Gabby Young & Other Animals: The Band Called Out For More

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The only word to describe The Band Called Out for More, the latest album from Gabby Young & Other Animals is glorious. Actually there are plenty of other words just as apt, bewitching and scintillating two examples, all emotive descriptions which are deserved by the release and its creators. From the beautiful sleeve, which I am still failing to put back together the right way after numerous hours of trying…damn you Ms Young, the album tantalises and seduces from start to finish. Consisting of thirteen songs which merge the instinctive essentials of gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz, and cabaret, The Band Called Out For More is a mesmeric melodic burlesque, a carnival of imagination  which burns brightly and incessantly like a heaven bred temptress.

Gabby Young’s musical journey to this place in time saw her as the youngest ever recruit to the National Youth Choir at the age of 12. The Wiltshire girl then with her intent of becoming an opera singer in tow was sent off course by the discovery of Jeff Buckley and the jazz greats who began to inspire her thoughts, passions, and ultimately a change of direction. Making strong impressions at open mic nights and playing with an array of bands next filled her journey which had seen her relocate to London whose music scene she soon embraced. At the age of 22, thyroid cancer threatened to take her classically trained voice and it was at this point that she ‘took her songwriting seriously’ and started pulling her experiences into her songs and their creation. In 2008 the lady with drummer/guitarist Stephen Ellis formed her eight piece band and using crowd-funding recorded her debut album two years later, an acclaimed and excitedly received release. Followed by numerous gigs and festival appearances including Glastonbury her stature was cemented in the passions of a growing legion of fans. Playing around the world since has only elevated her strengths and presence which The Band Called Out for More with its compelling dance of Circus Swing and Burlesque Folk, has and will accelerate to even greater levels.

If one song on an album alone can make you immediately decide about a release it is In Your Head which instantly has the passions in a a4126194190_2waltz with its vibrant and sensational sound. Opening with a tease of drums and rich vocal harmonies skirted by a blaze of brass, the song takes a mere second to lead senses by the hand into a sultry stomp of swing and folk pop to which full involvement is the only outcome for feet, hips, and heart. With essences of the Electric Swing Circus and Molotov Jukebox to its stroll and warm kisses and pecks of Parisian elegance and soul borne melodies, the treat of an encounter is insatiable in its energy and generous in its rewards.

After such a potent start expectations suggest maybe a sight dip was in store though hopes argued in the albums defence and were soon backed up by the excellent Goldfish Bowl. Acoustic guitar and the ever strong and entrancing vocals of Young lures the appetite back into the album with charm and lyrical tempting, beckoning them into the folk washed riot of indie pop called the chorus. Into its infectious stride with rhythms and vocal harmonies enslaving the emotions further, the ever fine guitar play and song imagination grins as they tease and coax their eager victim with relish.

Both Walk Away and Male Version Of Me offer a sirenesque bait to devour with greed, the first bringing a sixties enchantment through the guitars and brass as well as the keys led sway of the song. With the fabulous lush and powerful operatically trained voice of Young soaring the heart of the song whilst notes gleefully ride her delivery, the evocative ray of warmth leaves a thirst for more brewing whilst its successor from a riveting ballad like persuasion expands into a sunset of melodic colour and welcoming harmonies which simply wrap tender arms around what is by now simply ardour.

The album continues to impress and stoke the fires with the fiery Open, a track which walks through the ear with crystalline keys and emotive strings around the vocals before spreading its arms for a near on big band wind of passion soaked melodic enterprise wrapped in the continually bewitching intricacies and swerving delights of the band’s imagination. This is swiftly followed by the smouldering breath and beauty of Clay Heart and the graceful poetry of Neither The Beginning Nor The End, two more pieces of songwriting and musical adventure which impact and bring vibrant hues to thoughts and emotions.

Horatio steps forward next to stand as another major pinnacle in nothing but plateaus. Its initial slow emotive call is pure allurement and the doorway into an even greater heated glamour as the track explodes into a western carved atmosphere of Latin tempered love and deliciously contagious fire. Musically and vocally the track brings the desert sun on the senses whilst lyrically the bar room narrative is coloured by a full portrait of keys. Like a mix of Helldorado and Saint Agnes, the song is sheer majesty.

From the equally hot ballad Honey with searing brass rapture into the heart bred Segment the album takes the breathless body on another monumental inciting journey. The second track like many on the album lays down a weave of polite inducement before bursting into almost rapacious greed to control the body. As stunning and anthemic as love, the track builds and expels crescendos of ever intensifying melodic might and beauty, the emotional potency of the song burning the hairs on the back of the neck. Reminding of Scottish band Letters, it is simply one more sensational moment on the album.

Completed by the regal The Answer’s In The Question, the gypsy lit folk tones of Curtain Call, and the dramatically thrilling carnivalesque title track, Young assisted by Ellis, Niall Woods, Ollie Hopkins, Rich Watts, Paul Whalley, and Milly McGregor has created a sublime album which simply makes every adventure and day one drenched in sun and warmth. Released on her own Gift Of The Gab Records, The Band Called Out For More is one of the reasons we get up in the morning and life feels so good. A must not be missed release.

http://www.gabbyyoungandotheranimals.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/08/2013

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Eibon La Furies – The Immoral Compass

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It is fair to say that The Immoral Compass, the new and second album from UK dark metallers Eibon La Furies is not going to be for everyone and will possibly draw as many unfavourable responses as acclaimed ones. It is extreme metal in its most provocative though maybe not for the reasons you would suspect. Bringing black and avant-garde metal into a devious league with dark symphonic rock, the quartet and their album challenge emotions, rising up against thoughts and expectations to deliver an unforgettable encounter, though not always memorable for all the right things. At times the release pushes one’s limits over the edge with an almost deliberately obtuse proposition but all the time there is a toxicity which lures in the senses and brews an intrigue that is hard to ignore.

Formed as a solo project by vocalist/guitarist Paul D Sims under the guise Lord Eibon Blackwood in 2006 and with the intent to create industrialised black metal and dark ambient music inspired by Victorian occult spirituality, Eibon la Furies released the demo EPs Something Wicked This Way Comes and Yours Truly…From Hell. The project next expanded to a trio with the addition of drummer Jamie Batt (as Battalion) and bassist Matt Cook (The Furious Host). Following an appearance at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in 2009 as the best unsigned progressive band, the threesome signed to Code666 who released their debut album The Blood of the Realm the following year. To help push their boundaries and creative ideas the band recruited lead guitarist Neil Purdy last year and set about writing their second album. The Immoral Compass is the result, a release which does have its ups and downs but is fuelled by riveting imagination and undeniable musical craft.

Inspired by the shadows in humanity the album is a melodramatic narrative lyrically and musically, its large melodic fires and sinew ELF Artworkdriven rhythms helping to sculpt songs which twist and turn on a whim and continually enthral like a sonic magnet. There are less successful times where you wonder what went wrong, but you never want to leave as when the album is on full song it is a dramatic rewarding beauty.

The opening instrumental intro The Compass Awakes is an evocative piece which paints an emerging dual sense of wonder and uncertain menace, the guitars and keys overpowering thoughts into creating their own dramatic revelation. The piece passes into the following Immoral Compass to the World, a track which takes an instant to cloak the ear in intensive guitar strikes and atmospheric keys from Sims whose vocals stand astride the emerging aural palette of suggestion with a gruff growl of a delivery. As the keys swoon and soar before the senses the track plays like a mix between Cradle Of Filth and The New Jacobin Club, but a paler version of what you would imagine their union to produce to be honest. Despite that the song is still a strong enough temptation to delve deeper into the album which repays with a mixed but persistently satisfying bag of adventure.

The opening song does instil one requirement when taking on the album, the need to engage in its confrontation numerous times before making a decision. There is so much going on in each track that you have to make many visits to dredge their depths and imagination, most emerging better and stronger the more you explore them as with second track Astronomy in Absences. From a celestial flight the song flexes its muscular riffs and even more ruthless rhythms, a thrash coaxed blackened tempest consuming the ear whilst the guitar of Purdy lights its skies with some stirring sonic flames and enterprise. The track does not exactly get the pulse racing but again there is plenty to investigate and devour for an increasingly greater flavour the more you immerse in its progressive temptation.     Imperial Jackal’s Head is the same though the song is the first more notable moment within the album. An initial almost like Rammstein call especially vocally, prowls along the galloping sonic blaze which cores the entrance of the song. A slip into a venom bred vocal tale puts a rein on things before expanding its evocative heat of melodic and sonic commentary. Musically the track boils impressively with hooks, grooves, and melodies all lingering treats but overall vocally the song does little to match the sounds, though at times they do work rather well.

The merger of beautiful potent classically shaped keys and again less satisfactory vocals marks Flames 1918 (A Song for the Silence) to give more doubts room to think but suddenly from this point the album seems rise many levels starting with An Enigma in Space and Time. Bordering hostility throughout whilst simultaneously being just compelling the track twists and turns through a maelstrom of textures, styles, and pace with a hunger and energy that intimidates and seduces contagiously. It crawls along the lips of rock opera it has to be said but with further impressive guitar work, rapacious bass lines, and flames of imagination the song is a pinnacle soon matched by both Who Watches the Watchers? and Conjure Me. The first swarms over the senses with a choir of glorious voices veined by dark hearted riffs and forceful rhythms before the serpentine grizzled tones of Sims add a delicious alien presence. It is a tremendous track, with only the flat sound of the drums something to moan about. Its successor dangerously beckons the ear with female siren calls whilst riffs and grooves swarm like hornets in her charm.  With familiarity to the predacious song which escapes definition it eagerly romps with a bedlamic breath and presence.

The sultry yet threatening voice of Ascending Through Darkness offers up another powerful encounter whilst the ballad The Vanguard with its spoken narrative and absorbing guitar elegance, just gets better with each listen, especially the folky march of rhythms and song towards its end. Final track The End of Everything… (Or the Beginning of it all) provides a closing wall of inventive and enthralling instrumental storytelling leaving thoughts and emotions wanting more of certainly the second half of the album.

The Immoral Compass is a very decent album that has to have time and patience to prove its case which for the main it does with strength and craft. Eibon La Furies may not have given us a classic release or one which you can take to immediately, but it is definitely an album given time which makes a companion you get the urge to return to.

http://www.eibonlafuries.co.uk/

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2013

 

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