The Black Waterside – Self Titled EP

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Like a bottle of fire breathing bourbon which as soon as you take a taste you are addictively hooked, the sound of UK rockers The Black Waterside instantly grabs the balls and passions to create a lustful understanding and hunger. Fusing the richest spices of blues, psychobilly, Americana, and vintage rock ‘n’ roll then fuelling it with a modern attitude and aggression, the Kent band has created a unique and ridiculously flavoursome proposition in sound and their self-titled debut EP. It is a masterful blaze of dirt encrusted and grouchy rock ‘n’ roll with irresistible drama and pure devilry to its every note and syllable, and simply irresistible.

Formed in the latter stages of 2011, The Black Waterside draws on inspirations from the likes of Tom Waits, Sun House, Kill It Kid, The Cramps, The Clash, The Black Keys, and Led Zeppelin to create a fascinating and explosively provocative sound as evidenced by their thoroughly impressive EP. Imagination and passions drips off of every skilful chord and rhythmic swipe emulated by the great grizzled tones of vocalist Adam Bray and the riveting canvases of the songs themselves. They are dark adventures which are as unpredictable as they are imposingly dramatic and incendiary to the imagination, and all irreversibly compelling.

A ‘vintage’ radio introduction to the band sets the opening shot of Four Minute Warning! in motion, before ragged riffs and beats instantly ignites senses and appetite with their rockabilly snarl. The gravelled tones of Bray soon covercountdown the full force of the song from within its initial addictive bait, the guitars of Holly Kinnear and Dan Lucas dancing feistily across ears as the throaty lure of Joe Whalen’s bass adds another delicious texture and enticement to the swiftly enslaving song. A blues swagger and breath cloaks the bouncy stride of the song, similarly spicing up the flames of enterprise and sultry designs of the guitars. It is an anthemic treat; feet governed and urged on by the thumping beats of drummer Jim Davies whilst body and passions are led into salacious endeavours by the swinging groove of the song.

The sensational start is matched by Whorehouse Down On The Southeast, another immediately fascinating and enthralling proposition. The track makes its own captivating start, though this time there is grouchiness to the vocals and rhythmic enticing which is no less inviting than the more embracing start of its predecessor. A hungry scything of electrified riffs ignite on the senses from virtually its first breath whilst rhythms tumble relentlessly to incite another wave of hunger in the passions. There is no escaping the trap for thoughts and emotions, especially with the entrance of the increasingly potent roars of Bray backed this time by the just as potent and gripping vocals of Kinnear. It is a powerful mix matched by the increasingly thrilling blues vapours and contagious twang which breeds its own temptation within the explosive track. Like Seasick Steve meets Tom Waits at the instigation of The Reverend Horton Heat, it is another striking and virulent contagion to devour greedily.

   Brand New Cadillac has that psychobilly tang and swagger which never gets tiring, a confident rebellious stride entwined in guitar and bass grooves which flirt with every note of their wonderfully toxic tempting. There is much more to the song though, a surf wash of acidity and an imposing cloud of garage punk bringing dramatic textures and diversity to the stunning track. As hot and heavy as a vat of blazing liquor and passionately intensive, the track is pure infectiousness and wholly enthralling, especially in its closing twist where Bray shows the qualities of his clean delivery in a simmering bed of emotive seduction.

The release closes with Wrong Side Of The Track, a slow crawl of blues fire which croons as it wraps a sizzling sonic and lyrical narrative across the imagination. A real slow burner in comparison to the previous tracks, it evolves and increases its potency over its length and time, showing further creative depth and musical invention in the band which can only lead to excitement and demanding anticipation for their subsequent adventures.

A must for every fan of blues and psychobilly too quite simply rock ‘n’ roll, The Black Waterside is a lustful addiction just waiting to offer you its first inescapable lure.

The Black Waterside EP is available now @ http://www.theblackwaterside.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/theblackwaterside

9/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Heboïdophrenie – Origin Of Madness

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It may not be healthy and it most probably will end up in physical damage of some sort or another but being ravaged by French metallers Heboïdophrenie is one of our new favourite pastimes thanks to their debut album Origin Of Madness. A mercilessly brutal and carnivorous onslaught of death metal which has been equally bred from the seeds of thrash metal whilst employing certain deathcore voracity, the release like the band’s sound, is an exhaustingly uncompromising and almost theatrically creative savagery which sets senses and imagination afire. Whether the band is carving out sonic atrocities which are as original as they could be can be argued but it is certainly one of the most demandingly satisfying and enjoyable extreme metal releases in recent years.

Erupting from out of Bordeaux in 2010, with influences from the likes of Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Ingested, The Black Dahlia Murder, Meshuggah, Cerebral Bore, Whitechapel, Carnifex, and Kataklysm raging in their own depraved invention, Heboïdophrenie were soon ignited local stages and gaining a potent reputation with their live shows, a presence pushed into a new spotlight home and further afield by Origin Of Madness.

From an Intro of hell bound human suffering, the album explodes into life with the track Heboïdophrenie. Instantly that thrash breeding shows its potency in the predatory striding of the riffs and rhythmic intensity. It is not an assault a0960544968_2with overwhelms but definitely sets the senses and imagination on edge ready for the coarse guttural growls of the vocals. They are as bestial as the sounds and unafraid to twist their delivery with varied guises. It has to be admitted we have a soft spot for porcine squeals within metal and they do not come any finer and more riveting than those offered by the song and album. The song continues to examine and test ears and senses, rewarding them with strenuous slab of extreme provocation before making way for the outstanding Feast Of Death. Irresistible grooves bind ears from its first second, intensifying with every second as their virulently nagging toxins work on the senses and passions. The track snarls and grinds vocally and sonically with irresistible hostility and merciless rhythmic provocation but it is that deliciously nagging of grooves which seduces and enslaves the passions.

Both Decay and The Butcher keep that ferocious tempting going, the first another stalking incitement which sizes up the listener whilst preying on their senses and psyche. As all songs though, it is not happy settling for one form of attack, expelling urgent bursts of destructive intent and dirty energy within its slower ear crowding incitement. The second of the two is an even more intensively intrusive stalker, its heavy footed gait coming with a rhythmic swagger and jagged riffery which belies its predacious intent. Returning swinish vocal squalls interrupt and enhance the intimidation whilst again the song agreeably shuffles the charge of its violation.

Rotten drives forward with its own predominately thrash seeded fury, merging it with heavy tempestuous stabs of riffs and beats throughout. A mouth-watering surge of sonic invention spears the track too, it’s solo moment a seductive lance in the pestilence of the track whilst the vocals continue to impress in their strength and varied persuasion. It is a masterful malefaction straight away matched by the unrelenting demands of Bonnet M. The drums mix up a stride of pack like military inspired strength with a brawl of dervish bred swipes to provide an insatiable and infectious spine to the inhospitable emprise. Across this guitars weave blistering sonic netting which sears and entices dramatically. Every song on the album is a bane to expectations but this is to the fore of thrilling unpredictability.

Heavy metal grooves bring their potent expression to the warlike character of Death To All, adding contagious colour to the voracious malevolence and intensity of the track. It is another skilled and irrepressible blend which flirts with the imagination whilst devouring the senses, as emulated in the anthemic Morbid Satyriasis. Old school metal spawned grooves also frequent the scintillating and gloriously barbarous track. Vocals and riffs chew the senses whilst hooks and grooves spill malice soaked seduction with every note. It is a brilliant hunting of the psyche, the listener the quarry to its creative and jaundiced vendetta.

The album closes firstly with Cadaver, a final impressive trespass where vocals worm virulently under the skin and adversarial rhythms conduct the sonic tempest of rage and flesh scorching enterprise. It is another contagion which never relinquishes its tight grip, and a last reminder of how infectious extreme metal can be in the right inventive hands and creative attitude. It is followed by the expressive instrumental Outro, an evocative close to an exhilarating encounter.

   Origin Of Madness is a provocation which turns existing essences and inventiveness into something belonging solely to Heboïdophrenie, and is mercilessly exciting not forgetting powerfully compelling.

Origin of Madness is available now @ http://heboidophrenie.bandcamp.com/album/origin-of-madness

http://heboidophrenie.wix.com/heboidophrenie

9/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Unswabbed – Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1

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Not breaking the banks of originality but brewing up a rousing storm of metal and rock, Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1, the new EP from Unswabbed, is an encounter which easily inspires a very healthy appetite for more. Unveiling a new twist in sound and its direction from the French veterans, the five track release binds thick strains of melodic and nu metal with a harder rock voracity resulting in a proposition which holds no real surprises but has ears and attention fired up and greedy for the band’s fascinating adventure.

Hailing from Lille, Unswabbed began in 1995 with a harder and more voracious rock and metal fusion than found on the new EP. A couple of early demos bred an attentive fan base for the band which their 2004 self-titled debut album pushed to a wider spotlight. Two years later its successor Instinct was uncaged with a third full-length in the shape of In Situ coming a year later, both to critical acclaim. Across the years the band has also earned a potent live reputation and found responses for shows alongside the likes of Cavalera Conspiracy, (Hed)P.E. , Caliban, Senser, Empyr, Pleymo, Mass Hysteria and many more. The album Intact was unveiled in 2011, and following a decision  in 2013 to explore new musical landscapes and inventions, the quartet set about creating Tales from the Nightmares Vol. 1. Themed by individual stories spawned by nightmarish incitements, and written and sung in English, a first for the band, the self-released EP is a stirring slab of metal fusion. Not dramatically overwhelming or as mentioned casting brand new explorations it easily ties up senses and emotions in a thoroughly captivating and thrilling temptation.

The release opens with the excellent Come to me, a dynamic and gripping encounter which takes little time to ignite thoughts and emotions. A sonic coaxing is soon rife with magnetic riffs and thumping rhythms as the track bursts into life, to which an additional almost punkish coaxing aligns itself. The start alone has body and imagination involved which is only accentuated by the sturdier beats and rugged riffs which accompany the excellent clean vocal suasion. Essences remind of bands like Mudvayne and Nonpoint as the song continues to flare up and cast tight melodic lures across its invigorating and emotionally charged body. It might not be offering something new but boy the song is exhilarating.a2298760115_2

The following Wake me up employs a chorus of children chants initially which return throughout the release though maybe to a less convincing success compared to its opening pitch. The song itself is soon commanding thoughts and attention, keys brewing up a haunting ambience as guitars and bass carve out another magnetic web of persuasion. It is like a mix of (Hed) PE and Korn fed through the metal contagion of Fear Factory, and just as riveting as its predecessor even if taking longer to convince. Its potent enticement makes way for the darker croon of Hold the line. Expelling angst and drama with every note and vocal expression, the song slowly expands across the senses with thick exhales of caustic energy blended with gentle melodic caresses. Lacking the spark of the first two songs, it still leaves an inescapable enslavement over ears and emotions, luring both back time and time again.

Dead end zone is a hard rock romp with an open vein of rock pop to its joyful swing and anthemic beats. It is impossibly catchy from its first touch, hooks and grooves as irresistible as the continually impressing vocals and unpredictable invention which ensures no song is anything less than an event. It also shows another side to the heart of the release and the evolving sound of the band, and though it is probably fair to say the song is less adventurous than the other tracks in its character, when it sounds and feels so addictively good there is little to complain about.

The EP is brought to a scintillating end by Pull the trigger again, a track like the first which leaves the strongest bait to stalk the release time and time again. Cloaked in emotional shadows from its first enticing chord, the song is the dark to the light of the last song. Riffs from guitar and bass weave a brooding canvas over which expression drenched vocals and sonic suggestiveness brings intimidating yet simultaneously welcoming hues. It is an emotionally pungent and rigorously captivating track which at times stalks the imagination as it scorches the senses with its poetic melodies and sonic colour. It is a might end to a similarly impressing release.

Unswabbed is not carving out truly original ideation with their new direction but they are unleashing a highly rewarding and persistently thrilling proposal which leaves any familiarity to others redundant.

Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1 is available now @ http://unswabbed.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-the-nightmares-vol-1

http://unswabbed.com/

https://www.facebook.com/unswabbed

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Witch Charmer – The Great Depression

Witch Charmer

Raucously majestic and seductively intimidating, UK band Witch Charmer prove that not only was their previous acclaimed EP not a flash in the pan but that it was only the teaser to greater things with debut album The Great Depression. Five tracks which roar and hazily smoulder from a gripping fusion of doom, stoner, and heavy metal, the album is a riveting and scintillating incitement which musically stands out from the crowd but vocally sculpts a corner of its own to transfix from. Led by the magnetic vocal talent of Kate McKeown and assisted rather than backed by the grippingly individual tones of the band, it is an unpredictable and intriguing mix which only accentuates the raw and elegant extremes of the compelling sounds around them. This style of music is quite rich and thick in quality bands right now but the Sunderland quintet easily push themselves to the forefront of the masses with their exhilarating release.

Formed in 2012, the band consists of drummer/vocalist Dave McQuillan, guitarists/vocalists Len Lennox and Adam Clarke, and bassist Richard Maher alongside McKeown. Debut EP Euphoric Curse of last year drew in eager attention and acclaim with its stirring and intensive mesh of weighty rhythms and tantalising grooves aligned to pungent riffs and their compelling vocal mix. It proved irresistible to a great many but was just the base from which the Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) mixed and mastered The Great Depression has grown to greater heights for a heady captivation.

Themed around a “dark satirical view of this world gone mad”, album and band take little time in enslaving ears and imagination with opener Suffer. From its first breath it is spilling an enthralling groove which is soon surrounded by imposing rhythms and a sonic intensity which in turn sparks that initial lure to expel a greater flame to its potency. Just as swiftly the dramatic and impressive voice of McKeown joins the evolving narrative of the track, hot melodic designs alongside flirtatious grooves wrapping her rich tones. A brawling call from one of the band brings another thick texture to the song, his raw vocal squall the extreme opposite to the charm of McKeown but an impressing companion which seems to ignite another bout of virulent urgency and aggression in the sounds. Sharing the lead of the track for a fair portion, the two vocalists grab the attention but not enough to detract from the addictive enticement of the grooves and the sonic enterprise raging around them.

It is a mighty start but soon shown a clean pair of heels by the thrilling presence of The Cull. A more predatory gait is revealed by the track, its slow doom bred crawl an oppressive yet welcoming shadow through which McKeown’s voice WITCH CHARMER - COVERshines like a beacon. It is the vocal alliance which grips ears most of all though, certainly initially, the bruising growl heard in the first song returning with other allies bringing a punkish squall and a clean presentation to dual and flirt with the superb presence of the front lady. The track shows it is not just about that though, that like the release it stands out just as potently through its grooves and scorched atmospheres to create a riveting maelstrom of beauty and intimidation. Like a mix of Jess & the Ancient Ones and Electric Wizard with Triggerman, the track is a blistering provocation soaked in a smouldering blues haze and ferocious heavy psychedelic metal.

Both A Watching Of Wolves and …To Death (I’ll Drink) keep the temperature and might of the album ablaze and the passions aflame, the first arriving on a hypnotic stride of thumping rhythms within a humid tapestry of sonic invention. It takes little time to clad those lingering lures in a thick swamp of dark grooves and rapacious intensity which in turn is veined by melodic mystique enticing and infectious virulence. It is a merger of darkness and light, of brooding emotions and joyful revelry which is seamlessly entwined to create an incendiary incitement for thoughts and passions. Its successor is scintillating; the bass with a delicious bestial twang to its tone leading ears and thoughts into a haze of sonic expression and addictive rhythmic baiting. The song proceeds to lap the senses in waves of energy and seductive enticing, its potency never wavering in success and strength as grooves, riffs, and vocals weave and tease like an adulterous temptress with only eyes for its victim. The rhythmic imagination of McQuillan is inescapable as he frames and veins the track with unpredictable and engrossing bait matched by the delicious vocals.

The best track on the album it is soon rivalled by the closing Stare Into The Sun, a slow enticement which is even more of a salacious temptation than its predecessor in moves and grooves at times but ultimately is a persistently changing and evolving groove fest across a landscape of burning melodies and caustic riffs under a rhythmic thunder. It is a stunning end to a sensational release, though the album does have one final brief treat in hidden acoustic track Architects of our own Existence.

The Great Depression has everything fans of the likes of Black Sabbath and Goatsnake through to Electric Wizard and Blood Ceremony would devour in a second but also much more to bring a fresh air to doom and stoner flavoured heavy metal. Witch Charmer is a major force in the making and their album the first slab of irrepressible evidence.

The Great Depression is available from September 1st on Argonauta Records and at http://witchcharmer.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/witchcharmerband

9/10

RingMaster 01/09/2014

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Ventenner – Distorture

Ventenner

Sculpting a collection of startling and emotionally stark yet seductive soundscapes which combine for one immersive and compelling dystopian landscape, UK band Ventenner has unleashed one of the year’s most compelling incitements with new album Distorture. A release and experience which leaves the senses beleaguered and imagination ablaze from start to finish, it is a mouth-watering intrusion of aural drama taking the listener on a gripping and invasive journey into not only the heart of the album’s own narrative but their own shadows. It is an extraordinary proposition which persistently crafts and frees intimidating seductions and contagiously raw rages with every imposing twist and evocative turn, and simply gets better and more emotionally vocal over time,

The successor to the well-received This Is The Reason album of 2012, Distorture arrives after a movement in not only sound but the shape of the 2007 formed London band; Ventenner once the solo project of Charlie Dawe (vocals/synth) growing into a quartet with Jonno Lloyd (guitar), Ben Martin (bass), and Luke Jacobs (drums) now alongside him. The move has resulted in the new album exploring a more guitar driven investigation against the previous predominantly synth and electronics fuelled approach of the project. Released via Sonic Fire Records, Distorture presents a cacophony of industrial and post punk seeded noise aligned to chilled textures and melodic invention against barren yet mesmeric atmospheres. That though is still only a glimpse of the creative shadows and colouring presented by the sonic paintings confronting ears and thoughts.

The adventure opens with Rise, a raw and portentous ambience bringing the track into view before the instrumental casts a rhythmic enticement which is as challenging as the atmosphere brewing up around it. The electronic starkness is gently corrosive bait but tempered by the intrigue clad riffs which soon line-up to ignite the imagination. It is a dramatic introduction to the dark creative emprise ahead but just a teaser as swiftly shown by the outstanding Six Blood. A predatory stroll breaks out from the song’s first seconds, its gait cloaked in mellow and slightly monotonic vocals as well as grouchy riffs which cast a grizzled hue over the gripping scenery of the track. Nine Inch Nails meets early Pitchshifter, the song is a fascinating entanglement of textures and tones, a kaleidoscope of erosive sonic hues, compelling monotony, and emotional turmoil twisted into an addictively captivating tempest.

The following Wave is just as enslaving for ears and passions. Again a chilled terrain is walked by seemingly disinterested yet persistent riffs and vocals before exploding into incendiary roars which sear the senses and inflame the imagination. It is a demanding suasion of Gravity Kills like temptation and Die Krupps bred fury yet something wholly unique and pressingly bewitching. Its oppressive angst and fiery climate is followed by the openly different yet magnetically similar Unaffected, another abrasing furnace of sound and intent which takes the listener gently by the hand before throwing them into a turbulent pit of sonic rage and passion. There is an underlying tempting though, melodic and rhythmic, which nags throughout the tempestuous offering and has its loudest say in the passage of restrained emotion and sound which provokes before a climactic finale.

The instrumental title track gnaws on the senses next, its cavernous shadows and tones drawing on Killing joke and Wire seeding as a sonic haze haunts and provokes the emotions. It is an intimidating web of noise and intent which continues into the hidden depths and dark corners of Skin Ritual. Again Wire springs to mind, its bleak breath and enticing slithers of melodic coaxing engrossing, especially with the additional female vocals aligning to those of Dawe. It is a strenuously mesmeric encounter which smoulders and ripples with emotional temptation and electronic incitement like a hope fuelled dream within a suffocating sleep.

From that somnambulistic flight, Begin Again offers a raw and corrosive embrace which is ignited by the virulently infectious military exercise of the drums. Simultaneously crawling over the senses and exposing body and thoughts to a dervish like assault of inescapable rhythmic captivation, the predominantly instrumental track is a mystique lit fall into a bedlamic state of sonic and emotional antagonism. It is an uncompromising and exhaustive yet reassuringly rewarding seduction which is surpassed by the outstanding Metacell whose rhythmic temptation is also driven by an irresistible virulence. A rolling swagger of drums jabs is soon joined by a predatory voracity of riffs and vocals, their charm carnivorous and touch hostile yet courted by a magnetic stride of beats. It makes for a deep rooted addiction, much like the album, and provides another pinnacle of what in many ways is a resourcefully psychotic release.

Both Fallout and Cast assault and transfix ears with a creative voracity within deceptively minimalistic structures and temptations. The first is a seductive croon prone to sonic outbursts crossed with passion drenched rages and its successor a haunting caress of the senses brought by an emotional causticity. Both tracks test and spark reflective reactions with their absorbing ingenuity. Neither though can match the glorious deep shadows and intimate provocation of Undone, a song soaked in melodic beauty, classically seeded keys, and seductive elegance. It is a sonic sunset which engulfs the imagination before making way for the similarly enthralling closing track Shade, its title telling you all you need to know about its tone and emotions, if not the sweeping beauty and melodic majesty within its temptation.

It is a mighty end to an album which enslaves the imagination and passions from start to finish. Reaping the seeds of old school post punk austerity with a more modern industrial rapacity, Ventenner twist them into something scintillating and emotionally epic verging on disturbing as evidenced by the brilliant Distorture.

Distorture is available via Sonic Fire Records now @ http://sonicfire.bandcamp.com/album/distorture

http://www.ventenner.com

9/10

RingMaster 01/09 2014

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Teenage Wildlife – The Last Great Love Affair/ Most Beautiful Thing

photograph by John Wright

Teenage Wildlife is the musical project of renowned British film maker and photographer John Wright. Based in Shoreditch, the multi-instrumentalist has been making music for years alongside his visual work, creating pieces which have been used by Fendi and Dior whilst his photography has been employed by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Sony Music. Wright created Teenage Wildlife for his musical side and expression whilst using the funds raised by this side of his talent to support charities that help underprivileged young people, the artist himself coming from a background which can be described as the same. September 1st saw the release of his new double A-sided single, The Last Great Love Affair/ Most Beautiful Thing, two melodically charming and electronically infused songs which without lighting fires make for a captivating and richly enjoyable proposition.

The Last Great Love Affair is a shimmering flight of melodies and soft vocals wrapped in a mesmeric embrace which either gently caresses ears or come in a feistier flame of enterprise. It is an instantly pleasing encounter, its electronic twists and temptation as intriguing as the mellow sounds hugging the senses. Warm and creatively smiling, the track is like a mix of Scritti Politti and China Crisis, a smouldering transfixing breeze which takes the imagination on an emotive summer cruise through melody coloured waters.

The accompanying Most Beautiful Thing, which is sung by an unnamed female vocalist, is a less mesmeric track but to be fair no less enticing for ears. Also carrying a gentle smouldering in its belly rather than a fire, the song is electronic pop and R&B rolled into a pleasing and elegant croon of sound and vocal emotion. Impressively crafted and gracefully attractive, the song merges jazz spiced keys and sultry melodies which in turn clasps the romantic tone of the vocals. It does not quite match the potency of The Last Great Love Affair but still leaves thoughts engrossed and satisfaction beaming.

Both songs intrigue and avoid simply feeding expectations to make for a release which does not startle but lingers welcomingly and rewardingly. With great causes also benefitting from the release, this is a single worthy of intensive attention.

Most Beautiful Thing/The Last Great Love Affair is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/most-beautiful-thing-last/id913694600

www.teenagewildlifemusic.com

www.johnwrightphoto.com

8/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Red Rose Empire – The Ballad of Blondie

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The Ballad of Blondie is a fascinating single, a song which gently spins through flavours and emotions whilst creating one thoroughly rousing and thrilling proposition. Bred by the inventive craft of UK acoustic rock band Red Rose Empire, and taken from their recently released album You’ve got Red on you, the single grips ears and imagination with cinematic vivacity and emotional intimacy to provide an intensely provocative persuasion.

Hailing from London, the trio of vocalist/acoustic guitarist Paul Claxton, bassist Rick Keating, and drummer Paul Rowland has drawn strong attention and praise through You’ve got Red on you and it is easy to see why if it matches the potent incitement of The Ballad of Blondie. The song opens with a swing of folkish revelry, guitar and bass uniting for a smiling intro framed by firm rhythms. The lively opening then relaxes into a gentle caress with Claxton providing an emotive croon, vocally and with strings, which is aligned to the hazy charm of the bass and shuffling beats. There is a drama to the change though, especially in the vocals, which ebbs and flows before erupting in the blaze of the chorus. Chords twang and vocals soar as a sultry climate bursts over the narrative before the song returns to its more peaceful suasion, though again it is just the coaxing prelude to another fiery breath of sound and passion.

The song continues to drift and roar as the landscape of its evocative theme continues providing a riveting adventure. Warm yet haunted, the song is a masterful and thrilling proposition which not only seduces for itself but sparks the want to check out the album it comes from. If Ballad of Blondie epitomises the potential and invention of Red Rose Empire then they have a very healthy and successful horizon ahead of them.

Ballad of Blondie is available now @ http://redroseempire.bandcamp.com/track/the-ballad-of-blondie

https://www.facebook.com/redroseempire

9/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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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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