Headsticks – Feather and Flame

Headsticks_RingMasterReview

Whichever angle you come at Feather and Flame, the new album from UK quartet Headsticks, it is a seriously rousing incitement. Offering eleven diverse and eventful slices bred in the band’s fusion of folk and punk rock, the release gets the body bouncing, thoughts sparking, and the spirit racing. The breeding of serious pleasure is not low on successes triggered either as Feather and Flame not only reinforces the reputation already earned by the band but confirms Headsticks as one of Britain’s most irresistible and essential punk ‘n’ roll adventures.

Formed late 2012 by former members of bands like Tower Struck Down, Jugopunch, and The Clay Faces, the Stoke on Trent hailing Headsticks quickly whipped up potent interest in their sound with a debut three-track E.P in 2013. Their live presence was just as rapid in stirring up of support and fans, the band over time playing shows across the UK as well as numerous festivals whilst sharing stages with a host of well-regarded names in both the folk and punk/alternative genres. The summer of 2014 saw the release of first album Muster, a proposition highly acclaimed by fan and media alike and again backed by the band’s persistent live hunger. Now it is Feather and Flame seriously stirring up ears and attention with its socially and politically charged and challenging songs fuelled by a delicious diversity of sound and dramatic adventure.

The album hits the ground running from its first second, jangling chords and beef rhythms grabbing ears as opener What Do You Want leaps into view. Vocalist Andrew Tranter quickly has the imagination hooked as he lyrically opens up an insight into the lives of the working man and the importance of and habit for things that possibly warrant neither. It is a provocative and swiftly contagious encounter, at times a thumping canter of sound and energy with moments of sweltering funk spice which only adds to its virulent drama.

featherandflame_RingMasterReviewThe thrilling anthemic start gets swiftly matched by the evocatively aired Cold Grey English Skies. Here the rhythms of bassist Nick Bayes and drummer Tom Carter hold a touch more reserve in their framing of a similarly reined urgency shared by Steven Dunn’s guitar, but all easily cast a catchiness which has hips swaying to their movement and the descriptive prowess of Tranter. With a gloriously melodic and addictive chorus, the song has a rich hint of Flogging Molly meets Violent Femmes meets Fatima Mansions to it, further flavouring to seduce ears and appetite before Go Move Shift uncages its own individual virulence. Straight away the song infuses country-esque revelry to its quickly tenacious folk honed rock ‘n’ roll, this time around thoughts picking out Midnight Oil as a hint to the hues working away within another forcibly persuasive track. The flavouring is just another example of the great variety within the album already showing its bold face across the first trio of treats.

The excellent Old Folk Songs has feet and voice soon involved with its punchy mix of folk and punk; a blending of sound around honest appraisal in some ways carrying a scent of Paranoid Visions to it whilst its successor Foxford Town brings a Pogues like lilt to its just as inescapable infectiousness and enthralling drama. Again an array of rock strains collude to create an emotive weave of sound around similarly nurtured syllables and once more Headsticks sculpt a chorus which demands eager participation. Tranter’s harmonica charms bring further colour to the proposal as they do in the traditional folk seeded Mississippi’s Burning where, as you might expect, bodies are induced to bounce and voices inspired to call out along with the band’s rousing croon.

Pay the Price matches it in persuasion and core sound, and subsequently success whilst Tomorrow’s History offers a more rugged affair with its anthemic arousal. The first of the two is an easy coaxing with its successor adding more boisterous attitude and energy to a shared quality of temptation, it bringing a tinge of bands like The Tossers into play before the compelling Every Single Day flirts with fifties rock ‘n’ roll for its power pop/folk punk romp. All three tracks leave the breath short and an appetite for more, greedier; that want more than fed by the outstanding Burn the Sun which follows. Creating a shuffle soaked in sultry seventies funk devilry and seventies new wave devilry, the track swings and flirts like a unique mix of King Trigger and New Model Army.

The album closes with the acoustic tempting and open heart of Falling Out of Love Song, a final folk caress to hungrily embrace before pressing play on Feather and Flame all over again. The album has that addictive quality, one listen leads to another or more almost every time whilst Headsticks is a band for punks, folksters, and rock ‘n’ rollers alike; for anyone who likes being aroused and provoked in equal measure by music that just gets under the skin.

Feather and Flame is out now across most online stores and @ http://www.headsticks.co.uk/shop.html

http://www.headsticks.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/headsticksmusic   https://twitter.com/HeadsticksMusic

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Inishmore –The Lemming Project

Inishmore_Band_RingMasterReview

Power metal with plenty of flavoursome extras, the Inishmore sound is an adventurous proposition which is a mix of great unpredictability and more expected genre prowess. The blend as evidenced by the Swiss band’s latest album, The Lemming Project, is a fiercely engaging and increasingly potent proposal which might not always be soaked in major originality but always provides something fresh to contemplate and generally breed a healthy appetite for.

Hailing from Baden, Inishmore emerged in 1997, formed by guitarist Fabian Niggemeier and keyboardist Pascal Gysi. The band released their debut album in 2000; The Final Dance being swiftly followed a year later by Theatre of My Life. Third album Three Colours Black emerged in 2004 to keenly praising responses before the band broke up in 2009. Two years later it arose again, Niggemeier and Gysi joined by another original member in bassist Daniel Novosel. Quickly friend and drummer Alex Ortega linked up with the trio before subsequently guitarist Jarek Adamowski and Andrea Schmid completed the line-up by early 2011; the latter leaving two years later, with Michela Parata coming in. 2014 saw Inishmore enter the studio to work on fourth album The Lemming Project with produced Dennis Ward. It was self-released in 2015 to fan acclaim, a success leading to the band signing with Dark Wings and its global release this year.

Inishmore_The-Lemming-Project_RingMasterReviewThe album opens with Cup of Lies and immediately lays a tide of eager steely riffs upon ears quickly joined by heftily jabbing beats. In no time the song opens up melodic and fiery arms led by the instantly impressing tones of Parata, she in turn backed as enjoyably by backing vocals. With increasingly dramatic melodies and enterprise aligning with the rapier like swings of Ortega and the increasingly alluring vocals, it is a great start to the album if not one stirring up major surprises or turning heads.

That moment is given to the following Merciful, a less urgent and intensity fuelled track but one soon showing a broader menu of flavours and styles as keys caress vocals and a brooding bassline courts the sonic intrigue of the guitars. Between them Niggemeier and Adamowski lay a tapestry of warm and dark textures linking the contrasts of melodies and rhythms as a theatre of expression and delivery fuels the excellent vocals. The song has ears and imagination tightly held throughout, passing them on to the equally fascinating Better off Dead. A tenacious roar from its first second which is centred on an initial surge of riffs, the song proceeds to rhythmically growl and sonically sizzle as the dynamic vocal spirit and energy of Parata alone fills its body.

A delicious folk flavouring hits Finally a Love Song next, the excellent encounter opening with an acoustic stroll and that folkish scent before bursting into a hungrily feisty canter of riffs and swinging hooks that in turn slips into a melodic romancing and then out again. The track is glorious, one of the most memorable and thrilling moments within The Lemming Project showing the unpredictable diversity and refreshing imagination in the band’s songwriting and creative adventure.

Across Part of the Game and Manifest, band and album continue to enthral and thickly pleasure. The first is a grouchy flame of varied metallic and melodic textures within its power metal tempest, vocals again as varied and tempting as the thickly anthemic wall of sound and spices. Its successor relaxes in intensity a touch, though it too weaves an ear seducing proposition of light and dark textures led by the warm keys of Gysi and the predacious tones of Novosel’s bass. Though not as striking as its predecessor, the song offers a fine line in imagination too which is hard to resist and easy to greedily devour, a quality also soaking Eternal Wanderer. It is another song which opens with a not unfamiliar presence, at times especially reminding of Danish band Forever Still, but with the vocals steering the robust ship of tempestuous energy and diverse textures, the track soon has the body swinging and appetite hooked on its infectious incitement.

The outstanding Red Lake revels in thicker electronic ingenuity for its climactic and riveting theatre whilst the melodic hug of Where Lonely Shadows Walk seduces with another seemingly familiar air to one mesmeric croon. It is a recognisable essence soon forgotten though as violins and keys embrace magnetic vocals and harmonies before brewing up a volcanic roar of sound and emotion. The song is another pinnacle and just as enjoyable in its acoustic version which completes the album after the intoxicating creative tempest of its title track. At almost thirteen minutes long, it is a kaleidoscope of sound and styles which simply leaps through new twists and thrilling turns without a hint of what is to come minute by minute. Its busy adventure simply makes its length slip by, the track emerging as our favourite whilst providing a great end to The Lemming Project with that acoustic offering a last kiss on the ear.

Whether The Lemming Project is as bold as it might have been so it could truly stand out in the metal world can be debated but few power metal offerings have been as enjoyable and greedily taken to ears in recent times than Inishmore’s excellent rousing of the spirit.

The Lemming Project is out now via Dark Wings through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 11/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Life’s December – Colder

Lifes-December_RingMasterReview

It is probably apt with it being called Colder, that ears feel like they are amidst an unstoppable sonic avalanche listening to the new album from Swiss metallers Life’s December. It is a proposal which devours and obliterates the senses, leaving them bare to the emotional trespass and creative enmity which fuels the band’s raw deathcore tempest. It is a punishing proposal even more intimidating with the band’s embracing of djent bred animosity within their sonic savaging but equally a release which given time makes an increasingly compelling persuasion on the imagination.

Hailing from St. Gallen, Life’s December consists of vocalist Rico Bamert, guitarists Dave Mühlethaler and Valens Wullschleger, drummer Jérémie Gonzalez, and bassist Simon Mäder, a quintet which quickly has the imagination involved with album opener Final Speech. It is a scene setting, sonic landscape laying introduction with a portentous narrative being embraced by sonic mist before breeding a moment of predatory ferocity in vocal and sound. Instantly showing the band’s penchant for djent and down-tempo trespasses within a deathcore shaped animus, the track leads the listener into the initially subdued but soon ravenous jaws of Lest I Forget. Quickly in full venomous prowl, the track entwines corrosive riffs and toxic grooves, immersing them in a death charged tempest of sound and emotion driven by guttural vocals and a web of guitar and bass hostility. All the while though, an underlying sonic intrigue and adventure lurks, never quite breaking from the storm but persistently flirting and coaxing closer attention to match the lure of the vocal variety which also emerges.

Lifes-December-Colder_RingMasterReviewIt is hard to say that Life’s December is yet offering anything boldly new in sound but from this song alone there is plenty of fresh resourcefulness to get the teeth and appetite seriously into; a potent and dynamic persuasion which continues with Memories and World Of Blame. The first gets right under the skin in no time with its steely grooves and grouchy riffs. Once in control it then uncages a rapacious torrent of melodic intrusions and rhythmic rancor which in turn is soon involved in a net of more welcoming and emotively lively exploits. Across the song, the band seamlessly slips into mellower or more cancerous endeavours, contrasts and extremes skilfully woven together to create one of the more dramatically unique and memorable passages within the album. In comparison, its successor is a carnal tempest of noise and spite; a fall into sonic causticity and vocal ire which without matching up to its predecessors still has ears fully engaged especially as it expands its stark and increasingly cancerous landscape of sound and emotion.

The brief melodic seducing of Interludium allows a moment to reflect and engage with calmer essences within the band’s imagination before Snow Falls Silently envelops the listener in sonic and emotional confrontation. Once more, there is no major moment of uniqueness involved with the track but its virulent tide of riffs and invasive grooves grip attention, success whipped up further by the throat shredding vocals and their pungent intent and variety.

The austere yet intimately melancholic landscape of My Existence is revealed next, a passage of sound and emotion littered with melodic lures and primal eruptions within a chilled and ravaged ambience. From there, the album’s title track explores similarly evocative scenery of thought and tone but within a far more grievous soul sucking doom soaked climate equipped with rabid assaults of raw guitar and biting rhythms perpetually accentuated by the bone shuddering resonance of the bass. With mouth-watering spirals of sonic toxicity veining its body too, the song hits the spot whilst numbing the senses before the instrumental Hero Missing brings the album to a sombre close with, in many ways, its most disturbing emotional moment, certainly its most haunting.

There are moments within Colder that truly ignite a greedy appetite and other times where fascination takes over; successes which together ensures Life’s December, a band with striking potential, is worthy of proper attention as equally its re-release through Dark Wings.

Colder is out now via Dark Wings across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 11/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Maths and the Moon – Futurist

Maths and the Moon _RingMasterReview

It is hard to believe that it was two and a half years ago that our ears were first bewitched by Maths and the Moon and their debut album Night Train Daydream. The fact that the album is still a potent part of our playlists obviously has made it seem like it was many less moons ago that it first arrived in ears and imagination. Now the band has some new proposals to tempt with. There is a new album about to be uncaged and ahead of it already stirring up ears and attention is its first taster in the shape of Futurist. A free to download single, the track is a smouldering slice of alternative and indie rock embracing the psych rock essences which the band is primarily renowned for. It is a new direction for the British trio and on first touch, another fascinating one.

Hailing from Southampton, Maths and the Moon consists of vocalist/guitarist Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst. They formed the band in 2009, making their live debut alongside legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki the following year. As mentioned, their sounds and subsequent debut album Night Train Daydream fused experimental and psych rock imagination with at times a just as potent tinge of post punk. It was an imaginatively hued and transfixing adventure which even in its different character, Futurist suggests the new album has the potential to emulate.

The single certainly makes a forceful entrance, a thick rumble of bass and meaty swings hitting ears as guitars magnetically jangle. Things do relax a fair touch as Fielder’s mellow and expressive tones step forward surrounded by sultry melodies, though there is a volatile air lurking around its lure which erupts in imposing kind again as the start of the song re-establishes its potent presence. That cycle continues across the song, with Hirst’s bass especially throaty and addictive as its contrasts the smouldering harmonies and an eventful blaze of melodic flames.

Atmospherically spicy too, the song has an additional Muse-esque essence to its fire which also does it no harm. It is only one song of course so too early to make any statements about new album Familiar Strange but anticipation has already gained a tingle or two thanks to Futurist.

Futurist is available to download for free @ https://mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com/track/futurist

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Pete RingMaster 11/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hardactors – It’s My Life

Hardactors Bridge ORIGINAL_RingMasterReview

Hardactors is a British band creating what they call “Picturesque Pop”. Recently the project released new single It’s My Life, a song which springs from a truly irresistible start into a captivating flirtation of ears and imagination.

The band is the project of Suffolk hailing singer /songwriter / musician Joe Bailey. Last year he released Bloom, a debut release which, with its Ltd Edition physical release alongside its download, was keenly received and praised. Recently its successor was unveiled in the shape of It’s My Life, an EP/ track written as a tribute to eighties band Talk Talk. Without knowing that, the older UK band certainly comes to mind as the single caresses and infects ears but equally for an open homage, it has plenty of its own character to firmly embrace.

The opening lure of bulbous rhythms and soon after a throbbing bassline aligned to throaty guitar strings seduces attention and imagination alone, remaining a pungent attraction as lighter melodies and the warm tones of Bailey join the tempting. Once into its resourceful stroll, the song ambles along with a smile on its creative face and engaging warmth to its eighties seeded body, all the while that initial addictive lure still nagging and further stirring up an already eager appetite for the song.

Unsurprisingly, the track’s air is strongly familiar, given its inspiration, but a scent which only adds to four highly enjoyable minutes that provides a thoroughly pleasing proposal each and every time. The single, as mentioned, is also the title track to an EP completed by the captivating tracks Such A Shame and Dum Dum Girl, with all now available via iTunes and other stores.

http://hardactors.com   http://facebook.com/hardactors   http://twitter.com/hardactors

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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