Kodiak Jack – Scars EP

2015 White Band Promo copy-RingMasterReview

Last year Kodiak Jack thrust themselves firmly on the British rock ‘n’ roll scene with Alhambra, their second and seriously impressive album. It built on the acclaim and success of its predecessor whilst revealing new depths and invention to their instinctive anthemic sound. Whilst not expecting the album to remain their finest moment, it was easy to wonder if they had already reached the point of realising their potential such its impact and thrilling presence on ears. It was a loose thought in a silly moment as the Portsmouth band now return with the Scars EP, a slab of contagion loaded rock ‘n’ roll easily putting the majority of the last album in the shade. With an openly more mature nature in songwriting and sound, and richer in riffs and melodic drama, the four songs making up the new encounter just roar passion and attention gripping adventure.

Since sparking ears with their first album Death: My Glory in 2011, Kodiak Jack has just gone from creative strength to acclaimed strength, quickly whipping up fan and indeed media attention from their early days and not really looking back, even if they have yet to break into the strongest and broadest spotlights. Live the band has equally earned a massive reputation, playing with the likes of Kobra & The Lotus, The Cyborgs, Paul Gilbert, Everything Everything, Elvis Jackson and many more only enhancing their emergence and growing stature within the UK rock landscape. As suggested Alhambra, which Kodiak Jack recorded with Tesla’s Brian Wheat, helped the band whip up a new and bigger buzz around them, though suspicions are it will be surpassed by reactions to the release of Scars.

CDDF-6P1V-001RingMasterReview    The EP starts with what for us is the rock single of the year, Only The Good, a track which has you to your feet in physical and vocal involvement swifter than a trucker leaving Calais. The guitars of Jeff Arnold and Jon Karp ruffle ears before triggering a bigger and bolder flood of ravenous riffs, swinging rhythms, and tangy grooving. Just as swiftly vocalist Bryn Roberts is roaring with his outstanding delivery and presence, backed by the quality tones of Karp, with the song just growing with richer anthemic and dynamic energy at the same time. The chorus is simply insatiable; a viral persuasion which will have all listeners, from those alone in their bedroom right through to those packing out venues, roaring their heads off as the music rigorously and masterfully controls the body like a puppeteer.

The track is simply prime rock ‘n’ roll and alone worth grabbing Scars, though more than backed by the other trio of songs, as shown straight away by its title track. Crafting a more restrained stroll from its first breath, the song is soon binding ears in enterprising hooks and sonic vibrancy, again a gentler first touch blossoming into a fuller embrace of melodic imagination and vocal tenacity. Catchiness is a given and a snarling bellow is never far from another bracing chorus but there is much more to its body of sound and temptation. Rhythms almost dance on ears as they imposingly jab whilst the lines and tone of Kev Farren’s bass just seduce with dark resonance alongside the fiery exploits around it.

Sirens kicks up its own individual muscular storm next, uniting an almost aggressive energy with warmer melodic ingenuity. Addictive hooks bite whilst infectiousness oozes from every bass note and spicy groove, their lures driven on by the guitar’s web of rapacious riffs, sonic scything, and acidic adventure. Inflamed further by the expressive passion and versatility of the vocals, the song lives up to its name, its call inescapable as one mouth-watering proposal swaps places with another and the closing seducing of All I Want. Southern rock laced with a matching lilt to Robert’s croon, the song just immerses ears and thoughts in its sultry embrace of sound and emotion. Everything about the song, indeed the EP, feeds every want and need in a heavy rock incitement, thoughts eventually asking if there has been a finer and more potent slab of rock ‘n’ roll this year.

Listening to Scars again and again it is hard to think of many that rival its power and impact on body and soul. Is it the most original thing you will hear in 2015, probably not but the most thrilling and spirit rousing, hell yeah! Kodiak Jack just gets bigger and better, watch out world they are coming to get you.

The Scars EP is available from August 10th digitally and on CD via Angry Badger Records @ http://angrybadgerrecords.bigcartel.com/product/scars-four-track-cd-ep-exclusive-pre-order-offer-signed-and-numbered-cd

http://www.kodiakjackofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kodiakjackuk

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Bastard Sons – Smoke

The Bastard Sons _RingMaster Review

There is no escaping the buzz which has powerfully brewed around The Bastard Sons since emerging in 2011 and especially over the past couple of years, and no evading the reason why, once losing yourself in the riotous depths of the band’s debut album Smoke. It is a bulging sack of pure rock ‘n’ roll cast in a maelstrom of flavours showing exactly why the broad term rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe the band’s tenacious sounds. At times it is southern rock led, in other moments hardcore driven, and very often metal sparked; to be honest it is constantly all of those and far more, a beast of a stomp sure to incite the passions of fans to everyone from Down to Cancer Bats, Ghost of a Thousand to Black Tusk, Bloodsimple to Hellyeah, and Stone Temple Pilots to Stone Sour.

Around and since the release of their second EP Roads in the March of 2014, the British quintet has been a blur of activity drawing increasing success at the same time. A US tour with Throw The Goat pushed the band’s growing reputation stateside whilst praised appearances at Hammerfest VI and Bloodstock, a tour supporting hardcore punks Snot, and shows alongside ’68, the new project of Josh Scogin from The Chariot, and also Cavorts amongst many others has taken care of the appetites of British fans and media. Earlier this year the York hailing five-piece dropped a potent and quickly devoured teaser for Smoke in the shape of the single Release The Hounds, a dynamic hint realised and taken to greater plateaus by the album itself.

The Bastard starts things off, southern fried chords the initial lure, though for barely a squeeze of seconds as quickly the band with sinew loaded riffs and rhythms bursting set up a riotous stomp of energy and sound. Vocals, as the music, come in varied styles, hardcore and cleaner rock ‘n’ roll tones colluding in a tempestuous incitement with anthem tattooed to its gripping walls. There is a touch of Pantera, Motorhead, and Every Time I Die to the storm, but as repeated song by song, it is just flavouring honed into something unique to The Bastard Sons.

TheBastardSonsSmokeFrontCover_RingMaster Review  The earlier single comes next, and quickly Release The Hounds shows why it had so many feisty for the album, its opening grooves and vocal scowling within a rugged landscape enough to get ears smiling and appetite drooling alone. The heart of the track is unfussy rock ‘n’ roll, a balls to the wall roar coloured and constantly reshaped by flirtatious sonic enterprise and sudden compelling twists of unpredictability, musically and vocally. It is the seed design to all tracks within Smoke in many ways, but persistently twisted and taken down new and individual avenues as swiftly shown by Sobre La Muer… and before it A Lie Is A Lie. The third track rages and croons with incendiary textures and addiction forming grooves whilst its successor casts a sultry air more in Seether/Shinedown territory than anything else, yet with a predatory dark bassline and a steely touch to the guitars, it carries a constant intimidation which strongly expels its fury from time to time. Nevertheless it and the previous song are inescapable anthemic traps; the lure somewhere between Them County Bastardz and The BossHoss, and fiercely contagious.

Bottom Of The Ladder growls and sonically grizzles with scuzzy magnetism next, guitars and vocals a dirty incitement stirring up ears and soul whilst the group calls work, along with the thumping rhythms, on the body and primal instincts. As anthemic in intensity and roar as it is, the track also unleashes an agitated and gripping web of aggressive twists and belligerence toned creativity, its presence ready to brawl at the drop of a hook or scything beat.

The southern drawl of guitars brings I’m Only A Call Away alive next, the song once standing tall writhing like a barroom temptress with inescapable grooves amidst a volatile fistfight of rhythms and the ever fiery and impressive mesh of vocals. As already shown by their live history, The Bastard Sons has a sound which works with, and appeals to, a vast expanse of rock and metal styles, that diversity in no finer and pungent shape than on this fascinating riot.

Through the brief and hellacious, as well as uncompromisingly emotive landscape of the fiercely angry U.S Against Them and the classic metal lined rock ‘n’ roll of Listen Here, band and album keep the thrilling storm blazing whilst Cardboard Walls saunters in on a rhythmic confrontation bound in more of the sludgy southern wrapping the band breeds so invitingly. A suggestive hint of Crowbar appears at times within the fire of sizzling grooves and snarling riffing, but as you may assume the track, whilst being one of the more restrained adventures on the album, it simply layers more flavours and varied textures into one enthralling mix.

Like a sandstorm, vocals shower and scar Scene(ic) Root(s) next to thick success, but equally they slip into cleaner gaits with ease and power to match the similarly volcanic and pleasingly exacting sounds. The track burns on the senses, simultaneously exciting and bruising before Stay True spreads its warmer balm. Featuring Glamour Of The Kill vocalist Davey Richmond, the track is a shadow brewed serenade as atmospherically and vocally haunting as it is emotionally and physically mercurial, and quite mesmeric.

Smoke finishes with the equally potent but far more capricious and intrusive Exist-Distance, a track which kind of sums up band and album with its constant weaving of different flavours and creative twists within a perfectly coherently cultured body, and another song which stands individual in the cast list of easy to recognise Bastard Sons songs.

We gave a list of bands at the start which sort of gives a hint at who might find thick pleasure from exploring one of the year’s real treats so far. To simplify it though, if raw and passionate, imaginative and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll hits the spot than Smoke is a must.

Smoke’ is available from 7th August 2015 via Kaiju Records @ https://thebastardsons.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thebastardsons.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsonsuk

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Skellums – Clarion Call EP

Picture 11_RingMaster Review

Like a union between Weezer and Arctic Monkeys but sticking a middle finger up at any expectations that thought might breed, UK band Skellums quickly stir up ears and a greedy appetite with their new EP Clarion Call. A festival of alternative and indie rock ‘n’ roll across four mischievously captivating songs, the what we are assuming debut release from the band, marks the Liverpool quartet out as one potential soaked and new exciting adventure.

There is very little we can tell you about the foursome of Roberts, Watson, Crichton, and Courtney, except that, according to their press release and all forms of info for them , Skellums began because “there was nothing else left to do” and that the band formed their own record label, Rent & Debt Records to bring forth their flavoursome endeavours. Creatively fragrant their songs certainly are too on the evidence of Clarion Call, musically and lyrically where the band weaves tales of the streets, lives, and experiences most can relate to in some moment or form.

Picture 14_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with the outstanding We Are One, a song bounding in on a flood of gripping riffs and rolling rhythms, all weighty and dramatic, before slipping in to a mellower but no less compelling energy for the entrance of the expression loaded vocals. As the narrative spills word by word, guitars relax into a spicy, almost ska bred gait aligned to a great throaty bassline and crisp beats. Band vocals erupt as the chorus bears down on the passions, their anthemic call matched by the infectious swing of the song at that moment and the great lead vocal delivery. The track just grows and incites further with every passing minute of its magnetic rock ‘n’ roll, ending on a blaze of a finale and creating a storming start to the EP.

The Avenue comes next, an initial shimmer of melodies eventually leading to another catchy stroll around a vocal and lyrical social play. Brass shed rays of melodic sun across the song throughout too, their warmth matched by again great variety to the vocals and the inventive shuffle of flirtatious hooks and sparkling grooves. As its predecessor, the song is a riveting seduction, showing more of the diversity already obvious in the sound and songwriting of the band, whilst spellbinding ears and imagination with a success emulated by the irresistible Monsters right after. As the song gets into its virulent stride, it should be admitted that the thought of ‘if The Monkees had been scousers this is the sound they would have held the world with’ surfaced, both they and Skellums sharing a seemingly instinctive pop ingenuity equipped with great underlying shadows.

Clarion Call is completed by the gentle but open swagger of Growing Old, another song flirting with a ska/reggae seeded canter wrapped in melodic enterprise and unpredictable revelry. Though not quite matching the success of the first three songs, it is a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable end to the EP whilst providing more provocative and mesmeric lyrical theatre.

Over time we will all come to learn and know more about Skellums, though their music does all the talking needed right now, and even if they stay a mystery no one will really care if they keep coming up with the kind of creative fun rippling brilliantly within Clarion Call.

The Clarion Call EP is available from August 10th on Rent & Debt Records.

https://www.facebook.com/skellums    http://www.skellums.com

Upcoming Skellums shows:

Friday 21st August – Zanzibar, Liverpool

Saturday 29th August – Eric’s, Liverpool

Sunday 30th August – The Corner Flag, Sunderland

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Murder FM – Happily Never After

murderfmcover_RingMaster Review

Murder FM is another band which over recent times has been the subject of enthusiastic talk, their live presence, EPs, and singles sparking increasing awareness on both sides of the Atlantic. Now the band is poised to release their debut album and show all what the fuss is all about. Happily Never After is a rousing proposition, a collection of skilfully crafted and creatively eventful songs that just seem to lure attention back time and time again. It is hard to say that the release constantly set a fire going in the passions or is going to send a major tremor through the metal/rock scene, but there is no escaping that Happily Never After leaves ripe enjoyment whilst making a potent springboard for future and bolder Murder FM adventures ahead.

Hailing from Dallas, the band has persistently enticed ears with their tenacious fusing of varied rock essences and industrial bred metal. Early singles alerted a great and increasing many to their presence, lures reinforced by a reputation gaining live presence and a host of impressive videos, all luring in fan and media appetites alike. Over time the band has supported and shared stages with the likes of Rob Zombie, Deftones, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Veil Brides, Korn, Sick Puppies, Lacuna Coil, Pop Evil and many more across the US and into Europe. More recently the quartet of Norman Matthew (vocals, guitar, programming), J6 (bass, backing vocals), Matt X3r0 (guitar, backing vocals), and Jason West (drums) signed with Famous Records Global for the world-wide uncaging of Happily Never After, easily the strongest step yet in the band’s continuing ascent.

MFMREVOLVER_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Legion, a track which is in no hurry to own ears but instantly springs a web of engaging rhythms and electro bait crowded with enticing vocal roars. It is a restrained yet compelling lure which is soon stirring up a nest of fuzzy riffs and electronic sizzling as vocals prowl and in turn launch the anthemic heart of the track. In no time the song has an air of Korn meets Dope to it but equally has a scent of artists like Marilyn Manson and Society 1 whilst creating what is not exactly unique but certainly an organic character of its own. It is a magnetic and blistering start to the album, a masterful trap which has ears and appetite on board ready for what is to follow.

We The Evil is the immediate proposition, it similarly brewing up an industrial seeded tempest of sound rife with sinew swung beats and grouchy riffs from bass and guitar. Vocally too, there is nothing but attitude as well as great diversity as the band, led by Matthew, all add their individual and eager tones. Even stronger Manson like colouring wraps the track as it stirs up the blood and imagination, powerfully backing up its predecessor without major surprises but plenty of tasty endeavours.

The bruising weight and carnivorous riffery of Last Breath captures ears next, the gnawing of guitar on senses swift infection which only increases as the band imaginatively slips into mellower melodic scenery. With vocals matching the slightly calmer waters, it is a tantalising twist which becomes part of a great revolving surge across the rest of the track through both textured extremes; its success emulated by the punk/alternative metal hued Machine Gun Kisses which again has a Korn-esque feel to its rapacious enterprise and contagious swing.

Four tracks in and Happily Never After is on a thick roll of adventure and persuasion, and as if it ‘knows’ full persuasion is in hand, from this point begins exploring far more boldly varied and unique pastures. Firstly Burn steps forward with a Deftones meets Cold like offering, to be followed by the grungier metal soaked Slaves, both increasing in sheer magnetism over time. The industrial nature of early songs is now a more distant whisper, as Murder FM shows more resourcefulness and imagination in songwriting and sound, it is still not game changing but brings a fresh unpredictability and spice to ears and release.

We get slithers of Black Veil Brides and My Chemical Romance in the classic/modern heavy rock shaped Lethal Lovers next, essences which just seem to work if adding open familiarity to proceedings, whilst Like Glass offers an electronic coaxing and evocative keys initially, before creating its own emotional and musical drama honed from the same kind of template as its predecessor. Neither track matches up to the songs before them but it would be unfair to say they left satisfaction and a want to hear more barren.

With Happily Neverafter and Rainy Day Parade, Murder FM again please without finding the key to stronger reactions, and for personal tastes Happily Never After plays like a release of two halves, the first a storming and irresistible anthem of sound and insatiable energy and the second though arguably the more creative theatre of invention and adventure on the album, after Slaves lacking the kick and incendiary elements to incite the same instincts and thus passions.

Completed by a corrosive remix of We The Evil by Tommy Lee, Happily Never After is nevertheless nothing but enjoyment from start to finish and easy to recommend all taking a good listen to at the very least. We can only think Murder FM will get bigger and bolder with every passing release as the potential in this first album is realised with fresh imagination and originality. A happy thought indeed.

Happily Never After is available from August 7th via Famous Records Global with worldwide distribution by Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-FM-Official     http://www.murderfmmusic.com/

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Fuse – Alamein

the fuse_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that the journey to the release of Alamein, and that of its creators The Fuse themselves, has been a platform of trials and issues to which many other bands would have probably thrown the towel in over long ago. Eight years on the UK rock scene has seen the band suffer member instability and changes, label collapses, and their manager struck down with cancer. The band’s new album in the thoughts of many was destined to never see the light of day, but with an attitude matching and title seemingly inspired by the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Before Alamein, we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat’, the London band’s offering is ready to captivate grip ears.

Formed in 2006, The Fuse soon began enticing ears and interest for their alternative/indie rock sound, and within a year they was heading over to LA to record their debut album after Russ Regan, who discovered and signed Elton John, had heard their single Everybody Knows The Way and signed the band up. In the financial crisis of 2008 though, his Velocity Entertainment went bust leaving no release ready and the band returning to their home city. Back in England, The Fuse continued to lure attention and support with their shows, especially after playing one with Coldplay cover band Coldplace. This triggered more gigs around the UK and in 2010, a tour of Holland supporting Coldplace as well as the sharing of a stage with UB40 and numerous festival spots. More tours and shows in Europe were followed in 2012 by the band headlining the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and Richmond World Music Festival, and the next year playing a couple of shows with Foreigner. Now the quartet of Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne, and Simon James White have their first album on the launch pad, an fair to say, the Javier Weyler (ex-Stereophonics) produced album reveals a collection of songs which just grab the imagination.

CD_CBwallet_The Fuse_12_06_2015_RingMaster ReviewAlamein opens with the outstanding Black Lion, a song tantalising with almost tribal enticing from its first breath and a cascade of harmonic vocal roars, which in turn sparks a seductive stroll of meaty rhythms and tangy grooves. The song is soon strolling with a swagger and mischievous enterprise, drums and bass a prowling shadow against the bright temptation of the guitars and quickly alluring vocals. The full result is a contagious and increasingly compelling romp inventively setting the album off on a major high and setting a lofty bar for the following Misfit to match. It is a test quickly passed as an electro shimmer of an entrance evolves into a dark Stan Ridgway like pop canter, the track proceeding to flirt with spicy hooks and sparkling melodies over another tenaciously rhythmic adventure. Its colourful mix of sound is matched by a great variety of vocals across the band too, their unions a festival of creative revelry around a lively reflective narrative.

Oxygen steps up next, treating ears to a post punk bass line and matching ambience before the vocals, with melodies in tow, awaken a ray of energy and warmth. As in the first pair of songs, imagination is soon adding little twists of sound and character to the engaging and increasingly emotionally inflamed proposition. Feet and appetite are simply bewitched by the track and indeed Sleuth which shares its resourceful vivacity next. Inside once more contrasts unite, the snarl of the bass and punch of drums tempering but more so complimenting the bubbling keys and vocal vibrancy, it all bound in fiery guitar endeavour. It is a fresh breath of drama and aural heat which is continued through the mellower White Shark and the elegant croon of Rainbows. Neither song quite spark personals tastes as strikingly as their predecessors to be honest, but each, and especially the increasingly rousing latter, grows into a potent and provocative blossom of sound and persuasion.

A twangy tone of guitar quickly makes 3AM an inviting proposal, the song growing with every passing chord into a magnetic blaze, still cored by that great initial bait and increasingly breeding a catchiness which lingers long after its boisterous departure. There are many tracks which wear single on their temptation, this certainly amongst them as too Paint This Town which actually has already had that position and unsurprisingly drawn a great many newcomers to The Fuse. Bounding in on a Blondie-esque dance of melodic flirting, the song swiftly builds its own distinct, infection soaked incitement for body and emotions. Its body of hooks and pop leaded tenacity has the musical shine of bands like Super Happy Fun Club and at times The Killers, whilst providing another pinnacle for Alamein.

The album closes with firstly the emotive and melodic smouldering of Phantom, a song which suggests that Coldplay is certainly amongst the band’s inspirations, and lastly In This World. The final song opens with a Lennon-esque tone to vocals and piano, subsequently growing into another of the slow burning persuasions on the release which builds into a richly satisfying theatre of sound and emotion which finds a potent resemblance to Queen like adventure.

Both songs offer an enjoyable end to a highly pleasing album and long last, proper introduction for the world to The Fuse. There is no doubting their journey to now has been worthwhile and creatively well spent, Alamein emerging as a very rosy addition to the melodic/indie rock discography of 2015.

http://www.thefuse.london/    https://www.facebook.com/thefusemusic/

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Lights That Change – Voices

Lights That Change 2_RingMaster Review

For four minutes, Welsh dream popsters Lights That Change simply lure the listener away from the real world and into an enveloping new realm with their latest single Voices. Once allowing it to enclose around ears, sinking into its ethereal embrace and melodic seducing is inevitable, as too the expectation that the band is destined to become amongst future guardians of ambience bred, shoegaze hued, and provocatively immersive dreamscapes.

Lights That Change - Voices_RingMaster Review (artwork)   The ethereal wave project was formed by Marc Joy, an artist already renowned for years of producing, engineering, and mastering artists from a broad range of genres as well as solo and collaborative creative endeavours. It was founded a few years back, as a fresh vehicle for his own explorations and place where he could create “the perfect dreamscape sonic horizons, created primarily on the basis of guitars.” Debut EP Rainbow On Your Shoulder, emerged in 2013 with Whispers in February following, both receiving attention and praise from fans and media alike. Over time, the project has evolved into a band with the current line-up of vocalist Mandy Clare, bassist John Bryan, and additionally Mal Holmes on programing, joining Joy over the past year. The first Lights That Change album, Byzantium, is now fast on the horizon and to offer a tantalising teaser the band recently released Voices.

The song comes at the senses from a distance, its subtle energy and melodic caress a floating tempting swiftly shadowed by the throaty air of the bass and a darkly haunting atmosphere inspired from it. The voice of Clare is immediately siren-esque, again her beauty laced with a dark melancholic tone against the wiry and evocative lure of the guitar. There is a definite slither of post punk to the song too, its presence understated but a ripe blossom in the depths of the shadows cast by the song’s melodic and harmonic sunspot. Each listen invites a different reflection and flight of imagination, and every touch of its magnetic sound is a bewitching adventure that lingers and incites further involvement.

It is only one song and our personal introduction to Lights That Change, but a single which sparks thick anticipation for the impending album and an increasingly greedy appetite for the band’s sound.

Voices is out now on Ear to Ear Records @ http://lightsthatchange.bandcamp.com/track/voices

https://www.facebook.com/LightsThatChange

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright