End Begin – Empire Fools

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As much as a riot of sound and a brawl of instant provocation go down a treat with these ears so do sonic and imagination sparking musical journeys and that is exactly what you get with the impressive debut release from UK band End Begin. A collection of evolving and thought provoking creative episodes in the gripping tale of one man’s journey to save his race, Empire Fools is a captivating and imaginative adventure challenging “listeners to look at humanity’s current ways and to truly question their roles in society.” From start to finish the release grips ears and thoughts, at times more dramatically than in other moments, but constantly provides a richly enticing and unrelentingly enjoyable proposition.

Hailing from Leeds, the progressive rock/post metal quartet emerged in 2010 and since then has bred a strong and loyal local following which with the release of Empire Fools threatens to spread much further afield and we suggest swiftly. Live the band has become an acclaimed part of the northern underground circuit and taken in shows with the likes of Thine and Pteroglyph along the way. Produced by guitarist David J. Freeman with the rest of the band, Empire Fools has be a proposition the band has taken its time over, a creative incitement that has been intensely sculpted and honed until finding the striking depth and persuasion of sound which embraces ears and immerses the imagination from opener Tey’sha onwards.

The first track emerges from a sonic fuelled atmosphere of almost intimidating suggestiveness, the portentous air blossoming into a tempest of hearty riffs and antagonistic rhythms. The guitar of Freeman is as imposing as it is fiery whilst the bass of Rory Smith adds a dark menace which complements the pungent strikes of drummer Dominic Turton and contrasts the emerging expressive melodic enterprise of the track perfectly. Soon seemingly established, the direction of sound suddenly swerves on ears and slips into a post rock apocalyptic calm, bass and guitar again a contrasting but united design of imagination and craft. This shadowed peace welcomes the excellent voice of Dave Rangel, his warm and expressive tones unveiling the narrative whilst backed well by the voice of Freeman. We mentioned Pteroglyph earlier and there is a definite similarity in structure and evocative nature to the song, and indeed album, to the project of Jimmy MacGregor, though in sound they stand apart. The track continues to twist and shift in creativity and character throughout, offering a persistently absorbing and exciting start to the album.

An opening bubbling of riffs and guitar endeavour ensures the start of Missionary has an instant grip on ears and imagination next, a hold tightening as again impressive vocals and a darker rhythmic side joins the provocative canvas of emotion and sound. Bursts of impassioned and technical intensity and moments of creative and vocal intimacy are fused and entangled across the song, their unity helping make the encounter an immediately alluring proposal though, as its predecessor and the rest of the album, holding more in its depths which only subsequent flights through the release begin to reveal.

     Empire Fools is definitely an album which flourishes and strengthens over a wealth of listens. There is no denying that it makes a strong first persuasion but as shown again in Lice, it only grows to a greater and more impressive stature given increasing time and attention. The third track has a heavier more volatile metallic substance to its flurries and perpetual prowl, epitomised by the earthy and sinister tone of the bass. Freeman’s guitar finds a great inflamed and acidic quality to its most compelling endeavour yet, whilst vocally Rangel more than solid in his main delivery brings great drama and adventure with additional twists and turns. The track is exceptional, an early big favourite and pinnacle in the release though straight away backed resourcefully by, after the beauty soaked ambience of the brief instrumental After Martyrdom, the progressive and melodic seducing of Numbers. Ten minutes long, the journey begins in a mellow kiss of voice and sonic charm subsequently brewing up more stormy scenery through bass and drums for the revelation of the lyrical adventure. In theme song and album is as rich and immersive as the sounds and enjoyable also needs many plays to fully piece together and explore.

At times there is an essence of UK band An Entire Legion to the End Begin sound across the album and indeed KingBathmat certainly to this track, nothing thick but a regular and potent coincidental scent which only adds to the riveting temptation. Trium Virum is another offering a similar suggestiveness though its beginning is more akin to the Arcade Messiah side of the creativity of KingBathmat’s John Bassett. The song is a smouldering and sultry yet reserved wash over the senses, ripe in sonic and melodic flames courtesy of Freeman with an almost predatory yearning care of Smith’s tantalising basslines. Fair to say it is another big highlight of the ever impressing encounter.

Rangel’s voice at times has a task to stand equal to the striking and dramatic enterprise elsewhere, but even without any real snarl or aggression to take them on he constantly stands by their side in potency and clarity, the production offering a strong base which he exploits perfectly as evidenced once more in the epic closing track. Another imagination inciting instrumental comes first; Remnants a tapestry of sonic clues for thought to run with before another extensive outing in Becoming brings the album to a stirring end. A dark start is driven by a vocal menacing before slipping into an even more tempestuous and agitated, almost capricious landscape with the stunning enterprise of Turton especially shining. It is a creative emprise though with just as potent warm colours and intimidating hues to its presence, crafting an engrossing and exhilarating offering for ears and psyche to take on. Again it is a song needing numerous visits to fully explore and appreciate its growth into the album’s most impressive track, but certainly it has body and emotions lit from its first flight too.

     Empire Fools just grows and lures the passions into greedier satisfaction with every listen, increasing the evidence that it and End Begin is a must investigation for all progressive rock and metal fans. It is hard to imagine there being many debuts making a bigger impact within those genres this year and deserves keen attention.

Empire Fools is out now via https://endbegin.bandcamp.com/

It is also available as an 8GB wafer USB containing extensive material such as guitar tabs, a digital booklet, a full digital painting, and a special featurette from the studio. For more info…

http://www.endbeginband.net/ https://www.facebook.com/endbeginband

Upcoming live dates …

Wed 29th May The Washington, Sheffield, UK

Fri 8th May The Snooty Fox, Wakefield, UK

Fri 22nd May Parish, Huddersfield, UK

Sat 23rd May Chameleon Arts Café, Nottingham, UK

Sat 22nd Aug Lincoln Imp, Scunthorpe, UK

RingMaster 19/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Hellbound Hearts – The Proximity Effect

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It was 2013 when UK rockers Hellbound Hearts caught our ears and imagination with their potential ridden and thoroughly thrilling Outside EP. It was one of those encounters which simply brought energetic and eager life to feet and emotions whilst impressively building on their already well-received self-titled EP of 2011, the year the band emerged. Now they have returned with their thumping new persuasion, The Proximity Effect, an EP which not only realises much of the promise of its predecessors but sets out a new recipe of inspiring adventure to be explored ahead.

The time between the last and new EP seems to have been a testing time for the York band; personnel changes, health issues, and recording issues thorns in building on their already potent presence and reputation. Now the trio of vocalist/guitarist Danny Lambert (ex-Terrorvision), bassist Craig McLaren, and drummer Billy James Mitchell (ex-Glitterati) have overcome all obstacles and unleashed their finest irresistible slab of rock ‘n’ roll yet. Already the band has unleashed their renowned live performances on the year, sure to continue in the vein which earned them success and high praise through performances with the likes of Black Spiders, JettBlack, The Treatment, Terrorvision, Sons of Icarus and Warrior Soul in the past. It is The Proximity Effect which will be the prime weapon in whipping up the broadest national attention though, something it has already begun sparking since its release.

Posters In The Sun descends on ears first, opening with a caress of raw but inviting guitar accompanied by a just as dirty riff, and soon finding heavy beats adding to the tempting. Once the dark tones of McLaren’s bass infuse their increasingly alluring enterprise, the track is stomping with punk attitude and rock ‘n’ roll voracity. Vocals bring their melodic roar to the web of hooks and captivating riffs soon after whilst Mitchell’s swinging sticks just seem to get more compelling and tenacious, much as the song. It is all coloured by a rock pop infectiousness which early on begins to blossom inside the encounter and ripen especially in its chorus. The song is the spice of addiction and makes one highly enjoyable and gripping start to the EP.

The following Ones And Zeros makes a just as imaginative entrance, a weave of melodic chords being accosted and complimented by a great resonance of throaty bass. Swiftly more aggressive than its predecessor but no less virulent, the song prowls and strolls across verse and chorus as a torrent of addictive hooks, musically and vocally, colour the first stage and a mellower catchiness lighting up the latter. Again there is a punk tenacity to the mix of metal and hard rock, resulting in a gripping blaze of sound around a host of creative and vocal temptations.

There is a grungier air to Bones next, a mellower essence which wraps around the alternative metal canvas. Equally though there is a raw aggressive edge to it all which lines the more voracious passages of the song. Riffs and hooks especially ignite thoughts and appetite whilst the punchy beats just keep it all caged in a slightly intimidating frame. Not as immediately infectious as the first two, the track is a growing and mighty persuasion revealing another new twist and flavouring to the band’s songwriting and sound.

Overall there feels a harsher nature, more volatile character to the EP than its predecessor. It never actually erupts in hostility but the danger is there and the songs all benefit from it, as shown by the closing Silence Falls. The last track has an open familiarity to it, bred from its pop punk and alternative rock collusion as much as anything, and is soon seducing with thick melodies and bracing riffs matched by addiction forging rhythms. Stirring up imagination and the pleasures alike with potent and magnetic enterprise, the song is a formidable and mouth-watering end to a similarly impacting release.

It may have been a turbulent 2014 for Hellbound Hearts but they are back, and on even more impressive form with a sound and creative adventure to match. If you are looking for feisty rock ‘n’ roll to invigorate your daily soundtrack then The Proximity Effect is a wise and thrilling choice.

The Proximity Effect EP is available now @ http://hellboundhearts.bandcamp.com/album/the-proximity-effect

http://www.hellboundhearts.com/   https://www.facebook.com/wearehellboundhearts

RingMaster 19/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Sugarmen – Dirt

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With a sound which has a healthy eighties feel to it as well as a modern tenacity and enterprise, UK indie band Sugarmen unveil a rather enjoyable and infectious introduction to themselves via debut single Dirt. It is a rousing and feisty slice of pop rock but equally has a calming melodic tempting to create a nicely rounded and memorable first meeting between ears and the Liverpool quartet.

Sugarmen was formed by songwriters/guitarist Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney, soon concluding their openly creative line-up with bassist Tom Sheilds and drummer Sam McVann. Their inspirations are reflected in their record collections according to their bio and includes flavouring from the likes of Hooton Tennis Club to Peace, Parquet Courts to Alvvays, The Velvet Underground to Wild Beasts, and The Clash to Orange Juice, and it is this latter band which sprung to mind listening to Dirt, they and others like Josef K, The Farmers Boys, and The Bluebells. They were all bands capable of writing and creating the most contagious and blemish free pop songs and though it is only one song, Sugarmen suggest they have that quality too.

DIRT pink   Since forming, the band has played with the likes of Sleaford Mods and Paul Weller whilst this coming June will see them supporting both Blur and The Who in Hyde Park as well as playing the Dot To Dot Festival in May. The Sugarmen sound has also caught the ears and attention of Mick Jones (The Clash / BAD) who after hearing the band’s demo tracks, produced ten songs including the single with them; it all occurring in Paul Weller’s studio which he donated for the recordings. It is fair to say that the band is standing at the point of real attention and potent spotlights, a door Dirt makes the ideal key for.

The song opens on a strum and the vocal prowess of Fenlon, a gentle but potent coaxing which teases for a short while before a stab of sonic tenacity sparks the band into a lively and magnetic stroll. The bass of Sheilds is instant flavoursome bait with its throaty lure matching the striking appeal of the guitars in its own individual way. Hooks and chords, sonic colours and rhythmic jabs all converge on ears with captivating enterprise and contagious endeavour, ridden by the harmonic roar of Fenlon’s vocals and the backing of the band. A sniff of Arctic Monkeys makes a hint to join essences of those mentioned previously but the truth is that Dirt has a voice and character which is primarily Sugarmen and, as their live presence, increasingly persuasive.

Expect to hear more of and from the band ahead, and we suspect in increasingly potent doses.

Dirt is available now via Poor Old Soul Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-single/id978569563

https://www.facebook.com/sugarmenuk   https://twitter.com/Sugarmenuk

RingMaster 19/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net