The Talks – Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves

The Talks 2014 photo SJM 2 landscape

You may have already found your feel good encounter of 2014 but it is never a bad thing to keep looking right up to the closing days, especially when as winter opens its eyes you get a treat as irresistible as Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves, the new album from UK ska rockers The Talks. Bringing eleven tracks to infest feet, the body, and the imagination, the release is a stomp of addictive revelry which cannot fail to put a smile on the face and emotions.

Since the release of their debut single Picture This in 2008, The Talks have been on a steady climb with the past couple of years seeing a fevered acceleration of attention for their fusion of ska, punk, reggae, and two-tone. First album Live Now Pay Later! in 2012 awoke a fresh spotlight on the Hull quartet which last year’s Westsinister E.P and singles Can Stand The Rain, which featured Neville Staple from The Specials, and Friday Night swiftly pushed to new levels. Alongside the releases, the band’s live presence has been just as dynamic in garnering acclaim and luring the passions, the foursome of Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitars/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/guitars/keys), Iain Allen (bass), and Richard Lovelock (drums) sharing stages with the likes of Madness, The Specials, Rancid, The Beat, and The King Blues, as well as playing festivals such as This Is Ska, Mighty Sounds, and Rebellion over time. The previous EP was a highly anticipated encounter with Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves finding itself more eagerly awaited, and again the band has surpassed hopes and expectation with their contagious exploits.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the provocative roars of The Vox Dolomites, the punk causticity of The Members, the melodic reggae and ska charms of By The Rivers and The Beat respectively, and the virulent devilment of The Jellycats. It is a proposition though which whilst embracing familiar essences develops its own unique devilry as swiftly shown with album opener Don’t Look Behind You. The initial warm embrace of keys has ears and thoughts engaged immediately, especially as riffs chop and rhythms start leaping as keys open up a new inventive flirtation whilst the pulses and strokes of the song work on the passions. Loaded with bait feet cannot resist, the song spreads its seduction further with the mischief of vocals and bass alongside the jagged majesty of guitar stabs, hooks, and beats.

The brilliant start is emulated instantly by recent single Radio, an insatiable two tone fuelled escapade with the delicious whiff of The Selector to it. Within moments its chorus is leading the Picture 156anthemic stroll, the song’s swagger as virulent as the brass flames and exotic keys colouring it. There is a punkish air to the vocals which again reminds of The Members whilst the punchy rhythms consume the vivacious dance of the encounter like an epidemic. The track is aural addiction, a breath-taking protagonist of body and emotions leaving a tall order for the following Tear Us Apart to match up to. With sultry keys and warm harmonies its first breath, the song is soon stirring up ears and imagination with its reggae bred enterprise and melodic summer. It mesmerises with its caressing canter of sound, reminding of fellow Brits Shanty as it floats and immerses the senses in its mouth-watering adventure.

Both Fire and Ceasefire keep the thrills ablaze, the first a muscular slab of ska provocation with bulky bass lines and feisty riffs pouncing on ears with antagonistic intensity and infectious rigour. The track has its nostrils flaring from the first second but the increasingly impressive vocal melodies and dramatic brass hues tempers the roar for another riveting big boned incitement; think King Prawn meets Lazy Habits and you are somewhere near the potency of the song. Its successor which features Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox of The Kings Blues, is an immediate blur of sonic drama and rhythmic provocation, a great dirty baseline aligned to agitated beats the frame for combative vocals and smouldering melodies. Teasing with dub enterprise over a ska crafted canvas, the track bounces with confrontation and climatic resourcefulness, every twist a striking reward for ears and a spark for thoughts to match the lyrical impact.

The gentle warmth and catchy romance of Light Up replaces the previous exhilarating tension of its predecessor, the swaying proposition a melody rich call with keys and harmonies embracing another irrepressible earthy bass temptation. Its masterful charm and joy is followed by the pop punk infused All in a Day, the band regaling the album with yet another thrilling slice of diverse and creative magnetism. A mix of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish but unique again, the song bounds along with a recognisable air around a creative humidity which fires up into an irresistible persuasion, especially once the outstanding escape of deranged keys occurs.

It is a track, as all to be fair, which feet and voice of the listener are unlikely to resist, a lure across the album which is no more inescapable as in the brilliant Hacks. New wave soaked pop punk meets the spicy flirtation of Bad Manners, the track is an ingenious enslavement of ears and passions based on a ridiculously captivating rhythmic enticing and spicy guitar tempting, all matched in expression and allurement by the punchy vocals. The song tells you all you need to know about The Talks, their inflamed imagination and diverse sound, it all encapsulated in two minutes of instinctively seductive alchemy.

The equally thrilling Tune In steps up next to seize the passions, its opening jangle of chords the lead into a melodic coaxing straight out of the Martha and The Muffins songbook ,which in turn shares its space with swipes of feisty rock and ska sculpted endeavour. As punk as it is ska and adrenaline fuelled rock pop, the song stalks ears with a predacious ingenuity before making way for the smoky presence of Sam, reggae and indie rock embracing in a humid embrace, which in turn leaves for final track Alright with Me to close things up. The last song has blues flair to its keys and a choppy texture to the guitar enterprise shaping the expressive musical narrative, a transfixing croon to bring the album to a fine end and show yet more of the variety and creative depths of The Talks.

It is impossible to listen to Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves just once in one sitting, and certain tracks many more times on top. As stated at the start it is a feel good album but more than that, it is a release from a band to which invention and uncompromising adventure is as instinctive as the rapturous infectious sounds they seem to have stockpiled up inside them.

Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves is available now via All Our Own Records now @ http://www.thetalks.co.uk/store/4575625721

http://www.thetalks.co.uk

RingMaster 25/11/2014

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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Your Favorite Enemies – Between Illness And Migration

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Released back home earlier this year, Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies give their European unleashing to their album Between Illness And Migration this month, an encounter sure to wake up keen attention over this side of the globe for them and their highly flavoursome sound. Made up of ten tracks which capture the imagination as easily as the ears, the album is a potential fuelled and adventurous proposition, a constant fascination which does not quite set the blaze that maybe its invention and diverse presence deserves. There is a sense of familiarity coating every track and twist within an otherwise dramatic presence which seemingly prevents any real surprises breaking through, but nevertheless Between Illness And Migration leaves ears satisfied and appetite ready for more.

Formed in 2006, the Montreal band is no stranger to taking their striking fusion of shoegaze, post punk, and alternative rock into new pastures, Your Favorite Enemies having played shows across Europe, Japan, China, Indonesia, and of course Canada. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Drive Like Jehu, and Fugazi, the sextet drew strong attention with debut album Love Is a Promise Whispering Goodbye in 2008, its success following the potent base set by previous and first EP And If I Was to Die in the Morning… Would I Still Be Sleeping with You the year before. After a deluxe version of their album, second full-length Vague Souvenir helped expand their presence in 2012 before last year the band released the vinyl album Sacred Kind Of Whispers and the Youthful Dreams of an Old Empire EP to keen responses and recognition. Between Illness And Migration also began its flirtation with the world in 2013, Australian and Japanese versions being unveiled before this year Canada, alongside the Entre Marées Et Autres Ressacs EP, and now Europe received their versions.

Released via Graphite Records, Between Illness And Migration opens with the imagination sparking instrumental Satsuki Yami. Sonically fiery and emotionally agitated, the track is an intro into the album giving no real hint in hindsight of things to come but awakening senses and thoughts successfully for the following temptation of Empire Of Sorrows. Initially a lonely guitar bred melody melancholically strokes ears, its coaxing joined by the just as lamenting spoken tones of vocalist Alex Foster. Building around that single sonic lure, the guitars of Jeff Beaulieu and Sef begin shaping a dramatic web to which rhythms align their brewing intensity and the keys of Miss Isabel offer their initially subdued hues. Once inflamed the song is a stirring cauldron of cold post punk enterprise and provocation, the bass of Ben Lemelin a groaning treat and the beats of drummer Charles Allicy a reined yet rampant incitement. Evolving through gentle and haunted scenery to roaring blazes, there is a refreshing sense of bands like Wire, Modern English, and Flesh for Lulu to the encounter which intrigues as its tantalises the imagination and illness_migration_cover_europe_800passions.

It is a mighty start to the album which A View From Within backs up with its whipping sonic web and slightly portentous air. The acidic and scorched start to the song reminds of Bauhaus but is soon merging into new terrain as keys toy with synth rock enterprise and vocals from Foster and Miss Isabel entwine with spicy variety. As the first track you feel you know or can predict the turns and shifts the song takes but even without that element of surprise, it lights ears and appetite with a flavoursome drama soaked adventure, as does its successor Where Did We Lose Each Other. The first rub of guitar sets the juices flowing which the subsequent rhythmic shuffle and keen hooks only accentuate before a brief relaxation to draw in the vocals slightly dulls the weighty persuasion. From this point the song ebbs and flows, flying high with its vocal and melodic roars and dipping slightly in its less intensively emotive turns. The enterprise of the guitars and the delicious toxicity of the grooves and increasingly barbed hooks ensure the song wins the day though and provides moments of lingering success.

Underneath A Stretching Skyline keeps things bubbling potently, the raw energy and gnarly voice of bass and riffs an inescapable enticement within the just as magnetic sonic winds cast by guitars and keys. Its time is shared with elegant and gentle melodic reflections matched by the vocals; both characters within the song courting each other’s strengths to provide a fascinating drama of sound and lyrical narration. The song epitomises the album in many ways, its presence an engrossing and easily accessible canvas of craft and invention which impressively and enjoyably smoulders rather than ignites a fire with its offering. The same applies to next up From The City To The Ocean, its resonating body and gripping endeavour a lively simmer more than a furnace for the emotions but a treat for ears all the same. With repetition driving much of the vocals and spoken vocals also a full part to the unfolding picture, as across most songs, it takes more time than some to fully convince but subsequently finds the same level of pleasure.

The deviously addictive bassline within I Just Want You To Know soon has ears trapped in the evocative hazy landscape immersing the senses, the song as tenacious in its emotion as it is in sonic temptation, whilst 1-2-3 (One Step Away) is a climatic build of rugged rhythms and punk antagonism within a melody fired creative sprawl of invention and diversity. The pair grips ears and thoughts with their impassioned suasions, the second of the two especially incendiary as it pulls the album back to the impressive levels it started with.

Between Illness And Migration is completed by the sonic maelstroms of firstly Obsession Is A Gun, its pungent drama bewitching, and finally Muets Aux Temps Des Amours, a noir lit enchantment which croons with anguish and slowly burning but ultimately rich temptation. The closer shows more of the strengths of Fosters striking vocals and those of Miss Isabel but also the one personal niggle about the album. That is the want to use spoken vocals throughout the majority of tracks, some more strongly than others. It is an idea which works a treat for the main but by the last songs it finally feels overdone, its variety and success becoming formula. As mentioned it is just something which laboured for us and will be fine for others, and it definitely does not make for a major issue.

Your Favorite Enemies with Between Illness And Migration show themselves to be an adventurous and bold band, their release impossible to ignore or stay away from as it impresses more with every listen. Their oncoming evolution is one to anticipate and enjoy it is easy to suggest, starting with this great release, and once they find real distinction to their sound that missing blaze just might be running amok.

Between Illness And Migration is available now via Graphite Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id920852948

http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/

RingMaster 25/11/2014

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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Arcade Messiah – Self Titled

John Bassett Promo 3

The creativity of UK musician John Bassett is a feverish kaleidoscope of colour, invention, and innovative exploration. He has proven it time and time again for over a decade, releasing eight increasingly impressive and attention grabbing albums either as KingBathmat or his own name. The last couple of years or so has seen a richer recognition of his craft and expansive musical imagination, the last two critically acclaimed KingBathmat albums Truth Button and Overcoming The Monster, the latter in 2013, pushing he and the band to the fore of progressive metal/rock whilst his debut acoustic album Unearth earlier this year, reinforced his reputation and ability to explore varied and deeply immersive structures and landscapes. Now the Hastings based multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, and producer returns with new solo project Arcade Messiah, a vehicle for his instrumental emprises which as shown by its self-titled debut album, are set to also inflame for ears and imagination.

Merging the boldest essences of styles such as metal, stoner, doom, prog, and math rock within constantly revealing canvases of post rock, Bassett and album provide gripping soundscapes for thoughts to cast their own explorations within and for emotions to colour with their own adventures. The musician talking about the project and album commented that “after writing and producing numerous KingBathmat albums and more recently the acoustic solo album Unearth, I decided I wanted to create my first instrumental album, and I wanted it to be set, audibly and visually in a dark, bleak apocalyptic aura of despair and anger. I wanted to focus on enormous riffs and sorrowful yet powerful musical refrains and place them within a terrain of unusual time signatures interspersed by moments of psychedelic calm.” It is an aim successfully achieved but even more an endeavour sculpting one of the essential moments of the year.

Instrumental albums do not always sink in easily with us, a demand for something maybe indefinable but persistent in igniting body and imagination a persistent requirement which the Arcade Messiah Album Covershowing off of supreme technical skill cannot satisfy. In Arcane Messiah there is nothing but that aural and inventive stimulation, from opening track Sun Exile the album a mouth-watering and rigorously compelling provocation for senses and unravelling gests in the imagination. From the first stirring and virulent call of guitar, album and opener becomes a potent weave of sound and aural suggestion, especially as a hypnotic canter of rhythms and fiery melodies join the emerging sonic picture soon after. Twists in time and invention are as fascinating as the heated creative climate of the track, its increasingly steamy breath and dark expression seductive and intimidating sparking a portentous Icarus like warning in thoughts.

The following Your Best Line Of Defence Is Obscurity slips in on a gentle breeze of sonic air and melodic caressing, though again it is a coaxing lined with dark bass shadows and prowling beats. The imagination is lured into the depths of the heavy smoulder of the piece with ease, thoughts of a lonely existence within the turmoil of predatory but deceptively welcoming emotive scenery emerging. Bassett’s guitar work is riveting, every groove and scorched melody inescapable incitement, but to be fair that applies to drums and bass through to simply the immersing imposing atmospheres conjured. Thoughts are instantly embraced and sparked by the primal and elegant nature of the music, a common factor across the album and in evidence with Traumascope straight after. Its initial post rock ambience is lined with a funk kissed bassline and lively beats from the drums, a union which hangs around before parting its mist for the voracious tide of riffs, which in turn lead to and compliment a stoner-esque flaming to the emerging tempest of emotional reflection and sonic rapacity. The track is a mesmeric blaze which never gets out of hand but leaves its dramatic imprint on senses and imagination with burning contagion.

Aftermath is a sobering haunting after the previous furnaces of sound and inventive intensity, a delicious feast of invasive melodies and bracing elegance which comes with sinister shadowing and anguished reflections. It also has an ethereal touch to its climate but in many ways is just the calm before or within the storm, its peace the bridge to the inventive alchemy of Everybody Eating Everyone Else. The track is scintillating; its initial also haunted passage the gateway into an antagonistic yet infectiously magnetic terrain of abrasing riffs and sonic temptation. There is a feeling of safety within turbulent and aggressive times or landscapes to the song, the guitars providing guidance through fiercely provocative exploits sculpted by rhythms and Bassett’s riff led raw sonic energy. Though musically it is different, there is a feel of early Killing Joke to the structure and tension of this and many tracks, an unrelenting persuasion which is wonderfully nagging at the heart of the ferociously inventive mergers of light and dark.

Steamy stoner spirals of sound open up The Most Popular Form Of Escape next, their acidic tones and spicing bringing rich hues to the climatic broadening of the song’s thick web of flavour and enterprise. Folkish elements are as prevalent in the piece as progressive endeavour and a sterner metallic tenacity, it all creating another unpredictable fascination for ears to bask in, the imagination to sculpt with, and appetite to devour greedily. Its enthralling waltz makes way for the closing Roman Resolution, itself an aural teleidoscope with wide reflective views and internal emotive majesty. An epic cruise through ever evolving sonic experimentation and poetic melodies, it brings a sensational release to a breath-taking close.

After the combined brilliance of Overcoming The Monster and Unearth, there was a small wonder where Bassett went from there. Where he ventured was into a creative maelstrom of sublime ingenuity with a technical and instinctive invention which has no need to indulge in over the top flourishes and pretension as it steals thoughts and passions. Arcade Messiah presents instrumental music which is organic and bracing whilst Bassett might just have put a stranglehold on best of year charts come the end of next month.

Arcade Messiah is available as a name your price digital version and on CD now via Stereohead Records @ https://arcademessiah.bandcamp.com

http://www.arcademessiah.com/

http://www.johnbassettmusic.com

RingMaster 25/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/