Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

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

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ragweed – Breathing Holes

For some reason we always feel we need a hot intensive shower after listening to UK outfit Ragweed and their greedily rapacious sound. It is possible because from the release of their debut album Parerga in 2014 it has increasingly proved itself to be a raw and dirty infestation of punk fuelled noise which trespasses every pore. Last year’s single Silver Spoons revealed a fresh essence and new evolution to their music which the ear bending, senses exhausting Breathing Holes EP, now voraciously continues.

The new encounter is not so much a mixed bag of temptation but definitely one which has numerous angles and hues to its character of which some needed little time to ignite an already in place appetite for the band’s sound while others hankered after much more attention to pretty much just as successfully persuade. Silver Spoons hit the spot right away and with increasing rigour play by play, Breathing Holes across five rousing hollers emulates its success at times but also offers up other moments which take their to work towards the same persuasion.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Tom Adamson, bassist Callum Regelous-Cooke, and drummer Josh Pingram have linked up again with Alan Douches (Motorhead, Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, and Screaming Females) for the mastering of the new EP, its release coming once more through Milky Bomb Records. Straight away it imposes its presence on ears, the opening heavy almost sludgy touch of first track Cansema infesting the senses before it relaxes for a grungier cry which in turns leads to an eruption to noise rock intensity. It is a cycle which repeats, magnetic in its evolution and intriguing in where it will subsequently lead which turns out to be a groove woven stroll of heavy rock ‘n’ roll.

It is an opening enticement which nags away with increasing temptation play by play and is followed by the more immediately persuasive Backbite. A tenacious mix of punk and noise rock, the track is a magnetic clamour with catchiness in its foundations and a rousing holler in its breath. Reminding of Bristol band, The St Pierre Snake Invasion at times, the song had us stomping and bawling in no time, responses just as eager for next up Thought This Through. Almost corrosively raw yet with an infectious quality which lines every twist and turn, the track grabs appetite and participation with quick ease, its punk ‘n’ roll bellow and body trespassing swagger inescapable.

Down the Drain is Ragweed at their punk best and unashamedly devious as hooks and riffs niggle and invade like a filth coated virus as the song brawls with the senses before Up ‘n’ Under brings the release to a close with its groove clad grumble. Again there is a coincidental hue of the previously mentioned Bristolians to the song which adds to the track’s organic magnetism, grooves colluding with hooks and imagination for a voracious blaze of sound and intent.

There is no doubt that Breathing Holes really grows in presence and temptation across every play but has plenty to inspire such attention from the off. We personally have found it very easy to nurture an appetite for Ragweed and their sound through their previous records and with a growing greed which the new EP has only encouraged again.

Breathing Holes is available now via Milky Bomb Records @ https://ragweed-milkybomb.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ragweedragweed   https://twitter.com/ragweedrock

Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright