid there is no chance of that with Fuzzy Logic Baby on this release, the band once more sculpting a riveting course of musical and vocal juggling that spawns from numerous nefarious mischievous spices and unbridled devilry. It concludes a quite dazzling piece of aural imagining that steps up to challenge any release anywhere as one of the finest in 2013. With a UK tour on the near horizon, Fuzzy Logic Baby is about to take country and continent by storm; watch out world after that.

https://www.facebook.com/fuzzylogicbaby

http://www.fuzzylogicbaby.com/

10/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

 

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Dark Stares – Octopon EP

Dark Stares - Promo Picture

With their debut, the Tell Your Friends EP, UK rockers Dark Stares not only impressed and raised plenty of attention in their direction but also suggested they were still in the midst of finding a unique sound. Even so, it and they stood out as something fresh and different meaning the arrival of its successor, the Octopon EP was greeted with eagerness, quizzical expectations, and a very healthy appetite to see how the band had progressed.

The four song release has stepped forward as another outstanding slice of rock ‘n’ roll from the St Albans quartet, the release a slab of accomplished and slightly dirtier rock invention that answered all questions. Whereas the previous EP seemed to be searching for that one sound with many aspects and references to other bands playing their suggestions throughout, Octopon has found a narrower stance. It still employs essences of the likes of Foo Fighters and Muse for example but that is a cloudy breath now within an almost brawling singular presence that captivates from first note to last. Arguably there is less originality to the new songs than before, possibly and predominantly from the fact that they have a similarly crafted sound and presence, but for maturity, craft, and sheer compelling persuasion the EP is a mighty and refreshing piece of invention and step forward. Dark Stares has come of age so to speak with Octopon and suggests a feisty ride ahead with the band starts here.

The combination of brothers Miles Kristian (vocals/guitar), Taylor (drums), and Brett Harland Howell (bass) alongside Harry Collins (lead Dark Stares - Octopon EP - Front Coverguitar), start things off with the mighty encounter Bad Machine. Since forming, the band has ripped up stages playing with bands such as Enter Shikari and The Darkness, and across numerous festivals, and from the opening song alone you feel they have watched, learned, and developed those experiences into their own distinctive brand of creative energy, for songwriting and performance. The track immediately surrounds the ear with thumping rhythms, concentrated abrasive guitar, and prowling basslines. The vocals of Miles bring again good expressive and keen vocals but they just glide through the brewing intensity rather than deflecting its impending climb. With a wash of scuzz to every atom of the sonic narrative, from vocals and sound through to production, the weighty edge to the presence of the song makes a mountain of a start. There is a familiarity to it also which makes the song easily accessible for limbs and voice to join the pounding treat whilst the acidic raw groove which cores it drags emotions into its richly satisfying grip with ease.

It is an excellent start soon eclipsed by the following Shinigami, the new single from the band. It launches off of the plateau set with a stronger sizzling energy and Muse toned melodic suasion, its sound again caustic but compelling, with the energy of band and song anthemic in voice and effect. The track romps across the senses and into the passions with no respite of its temptation, the excellent aside of melodic beckoning and rhythmic pouting a chance to snatch a breath whilst the temperature within still rises heartily. With a fiery crescendo bringing the song to a sudden stop, again for the listener to gain some composure, the band unleash another rising wave of noise bred rock with a burning climax that just seals the deal.

Steal Your Girl continues the excellent and intensive pleasure next, again the sound of the song holding a familiar air but without making clear declaration as to why. It strolls along with a swagger and enterprise that lifts the spirits and emotions, not to forget feet and hunger for much more. There is a touch of wantonness to its infectious charge too, reserved slightly but open to those that look, like a horny unsatisfied housewife on the prowl (the hell yeah of window cleaners everywhere ringing out right now). It is another irresistible piece of dirt clad rock ‘n’ roll that cements the new stature of Dark Stares.

Final track Blackfyre has a blues flame to its imagination, the guitars breeding from the potent source with heated intent to light up the skies around the equally emotive and flaming vocal delivery of Miles. The least raucous and instant of the four songs but arguably the most sonically poetic and creatively infused, it is a burning conclusion to the EP and shows the depth of the band still maybe yet to be explored.

Octopon is a great release which may have surprised a touch at first but left thoughts and passions alight with its skilled muscular entrapment. Dark Stares are poised to ignite UK rock; that the prime thought earned by their excellent release, oh other than excitement of course.

www.facebook.com/DarkStares

8.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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Resin – Embrace The Fall

Resin Online Promo Shot

Not to be confused with the excellent US alternative rock band of the same name (though they may not be going anymore), rockers Resin are stepping forward to find their place in UK rock with new album Embrace The Fall. Nine tracks of accomplished and adventurous grunge and alternative rock, the album is a strong and enjoyable piece of honest sounds and thoughtful invention though not flawless and at times not equipped with enough to have the passions firing on all cylinders compared to other bands and releases. The album nevertheless is overall an enjoyable slice of musicianship and imagination.

Formed in 2006 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, from the meeting of guitarists Mark ‘Chez’ Roseby and Sime Yarwood, Resin was soon a trio with the addition of vocalist James Botha, who had just relocated South Africa. After a search the line-up was completed by bassist Dave ‘Sev’ Seville and Mark Abbott who plays drums, cajon, and cello. 2010 formerly introduced the band to the public soon backed by a wealth of live shows and numerous festival appearances. Since then they have shared stages with bands such as Voodoo Six, Fearless Vampire, I am Giant, and Dr and the Medics, whilst honing their sound and craft. With inspirations worn proudly on its sleeve, the music of Resin has loud whispers of bands like Seether, A Perfect Circle, Alice In Chains and more to it, whilst coincidently also reminding of the other Resin mentioned previously and smaller US bands such as Damsel Down.

Listening to the album the qualities and skill of the members of Resin is undeniable each offering an intelligent and intriguing narrative Resin Cover Artworkwhich many bands could take note of. This makes each song a passage of emotive and personal discovery wrapped in sounds and imagination that strengthens the musical drama and lyrical potency. From the opener Entropy onwards you feel every song comes from the heart and every note and word is bred from reflective passion. The song opens up the release with an introduction of almost melancholic guitar paced by the excellent call of the cello from Abbott. There is warmth to the slowly emerging atmosphere being cast by the track, a heat accelerated by the joining vocal harmonies and tight guitar flames. Into its heart the track ambles nicely along with enterprise and infectiousness but also immediately shows the weak points of the album. Firstly as with the majority of the songs there is a too close a familiarity to others which influences have sprung from for the band, then there are the vocals of Botha. His voice and delivery is great it has to be confirmed but within the song and album, and primarily down to the third issue of the cloudy production, there is a missing snarl and depth to ignite the songs further. For all of that though the track makes a pleasing start to the album and ensures continued participation of its course.

The following pair of Carpe Diem and Fallen flounders a little in the wake of the opener but again do enough to keep attention firm, the first a Pearl Jam like blaze of sonic and melodic empathy with thoughts and the second an inventive breeze of strings alone caressing the delivery of Botha whilst adding their own emotional hues. Both though suffer from the production of the album which defuses their potency and impact. Their successor Fake does finds good company in the dulled sound, riffs and bass carving out a formidable presence veined by crisp beats, but equally the surface production tempers the success by blunting the cutting edge of vocals and guitars with a seeming lack of understanding. It is a shame as the song itself is full of promise.

After the fiery Instinct the album’s pinnacle opens up its declaration. Beskadig, meaning damage, injure, spoil, is sung in Afrikaans by Botha and in its acoustic delivery offers a charm and deep emotive presence that defies producer and mix to create a real gem of a song. Acoustic guitars and touches have a ready and welcome place on Embrace The Fall but nowhere else is it as impressive and thrilling as upon this enthralling song.

The highlight is followed by the Nirvana bred Clouds, a song which again has all the attributes to satisfy and leave the listener hungry for more but its close proximity to the Seattle band in sound ensures it fails a little flat especially when it opens up the burners. The raucous aspect of the song has no definition to its fire but with the smouldering croon which surrounds the expulsions offering strength and seductive temptation, the song is another showing the potential of the band and the wish with no disrespect to those recording the album that Resin finds understanding hands ahead on their releases.

Completed by the very decent and melodically vibrant Poison and an acoustic version of Clouds which fairs stronger than the full version to be honest, Embrace The Fall is a pleasing album but one which could have been much better, a lost opportunity in many ways. It does make for an encounter that marks the band as a rising proposition and one hopefully finding a studio able to exploit their certain talent.

www.facebook.com/resinonline

7/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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Ivor Game – Back Seat Driving

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    Back Seat Driving is the new single from singer songwriter Ivor Game, an artist hailing from Ashford, Middlesex. The song is quite simply a pleasing slice of melodic and emotive writing which merges acoustic craft and pop with a folk lilted narrative. It is gentle and tender, an unassuming track which though lacking the punch or depth to spark fires in the emotions is as engaging and satisfying as you could wish for when in emotional contemplation.

Game first touched the guitar at the age of ten and was soon writing and creating his own songs. Time in various bands followed until in his twenties he stretched out and began playing solo in various acoustic clubs around London. His success saw tours of Ireland, Los Angeles, Nashville and Europe following over the subsequent years whilst the UK continually was graced by his short sharp acoustic’ shows. Back Seat Driving is the next song to try and enchant many more to accompany the many already taken with the strong sounds of Game, and as it caresses senses and thoughts with the developed craft and experience of its creator again whilst writing its review, it is hard not to imagine his fanbase gaining a healthy new influx of energy from its release.

The song instantly cups the ear with a melodic wash that suggests and brings a colour rich premise to bear and upon which the vocals and their words find a rewarding canvas to paint their plea upon. There is a simplicity to all aspects that walks a folk adventure whilst the guitar of Game lights up ears with an enterprise and touch that is wholly appetising. It is fair to say that Back Seat Driving is not opening up new boundaries or stretching limits but it instead offers a weave of heart given personal incite and melodic pleasure that is hard to refuse and not enjoys. For a soundtrack to nights working things out or just enjoying a balmy evening of reflection, Ivor Game has a gently agreeable companion in his new single.

https://www.facebook.com/ivor.game

7.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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The Machismo’s – Good Things About To Happen

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Sam Marsh portrait by Michael Smith

Earlier this year we were treated to the re-releases of the first EP and album from the mighty under acclaimed early 90s alt-rockers Jacob’s Mouse and now if that was not enough to feast upon, also via Sturm Und Drang Recordings we are being blessed by Good Things About To Happen, the solo album of Bury St Edmunds-based songwriter/producer Sam Marsh, and the vocalist/drummer of said previous band. Under the name The Machismo’s, Marsh started writing and recording around the time of the demise of Jacob’s Mouse in 1995. He recorded two full albums in his home cassette portastudio subsequently whilst assembling a live band to take the music to the masses. It was seemingly not a ‘serious’ intent as Marsh moved onto other projects and the songs and albums were put aside unreleased. Thankfully twenty years on the man re-looked at this work and realising their quality and worth has brought 1996 debut album Good Things About To Happen to the world, a gift to us all with its exceptional songs and invention, the release easily one of the most enjoyable encounters this year.

The Machismo’s is very different to the almost psychotically arranged sounds of Jacob’s Mouse, but like that band the album has a seed of discord brilliance and startling yet thoughtfully composed simplicity that is just riveting and the spring board for thoughts and passions, from him and in us. Also like his previous band, the presence of The Machismo’s is impossible to place just in one box, or at times even find a pigeonhole for. A blend of acoustic and folk caresses placed in an experiment of noise pop and synapse teasing enterprise, the best we can do in description, Good Things About To Happen instantly tells you all you need to know about album and artist with its opening title track, and it has to be said that its seductive sting is instant and lingering.

The first song almost lumbers into view as heavy acoustic riffs and equally weighty rhythms introduce themselves but there is a vibrancya0731346688_10 and energy to it that draws limbs and emotions to their eager feet. Composed and performed by Marsh alone, as is the mixing and production, the song takes a mere breath to impress, the range of guitar tones and vocal invention side by side each other irresistible whilst the dark twang of chords and the almost sinister throaty bass stalking of the senses just delicious. As mentioned discord adds its fingertips to the surface of all aspects too, adding a richer tang to the aural spice that tempts reactions into aural lust. Infectious and hypnotic, the track is a thrilling introduction to something which expectations and hopes came nowhere near in assumption.

The following Macho Theme and Jilt compliment the start potently, even if they miss gripping the opening plateau set by a whisker. The first is a sonic wash of caustic garage rock with punk shadows, guitars slashing across the ear with fire bred intensity and sinew clad rhythms caging senses in an enslaving web of beats and intimidation. Its successor then comes in to slowly swarm over the body with slightly acidic melodic hugs aided by a rhythmic shuffle. As with most songs, Marsh offers a twin vocal attack that is quite riveting and here mesmeric in its charm and persuasion, matching the mix of beauty and cutting invention veining the sounds. With a barbed groove that is rich in familiarity and a melodic toxin, the track is a slow burner that creeps up on and steals the passions over numerous plays. The great thing about the album and emphasised by this track alone, is that the seeming familiarity is so often from songs and bands coming after the writing of the never released album two decades ago, coincidence can be a tease at times.

From the immense start there is another elevation in excellence starting with Down The Drain, the track a sauntering slice of sonically sculpted R&B with the individuality, in not so much sound but unique composition and fusing of discordant fuel and melodic fire, that marks the solo work of Frank Black, and also the contagiousness. There is dark blues sultriness to the track too which brings Black Keys/Jack White essences to bear. After next up Ickworth Park Song, another track which took time to persuade with its noir elegance, Loosen Up strolls down the senses into the heart with its rhythmic trot. Across its stroll the guitar forges a repetitive coaxing that is irresistible whilst the UB40 like prowl of the song carved by the excellent bass lure and dark almost carnivorous second guitar is a blissful counter to the again excellent dreamgaze like vocals of Marsh, though they too have a steel and raw edge.

A pinnacle though it is, Good Things About To Happen only moves on to greater things as surrounding the supremacy of the tautly harmonious New Start and the intriguing Rogue Males, there are the show stealers When You Know It’s Real and The Storm. The first of the two struts with an opening reggae seeded lope of guitar cuts and roaming heavy bass drawl, both ridden by the drifting vocals of Marsh. Teasing upon dubstep, the song evolves into an imagination capturing leisurely drift that has thoughts climbing all over the idea that the song is like World Domination Enterprises and Shriekback playing together under a summer haze with Dalek I Love You and The Gist. It is a glorious amble for the passions easily matched by the final song. The Storm is sheer brilliance, a track which again suggests others though damned if they come to mind within its familiar presence.  Crafted with a virulently addictive heart stroking mesh of repetition, vocal evocation, and rhythmic conjuring, it is a stunning end to an equally majesty release.

We may have unknowingly had to wait a long time to devour creativity of this quality but Good Things About To Happen is now here to make our hearts and the world a better place. Roll on album two.

www.facebook.com/themachismos

9.5/10

RingMaster 04/08/2013

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

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