Damn Dice – The Great Unknown

Damn Dice Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

If some new metal infused hard rock ‘n’ roll is on the agenda then checking out the debut album from Damn Dice would not be a bad move. Unleashing twelve tenacious slices of hard rock, a dozen slabs of fiery, adrenaline fuelled stomps, The Great Unknown easily suggests the London based rockers are a band to keep a close eye on. It starts with a bang, ends with another invigorating stretch of songs, and though for personal tastes its middle section ebbs and flows in persuasion a touch too much, the whole album leaves full enjoyment as its prime legacy.

Damn Dice began in 2011 and quickly made a potent impression and impact with a live presence which in no time had a UK and European tour supporting LA Guns on its CV. The next couple of years saw the band reinforce their strong emergence whilst luring increasing acclaim through impressing headline shows and the release of their Wild ‘N’ Ready EP in 2013. It soon had the likes of Classic Rock AOR, Powerplay, Black Velvet, and Music Week offering eager praise whilst the single/video from it, Take The Fight saw the band regulars on Scuzz TV and indeed radio. Now the band is ready to make a hefty nudge on broader attention with The Great Unknown, an encounter as rousing as it is skilfully crafted, as riotous as it is familiarly infectious.

Recently Damn Dice has grown to a quintet with the addition of Diego, but it is the foursome of vocalist Alex, guitarist Wallis, bassist Marco, and drummer Fransoa who has ears ringing with opener Power. From a controlled and sonically suggestive start, the track is soon living up to its name with a charge of bone splitting beats and hungry riffery. Aligned to the quickly impressing tones of Alex, he supported as strongly across the rest of the band, and featuring an already grouchy presence by the bass, band and song is soon a virulent anthemic temptation. Bands such as Skid Row, KISS, and Hardcore Superstar are suggested as references to the Damn Dice sound, and certainly essences of them and others are open hues in the character and energy of the song though it matters little within the rampant fun of the encounter.

Damn Dice Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The seriously enticing start to The Great Unknown continues with What Now? and its initial rhythmic coaxing which courtesy of the bass, borders bestial. Its growling is the spark to a great contrast of niggling hooks and infection spewing grooves with vocals and melodies just as magnetic in one of the band’s previous singles. It springs a web of addictive enticement and inventive enterprise though again there is something recognisable to the encounter which fair to say only add to its allure before Driven brings its antagonism lined classic hard rock resourcefulness to court ears. Not as immediate in its persuasion as the first two, the song eventually proves to be just as inescapable for body and voice, as too the following Down, both songs easy to lock on to anthems sure to inflame any hall or speaker over time. The fourth track has an even more old school colouring to its fresh romp but as enjoyable as it proves to be, it is from here that The Great Unknown struggles for a while to match its early prowess.

To be fair though with The Way To Go from a sizzling electro touch going on to offer a bouncing boisterous shuffle of riffs and rhythms whilst Caught In The Ride and Words uncage a snarling catchy canter and evocative flame of emotion respectively, satisfaction is left smiling and the body catching its breath in their wakes. The latter two songs also unveil a spicy sonic enterprise and melodic imagination which only lures ears before Bang Your Head hits the album’s earlier plateau again next, its full throttle charge equipped with commanding rhythms and rip-roaring riffs and enslaving vocals. Once more Damn Dice are not exactly tapping into the hard rock unknown but its weighty slavery of ears and thick tempting is unavoidable before it quickly moves over for the equally dramatic and incendiary rampage of No Fear. As a few songs on the album, its start is thrilling drama but whereas others at times never manage to live up to their entrance in the rest of their bodies, the song continues to build a theatre of craft and adventure, not forgetting an invigorating anthem that only leaves a hunger for more and more you get with the outstanding Take The Fight. Unafraid to throw in a dose of rock pop for its contagious chorus, it takes little time to see why the song raised such enthusiasm and focus when released previously, its potency just as fierce and forceful now.

The album is brought to a close by the sinew built, rhythm swinging Rock (Like You Mean It), a song which arguably feeds expectations a touch too much yet still grows to be a more flavoursome beast with every listen, and lastly the compelling croon and passion of the excellent Home, where musically and vocally Damn Dice just reinforce the diversity of their sound to give a last treat for ears.

The Great Unknown is nothing less than thorough enjoyment from start to finish with certain stretches where it really gets to grips with wants and tastes. Different songs will work for individual appetites but if hard rock and metal infused rock ‘n’ roll hits your sweet spot then Damn Dice and their album is well worthy of an hour of your time at the very least.

The Great Unknown is released August 24th through most stores.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

High Tiny Hairs – Self Titled EP

cover_RingMaster Review

Take a pinch of sixties garage rock, a whiff of seventies/ eighties psychedelic pop, and a scent of the punk rawness which has spiced any decade you care to mention in some form or other, and you have something akin to the sound of High Tiny Hairs. The new project from former Fuck Knights guitarist and Nightingales front man Ben Bachman, the band is a raw and magnetic tantalising of ears in sound and invention with a potent self-titled debut EP to introduce themselves by. Receiving its UK unveiling this month, the six track encounter almost licks at the imagination with its stirring flavours and mesmeric sonic colours, each song flirting with bright hues around darker lyrical shadows.

Formed by the Minneapolis based Bachman with inspirations of artists like Alex Chilton, Brian Eno, and Syd Barrett spicing his creativity, High Tiny Hairs almost instantly captivates body and thoughts from the EP’s first breath. With Ioana Cristina Mirica, Sergio Hernandez, GD Mills, and Eric Levy alongside Bachman, the band instantly tempts with a web of inviting guitar as opener Chaos Ensues begins to blossom in ears. That alone seems to merge sixties lures with new wave enticement before glowing vocals caress a broadening and increasingly catchy landscape being laid by the song. Its prime hook is like a familiar friend yet defines pinning down whilst the fiery vocals and rosy yet chilled melodies within a sturdy rhythmic and sonic frame, suggests something akin to The Raincoats meets Melody’s Echo Chamber meets Horse Party.

The potent start continues in the rawer brilliance of Ghost Shadow, a song best described as The Electric Prunes in a mesmeric romance with The Sonics and indeed Syd Barrett. With the increasingly tempting charm and flirtation of a Farfisa organ coating and seducing respectively the jagged bones of the song and a swiftly greedy appetite for it, the track is a wonderful unruly smoulder of raw garage bred dream pop and swiftly matched in persuasion by the sultry pop rock of First World Problems. Keys and vocals again tantalise as the jangle of guitars and the ever darkly toned bass both skip over and prowl their companion’s warmly enticing adventures, the result another pleasing escapade for the listener.

Redd Room slips into its sixties seeding with relish from the first second, keys again embracing the pop of that era whilst adding a seventies psych rock smile. Around and within this though, starting with a great opening hook out of the De Staat songbook, the band infuses a weave of matching magnetic styles and sonic resourcefulness. The song does not quite match up to its predecessor but nevertheless has feet and hips swaying with as much contentment as that growing in ears.

The haunting stroll of Night Time Wander steps forward next, again catchy and lively exploits of rhythms and guitar, as well as the fascinating lure of the vocals, embracing and infusing the “sombre and sardonic musings” of Bachman. Feet have no resistance to the song, nor healthy enjoyment before the closing Girl Like U completes the EP. The last song, as Redd Room earlier, is missing that certain something for personal tastes which lit the EP’s other tracks so potently, yet it provides a slice of sixties honed pleasure to broadly smile about whilst finishing off a great introduction to High Tiny Hairs, an EP which in many ways brings the sound of summer across numerous decades into one sultry adventure.

The High Tiny Hairs EP is available on limited edition cassette and digital download via Sir Gregory Records now.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Future Talk – The Path That Sadness Paved

FT_RingMaster Review

Managing to bring potent scents of styles like post hardcore/rock into their familiar yet undeniably fresh and captivating tapestry of alternative rock, UK band Future Talk uncage a powerful introduction to themselves with their The Path That Sadness Paved EP. Seriously engaging on first listen and increasingly compelling with every subsequent involvement in its four emotionally ripe songs, the release offers swift suggestion of a potentially impressive force in the making. The EP does not blaze with striking originality yet again there is the hint that the possibility is also in the breeding as it leaves ears and appetite thoroughly satisfied in the now.

Hailing from Gloucester and emerging in 2014 from the previous projects of its members, Future Talk has been earning a strong reputation for their live presence over the past year which in turn has inspired keen anticipation for their first release. References to bands such as Emarosa, Mallory Knox, and Underoath have been offered against the band’s sound, easy to understand suggestions when listening to The Path That Sadness Paved though in other ways Shattered Skies and Circle of Reason also occasionally nudge thoughts across the quartet of captivating songs.

Cover_RingMaster Review     The Path That Sadness Paved opens with new single/video Sleeping Pills, immediately covering ears in a wave of melodic enticement and sonic coaxing punctuated by firm handed rhythms. The rich tones of vocalist Alex Taylor make an equally potent impact on first impression, flourishing in the embrace of the song’s resourceful drama and imaginative enterprise whilst the track seems to only blossom further with his melodically honed impassioned roars. It is a fiercely magnetic start to the release, as suggested not a song breaking down boundaries but, as the EP, powerfully leaving ears and appetite hungry for more; a success in anyone’s book.

The following Shadow Poet builds from a gentler lure into a tempest of emotion sculpted by great individual craft across the band. The moody bassline nicely contrasts the more fiery elements of the song whilst the vocals add their own catchy nature to a web of jabbing beats, sparkling hooks, and a persistently eventful design in songwriting and sound. Over time, even outshining the excellent opener, the song tells you all you need to know about the invention, potential, and instinctive power of the band and their rousing music.

The Cliffs As A Reminder reveals another fluid and involved weave of guitar and key, it wrapping rolling rhythms in a tantalising blend which is only enhanced by the ever robustly flamed vocals and their lyrical and emotional theatre. Equipped with a dark almost cantankerous tone through the bass, the track ignites ears full pleasure before making way for the closing elegance and emotional croon of Fear Life. Without quite matching the heights of the first trio of songs, it alternately bellows and hauntingly smoulders with open craft and enthralling endeavour to still leave EP and ears on a notable high.

As mentioned Future Talk are not at a point where their distinct identity shines through their already impressing creativity and exciting sound but guitarists Jay McQuilkin and Jack Cadenhead, drummer Max Elderfield, bassist Mitch Potts, and Taylor seem on course to find that uniqueness at some point, whilst providing as here rather enjoyable times along the way.

The Path That Sadness Paved EP is available from August 24th digitally and on CD.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Able Archer – The Warden

Able Archer - band pic_RingMaster Review

Many bands have impressed enough to earn a lustful following from us but few have managed to continue to blossom and unveil new waves of inescapable temptation through the persistent listening of a single song alone as Able Archer do, and do it with regularity. Fair to say we were smitten with their sound from their first offering in 2013 and deeper enthralled with every subsequent dramatic proposal. Each track from them has seemingly had a hex like effect on ours and a great many other’s ears and imaginations, the band’s new UK single The Warden now continuing the inescapable tradition.

able archer - the warden_RingMaster Review   Hailing from Dublin, Able Archer formed in 2011 and quickly began earning eager attention locally and further afield, especially once releasing the outstanding Bullets EP. Fusing guitars and synths in powerful and anthemic adventures as emotively provocative as they were physically rousing, EP and band made a major statement on the underground rock scene which the following single Ghostmaker took to a new striking plateau in 2014. Taken from second EP The Trouble with Strangers, released towards the end of last year, the song declared Able Archer an important and creatively original part of the European rock landscape, a call backed by the subsequent breath-taking explorations of the EP and its new British single The Warden.

The Trouble with Strangers revealed broader imagination and bolder experimentation in a sound already pretty much distinct to a band unafraid to push themselves and their sound into new daring territory. The Warden epitomises this perfectly, its haunting charm and melodic virulence almost masking a dark, verging on sinister, theatre of emotion and nagging seduction.

The song opens with dulled yet resonance seeping beats and a slightly portentous rub of noir coated synth bred strings. The ambience of the affair instantly becomes a brooding enticement luring ears and thoughts with sublime ease, before in the pass of a melancholic cloud the guitar of Rob McDonnell ignites the atmosphere predominantly cast by keyboardist Neil Buckley, resulting in a cascade of melodic crystals and mellow lined chords. Now with the track exposing its full stature whilst prowled by the moody tempting of Diarmuid Breathnach’s bass against an increasingly virulent backdrop of compelling beats from Seán O’Connor, the gripping vocals of Emmet McCaughey exposes the lyrical heart and intimate expression of the song with a distinctive delivery as thick a bait within an Able Archer proposition as the vast diversity of sound around him.

Further graced by the guest brass expression of Donagh Molloy, The Warden is mesmerism in its purest creative form. It is a song which takes body and imagination on a spellbinding flight of aural fascination summing up Able Archer and their invention perfectly, if not understandably the perpetual evolution and diversity fuelling and making every song unique, as openly evident on The Trouble with Strangers. If you have yet to embrace the Able Archer alchemy then the time is ripe and perfect with The Warden; but be warned we did a while ago and still cannot restrain the lust.

The Warden is out now!

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Burn Down Rydell – Drowning

Burn Down Rydell_RingMaster Reviewic

After the rousing persuasion of previous single Fight, UK rockers Burn Down Rydell reveal more of their potent and dramatic sound with the impassioned Drowning. Also taken from the band’ current EP Try Silence, and again featuring Fred Mascherino from Taking Back Sunday/ Terrible Things, the band’s new single is an emotionally aflame roar that just grabs attention and reinforces the suggestion that Burn Down Rydell has the potential to be one of the big impacters on the British rock scene in the future.

The Wolverhampton quartet of vocalist/guitarist Andy Zmiko, bassist Iain Hodges, guitarist Paul Connop, and drummer Charlie Cooper has earned numerous radio sessions in recent times with Fight, a song declared by Amazing Radio as one of the “top tracks of 2014” and becoming Kerrang! Radio’s Single of The Week in March. As mentioned it also features Mascherino, a union which came about after Zmiko, being a big fan of the former’s work in both Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things, contacted and sent over demos to the man to see if he would like to play on the tracks. Ideas and creative twists were blossomed and sent back and forth that night alone, everything eventually developing into additional rich flavour to the bold and fluid enterprise of EP and indeed Drowning.

A gentle, melancholic caress of keys first emerges, its shadows breeding jagged riffs and soon after the instantly strong and evocative tones of Zmiko. Dark but inviting rhythms add to the imposing theatre of the emotion and intensity soaking lyrics and voice whilst the guitars emulate that resourcefulness with their own gripping sonic enterprise. Whereas its predecessor was an energy sapping proposal of a song, the just as compelling Drowning is fiercer emotively and in some ways a more physically forceful proposition.

The single only confirms the thought that Burn Down Rydell is a band with a big future ahead of them, especially if they can evolve an already heavily enticing and eventful sound to greater uniqueness and adventure.

Drowning is out now.

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

United Highs – Talk About Us

United Highs band pic_RingMaster Review

Talk About Us, the new single from indie rock band United Highs, is as smooth and flavoursome as Cornish ice-cream, and just as easy to grow a keen appetite for. The band itself is also Cornwall bred with a sound which is not seemingly as worried about sculpting its own distinctive character yet as it is in providing a great time for band and listener. It is an intent successfully fulfilled by Talk About Us, one of those songs which just linger to please and entice long after physically has leaving the building.

Unighted highs - Talk About Us - Single artwork_RingMaster Review     United Highs is the creation of Falmouth hailing brothers Luke and Kristian Good, the sons of one of Cornwall’s most respected guitarists, the late Rod Good. Once they began experimenting with musical ideas and it became obvious that the guitar was “in the DNA” of Luke and vocalist Kristian had the flare for words, the pair and band’s musical journey was in motion. Drummer Ben Nankervis was brought into the creative fold after he came to the rescue of one of the band’s show at London’s Half Moon which was under threat due to illness. Soon recruited full-time, he was soon recording the United High’s debut album Over the Influence with the band at the legendary Sawmills Studios in Cornwall. The current line-up was completed when bassist/backing vocalist Ian Henderson joined the band, his CV at that point already including session work with Bad Company, a tour with Twisted Sister, and work with the likes of Steve Marriott and Larry Wallis as well as a host of former bands including Panik, The Love Affair, and Turbo.

Also recorded at Sawmills Studios, Talk About Us is the band’s new temptation and features the guest vocals of Abby Miles. Originally asked to provide backing vocals on the song after being heard singing at a party, Abby’s contribution is a far more potent aspect to the lively encounter than just that, her part evolving as the song grew as it was recorded to become a full union between guest and band.

The single quickly grips ears with heady beats and a dose of riffs not too far removed from the punkish air of early Sex Pistols offerings. The song soon blossoms a melodic and dramatic nature though, guitars casting a spicy web which the strong tones of Kristian and subsequently Abby harmonically explore with their swiftly riveting union.

There is something familiar to the song, different aspects hinting at an array of bands yet combining for an easy persuasion that, as suggested earlier, hangs around teasing and tempting thoughts and emotions, especially through the fiery chorus and outstanding blend of vocals which often come in waves to seduce ears.

Talk About Us is one of those songs which may not become a personal classic but we would suggest a proposition which will persistently put a smile on the face every time it steps forward, whilst United Highs is a band we should all go checkout a little closer, Abby Miles too after this.

Talk About Us is available now via the band’s Bandcamp page as a “pay what you like” download.

RingMaster 14/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Countless Skies – Solace

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SONY DSC

Following their acclaimed self –titled debut EP of 2014, UK melodic death metallers Countless Skies unveil their new single and an even more potent adventure of sound and songwriting. The track invades ears and psyche with its bold enterprise whilst immersing the senses in a tempest of dark emotion and melodically hued but rapacious atmospheres. Every minute of its handful, makes a compelling proposal and even if personal tastes do not quite get seduced by every aspect of the song, Solace openly delivers on the potential of the band’s last offering whilst uncapping even more anticipation firing promise.

Solace_cover_RingMaster Review   Though Countless Skies exploded on the British music scene last year with their EP, the band goes back to its first guise as Hatespire which began in 2009. Formed by long-time friends Ross King and James Pratt, the pair created a three-track demo of intense and ravenously dark music infused by Scandinavian inspirations, the beginnings to what we have now. Skipping forward to last year, Countless Skies as mentioned poked real attention with their four-track EP, which in turn opened fresh opportunities on the live scene for the band across the UK. They won the Bedfordshire ‘Metal to the Masses’ competition and earned a slot on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock Open Air 2015 in its wake too whilst ahead of their first album scheduled for early 2016, the quartet of vocalist/bassist Phil Romeo and drummer Nathan Robshaw alongside vocalist/guitarist King and guitarist Pratt, uncage Solace and a teaser for their album which certainly gets the job done.

The song opens on an acoustic caress which swiftly has ears and thoughts involved, especially as the elegance of keys joins in with a subsequent heavier and darker wash of imposing tempting. Musically the song continues to seduce with melodic radiance within increasingly volatile air whilst raw, growling vocals add contrasting malevolence and causticity. For whatever reason, the coarse lure of vocals found a less successful reception with the appetite compared to the epically aired and feverishly inventive nature of the sounds but the clean roars midway into the encounter certainly hit the spot upon their emergence. As ever personal tastes get involved in all things whilst allowing sight of what will appeal to numerous others, and all aspects of voice and hostile throat expulsions will certainly find welcome reactions with a great many more for sure.

The fascinating sounds continue to flow and explode through ears, the song varying its scenery and design with constant frequency and ease as guitars and keys bewitch in a just as pungent dramatic union within an uncompromising rhythmic cage. Bands like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium are suggestions as Solace provides escape for and trespass on body and emotions whilst laying sizeable bait to band and impending album for fans and newcomers alike. Their last EP raised a stir but expect bigger eruptions as Solace grips ears.

The self-released Solace is out now!

RingMaster 24/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright