Gravves – Oh, The Joy

One of last year’s highlights was undoubtedly the broader introduction of UK noise punks Gravves through debut EP Rattle. Now the band is ready to whip up even greater fuss and raucousness with its successor whose title pretty much sums up reactions to it, Oh, The Joy.

The North Wales hailing outfit create a cacophony of sound and enterprise littered with devious hooks and senses harrying rhythms. It is borne of a fusion of punk, noise, and alternative rock, the lustier ingredients of each uniting in a bold and often caustic roar as virulently infectious as it is eagerly abrasive. If Rattle highlighted its instinctive persuasion, Oh, The Joy rams it down eagerly welcoming throats with even greater relish and ferocity.

The trio of bassist/vocalist Adam Hughes, guitarist/vocalist David Thomas, and drummer Tom Williams swiftly blast ears with the Michael Whalley (Kong, Bipolar Sunshine) recorded EP through opener Power Bomb Baby, each of the three bombarding the senses with raw energy and zeal. William’s beats take no prisoners whilst guitar and bass harry and taunt with rapacity as vocals blaze.  As imposing a trespass as it is, the track is fuelled by infectious rock ‘n’ roll, sweeping the listener up in its tenacious garage punk/noise rock lures and energy.

The track continues the character and intent which made the band’s first EP so irresistible yet already there is a richer craft and individuality to the band’s sound which continues into next up Monster Truck. The second track also thrusts its rhythmic aggression and vocal abrasion immediately through ears but soon shows a more controlled if still devious attack with skin burrowing hooks and an irritably grumbling bassline; attitude simultaneously fuelling the heart of the outstanding song in word and sound.

From a scuzzy wind This is Bliss springs an indie meets garage punk incitement which had the body rocking with swift submission, Gravves tempering its punk causticity and elevating their cunning imagination for virulent hooks and invasive swings. Like a mix of the St Pierre Snake Invasion and The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the track quickly had juices running as too did successor Sinister Surf. Emulating its title in flavour and noir lit breath, the track simply haunts as it prowls the senses, seducing and invading with sublime ease and touch even as its tantalising grooves erupt with caustic emotion and intensity.

Hello Sailor bawls and stomps with its own particular virulence next, manipulative hooks and rhythms controlling instincts and limbs like a dictator as guitars spread melodic corrosion across their invasion. The surf rock scent of the previous track is still lapping over things but from a more early Horrors like distillery and it works a glorious treat.

Bringing things to a close, L is for Loser roars with sonic severity veined with a tangle of inescapable hooks and severely magnetic grooves; a track unleashing its full weight on the senses with fury and relish.

It is a fine end to another encounter with Gravves which left us breathless and greedy for much more. It has built upon the strong qualities of the first EP with hunger and imagination whilst still hinting the journey for the band’s sound is far from over. As the new encounter says, Oh, The Joy!

Oh, The Joy is out now through Loner Noise Records and available @ https://gravvesgravves.bandcamp.com/album/oh-the-joy

Upcoming live shows:

06 May 2018 – Liverpool UK, Sound City

10 May 2018 – Wrexham UK, Focus Wales Festival

11 May 2018 – Preston UK, The Ferret

12 May 2018 – Wrexham UK, Focus Wales Festival

26 May 2018 – Llanidloes UK, Kingsfest

27 May 2018 – Birmingham UK, Die Das Der

https://www.facebook.com/gravvesgravvesgravves/   https://twitter.com/gravvesgravves

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Polar Station – Lowlands

Listening to the sound of Italian band Polar Station is like waking up in the morning sun. It is warm, perpetually tantalising with just a hint of indefinable intrigue bringing the unknown to the senses and imagination and within their debut album, Lowlands, just captivating.

Hailing from Frosinone, the 2013 emerging quartet consists of Silvia Zambon (vocals / synth / vocoder), Cristian Angelini (guitar), Daniele Gabrielli (synth / programming / FX), and Manuel Bianchi (drums /electronic percussions). The band released two EPs in 2014 and ‘15 respectively which received good praise and attention. Both showed their sound to be a magnetic blend of electronic variety with dream pop sensitivity and magnetism, aspects now colluding to make for one infectious and compelling exploration within Lowlands.

The album opens with the band’s well-received single of last year, What It Feels Like. Vocoder spawned vocals initially lure ears amidst a synth cast crystalline shimmer before the angelic yet earthbound tones of Zambon embrace the senses. Her voice is pure beauty, essences of suggestiveness and melancholy lining its grace and magnetism, the latter a description which perpetually repeats across the whole landscape of the album. The instinctive sway of hips told all about the persuasion of the irresistible encounter, a temptation just as vocal within its successor.

Wake up Call makes a gentler entrance but one just as vibrant, stretching its elements and essence around the golden coaxing of Zambon and elegant melodies from Angelini. The song continues to slowly rise with every second of sound and voice pure sunshine for ears and spirit until finally drifting away into the more industrial lure of Something. Its earthier synth beckoning is soon enclosed in the seduction of Zambon’s vocals, synths and guitar teasing and tempting with melodic enterprise and mystique alongside. Both songs never find the boisterousness of the first yet each provides a sublimely bewitching and individual kiss on the senses and imagination to be just as potent.

Through the creative and emotional drama of Silence and the haunting elegancy of Fragile, the album reveals new shades of sound and light whilst stretching its captivation. The second of the two is a brief almost interlude like moment yet rich in heart and melodic suggestion to be its own potent moment within Lowlands before Ordinary Life dances romantically on ears and thoughts with melodic temptation and electronic delicacy as rigorous in intimation as it is gentle on touch. There is flame to its breath though, heat shaped by the excellent touch of Angelini.

The shadow kissed smoulder of Midnight is equally as romancing on the ear, its dark but radiant layers enthralling under the alluring glaze of Gabrielli’s ever tempting synth while Committed to What provides noir lined atmospherics over an inescapably catchy shuffle pulsing with the creative manipulation of Bianchi. Again both songs bring fresh angles to the sunspot that is Lowlands, each a new transfixing escape.

The album closes out with Golden Flares, a starry serenade of voice and sound with bold strength to its depth and a hint of tempestuousness to its heart. As the album, it is a song which instantly grips attention and appetite but only blossoms to greater heights over time and listen.

Polar Station is a band most likely in the colder reaches of attention for most but after Lowlands could and should be a blaze on the broadest radars.

Lowlands is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

https://www.facebook.com/PolarStation/

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crushing landscapes with US metallers Backblast

US outfit, Backblast, create a heavy metal roar embracing the flames of other styles and flavours. It is a proposition which is constantly growing and evolving as well as building on the success of the Manassas, VA hailing band’s well received debut EP, of 2015, The Area is Clear. We recently had the chance to get to the heart of the band with drummer Chris Tamberella, exploring its origins, growth, the band’s latest attention drawing release and more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We are a five piece metal band consisting of Dan Cunningham on vocals, Jake Ford on  lead guitar, Adam Pritcher on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Wilsen Rivera on bass and myself, Chris Tamberella on drums. In 2015 Dan and I, along with original guitarist Marcos Eguia, began recording tracks in Dan’s basement. After 6 months of writing and recording, we decided to bring the studio to the stage.

Had you been involved in other bands before?

Wilsen has been in a number of projects including Kaemon, Bourne of Ash, Greythor, Pandora’s Box, Sanguinus and some solo work on Wilsen’s Sessions.  Dan was is a heavy metal band in Newport News, VA called Kaivol Motak who enjoyed local success.  Jake was in a band for a few years in high school and since has filled in periodically for the Miami based band Inferion.

What inspired the band name?

The majority of our band members are military veterans and have experienced the back blast of an RPG before.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

There was no specific sound that we targeted at first. We played what came naturally which was best described as rock. After recording The Area is Clear, we wanted to add more to our sound but didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. Enter Adam Pritcher and his heavy riffs and we were on our way to making metal songs. Since then we added Wilsen on bass which opened the doors for another evolution in the band with his ability and experience. The final piece to our sound is the addition of Jake Ford. Adding a lead guitar to our sound has provided more opportunities for growth and another evolution in our sound. With the addition of Jake we are steering in somewhat of a power and progressive metal sound. Who knows what we will create in the future.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Our band has evolved in all aspects including what drives us now. As a band we want to push ourselves and churn out the best sound possible. That can only occur if we are all driven individually and as a unit. When we started in Dan’s basement we were messing around and seeing what came out. Right now we feel like the sky is the limit between the five of us and are excited for our next release and to continue bringing our brand of metal live on the east coast.

Has it been organic, especially the movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Everything that happens with our sound is organic and nothing is forced. We certainly want to try new things but we haven’t limited ourselves into what we are trying. If it feels right we move forward. If it’s clunky or not smooth than we move on to something else.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

With five guys in the band there are many different inspirations. We all share some of the same likes such as Black Sabbath, Dio, Lamb of God, Iced Earth but some of us like reggae, jazz, classical music, electronic music and more. For myself as a drummer I am inspired by Chris Adler of Lamb of God and Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold.

Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting? 

Most of our songs are based off guitar riffs. Sometimes that riff is structured before it comes into the band room or it may just be a small riff that starts with a jam session and grows into a full track.

And lyrically, where do you draw the inspirations?

Past experience, current political climate and what happens inside Dan’s head (which could be scary).

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is a four song concept EP, The Ringmaster. It revolves around an evil entity “The Ringmaster” who has pulled in all the outsiders of society and placed them under his spell. He lures with them with the promise of hope and acceptance but his true motive is to create an army of minions. After realizing their fate those who have come under his power rise up to fight back. In this story the good guys just might not win.

Give us some insight to the premise behind its songs.

The first song, The Ringmaster, tells the story of our protagonist and gives the listener a hint of his plan. Next is To the Grave which lets the newly acquired minions understand what is actually in store for them under the big top. The third track Uprising is when the battle begins. The minions have come together to throw down with “The Ringmaster” for an epic battle of good and evil. Our battle finally comes to a bloody finish with Bend the Knee. Who will be left standing?

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

We are 100% ready to record each track when entering the studio. Studio time is a pricey endeavour and we don’t like to burn money. The blade is sharpened before we hit record.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

Our live shows are our bread and butter. I promise you will not be bored. At one point you could be two feet away from a slinging guitar or about have Dan singing in your face. Our shows require audience participation and I promise you won’t be able to resist joining in.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

Our region has had a recent bump in the past year but it is an uphill battle. The underground metal scene has some very strong bands and personalities but the only way we grow is standing side by side. We are doing our part to make sure the scene keeps pushing.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

At this point social media is crucial for BackBlast and for all underground bands in any genre. On one hand social media gives any band exposure that would typically cost a ton of cash for free. On the other hand our music is free. There seems to be some formula for success through social media and we are still doing the math.

 Our big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Right now you can grab a free copy of our EP, The Ringmaster, by going to our Facebook page. Give it a like, and shoot us a message to get your free download code!

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright