Spaztic Robot – Skip Rope Rhymes

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On an empty sunny day in 1990, when I was nine years old, I saw two dead dogs. Each at opposite ends of the same street. One was big and brown, the other small and grey. Both greeted me with the exact same pitiful manner. Their sunburnt tongues bathing on the gravel gave the illusion of salmon rising from black tar rivers. As the odour began to rise with the dusty heat, I felt like I’d snorted fizzy pop. I chucked up. Through teary eyes I scanned the motionless street in which I stood. Nothing. Nothing but ugly new houses. Ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.

I wasn’t to know it at the time, but Spaztic Robot was born at that very moment. With no evidence offering itself to the mystery of the dead dogs, my nine year old self began to piece together his own chain of events…a different one lending itself to each house on the street. I was convinced that behind the bricks and mortar of one of these seemingly inconspicuous houses lay a dirty little secret.

Skip Rope Rhymes was created in the same vein. It’s a gathering of characters and stories. Characters and stories that could all easily exist, in one street, behind the closed doors of ugly new houses with identical square gardens laid out in front of them.”

This biography placed introduction to Spaztic Robot pretty such sums up the air and dark intensity which floods a myriad of sounds and imagination making up Skip Rope Rhymes, the band’s debut album. In a broad array of characters, songs offer shadowed adventures all equipped with intimate secrecy, like behind closed doors insights as dramatic and often cinematic as they are seriously captivating.

Spaztic Robot is the solo project of Robbie Sparks, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter of Stourbridge punksters Rebel City Radio. With the band taking a break from gigging and writing over the past year or so, Sparks has used the time to dive into the writing and creating of this his debut album. Recently released, Skip Rope Rhymes has taken little time in drawing eager praise. Its potent diversity means some tracks more forcibly connected with personal tastes than others but from start to finish it is one compelling exploration easy to hear why it has lured strong attention.

The album opens up with Robot Rape, metallic sounds immediately surrounding the senses as whispers in the dark outskirts of the piece share their paranoia. Samples and infectious rhythms soon join the enticement, varied vocal eruptions and a pulsating throb in tow as Sparks begin infesting the imagination in word, tone, and sound. It is an enthralling start which leads into the magnificent theatre of Walk The Long Way Home. Again bold ideas collude with a whiff of insanity as they lead the listener into a sinister noir lit drama of intent and emotion. Nagging and virulent in its catchiness, the track is like a bedlam bound Brian Brain (aka Martin Atkins of PIL, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke fame), a contagious infestation of ears and psyche from repetitious invention and nagging imagination. It is off kilter, bordering deranged, and inescapably irresistible as waves of intensity and psychosis engulf the listener.

The Ants! follows sharing everyday observation in alignment with broader dangers. It sweeps over the senses with again heavily pulsing rhythms and electronic shadows suggestively courting thoughts as much as the intimacy of the vocal and guitar melody. Its low key but involving presence makes way for the pop toned exploits of Confetti Crowns, a song which was one of those not quite igniting ears and imagination as much as those encounters around it. Musically and in songwriting, the song does little wrong yet feels like it is there to provide an accessible doorway and infectious invitation into the real and challenging heart of the album where for us the major excitements lie. Nevertheless, the song does please before the Aphex Twin meets The Cure like Ugly Flower and the scuzzy neurosis of Fingered At The Disco steal their share of attention. The first is a shadow thick serenade of sorts whilst its successor again has a tinge of Brian Brain alongside essences hinting at the likes of Fad Gadget, Pere Ubu, and Wire. It is a glorious and disturbing slice of rhythmic dementia and sonic aberration matched in creativity and emotion by Spark’s schizophrenic vocal delivery.

The melancholy soaked embrace Birth (Goodbye Roggar) offers a collage of flavours and samples next, reminding a touch of Cardiff producer Conformist as it flows like melodic mist through ears with whirls of creative and emotional disturbance interrupting its tempestuous calm while This Is God! induces smiles and glances over the shoulder as the introspective story of death bound life comes with the nag of throbbing rhythms, repetition fuelled melodic temptation, and the stable reflection of its provocateur. Another pinnacle of the release, the track bewitches before Sparks infests the classic (Don’t Fear) The Reaper with his own haunting and acoustic imagination to fine effect.

Skip Rope Rhymes concludes with firstly the creative delirium of At Daggers Drawn, a song which absorbs ears in its society bred dementia and finally the invasive yet solemnly beauteous darkness Extinction Song. Both tracks ignite ears and imagination while challenging each, a quality which infests and shapes the whole of Skip Rope Rhymes in varying ways.

Only listening to Skip Rope Rhymes does it true justice though words like ours, as with Confetti Crowns, hopefully become an enticement to want to leap into the dark and thrilling realms of Spaztic Robot; the rewards are swiftly evident for those that do.

Skip Rope Rhymes is out now across most online stores.

http://www.spazticrobot.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spazticrobot   https://twitter.com/robbiesparks

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Equine Size Comparison

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Last December saw British alternative rock quartet Hercules Morse impress and grab attention with the release of debut EP Edge Of Life. It was a vigorously infectious collection of songs seeded in the rousing rock ‘n’ roll of bands such as Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age. There was also an unmistakable individuality in sound and character of songwriting to the release which suggested the Southampton hailing band had something fresh to share with the British rock scene. Its successor Equine Size Comparison confirms that thought and more, offering five tracks which grab ears with their invention and again mercilessly catchy prowess. It continues from where its predecessor left off, inciting the listener in spirit and body while revelling in another step forward in the imagination of Hercules Morse.

With shows alongside the likes of Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Brant Bjork, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, and Dinosaur Pile Up under their belts since forming in 2014, Hercules Morse have earned the praise and support of various UK magazines, music sites, and radio shows through their energetic live presence and that impressive first EP. As the quintet of virulence posing as songs grips ears here, it is easy to expect the same kind reactions for Equine Size Comparison but in greater eagerness and across broader spotlights.

As with previous songs, the new EP mixes the familiar with new imagination resulting in encounters which instantly feel like existing friends while venturing into fresh pastures. It all starts with Asleep At The Wheel, a proposition entangling ears in bluesy grooves and swinging rhythms from its first breath. Riffs and hooks are as quickly in the mix, all inviting the listener to take notice as melodies and the potent vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George stroll the weave of persuasion. The growl from the bass of Paul Shott colludes devilishly with the scything swings of drummer Guillaume Redonnet-Brown, both driving the energy and heart of the song as lead guitarist Harry Gardner spins imaginative melodies while vocally backing George.

hercules_morse_-_cover_artwork-jpg_RingMasterReviewIt a powerfully infectious and anthemic start which simply continues through The Boss, a song with as many similar lures to its body as new twists and turns to get the teeth into. There is a swagger to the track which borders mischievous, rhythms at the core as it flirts and the band roars musically and vocally. As with the last EP, there is no escaping Josh Homme/ Dave Grohl led influences across Equine Size Comparison and especially this second song though at times it equally reminds of nineties UK band Skyscraper while simultaneously exploring its own adventure.

Nobody’s Fool has a slightly mellower energy though rhythmically it still has a bite and imposing charm driven by the naturally infectious craft of the band. Caressing ears with its lively melodic enterprise, the track easily captivates, if without sparking the spirit as mightily as those around it, before Do It Right strolls in on a dark almost predacious bassline aligned to matching riffs. In no time though, the band uncages another virulent saunter; hooks and grooves equipped to seduce and rhythms loaded with fiercely enticing bait as vocals swing from lure to lure with matching energy and character. Rock ‘n roll does not get much more contagious than this song and indeed the EP in general as proven by its final treat.

Offering an opening prowl of riffs and tempestuous eruptions reminding of Billy Talent, Chemical Lullabies proceeds to blend its own calmer melodic moments with fiery exploits; the Canadian band continuing to be a suitable reference to a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly gripping proposition. It is a mighty end to a powerfully engaging and enjoyable next step from Hercules Morse, a band heading in the right direction to awakening the hungriest spotlights.

Equine Size Comparison is out now @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/equine-size-comparison

http://herculesmorse.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/herculesmorseuk   https://twitter.com/herculesmorseuk

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Greyhaven – State Of Mind

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Finding an inventive and commanding middle ground between the raw intensity of metal and the anthemic infectiousness of alternative rock with a firm dash of post hardcore involved, British quintet Greyhaven recently uncaged their new EP State Of Mind. It is an encounter which roars and serenades ears and imagination in equal measure; bullying and seducing the senses with seven explosive and imposingly compelling proposals.

London based, Greyhaven formed early 2015 and soon earned a potent reputation for a live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Create To Inspire, Idols Of Apathy, Vera Grace, and The Afterparty. Their first year also the release of debut EP The Flood, a well-received introduction which solidly set the band out as one to watch. State Of Mind suggests much more as it reveals Greyhaven taking new strides in songwriting and sound with riveting results.

Recorded with Dan Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), State Of Mind is a tempest of anthemic intensity and sound aligned to mellower moments of melodic intimacy. From opening suggestive instrumental Sinners a sense of creative and emotive drama blossoms in ears, the track growing in predacious shadows and poetic charm before it eventually drifts into the waiting jaws and rousing tempestuousness of Hexes. As guitarists Alex Hills and Jim White weave a tapestry of descriptive riffs and melodic tendrils in tandem with similarly potent keys, the raw throated growl of bassist Edd Kerton explodes to be subsequently replaced by the impressive clean and emotive tones of vocalist Sam Paterson. Tapestry is the best word for the song, so many elements across the band bred with imagination and interwoven in a proposal which never stops revealing new essences and shades of tone in every listen.

greyhaven_cover_artworkCopyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrightIt is a craft and prowess which applies to all songs within the release to be fair, the following Darkest Hour swift confirmation as a great growling bassline from Kerton and the merciless swings of drummer Connor Tate link up with the harmonious delivery of Paterson and the emotive melodies which embrace ears. A fiery solo only adds to the imposing yet captivating drama shaping the song, again each minute a cauldron of enterprise breeding new adventures with every encounter.

There are familiar elements to the Greyhaven sound which suggest inspirations from the likes of Architects and Alexisonfire, and maybe are most openly apparent within the excellent On & On, though they are spices quickly engulfed in the band’s own eager imagination. The source of the band’s new video, the track leaps around and burns like a sonic fire, the guitars licking at the senses with melodic heat as rhythms crackle at the core amidst vocally coloured flames.

From one powerful persuasion to another as the highly infectious Our Stand steps forward next, its proposal bruising and magnetic as Paterson shines within another storm of metallic predation and emotionally inflamed contagion as savage as it is rousing as it is pop lined infectious. That lighter air also frequents successor Brother, though again Greyhaven infuse it into a creative and musical ferocity which almost venomously snarls. The song adds another shade to the sound and songwriting of the band, its catchiness an inescapable lure perfectly courted by a barbarous intent headed by Kerton’s toxically grouchy growls.

Closed by a thoroughly enjoyable acoustic version of The Flood, the title track of that first EP, State Of Mind proves and further suggests that Greyhaven is heading towards becoming a potent part of the British heavy rock scene. Already they have provided two releases no one should ignore.

State Of Mind is out now via Outsider Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/greyhavenuk    https://twitter.com/greyhavenuk    https://www.instagram.com/greyhavenuk/

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Of Kings and Captains – Jack My Boy

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Ahead of their new EP Give ’em Hell Son, British pop rockers Of Kings and Captains have released new single Jack My Boy, a mercilessly infectious slice of robust rock ‘n’ roll lying somewhere between The Pirates, Eddie and the Hot Rods, and The Wildhearts. It is hard to imagine that the Black Country hailing band could have found a more rousing teaser for their new EP, the new single taken from it one of those proposals which instinctively grips ears, voice, and bodies easily enlisting their eager involvement in short time.

Stourbridge bred, Of Kings and Captains released their debut album in 2015 to eager reactions; its success backed up by a potent live reputation which has seen the band share stages with the likes of McFly and Kids in Glass Houses among many and recently undertake a five date stadium tour with Bon Jovi. The foursome of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Luke Wassell, lead guitarist Joshua Lomas, bassist Dean Greatbatch, and drummer Kieran Lock linked up with producer Gavin Monaghan (The Twang, Editors, Niplozi) and Joseph Murray for Give ’em Hell Son and if Jack My Boy is anything to go by, with thrilling success.

A song according to Wassell which is “…about self-confidence and defying people who doubt you! it’s all about sticking to your guns and being yourself regardless of how people might put you down. It’s about being individual and kicking back against the norm“, Jack My Boy has all attention leaning its way from the initial lure of drum enticement. Lock’s magnetic rhythms are quickly joined by an anthemic bassline and eager twang loaded riffs, they in turn turning to an array of fifties seeded hooks as Wassell’s tones whips up even more infectious bait to the already catchy encounter. From there the track continues to lead the listener, drawing them towards seriously virulent choruses, they irresistible peaks in one, from start to finish, spirit arousing stomp.

It takes just one listen to be firmly involved in the song with every encounter after drawing keen and full participation. If Jack My Body is a sign of things to come with Give ’em Hell Son, the EP is a must.

Jack My Boy is out now with the Give ’em Hell Son EP available for download from all good digital retailers September 9th.

Upcoming Gig Dates:

Sept 9th – Katie Fitzgerald’s – Stourbridge (Acoustic Show)

Sept 29th – RiverRooms – Stourbridge

Sept 30th – The Shed – Leicester

Oct 15th Wulfrun Hall ­‐ Wolverhampton

https://www.facebook.com/ofkingsandcaptains   http://ofkingsandcaptains.com/   https://twitter.com/ofkingsandcaps

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright