Murder Shoes – Daydreaming

Photo Joshua Syx

Photo Joshua Syx

After three increasingly impressive and enthralling EPs, it is fair to say that the debut album from US rock/pop band Murder Shoes has been a highly anticipated proposition, and equally honest to say that now here, Daydreaming more than lives up to hopes and the potential fuelling previous encounters from the Minneapolis quintet. Once more, the band weaves tantalising songs from strands of indie, surf, and dark pop rock, evolving from them perpetually mesmeric and at times sinisterly ethereal yet tenaciously mischievous proposals. The result is an album based on sonic flirtation and rich imagination which lights ears and appetite with a sublime hand of adventure.

From the first meeting of guitarists Derek Van Gieson and Chris White, the seeds of Murder Shoes have quickly and potently blossomed into a creatively stirring proposition. Writing a thick body of songs together bred on and blending a broad array of inspirations, flavours, and styles, the pair recruited vocalist/keyboardist Tess Weinberg to their emerging project before completing its line-up with drummer Elliot Manthey and bassist Tim Heinlein. Within a year first EP Cash On Fire was unveiled, December 2014 its release with a self-titled successor arriving the May of 2015 and the Little Lost EP two months later, all through Land Ski Records who now bring us Daydreaming.

cover_RingMaster Review     Your Friend Kimmie starts the band’s new temptation off, opening on an instantly alluring bass coaxing soon embraced by surf lined caresses of guitar. The smouldering invitation is increased as the warm siren-esque harmonic tones of Weinberg gently lay upon the spreading strands of sonic enterprise and low key but pungent rhythmic bait. A sultry serenade fondling ears and imagination, the song makes a potent start for Daydreaming but is soon overshadowed by firstly the inescapable catchiness of So What May and in turn the haunting romance of Bad Reputation. The first of the pair saunters with a spicily melodic smile and infectious rhythms, its breath carrying a nineties scent which only adds to its easy pull on a keenly growing appetite for the release, whilst the second sways with a seduction of slim but quickly gripping hooks amidst a mesh of melodic tendrils cast by the guitars.

Recent single Nineteeneightyone strolls in with an energetic and creative virulence next, beats and vocals colluding to enslave ears as sonic endeavour paints the song’s canvas with evocative and fiery imagination. Both Van Gieson and White craft a fascinating picture with their invention, holding their tempting own against the ever beguiling delivery of Weinberg. Equally though, as shown further by Secrets, Heinlein and Manthey conjure an enticement of rhythms and darker shadows which simply and skilfully accentuates the melodic humidity and elegance around them. In Secrets the pair court the flames of warmth lining the surf fuzziness with a darkly provocative prowl, offering a jazzy contrast to the more fiery aspects shimmering boldly around them.

New single Girls Named Benji marks another step up in temptation and excitement within Daydreaming, its Throwing Muses meets The Only Ones like canter, an epidemic of inciting rhythms and sonic drama around a just as keenly delivered and tenacious vocal prowess and attitude. The track is as compelling as it comes and swiftly matched by the outstanding Little Lost. Once again instantly the rhythm section captivates and enslaves, and once more the guitars create a sonic and slightly scuzzy tapestry of rich enticement to seduce the firmer enticement. There is a feel of Belly and Breeders to the song but, as expected, it is twisted and woven into the rousing and here raucous ingenuity of Murder Shoes to addictive effect.

The surf fuelled beauty of Reefer And Pizza seduces ears next; it’s romancing sway like the sun on a lively sea but with a volatility that will have its thrilling say. Another major pinnacle that provokes a hint of Martha and the Muffins in thoughts, it makes ways for the album’s title track, a crystalline kiss of light with rolling beats and fields of sonic and melodic sultriness. Again there is that steely and dramatic underbelly at play, seeping along and into the textures of the song bringing a subdued and thrilling theatre of darkness with underlying intimidation.

Can You Sea Me brings its masterful stickiness of evocative enterprise and melodic intoxication next, the song maybe eclipsed by those just before but smothering the listener in celestial and earthy contrast for great pleasure before How Does It Feel closes the album with a similar weave within its own engrossing character of sound and imagination. It is a refreshing end to another excellent and thrilling offering from Murder Shoes. The album continues where the previous EPs left off but also shares new depth in sound and exploration along the way. Daydreaming is like a musical lover you will only lay back and think about for ages after tasting its creative kiss, that a success in anyone’s book.

Daydreaming is released November 6th via Land Ski Records and @ https://murdershoes.bandcamp.com/album/daydreaming

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-Shoes/331873790352913  https://twitter.com/murdershoesband   http://www.murdershoesband.com/

Pete RingMaster 06/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Spark The Sail – Sapphire Deep

Spark The Sail Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

There has generally always been a strong underground scene spreading out in Bristol but right now the British city seems to be at a new high in excitement and potency. There is a vast horde of artists catching ears and attention with, for us, bands like The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, who just released their exceptional debut album, Jesuits, Left Side Brain, and the currently quiet Mind Museum leading the way. To that list we can now add rock popsters Spark The Sail, a quintet releasing a debut EP that simply leaves ears and pleasure aflame.

The Sapphire Deep EP is a rousing romp of pop ‘n’ roll, a feel good contagion built on open craft and fresh imagination. Every one of its five songs has the body and emotions leaping, the appetite for its boisterous beauty greedier by the second, with the psyche lost in its web of virulent catchiness. To local fans this is no surprise and now the UK and further afield can wake up to magnetic rock music as virulent as it comes.

Spark The Sail initially began as the duo of vocalist Jodie Davies and vocalist/acoustic guitarist Ryan Moore. Then as 2013 called it a day, the band had grown to a quintet with the addition of electric guitarist Robbie Rowe, bassist James Killackey, and drummer Mitchel Lucas. Honing their unity and sound, the band subsequently hit the live scene and were soon adding the sharing of stages with the likes of The Hoosiers, Dub Pistols, and Tinie Tempah to their quickly expanding CV. Successful appearances at The Isle Of Wight Festival this year and a host of other shows across the south of England has only added to their reputation and fan base; both now set to explode as Sapphire Deep unveils its rich revelry.

Spark The Sail Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The band’s inspirations include bands such as Panic! At The Disco, The Skints, and Paramore; fair to say open influences in varying degrees from the first track onwards though equally there is an energy in the songwriting and melodies which has a feel of Irish bands The Radioactive Grandma/ K.N.O.T.S. As opener Sapphire reveals, it is potent flavouring to something, if not unique to Spark The Sail quite yet, easily allowing them to standout as something highly promising and special. The song opens on a melancholic piano cast melody, around it the atmosphere hazy and slightly distorted. Energy brews simultaneously, erupting in a stroll of punchy rhythms and coaxing riffs led by the excellent dual vocal persuasion of Davies and Moore. Alone their voices entice but together enthral and ignite ears as easily as the weave of acoustic and electrified enterprise aligning to their creative theatre. Like a gem, the song has a host of faces to its adventure, each having a moment to shine and tempt before the song concludes on another boisterous roar of pop devilry.

The following Never The Moment keeps ears and enjoyment flying, the opening bait of rhythms from Lucas setting the template of the song with its anthemic shuffle soon joined by smiling melodies and hooks. Again the vocals transfix and bewitch, side by side or hand in hand a thrilling colour to a track again twisting and turning with perpetual imagination. The glorious encounter leaves rich hooks in ears and memory, its character a lingering friend but as Outlook shows next, that also applies to each song. Like its predecessor, the swinging slice of fun has meaty rock ‘n’ roll at its core and spicy pop melody in its heart, both wrapped in a swirling folk pop scent for a riveting and lively drama with a good whiff of Fall out Boy to it.

   Trust Me is next and with elegant melodies as its first caress, swiftly has the imagination floating away with its atmospheric and emotive air. A relatively more restrained and intensive affair than the first trio of tracks, it still weaves a rosy hug of vocals, harmonies, and expressive melodies around a firmer lure of rhythmic bait.

The release is brought to an energetic and tenacious end by Pieces, another easy to get physically and mentally involved in proposal bouncing round with creative enthusiasm and melodic flirtation. The track sums up the whole of the EP in its closing dance of passion and sound to light up any day and shadow.

Spark The Sail is now firmly installed as not only one or our favourite Bristol exports but of our pop /rock joys. Mark our words; this band is going places if Sapphire Deep is the sign of things to come.

The Sapphire Deep EP is released November 6th through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/sparkthesail   http://www.sparkthesail.com   https://twitter.com/sparkthesail

Pete RingMaster 06/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

St. Christopher Medal – Sunny Day Machine

St. Christopher Medal_RingMaster Review

It is hard to say the prime lure of Sunny Day Machine and indeed the sound of Scottish quartet St. Christopher Medal; whether it is the melancholic beauty, the expansive yet intimate landscapes of soulful sounds cast, or simply the emotive prowess of word and tone. Whatever the core potency, a mix of all most likely, the result is a captivating exploration which might not have you singing from the rooftops but will encourage a healthy word of mouth recommendation.

The August of 1998 saw Scotpop band Life With Nixon call it a day at Sleazy’s in Glasgow, a memorable show to round of successful adventure as a band. It has taken a fair while, but that foursome of Billy Nisbet (drums), David Mack (bass), and Ali (vocals) and Kenny Mathieson (guitar), have linked up with Andy Jeffries (piano) and returned as St. Christopher Medal. Drawing on loves and inspirations, the band has bred a sound fusing the rich essences of country rock, Americana, folk, and more, all woven into songs bred on reflection and observation, and a fair dose of personal experiences it is easy to suspect. With the first single, Vatersay Love Song, having whetted appetites the band’s debut album, Sunny Day Machine reveals more of the understated but potent depth to the band’s songwriting and sound. At times the release is a glorious arousal of the senses and imaginations, and in other times, a gentle coaxing but from its first breath to last, Sunny Day Machine just enthrals.

It opens up with the quickly beguiling Glori, its warm embrace and melodic caresses as inviting as the vocal and lyrical painting cast by the dry tones of Ali. Immersive and engaging, the song is a lively simmering graced by dazzling shades of keys and the magnetic enterprise of guitar, all merging in a sultry wash of country lined folk rock. It makes for a fascinating start to the album which continues with the tangy harmonic stroll of Vatersay Love Song and the slow dance of Leave The Boy Upstairs. Both songs take attention by the firm hand, the first with its Band of Holy Joy meets Flying Burrito Brothers croon and the second through a smoulder of keys and melodic expression cradling the increasingly potent gait of Ali’s voice. Fair to say though, they get quickly outshine by the album’s best track, Satchel Bag. The song is exceptional, an entwining of urban folk and sixties rock ’n’ roll; like Lennon and McCartney does Bob Dylan with a creative paint box provided by The Sums. More addictive with every listen, next single written all over the song, it offers yet another vibrant colour to the seriously appealing tapestry of the album.

Sunny Day Machine front cover_RingMaster Review   The pair of Great Lakes Morning and The Appin Indians takes the listener into the remote charms of inspiring landscapes and emotional reflections, each venturing through their own melody thick scenery of southern twang and personal exploration. Unlike their predecessor which leapt from the speakers, the tracks spread like mist, enveloping ears and consciousness to similarly strong success before From A Zafira Comfort raises the tempo again with its keen energy and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Though not necessarily in recognised sound, Sunny Day Machine is a blues album of sorts but bred from an ever evolving bloom of flavouring from across the past handful of decades.

Through the crystalline charm and fuzz toned temptation of Ernestine and the excellent electric shimmering of Days Like These, band and album continue to spark the imagination with new shades of adventure spawned in that core country/Americana breeding, whilst What She Said On The Street casts a pulsating serenade of emotion and sound. All three, and especially the second of the trio, make a compelling persuasion with We Are The Medal backing them up through a summery glide across a sultry terrain of resourceful musical and lyrical incitement.

Final track West is just one more slice of melodic charm and lyrical prowess confirming Sunny Day Machine as one fascinating and enjoyable proposition. For some it will light a major fire, with others offer something highly satisfying to occasionally embrace, but for all, St. Christopher Medal have created a release to warm the heart and spark the imagination; thus providing something easy to recommend.

Sunny Day Machine is out now via Stereogram Recordings via www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk/audio/sunny-day-machine-st-christopher-medal-cddl/

Upcoming Live dates (as part of The Stereogram Revue):

Wednesday 2nd December 2015 – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

Thursday 3rd December 2015 – The CCA, Glasgow

https://www.facebook.com/st.christophermedal

Pete RingMaster 06/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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