Wayne Hussey – Songs Of Candlelight And Razorblades


Since coming across Wayne Hussey with Dead Or Alive, it is fair to say his musical journey has persistently left impacting and lingering marks on our personal musical travelogue, and of rock music itself. Whether it has been the dark compelling beginning through to the pop agitated revelry of the Pete Burns led band, the caustically elegant gothic drama of Sisters Of Mercy, or the melodic adventure and emotive beauty of The Mission, he has been there inciting and inspiring, like for so many, our passions. His adventures have not worked for all, drawing mixed responses at times towards his creativity, but it is fair to say that for us, especially with the last of those bands, he has been a distinctive musical presence with his various band-mates to find constant joy in.

So is was with relish and intrigue that we approached his new solo album Songs Of Candlelight And Razorblades, thirty years plus after first striking a bond with his creative presence. To be fair it is hard to go into a Wayne Hussey involved release without some expectations, and maybe hopes of hearing essences of former glories. It was the same with the new album and those wishes were pleasingly fed, much because of the unique vocals of the man, but what also emerged was an album which unveiled a glorious landscape of diverse melodic and emotive adventure with an intimacy, which as so many of the songs in his past, found a personal connection. Already covered in acclaim for The Mission’s last album The Brightest Light of last year, Mr Hussey is due another heavy dose of eager praise and recognition for what is an album of the year contender.

The successor to his previous album Bare, a release seeing Hussey present various Mission songs and other covers, Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is the personal creative craft and heart of the Sao Paulo based musician on display alone for arguably the first time. It makes for a riveting proposition, one merging impassioned folk, resonating melodic rock, and emotional shadows into a startling and thrilling portrait of an artist still discovering and exploring new corners and depths. Released on his own Eyes Wide Shut Recordings, the crowd funded album opens with Madam G, a noir kissed slice of melancholic yet radiant melodic moodiness. The gentle caress of its sultry embrace is a weave of 71XaDXdPBKL._SL1500_expression soaked strings and poetic piano around the welcomingly familiar tones of Hussey. It is a bold way to open the release, not a punchy and openly infectious lure as most albums would begin with, but a jazz kissed smouldering which slowly and successfully draws the imagination right into the album.

The following Nothing Left Between Us opens on a bloom of folk tinged guitar melodies and the gravelled tones of Hussey. It is a warm and inviting beginning soon broadening with backing harmonies and a deliciously throaty bassline, light and dark essences entwining for a riveting and reserved but keen stroll which increases in passion and intensity the deeper into the song’s vibrant croon it goes. Its catchy potency is matched by the more exotic breath of JK Angel of Death (1928-2011), electro jabs linking up with sonic enterprise for its own individual evocative call of sound and expression. As its predecessor, the track washes the senses in a provocative climate of melodic colour enriched with emotive hues, further confirming that in writing and vocal strength alone Hussey has lost none of his compelling strengths.

Both Swan Song (Lament) and You Are Not Alone keep the album’s fine persuasion soaring, the first another slice of impassioned balladry aligned to a gentle catchiness brought by creative hooks and vocal prowess, whilst its successor explores the kind of melodic twang and tenacious imagination which has never been far from the pinnacles within the perpetual success of The Mission. It is not a song which fully erupts into areas hinted at across its bewitching presence, but certainly leaves plenty for thoughts and emotions to feed greedily upon before Wasting Away [Reprise] braces ears. With Hussey finding an almost Bowie like tone initially to his vocals within a tender caress of the music, it is a track which does not seize the imagination like those before but worms under the skin for a just as lingering enjoyment.

The album hits its most impressive peak at this point, the pungent charm and emotional elegance of The Bouquets and the Bows making the first roaring temptation. From another warm and reserved stroking of ears and imagination, the track increasingly grows and brews up a climactic passion and energy to cast a finale which simultaneously burns and seduces the senses, bass and keys especially potent in the latter of the two sides alongside the vocals. Its success is soon surpassed by the scintillating Wither on the Vine, the best track on the album. Straight away it shimmers with a melodic rock resonance which in turn is veined with a quite delicious sonic hook coursing with irresistible melodic blood. Again it is hard to ignore strong flavouring of The Mission but also there are elements sparking thoughts of Modern English, both rich spices accentuating the ridiculously infectious smile and magnetic invention of the track. It is prime Wayne Hussey songwriting and ingenuity, and quite outstanding.

   No Earthly Cure is not backward in igniting the passions either, the song a summery canvas which blooms and flourishes in voice and enticing harmonies to increasingly involve and spark the imagination. Its melodic scenery is enthralling, an electronic shimmering radiating through the expansive colour of melodic and harmonic beauty. The song again walks the highest plateau of the album, a level not quite emulated by ‘Til the End of Time but matched by Devil’s Kind. The first almost marches with folk bred festivity and endearing melodic invocation whilst the second brings caustic country rock breath to its captivating and raw again folk seeded persuasion. With thumping beats poking throughout the contagious devilry, the track is rock ‘n’ roll in its barest dressing and rigorously thrilling.

From the orchestral croon and lure of When I Drift Too Far from Shore, a song which soothes and seduces ears with a relatively subdued yet open theatrical appetite, the album begins its conclusion by provocatively exploring classical and dramatic textures through the gentle tempest of Next Station before ending on the challenging intrigue of Aporia. The first two of the trio only confirm the still impressing strength and heart bred expression of Hussey’s voice, as well as his stirring songwriting, whilst the closer sees him providing a spoken narrative across a haunting and engrossing flight of sonic exploration. Though the slower suasion of all three songs cannot rival what came before them, they still combine to ensure The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades ends with a memorable and invigorating conclusion.

It is probably right to assume that fans of Hussey and The Mission will find a swifter and easier impassioned connection with the album, but that does not detract from the fact that The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is a breath-taking and stunning release. Listening to it you also feel that Wayne Hussey has only scratched the surface of his individual adventure which only increases the hunger for more.

The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is available via Eyes Wide Shut Recordings now.


RingMaster 20/10/2014

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Arizona – The Hunter, The Gatherer


As The Hunter, The Gatherer EP from UK post hardcore antagonists Arizona roars over and blisters the senses; it is hard not to be excited by the raw and potent potential raging through the band’s impressive debut. It swiftly suggests the prospects and future of the band is more than worth paying close attention to. The four track release brawls and seduces with tempestuous charm and skill, and though it does not make a startling alternative to the best of the genre, there are ear catching twists and an impressive inventiveness at the heart of songs putting the Essex quintet firmly on the radar.

Since forming in 2011, Arizona has been increasingly drawing interest and attention. Their early singles found good coverage with the likes of BC Introducing in Essex, whilst the band has consistently impressed and garnered praise live as they shared stages with the likes of Fathoms, Napoleon, and I Killed The Prom Queen. Now their debut release is unleashed to wake up stronger national awareness, and it is hard to see The Hunter, The Gatherer falling short on its aims. Recorded with Empress AD’s Alex Loring, the EP is according to the band just the beginning of a major assault and creative outpouring from Arizona, vocalist Jacob Scroggs-Parris saying on the eve of the new release, “the next year is hopefully going to be a busy one for us.”, continuing with “We are well into writing our full length debut, and I don’t think we will stop until that has been torn apart and meticulously analysed from every angle.

Opener Black Hart instantly launches at ears and senses with a formidable wall of bruising rhythms and voracious riffery. Within the imposing tempest though, a brooding bass tone alongside flavoursome spicy grooves twist and flirt EP ART FINAL pngwith the imagination. It is a thick and immediately enticing proposition which only accentuates its lure with the impressive vocal squalls of Scroggs-Parris, backed by the band. The track is a predator, an encounter which stalks and abrases with controlled energy and fearsome intensity yet is unafraid to spin a web of creative tenacity through the guitars of Brad Laurence and Benjamin Wyckes to fully intrigue and engage the imagination.

The outstanding start is followed by the similarly dramatic and corrosive form of The Hunted. Driven by the antagonistic beats of drummer George Southernwood and venomously throated tones of Jordan Swan’s bass, the track holds a similar structure and hostility to its predecessor but infuses it with a tantalising melodic elegance and a great display of vocal variety, nothing major but an expression drenched delivery which flows as aggressively and voraciously as the sounds around it. It is a thunderous and at times truly vicious provocation, and a skilled and gripping continuation of the release’s imposing entrance.

The Gathering comes next, merging tantalising melodic coaxing with a tempestuous storm of intensity and raw aggression. It is a threatening and demanding incitement on the senses, yet with acidic charm veining the melodies entwining the intimidation it is a bewitching if uncomfortable proposition. Though as it proceeds, the song lacks the spark of those before it, it flourishes with again great variety to the hostile toning of vocals and sonic imagination to the track’s impassioned landscape.

Closing with Preacher, another stalking of rhythmic and creative voracity, the EP leaves a heavily satisfied appetite and pleasure in its wake. The final track strides with a volatile air and ferocity, riffs and breakdowns as menacing and delicious, and temperament as adversarial as it gets on the EP for a striking and gripping finale to a fine encounter.

Though The Hunter, The Gatherer ultimately is not stretching boundaries for post hardcore, there is plenty within it which begs to differ and suggest that it is only a matter of time, if they realise their potential, before Arizona do make that truly dramatic statement. Right now with a rather excellent debut, they show themselves to be one of the biggest exciting bands to come forth this year.

The Hunter, The Gatherer EP is self-released 7:00 PM BST on October 20th as free download exclusively @ http://arizonauk.bandcamp.com/releases


RingMaster 20/10/2014

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Immigrants – Self Titled EP

Picture 49

Drawing on the inspiration of bands like Faith No More, Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Barkmarket, UK alternative rockers Immigrants are ready to take a sound already whipping up enthused live reactions, to a wider audience with the release of their self-titled debut. It is not a boundary setter or a new template to ignite the imagination of contagious rock ‘n’ roll, but with ease the EP is a seriously enjoyable and adventurous introduction. Four songs which revel in their familiarity whilst presenting fresh and distinct characters, the release is a striking and rigorously pleasing encounter from a band soaked in potential.

The London based trio of vocalist/guitarist Andrew Cunningham, bassist Michael Sellar, and drummer Daniel Clifford as mentioned has found eager and greedy support of their music live as they extensively hit the London music scene since forming last year. With the band and songs fuelled by “a common anger directed against broad scale social issues such as inequality, war and oppression,” Immigrants’ music is a hard hitting and explosive force upon ears and thoughts as evidenced in their EP, and thoroughly enthralling in its ability to emotionally incite and infectiously seduce.

The EP needs little time to make an impressive persuasion of ears and thoughts, especially with tracks like Masquerade within it. From a sonic breath, a grumbling bassline and scything swipes of guitar swiftly awakens a keen appetite whilst crisp rhythms firmly punctuate the brewing bait. Rather than increasing its lure, the song then switches its attack and relaxes into a just as appetising stroll ready for the entrance of Cunningham’s expressive tones of. Sellar’s bass takes the opportunity at this point to start creatively tantalising and flirting with willing ears to increase the appealing lure of the song, a temptation which only blazes brighter with eruptions of roaring riffs and heavy beats leading into a highly infectious chorus. There is an unpredictable adventure to the song and impassioned energy in its music and vocals which captivates even further, resulting in an enthralling encounter which plays like a mix of I Plead Irony and Mojo Fury.

The track alone ensures the band is worthy of greater investigation but backed forcibly by Damage and its more pop punk revelry. With the tempered snarl of Hagfish and the melodic tenacity of Nirvana flavouring its easily engaging romp and energetic vivacity, the song is like an old friend with a new adventure. It is a great foot-stomper and again contagious gateway into the feverish enterprise of the band and its bullish sound.

The harder toned presence of Don’t Back Down shows another strong side to release and invention of the band, its formidable rhythmic enticing and moody bassline an imposing presence taking thoughts into emotive scenery of melodic reflection and intensive intimidation. There is still a virulent contagiousness to the slower stroll, an engrossing beckoning to its prowling weight and passion of the song. Though not as immediate and lingering as others on the release, it is arguably the most inventive and thickly woven proposition, and no less pleasing.

The gentle caressing melodic canter of Hole In My Heart completes the quartet of offerings, its mix of bluesy sonic endeavour and fiery emotively sculpted vocals and melodies, another rich tapestry to immerse in and keenly devour. Again there is a familiar essence to the song though less definable this time but it only adds to the drama and enjoyment of a rather fine song.

Immigrants’ EP makes a powerful opening bid to awaken attention and passion towards their presence. It suggests this is a band still evolving and finding its unique sound but that it will be an inevitable discovery with even greater results than found on this rather exciting first encounter.

The Immigrants EP is available now, for more details check out https://www.facebook.com/pages/Immigrants/563489277015507

RingMaster 20/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tigerpunch – Fight Of Your Life

Tigerpunch Online Promo shot

Colliding metal voracity with the ferocity of heavy rock and then binding it with salacious grooves, UK rockers Tigerpunch show themselves to be an attention seeking and immensely satisfying proposition through their debut release. Made up of five slabs of rock ‘n’ roll afraid to stomp and fling their attributes around with mischievous abandon, the Fight Of Your Life EP is an instant enjoyment, though at first it is more a “nice, but…” encounter than a “wow” moment. Over time though as open craft and invention shines through the surface alongside lyrical devilment, the release emerges as a potent and addictive romp which may not be a classic but certainly is an encounter drawing attention back time and time again.

Wolverhampton’s Tigerpunch was brought to life by brothers Rich Reynolds (guitar/ vocals) and Jay Wolfwood (bass), its name grabbed from the movie Kung Fu Panda and inspirations from the likes of The Foo Fighters, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, and Nirvana. The line-up, after a search, was completed by drummer Russell Latham and swiftly the trio set about audiences to earn a rich reputation for their live performances, shows which has seen them play with I Am Giant amongst many. Fight Of Your Life is their first swipe at national attention and such the formidable revelry and fiery energy within it, the EP is a sure fire focus stealing introduction to the raucous treats of the band.

The release erupts into thunderous life with My Pet, Hate, and a wall of heavy handed beats and caustic riffs entwined with an immediately spicy groove. The vocals of Reynolds are just as swift with their entrance and devilish character, tigerpuncha mischief fuelled tone soaking every syllable as guitars flirt with ears behind them. The song proceeds to thrust its rhythmic hips and bruising tenacity through ears whilst grooves and a flavoursome solo add to the riveting colour of the song. Is it, much as the EP, offering anything dramatically original, no not really, but does it emerge as a contagious and rather irresistible rampage, you bet.

The following Blonde, as its predecessor, is bred from heavy metal and groove rock seeds, and is soon brushing ears with raw and vivacious flames of sonic enterprise and rhythmic confrontation. Riffs abrase and guitar endeavour sizzles throughout the song, whilst the drums beat a submission from the senses as everything becomes entwined in addictive and richly hued grooves. The track has little difficulty in capturing imagination and neck muscles before making way for the more intensive but no less infectious examination of I Am Alive. Whereas the first pair of songs shows their melodic and heavy metal breeding, the third track moves into a grungier area. Employing essences found in Alice In Chains and Gruntruck, the song prowls around ears with acidic colouring to its melodies and grooved temptation. It is another side to the sound and intent of the band, seemingly a more serious and predacious edge coming into play, though inescapable hooks and those ever gripping grooves are just as prevalent in the tempestuous presence of the excellent song.

A sultry air immediately soaks the senses as a broody funk laced bassline hits ears with the entrance of next up Takedown The Bull. It is an instantly riveting start which soon evolves into a Rage Against The Machine stroll with a Pantera like southern grooving to its scenery. The track smoulders and shimmers rigorously within its unrelenting slow heavy crawl, brewing up a tasty boiling of sonic intrigue and melodic causticity. Once more it is hard to claim there is much new on display but for pleasure and accomplished enterprise the song lights the passions.

The EP is closed by Serve The Freakshow, a track opening on a vicious rally of rhythms before casting its own heavy grooving and rhythmic antagonism. It is brewed from the same vat of endeavour as the previous song but equally employs the more classic ingredients found in the opening pair of tracks. It is the weakest song on Fight For Your Life but still another thoroughly enjoyable and easy to engage with brawl to bring the release to a flavoursome close.

Fight For Your Life holds little in the way of surprises but everything about it and the adventure that is Tigerpunch, eventually leaves you wanting more. For the first jab from the band, this is one potent and highly likeable dust-up.

The self-released Fight Of Your Life EP is available from 20th October through all digital stores.


RingMaster 20/10/2014

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WITCHRIDER move ‘Unmountable Stairs’, out 3rd Nov via Fuzzorama Records‏



Fast rising Euro stone rocksters ‘Witchrider’ release ‘Unmountable Stairs’ on Monday 3rd November through Fuzzorama Records/Code7/PHD, and tour throughout Europe with Truckfighters.

When listening to Witchrider, you cannot help but be drawn in by their magnetism. They have a haunting beauty that proves to engulf and ignite. As frontman Daniel Dorninger says, “the thing about making music is there are no boundaries. It’s like a spirit of emotions that eventually passes through your body…you never know what you’re gonna’ end up with”.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Graz, Austria, Portsmouth, Witchrider sport a mutual love for the quirky riffage of heavyweights QOTSA and Eagles Of Death Metal, as well as affection for the dark elements of Soundgarden. Siphoning fuel from these powerhouses, Witchrider offer a genuinely refreshing take on their own brand of stripped down, fuzzed up alternative rock.

Living and breathing their music is crucial to the four-piece, and as such, they are constantly writing and honing their craft. “Being able to work on music all the time is essential for all of us. That’s why we record most of our stuff at home if we can. There’s even a freakin’ drum kit next to my bed!” states drummer Michael Hirschmugl.

Although the songs work with each other as a collective piece of work, Witchrider’s music is diverse and has an array of influences. “I always found musical style not really that important. What counts the most is whether you can identify yourself with the music or not. I know I can and I am happy about every person who can as well. I think that’s what makes music ‘cool'”, says Hans-Peter.

As well as basking in the writing process, the band are supremely dedicated to playing live and fans will have ample opportunity to see the quintet as they hit the road this autumn supporting label mates ‘Truckfighters’. For a complete list of all European shows, check out http://www.facebook.com/witchriderband

In early 2014, Witchrider signed to Truckfighter’s Fuzzorama Records and they now release their new album ‘Unmountable Stairs’ on Monday 3rd November. With eleven killer cuts of low-strung scuzzy alt-rock, the record contorts and burrows itself deep into your skull. Look out for new single ‘I’m Outta Breath’, and don’t miss the band on tour throughout October and November.

http://www.witchrider.com http://www.facebook.com/witchriderband

WITCHRIDER LIVE (as main support to Truckfighters):Nov 10 – Brudenell LEEDS;
Nov 11 – Sound Control MANCHESTER; Nov 12 – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut GLASGOW;
Nov 13 – The Basement NOTTINGHAM; Nov 14 – O2 Academy Islington LONDON; Nov
15 Hard Rock Hell – PWLLHELI; Nov 16 – Oobleck BIRMINGHAM.

DIE NO MORE unleash their ‘Elected Evil’, on 3rd November via Rocksector Records‏

Die No More Online Promo Shot

UK metallers ‘DIE NO MORE’ have just signed to Rocksector Records and they unleash their debut album ‘Elected Evil’ worldwide on Monday 3rd November, through all good stores.

Bursting out of Penrith, Cumbria, UK newcomers Die No More merge together a formidable sound which lifts from the Bay Area Thrash metal scene and fuses elements of such intensity they call to mind legendary British bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon. Born in 2011 and consisting of four friends who had, and still have, the same passion for creating modern metal that also acknowledges classic influences, Die No More’s sound is heavy, yet melodic, and it grabs a hold of you with its jack hammer guitar riffs and frenetic solos. While reminiscent of the greats, they bring a fresh and hugely enjoyable slab of Thrash Metal to a young audience.

The band’s rise has been progressive and certainly productive. Last September they unleashed their debut EP ‘Blueprint’ which secured wide praise throughout the metal underground. The record also gained the attention of Rocksector Records who swiftly signed the band to their roster. The quartet continued to successfully hit the live circuit before heading back into Axis Studios to work again with revered producer Matt Elllis (Black Spiders, Absolva and Massive Wagons) for their soon to be released debut album ‘Elected Evil’. Yet again, the band have pulled it out of the bag. The album is rammed with eight beefy metal cuts, from their new single ‘Dark World’, which hammers at your eardrums with true grit and conviction, to the dynamic and driving ‘Absentia’. ‘One In The Chamber’ further showcases the foursome’s craft and guile. Now with European dates and a UK tour confirmed to support the album, the band are destined to break the UK metal scene.