Of Allies – Fragments EP

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Last year UK rockers Of Allies made their entrance with the excellent and ultimately acclaimed Tempers EP, a release riddled with impacting flavours and the potential of major things ahead. Now the Hull based quartet return with its successor Fragments, an encounter releasing much of the promise offered previously, breeding even more seeds for loftier ventures, and confirming the band as one of Britain’s most exciting emerging alternative/melodic rock propositions.

The band’s first EP for the main lit up ears and the imagination with its vivacious energy and skilled enterprise, revealing the early prowess and invention of songwriting and sound. Fragments leaps on from there whilst embracing all the qualities which made Tempers shine. The melodies and dramatic intensity are still flourishing but now woven into tracks which pulsate with new maturity and greater creative colour. The release also explores a wider expanse of sound whilst whipping up an even greater anthemic and fiery, not forgetting irresistible proposal. Inspirations come from bands such as Deaf Havana and Deftones but Fragments declares Of Allies as having their own unique presence now.

Fragments opens with its title track first and is instantly filling ears with thumping rhythms and a full, bold tempest of riffs and sonic persuasion. The guitars of Rich Nichols and Tom Hewson swallow the senses with imposing yet warm endeavour, invigorating the appetite whilst the song establishes a foot hold in the imagination. It relaxes into a less intensive stroll soon after, the dark tones of bass from Nick Tyldsley a potent temper and compliment to the expressive melodies and impressive vocals of Nichols. Bursts of muscular energy and sound driven by the precise and heavily impacting beats of Danny Barrick erupt as a chorus to gripping effect whilst the drummer’s restrained rhythms only enhance the mellower caresses between stormier moments. There is plenty more to the song though, a fascinating if sometimes understated invention flirting with attention throughout the song, their little twists and sparks of unpredictability adding to the creative theatre of the excellent starter.

FragmentsDigitalCoverFINAL     As impressive though the song is though, it is quickly outshine by its outstanding successor ONE19. The band’s new single, the irresistible incitement launches from a forceful caress into a prowling and anthemic, heavy stride of vocal temptation amidst a rousing tenacity of sound and energy. Reminding of the now demised Always The Quiet Ones, band and song create a rugged and invigorating tirade of riffs and rampantly rolling rhythms but equally explores explosive melodic enticement and vocal crusading. If anyone is looking for a doorway in EP and Of Allies, there is definitely no finer compelling way than through this blistering invitation.

The following Old Bones has a similarly climatic atmosphere to its more restrained presence, the song spilling powerful and pungent surges of passion and skilful endeavour alongside just as superbly crafted and magnetic melodies and flowing harmonies from across the band. Another strong aspect to all songs is their length, all barely exceeding three minutes, the final track being the only exception, but within that relatively short period creating a busy and unrelenting exploration of imagination and craft which borders on finishing too soon but leaves the band exploiting the old adage, “leave them wanting more”, beautifully.

Fourth track Tempers is a snarling encounter from its first breath, a sonic breeze sparking agile riffs and barbarous rhythms, though all converges for an inviting rather than hostile bait which continues to excite and coax within the subsequent croon of impassioned vocals and seducing melodies. The song is a maelstrom of diverse and riveting exploits though, at times a gentle evocative smooch and in others a raging torrent of boisterous and passion riling intensity. Once more everything from the predatory bass sounds to the slightly psychotic adventure of the guitars, the reserved and concussive might of drums to the ever captivating vocals, comes together superbly for another thrilling provocation.

The EP ends with the bewitching Call It Home, an entrancing flight of melodic rock which has an essence of bands like Heights and Shattered Skies to it whilst painting its own unique canvas of ingenuity. The passion in the heart of the song sees it eventually brewing up an intensive and explosive finale, thoughts and emotions left breathless and by the final note wishing the release was longer.

The Fragments EP is the coming of age Of Allies in songwriting and musically, whilst also suggesting this is still only the beginning of their rise, which is seriously exciting such the excellence on offer here.

The Fragments EP is available now through most online stores

http://ofallies.com/   https://www.facebook.com/OfAllies

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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

LaBrassBanda – Europa

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To support and celebrate the band’s recent UK tour, German nine-piece LaBrassBanda have re-released their acclaimed 14-track album Europa, and if like us you missed it first time around, now is the time to join their compelling festival of sound. Uniting the richest contagious elements of everything from techno to funk, reggae to ska, and punk to alternative rock pop, the Bavarian outfit take ears and imagination on a euro stomp of irresistible creative revelry.

LaBrassBanda was formed in 2007, one of its founders, vocalist/trumpeter Stefan Dettl inspired by the Youngblood Brass Band. With a few line-up changes and an expansion of personnel, the band has persistently ventured across Europe with their sound, becoming renowned for their high energy live performances. As mentioned the band’s sound is bred on styles and flavours as diverse as the different musical backgrounds and tastes of its members. Originally released in 2013, Europa gets a fresh UK concentrated unleashing to accompany their just completed and highly successful tour and before the full complement of trumpeters Jörg Hartl and Korbinian Weber, trombonist Manuel Winbeck, bassist Mario Schönhofer, drummer Manuel Da Coll, percussionist Tobias Weber, tuba player Stefan Huber, and guitarist Fabian Jungreithmayr alongside Dettl hit the festivals of Europe.

The album fires up ears and thoughts straight away with opener Tecno, its sound as you would expect from its title a vibrant enticement for feet and dance-floors aligned to a great throaty shadowing of bass and tuba. The expressive vocals of Dettl are equally low in tone but as magnetic as the flames of brass which flirt with the senses across the relatively restrained but tenacious encounter. Thoughts of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth spring up as the song dances with ears before passing the baton of infectiousness over to the following Jacqueline. Immediately more feisty and energetic than its predecessor, the song swings and grooves with a funk bred air and gypsy folk devilry, again body swerves and lively feet the target.

0888837022521     The album hits its pinnacle early with the exceptional Holland, the track a slightly deranged waltz of hip hop tinged vocals and an accompanying mashing of syllables courted by a soundtrack of busy and psyche seducing brass. It is just the start of the fun and lustful persuasion though, a fluid step into a reggae spiced, punk hued romp reminding of bands like Asian Dub Foundation causing pure addiction. A track to bring graveyards alive and lungs exhaustion, the track is pure manna for body and soul. What it is about who knows, being Bavarian illiterate we fail you on that aspect as there is not an English word spoken across the whole album but we are led to believe plenty of songs are about beer, girls and partying.

Schweden next nudges and entices the listener with an electro beat based offering equipped with a potent seduction of bass which blossoms into a sultry croon of brass and melodic persuasion. It also has a whiff of nostalgia, parts of it reminding of Dalek I Love You whilst it’s more feisty and lively exotic catchiness has a sense of Mano Negra to its enterprise. The freely flowing encounter never erupts into a blaze but relentlessly seduces before allowing the agitated adventure of Z’spat Dro to tease and bounce with ears and appetite. A punk tenacity and energy surges through the infectious anthemic romp, think Biting Elbows meets Les Négresses Vertes and you have another treat of a track.

The punchy Nackert with is rock pop croon keeps the energies and thorough enjoyment in top gear whilst Sarajevo takes a gentler but no less enthralling flight across a boldly simmering but reserved scenery of melodic craft. The elegant instrumental has the imagination casting its own travelogue of adventure, brass and guitar providing the colour and rhythms the drama for thought sculpted exploits.

Entering into the second half of the album, Europa evolves into a more evocative and suggestive persuasion than the more forceful devilry of its opening half, though first of all the cosmopolitan soundscape of Frankreich reveals itself as another instrumental with bold rousing hints for ears and thoughts to play with. The colder climate of the melancholically charmed Russland comes next, its slow haunting an immersive caress whilst Western straight after saunters along with a jazz funk smile and brassy mysticism as vocals unite in harmonic, almost shamanic prowess.

Though admittedly there was pining for the outright devilment of a Jacqueline of Holland at this point, the album still has the listener firmly departed from the real world attention wise with each proposal, a success continued with the warm and dark theatre of Griechenland and following that, the folk lined shuffle of Vogerl where that gypsy folk/punk tempting returns to take feet and emotions on another flirtatious dance.

Europa ends with firstly the highly persuasive Opa and lastly the melancholic, funereal like sigh of Hymne, arguably the one time not understanding the spoken narrative is missed, though the wake like reverence of the music explains plenty.

It is fair to say that Europa is easily one of our favourite encounters this year and at times offers songs sparking a lust which borders on illegal. To bring your summer and year to life, if you have not already, time to join the LaBrassBanda festivities we suggest.

Europa is available now via Sony Music/RCA @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/europa/id651995604

http://www.labrassbanda.com   https://www.facebook.com/LaBrassBanda

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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

Min Diesel – Mince

Photo by Lori Wilson.

Photo by Lori Wilson.

Mince, the debut album from Scottish band Min Diesel, is a clash on the senses and for some maybe a car crash as certainly their sound is not going to be an easy fit for many. It is a challenging proposition, and at times has even keen ears unsure but its real potency is in luring back regular attention which shows album and band are doing plenty right.

Aberdeen bred Min Diesel take inspirations from late-80s/early-90s punk, lo-fi and math-rock bands into their abrasing cacophony of sonic enterprise. They are a trio also becoming used to strong support and praise, through a live presence which has seen the band play with the likes of Errors, Acoustic Ladyland, Joan of Arc, Johnny Foreigner, Playlounge, Tuff Love, Hot Club de Paris, Sky Larkin, and Paws since forming in 2009 and a clutch of EPs. Two splits with Sidca and Pinact respectively in 2013 lured potent acclaim whilst last year’s Puzzle & Activity EP gave an enticing teaser to Min Diesel’s debut album now uncaged and prowling the psyche.

The threesome of Zippy, Stu, and David state inspirations come from the likes of Fugazi, Pavement, and Shellac whilst others have compared the band to artists such as Dinosaur Jr. and Stapleton. They are all understandable references though you can add many others, for us at times thoughts of Pere Ubu emerging in certain places across Mince. Equally though there is a freshness to the band’s sound which puts them at least one step aside of the crowd. Opener War Band swiftly entangles the senses in a healthy scrub of guitar and thumping beats, their union with the throaty lure of bass a magnetic invitation for ears and attention. The vocals come from within the thick mesh of sound, laying deeper in their textures than expected but working enjoyably as contagion brews within the enjoyable encounter. A searing spearing of guitar erupts in its closing moments, its acidic aggression imposing and magnetic as the track leaves with impact.

a2445096622_10   The following Pagan Pageant opens with a folkish air and quaint melody wrapped in caustic ambience, the blend further coloured by raw and often wandering vocals. Slightly deranged and openly wrong-footing, the song swings from good to not sure regularly but already there is that captivation at play meaning you want to indulge in its confusion and incitement again and again in response to its increasing persuasion. Next up Trail of T-Shirts is a more immediate tempting but also reveals stronger enticing over listens. Sharp hooks and spoiled melodies provide an appealing enticement whilst the energetic rhythms quickly bait ears and appetite, but it is the delicious discord coating the clang which steals the passions, another mighty aspect across the release backed as here by potent guitar craft and rhythmic juggling.

Kirk Session reveals a mellow though no less concussive quality to songwriting and sound next, the band casting a jarring croon of sound and vocal prowess which again will work for some and not others whilst Down on the Green straight after, goes for a more predatory intent for its pop rock cacophony. The bass discovers a bestial growl over which voice and guitar dance with brash yet warm resourcefulness. As it continues the track seems to turn a little mellower though ears are still resonating to the sonic jangle and rhythmic confrontation by its close.

The album hits its high spot with the next trio of tracks, starting with the virulent swagger of dB where again the bass is wonderfully bestial against the melodic ferocity around it. The song emerges like a tart mix of Swell Maps and Asylums though there is also a strong whiff of Josef K and very early Orange Juice to the encounter, all spicing adding to the invention of the best track upon Mince, though it is quickly challenged by Last Bus (Emm Es Bee ). The new encounter sways whilst caressing ears with citric melodies and a tangy sonic tempting, musically playing like a raw lemon on the tongue, making the senses pucker at its touch but sparking a hunger for more. Again though, it is the inventive discord trespasses which steal the show, adding greater intensity and weight to the thrilling croon.

Another song which half thrills but leaves questions in its wake, Musskulls is a psyche pop/noise rock tangle of sound and ideation. It twists and turns through coherent and deranged scenery with seamless and ultimately enticing adventure though vocally something goes a little astray. That said without finding the same spark as the last two songs, it still engages ears and thoughts forcibly and as the album grows with every listen.

Mince is brought to a close by firstly the volatile energy and aggression of Bastards, an encounter with a catchy melodic spine of infectiousness, and finally North-East Soul, a dark and raw serenade which sparkles with the Scottish lilt of the vocals, the first time the accent really comes into play within the album. Stray twangs and off kilter noise add to the drama and lure of the enthralling end to the encounter, the band almost exploring improvisation with sonic relish across the turbulent landscape.

We are on safe ground suggesting that Mince will not be a tasty offering for all but it is a release which needs time and focus to explore and come to terms with; for us as an example, it making an ok first impression but with regular engagement turning into a vat of increasing persuasion and thorough enjoyment.

Mince is available now via Struggletown in association with AlbTwo Records and Cool Yr Jets digitally and on Ltd Edition 12” cream or red/white vinyl @ http://mindiesel.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Min-Diesel/122142337808269

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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

David Sinclair Four – 4

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The fourth album from David Sinclair and the first with his band as a quartet, 4 is one of those encounters which makes a decent first proposal and then with increasing tenacity continues to endear itself to ears and thoughts over time. The David Sinclair Four release contains ten varied and highly flavoursome slices of rock ‘n’ roll which spring from a blues rock seeding but never restrict their enterprise to any single musical colour. Equally there is a feel good factor which fuels songs looking at and springing from the diverse culture of the artist’s home, London; the result of all essences together being one enjoyable proposition.

The current band line-up came together in 2013, bassist Jos Mendoza and guitarist Geoff Peel linking up with vocalist/guitarist Sinclair and his drummer son Jack, their addition turning the David Sinclair Trio into the David Sinclair Four. Before this the band had already released a trio of acclaimed albums in the shape of Hey (2006), Threewheeling (2008), and Take Me There (2013). Live too the band has been a greedily devoured proposal and list playing with the likes of Wilko Johnson, the Oli Brown Band, Marcus Bonfanti, Johnny Dowd, Graham Bonnet, and Willie Nile amongst many on their CV. Now the four-piece are setting about bringing the summer a healthy stroll of rock to swagger along through their new album, a release easy to see following its predecessors in drawing the plaudits.

The album opens with Sick Of Being Good and an initial potent caress of guitar to awaken ears. Imagination is swiftly stirred too by a subsequent sturdier stroll of energy and sound led by an infectiously enticing hook. The song continues to lure in appetite and attention with its blues hued catchiness and David’s vocals, backed well by the band. There are few surprises in the song but plenty to get hungry teeth into with an expressive guitar invention, warm harmonies, and colourful enterprise shaping every twist of the song.

The strong start is matched by the following treat of The Click-Clack Man. The tale about a character on the search to meet I am led to believe Tom Waits; the song has a seductive swing and resourceful adventure to its quickly enslaving presence. Hooks and grooves create an inescapable web to which a deliciously roving darkly toned bassline and crisply swung beats add further drama and temptation. The song is irresistible to feet and emotions, the biggest highlight on the album though often rivalled.

The sultry blues climate of next up Life Gone Cold brings further variety to the album, its slow saunter equipped with fiery flames of guitar and emotive intensity. It does not have the spark of the first two songs though but with again mouth-watering guitar craft and potent rhythmic bait alongside straight-forward and easily accessible lyrics, ears held easily before being excited again by Crude Emotion. Rhythmically muscular and casting a heavy stride from its first breath, the song is another unveiling of contagion posing as grooves and hooks. The swing of its body is an incitement to physical participation and the funk infused chorus bait to a vocal union, as band and track create another major moment within 4.

The excellent Down By The Canal comes next, and swiftly transfixes as the excellent guest vocals of Maxi Priest flirt with ears alongside the tones of David. The song’s reggae hued scenery is just as magnetic, drawing a swift smile with its engaging revelry before making way for the blues smoulder of World Turns Around. The harmonica of Paul Jones, another guest on the album, is a spicy flirtation matched by the fiery craft and sounds uncaged by Peel as the song swerves with the persuasion of a temptress within ears. Both tracks entice and reward enjoyably whilst providing further fresh textures and creative ventures within the album.

The remainder of the album for personal tastes does not quite match up to what comes before, though songs like The Illness & The Cure and Give Me A Rose which follow, only provide easy to consume and enjoy offerings with their individual blues rock spiced ventures. They just do not have the extra ingredient to ignite these particular ears, feeling a little flat against the quality sounds earlier in the release. It will obviously not be the same for everyone though and there is nothing less than enjoyment gained from the tracks or the closing pair of Coming Out Of The Rain and Coming Off The Rails, they also strong and enjoyable encounters but again just do not have that extra ingredient found in other songs upon the album. The penultimate song sees David dueting with Lorna Reid, who also co-wrote the song, their union another flavoursome delight, whilst the closing song again embraces the vibrant flair of Paul Jones.

The bottom-line though is that 4 is one highly satisfying and at times addictive encounter, David Sinclair and co’s finest moment yet and a definite recommendation for blues rock ‘n’ roll fans with an appetite for others like Paul Weller, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and especially on the guitar and blues side, Seasick Steve.

4 is available now via IRL @ http://irl.bigcartel.com/product/david-sinclair-four-4 and on most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/DavidSinclairFour   http://www.davidsinclairfour.com/

RingMaster 12/05/2015

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