Black Strobe – Godforsaken Roads

Photo Philippe levy.

An adventure which has the imagination bouncing around as enthusiastically as the body, Godforsaken Roads from French band Black Strobe, is an exhilarating stomp with more juicy flavours than a Pick ‘n’ Mix stand. The band’s new album is a tapestry of sound and enterprise which is as insatiable in its eclectic intent as it is contagious in its devilry. Seamlessly and inventively entwining fiery melodic rock and sultry blues spicery with a flirtatious electronic resourcefulness, and that brief description still only a thick hint of what is in store, the release simply lifts spirits and passions as one of the year’s most captivating and thrilling releases.

Black Strobe is the brainchild of Arnaud Rebotini, a Parisian musician and producer just as renowned for his instrumental electronic explorations released under his own name. Alongside this and a horde of remix work for the likes of Rammstein, Depeche Mode, The Rapture, Bloc Party, Nitzer Ebb, and Fischerspooner, Rebotini’s 1997 founded project has released a host of well- received singles and debut album Burn Your Own Church which saw its founder collaborating with Kill the DJ label head Ivan Smagghe. Live the band has equally earned potent acclaim, touring the likes of USA, South America, Japan, Australia, and Europe to great success and lighting up festivals such as Reading/Leeds, Sónar, Primavera, Pukkelpop, Dour, and Transmusicales. Now with guitarist Mathieu Zub, drummer Mathys Dubois, and bassist/keyboardist Benjamin Beaulieu alongside him, Rebotini and Black Strobe return with, we suggest, their finest moment yet, Godforsaken Roads.

Recent single Broken Phone Blues offers the first temptation and from its initial touch it is fair to say that Godforsaken Roads is in full control of excited attention and increasingly lustful emotions. An electro bubbling opens things up and is swiftly joined by the distinctive and dark toned voice of Rebotini. His voice has lured comparisons to Nick Cave and Johnny Cash and it is easy to see why as it sits somewhere between the two in expression and tone. Just as quickly a pulsating electro stroll adds its captivating invitation before guitars and bass align to jabbing beats to cast an irresistible canter over the senses. It is a virulently infectious electro rock romp which in some ways brings thoughts of The The and also Helldorado with its increasingly steamy ambience.

It is a tremendous start right away surpassed by the outstanding Monkey Glands. The track is an out and out rocker; again electro essences stirring up ears for a gripping entrance before vocals and riffs finding seeds in fifties rock ‘n’ 10646751_10152620336545266_4319895831447366858_nroll which in turn infuses even greater captivating colour into the devilish engagement. Wonderfully exhaustive in its dramatic vivacity and hungry energy, the track sets a new plateau for the album which the blues scented He Keeps On Calling Me matches with its smouldering sonic heat and melodic intrigue. Bass and guitars take centre stage alongside the relentlessly impressing voice of Rebotini, the song a forcibly seductive yet controlled spaghetti western spiced drama standing tall like a mix of Nick Cave and Fatima Mansions.

Both Blues Fight and For Those Who Came on Earth Thru The Devil Asshole keep ears and appetite hungry for the album. The first draws on a steamy funk hue to ripen its sultrily woven blues rock climate, with the guitars showing a growl and bass a throaty predation to temper the flirty swing and electro tantalising of the track. It all unites in another ridiculously catchy and addictive proposition with a touch of De Staat to it. Its successor idles in on a slow melodic and vocal croon embraced by an exotic electro teasing within a portentous and ever darkening keys bred atmosphere. It is a compelling encounter which feels like it is brewing up to a major fire, and at moments comes close, but almost taunting the listener instead just ebbs and flows with an intoxicating evocative charm and intensity which is just as gripping.

The two triumphs are emulated and over shadowed a little by the delicious cover of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues. Held in a transfixing electronic embrace only, the song is given an exceptional make-over. Rebotini strokes its body with an individual vocal delivery but the same shadowed irresistibility as offered by Cash whilst keys simply create a seducing beauty which steals the passions whilst keeping the unique expression and presence the legendary song has always held. It is a stunning offering backed up right away by the heated temptation of Swamp Fever, a song mixing acoustic and blues rock with electro elegance around one of the most infectious and anthemic choruses on the album.

House Of Good Lovin’ revisits a fifties rock enterprise for its agitated rumble of addictive beats and blues soaked guitar endeavour; think Muddy Waters and Joe Cocker with definitely a twist of The Cramps and you get another riveting incitement on Godforsaken Roads. It though only warms up the passions for Dumped Boogie and From The Gutter. Both tracks provide a masterful feet enslaving temptation, the first riding a steamy wave of electronic contagion and the second bringing a less urgent but just as enticing electro pop waltz reminiscent of Heaven 17 to transfix body and emotions.

Levels slip slightly with Going Back Home, a dance floor spawned encounter which still shines with beacon like strength within the album but to be honest is less appetising for personal tastes, but raised again somewhat with Boogie in Zero Gravity, one of two songs exclusive to the digital copy of the album. With a touch of The Correspondents about it, the song is a tempered yet persuasive dance which though not at the heights of the more rock infused tracks leaves satisfaction full.

The album is completed by Promised Moon, a song seemingly bred under the influence of The Beatles’ Get Back and on the digital version by The Girl From The Bayou; the pair further inescapable temptations without casting the same potency of suasion as earlier encounters upon Godforsaken Roads. They still add a fine end to an exceptional release though which simultaneously nostalgic and innovative as it weaves an epidemic of ingenious sound and body gripping enterprise.

Godforsaken Roads is released on CD and vinyl 6th October via Blackstrobe Records/K7 Records and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id903413308

http://blackstroberecords.com/

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RingMaster 06/10/2014

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Verse Vica – Endeavor

Promo 2

It is safe to say that progressive metal has presented some of the most imaginatively inventive bands and compellingly immersive releases over recent years and to both lists you can add Verse Vica and their debut album Endeavor. One similarly imposing and seductive flight spread over eight movements in its continuous landscape, the release is a skilled and dramatic introduction to the US band, announcing them as an exciting prospect to pay eager attention to.

Hailing from North Carolina it is maybe no surprise that their inspirations include fellow statesmen Between the Buried and Me alongside the likes of Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, Periphery, and The Contortionist. There is no denying those essences across the Asheville quartet’s first offering though it is mere flavouring to something which primarily casts its own distinctive nature and character. Unafraid to bare its rawest depths sonically and emotionally, and a flaming beauty which is as transfixing as its contrasts are rugged, the album is an intensive and at times satisfyingly demanding proposition. Though first impressions leave a hungry appetite for its presence, the album needs an attentive investigation to reveal all its striking textures and superbly crafted layers. It rewards though with not a flawless offering but definitely one which ignites a greed for more in the imagination and emotions.

Mastered by Jamie King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), Endeavor opens with the engaging Airyth. It is a gentle and melodically elegant instrumental which carries darker shadows within its smouldering and resonating presence. It is not a dramatic track, certainly in hindsight against the subsequent twists in the album’s journey, but a captivating soar across the emerging climate of piece and release. Guitarists Paul Meisner and Greg Marcon create a sonic breeze which mesmerises with its beauty and skilful designs whilst the bass of Tyler Shehan incitingly strokes the darker element of the exploration. It is a tantalising entrance though it does straight away offer up the only real flaw with the album and that is the sampled drums and rhythms. The band is yet to find a live body to swing the sticks and this makes for one aspect which is lacking across the album, being more obvious in some tracks than others, but to be fair such the quality elsewhere it is never enough to derail songs and pleasure.

The opener flows straight into the rugged terrain of Cities I: Cerulean. Riffs and grooves respectively badger and entwine ears from the first breath whilst raging gut bred growls and subsequently clean harmonies from Spencer Album CoverBrunkhorst, bring further thick colour and spice to the already colourful design of the song. The technical ability of the band is just as striking and instant, the guitars spinning a web of infectious and intimidating enterprise whilst the rhythmic side of the song, along with the harsher side of the vocals, carries as much malevolence as the melodies and sonic endeavour brings flirtatious ingenuity. Equally the songwriting shines brightly, especially in the way the band blends and twists extremes around a fluid core of intent and imagination. It is a fine incitement though soon shaded by Verdugo and even more so the outstanding Ravenholm. The first of the two stands steely eyed with hooks and riffs a savage persuasion within a caustic and radiant melodic atmosphere. Again opposites attract within the song and combine for a tantalising and intimidating excursion for ears and thoughts which the second of the pair pushes to new scenic heights. Opening with a melodic death metal ferocity and invention, the track evolves before the ears as melodies provide a catalyst taking the voracious vocal driven emprise into a seductive waltz of Latin sultriness and acoustic Spanish guitar refinement. It is an enthralling and thrilling proposition which returns to its original caustic blaze before merging it into the sonic brilliance which binds the majestic encounter.

Marumari takes senses and thoughts through an engrossing soundscape of shimmering melodies and intrigue coated bass suasion, calming ears and emotions from the previous roars before diving headlong into flaming sonic and cavernous yet intimately suggestive beauty. The instrumental is a web to spark the imagination, in a way the eye of the storm between the previous adventure and the furious tempest of Djinn. It successor is a predator yet with the antagonistic vocals and rhythmic intensity striding through a sonic tapestry of inventive and skilled ideation, the track is just as infectiously compelling as it is barbarously challenging. Sharing best track honours with Ravenholm, it is a stunning slab of creative and unpredictable bewitching hostility with the bass of Shehan stealing the biggest plaudits.

The album is brought to a tremendous close by firstly another absorbing instrumental in the mentally inflaming shape of Koholint and lastly the tempestuous might and creative storm of Cities II: Saffron. Both songs show further sides and variation to album and the band’s inventiveness, the first simply with melodic eloquence and adventure and the second through the employment of melodic and pop rock infectiousness within the technically spellbinding lure of the track.

Endeavour is a glorious debut and one which just gets better as it reveals more with every flight taken. Anticipation for a live drummer and where that takes songs and the sound of Verse Vica is a strong feeling at the end of the album but more overwhelming is the total pleasure and excitement for what Endeavour offers and where the band has the potential to go. Bottom line though is that this is a must investigation for all progressive metal fans.

The self-released Endeavor is available worldwide now on October 6th.

https://www.facebook.com/versevica

RingMaster 06/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ten Percenter – I Could Never Say

Ten Percenter Promo Shot

It might not be a release to blow you away but the I Could Never Say EP from UK alternative rockers Ten Percenter certainly leaves a warm satisfaction and happy appetite for the band and their mellow, melodically creative sound. Consisting of four tracks bringing variety and accomplished enterprise to bear on ears and thoughts, the release makes a strong slice of evidence of a band sculpting a potent presence.

Devon hailing Ten Percenter began in 2006, taking inspirations from the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Weezer, and Counting Crows into their ideation and sound. With four previous releases under their belt, the trio of brothers Jay and Thom Brown, two of the founding members of the band, and Mykel Heath have returned after a brief hiatus with a new clutch of songs, their own label, and a release which again marks the band out as one to watch. As mentioned the EP does not leave set a raging fire for alternative rock but will have it simmering feistily with a presence employing familiar essences for the genre but in a fresh and imaginative style.

The Neil Haynes produced EP opens with the keenly catchy title track, a song shimmering with elegant melodies and emotive vocals once it emerges from fiery riffs aligned to an instantly luring hook. It is a potent start which only adds to Ten Percenter Cover Artworkits enticement with the strong vocals of Jay and a melodic resourcefulness soaking every twist of the track. It does not challenge expectations but the recognisable flavouring of the song only adds richer hues to an ear and appetite pleasing encounter.

Everything about the song impresses, from individual skills and invention to the crystalline ambience of the song, but it lacks the last spark to set ablaze in imagination and passions. Its successor Against The Grain is similar in its individual presence. The vocals of Jay and Thom blend and unite with warmth and quality whilst again a melodic sultriness wraps every chord and hook with appealing endeavour. An inventive breath of keys also colours the song’s engaging canvas, their atmospheric and melodic hues providing further strength and character to a magnetic song.

The final two songs come from live session recordings and are just as potent, Let The Juice Flow especially gripping. Treating ears to a firm rhythmic shuffle and infectious hooks, the song flirts with the imagination instantly. A spicy melodic strand next entwines the listener, the guitar tempting with its acidic tone whilst vocals again offer enticing warmth to the increasingly gripping proposition. The track is the gem of the release, its reserved but open swagger and grunge like spicing all combining for a song you can only imagine being a fan favourite live.

Riot brings the EP to a close, the track a slower croon of an encounter which reveals more of the efficient and diverse songwriting within the band. It does not light up ears as swiftly as those before it but still grows to be a pleasing and strong offering.

Ten Percenter is still a band in the making but all the signs, going by their new release, are pointing to the emergence of another exciting band in the British alternative rock scene.

I Could Never Say… is available from October 6th on Rainwood Records digitally on all stores and on Ltd CD @ http://www.tenpercenter.co.uk/store.asp

http://www.tenpercenter.co.uk

RingMaster 06/10/2014

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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hAND to release ‘Kintsugi’, on 3rd Novemeber‏

Hand Online Promo Shot

hAND are back and release their new album ‘Kintsugi’ on Monday 3rd November through Brutal Elite.

 

Although hAND can be loosely described as a Prog band, when you peel back the aural layers, you’ll find a definitive edge that sets the band firmly apart from its contemporary counterparts. Progressive and heavy, yet accessible, hAND have unearthed a sound that is innovative and engrossing. They call to mind the thoughtful webby depths of ‘Opeth’, meshed with the proggy groove of ‘Amplifier’ and the gothic guile of ‘Paradise Lost’. Acutely marrying carefully formed visceral guitar parts, dynamic drums, and alluring vocals, hAND have a strong focus and a clear vision of what they want to produce.

 

Originally formed back in 2004, the band come at you from Sussex. Right from their early years, which saw hAND unleash their first EP “Chapters”, to the band’s next EP “Shadow: Word Pain”, which landed them a record deal with Copro Records, to the foursome’s debut album “Deadroom Journal”, each release and record has progressed in its sheer song-writing quality and production. The progsters worked with producer Nick Hemingway (Isor, Cancer, Desecration) @ Philia Studios for “Deadroom Journal”, and the album went on to secure lofty praise with Dead Earnest, who dubbed the release: “Totally groundbreaking in such a genre”. Off the back of the album, hAND signed to Femme Metal Records and began to play shows throughout the whole of the UK, as well as racking up prominent festival appearances. In 2010, the progressive crew headed back to the studio to record their sophomore album “Breathing”, with Nick Hemingway again at the helm. Released in June 2011 via Femme Metal Records and Brutal Elite Records, the album picked up even greater acclaim than their debut album. In the summer of 2011, long time drummer Cris Nelson left the band. He was replaced by Dan Thomas, and at the same time synth player Tom Johnstone joined as a full time member. Taking a hiatus from playing live in 2013, hAND solely focused on writing their next album and perfecting their revitalised eclectic sound.

 

This year, the quartet hit the studio once more with long term collaborator and producer Nick Hemmingway to lay down their third album ‘Kintsugi’. Comprised of hypnotic and supremely orchestrated guitar riffs and crashing drums with pulsing rhythms, ‘Kintsugi’ is primed to rattle your ear drums and will surely pull you in. The album will be widely supported with extensive touring and is released in two formats: the regular CD/digital download version and the ‘Gold Edition’. The Gold Edition is more than just the same album with a couple of bonus tracks; whilst it does contain some of the same songs, it is approached in a very different way in terms of production and feel. The approach taken differs in the production style – a more natural, dynamic and even old-school take, designed to contrast with the heavier, more driving production employed on the ‘regular’ Kintsugi. The Gold Edition will also be available on vinyl and in a special pre-order pack. Both versions of the record drop this November; look out as hAND are set to take the scene by storm.

 

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TIGERPUNCH to make the ‘Fight Of Your Life’, from 20th October‏

Tigerpunch Online Promo shot

Quirky Groove Rocksters ‘Tigerpunch’ have arrived and deliver a tasty offering for your consumption. The band release ‘Fight Of Your Life’ EP on Monday 20th October, through all national outlets.

 

Tigerpunch were spawned from the depths of Wolverhampton by brothers Rich and Jay, when, as they put it, “their dreams of becoming Pokémon Masters fell through”. Jay was drinking away his sorrows one night with ‘handsome man’ Rich when they discovered the brilliance of the movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’. Much gibberish and dark rum ensued, and as soon as the word ‘Tigerpunch’ was uttered, the duo knew they’d found a band moniker that knocked out all others.

 

The pair delved deep and let creativity reign. Pooling from the heavy groove-rock godly exploits of Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine, and inspired by the beauty and guile of The Foo Fighters and Nirvana, Tigerpunch were born.

 

Late last summer, whilst sailing the seas of knowledge and nonsense (aka the internet), the two piece came in contact with former hitman and canoe enthusiast, Russell Latham, who came onboard and completed the team of heroes.

 

Now, as a perfectly formed trio, the band of merry men are travelling from town to town and are gathering pace as they win over audiences. Supports with I Am Giant have furthered their cause and ploy for world domination. So too has the recording of their debut EP ‘Fight Of Your Life’ which hits everywhere and anywhere this Autumn. With five stout cuts of buoyant rock groove that swing back and forth, from the infectious ‘My Pet Hate’ to the raucous beatings of ‘Serve The Freakshow’, the manly men from the West Midlands have a solid record in their hands. The threesome have further live shows mapped out for the rest of the year; be prepared to witness a show that’ll leave you inspired, overwhelmed and sexually confused.

 

-TIGERPUNCH RELEASE ‘FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE’ ON MONDAY 20th OCTOBER THROUGH ALL STORES-

 

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