The Hillbilly Moon Explosion – With Monsters And Gods

THME_RingMasterReview

With a band like The Hillbilly Moon Explosion and a heavy clutch of ear thrilling and imagination gripping releases, it is hard to pick what might be the best. It is easy though to suggest that their new encounter, With Monsters And Gods is going to be right there as an option for most. The fourteen track stroll through their most eclectic and fascinating slices of rock ‘n’ roll yet is pure captivation. It stomps, it seduces, and rouses the spirit as it takes the listener on a magnetic escapade of creative fun, mischief, and imagination.

Returning to the local Swiss studio where they made their early rockabilly albums, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion have found a fresh edge and snap to their sound in whatever aspect it tempts from upon With Monsters and Gods. Vocalist/upright bassist and album producer Oliver Baroni recently said that the band wanted the album “to reflect the somewhat harder edge you get from the months on the road,” to create “a louder, more rock ’n’ roll album.” Fair to say they found success and more in an album which just seems to become more riveting and dynamic with every listen.

It opens up with the mesmeric In Space, a celestial romance of the senses with a disco beat and charm reminding a little of Blondie’s Autoamerican period. As exotic hues tease, the song evolves and blossoms into a sultry seduction with a persistence of nagging rhythms and surf rock scented melodic trails of guitar around Emanuela Hutter’s siren-esque tones. It is a hypnotic affair setting up ears and appetite for the adventure to come with Temptation next in line to live up to its title. Guest sax flames courtesy of Pete Thomas are soon licking at the imagination after an initial tenacious caress of guitar, their entrance lighting a lively stroll with celestial harmonies around the mariachi theatre provided by the horns of Calexico. As it swings and bounces, a ska bred flirtation adds to the persuasion too, just another twist and turn in the creative blaze of the anthemically outstanding and inventively cinematic track.

Depression throws the listener into a beefier rockabilly bred canter next; its riffs carrying a grouchy edge as Baroni’s bass and vocals swing with infectious enterprise. The scything beats of Sylvain Petite are just as catchy too, finding themselves bound in the spicily addictive grooves of guitarist Duncan James as the song provides a straight forward yet individual prime Hillbilly Moon Explosion stomp before letting Down On Your Knees gets in on the act of stirring up ears and appetite. A seriously catchy blaze of rock ‘n’ roll as potent in its mellow saunter as it is in its fiery roar, the song weaves a thrilling proposal with additional strands of seventies glam pop in its virulent rockabilly.

art_RingMasterReviewThe noir lit Midnight Blues brings some great sixties garage rock keys from Baroni into play next, that a decade equally referenced by Hutter’s glorious vocals and the harmonies swimming through the seductive air of the track. A blues hue coats the guitar solo at the heart of the seductive smoulder too, a tempting which never relaxes until it steps aside for the rockabilly saunter of Desperation where Hutter is again as magnetic as the contagious hooks and swinging rhythms.

If With Monsters And Gods stopped there, acclaim would be easily offered but things just continue to entice and spellbind as its title track creates a smooch with the senses and imagination. Country seeded essences mix with surf and again sixties nurtured serenading as orchestral and emotive drama ebbs and flows across the track’s bewitching landscape. There is a blues spicing hanging around too though it is a far thicker and a more vocal ingredient in the feisty stroll of Love You Better which follows. The track listing within the album is superbly thought out; small essences in one song being developed in the next while it in turn brews other hues to be explored in the next. As the blues textures are a fiery roar around the tones and piano of Baroni here, the slight discordance to its revelry is subsequently bred further within next up Black Ghost.

The song is the first of two almost expected and hoped encounters featuring Marky “Sparky” Phillips from Demented Are Go. Hutter’s tones glow and resonate within the sonic shimmer of the song while in the background Phillips prowls and vocally prods before bringing his great gravelly presence fully into the awaited duet between the two. Once they are aligned, honky tonk keys and a cowpunk swagger join the unpredictable and thrilling party; numerous other spices and textures also before many are brought to greater irresistible life in the quite brilliant Heartbreak Boogie. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers like in its blend of dark rock ‘n’ roll, jazz flirtation, and almost steampunk rebel rousing; the song is an electrified fence of creative devilry with further provocative sax tempting beside the mighty vocal union of Hutter and Baroni.

That Blondie essence returns in its successor, though unsurprising as it is a swiftly pleasing cover of the US band’s Call Me with a rockabilly slant The Hillbilly Moon Explosion style. It soon has the body bouncing as too the garage punk contagion of You Miss Something where again a host of flavours collude for a virulent hop fuelled with blues liquor and fifties punk ‘n’ roll merriment.

The second song with Phillips on board comes next; Jackson a great cover of the Johnny Cash and June Carter track. Converting some of the country character of the original to a ska/reggae carnival of sound with the smiling swing of keys and seductive flames of sax further temptation, the song just hits the spot as too the union of Phillips and Hutter.

Completed by the boisterous r&b toned Rose Outside, think Imelda May meets Ronnie Dawson as a hint of its galvanic sound, With Monsters And Gods is simply a riot of fun and bold incitement for the ears. As mentioned earlier, it is hard to pick the band’s best release to date, so many choice moments for fans to devour, but as we press play again, With Monsters And Gods has to be a strong contender, maybe the strongest.

With Monsters And Gods is released May 13th through Fredonia Entertainment in the UK via Amazon on CD and Vinyl and digitally through iTunes.

http://www.hillbillymoon.com/   https://www.facebook.com/hillbillymoonexplosion   https://twitter.com/TheRealHME

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Circle Of Reason – Faith Or Theory

COR_RingMasterReview

On the back of a collection of releases which have taken ears and enjoyment on an adventurous ride, anticipation for the debut album from British alternative rock band Circle Of Reason has been rife and ripe for quite a while. The wait is now almost over and a new creative escapade from the Southampton quartet waiting to be greedily devoured; a reaction hard to see Faith Or Theory missing out on.

Emerging in 2011, Circle Of Reason was soon stirring up their local scene before poking at broader recognition a year later with their excellent debut EP, A Favour For A Stranger. Led by outstanding single Silver Scene, the three-track introduction lit the ears and spirit whilst revealing the potential of bigger and bolder things to come. And so they did with a big leap in the These Hands & This Mind EP of 2013/14. With their music inspired by the likes of Mastodon, Deftones, Biffy Clyro, Muse, and Queens Of The Stone Age, the second EP showed the band developing their own distinct and eventful sound. There was a new imagination fuelled character to it without defusing the already established fire and creative enterprise in their sound and an increasingly renowned live presence seeing Circle Of Reason share stages with bands such as Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Neck Deep, Inme, Mallory Knox, Heck, Allusondrugs, Freeze The Atlantic, Breed 77, Zico Chain and many more over the years.

The past months has seen a slight line-up change and the creation of Faith Or Theory. It too is an open step on from past triumphs; bringing a bolder maturity and imaginative zeal with its fascinating body that demands attention. Opening with the band’s new upcoming video/single, Never Enough, the album has ears gripped within its first sound bulging seconds. Instantly a barrage of thumping beats and hungry riffs collude to envelop the senses, spicy grooves emerging from the inviting tempest to entice an already eager appetite. Straight away there is something unique to the band’s proposal from the start but also their recognisable hunger and energy to take ears on a new adventure.  As the song expands into a web of melodic enterprise and rhythmic tenacity, the tones of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman quickly hit the mark, reminding of his already established quality and emotive expression. The same applies throughout the band, in the evocative strains of Gary Slade’s guitar inventive bait and the growly hues of bass from its  newest member, he only going by the name of Rob so far, which add an almost bestial edge to the enjoyably raw air and roar of the track’s fiery escapade.

circle-of-reason_RingMasterReview The great start is soon eclipsed by Questions, it too holding a heavier and enjoyably intimidating essence to its virulent proposal. The versatile swinging beats of Andy Milwain leave no spot unmarked whilst the hooks of Osman and addictive grooves of Slade swiftly get under the skin with their melodic colour and varied flavouring. At times there is a touch of Reuben to the song, other moments of bands like Freeze The Atlantic, and persistently a tapestry of rock and alternative spicing keeping things inventively unpredictable whilst making it easy to be caught up in the contagion.

My Emergency steps up next with a less intrusive and imposing nature yet it too has a tempestuousness to its energy and emotion which intrigues as it whips up another increasingly robust and catchy affair. Backing harmonies court Osman’s ever impressing delivery whilst guitar and bass almost entwine like lovers in their infectious and dramatic endeavours around Milwain’s potently jabbing beats. Leaving body and spirit bouncing, the track makes way for Clarity. It also has a less forceful attitude to its persuasion but a host of ear seizing and imagination sparking twists and turns within its slowly and increasingly anthemic arousing of sound and pleasure cored by a rhythmic spine and nagging riffery which worms into the psyche.

Every song makes an immediate impact but maybe none as striking as In Other Words. It opens on a seductive and slightly melancholic melody with an almost theatrical feel to it; the coaxing continuing to keep ears hooked as the song opens up with voice and additional vines of poetic melodies matched in imagination by the evocative lures of bass. As it builds up in intensity, emotion, and creative fire, there is a definite Muse like quality to the song but only enough to add colour to the band’s own sonic and inventive drama.

The following Tie Up The Sky uncages its enthralling and volatile tempest from the first breath, again rhythms a prowling network of enticement within the sonic and melodic theatre captivating ears and thoughts around Osman’s plaintive and dynamic croon. Circle Of Reason has the great knack of being aggressive, almost fearsome at times, and ridiculously infectious and vibrantly inviting; this compelling offering epitomising that potent quality in rousing style.

Completed by latest video single Colours, a track which climbs over the senses and into the passion with exotically hued grooves and a thick drama of sound and emotional suggestiveness, Faith Or Theory rumbles and blazes with heart bred fervour amidst an invasive quality. It feels like the Circle Of Reason sound has come of age yet something still says there is plenty more yet to come, which can only be very good for the UK rock scene.

Faith Or Theory is released 27th May via Freefall Records.

https://www.facebook.com/circleofreason   https://twitter.com/Circleofreason

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Sonny Green – Grime Is Punk

Art_RingMasterReview

Grime Is Punk is the debut EP from Sonny Green, a young musical poet with a bite to his rap and honesty to his words. With grime bred sounds circling around him whilst carrying their own individual drama, it is a combination which just commands attention.

Aged 21, Green has made a potent introduction with his first EP, but it is just part of an emergence which began seven years ago when he was experimenting with music in his local Connexions youth centre on the Cluny Square estate in Southend. Casting lyrical challenges and insights exploring broad and personal social issues, he made When Words Fail Music Speaks, a 14-track mixtape selling over 10,000 copies which in turn secured Green a weekly residence at the renowned Dalston venue Passing Clouds. At 17, he “ditched his A-Levels and pitched up his tent outside St Paul’s Cathedral, to stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement, ensuring that the voice of his generation was not ignored,” that followed by a performance at The House of Commons where he shared the stage with Fatboy Slim as part of a concert organised in association with Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Charity.

Since then he has supported Asian Dub Foundation, who subsequently recruited him to join them live, played numerous shows across Europe and played support for the likes of Pete Doherty and Section Boyz among many. Released via Hostage Music, Grime Is Punk is the nudge on national attention with Green offering the potential that he could live up to the suggestion that he might become a “voice for the people, a person willing to stand up and speak about the issues surrounding them in the world they live in.”

His EP opens with Fuck Off, an uncompromising proposal in sound and word summed up by its title. Pulsating bass tones and surface splattering beats tempt ears first as fizzy keys bring their own portentous air. It is a low key yet potent canvas from which Green pounces on ears and imagination while inciting thoughts with his scything spits. The dark shadows of the sounds equally line his vocals and a varied delivery as much a highly agreeable essence as the imposing climate of the track.

New single Bars follows the great start, its air and nature immediately lighter but again open in its defiance rich attitude. The repetitive design of the sound surrounding the urban wordsmith, as in all songs, is an addictive nagging with extra spices of adventure to feast on alongside the enjoyable swing of Green’s vocals.

That catchiness is even more gripping in As Above So Below, its underlying almost mischievous melodic tempting colluding with the slim haunting of keys and a throbbing bassline which sizzles as it’s throatily entices. Musically, the track is almost cinematic and vocally a gripping incitement shaped by Green’s virulent delivery whilst its successor, Flashy, is a shimmering and snarling protagonist coming over like a raw mix of Honky and G.R.I.M.

Its compelling persuasion leads to closing track Hustle, a track which bounces on the ear and bringing feet to life as a sultry and exotic hue seduces through synths. The snap of beats is as biting as Green’s syllables and tone, the theatre of the bass just as compelling, and the lyrical shuffle a rousing spark for body and emotion.

It is hard to pick a best track though the closer is always there on the tongue. Fair to say from start to finish Grime Is Punk is a thoroughly enjoyable incitement for ears and thought;  a potent start recording wise from Sonny Green with bigger things easily foreseeable for and from him ahead.

The Grime Is Punk EP is released May 13th via Hostage Music on iTunes.

 https://www.facebook.com/Sonny-Green-aka-SGB-233648870029827   https://twitter.com/SonnyGreenUK

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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