Dead Retinas : Gang Of Wolves EP

Photos by Kate Hatfield

Photos by Kate Hatfield

Having impressed with their previous pair of EPs, UK hardcore punks Dead Retinas return with their third offering and a new vocalist. The departure of previous singer Sam Hendo left some questions as to how they would follow his strong presence but the Gang Of Wolves EP shows it was with ease as new frontman Will Walkden slaps down his own identity and brawl upon songs. There is also a seeming shift in sound and band, an emerging maturity and you could almost say seriousness to their endeavours now which initially stops you in your tracks to consider the move and then finds you basking in its overall success.

Dead Retinas has over past couple of years stood tall as one of the most promising and best emerging punk bands in the UK, their riotous live performances, which has seen them alongside bands such as Four Short Of A Miracle, Landmarks, Falter, The City Divided, Zsilent Z and many more, and their pair of previous EPs, Dead Retinas vs. The World and Dawn Of The Dead Retinas. The new release only confirms the earlier stance of the band and thoughts left over them whilst still suggesting there is much more to come from the Manchester four-piece, especially with as mentioned this more business-like feel to their music. Gang Of Wolves contains a trio of songs taken from the earlier releases now re-recorded as well as three new ones and it is the older tracks which show the more ‘sober’ approach to a still rebellious middle fingered devilry.

The release opens with Snow, a track which is staring at the ear from its first rhythmic beckoning through to the creative casting of sonica0144321436_2 mist by the guitar of Jack Thompson and the prowling throat growling bass of CJ. It is a considered start and caress of the senses which is arguably new for the band and continues even as the angst driven squalls of Walkden score and scar the walls of the song. Expelling a fire bred intensity as it moves deeper into its compelling heart, the song brings a vehement climax to its recipient, evocative and fearsome but wholly riveting. There is a post hardcore breath to the track which also makes a fresh flame to challenge expectations over the band and helps makes a tremendous burn of an introduction to start things off.

The following Crowns On Hounds entwines tightly around the body next, metallic sonic flames of guitar in league with a gruff bass swagger that is instantly enticing within the ever crisp and challenging rhythms of drummer Lee O’Connor. Venturing in to Cancer Bats/Pinhead Gunpowder territory with a snarl and vicious sonic lancing of the senses to the fore, the track is a deliciously abrasive and distrustful beast of a song where the vocals of Walkden, backed as impressively by the additional badgering of Thompson and CJ, graze the synapses as potently and deeply as the sonic scything elsewhere.

The next three tracks are the revisited songs starting with Just Because You Drink Jack Daniels. Doesn’t Mean You’re Rock n Roll. A mighty mix of punk, hardcore, and noise, the track chews the ear with discourteous riffs and a rapacious bassline urged on by the still abusive rhythms of O’Connor. The guitar draws on a blues whiff to ignite thoughts further whilst CJ finds a bestial predation to his notes that sets the senses back on their heels whilst only having a hunger for more. Veined by an irresistible Dead Kennedys like groove with more hooks than a loan shark, the track twists the passions around its intrusive little finger to leave only greed for more in its wake. The track is as impressive as first time around but with a rein on the chaotic approach which marked its presence on Dawn Of The Dead, takes on a more potent presence, something which applies to the other pair of recharged songs. It has to be said though there is still a part of the heart that misses the no idea if the band would explode into bedlam unpredictably that endeared them previously.

Both LSD (Listen Smile Disagree) and Pure Gold exhaust the passions with their insatiable provocations and again the pair build on impressive first appearances to show an evolution in attitude, craft, and antagonism, as well as proving that Walkden is a worthy successor to Hendo. The first is a mix of predatory urgency and flesh peeling riffs stalked by the always hungry bass, the gang shouts an anthemic air punching draw which softens the senses before the finale of brain melting acidic sonics take their spiteful and thrilling place. Its successor is prime punk rock, a nostalgic air filtering through its hardcore badgering. Gallows meets Liferuiner, the song is a thrilling blaze of jagged riffs and concussively jabbing rhythms ridden by pure vocal hostility.

The closing title track is a thoughtful and thought provoking slice of caustic temptation which like the opener suggests the direction the band is moving towards. Still steeped in hardcore bitterness and punk gall there is a melodic hue to the rancor that sees the band expanding their sights and passions if still within their aural loathing.

Gang Of Wolves is a fine intriguing and exciting release, answering and suggesting more questions for the future. Like an end of a chapter whilst opening up a new paragraph for the band The EP leaves only eagerness to hear and feel the evolving force that is Dead Retinas, still one of the best emerging bands and now maybe just that much more impressive.

Get Gang Of Wolves as a name your own price download from http://deadretinas.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeadRetinas

8/10

RingMaster 12/08/2013

 

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This Devastated Fan – Plot And Debauchery

This Devastated Fan Promo shot

This week sees the re-release of Plot And Debauchery, the debut album of UK alternative rock band This Devastated Fan. It is a captivating album which certainly deserves another airing before the ears of the nation, its offering of thirteen evocative and passionate songs a compelling brew of invention and melodic persuasion. Nicely varied and impressively sculpted the release takes emotions and thoughts on a magnetic ride through heart bred adventures, and though arguably it fails to ignite the passions enough times to be classed as a classic introduction, it leaves satisfaction and pleasure the overriding emotion within a fuelled hunger towards the stylish songwriting and presentation of the quartet.

Formed in 2006, the current line-up of brothers vocalist/guitarist Robbie and drummer Jamie Cavanagh, guitarist Will Rogers, and bassist Steve Alday has spent the past 18 months hitting the UK and Europe hard with their live shows which has seen them play alongside the likes of Public Image Limited and The Birthday Suit. With a sound which seemingly combines inspirations from the likes of Manchester Orchestra, Alexisonfire, Biffy Clyro, and Idlewild in to something fresh and potent, the album has the richness and promise to exploit the stronger awareness and stature of the band this time around.

From the opener Shoulder The War, band and release grabs attention with ease, the song itself a smouldering persuasion that deals in This Devastated Fan Cover Artworktender emotions and passionate crescendos rife with incisive guitar work, firm rhythms and the excellent vocals of Robbie Cavanagh. There is a great niggle to the throat of the bass too which tempers and compliments the melodic flames honed by the guitars, it all combining to create a track thick with expression and enterprise. It is a strong start which fluidly evolves into Calvery Cemetery, NYC; another song where gentle coaxing from sound and vocals leads to multiple climaxes of explosive passion and melodic fire. Lyrically the band has a depth and impact which talks thoughts and feelings into creating reflective connections, and certainly this track creates richly hued scenery for their narratives.

Through the more than decent REM like Contingency Plan, the album reaches higher pinnacles with the pair of aural beacons, Sounds Like Sirens and Bambi Woods. The first of the two is a mesmeric beckoning with whispers of Green Day and Brand New to its warm brew of tangoing rhythms, melodic charm, and teasing basslines. Once again the band proves themselves majestic in creating infectious hotspots and choruses within songs, here the brighter burn of melodies and tantalising lures striking and tempting to secure a place in the rapidly growing hunger for the album. Its successor is an excellent blend of hard rock sinew and taunting indie rock feistiness, the result a song that swaggers with a firm prod of confrontation and riveting invention leaving senses and emotions leaping to join its pleasing canter.

The likes of the enflamed An Assembly Of Witches, the closely hugging Carnivore, and the slightly sinister Conversation Killer, wrap the ear and thoughts in weaves of passion and emotional colour, each track and across the whole album to be honest, dripping with incandescent heart and inciting personal observation. Though the songs fail to make the same lingering impact as some of the earlier tracks they all leave a welcome bait in place for a return, the last of the three and the impressive Murder which lies amongst them, creative fascinations that hook you back to the album and ignites the appetite with skilled and instinctive majesty. The same can be said of Barricade, a track which has a feel of Placebo to its steely yet mellow sonic claws and melodic engrossment.

Completed by the final emotive call of the ballad Heathen Rage, the album is a vibrant coaxing which defies any real criticism even if it fails to send the passions into overload as much as it probably should have. Plot And Debauchery is so full of promise and imagination though that you feel it will only be a matter of time before This Devastated Fan creates that undeniable classic. Watch this eager space we say whilst enjoying a rather satisfying album.

http://www.tdfhq.co.uk/

8/10

RingMaster 12/08/2013

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Immension – The Enemy Within EP

Immension Online Press Shot

Taking the promise offered on their debut self-titled EP, UK melodic thrashers Immension explore and take things to another level with new release The Enemy Within EP. Consisting of four accomplished and captivating slabs of thrash fuelled melodic metal enterprise, the release is a richly pleasing and thrilling further indication of one rather potent band emerging with UK metal.

Whereas previous EP had the strong scent of Bullet For My Valentine to its enjoyable bulk, The Enemy Within comes with a late eighties Metallica breath wrapped in flames from the likes of In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold. Like its predecessor the release has a familiarity which is unavoidable but again like the debut it works in only a positive and invigorating way with the Sheffield quartet putting plenty of their own twists and imagination into its presentation. Formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist Jake Kearsley and lead guitarist Tim Dolan, the band like so many endured early times of instability in the line-up but once bassist Hasan Ahmed and drummer Jonni Sowter were recruited there years later things clicked into place and Immension began making their imprint into an awakening awareness for their sound. Pulling good critical acclaim their first EP put the metal community in the UK on alert and now with the new EP it is fair to say the band has set themselves up in a sure spotlight.

The self-released EP opens with its title track and instantly has the guitars creating hot melodic flames to warm the ear as strong rhythms Immension Cover Artworkfrom Sowter offers strong provocation. As the intensity steels itself and breaks out greater sinews, the track charges into an intensive romp of scarring riffs coated in a toxic tonic of melodic adventure matched by the excellent vocals of Kearsley which are just as impressively backed by additional tones from the band. It is a contagious anthemic call bringing extra addictiveness to the already compelling sounds where the guitar of Dolan stretches itself and the passions with excellent inventive craft and sonic persuasion.

It is a striking start from band and release which continues in the following Forevermore which seamlessly takes over. The only criticism here though is that the song is so similar in pattern and sound to the first that it is easy with less concentration to miss the fact that this is a new venture within the release. Despite that it is still a thumping encounter with the rhythms of Sowter and the throaty charm unleashed by the bass of Ahmed enslaving the ear for the vocals and once more scintillating guitar work to rise up and impress further within.

All That Remains takes top honours on the EP as it steps up next, the song stepping from a brewing emotive ambience cast by keys and guitar into a fiery expanse of melodic intensity courted by a muscular yet restrained breath. Steeped in Metallica like suasion and littered with at times metalcore bred vocals and sonic sculpting, the track is a masterful piece of songwriting and temptation stirred into a provocative wash of imagination and poetic melodies. Like elsewhere the fact that the song takes thoughts straight to an open source with ease is not an issue such the quality and skill presented within but it may be a problem ahead on future releases, though you also get the feeling that the band are evolving towards a truly distinctive voice anyway.

The closing In The Dead Of Winter returns to a similar appearance and presentation as the first two songs on the EP, but intensifies its rhythmic cage and melodic enticements to stand as another impressive and exciting confrontation of craft and passion. The mix of vocal deliveries is dramatic and outstanding as is the similarly blended sturdier and mellower essences of the sound, both aspects enrolled into a blaze of creative pulse racing, near riotous imagining.

The Enemy Within EP leaves you only wanting more from Immension and it is impossible not to return to it at least once more after any completion of its great offerings.  Though debatably we are still waiting for something truly original from the band, such the quality and inventive craft driving the EP, patience for that to emerge stance is steadfast and eager. Immension has all the tools to be a big presence in UK metal, just a matter of when if they continue to produce releases like this.

https://www.facebook.com/immension

8/10

RingMaster 12/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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