Luna Sol – Blood Moon

Pic_Colin Farrell

Pic_Colin Farrell

Vocalist/guitarist David Angstrom has been part of and behind a few potent propositions, Hermano, Supafuzz, and Asylum On The Hill included, but he might have just outdone them all with Luna Sol, certainly if their debut album is a taste of things to come. Blood Moon is a glorious roar of backwoods bred stoner rock, bulging with voracious riffs and intoxicating grooves as well as a blues spicing to have you woozy. It is also one of the most contagiously virulent slabs of dark rock ‘n’ roll to hit the senses in recent months, nay years.

It was 2012 when Angstrom moved to the mountains just north of Denver and began being inspired by the local news and folklore, and you might suggest the “we don’t like strangers” mind-set that small out of the way communities can develop. With songs in his creative pocket, Angstrom formed Luna Sol with local musicians in the creative shape of guitarist/ vocalist Shanda Kolberg (The Swanks), bassist /vocalist Shannon Fahnestock (The Swindlers), and drummer Pat Gill (The Feds, ’76 Pinto). Recorded at Sierra Estates in Colorado, Blood Moon is the first aural moonshine from the band, a collection of songs easy to get a greedy taste for alongside a rabid addiction too.

Musically there is no escaping offering references to the likes of Kyuss and early Queens Of The Stone Age, but they are colours to a tapestry hard to suggest is anything but Luna Sol like. Quick evidence comes with album opener Bridges. Percussion and guitar make an immediate lure which soon expands in a haze of sonic electricity and spicy enterprise as the vocal roar of Angstrom hits ears and appetite as forcibly as the sounds around him. It is soon evident that vocals are shared in varying ways across the band which only adds to the diversity and theatre of song and creative release. The album also features several guests, here Dean Smith (Supafuzz) adding bass growls within the fiery web of guitars.

Lunasol_Blood Moon_Cover_RingMaster Review   The excellent enslaving start continues with Death Mountain, the skills of bassist Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquestra del Desierto) and slide guitarist Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters) adding to the crawling seduction on offer. Almost from its first breath, ‘drunken’ grooves are winding their meandering charm around the imagination whilst the bass is a grouchy but compelling protagonist against the potent twin vocal delivery. Like a primal seductress the track entices and crawls over the listener, intimidating as it lures until the infection flooded chorus warms the soul as the prowess of Martin bewitches.

The pair of December and Leadville keep ears and appetite just as engrossed next, the first of the two with its dirtier air and more predatory attitude backed by the additional magnetic tones of John Garcia (Vista Chino, Hermano, Kyuss). The track has the weight and muscle of a beast and the sonic toxicity of neat liquor as well as the melodic beauty of a mountain vista, whilst its successor unleashes an addiction forging swing any rock band would salaciously solicit for. Its swagger is irresistible and sonic air bracing with the peak of pleasure arriving with the slips into the relative calm of banjo plucks and vocal repetition courted by a juicy dark bass tempting.

Pretty Rotten keeps that slightly bestial tone going in its compelling stroll lined with the barracuda like tones of the bass provided by Nick Oliveri (Vista Chino, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age). As with the previous pair of tracks there is also an essence of what is basically rock pop catchiness which plays like a mix of 12 Stone Toddler and Eagle of Death Metal and has ears and emotions fired up as greedily as the tonic of blues flames scorches the whole thrilling affair.

Thicker classic rock hues join stoner instincts for Operator, a song which took longer to warm to in the same way the others inspired but almost creeps up on the passions as by half way realisation sets in that body sways and vocal participation have joined the call before thoughts. The track is hypnotic, another hazily crawling tempting which eventually and fully has its way before passing over ears to Standley Lake for an infestation of the imagination and psyche with its rhythmic spell and scorching winey grooves. It too is a slow burn on the passions in a way but a highly resourceful and successful one easily involving hips and throat by the time Your Way steps forward with its rich blues and psych rock smoulder aided by the Hammond prowess of Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses). Immersive and atmospherically ablaze, the track leaves lips licked in satisfaction before leaving the darkly haunted In the Shadows to being the album comes to a close. Jason Groves (Supafuzz, Asylum on the Hill) offers the bass bait in this mouth-watering caliginous proposal, musically and narratively the song aural drama of noir soaked hidden deeds and dark souls, and thoroughly riveting.

It is a mighty end to one thoroughly exhilarating release; the last card in a deck of spellbinding persuasion which from start to finish enrols the listener in an adventure of strange melancholy and curious endeavours. It is also a swamp of rock ‘n’ roll which just rouses the spirit in possibly the best heavy rock album this year, certainly the favourite.

Blood Moon is available from September 11th across UK/Europe via Cargo Records.

Pete Ringmaster 11/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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I Cried Wolf – Hollow Heart

Lamp Shade Press Shot _RingMaster Review

Real uniqueness in music is a long sought after and if we are honest rarely found aspect in the current music scene. But there are always a few exceptions and many more which come pretty close to finding that clear originality, and one such incitement is UK post-hardcore/punk ‘n’ rollers I Cried Wolf. The band is poised to release their new EP Hollow Heart, and it is a rousing roar of fierce invention and raw intimacy which sets the case for the Banbury quintet being the next big thing in certainly the British hardcore scene, if not its rock ‘n’ roll landscape, whilst creating an incitement which sets ears aflame and the band well away from the crowd.

Hollow Heart is a diverse and unpredictable encounter which you can at times reference to the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die as well as others such as Pantera and Reuben in certain moments and aspects, but an invigorating trespass on the senses and imagination which has a character and invention of its very own. The EP is the work of a band formed in 2012 and becoming quickly renowned for their ferocious live presence which has in turn garnered an increasingly potent and loyal following. The past couple of years or so has seen I Cried Wolf share stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, Hacktivist, Create To Inspire, Let’s Talk Daggers, Red Seas Fire, Bad Sign, and Surrender The Coast around the UK. Recorded with producer Sam Winfield (Bring Me The Horizon, Dry The River), Hollow Heart is the band’s broadest wake-up call for the country yet and one hard to imagine being ignored by very many.

Lyrically relating to the life of vocalist Harry Davies, “his reluctance to let go of the past….Of loss, lust, and betrayal”, Hollow Heart opens up with Scratching My Head With Ink and a scratching of riffs before exploding in a howl of sonic turbulence and vocal angst. To that though, is an immediate swing and volatile stroll bursting with imagination and quickly gripping hooks. The guitars of Louie Hodgson and Alex Gibbons cast raw smog of irritable riffs and gripping grooves whilst the drums of Oli Hampshire ransack the senses with their rugged yet rousing incitement. It is a thrilling and bracing proposal enhanced by the roaming throaty bassline spread by Jacob Rudman and the impassioned squalls from the lungs of Davies. That alone would be enough to provide potent bait for the appetite but it is the unpredictable nature of the song which makes a great song something special. The grooves just get heavier and spicier whilst Davies as he digs deeper into his emotions discovers a gripping Anselmo like grizzle to his delivery, whilst the song, well that just bristles punk attitude and heavy rock tenacity as it twists and turns.

ICW_Hollowheart_EP_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start is not let down by its successor, Massokiss Me an agitated swarm of toxic riffs and rhythmic rumbling from the off only breeding keener grooves, greater vocal diversity, and serious invention as it explores a host of flavours all bred in rock ‘n’ roll of some design. That subsequently leads into an impassioned post-hardcore seeded outpouring of melodic and vocal emotion, the track evolving within ears with broader and bolder enterprise before making way for the enthralling It Takes A Slave. It starts with a swing which is best described as blues meets ska punk meets jazz rock where Davies uncovers a dusty growl to his tones as the guitars weave a sultry enticing and the bass a funky lure behind him. It is an entrance which eventually expands into another fascinating and exciting entwining merger of diverse flavours, Faith No More a suggested hint to the ingenuity at play. Each song in a way is ordered bedlam, a vat of individual textures and styles twisted and aligned for songs which, as here, smash expectations and leaves a lingering and inescapable intrigue which simply draws ears keenly and swiftly back into its midst for more exploration.

Kensopia is a spiral of melodic revelry and suggestion from the off next, guitars almost duelling with their individual exploits as rhythms tenderise ears ready for the vocal prowess of Davies and band. Jagged riffs bring another new shade to the sound and release whilst an air of bands like Bring Me The Horizon comes forward briefly as the track moves on to pastures new and old in the strike of a chord or swing of a stick. It is another enjoyable aspect to the I Cried Wolf sound, it never stands still, always in creative motion meaning ears and thoughts have to be lively and willing to rerun the bruising fun again, and again to grasp all the rewards.

Sharkfeet brings Hollow Heart to its close, the track another cauldron of emotion and mouth-watering revelry in songwriting and a tenaciously uncaged tempest. Sonically burning, rhythmically intimidating, and consistently engrossing, the song simply boils over in adventure and almost psychotic invention yet, as all songs, manages to find a coherent and fluid passage across the whole of its explosive passage.

Impressive on the first listen and increasingly impacting and thrilling thereafter, there is only one word for Hollow Heart…remarkable!

Hollow Heart is digitally available from September 11th via Crooked Noise Records.

Pete RingMaster 11/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Midday Veil – This Wilderness

MiddayVeil_new1_RingMaster Review

The release of Midday Veil’s third album, This Wilderness could possibly not come at a more apt time in the course of mankind and civilisation. In a world of beauty being ravaged by its occupants, in a time when worldly community is being questioned, tested, and shown up, perfectly epitomises the stark reality but also beauty, globally and intimately, we all are an integral essence of. Vocalist Emily Pothast describes it best with “Lyrically, the songs on This Wilderness are a cycle that explores the self-destructiveness implicit in the civilizing impulse. It comes from a place that is critical, but ultimately acknowledges its complacency in this beautiful, terrifying culture that we all participate in whether we want to or not.

The release goes deeper than that in many ways too but ultimately the biggest thing about the Seattle band’s new proposition is that it is simply virulently glorious, a musical travelogue of spatial sound, mystique lined textures, and sublime beauty. It is a feast for ears and the imagination, a perpetually giving confrontation that sublimely seduces as it incites thoughts and emotions. The successor to the band’s acclaimed 2013 full-length, The Current, the seven track exploration is Midday Veil creating a new plateau for themselves and for others to seed ideas from.

This Wilderness opens with Babel, the keys of David Golightly immediately conjuring a cosmopolitan weave of sound and suggestion. Initially minimalistic, beats are soon throwing off their restraint to dance engagingly on ears in union with electronic vivacity and the swiftly seducing tones of Pothast. In no time, the song is a busy bubble of sound and activity with the bass of Timm Mason exploring the shadows lining the vibrant scenery, sparked by Jayson Kochan’s guitar, revelling around it. The track is sheer magnetism, a feisty serenade on the senses which just gets funkier, more diverse, and increasingly compelling with every invigorating minute.

midday veil this wilderness_RingMaster Review     There is a darker lining to the song though and equally the lure of Pothast’s lyrical narrative. Her voice alone is siren-esque if in an understated way but though all radiance provides, as the song, a vehicle for brooding shadows which are a stronger presence in the following Cages. Straight away there is a more melancholic feel to the song, in its air and tone even as keys pulsate with melodic light around the mellower and more sombre heart of the song. The percussive coaxing of Garrett Moore adds to the warmer side of the track’s flowing landscape whilst between them Golightly and multi-instrumentalist Mason create a tapestry of melodic suggestion within an evolving sound which as good as besieges the imagination.

The irresistibility of that song is intensified in Empire Is No More, the pinnacle of the album. Around a chilled sonic lure, crystalline shards of keys transfix, enticing the listener into an emerging exotic and sultry stroll. Rhythms quickly have feet and bodies involved as Eastern mystique lines the melodies oozing from keys and voice. There is a flirtatious nagging to the encounter too which through Kochan’s bass, he switching his string prowess on different songs, and Moore’s beats never lessens in potency as the song slips through the sense of past empires, and with an increasingly volatile energy, subsequent turbulence and discord. The song is rousingly mesmeric, at times igniting ears like a mix of eighties band Monsoon and the colder infection of a New Order, whilst persistently inflaming the senses and imagination.

Assumed Stockhausen inspirations prowl the dark elegance of The Water which follows, its haunted atmosphere a cavernous but again intimate embrace of primal rhythms and percussion within slowly revolving, melodically bred aural luminance. Pothast’s voice is dreamy and slightly shamanic, an external lure to inner reflection and accompanying instincts in the sonic, almost erotic, pool of sound cast by band and song. It is pure bewitchment which again has thoughts working feverishly before Circle takes over with its bolder electronic pulses and temptations within a lofty flight of vocal caressing and provocative enterprise. Closing eyes adds to the sense of soaring inspired by the track; celestial warmth soaking the senses’ wings as vocals fly alongside and over darker rhythms amongst sizzling textures cast by keys and the inventive strains of guitar and additional strings.

I Am The War has the body swaying with more urgency next, it’s still restrained but more tenacious energy and melodic resourcefulness touching on essences of artists such as Cybotron, Ladytron, and Propaganda. Lighting ears and appetite with its more classically honed wash of strings, a swift immersion into evocative depths and poetic incitement is unavoidable; and it is the same with closing track Universes. Both songs are individually ethereal beauty; the final track a gorgeous gloom lit haunting wrapped in Siouxsie and the Banshees like, or maybe more so The Creatures, bleak but golden seduction. With ghostly harmonies and limbo-esque sounds, it is simply majestic and another massive peak in the stunning landscape of the album.

Also featuring guest appearances from musicians such as Bernie Worrell (Parliament, Funkadelic), Eyvind Kang, and Skerik amongst a few, This Wilderness is a major moment in 2015, in fact it is possibly the album of the year.

This Wilderness is available from September 11th via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond.

Pete RingMaster 11/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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