The Correspondents – Puppet Loosely Strung


The Correspondents pic

     …And the treats of 2014 just keep coming; in a year already endowed with some of the finest releases and debuts, Puppet Loosely Strung just might be the best of all so far. A masterful aural tapestry of sonic magnificence and unbridled imagination, the first album from UK band The Correspondents is simply stunning and quite irresistible. The creation of London based duo, producer Chucks and singer Mr Bruce, the album is a weave of intrigue, adventure, and diversity showing exactly why for the last few years the band has been drawing fevered attention and adoration for their live performances. Reaping the glories of everything from dance music to jazz, blues to electro and drum ‘n’ bass for a pop soaked exploration unique to themselves, The Correspondents is one of those bewitchments everyone needs in their lives.

    Mr Bruce and Chucks came together as The Correspondents in 2007, two South London artists taking as little as two years to find themselves playing main stages across numerous festivals. The years since their emergence has seen the band touring with the appetite of a hungry predator, small and large audiences constantly enthralled and enamoured by their invention driven sound and the band acclaimed as The Telegraph’s Top Ten Glastonbury Highlights two years in a row. With one EP, What’s Happened to Soho?, the only recorded offering until now, the band has impressively sparked a greedy appetite towards them, one which will soar as Puppet Loosely Strung seduces and provokes with its stunning radiance. Bringing in well-loved and established songs from their live set and a new breed of introspective emotive tracks, the release is the ultimate crossover album, one forging and sculpting a realm all of its very own and one sure to inspire hearts and numerous other upcoming bands.

     The self-produced, recorded, and released Puppet Loosely Strung, digs deep in the heart of its recipients from the first song The Correspondents - Puppet Loosely Strungand never relinquishes its seduction thereafter. Opener What Did I Do? initially croons the ears, the exceptional voice of Mr Bruce serenading thoughts as keys caress his presence before beats add their mildly skittish suasion to the emerging stroll. Within seconds the track is a full captivation turning into a virulent lure as its unpredictable and mischievous enterprise skirts the reflective grace of the vocals. It is a delicious sway of ingenious sound and loving imagination which whirls senses and thoughts around like an evocative carousel of thoughtful temptation.

     The striking start is soon taken to another plateau with the first single from the album, Fear And Delight. A dramatic shadowed coaxing of keys makes a mysterious entrance which moves into a feisty romp of indie rock and electronic temptation. If the first track was virulent, the second song is an epidemic, infectiousness rampaging with lustful energy and sound as the pair merge dub into drum and bass with a ska kissed melodic ingenuity. Not for the last time The Correspondents remind of little known and even quicker forgotten eighties band Zanti Misfits, the swing and quirky balance of the track the spark for thoughts. The song is pure musical alchemy, a classic stomp with irresistibly lingering bait which the rest of the album has to try and make you forget, which it soon manages with the next up Give You Better. The song lyrically is almost the warped mirror image/alternative guise to the plaintive narrative of its predecessor, even emerging from the same melodic stroke before casting is own personal persuasion. Once again the keys paint a dark drama to proceedings before the vibrant and magnetic saunter of the song brings a tempering light to the blues pleading hues of the song. As the previous tracks the urge to join in with limbs and voice to the creative trespass of the passions is impossible to resist, the already broad grin on the face and imagination now connecting ears.

    The seductive shuffle of Kind Of Love next licks temptingly over the senses, its jazz bred almost easy listening leaning call leading the senses into an electronic elegance before the instrumental skit of In The Meantime brings a cinematically emotive breather to the dance of the release. It’s enjoyable if slightly underwhelming presence in the larger scheme of things is succeeded by Devil’s Lighthouse, a song which encloses the listener in a melody rich sonic exploration which simply brings another flush of ardour towards the album. Restrained yet brisk in its step, the track pushes shadows into the arms of warm ambition and hope for another pinnacle in the continuously lofty range of majesty.

   Both Well Measured Vice and The Last Time leave a spellbound state over ears and thoughts, the first another upbeat romp with provocative colour to its melodies and vocals playing within a rhythmic and pulsating courting. The song designs riveting adventures within its fluid waltz to easily transfix whilst its successor s offers the most potent seduction with its XTC like eccentricity and occasional Andy Partridge flavoured twist in the vocals. The song is one of the few happy to simply walk around the senses and coat them with a thick breeze of varied inventive whispers before making way for the dance floor spawned Back Again. Even if missing the benchmark set, the track is another drawing a mesmeric rapture which simply draws you in without reserve, its rhythmic tantalising as potent as its melodic fascination.

    The album’s title track lays a haunted ambience around the imagination as the song and Mr Bruce explain their feelings and thoughts respectively, the song a smouldering and sultry flight into observational and inward reflection to which the keys place compelling embers and imagination shaping sparks. The enchanting journey is matched and surpassed by the latest single, the brilliant Alarm Call. Released with a video to raise awareness and funds for The Epilepsy Society, there is a definite Julian Cope feel to the song vocally, emotionally, and exploratory; it’s pulsating contagion aligned to evocative textures and thoughts pure addictiveness.

     Closing with Some Nights, another impossible catchy and passion securing musical rap of peerless prowess and excited imagination, Puppet Loosely Strung is just sensational. It is a quite brilliant investigation of lost loves, dark relationships, and shadowed reflections all wrapped up in one of the most extraordinary sirenesque designs of sound and spirit. The Correspondents is our new lust and we suggest you make them yours too.


RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tense Men – Where Dull Care Is Forgotten

Tense Men promo

    Bringing a primitively lustful tingle inside with its post punk bred fusion of noise and psyche rock, the Where Dull Care Is Forgotten EP from UK band Tense Men, is one of those delicious treats which flicks all the right switches. Band and release is a ripe proposition for those with a strong appetite for post punk, repetitious discord, and minimalistic adventures of noise and maybe less tasty not for those with different appetites, but we would suggest still a rewarding encounter leaving a lingering mark whatever your penchant.

    Tense Men was formed in 2011 by Cold Pumas guitarist/vocalist Oliver Fisher and singer/drummer Richard Phoenix of Sauna Youth. Combining drums, guitar and a loop pedal the duo made people stand up and notice with a clutch of live performances before recording the six track Where Dull Care Is Forgotten. Since its recording the Brighton band has expanded with the addition of Omi Palone bassist Liam O’Neill. Now with its release via Faux Discx on 12” vinyl and digital download, the debut EP from Tense Men is poised to push this union of craft and noise sculpting into an eager awareness, its success on the strength of the release something hard to doubt.

    As soon as opener Stages Of Boredom scars the ears, imagination and an already assumptive hunger are lit as guitars lash the Layout 1air with sonic persistence matched by a rhythmic enticement. The first piece of insidiously addictive weaponry is unleashed within seconds, a repetition driven groove entwining the senses with seductive potency as the vocals of Fisher offer a mutually monotone seeded suasion. Into its full drone bred swagger, the track baits the emotions with a mix of The Gaa Gaas like psyche temptation and the post punk causticity and repeating moroseness of Joy Division. It is a magnetising provocation which worms itself under the skin with an insatiable toxicity and an intensively powerful lure into release and band.

    The following RNRFON resonates through bone as its rawer body presses on the senses with a bass cast coaxing rapidly joined by equally unrelenting rhythms. Across their flanks shards of caustic guitar sear the air before the vocals join the affair with a sombre wishful tone to their delivery. The track reminds of another English band; The St Pierre Snake Invasion with its rawer punk lent persistence, again restrained torrents of repetition veined by squirreling guitar leading the passions into another ardour clad response. With a coat of discord to the jangling swipes of Fisher’s strings in dramatic contrast to his vocals and the low hum of the track, Tense Men has imagination, theirs and ours, tightly clasped in their hands.

     Lie Heavy (Desperate Times) has a thicker rapacious throat and presence to its sound, Mary & Jesus Chain with a touch of Birdland coming to mind whilst the enticing jagged guitar melodies add a touch of The Fire Engines to the abrasive incitement. Though the song does not spark the same depth of greed as its predecessors it still leaves satisfaction basking in a resourceful web of noise which the title track tries to exploit further with its slow and patient consumptive breath. The dark wash of the track almost swarms as it offers its doomy pressure, the drone preying on body and thoughts and in a different guise repeated through the equally potent Nonentities. The track has a slightly lighter atmosphere which also ventures into a Reid brothers inspired premise as its predecessor, but still allows no respite from the intensity and mesmeric call that unbridled reduplication brings.

    The EP ends on a riot to match the incredible start of the release, Opiate Glow the dramatic treat. The rawest punk spawned track on the album with post punk voracity, the tempest emerges from a two barrelled incitement into a ridiculously contagious stroll, rhythms and vocals simultaneously beckoning and taunting before expulsions of furious guitars and energy savage the air. It is an outstanding trap which has more than a whisper of Wire to its devilment, in fact the song like a close relation to the legend’s track 12XU, just a few generations on in the family time line.

     Where Dull Care Is Forgotten is a fabulous release, a scourge of nostalgic and modern smothering which ignites the passions from start to finish. Whether Tense Men will have to bide its times as its members return to their day jobs we will see but already the anticipation for their next offering is impatient.


RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright


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When Icarus Falls – Circles EP


  Circles cover

     Having been as equally overwhelmed as we were smitten by their debut album Aegean, there was definitely a strong breath of anticipation for When Icarus Falls’ new EP, Circles when it came through. Consisting of three new tracks and a remix of a previously released song, the new encounter takes the strengths of its predecessor on another intensive and extensive journey of dramatically testing adventure. With swooping atmospheres and imposing textures a constantly evolving obstacle and seduction, the Swiss post hardcore band never offers anything less than full and fluid immersions for the senses and emotions, a consuming potency that Circles does not refrain from either. It is powerful uncompromising proposition which depletes and rewards ears and energies whilst imagination again is taken on incendiary flights across riveting soundscapes.

    Hailing from Lausanne, When Icarus Falls began in 2007 making their first attention grabbing mark beyond local appetites with the Over The Frozen Seas EP via Get a Life! Records in 2009. Shows with the likes of Red Sparowes, Zatokrev, and Impure Wilhelmina only enhanced their emergence but it was Aegean two years ago which nudged a wider recognition their way. Themed by the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a famous psychiatrist who described the five stages of dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance; as inspiration, the Headstrong Music released album showed little restraint in enveloping the world in burdensome atmospheres and ravenous melodic fires, a portentous assault which Circles readily continues.

    Recorded by Raphael Bovey at Blend Studio, the self-released exploration opens with Erechtheion. It opens with a soaring a sonic sightseeing of expansive and welcoming yet almost ominous scenery to provide an instant rich lure for thoughts and imagery. The initial embracing flow of acidic melodies and adventurous riffery, both aspects strikingly crafted by guitarists Yann Cottier and Luis Cordeiro, is a resourceful evocation but one also brewing up darker intensity as the raw vocals of Diego Mediano squall across the soundscape. His distinct abrasing tones are ones you take to or not and like the sounds having little time for mercy or restraint in their full on passion, but as another coarse texture to the multi-layered deeply almost cavernous songs Mediano’s tones only add to the danger and intimidation. As the song traverses its narrative and adventure, the rhythmic seduction from drummer Xavier Gigandet aligned to the bass stalking of Claude Humbert-Droz is as impressive and compelling as anything else with every member adding a unique aspect to the nature and intent of the songs. The opener employs all their skills and invention to create an unrelentingly inciting and contagious intoxication which immediately sets the release on a new plateau for the band.

     The Great North follows and immediately lies threateningly against ears with slowly prowling rhythms and the rasping vocals of Mediano. It is a brief stand –off before the guitars and keys, also provided by Gigandet, weave an evolving canvas from gripping sonic endeavour and melodic enterprise. There is a hazy, almost sultry air to the emerging climate of the song, one which is patient in its spreading across senses and song. The carnivorous throat of the bass though ensures the opening warm hues of the song are skirted by danger and reserved malevolence, providing a predatory edge to the expanding ambience which at times reminds of The Cure around their second and third albums. Maybe not quite as majestic as its predecessor, the track still leaves the listener basking, even lost at times, in its expressively emotional and epic landscape, all the time challenging and rewarding ears and thoughts.

     Of the three new tracks, Celestial Bodies is the less demanding in its opening coaxing though still vocals and to a lesser extent the bass tempers the peace and grace of the keys and guitar built sonic scenery. The drums also add a sinew and rapaciousness to proceedings, the darker hearts of the three lurking in the corners and shadows of the sweeping melodic flight. Every twist and aspect of the towering complex construction of the song’s premise though is soaked in a danger and menace so there is never a moment upon Circles where you feel safe or relaxed. The song again is a masterful confrontation which is matched by the remix of Nyx, a track which was previously released as part of the Falling Down II compilation of 2010. The concluding song is a pestilential persuasion, demonic  sounds and elements scurrying around the black ambience like a plague of spite before the song takes a deep breath and heaves its own heavily intensive weight of sound and emotion upon the senses. The most destructive and venomous track on the release, the track makes for an absorbing end to another fine release from When Icarus Falls.

    The Circles EP like the band’s sound as a whole is not looking to make fleeting relationships with mind and emotions nor make it wastefully easy for the listener to initially engage in its exhaustive, scintillating, and ruinous explorations but the rewards for the bravery and patience needed are unique and exceptional. Not a release for everyone certainly but it and When Icarus Falls should be definitely attempted by all.


RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Alexis Kings – Keep It Sexy EP


Alexis Kings Online Promo shot

      Merging the sounds of classic and modern rock into a very solid and appetising debut EP, UK band Alexis Kings have marked themselves as a very promising and engaging proposition. The Keep It Sexy EP consists of two tracks which spark strong interest and over time greater enthusiasm for their offerings and whilst neither sets a fire burning in the belly of passions, they both confirm that this is one exciting band on the ascent.

   Formed in 2010 and hailing from St Albans, Alexis Kings is made up by vocalist/guitarist Brendan Aherne and lead guitarist Sam Privett, two musicians coming together through a love for rock and especially that of the classic kind. Playing extensively across the London area the duo has built a strong and keen following, selling out the likes of The Camden Barfly, St Albans The Horn, Camden Enterprise, and Nambucca along the way and supporting bands such as The Happy Monday’s and Futureproof. Inspiration from artists such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin through to modern bands like Kings Of Leon and Arctic Monkeys have spiced their sound, a resourceful flavour which brews a pleasing and enterprising persuasion within their new release and shows why they have already drawn positive attention.

   1972 starts things off; it’s opening wail around portentous beats a sinister beckoning eventually tempered by a warm and Alexis Kings Cover Artworkenticing guitar hook alongside the distinctive vocals of Aherne. The song is soon walking through the ear guided by the continuing to allure groove and firm rhythms. The song does not exactly plod along but certainly it has no appetite to raise any frantic energy in its bluesy almost melancholic gait. Despite that the song still makes a compelling if not striking engagement with the guitar craft of the pair especially magnetic bait in a strong and satisfying song.

    Its companion is a much lively and more impressive encounter; Brothers exceeding the more than decent start as and the band throws off some of their previous restraint. As the first, the track almost ambles into view but soon targets the imagination with another tempting groove in tandem with agitated rhythms and expressive vocals. The song leaps and dances around the ears with a rabidity which transfers to the earnest vocals and the melodic endeavour. It reveals that Arctic Monkeys influence mentioned previously quite pungently but with more than enough imagination and a distinct Alexis Kings twist to easily please even those not real fans of the Alex Turner led band. With also a potent classic rock breath and melodic rock punch, the song easily outweighs its predecessor in sound and presence, confirming and stretching further the promise of the band.

    Keep It Sexy is not a release to open major doors for the band just yet but easily one to recruit a new wealth of attention and hunger for their presence whilst providing a strong base for Alexis Kings to push on from. It is safe to say that we will be hearing much more from this potential drenched band and sooner rather than later hopefully.


RingMaster 10/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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