Yorkshire Rats – Self Titled EP

It is fair to say that since returning from an extended hiatus, UK punks Yorkshire Rats have blossomed into one persistently rousing and creatively tenacious proposition. It is not as if their early years were barren from success and plaudits let alone ear exciting sounds but as their new self-titled EP shows, maturity and a new creative drive has seen them become one of the essential melodic punk encounters on the British if not global scene.

Formed in Pontefract by vocalist/guitarist Don Mercy (ex-Abrasive Wheels, ex-Billy No Mates) in 2004, Yorkshire Rats released a well received 7” and EP in their two years capped by supporting Rancid in 2006. Then the band took that hiatus before returning around a decade after first stepping forward and subsequently released their swiftly acclaimed debut album, Sea of Souls in 2015 via Indelirium Records. It was a release embracing the band’s earlier sound whilst welcoming a broader punk canvas and that new energy, all subsequently pushed again by the Trouble City EP last year and now their new four track offering.

Again the new release sees the band drawing on the seeds of punk rock across the decades and from both sides of the North Atlantic, infusing all into their own individual hook strapped, melody shaped songs. The EP opens up with the irresistible Alone Together, a track “all about the strains of relationships whether that be romantic or political.” It opens up with a delicious old school hook, raw bait surely nurtured from a Ramones/Stiff Little Fingers like inspiration. Soon rhythms are jabbing at the persistent lure, in turn the potent vocals of Mercy flirting with ears and matching the infectious strength of the sounds around him. The melodic boisterousness and craft of lead guitarist Matt Lee only adds richer colour to a song already gripping the imagination and body with its chopping riffs and rousing rhythms.

The following Where Do I Sign? brings a more US styled stroll to ears; its lively body and melodic enterprise akin to Green Day though soon developing its own unique character as the firm beats of drummer Chris Furness and the dark swing of Josh Clarke’s bass unite with the fiery veins infused by Lee. Though slightly more restrained in energy compared to its predecessor it is an equal in catchiness and uncaging lusty hooks as too next up No Way Out. There is more of a Social Distortion spicing to the third track, it again a bold and flirtatious proposal with an addictive chorus impossible to resist. With a bassline to drool over and an enslaving sing-a-long vocal temptation further in, the song hits the spot dead centre.

Final track, Better Days Will Come, is an energetic croon with a Joe Jackson like riff and Elvis Costello scented melodic suggestiveness, all wrapped up in Yorkshire Rats creative theatre. It is a fine end to an outstanding release with Mercy a vocal magnet even as hooks and melodies intensify their weight and  temptation.

The EP is the most rounded and relentlessly contagious offering from Yorkshire Rats yet, its songs relishing the inevitable increase in as suggested songwriting maturity and individual let alone united craft. A must have for melodic punk fans? We think so!

The Yorkshire Rats EP is out now on Northern Ruff Records @ http://yorkshirerats.com/store/ and other online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Summoned – Sessions

“Sessions is a concept album about a man who wakes up from a coma and is sent straight into a psychiatric hospital where he begins a series of tests against his will. In the process he meets a doctor who remains with him every step of the way. During these sessions, with the guidance of the doctor, he is transported into the outer reaches of his own mind to confront the insecurities and demons that plague him.”

Resembling the premise behind the new album from ferocious US technical metallers The Summoned is the listening experience of Sessions. The nine track exploration is a kaleidoscope of sound and technical craft which barely gives a moment for a breath within its often infernal tempest taking the listener into the darkest, deepest recesses of their psyche. It is a demanding and intensive journey across story and album but ultimately one seriously rewarding one.

Formed in 2007 and drawing on the inspiration of bands such as Death, Between The Buried And Me, Decapitated, The Faceless, Behemoth, The Dillinger Escape Plan and others, the Boston, Massachusetts hailing quartet pretty soon revealed their own individual character of sound. Since then they have relentlessly pushed theirs and in turn metal’s assumed boundaries to find a strain of uniqueness really having its head in the band’s latest encounter.  After the Harvest EP in their first year, the 2011 released debut album If Only Minds Could Paint Pictures garnered a wealth of critical acclaim, its success supported and followed by the band successfully undertaking a 23-day headline tour spanning the U.S. and Canada as well as being part of 2012 Summer Slaughter Tour with Cannibal Corpse, Between The Buried and Me, The Faceless and more. From the winter of 2013, The Summoned began working on their second album, entering the studio with long-time friend Evan Sammons of Last Chance To Reason to begin the recording process. The next three years were concentrated on the creation of Sessions, time and intensive attention showing all its qualities in a release even more enthralling as well as bolder and more accomplished, technically and emotionally, than its impressive predecessor.

Within seconds, opener The Pendulum Swing has the senses twisted and imagination askew, the guitars of Shaun Murphy and Jarred Sullivan spinning a web of disorientating metal aligned to post punk discordance as bass and drums grumble and impose their psychosis. Vocalist Stephen Thompson supported by the equally rawer tones of Murphy, is a venomous scourge, words and emotions a primal yet composed assault as blurry as precise in their invasively relentless suggestiveness.  The determined, unyielding nagging is a constant across sound and album, every aspect and texture a ruthless persistence in its moment within a just as eagerly evolving unpredictable tapestry.

The track is an absorbing, thrilling start; a rabid introduction but eclipsed in ferocity by the following Faradic. As the rhythms of drummer Sam Hang ravage the senses yet still manage to be an anthemic enticement, guitars dance provocatively and psychotically on the imagination. Flavours and styles proceed to flicker with enthusiastic dexterity and boldness across the song, jazzy and progressive turns colluding with extreme and technical metal tenacity as vocals flow with a toxic essence. As in the first and next up Fractal Patterns, there is a real virulence to everything too; an infectiousness veining every fury and creative twist with the third track a debilitating but equally magnetic carousel of sound and invention. Melodies spawn from ravenous hostility, deranged trespasses from atmospheric caresses; every second a cauldron of intrigue and harsh drama.

Through the possibly even more primal and savage The Grave Mistake and the dark climate of Built of Glass there is no lessening of the resolute examination of senses and imagination; both tracks a flight of startling adventure and striking craft with the first a spiral into disturbing calm from cyclonic agitation, and back again, while the second aligns melancholy and sonic savagery within its dramatic almost cinematic theatre.

Both Vertiginous with its whirling melodies and rotating spine of far more carnal strains and the unbridled ferocity of the equally multi-flavoured Primogenial Birth keep ears and imagination gripped and consumed, the latter at times as primal as it is in other moments elegant and jazzily bewitching. Again neither leave a second free for the body to relax or expectations to try and rear their head, Recollection similarly a storm of sonic transgression and off-kilter progressive enterprise which, as all tracks, really is impossible to truly represent in word and suggestion.

Closing up with the initially melodically charming, hope embraced Satori, the album is simply one uncompromisingly compelling proposition. Shadows soon crowd and invade the listener as the final track hits its creatively hungry stride; pretty much epitomising the whole of Sessions with its capricious yet intensely woven and nurtured web.

Certainly Sessions is an imposing listen to match its presence and hard to take all in over a few let alone a single listen but rewards with every quest taken. Equally at times due to Thompson’s fine but exacting raw delivery lyrically the album shares moments lyrically which remain a mystery in the tale but are potently compensated by the clear emotion of the sounds and his presence; in saying that though a thicker use of the clean touches provided by Murphy within both Fractal Patterns and Built of Glass would make for another intriguing dynamic ahead. Nothing though defuses the potency and pleasure of sharing time with the album, or the calm to contemplate after its outstanding tempest.

Sessions is out now @ http://store.thesummoned.com/album/sessions

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

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Moods – Joy

A spark for body and thoughts alike, Joy is the magnetic new single from UK outfit The Moods. Creating a fusion of electro pop, hip-hop, and reggae with plenty more besides, the Manchester 9-piece write songs the body just wants to dance to, as proven again by Joy, but equally propositions unafraid to look at and challenge personal, social, and world issues with a lyrical smart just as potent as the sounds around the words. September sees the release of The Moods’ album, Missing Peace and fair to say that their new single offers plenty of reasons to think about giving it attention.

Emerging from a musical experiment in North Manchester’s Boomshack Studios in early 2014, The Moods swiftly earned eager support from fans and local radio stations as well as the praise offering attention of journalists like John Robb and Terry Christian. 2016 was a strong year for the band, its finale seeing sell-out gigs in London, Glasgow and Manchester while two of their tracks are set to feature in the soundtrack of new UK film Strangeways Here We Come starring Michelle Keegan, Elaine Cassidy, Lauren Socha, and Nina Wadia. With plenty of shows lined-up before and after that eagerly anticipated album, this year is set to be even bigger with Joy sure to be a strong spark in its success.

The track slips in on a flirtatious wave of melodies and skittish rhythms as harmonies float in the background. That harmonious enticement is soon fuelling the instantly captivating vocals, a lure matched by the gentle caress of keys and the rousing throb of the bass. Across its whole electro/reggae nurtured length, the song never truly breaks from a lively simmer yet is as infectious as any full-blooded anthem, its energetic calm allowing vocals and words to be absorbed as hips swing and feet flit across the floor.

There are songs which instinctively just do all the right things whilst bringing a fresh air and adventure to the imagination. Joy is such an encounter, and a teaser easy to hope and expect will be emulated often within The Moods’ upcoming full-length.

Joy is released June 23rd through A1M Records.

Upcoming UK Tour Dates

JUNE

24th – Bolton – Blind Tiger

29th – Sheffield – West Street live

30TH – Preston – Roper Hall

JULY

7th – London – Dublin Castle

15th – Liverpool – Zanzibar

21st-23rd- East Lothian – Audio soup Festival

AUGUST

5th-6th – Scunthorpe – Party in the pines festival

SEPTEMBER

8th – Manchester – O2 Ritz – (Album launch party)

15th -17th – Buxworth – Rec Rock festival

https://www.facebook.com/themoodsmanc/    https://twitter.com/themoodsmanc

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Andreas S Jensen – Trust is My Anchor

With a new album due to drop this coming September, musician/songwriter/producer Andreas S Jensen releases new single Trust is My Anchor this month, a song which alone sparks plenty of intrigue for what the upcoming Disturbed might offer.

Moving to London from his native Denmark in 1998, Jensen first started working as a session player with the band Dweeb before concentrating on writing and production and signing a publishing and management deal with Wise Buddah Music. As part of writing team The Funktuary, he co-wrote and helped put together the radio edit/remix of Armand Van Heldens club classic My My My before the team released their own well-received EP. From there he joined Dub Pistols, who he still gigs with, and released a debut solo EP in the shape of Disconnected in 2014 and over the years has worked in various ways with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Nate James, Stefanie Heinzmann, Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot, and Loick Essien among numerous others.

Jensen’s own music draws on the inspirations of artists such as David Bowie, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Elliot Smith, and The Zombies; essences you can feel more than hear within Trust is My Anchor. A fusion of melodic rock and pop balladry, the song caresses ears initially with a single guitar alongside Jensen’s emotive tones. Both entice the listener into the heart of the track and the waiting muscular roar of the chorus. It is a quickly engaging mix; the minimalistic tone of the verse a blend of melancholy and hope openly sharing the track’s plaintive cries and its sturdier crescendo a defiant response which easily arouses the spirit.

Trust is My Anchor is a firmly satisfying encounter which invites rather than demands attention but easily provides a memorable and increasingly enjoyable experience.

Trust is My Anchor is released June 23rd.

http://www.andreassjensen.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AndreasJensenMusic    https://twitter.com/andreassjensen

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright