Bernaccia – Power To The Hills

Bernaccia_RingMaster Review

For their darkest exploration yet, Newcastle neo-psych rockers Bernaccia release new single Power To The Hills which again confirms them as one of the most fascinating and exciting incitements on the British rock scene. Bred from the band’s now renowned fusion of psychedelic mystery, tribal rhythms, and desert blues beauty, the new song transports ears and imagination into the shadowed world of sinister atmospheric romances and sultrily surreal drama, a rich, dark adventure to immerse in.

Since the release of their Cinema EP in 2014, the quartet of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jonny Noble, lead guitarist Stew Falkous, bassist Kieran Healy, and drummer Chris Cox has bewitched attention with their warmly intrusive and hazily lingering sound. To be fair even before that they were enticing loyal fans and strong awareness their way through a potent live presence around the Northeast and further afield. Forming in 2010, the band over time has shared stages with the likes of Royal Blood, Twisted Wheel, and Wolf People whilst this year alone they have opened for Lola Colt, Alabama 3, and The Fall as well as play Tramlines 2015. Musically that period has also seen their sound become darker and more diversely involved; kaleidoscopic in flavour as the acclaimed Light//-//Dark EP, also of 2014, revealed. Confirmation comes again within Power To The Hills, arguably the most intense and dark tapestry from the band yet.

The song swiftly has ears lined-up before a rhythmic enticing which quickly works on the body too as keys gently but imposingly swarm the senses with a suggestive ambience and haunting melodic spicing. Pretty soon these elements align with a bordering on shamanic rhythmic stroll and an even sultrier mesh of spicy guitar tenacity and keys spawned dark seducing. Over these the recognisable tones of Noble spill drama and shadowed lined expression, his presence like a narrator to the theatre of words and the increasingly fiery and tenacious sounds.

There is an essence of the darkest delta blues tones to the song, an acidic almost dangerous lining to the inflamed psychedelic hues and the increasingly addictive lure of the frenetic rhythms. The track is superb, perpetually eventful and unpredictable leaving the listener on an aural cliff hanger with its sudden halt.

Bernaccia continue to bewitch with their musical hex simultaneously growing in deserved stature and acclaim. The first single from the band’s debut album (Growl, Peace, Belief its working title), Power To The Hills confirms that not only this year has been a big and important time for the band but that 2016 will be the year of Bernaccia.

Power To The Hills will be self-released on September 26th.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Nanaki – Dandelion Radio Session EP

Nanaki - Dandelion Radio Session _RingMaster Review

Though released a few weeks back, the Dandelion Radio Session EP from instrumental band Nanaki is one encounter which should not slip through the net especially if a fan of kaleidoscopic music. That is certainly what the tracks making up the encounter are; varied shimmers and reflections of post and alternative rock through to shoegaze and post-punk, and that is just scratching off the surface layer.

Isle of Man hailing Nanaki is the solo project of Postcode guitarist Mikie Daugherty and the EP, a recording of a session for Mark Whitby’s Dandelion Radio show this past June. The tracks within it re-visit songs from the early days of the band, a project formed in 2002 by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Daugherty and bassist Emma Ryan. The band’s only album Fashion Is The Enemy Of All Art was released back in 2003 but had a successful re-issue nine years later with Small Bear Records, who also released the Afterlight EP last year and are behind this new proposition. With the band officially splitting in 2008, despite the just mentioned releases, for many the Dandelion Radio Session EP will be an introduction to Nanaki, and a captivating invitation into the creative web of Daugherty.

cover_RingMaster Review     The EP’s first offering is January Overkill, a chilled and melancholic proposal which simultaneously manages to wrap warm melodies and rich suggestiveness around ears and imagination. Within seconds bass and guitar are on a wonderful ride of repetitious hooks and nagging riffs, an enticing running the whole of the track with crisp beats adding their own persistent bait. Thoughts are swiftly lured into the early days of The Cure but tempered by the caustic air and scuzzy textures which also become involved with the highly provocative narrative, their blackened almost tempestuous nature as compelling as the sultry shimmer and melodic niggling colouring the gripping start.

As irresistible as it is the first piece of pure temptation is soon outshone by the addictive alchemy of Disembryo. Imagine a Twilight Zone version of The Pixies and you have a sense of this superb incitement on body and soul. Again almost mundane yet virulent hooks and riffs coax the appetite whilst tangy sways of guitar bounce off of their dulled surface. It is a glorious seduction only increasing in contagion as more off kilter twists and haunting enterprise leads into a fiery roar of sound, discord, and intensity.

It was probably inevitable that whatever followed would be overshadowed by easily one of the best things heard this year, and certainly Let Me Close My Eyes lacks the same ingenuity and general allure. Nevertheless its mellow romance of melodies and gentle rhythms leading to an increasingly evocative and in turn volatile landscape, has attention and imagination fascinated and discovering new avenues of thought and emotion with every involvement. It is a slow burner against the almost immediate potency of the first two tracks as too is Luthiers (Of Heaven) which follows it. Quaint in sound and enterprise but seemingly carrying a portentous lining to its shadows which is never actually realised, the piece of music reminds of eighties bands like again The Cure as well as Modern English and to a lesser extent The Comsat Angels.

The EP is completed by another major highlight in Candyfloss Deathwish; eight minutes of wonderfully tempestuous emotion and creative majesty. As shown throughout all tracks, Daugherty masterfully creates an individual song in all instruments, from guitar to bass to drums etc., which unite in an ever evolving and involving tapestry of drama and sonic storytelling. Here he turns the burners up to full as the track almost revolts in gripping noise and physical persuasion for an exhausting finale to an outstanding encounter.

The final song also sums up the inspirations in sound and texture which spark the whole Nanaki invention. It is a maelstrom of the styles mentioned previously and more from an artist we can only hope will continue to be an active presence in this guise.

The Dandelion Radio Session EP is available via Small Bear Records and Nanaki’s Bandcamp profile as a name your price download.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Barús – Self Titled EP

Barus_Cover__RingMaster Review

Let us introduce you to Barús, a death metal band from Grenoble in France. There is little more we can offer you about the band except from quoting their bio. “Barús evokes a weight, a burden. Through music, it reveals an introspective state of mind: A grain of sand lost in the vastness…A questioning of all things…Death.” What we can say is that their self-titled debut album is one potential swamped and seriously compelling proposition you should take a look at.

Sometimes you get an inner twinge of something special in the making when being introduced to a band or release and that certainly applies to Barús. Through four rigorously challenging and thickly satisfying tracks, band and release provide a journey through the darkest, hellish climates and depths. They are burdensome, uncompromising songs which are as fearsome as they are imaginative. Tracks which all the time lyrically and musically question thoughts, instincts, and the senses. The band has been labelled as progressive death metal and though you can sense why with the invention fuelling unique songs primarily Barús’ sound is a malevolent cauldron of death voracity with black malice and doom oppressiveness.

The release opens with Tarot and a chaotic tempest of intensity and energy driven ravenous sound. Everything is in rabid turmoil, only settling down a touch with the addition of the grievous tones of the vocals. In time as searing grooves entwine fierce riffs and rhythms, an order as such comes over the track whilst still flirting with a bedlamic soundscape of ideas and textures. Contrastingly the vocals grow more psychotic, emotionally tarred roars bellowing and stalking the senses as the guitars spin a jagged djent seeded violation and seduction through ears. The track is breath-taking, an energy sapping, body staggering onslaught and quite irresistible.

The following Disillusions is equally as tempestuous at heart and in presence but with a more restrained character initially, though that line is blurred with every predatory torrent of riffs and scything swing of rhythms. The listener soon finds itself in an aural coven, one lorded over by savage guitar enterprise and vocal malevolence, but also a landscape which perpetually wrong-foots and fascinates. A mellow embrace midway comes with great clean vocals but it is merely a demonic deceit, the track soon casting a spell of sonic voracity and emotional malefaction. Emulating the first track, it is an exhilarating trespass on the senses and psyche; the two alone making Barús a seriously potent proposition for extreme metallers to check out.

Chalice is simply a stalking of the listener and a continuation of the raw sorcery brewing in its predecessor. Spoken commands and chants swiftly evolve into a ruinous transgression, the music from an initial almost anthemic enticing exploding into a cancerous animus of noise and intent. Again though the band fluidly and impressively disorientates and spellbinds through the merger of extremes and contrasts, the collusion of vitriolic and melodic beauty. This is where those progressive tags are suggested, though Barús offer it in the most barbarous form possible.

The EP closes with Cherub; a doom laded crawl of an incitement which as you may suspect grows and blossoms into a viscerally sonic profanation of sound and air. Though not quite matching the previous three tracks in impact, the track just absorbs attention as it devours the soul to provide a final raw treat to fear and greedily embrace.

Barús have made a mouth-watering entrance upon the extreme metal landscape with their first EP, and if this is the sign of things to come, even without the natural evolution and maturity that assumedly will follow becoming involved, the French band is going to be a major favourite with a great many.

The Barús EP is available now as a name your price download at the band’s Bandcamp profile.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Beyond The Break – Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP

cover_RingMaster Review

With a first single already whipping up potent attention, Welsh rockers Beyond The Break have now uncaged their debut EP bringing four varied and persuasive encounters to ears. The Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP is an accomplished and captivating offering from a band consisting of members from 21 Against, Catatonia, and Eleven. The song’s success on personal tastes did vary a touch it is fair to say but equally there is no denying that from start to finish the release left strong satisfaction and healthy appetite for more behind.

Formed earlier this year, the Llanelli based band quickly sparked awareness with the single The Way It Was, the track receiving in excess of 25,000 organic plays on Spotify in its first four weeks. An initial demo then led the band to be signed up with 2P Records with Beyond The Break’s live presence starting after that link up, to date seeing the band play a sold out hometown show in Llanelli and perform for the Foo Fighters fan club at the US band’s Wembley pre-show party amongst other gigs. Recorded as a live performance direct to tape over two weekends, Pictures Of Losing Sleep is the band’s national introduction and a proposition looking to stir up new ears and awareness the way of the quartet.

It opens with Mother Love and an immediate wall of crisp rhythms and spice lined riffs. Soon into a steady stroll with the bass of Chris Francis a great dark texture and lure, the song is bursting with energy and creative tenacity but reined in enough to embrace rather than over-run the expressive vocal tones of Paul Jones. His and the guitar of Richard Thomas-James simultaneously spin a web of sparkling hooks and winey grooves around the core riffery whilst the firm handed beats of drummer Aled Richards spear it all with poise and attitude. There is no escaping the Foo Fighters hints across the song, indeed the EP, but equally there is a melodic flaming to the great raw air of the track which has whispers of bands like Jimmy Eats World and Biffy Clyro to it.

That previous single The Way It Was comes next, emerging from a sonic bluster into another feisty and fiery encounter. Bass and riffs again provide an anthemic canvas which especially comes into its own around the chorus. Relentlessly infectious it is easy to see why the song gripped the attention it did, and still does, vocals and rhythms as magnetic as the host of hooks which line each twist and turn of the incitement. Whereas the first track on the EP was a strong invitation if one which seemed to be holding something back, The Way It Was is the party and an increasingly tempting one with body and voice soon succumbing to its rousing flirtation.

The EP’s title track which follows is also Beyond The Break’s new single, but it does not quite find the same success with ears. Vocally Jones is an emotive tempting whilst around him guitars weave a reflective picture of angst and drama to support the narrative. Something is missing though, the spark which ignites the other songs on the release dulled and for whatever reason not inciting what are of course just personal tastes. In saying that musically the track is a lively tapestry which does become more compelling over time, with the bass and grooves taking the thickest wedge of attention.

It suffers a touch too by being wedged between the band’s gripping previous single and the outstanding EP closer Big Wait. Easily the best track on the encounter, the song is instantly ablaze with riffs and percussive confrontation but soon slipping into something seriously contagious as scything swings from Richards roll out anthemic bait alongside another throaty bassline and the vocal enticing of Jones. Nineties rock is a constant spicing to the Beyond The break sound and here openly taps into the grungy essences of a Nirvana and Gruntruck whilst adding some pop punk essences bred around the same era. Simply the track is a storming incitement; a tempest of adrenaline and almost predatory enterprise aligned to impassioned tenacity and the most exciting song from the band yet.

Pictures Of Losing Sleep definitely hits the spot, in some places more powerfully than in others, whilst announcing Beyond The Break as a possible new force on the British rock scene. Right now it is potential but with more releases like this and certainly tracks like Big Wait it will be evidence.

The Pictures Of Losing Sleep EP is available now via 2P Records and the Beyond the Break Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 09/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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