Tankus the Henge – Self Titled

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Such the potent riotous seduction and thrilling devilry of Cakewalk, the first single from the self-titled debut album of UK aural mischief conjurors Tankus the Henge, you wondered if it was the taster for something spectacular or the lead into an album which would be an anti-climax compared to the excitement and hunger the introductory track spawned. With a loud and dramatic confirmation it is undoubtedly the former of the two outcomes, the eleven track feast of what the band calls Carnival rock ‘n’ roll is a pulsating, riveting triumph of musical and lyrical eccentricity, exhausting imaginative adventures, and shadow wrapped dark revelry.

With the line-up breeding the scintillating album coming together in 2011, the sextet of ‘six sharped dressed and bedraggled gentlemen hailing from some of the more eccentric parts of London Town’ has ignited a major appetite for their insatiably inventive and explosive sounds across the UK, Europe and into the likes of America, Albania and the Isle of Wight through their live shows, this year alone seemingly a successful ride of festival after festival performances. The sound of Tankus the Henge is seeded in the eclectic beds of reggae, blues, and funk to ragtime and gypsy punk, the result something unique to the band though they have been described as ‘Like The Clash from New Orleans’. Imagine a creative and passionate meeting of Cardiacs and Gogol Bordello with The Kinks and Cockney Rebel and the inventive rascality you suspect is a strong but still hinting flavour of the fun the band provides.

The album immediately seizes the hand and leads the listener into the embrace of a jazz flamed, dirty floored New Orleans speakeasy Tankus_coverwith Who’s Gonna Catch Ya, the melodic call of the trumpet from Jake Stoddart and sax of Louis Schultz-Wiremu heating up the atmosphere and setting the scene. Guitars and rhythms are soon strolling into the mix with a glint in their eyes as the excellent vocals of Jaz Delorean accompanied by his evocative keys unveil the scenic narrative. It is an addiction causing entrance soon enslaving the heart when the virulently contagious chorus reaps the submission of an already awoken hunger. With great vocal harmonies and back-up from the band to the gravel laced tones of Delorean, and plenty of delicious discord teasing across every aspect of the ridiculously infectious stomp, the track is an irresistible lure and persuasion into the album and instantly confirmation that yes the single was just the teaser to equally magnificent things.

The following Smiling Makes The Day Go Quicker opens with emotive keys alongside the expressive restrained vocals of Delorean. It is a gentle intriguing beckon which deepens with the beats of Will Stanley, which you sense they are waiting to trigger something, the fuse to an impending release of energy. The brewing evocative caress of the brass warm the ear further whilst all the time the emerging passionate fire of the song works away on the senses and imagination. It never explodes into the pyre hinted at but still creates a thumping and resonating joy of elevated passion and inciting pleasure, every part of the band and song merging into an incendiary and triumphant declaration before the greedy appetite. Its successor Hat has a more energetic intent but again is soaked in absorbing melodies from keys and brass, whilst the bass of Dan Mason roams the track with a mischievous presence behind the dual vocals of a dusty flavoured delivery from Delorean and the equally cleaner tones of either Mason or guitarist Tim Fulker, both contributing across the album but unclear who is joint leading this magnetic song.

Orange Is The New Black steps up next to seize the passions, its sultry stroll with tempting sixties Hammond keys through  Mediterranean spiced air a dramatic flight across provocative and elegant impossibly alluring skies. It makes the perfect appetiser for Cakewalk, the song still stealing top honours within heart and imagination. Swaggering through the ear with a mix of Ian Dury and early Squeeze to give a sense of its sensational enterprise whilst a lick of Mano Negra and Les Négresses Vertes punk folkiness also plays within its stride, the track is the scene of a colour drenched circus, Delorean the ringmaster to the contagion.

There is an exciting mix of sounds and invention across the album, emphasised by the likes of Lying and Recurring Dream, the first a gentle glaze of smouldering melodic kisses within a slightly darker reflective embrace, again a folk venture bringing evocation to the trip, this time with shadowed hues. The keys and sax wrap a mesmeric arm around the senses whilst the vocals offer their own tenderness within the at times wonderfully dark emotive skies, an ambience and texture to the presence reminding of Dizraeli and the Small Gods in their equally poetically emotive moments. The second of the pair stomps into a gypsy punk like encounter, the drums a rolling entrapment enslaving before the eagerly roaming guitar and bass dance their own steps within the smiling waltz of the keys. There is a XTC breath to the song at times to elevate its already lofty heights, but it is the Eastern European circus enchantment and pace that ultimately steals the heart.

      Life Is A Grimm Tale (Sometimes) is another major pinnacle, its Creature Feature like darkness and Germanic wanton gait impossible to refuse and leave alone even after the song’s conclusion. Sinister and lusciously tempting with Delorean bringing a sideshow like barker descript for thoughts, the track is a unrelenting stalker of rapture, its epidemically catchy and forcefully rioting swagger the perfect bait. Its waggish romp is followed by the slow burning Riddles, a hazy blaze on evocative persuasion and noir washed mystery, and the brilliant tale of The Deviationist Society. The song from a pondering melancholic string and key suasion expands through Morricone like sculpted western hated climes and soulful brass and harmonica sighs. It brings strengths to its melodic and infection drenched sinews as its reaches further into its imaginative and fiery story, the guitars and keys finding that lure the best sixties TV show themes had and the strings providing greater passionate tonic to the sizzling heat of the song.

The album is concluded by The Last Days Are Coming, the track a scintillating final blues and emotion encrusted New Orleans funereal march through to the full ardour the album has evoked within. It is a mighty end to a sublimely gorgeous release. Tankus the Henge is a devil bred puppeteer for limbs, heart, and soul. A band which has fused light and dark, seduction and sinisterly honed persuasion into one of the most thrilling and sensationally addictive releases this year. Roll up and enter the welcoming to the dark carnival of Tankus the Henge, you will not regret one second of its fantastic touch.

http://tankusthehenge.com

10/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

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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All To Ruin – Parables EP

All To Ruin Online Promo Shot

Unleashing melodic metal which has essences seeded in the likes of Friend For A Friend and Protest The Hero and a snarl and venomous aspect which you might find in an August Burns, UK band All To Ruin unveil their debut EP Parables. It is a release rife with potent promise and explosive craft, a record which maybe is low on offering something to right now set the bad truly apart from numerous other emerging bands stalking the same genre of sound, but a collection of impressive tracks which undoubtedly grab attention and stoke an appetite to see where the band go from their strong and pleasing debut.

Hailing from Port Talbot, South Wales, the quintet of vocalist Aaron Roberts, guitarists Luke Curran and Rhodri Williams, bassist Andrew Pope, and drummer Tom Richardson first drew attention with not only their live shows around their local area but a demo recorded in 2011 with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond who have earned a big reputation for their work with the likes of Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine, the pair also handling the new EP. Shows alongside the likes of The Gallows, Young Guns, Deaf Havana, This Is Hell, Lower Than Atlantis, The Blackout, Fei Comodo, Funeral For A Friend, Heart Of A Coward, Heights, Sylosis, Revoker, Bury Tomorrow and many more has only enhanced their reputation of a young fired up and creatively striking band. Recorded early last year, Parables is the next thrust forward for the band and one which though still searching for that unique voice you only suspect will take All To Ruin up another rung or three.

Opener As We Exit takes little time to take a grip on ear and thoughts, searing melodic grooves and thumping rhythms instantly makingAll To Ruin - Parables Cover Artwork a potent persuasion aided by the raw caustic riffs and throaty menacing basslines, it all ridden by the excellent clean yet fiery vocals of Roberts. Before assumptions can be made that this is possibly nothing new the band and song unleash a lethally addictive groove and unbridled intensive passion to its sound and vocals. It is a striking and rampant start but one with thought and emotive craft which ensures an intriguing and enterprising ride. Each listen sees the song make a louder stronger declaration which leaves a lingering claw in passions and hunger.

The following A Part Of the Line certainly has fire in its belly but a less intimidating presence to start things off, guitars and vocals making an almost desperate emotive plea with their heart coloured narratives. Speared by the ever impressing beats and rhythmic caging of Richardson, the track is a strong if paler successor to the first though that is also left in the shade of the best offering on the EP, The King Is Dead. This is a song which shows that time could very well deliver a distinct standalone presence for the band, soaring vocals and raging rhythms within exhaustingly enticing grooves a rapaciously addictive and enthralling flood of expression and aggressive emotion. Virulently contagious without losing its stirring inventive potency, the track is a blaze of niggling burrowing beneath the skin riffs and sonic teases framed in another rhythmic trap by Richardson who also adds some strong melody tempering growls.

     Under The Shade steps forward next with what is arguably the most expansive sound and flavour of all the tracks on Parables. There is a definite familiarity across the chorus though the exact reference to whom eludes recognition, but then again all tracks for their only real issues have a breath and voice which is similar to others. Nevertheless the song is another burning fire of craft and melodic flame which impresses before allowing the grouchy Vultures to conclude the release. The most destructively aggressive and antagonistic of all the songs it still makes room for the continuing to impress vocals and inventive guitar weaves to bring their rich adventures and feelings. Without the same clarity as in other songs, the brawling atmosphere and the compact thickness of its sound only enhances the intensity and effective assault.

Parables is an impressive debut which only lacks that standout element or presence to step aside many other equally strong bands. That is not always the easiest thing to achieve but the promise offered by All To Ruin suggests it is within their imagination, though as ever time will tell.

www.facebook.com/alltoruinmetal

8/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

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Exit Calm – The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be

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After a relatively quiet couple of years since the release of their debut album in 2010, UK rock band Exit Calm returned earlier this year with the well-received single The Promise and now fully step into view with the new album The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be. The nine track release of soaring epic melodies and matching textures continues on where its predecessor left off though finding a stronger emotive and compelling depth to wrap the senses and lose the imagination within. It is a skilfully crafted and beautifully imagined collection of songs, and though a release which ultimately does not ignite any real sparks and fires inside, leaves the listener with a healthy appetite and easily provoked satisfaction.

The South Yorkshire quartet of vocalist Nicky Smith, guitarist Rob Marshall, bassist Simon Lindley, and drummer Scott Pemberton, certainly stoked up a strong wealth of acclaim and hunger for their previous album and live performances which has seen them play alongside the likes of Modest Mouse, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Boxer Rebellion, and Soulsavers as well as lighting up stages at the likes of the V Festival and Tokyo’s Liquid Rooms. Embroiled in the inspirations of the likes of the moodier guitar led bands of the nineties, the sound of Exit Calm has a calming yet provocative effect on the ear and the new album is primed with plenty of fire hot impacting sounds. It is probably not too harsh to say that there is not a wealth of moments and songs which linger in the memory past their company but within their embrace the listener is immersed in some striking and potently enterprising adventures emotionally and aurally.

The first single from the album The Rapture opens things up, guitars conspiring to raise tingles with their resonating voices and sonic ec_album_covercaresses. The throatier call of the bass brings welcome shadows whilst the melodic and sonic flames lick with restraint but potency at the ear awaiting the entrance of the excellent vocals of Smith. With a scorching breath to the climactic spires of melodic and passionate intent, the song swamps the senses in a pleasing and heated hold of imaginative narrative and impacting reflective sound. There is an early U2 whisper to the track especially vocally which does it no harm, and a feel of My Bloody Valentine to its body that makes for a satisfying and beckoning temptation.

Both Albion and Fiction continue the strong start, the first a reserved but heated flame of melodic textures and evocative hues and its successor a wash of jangling guitar teases and bass shadows around a vocal and melodic expression which pulls in the essences of Jesus and Mary Chain into the band’s own distinct poetic sound. Though neither song reach the heights of the first, both cast an absorbing and magnetic lure over ear and thoughts, the second of the two almost finding a presence which leaves a mark on the memory away from its caress.

New single When They Rise adds a little Oasis like confidence to its energetic yet reined in swagger and with an Inspiral Carpets gaited infectiousness makes an obvious lure into the album for newcomers even if the track is not the strongest on show, that honour belonging with ease to Holy War which follows the quietly contagious and slowly persuading Higher Bound. The simmering ballad is ripe with tender and descriptive melodies which outshine the vocals but against the pinnacle of the album The House Of Love toned song has a fight to stand out. Holy War instantly has a drama and imposing presence to its entrance and progress, a guitar scripted blaze and rhythmic mystique making a sirenesque plea to the passions whilst the band offers an invention and entrapment which dances and incites the imagination. The melodically colour strewn song stands head and shoulders above the rest of the album and is the one time the release repeatedly makes a suggestive and vibrant return away from the record.

The Promise slips in to a sixties wrapped elegant glaze upon a shoegaze wash, though one which is unafraid to add some muscular tempting especially through the drums. This brings a Birdland toned fire to the smouldering though without the scuzzier raw aspects they were renowned for. Glass Houses equally grabs attention with an intense heat to its sonic ceiling under which guitar and bass around the fine vocals paint an emotive picture, whilst the closing Open Your Sky provides a final nostalgic tease with its opening melodic gambit raising thoughts of The Walker Brothers to evolve into an Echo & The Bunnymen sounding embrace with psychedelic flames kissing the surface.

There is no doubting that The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be is a fine and impressively crafted as well as presented release, but apart for one maybe two moments it fails to grasp and find a memorable hold on thoughts and passions away from its body. In its arms though the album is a satisfying pleasure which confirms if not stretches the already impressive status of the band.

http://www.exitcalm.net/

8/10

RingMaster 22/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Golden State – World On Fire

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A roaring blaze of soaring melodies and anthemic temptation, World On Fire from US quartet Golden State is a song which leaves the senses invigorated and appetite awoken. Though not necessarily breaking in new ground, the single full of the essences of U2 and to a lesser degree Echo and the Bunnymen, it is an inescapable contagion which ignites ears and emotions with an energy and presence which is easy to be greedy over.

Hailing from California and consisting of the Rick Rubin produced Paloalto as well as Florida band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Golden State first gripped attention with the release of their debut album Division of last year. It was a vibrant release which marked the world’s card, soon etched in further by the new single’s predecessor the Subdivision EP. Released via State Champ Records, World On Fire continues the band’s passion for big bold rhythms and flaming melodic adventure all beneath a heated stadium rock like sky.

The song emerges from a sonic mist with guitars teasing the air with enterprising melodic caresses and instantly appealing vocal harmonies. With firm sinew clad rhythms and evocative bass croon spearing and roaming respectively the imaginative and riveting unpredictable guitar invention, the track takes little time to wrap an appealing call around the ears, a persuasion all the more potent from the excellent lead vocals of guitarist James Grundler which impress from start to finish, even with a rather Bono like lilt to the delivery. Easily accessible but rich in unpredictable musical narrative, World On Fire leads the passions on a three minute plus flight of euphoric melodic rock. Lyrically the song is undemanding but it only adds to the anthem clad potency and easy to join call of the song.

World On Fire is a song which enlists an appetite to check out the band and album further, and though for many the U2 comparison which is so apt here will be an antidote to any urge to hear more, it is only a flavour to a sound which is not ground breaking but has its own full and absorbing character. This is a great single and Golden State a band which has bright and exciting horizons ahead.

http://iamgoldenstate.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/09.2013

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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