Mid Reflection – Outcast

Reaping the rich essences of punk, rap, ska, and heavy rock for a sound which echoes the heart felt honest words it surrounds, UK quartet Mid Reflection have just released their debut EP. Outcast is a four-track incitement of creative intent and open emotion with plenty to please fans of those genres just mentioned and equally those looking for something fresh and hard to truly pigeonhole.

Drawing on inspirations ranging from Linkin Park and Sublime to Gorillaz and House of Pain, London based Mid Reflection emerged in 2016. In no time they were making a strong impression on the London and South East live scene, their reputation constantly increasing as they shared stages with the likes of Imperial Leisure, New Town Kings, and Karl Phillips. The Outcast EP is their introduction to broader attention and quickly incites that inescapable success with its opening title track.

An initial guitar melody wraps ears first, rhythms soon adding their inviting yet dark hues as frontman Matthew Bishop, aka 2T’z, raps his open reflection on some of the battles in life he has overcome. Just as quickly is an instinctive catchiness in sound and vocal delivery to which guitarist Martin Velicky spins a captivating web of melody as bassist Nathan Neumann provides a suggestively brooding shadowing. The beats of drummer David Bean add to the dark edge surrounding Bishop’s recollections of being bullied whilst Velicky’s guitar also carries a certain melancholy in its melody and defiance in its enterprise as the song makes an impressive start to the release.

Nevertheless it is soon eclipsed by the bouncing [Spunge]-esque ska pop stroll of Illusions. The track had ears and appetite hooked within seconds, its familiar yet individually fresh infectiousness and invention surrounding another lyrical probing inspiring fiery bursts of rock ‘n’ roll trespass. The old school punkiness which escapes some of its moments just adds to its strength and imagination, and the pleasure before Legalise It springs its own raw edged rock ‘n’ roll speared headed by the machine gun rap delivery of Bishop. With repetitive riffs and hooks, the song is not the most boldest on the release yet every thrust of its rhythmic incitement, blaze of sonic electricity, and roar of vocal carousing hits the spot.

Foes brings things to a close, offering up a thicker dose of The Kennedy Soundtrack spicing hinted at in the EP opener. Centred on betrayed friendships, the song is a melodic tapestry of emotion and intensity which seems to only further blossom listen by listen.

It is a great end to a release which may not forcibly put Mid Reflection on the ska/punk/rock map but will surely awaken a great many more to their presence and a rich potential which rather excites.

Outcast is out now through iTunes and Amazon.

http://www.midreflection.com/    https://www.facebook.com/MidReflection/   https://twitter.com/midreflection

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Starling Radicals – Promisedland Vol 1

It is probably fair to say that last year was a disruptive one in the emergence of Welsh band The Starling Radicals, the band having to deal with “several sequential departures of recently-joined members” though it did give their fans the well-received Wasteland EP. They have come through that turbulence though with a new stable line-up and now a new encounter in the shape of Promisedland Vol 1 which as good as demands keen attention.

Formed in 2012, The Starling Radicals has built a strong and loyal following with their alternative rock bred sound nurtured with the inspiration of bands such as Nirvana, Stereophonics, and the Manic Street Preachers. Two years after stepping forward, the band released debut album Saintland, the potent first step in their rise within the UK rock scene. Promisedland Vol 1 is another leap forward and with its quartet of hook rich and rousing slices of tenacious rock ‘n’ roll, quite easy to see pushing the band and reputation a few more rungs up the ladder.

With George Toulouse offering instinctively bold vocals and guitar, Gareth Bain the dark hues of magnetic bass, and Joe Steele the lively swings of his beats, The Starling Radicals quickly get down to business with EP opener I’m With Her. Straight away an enticing wiry hook escapes the strings of Toulouse, rapacious rhythms quickly adding to the almost carnival-esque initial prowl of the song carrying just a hint of The Shanklin Freak Show to it. It is a compelling and thrilling start which maybe loses its edge a touch as warm melodies and Toulouse’s instantly striking vocals step forward. Their presence though brings a new wave of Police meets Manic Street Preachers infectiousness which in turn entangles with that earlier temptation, the song revelling in its variety and creative dexterity as it firmly grabs ears and imagination.

The band quickly show that opening a song in fine style was no flash in the pan in the first as the following You Make A Mess Of Me uncages its own delicious hook built groove to get things underway; the guitar again the instigator soon aided by controlled but bold rhythms and Toulouse’s rich tones. Its swing never allows a moments rest even when the song simmers though it is always ready to bubble over again within its melodic rock ‘n’ roll. As with the first track there is something familiar at play but an essence only adding to the enjoyment of its infectious and enterprising proposal.

The Scottish Play has a dirtier air and snarl in its blues scented rock ‘n’ roll as well as a more classic rock scenting though ultimately it is their fellow Welsh men in the Manics which comes to mind as the track hits the spot just as potently as its predecessors.

The release ends with Heart This City, a song which did not make the same kind of impact as those before it at first but it is fair to say with Toulouse vocally as alluring as ever and rhythms an anthemic undercurrent, it grew in persuasion and temptation listen by listen. It makes a fine finale to a release which maybe is not as unique as it might be but pushes the sound, reputation, and stature of The Starling Radicals to new heights and indeed the pleasure of their company.

Promisedland Vol 1 is out now.

http://www.thestarlingradicals.com/    http://www.facebook.com/TheStarlingRadicals/    https://twitter.com/thestarlingrads    https://www.instagram.com/officialstarling/

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright